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Paul Proctor

October 30, 2002


One of the many disturbing trends I see in the 21st century church today is an ever-increasing emphasis on “personal experience”. What makes this so dangerous is that it teaches one to trust and follow inner voices, impulses, feelings, philosophies, theories, conjecture and unexplainable “coincidences” instead of diligently searching the scriptures for explicit guidance and instruction on the issues of life. It is a Wordless faith – a new-age form of Gnosticism that trains a feminized society of carnal Christians to FEEL their way through the dark instead of hold up the light of God’s Truth to guide them through a perilous world of fear, ignorance, temptation, deception and confusion.

A wise man once said: “We should never view scripture through the lens of personal experience but rather view our personal experience through the lens of scripture.” If we believe in our experiences FIRST and God’s Word SECOND, we practice the sensory-driven religion of unbelief that brought about the very fall of man – listening to the voices in and around us saying what appeals to the flesh and emotions instead of faithfully yielding to God and His Word. THAT WORD and our treatment of it is what separates us from the rest of the world's religions. Without it, we have nothing to lead and guide us but the carnal knowledge of personal experience. And that, my friends, is the devil’s domain.

God’s Word

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” - Genesis 2:17

Personal Experience

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” - Genesis 3:6

Today’s “new spirituality” is not new at all but is as old as man’s sinful nature. I wince and squirm whenever I read or hear some church growth guru promote new ways of doing old things as if there was anything new under the sun. Instead of humbly proclaiming the Word of God, many of us today proudly parade our personal experiences before one another, “in the name of Christ”, to help God get “His message" out as if He needed some carnal contraption to do so. All too often, giving one’s testimony turns out to be little more than gratuitous storytelling and entertainment that showcases the sinner instead of glorifying God.

A recent example of this new spirituality and the dialectic doubletalk that is used to sell it can be found in a Baptist Press article by church growth honcho, Rick Warren entitled: ‘What On Earth Am I Here For’? This is one of many self-absorbed and misleading questions he poses in a series of articles for the Baptist Press designed to promote his new book, ‘The Purpose Driven Life’.

As if to try and put a positive spin on a sinner’s situation, Warren goes on and on about why each of us was put here on Earth and the divine purpose behind it. He does this because it strokes our ego and seduces us into cooperation by making us feel better about ourselves. But you see, if we are made to feel better about ourselves then we are less likely to see ourselves as God does and repent.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” - Revelation 3:17

We are in this dying world because we betrayed God by relying on our personal experience. We are doing time. It’s as simple as that. Warren’s self-esteem building approach to the hidden meaning and divine purpose of one’s life on Earth is like trying to help a murderer discover the REAL reason he’s in federal prison -- that he is ACTUALLY there for some higher purpose – to courageously endure the injustice and hardship of a cruel penal system in order to help reform it into a more pleasant environment with his "God-given" talents and abilities. This kind of Kingdom Now, Dominionist, A-millennial mentality is no more honorable or accurate than sniper John Allen Mohammed writing: “I am God” on a tarot card for all to see while hiding in the shadows to shoot people. Furthermore, it builds just the kind of end-times world of narcissistic mini-gods that the Anti-Christ is prophesied to emerge from where “signs and lying wonders” deceive the miracle-seeking masses into damnation.

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” - II Thesslonians 2:9-12

This earthly realm where sinners dwell is divine punishment for sinful behavior just as prison is a place of punishment for criminals. To call it anything else is a lie. And the sooner we realize and accept this, the sooner we will humble ourselves before Almighty God and recognize our desperate need to repent and be saved from it. Tragically, church growth salesmen will doubletalk their way around the very nature that destroys mankind in order to sell their self-esteem building products and programs. Such motivators often use biblical truths to support the larger lie of building a glorious kingdom here on Earth. But, don't be fooled by what these men say. Learn to recognize what they DO NOT SAY. Here is where much of the deception lies. The biblical truths they frequently proclaim are more often than not, just spiritual camouflage covering a globalist agenda.

One of the most insightful comments I’ve heard in years came from Pastor Chuck Swindoll on a recent radio program. He said: (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Our job as Christians is not to clean up this world and make it a better place. Our job is to call sinners out of it.” He’s absolutely right. The Lord didn’t tell Noah to build an Ark just so He could decorate the darkness with rainbows. Nor did He visit Sodom and Gomorrah to help Lot learn how to get along with homosexuals. He didn’t send Moses back to Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to become Jewish either. Jesus Christ suffered and died on a cross to DELIVER you and me from this evil place to a kingdom “not of this world” – John 18:36

So, if you’re one of those high-minded folks who have dedicated their life to try and save the planet, reform the system, stop the commies, clean up the environment, fight corruption, protect your rights, beautify America, find your purpose and make this world a better place for you and your family, I hope you’ll remember the sobering words of Jesus:

“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” – John 12:25


© 2002 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved



Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for News With Views, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected].