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** 100th BOOKLET FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS! ** Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?

BKT-SWEET-sEditor’s Introduction Note: It is very fitting that our 100th Booklet is about emerging-church leader Leonard Sweet. Many of you may not know who he is or know very little about him, but his influence in the church has been significant. He is a prolific author who has been writing popular books since the 1990s, has worked closely with many Christian leaders such as Rick Warren, and has been very involved in teaching college-age evangelical students.

Sweet is currently organizing and co-hosting an event in Germany taking place in October called Luther 2017. Sweet has brought on board with him at the event Christian figures including Dr. George Wood, head of the Assemblies of God denomination, Dr. Gustavo Crocker, one of the General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene, Dr. Jo Anne Lyons, head of the Wesleyan denomination, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and several other major Christian leaders from around the world.

Important to note is Sweet’s newest book, Jesus Speaks, published by the same publisher (Thomas Nelson) as Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling and released this past summer. Jesus Speaks is touted by Sweet and co-author Frank Viola as “the practical sequel” to Jesus Calling that “gives you the practical steps to have your own ‘Jesus Calling’ experience.” As Warren B. Smith has documented in his book “Another Jesus” Calling, the Jesus in Jesus Calling is a false Christ.

And so the great deception happening in the church today continues. Popular proclaiming Christians introducing believers and unbelievers alike to false Christs and a “more magnificent way of seeing Christ” but, sadly, a way that does not point people to the true Jesus Christ at all. Once you read this booklet below, you will understand the direction Leonard Sweet is taking the church and why this cannot be ignored.

NEW BOOKLET: Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ? by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?

By Warren B. Smith

To survive in postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth.1
—Leonard Sweet

Who is Leonard Sweet?

Leonard Sweet is an ordained Methodist minister who is presently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is also a visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. On his various websites, he is described as a “scholar of American culture” who has authored over 60 books and 200 articles and has published over 1500 sermons. A “Phi Beta Kappa graduate,” he is a “frequent speaker at national and international conferences, state conventions, pastor’s schools, retreats” and “serves as a consultant to many of America’s denominational leaders and agencies.” Descriptive terms such as “distinguished,” “most influential,” “widely quoted,” “highly sought after,” and “the Picasso of Preaching” give visitors to his website the distinct impression that this is a man they should definitely pay attention to. And many people are doing just that.

Day-to-day believers may or may not be familiar with Leonard Sweet, but many in Christian leadership are very familiar with this self-described “semiotician.” According to his website, a semiotician is someone who “sees things the rest of us do not see and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining.” And as a “cultural futurist” and “Christ follower,” he seems to be very comfortable assuming the role of a postmodern prophet who provides hip observations of what is and what will be. His mission is to help the church become more culturally relevant in the 21st century. However, as he attempts to walk the narrow line between the Gospel and the world, he frequently walks over that line into the false teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality. When he does, legitimate questions need to be raised about what he is doing.

In June 2010, Sweet became the object of a swirling controversy, and his name suddenly disappeared from the list of scheduled speakers at a National Worship Conference taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The controversy centered around the New Age implications of many of the quotes and teachings found in his 1991 book Quantum Spirituality: A Post Modern Apologetic. Prior to the conference, a number of people were starting to ask pertinent questions about Sweet and what he was teaching. In my 2009 book A “Wonderful” Deception, I wrote three chapters on Leonard Sweet and the obvious New Age implications of what he was teaching. In the first chapter on Sweet, I described some of my initial impressions regarding this man, and in particular, his book Quantum Spirituality:

Highly intellectual and well-read, Leonard Sweet almost dares you to keep up with him as he charges through the spiritual marketplace. Operating at lightning speed and quoting from countless books and articles, he will impress many readers with his quick wit and spiritual insights. However, as he treacherously dives into New Age waters and challenges his readers to go there with him, serious problems arise within his “postmodern apologetic.”

In reading Quantum Spirituality, I recalled the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus warned that you can’t serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Leonard Sweet may be a professing evangelical Christian, but he also simultaneously praises New Age authors and their teachings.2

Sweet’s “Response” to Critics

Keenly aware of the controversy he has created, Sweet has a statement prominently posted on his present home website titled—“A Response to Recent Misunderstandings.” While his attempt to explain himself might satisfy the uninformed reader, his “Response” does not address the specifics of what he has written and is actually teaching. His simplistic denunciation of the New Age is unconvincing. His statement that the “New Age rhymes with sewage” and his encouraging the use of a “daily ritual of starting the day by standing in front of a mirror and saying: “God is God and I am not” do not speak to the fact that he has never even addressed, much less renounced, the specific New Age teachings that he was otherwise appearing to deny and disparage. And his stating “back when the New Age was a movement” completely misses the fact that the New Age movement never went away. Those of us who came out of New Age teachings and have been observing the New Age over the past several decades know that contrary to Sweet’s claims, the New Age movement has actually grown exponentially and is now mainstream and an inherent part of our culture. Due to its continued wide-spread growth and influence, the New Age threat to the church (and the world) is larger than ever before. But now it is just hiding in plain sight behind the facade of other names like “New Spirituality,” “New Worldview,” or in Sweet’s case—the “New Light” teachings of a “Quantum Spirituality.” But by any other name a rose is still a rose and the New Age is still the New Age.

Because Sweet’s “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings” left so many unanswered questions and because of his continued influence in the church, it seems imperative that thoughtful Christians take a deeper look at what Leonard Sweet is really teaching. For starters, here are five immediate concerns to consider.

FIVE IMMEDIATE CONCERNS

1) Leonard Sweet teaches the New Age doctrine of “Immanence” that would have the church believe God is “in” everyone and everything

In her 1948 book The Reappearance of the Christ, New Age matriarch Alice Bailey and her spirit guide Djwhal Khul describe how the path to their New Age God will be based on an “immanent” God that is “within every form of life”:

. . . a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life. These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest.3 (emphasis added)

Likewise, in his 1980 book, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, New Age channeler Benjamin Creme, states that the New World Religion will be based on the proposition that “Christ” is “immanent”—“in man and all creation”:

But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.4 (emphasis added)

In Leonard Sweet’s 1999 book SoulTsunami—with its front cover endorsement by Rick Warren—Sweet introduces this same New Age idea of God not only being transcendent but also immanent. He writes:

To survive in postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth. It should not be hard, since Christianity has always insisted on having things both ways. Isn’t it based on the impossible possibility of Jesus being “beyond us, yet ourselves” (poet Wallace Stevens)? Biblical theological is not circular with a fixed center, but elliptical, revolving around the double foci of God’s immanence and God’s transcendence.5 (emphasis added)

Sweet clearly spells out what he means by “immanence” in his 1991 book Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic. As a self-described “radical,” he presents his “radical doctrine” that God is immanently embodied “in” His creation. He writes:

Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation. . . . But a spirituality that is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian.6 (emphasis added)

But Sweet’s “radical” panentheistic doctrine is a key New Age teaching—as is so much of what he wrote in Quantum Spirituality. In his “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings,” Sweet tries to dispel questions about Quantum Spirituality by saying, “Would I write the same book today? No. Would I say the same things differently? Yes. I started working on the book in my late 20s. I hope I’m older and wiser now.” But when it comes to the New Age implications of what he is teaching, he is not any wiser in regard to his previously stated New Age doctrine. In several subsequent books, Sweet reintroduces his New Age doctrine of immanence—that God is immanently embodied “in” His creation. For example, in his 1999 book Soul Tsunami, Sweet writes:

Postmodern evangelism is first of all telling people how special they are, how much God loves them, how unique each and every one of them is. The fourth-century theologian Athanasius said in one of his letters that God became one of us “that he might deify us in Himself.” Similarly, elsewhere he wrote that Christ “was made man that we might be made God.”7

In Sweet’s 2010 book Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, he expresses in different words what he wrote in Quantum Spirituality about the “embodiment of God in the very substance of creation”:

An incarnational God means that God-stuff is found in the matter of the universe.8

In this same book he also wrote, “Nudgers help people discover their inner Jesus.”9 But God is not “in” everyone and everything. Jesus is not “in” everyone and everything. Sweet may seem to denounce the New Age, but what he is teaching is New Age. This is dangerous and unbiblical leaven. The apostle Paul lamented that it only took “a little leaven” to lure the Galatians away from the Gospel they once knew so well.

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

God states in the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The New Age “God” who is “in” everyone and everything is another “God” and therefore a false God. Contrary to Leonard Sweet’s teaching in Quantum Spirituality, God is not embodied in His creation. Contrary to his teaching in Nudge, “God-stuff” is not found in the matter of the universe, and everyone does not have an “inner Jesus.” Scripture is very clear. Man is not God because God is not “in” everyone and everything. In Jeremiah 16:20, God warned: “Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” In Matthew 23:12, Jesus warned, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” For further scriptural references on why God is not “in” everyone and everything and how this false teaching has entered both the world and the church, see my booklet Be Still and Know that You Are Not God.

2) Leonard Sweet describes the “Father” of the New Age Movement” as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice”

Sweet describes heretical Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin—the “Father of the New Age Movement—as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”10 In her best-selling New Age classic, The Aquarian Conspiracy, author Marilyn Ferguson describes Teilhard de Chardin as “the individual most often named as a profound influence by the Aquarian Conspirators who responded to a survey.”11 He is also the most frequently referenced New Age leader in her book. The Teilhard quote “This soul can only be a conspiracy of individuals” is found on the very first page of her book and inspired her to title her book The Aquarian Conspiracy. Ferguson wrote that “Teilhard prophesied the phenomenon central to this book: a conspiracy of men and women whose new perspective would trigger a critical contagion of change.”12

Evident in his posted “Response,” Sweet appears to be baffled by everyone’s concern about some of the things he is writing. He seems to take any criticism as a personal attack. But this criticism, if you will, is not about him personally, it is about what he is teaching. Jesus didn’t say “Get behind me Satan” to Peter because he thought Peter was Satan. He said “Get behind me Satan” because of what Peter was saying. And because Sweet describes the “Father of the New Age movement” as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice,” I believe the Lord would tell Leonard Sweet the same thing today. This should become especially evident when you read the following unbiblical statements made by Teilhard de Chardin in his book Christianity and Evolution:

What I am proposing to do is to narrow that gap between pantheism and Christianity by bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of pantheism or the pantheistic aspect of Christianity.13 (emphasis added)

The cross still stands . . . But this is on one condition, and one only, that it expand itself to the dimensions of a New Age, and cease to present itself to us as primarily (or even exclusively) the sign of a victory over sin.14

I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe.15

I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await, is the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution.16

[I]f a Christ is to be completely acceptable as an object of worship, he must be presented as the saviour of the idea and reality of evolution.17

A general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who fundamentally satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived.18

Teilhard Again?

Sweet’s affection for Teilhard de Chardin surfaced again in his 1999 book Aqua Church. After quoting a strong Bible-based stanza from the hymn “Jesus Savior Pilot Me,” Sweet follows it with a very revealing quote from Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard stated that those who “see” Christ as he does understand Christ in “a much more magnificent way” than all those who went before him:

Christ is in the Church in the same way as the sun is before our eyes. We see the same sun as our fathers saw, and yet we understand it in a much more magnificent way.19

Really? Teilhard and his followers understand Christ in a much more magnificent way than their “fathers”? More than all the martyrs? More than the original disciples? This seems to indicate that Teilhard and Sweet and their “semiotic” emergent postmodern “Christ followers” are “seeing” something about Christ that the rest of the church does not see. Would Sweet have the church believe that Chardin’s seemingly updated New Age “Christ” is the real Christ? Is the “semiotic” Sweet trying to show us that if we adopt the New Age teachings of Teilhard, we, too, will “see” Christ in a “much more magnificent way” than the Christians who came before us? Sadly, it would seem that this is so.

Sweet seems to believe that with new understandings from quantum physics, a New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality/Quantum Spirituality would enable Christians to see Christ in a much deeper and “more magnificent way.” The church would finally understand that the science of quantum physics proves that God is an energy force that interpenetrates and embodies His creation. Therefore, we are all “connected” because we are all “God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Sweet argues that Christians of the past weren’t ready to deal with things like quantum physics, quantum wavelengths, and the New Age implications of a Quantum Spirituality that would totally transform their faith and challenge everything they thought they knew about being a Christian. In his 2016 book Jesus Speaks, Leonard Sweet writes:

The Holy Spirit brings Jesus’ voice to life through history, theology, science, and social experience. Jesus told the disciples, “I have much more to say to you” (John 16:12). In other words, Jesus was saying, “You can’t handle everything I have to say to you right now. Some of my truth has a wavelength, and it needs time, maybe even centuries, to play itself out.20

But this implies that God’s Word is incomplete and insufficient and therefore in need of new revelation. This is simply not true. Besides, when Jesus said “I have much more to say to you, He was talking to His disciples—not to the church today. It is also important to notice how Sweet conveniently squeezed “wavelength” into his interpretation of Jesus’ words to set up his Quantum Spirituality. But Jesus wasn’t withholding spiritual insights that would have to be delivered to His people two thousand years later. This kind of false teaching is an inherent part of the New Age deception. The fact is Jesus has already given us everything we need to know in His Holy Bible.

Jesus warned of false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). And there would be those who honor Him with their lips, but their hearts would be far from Him (Matthew 15:8). He also warned of those who serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Psalm 144:11 warns of vain men who deceive with the “right hand of falsehood.” In Psalm 12:2, David warned of those who speak with a “double heart.” In James 1:8, James taught that “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. In 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul referred to these same men as “double-tongued.” For Leonard Sweet to exalt the “Father of the New age movement”—Teilhard de Chardin—and suggest that Teilhard’s way of seeing Christ is a “much more magnificent way” than our forefathers is to fall prey to our Adversary’s deceptive devices. One thing is for sure: The New Age movement hasn’t gone away—it has entered the church through men like Teilhard de Chardin and those like Sweet who exalt him as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”

(3) Leonard Sweet Praises New Age leaders as his “Heroes” and “Role Models”

While some Leonard Sweet defenders argue that his postmodern “New Light” apologetic flies right over the heads of “Old Light” “fundamentalist” types, the facts tell a different story. But what one learns in reading Quantum Spirituality is that Sweet wants to transform biblical Christianity into a Quantum Spirituality that is, in reality, a New Age/New Spirituality. Without any apology, Sweet writes that he is part of a “New Light” movement, and he describes those he especially admires as “New Light leaders.” But many of Sweet’s “New Light leaders” are New Age leaders who are in the process of overturning biblical Christianity through obliging New Age sympathizers like Leonard Sweet.

Sweet’s New Age “role models and heroes”

In the acknowledgments section of Quantum Spirituality, Leonard Sweet expresses his deep gratitude and admiration to various “New Light leaders” whom he openly praises as “the most creative religious leaders in America today.” But many of these “New Light leaders” are New Age leaders. Included in this group are a number of men I was very familiar with from my years in the New Age—among them are Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, and M. Scott Peck. Sweet describes these three men—along with numerous other New Age figures cited—as “extraordinary” and “great” New Light leaders. He goes so far as to say that they are his “personal role models” and “heroes” of “the true nature of the postmodern apologetic.” Sweet writes:

They are my personal role models (in an earlier day one could get away with “heroes”) of the true nature of the postmodern apologetic. More than anyone else, they have been my teachers on how to translate, without compromising content, the gospel into the indigenous context of the postmodern vernacular.21

But many of the men and women Leonard Sweet cited have compromised the “content” of the Gospel by translating it into the “postmodern vernacular” of a New Age/New Spirituality. For example, Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, and M. Scott Peck have all played leading roles in the initial establishment and popularization of today’s New Age/New Spirituality movement. But rather than commending these New Age/New Light leaders, a self-professing Christian leader like Sweet should be warning the church about them. A brief look at these three “New Light” leaders and their teachings will make this very clear.

Willis Harman (1918-1997)

Willis Harman is listed as one of the most influential Aquarian/New Age conspirators in Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy. Harman was a social scientist/futurist with the Stanford Research Institute and one of the chief architects of New Age thinking. He wrote the book Global Mind Change:The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think. A review by The San Francisco Chronicle on the front cover of the book reads: “There never has been a more lucid interpretation of New Age consciousness and what it promises for the future than the works of Willis Harman.”22

Matthew Fox (1940- )

Another one of Sweet’s self-described “role models” and “heroes” is Matthew Fox, a former Catholic priest who was dismissed from the Catholic church for openly professing heretical New Age teachings—teachings that include those of his revered mentor, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Fox, like Teilhard, teaches that all of creation is the “Cosmic Christ”—therefore the Cosmic Christ is “in” everyone and everything. In his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Fox writes: “Divinity is found in all creatures.”23 and “We are all royal persons, creative, godly, divine, persons of beauty and of grace. We are all Cosmic Christs, ‘other Christs.’ But what good is this if we don’t know it.”24 Leonard Sweet actually credits Fox in a footnote in Quantum Spirituality for inspiring Sweet’s own description of the “cosmic body of Christ” and actually refers readers of Quantum Spirituality to Fox’s New Age book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.25

M. Scott Peck (1936-2005)

M. Scott Peck, the late psychiatrist and best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled, is another one of the “role models” and “heroes” that Leonard Sweet cites in his book Quantum Spirituality. The Road Less Traveled was on the New York Times best-seller list for over ten years. In a subsection of his book titled “The Evolution of Consciousness,” Peck describes God as being “intimately associated with us—so intimately that He is part of us.”26 He also writes:

If you want to know the closest place to look for grace, it is within yourself. If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside you . . . .To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us. We were part of God all the time.27

When Matthew Fox’s The Coming of the Cosmic Christ was published in 1988, the lead endorsement on the back of Fox’s book was written by M. Scott Peck. Peck and Fox were obviously in New Age agreement. Peck, like Fox and Sweet, describes Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in glowing terms. He describes Teilhard as “[p]erhaps the greatest prophet” of the “mystical,”  evolutionary leap that will take mankind toward “global consciousness” and “world community.”28 And it is this mystical New Age Christ of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, and Leonard Sweet that challenges biblical Christianity today.

4) Leonard Sweet thanks New Age Leader David Spangler for helping him develop his Quantum Spirituality’s “new cell understanding of new light leadership”

If we want to possess a magic crystal for our New Age work, we need look no further than our own bodies and the cells that make them up.29—David Spangler, 1991

I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership.30—Leonard Sweet, 1991

In his “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings,” Leonard Sweet states: “Because I quote someone does not mean I agree with everything that person ever wrote.” He goes on to say that “Some of the quotes I chose were meant to provide contrasting positions to my argument, some to buttress my argument, some even to mock my argument. The key consideration to whether I quoted someone was not ‘Do I agree with them?’ but ‘Does this quote energize the conversation?’ ‘Guilt by association’ is intellectually disreputable and injurious to the whole body of Christ.” But there is a big difference between “guilt by association” and “guilt by promotion.” Leonard Sweet is praising, thanking, and glorifying many of these New Age leaders—hardly guilt by association, especially when Sweet writes:

I believe these are among the most creative religious leaders in America today. These are the ones carving out new channels for new ideas to flow. In a way this book was written to guide myself through their channels and chart their progress. The book’s best ideas come from them.31

Ironically, one of the “channels” guiding him was an actual New Age channeler—David Spangler. A pioneering spokesperson for the New Age, Spangler has written numerous books over the years. His book The Revelation: The Birth of the New Age is a compilation of channeled transmissions that he received from his disembodied spirit-guide “John.” At one point in the book, Spangler documents what “John” prophesied about “the energies of the cosmic Christ” and “Oneness”:

As the energies of the Cosmic Christ become increasingly manifest within the etheric life of Earth, many individuals will begin to respond with the realization that the Christ dwells within them. They will feel his presence moving within and through them and will begin to awaken to their heritage of Christhood and Oneness with God, the Beloved.32

In a postmodern-day consultation that bears more than a casual resemblance to King Saul’s consult with the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28), Leonard Sweet acknowledges in Quantum Spirituality that he was privately corresponding with New Age channeler David Spangler. Sweet even thanks Spangler for assisting him in forming his “new cell understanding” of “New Light leadership.”33 But as believers we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” Rather than thanking them, we are to reprove and expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

(5) Misapplication of Quantum Physics: Trying to Draw Spiritual Truth From Physical Theory

Leonard Sweet—just like New Age leaders—tries to use Quantum Physics to prove that God indwells his creation.

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.34—Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami

When we experience such a quantum of transformation, we may simultaneously feel that the whole of the New Age is happening right now, that we are on the verge of overnight transformation—the fabled quantum leap into a new state of being.35—David Spangler, Reimagination of the World

We have the epitome of a great science . . . quantum physics . . . Everyone is God.36—New Age Channeler J.Z. Knight, What the Bleep Do We Know

In his book The Tao of Physics: An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, New Age physicist Fritjof Capra describes the union of mysticism and the new physics. He wrote “this kind of new spirituality is now being developed by many groups and movements, both within and outside the churches.”37 As an example of how this “new spirituality” is moving into the church, he actually cites one of Leonard Sweet’s “role models” and “heroes”—Matthew Fox.38

When Sweet refers to the new biology and the new physics as metaphors, he stretches these “metaphors” to the position of being actual fact. From his understanding of quantum physics, he asserts that all things are composed of energy and that this quantum energy must be God, hence God is embodied in all things. Yet, this metaphor falls on its face when we learn from Paul’s writings that God and creation are two separate things as is illustrated in chapter one of Romans: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Paul further exposes the error of spiritualizing physical creation showing that all things are not God, nor are they even spiritual. As he points out, the “earthy” is only temporary and will be done away with:

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption . . . There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . .  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. . . . Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15:42, 44, 48, 50)

Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren’s “New Spirituality”

In their 1995 joint presentation The Tides of Change, Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren had a quantum conversation as they discussed “waves,” “quantum metaphors,” “revival,” and what they were calling—even back then—a “New Spirituality.” Sweet told Warren:

Yeah, this is a wave period. I really love that metaphor of the wave and the wavelength. First of all, it is a quantum metaphor. It brings us out of the Newtonian world into this new science.39

Quantum waves, quantum wavelengths, quantum metaphors—all leading to a universal Quantum “God” and the Quantum New Age “Christ” of a New Spirituality, a New Worldview, and ultimately a New World Religion—a New World Religion that will be based on New Age teachings that have been labeled scientific but are, in reality, “science falsely so called”:

Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:19-21)

Conclusion

Teilhard de Chardin, Leonard Sweet, and an ever-growing band of New Age sympathizers would have us believe that all those who preceded us in the faith were unable to “see” the big picture, because, after all, they didn’t have access to all the new scientific discoveries that we have today—scientific information that would have helped them gain the new spiritual understandings that Leonard Sweet claims to have acquired.

In that vein, Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and other Christian leaders are now teaching that God is in the process of bringing a new “Reformation”40 and a “great spiritual awakening” to the church. Sweet writes: “God is birthing the greatest spiritual awakening in the history of the church.”41 Yet this new reformation and great awakening Sweet heralds, is falsely founded on his hybridized New Age Christianity with its “radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.”42 Ironically, while Sweet—as previously mentioned—encourages “a daily ritual” of standing in front of a mirror affirming “God is God and I am not,” he at the same time tells people that, as a part of creation, God is embodied in them. He also encourages people to be “nudgers.” He says “nudgers are not smudgers of the divine in people.”43 “Nudgers help people discover their “inner Jesus.”44

When the true Christ was asked what will be the sign of his coming and the end of the world, He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”(Matthew 24:4)—that many false prophets would arise and deceive many (Matthew 24:11). He specifically warned us to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He said we would know them by their fruits.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matthew 7:15-16)

We must exhort one another daily. We must continue to preach the Word and not fall prey to those who would diminish the Word with their worldly wisdom, clever stories, metaphors, and false teachings. The Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ always have been and always will be sufficient for all our needs.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Regarding Leonard Sweet’s “radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation,” Jesus warns:

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.45 (Matthew 15: 7-9)

To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Endnotes
1. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), p. 28.
2. Warren B. Smith, A “Wonderful” Deception: The Further New Age Implications of the Emerging Purpose Driven Movement (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2009), p. 106.
3. Alice A, Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing Company, Lucis Press, Ltd., 1948), 1996, p. 150.
4. Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England; The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88.
5. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 28.
6. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic (Dayton, OH: Whaleprints for SpiritVenture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994), p. 125.
7. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 304.
8. Leonard Sweet, Nudge:Awakening Each Other to the God Who Is Already There (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010), p. 157.
9. Ibid., p. 40.
10. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 106.
11. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980), p. 50.
12. Ibid., p. 25.
13. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, Inc., 1971), p. 56.
14. Ibid,. pp. 219-220.
15. Ibid,. p. 128.
16. Ibid,. p. 95.
17. Ibid,. p. 78.
18. Ibid,. p. 130.
19. Leonard Sweet, Aqua Church: Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church in Today’s Fluid Culture (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, Inc., 1999), p. 39.
20. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, Jesus Speaks: Learning to Recognize & Respond to the Lord’s Voice (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2016), p. 85.
21. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. viii.
22. Willis Harman, Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think (New York, NY: Warner Books, 1988), front cover.
23. Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988), p. 154.
24. Ibid., p. 137.
25. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op cit., pp. 124, 324.
26. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 281.
27. Ibid.
28. M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1988), pp. 205-206.
29. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture (Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company Publishing, 1991), p. 62.
30. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 312.
31. Ibid., p. ix.
32. David Spangler, The Revelation: Birth of A New Age (Elgin, IL: Lorian Press, 1976), p. 177.
33. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 312.
34. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 121.
35. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World, op. cit., p. 126.
36. What the Bleep Do We Know (DVD) (20th Century Fox, 2004, http://www.whatthebleep.com), transcribed by author.
37. Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics: An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism (Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999), p. 341.
38. Ibid.
39. The Tides of Change (A 1995 audio presentation with Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren that was part of an ongoing series called “Choice Voices for Christian Leadership,” distributed by Abington Press). On file with publisher.
40. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 17.
41. Ibid., p. 34.
42. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 125.
43. Leonard Sweet, Nudge, op. cit., p. 31.
44. Ibid., p. 40.
45. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p 125.

To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Evolution’s Role in a Quantum Spirituality

Silhouette of man reflecting while looking at a gorgeous sunset

Photo: bigstockphoto.com

By Caryl Matrisciana and Roger Oakland

There is a clear but complex marriage between physical evolution and transcendental evolution. Ironically, while forcing out creationism, many scientists and educators push for an equally religious alternative. They cling to the Eastern concept that the next stage of man’s evolution will arrive in spiritual terms. Many “prophesy” a development—a quantum leap from biological evolution into a sort of “mystical emergence.”

Fritjof Capra, an American physics professor and author of The Tao of Physics, is a prominent advocate of New Age thought who says:

The universe is no longer seen as a machine, made up of a multitude of objects, but has to be pictured as one indivisible, dynamic whole whose parts are essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process.1

After so much indoctrination in and exposure to the unproven ideas of evolutionary thinking, growing numbers of people are now accepting the concept of this “cosmic process” as the most natural thing in the world. Natural, but deadly—for this blending of physical and spiritual evolution thickens into a hot spiritual porridge made up of a variety of assorted cereals. Mystical alchemy, charading as spiritual evolution, combines with speculation about physical evolution. This fuses with “Eastern maya,” the belief that the physical (the real, what we see) is merging with the not-yet-physical (maya) and that the mind is able to create reality (shamanism, witchcraft). This opens the door to every form of New Age deception.

The New Age movement is a hybrid of spiritually eclectic pagan consciousness that embraces every idolatry named in the Bible. Though it poses as a spiritually tolerant mindset, it is extremely intolerant of biblical Christianity.
The philosophies under its umbrella are numerous. A general summary would be any mental techniques involving altered states of consciousness through deep-breathing relaxation exercises, guided imagery, and visualization. It may also include the application of dietary or mystical folklore promising power.

Interwoven into its philosophy are a proliferation of Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. It includes guru movements, psychotherapy cults, aberrational Christian movements, blatant satanism, witchcraft, the practice of nature worship—and the list goes on. Beliefs and practices that used to be considered overtly heathen, rooted in pantheistic evolution and confined to the streets of India or the Far East, are now common practice in tens of millions of homes across North America and Europe.

The Deceptive Promise of Godhood
The basic idea of man progressing from simple to complex, from mortality to godhood, is the underlying notion in New Age thinking. Richard Greene, founder of the Mind Control Institute, sums this up in an interview for the film The Evolution Conspiracy when he says:

What’s going on with this New Age is that we’ve been making a transition in different levels of evolution. Evolution is going on all the time. Many people believe, as I do, that the purpose of life is to grow and that you grow as much as you can in each lifetime, and of course we believe in reincarnation. We have mastered the evolution of the body now; that happened thousands of millions of years ago. That has remained relatively static. We have now moved into the period of our evolution as humankind where we are evolving mentally . . .

The hundredth monkey phenomenon states that when a certain level of humanity reaches a certain level of consciousness that it’s going to catch on like wildfire. Very similar to Buckminster Fuller’s theory for critical mass, when there’s a certain amount of energy, it takes quantum leaps.

I believe that if every human opens up to the possibility of there being a spiritual dimension that we will evolve individually and that will lead into the evolution of the species. Our purpose on earth is to make ourselves realize our godhood, that we have everything that we need inside of us . . . We’re in a time now where man is literally taking control of his own evolution.

The delusion that man is “literally taking control of his own evolution” is ludicrous in light of events reported daily. To imagine that we can draw from resources within ourselves as we “realize our godhood” is clear deception. The Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Solutions of goodness cannot come from man’s imagining that his heart is evolving to a higher state of purity when it is only God who can put a clean heart inside of man:

Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Humanism based on a foundation that rejects God is gaining spiritual momentum among millions today who believe that within man is the potential of “God power.” A new generation is turning back to paganism rooted in evolutionism, which promotes this religious theory.

John Randolph Price, originator of World Healing Day, in his book The Superbeings says:

A new species of man is coming forth to lead us out of darkness and into a new dimension scarcely dreamed of by ninety percent of this world. This will be the New Age of Enlightenment, and science and religion will join hands in spreading the truth that man is not the man we thought he was. I thank God that I live at this time and will be able to see the next great leap forward in man’s expanding consciousness.5

This “superconsciousness” is renamed “god consciousness within,” “the god-power,” or “the christ-within.” These are just some of the names given to man’s prideful claim that he is God and can do what only God is able to do. This spiritual mirage leads millions to what they think is soul-satisfying water. But as with any mirage, it is only an illusion.

If the “enlightened” human chooses to imagine he has the ability to control his immortality, Satan will impress upon him the means with which to do it. If the would-be reincarnationist wants to believe he has the ability to come back in another life, Satan will find a form of deception that will cause him to believe it. The same principle applies to the evolutionist who has been duped into believing he came from nothing and goes to nothing. Satan is like a chameleon and can change his color to suit the need of the moment. The apostle Peter understood this. His warning is clear:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Jesus also spoke of the reality of the devil and his deadly plot:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

There are millions today who have chosen to reject our Creator’s grace through Jesus Christ. Countless others have not yet been presented with the choice. Tens of thousands are turning away from the traditional Judeo-Christian faith of their parents or grandparents and choosing this “new” spirituality instead. Disillusioned by materialism, churchism, secularism, and humanism, seekers of self-fulfillment are turning to this new evolutionary religiosity and embracing the lie that they can become gods, or at least have the power to control their lives and destiny. Assured of inward resources and psychic powers, they attempt to fill the spiritual vacuum they feel inside.

(This is an excerpt from Caryl Matrisciana and Roger Oakland’s 2016 book, The Evolution Conspiracy, 2nd ed.)

Endnote:

1. Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point (Toronto, CA: Bantam, 1982), pp. 77-78.

Letter to the Editor: Ravi Zacharias to Share Platform with New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet at Synergize 2016

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I thought you might want to know that Ravi Zacharias is speaking at the 2016 “SYNERGIZE” Conference in Orlando, FL, sharing the platform with New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet.

Ravi Zacharias’ scheduled appearance at this January 2016 conference is reminiscent of your posting in Jan.2008 expressing great concern over Ravi Zacharias’ anticipated participation in Robert Schuller’s “Rethink 2009 Conference” at Crystal Cathedral: See link: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1440.

Now, in 2015, why is Ravi Zacharias speaking alongside Leonard Sweet?

Ravi Zacharias was general editor of Walter Martin’s 2003 revised,updated, and expanded edition of Martin’s classic reference book originally published in 1965: “The Kingdom of the Cults.” In the “General Editor’s Introduction” of that 2003 edition, Ravi Zacharias  credits Martin as contributing to his own thinking on the task of apologetics and says he considers it a “distinct honor” to have been asked by Walter Martin’s family to become general editor of the updated edition of Martin’s classic reference book. Ravi Zacharias also says in that General Editor’s Preface (2003): “Of one thing we can be sure: Where we find truth, often in close proximity we also find a way that distorts and faults . . . the power to deceive is enormous.”

How can Ravi Zacharias have written that in 2003 and be willing to speak at a conference with Leonard Sweet?

Over the years, I am so glad Lighthouse Trails has posted many articles alerting readers of Leonard Sweet’s New Age sympathies and propagation of contemplative/mystical and panentheistic heresies. See Lighthouse link:
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?s=leonard+sweet&search=Search.

See also this link to a  2010 article by Ingrid Schlueter (former CrossTalk Radio host): http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4948.

Leonard Sweet

Leonard Sweet

Is Ravi Zacharias aware that Leonard Sweet thanks occultist David Spangler for his spiritual influence and considers Pierre Teilhard De Chardin one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century? Warren B. Smith documents Sweet’s “New Light” heroes in Chapter 10 of his book: A “Wonderful” Deception.

Has Ravi Zacharias read Leonard Sweet’s book Quantum Spirituality in which he says on p.125: “Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation [panentheism]”?

In Christ,
CONCERNED IN CALIFORNIA
Related Information:

Alistair Begg Withdraws from Reimagine Conference with Leonard Sweet

Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet Riding the “Tides of Change” on the Heels of Mysticism

Calvary Chapel Albuquerque States: Leonard Sweet Will Not Be Speaking at Conference – Lighthouse Trails Calls For Answers

Ravi Zacharias on Henri Nouwen – “I regret having said that” “Henri Nouwen Was One of the Greatest Saints In Our Time”

 

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Christian Pastors and Leaders – Exchanging the Word of God for a “New” Way of Doing Things

By David Dombrowski
Editor at Lighthouse Trails

The church of today is very much astir. Everywhere we turn,  embellishments are being added to Christianity as if to improve it. The old ways do not seem to satisfy anymore. A great influx of new teachings and practices have exchanged the God of old as depicted in the pages of the Bible with a deity much more palatable to the post-modern mind. Brennan Manning illustrates this when he stated in one of his books, “ . . . the god who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ. And if he is not the God of Jesus, he does not exist.”1  This “progressive” contemplative/emerging church has gone so far as to place in pulpits men who blaspheme God and who deny the atonement. But let us step back for a moment to see how emerging thought has developed. Such a statement did not come out of the blue, but as Ray Yungen suggests, a “creeping” effect made it all possible.2

Over the years, Christian leaders and pastors have stopped defending the faith and have exchanged the Word of God for things that outwardly appear very spiritual and promise a “quantum leap” into a “new spirituality.” Though there have always been those who deny Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross, most of this kind of thought and teaching has been kept out of the evangelical/Protestant church. But as the walls of biblical truth were gradually torn down, it is no longer unusual to hear this kind of teaching in Christian colleges and seminaries. Much of what we see today began with men who pioneered the way to apostasy, then as a domino effect these ideas caught on and accelerated to the unbiblical thoughts and teachings we are witnessing in so many Christian circles today.

An example of this creeping effect can be seen in the Brennan Manning quote above from his 2003 book because it is nearly a word for word rendering of several lines from New Age sympathizer and mystic William Shannon’s 1995 book Silence on Fire.3 This book is the biography of Thomas Merton who possibly had more to do than anyone else in giving mysticism (namely contemplative prayer) that initial push whereby it has now avalanched into the mainline evangelical/Protestant churches. But it all began as a creeping or rippling effect with the initial momentum almost imperceptibly slow.

Over the last couple of decades, countless pastors and religious leaders across North America have pulled out for their evening reading books written by mystics like Henri Nouwen hoping to glean something to carry them to the next level of spirituality. Unfortunately, that quantum leap ends in the web of apostasy. As you may know by now, Henri Nouwen (also a great admirer of Thomas Merton) wrote in a provocative intellectual style that has intrigued many pastors, but what happened when these pastors stumbled upon these words:

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.4

Nouwen said these words toward the end of his life after spending years involved with mysticism. And yet, pastors, leaders, and professors are enamored with Nouwen.  And on goes that seemingly subtle creeping in of deception slowly but surely.

Pastors of North America, it’s not too late, but the North American church is in on borrowed time. We have become weak and spoiled, and it is time to change course, return to a no-compromise faith, the kind many of us had when we first became Christians. To straddle the fence, as has been the case for way too long, has cost the church dearly and could mean a steady erosion of biblical faith and a fall into the mire of full-blown apostasy.

While the mystics and emergents attempt to strip Jesus of who He is and what He came for, we should never forget that in Him we have a priceless treasure. Isaiah said of Him, “his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Most importantly, Jesus came to redeem us from our sins:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7)

When Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven, he used a number of illustrations, one of which should have special significance in our churches today:

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44)

While the emerging, purpose-driven, contemplative “progressives” of today are casting biblical doctrine on the dung heap more than ever, we should be holding on to it as something truly sacred, for it is biblical doctrine that defines our faith and gives to us living water. Hebrews 4:12 tells us:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

No wonder the devil wants to undermine and get rid of the Word of God, and he is attempting to do it through many who call themselves Christians.

Contending for the faith may cost us everything we have, but it is worth it, a jewel far about price. This life will soon be over, but eternity will last a very long time. Shouldn’t we be putting our treasures in heaven no matter what it may cost us now?

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)

Notes:

1. Brennan Manning, Above All, pp. 58-59 as quoted from Roger Oakland in Faith Undone, p. 195. (2003)
2. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, p. 94. (2nd ed. 2006)
3. William Shannon, Silence on Fire, pp. 109-110. (1195)
4. Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey, p. 51. ( 1998 Hardcover Edition)

Mark Chironna’s New Age/Quantum Mysticism at Bethel Redding Conference

By John Lanagan
My Word Like Fire Ministries

“Will faith in God’s Word become a thing of the past as ‘science’ replaces faith? A growing number of church figures have directly or indirectly introduced quantum physics with its New Age implications into their teachings and writings.” –Warren B. Smith, Another Jesus Calling, pg. 103

In 2012 the book, The Physics of Heaven, was released. Shocking in its enthusiasm for quantum physics/quantum mysticism, and in its lack of discernment about New Age practices, the book has the approval and participation of Bethel Church of Redding’s movers and shakers. Bethel leader Bill Johnson contributed a chapter to the book, as did his wife, Beni Johnson. The Physics of Heaven is co-authored by Judy Franklin, Bill Johnson’s personal assistant. The foreword is written by Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate Leader at Bethel.

As disturbing as The Physics of Heaven is, at least the book serves as a warning that Bill Johnson and Bethel (and others) are heading toward a New Age/quantum mysticism understanding of God. [1]

Before we get to Mark Chironna and the quantum heresy he spewed out during a Bethel conference–with the full approval of Bill Johnson–let us briefly define terms.

The New Age: What does the New Age believe? According to Ray Yungen, “Everything that exists, seen or unseen, is made up of energy—tiny particles of vibrating energy, atoms, molecules, protons, etc. All is energy. That energy, they believe, is God, and therefore, all is God. They believe that since we are all part of this ‘God-energy,’ then we, too, are God. God is not seen as a Being that dwells in heaven, but as the universe itself.” [2]

Quantum spirituality or quantum mysticism: This is a spiritual interpretation of quantum physics. It is favored by the New Age because it seems to demonstrate that everything is interconnected at an unseen, sub-atomic level. Thus, New Agers use it as “proof” we are all One.

All is One? Everything is connected?

Warren B. Smith notes the New Age “is already heralding quantum physics as a ‘scientific’ basis that God is not only transcendent but also immanent–‘in’ everyone and everything.” [3]

But God is not “in” everyone. Mankind is not One with God. We know this from the Scriptures.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9)

The only people with God in them are those who know the biblical Christ as Lord and Savior–those who have been born again. In terms of the universe, earth, and nature, God is as separate from His creation as He is from unredeemed mankind.

Through The Physics of Heaven, and the quantum teaching of Mark Chironna at the Bethel conference, Bill Johnson has furthered the assault on the biblical understanding of God.

The teaching given by Mark Chironna at Bethel Church in Redding California during the 2012 Piercing The Darkness Prophetic Conference was titled, “If it wants to happen, it needs to be spoken.” Chironna promoted quantum principles not only as proof that we are all connected, but also to further his speak-it-into-existence Word of Faith heresy.

At one point Chironna states, “How did that water turn into wine? Jesus talked it into existence.” Does the Bible state this? No.

You can hear the whole thing right here: Fighting For The Faith Start listening in the second hour of the show, at approximately 63 minutes and 15 seconds. Host Chris Rosebrough offered much correction, acknowledging that it was like herding heretical cats–so much heresy scattering in all directions.

Apparently relying on the scholarship of a now deceased Anglican, Chironna made a number of references to the New Age, telling his audience Christians were the only ones who could truly call themselves New Agers. (70 minute mark to 70 minutes and 45 seconds)

According to Chironna:

[He has Jesus saying] “New Age of the Spirit.” (86 minutes 47 seconds)

The woman at the well “has received an impartation which has put her into the New Age.” (85 minutes 34 seconds)

Why all these New Age references? This is a demonic desensitization, pure and simple. Bethel is being prepared for quantum mysticism and New Age practices. This is not ultimately about Chironna, but the forces in Ephesians 6:12.

That being said, consider how New Age-esque Chironna continues to sound here:

98:55: “This leap into the Age of the Spirit is marked by a few things. …It’s marked by a shift in our interior identity. Something changes inside us about the way we perceive ourselves. …When you change the way you perceive yourself, you change. And when you change the world is for grabs and the future is now about what wants to emerge that’s been waiting for the shift to take place in me.”

Chironna then begins his introduction of quantum mysticism:

99:55: And this leap is not just marked by a shift in our interior identity, it’s also marked by an awareness that everything in creation is connected. Everything is connected. Say everything is connected.” [Audience dutifully repeats] (emphasis mine)

100:15: “And it’s connected at deep interpenetrating levels, at a sub-atomic dimension. Our problem is we walk in the illusion of separation. But we are not separate. We are connected. When Paul says we are all one body in Christ in Galatians 4, literally in the Greek it’s we’re all one person.” (emphasis mine)

101 minutes and three seconds: Chironna then uses a talk given by a British quantum physicist as proof that everything in the universe is connected. The scientist apparently rubbed a diamond and stated that this friction at a sub-atomic level was affecting the molecular movement of the farthest known star, five billion light years away. Why? Because everything is interconnected…

And then, horribly, Chironna explains that Jesus could heal people from a distance because of quantum principles! (Luke 7:1-10, Matthew 8:5-10, John 4:46-54) He seems perhaps to have combined two healings, but most of us are familiar with the story of the faithful centurion.

102 minutes and 40 seconds: “So when Jesus says I’ll go with you to heal your son and the centurion servant says you don’t have to go. You can stand right where you are. I’m a man under authority. I understand authority. You don’t have to come into my house. All you need to do is stand right here and influence things at a distance because everything’s connected in your world in a way I understand in mine. Just speak the word and it’ll take place because it’s all connected.” (emphasis mine)

Chironna has just reduced the centurion’s faith and Christ’s power down to their supposedly common understanding of manipulating quantum spiritual principles.

103 minutes and 19 seconds: “There’s a shift in our interior identity, there’s gotta be a fundamental shift to where we stop seeing everything as separated and disconnected and start operating in the awareness everything is connected. Everything is connected. You start acting as if you’re already connected in your future and stuff will start lining up in a way you never expected it to before.”

2 hours 5 minutes and 10 seconds: “That’s why it’s so important to soak.” (Soaking is a form of anti-biblical meditation).

Remember when Elijah prayed for rain? Elijah sent his servant to look out at the sea, to see if clouds had appeared.

He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back” seven times. (1 Kings 18:43)

Blasphemously, Mark Chironna gives Elijah a quantum response, with a rebuke to the servant for reporting that nothing has appeared. At 2 hours, 21 minutes, 17 seconds Chironna dares to say:

“Elijah says, ‘You dummy! In the quantum physical world they have proven there is no such thing as nothing. Because the observer is influencing the observed and creation is moving in response to what I’m intending to bring about.’”

2 hours, 26 minutes: “God didn’t make it rain.”

Near the end of his blasphemous message, Chironna tells his listeners, “If something is shifting inside you you’ve already heard from heaven. You already know what wants to emerge. And if it wants to happen you need to speak it into existence.” (2 hours, 29 minutes, 45 seconds) (emphasis mine)

But following these teachings will not result in hearing from heaven, but from hell.

Nor has Bill Johnson bothered to correct this blasphemy. Chironna’s conference teaching is still for sale at the Bethel Redding store. https://shop.ibethel.org/products/piercing-the-darkness-february-2012-complete-set (scroll down to Session 7)

Can two walk together except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)

Related Information:

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

 

Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA) Mahaffey Family Camp Brings in New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet as Camp Speaker

A Lighthouse Trails concerned reader has informed us that this month the Christian Missionary Alliance Mahaffey Family Camp has invited New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet as a camp speaker. CMA has been going down the contemplative/emerging path for a long time. In fact, CMA is listed on the Lighthouse Trails 50 Top Contemplative-Promoting Organizations. Also speaking at the camp this summer will be CMA president John Stumbo. (See below for links to previous news stories on CMA.)

For those who are not familiar with the teachings and beliefs of Leonard Sweet, the article “The Quantum Christ: Entering the World AND the Church Through Popular New Age & Christian Leaders” written by Warren B. Smith is a good starting point. Also “Why We Should Be Very Concerned About Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren … and Their Plans for the Future” will help.  The following quotes are from Leonard Sweet’s book Quantum Spirituality, an older book but one he still carries and promotes on his website. After reading these quotes, ask yourself if these are the kind of ideas that belong at a Christian Family Camp. As you read these, keep in mind that in Quantum Spirituality, Sweet  lists several New Agers and mystics as his “New Light” heroes and leaders including Matthew Fox, Morton Kelsey, M. Scott Peck, Willis Harman, and Ken Wilber.

Quotes by Sweet:

“The first of these five untheorized observations is that New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and ‘in-formation’ with other Christians. Deeper feeling and higher relating go together. The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness.” — P. 122

“Energy-fire experiences take us into ourselves only that we might reach outside of ourselves. Metanoia is a de-centering experience of connected-ness and community. It is not an exercise in reciting what Jesus has done for me lately. Energy-fire ecstasy, more a buzz than a binge, takes us out of ourselves, literally. That is the meaning of the word ‘ecstatic.'” — P. 93

Note: This ecstasy Sweet speaks refers to the New Age ecstasy that occurs in an altered state of consciousness.

The power of small groups is in their ability to develop the discipline to get people “in-phase” with the Christ consciousness and connected with one another. P. 147

New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving postmoderns from one state of embodiment to another. P. 48

A surprisingly central feature of all the world’s religions is the language of light in communicating the divine and symbolizing the union of the human with the divine: Muhammed’s light-filled cave, Moses’ burning bush, Paul’s blinding light, Fox’s “inner light,” Krishna’s Lord of Light, Bohme’s light-filled cobbler shop, Plotinus’ fire experiences, Bodhisattvas with the flow of Kundalini’s fire erupting from their fontanelles, and so on.” P. 235

To show that Sweet still adheres to the beliefs he wrote about in Quantum Spirituality, may we draw your attention to Sweet’s 2010 book, Nudge. Sweet subtitles the book “Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There.” This is taken from Thomas Merton who believed that God was in every human being and they just need to realize He is already there. Sweet quoted Merton in Quantum Spirituality saying “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not” (p. 13). This is where Sweet was talking about the TOE (the Theory of Everything, meaning the God in all things). It would make perfect sense that he would end that section of his book with that quote by Merton because Merton believed that God was indeed in all things. Listen to this quote by Merton:

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are.… If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.… At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth.… This little point … is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody. (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, pp. 157-158, taken from A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen)

 

cma-sweet

Related Information:

Letter to the Editor: Saddened by Christian & Missionary Alliance and Ambrose University Continuing Plunge into Contemplative

Christian & Missionary Alliance Rob Reimer Loses His Way in “Pathways to the King:” A Review

Letter to the Editor: Christian & Missionary Alliance OK With Ruth Haley Barton and Other Contemplatives

 

Weekly News in Review with Understand the Times and Update on Rick Warren’s New Book

LTRP Note: Worth noting, Rick Warren is coming out with a new book, The Daniel Plan, on December 3rd. He is co-authoring the book with two of the Daniel Plan New Age advocates, Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman (see our related articles below UTT’s headlines for this week).

Weekly News in Review with Understand the Times, International

Related Articles on the Purpose Driven Movement:

 Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan – The New Age/Eastern Meditation Doctors Behind the Saddleback Health by Warren B. Smith

SPECIAL REPORT: RICK WARREN RETAINS UNBIBLICAL POSITION IN NEW 2012 EDITION OF THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE


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