Leonard Sweet, a leading figure in the Emergent Church (although he denies having any ties with them any longer – read here and here), is touring South Africa and telling the pastors of the Dutch Reformed Church in particular that they must adapt or die. Stephan Joubert, one of his most ardent protégés of E-Church fame is sponsoring Sweet’s visit. He appeared as guest speaker at the Mosaïek Kerk in Fairlands, Johannesburg, and the Pierre van Ryneveld DRC in Pretoria on May 28 and will be giving his final lecture in the large auditorium of the Moreleta Park DRC on Saturday, June 1.
“If the Protestant Christendom does not learn the language of the present culture, its future is dark.
Sweet said that the Christendom [note: he does not say Christianity] is the largest on earth. The Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox and Pentecostal group are growing.
The one tradition that is not growing is Protestantism. Sweet warned that 2017 would turn out to be a funeral rather than a feast for Protestantism.”
“Everything Must Change” is a post modernist maxim Brian McLaren coined when he wrote his book with the same name. This change needs be orchestrated by the demands of the cultures of the world and not the demands of an infinitely holy God who said that He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore (Hebrews 13:8). Rick Warren championed the idea of change via the world’s cultural gods when he and his Saddleback Church engaged their immediate community in a survey to establish what they (mostly unbelievers) expected and needed of the church. Most of us know what happened then; he drafted his so-called P.E.A.C.E PLAN explaining how the diverse religions ought to take hands and work together to alleviate poverty, care for HIV victims and primarily to bring about peace in the world. Incidentally, Leonard Sweet is an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church who is in league with the United Nations to accomplish these goals I mentioned earlier. (Read here and here). It is therefore no surprise that Leonard Sweet, like Rick Warren, has made so much headway in the ranks of Christendom in such a short time. In fact, he is perhaps the most influential change agent in the Christian church. His ‘About Page’ on one of his blogs says the following of him:
“One of the church’s most important and provocative thinkers.”
“No church leader understands better how to navigate the seas of the 21st century.”
“A writer of vast imagination, poise and charm.”
“I can’t imagine a Christian leader in America who hasn’t read one or more of Leonard Sweet’s books.”
“Some statistician-types will drown you in doom and gloom. Sweet’s message is uplifting, hopeful and relevant.”
These are but a sampling of responses to Len’s three-ring mission: as a historian of American culture; as a futurist/semiotician who “sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;” and as a preacher and writer who communicates the gospel powerfully to a post modem age by bridging the worlds of academe and popular culture. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by Church Report Magazine.
And why shouldn’t Leonard Sweet be so popular?
Isn’t he doing a great job in warning the Protestant churches to adapt or die and to bring peace where there is turmoil, confusion, doom and gloom? Well, let’s take a closer look at Mr Sweet’s ideas of peace. Please note that Mr Sweet has since allegedly revoked and recanted of everything he had written in his provocative book “Quantum Spirituality.” Nevertheless, he merely seems to have made a slight change in his approach while his main agenda and aim remains the same – to bring about a quantum change in the Protestant churches. In the Internet downloadable PDF document: “Sweet, Spangler and Quantum Spirituality” the author points out:
“If we want to possess a magical crystal for our New Age work, we need [to] look no further than our own bodies and the cells that make them up.” — David Spangler 1991
“I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership.” — Leonard Sweet 1991
Speaking of spiritual “channels,” Sweet expresses his personal gratitude in Quantum Spirituality to channeler and veteran New Age leader, David Spangler. Spangler, in attempting to cast off the negative stereotype of a New Age channeler, would now more likely describe himself as a conscious intuitive. spokesperson for the New Age, Spangler has written numerous books over the years that include Emergence: The Rebirth of the Sacred, Revelation: The Birth of a New Age, and Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture.
His book Revelation: The Birth of a New Age is a compilation of channelled transmissions he received from his disembodied spirit guide “John.” At one point in Revelation, Spangler documents what “John” prophesied about “the energies of the Cosmic Christ” and “Oneness”:
As the energies of the Cosmic Christ become increasingly manifest within the etheric life of Earth, many individuals will begin to respond with the realization that the Christ dwells within them. They will feel his presence moving within and through them and will begin to awaken to their heritage of Christhood and Oneness with God, the Beloved. (Emphasis added) (Read here).
Leonard Sweet wants to awaken you.
Christians who reverently fear God should learn how to discern things by listening to the jargon the New Agers and Emergent fraternity frequently use. Notice for instance the words “conscious intuitive” and “re-imagination.” Both these expressions are also used by emergent facilitators to communicate their initiatives to change the Protestant churches. Johan Geyser, one of he leader pastors of the Mosaïek Kerk in Fairlands, Johannesburg just adores to use the word “intuitive.” It simply means to become aware of something of which you were previously not aware, for instance that Jesus Christ is already mystically present in everyone. They only need to be made aware of it, preferably through contemplative practices which enhance your intuition (awareness).
This brings me to one of Leonard Sweet’s most recent books called “NUDGE. Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There.”- Voila! – Surprise, surprise, the ever present word “awakening” pops up again in Sweet’s book. Whereas he supposedly distanced himself from men like Spangler, McLaren and others in the Emergent Church and recanted of his initial agreement with them that Christ dwells mystically in all people, he now most subtly says the very same thing, just in a newly fashioned and re-imagined way.
When Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world, to make disciples of all the nations and to teach them everything he commanded (Matthew 28:19-20), He did so because the people to whom He sent his disciples did not know Him, had never heard his Gospel and never knew what it meant to be saved. They were to be made aware of their sinfulness and lostness through the preaching of the Gospel and of the Good News that God had sent his Son to pay the penalty for their sins on the cross. That was how Jesus Christ of the Bible defined mission. The post modern Jesus who is a false one to begin with, sends his disciples into the world and tells them that he is already there (mystically present in everyone) and that they only need to be nudged into an awareness that he is already there – IN THEM. Theo Geyser (the brother of Johan Geyser) summed it up beautifully when he said: “Maybe a sangoma [witch doctor] can be an opportunity to meet Jesus.” (“What does God think of us?”on SABC2, broadcast on April 24, 2011 – See article here)
Should the Body of Christ (all true believers) take Leonard Sweet seriously when he says that they should adapt or die (to celebrate a feast instead of a funeral in 2017)? I really don’t think so because the Jesus in whom I trust (not the post modern one who spreads lies and deceit) promised that He will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
Sweet asserts that the Roman Catholic Church is growing while the Protestant churches are dwindling. Guess who is contributing to the growth of the RCC? Yep, you’re right – the Emergent Church which is promulgating the RCC’s mystical practices such as contemplative prayer, silence, labyrinths, Lectio Divina and much much more, and the Dutch Reformed Church in particular has swallowed their lies hook, line and sinker.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)
As a born gain Christian I would rather die thank be swept away in Leonard Sweets false teachings and end up in hell.