Pastor Zachary Doppelt
What has been the greatest negative influence on the Christian faith over the centuries and particularly in the past thirty years? Was is Roman Catholic sacramentalism, money-crazed tele-evangelists, “Christian” rock concerts? Sure, these forms of fake Christianity deceived millions who followed self-proclaimed “Christian” leaders down dark alleys. Most certainly, they should not have done so. Still, the most baneful influence on Christianity as a whole came from mysticism. It is even the underlying spiritual stratum of sacramentalism, “wealth & health” Pentecostalism, and rock music. Thus, we need to ask questions of how this could have happened and why. Pastor Zachary Doppelt has spent considerable time in researching the topic from a historical perspective. In six brief 3 to 5-minute segments he explains the most important facts Christians need to know about the dangers of mysticism. He also presents the best solution of how to combat the influence of mysticism.
1-Mysticism: The Fall
Pastor Zachary Doppelt presents a succinct overview of mysticism starting with the Fall in the Garden of Eden (following the fall of Satan) and its subsequent consequences.
2-Mysticism: Dualism / Gnosticism
… traces Christian mysticism back to the influence of classical Greek philosophy on the early Church Fathers who adopted some of the dualistic concepts of far eastern religions and the theory of emanations of Gnosticism.
3-Mysticism: Progressive Spirituality
… explicates the roots of early Christian mysticism by pointing to the influence of Origin on later Church Fathers.
4-Mysticism: Perfectibility-Mystical Union
… explains why so-called Christian mysticism propagated by Teresa of Ávila in books such as The Way to Perfection found favor in the eyes of some groups of Anabaptists, Moravians, Wesleyans and others who belonged to the Holiness Movement. Doppelt also presents the main reason of why John Wycliffe in the 14th century and the Reformers two hundred years later strongly opposed mysticism.
5-Mysticism: Modernism / Neo-Evangelicalism
… draws the line of disseminating mystical ideas from the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy at the first half of the 20th century to the burgeoning Neo-Evangelical movement in the second half. Labyrinths proliferated in neo-evangelical churches while the Roman Catholic practice of Lectio Divina attracted prominent proponents who were eager to recommend it to the evangelical constituency in America at large.
6-Mysticism: Contemplative Spirituality
… points out the dangers of embracing mysticism, especially in its contemplative variety. Much of it is similar to what western proponents of Buddhism and Hinduism such as Ken Wilber advance as the right understanding of spirituality. He mentions a Fellowship of churches which has opened the doors to the mystical teaching of Ruth Harley Barton. The negative fall-out has already become visible.
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