Posts Tagged ‘mysticism’

Christian ‘Yoga’, contemplative spirituality/mysticism, spiritual formation movement, New Age,  theosophy, ecumenism, Purpose Driven, pragmatism, relativism, Emergent Christianity and universalism…these are but a few yet the most significant  serious errors and heresies that has made in-roads into evangelicalism in at least the last few decades in increasing potency though not necessarily in chronological order. 

Matthew recorded these words of the One true Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Living God – now enscripturated in the Bible’s New Testament, about the two gates set before all men:

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is [wide and] 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

Lighthouse Trails Research newsletter recently brought my attention to an article published by Newsweek  in its end August 2009 issue about a survey of those who claim to be Christians and how far they have wandered away from the absolute truths of God’s Word.  Although the country in focus is the USA, I am certain that this is but a good sampling of the widespread reality.  Having been in touch with numerous Christians of different nationalities, I have personally heard the kinds of erroneous doctrines that have peppered some of their beliefs already. The most common of which are mysticism, pragmatism and the purpose-driven types. Mysticism particularly finds its roots in Hinduism but it has clothed itself with Christian terms that a good number of Christians became unsuspecting victims and are being tossed to and fro by every wind of these demonic doctrines.

Now the assurance for true believers is what Jesus said about His sheep.  They will listen to His voice [through the Word] and they will flee from other voices [false teachers] (John 10:3-5). Also Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth that God allows factions [in verse 19 – Greek: hairesis, from where we get the English word heresy] in order to visibly distinguish true from false believers (1 Corinthians 11:18-19).

This article below is not only informative, but should serve as a warning to the Church of how currently widespread the effects of false doctrines and the need for vigilance through the serious study of the Word and sincere prayer to God for the Holy Spirit’s continual work to empower believers of the Lord Jesus Christ to be discerning. And we should not be passive bystanders but must always contend for the truth. As it is written,

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” – Jude 3-4



NEWSWEEK Published Aug 15, 2009

From the magazine issue dated Aug 31, 2009



America is not a Christian nation. We are, it is true, a nation founded by Christians, and according to a 2008 survey, 76 percent of us continue to identify as Christian (still, that’s the lowest percentage in American history). Of course, we are not a Hindu—or Muslim, or Jewish, or Wiccan—nation, either. A million-plus Hindus live in the United States, a fraction of the billion who live on Earth. But recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.

The Rig Veda, the most ancient Hindu scripture, says this: “Truth is One, but the sages speak of it by many names.” A Hindu believes there are many paths to God. Jesus is one way, the Qur’an is another, yoga practice is a third. None is better than any other; all are equal. The most traditional, conservative Christians have not been taught to think like this. They learn in Sunday school that their religion is true, and others are false. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

Americans are no longer buying it. According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey, 65 percent of us believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life”—including 37 percent of white evangelicals, the group most likely to believe that salvation is theirs alone. Also, the number of people who seek spiritual truth outside church is growing. Thirty percent of Americans call themselves “spiritual, not religious,” according to a 2009 NEWSWEEK Poll, up from 24 percent in 2005. Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, has long framed the American propensity for “the divine-deli-cafeteria religion” as “very much in the spirit of Hinduism. You’re not picking and choosing from different religions, because they’re all the same,” he says. “It isn’t about orthodoxy. It’s about whatever works. If going to yoga works, great—and if going to Catholic mass works, great. And if going to Catholic mass plus the yoga plus the Buddhist retreat works, that’s great, too.”

Then there’s the question of what happens when you die. Christians traditionally believe that bodies and souls are sacred, that together they comprise the “self,” and that at the end of time they will be reunited in the Resurrection. You need both, in other words, and you need them forever. Hindus believe no such thing. At death, the body burns on a pyre, while the spirit—where identity resides—escapes. In reincarnation, central to Hinduism, selves come back to earth again and again in different bodies. So here is another way in which Americans are becoming more Hindu: 24 percent of Americans say they believe in reincarnation, according to a 2008 Harris poll. So agnostic are we about the ultimate fates of our bodies that we’re burning them—like Hindus—after death. More than a third of Americans now choose cremation, according to the Cremation Association of North America, up from 6 percent in 1975. “I do think the more spiritual role of religion tends to deemphasize some of the more starkly literal interpretations of the Resurrection,” agrees Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion at Harvard. So let us all say “om.”

Find this article at http://www.newsweek.com/id/212155 © 2009


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