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TBC Staff

Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update. I’m T. A. McMahon, and in this program we are addressing biblical eschatology—what the Bible has to say prophetically about the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ. 

My partner in this discussion is Carl Teichrib. He’s the author of Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment

Carl, welcome back, and thanks for joining me in our ongoing discussions of where the world and Christendom are headed according to the Scriptures as history draws to a close.

Carl: Looking forward to our conversation. I’ve enjoyed each one of these, Tom. 

Tom: Yeah, it really has been a blessing, Carl, and you have—I’m so thankful for your involvement with this.

Now thus far in this series, we’ve been discussing Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict by Samuel Andrews, written in 1898; America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice: The Rise of New Age Shamanism written by Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon in 1988; and now we’re going to focus on Carl Teichrib’s book Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment

Now, in terms of how up to date your book is, Carl, I think the ink on the copy you sent me is still a bit damp, okay? Now, folks, that’s a joke with a point: my point is that all three books give insights spanning 120 years regarding what the Bible says will take place in the days surrounding the return of Jesus Christ.

Carl, your book brings us up to speed in terms of what’s taking place today, although some consider the New Age movement as a fad that was—well, that has passed. Your book, to the contrary, gives us the New Age movement on steroids. And, folks, you’re going to get that as we get into talking about his book. 

But, Carl, let’s start with a brief explanation of your title. What does it mean?

Carl: Good question, Tom. I wrestled with a title. As you know as a writer yourself how important titles can be, because it sets the tone for what’s inside the cover. And so much of the book is based on what happened at Genesis 3 and its continual story, its continuation—man desiring to become as God—that I titled it Game of Gods to reflect that. In fact, it was my son’s idea. I remember going for a hike down the road trying to wrap my head around what to call this book, because it’s a big book, it’s a heavy book, and you want it to resonate—you want the cover and the title to resonate. And I came back in, I was done. I was fed up. I couldn’t find anything that really connected the ideas together, and my son said, “Dad, you’re talking about a game of gods! They’re all playing “God,” all wanting to be gods. It’s a big game!” It’s a losing game…

Tom: Right.

Carl: …but it’s a game. And, Tom, the only way that mankind plays God ultimately is by playing God against each other and over each other. We’re not gods in the Mormon sense, we’re not gods in any since at all where we think that we can create new worlds and new realities, but that is at the heartbeat of what we aspire to do as a civilization. Since the fall where Eve was told, “You can be as or like God,” we have walked down that path. And that’s what this book Game of Gods really is about is exploring that now in its modern context. 

Tom: Mm-hmm. You know, my good buddy who’s home with the Lord now, Dave Hunt, used to say, “One of the problems related to gods is that there are 7 billion ‘gods’ running around today,” not only doing their own thing, but thinking they’re working something out, which we’ve gone over this. Nothing has been even close to being successful. I mean, I don’t even like to use that word. It’s been a tragedy, a tragedy.

Now…

Carl: You’re right, Tom, it’s a tragedy. This is really important for people to recognize, that mankind is seeking out utopia, but in our desire to achieve this utopia, it becomes nothing but a bloody utopian nightmare. It never sees its success.

Tom: Right. In your pre-introduction, you begin by writing that “Game of Gods is a comprehensive investigation into the changing nature of Western civilization.” Could you spell that out for us?

Carl: Sure. The first part of the book goes into an historic survey as we try to come to some kind of an understanding of why we arrived here and now. Why has civilization changed so drastically? What were the forces, the intellectual, political, religious, cultural forces that brought us to this point? And this is not a book that has a narrative or a storyline to it the way, like, let’s say a novel would. Rather it’s a survey, it’s a survey that unpacks the historical context that brings us to today, because if we don’t understand the backstory, we won’t get what’s taking shape in the contemporary world right here, right now. And we’re certainly not going to have an understanding as how the future unfolds before us. And there’s a significant part of the book that takes a historical approach. In fact, it’s really a book of history, but a book of history wrapped in what is taking shape right now.

Tom: Exactly. I remember a comment that you had in your book about—talking to the historians, that maybe you were moving too quickly through all of this. No! No, you’ve underscored, you’ve underlined the important things, especially for those of us who are coming at this from a biblical Christian worldview, and that’s so critical. We’re going to talk more about that.

The other thing in the beginning, and I think this is worth addressing right now, you say, “We are compelled to ultimately consider two options: oneness and otherness.” Go for it.

Carl: Oneness is the dominant worldview. It is the paradigm that the world is operating under explicitly or implicitly. Whether people recognize it or not, it’s there. Oneness, or as Dr. Peter Jones from Truth Exchange describes it—because I took the concept of oneism from what he was describing as a Christian apologist who deals with the question of oneism or twoism—oneism, or oneness, is the concept that man, God, and nature are essentially the same. There is no fundamental difference between the three realms. Reality is one. There is no separation. Separation is only an illusion. Separation is what brings about division, and we can’t have that, because reality is a unity. That’s the New Age belief, Tom. That is the belief in the occult world, that is the belief within shamanism, that is ultimately even we could say the belief, realistically, of atheism, which says that man is the highest measure of all things. There is nothing outside of the natural world, nothing outside of man. Well, that’s a oneist perspective, because at this point, you have excluded any possibility of there being a God outside of time, space, and matter. 

The biblical worldview, Tom, is different, very different. It’s otherness. There is a distinction that God is separate from creation. All there is, and Dr. Peter Jones uses the idea of twoism, not dualism—sometimes there’s a confusion with that. It’s not dualism, it’s the idea of God being a single, separate personality, and then the rest of creation. So there’s only two. 

I like the term “otherness,” because I see it broaching a broader perspective—that is, that even within creation, there are distinctions and value. In fact, we can’t have value, we can’t have judgment or judgment calls, within the creation itself unless we recognize there’s even distinctions within the created order. I’m different than the animal kingdom. You’re different than the animal kingdom. Humanity is set apart. There is something special about us. Now, that doesn’t mean that we are on the same level of God—not at all! God is unique and separate, distinct, and then the rest of His creation has distinctive points, as well.

I find it interesting that in the New Age, or in the oneness movement, because I’ve rubbed shoulders with so many of these people, especially in their organizational side of it, there is a real hope that we’re going to create a better tomorrow. I’m sorry, if oneness is reality, there is no tomorrow. There is no better. That’s a judgment call based on distinctions. That’s a judgment call recognizing that now is not satisfactory. You want something different. That’s not oneism, and there is no hope, because ultimately in oneness, war and peace are just the same. Why are you bothering with a message of peace? Why are you bothering with a message of hope? Hope is an illusion. If oneness is real, there is ultimately no hope. The biblical worldview is no, there is hope, because we have a God who brings about distinctions and value and judgments, and He is gracious in doing that.

Tom: Amen. Carl, just sitting here listening to you, it reminds me of what you do, which is so different than…I’ve been involved with apologetics for almost 40 years, but I would point to you as somebody who, based on what you’ve just described, you’ve made it understanding for me. And what’s the value of it being understanding for me is that I can talk to other people who have the views that we’ve been talking about 12 weeks here or more! We’ve been laying this stuff out, and the value of it is to get into conversation with people and bring them to, as best we can, to think through their presuppositions. Where’s this going? Does this work? Has it worked? You know, where is it? And that’s why I’m so blessed and pleased to be able to participate with you in this series. It’s really important.

The other side of it, and I want you to talk more about this, that you write, “The Judeo-Christian structures are being dismantled and replaced. We are witnessing the creation of a new global neighborhood. Its builders anticipate coming synthesis, and oneness becomes the banner under which they work.”

Carl: Right. It truly is…

Tom: If we don’t understand that as Christians, if we’re not aware of that, we’re in serious trouble. 

Carl: That’s true, and it comes through all kinds of different forms. From the education system through the political sphere… Right now as we have been taping this, as we’re taping this conversation and the previous couple of conversations, the United Nations has been celebrating its 75th anniversary. I’ve been monitoring some of what’s been taking shape around the conversations of the UN general assembly, having their virtual meetings, and the UN’s 75th anniversary. Over and over again, the messaging that I’m hearing is, “We are all in this together.” Some of the NGOs (the non-governmental organizations) are talking about how we are all as—we have to come together as one. Well, the world is coming together as one. The world is moving together as it—looking towards some type of unification or unity. But there has to be an intellectual, an ideological, and certainly a spiritual dimension to that, and I believe that that is what we’ve been describing when we’re talking about oneism, or oneness, versus otherness. And that biblical worldview is being jettisoned. It’s being kicked out. It’s no longer acceptable, because we live in an age that has to find some meaning, and has kicked out Christianity, kicked out Christianity. Already in the 1950s and ‘60s that was beginning to take place, and now today we’re the minority. The Christian worldview certainly is the minority worldview. Rather, oneness has become the majority worldview, whether people realize it or not. 

Tom: You know, I love being able to interview you along this line, as you said earlier. I love this, because I get to ask you questions, and then I’ve got your book to take a look at. But you write, “Some may be asking, ‘Why? What might be gained by digging into complex worldview issues?’ A number of thoughts come to mind.” 

Now, before I get into your thoughts, folks, we’re going to deal with something in this interview that I hope shocks you right down to the core, to your core, and it has to do with our children. 

But before we get there, you write, “First…” You know, again, why be asking these questions and digging into complex worldview issues? 

Well, before I give your answer, because it’s affecting our children! These—they are converting our children. Now, the children may not—I’m talking about preschool, kindergarten, the teaser for this program is “Are your kindergarten children,” you know, something to this effect: “Are your kindergarten children replacing their naps with meditation?” Yes, they are. But we’ll get on to that in a bit.

So you answer, “First, so we are not uninformed as to the direction and character of culture and society, seeing past the hype, rumor, and sensationalism.”

Do you want to add another comment to that?

Carl: Social media has done a tremendous job in bringing about a lot of hype, sensationalism…part of the writing of the book, in a way, was to offer my readers the hope that you would have something substantial, something documented, something that you could use as a foundation besides going to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Because there is so much information out there, and so—Tom, so much misinformation, so much hype, so much sensationalism, and so much sensationalism within the church itself, okay? We gravitate to this stuff. 

Now, here’s the thing to keep in mind: The topic that we’re dealing with is sensational on its own, in its own merits. It’s sensational in itself. We don’t need to add, we don’t need to speculate. It’s there in front of us, and it’s sensational on its own because of the sensational character and the sensational claims it’s trying to make, which is that it looks—basically become an alternative salvation message.

Tom: Right.

Carl: It looks to create heaven on earth. It looks to create the new man. It’s building—now, this is why I have it subtitled this way—it’s building the temple of man! And so I wrote the book as…at least that very first part that you just read, there was, and I remember it well, there was a frustration within myself as I was watching some of the conversations taking shape on social media that were driving me crazy. It was like, this is innuendo! This is—there’s nothing solid here. Let’s go to where the heart of the matter is, let’s start to unpack what’s really taking shape without having to run into the world of hyper-speculation. 

Tom: Okay. Your second point, you write: “To connect the dots of our own life experiences, the main themes in this book are foundational, being relevant irrespective of demographic or social identifiers.” 

Look, anybody who is not recognizing, and I mean anybody—Christians or otherwise—are not recognizing the mess that we’re in now is on drugs. Well, actually, that’s the way they think they’re getting out of it, you know? I’m not trying to be funny or sarcastic, but that’s the reality, and we’ve talked about that in our programs past. 

But just look around, folks, check it out! Certainly this pandemic and certainly the political situation in the United States is…there it is. There it is. We’re not saying that’s the end and that’s the way it’s going to end—no, it’s actually going to be far worse than that.

Carl: The book is—part of it is based on some of the coursework I do at Millar College of the Bible. Millar College of the Bible is a small, Christ-centered Bible college in southwestern Saskatchewan, and I teach a course, a modular course—sometimes once a year, sometimes once every two years—on secular and pagan trends. And, Tom, every class I teach, and some of the classes are—the student body’s usually around 50 or so students. Every class I teach, I will have students come to me multiple times during that week saying, “Wow! What we’re talking about is what I was being taught in school. It’s what my parents believe. It’s what my church has embraced!” 

And that’s why I put what I did in the book right there, that this—that this touches our lives, that this touches every single one of us as we’re watching the West look to find a new foundation of truth, but a foundation of truth away from Christianity, away from Jesus Christ. I can’t think of a single class I have given at Millar where I haven’t had pretty well daily conversations with students who are coming to me going, “Oh, we do yoga in school!” Not the Bible college, but, “We’ve done yoga in public school. We were…my family is doing this or doing that.” 

Last year I had at least three students who approached me about how psychedelics has influenced their friends, some of them their own family. And the thing that strikes me, Tom, is what we’re talking about is not just academic…

Tom: Right.

Carl: …it affects people personally.

Tom: Carl, your third point is to “take heed of the revolutionary transformation in play, and therefore mentally and spiritually equip ourselves and our families, churches, and communities so as not to become gullible participants.” 

As much as we’re concerned about all of this, as you mentioned before, where’s the body of Christ in this? Where’s the—not just the professing church, but even true believers, where are they in this? Do they understand what’s going on? 

You know, I’ve been saying this all along that this can affect true believers. They…in Hebrews 2, I think, it says, “Take heed lest ye slip away, lest ye drift away.” It’s so easy to drift into this stuff, to let it slide, because twice in Proverbs, “There’s a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” death meaning separation, meaning we were separating ourselves. At least that’s one understanding you can have through that—not understanding what the Word of God says and imposing our own ideas upon it. So…

“…so as not to become gullible participants.” We’ve seen too much of that.

Carl: We sure have. And realistically, Tom, there are only three approaches we can take. Either we become gullible participants and the church—unfortunately I can give you example after example. You know more examples than myself regarding gullible participation of what the world is selling us. Or we stick our heads in the sand, and we go, “I see nothing, I hear nothing!” even though it’s literally now right beside you. And in one chapter of my book, I talk about how if we have our heads in the sand, something else is exposed and it will get kicked, and it is getting kicked! 

Tom: Right, right.

Carl: And then the third approach is we can tackle this from a biblical worldview, recognize this is a challenge, but also an opportunity. And the opportunity is now: Can we be ambassadors for Christ in an age that is increasingly growing hostile to the message of Jesus Christ?

Tom: That’s one of my favorite teachings by you. We’ve touched upon it in our earlier programs, but we’re going to really get after this—what it means to be an ambassador for Christ.

Carl, I’m going to give you one of my favorite quotes by you, okay? And I’ll be using this a lot, and I’ll be giving you credit, okay. I won’t…[laughs] 

You say, “Humanity has three great desires: to be as God, to be masters of meaning and destiny, the captain of their own ship…” I just added that one in there. That’s—they want to be in control, their hands on the wheel. And…which we’ve been talking about, and this is where it’s all going, and sadly within professing Christianity, “…to build heaven on earth. That is, this is that story.” 

Let me repeat it again: “Humanity has three great desires: to be as God, to be masters of meaning and destiny, to build heaven on earth. This is that story.” That’s what your book’s about, and it’s what we’ve been about for the past 12 programs. 

Now, a couple of things I want to do—[unintelligible] we’re too fast here, Carl! I’m going to end with this. But, Carl, we’ll pick up on this next week, but my great concern, and I know it’s yours because you’ve talked about it, it’s in your book—“Planetary Citizens.” That’s the chapter. That’s about, who are going to be planetary citizens? We’re talking about our children. They’re making them into what they would call—well, planetary, because all is one, we’re all a part of everything, okay. And give us just—can you give us just a brief…your experience with being in a class in which young people who are being taught this. Just cover some of it for us.

Carl: Okay. The very first international-minded event I attended as a researcher—and this is important to recognize: this is one of my methods of research is to go where oneness is being shaped politically, economically, religiously, culturally. One of the first…not one—the first one was a Global Citizenship 2000 youth congress. It was a meeting that took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, and for the space of a weekend 300 school teachers, social activists, educators, including the former United Nations official Robert Mueller, were engaged in the restructuring or rebuilding of a curriculum, and it wasn’t just a curriculum in that it was a guideline, it was more of a philosophical curriculum. And the curriculum was recognizing your divinity, recognizing your oneness. Keep in mind, 300—roughly 300 schoolchildren were participating. 

And so throughout the event, Robert Mueller talked about how we were not citizens of Canada (because this is for Canada’s school system), but rather we are citizens of the cosmos. We are all planetary citizens; we are all becoming part of the planet of “God,” as he would describe it. And for me it was a wakeup, because it was no longer an academic exercise of reading books on the subject or reading documents, but watching as the emotion of this compelled the children to accept it. The story that was woven together, and Robert Mueller did this in a fantastic way—I give him credit. He knew how to pull the strings. 

At one point, he had a dialogue with himself as Mother Earth, and it was a very emotional, appealing dialogue: “What are you doing to me? You are killing me! We have too many children on this planet, and in the future, we may not have a future because we have too many children! What are you—what are you, the children, what are you going to do about this problem of overpopulation? What are you going to do about the problem of climate change? What are you going to do about the problem of destroying Mother Earth?”

Tom, we—I’ll get into it next time we have our conversation, but some of the responses from the youth were truly shocking. We had one, during one Q and A, a girl—she probably was about 14 years old—stood up weeping, demanding no more children, the end of children! We had a teacher who was crying because she had committed such a grave environmental sin: she had brought—I think it was five children into the world, and “If she had only known! If she had only known.”

Some of the schools performed different activities to demonstrate to all of us what the new planetary society should look like, the new planetary mindset. I was with a group of university students, future educators, and they recognized that what we were talking about was essentially spiritual. And one of the students, and I have this written in the book—I’m going to butcher how it was said, but the statement was made: “We need to make this a virus. No inoculation. Infect everyone.” Well, we have.

Tom: Yeah. Carl, I want to end with this: Folks, if you’ve joined us, hopefully you are biblical Christians. If you’re not, I hope what we’re presenting will give you some insight into biblical Christianity. And this whole issue of…we—all is one, panentheism, pantheism and so on, that we’re gods… 

Let me read you just from Isaiah 45. I’m going to read you a number of verses. 

Isaiah:45:5: “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.”

Isaiah:45:12: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.”

Isaiah:45:18: “For thus sayeth the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is none else.”

Isaiah:45:21: “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together [talking about those who oppose God]: who hath declared from this ancient time? who hath told it from that time [only God knows the future. He’s the alpha and the omega]? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”

And this is just one chapter, chapter 45. We could go to the other chapters where there’s much more, but I’ll end with this one—Isaiah:45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved….” That’s our heart’s cry, isn’t it, Carl?

Carl: Yes it is. Yes it is.

Tom: “…all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” There you have His Word.

Carl: Tom, we can play games of God, and that’s what we do, but they are games that lead to a dead end. “There’s a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death.”

Tom: Right.

Carl: Really the question is: Do we trust in the true God, the one who is different than creation, or do we trust in creation and elevate that to the position of God? If that’s the case, if the second part is the case, then we’re playing games that just lead to the road of destruction.

Tom: Amen. Carl, once again, look forward to next week! I’m really thrilled to be going through your book. It’s so important. So God bless you, brother, and Lord willing, we’ll be back at this next week. 

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