God in My Everything?

July 19, 2018 at 4:32 PM 2 comments

Sadly, aspects of the Emergent Church and its mystical approach to life and Scriptures is spreading like wildflower. Originally, I thought it was a bit of a flash in the pan, but quickly realized that it is simply another “evolution” in the process. Like New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), has had its various shades of this and that, with NAR being the most current name of that entire succession of groups that began with New Order of Latter Rain (NOLR), decades ago.

It appears that Satan never runs out of ideas and he simply builds on the idea he began in the Garden of Eden, causing it to morph into something “new” every so often. I’m sure he does this because he knows human nature very well having been able to study humans since our creation. Imagine being able to watch people, hear their conversations, view their actions when they’re with others and when they are alone. It’s Freud’s dream where Satan has observed, attempted to put some things in motion, learned what did or did not work, change things up then try it again.

The sad part is that the only real “new” thing is often in the name of a particular program or movement and the method employed. Too often, it’s not really new at all, though it may be new to some people. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in Ecclesiastes and he was right. There is nothing new. It’s all just newly renovated to appear as though it is a brand new whatever.

Ken Shigematsu has many people singing his praises. Shigematsu is the senior pastor at Tenth Church in Vancouver, Canada. Tenth Church has an interesting website. One of the rotating banners across the top of the page says, “A Community of Spiritual Transformation and Social Justice.” This causes red flags for me because this line of thinking is decidedly leftist while appearing to have a deep sense of spiritual conviction attached to it.

Spiritual Transformation used to be called Spiritual Formation. Today, within the New Age movement, we often hear the term “mindfulness,” which is simply another label for the same old thing. The fact that these terms keep changing makes it all very questionable. It is an interesting phrase because it can mean many things to many people and is used most often within the Emergent Church and the New Age. Within the New Age it means one thing. Within Christendom, it means something else, yet is often connected to the New Age pattern.

Ultimately, the goal of every Christian is to be “spiritually transformed.” There is no denying that at all. God the Father wants to recreate the character of Jesus within each authentic believer. It is this process of transforming us that begins with the new birth as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3. Only people who are authentically saved (as opposed to those who simply profess to be Christians but are actually not), will go through this transformation and only as they submit to the Lord in all things.

As far as Shigematsu is concerned, he has an interesting and even what would be considered an “evangelical” history. However, based on his books (with the latest called Survival Guide for the Soul: How to Flourish Spiritually in a World that Pressures Us to Achieve, and due out August 7, 2018), it seems clear enough that Shigematsu does what many leaders within the Emergent Church are doing when they tend to move away from evangelicalism. They are actually attempting to reintroduce aspects of Monasticism into the church.

In Shegematsu’s God in My Everything: How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God, he repeatedly points readers to the rituals found within monastic life, especially that of St. Benedict or the Bendictine Order of Monks. This is very similar to Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God, who, as a monk, learned the process of “practicing” God’s presence, which he believe sustained him daily. It is very mystical in its approach and I would warn Christians away from it.

What I find fascinating, the more I read some of these folks, is that they always attempt to lead us down the same mystical trail, which incidentally, is also always away from Jesus and the simplicity of the cross. For these folks, to get closer to God we must immerse ourselves in certain rituals that help quiet the mind and allow our emotions to take flight, ostensibly in appreciation of the wonder of God’s Creation (mindfulness). There are many problems with this, yet for the average Christian who yearns for a “deeper” relationship with God (whatever that happens to mean to each individual Christian), the pitfalls are many.

I’ve repeatedly talked about my days involved in the Charismatic Movement, which incidentally, was a forerunner of today’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), movement. My newest book, just recently published, highlights the history, trajectory, and problems with all the movements that came prior to and lead up to NAR, of which the Charismatic Movement was simply one aspect. Within these movements, the goal is always the same, though the approach might look different from one movement to the next, even though each movement morphs into the next. That goal is to rely heavily on our emotions and stop thinking so much. This is decidedly anathema to God because while He certainly created our emotions as well as our intellect, He never wanted our emotions to take the lead. Our emotions are there to complement us, but it is our brains that is supposed to do the bulk of the work.

Throughout the Proverbs, Solomon urges readers to not seek after emotions, but wisdom. Even gaining wisdom is no guarantee of complete success as Solomon proved. Though he may have been the wisest man who ever lived aside from Jesus, Solomon still made errors that cost him. He ignored wisdom at times, opting to follow the dictates of emotions. Nowhere in Proverbs or Scripture are we admonished to seek emotions to guide us. We are to seek wisdom and true wisdom comes only from God (James 3:13-18; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16). If you do not have salvation, you cannot obtain true wisdom.

I can look back and recall times in my life (during the Charismatic Movement specifically), when I believed I loved people unconditionally. My heart went out to them! I wanted to do things for them to make their lives easier. I also recall during those times a complete disengagement with solid doctrine. I actually began contemplating the idea that, “Hey, if I love people like this, how much more does God love people? If so, then maybe the concept of hell and punishment is not really Scriptural. Maybe I don’t understand it that well. Maybe, just maybe, God will save almost everyone!” While I could not reconcile those thoughts with Scripture, I chose to start ignoring aspects of Scripture that made me feel “angry” about what God said He would do to the non-saved.

For a time, I became very grandiose with my “love” theology, believing that God must have meant something else when He spoke of future judgment. That couldn’t be right, could it? After all, isn’t God the God of love?

It didn’t take me too long (thank God), to realize that I was giving attention to doctrines of demons. This and other things eventually moved me out of the Charismatic Movement. However, since my break with it, I’ve noticed on several occasions that Satan will come at me trying to get me to succumb to his way of thinking, though he’ll use “new” techniques in his attempts.

The more we begin to rely on our emotions and how we feel about something, the less likely we are going to look to God’s Word as the final and absolute authority for life and practice as Christians. This appears to be what Ken Shigematsu (and too many others to count), is doing. His books attempt to draw people away from the truth of the cross and Scripture into the arena of “feelz” using monastic rituals to get us there. He wants us to embrace the type of rituals that many ancient orders used for the express purpose of getting closer to God. Yet, these things are not in Scripture so we should be very concerned.

Within the New Age, labyrinths and mazes have been used in efforts to “self-actualize.” The idea is that as you walk along a path to the center of the labyrinth or maze, you actively work to quiet your mind (thinking), and learn to focus on how you feel. You are teaching yourself to get in touch with your inner feelings so that you can find out more about yourself.

New Agers used to call this “innerspace” because the goal is to go inside yourself to know yourself (a misunderstanding of biblical principles). Folks, Jesus tells us to literally walk away from yourself, to forget yourself. We don’t need to spend time gaining knowledge about ourselves. All we need to know is that we are fallen, we ourselves have no cure and the only One who does have the cure is Jesus. He has provided salvation for those who come to Him in faith.

I have a problem with huge churches. It seems to me that they are often huge (though not always), because of the message preached, which is very often a very watered down version of the Gospel. Huge churches must work hard to not offend people because in offending them, they will leave for other pastures and of course, will take their wallets with them. This means certain things cannot be preached, sin among them.

Tenth Church is a fairly large church by all accounts. Again, there is nothing inherently bad about this, but it does not seem to follow the biblical principles, so in that sense, it should be questioned. Tenth Church, like many, has numerous satellite churches, which all share the same name, the same policies, the same beliefs, the same everything.

I recall a church we attended when we lived in California that was very small but growing. At that point, they were meeting in various venues because they did not have their own building. Eventually, they built a building or rather a campus with several buildings. They became aligned with Emergent Church teachings. Eventually, they started satellite churches. This is often done by going to a church that is either in a downward spiral or isn’t growing. The “mother” church will come alongside the seeking church and take them under their wing. This includes renaming that church (so that it has part of the name of the mother church; i.e. XYZ Church Eastside, etc.), pumping money into it, either retraining the pastors or replacing them with pastors from the mother church. The seeker church must then agree to the polices, etc., of the mother church and provide a “return” for the mother church’s investment.

This same church that we began attending when it was virtually nothing, now has seven “campuses” throughout their area and northern California. The total number of people attending is 18,000. Who knows how many more they will have in the next few years. These churches are all carbon copies of one another. This is so that anyone who might be traveling through from their home church can stop at another church that’s part of the “campus” and feel right at home. Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong about this. However, doctrine is truly important and often least emphasized today. Tenth Church – Shigematsu’s church – has four campuses.

Shigematsu has some interesting beliefs. He has come out against Franklin Graham because Graham speaks against open borders and illegal aliens as well as Islam itself. Shigematsu believes our hearts and doors should be open to those illegally in the land. This is what Leftists believe; social justice above all.

Apparently, Shigematsu also believes that Christians should not say anything that might be conceived as negative toward Islam. Unfortunately, Islam is either the truth or it is not. It has nothing in common with Christianity except Islams supposed veneration of Jesus, yet they refuse to acknowledge Him as God or Savior. I believe Muslims need to hear the truth about Islam and Christianity and God will either open their eyes or He won’t. Our job is to tell them. Certainly, we should not be deliberately offensive, however, it is simply offensive to try to share the Gospel with most Muslims, just as it is offensive to most Jews and atheists. Should we not share the Gospel because it could or will offend? Jesus never backed down and often said things that many took umbrage at. Yet He said them so that they might hear the truth. It is that simple.

It is really very difficult to keep up with the many individuals who are always attempting to lead people away from Jesus and into a lie. My goal is to get people thinking not feeling. If you like Shigematsu and revere what he teaches, I’d like you to ask yourself why that is the case? What about him or his teaching “speaks” to your feelings that the Bible does not? Is it possibly because Shigematsu appeals to your desire to be all-inclusive and non-offensive? If so, I would encourage you to read Paul’s words to the Corinthians as just two examples (1 & 2 Corinthians). Some of the things he said were not pleasant and could’ve easily caused offense. Yet, they needed to be said.

If you’d like to read more regarding Ken Shigematsu and his books, I’d like to recommend this particular article from a woman who calls her blog, “Learn to Discern Granny.” She published a review of Shigematsu’s book God in My Everything way back in 2015. It’s a great read and offers plenty of food for thought.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Emotional virtue, eternity, Islam, israel, Judaism, Maitreya, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

It’s Not Just Judah that Needs to Repent Opposing Truth and Hiding Sin

2 Comments

  • 1. Maranatha Today  |  July 20, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2413 – Creative Worship Services Going Too Far?

    On Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 4:32 PM Study – Grow – Know wrote:

    > modres posted: “Sadly, aspects of the Emergent Church and its mystical > approach to life and Scriptures is spreading like wildflower. Originally, I > thought it was a bit of a flash in the pan, but quickly realized that it is > simply another “evolution” in the process. Like ” >

    • 2. modres  |  July 20, 2018 at 10:33 AM

      Thank you. Great article. I’ve not heard of a number of churches mentioned but it makes me so glad to be part of a church where hymns are used and the pulpit is the center of the platform and where the Word is preached weekly! No gimmicks. No use of over-the-top technology. It’s about God, not people.


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