A Heavy Price To Be Paid For Not Following Scripture
Apprising Ministries has been telling you in posts like Liberalism 2.0 The New Progressive Christian Theology and Brian McLaren Addresses TransFORM East Coast Conference that, while the spiritually obtuse within evangelicalism would like to think so, the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church is not dead at all. In fact, the just wrapped up TransForm East Coast conference launches the Emergent Church 2.0 with a new more clearly defined progressive/neo-liberal theology aka Emergence Christianity.
This newer postmodern form of Progressive Christianity is what EC guru Brian McLaren begins laying out more systematically in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity (ANKoC). As a matter fact McLaren said just yesterday to the Emergent TransFORMers:
And this theology they’ve been contemplating is still in the process of being cobbled together into a “big tent” progressive/liberal theology e.g. by uber-liberal theologian Harvey Cox and his friend Dr. Philip Clayton, whom I’ve introduced you to in Philip Clayton With “Big Tent” Christianity In The Emerging Church. But what’s this got to do with Leonard Sweet? I’m glad you asked; Sweet, who is a minister in the liberal mainline United Methodist Church, is also advancing the same neo-liberalism as his good friend Brian McLaren. In other words, Leonard Sweet is not an evangelical, nor is McLaren.
But unfortunately for this New Downgrade No-Controversy we don’t see any Charles Spurgeon on the horizon. You may recall that in Brian McLaren A New Kind Of Christian I showed you that what McLaren wrote as “fiction” in his seminal 2001 book forms the basis of his new ANKoC. As you’ll see e.g. from Christianity and McLarenism, which is a review of McLaren’s ANKoC by pastor Kevin DeYoung, even now McLaren’s message remains exactly the same as in his previous book. Here’s what Dr. Gary Gilley said in his review of it:
McLaren will not accept for a moment the possibility that conservative evangelicalism, which is surely laced with modernistic tendencies, might possibly be resting on the foundation of infallible, unchanging Scripture. No, McLaren is willing to throw the baby (biblical Christianity) out with the wash (modern influences) and start all over with a new kind of faith, one which he admits does not yet exist.
More specifically, McLaren rejects absolute truth, authority, theology, objectivity, certainty and clarity. He embraces relativism, inclusivism, deconstructionism, stories (to replace truth), creative interpretation of Scripture, neo-orthodoxy, and tolerance. Possibly the motto of postmodern Christianity is found on page 61: “The challenge today is not whether you are right but whether you are good.” (Online source)
Like Interlocking Concentric Circles Of Apostates Sweet’s In Lockstep With McLaren Et Al
Following, from McLaren’s own website, is what his friend Leonard Sweet said of that 2001 book:
“This is a book that heightens the depths and deepens the peaks. Like all the best things in life, it is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently and in the fear of a God who is waiting for the church to stop asking ‘What would Jesus do?’ and start asking ‘What is Jesus doing?’” (Dr. Leonard Sweet, E. Stanley Jones Chair in Evangelism, Drew University, and bestselling author of Post-Modern Pilgrims, SoulSalsa, SoulTsunami, and AquaChurch; coauthor of A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Cafe) (Online source)
This is why it’s important to find out the answer to the question I raised here in Is Emerging Church Theologian Leonard Sweet Speaking At Calvary Chapel Of Albuquerque Or Not? Just today I received another email from that church concerning this fuzzy picture but still nothing definitive has been stated for the record; so, stay tuned. In closing this, for now, here’s some more light concerning Leonard Sweet. And keep in mind, with shills like these for Leadership Network you are entering deeply into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language where words don’t retain their meanings.
Against this proper backdrop, now what Sweet says below, should resonate more closely with what you hear McLaren saying today. Lighthouse Trails Research, a leading online apologetics and discernment ministry, offers us Chapter 11 of the book A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren Smith. It’s a must read if you want to understand where such as these perpetrating this neo-liberal and neo-Gnostic spiritual skubalon are heading. No, we are no longer surprised as Smith brings out the following:
Leonard Sweet, in acknowledging Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, and the others he refers to as “New Light leaders” in [his book] Quantum Spirituality, states:
I believe these are among the most creative religious leaders in America today. These are the ones carving out channels for new ideas to flow. In a way this book was written to guide myself through their channels and chart their progress. The book’s best ideas come from them.
Speaking of spiritual “channels,” Sweet expresses his personal gratitude in [his book] Quantum Spiritualityto channeler and veteran New Age leader, David Spangler. Spangler, in attempting to cast off the negative stereotype of a New Age channeler, would now more likely describe himself as a conscious intuitive.
A pioneering spokesperson for the New Age, Spangler has written numerous bookslieves over the years that include Emergence: The Rebirth of the Sacred, Revelation: The Birth of a New Age, and Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture. His book Revelation: The Birth of a New Ageis a compilation of channeled transmissions he received from his disembodied spiritguide “John.”
At one point in Revelation, Spangler documents what “John” prophesied about “the energies of the Cosmic Christ” and “Oneness”:
As the energies of the Cosmic Christ become increasingly manifest within the etheric life of Earth, many individuals will begin to respond with the realization that the Christ dwells within them. They will feel his presence moving within and through them and will begin to awaken to their heritage of Christhood and Oneness with God, the Beloved.
Unbelievably, in a modern-day consultation that bears more than a casual resemblance to King Saul’s consultation with the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:7), Leonard Sweet acknowledges in Quantum Spirituality that he was privately corresponding with channeler David Spangler. In Quantum Spirituality, Sweet writes about what he calls his “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership, then closes his book by thanking Spangler for “his help in formulating this ‘new cell’ understanding of New Light Leadership.” Sweet writes:
Philosopher Eric Voegelin’s word “cosmion” refers to “a well ordered thing that has the character of the universe.” New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another. I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership…
Leonard Sweet’s Quantum Spirituality and David Spangler’s The Reimagination of the World were both published in 1991. It seems obvious from their books that both men are attempting to distance themselves from the more faddish, consumer-oriented elements of the New Age—but without actually dispensing with the term New Age itself. To the casual reader, it might look like Spangler and Sweet are actually speaking against the New Age.
In fact, quotes taken out of context might even make it appear this is true. But this is definitely not the case. Sweet and Spangler are just doing some New Age/New Spirituality public relations. They are both redefining and refining the term New Age as they try to strip the term of its Shirley MacClainesque pop aspects and put it more in the realm of seemingly authoritative science.
The term New Age would no longer be associated with occult spiritual beliefs but rather with a period of time—a new era—in which their seemingly scientifically based spiritual beliefs would manifest. It would no longer be a New Age Spirituality. It would now be a universal “New Spirituality” for a new era—the coming “New Age.” This New Age would be equated with a planetary era and a planetary ethic that would reflect a passionate concern for the environment and all of humanity. This new era would also reflect the new “civility” called for by Sweet’s “hero,” the late New Age leader M. Scott Peck. (Online source)
You can read Chapter 11 of A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren Smith in its entirety by clicking here. You need to know that Brian McLaren, his friend Leonard Sweet, and the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church 2.0 have a very real agenda. They have already attacked the left and have defeated the original Cult of Liberal Theology; meanwhile the EC was also busy embedding itself into your Young Adult and Youth ministries at your evangelical churches, and using the issue of affirming homosexuality as a viable lifestyle for the Christian, soon this EC cancer will metastasize throughout the visible church.