To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. (Isaiah 8:20, ESV)

A Ball Of Confusion; That’s What The Church Is Today

That state of the visible church in the evangelical community is really rather pitiful indeed; and, there’s just no easy way to say it. Years ago God tried to send a warning through Dr. John MacArthur concerning the coming of evangelicalism’s Emerging rebellion against Sola Scriptura. Although the people in the pew were not generally aware of this the seeds were actually sown years before today’s anti-Reformation Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism arrived inside its walls via the Trojan Horse of the Emerging Church. A spurious spirituality gleaned from the mystical myths of figures in the Counter Reformation (Hello; reality calling!) of apostate Roman Catholicism like Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila.

 You see, in evangelical Bible colleges and seminaries neo-orthodox (at best) professors were using books like Self-Esteem: The New Reformation by Robert Schuller and Celebration of Discipline by  Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster to begin emptying the terminology of the historic orthodox Christian faith of its original Biblical usage all the while recasting it with the meaning of semi-pelagian (at best) human potential. Then this set of pastors was sent out; maybe even to your church, where they have bred the new breed pastors littering the landscape today.

Meanwhile in the words of his sadly neglected book Reckless Faith MacArthur would actually be speaking prophetically to this time of tepid tolerance:

Neo-orthodoxy is the term used to identify an existentialist variety of Christianity. Because it denies the essential objective basis of truth—the absolute truth and authority of Scripture—neo-orthodoxy must be understood as pseudo-Christianity. Its heyday came in the middle of the twentieth century with the writings of Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich, and Reinhold Niebaur. Those men echoed the language and the thinking of [Soren] Kierkegaard, speaking of the primacy of “personal authenticity,” while downplaying or denying the significance of objective truth. Barth, the father of neo-orthodoxy, explicitly acknowledged his debt to Kierkegaard.

Neo-orthodoxy’s attitude toward Scripture is a microcosm of the entire existentialist philosophy: the Bible itself is not objectively the Word of God, but it becomes the Word of God when it speaks to me individually. In neo-orthodoxy, that same subjectivism is imposed on all the doctrines of historic Christianity. Familiar terms are used, but are redefined or employed in such a way that is purposely vague—not to convey objective meaning, but to communicate a subjective symbolism. After all, any “truth” theological terms convey is unique to the person who exercises faith. What the Bible means becomes unimportant, What it means to me is the relevant issue. All of this resoundingly echoes Kierkegaard’s concept of “truth that is true for me.”

Thus while neo-orthodox theologians often sound as if they affirming traditional beliefs, their actual system differs radically from the historic understanding of the Christian faith. By denying the objectivity of truth, they relegate all theology to the realm of subjective relativism. It is a theology perfectly suited for the age in which we live. And that is precisely why it is so deadly… 

[Contemplative Spirituality aka] Mysticism is perfectly suited for religious existentialism; indeed, it is the inevitable consequence. The mystic disdains rational understanding and seeks truth instead through the feelings, the imagination, personal visions, inner voices, private illumination, of other purely subjective means. Objective truth becomes practically superfluous.

Mysticial experiences are therefore self-authenticating; that is, they are not subject to any form of objective verification. They are unique to the person who experiences them. Since they do not arise from or depend upon any rational process, they are invulnerable to any refutation by rational means… Mysticism is therefore antithetical to discernment. It is an extreme form of reckless faith. Mysticism is the great melting pot into which neo-orthodoxy, the charismatic movement, anti-intellectual evangelicals, and even some segments of Roman Catholicism have been synthesized.

It has produced movements like the Third Wave (a neo-charismatic movement with excessive emphasis on signs, wonders and personal prophesies); Renovaré (an organization that blends teachings from monasticism, ancient [Roman] Catholic mysticism, Eastern Religion, and other mystical traditions); the spiritual warfare movement (which seeks to engage demonic powers in direct confrontation); and the modern prophesy movement (which encourages believers to seek private, extrabiblical revelation directly from God).

The influx of mysticism has also opened evangelicalism to New-Age concepts like subliminal thought-control, inner healing, communication with angels, channeling, dream analysis, positive confession, and a host of other therapies and practices coming directly from occult and Eastern religions. The face of evangelicalism has changed so dramatically in the past twenty years that what is called evangelicalism today is beginning to resemble what used to be called neo-orthodoxy. If anything, some segments of contemporary evangelicalism are even more subjective in their approach to truth than neo-orthodoxy ever was. (25, 26, 27, 28, 29)

But evangelical leaders simply slept on refusing to listen and so we arrive at this pathetic time in the history of the Christian Church. Well, it’s not like mankind hasn’t been here before — everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). In any event, what MacArthur warned about above is right now so deep into the whoring heart of the visible church that we have the following as perfect illustration of subjectivism trumping Sola Scriptura. We begin with arguably the most visible pastor in the largest “Protestant” denomination in the United States Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren Corrects Martin Luther.

I Don’t Feel That You Have The Right To Tell Me What To Believe

Next, in Relevant magazine a while back Tony Jones, one of the more influential theologians in the Emergent Church then speaking of Emergent Village, was quoted as saying, “We haven’t yet found that there’s anything that justifies us breaking fellowship with somebody else who loves and is trying to follow Jesus.” He would later confirm this to me personally during a phone call. And now at the interspiritual website Beliefnet where Jones now blogs in Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: How I Went from There to Here he removed all doubt as to his position, and that which he feels the Body of Christ itself should also take, regarding those who are unrepentant in their practice of the sin of homosexuality:

And yet, all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.  (”Aha!” my critics will laugh derisively, “I knew he and his ilk were on a continuous leftward slide!”)

In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state. (Online source, bold theirs)

Then in Ken Silva: It’s Time To Rethink The Issue Of Homosexuality I showed you how it was that Jones would arrive at his views stated above:

And neither am I going to deny the fact that- (pause) Where I’ve come to on my opinion on this issue [unrepentant practicing homosexuals becoming Christians] is affected, not purely by the philosophical and theological arguments, but also by attending to the movements of my own spirit.

And trying to pay attention to how I think—and listening to—gay people, gay Christians talk about how their-they’ve-how they’ve lived their lives in such a way so that—in their estimation—they’re in accord with Biblical Christianity. And so giving—I wanna give the philosophical its due; but for me, I’m also going to-I have to attend to the existential, for me, because I know that’s been a part of what I’ve come to… (Video below, 2:54-3:46)

Recently “married” sodomite “Christian” Gene Robinson, overseer of Episcopal Churches in New Hampshire where I happen to live, said of his ordination as a practicing homosexual:

I’m deeply pained over all the difficulty that this has caused. But I have to say I believe that this is where God is leading the whole Church; just as God lead us to the full inclusion of people of color, and of women and people in wheelchairs and any number of people who had previously been marginalized.

And finally, “Gay Affirming” Emerging Church pastor Jay Bakker has already told us:

“The more I follow grace, the more I’m drawn to him [God], the more I’m willing to stand up for people being persecuted,” said Baker. “It sounds so churchy, but I felt like God spoke to my heart and said ‘[homosexuality] is not a sin.’ ” (Online source, emphasis mine)

But such is the sordid bed that spiritually spineless effete evangelical leaders have made for themselves that they may carry on their own adulterous lust affair with stupid so-called “spiritual disciplines” given to them by a corrupt Quaker mystic who also has said:

“The Immanuel Principle is ultimately cosmic,” according to Foster. “We are to reign with God and be with God forever and forever. In the past God worked first directly, then indirectly with his people. Since Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, God works both directly and indirectly. Quakers in the gathered silence experience God both directly and indirectly.”

I noticed that the focus on the with-God life circumnavigates inconsistencies found in Scripture and differing opinions about theology. By looking at how God revealed himself to people throughout Biblical history negates all those arguments. “You bypass it all,” stated Foster. “You put your focus on how God has been with a person and what does that say to me, now? What are their strengths and weaknesses and how does that apply to me? It’s all about developing charact — character that goes on into the future where we will reign with God and be with God eternally. (Online source, emphasis mine)

So now they have no authority upon which to rest any judgments as to who is speaking for God and who is not because they were not willing to heed what the Lord had told them in Acts 17:11 — Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Here’s the sad news; if Scripture was good enough by which to judge the inpired Apostle Paul, then it has certainly been good enough to judge the fickle fools among you like Foster et al…

But alas, you would not…