Thursday, January 29, 2009
"People are desperate for spirituality"
On radio 4 there was programme about the town Telford being the most Godless town in Britain. Yet there was a new church in town, claiming to connect with society and offering spirituality instead of religion. The church, led by a missionary calls the church an emerging church and this caught my interest and raised a few questions.
Firstly I think that it is great when churches can engage with culture and community, proclaiming Christ as the way and making church breach further then Sunday and spilling into our whole week which is vibrant, prayerful and centered around Gods word. Yet there was something amiss with this new community, as they pitch up to a Mind, Body and Soul event and invite people in to try on Christianity and experience this new spirituality, I wondered where the proclaiming of Good News, Repenting and Baptising in the Lord went? Perhaps they just didn't say it on this programme and I don't want to quickly assume things...
However there were some interesting things that people said, that may or may not represent the missionaries theology. But one lady mentioned that there are Jesus tarrot cards that can do prophesy? Interesting... You know you can slap the face of Jesus on anything and call it Holy and prophetic and yet it be the work of Satan. I think we may need to be slightly more discerning...
They also do meditation. Meditation on the word of God is good. Psalm 1 announces that he meditates day and night on the word of God, the Law. We are to meditate on Gods Goodness, His Word - always ready to be corrected, repent and give praise to God... Yet the meditation that was mentioned here was slightly leaning towards New Age mysticism..where you close your eyes and soon you will be surrounded by loud clanging symbols and an uplifting and peaceful experience will over take you. This scares me. Meditation isn't about letting go and seeking sensations and feelings. We are to center on Christ, on His Word and be filled with the rich food of His garcious promises and love in His Word. Always in control, because that is apart of the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:23)
The truth here is that "People are desperate for spirituality", be as that may, it doesn't give an excuse to match that with modern christian mysticism. Clutching hold of experiences more then onto Christ. It is good that people are seeking and are desperate - because they should be, they are cut off from the creator of the word and they are His objects of Wrath (Eph 2). They therefore don't need a "spirtitual experience" in the sense that New Age movements offer, what they need is to turn back to God, to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him...
One great quote came from a Church of England Bishop, where he said that the church should be "To point people to the Lord Jesus". I thought that was spot on. It is always about Jesus and you can say what you want about the church of England, but if new modern churches continue to go so far from doctrine and enter the magical land of spirtual movements they may find themselves on dangerious soil, contending with more then they bargained for.
"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." - 2Tim 4:3-5
[PS - this is my rambles and thoughts - you may not agree with them and that's ok!]