Those who have been following Apprising Ministries is an online apologetics and discernment work which has specialized in analyzing current trends in the visible church, apprising you as to what they are, and informing you as to how you can deal with them.
So inevitably this would lead to my covering the rise of the now full-blown neo-liberal cult operating within the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church, which also proved to be a Trojan Horse unloading critical-thinking skills numbing Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation.
Tragically, because mainstream evangelcalism would embrace those neo-Gnostics teaching spurious CSM a la Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster and his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, the visible church now is an accelerating apostasy.
It’s leading to an increasing syncretism with the various strains of unbiblical teaching now quickly blending together in ways we’d previously not have imagined. The spiritual glue is this CSM with its crown jewel, a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP).
You need to keep in mind here that the quasi gurus who are pushing their TM-lite CCP know well there is a very real “transformation” which occurs after its prolonged practice. They truly see themselves as superior to those of us adhering to the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura because they’re supposedly ”deeper” than we are.
This is why e.g. former EC rock star pastor Rob Bell would often use postmodern deconstructing questions concerning the historic orthodox Christian faith in order to break down the belief systems of young evangelicals. That way Bell had them all set up for him to then begging to go on and extol the virtues of murky mysticism.
You’ll see an example of this in Through Rob Bell “The Great Enlightened Ones” Tell Us Man Has Divine Greatness. So it came as no real surprise that Bell handpicked his mystic friend Shane Hipps to be his successor as teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church. Sadly, MHBC has gone on to become quite influential.
While the heretical Hipps has nowhere near the following that equally the heretical Rob Bell once had he is beginning to gain ground within contemporary evangelicalism. For example, today Shane Hipps would tweet:
The link takes us to the blog of Shane Hipps and this post below:
Willow Creek’s website tells us about this Midweek Experience:
You’ll note that apparently the idea is that we’ll “grow in [our] knowledge and personal application of the Bible” and then they’ll take our “spiritual journey to the next level.” Not that we expect much from Willow Creek, however if that’s their stated goal, then why bring in a Shane Hipps who’s as evangelical as I am a Buddhist.
We immediately see his emerging postmodern deconstruction concerning John 14 as Hipps tells us:
This is a fascinating passage. We’ll unpack what Jesus means when he talks about “the Spirit of Truth.” Truth isn’t what we think it is. (Online source)
O of course, all these years the Church hasn’t understood what “truth” was so we need the neo-Gnostic “enlightenment” of Shane Hipps. He then continues:
Not only that, we’ll explore the even more scandalous teaching from Jesus that God dwells within us in the same way that God was in Jesus. (Online source)
The key word in the above is “us.” You need to understand that Hipps is not orthodox in his teaching here; he’s a mystic who believes God already dwells within all of mankind. Consider Shane Hipps: Osama Bin Laden Indwelt By Holy Spirit where Hipps dreams:
This Logos affects everybody; including Osama bin Laden. As long as he’s got breath, in him is a spark of the divine.
As I said before, anyone who thinks the late terrorist Osama bin Laden exhibited any fruit whatsoever consistent with one who has been “born again,” i.e. regenerated (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17), which must happen before one is indwelt by God—the Spirit of Christ—seriously needs to have their spiritual head examined.
Not only that, but in his sermon Wind in the Sail Hipps likens God the Holy Spirit to the wind which a given religion catches like a sail and then muses his mythology below:
The sail is like religion; the wind is the Spirit. You need a sail to catch the wind; to harness the wind, but ya gotta realize that sail isn’t the wind. The sail is actually dependent on the wind.
You see, here’s the crazy thing; the Spirit—the wind—doesn’t need sails in order for it to move about the world. The sails need the wind. So the Spirit, in order for it to move and operate in the world, has no need of religion.
But we—those of us made the way we are—for some reason, need sails in order to catch the wind. We need religious structures, external things…some religions are better equipped to catch the Spirit of God… (Online source)
Did you catch that; Hipps muses “some religions,” plural, “are better equipped to catch the Spirit of God.” No, God’s Word tells us quite plainly that the worship unbelievers offer is — to demons and not to God (1 Corinthians 10:20). In other words, those in other religions are in the sin of idolatry (cf. Exodus 20:3).
They are still in the world and Jesus already told us of the Spirit of Truth:
whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:17)
1) If they have to receive Him, then He is not in them already; 2) the unbeliever cannot receive or know Him, 3) and again, Jesus sets a chasm between those unbelievers and His disciples in whom the Spirit will dwell. The fact is, Shane Hipps is caught in hopeless contradiction with Christ Jesus Himself.
In closing this, for now, so deluded and apparently ignorant of the Bible is Hipps that he would actually give the Christian sacrament of Holy Communion to one of these idolatrous unbelievers. You may recall Muslim Receives Communion At Mars Hill Bible Church Of Rob Bell? On September 11th Hipps tweeted:
After this hit the blogosphere Hipps would later tweet something he called a clarification, which only served to more fully reveal his own perverted position:
Another example of sinful syncretism as these heretical teachings of Shane Hipps, which touch upon the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself, will now be given a forum in a highly influential contemporary evangelical church.