Opinions on faith and life

Like Moths To Flames

2007-11-30

In the movie “A Bug’s Life”, two bugs are flying along when they see a “bug zapper”. One turns toward the light and the other screams, “No! No! Don’t go near the light!” But the first one says, “I can’t help it, it’s so beautiful!”. And of course that bug is promptly “zapped”.

In today’s Churchianity, there is a giant “zapper” called Contemplative Prayer or the Emergent Church. It looks so beautiful, so full of light and peace, and it’s drawing in Christians like moths to a flame. Some of us stand and scream “Don’t go near that!”, but the others just can’t believe there is any danger in something so attractive, and they get quite annoyed and even hostile to the few who aren’t joining them and are ruining their party. But the Bible warns us,

For such persons are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (2 Cor. 11:13-15)

“Not all that glitters is gold”, and not all that shines is the Light. We are told to “test the spirits”:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.(1 John 4:1)

Exactly how are we to test the spirits, to discern true from false? Inner feelings? Muslims and Mormans have those. Rely on some ecclesiastical authority? Pretty much all other religions and cults have those. Mystical meditation? That’s the thing we’re trying to test!

Jesus told us that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). Note that is it knowledge, not experience or feeling or passing the responsibility to others, that leads to truth. Knowledge involves the brain, and it requires the examination of facts and claims. And the statement just prior to that one is even more specific: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” So to know the truth, we must know and accept Jesus’ teaching.

The New Testament is the written record of Jesus’ teachings, either directly or indirectly through his apostles. Without this written record we would have no way of knowing what is divine teaching and what is human distortion. So to discern or test the spirits, we must look to the Word as our unchanging anchor. Ironically, the Contemplative/Emerging movement would never have gotten off the ground without their proponents writing books! People quote them and treat them better than the Bible, which they hypocritcally dismiss as being outdated, dead words.

Don’t be naive and gullible like moths who cannot help themselves from the attraction of that which will kill them. Learn to recognize a “zapper” when you see one. Study the Word.

8 Comments

johnMark

I know this might seem like a weird request. I just installed my blog on the same template you are using and I’m wondering how I change the font size of my post titles. Can you help?

Thanks,

Mark

Paula Fether

Hi there, JohnMark, thanks for visiting!

In your admin area I’m sure you know there’s a tab called Presentation, and in that is Theme Editor. It should bring up "style.css"; if not, choose it from the list.

Look for #content h1 ...

Then just change font-size to whatever you want.

Also there’s a message board for this template at http://www.refueled.net/forum/ .

Hope that helps!

johnMark

Paula,

Thanks very much. That didn’t change the font size of my post titles for some reason. I will check the forums.

This Calvinist appreciates the help. :)

Mark

Paula Fether

Ok... but don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you were here. ;-)

Liz

Hi Paula. Just reading your site as it was referred on CBE’s ’The Scroll" I’m rather interested in your comments re the ’Emerging Church’ This is something quite new in Australia and I’m not sure I understand what it is all about. Could you briefly let me know your concerns>

Paula Fether

Sure Liz. I’ll be brief here in the comments but you can always use the Contact form to talk by email.

Basically, Emerging Church is mystical. It is only different from New Age/Hinduism in name, as it has the same meditation techniques and philosophy: to empty and "silence" the mind in order to replace critical thought with mystical experience. This mysticism is the "glue" that can bind all the world’s religions, which on the surface seems to the world to be a good thing. But the gospel itself is being called irrelevant or even hateful by many "Christian" leaders now, and mysticism is being heralded as the way to God.

But this mysticism has an "evil twin" in the form of what is called "communitarianism". It’s really Hegelian Dialectic in sheep’s clothing. (There is a page with some helpful charts and explanations at This Link.) Rick Warren et al have been working very hard at selling the idea of Dominionism, the belief that Christianity must establish a worldly kingdom through any means possible before Christ will return. The cross is pushed aside and replaced with a social gospel of good works, compromise, and loss of individuality.

That’s really an oversimplification though. The Lighthouse Trails link here on the left under Blogs and Sites is to a large amount of material on this movement. I have several of the books and highly recommend their ministry.

Paula Fether

P.S.

I never got an email notice of your comment, Liz. Sorry about the delay. I think the spam blocker didn’t like it for some reason, but even then it’s supposed to email me.

Liz

Thanks Paula. I only just remembered to check to see if you had replied so there was no wait on my part. I’ll check the other blogs etc.when I have more time. Certainly is a bit of a minefieldfor young players with so many ’varieties’ of Christian groups and it is sometimes awkward to explain the subtle nature of somegroups.