Replacement Christianity (part one)

The vast majority of professing Christians don’t recognize what is actually occurring in Christianity. They go to church meetings on Sunday mornings and believe that everything is fine. It seems incredible to them a viable threat exists that may actually destroy true Christianity. The truth is that if the present great apostasy continues, one day soon they will be forced to decide between two Christs, one true and the other diabolical. Even more ominous is that they could be gradually led to accept new doctrines and practices that deceive them into accepting a false Christ. Very few of them are prepared for that time of testing. If they do not even know that a great apostasy is presently rampaging through Christianity, how can they be prepared for the moment when it comes crashing into their comfort zones?

The following quote from a professing Christian represents the nature of this apostasy quite well.
“The problem with exclusivism, is that it presents us with a god from whom we need to be delivered rather than the living God who is the hope of the world. The exclusivist god is narrow, rigid, and blind. This god pays no attention to the sanctity and personal holiness of people outside the Christian fold. This god takes no loving and parental pride in the lives of great spiritual teachers who spoke of other paths to truth, figures like Moses, Siddartha [Buddah], Mohammed, and Gandhi…Such a god is not worthy of honor, glory, worship, or praise. This god offers no hope for a world deeply divided along religious lines, a world crying out for peace and reconciliation.” – Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham from his book, “Mansions of the Spirit”
While most professing Christians would be appalled by Ingham’s statement, they may be tolerating of deceptive practices and doctrines that lead to the same apostasy. The truth is that evil is not varying sizes of pools, but evil is all one stream. One cannot wet his or her tongue with a seemingly smaller evil without contracting the virus of the whole stream.

Nearly all of the major denominations are infiltrated with New Age heresies and some are nearly completely deceived. It is the result of the acceptance by small degrees of evil that was deemed as truth. Consider that the Assemblies of God has invited a New Age heretic, Ruth Haley Barton, to speak at their General Council this year in Orlando, Florida. Barton is a New Age spiritual director (guru) who promotes pagan practices that can lead to demon possession. The General Superintendent of the AoG defends and downplays the decision to invite Barton by saying that her teaching is about nothing more than being quite before the Lord. His defense is either the result of extreme naivety or complete deception. In inviting Barton, he is allowing one of the single most destructive New Age practices, Contemplative Prayer, to be introduced to an entire denomination of leaders at once. The ramifications are immense.

Many professing Christians are incapable of detecting this rapidly spreading heresy.
They do not often hear or understand the terms, Emergent or Emerging Church, modernity, post modernism, New Age, Contemplative Spirituality, and etcetera. As a result, they become mired in the terms and all the various rabbit trails that connect the Emergent/New Age Church with paganism and Roman Catholicism. Therefore, the conversation over a great and potentially most destructive heresy invading Christianity is limited to a relative few individuals. The discussion needs to occur among Christians at the grass roots level, in the work place, the marketplace, in homes, on social networking, and in every other common venue. To facilitate such a discussion, I am defining the Emergent /New Age Church as Replacement Christianity.

Here is a general synopsis of what has transpired so far. For a more complete understanding I recommend “A Time of Departing” by Ray Yungen. Also, a wealth of information is available at Lighthouse Trails Research. First, the New Age Movement came into view somewhere during the mid to last half of the 20th century. This movement involves a collection of religious beliefs and practices that includes nearly every belief system except Christianity. For more about the New Age Movement, visit Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

The NAM was a topic of discussion among concerned Christian leaders in the 80s. At that point it was mostly a threat that existed outside of Christianity. By the 90s, interest in the NAM faded to a great extent. I do not know exactly why it appeared to drop off the radar, but it could be because the focus shifted to heresies developing within Christianity. However, the NAM did not go away. Its adherents worked stealthily to infiltrate Christianity and worm their way into positions of influence. Gradually, they begin challenging historic Christian beliefs and practices and introducing Christianized, and some not so Christianized, New Age versions. Presently, they have successfully formulated a new Christianity with leaders that have the intent of perverting or replacing historical Christianity by any means necessary. Their tactic is to blend and destroy.

Most of their activity went practically undetected. There are reasons for this neglect that I will reveal later on in this article. Suffice it for me to say that they clothed everything with enough Christian rhetoric to avoid detection. However, some discerning Christians began to notice that the New Age had begun infiltrating Christianity about the time the Seeker Friendly Movement reached its peak. The SFM was an aberrant ecclesiastical experiment formulated and conducted by Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church founder, and his associate(s). From its founding in 1975, Hybels turned the Willow Creek Community Church into the largest church in America using the Seeker Friendly method. Hybels and his staff decided that a church could be more relevant to modern society if it avoided what he considered some of the more offensive parts of Christianity. Hybels mixed secular elements into the church meeting making the church more entertaining and attractive to what he termed the “unchurched”. In my opinion, the SFM became an entry point for the New Age heretics to gain access to evangelical fundamental Christianity.

As the SFM spread across America, a new Christianity appeared to evolve out of it that transcended the heresy of the SFM. Its leaders labeled the new Christianity the Emerging Church. The driving force behind the EC movement is “disillusionment with the organized and institutional church.” This disillusionment led some pastors to begin informal church meetings in buildings designed to more resemble coffee houses than traditional church settings. But for many, the changes did not stop with aesthetics. References to sin and sinner, judgment and hell, and many other traditional biblical truths were either omitted or entirely discarded. It left many Emerging churches without a complete belief system. It was a prime opportunity for New Age adherents to insert their beliefs. Once enough sacred beliefs were trampled, it became easier to reject the remainder of biblical Christianity that clashed with the New Age belief system. Along the way of purging themselves of traditional biblical truth, Emerging devotees accepted homosexuality as a God-sanctioned lifestyle. Churches that have fully thrown off their sheep’s clothing are now called Emergent.

In an attempt to cover their tracks, some of the leaders of the new Christianity are avoiding the terms Emerging and Emergent. Other ones attempt to distinguish themselves from the more blatantly heretical members of the Movement by only accepting the term Emerging. I place the label Replacement Christianity on them because labels are important. Imagine that you are nearly dehydrated from thirst. There are two bottles setting on a table. One has pure water, the other on is laced with cyanide. Would it matter if they are not labeled? Replacement Christianity is a portion of truth seasoned with many destruction heresies. It offers a plethora of answers to the present doldrums in Christianity, but most of those answers lead to apostasy. They claim that what they believe is better than historical Christianity. However while they mask their true colors under the term Church, at the same time they denigrate nearly everything about Christianity in their books and teaching. Further, they claim that they are still in the process of defining themselves and their beliefs. In other words, they are engaged in a blatant attempt to deceive. Once their deception is fully extended, they intend to obliterate true Christianity.

One of the key elements of this deception is Contemplative Spirituality. Its main component is Contemplative Prayer. During Contemplative Prayer, individuals sit, some in yoga position, focusing on their breathing, speaking a one to three-word mantra, while vacating their minds of all thoughts. At that point, they are susceptible to receiving a spirit guide (demon). Of course, they do not believe they are inviting demons, but the evidence speaks otherwise. The fruit of CP is definitely not compatible with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Instead, individuals that engage in CP are becoming united with false religions, engaging in pagan practices, and are submitting to individuals that deny God’s word including the message of the Atonement.

To understand fully what is occurring, we should begin with the words of Christ in Matthew 24:5.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (Matt. 24:4-5 NKJV)

At one point I had difficulty understanding how Matthew 24:5 could be fulfilled. How could many christs come in the name of Christ? First, I pondered that maybe it meant a series of false christs appearing over a period of time. But that did not make sense because Christ is teaching about the last days. Further, Christians believe in one Christ, not many, so it is hard to grasp how many Christians could be deceived by the arrival of more than one false Christ. But that was before contemplative spirituality and its carrier Replacement Christianity came along with the concept of a cosmic Christ.

Ray Yungen presents some history of the Cosmic Christ in his book, “A Time of Departing”. He describes how the New Age Movement intended to conquer Christianity. He quotes Alice Bailey, an occultist and New Age leader, who apparently realized that Christianity would eventually become vulnerable. She declared that a time would come when New Age philosophy would be illuminated through Christianity. The scheme is clearly defined by Yungen when he writes:
“In other words, instead of opposing Christianity, the occult [New Age] would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness!”

This process, which Bailey calls “rejuvenating the church”, has been underway for some time now in the form of Replacement Christianity. There is something very sinister in what they believe. Replacement Christianity leaders postulate that through contemplative spirituality individuals discover the Christ consciousness that dwells deep in them. This discovery awakens them to the cosmic Christ, which is the over arching universal spirit and cosmic force. The idea of a cosmic Christ is panentheism, which is the idea that God, and Christ, is in everyone and everything. Thus, individuals who discover the Christ consciousness believe that they actually become a Christ. It seems fantastical that Matthew 24:5 could be fulfilled in our lifetime, but but the facts indicate that it is being fulfilled.

In New Age writer Matthew Fox’s book, “The Coming of the Cosmic Christ”, he writes:
“Divinity is found in all creatures…. The Cosmic Christ is the “I am” in every creature.”

“Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions. Without this [mysticism] I am convinced there will never be global peace or justice since the human race needs spiritual depths and disciplines, celebrations and rituals to awaken its better selves.”

“We need to become aware of the Cosmic Christ, which means recognizing that every being has within it the light of Christ.” (Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1980)

In light of this information, it is now easy to grasp how many false christs could arrive in the name of Christ and deceive many. A growing number of Replacement Christians now believe in the “Cosmic Christ” that is ubiquitous in every creature. As the “Christ consciousness” is awakened within them, and they believe that they each become a Christ, they are false christs coming in the name of Christ. Thus, they fulfill the prophecy of the Son of God in Matthew 24:4-5.
Another glaring factor is apparent in this deceptive fiasco and that is the great shortage of godly leaders speaking out against this encroaching evil. Christian leadership appears to be in the sleep of complacency and apathy. They fulfill another passage of scriptures.
His watchmen are blind,
They are all ignorant;
They are all dumb dogs,
They cannot bark;
Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yes, they are greedy dogs
Which never have enough.
And they are shepherds
Who cannot understand;
They all look to their own way,
Every one for his own gain,
From his own territory. (Isaiah 56:10-12 NKJV)

The facts are clear. Christianity has become very weak. Consequently, it has been infiltrated by New Age individuals that have long been merging with Christianity. Now that they have reached levels of power and influence, they are replacing the truth with lies. Many professing Christians believe the lies because they have rejected love for the truth. The result is the rapidly growing spiritual cancer of Replacement Christianity. As a result of the lack of godly individuals speaking out against Replacement Christianity heresy, many more professing Christians are becoming deeply entrapped in Replacement Christianity.
It is no secret that they intend to destroy Christianity and replace it with a satanically altered version. Consider the words of one of the leaders of Replacement Christianity.
“My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ.” (Erwin McManus, author of a new book called “The Barbarian Way,”)

“Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right.” (Erwin McManus)
(There are many other quotes that I will present in future articles.)

I believe that the fulfillment of Matthew 24:5 indicates that we may be in the last day. If so, then we have to also consider Matthew 24:24.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matt. 24:24)
A number of people have asked me how they can avoid this intense deception. The quick answer is to reject everything new. Obviously, if a number of false christs arrive in the name of Christ, they cannot make their claim appear to be valid with the true Gospel. They must have a new and different gospel. It stands to reason that the final and great deception will be the result of believing something new. What God gave the world eons ago is the truth. With that truth billions of souls have come into His kingdom. If Replacement Christianity is right, then we must believe that somehow God got it wrong, and that every significant Christian since the Resurrection of Christ got it wrong. We would also have to believe that after 2000 years God has now sent people to dismantle His mistake and bring only this generation to the knowledge of truth. The truth is that what Replacement Christianity offers is a new and false Christ, a new and false Gospel, but a very old and greasy sloped path to hell.