Archive for January, 2013

Please read this article from Breakpoint: Normalizing Pedophilia.

 

 
I remember a very slippery slope when I was a kid. It was winter, and there was a waxed hood of a Frigidaire refrigerator involved. The ride down the hill included limestone outcroppings, frozen cow-patties, a vicious blackberry patch, a cedar tree, and a ten foot drop into an icy creek. The ride down was exhilarating…the sudden stop at the end…not so much. Frozen, broken limbs, and scratched up faces have a tendency to dampen the exhilaration.
 
Wheee
 
That entire scenario reminds me exactly of where this culture is headed. 
 
I think the slippery-slope fallacy needs to be acknowledged, but there are times when the perils of a cultural course demand a begrudging nod. This would be one of those times.
 
This is another example of where carrying an idea to its’ logical end shows the absurdity of the idea, sans the philosopher Zeno.
 
When we confuse moral issues with civil rights issues, the logical conclusion is chaos, and legitimizing immoral behavior.
 
simul iustus et peccator,
 
Eric Adams
Rossville, GA
godsguy12@comcast.net
christianreasons@gmail.com
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It is amazing to me, when someone else articulates your feelings better than you can accomplish yourself. The following is one of those times…

We Just Don’t Agree

January 22, 2013 By John Mark Reynolds

Postmodernism1Modernity came and many of us said: “Good. We like some of that, but don’t like other bits.”

We rejected the idea that natural science (“Science!”) was the only means to know, though we appreciated the help it gave us in forming questions.

We thought the idea that man was fundamentally economic was wrongheaded.

We were unpersuaded that the new morality wasn’t just the old decadence.

And we refused to get along with the Soviet Union . . . insisting it was an Evil Empire.

Post-modernity came and, when we could get people to tell us what it was, we were also unpersuaded.

We were told it had new insights, but could not find much we could not gain from other forms of philosophy.

We agreed with the critique of modernity, but pointed out that we had never embraced modernity wholesale.

We were told to be multicultural, but then informed our morals should be those of people overwhelming educated in post-modern Western values.

And we  have been told the “kids” would leave us so many times (“Christianity must change or die!” he shrieked in four hundred AD) in the Enlightenment, the Revolutionary Age, Modernity, and Post-Modernity, that we have stopped worrying too much about it. Nothing is so dated as the up to date. My great-grand if she is Orthodox is bound to read: “The findings of our time doom traditional Christianity. We must give up on . . . or die!”

She will be doomed! Unless of course she listens, thinks, learns what is good, and then ignores the rest.

So millions of Americans continue to believe the Christian message as it has been believed in most places by most people at most times. Just as we refused to condemn interracial marriage, never illegal in many states of the Union, to follow a parochial (and wicked) trend of racism, so we refuse to expand marriage to include those living in sin.

We do not think “love” or “desire” or “not hurting anyone” is the best means for deciding morality. We continue to believe that divine Revelation, as understood by the universal church, is the best standard.

For some reason, this leads Christians who reject the “old ways” (as some have done in every generation) to try to understand us. We must be afraid of change. We must be reacting to an uncertain world. We must hate someone or dislike difference.

This makes us chuckle, because this is so wrong. We don’t fear post-modernism, we disagree with some of its ideas. We don’t shudder to think old ideas might be wrong, we just don’t assume new ideas are right. No Christian should hate anybody and we don’t dislike difference: we dislike sin. When young adults tell us that no saint of any Church, East or West, has ever had a right view on some moral issue, we don’t know they are wrong for sure, but we suspect they are.

When it comes to politics, most of us in America prefer limited government, but know we can live under any government that will leave us alone, let us educate our children, and run our lives as we see fit. We have endured six hundred years in Syria as a minority and know what to do.

When we examine the arguments of the new and more trendy Christians, we are not persuaded. Of course, Christians, traditional Christians, might lose this culture and the majority of people now alive in North America and Western Europe, but that does not concern us too much. We will count on our African and Asian brothers and sisters, where most of the Christian Church is, to help.

I look forward to the missionaries. They will have sanctuary in my home.

As for the future, we are confident that a nation that can tolerate the Amish will put up with us. And in one hundred years, I predict that traditional Christian morals will still have adherents, but the particular deviations from orthodoxy will be gone. Why? It is always so. This present crop of revisions are as certain of their rectitude as the lost crop and I predict any Evangelical school, denomination, or program they take will be as thriving as the groups the revisionists took in the Nineteenth century.

The “growth” of the Episcopal Church USA does not bode well for their experiment!

Meanwhile, we can consider where we might be wrong and learn even from those we think wicked, live good lives, and love our neighbors, even the wrongheaded ones, as we would be loved.

via We Just Don’t Agree.

I couldn’t have put it any better myself.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
Rossville, GA
godsguy12@comcast.net
christianreasons@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/godsguy12
https://www.facebook.com/christianreasons?ref=hl
http://christianreasons.com/

IS IMMORTALITY BORING?

Posted on January 12, 2013 by Paul Rezkalla

The questions seems intuitive. If humans were to live forever, wouldn’t they eventually become bored out of their minds? Let’s think about this for a second. Any activity, no matter how fun or engaging, ultimately comes to a point where it gets boring. That’s part of what it is to be human. Therefore, immortality is boring and pointless as any immortal life would eventually exhaust all possible sources of pleasure, value, and meaning, right? That depends on what you mean by “immortal life.”

Bored-people-007Philosopher Bernard Williams makes his famous case against immortality by arguing, “The Don Juan in hell joke, that heaven’s prospects are tedious and the devil has the best tunes…serves to show up a real and (I suspect) a profound difficulty of providing a model of an unending, supposedly satisfying, state or activity that would not rightly prove boring to anyone who remained conscious of himself…boredom…would not just be a tiresome effect but a reaction almost perceptual in character to the poverty of one’s relation to the environment.1″

The problem with immortal life is that it provides an infinite amount of time for the individual. The individual has all of eternity at his fingertips, and yet what looks like a blessing is actually a curse, as Williams points out. The number of things from which the individual can draw meaning from, and experience satisfaction in, is finite and thus exhaustible, leaving the victim in a perpetual state of boredom after having drained all of the possible satisfaction from their environment. Imagine all the possible ways one can draw fulfillment from life—activities, relationships, emotions, challenges, academics, travel, etc. Suppose that all of these combined were calculated to a total of 100 trillion units of satisfaction; that still would not be enough to prevent a tedious life for the victim of immortality, for he or she will eventually suck dry all of these units at some point and then find nothing else from which to derive contentment.

I am not sure why Williams assumes that immortality must be lived within the same world in which we currently live and perceive. He, without reason, precludes any immortal life lived with God and takes for granted the idea that if there was immortality it would have to be lived just as normal, mortal life is lived now, yet extended infinitely into the future. Immortality is certainly tedious on that view. And yet, theistic beliefs regarding immortality seldom, if ever, include delineations of life eternal bereft of some divine figure. Immortality by itself is pointless, but an immortal life lived with, and in, the perfect presence of God cannot be pointless or tedious as God is the ultimate paradigm and source of meaning and joy and is inexhaustible, by definition. Therefore, the tedium of immortality is contingent upon whether or not there exists in the environment of the immortal life a source, or sources, that can provide an abundant life throughout its never-ending existence. Williams agrees with this but denies that such a thing exists; indeed he thinks that any view to the contrary is absurd and far-fetched.

“Nothing less will do for eternity than something that makes boredom unthinkable. What could that be? Something that could be guaranteed to be at every moment utterly absorbing?2″

Could God be the answer to Williams’ question? If God exists, immortality does not need to be tedious. God can certainly “make boredom unthinkable”, not in the sense that He eradicates the possibility of boredom by removing the elements that make us human– namely our consciousness, will, and ability to tire of things, rather the possibility of boredom is very unlikely, maybe even impossible, in light of how captivating He is. God can also “guarantee to be at every moment utterly absorbing” in that, if humans were created to enjoy God, then finally being in a position to live in unbroken harmony with Him could be the key to a non-futile, eternal life. Theists understand that the only reason immortality is a good thing—it is meaningful rather than meaningless—is because of God. Eternal life, not in this world with all of its constraints and limited, pleasure-making, satisfaction-giving resources, but lived in the perfect presence of God–beholding Him and being captivated by Him, is the only way to make sense of immortality.

The Westminster Catechism puts it simply, yet profoundly:

“What is the chief end of man?

Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

It is not unthinkable to see God in this way. If God is defined as a maximal being who interacts with the universe and immortal life is lived perfect relationship to Him, then the immortal life is not tedious, rather it is enjoyable. If God is such a thing as can substantiate and give satisfaction to an immortal life, then immortality need not be tedious. If God can be “enjoyed forever”, then Williams’ question is answered. What is that something (or someone) which has the ability to “make boredom unthinkable” and “guarantee to be at every moment utterly absorbing”? If anything, God seems like a good fit.

1. Williams, B. (1973) Problems of the Self: Philosophical Papers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp 94-95

2. Ibid pp 95

via Is Immortality Boring? | Christian Apologetics Alliance.

How could immortality be boring when you’re in the presence of an Infinite God? He never gets bored, and He’s Eternal. Do you actually think He would bring us into an immortal state that would be anything but enthralling? Not moi. I can’t wait.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
Rossville, GA
godsguy12@comcast.net
christianreasons@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/godsguy12
https://www.facebook.com/christianreasons?ref=hl
http://christianreasons.com/

Boxing Gloves Tap to Start the FightConflict Counseling for Jesus and Paul-Part 1

By Eric Adams

We recently had a discussion about contradictions, paradoxes, and mysteries in relation to Biblical hermeneutics at our Bible Study. One of the examples of contradictions brought up was the seeming conflict between Jesus and Paul. That got me thinking…what are these alleged conflicts, and how can we answer them?

Let’s lay our cards on the table. I don’t believe there are any conflicts between Jesus and Paul, but I’ll take it for granted some folks do see a problem. We’ll take these points one at a time. It may take me a few posts to examine most of the important ones. Before we begin, I’ll establish some baselines for our discussion, and I will be honest about my presuppositions as we lay out our prolegomena.

First of all, let’s discuss some of the foundations of Biblical hermeneutics.

  1. Scripture interprets Scripture-The Bible must be interpreted by its’ own claims that it is the inspired Word of God -2 TI 3:16
  2. The Inspiration of Scripture-To say that the whole of Scripture is God-breathed is to say that its’ every word is identical with God’s words.
  3. The Authority of Scripture-Since the Bible is the word of God, it carries with it the very authority of the God who “breathed” it into existence.
  4. The Power of Scripture He 12:1-2
  5. The Rule of Faith-Since the Bible is God’s word to us, it is the authoritative rule for Christian faith and practice.
  6. The Sufficiency of Scripture-The sufficiency of Scripture may be defined as the principle that the Bible contains all things necessary for life and salvation.
  7. The Unity of Scripture-If the Scripture is sufficient for salvation at each stage of redemption history, and if salvation is never by works, but by faith alone in the promises of God, then it must be that the message of the Scripture is unified, centering on the gracious saving work of God in the gospel.
  8. The Necessity of Scripture-Scripture is necessary because God willed to provide it and because mankind’s condition required it. 
  9. The Inerrancy of Scripture-When we say that the Bible is inerrant, we are saying that in the autographs, it is absolutely true in all it affirms and utterly incapable of conveying falsehood or error.
  10. The Clarity of Scripture-When we say that the Bible is clear, we mean that its message can be understood by human beings through the ordinary means of understanding any written communication.

This is the position I will take throughout these posts:

 Since the Bible is the word of God, it carries with it the very authority of the God who “breathed” it into existence. Therefore, the Scripture is inherently authoritative in that it possesses God’s authority even if not a single human being ever recognized that authority. Since the Bible is God’s word to us, it is the authoritative rule for Christian faith and practice. We need nothing more and nothing less than the teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness that comes from Scripture. If the Scripture is sufficient for salvation at each stage of redemption history, and if salvation is never by works, but by faith alone in the promises of God, then it must be that the message of the Scripture is unified, centering on the gracious saving work of God in the gospel. Though God has certainly revealed himself through creation, such knowledge of God through general revelation is not sufficient to give us the knowledge that leads to salvation. It is sufficient to condemn us in our idolatrous unbelief and to leave us without excuse at the judgment; but nothing more. Therefore, Scripture (a special revelation of God) is necessary for a saving knowledge of God. Without it, we would not be able to know God.

Hebrews 4:12 (NASB) “

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The Scripture has power to penetrate man’s heart, beget him anew, and transform him into the image of Christ.

With this foundation laid, let’s move on to look at some of the alleged problems between jesus and Paul. I will continue this in Part 2 of this series.

*Much of my discussion so far is historically known as the Doctrine of Scripture. I have been greatly helped in expressing this through a couple of books, and a fine audio series by R.W. Glenn. Here is my bibligraphy to this point:

Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity, 1994. Print.

Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology. LaVergne, TN: Nabu, 1876. Print.

Goldsworthy, Graeme. Gospel-centered Hermeneutics: Foundations and Principles of Evangelical Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006. Print.

http://www.solidfoodmedia.com/resources/series/condensed_theology

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
Rossville, GA
godsguy12@comcast.net
christianreasons@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/godsguy12
https://www.facebook.com/christianreasons?ref=hl
http://christianreasons.com/

Rave WorshipIdeas have consequences, especially in the way we worship. There is always a danger of two extremes:

  1. Dead orthodoxy that offers no emotion at all in our services.
  2. Hyper-emotionalism, where experience of an imminent God devolves into the idolatry and debauchery of a “golden calf”.

The following is an example of the latter. Having come from the Charismatic/Pentecostal side of the aisle, I have the experience, and right to call my like-minded brethren to use some discernment and self-control. On the other hand, having sat in some really life-less churches, I say to my brethren on the other side of the aisle to not let extremes dictate a pendulum response.

We are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”- Matthew 22:37

Extremists on either side need to balance the “all your soul”, with the “all your mind”.

Never-the-less, it has been my experience that the greatest danger to expressive worshippers is not stoicism, but ecstatic loss of control. Heed this article by Larry DeBruyn.

Written by Larry DeBruyn

Thursday, 29 November 2012 05:18

Opiates and the “Experience” of Rave Worship

Do not be drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God – Ephesians 5:18-21.

Introduction

Scores of architecturally significant churches dot the landscape of the Australian city of Adelaide, structures that were built to last and perhaps bear testimony to a Christian influence in that part of the world. Upon visiting that city last year (September 24-25, 2011), my initial impression was perhaps like that of the Apostle Paul when he was in Athens and said, Men of Athens [of Adelaide], I observe that you are very religious in all respects – Acts 17:22.

Under the auspices of Christian Witness Ministries (CWM) and with Philip Powell the director of CWM, the Lord gave me the opportunity of ministry with The Street Church, a small Bible fellowship of committed Christians in Adelaide. The church is led by the Corneloup brothers, Sam and Caleb, the former who came to the Lord out of a life of crime. In many ways the fellowship encouraged my spirit with the presence of many young people. For the seminars, the church rented The German Club in the downtown area in that city.

With some of the members of The Street Church, I had my first opportunity at “street preaching” at Rundle Mall, an open air shopping area in the heart of Adelaide.[1] As an American with a distinct “Michigander” accent, people passed by, briefly stopped to listen, and then went their way. Because The Street Church regularly engaged in the activity, secular authorities tried to muzzle the preachers by passing laws against them; but in the name of “free speech,” and because of the legal knowledge of Caleb Corneloup, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the street preachers. After all, if other secular groups espousing radical ideologies were allotted the legal right of public assembly to express their views, why not The Street Church?[2]

The whirlwind weekend of ministry passed by quickly, and before I knew it, the time arrived for me to get to the airport on Saturday evening in order to catch a flight to Melbourne so that I could connect to another flight to Wellington, New Zealand, the next morning. (For a week, I was scheduled to preach in various locations throughout the North Island.)

Heaven!

My driver, a young man from The Street Church, drove me to the Adelaide airport. During that ride and upon leaving the city proper, we drove by one of the beautiful church structures in that city. From the outside, the church appeared no different from the other church buildings with the exception of a large banner that brazenly hung across the steeple and over the entrance of the historic building. On that banner was painted one word: HEAVEN. I turned to my driver and asked him, “Is the name of that church HEAVEN? He answered, “Yes!” and then proceeded to inform me that the church was the one he used to attend before he became a believer in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I asked him what kind of church it was. He informed me it was a “rave” church. Well, not knowing what a rave church was for, not ever having heard of one before, I questioned him further about what kind of church it was. He told me that in their gatherings the worshippers played loud and raucous music, danced, did drugs and partied (and who knows what else?).

Craving for Rave

After his description of “rave” worship, I thought to myself—is this where adapting worship in order to give seeker audiences thrills and chills, where constantly tweaking the worship style to fit the mood of the culture and the insatiable cravings of congregants will lead? Worship that resembles the atmosphere of Israel’s partying before the “Golden Bull” when, “the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play”, clamorous worship that to Joshua sounded like war was going on in the camp – Exodus 32:6, 17. Is this what results when so-called worship becomes sourced in “the wants” of peoples’ bodies and brains, in what the Bible calls “lusts of the flesh”, (Greek, epithumias sarkos) – 2 Peter 2:18?

Ravings in the Nave

Apparently, rave worship originated amongst young Anglicans in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, where Matthew Fox, the defrocked Roman Catholic priest who later became an Episcopalian, picked it up, brought it back to San Francisco, and adapted it to suit his New Age “eco-mysticism.”[3]

In 1994, about a year after leaving the Roman Catholic Church, the LA Times confirmed that Fox got the idea for “the head-banger liturgy [the rave mass] after visiting a band of unorthodox young Anglicans in England—where the ‘Rave in the Nave’ features loud music, women dancing in bikinis and video monitors flashing messages such as ‘Eat God’ [evidently referring to their belief in the Eucharist’s transubstantiated elements].”[4]

On this point, it can be noted that as early as 1991, evangelical leader Leonard Sweet sourced his “creation spirituality” in Fox’s “eco-mysticism” when he wrote that, “Creation spirituality is of tremendous help here in weaning us from this homocentric warp [that is, any understanding that makes humanity the centrepiece of God’s creation and entrusts the stewardship “over” nature to them].”[5] Rave worship, sourced in the eco-mysticism of a pantheistic or panentheistic worldview, has as its mantra, “If it feels good, do it!” So do it they do.

U2-Charists

Perhaps spinning-off the idea of Rave Masses, some Anglican-Episcopal churches now blasphemously call their Holy Communion service a “U2-Charist” in which hymns are replaced by the Irish rock-group’s best-selling songs.[6] The communion service is described:

In what is more rock concert than Book of Common Prayer, a live band will belt out U2 classics such as Mysterious Ways and Beautiful Day as worshippers sing along with the lyrics, which will appear on screens. The [nightclub] atmosphere will be further enhanced by a sophisticated lighting system that will pulse with the beat . . . .[7]

A few years ago, USA Today reported that “U2-charists” have also come to Episcopal congregations in the United States, and perhaps will find their way into other denominations and congregations as well.[8] One young worshipper, a Roman Catholic who attended a “U2-charist” at a nearby Episcopal church, reported of her experience: “It makes you, like, warm inside. Usually at church you love Jesus and everything. But this way you can express how you feel.”[9]

Descriptions of Rave

Rave is thought to be a rising supernatural movement in the UK consisting of a wide spectrum of Christians who, disaffected by and having dropped out of organized religion, “are burning for Jesus.”[10] A 4th annual “Sloshfest” held in 2010 in South Wales, attended by a crowd of about 600 from “alternative churches” all over the UK, was described as involving “wild-eyed and out of control” participants—“sweaty clothes clinging to their backs”—flailing “wildly to a booming beat.” During what appeared to resemble more a primitive and tribal religious celebration like those which have occurred in many cultures from time immemorial, some “ravers” even passed out amidst their whirling and dancing. The party, so it is claimed, consisted of “revellers” unaffected by either booze and/or drugs, but rather by the power of God, an ecstasy of worship that participants ascribed to “‘God-ka’ and the ‘yum rum of Heaven’.” One 38-yearold participant made no apology for the participants acting out of themselves because in his opinion, God is “a party animal who wants to win over youngsters with supernatural highs.”

Another raver states:

Heaven is going to be wild. God will show up and be the life of the party. We want to see fun coming back into the Church.

Testimonials of Ravers

Matthew Fox first became acquainted with “rave masses” in England. In one instance, the Mass was “held in the basement of a sports complex and included 42 television sets flashing images of galaxies, dancing atoms, DNA, lunar eclipses and male-female archetypes.”[11] He offered his impressions of the masses he attended:

My first experience of the Mass was that this is a very friendly experience for a generation raised on television. My second experience was that these people are taking television away from the broadcasters and doing it live in the heart of the community, which is worship.[12]

Now the following testimonials of participants in the rave worship which occurred at Sloshfest are offered:[13]

  • People are looking for something relevant to them. If you like to party, drink and take drugs, our advice is, ‘Don’t drink Vodka, drink God-ka’.
  • There is no greater high than the Most High. When you come into God’s presence there is an intoxication that is overwhelming.
  • God wants us to enjoy his wine and embrace the spiritual realm.
  • Of course we all like to drink the yum rum of heaven, too.
  • When I’m worshipping I know I look absolutely insane, but that’s how I’m affected by my heavenly daddy.
  • It is such a wild fire. It is a fierce wild fire. It is untameable and undomesticated. (These words were spoken by a middle-aged woman dressed as Pinky Pirate who shaking uncontrollably grabbed a microphone and bellowed them out to the raucous crowd.)
  • I’m Mrs. Jesus. I love my husband. (A woman dressed as a pirate queen uttered these words while crawling on the floor, looking spaced out, and manifesting red, puffy eyes and a vacant stare despite no sign of alcohol or drugs consumption.)

Revellers, or Revilers?

Because Sloshfest is a Christmas party, revellers dress up like a monk, priest, nun, dancing pirate, Abraham Lincoln, unicorn, winged fairy, court jester draped with Christmas lights, etc. Amidst all the costuming, “in the main room the party is pumping, with dry ice, air horns and dazzling disco lights adding to the debauched atmosphere.”

So is Sloshfesting, revelling in God, or reviling Him? To answer the question, only the Word of God can be our guide and judge. On this point, what was the Lord’s take on one of the original Sloshfests (I say “one of the original” because amongst primitive peoples they had been going on long before the incident of Israel’s worshipping of the “Golden Bull” – Exodus 32:1-35?

Assurance for me regarding this issue, notwithstanding all the participants’ testimonials, can only be moderated by the Word of God – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. To this point, Archibald Alexander wrote:

There is nothing more necessary than to distinguish between true and false experiences in religion . . . . And in making this discrimination, there is no other test but the infallible Word of God; let every thought, motive, impulse, and emotion be brought to this touchstone.[14]

To this pastor it stands axiomatic and logically consistent that the spiritual work of God will in nowise contradict the Scriptures which the Holy Spirit inspired to be written –cf. 2 Peter 1:21.

Unlike the crowd at the first Pentecost, whom sceptical onlookers accused as being drunk with “new wine,” but who in fact were not – Acts 2:13 – the claim of ravers that their euphoria has nothing to do with taking drugs or drinking alcohol may ring a bit hollow. As one worshipper exclaimed, God “makes me so happy. I love him but I’m a bit drunk.” One well-known speaker at Sloshfest, who claims to have met Jesus on an acid trip, is described as slurring through his sermons and talking “about ‘smoking the Baby Jesus,’ being ‘whacked out’ and ‘tokin’ [urban slang for smoking pot] on the Holy Ghost’.”[15] He calls these expressions “metaphors” of the Christian life! In 2005, that speaker, John Crowder, wrote a book The New Mystics in which he promoted “Sloshfest-style ecstatic worship and mystical Christianity.” Then in 2009, he wrote a sequel, The Ecstasy of Loving God: Trances, Raptures, and the Supernatural Pleasures of Jesus Christ.

Further insight into the question lies in John Crowder’s testimony, one in which he claims to have met Jesus while on an acid trip, and his message when he talks about “smoking the Baby Jesus” and “tokin’ on the Holy Ghost.” How can such activities, so diametrically opposed to the work of the Holy Spirit, things categorized by the Apostle Paul as “lusts of the flesh”, lusts that includesorcery (Greek, pharmakeia or drugs), “drunkenness, carousing and things like these” – be instrumental in saving a person’s soul – Galatians 5:20-21, NASB? Such cravings lay in stark contrast to “the fruit of the Spirit”, one of which is “self-control” – Galatians 5:23, NASB. Persons may be saved from such activities, but they are not saved by such activities -1 Corinthians 6:9-11. In all fairness, one Sloshfester does testify to his having been saved from drugs and alcohol.[16]

But this man’s soul was not converted because of the influence of drugs and alcohol, but in spite of it.

Are These People Mad?

Sloshfesting impresses me not as being church, but as carousing. Rave worship (as in “stark raving mad”) impresses me as being opposite from one fruit of the Spirit, “self-control” -Galatians 5:23. In rave worship, people are “out of control.” The inbred and eccentric phenomena of rave, observed first hand by passers-bye or inquirers who watch it on You Tube, will not only give unbelievers a wrong impression about the meaning of The Gospel, but also fail to impress many observant believers. As the Apostle Paul questioned, “If . . . ungifted men or unbelievers enter [or go online?], will they not say that you are mad?” – 1 Corinthians 14:23. Illustrating the apostle’s point, one curious passer-by is reported to have shook his head and laughingly commented after having through a steamed-up window observed the rage of rave: “Looks like one hell of a party.” To me, the phenomena of rave church as manifested at Sloshfest 2010, may be compared to The Toronto Blessing of the 1990s, only on steroids.[17] As rave and Sloshfesting, dancing the “Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey” belongs to the same perversion of so-called “worship.”[18]

Conclusion

My first article, Getting High on God, was meant to draw attention to a study coming out of the University of Washington which suggests that “attending a Protestant mega church actually does produce a high much like being on drugs.”[19]

Drugs: An Implicit Connection

From the UW study, it has been noted that mega churches are “powerful purveyors of emotional religious experience” as they blend together popular music, state-of-the-art technology and positive and nonthreatening messages, all of which and more, contribute to make up an “Oxytocin cocktail” that affects a “sense of recognition, trust, and a reduction of stress” in the brains of congregants.[20] The UW study makes implicit the connection between the mega church and the inner opiates that, when stimulated by the right mechanisms, provide spiritual euphoria for, among and between congregants.

Drugs: An Explicit Connection

This article, Getting ‘Higher’ on God, has sought to draw attention to the new wave of worship that many are seeking to catch a ride on, worship that unabashedly makes explicit the connection between drugs (whether induced from within or ingested from without, who knows?) and the attainment of spiritual ecstasy. The point being, that such spiritual experiences, whether emotionally euphoric or mystically ecstatic are not the result of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the life of a believer, but rather the result of the hyped-up machinations, manipulations and managements of church leaders.

The difference between the euphoria engendered by the mega church and the ecstasy by the rave church may well be only one of degree, not kind. A comparison might be made between smoking pot (“the euphoria lite” engendered by the mega church) and shooting heroin (“the ecstasy heavy” incited by the rave church). Mega churches have mastered a strategy of how to offer their congregants “lite” doses of experience (euphoria). The rave church has upped the ante by offering its participants “heavy” doses of experience (ecstasy). Neither movement evidencessober-mindedness, that spiritual attribute the New Testament enjoins believers to cultivate -Titus 2:2, 4, 6; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.

In fact, if the euphoria or ecstasy of so-called worship is induced by means other than by the Holy Spirit, then it violates Paul’s injunction to “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”, the manifestations of which — “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God”, bear no resemblance to those exhibited in “Sloshfesting” – Ephesians 5:18-21. Worship that masquerades as drunkenness in the Holy Ghost resembles more the wine bibbing of a bacchanal celebration than worship of the Holy God.[21]

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunken are drunk in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation – 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8.

via Getting “Higher” on God.

May the blessings of a New Year find its’ way to your door.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
Rossville, GA
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