Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Why was a Theosophist teaching Christians about the future?

Why did evangelical leaders bring in a Luciferian Theosophist, Willis Harman, to address a 1979 Consultation on the topic of the future – when Scripture plainly teaches that our future blessed hope rests in Jesus Christ and His imminent return? Perhaps more than anything else, the presence of Willis Harman at this event indicates the serious erosion in the sufficiency of the Word of God that was already taking place in evangelical leadership circles during this time in history.

In the book An Evangelical Agenda: 1984 and beyond we learn that the 1979 Consultation’s purpose was to “enlarge the vision of God’s people and enable them to have a still more effective stewardship of time and opportunity in these critical days,” according to Hudson T. Armerding, Chairman, in his Foreword.

This Consultation represents one of the first publicly-disclosed occasions where Evangelicals and New Agers met together to address common ground. Is it possible that this event marked the beginning of the public phase of the integration of Theosophy with Christianity? Indeed it seems so, when one reads the proposals made by Willis Harman to integrate the psychic into Christianity to create a new synthesized "truth."

The Program Personnel included:

Hudson T. Armerding
William C. Brownson, Jr.
Leighton Ford
William Garrison
Gene A. Getz
Willis W. Harmon
Howard G. Hendricks
Peter J. Henriot
Donald E. Hoke
David E. Johnston
Richard F. Lovelace
Gordon MacDonald
J. Robertson McQuilkin
Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., M.D.
John M. Perkins
Larry W. Poland
Cathy Stonehouse
Ted Ward
Ralph D. Winter

Many of these leaders were well-known at the time, and many are still alive and active in evangelical transformation. Who else attended this Consultation? What did they go on to accomplish in their Christian walk over the ensuing years? Were any of them uncomfortable about their participation in this event? Did any publicly repent for their involvement? Did any warn about the mixture of error that entered into the church via these proceedings? More on this topic tomorrow….

The Preface indicates that an earlier 1977 Consultation included 84 participants, and a book of proceedings was published out of that event entitled Evangelicals Face the Future, edited by Donald E. Hoke and published by the William Carey Library for the Billy Graham Center. The Preface lists more names of evangelical leaders who helped to organize the 1979 event:

“This Consultation was chaired by Dr. Hudson T. Armerding, president of Wheaton College, and the planning and coordination was the responsibility of Dr. Donald E. Hoke – both men repeating the roles they filled in 1977. They were ably assisted by a planning committee, also chaired by Dr. Armerding, composed of: Drs. John W. Alexander, Leighton Ford, Herschel H. Hobbs, Kenneth S. Kantzer, and Ted Ward. Dr. Tom Sine performed the very key role of facilitating the ‘breakout’ study groups as they worked to write the scenarios presented in Part III of this volume.”

It is interesting that Dr. Tom Sine is commended for role as facilitator for this 1979 Consultation. Constance Cumbey warned about Sine’s New Age activities and beliefs during this same era in her 1985 book A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age “Messiah.” In a lengthy challenge to Sine's claims to be an evangelical Christian, she concludes by noting that Sine was associated closely with Willis Harman:

“Since [Sine] says he is also a member of the World Future Society, and is on a first name basis with William Irwin Thompson, Hazel Henderson, Willis Harman, and other New Agers of distinction, again, and his books advocate their programs, I fail to see just how he can plead innocence with a straight face.” (p. 114)

The Truth:

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (I Cor. 5:6b)

Tomorrow – The addresses and respondents!