Readers of this blog may remember that recently, Share International, a group led by New Age prophet Benjamin Creme, announced that the messiah (they like to call him "Maitreya, The World Teacher") had finally stepped forward into the public eye, even though they declined to give his name.
See my Jan 20th post for more details on that.
So this set off a wave of speculation among followers, some of whom have been waiting literally decades for this long promised [false] Christ. Finally, much of the focus and speculation settled on 27 year old Indian born author Raj Patel, causing believers to send him congratulatory messages, and even travel great distances to see him. But...long story short, the guy seems quite bewildered by this all, leading to a bit of confusion among those who so badly wanted him to be the long awaited One.
The New York times has three stories dealing with this. (See links below).
In the end, to me this is both absurd and sad. "The One" has already come -- that being Jesus Christ -- but these people are looking for another instead.
Jesus warned that in the last days false prophets and false Christs would come, and would deceive many.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matt 24:24).
This Maitreya, whoever he turns out to be, will be just one of many who will lead many astray. Also on the scene we already have Sun Myung Moon, Jose Luis De Jesus, and many other lesser known fake messiahs who are already at work.
Somehow I get the feeling this upcoming decade will be a busy one for those who are in the Fake Messiah business.
NY Times Article: In Internet Era, An Unwilling Lord For New Age Followers
Ben Shoucair, 24, a college student from Detroit, does not need more convincing. He said he saw Mr. Patel in a dream, and then was stunned to find a YouTube video and discover his vision was real. Last week, Mr. Shoucair and his father spent $990 on last-minute tickets to fly to San Francisco to be in Mr. Patel’s presence at a book promotion.
Reached by phone this week, Mr. Shoucair said meeting Mr. Patel had made him “happy.” He said the Maitreya evidence was irrefutable. “It puts it all on Raj Patel at this time in history.”
Mr. Shoucair seemed amazed when told that Mr. Patel did not believe he was the messiah and had never heard of Mr. Creme. “See how deep the spiritual world is,” Mr. Shoucair said.
Mr. Patel said of their pilgrimage: “It broke my heart. They’d flown all the way from Detroit.”
Share International’s beliefs are rooted in the Theosophical movement popular in Britain in the late-19th century; it later evolved into New Age beliefs, said Ted F. Peters of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Messiahs have been declared before, only to disappoint.
“It’s incredibly flattering, just for an instant,” Mr. Patel said of his unwanted status. “And then you realize what it means. People are looking for better times. Almost anything now will qualify as a portent of different times.”
NY Times Article: Are You There, God? It's Me, Scott
NY Times Article: Is He Or Isn't He The Messiah?