Mysticism in The Church
Many modern believers are being re-introduced to ancient practices such as Lectio Divina, Contemplative Prayer, Labyrinths etc. as ways to get closer to, and communicate with, "God". Unfortunately, in this world of 'warm fuzzies' people are obsessed with how they feel. Thus they assume that if they feel the presence of God, He must be there. The problem is Contemplative Prayer is not only unsupported by Scripture, but the methods used by 'Christian' mystics to achieve a "higher realm of consciousness", and the experience once they do, is exactly the same as Buddhist meditators, Hindus, New Agers, Shamans, Witches etc. How then can we find the God of the Bible by entering into an altered state of consciousness?’ However, since it is certain that, regardless of personal belief, something does transpire during mystical experiences, the question that springs to mind is what can explain this phenomena.
Word Of Faith
I have heard it said.. If the New Age movement is the greatest threat to evangelical Christianity from without, the Word-Faith/Positive Confession movement is its greatest threat from within. This is not entirely true. The Word of Faith movement IS the New Age movement... with a few Christian terms and concepts sprinkled in for to keep it believable. It is deeply alarming that most Christians seem to be blissfully unaware of the fact that the principles of the Word-Faith movement being trumpeted from pulpits across the land, not only stems from the same occult sources as the spiritual movement known as New Thought, but uses exactly the same terminology and techniques. The non-believing world claims that there are spiritual “laws” which people can learn to use on their behalf.. However, because the Word Faith group claims to be Christian, they have to somehow add God into the mixture. But since the Biblical God does not fit this mold, they completely reinvent Him in an image that conforms to their beliefs, teaching that the power of faith is a force - one that can even twist God's arm. Note that this doctrine applies to both health and finances. Modern day Charismatics and Evangelicals believe that physical healing is part of the atonement and all Christians should be materially well off. Guess someone forgot to tell Paul.
Slain In The Spirit
When one carefully examines the texts put forward to make the case that "slain in the spirit" and other related manifestations such as laughter, shaking and other bodily convulsions are phenomena rooted in the Scriptures, it becomes patently obvious that this is not the case. Holy Canon is void of any accounts, testimonies or experiences that even faintly resemble ‘Slain In The Spirit’. Where then does the practice originate? Unfortunately being slain/resting/shaking/being drunk in the spirit etc, along with "holy laughter" are only two more examples of doctrine that has been directly derived from occult sources. It has terrifying parallels with the Hindu practice of “awakening” a person’s Kundalini, a concentrated form of life force, lying dormant in our bodies. The ‘awakening’ of the Kundalini, or expanded states of consciousness, is often brought about by a guru conferring the spiritual "power" or awakening on disciples by means of a touch to the forehead. If that isn’t disturbing enough, Not only are the the requirements for receiving are the same, but the methods of transmissions are the same and the resulting physical manifestations are virtually indistinguishable. How then can these practices be Christian?
Citing the book of Acts, most of the groups that teach the doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit claim that the single outward sign of this 'second blessing' is speaking in other tongues. This often takes place in an intensely emotional religious atmosphere sometimes called a "tarry meeting", in which seekers agonize and plead with God to send down His Holy Spirit. All too often, this is accompanied by fervent even feverish prayer, hymn singing, jumping up and down, hand clapping, etc. The person who supposedly receives the Holy Spirit, will start speaking in incoherent, unintelligible, repetitive words or phrases. Jerking, twitching, falling on the floor and screaming is also quite common.
Neither tongues nor the erratic movements are restricted to born again Christian believers but has been seen throughout history in both pagan and heretical Christian movements without, apparently, ANY difference. Even worse is that if you watch certain videos in chapter 5, you will see that the jerking, the screaming, and the collapse, are exactly the same in voodoo rituals, people who have a 'kundalini awakening' (as taught in Hinduism), and Pentecostals all over the world.
Which brings up the multi million dollar question of where the unintelligible gibberish and crazy movements come from? Can any Christian believe for one moment that God has bestowed the gift of the Holy Spirit on Christians, non-Christians, cults, and pagans without any discrimination whatsoever. Or is it that most Christians know, but rarely seems to take seriously, is the fact that not every spirit is of God... and extremely dangerous to us. If this is true, how did evil spirits infiltrate the church?
Move of God or demonic deception? It is extremely disturbing to make a comparison between the experiences and behaviour of the people at Toronto, Brownsville and Lakeland with disciples of Hindu gurus who have had a conferring of a form of spiritual "power" or Kundalini awakening on them.
Walking The Labyrinth
The Labyrinth, touted as a medieval tool for the Postmodern Age, originated with pagan spirituality, was directly imported from a Cathedral where the focus of worship is the Black Madonna, and was introduced to the western church by a Den of Vipers called Grace Cathedral. Yet, discernment being at such an all time low, thousands of Christians are embracing this age-old occult practice.
Santa Claus.. Pretender To The Throne
For the most part, the world will tolerate stars, angels, Christmas trees, or a baby sleeping in a manger. But there’s still "no room at the inn" for the King who invites us to walk His lowly path. Worse.. Jesus’ place has been usurped by a pleasant fat fellow boasting a red hat and a team of reindeer. So how do we understand the Santa Claus phenomenon? What do we REALLY know about Santa? Is he just a harmless, friendly fellow? Or is there something or someone else hiding behind the façade?