And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (Matt. 24:4-5 NKJV)
At one point I had a difficult time understanding how Matthew 24:5 could be taken as a literal event. How could many Christs come in the name of Christ? First, I pondered that maybe it meant a series of false Christs appearing over a period of time. But that did not make sense because Christ is teaching about the last days. Further, it was difficult to understand how “many” could be deceived. After all, Christians believe in one Christ, not many, so it is hard to grasp how many Christians could be deceived by the arrival of more than one false Christ. But that was before contemplative spirituality and its carrier the Emergent Church came along with the concept of a cosmic Christ.