“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Denying God And Love Of Man

What I am trying to help you see lately in my work here at Apprising Ministries is that right now in the American Christian Church God’s attributes of love and mercy have been horribly magnified out of all Biblical proportion. The reason anything goes today is because the above verse has become as a meditative mantra within The Ecumenical Church Of Deceit (ECoD) of the new evangelicalism: “Anything goes as long as we love one another because it’s up to God to sort it all out.” Well, as the ol’ church lady would say, “how convenient.” However, as I have said before, once you over-emphasize one attribute of God’s nature you must then end up de-emphasizing another. And currently in the “love shack” that new evangelicalism has now become they have finally succeeded in hammering out their own golden idol. Through the practice of contemplative spirituality they have now erected a mystic mush god cast in their very own image. However, this spiritually fatal endeavor has been accomplished at the expense of the absolute holiness and justice of Yahweh Elohim, the one true and living LORD God of the Bible.

For you see once we have created this non-existent mystic mush god of alleged “unconditional love,” through this inexcusable idolatry we have now closed the door on the revelation of God the Holy Spirit necessary to rightly understand Holy Scripture. What has happened instead is that the teachings of demons in the Contemplative Spirituality Movement sweeping through the Body of Christ has denied the Reformation, and the so-called “Christian” mysticism of the ECoD with its inherent Gnosticism has opened the door for subjective experience to be their rule and standard as they approach the Bible. And once this happens their sinful human nature takes over and they then begin to deny God while in turn elevating their own love of self. The opening text above spoken by Christ Jesus requires a whole lot more than simply a “syrupy” warm and fuzzy affection for each other. That ye love one another; as I have loved you (KJV) encompasses the whole of Christ’s experience with His disciples, as well as with all of mankind itself.

What I mean is, because of the self-centered sappy sentimentality inherent with contemplative mystic experience new evangelicalism now sees this verse as “we need to put our doctrinal differences aside for the sake of love.” But this is a clear case of thinking as men think and not as God thinks. A Biblical example is Peter trying to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem and to His crucifixion and the Master has to tell him – “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23). As someone who also works in the public school system I wish more parents understood what real love is as well because they are so terribly crippling their own children. As it is written, if we really love someone it will also encompass discipline and punishment:

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (Hebrews 12:3-13).

Lovers Of Themselves

Now let’s bring what we have just read above, which also happens to be God’s perspective, with us as we begin to think again about… why we could even say, while we “meditate” on John 13:34 – love one another: just as I have loved you. At this point we must also consider that earlier in the Book of Hebrews God the Holy Spirit tells us something about Jesus of Nazareth that is absolutely vital for us to know if we wish to better understand how to truly love one another as He loves us. Hebrews 5:7-8 – During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. And we now add this thought from Romans 8 – He [God the Father] that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (verse 32, KJV) When we remember that 1 John 4:8,16 informs us – God is love, then we will realize that what we have been reading above is the perfect understanding of what love truly is.

Let’s stop right here and contemplate for a moment that through God the Holy Spirit we have just learned how God the Father did not even spare God the Son Himself from having to suffer before He went to the Cross, nor did our loving Father spare our Lord’s horrible suffering upon it. This is of course quite consistent with the Hebrews 12 passage regarding how true children of God must be willing to face opposition, struggle, discipline, punishment, and hardship, all of which Christ Jesus of Nazareth also endured while He walked upon His earth. So now you can see that all of this as well is encompassed within the Master’s command: As I have loved you, so you must love one another. I appeal to you, please understand that the “positive prosperity” message of Joel Osteen in the Word Faith Church, the “felt needs” message of Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven Church, and the “mystical” message of the living spiritual teacher Richard Foster in the Emergent Church, the major sects within the ECoD of new evangelicalism, all focus on the first part of our Lord’s command in John 13:34 – Love one another.

Have you ever wondered why? It’s because even unregenerate people can “love one another” as new evangelical leaders understand and teach their human concept of love. But you need to remember that the Bible also clearly says – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves (2 Timothy 3:1-2, KJV). And Jesus already talked about this kind of man-centered love right within the pages of the Gospels themselves. Or have you not read – If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matthew 5:46-47) Ask the Lord and He will gladly show you that this is an object lesson about how to recognize the kind of love the world has, or the love of self which is inherent in mankind. This kind of love finds its expression in a comment like: “Now we all have our differences so let’s just let God take care of all that other stuff and we’ll just love one another.” However, Do not even the pagans do that?” As one who left coaching high school football because parents would countermand the discipline I tried to instill in these young men by telling their kids that’s just the way the coach sees things I can answer with a resounding, “yes!”

Since I’m not addressing secular issues here I make the point in passing as an object lesson itself which reveals a new kind of child abuse. In a misconception of love parents no longer hold their young people accountable to discipline and instead end up crippling their development of life skills by making sure “my kid has everything,” and then on top of that by doing virtually everything for them. Our Creator God however, as we have just seen above is not like this because He knows that as we struggle through trails and difficulties with Him we come to realize the strength our Lord has imparted to us. Did you catch that? God doesn’t test us like a harsh schoolmaster to see if we will pass or fail; O no, the Lord loves us enough to put us into difficult circumstances at times so that we will see His working in us. And most assuredly God Himself will sometimes lead His children into very trying times of suffering. This is so that in a way quite similar to the classic “footprints” picture and story, when a trial has passed we will look in wonder at our faithful and loving Shepherd and say: “Lord, I had no idea just how much faith You have given me.” Men and women, in this generation we must finally come to realize that to be unwilling to do more than simply overlook false teaching within Christ’s Church is to do no more than pagans and tax collectors.

Love One Another As God Himself Loves

This kind of puts all these things into the Light in a different way now doesn’t it? The concept of love taught in the ECoD of new evangelicalism is well below the standard of love required for true Christians, but it is well qualified to be pagan. In closing out this opening piece on critical issues within this ECoD, the misunderstanding of love in this case, I return to the opening text – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Through our meditation on the Scriptures here it has put us in a better position to contemplate that Jesus of Nazareth Who spoke these words is not only the Son of God, He is also by nature God Himself. Therefore, whatever we read about the character of God must also be applied to Him as well. This means that the passage in Hebrews is also an example of how Jesus disciplines His Own followers. And what is more, since in His human nature Christ Jesus is also a Son, then those of us who would claim to be sons and daughters of God can expect our Father to treat us just as He treated Jesus of Nazareth. So what we should see now is that whatever God says, Christ says; and however the Father treated Christ, God will also treat His true Christians.

You may say: “But I’ve never heard all this before.” No, I have no reason to doubt that you haven’t. However, you will notice that I didn’t need any contemplative spirituality, I didn’t have to still my conscious mind during transcendental meditation in silence and solitude to listen for God’s inner voice before I received this “revelation.” In this case all I have done is to quietly think things through, meditate upon the Scriptures, pray for the Lord’s guidance, and then teach you from the Bible what it is that God has shown me. So you should come to see that I’m really not against sitting quietly before God in His presence, thinking about and praying through the Holy Scriptures as I read, then talking to my Father and listening for the Lord’s voice, so afterward I might share with others what I feel God the Holy Spirit may have “enlightened” me with. The difference is that men like myself will encourage you to test what we say by the Scriptures, which will allow you to see for yourself that what I teach does indeed line up with what the Bible actually says. And this brings me to my final point; you’ll also notice that I have not been urging you to “quiet your mind” (read: empty it) as do those counterfeit teachers of contemplative spirituality such as Guru Foster. In fact, I have actually done the polar opposite.

For you see this also is by design, because the true teacher sent by Christ will always make his position very clear as we teach from the Bible so you may then have the opportunity to show God that you love Him by using the reasoning ability the Lord gave you. Or, like the leaders lost within the Gnostic spirituality of the new evangelicalism, have you also forgotten the first and greatest commandment of all:

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30, KJV).