January 31, 2015
Allow me, if you will, to introduce Ima Do-gooder and his partner, Mia Mystic. Both college educated, Ima and Mia are model citizens, ever ready to take in stray animals and take on local litterbugs. The kindly couple lives modestly in a demonstrably “green” apartment within an urban-cluster development boasting easy access to public transportation.
No car clutters their garage—only bicycles handily tucked behind recycle containers appropriately labeled “trash,” “glass,” “plastic,” “paper,” “food and foliage scraps.” Whenever necessary, Ima and Mia beckon temporary transport, consistently of the hybrid variety, by means of a Smartphone application. Creation care matters, after all.
Given Mia’s conscientious attention to reproductive health care, there is no baby in the oven, nor will there be. The planet can do without additional eaters. Nonetheless, when less evolved folks choose to breed, Mia gives the nod to universal, government managed health- and child- care services.
While she opposes capital punishment for the guilty, Mia applies no litmus test to aborting the innocent. A pregnant woman’s choice rightfully trumps a nonperson’s right to life. Moreover, a customer’s demand for abortifacient drugs, as Plan B or Ella, precludes a private pharmacy owner’s right to conscience.
To Ima and Mia, marriage, mortgage, and munchkins are superfluous to a personally fulfilled life. Together, the two spend free time at the local Pea Patch, which provides them fresh, pesticide-free produce that, to their credit, they willingly share with food banks. By example, they coax others into their lifestyle of mandatory volunteerism.
To remain fit and centered, Ima and Mia endorse holistic philosophies, energy medicine, meditative/ divine breathing practices, and yoga. They self-identify as spiritual, not religious; and theirs is a conciliatory gospel of unrequited love. Hate is what non-enlightened folks, unlike themselves, direct toward gays, Muslims, abortionists, progressives, and the like.
In their world, dogs are people, too.
Doctrine of Tolerance
Ima and Mia view rendering offense as the chief vice; hence, “tolerance” encapsulates their core creed. Propelled by a social Gospel, Ima and Mia sympathize with media bias that demonizes fervent Christianity as even more perilous and hatemongering than Islamic fundamentalism. Indeed, intolerant Christian extremists cling to a defunct worldview of biblical fundamentalism by insisting on fixed values of right and wrong, obsolete traditionalism, fiscal and social conservatism.
Doctrine of Cosmic Citizenship
Geo-politically, Ima and Mia identify, not as Americans, but rather as citizens of the planet. Doing so, they evade principles of rugged individualism, self-government, free speech and enterprise, middle class affluence (private property ownership), and public religious expression. National sovereignty, they insist, is passé. In fact, both of them are shamed by their birth nation’s perceived arrogance, imperialism, colonialism, greedy capitalism, exploitation of third world countries, and racism, historically epitomized in slave ownership. Closing our nation’s borders—thus, denying undocumented people the welfare, access to universal health care, bilingual education, and leg-up affirmative action to which they are rightfully entitled—would signal selfishness.
Instead, social and ecological justice creates a new, superior story of our origins and culture. With that in view, Ima and Mia champion racial justice, interfaith relations with Muslims (reciprocity optional), justice for God’s creation (warranting human apology— even worship), and international law (trumping the US Constitution). Because strict interpretation of our nation’s outmoded Constitution is folly, its first, second, and tenth amendments (others as well) must be revisited with an eye toward the common good.
Camouflaged Conflicting Convictions
Fact is, their convictions in favor of gay marriage and reproductive health (code word for abortion on demand) are sincerely heartfelt. Sadly, the inconsistency (some would call hypocrisy) of their own dogma escapes them.
For example, Ima and Mia champion legal marriage despite gender orientation or preference.
In their world, despite issues of conscience, neither a local florist, nor baker may deny a gay couple the designer wedding cake or flower arrangements of their dreams, yet Ima and Mia readily defer to vociferous demands of a-religionists offended by display of a manger scene. To them, conscience matters little—but being offended by matters of conscience speaks volumes.
Another case in point: In the public school classroom, allowing a crucifix necklace threatens constitutional freedom. If, however, that very image is illustrated as being submerged in urine, it somehow qualifies as transcendent “art,” suitable for school groups to study on field trips to art museums. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Nonetheless, while some are entitled to escape offense, others are expected to toughen up and take it on the chin.
Doctrine of Enlightenment
Of the varied paths to godhood, the Jesus gig suits Ima and Mia just fine. Theirs is a message of inclusion, looking for the good while ignoring the bad. Generally on Sundays, they are in church. Upon selecting a place of worship, the two intentionally bypassed fundamental Bible churches attended by whom they view as the monolithic religious right.
Satisfying relationships and engaging activities keep Ima and Mia coming back to their fellowship and accountability groups keep them in line. Home gatherings serve to expand evangelical core values of personal salvation, evangelism, Bible reading, prayer, and mutual accountability to include globalization, politics of war/peace, the environment, and social welfare.
Since the construct of hell cannot possibly have originated from a loving God, these left-leaning moralists exalt universal salvation over personal redemption. In their view, morality spans a sliding continuum rightfully exempt from narrow-minded judgment; and social justice routs spiritual purity.
While Ima and Mia may claim to be compelled by biblical theology, they espouse a non-literal view of the Bible that relies heavily on German higher criticism. The two vehemently oppose what they condemn as the “idolatry of Scriptures.” Truth is resident within them—not on the antiquated pages of some error–riddled book.
Doctrine of Utopianism
A shining star of the religious left, Dr. Tony Campolo believes the future is ours to create. Accordingly, both Ima and Mia lobby for non-proliferation, world peace, and conflict resolution. Nuclear freezes are mandatory; and Israel must be shunned for unlawful occupation and heartless displacement of Palestinian brethren.
Both favor systematic emasculation of armed services. They believe America’s military strength to be excessive and its many evils unconscionable. Looking to ideals promulgated by the United Nations, Ima and Mia concede that the push for global harmony and understanding, in time, will render war obsolete and anti-ballistic missile defense unnecessary.
Doctrine of Cosmic Humanism
Their so-called “positive Christianity” diverts their church community from God and salvation toward resolving the “human condition” through human intervention and institutions. In meeting the call to renewal, their emerging church (of man’s own making) freely expands core biblical values to accommodate “red-letter,” freestyle Christian thought. To believers like Ima and Mia, human dignity and worth are based on self-determination through reason, not so much Bible truth.
Rather than be renewed by the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, Ima and Mia instead conform to a decidedly humanistic worldview. They reason that the AIDS virus was spread by lack of federal funding, and SUVs pave the way for climatic apocalypse. Hence, they advocate creating a better world through social controls featuring evolving doctrine, attitudes, and ways of living centered more on relativistic human values than on biblical mandate.
Doctrine of Redistribution
Self-proclaimed citizens of “one world,” Ima and Mia assign ownership of money and property to the collective. Any discussion of free enterprise and limited government disquiets them. In a 1979 interview, Pastor Jim Wallis told a reporter he hoped more Christians would come “to view the world through Marxist eyes.” Ima and Mia could not agree more. True equality demands equal sharing of all sources. Right?
Doctrine of Consensus
A distributed church uses contrasts to accomplish kingdom purposes; however, consensus with opposites requires nothing short of compromise. Through their home study groups, Ima and Mia achieve collaborative consciousness by participating in guided dialogue. Blatantly absent from their agenda is deep study of the meat of the Word, the Bible.
To Ima and Mia, all Christians are mystics, defined as “those who experience God in trans-rational and non-empirical ways.” Mystical experiences encompass heightened awareness accompanied by new insights, breakthrough conversion experiences, and I = Thou relationships (neo-pantheism).
Their intuitive application of spirituality invites a wide variety of trendy, albeit extra-biblical perspectives (rebirthing, Christ-consciousness, harmonic convergence) and practices (contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, and creative expression). Applying a systems approach to personal spiritual development, Ima and Mia align with the burgeoning “spiritual formation” movement in which the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit take back seat to new techniques, some drawn from ancient disciplines.
By devaluating New Testament spirituality, Ima and Mia court the postmodern fallacy that ours is an age of new images—notably, images that portray biblical Christianity as outmoded and downright defunct. In its place, they champion a new story of our origins and culture—this, minus a grand meta-narrative (big story) featuring the God of the Bible.
Ima Do-gooder and Mia Mystic worry more about offending man than God, but they faithfully walk the talk. Folks like and appreciate them as neighbors. Problem is, Ima and Mia are spokespersons for deception; theirs is a way that seems right to man, but its end (according to Scripture) is death.
© 2014 Debra Rae – All Rights Reserved
1. Endless pursuit of earthly knowledge fails to yield truth (John 14:6;
2. “… changed the truth of God into a lie, worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:24-25).
3. “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion’”(Genesis 1:28).
4. “But if any provide not for his own, … he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8).
5. “…they which commit such things are worthy of death” (Romans 1:32). “Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die” (Numbers 35:30).
6. God detests “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17). “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:19).
7. “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:5).
8. “You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing” (Job 5:24).
9. “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127:5).
10. Man’s ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8). “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
11. “For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things” (1 Timothy 4:8).
12. “For the Lord GOD will help me; … therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7).
13. Holistic involvement takes diverse forms of social activism in performing acts of kindness— i.e., “missional living.” This key social drive in the West sometimes cloaks old lies in the garment of new spirituality. The holistic movement involves evolution into greater wholes (body, mind, spirit), its goal being the balance of forces in the universe (pantheism). The New Age mystic wrongly perceives God to be no more or less than the sum total of all that exists. At the base of all is pantheism, proclaiming all life to be God, or part of God.
14. In the latter times, some will heed seducing spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).
15. “Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice” (Amos 5:15).
16. “You are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7; Matthew 10:31).
17. “Let God be true, but every man a liar …” (Romans 3:4).
18.The triumph of America’s economic prosperity is her free market system based on respect for rule of law, individual effort, and fair dealing—all biblical principles. To rejoice in the fruit of one’s labor is the gift of God (Hebrews 13:17; Proverbs 6:6; Micah 6:8; Jeremiah 22:13; 1 Timothy 5:18; Ecclesiastes 5:19). “Blessed are you, when men shall revile you … and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11).
19. Whereas the Plan of God involves a godly Millennial Kingdom; then, New Heaven/Earth (Revelation 20:1-7; 21:1), its counterfeit celebrates godless, one world governance (Revelation 13:1,7).
20. Overcomers escape corruption and vanity in this sin-bent world; they do not re-create it to their personal liking (2 Peter 1:4).
21. The flesh nature, not its color, yields bondage (Galatians 5:19-21).
22. “For they … serve not our Lord Jesus Christ…[but] by good words … deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:18).
23. In defining the self as “the earth having become conscious of herself,” man is charged with moral responsibility to embrace a heightened ecological consciousness enforced by draconian laws designed to preserve biodiversity.
24. “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets… if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).
25. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections … against nature … working that which is unseemly.” Theirs is “a reprobate mind,” “filled with all unrighteousness” “without natural affection” (Romans 1:26-31).
26. “What benefit is there in a molded statue … when its maker has molded [what] … cannot speak” (Habakkuk 2:18)?
27. Even so, “Let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right” (Revelation 22:11).
28. Neo-Gnostics value knowledge. To achieve inner knowing, one must be awakened to the possibility of being no longer terrestrial, but celestial—i.e., no longer a Christian, but a Christ.
29. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5). 30. “… I will … punish the men … that say in their heart, ‘The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil’” (Zephaniah 1:12).
31. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
32. “Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
33. “From a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
34. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).
35. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another” (James 5:16).
36. “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ said the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8).
37. “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Whosoever wills may come (Romans 10:13), but “those not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12-15; 21:8).
38. Judge all things (1 Corinthians 2:15); discern spirits (1 John 4:1); acknowledge God’s supremacy as ultimate judge, for “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right” (Genesis 18:25)?
39. “For I am the LORD your God: … you shall be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44).
40. “All Scripture God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), and “the Law will never pass away” (Matthew 5:18).
41. A superior species of evolved humanity serves as “Custodians of the Plan” guiding humanity’s spiritual progress to ensure the old “Piscean Age” (with its obsolete traditionalism) gives way to an “Age of Aquarius” (marked by peace, harmony, and brotherhood).?
42. Daniel 9:24-27 contains a complete history of Israel from Daniel’s time to that of the Messiah, thus confirming God’s continuing plan for her. To bless Israel is to be blessed; to curse her is to be cursed of God (Genesis 12:3).
43. There is “a time for war” and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:8).
44. Panetics is an evolving, a-biblical means of reducing human suffering and victimization through governments, institutions, social groups, and the professions. However, Christians are to “take no thought for [their] life,” which is more than meat and raiment (Matthew 6:25), for God shall supply all their need “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
45. Godly believers exalt not in humanity, but rather in the Lord alone (1 Corinthians 3:21; 1:31).
46. “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).
47. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
48. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
49. Whereas God allows purchase of wine (blessings of God) and milk (strength of God) without … price (Isaiah 55:1), His adversary calls for a cashless society with forced redistribution of wealth (Daniel 11:39).
50. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6).
51. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
52. “Now I beseech you, brothers, … that you all speak the same thing … perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 10). “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
53. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
54. Mystics engage in supernatural experiences that become ends in themselves—e.g., “yoga” means “union with Brahma,” divine spirit of the universe. Occult enlightenment is accomplished by controlling vital energy in the act of breathing. Meditative practices feature mental passivity and mantra meditation.
55. Pantheists proclaim all life to be God, or part of God. However, God shares His glory with none (Genesis 1:26; James 3:7; Isaiah 48:11).
56. The word “noetic” refers to “inner knowing,” a kind of intuitive consciousness. With esoteric knowledge, exceptional talents and aptitude, custodians of a divine cosmic plan rightfully rule over less illumined counterparts.
57. Right use of energy among intuitive friends united by earth stewardship, sustainability, collectivism, and illumination sounds like the real deal; but it isn’t.
58. Will-worshipping German philosopher George Hegel portrayed the Ten Commandments as arbitrary. He determined his “truth” by democratic consensus under peer pressure (Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:21).
59. Taking time to ponder God’s goodness, reflect upon His Word, and acknowledge Him at work is cognitive. Biblical meditation doesn’t require an empty mind, or altered consciousness.
60. Multiculturalism redefines America and biblical Christianity out of existence “in the name of many divinities and philosophies” (See 2 Timothy 3:1-7).
61. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Isaiah 64:6).
62. “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
Used with permission.