Monday, January 21, 2013

The Mission of Creating "the Third Testament"

as "part of the 'I AM' that we are"


An excerpt from Tamara Hartzell's new online book:

"Reimagining" God: Turning the Light off to Look for "Truth" in the Corner of a Dark Round Room

A few years ago we ran a series of excerpts from Tamara Hartzell's excellent online book, In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity posted for a free download at http://www.inthenameofpurpose.org. In the past month, she has published another excellent online book, also available as a free download. She had given us permission to re-post sections of her book. Below is a relevant discussion of the "new gospel" taught by Leonard Sweet and other evangelical and New Age leaders. Today's excerpt is from Chapter 5, p. 117.




New Lights’ mission in life, if they choose to accept it, is to continue the work of Scripture.…

“The challenge of the church in the twenty-first century is to become … a seedbed in which the texts and traditions of the faith recreate themselves in and through the body until its molecular imagination is awakened by a living God.”
(Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[i]

“How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us?
Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.”

(Jeremiah 8:8)

“Every word of God is pure:
He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
Add thou not unto His words,
lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

(Proverbs 30:5-6)


A
 mission that seeks to “continue the work of Scripture” and even “recreate” it is astounding. And yet it shouldn’t be surprising at all given that people in today’s shifting Christianity quite openly would rather make it up as they go along instead of believe and obey God and His Word. If they just make up “scripture” as they go along then they can thus justify today’s preferred “make-it-up-as-you-go-along process” of self-regulation, right?

“… for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me.” (Jeremiah 16:12)

Unabashedly preferring man’s imagination over God’s Word of truth, many people now want a fictitious “truth” and a fictitious “revelation.” And “to think connectness rather than correctness” is quite obviously today’s preferred new way of thinking. So to those in this emerging faith of intentional fictitiousness and incorrectness it will clearly be irrelevant that any creation of new “scripture” and “truth” is fictitious and incorrect.

“What if we were to think connectness rather than correctness?” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[ii]

“We were not put here to ‘keep commandments’ but to conceive beauty, truth, and goodness. We were not put here to ‘take a stand’ but to walk in the light for the greater glory of God. Biblical truth doesn’t feast on fact. It feasts on relationship and revelation, which is why eternal truth is better communicated by the fictions of parables and narratives than the facts of science and philosophy.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[iii]

“Authoritarian stances of … ‘The Bible says it: That settles it!’ … are resented.… Instead of rational argumentation over what is ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood,’ authoritarian directives over what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ storytelling is the postmodern means of governance …” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[iv]

“Your life and your community are living organisms: That word organism means they are by definition self-organizing, complex, adaptive, self-regulating systems. An organic system makes it up as it goes along.” (Leonard Sweet; bold added)[v]

Since people today prefer storytelling over believing and obeying God’s Word, they might as well just tell one big made-up story and call it “Scripture.” After all, in their unbelief they have already even reduced God’s Word itself to merely a “story” with “changeable” and “debatable” “metaphor” that can be interpreted and retold however anyone chooses. So what would be the difference?

Either Scripture is God’s Word of absolute truth or it is man’s word of relative “truth.” All we have to do is simply read the Holy Scriptures to plainly see that it expects to be believed and obeyed as the absolute truth of God. So, no, Scripture is not God’s Word of relative “truth,” as that would therefore make God out to be a liar. But, of course, that is precisely what today’s shifting Christianity is doing. And, along with choosing to believe that Scripture is relative rather than absolute, a growing number of people also do in fact believe that Scripture is man’s word rather than God’s Word. So to them there would be little to no difference between true Scripture and “truth” that is created/conceived/imagined/ invented/made up by man today.

This is especially so since they also absurdly choose to imagine that the word of man is the word of God. Accordingly, as mentioned earlier, the outpouring of high praise for The Shack actually includes: the book is one long Bible study; inspired writing from God Himself; the words spoken by God in this book are full of life; find the truth about God in The Shack; and so on. And its praise now even also includes—“this book could essentially serve as the quintessential ‘starter bible’”!

If fiction, not to mention blasphemous fiction, is seen as a starter Bible and as one long Bible study that is inspired writing from God Himself then why would anyone think twice about creating and producing new “Scripture” or new “truths of God”? The Shack is a prime example that they won’t, and they don’t. Besides, God’s Word of linear truth that divides true and false and right and wrong is “a stumbling block in the way” of today’s emerging faith of Oneness and its desired all-encompassing circle of relationship. So a mission that seeks to “create” and “conceive” a “new account of everything old” to replace the resented final answers of God’s absolute truth shouldn’t be surprising. This way people can “create” a new kind of “Scripture” to go along with today’s new kind of “Christian” and new kind of “Christianity” that are purposely emerging outside the resented “box”—i.e., outside the resented absolute truth—of God’s “old” Scripture. And, no, this “mission” to “create” and “conceive” a “Third Testament” that is “everything new about the old, old story”[vi] is not the “mission” of God—at least not the true God, that is.

“The ultimate story of the Bible, the metanarrative that unlocks the whole story, is that God is on a mission, and we are summoned to participate with God in that mission. The impulse to create, to conceive, is what lies at the heart of the missional.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[vii]

“We were not put here to ‘keep commandments’ but to conceive beauty, truth, and goodness.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[viii]

“MRI [Missional, Relational, Incarnational] is the operating software on which human life and faith were designed to run: Version 1.0 is known as the First Testament; Version 2.0 is known as the New Testament; Version 3.0 is the Third Testament, the Gospel According to … you.” (Leonard Sweet; ellipsis dots in the original; emphasis added)[ix]

“God the Creator worked through men and women of old to produce the First Testament. God the Redeemer worked through men and women of the first century to produce the Second Testament … God the Spirit and Sustainer wants to work through New Lights of the twenty-first century to produce the Third Testament--our ‘new account of everything old.’

New Lights’ mission in life, if they choose to accept it, is to continue the work of Scripture.…

“The challenge of the church in the twenty-first century is to become … a seedbed in which the texts and traditions of the faith recreate themselves in and through the body until its molecular imagination is awakened by a living God.

“Every believer, every body of Christ is called to become the Third Testament. Philosophical theologian/science watcher Philip Hefner captures wonderfully our simultaneous status as dependent creatures and free agents in his recommendation that human beings be thought of as ‘created co-creators.’ God has chosen to work in partnership with us in the ongoing drama of creation.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[x]

“As co-creators with God, inventing new forms of energymatter (information) is a part of the ongoing work of creation.” (Leonard Sweet; parentheses in the original; emphasis added)[xi]

“For the common sense to be the common good in the postmodern era, it must come to respect the authority of intuitive modes of knowing.…

“It is through creative intuition that postmoderns continue the work of divine creation.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[xii]

“With the crooked lines of our lives God is wanting to write ‘a new account of everything old,’ a Third Testament.…

The Third Testament calls us to imitate and participate in God’s creativity

“Quantum spirituality is nothing more than your ‘new account of everything old’--your part of the ‘I Am’ that we are.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[xiii]

So, with astronomical arrogance (to say the very least), not only does man want to “produce the Third Testament” and to “continue the work of Scripture” in “our ‘new account of everything old’” as “co-creators” in “partnership” with God “in the ongoing drama of creation” (the “drama of ‘doing God’[xiv]), but man wants to “participate in God’s creativity” in the belief that man’s attempt to “continue the work of divine creation” is man’s “part of the ‘I Am that we are”! Although unbelievable, this is indeed what Oneness/panentheism’s lie of being “One with God” boils down to.

There is only One of Us. You and I are One.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” emphasis added)[xv]

“… there is no separation in God’s World—that is, nothing which is not God …

“You cannot be separate from Me, for I Am All That Is.…

“You and I are One. We cannot be anything else if I Am What I Am: All That Is.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” emphasis added)[xvi]

My Beingness is in everything. Everything. The All-ness is My Expression. The wholeness is My Nature. There is nothing that I Am Not, and something I Am Not cannot be.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” emphasis added)[xvii]

And, therefore, in Oneness everything is “part of the ‘I Am’”—i.e., of the immanent “God” that is/is in “All That Is.”

“You are, have always been, and will always be, a divine part of the divine whole …” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xviii]

“Your thought about yourself is that you are not good enough, not wondrous enough, not sinless enough, to be a part of God, in partnership with God.…

“For your grandest wish—and My grandest desire—was for you to experience yourself as the part of Me you are. You are therefore in the process of experiencing yourself by creating yourself anew in every single moment. As am I. Through you.

Do you see the partnership? Do you grasp its implications?

Think, speak, and act as the God You Are.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xix]

Create your own truth.

“In this will you experience Who You Really Are.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xx]

“Remember, Change is a process called Life. The decision to change things is the decision to live.…

“It comes not from dissatisfaction, but from passion. The passion OF Life for MORE Life.…

In this, and in all things, you are making it all up. That is, you are creating it on the spot. You are the Creator and the Created.(the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xxi]

“You cannot create a thing—not a thought, an object, an event—no experience of any kind—which is outside of God’s plan. For God’s plan is for you to create anythingeverythingwhatever you want. In such freedom lies the experience of God being God—and this is the experience for which I created You. And life itself.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xxii]

“In a word, God is freedom.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God”)[xxiii]

“Freedom is what you are. God is that, and you are that. That is the essence of what you are.… It is the essence of your being.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God”)[xxiv]

Sadly, more and more people in today’s shifting Christianity are eagerly participating in the creative process of this emerging faith that is “making it all up” as both “the Creator and the Created.” They are determined to create and conceive new “truth” that people are willing to accept—i.e., “truth” that gives people their desired freedom from the “old” linear truth that divides “what is ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood’” and “what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’” And what better way for people to achieve this desired “unencumbered” freedom “to simply ‘be,’” than to choose to rewrite, or “recreate,” the Word of God with their own lives (lived however they so choose of course)?! And since this merging and emerging “Christian”/New Age faith of Oneness/panentheism is replacing believing and obeying God and Jesus with being and doing God and Jesus, people can thus conveniently make it all up as they go along.

“Missional is who you are, because it is who God is.…

“The missional thrust begins in the very being of God. God goes out in love to create the cosmos: ‘Let there be light.’ The missional bent is there from the beginning.…

“The impulse to create, to conceive, is what lies at the heart of the missional.…

“Even though the word itself is an adjective, missional is all about verbs, not nouns, because only missional ‘loving’ gives meaning to our existence.…

Drama comes from the Greek word dran, which means ‘to do.’ The incarnation is all about God’s drama of ‘doing God,’ God’s drama of love.… God did God. God lived in our midst and loved us and invited us to ‘do God’ along with him.

“‘Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.’ My translation of ‘Go Make Disciples’ is ‘Go Do Me.’ Is this not the second-best mission statement in the Bible: ‘Go Do Me’? Doing the gospel is primary speech; talking about the gospel is secondary speech.… To ‘Go Do Me,’ to ‘doing God’ by doing good, I must be simultaneously seeing, following, and being Christ. I have no theology to impart, no biblical interpretation to argue, no agenda to accomplish. I only have my life.…

“Jesus says, ‘Go Do Me.’ Go be Jesus.” (Leonard Sweet; bold added)[xxv]

“Each one of us is free to become Jesus, a living truth, …” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[xxvi]

“The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” emphasis added)[xxvii]

“Therefore, entreat those who would live the New Spirituality to consider every book sacred and every messenger holy, even as they, themselves, are holy, and as the living of their own lives writes the book of their most sacred truth. Remember that always.

The living of your own life writes the book of your most sacred truth, and offers evidence of it.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” emphasis added)[xxviii]

“[E]very body of Christ is called to become the Third Testament.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[xxix]

“When you agree to spread the word, to carry the message that can change the human heart, you play an important role in changing the human condition.…

It is something you are ‘being.’

“You carry the message as you, not with you. You are the message!

Your message is your life, lived. You spread the word that you are.

“Is it not written: And the Word was made flesh?

“You have My word. You have My word, in you. You are, quite literally, the Word of God, made flesh. Now, say but the word, and your soul shall be healed. Speak the word, live the word, be the word.

“In a word, be God.…

“I’m telling you Who You Really Are.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xxx]

“With the crooked lines of our lives God is wanting to write ‘a new account of everything old,’ a Third Testament.…

“… your part of the ‘I Am’ that we are.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[xxxi]

“Missional … is living a life born in the very being of God.” (Leonard Sweet; emphasis added)[xxxii]

Again, in this emerging faith of panentheism/Oneness there is a reason why verbs are replacing nouns. And, no, the “era of the Single Savior” is not over. Only the era of believing in the single Saviour is over. Among other things, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is being replaced in our post-truth era with “being Christ.” Yes, we are to be “doing good” and to be “loving,” but we cannot “be” and “do” God and the Lord Jesus Christ! To be loving and to do good is not to be and do so as God, as Jesus, as Christ but, rather, as ourselves in obedience to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. They are not the same thing!

In his “do” Jesus (“Go Do Me”), “be Jesus,” “being Christ,” “do God,” “in the very being of God,” and “your part of the ‘I Am’ that we are,” Leonard Sweet dances around openly saying be God or being God. Yet this is clearly implied in what he does say. And to say “be Jesus” and “being Christ” is no different than to say “be God” and “being God,” regardless of whether or not whoever says it believes the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. In any case, Sweet’s teachings and mission, as well as his shift from “Go Make Disciples” to “Go Do Me,” all take being a doer of the Word to a whole new dimension on many levels! And, as will be addressed later, to believe that man creates and becomes “the Third Testament” is as eternally significant as the rest of this emerging faith in which everything is changing on purpose.

Incidentally, Sweet writes: “My translation of ‘Go Make Disciples’ is ‘Go Do Me.’ Is this not the second-best mission statement in the Bible: ‘Go Do Me’?” Since when is “Go Do Me”—Sweet’s own “translation”—a “statement in the Bible”?! Would this be part of his intention “to continue the work of Scripture”? After all, according to the seducing spirit world:

Divine inspiration is the birthright of every human being.

“They [‘your religions’] have told you … that only a very few among you have achieved a level of worthiness to be inspired directly by God—and that all of those people are dead.

“They have convinced you that no one living today could possibly achieve that level of worthiness, and, hence, no book written today could possibly contain sacred truths or the Word of God.…

“Because to tell you otherwise would be to leave open the possibility that another master, another prophet, another messenger of God could come along, bringing new revelations and opening you to new understandings—and that is something that already established organized religions could not abide.” (the seducing spirit calling itself “God;” bold added)[xxxiii]


“Through Thy precepts I get understanding:
therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.”
(Psalm 119:104-105)


Endnotes:
[i].Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pp. 255-257.
[ii].Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful, p. 139.
[iii].Ibid., p. 111.
[iv].Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pp. 273-274.
[v].Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful, p. 43.
[vi].Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 259.
[vii].Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful, p. 58.
[viii].Ibid., p. 111.
[ix].Ibid., p. 37.
[x].Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pp. 255-256.
[xi].Ibid., p. 133.
[xii].Ibid., pp. 296-297.
[xiii].Ibid., pp. 260-261.
[xiv].Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful, p. 59.
[xv].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God, p. 23. Cited from Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, by Warren (B.) Smith, (Ravenna, OH: Conscience Press, 2002), p. 23. [Note: Smith’s book has been republished as False Christ Coming – Does Anybody Care?: What New Age leaders really have in store for America, the church, and the world (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2011), and this quote is on p. 41.]
[xvi].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, pp. 56-57.
[xvii].Ibid., p. 50.
[xviii].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, p. 28.
[xix].Ibid., pp. 75-76.
[xx].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 3, p. 341.
[xxi].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God, pp. 138-139.
[xxii].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God, Book 1, p. 61.
[xxiii].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God, p. 145.
[xxiv].Ibid., p. 342.
[xxv].Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful, pp. 57-60.
[xxvi].Ibid., p. 114.
[xxvii].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations, p. 157. Cited from Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church, by Warren (B.) Smith, p. 62.
[xxviii].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God, p. 208.
[xxix].Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p. 256.
[xxx].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God, pp. 394-395.
[xxxi].Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pp. 260-261.
[xxxii].Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful, p. 27.
[xxxiii].“God,” as quoted by Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations, p. 11.

Several hyperlinks and color emphases were added to this text to enhance its re-posting.
The next section of this chapter is titled: “It is through creative intuition that postmoderns continue the work of divine creation”