I once had a friend who was like a father to me. He taught me many things about God and Jesus. We had great time in those charismatic movements of the 80’s and 90’s. We were in the midst of a swirling and unforgettable spiritual movement. Then somehow, the movement stopped. At least to me, it stopped. But we were so used to having these movements. We could not go on without one. We always expected there would be another great spiritual season or movement waiting to happen.
A new teaching came. It offered “something new”. It offered a “movement”. It was too dazzling to be ignored. My friend got hooked. This could start something big. This could turn around the long church plateau. This could bring in the Kingdom of God.
I was hesitant to join in. I had not yet gotten over the fact that the “movement” stopped. Eventually, I joined in. My friend and the rest swam into this new thing like children jumping, diving, and playing in a river. I could not join them for long. This new thing simply twisted what I have learned about God and Jesus. Our need for a new thing simply made us abandon long held beliefs about Christianity. Like a big, steel ship, we let loose all anchors and venture out in the open sea. I simply could not join the ride anymore. I bid my friend farewell.
Soon, I learned that this new movement came to a very controversial and disastrous end. Lives were ripped apart. Churches split. Congregations scattered. Like sheep without a shepherd, each one went about his way to uncertainty.
My friend on the other hand went on. With a handful of what remained, he persisted unto another “new thing”. This time things were different. This new belief is totally devoid of Christianity. The new belief is tolerant, accommodating, non-judgmental and all inclusive. The premise starts with the self. The latter is the starting point whereby one views all truth.
Unfortunately, this new belief is not at all new. “Nothing’s new under the sun”. Genesis tells a story about it. The serpent said to eve “your eyes will be opened (awareness) and you will become like God”. I thought, what went wrong? How could a person, so strong in faith and knowledge of biblical truths lose it all?
There is no simple and straight answer to this. I can only think of 1Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons”. Also, 2 Timothy 4:3 “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 finally, Mark 13:22 “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect”.