There is a “new brand” of Christianity on the rise, one that is neither Christian nor new. This version is not Christian because it promotes the experiential over fact. Truth is what you want it to be and the Bible is not necessarily authoritative. It is not new either, for it encourages the original sin in Eden, that man can become “like the Most High.” This paganized version is being promoted within the church through mystical practices and attitudes.
My newly released book, Mystic Seduction: Awakening Christians to a Real and Present Danger, deals with this rising influence of mysticism within the church and its promotion of an unbiblical, Gnostic/New Age/Eastern distortion of Christianity. The primary attack on the church by this new Christianity is against God’s created order. In other words, it intends to turn His created order upside down, teaching the experiential views of man as truth and elevating man to equality with God. Ultimately, it questions the validity and authority of God’s Word and historical Christianity.
I believe this issue is critical to the future of the church because this mystical approach to Christianity has become popular with the under-thirty age group. As a campus minister I have had the opportunity to work with this age group for several years. These young people will be the future leaders of the church, and what they believe will determine what the church will become.
If left unchecked, the insidious growth of this new brand of Christianity will affect Christian apologetics as well as discipleship. The reason for this is clear. First, whatever the church believes to be true (polemics) will affect the message it shares with non-believers (apologetics). In other words, if it embraces a skewed view of the truth, it will share this skewed view with the world.
Second, we know that the method used in discipleship is effective, because even the corporate world uses some of the same principles in training their leaders. Therefore, it is imperative that the historical truth of the Bible is the anchor in the process of discipleship, for the method could be equally effective in promoting the skewed version of it.
As we have encountered students on campus, we have had the privilege to work with many who are rock solid in their faith and view of the Bible. However, many come to the university unprepared to articulate their faith or defend it. And unfortunately, many who come from solid backgrounds are unable or unwilling to take a stand on issues that God clearly is opposed to (e.g. alternate lifestyle issues). This is either because they lack the confidence or knowledge to do so, or they actually think those issues are non-issues with God. The answer is biblical discipleship, the sooner the better with a solid mentor. Linking truth with the process is key to solving these problems and will result in helping to check the rapid growth of this rising, skewed version of the truth.
I was blessed to have this book taken through the publication process by Dave Bellis and edited by Thomas Williams. Each of these men have authored several books on their own as well as co-written with Josh McDowell, David Jeremiah, Beth Moore, Cloud and Townsend and Gary Smalley, among others.
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