Cedric Fisher: "earnestly contending for the faith."

The Circle Makers

There is this familiar and oft-quoted excerpt from a poem, “Outwitted”, by Edwin Markham;

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !”

Is it possible to cause a rebellious heretic to change his heart and mind with nothing but love?  Of all the people to attempt to win with love, the rebellious heretic is the most difficult.  It seems good on the surface, a Christian thing to do, roping a rebellious heretic with a circle of love and taking him in.  In fact, professing Christians often quote the excerpt as if it is a noble example of true Christianity.  But I’m not certain that it was Christianity that Markham determined to win his rebellious heretic to.

Before writing his poem, Markham became a mystic under the influence of Thomas Lake Harris.  Harris, who had contact with spirit entities such as “The Lily Queen”, was the leader of a small religious cult.  As a winemaker, he claimed that his wine was filled with “divine breath” and thus free from noxious properties including the effects of alcohol.  Markham also became a Mason. His first wife divorced him over his adulterous affair.  To my knowledge he never practiced Christianity.  So exactly what he meant by his poem we may never know.

There is some circle drawing going on in Christianity today that appears to be based on the same fanciful notion that Markham wrote about.  Popular pastor and author Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church (and other professing Christians) has been teaching an imaginative salvation plan called Kingdom Circles.  It is a method of inclusion whereby false religions and cults are accepted into Christianity without renouncing their sin or heresy.  The plan involves a large circle with a number of small circles on its perimeter.  The large circle supposedly represents the Kingdom of God, and the smaller circles represent false religions and cults.  The portion of the small circles that fall inside of the large one is considered light, and the portion on the outside of the large circle is darkness.  Thus, a Muslim has his dark portion in the kingdom of Satan with his light portion in the kingdom of God.  Of course, this defies the Word of God, but that does not matter to the circle makers.  They drew circles and took them in.

One of Warren’s associates and collaborating authors Dr. Mehmet Oz practices Reiki.  During a workshop with her husband, Dr. Oz’s wife conducted a Reiki experience that went as follows.

“She followed with a couple of similar exercises, then finished with what for me was the day’s highlight: the hatsurei-ho meditation, this time for hundreds. The energy in that cavernous room at the Javits Convention Center shifted palpably as Mrs. Oz led the crowd through progressive relaxation, envisioning a golden light all around, drawing the light inside and then breathing it back out into the space around us, adding our own energy with each exhalation. There was no need to explain what Reiki was—everyone felt it, even without touch.”

Oz then told the crowd, “Go in wellness, knowing you have brought light into the world.”  Of course, Christ Jesus is the One who brought light into the world.  I’m not certain whether or not the actual application of Kingdom Circles involves breathing in golden light and exhaling it into the small circles.

Ed Young, Texas pastor of a mega church, believed that putting a king-size bed on top of the church building and remaining in it with his wife for a week would accomplish something significant.  Having failed with the rooftop experiment (as the result of sunburn), he put the bed on the stage of his church.  On Sunday morning, there he sat with his wife on the edge and taught sex education.   It appears that he has drawn a circle around the sexual philosophy and focus of the world system and took it in.

In a book written by Mark Batterson called, The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, Batterson insist that one can draw a circle around various issues and desires, and God will intervene mightily.  In the context of the mental sphere, you could only do such a thing with your imagination.   In that sense, you wouldn’t need prayer for anything except asking God to bless your imaginative grasping for help and benefits.  I prefer the scriptural method of praying directly to God through Christ for His help with my needs and problems.

There was a period when churches believed that lifting up Jesus Christ, preaching and teaching the truth, and simply being God’s unique and godly people, would draw individuals to the meetings.  That method began to gradually disappear when gimmicks to draw crowds became popular.  Ministers thought that eating their lunch on top of the church building would draw people to Christ.  Other churches put on pew-packing contests and large prizes were given to the one who could fill the most pews with the most people.  The gimmickry grew in proportion with the mimicry of truth and godliness.   In spite of copious and polemic warnings by men of God who knew the consequences of such shenanigans, they continued to work at increasing the numeral value of church attendance until it became the primary focus.  A rancid pragmatism developed that many churches now use to justify whatever it takes to get people through the doors.  They drew a circle around secular marketing techniques and took them in.

Is love truly the motivation of the present paradigm of circle drawing?  Let’s consider the ramifications.  Numerous churches and even denominations have drawn circles around rebellious heretics, New Age teachers, gurus, and mystics, Muslims, and other cults and false religions, secularists, and many other sinners.  Not only did they take them in, but they have even set them before congregations to present their heresies.  I remember a time when most ministers would not accept vain honor and glory.  It appears that now they draw a circle around the accolades and adoration of the masses and take it in.  They grovel in it as if it is a godly benefit.  They have also drawn circles around much of the world system’s entertainment methods and musical genres and have taken them in.  Preachers now perform rather than preach under the anointing.  They appear more as entertainment icons, stand up comedians, and secular motivational speakers, rather than men of God.  They have no brokenness or contriteness, no passion for truth or sincerity, and no anointing.  Their churches musical offerings are more like secular music concerts.  So much carnality is involved one has to wonder if it is possible for participants to worship God in Spirit and truth.  The truth is that those churches have drawn a circle around the spirit of the world, and have taken it in.

They insist that it is all about love.  The claim is that their quality and quantity of God’s love compels them to break through traditional barriers in order to “reach people”.  It is possible to love people so that they cannot deny your authenticity as a Christian and that you love them.  In fact, it is God’s command that we love people.  John 3:16 is probably the most recognized verse in the Bible, “For God so loved the world…”  I know from experience that love allows us to reach the hearts of sinners with the message of the Gospel.  However, no one has more love than Christ.  Although He loved them immeasurably, He spoke the unvarnished truth to rebellious heretics.

The churches and denominations today may have indeed encircled and taken in the ones that stand opposed to Christ and His lordship.  However, they have not converted them.  In fact, few if any sinners are being converted in their meetings.  Instead, much that was once outside of Christianity is now inside.  They have made their churches habitations of demons and darkness.  That is certainly not what love is supposed to do.  It is not how the power of love operates.  Love is supposed to change our world, not include it.  God’s love is too powerful for evil to dwell in it.  Love converts, not condones.  God’s love offers us a Savior, not a sanctuary for our sin.  God still speaks through His Son today.

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26)

It is not circles that they need, but “sonship”.  God offers that blessing for those who make a straight line to His throne in repentant prayer.


  1. Faye

    This is a great article f tr Utah, Thank You so much for addressing these unscriptural practices.

  2. Amy

    Great article. The Saddleback Kingdom Circles were brought in by the Jesus In The Qur’an movement from Snellville, Georgia (Chrislam teachers), and were supposed to be taught in secret, but thankfully someone in France had a camera:


    • C.H. Fisher

      Thanks, Amy and thanks for all you do at Stand Up for the Truth. It seems that the congress of heretics have cast off all restraints. They are definitely walking in ditches and darkness.

      • Rita

        I became concerned about The Circle Maker when I saw that my daughter in law had one sitting on her bookshelf. So, I started digging. I found that witches draw circles! Then, during my search, I ended up on the word “magician” in the (Strong’s) concordance. Go look it up! I found it extremely interesting! WHERE ARE THE SHEPHERDS WHO WERE CHARGED WITH GUARDING THE SHEEP???? I realize we are living in the end times and that if it were possible satan will deceive even the elect. That doesn’t mean that I like it.

  3. Gretchen C. Nelson

    How many more of these deceptions will appear? And it’s so easy to be taken in by them–one baby step at a time.
    Anyone noticed the popular materials on shows like HGTV? In fabric stores? In furniture stores? Lots of circles and intertwining geometric patterns. Hmmmm

  4. Michael

    Is this rooted in the story of Honi the Cirlce Maker?

  5. A Christian

    Thank you for this excellent post! You and I have a lot in common, as far as theology goes. I invite you to browse my blog: http://www.myfathershouse.squarespace.com

    It’s nice to find those others who have not “bowed their knees to Baal”.

  6. Melanie R Brunner

    I was raised in cultism and came out of it some years ago thus the Lord has put in me a “passion for truth.” My heart breaks that so much deception is so widespread! I cant comprehend why people naively listen to speakers and read by books by so called Christian authors without doing any type of research on that individual, they just blindly accept and follow!!! I pray daily that the Lord continues guiding me in His truth and gives me wisdom and discernment to false teaching.

    • Stephen

      Melanie, these so-called Christian authors offer a false hope, a false prosperity (all your desires, good health, and lots of money, baby . . . guaranteed ), and a false sense of importance (deification) to the reader/follower. These wolves are re-enacting Luke 4, the temptation of Jesus by Satan. Oh, but we see through them and should help those who fall for their Satanic lies and deception. Think back: how did you see the Light (Jesus)?
      Please keep on doing the good work!

  7. Stephen

    Satan was not created yesterday. He knows where to hit, whom to hit, and how to hit. The second a born-again believer sets foot outside the Bible, he or she is in trouble. Stay on the narrow path; it is there for a reason. Circles are oh-so-important in the occult and its accompanying New Age Movement. Please reject this “circle” nonsense for what it is . . . demonic.

  8. Suzanne Keever

    I am so sadden by what is acceptable in our churches and pastors not teaching the word of God. How much longer is God going to continue allowing such practices to-exist? As the day approaches, we as the body of Christ must seek God and test what we hear by what the word of God says.

  9. Seeker

    The most recent sad circle story has come from Ann Graham’s intro of Honi as a prelude to her prayer request for the nation. She has been deceived and according to her response when questioned about it, she believed she could tie it in to scripture. Her attempt at using Elijah, Abraham, and Jesus as examples for her circles was quite a stretch. Even the elect can be deceived. She asked that people pray for our preachers to teach more from the Bible and not other books, yet opened her prayer with 2 other books. Everyone must consider Satan is no slouch, he is on the ball. He can affect anyone’s understanding and discernment. Christians are fair game in this spritual warfare. Praying Ann reevaluates, with Jesus.
    Satan is on the ball,

  10. mellany McKenzie

    Hello from Canada
    Amen and Amen!
    I have been thinking of the belt of truth in the armor that God told us to put on daily as we walk with Him. Denying self, picking up your cross and following Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, no other fount I know nothing but the blood of Jesus. Sin, repentance, Godly sorrow, and the truth of God’s word sets people free and nothing else.
    I know b/c I came out of the word of Faith crowd, the Toronto Blessing crowd, the getting drunk in the spirit crowd, the slain in the spirit crowd, that God’s grace covers everything which equals lasciviousness crowd.
    I was a hypocrite, self-righteous, deceived, and totally thankless. It has been a long process back and for the first time I have a love of studying God’s word, of trying to understand and comprehend the depth and love of Jesus. His name is Yahweh, yet He does not thrust Himself upon you. My favorite scripture when I first got saved in 1984 was from the book of John. where it states that the Word became flesh and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. Or in the Psalms where it states that one thing that I have asked of the LORD that I might dwell in the house of the LORD forever. The word dwell comes to mind in both verses. Jesus tabernacled awhile and one day I will be able to dwell with Him forever.
    On a totally different note with Trump’s inauguration why is Paula White offering a prayer there as well?
    Is Franklin Graham going to give a prayer as well?
    I know that VP Pence is a Christian but what about all the compromise?
    I guess we live in interesting times and I definitely know that we are one day closer to the Rapture:)
    In Christ

  11. Marie

    I hear people I work with mentioning that they praying holding hands in circles at church. I know this is a common practice with witches. Am I reading this wrong?

  12. Lydia Harris

    We were at church today and our pastor started talking about Honi and said he had drawn a circle around all of his circles so we could all have huge blessings. He invited us all to go home and do the same.:( I had heard things before that didn’t seem right but this has been the worst thing thus far. I have been wanting to leave for a while but my husband says we need to stay. He says we should join small groups and make friends we can influence away from this stuff or I should tell the preacher if I really see something wrong with what he is teaching but I feel that is not my place? We started going here this year, are not members and I really don’t feel like it’s a women’s place to confront their pastor. I am very conflicted.

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