Monday, February 21, 2011

The New Age Christian—An Accepted Oxymoron

by Ray Yungen

The current popularity with meditative mysticism presents a very new and perplexing challenge for evangelical Christianity. We are beginning to encounter the New Age or Aquarian Christian. This new term describes someone who remains in his or her home church and professes the Christian faith but has also incorporated various aspects of the New Age or Aquarian mindset into his or her life. New Age author David Spangler was very optimistic about the possibility of this integration when he wrote, “The point is that the New Age is here … it builds itself and forms itself in the midst of the old.”1

What has fueled the momentum of this trend is the buffet-style dining approach that has become a hallmark of American religious sensibilities in the last twenty years—you take what you want and leave the rest. Americans are picking and blending religions as if they were ordering espressos: pick your espresso blend, but you still get coffee—pick your spiritual path, but you still get God. Whatever suits your spiritual tastes, you bring together. The result is hybrid New Age spirituality.

I recall a conversation once with a woman in a coffee bar. We chatted on spiritual subjects, and her comments led me to believe she was an evangelical Christian. Towards the end of our friendly conversation she dropped a bombshell on me when she blurted-out, “Well, we all have the Christ consciousness!”
In another incident, a local pastor shared with me how a woman he had long known as a strong solid Christian was almost swept up by New Age thinking. Her young adult son had been addicted to drugs and went through a drug rehabilitation program. In the process, his counselor introduced him to New Age spirituality.  He, in turn, shared it with his mother, giving her a book to read titled Conversations With God (a New Age bestseller).

Incredibly, she found herself being swayed by the book’s arguments and began to doubt whether or not her evangelical Christianity was indeed the only way to God. Her desire to see her son aligned with God left her mind open in welcoming the possibility that various mystical paths were equally genuine in finding God.  It took this pastor nearly two hours to help this woman understand the error of her thinking. Keep in mind this woman was a solid and devoted Christian who had been living her Christian faith for decades. If these Christians can be swayed, what about people who are even more vulnerable to what is going on in the larger culture?

The New Age message has such a positive ring that it is necessary to look behind the appealing facade to see what is actually there. If one goes to a massage therapist who does Reiki one should know the true nature of that practice. If your doctor wants you to meditate, you should know the spiritual dangers of non-biblical meditation. As the world moves further into becoming a full-fledged mystical society, it will become increasingly difficult to escape the ideas and practices described in this chapter. Christians must become aware of what is happening in order to make informed choices about things that may adversely affect them spiritually. In addition, many of our friends, family members, and co-workers will be seeking spiritual solutions to the uncertainties of our society and the world in which we live as a whole. The following account brings this point home like no other. A Christian in Georgia emailed me with the following story:
At work a colleague who is a deacon at the local Baptist church was telling me about his visits to a local woman for “Therapeutic Massage.” He said she used “some kind of Indian technique.” I asked him if it was Reiki and he said “Yeah that’s it. She’s a Reiki practitioner.” I told him what I had read in your book about Reiki and he got defensive.  He said, “I don’t care what it is as long as it works.” I was floored. I said, “You are a deacon. How can you make such a statement?” He said, “There are several deacons at my church that believe in Reiki.” I pleaded with him to do some research on the subject and I sent him an email with quotes off some sites that promote Reiki. Later he told me he could see where I was coming from but that as long as he didn’t believe in the spiritual aspect of it, he didn’t see why he shouldn’t participate in it. I was surprised that there was a Reiki practitioner in the middle of rural Bible Belt America. I guess nothing should shock me anymore.2
One book on the Chakra* system clearly shows:
Many people who have open crown chakras have had a profound spiritual experience in which their usual sense of being separate and apart falls away and there is a feeling of being at One with All and Everything.  There is a profound sense of merging.… There is, in essence, a feeling that All of This Is God, and I Am a part of all of this so I, too, Am God.3
This concept of course, has its source in the spirit world. The  “Reiki News” provides this evidence:
Imagine my surprise during my first Reiki class when I observed the astral images of guides and healing spirits pouring forth bright shimmering rays of healing energy at the hands of novice practitioners. 4
Interest in Reiki and other mystical practices are accelerating to such a degree that most people will come face to face with this sooner or later. One popular counselor made the following assessment regarding the growing momentum of New Age practical mysticism:
We cannot overstate how profoundly their impact is being felt in education, business, medicine, and psychotherapy. It is safe to say that the prevailing religion in America … is no longer Christianity but is instead New Age.5
It would not surprise me if the majority of people in America have a family member or close friend who does mantra meditation, practices yoga, has either encountered Reiki or Therapeutic Touch, or is an avid fan of the Oprah Winfrey show. How could anyone possibly conceive that any of these seemingly benign or even helpful methods or talkshows might have a connection to Satan or that which is against God? A brother in Christ whom I met for coffee one day gave me the answer to that question: He referred to the Scripture in which Eve took of the fruit, and while it had the appearance of something good, the results of her partaking were detrimental.
So when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. (Genesis 3:6)
Secondly, and just as important, what actually constitutes that which is satanic? Virtually everyone in Christendom equates that term, satanic, with things dark and sinister. However, the Bible paints a far different picture of Satan—one that fits the New Age movement perfectly. Satan said, “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). He did not say he would be the Most High; he said he would be like the Most High. The word “like” here means to correspond to. How could Satan accomplish this mission?
It is important to understand that Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether. When we understand this approach it helps us see why Thomas Merton said everyone is already united with God or why Jack Canfield said he felt God flowing through all things. All means all—nothing left out. Such reasoning implies that God has given His glory to all of creation; since Satan is part of creation, then he too shares in this glory, and thus is “like the Most High.”
Contrary to this belief of good and evil merging and man or creation becoming “like the Most High,” man and God can only be brought together through the Cross. If the all-is-one view were true, then salvation through a Redeemer would become unnecessary and Jesus’ death on the Cross would be rendered altogether futile and pointless. In order for the Cross to make any sense, there must be a separation between God’s perfect nature and Man’s sin nature. We know Satan has only one enemy—the Cross; he knows that without it no human being can be restored to God.
The Bible says the message of the Cross is the power of God, and while there are two opposing spiritual realms, God has always and will always, prevail. Satan can never thwart God’s ultimate plan. And yet, today’s Western society is enticed by practical mystics who deny, by their own proclamations, God’s plan of eternal salvation. Will the majority of mankind come to believe that all is one and there is no line to be drawn in the sand regarding good and evil? The Bible admonishes, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20)
Yet, such a plan now exists and will shape future events—events that will alter the course on which millions will advance.

(from A Time of Departing, from chapter 5, “Discernment”)
1. David Spangler, “The New Age is Here”  (New Thought  magazine,   Spring 1989), p. 6.
2. A personal email sent to Ray Yungen in 2005.
3.  Joy Gardner-Gordon, Pocket Guide to the Chakras (Berkley, CA:   Crossing Press, 1998), p. 31.
4. Glenn Derrick, “Reiki and Chi Kung” (Reiki News, Winter   1994, 19.html, accessed   12/2005), p. 12.
5.  Neil T. Anderson, Terry E. Zuehlke, Julianne S. Zuehlke, Christ Centered Therapy: The Practical Integration of Theology and  Psychology  (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2000), p. 61.

Hegelian Dilalect for Dummies and a Perfect Example of apostate church leaders experiementing on the sheep

And here is a perfect example of false teachers fleecing the flock and making merchandise out of them!
The cost of attending this blantant dialectic diatribe is $200 per person..

Monday, February 14, 2011

Being Still

by Jon J. Cardwell

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”
Psalm 46:10-11

In the past few years there has been an increasing desire to “experience” God. As a result, there has been an increased production of books, videos, and audio recordings instructing the passionate saint on the methods he or she might use to “know God.”

Many of these instructors are giving us new methods to pray, attempting to tell us how many steps we must take to enter into the intimate presence of God. Yet others would try to tell us that we must go back to an ancient form of prayer and worship, silencing our inner thoughts and vainly repeating a small portion of Scripture under the breath. BUNK!
All these unscriptural methods blaspheme the cross of Jesus Christ!The salvation that God has provided through the atoning death of Jesus Christ has given every believer access, immediate access, to the presence of God. It is written in
Ephesians 2:18,
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Even our text from the Old Testament speaks of that immediate access to God because Jesus Christ is called, Immanuel; that is,
“God with us,”

The LORD of hosts is with us.
Psalm 46:11

To “be still” as God commands is not some attempt at trying to “quiet” the inner thoughts by some altered state of consciousness. That would be a kind of self-hypnosis that was practiced by pagan priests, which would be an abomination to God. Further, it robs the believer of the joy of Christ’s triumph over all in His sufferings at the cross.“Being still” is translated from the Hebrew word, raphah. It means: abate, cease, slacken, let go, leave, let alone, idle, &etc. In other words, raphah is God telling us to CEASE from all these methods that we are trying to manufacture through our own efforts in order to know Him.Psalm 46 speaks of war; and most particularly, it is that which is waged upon the people of God by God’s enemies. In this psalm God tell us not to trouble ourselves because of the turmoil that surrounds us. Cease! Be still, for the LORD of hosts is with us; and a very present help in times of trouble.

To know God is important. He wants us to know Him. He specifically tells us to know Him in
Psalm 46:10. In our joyous journey of discovering the awesome wonder of the majesty of God, let us keep the atoning death of Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s tree at the center of all He reveals, as it is written in John 12:32 of the Lord’s own words,And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Empty your brain and open it to demons

Barbara Bradley Hagerty, the award-winning National Public Radio religion reporter, participated in a peyote ceremony in Arizona, meditated while wearing a brain scanner at the University of Wisconsin and donned a "God helmet" in a neuroscientist's lab in Canada in her quest to discover the secrets of prayer and, possibly, proof of God.

In her book, "Fingerprints of God," Hagerty tries to answer a question that has plagued her for years: Is there more than this? She couldn't accept mainstream science's answer that we are "a collection of molecules with no greater purpose than to eke out a few decades." Instead, she sought out spiritual virtuosos (people who practice prayer, religiously), as well as neurologists, geneticists, physicists and medical researchers who are using the newest tools of science to discern the circumstantial evidence of God.

Her research led to some startling conclusions that have caused no small amount of Sturm und Drang among those who believe theirs is the one true way. She found that whether one is a Sikh, a Catholic nun, a Buddhist monk or a Sufi Muslim, the brain reacts to focused prayer and meditation much in the same way. The same parts light up and the same parts go dark during deep meditation.

Apparently, we have a "God spot" and "God genes." And though some are more generously endowed than others, spiritual experience is a human phenomenon, not a religious one. Different routes to the same destination.
Understandably, these are not glad tidings to some. Centuries of blood have been shed for the sake of religious certitude. But transcending the notion that only some prayers are the right ones might get us closer to the enlightenment we purportedly seek.

Hagerty is optimistic that science eventually will demonstrate that we are more than mere matter. In the meantime, it would seem eminently rational to presume in our public affairs that God does not play political favorites with His creation.

Professing to be wise, they became fools!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Take the Test: ARE YOU A NEW AGER?

by Mike Oppenheimer of
Let Us Reason Ministries
This may seem like an inconsequential question, even a silly question to ask, but many people may not know how involved they are in the New Age movement that has permeated our society.
In other words, do you believe or practice what is taught in the new age movement without knowing it?
Here are some questions to ask yourself…

Do you believe God is a force–that God is all things (pantheism) or that God is in all things (panentheism)?

Do you believe in karma and reincarnation as Hindus or Buddhists do?

Do you believe life is not real but just an illusion and the real world is unseen?

Do you believe that all religions and spiritual paths lead to the same place and are acceptable to God (universalism)?

Do you deny a moral standard for all people that is understood by our conscience or the law given to Moses?

Do you believe that all holy books are given by God at different times?

Do you believe that all religions and spiritual beliefs are based on or point to the same God who is known by different names?

Do you think Jesus was an enlightened master like many others? That he discovered God by realization of what is inside Him?

Do you believe we can leave our bodies and visit other realms through psych spiritual techniques or dreams?

Do you believe  we can come in touch with God through Yoga or mantra meditation?

Do you believe that man can pass onto you by touch, a spirit, or gift?

Do you believe that ghosts are people that once lived and are trying to communicate with us?

Do you believe space aliens are visiting to give us knowledge for the advancement of human kind?

Do you believe that spirit beings from other dimensions are desiring to channel to us information?

If you believe any of these, you are involved to some degree willingly or unwillingly with the New Age.

If you believe any of these as a Christian, then you are accepting beliefs and practices that go against the faith that is to be focused on Jesus Christ

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved,what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:12-19)

Ponderings From Patmos: Fractal Theory in The Shack

Ponderings From Patmos: Fractal Theory in The Shack: "Today on Patmos, we have a special treat for those who follow our blog. We are publishing for the very first time,&nbsp..."