Over a span of a couple of months I have yearned and ached for a right sense of standing with God, my Lord Jesus of Nazareth. Over the last several years, while I have remained in the faith, resilient and persevering to what I believe the faith to be, I have been more weak than strong.
I have allowed my hurts and disappointments to cloud my mind and my understanding. I have wavered in things that have open doors to deception and made me vulnerable to errors of belief. I have let pain and rejection affect me in ways that have removed me from the safety of a deep relationship with God and a knowing that I am secure in Him alone.
I have allowed my disappointments and hurts from the Body of Christ, to shut and slam the door on the very community I needed to be a part of. Isolation is no answer. Separation from fellow believers cures no ills, it only creates more pain and self-inflicted sorrow.
Two months ago I began a “journey home” reconciling myself to the reality that a Christian needs to belong to a group of believers who are on the same life journey with God. Being in community is more than a theory or Bible doctrine. Being grafted into God, regenerated by the Spirit, connects us to other believers. There is nothing more challenging than living life in community with other people, and all the relational and belief and practice issues that surround being a community of faith. Our own internal “stuff” more often than not get in the way, and many of us would rather “cut and run” rather than deal with our own self-interests, insecurities, and fear issues, than remain connected to our faith community.
I began the “journey home” at that time by recognizing my own failures and inadequacies when it came to remaining in Christian community. I realized that I needed to be connected to people of faith, even if what they believed and practiced was not what I believed. As long as Jesus of Nazareth was central, and the atonement of Christ, and salvation in Christ alone, as well as the authority of the Scriptures for faith and practice, then I could agree to disagree on the “non-essentials.” I decided that it was time that I put into practice one of the maxims of one of my favorite theologians, Augustine of Hippo, who said: “In essentials unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity.”
I write this with conviction in my heart, and the weighty responsibility that comes with posting things on social media. I have never been shy about posting what I think, sometimes to my own detriment. I first want to apologize to my wife and family and say that I am sorry that I have not been the kind of husband and father I ought to have been.
My slippery path was slow, seductive and produced results
I allowed false beliefs to emerge and pull me in into a whirlpool and cesspool of flawed and erroneous beliefs that have nothing to do with New Testament faith or historic Christianity. These things range from hyper-charismatic mysticism, to new age practices that have and continue to infiltrate the Evangelical church and in particular the charismatic movement, through the most experiential based sub movements, from Bethel Church (Redding, California), to IHOP in Kansas City, Morningstar, to Catch the Fire (formerly TACF) in Toronto.
Gnosticism is alive and well within these movements as is the quest for union with God through mystical encounters, which include many Zen Buddhist meditation and mind altering experiences. The upcoming film, The Shack, is just another example of this mystical trap that is there to ensnare Christians and pull them into the full orbit and control of the New Age Movement. I was sucked in over the last 15 years in doing and participating in things that I simply justified. I was not a good Berean, checking to ensure that the practices I was engaged in were even remotely biblical.
Many of the practices were rooted in Roman Catholicism and what it borrowed from the East and incorporated in their own practices. This continues to be the case for Evangelicals who embrace centering prayer, meditation, alternative consciousness, and entering the heavenly realms. All that stuff has nothing to do with practicing a biblical faith, and opens doors for deception, demon oppression and even demon possession. There are no such things as “Christian Yoga,” or “Christian massage therapy.” All these things are deceptions.
There is so little discernment today.
The whole “wellness” movement is New Age and is filled with Eastern mysticism and occult practices. No matter the physical aspects and positive elements to them, they are essentially at their core religious practices which are anti-Christian. There is nothing beneficial to the Christian engaging in these practices and we should be distancing ourselves from them and their influence on us and our families, friends and churches.
The seduction of Christianity
The Evangelical is being seduced by the spirit of anti-Christ through this New Age mysticism, especially in Charismatic churches and leaders. I have awakened from a seduced delusional sleep and it is startling to see things with new biblical eyes rather than mystical eyes.
So if I have challenged you to water down the authority of Scripture, forgive me for I have sinned against you and against God.
If I have watered down what you consider essentials to faith, I am sorry, forgive me for I have sinned against you and against God.
If I have judged you or criticized you for your sincere beliefs in Jesus and the Gospel of grace, please forgive me, for I have sinned against you and against God.
If I have been critical of the Body of Christ and how people “do church” and I have offended you by my words and statements, I am sorry, please forgive me, for I have sinned against you and against God.
For those “teachers” and “preachers” and “proponents” of “progressive Christianity” I forgive you and I pray for you. The responsibility upon those who hold authority and influence over people is much to bear, and I pray the Lord will be compassionate toward you and guide you to Himself. I am not casting stones. I merely stating that it was an easy slide to embrace the “emerging church” and its proponents and their dogmas and theologies, and embrace a more palatable and easy believism which has no cost to bearing and living. I was wrong, totally wrong to embrace it for myself, and I caution all others tempted by:
• Easy believism with little to no substance and no cost to living it out in this society
• Easy discipleship that does not require transformed character and service to God and to others
• The rejection of traditional beliefs as if they are outdated or not tenable in bearing witness in our post-modern culture and substituting a narrative and belief system that leaves out what is costly grace
• Walking away from all people who disagree with you, which violates the oneness there in and through Christ Jesus, leaving ourselves vulnerable and a prey to anything that sounds vaguely Christian and spiritual but is a denial of the historic faith
• Advocating mystical experience and encounter over and against being rooted and grounded in the Scriptures and the God of the Scriptures
My sincere and deepest apologies to all who claim to be a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth
“Sorry” is a difficult word to say, and so small to try to convey the grief and sorrow I feel at this time. But I am sorry, if I have misled you into an adventure of the spiritual which has little to nothing to do with biblical and historical Christianity. I am sorry. I have been less than an authentic disciple of Jesus. Please forgive me.
I soldier on and I move forward, not looking backward but forward. I will persevere as God preserves me in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. God is not finished with any of us yet.
He forgives and restores and enables us to move in grace by His Spirit. So I will not wallow in self-pity. I will acknowledge my failings and my wrongs. I will continue to repent of those things the Lord Jesus convicts me off.
I will make right what can be rectified. I will live by Scripture alone, put my trust in salvation in Jesus of Nazareth alone, the finished work of the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ is building His Church, and the gates and doctrines of hell will not prevail against Jesus or His Church. Many are being deceived but God will do what is necessary to preserve His elect. I will continue to be motivated to live in Christ, and to walk with Christ, especially in the midst of all this New Age deception that has infiltrated the church, the body of Christ in not only our nation, but the nations of the earth.
Be at peace with God by making peace with God in Jesus Christ, for He loves and cherishes you.
So much so, He continues to rescue people like you and I.
One of the rescued,
In Christ alone,
Samuel M. Buick
* Sorry Seems The Hardest Word are words from a song by the same title by English musician Elton John
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and tagged apostasy
, charismatic gnosticism
, falling away
, false teachers
, New Age Infiltration of the Church
, New Age Movement
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