by Steve Dines
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The term, “Delusional Christianity” has gotten me into quite a bit of trouble in the past, so let me explain what I am trying to convey.
It seems to me that scripture makes things very clear; when we deliberately deny the truth that God sets plainly before us, he gives us over to delusion. We might think of delusion as, “a fixed, false belief”.
I think delusion is a worse spiritual condition than deception, if that is at all possible. We all begin our lives in deception, we are born that way. However, and I think this is part of God’s “mystery”, at certain times in various ways, the Lord reveals Himself and His will, to us.
I grew up in a school system that sung hymns, read from the Bible and said the Lord’s prayer each morning. At age 9 years I joined a local church choir and at age 10 was “confirmed” into the Anglican Church. On and off for many years I might be in church and hear the Bible read or a sermon preached. There were certainly a number of “religious” broadcasts on Radio and TV I was exposed to, even in 1960’s Britain. But the penny never dropped.
However, in the early Summer of 1987, I had what I often refer to as a “divine intervention”. While reading some so-called “Christian Literature” (a book written by a false teacher and tracts produced by the Roman Catholic Church) the Holy Spirit spoke with me directly.
Thoroughly broken and ashamed by the words the Holy Spirit spoke to me that night, I repented of my selfish and self-absorbed thinking and asked the Lord to please forgive me. I read aloud what we often refer to today as, “the sinners prayer”.
After a short sleep I woke up feeling different somehow. I phoned someone I knew to be a Christian and told them what had happened.
That was how I got “saved”. Looking back, I had Jesus as my saviour but I did not yet have Him as my Lord. That did not happen until the end of the Summer of 1991 when my second, “divine intervention” occurred.
Again, the Holy Spirit spoke to me directly, this time from the Book of Hebrews.
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son”.
That broke me, again. Now I knew that I knew that I knew I was a son of the living God. What I did not fully understand at that time and have struggled with for many years how, is that as a son I have power to overcome my sinful nature and stop sinning
Now, at the end of 2012, the Lord is challenging me, confronting me, with His truth. The question that keeps coming to me over and over is this; do I have a false Christ and believe a false gospel?
The truth that the Lord has made plain to me over the last few years is that Jesus did not die and rise from the dead for me to be forgiven, keep on sinning and then go to heaven. No.
Jesus died and rose from the dead so that by taking Jesus at His word I am forgiven and become a son of the living God, with power to overcome my sinful nature and stop sinning.
It is only when I overcome my sinful nature that I can be acceptable as part of a wife for the son, can be a son for the Father and be part of a house for the Holy Spirit to live in.
Not only that, but if I don’t stop sinning, even though I may have preached to others concerning the Lord’s promises, I will find myself disqualified. I will not be part of the city that Abraham looked for, the city whose architect and builder is God.
Having been confronted with this truth, that I cannot continue giving in to my sinful nature and still inherit eternal life, now I must decide what I will do. For me to repent means far more than any changes I can make in my life.
Repentance means being transformed, literally “metamorphosed”, like a tadpole becoming a frog or a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Therefore, when I repent I cease to exist. When I repent it will no longer be me that lives.
Now here is where my title, “Delusional Christianity” kicks in.
If I continue to give in to my sinful nature and keep on sinning, then I will eventually be given over to delusion. While I remain deceived there is perhaps a chance of repentance, however, once I am deluded, that sounds to me like the chance of repentance is greatly reduced, perhaps even lost alotogether?
I don’t believe I am the only person hearing the truth about the finished work of Christ. I don’t believe I am the only person that the Lord is confronting with the question, “Do you have a false Christ and believe a false gospel? A Christ and a gospel of your own making?”
I think there are millions and millions and millions of us. We are being confronted with a choice; repent and be transformed or deliberately deny the truth being set plainly before us and be given over to delusion.
Delusion is so dangerous because when we are deluded we believe we have relationship with the Lord when we don’t and we believe we are serving the Lord when we aren’t.
Here is the warning I see in scripture; deception leads to delusion leads to destruction. Perhaps we might think of deception as being “wrong” about Christ and His gospel. Whereas, delusion is being “blatantly, obviously wrong” about Christ and His gospel.
When we have a false Christ and a false gospel I can only see one outcome; we will eventually be exposed to false signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect if that were possible. And I don’t want to go down that road.
While thinking about this article, I had planned to give some examples of the delusions that I see taking a grip on more and more professing Christians. But I’m going to leave that for another time, or perhaps you could add what you see happening in the “comments” section below. What I am will do now is conclude by restating what’s in my thinking at this time.
“Delusional Christianity” occurs when people willingly accept a false Christ and a false gospel. “Delusional Christianity” is the supernatural outcome of deliberately denying the truth that by taking the Lord Jesus Christ at His word, there is power to overcome the sinful nature and stop sinning. As a result of denying this truth, God gives people over to fixed, false beliefs. Without repentance, the end will be destruction.
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“Therefore, when I repent I cease to exist.” Repentance is as simple as getting alone and quiet with God the Father and telling Him you agree with his perspective on you – that you are sinful through and through, and therefore need a savior to bring you into right standing with Him. Tell Him that you know that apart from Christ that is utterly impossible. Having acknowledged that, simply ask Jesus to save you. Tell Jesus you are willing to change, but know you are unable to do it without His power in your life. Now comes the test – see if your thought process starts to change over time. The next time you sin, and you will, tell God you agree with His perspective on it. Ask Him to help you to not do it again. Over time, a few weeks to months at most, you will know in your heart whether the God who loves you gave you a good thing when you asked Him for it. Nobody will have to tell you, you will know. There will begin to be good fruit in your life. You will begin to love His word, and you will begin to want to please Him. You are only co-operating with the change, not making it. The more you begin to love God because He loves you, the more that growing love will lead you to want to please Him. The most important thing for me was this single thing – when I fail now, I run to Him, not away from Him. “When I repent it will no longer be me that lives.” Christ will come to live in you. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:16-18) “If this is true, Why must I fight to sanctify myself. Isn't that God's job?” May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Does your article mean that if I am saved and do not personally battle sin, I am no longer saved? “Is Salvation of the Lord or of man?” Guess. “Was the person who chooses to continue sinning ever saved?” Do the math. “If not, how can he be deluded when he was never called in the first place.” Does it really matter? “If he is, was the power of his final salvation contained within his own ability to control his own flesh?” Did you save yourself? Notice I did not address all the questions with scripture– that is because it is up to you to begin to seek the answers from His word. I will keep praying for you – been there myself. Robert
"Therefore, when I repent I cease to exist. When I repent it will no longer be me that lives." If this is true, Why must I fight to sanctify myself. Isn't that God's job? Does your article mean that if I am saved and do not personally battle sin, I am no longer saved? Is Salvation of the Lord or of man? Was the person who chooses to continue sinning ever saved? If not, how can he be deluded when he was never called in the first place. If he is, was the power of his final salvation contained within his own ability to control his own flesh? Thanks
Dear Steve, Yes, we can absolutely be deluded into believing we are Christians, when we are not. I agree that this is happening to millions in the United States alone. There is an entire multi-billion dollar industry (television, books, etc) in this country, led by false Christians, with the intent of breeding more false Christians. Please do not take the following comment as anything but a loving comment from someone who is concerned about your eternity. Do not write another book. You will only be emulating the very culture I just described. Please read 2 Corinthians 13:5-6, and then ask The God of the Lord Jesus Christ what you need to do to get right with Him. Of course you cannot utterly stop sinning alone, but you can purpose in your heart to turn completely away from sin. If you ask God to help you do that He absolutely will help you each and every day. God will absolutely change your heart from the inside out, but it is unlikely to happen in a way that will seem like a miracle to you. Stop looking for miraculous signs, as you seem to say you have been doing. You will know the miracle is happening when you begin to see the Lord Jesus Christ transforming you from within. Do not give up! Give your life to Christ and He, in His way will turn you into a miracle. Remember too that even though Christ was a servant on earth, we are in His service, not the other way around. If you don’t think you really want to be a servant, don’t worry about it. He will make you one I will keep you in my prayers – do your part. In love, in Christ Anonymous (no, I’m not the Holy Spirit, and I’m not an angel) Stop looking for signs and wonders!
Hello Steve, a very thought provoking article...would have to agree with you. I've seen delusion also come to people who choose to live in knowing sin, people who have walked with God for many years (perhaps they didn't really love His ways). One comes to mind....his wife fell into sin, then he was tempted himself, chose to live in a wrong situation and after 10yrs is now has buddhist leanings. I believe if you resist the Holy Spirit's convictions over and over again, you will be given over to deception and then the delusion, very sad indeed!! its one thing to be deluded by the enemy, however to have God send the delusion that is terrifying!! We must love truth, not only the truth of the Word but the truth about ourselves, in other words honesty about who we really are and how we convey ourselves before others etc, are we trying to project a certain image to others about who we are and not being open and honest....if not tis hypocrisy!! and leaves one wide open to delusion as well. God help us to love truth and to be utterly dependent upon Him, poor in spirit, knowing our absolute need of Him hourly!! the heart of man is truly deceitful it scares me very much!! Thank you brother for your insight. Linda