“The most effective deception is the counterfeit that looks like the real thing. The only effective weapon against it is biblically grounded discernment.”
Leonard Sweet continues his influence on the Nazarene denomination. This past January, he spoke at the Leadership Conference at European Nazarene College, along with major emergent church promoter and Nazarene pastor Jon Middendorf, and Gustavo Crocker, who is Eurasia Director for the Church of the Nazarene. Sweet was a main speaker at the PALCON conference for pastors at Northwest Nazarene University last year (Leonard Sweet: A Good Choice For Pastors And Leaders Conference?)
Why this New Age sympathizer (Sweet) continues to speak at Nazarene seminars and churches is beyond me, folks. He recently made an explanation on his website and said he was not into New Age or mysticism, but why does he still sell his books like “Quantum Spirituality?” Why does he not renounce these things but instead stays silent about what he has written, and about those mystics that he has previously recommended?
Crocker, by the way, is linked with Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan website, and if you look at the five acronyms of the PEACE Plan, don’t look for anything that mentions preaching the exclusive gospel of Jesus Christ. That would be too offensive for Rick Warren to proclaim on his ecumenically oriented website. Warren has been connected with Sweet in the past, and collaborated with him on an audio project called Tides of Change. Warren also endorsed Sweet’s book, Soul Tsunami.
Leonard Sweet Again. Sweet has now been welcomed at Olivet Nazarene University. Sweet just spent three days at Olivet this past week, including a scheduled chapel appearance today, April 21. Anyone concerned with the state of our Christian universities may want to keep a close eye on Olivet, which seems to be one of the few conservative leaning schools in the Nazarene denomination. We should never, however, take anything for granted. As Ronald Reagan once said, “trust but verify.” Here is a post by ExNazarene that mentions Olivet and its decision to remove a professor who was teaching that evolution is compatible with scripture.
It’s possible that many at Olivet, including leadership, are not aware of the strange New Age type writings in Sweet’s books. He may very well have preached a solid message to the students today in chapel, but they may not be aware of what he promotes in his books. If your interests are particularly connected with Olivet, especially parents, alumni, and students, I would recommend asking some of the leadership as their knowledge of what Sweet has written, and offer to give them evidence of his non so orthodox writings. After all, Rob Bell claimed recently that he is an orthodox-type evangelical, but just saying it does not make it so, does it?
For a very thorough look at Leonard Sweet and his many unorthodox quotes compared with what scripture teaches, see the review by Sandy Simpson at his website, Deception In the Church. Here is just one excerpt including Sandy’s response:
“In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, “The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing”(Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, p.76)
True Christians are not mystics. They need not be because they have the Holy Spirit and the Word to guide them. They are empowered with spiritual gifts and they know God. They don’t need to seek Him “mystically” because they already have Him. But it is true that so-called Christians of tomorrow will be mystics if Sweet has anything to say about it and if the churches do not avoid him as the Scripture clearly tells us to do with false teachers. (Sandy Simpson)
Recommended book: A Wonderful Deception, by Warren Smith. Mr. Smith was formerly entangled in New Age occultism for years until he became a Christian. In this book, he includes several well-documented chapters on Leonard Sweet and his “quantum spirituality”, “New Light” spirituality, “christ conciousness”, and other strange theology which is clearly not Bible based.