THE EAST & THE WEST – RAVI ZACHARIAS
(351) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY – RAVI ZACHARIAS: THE EAST & THE WEST (Parts 1 & 2)
Many in the church today are following after non-Christian philosophies and ancient practices developed by man as opposed to what is taught in the Bible. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising because many churches have moved away from DISCIPLESHIP as identified by Jesus himself through the Great Commission. This verse quickly comes to mind in describing this and warning us to be aware of these dangers –
8 Beware lest anyone 5cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to ithe tradition of men, according to the jbasic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Whether we realize it or not, most if not all churches have been affected by non-Christian philosophies like never before. Movements such as the Emerging Church have ushered in these philosophies – both current (Eastern Mysticism) and historic ancient beliefs (early church Roman Catholicism monastic mysticism) in their attempt to be more relevant to society today. While that should raise red flags to most Evangelical Christians, much of the influence coming from these philosophies come in the back door of the church through very “Christian” sounding mediums such as popular books read by the Christian masses and seminaries affecting teachers, professors, and future pastors. When paired up with post-modernism, these philosophies become more “appealing” (ie. “relevant”) to society and “progressive Christianity”, attracting younger Christians (e.g. the Millenials), all while cloaked in Christian-sounding verbiage. It is stylish today to point people to an Eastern view of thinking which is similar in many respects to some of the characteristics of post-modernism. Yet, historically, there are many problems with that view. And while not perfect, a more Western perspective has shown to be more productive in standing on truth and spreading the Gospel throughout the world.
Because of his background, Ravi Zacharias was brought up in an environment surrounded by some of these mystical practices. As a Christian, he can provide a biblical perspective that identifies both the falsehoods in these beliefs as well as the subtle nature of their influence. And while his purpose here may not be to confront specifics, I hope his influence will affect people such as seminary professors who are following after these “progressive”, “enlightened”, and popular trends. It is hoped that his influence will be felt starting within seminaries of his own denomination (and mine) – the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. There are several professors who have already gone down these paths following after these philosophies that are laced with mysticism with a subtle move away from Scripture. How will this affect the C&MA, a model to many of us in the area of Discipleship/Missions when newly graduated pastors from seminary take up leadership roles in the church?
Here is Ravi Zacharias – he speaks in general terms, but if you listen closely, he mentions several issues that are being promoted in the church today opening up Christians to questionable spiritual influences (e.g. breathing techniques).
Who would have thought that at this time in western history you’d be listening to terms such as karma, mantra, and chakra? [ yoga ] 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.”