The Future is Now & Getting Pretty Wacky
The Assemblies of God denomination came out with a "VISION for Transformation" statement recently. It is about the same as every other "vision" statement used by churches these days for "transformation."
The futurists are big on envisioning the future, too. They are evolutionists who believe that mankind can "consciously" create his own future by envisioning it collectively. The futurists work with the New Age movement to promote the use of the metaphysical technique of "visioning" ("envisioning," "vision-casting" etc.). Psychic psychologist Carl Jung referred to it as "active imagination." Psychics believe that "visualization" will produce external effects and alter reality. Cooperative visioning is a method of "convergence" and "synergy" -- a way for humanity to evolve to a higher level of "consciousness."
So why are churches doing these New Age-driven "vision" statements? Because they were sold this technique by business gurus (including some mentioned on yesterday's post) and told that this was a necessary part of the "strategic planning process." Cloaked in the rhetoric of business, an occult methodology has entered the church. This occult technique actually entered the church much earlier with the psychological technique of guided imagery. And many Christians bought into the New Age health practice of "envisioning" cancer cells being eaten up. But with the advent of business, visioning became a collective planning exercise.
The Assemblies of God document entitled "Theological Basis for Our Paradigm Shifts," prepared by "The RoadMap Design Team" states:
"As we at the National Office contend to make the General Council a world-class ministry and workplace, the most important thing to us is What Jesus Thinks. Before we consider launching any initiatives, we want to make sure we first understand what Jesus thinks About the Issues Surrounding Transformation."
The RoadMap Design Team then proceeds to list thirteen Priorities of Jesus, one of which is quite representative of the pervasive influence of the business/transformation gurus.
"Customer Focus We live to serve our constituents, and not vice versa. Our goal is to meet their needs, not just to sell our products. To that end we will listen to and learn from them; we will build genuine, caring relationships with them. We will see our relationship with them more as consultants than a sales force." [emphases in original] [http://www.vft.ag.org/theologicalbasis.cfm]
The above statement gives whole new meaning to Matthew 21:12: "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves."
And pertaining to any guru's bold assertion that we can create (envision) our own future, these Scriptures are particularly applicable:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ays higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9)