SPIRITUALITY, OLD LIE
May 2, 2010
Prosperity and complacency have gradually diluted the church with a gutless form of counterfeit godliness that trivializes sin in the name of tolerance. Concurrently, more and more false prophets claim to have attained “Christhood”; and technological breakthroughs fabricate powerful signs and lying wonders that threaten to seduce the gullible with what the Bible calls “strong delusion.”
Although knowledge will be multiplied in these last days, the Bible likewise prophesies a famine for God’s Word. These last thirty years, we’ve generated more data than in the previous five thousand years combined, yet knowledge of biblical truth has waned proportionally to the point of being rationalized altogether out of existence.
Devoid of any spiritual compass, religious Universalists contend that all religions (or none) provide an equal basis for enlightenment. Accordingly, Brian McGuire of The Wall Street Journal endorses theosophy as “a religion for anyone—those who already have a religion and those who neither have nor want one.”
It stands to reason why this perplexing blend of Eastern philosophy and Western thought—best described as neo-pantheistic syncretism—enjoys universal endorsement. What’s not to like? Rather than contemplate the omnipotence of God, theosophists investigate instead “the powers latent in humanity.” According to Ascended Master Ramtha, “You become by worshipping you.”
A Superior Species for the Esoteric Now
Those “having arrived” comprise a superior species (called homonoeticus). Presumably their quantum leap to “cosmic consciousness” has fitted them for higher levels of existence in the so-called “esoteric now.” In contrast, the “perfect” (mature) man of the Book of Ephesians achieves “the measure of the stature that belongs to the fullness of Christ”—not by “paradigm shift,” awakened consciousness, or by attaining Christhood—but rather by embracing and following Jesus as Savior and Lord.
This superior species acts as “Custodians of the Plan” by watching over and even guiding all of humanity’s spiritual progress. The desired outcome is for the old “Piscean Age” with its obsolete traditionalism to give way to an anticipated “Age of Aquarius,” marked by promises of peace, harmony and brotherhood.
• Self-proclaimed Maitreyas
Since the 19th century, non-Buddhist spiritual movements have adopted the name and selected characteristics of Maitreya for teachers in their respective traditions. Since onset of the 1930s, Ascended Master teachings have honored Maitreya as "World Teacher." In 1956, he was elevated to the stature of "Cosmic Christ."
Artist, author, self proclaimed esotericist, Scotland-born Benjamin Crème owns Share International magazine, which equates Maitreya with prophesied figures of multiple religious traditions. To Crème, Maitreya is the "Avatar for the Aquarian Age." His message: Within everyone sits a god. That god is one’s true Self. To practice honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment is to come to Self-Realization.
The Emerging Church
Notably, the broad, transformational movement of the postmodern Emerging Church emphasizes interfaith dialogue and is open to new revelation, enlightenment and experiences in the here and now.
Also called the Emergent stream, the Emergent Church refers to an official organization, the Emergent Village, which is associated with Brian D. McLaren. In 2005, Time magazine recognized him as one of the "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America." For this reason alone, McLaren warrants a closer look.
• Compromised Theological Grid
That McLaren allegedly denies hell and Christ’s substitutionary atonement at the cross undermines basic tenets of the Christian faith. Once on board with McLaren, Pastor Mark Driscoll eventually broke away from the Emergent Church. Driscoll could not abide McLaren’s referring to God as “a chick,” his questioning god’s sovereignty and dismissing the central role of Scripture, all of which align with New Thought mysticism.
• Contemplative Prayer
While rote methods, as those employed in mystical “contemplative prayer,” have gained foothold in many Christian circles, these nevertheless miss the mark. For example, some EC members engage in contemplative forms of prayer. To achieve a so-called “cloud of unknowing,” where God’s presence is thought to be waiting, those who ponder aright are instructed to “shut down” and “turn off” while whispering some supposedly sacred word.
Truth be told: Being still before God in its truest sense is taking time to relax, ponder God’s goodness, reflect upon His Word and acknowledge Him at work. In doing so, there is no need for altering one’s consciousness because, by its very nature, waiting on God is decidedly cognitive.
• Holistic Ancient-Future Church
For EC members, holistic involvement takes diverse forms of social activism in performing acts of kindness—i.e., "missional living." This key social drive in the West sometimes cloaks old lies in the garment of new spirituality.
The Emerging Church relates to what they identify as the 21st century culture of mysticism; consequently, postmodern spirituality becomes but a new form of ancient mysticism. To reflect the local community's tastes, the church embraces eclectic expressions of spirituality. For these reasons, the Emerging Church is sometimes called the "Ancient-Future" church.
• Eco-theology Connection
The church’s passion for justice is expressed in critiquing systemic and coercive power structures while, at the same time, working for environmental causes. While it’s biblical for good stewards to tend, keep and subdue the earth for life’s necessities, the error of eco-theology, as promoted by the Green movement in America’s churches, isn’t. Falling prey to a guilt-driven global movement that demands action even in the face of scientific uncertainty is certain to sidetrack those within the Emerging Church who advocate the deconstruction of modern Christian dogma.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
In assessing the worth of any belief system, one principle prevails—let God be true and every opposing man (or spirit) a liar. The line is easily crossed when discernment is lacking. To embroil oneself in deceitful spirituality is to forfeit love of truth.
In order to distinguish between truth and a credible counterfeit, one first must know “the real thing” inside-out, top-to-bottom. For Christian believers, this is accomplished through lifelong, Holy Spirit-directed study of God’s Word line upon line, precept upon precept.
Knowing the Bible and yielding to the Holy Spirit protect Christians from distracting doctrines and deceit.