- By Scott MacIntyre
Beyond my occasional musings in discernment ministries, I do have a life and work full time in a para-church ministry to children, youth, and adults. It enables me the opportunity to talk to a fair number of people in the course of a year from a wide variety of evangelical persuasions.
I am constantly amazed (trust me…it’s a tough job to be in a state of perpetual amazement) at the ignorance among Christians to what is being heaped upon them in their churches. Most have heard of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, but few are aware of the iceberg of agenda that floats below the surface out of sight. Almost no one I’ve talked to has even heard of the Emergent Church, let alone Brian Maclaren. Additionally unknown is anything about Contemplative Spirituality, Mysticism, and a host of other New Age practices creeping into the church.
But while most have not heard of these things, many have been exposed to them in ignorance. Most pastors are not going to stand up and say, “Okay folks, today we’re going to do a paradigm shift in the church into Contemplative Spirituality”. Indeed, even the culpability of most pastors may be in ignorance. As they read magazines, books, and attend conferences, it is unlikely they will hear “Okay, pastor, today we are going to help you transition your church out of Bible teaching and into a pragmatic admixture of Christianity and New Age Mysticism”. Yet a pragmatic admixture of teaching is exactly what they are receiving.
Perhaps some will accuse me of arrogance at this statement, but the Church is asleep in the back seat, and many pastors are asleep at the wheel. In fact, if pastors would wake up they might discover they’re not driving, but being towed. Wake up, pastors. Wake up, Church. The people who are towing the church are no longer even proclaiming the Word of God. They are serving you a fabricated admixture of biblical and unbiblical teaching that is cloaked in terminology that appeals to our traditional evangelistic foundations. We are falling prey to church idiom while failing to understand what is actually being said. The church is being rallied to action, but that action may not even be biblical.
We in the church have been lead away from the truth of God’s Word with such incremental but deliberate slowness, that what is being taught now doesn’t rouse our sense of danger, let alone our need to be good Bereans. That is why someone who will read an article like this or other teachings calling for discernment will view it as some kind of ‘witchhunt’. But as Paul warns in 2 Timothy 3:13, we have been deceived, which means to have ‘wandered’ from the truth. When one gets lost in the wilderness, they likely did not run 180 degrees from home but wandered away a degree at a time.
So it is that the Church has wandered from the truth of Scripture. We have satisfied ourselves with the things of the world, and warmed ourselves by their fire. We have been comforted by the world’s psychology, and intrigued by its philosophy. We have developed an admixture of the world and our Christianity that attempts to satisfy both the old man and the new man simultaneously. We suppose an ability to flirt with the world without actually hopping into bed. If you don’t believe it, then take note of the agenda being proposed by the drivers of the tow truck. The priorities of the world have suddenly become the priorities of the church. And these are not only the priorities for the alleged good of mankind, but also the world’s priorities for religion. A great unification is taking place.
A non-Christian man told me recently how thrilled he was with seeing Rick Warren on one of the television interview programs. He was excited to see someone finally calling for the religions of the world to work together for the good of mankind. This man oozed with warm fuzzy admiration for Rick Warren’s ‘three-legged stool’ model of government, business, and religion working together. I quite imagine that the church (what’s left of it) will look up someday to see the butt of the anti-christ sitting upon that stool. It will be a ponderous load.
So my fellow laborers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are at a crossroads. It is time for the Church to say, “this is where I get off”, and return in repentance to the ways of the Lord. It is time we stop wandering away from the truth of Scripture. The voices of self-appointed leaders have called us away from our first love. Be more than a little skeptical of the momentum of critical mass that is now driving the church. Ignorance has a destination. Is that where you really want to go?