By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jul 12, 2011 in AM Missives, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, Current Issues, Emergence Christianity, Emergent Church, Features, Spiritual Formation, Youth Ministry
To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
It’s Past Time For Some Straight Up Truth
Christian apologist Bob DeWaay has a very accurate saying: Deceptions that do not “work” have a short shelf life. We must also come to realize that a lot of the spiritual monkey business, e.g. The Wild Goose Of The Emerging Church Is Not The Holy Spirit, I’ve written about here at Apprising Ministries this past six years is, in fact, intertwined. More on that in a moment. First, I told you the other day that enemy forces are already pinching my financial supply lines so I really have little to lose by telling you the hard truth; things are not going to be improving in the church visible.
No; there are indeed Dark Days Ahead for God’s actual people to walk through with Jesus as He sends judgements upon the visible Christian church (cf. 1 Peter 4:17). As far as my work here at AM is concerned, the Lord be praised, over the past two years readership has quadrupled; however, during the same span, funding has not at all kept pace. So 1) many new readers have been feeding, but aren’t then sharing (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:9-11); and 2) if God’s people don’t choose to support a work like this, then my voice just won’t be here anymore along the Internet front of this Truth War. Be that as it may, right now I say — Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).
I was actually reminded today of that particular section of Scripture while listening again to an excellent sermon by Phil Johnson, which I first brought to your attention in my article about a heretic by the name of Mike Morrell On Matthew Fox, John Wimber, And The Emerging Church. Johnson, who blogs at Pyromaniacs, is also executive director of John MacArthur’s fine labor in the Lord Grace To You; and because of our mutual friend Lane Chaplin, I can even include the video of it below. Ok, let’s now return to the subject of all this inbred spiritual monkey business; the more technical term would be syncretism, which just happens to be a perfect fit for the flawed philosophy of postmodernism with its embrace of paradox and irrational philosophy.
Essentially syncretism is the attempt to bring about religious unity by merging together various belief systems of so-called “faith traditions,” and this even when they’re contradictory. That’s why corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), a mystic voodoo perpetrated under the guise of Spiritual Formation (SF) by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his friend and spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard, is so crucial to Satan’s strategy. You ask, “Did you just say Foster and Willard are beng used by Satan?” Yes, I did; the cult of Foster-Willardism, and this is exactly what it’s grown into, has played a huge role in destroying the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura within too much of the mainstream the Christian community.
This brings me back around to what I shared with you from Bob DeWaay at the outset of this article. The following incident, which DeWaay tells us about in his fine scholarly work The Dangers of Divination, proves to be an excellent illustration of what I’m taking about here. He explains that a “former missionary” had “recounted a story that illustrates the reality of the spirit world.” Then DeWaay writes:
Here is the story in his words:
A twelve-year-old boy in Taiwan was having strange experiences. He felt as though someone was often following him but when he turned around, he saw no one. Often in the morning after a fitful sleep he would have bruises and tell his parents that someone had been hitting him in the night as he slept. His parents took him to medical doctors who could find nothing wrong with the boy. Finally, they took him to a blind fortune-teller – one who had a reputation for his effectiveness in perceiving the spirit world.
This fortune-teller told the boy and his parents that the boy was born as a twin and that the other twin had died at birth. This was of course known to the parents, but few other people knew about this as they had kept it a secret. The fortune-teller went on to say that the boy’s problems were caused by the spirit of the deceased twin who was angry about being neglected. His parents had not been faithfully worshiping him and providing for him in the spirit world. Therefore, this spirit was punishing them by harassing their son (his twin). The solution was to set up an altar for the spirit of the deceased twin, worship him with food and incense, and burn spirit money on his behalf. When the family did as they had been instructed, the boy’s strange experiences ceased.
One might ask, “How can it be that this worked”? The answer is that Satan has good reasons to make it work. The spirits tormenting the child were doing what evil spirits delight to do. The fortune-teller is connected to real spiritual knowledge. The spirits told the fortune-teller of the twin. The spirits gave him the “prescription” and other spirits quit their tormenting because by doing so, they have immersed that whole family in the animistic beliefs of spirit worship. Imagine how solid would be their beliefs and how unlikely would be their turning to Jesus Christ. Divination and spiritism work — that is what makes the danger so great. Deceptions that do not “work” have a short shelf life. (Online source)
A Pleasant, Or Good, Experience Does Not Insure That It’s From God
You see, we live in such a sappy sentimental time where largely pretending to be Protestant evangelicalism seeks solace through spiritual drugs like Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which is a form of transcendental meditation in an altered state of consciousness. Rather then experiencing God through Holy Scripture people are instead turning to CCP—the crown jewel of CSM—for the spiritual buzz one derives from it. When we understand that the proponents of these various religious traditions, sects, etc. are moved by the very seducing spirits that we see right within the pages of Scripture duping people with “nice” experiences, then it really isn’t surprising that we see such syncretism slithering into the heart of the church today.
Haven’t you read — “say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions.’” (Isaiah 30:10); or — “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14). Quite obviously these smooth, pleasant, and peaceful things were not of God. Speaking of deceptions and illusions, the emerging rebellion against the Bible referred to as the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church—with its postmodern version of liberalism i.e. Emergence Christianity (EC)—certainly does not speak in accord with my opening text in Isaiah 8:20. Frankly, the EC has actually called us to return to the Egypt of the spurious spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism.
It’s crystal clear to those of us whom God has sovereignly, and graciously, given eyes which see that this current fad of CSM is a revival of the Gnostic counterfeit form of Christianity; and therefore, it cannot be a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. But that does not however, rule out CSM producing very real, and very pleasant, experiences. Here’s where it’s so critical to keep in mind now what Bob DeWaay has said above: Deceptions that do not work have a short shelf life. Make sense now. Now it makes more sense that, as I pointed out above, so much of what I’m covering here at Apprising Ministries lately is, in fact, interrelated because they are really being moved by the very same spiritual seductions from the very same demons who’ve been deluding people for centuries.
Haven’t you ever read of those — who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions” (Isaiah 30:10). Or when God said — “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). Now quite obviously these very real, smooth, i.e. nice, pleasant, and peaceful things—referred to by the Lord as illusions—weren’t blessed by God. You really need to come to understand that neither is this stupid syncretistic Emergent idea of learning truth about God from other religions. Only the really spiritually obtuse and/or unregenerate could miss what the Lord has said with crystalline clarity here — No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons (1 Corinthians 10:20).
Well, here’s a real blast from the past for you: Adam and Eve themselves even tried to learn about God from a demon—in fact, from the very prince of demons himself—and you might recall, it really didn’t work out too well. The time to take Scripture at face value again has arrived; and we need to — Resist the devil (cf. James 4:7). There’s an old adage that fits here: He who has dinner with the devil should use a long fork. So as I get ready to close this out, for now, I bring you back to this sola Scriptura-canceling CSM; I prayerfully leave you to contemplate the following from God’s Word. As we meditate upon the issues that touch on CSM, and its mind-numbing CCP, we’ll see they involve spiritual deceptions that are well beyond man’s natural intellect. This is why no one should venture into the spiritual realm without the protection of God the Holy Spirit.
However, this is precisely what the unregenerate and ignorant engaging in CSM are actually doing. Now notice in the following passage of God’s Word that we’re told in verse 9 to expect the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders; in other words, all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders:
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
One of the major didaskalia daimonion, meaning the doctrines i.e. the teachings of demons (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1), right now being advanced by these deceitful spirits before the very gullible evangelical public is that if someone has a nice and/or good experience of a supernatural sort, then it’s automatically assumed to be of God. Wrong; spiritually dead wrong. In verse 9 above we find very good reason to be fearful — The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders. In this generation, you’d best be sure that you really do have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus because these counterfeit miracles, false signs, and wonders, will look exactly the same as the true miracles, signs, and wonders, done by the original Apostles.
As a matter of fact, the very same Greek words are also used by God in Scripture regarding the signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 2:4) performed in the first century! And common sense will tell you that the closer to the original a counterfeit would look, the more effective it’s going to be. So you’d better know what the text of the Bible says, and remember that just because something appears to work; or feels good, or seems so “loving,” it most certainly does not necessarily mean it originated with God. Therefore, it really doesn’t take a degree in theology to understand how spurious spirituality always ends in deadly deception; and with this CSM, the visible church has been there, and done all of that, before. It wasn’t of God then, and it’s not now.