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Discovering the New Age Movement / New World Order, Part Three

Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer

 

This is the third installment of this introductory series.  My intention is to provide a brief overview, not an all encompassing article.  The NAM/NWO is too large to contain in one article.  You may view the first part here and the second part here if you’ve not read them previously.

 

False Ecumenism / Religious Plurality

In its best usage, ‘ecumenism’ is a movement of unity among Biblical Christian denominations.[1]  I would call this true ecumenism.  However, a push to unite all churches who call themselves ‘Christian’ including the overtly new age Unity Church[2] among others, I would call false ecumenism.  Further, the attempt to unite Biblical Christianity to any other non-Christian faith I would term false ecumenism.  Unfortunately, the practice of much of the attempted unity today is a false kind and the term ‘ecumenism’ is used for this movement. 

 

The term ‘pluralism’ according to dictionary.com is, “a social organization in which diversity of racial or religious or ethnic or cultural groups is tolerated.”[3]  So, here I deal strictly with the religious aspect of pluralism in religious pluralism.  While it is certainly alright to tolerate other religious views, (although evangelism is our goal) we are not to attempt to unify at the expense of the purity of Biblical Christianity.

 

Recall that one of the goals of the New Age movement is a syncretism of all religions.  Since Biblical Christianity is problematic to New Agers with its insistence on one way to salvation – through Jesus Christ – the only way to merge with this movement is to modify the message.  In the Alice A. Bailey esoteric/occultic book From Bethlehem to Calvary she – actually Tibetan Master DK (Djwhal Khul) who channeled through her[4] – states:

 

Christianity will not be superseded.  It will be transcended, its work of preparation being triumphantly accomplished, and Christ will again give us the next revelation of divinity

 

…Can there not be revelations of God utterly unprecedented, and for which we have no words or adequate means of expression?  The ancient mysteries, so shortly to be restored, must be re-interpreted in the light of Christianity, and readapted to meet modern need[5] [Emphasis Mine]

 

Compare this to some statements by Mike Bickle[6] [currently of the International House of Prayer[7] (IHOP)] formerly of Kansas City Fellowship[6, 8] (KCF); Bob Jones, formerly one of the “Kansas City Prophets”[6] of KCF; and, Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries[9]:

 

“The Lord said simply, ‘I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.’” [10] (Mike Bickle; Growing in the Prophetic) [Emphasis mine]

 

“They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to death itself underneath their feet…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!…This generation of young people that are coming are going to see the beginning of the worldwide new order…It is going to change the expression of Christianity in a generation.”[11, 12, 13] (Bob Jones; Kansas City Fellowship Interview tape with Mike Bickle, 1988 as quoted by Jewel van der Merwe {Grewe}) [Emphasis mine]

 

“What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival or another awakening; it is a veritable revolution.  This vision was given in order to begin awakening those who are destined to radically change the course and even the very definition of Christianity.”[14] (Rick Joyner The Harvest) [Emphasis mine]

 

And, during Todd Bentley’s “commissioning” service on June 23, 2008, Bill Johnson[15] said:

 

…We shape the course of history by partnering with you giving honor where it’s due.  You welcome the glory as well as anybody I’ve ever seen in my life – I long to learn from you in that and I bless you.  And, I pray with the rest of these that the measure of glory would increase, that Moses would no longer be the high water mark with the glory shown from his face but instead the revelation of the goodness of God would change the face of the church.  And that he would use your voice, he would use your grace, your anointing, to alter the face of the Church before the world[16] [Emphasis mine]

 

Has ‘the expression of Christianity’ and ‘the face of the church’ changed? Will it in the future?

 

            8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. [Hebrews 13:8 NIV]

 

            27But you remain the same and your years will never end [Psalms 102:27 NIV]

 

19God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change his mind [Numbers 23:19 NIV]           

 

“On October 13, 2007, …138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent an open letter ‘to leaders of Christian churches, everywhere.’”[17]  So began Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You – a document signed by ‘Christian leaders’ in answer to this open letter.[18]  On the home page of A Common Word, “…Thus despite their differences, Islam and Christianity not only share the same Divine Origin and same Abrahamic heritage, but the same two greatest commandments.”[19]

 

In an apparent effort not to offend, the ‘Christian leaders’ brought reproach upon Jehovah God.  This response sent back to Muslim scholars and clerics references “the Prophet Muhammad” [yes that’s a capital ‘P’ Prophet] and refers to God as “the All-Merciful One.”  I don’t recall this as one of the names listed for Jehovah God in my Bible.  In addition, Jesus Christ, while mentioned a few times, is never referred to as the Son of God or Savior – again in an effort not to offend.

 

32Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. [Matthew 10:32-33 NIV]

 

13…Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips. [Exodus 23:13 NIV]

 

Here is a quote from “A Christian Response:”

 

When Freedom to worship God according to one’s conscience is curtailed, God is dishonored, the neighbor is oppressed, and neither God nor neighbor is loved [17] [Emphasis mine]

 

While Jehovah God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – gives us all free will to choose to love Him or not, He IS dishonored when we choose not to love Him.  And, to truly love our neighbor is to evangelize in hopes of their salvation.

 

4For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. [Deuteronomy 4:23 NIV]

 

One more quote from the “Christian Response:”

 

Abandoning all “hatred and strife,” we must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other’s good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good.  Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond “a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders” and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another. [17] [Emphasis mine]

 

Following is a partial list of signatories beginning with the two individuals who were formerly speaking out against the New Age Movement referenced at the close of part two of this series:  Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church of Columbus; Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA; Bill Hybels, Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; Lynn Green, International Chairman, YWAMDavid Yonggi Cho, Founder and Senior Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea; Brian McLaren, [Emerging Church movement] Author, Speaker, Activist; Berten A. Waggoner, National Director, Association of Vineyard Churches; Robert Schuller, Founder, Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power; Kim B. Gustafson, President, Common Ground; Steve Moore, President and CEO, The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA); John M. Buchanan, Editor/Publisher, The Christian Century; Leith Anderson; President, National Association of Evangelicals; James A. Kowalski, Dean, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, NY; David Neff, Editor in Chief and Vice President, Christianity Today Media Group.[17]  There are about 250 in total.

 

Here’s more on Fuller Theological Seminary in which they would unabashedly promote religious pluralism as well as New Age ideals and terminology. From a newsletter from 2003 of an event co-sponsored by Calvin College and Fuller Theological Seminary:

 

Drawing on the resources of scholars from various parts of the world who represent diverse historical and religious experiences of religio-cultural plurality, the consultation will reflect together on its meaning for faithful Christian witness.[17] [Emphasis mine]

 

In the events schedule of this weekend-long conference lasting Friday through Sunday were topics on Hinduism, Islam, “Primal/traditional religions,” and others.[20]  In the newsletter’s ‘Statement of Purpose:’

 

Since 1945 the forces of globalization have accelerated with the result that people everywhere have become conscious of the ‘world as a whole’ being bound more tightly together. At the same time they experience the “local” more intensely. This global-local dialectic is a key characteristic of globalization.

 

…This project focuses on religious plurality as an important element in this larger process of globalization and pluralization[20]  [Emphasis mine]

 

The term “global-local dialectic” is interchangeable with ‘think globally, act locally’ – very common New Age terms.  What were the “forces of globalization” which began in 1945?  Most likely this is referencing the birth of the United Nations in 1945 which superseded the League of Nations.  The UN is “an international organization formed after World War II in 1945 to promote international peace, security and cooperation under the terms of the Charter of the United Nations.”[21]  On a website detailing the “Evolution of The Great Invocation[22] – a prayer to the Antichrist – is  found the following:

 

The United Nations Conference on International Organization convened on April 25, 1945 in San Francisco, for five days right at the time of the Wesak. (That year the Taurus full moon fell on April 27.)[23] [Emphasis mine]

 

The Wesak Full Moon Ritual[24] is a celebration of the “Birth and Enlightenment of Buddha.”[25]  It’s interesting that this initial meeting of the UN was held right smack in the middle of an important occultic/esoteric holiday.

 

The Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26 (exactly one month after the Gemini full moon of 1945, on May 26) and enacted on October 24, 1945, with the 51 signatures representing all sections of the planet.[23] [Emphasis mine]

 

The Pope’s ties to the United Nations

 

The papacy has had close ties to the UN since its inception.[26]  Pope Benedict XVI “supports robust global governance, in a fashion that has long bewildered neoconservative critics of the United Nations in the United States and elsewhere.”[26] [Emphasis mine]   Prior to the Pope’s visit of April 18 of this year, the President of the UN General Assembly, Serjan Kerim anticipated that the visit would be “special” since “more than a billion Catholics in the world share many of the concerns and aspirations of the UN.”[27]

 

The pope and the UN secretary-general “are two eminent moral authorities in the world,” Archbishop Migliore [Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s UN nuncio or ‘ambassador’] said noting that the UN secretary-general [currently Ban Ki-moon of South Korea] “is oftentimes referred to as the ‘secular pope.’”

 

…The Holy See is an international actor of rank and has an important role to play in addressing a number of major international challenges,” he said.  One of those challenges, he added, is “religious interfaith dialogue, where the pope has taken important initiatives lately.

 

…Being at the forefront of the U.N. initiative for an alliance of civilizations,” he said, Spain was “particularly pleased with the pope’s call to interreligious and intercultural dialogue based on the dignity of the human being, which can only be of benefit to the United Nations and international community as a whole.[28] [All emphasis mine]

 

Is it a coincidence that the Pope’s visit to the US and the UN in New York, which commenced on the 15th of April, ended on the 20th[29] which was a full moon[30] tying into what’s known as “the Festival of the Christ?”[25] [Again, “the Christ” is actually the Antichrist.]  There are three important festivals to theosophists/esotericists.  The first is the “Festival of the Christ” in April, the second is Wesak in May and the third is the “Festival of Humanity” which is in June.[25]  All coincide with the full moon.  

 

The Papacy in the New Age

 

At the 23rd World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia on July 20, 2008 [the trip was actually 6 days total from July 15th through July 20th – note: there was a full moon on July 18] Pope Benedict XVI suggested New Age unity:[31] 

 

“In today’s Gospel, [cf. Luke 4:21], Jesus proclaims that a new age has begun, in which the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all humanity.”[31][Emphasis mine]

 

In context the Luke verse is referring to the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2 – a Messianic prophetic passage.  While there is no mention of the Holy Spirit being poured out in either the Luke or Isaiah verses, I concede that the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry would ultimately culminate in his death on the cross and outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2.  However, this quote above sounds suspiciously similar to Latter Rain[32, 33] teaching especially when taken together with the following:

 

At the Mass, the pope prayed that the World Youth Day experience would be a new Pentecost for all the participants, marking a new outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.[34] [Emphasis mine]

 

Additionally, Pope Benedict in his push for ecumenism warned we should not let doctrine divide the Church – another aspect of Latter Rain.[35]

 

“…We must guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world in which we live.”[35] [Emphasis mine]

 

Note that the pope uses the term ‘new age’ three times in the following short passage.  Certainly, Pope Benedict must be aware of the negative implications of the term.

 

“…Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished — not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed,” the Bishop of Rome affirmed. “A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships.” “Dear young friends,” he urged, “the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of his love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity.” The world and the Church need this renewal, Benedict XVI affirmed. “The Church especially needs the gifts of young people, all young people,” he said. “She needs to grow in the power of the Spirit who even now gives joy to your youth and inspires you to serve the Lord with gladness…”[36]

 

And last, but not least, is the following from an article proposing on a beauty pageant for nuns.  The contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 40, “and can be either full members of an order or novices.”[37]   Does this mean one is no longer beautiful after age 40?  Is this the line of demarcation?  At least there will be no swimsuit competition and the nuns would not be wearing anything revealing according to the article.  The photos will be placed on a blog and viewers can vote on their favorites.

 

Father [Antonio] Rungi said that he expected many who applied to be young, attractive – and non-Italian.  He said: “Do you really think nuns are all wizened, funereal old ladies?  Today, it’s not like that any more, thanks to an injection of youth and vitality brought to our country by foreign girls.”  He said there were nuns from Africa and Latin America who were “really very, very pretty.  The Brazilian girls above all.”

 

…He admitted that not all Catholics were in favor of the idea.  “I have had some e-mails from Christians who perhaps have not grasped the evangelizing spirit of the initiative, or the potential of the internet, which is a marvelous tool for spreading the Christian message.  Unfortunately, some people still have a closed mentality.”[37][Emphasis mine]

 

Does this seem like effective evangelism or does this seem wrong to you dear reader?  I agree the internet is “a marvelous tool for spreading the Christian message” but not in the way he’s thinking.          

 

 

[1] “ecumenism.” WordNet© 3.0. Princeton University.  26 Aug. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ecumenism>

 

[2] <http://www.unity.org/index.php?submenu=What_we_believe&src=gendocs&ref=WeBelieve&category=About%20Us>

 

[3] “pluralism.” WordNet© 3.0. Princeton University.  26 Aug. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pluralism>

 

[4] <http://www.lucistrust.org/en/publications_store/alice_bailey_books/about_alice_bailey>

 

[5] Bailey, Alice A.  “Introduction to Initiation.” From Bethlehem to Calvary. Lucis Trust; copyright 1937 by Alice A. Bailey, renewed 1957 by Foster Bailey; 4th paperback edition, 1989; Fort Orange Press, Inc., Albany, New York; p 20-21

 

[6] <http://www.ihop.org/>

 

[7] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Bickle>

 

[8] <http://www.pfo.org/growingpains.htm>

 

[9] <http://www.morningstarministries.org/>

 

[10] Bickle, Mike. Growing in the Prophetic. Creation House. Lake Mary, FL; 1996 p 30

 

[11] (van der Merwe) Grewe, Jewel. “False Prophets.” Discernment Newsletter. May 1990 Volume 1, No.1 <http://www.discernment-ministries.org/1990_FirstEdition.pdf  page 35 (Kansas City Fellowship Interview Bob Jones with Mike Bickle 1988)

 

[12] (van der Merwe) Grewe, Jewel. “A New Breed.” Discernment Newsletter. June 1990 <http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_June1990.pdf  page 45 (Kansas City Fellowship Interview Bob Jones with Mike Bickle 1988)

 

[13] (van der Merwe) Grewe, Jewel. “The Anointed Seed.” Discernment Newsletter. September 1990 <http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_Sept1990.pdf>  page 5 (Kansas City Fellowship Interview Bob Jones with Mike Bickle 1988)

 

[14] Joyner, Rick. The Harvest  <http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0883685035/ref=sib_dp_ptu#reader-link> 1993. MorningSter Publications. Charlotte, NC; back cover

 

[15] <http://www.ibethel.org/>

 

[16] Johnson, Bill. “Todd Bentley ‘Commissioning’ of June 23, 2008.” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A05WQYi7aQ> 1:30 – 2:10

 

[17] <http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?lang=en&page=option1>

 

[18] <http://www.acommonword.com/lib/downloads/fullpageadbold18..pdf>

 

[19] <http://www.acommonword.com/>

 

[20] “Christianity and Religious Plurality in Historical and Global Perspective.” April 25-27, 2003 <http://www.fullerseminary.net/news/html/religiousplurality.asp>

 

[21] American Society of International Law <http://www.asil.org/resource/un1.htm>

 

[22] <http://www.lucistrust.org/invocation/>

 

[23] <http://www.souledout.org/gi/gievolution.html>

 

[24] <http://www.souledout.org/wesak/wesaklegend2.html>

 

[25] <http://www.wesak.us/articles.php>

 

[26] Allen, Jr., John L., “The Vatican’s Relative Truth.” The New York Times. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/opinion/19allen.html> 12/19/07

 

[27] “UN gets ready for Pope Benedict’s visit.” <http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/detail/9316.html> 04/11/08

 

[28] Stagnaro, Angelo. “Diplomats welcome Pope Benedict’s visit to United Nations.” Catholic News Service. <http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802122.htm> 08/20/08

 

[29]  Wooden, Cindy. “Pope says trip to U.S. was opportunity to give, receive hope, faith.” <http://www.uspapalvisit.org/stories/cns_0802384.htm> 04/30/08

 

[30] <http://www.farmersalmanac.com/2007-2008-full-moons>

 

[31] Flynn, Father John, LC. “The New Age of the Holy Spirit.” Zenit. <http://www.zenit.org/article-23347?l=english> 07/27/08

 

[32] <http://www.theopedia.com/Latter_Rain_Movement>

 

[33] <http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain7.htm>

 

[34] Wooden, Cindy. “Pope tells young people power of the Holy Spirit can transform world.” Catholic News Services. <http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0803760.htm> 07/20/08

 

[35] Wigen, Nancy. “Ecumenism ultimately points toward a common Eucharist, Pope tells Christians.” Catholic News Agency. <http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13290> 07/18/08

 

[36] “Pope Prays Closing Mass Will Be New Pentecost..” World Youth Day – Cross Media. <http://wydcrossmedia.org/moduli/popupnews.php?i=602> 07/19/08

 

[37] Owen, Richard, “Priest Antonio Rungi wants beauty contest – for nuns.” The Times. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4600534.ece> 08/25/08

Tony Blair Promotes Ecumenism in Effort to Eradicate Malaria

 Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer

Thanks to Roger Oakland from Understand The Times, author of the book Faith Undone, for sending me this link on this newsworthy item:

 

http://www.understandthetimes.org/inthenews/13_owlyt.shtml

 

Here’s the video/audio:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksnMx6l4T64

 

After Tony Blair’s recent conversion from the Anglican Church to Catholicism he went one step further into blatant ecumenism with his Faith Foundation.  Now, with his new Faiths Act which he rolled out on June 10, he goes it one more.

 

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation was initiated in May 2008 with one of its goals to work toward increased understanding between the major faiths of the world.  His new Faiths Act outlines a plan to eradicate malaria promoting an interfaith effort toward this cause.  A complete transcript of the audio from the above video follows this article.

 

My first question regarding this is: Why the need for an interfaith effort to help in the fight against malaria when Blair could just as well promote his cause without using religion as a vehicle?  Why not send aid to local governmental officials directly who could then disburse it?  Surely, governmental approval would be necessary before such an interfaith outreach as proposed by Blair could be enacted anyway.

 

“Faiths Act will mobilize global faith communities to come together and achieve multi-faith action on issues of crucial importance in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.  Our first goal is to end deaths caused by malaria.  Put simply, between one and three million people die of malaria each year most of them children under five and pregnant mothers living in sub-Saharan Africa.  Their deaths are preventable.  In Africa 40% of the victims are Muslim.  But across much of Asia malaria continues to strike and combating it is a huge opportunity for people across the faiths to act in unison: Hindus, Sikh, Buddhists as well as the Abrahamic faiths.  We call, therefore, on the four billion people of faith in the world to help do more to end the scourge of malaria.”

 

Please note that these “Millennium Development Goals” were outlined by the United Nations which has shown itself to be anti-Semitic and not exactly friendly towards Christianity [excepting Roman Catholicism] as well.  In fact, the UN has become increasingly pro-Islam.  With this in mind, it is curious that Blair would make reference to Judaism, Christianity and Islam as “the Abrahamic faiths” as if there is much in common between the three.  Why didn’t he refer to Hindus, Sikh and Buddhists as simply ‘the eastern faiths?’

 

“…Churches, mosques, other places of worship are ideally placed to be centers for distribution networks and community-based health education initiatives.”

 

Blair’s plan sounds remarkably similar to Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E plan with respect to Warren’s fight against AIDS/HIV.  This is not surprising as Warren, a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and Oxford Anayltica, is on the Advisory Council of Blair’s Faith Foundation.  Could this be a step toward the redistribution of wealth and one world religion as outlined by the channeled writings of Theosophist Alice Bailey among others and as prophesied in the Bible?

 

16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.  [Revelation 13:16-17 NIV] 

 

Time will tell.  What do you think?  Is this yet another push for a one world religion/government under the guise of philanthropy?

 

************************************************************************

 

Following is the complete transcript:

 

“Welcome to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation Faiths Act Campaign.  Faiths Act will mobilize global faith communities to come together and achieve multi-faith action on issues of crucial importance in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.  Our first goal is to end deaths caused by malaria.  Put simply, between one and three million people die of malaria each year most of them children under five and pregnant mothers living in sub-Saharan Africa.  Their deaths are preventable.  In Africa 40% of the victims are Muslim.  But across much of Asia malaria continues to strike and combating it is a huge opportunity for people across the faiths to act in unison: Hindus, Sikh, Buddhists as well as the Abrahamic faiths.  We call, therefore, on the four billion people of faith in the world to help do more to end the scourge of malaria.

 

“We can prevent such catastrophic losses with just a few simple steps.  One ten dollar [US $10.00] or five pound [GBP £5.00] insecticide treated bed net can protect an entire household.  Medications that treat malaria and prevent it from causing death are well established and could be made readily available to even the most remote infected communities.  Churches, mosques, other places of worship are ideally placed to be centers for distribution networks and community-based health education initiatives.

 

“So, the foundation is working to bring people of all faiths – and none – together to respond the UN Security General’s urgent call for universal bed net coverage by 2010.  And, our media campaign is a drive to raise one million bed nets by September the 25th, 2008, the date of the next UN General Assembly and the midway point to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

 

“It’s been one month since the Faiths Act campaign was launched and in that short time we’ve received thousands of emails from people from all over the world including the UK, US, Spain, Pakistan, Kenya, Turkey, Uganda, India, Tanzania and Chile – all people who support this cause and want to know how they can help.

 

“On our website you will find toolkits and resources that explain how you can get involved with our efforts.  Please download them and share them with your friends and family and your own in other faith communities.  Create multi-faith events and raise awareness for malaria prevention.  Become an activist for the good that faith can do in the world. 

 

“To those of you who have already begun to work, I would like to say, ‘Thank you.’  It’s only with your help that we can accomplish the tasks that are set out before us.  But, secondly, I would like to ask you to send us examples of what you’re doing within your own faith communities and those of others to help end deaths caused by malaria so that then we can share them here on the website and let others around the world be inspired by your activism. 

 

“I’ve been so impressed by many of the emails we have received detailing your individual efforts.  It’s my hope, therefore, that in sharing your ideas and stories here on the website we can motivate others as well.  Malaria doesn’t discriminate between religions and so we have to come together across faith lines to fight it.  So, please, join us to fund a million bed nets by September the 25th.  Go to www.tonyblairfaithfoundation.org to find out more. Thank you.”

             stairs-gnosis.jpgstairs-gnosis.jpgstairs-gnosis.jpgstairs-gnosis.jpgstairs-gnosis.jpg

I have two books by Ray Yungen, “A Time Of Departing” and “For Many Shall Come In My Name”. Both of these books are packed with information regarding the universal spirituality which is “preparing the world for the end of the age”.

What caught my interest in this article is the mention of Marcus Borg.  I have studied him previously because of his involvement in a seminary board which demotes Jesus to a historical spiritual man.

In September this year, a local Episcopal church about 2 miles from my home, advertised  in our local newspaper, a study group based on the book “The Meaning of Jesus” by Marcus Borg. “It explains ways to relate to Jesus in a new way.” This alone made me shudder. Also they promoted “prayer and meditation in the Celtic tradition”.

I read about apostate churches all over the country but when it happens so close to home, I weep inside because of the reality of it all.

kim

Filling the Vacuum with Mysticism

Source: Ray Yungen

by Ray Yungen

Why are the mainstream denominations so open to meditative and holistic practices? David R. Griffen, professor of theology at a United Methodist college in Clairmont, California, states:

A spiritual vacuum exists in organized religion that might he filled by theologies that draw–for better or worse–from what is called parapsychology, paranormal studies, psychic phenomena and, somewhat pejoratively, the “New Age” movement.1

New Agers have become very much aware of this “spiritual vacuum” and have directed their efforts toward filling it. Metaphysical leader James Fadiman makes the following observation:

The traditional religious world is just beginning to make changes, but it’s a slow process–denomination by denomination. When religious institutions begin to lose members year after year, they eventually become aware that they’re not meeting people’s needs. Before long they’re scurrying around looking for innovative programs and improvements.2

Even atheists have observed this trend. Science-fiction writer Richard E. Geis comments in his personal journal that:

The mainstream Christians are lip-service religions in the main, convenience religions, social religions, and they are the ones most subject to erosion and defections and infiltration and subversion. A large and successful effort seems to have been made by the occultists’ New Age planners to dilute and alter the message of most of the mainstream Christian religions.3

This is made evident by a quote which appeared in a newspaper interview with the owner of a New Age bookstore. She reveals:

A lot of people come in who are very Christian. They are looking, by whatever means, to move closer to God on an individual basis.4

This shows that a great number of people who consider themselves to be Christians have a rather dull and dreary attitude toward their faith. They are looking for something to fill the void. One of the foremost individuals who has attempted to fill this void with the New Age is Marcus Borg, professor and author of many widely read books. In one of them, The God We Never Knew, he lays out very concisely how he went from being a traditional Christian to a “mature” Christian. He relates:

I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world…. By the time I was thirty, like Humpty Dumpty, my childhood faith had fallen into pieces. My life since has led to a quite different understanding of what the Christian tradition says about God.5

Like multitudes of liberal Christians who believe as he does, Borg turned to mysticism to fill the spiritual vacuum that his way of thinking inevitably leads to. Borg reveals:

I learned about the use of mantras as a means of giving the mind something to focus and refocus on as it sinks into silence.6

This is a recurring theme in all his books, including his very influential book, The Heart of Christianity. Even though Marcus Borg would certainly not call himself a New Ager, his practices and views on God would be in line with traditional New Age thought (i.e., God is in everything and each person is a receptacle of the Divine, which is accessed through meditation).

Borg is a key example of what I am trying to convey. He is not some Hindu guru or counter-culture type personality. He represents the mainstream for millions of people in liberal churches. But his spiritual platform is pure New Age as he makes clear when he expounds:

The sacred is not “somewhere else” spatially distant from us. Rather, we live within God … God has always been in relationship to us, journeying with us, and yearning to be known by us. Yet we commonly do not know this or experience this…. We commonly do not perceive the world of Spirit.7

This perception is, of course, as I have shown [in Yungen’s book], the outcome of mantra-induced silence.

The following is another barometer of Christian tolerance to New Age ideas. The late psychologist M. Scott Peck wrote a phenomenal best seller on psychology and spiritual growth titled The Road Less Traveled. The book contains insights and suggestions for dealing with life’s problems, which is why it has generated the interest it has. But the book also incorporates the central theme of the Ancient Wisdom:

God wants us to become himself (or Herself or Itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution. It is God who is the source of the evolutionary force and God who is the destination. This is what we mean when we say that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end….

It is one thing to believe in a nice old God who will take good care of us from a lofty position of power which we ourselves could never begin to attain. It is quite another to believe in a God who has it in mind for us precisely that we should attain His position, His power, His wisdom, His identity.8

Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey [New Age occultists] could not have said it any better. Peck revealed where he was coming from when he said, “But (The Road) is a sound New Age book, not a flaky one.”9 This book, which was on the New York Times best seller list for over 400 weeks, has been incredibly popular in Christian circles for years. Peck himself said the book sells best in the Bible Belt.

What is happening to mainstream Christianity is the same thing that is happening to business, health, education, counseling, and other areas of society. Christendom is being cultivated for a role in the New Age….

This ultimately points to a global religion based on meditation and mystical experience. New Age writer David Spangler explains it the following way:

There will be several religious and spiritual disciplines as there are today, each serving different sensibilities and affinities, each enriched by and enriching the particular cultural soil in which it is rooted. However, there will also be a planetary spirituality that will celebrate the sacredness of the whole humanity in appropriate festivals, rituals, and sacraments. There will be a more widespread understanding and experience of the holistic nature of reality, resulting in a shared outlook that today would be called mystical. Mysticism has always overflowed the bounds of particular religious traditions, and in the new world this would be even more true.10

The rise of centering prayer is causing many churches to become agents of transformation. Those who practice it tend to embrace [a] one-world-religion idea. One of the main proponents of centering prayer had this revelation:

It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced…. I think it has been the common experience of all persons of good will that when we sit together Centering we experience a solidarity that seems to cut through all our philosophical and theological differences.11

In this context, we may compare all the world’s religions to a dairy herd. Each cow may look different on the outside, but the milk would all be the same. The different religious groups would maintain their own separate identities, but a universal spiritual practice would bind them together–not so much a one-world church as a one-world spirituality.

Episcopal priest and New Age leader Matthew Fox explains what he calls “deep ecumenism”:

Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions. Without this I am convinced there will never be global peace or justice since the human race needs spiritual depths and disciplines, celebrations and rituals, to awaken its better selves. The promise of ecumenism, the coming together of religions, has been thwarted because world religions have not been relating at the level of mysticism.12

Fox believes that all world religions will eventually be bound together by the “Cosmic Christ”13 principle, which is another term for the higher self.

As incredible as this may sound, it appears to be happening now. The New Age is embedded in American religious culture far deeper and broader than many people imagine. If your concept of the New Age is simply astrology, tarot cards, or reincarnation, then you could easily miss the real New Age as it pulses through the religious current. If mystical prayer continues its advance, then we could one day see, perhaps sooner than we expect, many Christian churches becoming conduits of New Age thought to their membership.

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