Cedric Fisher: "earnestly contending for the faith."

The Global Church Network Sage: Leonard Sweet

By Cedric Fisher |February 19, 2022

(Global Church Network Members and Participants: https://www.truthkeepers.com/?p=2163)

Introduction:

I commonly refer to Kanye West’s foray into Christianity as an example of how weak and bereft of discernment many professing Christians are. West was disturbingly welcomed throughout Christianity and its leadership. Individuals warning about West were blasted with angry accusations and insults. Few people cared that West repeatedly blasphemed Christ and the Holy Spirit on stage and in videos. He had virtually no opposition to “going to and fro in Christianity, and from walking up and down in it.”[1]

Christianity is under siege by professing Christian pretenders. People appear to be fascinated with anything new. That error is luring them into the snares of Satan’s “ministers of righteousness.”[2] To be clear, those “ministers” use words to disarm people and conceal their nefarious intent. A word, such as semiotics, may be the label for extra-biblical doctrine. The sad and tragic fact is that Satan’s minions are now accepted as God’s special envoys with new revelations of truth. A quick Google search for Jesus Manifesto, a book written by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, will produce page after page of glowing kudos. Most individuals will never reach the search engine page with an exposé of the book.

This is not the time for new revelations, but for strengthening time-honored truth. We should beware of anyone claiming to have a new concepts of God’s word, especially if he or she declares, as Leonard Sweet, that they see, hear, dream or imagine as no one else. The likelihood of God appointing such an individual is nil.

As the spiritual atmosphere become worse, the watchman will declare that it will become worser. Sadly, most people will react as before. No matter how often the watchmen warn them, and their warnings are proven true, people will continue to resist, ignore, and attack the watchmen. One day they will sit in the squalor of the ruins of Christianity, weep and cry out, “It’s gone, it’s all gone!”

The Allure of Leonard Sweet

Alice Bailey, the “Mother of the New Age Movement,” and James O. Davis, founder of the Global Church Network, have something in common. Were she alive, Bailey would join Davis in his ardent approval of Leonard Sweet. He was formerly an “atheist intellectual and scholar dedicated to exposing the nincompoopery and poppycockery, if not tomfoolery and skullduggery of all religions.”[3]

I do not recognize much difference spiritually between an atheist attempting to expose Christianity as “nincompoopery, poppycockery, tomfoolery and skullduggery” and a New Age sympathizer presenting Christianity as being compatible with paganism. The results are the same for individuals that believe either deception. I opine that Sweet only diverted from atheism for the mission to convert Christianity into a religion he could agree with.

People may not realize that there are atheist pagans. If Jesus is reduced to less than deity (however covertly), and God’s moral requirements minimized to optional status, little remains of the atheist’s objections to Christianity. The result of mixing or replacing Christianity’s scriptural truth with New Age concepts and philosophy produces a pagan religion atheists may tolerate.

Currently, Sweet has become significant in the immense effort to attract susceptible professing Christians to the New Age. He is labeled a New Age sympathizer, but I believe that he is a New Age minion. He is also co-founder and teacher in the Global Church Network’s Global Church Divinity School (GCDS).

Although semiotics is not his creation,[4] Sweet dreamed or imagined that semiotics should be added to the Christian belief system. Sweet is teaching semiotics in several seminaries, including Northwind Seminary, Portland Seminary, George Fox Seminary, Evangelical Seminary, and the Global Church Divinity School.

The GCDS is part of the Global Church Network. On their website, GCDS offers the following:

“The seven ministry tracks are Preaching, Teaching, Healing, Story, The Arts & Imagination, Christ Formation and Contextual Semiotics.”[5]

The explanation for “Contextual Semiotics” under the subtitle of “Missiology, Ecclesiology, and Entrepreneurial Innovation” is:

“Entrepreneurial Ministries, Leadership Development, High CI [Contextual Intelligence] Cultivation, & Intergenerational Ministries yoked to a theology of trusteeship and creation care.”[6]

I included the above information in this section to reveal that much of what Sweet offers is packaged and labeled with words not commonly used. He uses axioms as if they are new thoughts.[7] In fact, much of what I have read by Sweet is fraught with, and I have no malice in stating, linguistic silliness—possibly for the purpose of appearing “deep” and “ethereal.”

Christ Formation

Concerning Christ Formation, the GCDS courses that the student must complete include “Spirit-Empowerment” and “Faith Coaching.”[8]

Conformance to the image of Christ is the sole cooperative effort of the Holy Spirit and the Believer. Thus, I wondered why Christ Formation involved teaching Spirit-Empowerment. If by “Spirit” they mean Holy Spirit empowerment, then they are in error. Jesus did not say to His disciples, “Tarry in Jerusalem until I arrive to teach you Spirit-Empowerment.” Empowerment cannot be not taught—it must be received.

(George Fox University, where Sweet is a visiting professor, states that Christ Formation is the same as Spiritual Formation. “Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.” Lighthouse Trails Research Project)

Since faith comes by hearing and hearing by God’s word, I also question “Faith Coaching.” Faith is increased and strengthened when we read and study God’s word, pray, and are faithful to endure trials to victorious conclusions.

That stated, “Faith Coaching” appears to be another means to “Spiritual Formation.” Consider the following from Google Books describing the book, Faith Coaching: A Conversational Approach to Helping Others Move Forward in Faith.

“For too long, Christians have taken a delivery approach to spiritual formation: we memorize key verses and snappy concepts to spring on our un-churched neighbors; we provide fill-in-the-blank study courses for believers who want to grow in faith; we strive to tell, teach and transfer what we know. The results? Stagnant believers, lowered expectations and an avoidance of spiritual conversations. There must be a better approach. What if you could take a discovery approach to spiritual formation? What if you didn’t have to be an expert with all the answers but you could ask questions that helped others expand their commitment to following Christ? What if you could take a coach approach? And what if this approach were easy to learn, simple to apply, and bore fruit in the lives of those around you? Here is such an approach. Faith Coaching teaches you to leverage the power of coaching conversations to help others find and follow their spiritual path.”

What is the purpose for Contextual Semiotics being taught in a Seminary? Perhaps the statement from Sweet and Viola’s deceptive book, Jesus Manifesto, might provide clarity.

“The historic Christian creeds are an expression of the need to answer Jesus, ‘Who do you say I am?’ question. But that ‘you say’ is contextual. Each new generation, in every culture, is given a ‘you say.’”[9]

Christ asked His disciples the question—not that He needed to know the answer—but to provoke the men that had followed Him to answer from firsthand knowledge of His deity. If anyone could get the answer right, certainly it would be them. In the context that it was asked, Peter provided the answer, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[10] It cannot be replaced by a “you say,” inviting Billions of people to ignore Peter’s answer and re-ask the question.

Thus, since the perfect answer was given and recorded, the Christian creeds nor any individual need answer it differently. It is the answer that resonates through the ages. Christ built His Church on the solid rock of that answer. There would be no foundation of the Church if answers (foundations) were needed from every generation.

Sweet and Viola declares “you say” contextual and takes the great logical leap that everyone throughout history gets a “you say.” (Why doesn’t everyone get a “who do?”)  They appear to be prying open the door for descriptions of Christ that are relevant to each generation. Thus, Peter’s answer can be modified or expanded. Whether or not that is what Sweet and Viola meant, the “you say” privilege makes it possible.

However, Christ did not provide a “you say” to every generation, but an opportunity to say, “amen!”

Jesus Manifesto or Jesus Manifest?

So what are Sweet and Viola trying to present in their book? Perhaps the answer is in Sweet’s following statement:

Sweet declared on Twitter, “Why Frank and I wrote Jesus Manifesto: You can be a Jesus Manifest.”[11]

Is that what the GCDS really means by “Christ Formation?” Does the Scriptures spread wide for such a conclusion via a “you say” or a manifesto? God’s word is the supreme manifesto that does not need extra biblical advice or “semiotic improvement.” Sweet’s Twitter statement appears to sync with the following definition of Christ Formation.

“Christ Formation is an effort to form every candidate into another Christ.”[12]

Jesus said, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”[13]

The Futurist and Semiotician

On his website, Sweet defines himself, among other things, as a futurist. Being a Christian “futurist” must certainly involve the study of prophesy. If Sweet considers prophesy as God’s word declares it, he should know that his (and similar individuals) involvement in Christianity is prophesied by godly men.[14]

Nonetheless, Sweet is not abashed to describe himself in the following statement.

“Leonard Sweet is a scholar of USAmerican culture; a semiotician who ‘sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;’ and a preacher and best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe, and popular culture.”[15] (underline mine)

The apostle Peter wrote:

“…knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” — 2 Peter 1:20

Perhaps the reason Sweet “sees what everyone else does not see” is because he fantasizes by New Age processing concepts that true Christ-followers do not accept. Since I know nothing of his dreaming, I cannot comment on his dreams. However, dreams linked with imagination can be a serious issue. Consider what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans:

“…because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” — Romans 1:21

“Dreams, imagining, seeing what no one can see,” when it pertains to truth, are all characteristics of mysticism. It can draw people to a vain individual rather than to God. Although the apostle Paul had visions, he did not use visions, dreams, and/or imaginations for self aggrandizement. He pointed people to God with the truth that the Holy Spirit had also deposited in other Believers. At no point did he wish to be considered as the sole dispenser of God’s truth or that people should esteem him as a great one.

The Allure of Semiotics

It is important to point out that genuine Christ-following requires one to surrender his or her life to God. Redemption is the fact that God purchased us. If we accepted His redemption purchased by the shed blood of Christ, we cannot remain autonomous. We are either God’s property or Satan’s spoils—there is no middle ground.

Afterward, one will be targeted by demons. Surviving involves praying (not the praying-without-words “Contemplative” plea for demon possession), and it requires self-denial (not legalism) that increases with maturity. One must be indwelled led by the Holy Spirit and he or she must read and study a genuine Bible.[16] Trying to be a Christian while rejecting true redemption will make one “twofold more the child of hell.”[17]

True Christianity is not a playground—but a battlefield. We do not get to concoct our personal Christianity tailor-made to our desires and lifestyles. Because numerous professing Christians do not know or accept what genuine Christianity is, they have been lured under the false teaching of very dangerous satanic minions that speak like a lambs, but mixed with the words of snakes.

Semiotics is alluring for several reasons. It’s new (to most people), it appears to be cutting edge knowledge, and it’s taught by one of America’s most notorious “New Christianity” teachers. But the most alluring reason is that it removes the requirements for genuine Christ-following that the flesh and Satan’s “ministers of righteousness” despise.[18]

One dictionary defines semiotics simply as “the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.”[19]

In other references, Semiotics is called “A new theoretical basis for the information age.”[20]

It is called a “New Age” language, perhaps referring to a new digital age of icons and emoticons. However, God’s word can be misinterpreted if individuals deviate from His verbal and written communication to include the language of signs. God sent signs, not to confuse or complicate, but to validate Jesus Christ as His Son and the Messiah.

Does God call Semioticians?

Definition of “semiotician” is in the following:

“A semiotician is an individual who is an expert in or student of semiotics. Semiotics is the study of sign processes, which are any activity, conduct, or process that involves signs, where a sign is defined as anything that communicates something, usually called a meaning, to the sign’s interpreter.” (Wikipedia)

We do not sit at a stop sign for hours determining an alternate meaning. We know to stop, and to go when the way is clear. There is also a large bold word on the sign. Likewise, we do not fixate on and ponder different meanings of the signs of healing, raising from the dead, et cetera—we simply accept them. Besides, there are bold words in the Scriptures that inform us what those signs mean.

Sweet appears to employ semiotics to mix New Age concepts with his teaching. Some individuals would strongly protest that statement. However, Sweet stated in his book, “Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There:”

“While I am engaging with people of other religious faiths, I find myself unable to commit to their conclusions or agree with their assessments. Yet at the same time I come away encouraged by spiritual truths found in their traditions, thrilled by new insights into my own faith, and more passionate than ever about being a disciple of Christ.[21]

Sweet appears to insist that semiotics will further inflame that passion.

On his Napkin Scribbles podcast, Sweet explains semiotics as he applies it to Christianity. He first asserts that he doesn’t believe one can understand “Jesus Semiotics” without comics. He declares that comics are very important.[22]

Napkin Scribbles

I agree that his Napkin Scribbles podcast of how semiotics fits into God’s word could be comical, but only if it were not (sadly) so discombobulating.

In Sweet’s podcast, he stammers, struggles, and contradicts himself while trying to explain “Jesus Semiotics.” In the process, he demonstrates a lack of scriptural knowledge and understanding. He explains:

“And uh, uh, I’m—I’m encouraging us to learn to get fluent in this language of reading signs, because the ultimate sign is Jesus, and we want to know what he’s doing, where he’s especially active so that we can then join Him in what he’s doing.”

“..and where he is in everybody’s life—everyone that you meet, Jesus is up to something and your job and mine as semioticians is to read what he’s doing.”

Sweet’s depiction of Christ Jesus is not validated by God’s word.

The Holy Spirit is not active in the lives of everyone because the majority of individuals are not surrendered to God. Furthermore, Sweet mentions “the spirit” but does not frequently acknowledge the Holy Spirit, who Christ Jesus declared that He would send after His departure. The Holy Spirit is in the Believer as Christ was with His disciples. Communication with the Holy Spirit is superior to sign language that requires us to learn from an individual who “sees” and “dreams” what the “rest of us do not see or dream.”

Another section of the podcast is very telling. Sweet claims, “But Jesus Semiotics requires a spirit hermeneutics. Uh…hermeneutics is, how do you interpret, and, those signs. Recognizing them is what Semiotics is. Okay, that’s Jesus. Interpreting those signs and what they mean, is hermeneutics.”[23]

Christian hermeneutics is “the study of the general principles of biblical interpretation.”[24] We may one day open a Bible with only symbols and pictures of various things. It may evoke the notion of hermeneutics as “sign interpretation.” As it is today, hermeneutics is how we study God’s written word.

I disagree with the claim that “a spirit hermeneutics” is necessary, and that we must understand “Jesus Semiotics” (signs and symbols). Our understanding of Christ comes from God’s word. That knowledge of Christ will be illuminated by the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit does not tease us by flashing signs and forcing us to interpret them. The Believers that are filled with the Holy Spirit hear His voice. He leads us into all truth and the path does not pass by way of mystics and sages.

If Sweet were truly sent by God with special gnosis that the rest of us are not privy to, why did God deprive past generations of access to semiotics? Why would God choose semiotics for the present generations that are beleaguered by deception, apostasy, and Satan’s minions? We may realize the answers when we consider Sweet’s final explanation of “Jesus Semiotics.”

Sweet goes on to explain, “A biblical herm…semiotics mandates, uh, a numerological hermeneutics. The spirit teaches us how to read the signs, that we’ve gleaned from the semiotics. The spirit teaches us how to read Jesus. But reading Jesus is a semiotic task. Understanding and interpreting what Jesus is doing, and what that might mean for us, is a numerological task—is a hermeneutic task.” (ibid)

I wondered if he was concocting such a drivel on the go. Are we supposed to be reading the signs or read Jesus? Sweet cannot make up his mind if they are the same. Is a spirit teaching us, or is it a numerological, hermeneutical, and semiotic task? The podcast reveals that something is seriously wrong with Sweet’s understanding of Christ. His attempt to explain is complicated by the amazingly confounding nature of his rambling discourse. The fact is, God has not sent Sweet or anyone else with semiotics as a means of further understanding His word.

One of Sweet’s students explained in a video that semiotics is like an apple. One person may view it as fruit, and another person is reminded of gloating (How do you like them apples?!) and yet another person is reminded of Apple computer company.

Apply that to Sweet’s “semiotic hermeneutic” and the result is that one may assume various interpretations of God’s word. That is exactly what the New Age Movement is provoking with its foray into Christianity. The mission of New Age operatives is to convince Christians to believe that God’s truth is subject to additions, interpretations, and alterations, i.e., “truths” from other religions. It is to convince them that those “truths” are equal to scriptural truth. They insist that God manifests as many gods, there are no absolutes, and all truth is in flux (except the claim that all truth is in flux).

Semiotics, Another Path to the New Age

The bottom line is that every true Christ-follower is indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). God will not send anyone to tell His people what He can speak to them via His word and the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, there is not one thing I know about God or Christ that any other Believer cannot know.

If the result of Sweet’s teaching separates Christians from the Holy Spirit by the cleverly instilled Eastern religious principle of “both/and,” they are susceptible to explore and accept the errant doctrine, philosophy, and concepts of God in other religions. Sweet’s semiotics provokes individuals to have different views of God and His word. One or more of those views is likely to line up perfectly with a New Age belief.

That is precisely how Christianity is being dismantled. The major goal of the United Religions and New Age Movement is to convince Christians to give up their fundamentalism—to believe in the Eastern philosophy of both/and to believe in God and other gods—in God’s word, and also New Age heresy. It is very disturbing that the GCN’s many pastors, theologians, apologists, leaders of denominations and large ministries, have not utter one word of protest.

The Attack on Fundamentalism

Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nation, said:

“Peace will be impossible without the taming of fundamentalism through a United Religions that professes faithfulness only to the global spirituality and to the health of this planet.”[25]

The New Age religion aligns with Muller’s insistence that religions professes faithfulness only to the global spirituality and to the health of this planet.

The United Religions Initiative draft charter contains the following:

“We believe in the universality and eternity of the Spirit. We believe that all religions derive their wisdom from that ultimate Source. Therefore, the world’s faith traditions share in common wisdom, which can be obscured by differences in religious concepts and practices.”[26]

The New Age has long been engaged in provoking an eastward shift of Christianity from the Scriptures and into the Eastern Religion’s concept, both/and.

The Law of Non-contradiction

Both/and violates the Law of Non-contradiction. The Law of Non-contradiction is that nothing can be what it is and what it is not. We see that law established in the Scriptures many times. One popular verse describes it well.

“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”[27]

Christ was obviously not commanding us to speak only those two words. He was telling us not to say “yes” when we mean “no” and vice versa. It is violating the Law of Non-contradiction.

The fact is that God insists that we either accept Him or be rejected by Him. The rigidity of either/or is the single most despised or hated characteristic of God’s word. We must choose Him alone as God, or choose the god of the world system and his gods—we cannot have both. Eastern Mysticism declares that we can have many gods. A genuine Believer chooses God’s word and the absolutes it is founded on. Eastern Mysticism has duplicity as the centerpiece of its belief system. The narrow path to God is paved with His truth. The Eastern principle of both/and can never be syncretized with Christianity without the death of Christianity.

Applying semiotics to knowing Christ, or to what He is doing (He’s sitting at the right hand of the Father), or attempting to use semiotics via the Holy Spirit, is a bizarre and unbiblical concept. There isn’t even the slightest hint in God’s word that one day, because of Leonard Sweet, we would replace the Spirit of truth (that leads us into all truth) and compromise God’s written word, with semiotics.

My advice to Sweet’s students and followers is:

Stop concerning yourself with what Jesus is doing, and discover what God wants you to do. For that information, you should remove unnecessary distractions and obsessions in your life. Study God’s word by the assistance of the Holy Spirit and pray. When I say pray, I do not mean as the heathen pray (Contemplative Prayer), but pray sincerely from your heart. Communicate with God in private.

Sweet’s semiotics is making something simple, complicated. People are being diverted from the simplicity of the Gospel, and scriptural understanding of who Christ is, to look for signs. Further, he insists those signs must be interpreted by a spirit. It certainly will not be the Holy Spirit.

God’s Truth Contrasts Sweet’s Semiotics

I feel sadness for Leonard Sweet just as I do for anyone that has no spiritual acumen to know who God or Christ truly is and how they interact with humanity. One statement by Christ puts a golden pin in the large ballon of Sweet’s complicated gnosis.

But Jesus said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”[28] Matthew 19:14

How could those children know Christ intellectually? Could they have even known Him instinctively? Parents of those children could not have known Christ long enough to have taught their children. Further, I do not believe that children would have gathered around a Rabbi as a matter of custom. Would parents even permit such a thing since his words would be well beyond their ability to understand?

Those children knew Him deeper than human intellect and beyond instinct. They came because of their childlike wonder of Him. His innocence resonated with the innocence in them. How can that be explained as instinct or learned behavior? No one like Christ had ever existed on earth.

They were drawn to Christ because of Himself—nothing else. It is a phenomena science might call inherent in humanity, but God’s word calls it a gift. The pure goodness of Christ awakened the gift of faith in children. They would have not been able to explain it. His magnetism attracts the pure in heart and compels a deep desire to know Him. Adults sat at His feet, but children wanted Him to hold them.

Deep calls unto Deep

That reaction of humanity to Christ cannot be taught in a seminary. It is already resident in each person. But it is something that must be first recognized, responded to, and then lived. Sadly, people reject the desire to know Him and doom themselves to eternal darkness. Other ones seek intellectual reasons why they should keep Him at a distance while offering obligatory statements of belief in Him. Other ones attempt to alter knowledge of Christ and God’s word so that Christ appeals to them. It is an attempt to avoid full surrender. They do not wish to completely give up who they are, to have their lives hidden with Christ in God.

The one with faith as a child knows his or her sinful condition, cries out like a child to the Father. In the throes of brokenness, he or she is suddenly made whole by redemption. All of science and New Age blathering may console the intellect of humanity that reveres autonomy rather than brokenness and surrender, but those influences are no match for the “baby cry” of the soul that hungers and thirsts for the living God.

The following statement by the apostle Paul agrees with Christ. We must kneel on our pride and submit to the cry from our deposit of faith.

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” — Romans 12:3

That statement goes well with another statement Christ made about little children.

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:2-4

Both the apostle Paul and Christ regarded humbleness as faith’s companion. It becomes apparent that God desires those qualities to be the foundation of every individual’s understanding of Him. That is how we should approach Him and how we should teach people to approach Him. On that premise, we can build a relationship with Him.

However, individuals, such as Leonard Sweet, are not humbly satisfied with the faith and knowledge that everyone can possess. They/he must be special, “seeing what others cannot see,” and offering complicated ways and means to know Christ.

What Christianity Never Needed

Sweet decided that Quantum Spirituality should be applied to Christianity.[30] It’s like he believes that faith needs a constant upgrade—that faith is not sufficient as God provided it (Dealt every man a measure of faith). It presents the concept that faith should change with a multiplicity of concepts as he “sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining.” How did Christian history’s great men and women of faith survive and thrive spiritually without such a sage?

If what is being offered by Leonard Sweet is essential to the Body of Christ, then the Church was near vacuous in both knowledge and faith in the 2000 years before the advent of Sweet. However, that conclusion does not agree with history. Furthermore, Christianity has not become better because of the teaching of Sweet and like individuals. I have no reservations in stating that I believe there are many more apostates in Christianity than there are faithful people of God. I am confident in stating that Christianity is chockfull of heresy, pusillanimous hirelings, and New Age “change agents.” Sweet has made a significant contribution to the tragic state of affairs.

Christians do not need any more complicated hodgepodge—they need more people who “sit at the feet” of Jesus and come away with His word like a “fire shut up in their bones.” They do not prosper spiritually by constant dredging and imbibing New Age paganism. Their faith is turned off by dependency on sages and mystics—squatters in God’s earthly kingdom.

Conclusion:

One can meander for years in the shallow pools of human wisdom. But the ones that hunger and thirst for God, the deep in them cries out for the deep in God at the noise of His waterspouts.

Imagine seeking a beautiful waterfall only heard about. You hack through the jungle, soaked with sweat, nearly out of drinking water, and feeling wilted in the humidity and heat.

Then you hear it—the unmistakable sound of water cascading down a high cliff. Your heart pounds with excitement and anticipation of deliverance from the stifling heat. Then you kick free from the bondage of clinging vines and weeds into the shore of a beautiful clear river overwhelmed by a mighty torrent of water unleashed from the river above.

Our souls can cry out for God like that. We have to yield to the desire in us, magnify it by deprioritizing everything else. It’s not a mystery. We do not need a psychic, guru, sage, mystic, or anyone else. We must only yield to the eternity in us (soul) that longs to know the eternal God.

 

  1. Job 1:7
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:15
  3. Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Sweet/e/B000APMP9Y%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
  4. Charles Sanders Peirce, known as “the Father of Pragmatism.” Peirce wrote, “Thought thinks in us rather than we in it.” And, “Accordingly, just as we say that a body is in motion, and not that motion is in a body, we ought to say that we are in thought and not that thoughts are in us.” A General Introduction to the Semeiotic of Charles Sanders Peirce, James Jakób Liszka, Indiana University Press, 1996. Also, Charles S. Peirce. Selected Writings on Semiotics, 1894-1912 (Semiotics, Communication and Cognition [SCC] 21) by Francesco Bellucci, De Gruyter Mouton, June 22, 2020.
  5. GCDS, https://www.gcds.tv/resources
  6. ibid
  7. Leonard Sweet, Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, David C. Cook, 2010 (underline mine)
  8. ibid
  9. Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, Jesus Manifesto, Thomas Nelson Inc (June 1, 2010), Introduction
  10. Matthew 16:16
  11. Leonard Sweet. http://twitter.com/lensweet/status/14441937454
  12. Fr. James Kannanthanam, CMF (of St. Peter’s Seminary Bengaluru), CHRIST FORMATION – https://claretonline.org/2021/12/20/christ-formation/
  13. Matthew 24:5
  14. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets…” Matthew 24:24. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4
  15. https://leonardsweet.com/about/
  16. I recommend that people not read extra-biblical books until they have working knowledge of God’s word. The near majority of popular “Christian” books are worthless and/or dangerous.
  17. Matthew 23:15—Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
  18. 2 Corinthians 11:15—Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…
  19. Oxford Languages
  20. Cameron Shackell, 2018
  21. Leonard Sweet, Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, David C. Cook, 2010, pg. 27.
  22. (Napkin Scribbles, Reading the Comics: Listen to Dr. Sweet as he explains “Jesus Semiotics” in more detail in this six-minute Napkin Scribbles podcast: https://www.georgefox.edu/seminary/programs/dmin-semiotics/index.html)
  23. Napkin Scribbles podcast.
  24. Britannica
  25. Lee Penn, The United Religions Initiative, a Bridge Back to Gnosticism, Catholic Culture, https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=967
  26. United Religions Initiative, “Benchmark Draft Charter,” Internet document, http://www.united-religions.org/charter/index.shtml, Draft Agenda for Action, V. Sharing the Wisdom and Cultures of Faith Traditions, Background/Definitions and Rationale, p. 14
  27. Matthew 5:37
  28. Matthew 19:14
  29. ScienceDaily (from Wikipedia) online
  30. Warren B. Smith, The Significance of Understanding Quantum Spirituality and Leonard Sweet’s “More Magnificent Way” of Seeing Christ, Lighthouse Trails Research Project, blog, March 6, 2019, https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=29762

1 Comment

  1. Corintina

    Agree. One thing I notice among even what may be considered ‘the remnant’ today are a few things. Although they may not fall into the traps listed above, and they may be vigilant about holding to Biblical doctrine, they make some routine errors.

    1. Something else in their life begins to eclipse their love for Jesus. They don’t share that same level of excitement as the time after they recently got saved. It is normal to dig into things and learn and grow as we expand our knowledge, one example is learning more about the Bible, prophecy, apologetics against cults and so on. But they get so obsessed with an item that it eclipses the love for the Lord and the joy of the relationship in their life. One example is they get obsessed with Israel. I have seen this reach a feverish pitch with some believers. I recall in one church, one man was ‘all about Israel’ and every prayer he uttered revolved around God’s protection of Israel and so on. If you mentioned that topic, he got all fired up. But when I mentioned Jesus in some context, or it was worship time and we sang, he was devoid of all enthusiasm. You begin to wonder, who is his true idol?
    Another example is those who hold to the pre trib rapture. They are more obsessed with escaping the things to come than they are with meeting the Lord and entering into eternal fellowship in heaven with Him. I’m sure we’ve all seen the type. It can be anything, but the object of their love becomes something other than the Lord and walking with Him in fellowship and the joy it brings.
    Anyone in this category needs to return to their ‘first love,’ as it warns in Revelation.
    3. I have seen the following type in many churches that are very Biblical. They have a passion for the Lord, a desire to draw near to Him and to learn the Bible. Then they step right over you as if you were just so much debris in their path to this end. They completely forget that the church is not here as a spectator sport. They rush in and out, passively engage in the sermon, may lift a hand or so during worship, but once it’s over, brother… get out of my way! The fact that the church is here to edify the church, we are here to minister to one another in numerous ways, and to interact in a way that lends to our personal spiritual growth in ways that can only occur by this interaction, is totally ignored. That you may need help of some kind, a listening ear, a hug, or even a roof over your head during a rough time, this is all thrown under the bus. In fact, if you are not in their circle of income level, you are not even invited to join in their click. I have seen this sort of thing often. How can they believe that they are growing in their relationship with God, when they are totally ignoring the needs of their brethren? So much of God’s ways involve ministering to others and noticing their needs, paying attention, being observant as to how we can serve and assist each other better or at all. It is a sad reality that I see as a pattern.

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