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Posts Tagged ‘new age’

shepherdministry

I wanted to post the curriculum as an example without our former church name on the link.  The above curriculum encourages “shepherds” to have children listen to a song while on the floor with socks off, and with lighted candles.  There are other things that disturb me like some questions that do not have any right answers.  Quite a problem.

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Wake up!

Why do we sleep?  Why do we allow ourselves to be taken away?  It’s because we would rather sleep than face the stark reality that is the world pretending to be the church.  We would rather pretend that what’s happening is okay, it’s fine to change the way we worship.  As long as we’re sincere, God will understand.  So what if the pastor mentions at one ment or quotes emergent/emerging men and women?  So what if the skit attacks Christianity in a way, or if the comic brought in says some off color things, it’s all good Christian fellowship, right?  What if Bible study is no longer called Bible study and is “small group” or “life group” or some other such thing?  So what if we’re following a popular book in small groups and from the pulpit and it’s just fluffy, what’s the harm?

The harm is we are walking ourselves right into our own destruction.  We’re taking our kids down with us, giving them candy instead of the real meals, the real food they need.  We are accepting of things not right, a bit off.  This little bit of arsenic in the brownie mix will kill us slowly, and we’re willing participants.  Just like the Jews around the time of WW2.  They didn’t want to believe it was bad, that they were slowly being strangled to death.  We don’t want to admit we’re being starved to death and fed poison when we do eat.  We willingly walk the road with lies, and because we are trying to “not rock the boat” and be seen as nice and good people, we just go right along.  We even hear sermons and prayers differently than they are truly presented, and different than they are intended.  We don’t ask the questions.  We might find out we have cancer in our churchy building, then what? We would have to do something then, and that would be unpleasant. Wake up people! Wake up!

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It’s been an odd 8 months.  We didn’t know anything about contemplative prayer, and the concerted effort by a diverse group of people to shift American (and possibly world) churches toward disciplines, missional focus, and contemplative/lectio divina and other forms of prayer.  Now that we know more, we still have more to learn.  People want to make distinctions between emerging, emergent, emergence etc.  Just read Christianity Today’s blog, and saw a video by Doug Paggitt talking about these words.  The blogger said this:

“In this video, Doug Pagitt explains the relationships between the terms emerging, Emergent, and “emergence.” It strikes me as trying to decide which layer of the Incredible Gobstopper is the actual Gobstopper. But you should decide for yourself.”

Link to the youtube…and blog here… (scroll down as the titles aren’t clickable…) It’ s the Sept.22 2008 entry

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/

I really like the gobstopper picture of it all.  Our church was maybe into layer three of the gobstopper.  The center is the focus on shift/missional (mission of god as defined by some team somewhere).  If your church has been shifting, then they are a part of this gobstopper.  I think it’s better to be in a church with Christ and the gospel as the center…with the focus on the Solas.  The layers are all part of it.  I don’ t know though if Christianity should be described as a layered thing, because it’s not like some secret society where you get higher and higher levels and deeper and deeper secret knowledge.  I think with Christianity either you are or you aren’t, either you believe or you don’t.  Anything beyond that is maturity.  But, for this emerge (merge with something out there) phemomenon, it’s a multilayered thing.  Your church may just be on the very outside, and can probably detatch pretty easily.  The closer to the center, the harder it is not to have been changed (have missional in you…be a part of it).  It’s harder to get out of the whole thing when you have been wrapped in layer upon layer of beliefs and requirements. 

As a person once on the inside of this, then on the outside, it’s an education to see what each layer is abou, and see the connectedness between them.  The outside layer appears to be the inspirational/feel good side.  You can read it and not really get hooked.  The next may be the seeker friendly movement.  Your church may do the 40 days of purpose, but not really change the whole church based upon it.  Small groups pop up, but really they are Bible studies and not just small groups.  Deeper in, your church really means 40 Days and you have small groups, Bible focus is shifted.  No Paggitt (who is he?) no Bell (what) and you still have pews or seats.  Next is the artsy thing, church is more into creativity and more and more pastors mention authors you’ve never heard of.  You have gone from popular/Christianity lite to a deeper “spirituality” with people talking about going on a journey or their story in God’s story, or God’s dream.  This is really where my church was.  We’d have preaching with Bible passages, but beyond that, the pastors used many theories of men to push a mindset about church, our mission (which someone defined for us out there), and what was valuable.  I think the youth in our church were actually on a different level.  At least one pastor was into Rob Bell and that stuff.  Youth were sent to a camp where they taught outright contemplative prayer, praying on a prayer rope, the Jesus prayer, and the like.  The leader of these camps has photos of kids in a pose where they are flat on their backs with feet and arms relaxed…eyes closed.  Supposed to have been a great moment of great closeness to God.  Okay.  We weren’t at that layer in our church, but our teens would have been exposed to it.  I believe the pastors deny our involvement with emergent or whatever it’s called, but our youth were involved.  Because it was an outside source, we weren’t a part of it.  Yeah, right.

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Another sign that Ravi Zacharias has gone to the contemplatives/missional/disciplines side of things…

I read an article today linking a youtube video.  In the video, Ravi refers to Henri Nouwen very positively (about 6 minutes in).  So, what are Christians to do about the leaders of the church, many loved and respected, who show themselves influenced by these contemplatives and/or downright New Age change agent authors?  I know we must pray, check ourselves to see if we are sinning.  This is for sure.  We need to also pray and ask God about our situation.  Are we to confront, speak out, or something else?  I think we need to be very wise, and rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance.  Anyone have an opportunity to ask Ravi questions in a forum?  I say someone needs to ask him about prayer or something in a pointed and careful way just as Christ would.  He’s one who might see the error of what he has been promoting, maybe?  I personally want to get in to the Bible Answer Man and call with a prayer question, and ask specifically about his opinion of some of these authors while on line.  I think we should be kind and loving, but also wise…as serpents…gentle as doves (please site the verse for me and make sure I’m not misquoting or taking out of context here…). 

I truly love Ravi Zacharias though I’ve never met him.  I pray for him and his family, and his ministry.  Maybe God will put someone in his path that he can listen to on this issue.

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I just read an article on the Lighthouse Trails Research page (look at my blog roll and you can find a link to that page for interesting reading all around).  It mentions that everyone is talking about “the silence” or “be still.”  I’ve noted that the youth organization in our area has ignatius prayer links to teach meditative silent prayer (with breathing exercises and the like).  The article on the Lighthouse Trails site is so good, I’m encouraging people to read it and see how “Christian” authors are actually in parallel with New Age authors.  When groups line up so well, this shows a similar influence is possible…and in fact, because many of the “Christian” authors influencing our churches today quote some of the New Age authors, even some Buddist or Hindu authors…we can be sure the influence is the same.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1209&c=1

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We are seeing signs of stress in our home.  My oldest is not doing well in school.  There’s a lot more whining from the younger ones, a lot of comments about missing friends.  Changing churches is a pain, but better this than what we saw coming…

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Read any Dallas Willard?  Spirit of Disciplines?  Renovation of the Heart?  What do you know, what do you think?

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