Archive | July 2014

BELLissimo or BELLogna ?

(225) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY – ROB BELL

Rob Bell continues to surface from time to time, seemingly more frequently as his writings, books, and appearances generate new fans – especially among younger Christians.  As you probably recall, Bell presented a very confusing view of Hell in his book LOVE WINS, at times presenting views that imply UNIVERSALISM while also questioning several other fundamental aspects of the Christian faith.  This week, I just looked at BRIAN McLAREN’S  new book in the bookstore and found a recommendation of support from Rob Bell on the cover.  It must now be OK to have Rob Bell appear on books from Emerging Church authors?

–> This article is from the Orange County Register.  Getting straight to the point – it shows how Rob Bell is questioning the authority, reliability, usefulness of the Bible for believers while continuing to prop up a negative view by those in society who are not believers.  Like most other Emerging Church authors, their standard operating procedures are to subtly move in with teaching that strays from the Truth presented in the Bible.  Jude 3 & 4, describes how false teaching creeps into the church from the back door – a subtle strategy played out over time.  What better method of attacking the church than by watering down, causing confusion, and downplaying the role of the Bible in our walk.  Once that doubt takes hold, other doctrines quickly come under attack and issues such as homosexuality has the church taking views more in line with the unbelieving world.

Warning – you will see Bell sporting a swim suite carrying a surf board at the beach. It startled me at first. Take note of how the Bible is presented by Bell. Remember, its a subtle attack on Scripture that can be the most dangerous.  There are plenty of true statements mixed in between other questionable statements.  Enjoy –
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

faith and values

Rethinking the Bible: A reassessment among some evangelicals

Growing numbers are asking whether their reading has become too rigid, too simplistic and too alienating.

BY JIM HINCH / CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Published: July 18, 2014 Updated: July 19, 2014 8:44 p.m.
 After writing a book questioning the existence of hell that stirred national controversy, Rob Bell, who says his “new church” is outdoors in San Onofre, has written a 59-part online essay on the website Tumblr called “What Is the Bible?”
FILE: MINDY SCHAUER , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

A book revered, but not read

Americans who consider the Bible sacred:

2014: 79 percent

2011: 86 percent

Read the Bible at least three times a year:

Age 18-29: 40 percent

Age 30-48: 53 percent

Age 49-67: 57 percent

Age 68 and older: 66 percent

Agree with the statement: “The Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life”:

All adults: 50 percent

Age 18-29: 35 percent

Source: American Bible Society, State of the Bible Survey, 2014

What is the Bible?

It’s a straightforward question. But for Christians these days, it turns out there’s no straightforward answer.

Not even for evangelical Christians, who for centuries have remained near unanimous in their belief that the Bible is the authoritative word of God – until now.

At a time when fewer Americans than ever read the Bible or even regard it as sacred, even evangelical Christians are beginning to ask whether their historic embrace of Scripture has become too rigid, too simplistic and too alienating in an increasingly pluralistic society.

We’re in a moment of history where things are shifting,” said Rob Bell, a best-selling evangelical author and former megachurch pastor who lives in Laguna Beach.

Bell is one of several prominent evangelicals who in recent months have published books or extended online essays questioning traditional claims that the Bible, as Bell put it in all capital letters in a blog post, “IS THE INERRANT TRUTH ABOUT WHICH THERE CAN BE NO COMPROMISE.”

In churches, seminaries and online, evangelicals are asking whether the Bible was directly inspired by God; whether Scripture truly condemns homosexuality; and whether strict observance of biblical rules is even possible given the complexities of language, history and culture inherent in biblical interpretation.

“The Bible is complex and, while influenced by God, it is not dictated by God,” prominent megachurch pastor Adam Hamilton told the Religion News Service in May.

Hamilton was speaking about a book he published in March that encourages Christians to abandon overly literalistic approaches to Scripture.

Also urging Christians to re-evaluate their Bibles is a 24-year-old gay evangelical from Kansas named Matthew Vines, who leads a national network of evangelicals dedicated to promoting tolerance of homosexuality in churches.

“Bible passages” appearing to condemn homosexuality “have been misinterpreted,” Vines wrote in a book he published this year called “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Marriage.”

“You can affirm same-sex relationships and uphold biblical authority,” Vines said.

Karen Winslow, a Bible scholar at Azusa Pacific Seminary, said evangelicals are re-evaluating their approach to Scripture for several reasons.

First, she said, a younger generation of Americans is growing up with less biblical knowledge than ever before, requiring pastors to start from scratch when teaching in church.

A study this year by the American Bible Society found that nearly 40 percent of Americans under age 30 never read the Bible, while 16 percent of young adults consider the Bible “the actual word of God.”

At the same time, Winslow said, America is becoming more religiously diverse, with rapidly growing numbers of Muslims and other immigrant faith groups with their own sacred texts.

Sports, technology and popular entertainment also compete with biblical precepts for Americans’ allegiance.

Surrounded by so many conflicting voices, a growing number of evangelicals “have been frustrated by the fundamentalist approach, and they do feel liberated” to read Scripture in new ways, Winslow said.

For Bell, that frustration has taken the form of a 59-part online essay on the website Tumblr called “What Is the Bible?”

Bell, who is 43, began the series last year and published the latest entry, on sin, in April.

Bell did not respond to a request for comment for this story. But in an interview with the Register last year he expressed dismay at what he termed evangelicals’ tendency to enshrine the Bible as a “graven image” of black-and-white rules dictated by God.

“My wife calls it ‘Bibliolatry,’” he said.

In his Web series, Bell offers an alternative view of Scripture as a “library of books written by humans.”

Those writers, Bell says, were inspired by God. But their writings often contradict one another. And they often tell stories and use metaphors and images that can’t be reduced to simple interpretations.

If you let go of the divine nature of the Bible on the front end and immerse yourself in the humanity of it, you find the divine in unexpected ways, ways that can actually transform your heart,” Bell writes in the first post in his series.

Jeff Tacklind, pastor of a medium-sized evangelical church in Laguna Beach where Bell sometimes attends services, said his congregation embodies the complex evolution of evangelical approaches to Scripture.

“There are different streams that coexist in our church, the whole gamut from liberal to conservative,” Tacklind said. “The diversity becomes a beautiful challenge to listen to each other.”

To meet the needs of congregants with divergent views, Tacklind said he rotates preaching assignments between church staff members with varying views.

Preachers, Tacklind said, include “a conservative evangelical borderline fundamentalist,” a former professor at the California Institute of Technology, and a veteran of the Vineyard movement, a network of churches emphasizing direct experience of God’s presence over rigorous biblical study.

Tacklind, 43, said he was raised in a conservative Christian family but he’s since moved closer to Bell’s understanding of Scripture – though not as far as Bell himself.

“I try to delicately walk this line as a bridge builder,” he said.

Not all evangelicals are enthusiastic about the new interpretive experiments.

“I understand there are people saying different things, but I’m of the belief that the Bible is exactly what it says, and it is clear,” said Jane Rockley of Santa Ana, who attends Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa.

Rockley, 63, said obsessing over biblical interpretation can cause Christians to miss the fundamental reasons for reading Scripture: To get to know Jesus and to learn God’s principles for living.

“One of the things I have found the Bible doing for me is giving me an incredible centeredness,” Rockley said. “I know who I am in Jesus Christ. I know what God has said and I have boundaries that order my life.”

Rockley said she often attends multiple Bible studies each week at Calvary Chapel, joining classes of “several hundred.”

She said she once attended a service at a Presbyterian church in Los Angeles during which the pastor told worshippers they couldn’t trust everything they read in the Bible.

“My question about that is, it’s confusing. How can you know anything is true?” she said.

Other evangelicals have criticized Bell for ignoring or downplaying key biblical passages that contradict his arguments.

Vines, too, has drawn criticism from prominent conservatives, including the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who published an entire e-book in April rebutting Vines’ claims about the Bible.

In his interview with the Register, Bell said he had an answer for critics.

“What I think is happening is they’re trying to make the Bible into the book they wish we were given, and we weren’t given,” he said.

“Instead of fighting that (human) element of the scriptures I embrace it. … It then really can become a source of life. Now it speaks to you in a whole different way.”

Contact the writer: jhinch@ocregister.com

_______________________________________________

—-> Maybe I could recommend to Rob Bell to read several passages from Scripture that would give you a better view of Scripture:

 

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 uses some pretty strong and clear wording – ALL Scripture is given by inspiration by God (i.e. breathed out)….that the man of God may be COMPLETE, THOROUGHLY equipped for EVERY good work. 
  • Psalm 119 – we trust the word, knowing that it is altogether true!
  • John 17:17 – “your word is truth”
  • Deut. 8:3 & Matt. 4:4 – man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
  • 2 Peter 1:16-21 – no prophecy of Scripture was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Advertisements

S-W-E-E-T – Part 2

(212-b) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY

LEONARD SWEET – Part 2

index

In the 2009 release, A “Wonderful” Deception, former New Age follower, Warren B. Smith, exposes the “new spirituality” of Leonard Sweet. The following excerpt discusses Sweet’s “Quantum Spirituality”:

  • While some Leonard Sweet defenders have argued that Sweet’s hybridized postmodern “New Light” apologetic flies right over the heads of “old light” “fundamentalist” types, the facts tell a much different story. What I learned in reading Quantum Spirituality is that Sweet is in the process of trying to transform biblical Christianity into a quantum/postmodern/New Light/New Age/New Spirituality. Without apology, Sweet writes that he is part of a “New Light movement” and he describes those he especially admires as “New Light leaders.”

Leonard Sweet thanks New Agers for helping him find the “New Light”:

From the Acknowledgements section of Leonard Sweet’s book Quantum Spirituality: “Those who have taught me how to catch the tail winds of energies whoosing from new spiritual jet streams are: ….Willis Harman.”

Who is Willis Harman?

  • I have followed those “New Light leaders” … “[S]ome of those who led [me] into new light are: … Matthew Fox, Richard Mouw, Rowan Williams.” Others that Leonard Sweet thanks include: Morton Kelsey, M. Scott Peck, Walter Bruggemann, Ken Wilber, Thomas Berry and many other New Agers.

Berit Kjos in “The Emerging Global Church” states –

  • “The new focus is on unity — a world-wide oneness reflected in the growing union between the East and West. Leonard Sweet’s online book, Quantum Spirituality, sheds some revealing light of the envisioned global “church” for the 21st century. In his view, the offense of the cross has been replaced with a passion for interfaith peace and possibility-thinking. To illustrate this point, Dr. Sweet points to Thomas Merton, the popular Catholic author who popularized mysticism and died in Asia searching the depths of Tibetan Buddhism.

Sweet’s New Age spills over –

  • The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and ‘in-formationwith other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness.” —Quantum Spirituality, P. 122
  • Energy-fire experiences take us into ourselves only that we might reach outside of ourselves. Metanoia is a de-centering experience of connected-ness and community. It is not an exercise in reciting what Jesus has done for me lately. Energy-fire ecstasy, more a buzz than a binge, takes us out of ourselves, literally. That is the meaning of the word ‘ecstatic.‘” —Quantum Spirituality, P. 93
  • Note: This ecstasy Sweet speaks refers to the New Age ecstasy that occurs in an altered state of consciousness.
  • The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another. P. 147
  • 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. P. 48

WHAT is he talking about ?

  • A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Bohme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.” P. 235

Sandy Simpson (cont’d from Part 1)

  • “In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, “The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.76)

True Christians are not mystics.  They need not be because they have the Holy Spirit and the Word to guide them.  They are empowered with spiritual gifts and they know God.  They don’t need to seek Him “mystically” because they already have Him.  But it is true that so-called Christians of tomorrow will be mystics if Sweet has anything to say about it and if the churches do not avoid him as the Scripture clearly tells us to do with false teachers.

Ro 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

 

  • “Austrian/American physicist Wolfgang Pauli perceived, are the traceable connections that exist between ourselves and others or objects, and the underlying holism of the uni-verse. Transcendent state of consciousness” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.234)

The universe created by God is wonderful and holds together by His power (Rev. 4:11).  The state of consciousness that is in the world today is a state of delusion.  If you want to stay connected to unbelievers in a false spiritual union, that is your choice.  If you want to be connected to Christ then you will not be unequally yoked with them.

2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

  • “If the church is to become a synergic space, it must first be Christianized. It must meet the ABCDE involutions of the “X Factor.” The ABCDE rule for synergic Christbody inter-connections and in-formation is as follows: Alterity, Bonding, Critical Mass, Dirt, Euphonics. The ABCDE involutions, when placed in a biblical framework, represent evolutionary steps to higher spirituality and the ecclesiastics of synergy”. The church must provide postmoderns with an alterity of rituals by which they can turn and tune to one another and feel connected to the cosmos. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 137).

WHAT?

We are not here to “connect people to the cosmos”We are here to connect people with Jesus Christ!  “Alterity” is defined as “Otherness: the quality or state of being radically alien to the conscious self or a particular cultural orientation.”  So we are now to bring people into esoteric mystical experiences in order for them to get close to God?  That has nothing to do with Biblical Christianity and true Bible teachers ought to know this.

  • “Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.76).

Experience before doctrine leads to false experience, never to sound doctrine.

DAVID SPANGLER (New Ager quoted by Leonard Sweet)
David Spangler who Sweet favorably quotes also speaks of Lucifer as: “The true light of this great being can only be recognized when one’s own eyes can see with the light of the Christ, the light of the inner sun. Lucifer works within each of us to bring us to wholeness, and as we move into the New Age, which is the age of man’s wholeness, each of us is brought to that point which I term the Luciferic Initiation, the particular doorway through which the individual must pass if he is to come fully into the presence of his light and his wholeness. Lucifer comes to give us the final gift of wholeness. If we accept it, then he is free and we are free, that is the Luciferic Initiation. It is one that many people now, and in the days ahead, will be facing, for it is an initiation into the New Age. (David Spangler (quoted by Leonard Sweet), Reflections on the Christ, Findhorn Lecture Series, 3rd ed., 1981; p. 45)

This is one of the many New Agers that Sweet loves to read and quote.  Lucifer is now bringing us closer to “wholeness”?  That is the lie of Eden!  This is straight ahead doctrines of demons.

In Conclusion
Nothing else needs to be said.  The facts speak for themselves.

—-> Follow Leonard Sweet at your own risk, the risk of your soul! 

 

How SWEET it is

(212) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY

LEONARD SWEET (Part 1)

946011_w185

Who is Leonard Sweet?  Well, you may not want to read his book or you may not have time to read his books – I say – good, don’t read his books.

BIO: Leonard I. Sweet is an author, preacher, scholar, and ordained United Methodist clergyman currently serving as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew Theological School, in Madison, New Jersey, and a Visiting “Distinguished” Professor at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport Magazine.

Sweet is one of the founding leaders of the EMERGING CHURCH movement along with Brian McLaren, Doug Paggitt, Tony Jones, Richard Foster. Rick Warren endorses him which also has given him an avenue to speak to many evangelical churches and denominations.  He was raised in the United Methodists Church which usually tends to be liberal in their theology.

In his book – “QUANTUM SPIRITUALITY”, a glimpse of what he believes can be drawn out from several quotes from Sweet.  Quantum Spirituality (QS) is filled with NEW AGE, INTERFAITH, PANTHEISTIC CONCEPTS. He was invited to speak at Calvary Chapel (CC) – which at the time was a denomination known for its stick to the authority of the written word approach along with teaching it verse by verse.  Here are quotes from Sweet’s books as well as others:

Leonard Sweet has been a leading figure in bringing the “new” spirituality into the evangelical church for more than a decade and a half. From his book, Quantum Spirituality (which without question shows his unswerving affinity toward major New Age leaders and the New Age philosophy that God is IN all things) to his audio series, The Tides of Change, with Rick Warren in 1995, to his book he co-authored with atonement denier Brian McLaren, A is for Abductive: the Language of the Emerging Church, to a number of other books he has written that continue to show his New Age propensities, Sweet has consistently proven himself to be a New Age sympathizer.  And for him to be included in a conference at a Calvary Chapel church (after the founder of the movement denounced the emerging spirituality a few years ago) speaks volumes about the slide into deception that the evangelical church is making. (LHTP)

  • With general promotion of Worship Leader magazine by someone as popular as Greg Laurie, and with the conference taking place at one of the larger Calvary Chapel churches, undoubtedly, the event will be accepted by many Christians as a credible, trustworthy conference. But Leonard Sweet’s involvement should cause serious concern for believers.
  • Leonard Sweet has been a leading figure in bringing the “new” spirituality into the evangelical church for more than a decade and a half. From his book, “Quantum Spirituality” (which without question shows his unswerving affinity toward major New Age leaders and the New Age philosophy that God is IN all things) to his audio series, The Tides of Change, with Rick Warren in 1995, to his book he co-authored with atonement denier Brian McLaren,A is for Abductive: the Language of the Emerging Church”, to a number of other books he has written that continue to show his New Age propensities, Sweet has consistently proven himself to be a New Age sympathizer.  And for him to be included in a conference at a Calvary Chapel church (after the founder of the movement denounced the emerging spirituality a few years ago) speaks volumes about the slide into deception that the evangelical church is making.

Sweet makes some comments about the “the father of the New Age movement,” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Sweet calls the late panentheist Chardin “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.” Small problem – Chardin does not represent biblical Christianity–on the contrary, he falls in a spiritual camp that embraces the “COSMIC CHRIST”   which is the “I AM God” in every creature. Even though this christ-consciousness-in-all-people belief rejects the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, Sweet has openly aligned himself with Chardin. In Sweet’s book, Aqua Church, he favorably quotes Chardin arrogantly saying: “Christ is in the Church in the same way as the sun is before our eyes. We see the same sun as our fathers saw, and yet we understand it in a much more magnificent way.”  Sweet’s alignment with Chardin’s New Age views is nothing short of heresy. (New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet To Speak at Pastor Skip Heitzig’s Calvary Chapel Church from Warren B. Smith’s book, A “Wonderful” Deception, 3/26/2010)

That Calvary Chapel would allow Sweet into their pulpits to teach those so carefully tended by Chuck Smith over the years shows just how far the Apostasy has progressed.

Sweet has made some statements implying that he has been wrong over the years and specifically has learned a lot over the past ten years – implying the opportunity to have been wrong without actually repenting of his public incredible false teachings he has done in his books, an and during his speeches as various camps, colleges…etc., but he still teaches the same concepts found in his books.

Sandy Simpson lists several of Sweet’s quotes and comments on each of the following:

LEONARD SWEET QUOTES

  • There be Treasures #10. (1) Unitary thinking, the highest level of understanding reality, opens us up to a wider sensory realm and mystical dimension of the divine; it also heals the divisions that separate us from one another and life’s highest values. 2. Wholeness unites, not eliminates, opposites, bringing them into dynamic balance—the coming together of earth and water, air and fire, through the merger of the Antaean sensibility (Antaeus the hugger of the ground, from which came his strength) with the Herculean sensibility (Hercules the master of air and fire, who defeated Antaeus by lifting him off the ground.) 70 3. The discovery of the euphoric state of wholeness will prove to be the highest form of ecstasis. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 250)


What Sweet means by “unitary thinking” as exposed by his teachings in Quantum Spirituality, is basically Unitarianism, a form of UNIVERSALISM . The theory behind this idea is purely eastern mysticism. It presupposes that all men are connected spiritually and if we just open ourselves up to that we will no longer have divisions from one another. Yet Jesus Christ Himself said that one of the purposes of His ministry was to CAUSE division:

Luke 12:51-53 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

That division was based on the Gospel message, which was the message by and about Jesus Christ. The acceptance or non-acceptance of that message would divide the sheep from the goats.

Mt 25:33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

The Sheep are the believers. The Goats are the unbelievers. We have nothing in common with those destined for eternal punishment due to sin and unbelief.

 2Co 6:15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

The idea that all men have “the spirit” in common, or what Sweet calls “Christ-consciousness” is a NEW AGE, eastern mystical concept and in fact has “harmony” with Belial instead of Christ.

 

  • Spirituality refers first of all to the universal gift of aliveness that exists within all religions and outside of religions. It breathes out the air that “inspires.” Those who have been in-spired with aliveness by the kiss of God will “con-spire” to kiss others into coming alive to the spiritual dimensions of existence. “In-spire” means to breathe in. “Con-spire” means to breathe together. “Conspiracy” enters by the same door as “spirituality.” A world gagging on smog and smut needs a breath of fresh air. The New Light movement begins as a fresh air conspiracy of “aliveness.” But it is more than that. Spiritual consciousness can be something greater than aesthetics or aliveness. The Bible tells us that the human species has been twice kissed by the divine. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 253)

This is utter fallacy. There is no “universal gift of aliveness” spiritually at all in all religions and “outside of religions”. The only aliveness people have is the first birth. They must be born again spiritually to be alive spiritually!

Joh 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

Aliveness in the flesh is fleeting and ends in the second death (Rev. 21:8). In fact they have an eternity of punishment in hell to look forward to (Mt. 25:46). Those who have aliveness in the spirit, due to belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, have eternal life. This type of teaching that is a continual theme of Sweet is in direct opposition to the Gospel. This is another gospel (Gal. 1:6-8, 2 Cor. 11:4). Paul calls this kind of false gospel to be eternally condemned. Why then are so many churches and Christian organizations putting up with it “easily enough”?

 

  •  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. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 38)

The Divine image in the world can only be “renewed”, rather reconciled, by the acceptance of the preached Gospel message. Any “transforming energy” is that of the Holy Spirit alone, not “New Lights”. All this language is New Age language made to sound vaguely Christian, when it is not. Also, for postmoderns to be saved they not only must accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord but they must also abandon their relativistic and subjectivist ideas in order to come to the Truth of God’s Word. Without that fundamental change in worldview it is impossible for postmoderns to be saved because they will always be accepting more than one idea of truth. There is only One Truth, and that is Jesus Christ and His Word. Postmoderns must be taught that their view is completely worldly and out of touch with reality. Without that they have no hope of being saved or following the commands of the law of Christ.

 

  • Postmodern culture is hungry for the intimacy of psychospiritual transformations. It wants a “reenchantment of nature.” It’s aware of its ecstasy deprivation. It wants to know God “by heart.” It wants to light an inner fire, the circulating force of divine energies flowing in and flowing out. The primal scream of postmodern spirituality is for primal experiences of God. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 56)

The reason postmoderns are so bankrupt of an experience of a relationship with God is that they are unsaved. They must come to accept the Gospel first, then they will begin to experience God. Experience before doctrine fosters wrong experience. There are demons out there ready and willing to give people the experiences they want quite apart from the true God. All you have to do is know something about the New Age. What postmoderns want are experiences apart from commitment. Divine experiences apart from commitment to Jesus Christ are not “divine” at all. There is no such thing as “primal experiences of God”. The word “primal” as defined by the dictionary is this: original, primitive, primary. There is nothing “primitive” about a relationship with God. The original experience of God was lost in Eden when man and woman sinned. The Holy Spirit raises believers to the ultimate they can be, toward the likeness of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). What Sweet is describing above is not a Christian experience but a pagan one.

 

  • Through the synergy of the divine-human exchange of energies, an unbelievable field of healing and transforming energy is rounded up and released in the universe. Humans are constructed out of mutually attracting energy particles with positive and negative charges. Negative or neutral charges too often dominate human contacts. Positive charges in the church are about as rare as “strange matter”–positively charged lumps of quarks know as “quarknuggets”–is in the quantum world. “Consciousness is catching,” psychologist/medical scholar/professor Frances E. Vaughan reminds us. Destructive, negative, constricting states of consciousness are caught as readily as creative, positive, expanding states of consciousness. All energy states are contagious. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 62)

This is basically “confession” theology, or “positive thinking”. It claims that you can frame your own destiny by positive or negative thoughts. This is the false notion of people like Norman Vincent Peale on down through others like Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen and a whole plethora of Word of Faith teachers. Just because human beings are made up of atoms comprised of positively and negatively charged particles has nothing to do with the spiritual realm. The spiritual realm is not the same as the physical realm. Apparently Sweet is hoping that his “energy state” is contagious, and apparently it is since his message has invaded otherwise Biblical organizations so readily. But though we can be influenced by our own thoughts and the actions of others, that has nothing to do with the importance of understanding the Gospel message on an individual basis and committing to Jesus Christ. Sweet quotes Vaughan, one of his books being “The Awakening Intuition (which) guides the reader to the greater realization of his or her own intuitive powers through specific exercises, which are combined with an examination of the role of intuition in such processes as creativity and problem solving.  A concise overview of the most recent research in this area completes the book.” Awakening of “intuitive powers” cannot save a person, only ultimately delude them into thinking they can control their own destiny. But our eternal destiny does not hinge on our realization of our own “intuitive powers”. This is New Age gobelty gook and should have no place in the Christian discussion except to be roundly refuted from Scripture.

 

  • A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Böhme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.53Light is the common thread that ties together near-death experiences as they occur in various cultures. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 146)

Sweet is basically claiming that the same light of Scripture is in all humans and religions. He has the audacity to liken the burning bush and Paul’s Damascus road experience to false religious demonically inspired experiences of Hindus and others. This is blasphemy of the highest order. But it is not unexpected because the groundwork for these false ideas was laid in the churches by the Toronto “Blessing”, Brownsville “Revival” and other counterfeit revivals that kept the impartation of Kundalini fire alive and growing in many churches, a concept that has nothing to do with God but everything to do with the enemy. Read the following articles that compare the counterfeit revival “impartations” with the Kundalini practice of “shaktipat”. You will find there to be virtually no difference in both application and results.

Does this then prove Sweet’s thesis? No because no shaktipat, transferable impartation can be found in the Bible or early church. It is an idea that comes from occult religion, which the Bible states do not know God.

1Th 4:5  not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
Ga 4:8  Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
1Co 1:21  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

Eph 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

 

LEONARD SWEET (Author of Quantum Spirituality and Emerging Church leader) Sweet calls this the Theory of Everything. This theory not only says that all creation is connected but that it is all inhabited with Divinity (God). (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, comment by Tim Wirth, http://simplyagape.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html) Sweet got some of ideas and title of his book from Richard Hartnett, H.W., M. who is a nationally known Teacher and Psychic.  His extensive training includes Sufism, Buddhism, Native American Spirituality, Jungian Symbology and Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way. You can read about his teaching on Quantum Spirituality at http://www.mrsdenver.org/Quantum_Spirituality.htm

This is patent falsehood. What he is teaching here is undiluted pantheism. The God of the Bible, YHWH, is not His creation. He is not a created thing but the Eternal Creator who exists in the spiritual realm above and apart from it. This is also the original lie of Satan told to Eve.

Ge 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Truthfully the only thing Adam and Eve added to their knowledge was the knowledge of evil as they already knew and were experiencing good. So the enemy tricked them as Sweet is trying to trick Christians into accepting pagan beliefs. We are not all “little gods” as Benny Hinn and other Word of Faith teachers claim. We can only become children of God if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Until then we are His creatures but destined to hell because of our unbelief.

Ro 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in {Or through} Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we were truly divine we could rescue ourselves from hell. But we cannot. This statement alone is enough for Christians to reject Sweet. Why don’t they?

 1Jo 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

 

  • “So far the church has refused to dip its toe into postmodern culture. A quantum spirituality challenges the church to bear its past and to dare its future by sticking its big TOE into the time and place of the present….  Then, and only then, will the church not appear to be in a timecapsule, sealed against new developments. Then, and only then, will a New Light movement of ‘world-making’ faith have helped to create the world that is to, and may yet, be. Then, and only then, will earthlings have uncovered the meaning of these words, some of the last words poet/activist/contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton uttered: “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 10)

Thomas Merton and Leonard Sweet, in quoting him, prove they are both heretics. All human beings are not in unity of the Holy Spirit. We may be one humanity from one root genetic code, but we are not one in a reborn spirit in the Holy Spirit destined for heaven, but one in the spiritual downfall of all human beings in need of regeneration.

Ps 145:20 The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

Ro 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 We only become one spiritually if we are in Christ.

Ga 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

We are to have nothing to do with those who proclaim false religion in order to get everyone to unify together.

2Ti 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Those who are true believers do not and are not to “imagine” that they are one with the world. They are to become one with Christ by repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ.

1Co 6:17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

1Co 12:13 For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

 

  • Quoted by Sweet in Quantum Spirituality: Rabbi/theologian/storyteller Lawrence Kushner makes an intriguing contrast between the Jewish and Christian traditions precisely at this point in The River of Light Spirituality; Judaism, and the Evolution of Consciousness (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981). For Christianity, the central problem is how God could have become person. How spirit could transform itself into matter. Word become flesh. Consciousness become protoplasm. The direction is from the top down. For Judaism, on the other hand, the problem is how humanity could possibly attain to God’s word and intention. How matter could raise itself to spirit. How simple desert souls could hear the word. Human substance attain consciousness. The intention is “to permeate matter and raise it to spirit.” The direction is from the bottom up. Perhaps the two traditions, one moving down, the other moving up, are destined to meet in the divinity of humanity. (82) (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 191)

Human beings are not Divine and are not moving upward toward Divinity. That is an eastern occult concept that has no place in the proclamation of Biblical Truth. Saved believers become children of God.

1Jo 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

Collectively they are the bride of the Bridegroom (Rev. 18:23), but we are not “little gods”. That is the original lie of Satan. There is only One God (Deut. 4:35; 39; 32:39; 2 Sam. 22:32; Isa. 37:20: 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5; 14;21-22; 46:9, John 5:44; Rom. 3:30; 16:27; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; Jude 25) eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:34; also Luke 1:35; 3:21-22 par.; 4:1-12; John 4:10-25; 7:37-39; 14-16; 20:21-22; Acts 1:4-8; 2:33, 38-39; 5:3-4, 9, 30-32; 7:55-56; 10:36- 38, 44-48; 11:15-18; 15:8-11; 20:38; 28:25-31; Rom. 1:1-4; 5:5-10; 8:2-4, 9-11, 14-17; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:4-6, 11-12, 18; 2 Cor. 1:19-22; 3:6-8, 14-18; Gal. 3:8-14; 4:4-7; Eph. 1:3-17; 2:18, 21-22; 3:14-19; 4:4-6, 29-32; 5:18-20; Phil. 3:3; 1 Thess. 1:3-6; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Tit. 3:4-6; Heb. 2:3-4; 9:14; 10:28-31; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 John 3:21-24; 4:13-14; Jude 20-21; Rev. 2:18, 27-29).

 

The idea that humanity is moving, by various methods, towards Divinity is a doctrine of demons.

 

God has already given to the church, in all its diversity, a complete Theory of Everything, a unifying principle that binds things together. The church’s big TOE was formulated in the Bible’s smallest encapsulation of What It All Means: John 1:14. The Fourth Gospel elaborates the exchange as it extends an invitation to the quest and quandary of the quantum explored in this book.

The Word [the depth dimension of Logos which physicists call energy, ancients called fire and theologians call metanoi]

became Flesh [the height dimension of Pathos which physicists call matter, ancients called land and theologians call koinonia]

and dwelt among us [the breadth dimension of Ethos which physicists call space, ancients called wind and theologians call diakonia]

and we beheld his [God’s] glory [the fourth dimension of Theos which physicists call space-time, ancients called sea and theologians call basileia].

 

  • This tetrad is the church’s big TOE, the closest the Bible ever comes to formulating a simple, compact description of how the universe works (i.e., a Grand Unified Theory). John 1:14 presents four eddies of experiencing God, comprising a single stream. All four dimensions–the experience of God in Christ and self, the experience of God in community and creation, the experience of God in social justice and compassion, the experience of God in the transpersonal and transcendent–while distinct, are interacting states rather than chronological or sequential stages. They demonstrate a remarkable unity, interpenetrating and mutually reinforcing one another 10. . . as in life, so in the rather artificial partitions of this book.38 (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 9)

The above exposition of John 1:14 has nothing to do with what it is talking about. It is a witness of the Gospel given by the Apostles to the fact that Jesus Christ, God, became a man and the disciples were witnesses to His glory. This has nothing to do with formulating a “compact description of how the universe works”. This is not about the universe or a universal theory upon which men can claim Divinity. It has to do with describing why a person needs to believe that Jesus Christ is God. When you see the Gospel twisted like this to suit an agenda and ideology, you are seeing demonic doctrines at work.

 

  • God claims everything one is. God claims every rationality. God claims every sensibility. Quantum spirituality is more than a structure of the intellect; it is more than a structure of emotion; it is more than a structure of human being. It is most importantly a structure of human becoming, a channeling of Christ energies through mindbody experience.28 (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 53)

Christians (and apparently unbelievers by implication) are not to “channel Christ”. They are to believe in Jesus Christ, be born again in the Spirit, then allow the Holy Spirit to teach them how to be more like Christ through the study of the written Word of God, which we are not to go beyond (1 Cor. 4:6). Channeling is a New Age idea involving communicating with a spirit guide who may ultimately take possession of you. The Bible forbids channeling or what is also called being a medium (Le 20:27, De 18:10-11).

Christ is not the big “spirit guide” in the sky. He is the Savior of those who have believed in Him as the God-man. His Holy Spirit does not channel Christ through believers but guides them to be more like Christ everyday and gives them spiritual gifts so that they can better proclaim the Gospel and disciple believers from all nations.

 

  • “CHANGE OR BE CHANGED — In the old ecology of nature, change was seen as abnormal. In the new ecology of nature, change is life’s natural, normative state…. What works today won’t work tomorrow…. The wonder is that churches are not in more disarray. … They are standing pat, opting to uphold the status quo rather than undergo the upheaval.” … “Postmodern culture is a change-or-be-changed world. The word is out: Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die.” (Leonard Sweet, Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture(Zondervan, 1999), p. 74-75)

We as Christians are not to conform to the philosophies, mindset and worldview of the world. We are to be conformed to Christ and then we become change agents to bring the Gospel to bear on the world, being light and salt.

Ro 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Pet. 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” {Lev. 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7}

Matt. 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

2Co 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2Ti 1:10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

This is part of the diaprax of the Emerging Church leaders. They put down the Church in order to bring their new ideas into play: thesis/antithesis. This is an old dialectical trick but it actually exposes them for who they are: those who have no real love for the Church but simply want to gain control over churches through brainwashing techniques like this one for their own deceptive purposes (Eph. 4:14). You don’t reach a postmodern culture by becoming postmodern. You contrast the belief in the absolute Truth of the Gospel and God’s Word with the relativism and hopelessness of a world of people without an anchor for their souls.

  • “According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to inform means ‘to give form to, put into form and shape.’ The purpose of the church is to give form to, to put into form and shape, the energymatter known as Jesus Christ. New Light leaders, therefore, are in-formational connectors helping the body of Christ to become an in-formed church, an in-formational community.” New Light leadership helps patches of information become cloaks of knowledge. Information brokering is central to creating community in postmodern culture, not to mention achieving synergic states of group consciousness. Association of Theological Schools president/divinity school dean Jim L. Waits, in his address at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, calls for clergy to move from their ‘learned ministry’ model to a ‘“knowledgeable ministry’ model. ‘Knowledge ministry’ helps information become ‘alive in the consciousness,’ as Einstein put it….” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 120-121)

 

Jesus Christ is not “energymatter”. He is real, He is alive, and He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for those who belong to Him. There is no “synergistic state of group consciousness” in the world that has to do with Jesus Christ. There is, however, the Zeitgeist, the Weltgeist, the spirit of the air (Eph. 2:2) that is driving many people to unite in a synergistic flow that is going right along with the plans of the enemy for a world government, a world false religion and finally a world leader. This type of teaching shows the spirit that is behind it, and it is decidedly NOT the Holy Spirit.

  • “Christbody communities must come to be seen as thermodynamic units in which the rules of the conservation and degradation of energy apply. Some preachers almost unwittingly do an energy analysis of a congregation, assessing the energy charge of a room, pinpointing the energy flow, and drawing strength from those hot spots from which energy emanates most powerfully….”Reluctance to see communities of faith as information-processing systems and the refusal to assist people in exploring and critiquing the unexamined metaphors by which they live helps explain why oldline communities are in such a state of entropic decline and disarray. Yet entropies of information produce variety within a species as well as new species themselves. The second law of thermodynamics states that energymatter decomposes and, what is more, that the more entropy grows, the less the amount of usable energy. Since the total amount of energy and mass in the universe cannot change, the entropic consequence of the second law is known as evolution. … “A major New Light undertaking is the designing of newstream communities that can be ‘in connection’ and ‘in-formation’ with the spirit of Christ. Christ will be embodied for the postmodern church in information.” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 121)

We are not to be witches and warlocks concerned with manipulating the energy of a room or a “hot spot” or the earth, for that matter. That is entirely a New Age concept whose end is uselessness. We are to proclaim the Gospel and disciple believers till Christ comes. Any of these other ideas are not only counterproductive but can introduce demonic deception into these situations. I saw it happen in the Toronto “Blessing” and related “revivals”. There is no such thing as “Christbody” communities. There is only the body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 3:10-11). Notice the Gospel is entirely absent from Sweets “new” ideas.

  • The following are five gross premises of embodiment… that build anew the body of Christ for the postmodern era — being “in connection” and “in-formation” with: (1) other Christians, (2) all creation, (3) one’s ancestors and ancestral memories, (4) other faiths, (5) technology…. ([1] “With Other Christians🙂 The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and “in-formation” with other Christians…. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a communion whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness. No congregation or denomination can go it alone in being the body of Christ…. To be “in connection” and “in-formation” is to be related to other Christians and the shared culture of all Christians and to grow a set of organic relationships and coalitions around a common love for God”Communities have souls, not just individuals. The modern era downplayed a biblical doctrine of salvation that had this communal dimension. In contrast, the New Light movement is concerned about the salvation of ensouled communities as well as individual souls, and the salvation of community souls relating synergistically to one another. … The power of community is the energy of between: The synergizing of synergies in which “one [shall] chase a thousand, and two [shall] put ten thousand to flight” (Deut. 32:30).... (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 122)

Communities don’t have souls. This is the false teaching of the Transformations movement headed by C. Peter Wagner, Ed Silvoso, George Otis Jr. and others in the New Apostolic Reformation. God works His miracle of spiritual rebirth in individuals who then, as a result of the indwelling Holy Spirit, become one in His Church. The “Christ consciousness” Sweet loves to talk about has nothing to do with unbelievers and is not some synergistic force. The Gospel message is the power, and the Holy Spirit is the change agent IN INDIVIDUALS. The rest is New Age silliness, and his misuse of Deut. 32:30 illustrates the problem with his own teachings. The context of that verse states this:

Deut. 32:28-33 They are a nation without sense, there is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be! How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up? For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness. Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras.

The context shows that you cannot make claims against Israel that the Lord has not decreed. This of course cannot be directly attributed to the Church, but the application is that we must be careful about making claims that are without God’s blessing as those opposing Israel had done. How appropriate that Sweet brought this verse to light because he is the one changing the game plan from the Gospel to this “New Light movement” that he made up in his head using eastern and Catholic mystics as his guides.

  • Pantheism is ‘the belief or theory that God and the universe are identical’ panentheism is ‘the belief that the Being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part of it exists in Him, but… that His Being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the Universe.” …”New Light spirituality does more than settle for the created order, as many forms of New Age pantheism do. But a spirituality that is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian.”  (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 123-124)

Pantheism is “not Christian”… not a false “Christian” spirituality that conforms to pantheism. Most of the false religions of the world, though animistic, also have an element of pantheism in them. Christianity absolutely teaches against it.

Re 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

Ro 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is for ever praised. Amen.

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

What Sweet is doing is bringing people to worship the creation rather than the Creator who stands apart from His creation and was before it and will be after it is gone. Read these articles on the fallacy of pantheism:

  • Fourth, New Light embodiment means to be ‘in connection’ and ‘information’ with other faiths. To be in-formation means to know each other’s songs almost as well as one knows them oneself, and to enlarge the community to include those whose conceptions of God differ from ours in form. To be in connection means to be able to sing, not only selected stanzas, but all the verses” … “One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. A globalization of evangelism ‘in connection’ with others, and a globally ‘in-formed’ gospel, is capable of talking across the fence with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim–people from other so called ‘new’ religious traditions (‘new’ only to us)–without assumption of superiority and power.”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 129-130)

Again, like some kind of faulty electronic device, Sweet is picking up “flickers” of the “sacred” from false religions. If he knew his Bible he would know that those “flickers” are from the enemy, not from God. God is not revealing Himself, nor has He ever revealed Himself, through false religions. If you want to understand this subject I highly recommend that you get the book by Mike Oppenheimer and myself about these ideas of God being in all cultures and religions called “Idolatry In Their Hearts” (a play on the title of Don Richardson’s book called “Eternity In Their Hearts”). You can get it here:

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/idolatrybook.html

Missionaries have always been “capable of talking across the fence” with false religions without compromising the truth, which is why in times past many have been saved out of false, hopeless religions. The world, its cultures and religions are “without hope and without God” until they have heard and accepted the Gospel of their salvation (Eph. 1:13). When you compromise the truth by saying all religions have “light” put there by God to reconcile people to Himself, you are preaching another gospel that is accursed.

The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another. (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, P. 147)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.

This amounts to blasphemy. Our job as the church is not to “renew the Divine” but to make people realize they are sinners in need of the Divine Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as “Christ consciousness” for the unbeliever, and for the believer their relationship with Jesus is far more then just a “consciousness”; it is being hidden in Christ (Col. 3:3), under His blood (Eph. 2:13, Heb. 9:14), being “in Christ” (1 Cor. 15:22) thereby escaping judgment. No amount of “Christ consciousness” will save. You must believe, die to sin, be reborn in the spirit, and prove you love Him by obeying Him. Those who preach another gospel are clearly not true followers of Christ.

Leonard Sweet in his book Soul Tsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture says: “Postmoderns want a God they can feel, taste, touch, hear and smell–a full sensory immersion in the divine.”

This also borders on blasphemy. A God they can “smell”? You cannot immerse yourself in the “divine”. God immerses Christians in the baptism of the Spirit of which water baptism is a picture. It is a picture of what has taken place after the born again experience, that being death to sin and raising to new life in Christ. Postmoderns don’t know God therefore they need to know Him and begin to study His written Word, aided by the Holy Spirit who is the Teacher for all believers. Then they will find out that what they wanted is not what God wants. God is not there to pander to their sensual, soulical desires and pleasures. He is there to teach them about Himself and what He expects from us.   This is why it is critical to preach the Gospel to postmoderns and begin the process of deconstructing their erroneous worldview.

 

  • “1. Get in touch with your lungs by closing your eyes. Visualize in your mind a tennis court” 8.“Hold your Bible and breathe meditatively. The breathtaking, nay, breathgiving truth of aliveness is more than Methuselean in its span: Part of your body right now was once actually, literally part of the body of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Esther, David, Abigail, Moses, Ruth, Matthew, Mary, Like, Martha, John, Priscilla, Paul… and Jesus. 9. Keep breathing quietly while holding your Bible. You have within you not just the powers of goodness resident in the great spiritual leaders like Moses, Jesus, Muhammed, Lao Tzu You also have within you the forces of evil and destruction.” Resident in each breath you take is the body of angels like Joan of Arc and devils like Gilles de Rais, Genghis Khan, Judas Iscariot, Herod, Hitler, Stalin and all the other destructive spirits throughout history” (Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.300-301)

This is patent pantheism again. This is not “Christian” at all. One of the most demonic religions ever produced, that is completely against Christianity and Judaism, is Islam. How can he say that Mohammed had “powers of goodness” when his life and writings inspired a Satanic religion against the true God, YHWH? How did Lao Tzu have anything to do with Christ? When Christ said “How can you call me good” his point was that He is the ONLY one who is good (Luke 18:19). Why is Sweet calling other men “good” when only Jesus Christ is good? But then he goes on to say that all the goodness is also resident with the evil in us all from people like Herod, Hitler, Stalin, etc. This is all a pantheistic view of the world where everything is interconnected, which would also necessarily mean that God has evil in Him also. If Sweet wants to be connected to Stalin, he can be my guest. As for me and my house will have nothing to do with that spirit at all, or the “good” spirit of the heads of ungodly religions like Islam and Taoism.

In Conclusion

Nothing else needs to be said. The facts speak for themselves. Follow Leonard Sweet at your own risk, the risk of your soul!

YOGA: “Hinduism’s Missionaries”

A continuation from the previous posting on YOGA.  The following is a fascinating article from the January 1991 magazine “Hinduism Today“.  The author responds to an inquiry from Evangelicals about the “growing missionary spirit in Hinduism”. The response includes criticism HT-July-14-Coverof Christian missionary zeal and evangelism practices while stating that “true spirituality” comes from being loving, introspective, serene, all-encompassing while engaging in feminist emphasis, ecumenical meditations, not based on one opinion, conduct counts more than belief, sending out an army of YOGA missionaries…etc.  Regarding YOGA, an eerie description of the spread of YOGA to the West  – “They may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes”.
While it attempts to portray Hinduism in a positive light, it does point to distinct differences in beliefs and points to a subtle works mentality while also foreshadowing today’s ecumenical, feminist, and to some degree the emerging church movements along with the growth in popularity with meditation and other social movements dealing with peace and the environment….etc.
Hinduism Today – Magazine Web Edition > January 1991 > An Open Letter to Evangelicals:

AN OPEN LETTER TO EVANGELICALS

Palani, Sivasiva

We send greetings and the rainbowed aloha from Hawaii to you, Stan Guthrie, to Rev. James Reapsome and our friends at the Evangelical Missions Quarterly. You have asked us to reflect on the “growing missionary spirit in Hinduism” with special reference to the reasons behind it, the extent of its influence and what the future holds. When I opened your letter, I thought the subject too vast and the time too short. A proper response would require months of research, not to mention the days of crystal-ball work you threw in. Then I realized that every worthy enterprise in history began with someone’s rash and unruly theory and suddenly felt a new sense of competence in undertaking the task you set.

There are many who will tell you that Hinduism has no missionary dimension at all. Zip. They have witnessed the devastating social and personal effects of unethical missionary effort over several centuries, and this impels them to repudiate the missionary spirit. If by the word missionary we mean the attitudes and strategies of aggressive world proselytism, then they are right. Hindus find such an approach to spirituality uncouth, not spiritual at all, but more akin to the ways of door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen. To a Hindu, spirituality is humble, loving, serene, introspective, all-embracing. The corollary is that anything which is arrogant, disdainful, anxious, externalized and intolerant is not spiritual. And right or wrong, Hindus view most missionaries as possessing the latter qualities in healthy measure.

On the other hand, if by the word missionary we mean an eagerness to share our beloved faith with those who want to know of it, then these people are dead wrong and Hinduism is a missionary tradition. Adi Shankara was a missionary of this type, so were Chaitanya and Appar. Hindu philosopher and ex-president of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), wrote in The Hindu View of Life: “In a sense, Hinduism may be regarded as the first example in the world of a missionary religion. Only its missionary spirit is different from that associated with the proselytizing creeds. It did not regard as its mission to convert humanity to any one opinion. For what counts is conduct, not belief.”

I think you are right that Hinduism’s missionary sense is growing. Witness the internationalization of dozens of Hindu institutions locked for centuries inside India. Consider the successful and controversial ISKCON, or Hare Krishna movement, with an artistic and well-funded publications program distributing millions of books in dozens of languages each year. The rapidly-growing Radhasoami and Sai Baba movements have made vigorous efforts to move onto the global stage. There is the Brahma Kumari sect, strong in education and the peace movement, working effectively at the United Nations. Their millenarian concepts (unusual in the Hindu world), feminist emphasis, disciplined ways and ecumenical meditations make them a force to contend with.

The real action is not in the big movements, it’s in a million villages from Georgetown to Montreal, from Durban to Chicago. Hindus everywhere are becoming stronger and more assertive. You have asked why. I offer six possible reasons: 1) There has been an unprecedented influx of talent and money from the West in the past 30 years, giving these groups the ability to reach out. When a Hindu moves into a US boardroom or an American truth seeker joins a rural ashram in Kentucky, suddenly members have access to new resources, to computers and communications facilities. The group’s message is the same, but the means to promote it has been amplified several magnitudes; 2) The West is clearly open to the Hindu message, ready to hear about yoga, meditation, mysticism, healing and the ancient ways. Such “products” were too sophisticated for public consumption 30 years ago, but today they’re the hottest item on the shelf. Not a small part of this phenomenon is related, indirectly, to the coming of age of the New Age movement: 3) The new rules of world spirituality are a reason. As once-believing nations bury communism’s failed effort to conquer the world, so a large part of the non-Christian/non-Muslim world is laying to rest the conquest-driven, one-way-only concept of religion. They are replacing it with views of the Divine which they perceive to be more healing, more focused on the individuals search for enlightenment, more naturally devotional, richer in technique and less authoritarian. A related trend is the wholesale rejection of concepts of hell, sin and satan. A 1990 San Francisco Chronicle poll showed that 35% of the local residents practice yoga or meditation and 25% believe in reincarnation. Hindu institutions find they have answers when people ask about chakras, inner light or consciousness. They have methods when people want to calm the mind and “go within.” This knowledge is the stock-in-trade of any Hindu teacher; 4) The dual support which science and the Green Movement have inadvertently given to Hindu custom and thought, which is inherently aligned with human and animal rights, with strict nonviolence, with an awareness, indeed a reverence, of nature; 5) The remarkable discovery made by the human family of late, that ethnic and native cultures possess value and must, like species, be preserved from further extinction. This can be seen among the Hawaiians, the Eskimos, the Native Americans, the tribals of Africa, Japan, Australia-virtually everywhere! Hinduism, with a culture older than them all, has benefited from, and supported, this ethnic renaissance; 6) A backlash among certain Hindus who feel they have for too long been abused by succeeding waves of missionaries: Dutch, Portuguese, Moslem, British and American. They seem to have reached their limit to forebear, preferring now to express defiance, to wield power instead of wisdom. Unfortunately, this decidedly violent and un-Hindu response is burgeoning.

That is the why of it all. Now to what the future may hold. I suspect that Hinduism will have a surprisingly sophisticated network around the globe in another 20 years. You will see the first Hindu encyclopedia and far more publications from Hindus, and people will appreciate their lack of unbending dogma as a new wisdom. There will be no TV evangelism, no mass meetings in football stadiums. That does not fit the Hindu’s way. It will be small, intimate, grass roots. You will see the unusual missionary style of the TM [Transcendental Meditation] movement proliferate – a button-down, quasi-scientific validation of the ancient Vedic tradition. You will see alliances form among Hindus and Christians (probably Episcopalians at first, not the Assembly of God). International conclaves, especially the peace and ecumenical movements, will be deeply affected by Hindus. A small army of yoga missionaries – hatha, raja, siddha and kundalini – beautifully trained in the last 10 years, is about to set upon the western world. They may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes.

We hope this proves useful to you. I close with a quote from Swami Vivekananda, Hinduism’s greatest modern missionary, spoken in January of 1895, “What I now want is a band of fiery missionaries.” It’s a hundred years late. but it appears he’s going to get his wish.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.

YOGA – Should Christians Participate ?

(200) EMERGING TRENDS IN YOUR CHURCH TODAY

YOGA – The influence of Eastern Mysticism on Christianity

Who does YOGA?  Probably most of us know someone who does it and some who read this posting probably have participated in it.    What is YOGA?  Most will associate YOGA with maintaining a health lifestyle, exercise, and as Tim Hawkins sings about in one of his songs – most have an image of people doing YOGA in their “Yoga pants” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QltPmNxbDss

(1.) YOGA has flooded our society by storm.  Americans participate in YOGA – whether you are a Christian, non-Christian, atheists, fitness instructor….etc.  The following statistics point to the growth in popularity (Yoga Journal’s “Yoga in America Study 2012)

  • 20.4 million Americans practice yoga, compared to 15.8 million from the previous 2008 study.
  • Practitioners spend $10.3 billion a year on yoga classes and products (“Yoga Pants”). The previous estimate from the 2008 study was $5.7 billion.
  • Of current non-practitioners, 44.4 percent of Americans call themselves “aspirational yogis”—people who are interested in trying yoga.
  • It only takes 0.27 seconds to come up with over 411,000,000 results for Yoga on Google’s search engine. When searching Amazon.com’s “All” category for Yoga, one quickly comes up with a staggering 143,081 results. That’s just within Amazon.Com. If one searches for book titles only on Amazon.com, the search yields 26,316. Certainly, the influence of yoga can be found almost everywhere. In Time Magazine’s book, Alternative Medicine: Your Guide to Stress Relief, Healing, Nutrition, and More, it states:

BACKGROUND: As difficult as it may seem,YOGA in this country was once considered heretical and dangerous.  Yogis in America were viewed skeptically while some were thrown in jail.  TODAY – most fitness centers, many public schools teach it, a number of doctors have started to prescribe it….etc.  On top of all this, a growing number of CHURCHES are starting YOGA programs.

(2.) DEFINITION

Let’s define YOGA:

  • One definition states that yoga is essentially: “a practice involving intense and complete concentration upon something, especially deity, in order to establish identity of consciousness with the object of concentration; it is a mystic and ascetic practice, usually involving the discipline of prescribed postures, controlled breathing, etc.” (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary)
  • The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary adds: “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”
  • Cyndi Lee, expert yogi and writer for Yoga Journal, defines Yoga as such: The word yoga, from the Sanskrit* word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” . . . The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbsśof yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).

Today, YOGA is marketed for its health benefits – specifically making references to its mind/body health benefits. You can tone your body while clearing your mind.  YOGA is a $30 billion-a-year business in America today.  Christians are joining YOGA classes like everyone else – everybody’s doing it..so they say.  Churches advertise “Christian Yoga” with their implied approval of a harmless activity.

Beyond the health related images that are marketed today, the philosophy behind yoga is much more than physically improving oneself. It is an ancient practice derived from INDIA, believed to be the path to SPIRITUAL GROWTH and ENLIGHTENMENT.

As stated above, the word yoga means “UNION,” and the goal is to unite one’s transitory (temporary) self with the infinite Brahman, the HINDU concept of “God.” This god is not a literal being, but is an impersonal spiritual substance that is one with nature and the cosmos. This view is called “PANTHEISM” the belief that everything is God and that reality consists only of the universe and nature. Because everything is God, the yoga philosophy makes NO DISTINCTION between MAN and GOD.

Hatha yoga is the aspect of yoga which focuses on the physical body through special postures, breathing exercises, and concentration or meditation. It is a means to prepare the body for the spiritual exercises, with fewer obstacles, in order to achieve enlightenment. The practice of yoga is based on the belief that man and God are one. It is little more than self-worship disguised as high-level spirituality. (“Got Questions?”)

(3.) SHOULD CHRISTIANS PARTICIPATE IN YOGA even if only as a method of exercise without including the spirituality and philosophy that it represents?

Well, keep in mind, YOGA is what it is (an Italian proverb). There is no problem in stretching exercises in and of themselves. . . . stretching helps the blood flow, that breathing in oxygen helps our overall health. . . . There are numerous exercise programs that incorporate stretching that in no way relates to yoga (and its perspective).  Religious syncretism (combination of differing beliefs) is probably the most dangerous thing we can involve ourselves in because we can rationalize its purpose.  Essentially one cannot practice a portion of Hinduism and continue to walk with the true Christ who is not a Hindu Guru. It doesn’t represent Christianity and if anything is anti-Christian in its philosophy.  That hasn’t changed!  Its focus is on oneself instead of the one true God.  It encourages participants to seek the answers to life’s difficult questions within their own consciousness instead of in the the Word of God.  This leaves one open to deception from God’s enemy, who searches for victims that he can turn away from God (1 Peter 5:8)

The effect on influencing one’s consciousness is dangerous because you open yourself up to being in an altered state of consciousness.  Classical yoga is intended to put one into an altered state of consciousness. “Believers who think they’re ‘just exercising’ are being swept into a counterfeit religion.”  Eastern mysticism leads to destruction.

 

Certain postures, such as the lotus position, are taken to activate the psychic energy centers [the chakras]. And specific breathing exercises are practiced to infuse the soul with cosmic energy floating in the air. A guru might have students gaze at a single object, such as a candle, to develop and focus concentration. The guru might have them chant a mantra to clear their minds and become one with the object in front of them. The goal is to achieve increasingly higher meditative states until reaching oneness with the cosmic consciousness.

  • “Let no one be found among you … who practices divination or sorcery, iinterprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead” (Deut. 18:10-11).
  • Whatever we do should be done for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), and we would be wise to heed the words of the apostle Paul: “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, NLT).
  • Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger (2 Chronicles 33:6)

Affixing a new handle to an ancient Hindu practice may make it palatable for the Christian consumer, but it doesn’t change the fact that offering yoga in a Christian setting is unacceptable. You cannot separate yoga from the Hindu religious system.

While there are positive aspects to YOGA, there are also potential harmful aspects.  The reality that practitioners of yoga, including Christian practitioners, can become physiologically and psychologically “unhinged” is a terrifying consideration. When one yields to the spiritual forces of darkness that fuel the world of yogic spirituality, one ought to be prepared to face dire consequences—that for millennia yogis in the East have endured, and by which have tragically been destroyed.

Practicing yoga can result in the severe dismantling of the human personality, resulting in total spiritual devastation, and oftentimes including demonic possession. The respect, honor, and adoration of rats, snakes, monkeys, cows, and the worship of 330 million gods of Hinduism surely ought to speak volumes to the Western yoga practitioner who thinks he or she can Christianize yoga or simply turn it into a benign physical exercise program.

When you stop and realize that increasing numbers of Christian churches are now allowing Yoga classes, and when you look at the sheer facts, this is simply hybridized yogic evangelism in the church. Sadly, the bulk of Western Christians seem to be blind to this.

Paul the Apostle, remembering the sinful disaster that took place in the garden of Eden, warned the early church at Corinth about the danger of spiritual deception in the name of Christ:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlity, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

 

RAVI ZACHARIAS: Let My People Think: The East & The West, Part 2

(200) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY

EASTERN RELIGIONS & THEIR INFLUENCE ON WESTERN CHRISTIANITY by RAVI ZACHARIAS

Ravi Zacharias, a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, speaks about the increased influence of Eastern Mystical and Religious practices on the Christian Church.

Ravi Zacharias was born in India and in many ways he may be an important person to be speaking about Eastern beliefs and practices.  He has made references to early church mystics and other favorites of Emerging Church authors, but it is refreshing to hear his comments now as he shares his concern for the church today –

Ravi Zacharias, as he addresses the EASTERN thought that has been invading the Church states:

“Who would have thought that at this time in western history you’d be listening to terms such as karma, mantra, and chakra? These eastern esoteric-sounding words have become common fare, and individuals such as Deepak Chopra have become self-proclaimed authorities on spirituality leaving many unanswered questions.

But even more troubling, how many of our CHURCHES have sounded forth ideas that are not based in spiritual reality? Join Ravi Zacharias as he explains how the West must be on guard against the infiltration of eastern thought which threatens to redefine language and morality and undermine truth, meaning, and certainty.”

Are we on watch for this incursion – coming into your church today in a subtle manner but widespread across Christianity.

BUDDHISM Rituals Used by Former Archbishop Rowan Williams

(199) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY

THE EFFECT OF BUDDHISM ON CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIANITY

There are many avenues today in which Eastern Mysticism and Religions are finding their way into our society and in particular Christianity. Here is a news article discussing the prayer rituals of former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams discussing how he uses Buddhist meditation techniques when he prays.  There are several problems with this approach.  Beside Scripture warning us to avoid pagan worship practices, notice at the end of this article how it states that these techniques helps him detach himself from his thoughts and reaching “advanced states”.  This is one of the dangers associated with participating in Eastern religious practices is that it can open one up to any outside influence (have you heard of Transcendental Meditation…etc.).  Who is to say what outside influence is now influencing the person who is participating in these rituals?  Who is to say? 

Here is the article –

Rowan Williams: how Buddhism helps me pray
Former Archbishop of Canterbury reveals intense daily meditation ritual influenced by Buddhism and Orthodox mysticism

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor 7:49PM BST 02 Jul 2014

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams has disclosed that he spends up to 40 minutes a day squatting and repeating an Eastern Orthodox prayer while performing breathing exercises as part of a routine influenced by Buddhism.

He also spends time pacing slowly and repeatedly prostrating himself as part of an intense early morning ritual of silent meditation and prayer.

The normally private former Archbishop has given a glimpse of his personal devotions in an article for the New Statesman explaining the power of religious ritual in an increasingly secular world.
Lord Williams has spoken in the past about how in his youth he contemplated becoming a monk as well as joining the Orthodox church.

He explained that he draws daily inspiration from the practice, common to both the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, of meditating while repeatedly reciting the “Jesus Prayer”, which says: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”.

“Over the years increasing exposure to and engagement with the Buddhist world in particular has made me aware of practices not unlike the ‘Jesus Prayer’ and introduced me to disciplines that further enforce the stillness and physical focus that the prayer entails,” he explained
Walking meditation, pacing very slowly and coordinating each step with an out-breath, is something I have found increasingly important as a preparation for a longer time of silence.

“So: the regular ritual to begin the day when I’m in the house is a matter of an early rise and a brief walking meditation or sometimes a few slow prostrations, before squatting for 30 or 40 minutes (a low stool to support the thighs and reduce the weight on the lower legs) with the ‘Jesus Prayer’: repeating (usually silently) the words as I breathe out, leaving a moment between repetitions to notice the beating of the heart, which will slow down steadily over the period.

Far from it being like a “magical invocation”, he explained that the routine helps him detach himself from “distracted, wandering images and thoughts”, picturing the human body as like a ‘cave’ through which breath passes. “If you want to speak theologically about it, it’s a time when you are aware of your body as simply a place where life happens and where, therefore, God ‘happens’: a life lived in you,” he added.

He went on to explain that those who perform such rituals regularly could reach “advanced states” and become aware of an “unbroken inner light”.

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2014