Hi, John! I want to ask you about the informaiton at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Roerich What do you know about this teaching and her influence on Christianity today? (In my church there is a member who believes in this teaching. And she doesn’t want change it) Your book about Daniel is very good! I am enjoying it!
I had never heard of Helena Roerich. She was definitely a fascinating and amazing woman. No wonder one of your sisters finds here philosophy interesting. This is an attractive philosophy. I do not think that Helena Roerich is particularly influential today, at least in the United States. You would know better than I how influential she is in Russia. Apparently she is influential on this particular sister!
I cannot say much about her popularity and influence in Russia, but I can make some general comments about the kind of person and influence Helena Roerich represents. During the mid-1800s, leading into the first half of the 20th century there was a great fascination in Europe with the study of Eastern religion. Many influential people began to promote Buddhist and especially Hindu religious thought in the West. Helena Roerich is one of many dozens who did so. Dostoyevky and Tolstoy were highly influenced by Eastern thinking as well. Here in the United States we had women like Madam Blavatsky and her Theosophy. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thoreau were influenced by Eastern thinking. Many more examples can be mentioned. When we first come upon Eastern religion, it is interesting and attractive. It has a certain appeal because the theology of Eastern religion is that we are God. God is us and we are God. Righteousness is found within ourselves. This is pantheism. One thing I can say for sure is that this is not Christianity! Basically, this is New Age religion. It is a Westernized pantheism, with its meditation, introspection and its belief that sin is not real and that we find God by looking inward. We overcome our sin/karma by our own righteous behavior, certainly not through the blood of Jesus.
Your friend needs to make a decision. Either she believes in the Christian God or she does not. She cannot go back and forth between two religions (paraphrasing Elijah on Mt. Carmel). She should not fool herself about this. If she wants to follow the philosophy of Helena Roerich, then she is rejecting Christianity. Jesus taught that we are definitely not God. We are sinful and in need of a saviour. Salvation is not found in meditation and finding our god-self within. It is found in repentance and in faith in the saving death of Jesus. It is tempting for some Christians to try to incorporate certain elements of Hinduism, such as yoga, tantric meditation and so forth, but this is an attempt to join two things which are absolutely, irreversibly incompatible with one another. This sister needs a good lesson on “World View.” If you go to my web site you will find a series of audios on World Religions. The class is still on-going, but the audios relevant to World View and to Eastern Religion are already posted, so you can get the recordings there. Of course, these are in English, so may not help this sister, but perhaps you can listen and it will help you to be able to explain to her that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot have Jesus and the philosophy/religion of Ms. Roerich.
By the way, I find the life and ideas of Helen Roerich personally fascinating and compelling. I think that it is not a problem at all for the sister to read about her life and admire her boundless curiosity, energy and concern for human dignity. She was a wonderful woman, the best I can see, and she has traits that a Russian woman can emulate, whether she is Christian or not. However, we need to look behind the outward appearance and recognize that, no matter how wonderful a woman she was, Hinduism and Buddhism are not the truth. Salvation is found in no one else, but in Jesus Christ and through his blood.