Loving the Feeling: Mysticism in the Church

Sometimes you have to do a gut check as a Christian, and make sure your emotions don’t get the best of you.  Although emotions are not necessarily a bad thing, they can cloud our judgment and fool us into thinking something is real and true when it might be just the opposite.  Be very careful with your emotions when it comes to matters of Christian living and experience.  Always go back to the Word of God for confirmation.
Emotions can be a big letdown when the feeling goes away.  God’s Word, on the other hand, is ALWAYS reliable, true, and yes… inerrant.  Praise God that we can trust His Word at all times!

Here is a  message on that topic from a brother in Christ across the ocean:

Yomi Adegboye: www.pressingforthecrown.org

Loving The Feeling: Mysticism In The Church

The Gospel that Jesus proclaimed and passed on to us through the apostles was (and still is) one based totally on cold hard facts. It was a gospel that had nothing to do with how you felt about anything. When that Gospel was preached, it slew men. Then it gave them a new, different life.

But years went by and gradually certain false brothers crept in to twist this Gospel of our Lord. The shift and modifications were not major, and so they went undetected for years.

Now, several thousand years later, the popular false gospel of our day is a gospel based on feelings and experiences. Let us look at one popular example:

Cold Hard Fact: “Where two of you are gathered, there I am in the midst of you”.
The New Gospel: “When I walked into that meeting, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place. I knew God was there”.

In truth, the above statement that seeks to verify whether the Lord is present in a place or not by feelings or by an experience is a serious expression of deep sin: the sin of unbelief. People who do this do not believe our Lord. They have no faith in His words.

The development and growth of the Pentecostal movement has produced generations of professing Christians who live by feelings and experiences instead of by absolute faith in God’s word. They live by subjectivity instead of by the inerrant word that has been handed down to us.

So, how do we know that the Holy Spirit is at work? When we feel a heat on our heads? A cold shiver down our spine? Laugh uncontrollably? Fall down “under the power”? Witness miracles? Experience the euphoria of huge crowds?

No; a thousand times, no!

We know that the Holy Spirit is at work when we see men turned from falsehood and lies over to truth and righteousness. For, He is the Spirit of truth.

We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (John 4:6)

Note that when the apostle John mentions “us” in that verse, he isn’t referring to us, but to the apostles. In other words, the way to discern between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error is to check up whatever anyone says or does against what the apostles said.

If it follows what the apostles taught, that’s the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of God at work. If it does not, that is a spirit of error dancing around.

When men talk of “feeling the presence of the Lord” in a place, know that the apostles spoke of no such feelings with regards to the presence of the Lord. You may very well feel goose-pimples at a meeting, but make no mistake of supposing that was the presence of the Lord.

Look at the following phrases that are often used to describe the popular experience-based gospel:

- “Creating an atmosphere of worship”
- entering in
- breakthrough
- experiencing the glory cloud
- feel His presence
- feel His love pouring over you
- come and experience God for yourself

You won’t find any of these in the vocabulary of the apostles or of Christians in the book of Acts. The Gospel of Christ is not built on the sensual and emotionalism. It is built on truth alone. Many times, these sensations are manufactured or the results of well-crafted mesmerism and hypnotism.

Hype people up enough and they will feel something. It is such an old trick that it is amazing that we still fall for it. Drum up certain music types, and people will feel something. Use stage lighting in a certain way, and you can produce certain feelings in those present.

Most of our modern “gospel” music also have this feeling thingie woven into them. Of course, our music is the product of our theology, so that is not surprising.

Supposed Christians even now judge by feelings. One woman told me she felt a certain way about me. I asked her what I had said or done to make her “feel” that way. She had no answer but insisted that she had a right to feel that way about me. That was one deluded woman.

In addressing this issue, I asked a brother if it was okay for me to wake up one morning, ring him up and tell him that I felt he was a fool. Are we allowed to do that? Are we really entitled to feel any way about anyone, irrespective of whether or not the person had done or said something to warrant it?

Are feelings bad? Not necessarily. But should we build or run any aspect of our faith on them? Absolutely not. Our faith in Christ is in a knowing according to revealed (Biblical) truth and not a feeling. (emphasis mine)

The greater danger of walking by feelings is that unknowing, many have crossed over into mysticism. They may not be aware that what they are experiencing is that, but mysticism it is all the same. It is the world of soulish manipulation that generates voices, images, and myriads of physical manifestations – and none of those things from the Lord. This is where the real danger lies.

It is the realm of mind over matter, the realm of metaphysics – and the Church is swallowing the bait, hook, line and sinker. I will be dealing with this subject some more in the future. I already have a detailed work examining much of what is called the manifestation of the Spirit. May we stop loving the feeling, and instead hold on to the truth of God’s word.

Biblical truth is our anchor, the more sure Word that we are to build on and run with. (emphasis mine)
www.pressingforthecrown.org by Yomi Adegboye

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7 responses to “Loving the Feeling: Mysticism in the Church

  1. Hi Charles. Thanks for the comments. Welcome to the battle for the truth and for the gospel given once for all. Went to your blog… great start… but I seem to be having trouble posting a comment there …

    please check your settings on your blog. because it does not let me post. The verification word does not appear and so I can’t continue. Maybe its just me, but not sure.)

    Standing firm,

    Manny Silva

  2. I am a Nazarene. I just learned of all this contemplative spirituality last week when I received a e-mail from Lighthouse Trails Research on Trevecca. My heart sank,but then as Glenn Beck says,blood began to shoot out of my eyes(only figurtively speaking). I took notes, read the article and talked to my ex-husband who is also a nazarene. He had taken the class,went on a “retreat” by himself. Thought that the Catholic church had alot of good things they did the way they worship. After that conversation I talked to my pastor on Sunday. He had no idea how bad it was. I am in Ohio and Mt.Vernon University it the closest one of the Nazarene Universities to me. His daughter is there studing to be a missionary. I am glad I brought it to his attention. The more I read the more I know we are in the Last Days! Jesus I am ready and waiting!

  3. Lynne, take heart and stand firm in the faith. I sometimes have felt I was alone in this battle, but since I started this blog, I realize there are many Nazarenes who are extremely saddened by the apparent slide towards apostasy our denomination is taking. I have made contacts with others who are in this battle, who are praying for each other as well as our denomination and other Christians. I have a niece at a Nazarene college, and we are keeping an eye on that school to see where it is heading.

    God bless you,

    Manny

  4. There is a gathering storm on the evangelical horizon that centers around the question of the inerrancy of Scripture and it may well prove to be more than simply a threat to any one evangelical denomination like the Nazarene, but it appears from the interview that Peter Enns is giving to Taylor professor Ken Schenck that it will most certainly impact your church since Enns is now an active member of a Nazarene church. Enns, as you might know, was a highly controversial professor at the seminary where I graduated ,Westminster in Philly until his resignation last year.Greg Beale’s recent book, ‘The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism ‘ (Crossway, 2008) is a good starting for anyone who wishes to see that this is not just a tempest in a tea pot.

  5. A gathering storm is an appropriate description of what is happening, and is about to happen soon. Thank you for the reminder on Peter Enns. I will go to his site and review the entire interview. Perhaps that may lead to a review of his teachings later, but I will reserve my comments until I get more information. However, there is apparently a serous problem in the theology departments of many Nazarene universities, and sad to say, Nazarene Theological Seminary.

    Most of what I have been posting regarding the emergent church movement has been general, but now I am starting to do some extensive collection of information regarding its influence in the Nazarene denomination. It will not be pleasant information, but the truth of God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ must be defended no matter what cost.

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