Geographical Heresies of the New Apostolic Reformation
The new doctrines arising out of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) have much to do with a theology of the spirituality of the land. Among these newly concocted heresies are:
Portals or open heavens
Prayer marches, prayer walking and Labyrinths
Confronting the powers and principalities
Each one of these new NAR doctrines, and the accompanying practices and methodologies, are not located in the Scriptures. This fact is well-established in an outstanding collection of apologetic writings posted at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com.
A Noteworthy Historical Example
These heretical doctrines above are strikingly parallel to some philosophies that began to take hold over Germany during the 1800s. As the strength of the Protestant Reformation waned, in its vacuum a pagan Voelkisch (folk) religion, a metaphysical Naturphilosophie, began to rise which was based on a theology of the spirituality of the earth.
The following quotations are from The Jung Cult: Originations of a Charismatic Movement by Richard Noll (Princeton, 1994). This book presents one of the most concise and intellectual histories of the rise of pagan movements and philosophies in pre-WWII Germany.
Count Hermann Keyserling wrote a book entitled The Travel Diary of a Philosopher (1925) which was a "volkisch exposition on how geography shapes the souls of the inhabitants of the lands" he visited. According to Noll, "Keyserling's work is. . . very much an exaltation of the mid-nineteenth-century concept of Bodenbeschaffenheit, the 'formative forces of the soil.'" (p. 93) Keyserling was also a sun-worshipper who set up a "School of Wisdom" to train a "metaphysically superior elite to lead the spiritual reawakening of the world" as "metaphysically 'chosen' agents of cultural change in the modern world." (p. 94) [emphasis added]
Carl Jung was influenced by Keyserling and authored an essay about how the "'earthly environment' shapes the human soul" for a book that Keyserling edited, Mensch und Erde [Man and Earth] (1927). Noll reports that
"The idea of Bodenbeschaffenheit gained further scientific credibility in an age of increasing materialism through a volume by the German natural scientist Bernhard von Cotta, . . .(Germany's Soil: Its Construction and Effect on the Life of Humans), published in 1853. Cotta's thesis was to demonstrate 'what influence the geological structures of countries have on their peoples.' The union of Volk with landscape, of Blut und Boden [Blood and Soil], was supported by Cotta's vision of 'ideal natural regions' that were interpreted by other volkisch commentators as justification for the idea of a German nation-state as an organic natural body. Such 'soft inheritance' was still a credible idea in some German scientific circles at the turn of the century." (p. 96) [emphasis added]
Carl Jung taught that in the evolution of mankind "the mind has been molded by earthly conditions" that pertain to "soil" and "climate" which affects their "psychic" and "physical" attributes. (p. 92) These ideas that geography shaped man's "phenotypic expression" (physiology) gave added impetus to the anti-semitic and racial purity philosophies. Jung wrote that the Jews were "not 'rooted' to the land as the German peoples are." (p. 93) Noll points out that Jung's writings served a "political use by the anti-Semitic elements in the volkisch movement to establish the superiority of the Aryan peoples of the verdant Northern Europe over those Semitic peoples whose inferior souls were shaped by millennia in the dry, arid lands of the Middle East." He even went so far as to lecture on the "'geology' of the personality" on July 6, 1925, in which he combined "evolutionary biology and the earth sciences to make his more metaphysical ideas comprehensible to his students." (p. 99)
The New Geographic Spirituality
The common denominators between the Voelkisch paganism of Germany and the modern New Apostolic Reformation are:
1) both movements stress a geographic spirituality which is applied to the physiology, culture and spirit of man;
2) both groups promised that an elite group (race) of super-spiritual men could arise from a proper alignment of these things spiritually;
3) both groups developed and implemented exhaustive surveying tools to databank population groups by ethnicity and geography in order to further religious and/or political aims.
Each teaching from the list of New Apostolic Reformation doctrines listed at the top of this post could be examined through this geographic spirituality paradigm. Below is a brief summary of the first three doctrines cited above.
Portals or Open Heavens: This heresy teaches that there are geographic locations on Earth that possess super-spiritual access to the heavenlies. A corollary doctrine teaches that intercessors can open up portals to the heavens by cleansing geographic areas of demonic spirits, including ancestral or territorial powers and principalities. As recently as Feb. 11, 2006, John Paul Jackson was teaching on the concept of "Heavenly Portals" on the Elijah List http://tinyurl.com/8bpor. He wrote:
"One of the marvelous mysteries of God is the existence of portals--doors and passageways--leading to and from the heavenly realms. When you are standing in a portal, it feels like an open Heaven. A heavenly portal is a spherical opening of light that offers divine protection by which angels and heavenly beings can come and go, without demonic interference. God has designed portals to begin in the third Heaven, travel through the second Heaven, and open upon Earth."
A solid refutation and history of this ridiculous doctrine can be found at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/threefallacies.html. The only "portal" to heaven is through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Prayer marches, prayer walking and Labryinths: Supposedly modeled after Joshua's march around Jericho, this teaching implies that if one isolates a geographical "stronghold" of the devil, that marching around it accompanied by intercessory prayer will topple or disable the geographic and/or ancestral principalities. Prayer marches and walks sadly are now easy substitutes for a courageous presentation of the Word of the Gospel. These pagan methods are replacing traditional missionary evangelism.
Labryinths, an increasingly popular form of prayer walking, are described at the www.geomancy.org website (cited in yesterday's Herescope).
"Labyrinths are a sub-class of sacred spaces. These magical single path tools are undoubtedly the most popular of the new sacred spaces that are being built today. A geomancer's job is to set the stage for the spiritual production." [http://www.geomancy.org/sac-index.html]
See the 10/16/05 Herescope post on Labyrinths for more information. A thorough explanation, history, and solid refutation of this prayer marching/walking heresy can be found posted at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel9.html
Prayer circles: In the pagan world circles are open "forms" that produce a concentrated energy for spiritual purposes. These forms are said to possess spiritual power. These forms can be geographic, or they can be man-made and created. They are a vessel or "channel" to harness occult power and create a "ritual space" for heightened spiritual activities. An extensive description of the occult use of prayer circles can be found in part two of a three-part article series by Ed Tarkowski posted at http://users.stargate.net/~ejt/circles2.htm. Be sure to read parts 1 and 3 also.
Prayer circles are a special part of the doctrine of the Latter Rain cult, particularly as it applies to the significance of using stadiums (large circles) to conduct mega-events. In a landmark article by Ed Tarkowski entitled "The Significance of Filled Stadiums," posted at http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/pgn3_sd2.htm, stadiums are seen to be a crucial mechanism to manifest the presence of God on Earth ("Manifest Sons of God" heresy). First Promise Keepers in the 1990s, and now the Global Day of Prayer -- which links stadiums all over the world via sophisticated telecommunications satellite hook-ups for added spiritual "power" -- have utilized stadiums for the purpose of "ushering in the presence and/or kingdom of God." The unity at these geographical locations is considered to be key to this spiritual "manifestation of God's glory." Background information on the Latter Rain cult "Joel's Army" heretical teachings undergirding these events can be found at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/JoelsArmy1.htm.
"Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties." (Psalm 141:4)
Next: A look at other New Apostolic Reformation heresies on the list. . .