Christian Confusion

Christian theologian H. Wayne House explained, “the personal, ever present, but, transcendent God of the biblical revelation… God’s nearness to, yet not identity with, creation and God’s transcendence, apart from and above His creation, is the proper balance. This is the only way to avoid error.”1)H. Wayne House, Richard Abanes, The Less Traveled Road and the Bible: A Scriptural Critique of the Philosophy of M. Scott Peck, Horizon Books, 1995, p. 209-210 Note his definition of God omnipresence is “nearness to” the creation, not “in” the creation. When Wayne House’s coauthor, Richard Abanes, 10 years later defended Rick Warren’s use of perverted Bible versions that present panentheistic doctrines, Abanes wrote: “Warren’s use of Ephesians 4:6 [NCV] in The Purpose-Driven Life is an attempt to teach God’s immanence. The thrust of the passage is God’s presence not only above and beyond the universe, but also throughout it (His omnipresence).”2)Richard Abanes, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him, Harvest House Publishers, 2005, p. 95 This argument is unconvincing as the Bible version he quoted says God “is in everything” (Ephesians 4:6 NCV), not “throughout” as Abanes insists Warren was “attempt[ing] to teach”. Furthermore, Abanes acknowledged “The Purpose-Driven Life is a basic evangelical tool… It is meant first for unbelievers…”3)Richard Abanes, Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him, Harvest House Publishers, 2005, p. 77 But unbelievers do not have the indwelling presence of God so there is absolutely no justification for Warren to cite this version that teaches God “is in everything” – including unbelievers.

The context of Warren’s use of this verse is in the middle of concepts depicting contemplative prayer which further proves he meant to indicate panentheism as such a practice is synonymous with similar heresies. Rick Warren has an extensive theological education and cannot be considered ignorant in his chose of this version of the verse in question. Even his apologist admitted “The New Century Version, however, by taking the word all and replacing it with the synonym everything, is flawed.”4)Richard Abanes, A New Earth an Old Deception, Bethany House Publishers, 2008, p. 181 If Abanes will acknowledge this Bible version is flawed than so is Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life which presents this flawed theology.

The Gospel of Thomas an Ancient Gnostic text taught:

Jesus said, “I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all has come forth, and to me all has reached. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.5)The Gospel of Thomas, Marvin Meyer (ed.), The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The International Edition, HarperOne Publishers,2007, 149, 155

Another Gnostic text entitled Three Forms of First Thought, stated, “For I am in all sovereignties and powers and in angels and every movement in all mater.”6)Three Forms of First Thought, Marvin Meyer (ed.), The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The International Edition, HarperOne Publishers,2007, p. 732

At-One-Ment

Gnosticism was the Mystery Religions adapting Christian terminology, which is continued today as Warren Smith explains the New Age redefining the word “atonement.”

This “Atonement,” or “atoning,” is when each person remembers and affirms and experiences their “oneness” (at-one-ment) with God and creation.7)Warren B. Smith, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? What New Age Leaders Really Have In Store For America, The Church, and the World, Mountain Stream Press, 2011, p. 19; Originally titled Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, Concise Press, 2002; p, 10; accessible at http://www.eaec.org/bookstore/Reinventing_Jesus_Christ.pdf

This “at-one-ment” is the Eastern pagan doctrine of monism (all is one), conforming to Christian terminology. New Age author Marianne Williamson furthering this thought with biblical imagery wrote, “We are holy beings, individual cells in the body of Christ.”8)Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love, Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles, Harper Perennial, 1996, p. 32

Barbara Marx Hubbard writes that in 1966 she heard an “inner voice” that came in response to a question she had asked aloud and directed to God — “What is our story? What in our age is comparable to the birth of Christ?” After asking the question she said she fell into a dreamlike state and was given an intense vision of the future.

In the vision Hubbard saw the earth from a distance. She was made to understand that the earth was a living body and that she was a cell in its body.9)Warren B. Smith, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? What New Age Leaders Really Have In Store For America, The Church, and the World, Mountain Stream Press, 2011, p. 25; Originally titled Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, Concise Press, 2002; p, 14; accessible at http://www.eaec.org/bookstore/Reinventing_Jesus_Christ.pdf

She states, “At the co-creative stage of evolution, one self-centered soul is like a lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole.”10)Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, Nataraj Publishing, 1995, p. 255

This has been presented to millions of viewers during an interview on Oprah shortly after September 11th, 2001,

After introducing this idea of “atoning” Williamson described how she and others are gathering together in small “cell” groups (“cells of peace”) to pray for world peace. Williamson explained that as people join their hearts together through meditation and prayer, they begin to create a loving “energy field” that counters the hate and negativity being generated by the world. She explained that as the number of people consciously gathering together to create peace increases, so the strength of the “forcefield” will proportionately increase. She said that prayer becomes a “conduit for miracles” as the “forcefield” grows in strength, and as the love generated from it is “harnessed” and purposefully directed for the “good” of the world.11)Warren B. Smith, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? What New Age Leaders Really Have In Store For America, The Church, and the World, Mountain Stream Press, 2011, p. 82-83; Originally titled Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel, Concise Press, 2002; p, 47; accessible at http://www.eaec.org/bookstore/Reinventing_Jesus_Christ.pdf

   Bruce Lipton explained,

When applied to the new biology, this new math reveals that a cell, a human civilization are “self-similar” images at different levels of organization. So by studying a cell, one can learn about a human. In studying the community of cells in a human body, one can learn the nature of forming a successful community of humans that form the larger organism, humanity. Perhaps we will find the answers to saving civilization through a study of the very successful cellular civilization beneath our skin.12)Bruce Lipton, http://www.thriverightnow.com/support-files/biology-of-belief.pdf, accessed 7/27/11

New Age prophet David Spangler expressed, “To me a more appropriate symbol for the New Age is the cell.”13)David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and popular culture, Dear & Company Publishing, 1991, p. 62 Emergent church leader Leonard Sweet praises Spangler for teaching this theology.

I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership.14)Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic, Whaleprints for Spirit Venture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994, p. 312

   In SoulTsunami, Sweet said, “The coming together of the new biology and the new physics is providing the basic metaphors for this new global civilization that esteems and encourages whole-brain experiences, full-life expectations, personalized expressions, and a globalized consciousness.”15)Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, Sink or Swim in the New Millennium, Zondervan, Publishing, 1999, p. 121 “A globalized consciousness” is monism. New Age cults such as Eckankar teach this same idea and connect this “new cell” theology of Sweet with panentheism. “Eckankar teaches that every person is Soul, a particle of God, a spark of God sent into the world to gain spiritual experience.”16)Ron Rhodes, Find It Quick Handbook On Cults & New Religions, Harvest House Publishers 2005, p. 79 Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.”17)Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature”, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson in One Volume: Including The Poems, Philosophic and Inspirational Essays, and Biographical Studies, Black’s Readers Service Company, 1925, p. 529 Perverting the biblical doctrine of God’s attribute of omnipresence, Emerson writes, “The true doctrine of omnipresence is, that God reappears with all his parts in every moss and cobweb.”18)Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Compensation”, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson in One Volume: Including The Poems, Philosophic and Inspirational Essays, and Biographical Studies, Black’s Readers Service Company, 1925, p. 117

The interfaith movement is breeding this false doctrine through mysticism. One of the contributors of Fireball & The Lotus: Emerging Spirituality From Ancient Roots teaches, “We are in God, and God is within us…. But the result of this is that we cannot know God unless we first know ourselves. Thus the mystical path is one of self-understanding.”19)Jane Lukehart, “Falling in Love with the Divine: The Magic of Mysticism,” Fireball & The Lotus: Emerging Spirituality From Ancient Roots, Ron Miller & Jim Kenney, editors, Bear & Company 1987, p. 206 Another contributor indicates how the false science of evolution revolves around ancient hermetic paganism.

The term “fireball” is a standard description given by modern science to the origins of the universe…. We begin to recognize that the power in our bodies comes to us directly from the fireball at the beginning of time. And we realize that our spirituality flowers most fully when we are in contact with this fiery power, which connects us to the sources of all life.20)Beatrice B. Briggs, “Modern Cosmology and the Yoga Tradition,” Fireball & The Lotus: Emerging Spirituality From Ancient Roots, Ron Miller & Jim Kenney, editors, Bear & Company 1987, p. 275, 280

This “fireball” identifying with the big bang theory as the first cause synonymous with God as creator being the first cause being Himself expanded and dispersed throughout the universe and all that is – thus all is one, all is God.

Ralph Waldo Emerson expresses it in a poem entitled “Worship,” as “…the Universe are secured by God’s delegating his divinity to every particle…”21)Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Worship”, The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson in One Volume: Including The Poems, Philosophic and Inspirational Essays, and Biographical Studies, Black’s Readers Service Company, 1925, p. 386 Agnes Sanford said, “God actually is the flowers and all the little chirping, singing things. He made everything out of Himself and somehow He put a part of Himself into everything.”22)Agnes Sanford, The Healing Gifts of the Spirit, Fleming H. Revell, 1966, p. 27 Further confirming this heresy by repeating it in other books, she writes, “we are part of God… He’s in nature and He is nature.”23)Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light, Macamester, 1947, p. 10, 34-35 Her writings are dangerous because they are a major influence in contemporary Christianity. “Sanford was a key figure in the Charismatic Movement in the United States during the 1960s through to about 1980, mainly through her writing.”24)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnes_Sanford, accessed 9/14/11

Biblical Theology

Scripture emphatically teaches that God as the Creator is separate from His creation. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee” (Nehemiah 9:6). All things created were created for the Lord’s pleasure and to His glory. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). “Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created” (Psalm 148:5). He is the sovereign owner of all things. “The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them” (Psalm 89:11). “Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself” (Isaiah 44:24). “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrew 11:3).

God is uncreated without a beginning or end. This could not be said about His creation which will one day dissolve. Peter wrote of “the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12). He is obviously not dependent on His creation since He transcends it. For now, He mercifully holds all things together. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). This passage speaks of Jesus Christ Who is also said to be “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…” (Hebrew 1:3). This surely identifies a uniqueness of Christ’s incarnation.

Paul tells us that as Creator, God does not dwell in His creation. “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24). Paul continues his discourse, saying “though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27) which indicates God as omnipresent but not indwelling the unregenerate pagans he was preaching to. By definition, the “godless” are without God and cannot have His presence in them. It is accurate to say “The Holy Spirit resides only in the life of the believer after he or she places faith and trust in Jesus Christ with repentance and turning from sin. God is not in all people.”25)Brannon Howse, Religious Trojan Horse, Worldview Weekend Publishing, 2012, p. 216

John explains a contrast of God indwelling the Christian from spirit of antichrist “that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God is limited by His nature. He is holy and cannot have fellowship with unjustified men. Paul writes, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). Could God be such a hypocrite to demand of His saints to separate from the unclean thing while He is united to all such things with a panentheistic nature? Would He be in the rocks that are carved into false gods?

Clearly, the doctrine of panentheisim is inconsistent with God as He revealed Himself in the Bible. The prophet Elijah heard from the transcendent God of the Bible Who was not in His creation: “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12).

Warren Smith warned:

There is a tremendous push by our spiritual Adversary to get humanity to accept this New Age teaching that God is “in” everyone, and it is being taught in many churches by pastors who still consider themselves to be evangelical. This teaching has emerged everywhere and most believers are unaware of its tremendous deceptive significance.26)Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs Are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013, p. 33

Panentheism must be rejected as an utter heresy as well as all “christian” leaders who have promoted it through their false teachings. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

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