Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
It is said that we are now living in a post-modern generation and that what worked for the Church in the past will no longer work today. If we are depending on programs, formulas, and man's agenda for church growth to reach the lost, then this statement is true. But if we are depending on nothing but the supernatural delivering power of the Holy Spirit, the only One Who can destroy every yoke of bondage, then the above statement is the most subtle of lies from the enemy of our souls and an attempt to lead us from our true source of life and power, Jesus Christ. In timeless words of the Spirit, the Lord Jesus still says to us, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Luke 11:9)." As our example and as our Lord, He assures us that when we enter into our closet and shut the door, praying to the Father in secret, then the Father Who sees in secret will surely reward us openly (Matthew 6:6). May our prayer be one of total surrender, complete consecration and faith that says:
Heavenly Father, Your Word is Truth. Just as You were the Deliverer in days of old, so are You still the Deliverer today and always. It is You who will break the chains of darkness off the lost. It is You Who will convict and convince the lost of their need for salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ. It is You Who will pour out and give the power of Your Holy Spirit to Your people to be a witness of Jesus Christ, whose Life is the Light of all who come into the world, and Who died as a sacrifice for all humanity. Thank you, that it is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit that we shall claim all the promises of Your Word, because it is You Who works in us, both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. For Your glory we pray, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
*Andrew Murray, Prayer and the Coming Revival (Ambassador Publications, First published as The Ministry of Intercession, This edition 1999), p. 47
To read more about the inspiring life of Andrew Murray and the call of God on his life go to www.healingandrevival.com/BioAMurray.htm.
Friday, February 11, 2011
The following is an open letter that was sent to the nineteen Pastors and Christian leaders who endorsed the book, Jesus Manifesto, written by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola which was released in the summer of 2010. I wrote the letter as a response to this book which I believe promotes "another Jesus, another gospel and another spirit," as warned about by Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3. The letter is not meant to be a critique of Jesus Manifesto but is intended to document clearly the spiritual position of Leonard Sweet based on his previous writings in an earlier book, Quantum Spirituality.
- Thomas Merton - Sweet refers to Merton as the "contemplative/bridge between East and West Thomas Merton," then quotes Merton, "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity."
- Matthew Fox - Episcopal priest/author of Original Blessing and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ; teaches that all people possess the divine nature of God within
- David Spangler - Sweet thanks this long-time New Age author/leader who has a spirit guide named John. Spangler also received transmissions from a presence who identified itself as "Limitless Love and Truth" and calls for a "Luciferic Initiation" into the coming New Age in his book, Reflections on the Christ
- Carl Jung - psychologist/philosopher who studied Tibetan Buddhism and taught visualization as a doorway into the psyche or "collective unconscious" mind. Jung communicated regularly with his spirit guide, Philemon
- Willis Harman - New Age pioneer/futurist, author of Global Mind Change, a book which sets forth the "new" scientific paradigm and coming worldwide shift in consciousness toward Oneness
- Aldous Huxley - philosopher/occultist; author of The Doors of Perception, (about his "enlightening" spiritual experience on Mescaline) and The Perennial Philosophy; promoted "social transformation" through hallucinogenic drug use
- Ralph Metzner - Author of The Psychedelic Experience; promotes the use of LSD and other mind-altering drugs for consciousness transformation and offers training in alchemy/shamanism on his website, Green Earth Foundation
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - Jesuit priest and paleontologist who believed in a Universal/Cosmic "Christ" for an evolving humanity. Sweet calls de Chardin "Twentieth-century Christianity's major voice." (p. 106, Quantum Spirituality)
- John J. Heaney - psychic; author of The Sacred and the Psychic: Parapsychology and Christian Theology; Sweet says of Heaney's book, "This is the most balanced and astute book on the parapsychological available today." (p. 338, Quantum Spirituality)
- William James - psychologist/philosopher/psychic; founder of The American Society for Psychical Research, still in operation today
- Fritjof Capra - physicist and New Age author of The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
- Soren Kierkegaard - philosopher/psychologist/father of existentialism, the belief in no absolutes; i.e. whatever is true for the individual is truth...
- Dalai Lama, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake - As quoted by Renee Weber's Dialogues with Scientists and Sages: The Search for Unity
- Sri Aurobindo - yogi and author whose writings expound on the divine nature of man
- Karl Rahner - Jesuit priest/theologian; known for his quote, "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or (he or she will be nothing at all) will not exist at all."
- K. Ramakrishna Rao - author of Parapsychology: Implications for Religion and Science; Sweet quotes Rao in the context of the Church's (negative) unwillingness to delve into the areas of psychic research and parapsychology. (p. 234 Quantum Spirituality)
- Roy Rustum - author of Experimenting With Truth: The Fusion of Religion With Technology Needed for Humanity's Survival
- Ken Wilbur - New Age leader/futurist; proponent of "Integral" (Oneness) Theory
Sunday, January 23, 2011
RICK WARREN'S NEW AGE TIES: A LOOK AT NEW AGE AND OCCULT TEACHERS PROMOTED IN THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE
MARILYN FERGUSON is the author of the bestselling book, The Aquarian Conspiracy. Published in 1980, The Aquarian Conspiracy is considered by many in the New Spirituality and the occult to be a blueprint for the coming spiritual transformation of our society. USA Today called it “the handbook of the New Age.” The book openly admits that there is in fact a conspiracy for the emergence of a One World Religious System, but presents it in a positive light. In the book, Ferguson quotes Aldous Huxley, William James, Carl Jung, Willis Harman, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Thomas Merton, just to name a few. To those who are in the New Age movement, these are household names. However, it is doubtful that the majority of Christians who read and signed the 40-day “Covenant” in The Purpose Driven Life were aware of the occult nature of the teachings of those who are referenced by Rick Warren for spiritual inspiration.
In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren quotes some of these same New Age leaders. While leaving out their occult roots and teachings, Rick Warren also presents these leaders and their writings in a positive light. Though Rick Warren seems to make several good points in regards to purpose and knowing God, there is clearly a lot of double-talk. On page 20 he says, “To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology…” Yet, in his book, he gives reference to no less than 13 of the world’s mystics, philosophers, psychologists and New Age leaders to support his message of “Purpose.” On page 90 he correctly tells readers they cannot know God without knowing His Word and makes a distinction between true Biblical meditation and Eastern meditation. However, on the previous page he gives reference to Benedictine Monks who practice ritualistic Eastern meditation, while chanting mantras on an hourly basis. Then on page 30 Warren says, “Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless…We were made to have meaning. This is why people try dubious methods like astrology or psychics, to discover it.” But on the very next page he quotes Dr. Bernie Siegel who openly claims to have a spirit guide named George and recommends yoga to his patients to connect with the Kundalini life force, the energy that is believed by those in the occult to bind everything together as One.
Why is Rick Warren introducing Christian readers to occult philosophies and New Age teachers? While it is not for us to judge anyone or their motives, it is our responsibility to “judge all things” in light of scripture and to question leaders who teach or give reference to sources that are blatantly contrary to the Word of God. Hosea 4/6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” As Believers it is imperative that we fully understand the beliefs and teachings of those who are considered leaders and shepherds in the Body of Christ. Below are just a few of the people Rick Warren references in The Purpose Driven Life, along with several of their own quotes. Sources are taken from their own books or via the internet.
BERNIE SIEGEL – P. 31
On page 31 of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren quotes Dr. Bernie Siegel in reference to “hope” and “purpose.” Bernie Siegel is a physician, author and prominent New Age leader who communicates with a spirit guide named George, and who also teaches guided imagery and meditation techniques to his patients. In his book, Love, Medicine & Miracles, Siegel describes his encounter with this spirit guide during a workshop he attended that taught guided visualization. In relating the story, Siegel says, “George was spontaneous, aware of my feelings, and an excellent advisor. He gave me honest answers…All I know is that he has been my invaluable companion ever since his first appearance (p. 19, 20).” Writing on guided visualization in the same book, Siegel explains, “The goal is to reach a light trance state, sometimes called the Alpha State which is the first step in yogic meditation, and most related forms of mind exploration. With guidance and practice, meditation can lead to breath-taking experiences of cosmic at-oneness and enlightenment (p. 147-149).” Siegel also has close ties with New Age leader, Neale Donald Walsch, author of the “Conversations With God” books, a series of teachings channeled from a demonic spirit claiming to be God, and which are completely antichrist in their content (Source, http://www.berniesiegelmd.com/)
ALDOUS HUXLEY – P. 248
But Warren does not stop with Siegel. On page 248 he quotes Aldous Huxley in the context of “experiences” and sharing those experiences with others. Having researched the New Age Movement and its agenda for over twenty years, I consider this to be one of the most serious implications of an emergent church leader bringing eastern mysticism into the Body of Christ. Aldous Huxley was an author, a philosopher and an occultist. In literary circles he is widely known for his book, Brave New World. But to occultists and those in the New Age movement Huxley is best known for his book, The Doors of Perception, an account of his mystical experience on the psychedelic drug, Mescaline. Huxley already had a bent for the spiritual philosophies of the east, but it was during his drug experience, under an altered state of consciousness, that a transformation or paradigm shift occurred in his mind and he became enlightened to the unity of all things and to the energy that binds everything together as One with “the All” (Doors of Perception p. 14). Huxley referred to this “unifying energy” as the “Perennial Philosophy” from the title of his book by the same name. He states, it is “…the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with divine Reality.”
Aldous Huxley believed in human evolution and the need for “social transformation” (a transformation in the way people think as a whole) and propagated the use of mind-altering drugs as a doorway to spiritual enlightenment, along with other eastern practices like yoga and shamanism. He also believed that “religious revival in the United States would begin with drugs, not evangelists,” as quoted by Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 375. Many in the New Age Movement believe the influx of LSD into America in the 1960s was a fulfillment of Huxley’s vision. Aldous Huxley is also quoted extensively in the New Age book, As Above, So Below, and by many adherents of the New Spirituality. And so one has to ask, why is Rick Warren, an “Evangelical” pastor and teacher of the gospel, referring readers to Aldous Huxley?
HENRI NOUWEN – P. 108
On page 108 of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren quotes Catholic priest and mystic, Henri Nouwen in the context of “periods of seeming separation” from God. Nouwen promoted eastern spiritual disciplines like repetition of mantras and contemplative prayer to connect with “the active presence of God,” what Rick Warren calls “breath prayers” on page 89 of The Purpose Driven Life. There, Warren instructs readers to “…choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath…Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart.” This spiritual discipline of breath prayer and the emphasis of one breath is not taught anywhere in the scriptures, but can be traced back to the age-old practice of shamanic breath control, a technique used for thousands of years by shamans of indigenous cultures to connect with their spirit guides, as shown in the following definitions.
Shaman – Medicine-man or priest-doctor of preliterate societies in northern Asia and…the Americas; a specialist in archaic techniques of ecstasy…naturally catalyzed by entheogenic plants (hallucinogenic plants), later…induced by secondary techniques like drumming, chanting, fasting, breath control, etc. (Modern definition of the word shaman by Jonathan Ott, The Age of Entheogens & the Angel’s Dictionary, quoted in Astrotheology and Shamanism: Christianity’s Pagan Roots).
Shamanism – A worldview within which mediation between physical and spirit dimensions becomes possible through *ecstatic states of consciousness (Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within, a film by Critical Mass Productions, Google Videos, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=825942553983229569#docid=-820206505264515422). *Ecstatic/Ekstasis (Greek) – to step outside one’s self.
And yet Jesus states in Matthew 6/7 & 8, “And when you pray do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them.” At the end of his life and ministry, Henri Nouwen openly taught that there were many ways to God. Here are several quotes from his writings.
“The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart ... This way of simple prayer ... opens us to God’s active presence” (The Way of the Heart, p. 81).
“The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being” (Here and Now, p. 22).
“Prayer is ‘soul work’ because our souls are those sacred centers WHERE ALL IS ONE ... It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of THE UNITY OF ALL THAT IS” (Bread for the Journey, 1997, Jan. 15 and Nov. 16).
“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (Sabbatical Journey, New York: Crossroad, 1998, p. 51).
WILLIAM JAMES – P. 285
William James is known as the “father of American psychology” and was one of the founders of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1885. Still in operation, the website for this organization says, “The American Society for Psychical Research is the oldest psychical research organization in the United States. For more than a century, its mission has been to explore extraordinary or as yet unexplained phenomena that have been called psychic or paranormal…” Then asks the question, “In what unexplained ways do we interconnect with the universe and each other?" (Source: http://www.aspr.com/who.htm)
Is this the purpose and meaning of life, to connect with the “Universal Mind” through mysterious psychic and paranormal channels? And yet Rick Warren says we are not to depend on pop psychology or “dubious” psychic practices, as he quotes psychic, William James on page 285 of The Purpose Driven Life.
Most Christians would not recognize or question the above names cited in The Purpose Driven Life because they are trusting of Rick Warren and his teachings, and this is exactly what the real enemy is counting on. Regardless of the context in which these men are quoted, neither they nor their teachings should ever be promoted or endorsed by a true minister and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul did not promote the teachings of Simon the Sorcerer in his letters to the Churches. Nor did Moses recommend the mystical practices of Pharaoh and his magicians.
Advocates of the New Spirituality agree that the “New Paradigm” or "New Gospel" for the 21st Century is Interconnectedness and Oneness and this concept is built upon the ancient occult teachings of alchemy and sorcery; the merging of spirit and matter. And while it may appear to be the latest and greatest movement in spiritual renewal, the rapid rise of shamanism in the earth, and the turning of the Church back towards the primal practices of the mystics is nothing less than the beginning of the fulfillment of Mystery Babylon and the formation of the Harlot Church as foretold in Revelation 17/5, leading to the deception of all nations through the satanic power of sorcery (Revelation 9/21, 18/23).