Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New (Age) New Year 2012!

Normalizing Necromancy:
Tempting the Church to Talk with the Dead

The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world,
would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy
should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.
(Lamentations 4:12)

Welcome to the year 2012—the much-publicized year of the Mayan writings that prophesy the End of the World as we know it. But what is our spiritual adversary really up to? And how does he attempt to accomplish his plan to infiltrate and overturn Biblical Christianity, replacing it with his “new” worldview—a worldview that will attempt to scientifically prove through quantum physics that “we are all God” because God is “in” everything—a new worldview that states that humanity is about to take a “quantum leap” into a newly evolved state of being (counterfeit of “born again”) that will usher in a “New Age” of world peace. The Devil’s “Christ” —Antichrist—will, of course, be the centerpiece of this counterfeit millennium—this New World Order.

Who would have believed even just a short time ago, that today’s professing evangelical Church would be buying into this New Age deception and exponentially imploding the way it is—literally catapulting a once biblical church into the heretical panentheistic teachings of the New Age? For example:
  • Robert Schuller featured New Age leader Gerald Jampolsky on his worldwide television program Hour of Power. On another program, Schuller stated that “God is in every single human being.”
  • Schuller’s disciple Rick Warren teaches that God is “in” everything and uses Eugene Peterson’s The Message as his primary “Bible” translation in his book The Purpose-Driven Life. Eugene Peterson inserted the key to all magic and mysteries—the key occult/New Age phrase “as above, so below” that signifies that God is “in” everything—into his “translation” of The Lord’s Prayer.
  • Meanwhile Warren has developed partnerships with global internationalists. And this past year he brought on three "guru doctors" with deep ties to the New Age to direct his health care plan.
  • Rick Warren and Emergent leader Brian McLaren heretically echo New Age matriarch Alice Bailey’s teaching that prophecy is none of our business.
  • Controversial “evangelical” leader Leonard Sweet, with deep roots in the Leadership Network, introduced the New Age tactic of using quantum physics to seemingly “prove” that God is “in” everything while citing New Age patriarch Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as “20th century Christianity’s major voice.” Sweet also cites numerous New Age leaders as his “role models” and “heroes.”
  • Bible teacher Gayle Erwin endorsed Paul Young’s unbiblical novel The Shack, stating that it “teaches powerful theological lessons.” Evangelical Pastor Steve Berger describes The Shack as being “spiritually profound” and “theologically enlightening.”
  • Merging “Emergent” leaders like Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and Tony Jones have run roughshod through the church wresting Scripture from unstable souls as they demean the reality of Hell and “churchy things like doctrine.”
  • Rick Warren’s doctoral mentor C. Peter Wagner, regarding himself as a modern-day apostle, flew to Lakeland, Florida to anoint Todd Bentley—a man who kicked the “Holy Spirit” into people with his combat boots and was about to divorce his wife.
  • Wagner has set up a global apostolic movement with the goal of taking over the 7 mountains of culture in the world, and his IHOP disciples have now mainstreamed themselves into the Christian Right in America.
  • Evangelical church leaders are becoming involved in the same New Age 2012 date-setting that the New Age leaders are promoting, and some are even expecting visits from extraterrestrials
  • Rodney Howard Brown and the so-called Toronto Blessing’s mid-1990’s “Holy Laughter” revival was a sign of the times as the enemy of our souls laughed through professing Christians and mocked the church. And the latest fad is to divorce Baal!
The list goes on and on as church pastors and Christian leaders sat by in silence and let it all happen. Some even denied any of this was going on! Deceived and deceiving, today’s church, while attempting to reach the world has become the world.

Encountering the Dead

Unbelievable as it sounds, one of the latest New (old) Age temptations to confront both the world and the church is to encourage spiritual and religious seekers to talk with the dead. In this maneuver we can see the adversary’s ploy is to further open the door to a seducing spirit world (1Timothy 4:1). Demonic spirits that impersonate deceased loved ones will attempt to convey “new understandings” and “new revelations” that will contribute to a “new worldview.” This will ultimately lead to a deceptively contrived world peace. This deceptive “peace” plan was warned about in the Bible (Daniel 8:25, Matthew 24:3-5, 1 Thessalonians 5:3, 1 Tim 4:1, 1 John 4:1, Revelation 13, etc.). 

This temptation to talk and listen to the dead has already entered the church. And it is entering through mainstream evangelical doorways. Pastor Steve Berger and his wife Sarah have written a book entitled Have Heart: bridging the gulf between heaven and earth. In this book they describe how their recently deceased son, Josiah, has appeared to them and to members of their church in a variety of ways. These appearances are described as missions from God as Josiah allegedly makes visitations, worships with the church, and imparts spiritual information to those who will listen. The book then details a long series of apparitions of Josiah that have reportedly appeared to people in dreams or revelations across America. In their book, the Bergers attempt to make the case that this is normal and this is biblical—even synchronistic (what the Bergers call “God Nods”)—and that believers should expect these visitations from their loved ones from Heaven.

Bergers book endorsed by Christian leaders

If Pastor Steve Berger was an obscure pastor with a tiny congregation and a low-profile book, we would not be issuing this warning about what he and his wife are writing and what it portends for the church. But this is not the case. The Bergers have a large congregation of over 4,000 people in Leipers Fork, Tennessee and their book legitimizes and normalizes, even encourages the idea of believers interacting with the dead. It has already been featured on several widely viewed television programs like Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power and Canada’s Huntley Street. In addition to these and other venues, Steve Berger was invited to speak about his book at a 2011 National Worship Conference that featured a number of Emergent and evangelical leaders like Chuck Smith Jr., Miles McPherson, Chuck Fromm, and which advertised as a keynote speaker the “Christian” New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet. But perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of the Berger book is the endorsements of high profile leaders such as Calvary Chapel Pastor Greg Laurie and longtime Bible teacher Chuck Missler. Not surprisingly, The Shack’s author Paul Young is also listed alongside Laurie and Missler as an endorser of the book.

Walking into the New Age trap

In his 2011 novel The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision, New Age leader James Redfield tells of an ancient manuscript that describes “a secret approach to spirituality that is silently arriving in the second decade of the twenty-first century.”(p. 178) Rachel, a main character in Redfield’s book, attempts to legitimize talking with the dead as a means of getting updated information from Heaven. The dead will provide information—in the form of new revelation—that would explain God’s real plan for bringing world peace to a dangerously troubled world. Rachel explains:

“[I]f we follow the Synchronicity, we will be able to learn from those in Heaven in a direct way, and that will elevate us into the next level of consciousness.”(p. 178)

Later in that same conversation, Rachel relates an incident regarding her deceased mother:

“And then one day, without anything pointing out the way, I just decided to tell her how I felt out loud, as though she were there. Immediately, I began to intuit what she might say back to me, only I realized it wasn’t something I would necessarily have been able to guess. That’s when I realized that I was having an interaction with her.” 

“The idea of communication with the Afterlife seemed too strange at first, and I stopped for a while, but the memory of the experience was so energizing and profound, I gradually began to communicate with her more often. Eventually, she told me how much she regretted the way she had raised me to think of men. She said it was all a mistake that tormented her, and that now she holds the Agape and speaks from truth—and she wishes she had known earlier, so she could have taught me this new way.”

“…Don’t you see?... The Document says we can begin to communicate with those in the Afterlife and clear all our resentments and issues with them. All we have to do is use more of our power to tune in and have a conversation. It’s never too late. And there is so much more they want to communicate to us.”

“In fact, my mother said they desperately need to speak with us, right now, at this crucial point in history. They know the real Plan for the human world, and it’s time for us on this side to understand.”(p. 179)[emphasis added]

Because a similar kind of talking and interacting with the dead is now being introduced into the church by the Bergers, and because their book is being endorsed by Greg Laurie, Chuck Missler and others, the Discernment Research Group has asked Pastor Larry DeBruyn to do a book review of the Bergers’ book Have Heart: bridging the gulf between heaven and earth. While sympathetic to the Bergers, and to any who have lost loved ones, Pastor DeBruyn will explain how our adversary can use something like the Bergers’ tragedy to introduce new teachings into the church. To be specific, Pastor DeBruyn will scripturally refute the unbiblical practice of interacting with and listening to spiritual entities that claim to be deceased loved ones. He will also address a number of the other new scriptural interpretations the Bergers introduce to make their case that it is now normal, even desirable, to encounter loved ones that have passed on. 

Follow-up articles on the Herescope blog will expose how similar tactics are currently being used by New Age leaders to present New Revelation to convince people that the world is not coming to an end, but just to the end of the age and the beginning of the New Age. These New Age leaders argue that these new understandings and New Revelations are being brought forth through channelers, psychics, mediums—and yes, even those who have passed on.

What these deceived New Age leaders are saying is that, armed with these new revelations and understandings, the world will be able to avert what would otherwise be worldwide crisis and disaster. They say December 22, 2012 will be the first day of the new beginning, the new era—the New Age. 

Pastor DeBruyn’s article will warn how books and teachings like Have Heart can actually lead the church into this deceptive New Age scenario. 

Stay tuned . . . .

The Discernment Research Group