Guru Woo Woo
Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church, modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, New Worship, Evangelical Church, Grand Funk, I'm Getting Closer to My Home, Jack Hayford, Manifest Presence, New Worship, Apsotle Paul, Martin Luther, Bondage of the Will, Mysticism, Mystics, hedonism, Pagan, Tower of Babel
Many times the words that we hear from Christian mystics today sound strangely similar to Grand Funks Im getting closer to my home mantra of the 60s. Come home, Jack Hayford declared in Manifest Presence. Step through the open door. It is here, worshipping at the throne of God . . . To the Christian mystic the raising of hands is a means of touching heaven (the invisible) with hands on earth (the visible) and making a connection in a way transcending our explanation, but a way known to God the One far wiser than our diluting and deluding reasonings to the contrary.
As worship is viewed as act of elevating oneself to the throne, the contemporary worshipper denounces those who use doctrinal arguments to contend against the New Worship they so enthusiastically embrace with lifted hands. They silence their foes by merely stating that these critics cannot understand the secret things of God because they depend on reason. And to the mystic, the mind cannot elevate itself to the knowledge of God. So there is no disputing those who have set themselves up as being the ones who have the inside track to spirituality.
Thus being transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2) to the New Worshipper is all about entering into an altered state of consciousness to enter into the supernatural world to behold the glory of God. They contend that this heavenly experience reconditions the mind as it is transformed by Gods spirit from glory to glory.
However, when Paul talked about the
Spirit of the Lord transforming us, he was not recommending some existential leap of
faith into the unknown. Neither was he encouraging believers to worship their way to God.
The Bible specifically indicates that the Spirit resides within believers and that is why
we behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. Inside each believer is where
the transformation takes place rather than through some external quest into the
supernatural world. Consider the following scriptures: Now we have received, not the
spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that
have been freely given to us by God. (I Cor MKJV) However, when He, the
Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth . . . (Jn MKJV) Do you not know that you are
Therefore the Bible clearly announces that our minds are transformed and we are changed as a result of Gods saving grace even as Gods Holy Spirit now dwells within us. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Rom 8:9-10 MKJV)
This is a gift of God and not something that has to be gained through our own feeble efforts. Accordingly, as detailed in Martin Luthers Bondage of the Will, though we were once held in bondage to sin, as believers we are now free to pursue righteousness according to the power of God that lives within us. (Rom 6:5-6) Thus we are purified by Gods work on the cross and God alone through faith and faith alone. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Rom MKJV)
However, our hedonistic if it feels
good do it
Hence, while referencing the fact that during his heavenly vision Isaiahs unclean lips were touched by an angel as he was purified and restored and anointed to prophecy, New Worshippers contended that Christians are made holy as they are elevated by an altered state of mind to the throne of God through worship. (Isa 6) It is while in the middle of these worship experiences that Gods image and nature are manifested in our lives. The idea is that, rather than subjecting ourselves to traditional Christian disciplines, we can sing our way to holiness. The problem here is that in true Babylonian fashion the call is that we need to reach up to God and build towers that span into the heavens in order to become holy. With this in mind Bob Sorge revealed in Exploring Worship, . . .it is not that God descends to meet us when we praise, but rather we ascend to Him.
Yet the Bible is all about God coming down
to man as Emmanuel God is with us. Jesus indicated that He would send His Holy
Spirit to lead us and guide us. Holiness is the result of Christs work in us as His
Holy Spirit dwelling inside transforms us. We dont need heavenly visions in order to
walk the Christian life. Nor should we be reaching up into the supernatural world as the
pagans do in order to seek perfection. There is no where to go to find the God who lives
in us! Consequently, those who seek the glory of God need only to look at the obvious:
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (
Pagans worship to become holy. Christians worship because they have been made holy. True worship is the manifestation of holiness in the believers life here on earth. And it has nothing to do with being elevated to the supernatural world through the building of modern Towers of Babel. The body of Christ today needs true worship, not New Worship.
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