Monday, October 3, 2011

Which Ascended Master Should You Trust?

Looking for a special gift for that hard-to-buy-for friend or loved one? You might want to skip that box of Ascended Masters Oracle Cards found on

The back of the oracle cards box exclaims
By popular demand, Doreen Virtue has created a beautiful deck of cards based on her best-selling book Archangels & Ascended Masters. The deck includes gorgeous paintings of 44 male and female cross-cultural deities, such as Ganesha, Merlin, Saint-Germain, Apollo, Pallas Athena, White Buffalo Calf Woman, Jesus, Moses, Yogananda, Green Man, and Kuthumi. The enclosed guidebook gives expanded explanations of each card’s meaning, and a brief history of each ascended master. As with each of Doreen’s oracle-card decks, the messages for each card are positive, accurate, and life-affirming.
As an example of what this deck of cards would do for you, if you were to randomly draw the “Balance Career and Home Life” card out of the deck, it would tell you
You drew this card as a reminder to keep balance in your life. You can do this more easily than you may imagine. You already know which part of your life is lopsided, and you may be feeling symptoms of burnout from this imbalance. You can rapidly shift your energy in positive ways by devoting time each day to your priorities. Even 30 minutes a day spent in meaningful ways will shift your mood, morale, and motivation.
Personally, I’d hope to draw a card that didn’t take up any of my personal time. I’ve already got enough to do. And if I want to shift my energy, I’ll stick my tongue on the positive and negative terminals of a 9 volt Duracell.

The spiritual power behind this particular card, though, comes from the Egyptian goddess Isis:
Isis demonstrated a perfectly balanced life as a great spiritual teacher and devoted wife and mother (to Osiris and Horus, respectively).
Isis is a much-revered Egyptian goddess who symbolizes feminine strength and power. She can help you find enough time and energy to enjoy all aspects of your life, if you’ll ask for her assistance.
According to the intro, the message for each card is supposed to be accurate, yet on the copyright page it says this:
The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.
Apparently, they don’t have a whole lot of faith in their product.

Most people aren’t gullible enough to look to Isis for real help, yet people search in other equally fatal places. The idea of the manipulation of energy is constantly promoted as a way to spiritual well-being, such as in yoga. When you consider that a deck of cards which features the Hindu god Ganesha, the Egyptian goddess Isis, the Greek god Apollo, the legendary wizard Merlin, and the sacred woman of the Sioux Indians, White Buffalo Calf Woman can be successfully marketed, it says something about the world we live in. Lumping Jesus together with these “ascended masters” illustrates the syncretistic nature of many people’s “spirituality.”

Unlike these others ascended masters, Jesus is not a myth or a shadowy figure from the past. St. Peter states
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16 ESV
The miracles which Jesus performed, and His death and resurrection, occurred in history, and were prophesied by the prophets through the power of the Holy Spirit centuries before they took place. St. Luke records St. Paul’s words as he appeared before Governor Festus and King Agrippa:
…To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles. Acts 26:22-23 ESV
The miracles which Jesus performed, including his death and resurrection, were known not only to his immediate followers, but to those who didn’t believe in Him as well, as Paul affirms as St. Luke continues to recount:
And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind." But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe." Acts 26:24-27 ESV
The Jewish unbelievers also knew of Jesus’ great works, as Peter reminds us:
Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:22-24
The apostles believed in Christ. They were willing to suffer and even die for their risen Lord. Paul says to Timothy:
…Which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12 ESV
Jesus is not an ascended master in any normal sense of the word, when compared with the other figures found on these cards. He is the one true God – yet He became true man, that He might suffer the temptations that we suffer, and take away our sin by being crucified on a cross. He ascended to sit in power at the right hand of God the Father – yet he still comes to us in His Word, and in His body and blood found in His Holy Supper.

Jesus is not a mysterious figure that we think will bring us good luck through some feckless tarot card. He is the only one who can offer us the things which these cards search for: peace, blessing, and freedom. As Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus’ story is the one which was foretold by the prophets, expounded upon by His witnesses, and continues to resound to the ends of the earth throughout history:
So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." Acts 10:34-43 ESV
  photo credit: galdo trouchky

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