| How Pietism Deceives Christians|
This is an outstanding article for those seeking a "higher order of Christianity". A brief introduction if you will.
Over my 35 years as a believer I have seen many "fads", that promise a "deeper life" in the Spirit, but everyone of them just served to take a person's focus off of Jesus.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
The world of "christianity" is extremely deceptive and always has been as Satan tries to corrupt and counterfeit the things of God. He has counterfeit Christs, a counterfeit Church and yes, even counterfeit doctrines and Bibles. This should be no surprise to us as God has warned us in His Word of "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" in the last days. 1Tim 4:1
Today, we have Rick Warren's Purpose Filled Church, the Apostolic Signs and Wonders and "The Emergent Church" movement, to some aspects of the "Hebraic Roots Movement" and the mysticism of Gene Edwards. We have seen the Shepherding/Discipleship, Word of Faith, Laughing Revival and the Ecumenical Movements. And these movements don't even scratch the surface. In truth, the Ecumenical Movement has been active for centuries (since the Counter-Reformation) and has its tentacles in almost all of the false movements. We now have a Protestant Bible version that looks exactly like the Roman Catholic and Jehovah Witness Bible (TNIV). Are we moving towards a Universal Bible for a Universal Church? I would not be surprised if the Ecumenical Bible is called, "The New Authorized Version", implying that the "old" Authorized Version is obsolete.
Read the following article about this one brother's journey to a "higher form or level of Christianity" and see how he came back to the "Simplicity that is in Christ."
Here is a sampling:
"There are no extraordinary Christians; but being an ordinary Christian is an extraordinary thing."
"The essence of pietism is this: It is a practice designed to lead to an experience that purports to give one an elite or special status compared to ordinary Christians. The Bible addresses this error in the book of Colossians.4 The false teachers in Colossae claimed to have the secret to a superior Christian experience that would cause people to rise above the bad fate they feared. Paul went on to explain that they already had everything they needed through Christ and His work on the cross. Another way of stating this is: If after having fully trusted Christs finished work on the cross, you are told that you are still lacking something, you are being taught pietism."
"Pietism cannot help but take peoples minds off the gospel. When I was a pietist I thought salvation was an interesting first step a person took, but mostly lost interest in the topic unless I ran across someone who needed to pray the sinners prayer. The gospel of Christ was only of marginal interest to me as I sought the deeper things. The more I tried to be a very special type of Christian, the further my mind wandered from the cross. I was guilty of the very thing for which Paul rebuked the Corinthians."
Read the rest of the article here:
By Bob DeWaay
| 2012/7/16 11:30||Profile|
| Re: How Pietism Deceives Christians|
I have a question, please.
After I read your commentary and also the expanded dialogue at the adjacent Link, I was still left kinna' bewildered.
Did you have the same sense? ... that something seems to be missing ... in spite of his upbraiding testimony?
Anyways, I did ... and I'm wondering why that is. I have suspicions but I wanted to ask you the question first.
I read your Thread again and also returned to re-read the continuing text at the Link.
I now have the question which I posed to you above clearly answered. My initial suspicions were correct.
| 2012/7/16 11:45||Profile|
| Re: |
I would love to hear what you may have discerned.
| 2012/7/16 12:16||Profile|
| Re: |
I apologize. I hope that my hurried edit didn't lend an appearance of avoidance.
Well, to put it bluntly: after the individual dismissed, abused, criticized, and accused nearly every slight move of the Spirit over the past century, what did he possess for himself in the end? After he so ruthlessly emptied himself, what treasures were to be found remaining in his inner man?
Yes, it's very true that the people of God have suffered great fraud and pretense over the generations. But we don't throw out the entire ladder because the 38th step was discovered to be needing repair. We remain steadfast on the 37th step and prayerfully confess that God speaks in this day and hour and will restore the path of our journey allowing us to continue to climb the spiritual heights.
I don't think that there is a Christian alive today that hasn't believed something that he became ashamed of at a later time in his walk. But I hardly think that there are many who would claim that nearly everything they have heard or touched concerning the Gospel was discovered to be entirely fraudulent as this man seems to conclude.
It seems to me that he exchanged his pious Christianity for something even more tragic: 'practical Christianity' ... powerless and devoid of maturity. He seems to know everything about the nature of a repentant sinner but very little about the stature accompanying a 'new creature'; "mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ".
Anyways, that's my opinion for what it's worth.
I think that I might have agreed more with his testimony if it had replaced the term 'pious Christianity' with 'pseudo-Christianity'; because that's what the substance of his essential complaint was.
I wouldn't have paid much attention to the Thread except for noticing that you had authored it and I so much appreciate reading your thoughts/comments.
| 2012/7/16 12:39||Profile|
| Twice the son of Hell?|
Thank-you Pilgrim for this article. It seems to me that the common idea about "Pietism", the "Deeper Life" is elitism; the idea that: "A life must be lived sacrificially and utterly devoted, and the more sacrificial and the more devoted the more that spiritual that person, [ or group] is."
This was the sub-doctrines of ancient Babylon, with the development of "the prophets of Baal"..[ more aptly named the "Priests of Baal"] In this circle, their were a variety of offices and ranks. There were also the "Vestal Virgins", the most holy of ladies, utterly devoted to the keeping of the holy fire and caring for their serpent god.
So, for centuries and centuries before Christ we see a Priest-class emerging; a separate but more-holy standard set up that is above the common, or another more elite path that would lead one to the real God; thus the plethora of the cults; The Roman Catholic monster being the purist Queen of them all, along with their Priests, Monks and Nuns; the direct descendants of the Priest/class of ancient Babylon.
To the outsider, it appears that these ritualistic, Piest and elite individuals attain the higher spiritual heights, and many, such as the Catholic mystics, along with their sisters, the Eastern Transcendental yoga's do. They both write about their Nirvana or christian bliss attained achieved through various Contemplative Meditative imagery and experience, and in that sense, it is elite. The problem is, No Holy Spirit and No cross and None of God's glory. There is another glory present.
Doesn't Satan want you off of the only ground that will save you? and that is God showing mercy to sinful man through the Blood that was shed; by confessing and forsaking our sin, and sinfulness, and repenting? turning back toward God?
Pietism, in whatever form or through whoever is deceived, proclaims there is another way, a deeper way, a result with more holy experience! and holds that golden carrot out just out of your reach, while indoctrinating you that you are a part of that Elijah company! Only for that 1/2 of one percent, who are really willing to give ALL to the Deserving One!....24/7!
There is no room for the weakling here! Commit yourself to the cause! It's journey, as it did in the Early church, naturally leads the serpent to the gates of Orthodoxy, that pure and holy company inspired and kept by the Apostle Paul, humility, and the simplicity of the Word of God; The true church.
Here is where we stand today. It'subtlety is enormous, and well hidden. Doctrines are twisted and sold as God's, but instead of leading you toward God, as you mentioned Pilgrim 777, they always, always lead you AWAY from God, as you expressed.
It is interesting to me that way they can do this; by a MOVEMENT mentality, the crown of Ecumenicalism. By escaping the confines of the local church, and a plurality of Elders, individuals then usurp their own authority over the body, as Diotrephes did in 3John..[ the only one man Pastor in the New Testament] who led them under his own preeminence.
Thus, the doctrines of God are trumped by men, who desire to use and control the body for their own sense of accomplishment, Power, prosperity and control. They become the little kings, the conquerors of the church, the Nicolaitan.[ Jesus hates their teaching and their deeds]
I think of the Pietists [ holy kingdom makers] in this order, for those decieved enough to become a disciple of theirs; and make the grade into their Priest-class..[ the ministry]..
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."
We are watching the Great Falling Away unfold before us.
| 2012/7/16 12:48|
Whittier CA USA
| The Dangers of "Elitism"|
Execelent article pilgrim. Thanks for sharing. So many excellent points. Very refreshing to read particularly in light of certain recent threads here on a so-called "deeper life" and "sinless perfection".
The main point I got from the article was that you are either saved or not. If you are truly born again there will be fruit abounding to the glory of God. You will be radically transformed and conformed to the image of Christ day by day.
As a true child of God, you do not need to join some special "movement" or have some special "knowledge" which other true Christians don't have. You simply need to go back to the place through which you first became a true believer, namely, the glorious cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and all that it entails. You need to return to your first love and the simplicity that is in Christ. You need to simply and humbly read and obey God's Word.
I too can testify of being caught up in some of those "elitist" movements. Praise God for His faithfullness in bringing us back to what, or rather who really matters, namely Jesus and His finished work on the cross.
Now, having said all that, I still can't help but to be concerned about that which seems to be "status quo" Christianity. According to the article, the solution is not some special movement of a deeper life but rather a real work of true conversion or regeneration by God's Spirit. In other words, the article seems to imply that the reason why so many churches seem to be "dead" is because they are filled with false converts and not true Christians. I think that would certainly explain a lot.
Yet I can't help but to think of some who I would call brothers and sisters who seem to be born again but are influenced quite a bit by worldliness. They are not practicing any gross sins and seem to bear some fruit of the Spirit. But as a pattern they get caught up in questionable things such as watching wicked movies and justifying it, etc. Some don't really seem to be that concerned about the things of the kingdom of God but rather spend their energy on earthly things.
They go to churches which I would consider to be seemingly "dead" in many respects. Maybe these brothers and sisters are influenced by that kind of "dead" environment and it sort of rubs off on them. Or maybe they are not truly born again. Sometimes it can be confusing to me.
I'm sure you can be born again and caught up in some form of worldliness because I think about how that sometimes happens to me, and I can't say that I would question my salvation because of that. The Lord is always faithful to bring conviction of sin or worldliness and discipline me accordingly. Anyway, I'll stop my rambling for now.
| 2012/7/16 22:17||Profile|
| Re: The Dangers of "Elitism"|
Just to correct some misconceptions, I agree that you are either saved or not and there is only one type of Christian : someone who has crucified the flesh and is united with Christ. There is a growth in this : babes, young men and fathers, but they are all of the same nature, that is, united with Christ.
There is no secret initiation apart from Christ revealing to us His full work on the cross, and this is the only way into a more authentic life with Him. Anything less, shows that one has not yet grasped the fullness of this salvation ; Christ taking away our sins.
There is nothing for those who have received the full revelation to be proud of for it is all of Him and nothing of us, apart from an open heart to receive. Often it is the worst sinners who do open up their hearts to receive because they have tasted the dust on the floor.
And those who do receive the full revelation of what Christ did two thousand years ago, know full well that they did nothing and walked the path of sinners themselves and fell for the lies of the enemy of souls.
The enemy says that we cannot be delivered from sin till the next life in order to keep us in bondage to it. He will do anything to keep a man from this knowledge because once the man does see it then Satan has lost his foothold.
God loves us all equally, there is no-one good, and He longs for us to enter fully into the promised land. Until then we are potentially sons of God and the great deception of all times is to lead us to believe we already are.
| 2012/7/17 4:58|