the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter time
shall depart from the faith….
The scriptures speak of a time when a falling away, a great departing, from the faith will occur. This departing is foretold to happen during the Latter Time (1 Timothy 4:3-4, 2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Few will argue that we are living in that
It is written in scripture, that those who are involved in the latter-day departing will not endure sound doctrine and will turn away from the truth to follow lies. Because of this, they risk being turned over to a strong delusion, because they choose to believe the lie. Latter-day apostates will not receive a love of the truth, and their doom will be sealed forever (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).
The consequence of not receiving a love of
the truth is nothing to take lightly.
Those who fall away in the latter time will not necessarily do so to live overtly sinful lives, although some will. Instead, they will forsake the simplicity of Christ for a seductive counterfeit. They will sincerely believe they are following Christ but will find out, too late, that it was another Jesus and another gospel, not the Jesus of the Bible or the biblical gospel that they were following (Matthew 7:22-23, Galatians 1:6-9 ).
Within the past several decades, unbiblical New
Age teachings and practices have advanced at lightning speed through the Body
of Christ. Several movements have supported this. Leaders of these movements claim
to promote unity but actually do just the opposite by creating an “us and them”
mentality between those who perceive themselves as more spiritual than others they
feel are merely religious.
movements corrupt believers from the simplicity of Christ by weaving unbiblical
precepts and practices into the very fabric of their lives and faith.
Due to large monetary grants, aggressive
promotion through the efforts of well-known church leaders, large ministries, vast
interdenominational networks, media, and internet exposure, no group, church,
or denomination has been spared the influence of what this author calls, New
Unbiblical teachings and practices are presented in such subtle and seductive ways that a shift from one position or one belief system to another (paradigm shift) begins to take place within the hearts and minds of those who are drawn to and embrace the concepts taught through these movements.
Once this happens, the shift to an experiential belief system begins to
take precedence over faith in the written
Word of God. The danger of becoming apostate then becomes a very real
possibility if not acute.
Additionally, these movements have the
devastating effect of drawing many into church membership without ever coming
to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. They are drawn to and embrace a
spirituality, a form of godliness, that
has no saving power whatsoever.
Almost all prominent proponents of the
Church Growth Movement promote New Age spirituality to some degree or other.
Leaders of this movement have endorsed spiritual formation programs which are
filled with New Age teachings. These programs are designed to draw large
numbers of new members and have been implemented within every major
denomination, seminary, and Bible college.
Spiritual Formation is defined as, the teaching and application of “spiritual
disciplines.” Seminary graduates of every doctrinal persuasion are trained
in ever increasing numbers to introduce spiritual disciplines into the lives
and prayer habits of those within their spheres of influence.
The term “spiritual discipline” causes the
average believer to think of a disciplined prayer life and regular Bible
reading, things which should be a part of every believer’s life. But the term
does not usually refer to these things. Instead, it almost always refers to
that of incorporating some form of mantra meditation, called contemplative prayer (also called
breath prayers, praying the names of God, soaking prayer, centering prayer, Lectio Divina, etc..) into the practice
of the Christian faith.
These are Eastern forms of meditation deeply
rooted in pagan religious systems that have been “Christianized” to make them
palatable to those who claim to follow Christ. They cannot be found in the
scriptures, indeed are warned against in the scriptures, yet many churches are
introducing spiritual formation via contemplative prayer into even their children’s programs.
Mantra meditation, also called contemplative prayer,
is one of the practices promoted by Spiritual
Directors in leading church members onto the slippery slopes of Spiritual Formation.
The movement for Spiritual Formation is not biblical. It originated within Roman Catholicism and is part of the Ecumenical Movement, which is not the simple and harmless unity movement people think it is. Since the 1960’s and 1970’,s the Spiritual Formation Movement has made its way into Protestant denominations. Conservative protestant denominations along with Charismatics, Pentecostals, and non-Pentecostals are influenced through almost identical Spiritual Formation programs.
Read Part Two HERE
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