LTRP Note: The following letter to the editor was written in response to our recent post “Letter to the Editor: Yoga at Our CMA Church in Canada Broke Our Hearts.”
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I too was once in a C&MA church in Southwestern Ontario. I attended from 1999 to 2001. I witnessed the whole shift that took place at that time when our Pastor attended a Willow Creek conference on church growth movement principles. Everything changed after that. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven agenda was implemented. Other methods and means for growing the church were employed, like holding mid-week evening teaching classes for the public. Everything from art classes to money management and cooking; it was all man’s effort to draw people into the church. We had to fill out questionnaires to help discover our giftings, and personality-type assessments were taken.
The Pastor began quoting Eugene Peterson’s The Message in his sermons. The organ was removed from the sanctuary, and the platform was switched to a rock-band style, drum set front and center. Plans were proposed for massive building expansions. This switch actually took place around this time in all of the mainline churches in our city. I also noticed in a denominational publication called “Table Talk,” the District President included an article wherein he supported the Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation and sounded like he was in agreement with the teaching that the bread and wine actually are/become the flesh and blood Christ. There was an evening service in 2001 that is memorable in that the focus in the message was all about “dreaming” and “vision casting.” Astoundingly, John Lennon’s song, “Imagine” was played, an anti-Christ message if ever there was one and which pictures the one-world religion and false peace of the new world order that is coming.
One evening in June of 2001, our C&MA church was set to host the District Conference. My sister and I decided to go. When we arrived in the foyer of the church, there were many of our missionaries there, and the “lingo” they were using left us bewildered and thinking we had landed on another planet. It was strange, terms such as we were not familiar with at all. The speaker for the evening was Dr. Kevin Mannoia, former head of the NAE and Professor Emeritus of a Christian college in California. The moment he began talking both my sister and I were immediately stunned by the prolific use of New Age terminology, and we immediately sensed the presence of demonic power flooding the sanctuary. My sister left and went outside as she couldn’t stand it, but I stayed and took verbatim notes. I quoted some of these terms in another area of this blog. There was a strong emphasis on “connecting” and “connectedness,” and outright blasphemous notions were suggested like, “wondering if a person can smoke marijuana and worship God at the same time.” At the end of the talk, I rushed for the exit, and I spent hours at home praying and asking God to deliver me from the effects of that session as I was shaking physically from it. At that point my husband and I, and my sister, stopped attending the church. We knew this had been a cataclysmic event that would alter things for good unless the church would recognize what was happening and repent of it. Our beloved Pastor who had so much discernment before all this happened was taken in by the deception. We wrote letters and pled with him about the New Age infiltration into the church but to no avail. We were told we “had a critical spirit.”
In summary, what is happening in the majority of large organized churches is the same, something that began almost twenty years ago has only worsened, and now it is a wholesale acceptance of mysticism, false teachings, and New Age/occult/new spirituality.
I am not surprised at all that Yoga is now being embraced in the C&MA and that attempts to bring correction or warning is refused. This is truly the time that the we are warned about in the Epistles. And yes, we can join with a few (or even just one) other like-minded believers to worship and pray together. My Scoffield Bible commentary states that this is a “church” in its most primitive/simple form. And God’s Word assures us that “where two or three are gathered,” the Lord is in the midst. Others may think it is wrong to leave an organized church setting, and they often refer to it as “forsaking the assembling,” but this is not true, as real fellowship is based on truth and occurs, as I said, even in a very small setting where believers are gathered and in agreement.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)