Emergent Mysticism (2)

Holy Longing – Johan Geyser

Emergent Mysticism: A Biblical Appraisal of the Mosaic Congress held at the Mosaic Church (4 – 5 Sept. 2009) – Part 2

Session 1: “A Holy Longing” by Dr. Johan Geyser

Dr. Johan Geyser has a doctorate in theology and educational psychology and is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Johannesburg. How he obtained his doctorate without thinking or studying, only he will know. Nonetheless, this is his take on the highest form of spiritual life. Enjoy!

The two stops and two justs

In the business world and particularly in the estate agency business, referrals are one of the best ways to create a constant stream of new customers. It is one of the quickest ways to advertise your expertise as a competent and successful seller of property.

Referrals are not only applicable to the business world. In the ordinary and everyday life it has the tendency to either enhance your status as a citizen or to denigrate it, depending on the people with whom you like to associate. I suppose this is why people would rather refer to distinguished persons in society.

The well-known saying He that touches pitch will be defiled explains this principle rather well. Referrals also have a lot to do with association. If you associate with all the right kind of people you may accomplish your goals much easier and quicker than usual because your association with the much esteemed and distinguished in society opens doors.

Unlike the secular world where the latter principle applies, Paul exhorts God’s children to condescend to men of low estate (Romans 12:16) because God dwells in the high and holy place but also with those who are of a contrite and humble spirit (Isaiah 57:15).

Who are the humble and the contrite in spirit? – those who tremble at the Word of God and abide by it in holy reverence of his righteous judgments (Isaiah 66:2). The question we need to ask then is: Did any of the speakers at the Mosaic Congress abide by His Word? Read the following critique and judge for yourself.

“thinking,” “studying,” “sitting,” and “being”

Let us begin with a comparison between what Dr. Johan Geyser says about “thinking,” “studying,” “sitting,” and “being” and what the Bible says about it. I sincerely hope you know what the difference is between “Dr.” and “God.” If not, you won’t know who is lying.

Dr. Johan Geyser says:


The God of the Bible says;

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8).

Dr. Johan Geyser says:


The God of the Bible says:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” (2 Timothy 2:15-16).

Dr. Johan Geyser says:


The God of the Bible says:

“I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.” (Psalm 26:5)”Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.” (Psalm 107:10-12).”Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1).

Dr. Johan Geyser says:


The main purpose of meditation and its so-called Christian offshoot called contemplative prayer is to have your mind go beyond reason and ultimately enter into a mindless state of being one with everyone and everything in the cosmos.

The God of the Bible says:

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16).

Stephan Joubert
Stephan Joubert just sitting
Johan Geyser
Johan Geyser just sitting

To be holy is to be separated unto God. He commands his children to be distinct from the world in that they no longer ought to be part and parcel of this world system which is under control of Satan and his demons (2 Corinthians 4:4). All the redeemed have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13).

Hence the command not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and to come out from among them, and to be separate and not to touch the unclean thing. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

In Isaiah, “touch no unclean thing” means that they were to be pure, and to have no connection with idolatry in any of its forms (including Buddhism). So Christians were to avoid all unholy contact with a vain and polluted world. The sense is, “Have no close connection with an idolater, or an unholy person. Be pure; and feel that you belong to a community that is under its own laws, and that is to be distinguished in moral purity from all the rest of the world.”

Despite this stern warning Stephan Joubert and his cohorts in the Emergent Church would like you to believe that there is no difference between the spiritual and the secular world. Because the Emergent Church (of which Stephan Joubert is patently still a part, although he denies it) has deliberately erased the dividing line between holy and unholy, pure and impure, in and out, and us and them. They have created for themselves an imaginary kingdom where everything is holy.

In this kingdom, there is no such thing as two opposing or contradicting realities. Everything is paradoxically equal and therefore Jesus MUST of necessity be separated from the purity story in Leviticus, the singularly holy book in Scripture that makes no bones about the distinction between holy and unholy, pure and impure, us and them and in and out.

No, saith Stephan Joubert, Jesus never linked onto the divisional demarcation between two opposites but rather found his niche in the wisdom story of the book of Proverbs. This deep shift in your worldview allows for a paradigm shift from a judgmental to a non-judgmental mindset and to achieve this you need to acknowledge that Jesus is in everything and everyone (which is nothing else that a panentheistic cosmic Jesus).

The Apartheid and exclusivity syndrome represented by the in-out, pure-impure, us-them, saved-unsaved paradigm and is so typical of the archaic priestly story in Leviticus MUST make way for a “we-are-all-one” paradigm. Stephan, with pure emergent eloquence, worded it as follows:

“So Jesus came into this rhythm and the disciples learned the rhythms and perhaps we are too fast, because we are so success driven. Our spirituality is about getting the things done and to put down the stuff and to raise the numbers and to get more people to attend our holy, etc., Bible studies, talks, seminars, books, you name them. But Jesus was not into that. He had the rhythms of God in his life.

And you only learn this when you are wise, when you walk with somebody.  . . . it is like the whole life becomes a pilgrimage. You don’t have a pilgrimage when Easter is on the calendar. It is like the whole life is a pilgrimage where everyday becomes holy; Where every person that you meet becomes holy; Where every moment is holy; When time as such, when food as such, where people as such, where space as such become holy. And it changes your perspective, because the moment that I realize there is no unclean food, there is no unclean space, there is no unclean people per se and I treat them like that, things change.

But when you are a Pharisee and you know that that person is clean or unclean and I am clean. That space is unclean and I am clean. I mean you go around always judging people.”

According to Stephan Joubert God must be the greatest Pharisee in the entire universe because He says:-

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate (HOLY), saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

According to Borg, he together with all mankind is already living in God (See the quote below). On page viii of his book The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion To A More Authenthic Contemporary Faith (there’s that magical word beyond again) he introduces himself as “a Christian of a non-literalistic and non-exclusivistic kind” which in simple layman’s terms means that he rejects any literal form of interpretation of the Bible and does not believe that Jesus Christ is the only Person through whom salvation may be obtained.

Postmodern church clergy has perfected the art of referrals or references for they are forever referring to the maxims and sayings of scholars who unashamedly contradict God’s Word. Like Brian McLaren, Johan Geyser clearly has a high regard for Marcus Borg whom he quoted as saying that the word metanoia means to move beyond reason. 

Should we be surprised that Marcus Borg explains the word metanoia in terms of the Eastern mystical concept of the mind rather than the biblical rendition thereof? No! of course not because Marcus Borg has rejected the doctrine of atonement and of the cross of Jesus Christ and therefore rejected the doctrine of repentance (metanoia) and the need for salvation.

Indeed, their liberal and loose relationship with the Word of God forms the bedrock of their contemplative, mystical approach to the Bible. By the by, Marcus Borg is the guy who once said that Jesus Christ’s body was probably eaten up by dogs after his crucifixion.

Although they sidetrack or even forthrightly reject the core doctrines of Scripture, they dare not give the impression that they disregard the Word of God entirely. They must at all cost give the impression that their spirituality is biblically grounded. In his opening words Johan Geyser, in explaining what the spiritual journey of the Mosaic Church encompasses, he said the following:

Of course its biblically based. I think all Christians’ spiritualities should be a biblical spirituality. But, its routed in the tradition. Now in the Afrikaans world we all embrace tradition but as Pentecostals we go back a hundred years and as Reformed we go back much further, we go back five hundred years . . . . And then we’ve got to take into cognizance the developments in theology, in biblical studies, in psychology, sociology, neurology. We try to integrate the three movements of the spiritual life; between it we try to do it holistically.

Geyser’s acknowledgment and acceptance of Marcus Borg’s interpretation of the word Metanoia (to move beyond reason) is a classic example of the Contemplatives’ loose-lipped biblical spirituality. What they say and do are two fundamentally different things.

On the one hand, they say that all Christians should base their spirituality on the Bible but ironically agree with scholars like Marcus Borg who says that we should move beyond the literal meaning of biblical doctrines and embrace the more esoteric and mystical explanations thereof (such as his own). Johan Geyser explained Marcus Borg’s perception of the meaning of metanoia (to move beyond reason) with a bowl of fish he brought with him and displayed on a little table in front of his audience.

It was very interesting for me to discover that Marcus Borg, the new Testamentikus (sic) of our time said that the word metanoia means to move beyond reason, move beyond your reason. To explain that, the fishes might be a good way. (Pointing to the fishes he continued). I was just told, this is “I” and this is “djy” (a slang form of the Afrikaans word “jy” meaning “you”). Its a mother and the little one.

Please note, this is just about the best contemplative explanation of Panentheism.

One day the little one went to the mother and said, “Mother, I hear all things about water. Everyone is talking about water. Tell me, what is water? Where is water?: And the mum said: “Its all around you; its in you; its difficult to explain. Look! This is water. He says: “But I don’t see it. I don’t understand it.” She says, “Well there are three ways that I can think of now. One is to jump out of this bowl . . . immediately you’ll discover what’s water. But there’s a problem, you know. it will also be the end. . . .

But there’s another way. I can take some photos of you and then we can look at it together. I’ll show you – look, there’s a movement, that’s water. that’s water going through there. We can reflect on it. I can open some textbooks for you. I can explain to you, its H2O and we, you know, can do some calculations. There’s a lot of ways that I can try to explain it to you so that you can understand what water is. Or djy, you can just hang-in there; just sit, just sit and let it flow through you.

Don’t try to understand so much. Just become aware of the water that you’re living in.” This metaphor  in you, we live and move and have or whole being: Acts 17:28. He’s in us; he’s all around us. Its the air we breath, its the Spirit, its Ruah. He’s our life. He’s everything. It can be so difficult, you can miss everything.

And we can be so busy with the photos all the time. You know, our thoughts about God, our feelings about God, our feelings for God, is not God. Its only about God. And we can be so caught up in just taking photos. So there comes a time when you should stop meditating, stop studying, stop thinking so that you can enter into the reality of God. Just become still, move beyond things of thinking (Emphasis added).

I can understand why the Mosaic church members feel comfortable with this kind of nonsense, for the Bible clearly says Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves] (Romans 1:22, Amplified Bible).

I can assure you that the Minister of Education, Blade Nzimande, would immediately fire Dr. Johan Geyser if he’d been a teacher in one of our schools and he stood in front of a class saying: “Now class, I want you to stop studying and stop thinking. Just sit and be aware of all the facts you need to know in your various subjects and let it flow through you.” 

The kids may burst out in ecstatic joy but, as I said earlier, Minister Blade Nzimande would immediately fire him. As a rebuttal to my statement, Dr. Geyser may argue that I am mixing spirituality with ordinary mundane things such as schooling and that children need to study and learn to think constructively to be eligible for a good job one day.

May I remind him that he and his emergent buddies (like Rob Bell) have repeatedly stated that everything is spiritual and holy. If the spirituality in church is equal to the spirituality in secular life then the spiritual things in church such as the need to stop thinking and studying in order to enter into the reality of God may be equally applied to mundane things such as education in our schools in order to enter into the realities of everyday life.

Marcus Borg wrote: “The sacred is not “somewhere else” spatially distant from us. Rather, we live within God . . . God has always been in relationship to us, journeying with us, and yearning to be known by us. Yet we commonly do not know this or experience this. . . . We commonly do not perceive the world of Spirit.” 

Well, let’s heed Johan Geyser’s good advice that all Christians’ spirituality should be a biblical spirituality and study God’s Word to see whether Marcus Borg’s and his own presupposition that we all live in God and that the air we breath is the Spirit (Ruah), is true. What does the Bible say?

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9)

If, according to Marcus Borg and Johan Geyser God is in everything and everything is in God (like the water in the little fishbowl), then Paul lied when he plainly said that the Spirit of God is not in all people. In any event, Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who is definitely holy, wrote Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Johan Geyser’s spirituality, as well as of all the other speakers who spoke their abominable “truths” in “non-silence,” is not based on the Bible but on the ECUMENICALPANENTHEISTIC-NEW AGE-INTERFAITH-CHRIST who everyone can receive by merely breathing in the air (Ruah). It is not only a damnable rejection of the true meaning of the word metanoia but a denial of the ineffaceable substitutionary death of Christ as the only means of receiving the Spirit of Truth and of Life (the Holy Spirit).

If anyone can breathe in the Spirit (Ruah) because God is supposedly in everything, then Jesus’ crucifixion was a waste of time. And yet Geyser audaciously substantiates his claims with the well-known passage from Acts 17:28: “For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, For we are also His offspring.” 

The expression “in him” most certainly does not mean that everyone is in Him but simply that everyone lives by Him. Him being the Fountain of all life, we do not only owe our existence to Him but He also sustains all things, animate and inanimate. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3).

The Emergent fraternity has an uncanny way to give new meaning to passages in Scripture by placing emphasis on certain words over those that warrant greater importance. As you may recall, Johan Geyser said that one needs to just sit and allow the presence of God to flow through you. To explain his premise he quoted from Luke 10:38-42

I thought I’d focus on the contemplative dimension of the Gospel, and try to explain what that means, not by just giving a definition, I thought I’d use one of the key texts in the contemplative tradition in explaining what it looks like to be a contemplative, to live the contemplative life and to develop a contemplative mind. (Emphasis added)

He then continues to say that his exegesis of the above passage in Scripture is based on the writings of Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and the Cloud of Unknowing. because the understanding of this [contemplative] life comes from them. Perhaps Johan Geyser should rather have just sat down first to contemplate (with a robust and active mind and not a mind clouded by the unknowing) the different meanings of exegesis and eisegesis. 

In the latter method of interpreting Scripture, you superimpose your own premises or those of others on the biblical text so as to strengthen and validate your own agenda, which in this particular case is the contemplative life. This was precisely what Johan Geyser did; he used the eisegesis method of interpreting Scripture and not the exegesis method as he said. In layman’s terms, it simply means that they are dreadfully compromising the Gospel of Jesus Christ to enhance and further their own false Gospel.

In good faith with his own contemplative lifestyle, Johan Geyser then expounds in more detail what the contemplative life means. According to The Cloud of Unknowing, Martha and Mary typify two kinds of life, the active life and the contemplative life where you let go of the normal ordinary way of living to give most of your energy, your thoughts, your time just to be with God, in prayer, which, according to the Cloud of Unknowing is the highest type of life you can live, and, according to Geyser, sparked the development of early monastic life.

Allow me to remind you, as a parenthesis, what happened throughout the monastic life since its early inception when monks and nuns renounced the normal and ordinary life for a life wholly devoted to God in contemplative prayer and solitude. Most of them were not able to bear the heavy load of celibacy and succumbed to their sexual desires, the result being that many nuns bore babies who were summarily aborted or killed after their birth. It is still happening today. (Read here and here).

The imposition of celibacy upon its priests was contrary to Holy Scripture and to nature. Indeed, it is a mark of the prophesied apostasy from God’s truth that was to come at the end of the present age.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth, 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

Theresa of Avila ostensibly disagreed with the author of The Cloud of Unknowing that the contemplative life was the highest type of living and suggested that there was something much better to be accrued. This is how Johan Geyser explained Theresa of Avila’s rendition of the contemplative life.

She (Theresa of Avila) says, (now look at that Scripture): The Lord is not dissatisfied with Martha’s life, with what she is doing. But He’s upset by the way she is doing what she is doing. He doesn’t tell her: Martha what you are doing, is wrong. . . . you are anxious and you are upset . . . and He looks at Mary and He doesn’t tell Mary: Mary I’m totally satisfied with you. Mary, you’ve chosen the most important thing, but . . . you’ve chosen the better part, there’s still a best thing to do. You’ve still got something else and Theresa’s idea was if you could live the active life contemplatively [it] would be the highest form of life that you can live.

Now, what does it mean? Let’s start with Martha; we look at Mary then. Martha, salt of the earth, working, thinking, serving others all the time, but she is worried and upset and I looked at a Greek dictionary for those two words; she is torn apart and tossed around, torn apart on the inside. There is not a unity in her heart. She hasn’t got, in the old terms, a purity of heart, cause there’s a lot of things in her heart. There’s a lot of chaff, other stuff in her heart and, here’s the thing, she is totally unaware of her inner world.

She is converted on the level of her psychological consciousness but not on the unconscious level of her motivation. She’s not aware that why am I doing what I am dong? And that is of a great essence for us. She thinks of, is it going to be on time, why aren’t they helping me, my plans aren’t working out. There’s a big need for control; there’s a big need for acceptance of what they are going to think of me. And she’s upset about it. And if you read the Scriptures and of course the early Christians took the teachings of Jesus about worry very seriously.

You know, Jesus said, Don’t worry. If He says it, He means it. And He says, one of the big hindrances on your spiritual journey is worry. The cares of the world, Matthew 13. If you’re busy with just making money and the cares of the world, the Word that is sown in you will not grow. You cannot continue. You gotta get rid of it. That was one of the big motivations for joining the monastic life cause then you can get rid of it that way.

A pelgrim (sic) came to a church father and asked him: What must I do to progress, and he said, well let’s start at the beginning my son. Are you a follower of Christ or do you still worry? [laughter in the audience) . . . Thomas Keating describes it [worry] as a construction of the false self. It is because of our basic needs, instinctive needs, that we are born with for security, for acceptance, for control that we construct a life for ourselves by fulfilling those needs in a certain way.

That is the life that Jesus says I want you to give your life away, give that life away. That’s the self that you’ve got to crucify. Paul said I crucified myself and now I live with Christ, Galatians 2:20. So its about letting go of the false self. Its moving into your self, into the world that is in the inside and getting the purity of heart so that it is only God that is left.

She’s got mixed motivations she doesn’t know of, its for the Lord but its also to fulfill my basic needs of acceptance of security: that’s my motivation in life – even doing something great for the Lord. Can you see the manifestation of the false self? – worry, comparisons, how am I doing, that’s not fair, look at what he’s got in life, look at what I do. And then of course God gets a bit confusing. I do so much. Where are you God? Why don’t you help me? I don’t understand you God. You’re not helping me. It doesn’t work for me this thing. Control, loss of control, attachment to the outcome. You see the functioning of the false self in our life?

And now, the very interesting thing: where is it revealed? In ordinary life in the kitchen – in community, that’s where it is revealed. . . . Now here’s a big thing, Jesus says, Martha, look at Mary. Do what Mary do (sic). The suggestion? That’s the way you will get rid of your worry. That’s the way that you work with your inside. That’s the way to go on this inner journey that you need.

Sit with Me. Just sit with Me, like she does. The Dalai Lama said, the three pillars of Buddhism, practice of Buddhism is (sic), the teaching, the community and the sitting. I wonder what you would say, what’s the main non-negotiable practices and pillars of your faith and your walk with God?

I know of a certainty that Scripture does not count worry and depression as a hindrance in your following of Jesus. In fact, there are only two or three things Scripture mentions that can hinder Christians in their following of Jesus.

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luk 14:26-27)

Yes, of course, worrying can stifle and smother the inner working of God’s Word in your life and it may hinder your spiritual growth. Instead of pondering and meditating on His Word (with your active mind and cognitive comprehension fully intact) and thoroughly thinking through the profound depths of God’s Truth in his Word, you spend all of your energy and time on worrying. But then it is not an exhortation to start following Jesus again because you had supposedly stopped doing so that comes into play, but the wonderful assurance that He will never leave you and never forsake you and therefore you should be content with what you have and never worry (Hebrews 13:5).

Worrying or depression is not counteracted or eliminated by a method or a technique of moving into your self and obtaining a pure heart, but simply by trusting Jesus Christ and his infallible promises. If He promised that He would never leave or forsake you, then He will indeed never leave or forsake you. As soon as you start relying on certain practices, methods or techniques to counteract your worries and your depression, you have already lost the battle because there is nothing good or profitable in your fleshly efforts to overcome your worries. The church father’s question: “Are you a follower of Christ or do you still worry?” is, therefore, a non-sequitur.

The church father should rather have asked the pilgrim: Are you a follower of Christ or do you still listen and adhere to the lies and deceit of people like Marcus Borg who shuns the doctrine of atonement and the cross of Jesus Christ, and Thomas Keating who promotes the concept of God permeating the air as prana? You see my son, only those who know the voice of their Great Shepherd will follow Him in the way He wants them to follow Him and only then will they stop listening to the lies and deceit of other false pastors and shepherds.

Dr. Johan Geyser’s eisegesis of Luke 10:38-42 is fraught with unbiblical and anti-biblical statements. I aim to discuss them under the following headings.

Construction of the false-self.

Nowhere in the entire Word of God do we read that the self, let alone a false-self, is under construction. The need for construction implies that the thing to be constructed must of necessity be non-existent before it can be constructed. You cannot construct something that already exists; the least you can do then is to reconstruct the already existent thing. If the concept of a false-self is nowhere to be found in God’s Word, where does it come from? Well, Dr. Johan Geyser gave us a very good clue when he referred to the Dalai Lama and the three pillars of Buddhism, i.e. the “teaching, the community and the sitting.”

Perhaps you have already noticed how subtle and craftily Johan Geyser linked Buddhism’s three pillars of “teaching, the community and the sitting” to Martha’s active community life and Mary’s choice to sitting and to listen to Jesus. If you look closely you will clearly recognize the transition in importance from the teaching (cognitive understanding and studying of a given text) to the community (the active life personified by Martha) and the sitting (the contemplative life personified by Mary where the “false-self” is relinquished in order to obtain the best life, as Geyser mentioned.

Luke 10:38-42 has a very simple explanation. In ancient times it was customary for a disciple to sit at the feet of his teacher or master. It meant that the disciple humbly submitted himself to the teaching of his master. Hence, Paul is represented as having been brought up at the “feet” of Gamaliel, Acts 22:3. When it is said that Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, it means that she was “a disciple” of his; that she listened attentively to his instructions, and was anxious to learn his doctrines.

Having heard Johan Geyser’s eulogy of Marcus Borg’s interpretation of metanoia that it is a process of going beyond reason, it is evident that neither Johan Geyser nor Marcus Borg are concerned about Christ’s doctrine. In fact, Borg’s abominable refutation of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and his damnable exposition that He was eaten by wild dogs, is ample proof that they are not his disciples and therefore cannot sit at His feet. They are sitting at the feet of another Jesus who is nothing else than a filthy, hell-defiling demon.

You cannot reject the resurrection of Jesus Christ and claim to sit his feet as one of his disciples with the specific intent to learn his doctrine. John Geyser would probably say that he does not reject the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, his approval of Marcus Borg’s view of one of the most important doctrine in the Bible, i.e. repentance (metanoia) amounts to a denial of the reason why Jesus Christ had to die and tbe raised from the dead.

Now, let’s return to the Buddhist concept of the self. The self in Buddhism is actually believed to be a non-existent entity and anything related to the self (worry, acceptance, comparisons) are but a self-constructed false-self. Both Carl Jung and Carl Rogers assert that the self is not who we really are but is something we build up in ourselves. In fact, Carl Rogers calls our perceived sense of our self a false self-concept. To overcome this false-self the pilgrim is encouraged to sit with his guru.

The Gautama Buddha taught his followers that we all live in a dream world in which we had forgotten who we really are. Our experiences (karma) have severed us from our true being, causing us to develop a false view of self or ego. However, these experiences should not be ignored but faced head-on.

The pilgrim must, therefore, acknowledge where he is at the moment and work it out with his guru at whose feet he chooses to sit. For some the genuineness of their present state of affairs, as created by their experiences, may lead to many tears as the hurt of being denied their true being starts to surface; others may become angry. This is, according to The Cloud of the Unknowing the dark night of the soul to which Johan Geyser referred.

Only when the dark night of the soul has been thoroughly worked through will the pilgrim find what resides in all of us – love (compassion), empathy, intuition, and aliveness. It is said that a guru is capable to transmit his own state of being (love, compassion, empathy, intuition, and aliveness) to the receptive pilgrims who sit with him at his feet.

Mary did not sit at Jesus’ feet to be miraculously infused (or induced) with His love, compassion, empathy, intuition, and aliveness or to practice a contemplative life. She sat at his feet to listen to his words which is spirit and truth. Have Johan Geyser, Stephan Joubert and the Mosaic Church in particular embraced Buddhism and are they promulgating a Christianized Buddhism?

According to the Bible, the self (ego) is not a constructed false-self but a veritable, already constructed self which we’ve all inherited from the first Adam. It’s already there in every human being at his or her birth. In Psalm 51 and verse 6 David acknowledges that we’ve all been born in sin.

Note that he does not say we are all born in sins but in sin. Sins are the result or product, if you will, of sin (the sin nature we inherited from the first Adam). When a baby is born, it cannot commit any sins per se but it already has the capacity or potential to commit sins because it is born with a sin nature.

When the baby grows up and develops its own reasoning powers to act and react on outside worldly impulses through his or her five carnal senses, it begins to implement his or her own inherited sinful nature which is manifested in self-worth, self-esteem, self-gratification, selfishness, self-aggrandizement and everything else that pertains to the self. Indeed selfism is the very core and originator of our rebellion against God. It lives and acts under the vain idea that we do not need God to be our Redeemer.

It boasts its own way of salvation in whatever form or shape it may deem fit. It is, therefore, no surprise that there are so many different religions from which to pick and choose. Unfortunately, the majority of humankind choose religions that oppose and reject God’s only Way of salvation – His Son Jesus Christ, the only Person Who was able to effectively deal with our sinful and selfish nature (the factory, as it were, of all our multitude of sins in thoughts and actions). Why? Because only an innocent, sinless, completely unselfish Person who had submitted Him unconditionally to the perfect will of God the Father was able to deal with our sinful self.

And this is precisely why Paul could declare that the cross of Jesus Christ is the wisdom and power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18. 24).

IT IS FINISHED (TETELESTAI- the account written against our sins and our sinful nature was paid in full). There is no need whatsoever for any method, way or technique to rid ourselves of an allegedly self-constructed false-self – let alone a contemplative lifestyle that is steeped in Roman Catholic tradition and Eastern mysticism. It is downright idolatry to believe you can rid yourself of a so-called false self through an active contemplative life and come face to face with God.

Getting rid of the false-self

The false-self is supposedly the life we need to give away. Johan Geyser explained it as follows:

Thomas Keating describes it [worry] as a construction of the false self. It is because of our basic needs, instinctive needs, that we are born with for security, for acceptance, for control that we construct a life for ourselves by fulfilling those needs in a certain way. That is the life that Jesus says I want you to give your life away, give that life away. That’s the self that you’ve got to crucify. Paul said I crucified myself and now I live with Christ, Galatians 2:20. So its about letting go of the false self. Its moving into your self, into the world that is in the inside and getting the purity of heart so that it is only God that is left.

First of all, I would like to remind you that Jesus and Paul never said the following:

  • Jesus never said that we should give away or even crucify the life of the so-called false-self – a life represented by worry, security, acceptance, control or even our basic needs. How do you crucify your basic and daily necessary needs such as food, shelter, and clothing? The prerequisite for the enjoyment of our basic needs is not the crucifixion of a so-called false-self, but the command to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and He will look after the rest (Matthew 6:33).

    Paul never said: I crucified myself and now I live with Christ. You cannot crucify yourself. Its impossible! He said: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. There’s a vast difference. The crucifixion of the self is an already accomplished reality and therefore the child of God can say with certainty I am crucified with Christ.

    When Jesus hung on the cross, He did not only take upon Himself your sins but you, the sinner, as well; when He died, you died with Him; when He was buried, you were buried with Him; when He was raised from the dead, you were raised with Him unto a new life; when He was seated at the right hand of God, you were seated with Him in heavenly places.

    Nevertheless, the process of denying yourself and taking up your cross (living in the reality of your already crucified self) must be maintained daily by reckoning (or reasoning) that you are indeed dead to sin and alive unto God (Romans 6:11).
  • Here it becomes evident that Johan Geyser’s plea that you should stop thinking in order to enter into the contemplative life is entirely incompatible with Paul’s exhortation to use your God-given faculty of reasoning in order to live a new life in Christ Jesus.

    Moreover, it debunks Marcus Borg’s infamous view that metanoia means to go beyond reasoning.The word logizomai {log-id-zom-ahee} deals with the reality of facts and not suppositions. In other words, if you should stop thinking (reasoning, reckoning, calculating) that you are already crucified with Christ, you are deceiving yourself. And indeed, the concept that we are constructing a false-self is highly deceptive because it is simply anti-Bible. There is no such thing as the construction of a false-self.

The most important thing – To go beyond your reason?

In their search for the best possible spirituality (highest type of life) on their relentless spiritual journey the emergent fraternity are very cautious not to belittle institutionalized church history although they may often put it down by laughing at the cerebral, cognitive and studious or intellectual features of the church with which we have grown accustomed to in South Africa. Johan Geyser explained it this way:

Now, how do we do it, today? How do we sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words?; how does that process work to transform us and to work with this inner world and the false self and all of that? Well, I was brought up in the Reformed tradition . . . It was called the quiet time, but its just metaphorically quiet. Its a very busy time.

Some of us need music in the background and then you take your Bible and commentaries with you cause you’ve got to understand the Word. There’s some rules that you’ve got to learn – exegesis!!; only five hundred years old but if you don’t obey those rules you will miss God. You will not . . . No! I don’t want to make jokes now.

That was the bedrock of the way that I grew up and it looks to me as if the main personality function through which and in which you do the sitting, is the cognitive of your inward capacity. You’ve got to understand; you’ve got to think, and once you do that you can now [ask], OK, how do I apply this in my life and how do I do the will of God?

That’s the main dynamic of the sitting. [In the contemplative realm] its moving beyond your thinking and your feeling. Its moving beyond that. Gregory in the 6th century said its about resting; resting of thinking, resting of everything; its letting go of all your efforts.

It just about being in God. That’s what’s its all about. It’s also called the prayer of quiet. You become still. John of the cross said God spoke a word in silence, only one word in the beginning, in silence. Its hearing that word – sensing it in your inside. To me it was like a conversion that happened in my life. It was very interesting for me to discover that Marcus Borg, the new Testamentikus (sic) of our time said that the word metanoia means to move beyond reason, move beyond’ your reason.

I have already pointed out that Marcus Borg has rejected the doctrine of atonement and the cross of Jesus Christ and believes that Jesus’ body was probably eaten up by dogs after his crucifixion. Of contemplative prayer, Borg says:”

“I learned about the use of mantras as a means of giving the mind something to focus and refocus on as it sinks into the silence” (p. 125).

Marcus Borg
Marcus Borg

So Marcus Borg, like Johan Geyser, also believes in a quiet time with Jesus and just sitting with Him in a euphoric state of no mind and no thinking. There is no need for a true metanoia (repentance accompanied by a true abhorrence of one’s past sins and rebellion against God) in this abominable nothingness, unreasonable or non-reasonable, sitting with God and just being in Him.

Anyone can do it, even those who reject the cross of Jesus Christ. And this life is supposed to be the highest life you can live, a life that Martha forfeited through her active life and Mary just about reached because she was living in the better life but needed to enter into the best life of moving beyond her reason? Really?

As I mentioned earlier, Johan Geyser likened Martha’s active life, with which Jesus was not dissatisfied and did not categorize as being wrong, with Paul’s exegesis of the life that needs to be crucified in Romans 7. That’s just plain nonsense because Paul emphatically declared that the carnal life which needs to be crucified, is not good or wholesome at all. In fact, God is so intensely dissatisfied with the self-life that He allowed his only begotten Son to be crucified so that we may be rid of it. Listen again to Paul’s words in Romans 7: 18

“For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]”

Martha’s active life cannot in any way be likened to Paul’s description of the self because her self was not wrong but acceptable to the Lord although he was unhappy with the way she was doing it (as Johan Geyser explained), while Paul referred to a carnal life that was no good in every sense of the word.

It is this life, the life centered on the self that is constantly priding itself in its own strength and expertise to please God, that needs to be crucified. It clings like the stench of a cadaver to us and only the well-pleasing sweet savor of Christ’s death on the cross, our ultimate burnt offering, can rid us of the stench of the dead body of carnality (Romans 7:24).

Jesus said: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). His spoken word gives life, and NOT silence, quietness or solitude (contemplation).

Toward the end of his presentation Johan again referred to St. John of the Cross (whose spoken words seem to be of greater importance to him than the spoken words of Jesus Christ) who said that the Dark Night of the Soul (a time of loneliness and desolation in your spiritual life) is God’s way of calling you into a deeper level, a new place, a new relationship with Him through contemplation and that you should never give up to enter into that place or position.

During my daily studies of the Bible throughout the years, I have never come across a biblical figure who had experienced the so-called dark night of the soul because of a midlife crisis or menopause. And even though some of them did experience a dreadful midlife crisis or a family crisis, like King David, none of it could separate them from God that necessitated contemplation.

In fact, there is only one thing that separated them from God and that was their sins (Isaiah 59: 1-2). The unbearable dark night of the soul King David experienced was not brought about by a crisis in his family or by a midlife crisis but when he committed adultery with a married woman and had her husband, Uriah, murdered because he was an honourable soldier at war who refused to sleep with his wife during active service and thus robbed Kind David of the opportunity to say that the unborn baby of his wife, Bathsheba, was his child.

King David refused to acknowledge his sin for a full year and only when he entered into the holy of holies in heaven by prayer (not silence or just sitting), and confessed his sins to the Lord did he find rest and forgiveness for his sins. Silence and sitting still which to the contemplative brotherhood is a blessing, was a to David a real curse. Listen to his lament in Psalm 32.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:1-5).

Johan Geyser continued with much excitement over Theresa of Avila’s assertion that there are many ways to water the garden of your soul. The one is to put a lot of effort in; hard work, discursive meditation (by reasoning instead of intuition), one thought leading to another, and the reward will be a consolation. But there’s another way: The rain will come, no effort, no effort; you sit, you sit and you just be, you just be – nothing to nothing. Its a gift of consolation. It is induced; it is not acquired. God gives it to you by his grace; gift of stillness, of the prayer of quiet. He continued by saying:

Of course, the effect of this sitting is a transformation. Its not just to make you better. Look at what happened to Mary after her sitting. We get it in John 12, after the resurrection of Lazarus they’ve got a meeting; Martha the activist, its Simon the leper, it is Judas the thief, it is Lazarus . . . the ex-corpse; your typical Sunday morning congregation, you know. And she comes in and breaks the flask with the very expensive perfume and she anoints Jesus, and of course there’s this one argument that ends all arguments – the poor, you could have given it to the poor.

And Jesus says, No! You do not understand what she did. She was preparing me for my burial. Two things: she had an insight that none of the other disciples had about the death, the meaning of the death of Jesus. Nobody could see it. The only person . . . was a woman and it was Mary that did the sitting. The sitting prepared and helped her to listen to Jesus at a deep inner level and to hear things that other people couldn’t hear. And it inspired her to action, to love, to love. . . . Jesus said: because of what Mary did I am more prepared for my death.

Because of what Mary did; the way that she loved and that she expressed her extravagant love for me I am more ready to die now. We can help to prepare each other for our death because if you love you are ready . . . Nobody would have been bothered if she did it after Jesus’ death, no problem, but to do it while He’s alive? She had this new capacity to love and she had this new insight. You see, she had a different presence. . . It is not necessary doing this extravagant, extraordinary things. Its the ordinary but extraordinary ordinary. Out of being flows a new way of doing. The old tradition says, it has to do with unity with God and some people will say, no no, unity sounds like one with God against everything else in the world. Perhaps its more of unitive seeing; to see God everywhere in everything – to see God in everything.

I wonder whether Jesus would have been lesser prepared for his death if He had not been anointed by Mary with her expensive nard perfume? I have it on very good authority that Jesus’ obedient submission to the will of His Father fully prepared Him for his death. We see this in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed so fervently that His sweat turned into drops of blood falling on the ground.

“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22: 41-44).

I agree that we should prepare each other for our death but it is fatally wrong to teach people to follow the journey of a contemplative lifestyle by supposedly just sitting and being in the presence of God and to see God in everything. Marcus Borg, to whom Johan Geyser reverently referred so often, believes this pagan nonsense of panentheism (God is in all and all is in God), while he vociferously denies the atonement of Jesus Christ and His cross. (1 Corinthians 1:18). There are only two alternative ways of dying. The one is to die IN Christ Jesus and the other OUTSIDE of Him. Jesus Himself explained it this way:

hen said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.” (John 8:21).

“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24).

Indeed, the only way to prepare others and ourselves for our inevitable death is to be anointed with the Holy Spirit (the life-giving oil of gladness and joy and of righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ). It simply means that you should receive the quickening power (from eternal death to eternal life) of the indwelling Spirit of God and there is only a single way to receive Him by means of a true biblical metanoia through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Indeed, to have your mind transformed from one of enmity with and hatred for God and His Word to one of of eternal love, respect and obedience toward God and His eternal Word.

Sadly the contemplatives are not sitting at the feet of Jesus to receive His spoken words by faith but at the feet of people like St. John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Marcus Borg, Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating and others who are silently leading them away from Jesus Christ and a true biblical metanoia.

Wake up South Africa. You are being led astray into a kind of crush for cattle that leads to destruction and death.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Click:  Part 1,  Part3, Part 4 and Part 5

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

2 Responses

  1. anton says:

    (gays have been given the authority to preach , bless and pray from an leadership position )
    The seat of Jezebel ,(( the spirit of control )) … commanded by satan has now infiltrated and seduced the church of God .. this CHURCH called the NGK of SA… now the despicable church !!!
    Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel,( Spirit of Control ) who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

    —Revelation 2:20
    When the spirit of Jezebel begins to manifest in the church, it seeks a high seat in the church or a place of dominance. Usually it will manifest in someone who wants to teach or lead, usually leading them astray! To find that place of leadership, Jezebel must look and act in a spiritual manner….
    1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (Amplified Bible)
    12What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?
    13God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].

    Kommende Sondag ….nog n dag … en die Ds. preek weer laat die spoeg spat … oor die dinge wat hy slegs mag sê ( jy weet mos ons wil net die nice dinge hoor , ons moet ons gehoor please , ons moet n video maak sodat ons verder die arme skepsels kan bull , solank ons net nice is met die troppe …….
    May the Lord God give us daily insight to His word , may He concern over us and may He protect us . blessings to you.

  2. Marthina says:


    Ja Ek voel dieselfde. Dis mos wat ons as gemeente wil hoor… Net die nice goed… Respekteer mense se regte… Mag nie veroordeel… terwyl die “Olifant” in die kerk se midde net groter en vetter word… En almal maak of hulle hom nie raaksien nie…

    Dit voel asof die kerk alhoe meer by die wereld wil inpas. Ek weet nie … Maar ek weet dat die HeiligeGees my deurentyd laat dink en bepeins oor ons kerk Ek smag na Bybelse korrekte leer en nie net dit nie maar ook dat die kerk dit duidelik uitdra na die wereld toe. Ek lees juis nou die Evangelie van Markus en die vlgde vers is baie relevant:

    Mark 8:38Elkeen wat hom vir My en My boodskappe skaam in hierdie owerspelige en sondige geslag, vir hom sal die Seun van die mens Hom net so ook skaam wanneer Hy kom in die Gemanifesteerde Teenwoordigheid van Sy Vader, saam met Sy afgesonderde engele.”

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