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The Hidden Heresy in

New Age Christian Churches


by Jeremy James

A surprising number of Christians who profess to be born again are joining churches
which teach a popular but distorted version of the Gospel of Christ.

Few seem to realize the spiritual damage that this is doing, both to themselves and to
others. In addition to neglecting the strict application of the Word of God in their own
lives, they are spreading an erroneous gospel and attracting many thousands into the
church who are not truly born again and probably never will be.

This is a very strong assertion but the facts bear it out.

For example, many churches, which profess to comprise only born-again Christians,
possess or profess several of the following characteristics and beliefs:
o A belief that, even though man is fallen, there is still some good in him.
o Little or no emphasis on repentance.
o Only a vague understanding of the need for strict obedience to God’s
will.
o Doubts about the literal accuracy and inerrancy of the Bible.
o A strong desire for signs and visible confirmation of God’s power, and
even his existence.
o A strong emphasis on earthly success and personal prosperity.
o A belief in the need for high self-esteem.
o An emphasis on God’s love which omits, or refuses to accept, that his
love also includes judgment and retribution.
o A desire to find common ground with other religions and religious
groups.
o An emphasis on the need to solve the world’s problems through social
programmes and similar initiatives.
o A denial or rejection of the need to fear God (in the true Biblical sense).
o The use of non-Biblical or worldly music and modes of worship.
o The use of introspective contemplation and creative visualization.
o A rejection of the principle that the heart is deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
o A refusal to accept that hell is an actual place of torment.
o A marked reluctance to judge and condemn sin in a Biblical manner.

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o A rejection of the Biblical principle of separation, that is non-association
with unbelievers in a manner consistent with Christian charity.
o Belief that it is possible to be saved without undergoing a fundamental
change in outlook.

None of these are Biblical. Each and every one of them distorts or misrepresents the
Word of God. But they all have one thing in common – they cater to man’s laziness
and his smug conviction that God is so loving that He will indulge our faults.

They are also consistent with New Age philosophy which emphasizes man’s
creativity, man’s autonomy, man’s fundamental goodness, the universal brotherhood
of man, and the concept that God is love-without-judgment and universal father of all.

It is difficult to understand how a true born-again Christian can depart so far from the
Gospel of Christ. Churches which follow these principles are trying to be positive and
up-beat, more in tune with the modern age, and more inclusive in their treatment of
other viewpoints and beliefs. They don’t want to emphasize the differences between
their beliefs and those of other denominations and creeds. Rather, the emphasis is
placed instead on the elements that they have in common (or appear to have in
common). The accent is on applied theology, on finding those elements of Christ-
ianity which seem of greatest practical benefit in one’s daily life and disregarding the
rest.

This is pick-and-mix Christianity. It looks Scriptural because the elements that have
been selected are Scriptural (or appear to be), but it is in reality a false Gospel because
it leaves out much that is essential in the life of every truly born-again Christian.

The Bible states again and again that we must observe and honour all that God has
required of us, not just the elements we find appealing:
O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep
all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with
their children for ever! (Deuteronomy 5:29)
Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my
statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and
which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. (2 Kings 17:13)
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and
offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly;
and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
(Romans 16:17-18)
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)

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No one likes to be told that they have erred, that they have turned down a side road
and are heading into the wilderness. This is why we must be good Bereans and test
everything against Scripture. And there is nothing scriptural about a pick-and-mix
gospel. Even if its component parts are scripturally sound (or appear to be), the gospel
is false because it is inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.

Who are we speaking about here? Well, the list is long, so we name just a few
offenders:

Churches / Movements
The Alpha Movement
Christian Yoga
Dominion Theology
The Emerging Church
The Hebrew Roots Movement
The Latter Rain Movement
The Purpose-Driven Church
Renovare / Lectio Divina / Labyrinth / Emmaus
Spiritual Formation
The Willow Creek Church
The Word-Faith Movement

Writers / Preachers / Leaders


Tony Campolo
Kenneth Copeland
Richard Foster
Kenneth Hagin
Benny Hinn
Bill Hybels
CS Lewis
Brennan Manning
Brian McLaren
Donald Miller
Sue Monk Kidd
Henri Nouwen
Eugene Peterson
Robert Schuller
Neale Donald Walsch
Rick Warren
Dallas Willard
John Wimber
William Paul Young.

These lists are indicative only. The number of Christian leaders, preachers and writers
with a selective, pick-and-mix gospel is simply legion.

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Please take the time to enrich your understanding of these issues by reading through
the following papers, all of which were written by concerned born-again Christians:

The Purpose Driven Church


Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the
Purpose-Driven Church
by Warren Smith
Ten Scriptural Reasons Not to be Involved with
Rick Warren’s ‘Broad Way’ Christianity
by Warren Smith
The Purpose Driven Inclusive Church
by Roger Oakland
A Review of Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose-Driven Life’
by David Cloud
The Emerging Church
How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows
Signs of Emerging in Your Church
by Roger Oakland
The Emerging Church is Coming
by David Cloud
The Alpha Course
Is the Popular Alpha Course Leading People Astray?
by Chris Hand
The Alpha Course: Is it Bible-based or Hell-inspired?
by Paul Fitton
Looking at the Alpha Course
by Tricia Tillin
Contemplative Spirituality
Please Contemplate This
by T A McMahon
What is Contemplative Spirituality and Why is it Dangerous?
by John Caddock

For a copy of this paper and all of the above-mentioned papers in a single Word
document, go to this link: ALL PAPERS

Copyright Jeremy James 2010.


The copyright to all articles appended to this paper is retained by their respective authors.