Tag Archives: mysticism

The Only Way Into His Presence?

In everything, what does he say? Give thanks because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. That step of obedience–to give thanks in everything for everything. That’s how he opened the door for me through everything to step into his presence. Enter into his presence for there is fulness of joy. The only way into his presence is through those gates of thanksgiving (transcribed from lecture given by Ann Voskamp, best-selling author of 1000 Gifts).

Does that sound like the Christian gospel? Do we gain access to God by our obedience and our thanksgiving? While being thankful for God and to God is admirable, Ann Voskamp has turned it into a false gospel of work’s righteousness. How obedient and how thankful must we be to have access to God? Are you being thankful enough?  The Bible clearly contradicts Voskamp’s false gospel:

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).

As the book of Hebrews teaches us, we draw near to God through Jesus who is the high priest of the new covenant. A covenant that is not based upon our obedience or our thankfulness, but is based solely on faith in his finished work on the cross.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).

Similarly, Jesus directly taught that we gain access to God through him, not through our obedience or our thankfulness. This is just a quick look at a portion of Voskamp’s false teaching. You can listen to a full critique of Voskamp’s message and a portion of her book over at the January 16, 2014 podcast from Chris Rosebrough’s Fighting for the Faith. I highly recommend it to help you discern the dangerous false gospel presented by Voskamp.

 

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With friends like these…

Over the weekend I attended the graduation ceremony at the local Northwest Nazarene University (NNU). NNU bills itself as “one of the premier Christian institutions of higher education in the Northwest.” While I have long known of NNU’s liberal leanings, it was still shocking to hear the speaker, President Emeritus Dr. Richard Hagood, refer to heretic Dallas Willard as one of his favorite authors. It is sad that a person with such poor discernment could rise to the level of president in a supposed “Christian” university. If you are not familiar with Dallas Willard, he is one of the leaders of this spiritual formation movement which often steers into mysticism, contemplative prayer, and other New Age practices.

If you are considering sending you child to a “Christian” college, make sure you look beyond just their simple statement of faith. Look at the reading lists of their courses. For example, NNU’s reading lists for various courses include materials from heretics such as Rob Bell, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence, and Eugene Peterson. Goodness! At least at a secular school your kids will not be told that the garbage they are studying is Christian.

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Filed under Christian Life, False Religions