What Is Your Church Practicing?
The New Testament (and early church history) paints a picture of wolves forcing their way into the church spreading doctrinal lies. Whether it was questioning the deity of Jesus through Arius (an error that is still with us today), which naturally extends then to questioning the trinity, or whether we are dealing with New Age mystical practices that foist themselves onto the fabric of the local churches, the reality is that deceit, lies, and actual denunciations of Christian truth for lies has become the norm in this day and age.
In truth, too many Christians know more about the United States Constitution than they know about the Bible. It is common to see Christians joining with political conservatives (including conservative gays) to fight the encroachment of the federal government.
Too many Christians, while wanting to get America “back on track” do so by completely ignoring biblical truth. It is a truth that tells us that things are going to progressively go from bad to worse to…judgment for the entire world. In fact, as we move toward the end of this age, we can count on the fact that the “day of the Lord” is coming, a time of terrible judgment as God pours out His wrath onto His Creation for seemingly endless millennia of rebellion and rejection of our Creator and His truth.
There is nothing in Scripture that pushes the ideology that if Christians just pray hard enough, work hard enough, and be the stopgap between good and evil that evil will not only be held at bay, but a major revival will occur throughout the world or even parts of it. In fact, when it all comes down to it, we are told the exact opposite will happen.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
“Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation’,” (2 Peter 2:3-4).
1 John 5:19 tells us that the entire world is under the power of the evil one, Satan. Society is doomed. Many Christians would disagree.
These same Christians though are almost oblivious to the error, even heresy, that often comes from the pulpits of American churches. They are so blinded by their felt need to change society that they are oblivious to the problems within their own local church body.
Heresy is gaining quite a hold from one denomination to the next. Already many denominations have succumbed to the demands of the world. They have given into and are wholly guided by emotional virtue. Because of that, there are too many “feel good” theologies in churches today and they are embraced because they appear outwardly to be more holy. If it’s holy, it must be good, right? It all depends on the source. While truth can come from any quarter, I wouldn’t take the time to listen to Satan even if/when he told me the truth. I’d prefer to be deaf to him because deceit is always mixed in with his “truth.”
There is a huge movement within churches across America to embrace forms of New Age mysticism that deceives the average church-goer. In fact, one in particular that is making the rounds within so-called “mega churches” is called The Practice. Are you familiar with it? Do you know what it’s all about?
Pastor Rick Warren is a Southern Baptist (SBC) and hobnobs with folks from Islam and Roman Catholicism (RCC). There exists within the RCC the undeniable move toward mysticism and The Practice is simply just one of the latest things that they seem to be pushing not only within Catholicism, but within denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention. Bill Hybels is associated with the Evangelical Free Church (EFC) denomination and together, these two men have done and continue to do tremendous disservice to the cause of Christ.
The Practice is something that helps people learn the “unforced rhythms of grace” according to the The Message Bible (cf. their translation of Matthew 11:28-30). Interestingly, Warren and Hybels son-in-law Aaron Niequist, who works at Hybels’ church as worship leader (he is also an author), both push The Practice and to that end, Niequist has even invited Roman Catholic Jesuit priest Father Michael Sparough, SJ (Niequist’s spiritual director), to teach the congregation aspects of The Practice. But what is The Practice?
“The Practice is an experimental gathering where we immerse ourselves in God’s dream for humanity, practice the historic disciplines that align us with His dream, and carry each other along the way.”
Sounds ethereal, doesn’t it? Sounds like people are directed to rely on feeling. In fact, Niequist says as much when he described one event held at his church.
“The night was powerful and so unexplainably holy that we wanted to invite more people into the experience. So we’ve turned the live recording of Fr Michael into a full New Liturgy—fleshing it out with an evocative musical score and three original songs. We hope it helps you connect with God in a deep and daily way.” (Emphasis added)
What does “unexplainably holy” mean? Clearly, emotions are involved and appear to guide the event. Because emotions are not easily translated into words, but leave the impression that the person has just entered the “holy of holies,” a deep and profound emotional meaning is the result. The problem with this is the very fact that emotion becomes the guiding principle. People who feel holy do not question what they do, say, or think. They simply feel and that feeling makes them believe they have actually met with God and attained some level of holiness that they would not have otherwise attained. There is hardly ever any consistency though. These people are simply tossed to and fro by every “wind” of doctrine because they rely on the way they feel about something (cf. Ephesians 4:14).
All of this results in using emotional virtue, aka political correctness, aka Cultural Marxism to make decisions, the same thing that is driving society away from truth by teaching people to be more visceral regarding their emotions. People are taught to listen to and adjust their thinking so that they are in line with how they feel. This is not the Scriptural pattern for discovering truth. In fact, truth is found in God’s written Word (for us today).
The Practice is something that teaches people to rely heavily on their emotions. Once people shift from God’s abject truth (in its revealed, written form), to relative emotional virtue, truth is then up for grabs. Anything can be seen as truth at that point.
To the Christians who are so concerned about taking America back, I would caution you about doing that while your church becomes infiltrated with error. Why are you not concerned about that? Why are you unable to know if/when error starts to creep in?
Why is so much error taking root in churches today? It’s because Satan has too many Christians chasing after this thing or that thing, or that other thing over there in order to “fix” society. In doing so, it becomes relatively easy to ignore the lies that are taking hold in our local churches.
Too often, Christians just want to “feel” good about themselves, about society, about everything. Jesus, Paul, Peter, John, and others warn us that this is not reality and is certainly not reflective of the way society will be toward the end of this age according to Scripture.
“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Why are we ignoring this, focusing all of our attention on the ills in society? Brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, emergent church, Emotional virtue, Life in America, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, second coming. Tags: aaron niequist, bill hybels, rick warren, the practice.