Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12-13)

The New Gnostic Spirituality Slithers Closer 

Apprising Ministries now gives you the chance below to hear the enemy’s voice through his ever faithful servant John Shelby Spong. It quickly becomes very obvious that this man quite literally hates the church.

Yet Emerging Church theologians and adherents of Progressive Christianity such as Dr. Philip Clayton along with Living Spiritual Teacher and Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren would have him in their circus “big tent” of postmodern Liberalism 2.0 often referred to as Emerence Christianity.

If you don’t know:

John Shelby Spong,…was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he’s considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church. (Online source)

So we can see we’re into a faith other than the historic orthodox Christian faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Spong’s latest shtick is “moving beyond theism” and pretty much right into pantheism; not the panentheism of mystics like Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell, but pantheism ala Living Spiritual Teacher of the New Spirituality Deepak Chopra.

That’s for another day; here below, watch how little regard this supposed minister of the Gospel has for Jesus Christ Himself and the infallible and inerrant Word of God in the Bible. I wanted to make sure to let Spong know my view because it’s one he’ll be attacking in this short video clip. He actually begins by sounding not a little bit Bellian as he announces, “I don’t think hell exists.” Um, ok then.

To be clear Rob Bell does say, for now, that he believes there’s a hell of some sort; but O, does Jesus have some news for you John Spong:

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.

“For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” (Matthew 5:29-30; 25:41)

Now let’s don our mud gear because we’re about to go mentally off-roading deep into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language where words take shape at the mere whim of the speaker; meanings are, well, meaningless. Spong continues by telling us, “I happen to believe in life after death, but I don’t think it has a thing to do with reward and punishment.” Well, that’s interesting.

The Apostle Matthew, in his eyewitness deposition the Gospel of Matthew, quotes Jesus as teaching:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

One doesn’t need a degree in engineering to ascertain that life in heaven is a reward and destruction in hell is a punishment. But Spong can have such blatant disregard for the Words of Christ Jesus our Lord because he doesn’t believe that Matthew wrote this Gospel, nor does the “Bishop” in the synagogue of Satan even believe his social reformer Jesus ever said them.

His phony Jesus (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4) is merely a Gandhi figure with a beard. His hatred for God’s Church becomes evident when Spong opines, Religion is always in the control business; and that’s something people really don’t understand.” Right, so we’ve just been a bunch of foolish dolts in the church until the brilliant ones like John Shelby Spong happened to come along.

Nothing cult-like there, eh. As if 1) he isn’t preaching a “religion,” and 2) he’s among the new Gnostics who are really in the “gno” i.e. know. The reason you need to become aware of these arguments is because of the syncretism I’ve been telling you about. Spong is but a very short stone’s throw spiritually from guys like e.g. apostate universalist Emerging Church “pastor” Doug Pagitt.

And for that matter, Pagitt’s equally apostate “theologian in residence” Dr. Tony Jones. Do you realize that Jones is actually a professor with Fuller Theological Seminary teaching a doctorate level course in Christian Spirituality:

(Online source)

 One of Jones’ assistants this year is Phyllis Tickle, the Empress of apostate Emergence Christianity, with year two’s being leading Emerging Church guru Brian McLaren, who’s finally outright announced his own apostasy, see e.g. Brian McLaren Admits Ken Silva Was Right. Note that FTS is reputed to be a mainstream evangelical seminary; still think this won’t have an effect there in the younger sectors of that camp?

You need to realize that FTS also sponsored the radio podcasts of Doug Pagitt:

Deceiving Spirits Entering Evangelicalism With Their Teachings Of Demons

Now stop and think about how in Doug Pagitt And John Shelby Spong you’ll actually hear for yourself as Pagitt agrees with Spong’s mythology concerning heaven and hell during Spong’s appearance on the FTS sponsored Doug Pagitt podcast in December of 2009. Spong continues below by saying religion “is in the guilt producing, control business.” Here I’ll tell you that I don’t really consider Christianity a religion.

As I see it, Christanity is a relationship with God in Christ and it was Jesus Who said — “when he comes,” this would be God the Holy Spirit — “he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). So, because apostates like Spong are focused upon pleasing man, they don’t want to believe that it’s God Who produces guilt for sin. The Lord tells us this is actually a good thing:

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)

Unfortunately, someone like Spong would rather seek the favor of the world than to risk suffering reproach by telling people the truth. He then tells us:

And if you have heaven as a place where you’re rewarded for your goodness, and hell is a place where you’re punished for your evil, then you sort of have control of the population.

And so they create this fiery place, which has quite literally scared the hell out of of a lot of people throughout Christian history. And it’s part of a control tactic.

Has he appealed to Scripture for any of this? No, because if he had he would know that the Christian Church, which incidentally he refers to as “they,” didn’t invent hell; Christ created it for the devil and his angels as we saw above. After the interviewer asks Spong if he believes hell’s an invention, you can almost see him seeth with hate for God’s Church as he sneers:

I think the church fired its furnances hotter than anybody else…the church doesn’t like for people to grow up. The Christian can’t control grown ups. That’s why we talk about being “born again.” When you’re born again, you’re still a child.

The people don’t need to be born again, they need to grow up; they need to accept their repsonsibility for themselves in the world.

Seriously, could someone be further off the Christian path all the while pretending to be a Bishop in the church of Jesus Christ? John Shelby Spong — “The people don’t need to be born again”; Christ Jesus the crucified and risen Lord — “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:7). I say the wise person is going to go with Jesus here.

Anyone who would dare contradict Christ Jesus is, frankly, a fool. The interviewer brings up the idea that the way to avoid hell is a personal relationship with Jesus and Spong replies:

I grew up in that tradition. Every church I know claims that “we are the true church,” and they have some ultimate authority. “We have the infallible pope.” “We have the inerrant Bible.”

Here Spong admits his apostasy and then misrepresents what the Church of Jesus Christ is saying. What he says next sounds very pious and should remind you of the Emergent Apostles of Unbelief whom I cited above because they spew his view:

The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me. God is not a Christian.

No one credible says He is; God’s regenerated followers in Christ are His Christians. Clearly in John Spong we have a perfect example of the truth contained here — The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Who’s saying all that can be known about God and His truth are bound anywhere? We merely making the claim that what God wanted us to know about Him is contained in the Bible because He was gracious enough to speak through Holy Scripture:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

That is the claim of the Bible itself and not any human system or human creed. The truth is, John Shelby Spong is notorious for his use of straw men where he simply makes up assertions, which have no real basis in fact. Spong names a few religions and then tells us they’re human systems designed “to help us walk into the mystery of God”; again, very Emergent language that’s actually classic mystic-speak. 

We then get to a clip of Spong spinning his fable that there was no Fall and we only need to learn how to embrace being fully human:

You and I are emerging people, not fallen people. Our problem is not that we are born in sin, our problem is that we do not yet know to to achieve being fully human.

Wow, what a vivid illustration of words from the pit of hell. If what Spong just dreamed up was actually true, then we wouldn’t really need a crucified and risen Savior, now would we. Therefore it becomes crystal clear who the author of those words truly is…can you say…“Satan.” If it wasn’t clear to you before, it should be now as Spong directly attacks the work of Jesus:

The function of the Christ was not to rescue the sinners, but to impower you, and to call you to more deeply and fully human that you’ve ever realized there was the potential within you to be.

Notice Spong says “the Christ”; he’s not referring to Jesus, Who is the Christ. He’s referring to the mythology of the Christ consciousness, which in this fantasy was supposedly realized to its fullest in the man Jesus who was thought to be so in tune with God that he lived up to his fullest human potential. So in his delusion Spong thinks that by being loving we too can hook into that CC and be better human beings.

And we have another contradiction; John Shelby Spong — The function of the Christ was not to rescue the sinners. Jesus Christ, God Himself in human flesh — “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). I’d say we go with Jesus on this one as well. Sadly, mystics like Spong and the others I’ve mentioned above have gone deeply inside themselves…and discovered…only themselves…

See also: