Spiritual Hybridization or Extreme Exposure to God’s Presence?
Several friends have seen my post on FB about doing a study about mixtures of spirits and false anointing. This has been foisted upon me because of a new movement that has been called (by their proponents) the “”New Mysticism” and the “New Ecstatics”. This movement is being questioned by many wise men and women because of its impact.
Pastors, elders, intercessors, prophets, teachers, fathers, or mothers, would at least need to look at what is being taught, because—brace yourselves – the leaders of this movement are very charismatic (pun intended)! This movement is drawing a lot of young people (teen-aged, twenty and thirty-somethings) into it because it is popular (thank you, internet!)
I am doing this study of mixtures and false anointing BECAUSE of the effect this movement is having on one church in particular, and the resulting confusion. People always like to say “The Devil is the author of confusion!” (Imagine me doing a dorky voice) Sometimes people do use scripture to attack others in the body. I’m not doing this.
The word “confusion” here is not just “not being able to make up one’s mind”. There is a danger inherent in the meaning of this word. When the crowd was trying to decide whether Jesus was the Messiah, it was because evidence was mounting that He was the Messiah. That is not confusion. The confusion started when the accuser came. The accuser said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons”. That’s confusion here because darkness has entered the conversation to hide the truth. Jesus/Yeshua, did not treat this criticism with kid gloves. He came at them with a knockout punch! Matthew 12:23-50
Specifically, in this church I’m referring to, there is confusion because a leader was questioned and disobeyed for the sake of the new doctrine. That’s the problem. (agree/disagree—put your two cents in!)
Here’s a basic definition of “confusion”: ”disorder resulting from a failure to behave predictably; example given: “the army retreated in confusion.” I like this one, because it describes a certain effect from the confusion. In a church, we are not supposed to retreat. If we are unsure of our orders, we might retreat. If we are unsure of our leaders, we might retreat. If we are unsure of our weapon, we might retreat. If we are unsure of our fellow soldiers, we might retreat. If we think we will be overcome by the enemy, we might retreat. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that the orders we’ve been given are from heaven, our Leader (Jesus) is worthy of all our trust, our weapon, the sword of the Spirit is able to divide asunder…that only leaves the “fellow soldiers” and “the enemy”.
The Hebrew word for confusion is “tehvel” and the Greek word is anastastsia>
I am going to stop right here and say that I’m not doing this to build up any walls because I love my brothers and sisters in Jesus, even the ones that disagree with me. I’m doing this study because of the diversion of opinions and the apparent strength of this new doctrine and it’s affect on young people and adults. I’m not saying that it is confusion. I’m simply doing research. It seems to me, that if this is not a pure stream in Messiah’s kingdom, (as some say) we need to find out what it is. We address the concerns about it first to find out what truth is and what it’s not. I’m stopping here to make this disclaimer because I’m seeing that the meaning of the word confusion is very deep and is important for us to know for sure whether this new doctrine is causing confusion.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Now, whenever there is a rift or division and there’s a deep difference of opinion, it’s time to do the noble thing: “search the scriptures to see if these things are so>”…So….
Confusion is the word Tehvel in Hebrew is spelled (from right to left Tav-Bet-Lamed-Hebrew is read from right to left). The first use that is found in BlueLetterBible is in Lev. 18:23 (yikes! Sodomy!) and it is called “profane”, which means “God doesn’t like this!”. I mean “He really doesn’t like this!” This thing that God really doesn’t like is a particular sexual sin. The word “confusion” or tehvel is also in Lev. 20:12, where another sexual misdeed is committed (read). Here the confusion that is caused is to “mix” , “to mingle” and “to fade away”. Could that be “not be fruitful”?
Now in the New Testament, there is an actual verse in James 3:16 that uses the word “confusion” and it involves the idea of “selfish ambition” and “strife”. The word for confusion in James is “Akatastasia”. This scripture says , Jam 3:16 For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work. Now the verse in James 3:16 and in James 1:8 all have to do with an unstable environment like the one you would be in if you were on a boat when Hurricane Katrina struck. The word confusion follows “envy and strife”.
So, if there is confusion, what kind of confusion is it? On the surface, these new leaders are saying certain things that sound good in some parts and other parts sound questionable. For example, the new ecstatics say that the reason they do what they do is based on the idea that Paul said “If I am beside myself (ecstatic), it is for God, if I am of sound mind, it is for you.”
Here’s an example of one of their event ads on the internet:” Come and experience new levels of the Ecstatic Bliss of His salvation with Dave Vaughan and Joanne Gravell of the UK New Ecstatics!! This gathering will be a joyful celebration with worship led by the Emerald Rainbow band from Fort Wayne, IN, and preaching from some of the drunkest monks on the planet! Come for the entertainment value alone, or come to receive fresh bread from heaven. There will definitely be signs, wonders, miracles, and heavy impartation of holy Godka!! Daddy is doing a wonderful work in Fort Wayne, Indiana, bringing His people into true rest and ecstatic joy in the work of the Cross of Christ! Join us for the whole weekend by booking your ticket now, and finding a local hotel nearby..”
Now just to make myself very plain, what is happening in some of these gatherings is activities that can be construed as disorderly gatherings to the uninitiated. They do things like “Toke the Ghost” (google that one) and main line baby Jesus, or “snort the word”, all in the name of ministering to drug addicts.
If you go to YouTube, you can find another new “mystic”, A.J. Nichols, giving a kind of tutorial about Christian Mysticism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdPGsFKdU7Q . I checked out some of the books that he read as a member at a Vineyard. One was Evelyn Underhill. I read a little about her writings and beliefs and how highly respected she was as an intellect. The trouble with her writings is they sound so ethereal. It’s like something that must be “attained” by some special kind of searching and posturing that may or may not be Biblical. The author of this article says that Evelyn was drawn to the Catholic Church, but her husband would not let her become a Catholic. She replaced a lot of her mystical language later in her life with the word “Holy Spirit” instead of mysticism. That sounds to me like she was shown a more Biblical way. The posturing she speaks about does not sound like the posturing that is plain in scripture though.
It’s obvious that Evelyn Underhill was truly a “spiritual” kind of person, but her words do not sound very down to earth. Jesus, is by far the most spiritual guy I know, hands down, and He never talked the way this woman talked. People understood Him to be talking about them or someone else! (Even when He was cryptic.) He would also explain things that His disciples did not understand.
A.J. Nichols also describes “mysticism” as being a Christian word. I’m not sure where he got this but my problem is that if Mysticism is a Christian word, where is it in scripture? Why not use the words that are in scripture? Is it because we are trying to create a culture that sounds Biblical by changing some of the words a little? Think, now…if you change a little word like “Holy Spirit” that is powerful and dynamic and dynamite, to Mysticism, aren’t we corrupting the meaning of that word?
Evelyn Underhill also sought to make mysticism a practice rather than a theory. Why do I feel like there’s no safety net here? It’s because it’s not founded and grounded in scripture. Mysticism, as defined in Wikipedia, comes from the Greek word meaning “mystery religion”. The ecclesia who were the called out ones of the first century (some people call that “church”) were not part of a mystery religion. They were waiting for the promise of the Spirit that Jesus/Yeshua said the Father would send. They weren’t waiting for some kind of inner experience found inside man, but a mystery hidden from the foundation of the world, revealed at Pentecost/Shavuot: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which everyone witnessed!
Let me just say that I really liked the A.J. Nichols video and the way he explained everything so clearly. His testimony of deliverance from homosexuality and pornography is a true testimony of God’s amazing grace. I picked him as one of the “new mystics” but he’s probably one of the most grounded of the ones I’ve heard. I’m just wondering how what he’s talking about went from “having encounters with God” (his Biblical definition of true mysticism) to having a “slosh fest” and drinking the holy “Godka” (what others say)? There’s a disconnect here!
My thinking here is that there has been a seed sown and the resulting fruit of this seed is just beginning to manifest itself.
I titled my research “spiritual hybridization” because there is a big concern about the genetic engineering of our food. The ultimate result of genetic engineering is a sterile seed. Without going into all the details of GMO (genetically engineered organisms), it involves injecting something artificial into the genes of a plant or animal to make it, say, for instance, withstand large doses of pesticides. The problem with this is that, in some cases, unscrupulous corporations are engineering suicide seeds that force farmers to go buy new seeds from the companies instead of reusing their own seed. The crops that are produced from these GMOs are also bad for people to consume them. There’s all kind of weird diseases and ailments out there that may be the cause of GMOa.
What does this have to do with the New Mysticism or the New Ecstatics? Well, what’s being injected into the conversation that sounds good and looks good, but when it’s consumed, it causes unfruitfulness for the kingdom of God, or worse yet, sterility? Could it be a mixture of something?
In the scriptures the Bible warns against the mixing of seeds:
Deu 22:9 You shall not sow your vineyard with different seeds: lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown, and the fruit of your vineyard, be defiled. Deu 22:10 You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together. Deu 22:11 You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, [as] of woolen and linen together. Also, Lev. 19:19- ‘You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.
Jesus talked about the mixture of tares (darnel) and wheat. He condemned this mixture, saying that an enemy had sown the tares. Matthew 13:18
Now we should talk about extreme exposure to God’s presence. I like that title because I know of several examples in the Bible where there were people that fall into that category. We’ll talk about them in the next installment. Promise me that you’ll read about that…because this article talks about “spiritual hybridization”, not “extreme exposure to God’s presence”. Maybe by looking at the real thing, we’ll separate the wheat from the tares!