How The New World Faith Has Infiltrated The Lives Of The Unsuspecting
(Finding The Narrow Path)
As I wrote in a prior letter, I had left the Christian faith early in life & for many years. It wasn’t until my 40’s that I finally became convinced that our world was intimately interfaced with a purposeful, yet unseen dimension. However, I had no idea exactly what that meant. What I do remember is standing in my kitchen one day & saying to myself, “OK, so now I’m open to believing in an involved extra-human intelligence. What am I supposed to do next?” Later that afternoon, while flipping through the radio stations in my car, an orator said something I had often heard quoted in my childhood church, “Act as if you have faith & faith will be given to you.” Goose bumps rolled down my back even though the radio dial sped past the speaker & I was unable to get more of the particulars. They really weren’t necessary. Harnessed with a degree in philosophy, I could do syllogistic logic with ease. I checked my body. It was tense all over after a crummy night’s sleep, so I ran down the list. If I had faith, my shoulders would be completely relaxed. If I had faith, I wouldn’t be concerned about where my rent money was coming from. If I had faith, I would sleep like a log that night & so on. It was a matter of manipulating both perspective & comportment. It worked. Within a short time the little miracles started happening, thereby validating my various demonstrations of newly burgeoning trust. A better way to put it is “faith was being given to me.”
Let me explain that up to this point I had only recently re-established a minor relationship with Christ. Just a baby step really. I spoke to Him this way: “Jesus, you know that I’ve had great difficulty accepting the Christian faith. The hardest part for me has always been related to your claim there is only ONE WAY to eternal life. Since I love so many people that are of different creeds & cultures this limited provision seems impossible for me to digest. However, if you exist & can tolerate my confusion & candor, I invite your protection.” Then I would also repeat the Our Father once daily. Within 2 years my life had completely &, yes, miraculously transformed for the better.
There was just one problem. I wasn’t faithful to Christ. I “dabbled” in other areas. Today I wish I had just sat down & reread the entire Bible, Deuteronomy 12 & 18 in particular, but I’m ashamed to say I did not. I didn’t understand the enormity of what I was doing. I explored Taoism briefly & Buddhism for about a year. Moreover, because I was in the health field I was thrown into all sorts of New Age practices. Once, I even went to a meeting of Zoroastrians.
What I found common to ALL these religious systems is that they were choc full of miracles & that one only had to have faith to receive them. Across the board, the leaders of these religious groups would speak about loving “God”, being good people & about the importance of supporting one another. Moreover, all meetings provided legitimate testimonies as to the many miracles their members had been experiencing. I too had experienced many miraculous events during this period & knew these people were neither lying nor deluded. Bear in mind, God the Creator was not afraid to have it scripturally documented that the sorcerers & magicians of Egypt were indeed capable of performing masterful parlor tricks. New Agers don’t even use the word 'miracle' any longer to describe the influx of coincidences that one can elicit when one places trust in the Universe. They just call it synchronicity.
As many of you know, today I maintain an uncompromised allegiance with Yeshua, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Unfortunately, however, I’ve been meeting many professed Christians who justify their belief that they are saved on the basis of the many miracles, or blessings, they experience. For these Christians miracles are primary evidence that they are God’s chosen & that they have indeed fulfilled all the salvation requirements. I try to explain that this is flimsy reasoning, that miracle seeking alone may be the broad way to destruction. Sadly, few listen.
These people invariably counter by stating they know their hearts are pure. What they usually mean by purity of heart is sincerity of heart. However, if sincerity were sufficient to place us on the narrow path why did God say, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”? Let me explain what I mean.
The foremost Biblical commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind & soul. Christ said that to know him was to know the Father. What is often forgotten is that Christ announced Himself as the the Way, the TRUTH & the Life. This is how He described His very essence. If this describes the essence of Christ than we must assume that it also describes the Father. The question is, without a sincere THIRST for TRUTH, how then can one claim to love God the Creator? Purity of heart in love will make you a good Buddhist, but it is not sufficient for Christianity. After all, Eve was pure in heart, in fact she was the most pure of all women. Nevertheless she chose the lie over Truth, did she not? Remember, Jesus told his disciples that he spoke in parables so that only a select few would understand & come to salvation. Why did he state such a thing? Was it not to separate those who were genuinely thirsty for Truth from all the other miracle seekers? If it’s not the quest for Truth that motivates you to seek God, you may well have another Father.
Christ to Pilate:
....To this end was I born, & for this cause came I into the world, that I should
bear witness unto the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth heareth my voice. (John 18:37)
Permit me to word this somewhat differently for clarification. What Eve chose in the Garden was NOT wholly evil. Remember, the tree of Knowledge was both GOOD & evil. Eve chose what today is embraced in all Eastern religions & especially in New Ageism. She chose the yin-yang, light-dark, truth-lie paradigm. This philosophical inclination currently pervades all our current cultural reasoning patterns. Certainly our churches have NOT been excluded. We have been systematically trained to believe that a mature character is politically broad & conciliatory. Truth has become relative. It is no longer light, but an interplay between light & dark. We strive to seek the middle way, the path of harmony & balance. Sound familiar?
Christian absolutism has become an embarrassment & perhaps rightly so. Unfortunately, much of the church’s moral stature was lost once it was engaged politically as America’s “Moral Majority”. Let’s be honest, since the church intensified its political involvement America has reached the pinnacle of greed & moral decay. I freely admit that mean-spirited evangelical behavior prevented me from wanting to associate with either the faith or its community of believers for many years. Since assuming its political voice, the institutional church has unwittingly transformed itself into a social pariah. The result is that the church community, partly due to the effects of power corruption & partly out of an effort to restore a degree of lost credibility, has slowly but surely bitten deeply into the apple of compromise. Suddenly some of the most prominent Christian commentators have decided that there are
“many ways” to acquire salvation & that global brotherhood trumps scriptural evidence.
As for myself I often wonder how I’ve fared in my own walk. When before the Great White Throne what will be revealed? Will I learn that most of the miracles I received throughout my Christian years actually occurred because I maintained the narrow path in the Father’s favor? Or did they occur merely because I was vulnerable to the flattering lies, seductions & delusions that were intended to throw me off course? I’m humble enough to understand it’s doubtful that all the miracles I received came because I was always on that narrow path. I just hope most of them did.
So the big question each of us must answer is why make an allegiance with Christ at all if it’s just to receive a better, more miracle-filled life? Obviously, there are other avenues to secure that aspiration. I know for most people being a Christian has to do with the promise of passing eternity in heaven. My nature being what it is, I was never enticed by that perk. The most critical thing for me has always been to stand on the side of what is right & good. I just wanted to be allied with the “good” God & for many years I couldn’t reconcile goodness with the God of the Old Testament.
The first change of heart for me came when I finally reread the New Testament relatively late in life. I found the passages that follow especially meaningful, revealing a God of the tenderest mercies. I hope they cut through you in the same way they did me:
The Son of Man (Christ) is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. (Luke 9:56)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
After that he poureth water into a bason, & began to wash the disciples’ feet, & to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: & Peter saith unto him,
“Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Jesus answered & said unto him, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Peter saith unto him, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands & my head.”….…..(Jesus) “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master & Lord & ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord & Master have washed your feet: ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:5-9;12-15)
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:33-35) “Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends……Henceforth I call you not servants…….but I have called you friends……..”(John15:13-15)
If you aren't thoroughly penetrated by the words of this oh so burdened young man who came to earth on a sacrificial mission, please read them again & again until you fully comprehend the depth of His compassion & love for us. This is where it began for me. It didn’t even matter whether he won the Ultimate Battle, just that he cared enough to do this magnificent thing for humanity. Certainly He was no hireling. Only the Creator Himself, the Ancient of Ancients, would be willing to give so completely for His creation. No god or prophet from any other faith could come close to this strength of character & divine mercy. Understanding this much was a critical stage in my journey. Today I have other realizations under my belt that keep me in position. There’s an important one I need to share with you. It happens to be an understanding only recently acquired, but relevant to all Christians. Please continue to read.
Without going into too many particulars, I will tell you that I was raised in a Pentecostal church that by today’s standards was quite conservative. Maybe one or two people would sputter a line of praise in an unknown language during prayer, but little more than that. After rereading the Bible for the second time in 2009 I sought out a local church. Predictably, I sought what I thought I understood, a tongue speaking congregation. However, things had certainly transformed during my 35-year absence. I learned that today just about EVERYBODY in the current charismatic church has the ability to speak in tongues (known as glossolalia). Moreover, they speak exclusively in languages I’ve never heard before & throughout lengthy periods of prayer. Invariably the prayer meetings culminate with many people falling down in the aisles, claiming to have been slain in the spirit. Ministers typically encourage congregants to speak their tongues throughout the course of their daily lives in order to tap into the Lord’s highest power. They also teach that to be guided by the Spirit of God is to walk in God’s favor. This much is scripturally correct. Power & guidance were both Biblically promised attributes of a Spiritual anointing. So what could go wrong? Friends, for every good thing there’s a counterfeit, a subverted facsimile. Let me tell you what happened to me.
After spending about a year in the charismatic environment, I too received “the gift”. In reality some part of me always felt like a sheep going to the slaughter. I attended services regularly in spite of the fact that I thought many of the ministering speakers & so called prophets often slipped into delusional fantasy. (Not surprisingly, I later learned that one of these questionable prophets just happened to have had a history in the black arts.) see footnote The prosperity message was the most obvious of the lies. Christ said to follow Him & take nothing. He said it was not possible to serve both God & mammon. There is simply no leeway for interpretive confusion on the matter. Then there was the adrenaline pumping, albeit unbiblical, proclamation that all congregants were eligible & deserving to enter Canaan. Meanwhile rigorous scriptural teaching was nowhere to be found. Predictably, in time one of the church leaders got caught with his hand in the till. No one spoke about it, but half the congregation walked out. Few of those that remained even realized anything unusual had occurred, suggesting secretive collusion was expertly enforced. While I didn’t leave at that point, I did stop attending Sunday morning service. It was painfully obvious that the sermons had degenerated into thinly veiled arguments intended to justify wrong behavior. (“Sometimes the Holy Spirit will ask you to do things that may outwardly look like sin, but in reality……blah, blah, blah”) Several of us remained for a while hoping to pray the leadership into repentance. Yeah, right.
Of course you must be asking why I was drawn into this environment in the first place & why I stayed even in defiance of my best judgment. I won’t go into all the reasons, but I will provide you with a couple of relevant ones. The initial attraction was of course the miracles. Remarkably, the bishop would regularly say things that were 'just for me'. I had overwhelming supernatural justification for believing I had been led there. It gives me chills to admit this but I still believe I had been led there. Secondly, I was embraced by the warmest, most generous, most colorful group of people I had ever met who wanted me to be part of their “family". see footnote
It was last August that God, my Creator, finally dropped the anvil on top of my head. I woke up one morning feeling as though I were suffocating. I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by lies &, worse, deliberate liars.
My heart was pounding & I was in a state of panic. Something was really wrong. I suddenly couldn't hide from
the realization that if I genuinely had my Creator's Holy Spirit guiding my life I should have been on the path to
all Truth. Yet I was spending much of my time arguing with otherwise intelligent people who defended the most obvious of untruths, many of which were spoken directly from the pulpit. I suddenly realized I was almost always the most honest person in the room. That couldn’t be right. I had been depending upon THEM for direction & guidance. How did this happen? How did I end up losing my way?
Then I remembered my tongues. They needed to be tested immediately, so I made the following command: “Until & unless you can declare that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Son of God the Creator & is Lord over all you may not speak through my mouth.” The spirit went mute. Now I really knew I was in trouble.
I left the charismatic church without hesitation that day. Since then I’ve learned that many people like myself have been seeking deliverance from the demonic tongues they too acquired in similar environments. In the last
6 months I’ve devoted myself to reading the King James Bible through repeatedly. So far it’s been five times. I’m passionately determined to never lose my way again. Christ’s parable having to do with being grounded in the Word is recorded in all four books of the gospel. It’s THAT important. Paul said we were required to study ourselves approved unto God. Again, the scriptures leave us no room for interpretive confusion. At this juncture I would like to provide you with an HONEST examination of the first Pentecost so you can see that it had little to do with the current phenomenon.
The first Pentecost anointing provided early Christians with the ability to speak in languages that were native to the various peoples they were commissioned to proselytize. The receiving of tongues for this first generation of saints was necessary & functional. If these particular Christians had not received the miraculous capacity to
communicate the gospel rapidly throughout the nations, Christianity would have been contained & snuffed out in its infancy. The gift of tongues not only made it possible to transmit the good news before the enemy had opportunity to regroup in opposition, it also demonstrated God’s miraculous power to prospective converts. Paul claimed to have spoken in tongues more than anybody. Could this have had something to do with the fact that he was highly involved in spreading Christ & the gospel to nations that spoke a diversity of languages & dialects? Moreover, the first anointing came upon a body of believers that were of one accord. They went as far as to have sold all their properties in order to establish a collective so that “there were no poor among them”. Let’s be honest, this describes a level of generosity & unification unseen in our contemporary culture where creative individuality & private ownership are prized well above spiritual unity. Lastly, Jesus himself told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would lead them into ALL TRUTH. Clearly if today’s churches were genuinely guided by the Holy Spirit they would be united by a single gospel rather than by the zeitgeist of political toleration & compromise. Let’s face it, only the most passionate of truth seekers are destined to invite the genuine Spirit of God into their bodily temples. Few & far between, it’s not reasonable to expect to find these people amassed into large communities. “Narrow is the path & few are those who find it.”
In closing, I ask you to seriously heed the cautionary words of John the apostle: (1 John) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” If you’re suddenly realizing that your whole life may have been constructed upon a foundation of delusion, my best advice is this—get over the denial FAST, put a metal rod up your back & ask God for a re-write. Pray incessantly to be led to ALL TRUTH. Then hold on tight for the emotional deluge to come, remembering always, “for all things work together for good to those that (genuinely) love God”. Above all, read the scriptures from Genesis through to Revelation again & again & again…..
…Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, & as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, & make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. Let them be confounded & troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, & perish: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. (Psalm 83:12-18)
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Who opposeth & exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? (2Thessalonians 2:4-5)
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the worlds. (Revelation 13:8)
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)
Footnote1: I can make no judgment as to the sincerity of this individual’s heart towards God. However, it’s unfortunate but true that a growing number of so-named church prophets are selected from today’s abundant pool of converted occult psychics. I urge extreme caution in embracing their words of wisdom & absolute avoidance in their laying on of hands during prayer.
Footnote2: Watch out. If you, like me, believe that we have entered the last days then you must also believe that not everyone engaged in this charade is unwitting. Remember, flatteries & false “I love you” hugs can be as addictive as heroine.