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The Mystical Revolution: How Millions of People Have Been Introduced to the Aquarian Age by Ray Yungen is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Mystical Revolution: How Millions of People Have Been Introduced to the Aquarian Age, click here.
By Ray Yungen
Most people understand there’s been a number of revolutions over the past forty years or so, beginning in the ’60s. For instance, there’s been the sexual revolution, the feminist revolution, and what you might call the drug revolution. These were social movements that changed and altered society to a significant degree. Before this time period, people more or less stayed with convention. They more or less conformed to society’s expectations and codes of behavior. There were technical revolutions and philosophical revolutions in the past, but the revolutions we have had since the 1960s have turned society in a totally new direction.
What many people don’t comprehend (or may understand in a vague or limited way) is that there has also been a mystical revolution. This revolution has impacted every major area of society, without exception. This is not a conspiracy theory. We are not talking about assertions of which we expect you to take our word. What we present here can be proven. In this booklet, you will see how the dots are connected.
A number of credible authors and scholars have documented this mystical revolution, three to which I would like to draw your attention. The first is Dr. James A. Herrick, a professor at Hope College and the author of The Making of the New Spirituality. In his book, Herrick says that the “Revealed Word” tradition (basically that which embraces the fundamental beliefs of Christianity) is being slowly dismantled in society and replaced by the New Age spirituality. His book is probably the most in-depth and scholarly I have yet seen. Herrick states:
[T]he past three centuries have witnessed a stunning shift in Western religious thinking away from the tenets [of Christianity]. . . . a new set of religious commitments has now replaced the fundamental claims of the Revealed Word.1
Herrick calls this replacement the “New Religious Synthesis,” which incorporates “the spiritualization of science” (i.e., quantum spirituality), panentheism (God in all things), occultic practices, “spiritual evolution” (man becoming Divine), and interspirituality (all paths lead to God) through mysticism.
Another figure who has recognized this mystical revolution is Robert C. Fuller, Professor of Religious Studies at Bradley University. According to Fuller’s book, Spiritual But Not Religious, huge numbers of Americans have embraced what he refers to as “unchurched” spirituality, which is in effect, New Age spirituality. Fuller says that millions of Americans no longer identify with the traditional religious denominations but now say they are “spiritual but not religious,” which is an unstructured mystical spirituality that is at the very heart of what I call the mystical revolution.2
A third author who has identified this mystical revolution is New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. In his 2012 book, Bad Religion, he states:
America’s problem isn’t too much religion, or too little of it. It’s bad religion: the slow-motion collapse of traditional Christianity and the rise of a variety of destructive pseudo-Christianities in its place.3
To back up the conclusions of Herrick, Fuller, and Douthat, according to a survey done by Baylor University, nearly 25 percent of the American population now view God as a “cosmic force” rather than a personal being.4
All this indicates that something unprecedented is taking place. Traditionally and overall, people in the Western world have seen God as our Father who art in heaven. God has been an individual and a personal being with all that this entails.
For those who might be skeptical about just how widespread this mystical paradigm shift is, consider some of the country’s major bookstore outlets. Amazon has around 280,000 titles that deal with New Age/New Spirituality subjects. When Borders was still in business, their metaphysical section in some stores was up to 64 shelves. Going by the law of the market (i.e., supply and demand), this means enormous numbers of people are interested.
What is Mysticism?
Readers who are not familiar with this subject may be asking, what exactly is a mystical revolution? Simply put, this is merely the practice of one stopping the normal flow of thought by focusing on the breath or a repeated sound (such as repeating a word or phrase for twenty minutes) or a continuous drum beat. This is meant to propel an individual into a state called the silence, which makes him or her susceptible to communing with unseen realities they perceive to be supernatural in nature.
The mystical revolution is basically comprised of large numbers of people learning techniques that provide mystical experiences. This is at the heart of what is called the Age of Aquarius, where all humanity is linked in a mystical manner to one other and an ultimate authority figure, both seen and unseen.
This revolution actually started about the same time as the drug revolution in the 1960s when millions of teenagers and young adults started using marijuana and LSD. Psychedelic drug use became a widespread social movement, which is reflected by the fact that many of the songs at that time had reference to drugs and psychedelic themes.
Psychedelic drug use opened the door to interest in eastern religion—specifically Hindu and Buddhist meditation. The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band had a reference to this in the song, “Within You, Without You.” One of the lines in the song is “it’s all within you.” In other words, everything you need is already contained in you (i.e., your higher self), which is one of the tenets of mysticism. Even the famous Woodstock Music Festival was advertised as an Aquarian exposition. The word Aquarian is a term for the Age of Aquarius, which is the view that we’re moving out of the Piscean age into the Aquarian age. In this Aquarian Age, there will be a certain spiritual keynote or spiritual perception among a critical mass of humanity. This was made apparent when Swami Satchidananda opened Woodstock with a lecture given to half a million young people in the audience (you can actually see this if you rent the movie Woodstock).
After Satchidananda’s Woodstock “benediction,” things unfolded quickly. Transcendental Meditation (T.M.) became widely popular due to its founder Maharishi being on the Merv Griffin Show, a popular talk show of that time. Merv Griffin was actually a T.M. practitioner himself and even acknowledged it on the show.
Other gurus surfaced as well. Swami Muktananda was also extremely well received in the ’70s and would travel around touching people in the middle of the forehead with a peacock feather activating their third eye. They would then have mystical experiences. He reached literally hundreds of thousands with his message.
This advent of mysticism was becoming very apparent in our culture. Terms like mantra, karma, and high consciousness were being used. This was somewhat of a novelty—people were hearing about things they never thought about before.
As we moved into the 1980s, popular actress Shirley MacLaine became associated with these practices because she was converted to this view. She wrote about it in both of her autobiographies, Out on a Limb and Dancing in the Light. Each one of these books sold millions of copies and successfully introduced occultic concepts such as channeling to countless people who were not yet familiar with such practices. These were not the hippies or the counter-culture types but were everyday folks: teachers, blue-collar workers, business men and women, and such. This, in turn, generated a lot of interest from the average person in the Western world. It was the 1980s when the New Age became quite a phenomenon.
The Christian Response
In 1983, a Christian attorney from Detroit, Constance Cumbey, wrote a book titled The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow after she accidentally stumbled upon the New Age. Cumbey was basically the first person within the evangelical church to expose the New Age as a movement. There had been many books on cults, like Kingdom of the Cults or Guidebook for Cults. But Cumbey’s book focused on individuals working within various organizations, who rather than drawing people away to cults, attempted to turn the organizations themselves into spiritual organizations that reflected the new paradigm. The book that alarmed Cumbey was the book by Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (an influential New Age manifesto at the time), which described people who had become aware of these other dimensions and were working to become “Aquarian conspirators” (as Ferguson called them) and bring everyone else into this mystical body. They were the pioneers or the avant-garde in this new wave of consciousness.
But then the term New Age became a worn-out buzzword. The people who promoted New Age beliefs stopped using the term. As a result of this tactic, Christian concerns died out, and people saw the New Age movement as a kind of fad that was fast disappearing. I’ve always wondered about books, such as Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness (immensely popular during that period), as to whether they had something to do with this dismissal of the New Age as a fictional fantasy and perhaps nothing more than a silly craze. It seems the initial alarm dissipated because people perceived the mystical revolution as non-relevant. A trip to your local Christian bookstore today will illustrate this point. In the section that deals with cults or apologetics, you will find books dealing with Mormonism, atheism, Islam, and so forth, but you will find almost nothing on the mystical revolution even though it has actually exploded and become embraced by a wide segment of the population.
In 1986, something very significant happened that helped turn unknown New Age writers into world-famous household names—the Oprah Winfrey Show began. Oprah had read a book by Unity minister Eric Butterworth and converted to the New Age mystical paradigm. Then in the ’90s, she dedicated her show to the New Age concepts of higher consciousness. In 1992, Oprah invited a woman named Marianne Williamson on her show. Williamson had written a book titled Return to Love, which was based on the channeled manual A Course in Miracles. To help launch Williamson’s message, Oprah gave away 10,000 copies of A Return to Love, resulting in 70,000 copies of the book selling within the first week after the show. Needless to say, Oprah was very excited about this book.
Oprah soon had a who’s who parade of New Age authors on her show. She highlighted a series of authors, most of whom went on to sell millions of books. She had Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of Simple Abundance, and Iyanla Vanzant. And then, Oprah had one of the individuals I would consider the most indicative of this movement—Gary Zukav. Because of his regular appearances on the Oprah Show, his book, The Seat of the Soul, was at the top of the New York Times best-seller list 31 times and remained on the New York Times best-seller list for three years. Needless to say, it has sold millions of copies.
Zukav’s book was not the kind of book most people normally would have bought; it could be likened to a scholarly textbook, rather than the kind of book that would appeal to the masses.
There were many others also reaching the broad public. And by public, I mean this in the truest sense of the word. Public television began to advocate the New Age perspective. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, John Bradshaw was appearing on public television on a show called “Bradshaw on the Family.” Bradshaw had been trained in Hindu meditation by Dennis Weaver, the actor who played Chester on the 1960s television Gunsmoke. Bradshaw then passed on this knowledge to his viewers and readers, talking about meditation and the higher self. (Higher self is a term meaning the inner divinity or the god within every person.)
Deepak Chopra, an East Indian-American doctor, was another figure on public television quite often. Chopra promoted holistic health. But the most prominent and effective figure on public television, who was on for twelve years during pledge drives, is author Wayne Dyer. One could legitimately call him the Billy Graham of New Age spirituality. He had a deep booming voice and a commanding presence, which gave him an air of authority. But his message could best be summed up in one of his numerous books titled Your Sacred Self. Again, his message was always in the vein of mysticism—that if one did meditation one would achieve connection with the higher self. Like Bradshaw, Dyer reached millions of people through this venue. He literally personified the mystical revolution. In all, he has sold around 50 million books. He died in August of 2015 at the age of 75, but his books and teachings will live on.
Dr. Dyer’s publisher was Hay House, a publishing company started by a woman named Louise Hay who wrote a book called You Can Heal Your Life that sold 40 million copies. Hay became so wealthy that she was able to start her own publishing company. Today, Hay House is one of the largest New Age publishing companies.
The logo for Hay House is “look within.” In other words, everything you need is right inside of you. This is in line with the lyrics of “Within You, Without You,” the song by George Harrison of The Beatles—“it’s all within you.” As I stated earlier, these words are the theme of what New Age spirituality entails. In the Age of Aquarius, the message is when man “realizes” his own divinity, everyone will find “God” within themselves.
One could say, “Well, to each his own. We live in a pluralistic society. If people want to believe this stuff, they can. It may sound flaky or somewhat offbeat or eccentric, but I don’t care if other people believe this stuff. It won’t affect me at all. I’ll follow Jesus, and I’ll be a good Christian. There’ll still be plenty of good Christians around. Just because there’s this flaky religion out there doesn’t mean I should get excited about it.”
But here is what needs to be considered: when you look behind the curtain, you see things extremely disturbing. For instance, in the acknowledgments of popular author Iyanla Vanzant’s book, In the Meantime, she thanks her spirit guides, giving them each names. This is true of practically every major author in this movement. And then, there is Gary Zukav. The main theme of his books is that we need to turn our lives over to our non-physical guides (spirits) and teachers. Sarah Ben Breathnach was involved with Wicca and also had non-physical guides and teachers. In her book, Simple Abundance, she says spells cast on Halloween are more powerful than any other night in the year. That book sold five million copies.
Even the highly regarded and influential Wayne Dyer expressed his love and devotion to a group of non-physical entities who called themselves “Abraham” in a book for which he wrote the foreword.5
I could give numerous other examples than the ones just mentioned, but that would be redundant. This is not the exception; this is the rule. Perhaps the most noteworthy would be that of Louise Hay, founder of Hay House Publishers. Hay has a particular devotion to one of the non-physical guides and teachers whom Gary Zukav talks about, a spirit guide named Seth. Channeler Jane Roberts has authored several “Seth books.” Of those books, Hay states:
I would like to see the Seth books as required reading for anyone on their spiritual pathway. The amazing in-depth information in the Seth books is as relevant today as it was in the early 70s when Jane Roberts first channeled this material.6
This is sobering considering that practically every third or fourth book in the self-help section of most bookstores is published by Hay House.
Europe Gets on Board
In 2014, I traveled to Europe, specifically England, Ireland, and Germany for a number of speaking engagements. I was shocked to see the level of New Age acceptance in these countries. I didn’t get a real sense of how big this was until I went to a number of bookstores. In Dublin, Ireland at the city’s largest bookstore, there were 80 shelves devoted to mind, body, spirit (the “non-threatening” term for New Age spirituality). Traveling around Ireland, I found that New Age spirituality was the prominent spiritual expression even in little villages scattered around the countryside. I was expecting to find lots of books on Catholicism; instead, I found many books by the likes of Neale Donald Walsch, a New Age channeler.
Dusseldorf, Germany’s major bookstore absolutely reflected the mystical revolution I am trying to describe. Eighty-eight shelves were devoted to these subjects, which they called zie esoterik (German word for occult). It was then I was introduced to the German word for spirit guide, geist fürer.
Finally, in Birmingham, England (the second largest city in England), the largest bookstore in the center of town had a whopping 100 shelves devoted to the New Age compared to only twelve shelves devoted to Christianity. And in that small “Christian” section, many of the titles reflected the New Age view rather than the Christian.
This coincides with my experience in Germany, because right at the time I was there, I read an article that came out, which stated that Germans spend 25 billion euros a year on New Age activities and things related to the New Age. Twenty-five billion! The article said that New Age practices have become integrated into everyday life in Germany. Integrated and very common.
I had further evidence of that when I was in a large retail outlet in Germany called Hercules (the equivalent of the U.S. outlet, Walmart). The store’s large magazine section contained a sizeable number of New Age magazines, indicating the public was interested in these subjects.
In a 2013 trip to Europe, I saw the same level of interest in France. In one large bookstore, a small religion section was mostly Catholic, with a much larger section representing the entire panoply of New Age thought and practice.
All this shouldn’t be much of a surprise because the most popular spiritual author in Europe, Anselm Grün, has a strong New Age bent. Grün, a German Benedictine monk, promotes contact with spirit guides, getting in touch with “your angels,” and Buddhist-type meditation. Grün has written over 300 titles, which have sold over 14 million copies.
Clearly, from my own observation and from talking to people who live there, the mystical revolution is considerably more advanced in Europe than the U.S., although as time goes on, the gap is narrowing.
In addition to Europe, America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, has also heavily embraced this mystical revolution to roughly the same degree. In one national chain bookstore in the suburbs of Vancouver, BC, the number of shelves devoted to New Age spirituality has more than doubled in just a few years from twenty to forty-five.
Many people, including numerous Christians, see the New Age as more of a nuisance to Christianity than a serious threat. But according to New Age pundit David Spangler, this mystical revolution is actually the rise of what he refers to as a “planetary spirituality,”7 one that the entire human race buys into, one that transcends all the world’s religious dogmas and puts forth the idea that all human beings are divine.
This philosophy also carries another dimension as explained in Spangler’s book, Emergence: Rebirth of the Sacred where he explains how he came about connecting to “invisible, spiritual beings,”8 specifically one who called himself “John” (for the sake of convenience). Spangler said that during periods of meditation, he felt his own “inner being and [this spirit guide] uniting in a very deep way.”9 Spangler’s description of his relationship with “John” is most revealing:
I felt strongly that someone had walked into the room. This person’s presence was overwhelming. . . . In my inner work to that time, I had occasionally been aware of and made contact with invisible, spiritual beings. Such phenomena came with the territory [meditation]. . . I had never before felt such a strong and immediate presence.
I shared this perception with Myrtle [his friend], and . . . we agreed to sit in meditation to attempt a contact with this being. . . . I felt my inner being and his uniting in a very deep way. . . .
Thus began a relationship with a spiritual being that continues to this day.10
Spangler believes this relationship with his spirit guide has given him skills “at working with the inner dimensions of spirit”11 and that “John” has a specific purpose in connecting with Spangler:
Over the years it has been evident that John’s main interest is the emergence of a new age and a new culture, and he identifies himself as one of those on the spiritual side of life whose work is specifically to empower that emergence.12
Everyone I have profiled in this booklet, from Oprah to Wayne Dyer to John Bradshaw plus countless others have all been working to bring about this “new culture”—and they appear to have succeeded. What is taking place is far more widespread throughout the Western world than most people realize. Even the giant retail outlet Costco recognizes this reality. In their magazine, the Costco Connection, they relate this in an article titled, “Mindful Matters: Meditation as Medicine,” stating:
It’s been around for centuries and is integral to the practice of Buddhism, yet, until recently, meditation was often regarded as some strange, New Age-y, Eastern mind-body thing. No more.13
Meditation, the basic activity that underlies all metaphysics, is the primary source of spiritual direction for those in the New Age. We need only observe the emphasis that is placed on meditation to see the significance of its role in New Age thought:
Meditation is the doorway between worlds . . . the pathway between dimensions.14
Meditation is the key—the indispensable key—to the highest states of awareness.15
Meditation is a key ingredient to metaphysics, as it is the single most important act in a metaphysician’s life.16
When we examine the heart of this mystical revolution, we find there’s a source of authority, so to speak. There’s some thing, some entities running this. It’s not the authors themselves but the force behind them that is in charge. And the power or force behind all these authors despises the Gospel and hates Christianity. We must conclude that the New Age movement does not have any real leaders, only followers. I heard one writer/channeler put it very plainly when he revealed:
Everyone anywhere who tunes into the Higher Self becomes part of the transformation. Their lives then become orchestrated from other realms.17
Please remember these following two Bible verses as you consider what you have just read:
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:31)
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
To order copies of The Mystical Revolution: How Millions of People Have Been Introduced to the Aquarian Age, click here.
1. James Herrick, The Making of the New Spirituality (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), p. 21.
2. Robert C. Fuller, Spiritual But Not Religious (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001).
3. Ross Douthat, Bad Religion (New York, NY: Free Press, 2012), p.3.
4. American Piety in the 21st Century: New Insights to the Depth and Complexity of Religion in the US (Baylor University survey, 2006, http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/33304.pdf), p. 29.
5. Esther and Jerry Hicks, Ask and It Shall Be Given (the teachings of Abraham) (Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2004), foreword by Wayne Dyer.
6. Louise Hay review of A Seth Book: The Early Sessions, Book 1: http://www.amazon.com/The-Early-Sessions-Book-Material-ebook/dp/B00BA1YXRO.
7. David Spangler, Emergence: The Rebirth of the Sacred (New York, NY: Del Publishing, 1984), p. 112.
8. Ibid., p. 65.
9. Ibid., p. 66.
10. Ibid., pp. 65-66.
11. Ibid. p. 66.
12. Ibid., p. 67.
13. Sally Abrahms, “Mindful Matters: Meditation as Medicine (Costco Connection, July 2014, Vol. 29, No. 7), p. 35.
14. Celeste G. Graham, The Layman’s Guide to Enlightenment (Phoenix, AZ: Illumination Pub., 1980), p. 13.
15. Ananda’s Expanding Light, Program Guide (The Expanding Light retreat center, California, April-December 1991), p. 5.
16. The College of Metaphysical Studies website, “Frequently Asked Questions About Metaphysics, Spirituality and Shamanism” (http://www.cms.edu/faq.html).
17. Talk by Ken Carey at Whole Life Expo (Los Angeles: February, 1987).
To order copies of The Mystical Revolution: How Millions of People Have Been Introduced to the Aquarian Age, click here.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
A group of friends who are believers are doing a book study on “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. I thought I heard the word “Eucharist” mentioned. Do you know anything about the book or author? Just curious,
Blessings to you, _______
Our Review from 2011:
“Ann Voskamp’s Best Selling Book One Thousand Gifts – A Collision of Inspiration and the New Spirituality”
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp is a 2010 Zondervan title that is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Seller. The author is a contributing writer for DaySpring, and she has a blog that receives 40-50 thousand visitors every week.1 Voskamp has risen quickly in popularity, with invitations to various conferences and other events. (In April, she spoke in Portland Oregon at the Q Conference sharing a platform with popular Christian figures like Luis Palau and Louie Giglio).
Ann Voskamp’s sincerity and her desire for a relationship with the Lord are unarguable. Her honesty in her own shortcomings and frailties is admirable. Her description of how she witnessed the death of her baby sister (run over by a farm truck) when she herself was very young is heart-wrenching. What’s more, few would disagree with the overall key theme of the book that we should give thanks to God in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Voskamp shares how practicing thanksgiving and gratitude has changed her life. Thinking about 1 Timothy 6:6 (“godliness with contentment is great gain”), it is true that being thankful and content does have great gain in the believers life.
But One Thousand Gifts, as well-meaning as the author may be, is not a book we can recommend and in fact is one we must warn about. We do not want to cause distress to Ann Voskamp; but given the high popularity of her book, we are compelled to issue this warning.
It is clear by reading One Thousand Gifts that Ann Voskamp reads and admires several mystics, panentheists, and universalists. Her book is peppered with quotes by Sarah Ban Breathnach (a New Age author launched into stardom by Oprah), Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Evelyn Underhill, Brennan Manning, Annie Dillard, Thomas Acquinas, Buddhist sympathizer and Catholic convert Peter Kreeft, Walter Brueggemann, Francis de Sales, Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Henri Nouwen, and Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Many of the statements Voskamp says in her book would resonate with these authors showing that Voskamp has absorbed some of the beliefs of these people. In addition, Voskamp’s popular blog lists a number of contemplative/emerging authors on her book list page: Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline), Adele Ahlberg Calhoun (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, a primer on Eastern style meditation), and emerging church author Phyllis Tickle are included.
In reading One Thousand Gifts, we are reminded of author Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), who started off as a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher, but when she began reading Thomas Merton and other mystical writers, her spiritual outlook changed dramatically. The progress of Monk Kidd’s spiritual change can be seen from one book to the next. Today, she is a self-proclaimed worshipper of the goddess Sophia and states in her book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter that God is in all things (panentheism) even graffiti and excrement. Monk Kidd says:
Deity means that divinity will no longer be only heavenly … It will also be right here, right now, in me, in the earth, in this river, in excrement and roses alike. (p. 160)
Ann Voskamp echoes Monk Kidd when she states that God is “present in all things,” even “sewage flowing downriver” (p. 110-111)
The last chapter of One Thousand Gifts, “The Joy of Intimacy,” Voskamp devotes to what she calls “intimacy” with God. But brace yourself, you won’t find the way she talks about intimacy with God in the Bible. We share the following with you not to shock you for theatrical sake – its to show where the “new” Christianity is heading. We think it important, in light of the many young women who are reading this book, to quote Voskamp’s view of “intimacy” with God which she also calls the “mystery of that romance.” Voskamp says:
Mystical union. This, the highest degree of importance. God as Husband in sacred wedlock, bound together, body and soul, fed by His body, quenched by His blood . . . God, He has blessed – caressed. I could bless God – caress with thanks. It’s our making love. God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love for us. . . . couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve. Spirit skin to spirit skin. . . The intercourse of soul with God is the very climax of joy . . . To enter into Christ and Christ enter into us – to cohabit. (pp. 213, 216-217).
We find Voskamp’s mixture of sexual and spiritual language when referring to a relationship with God offensive. The most “intimate” relationship anyone ever had with God on this earth was the one Jesus Christ had with His Father; but nowhere in the Bible does Jesus (or the disciples) use sexual language and innuendos to describe the relationship between God and man. And in fact, the Bible tells us that sexual union was given to man, in the confines of marriage between a man and wife, for procreation; the Bible also tells us that in our eternal heavenly home, there will be no marriage (the need for procreation will not exist). If we, as Christians, were supposed to think about our relationship with God in sexual terms, wouldn’t God have made that clear in His word? It’s like the contemplative prayer movement that emphasizes repeating a word or phrase over and over to be intimate with God. But nowhere are we instructed to do this in Scripture. It’s as if the Holy Spirit who inspired men to write the books of the Bible left out vital elements that now contemplatives and emergents are enlightening us to. God forbid that we should think so. Books like One Thousand Gifts have added to what God has said in His Word.
Voskamp isn’t the only emerging-type author to use sexual language when talking about intimacy with God. We see an increase in books and speakers talking about” intimacy with God” (most of these writers are proponents of contemplative – that’s no coincidence – but rather signs that tantra spirituality (sexual experiences combined with mystical experiences)) is entering the church now. One of the most popular books today on marriage, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (promoted by Calvary Chapel, Focus on the Family, and Rick Warren) is laced with quotes by or references to (about a dozen instances) Mary Anne McPherson Oliver’s book, Conjugal Spirituality, a primer on tantric sex; McPherson Oliver says that “mystical experiences can be associated with erotic love.” McPherson Oliver tells readers to use mantras and breath prayers during the sexual experience to help induce the tantric mystical experience. The fact that one of today’s most popular Christian books on marriage has so many references to this book is a telling sign of what has entered the evangelical/Protestant church. The popularity of One Thousand Gifts is another sure indication.
Today, the “new” progressive Christianity is more sensual than spiritual. Appealing to the senses (making it sensual) and the carnal man rather than strengthening the spiritual man within. Scripture warns us though: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). One Thousand Gifts may be the poster book, so to speak, for the latest carnally-minded book, taking a place in line with The Shack.