The Kingdom of God, Now! A Mystical Journey
“The Kingdom of God–Now” End Time Fad
It is time that the Church woke up to its true mission, which is to materialize the kingdom of God on earth, today, here and now. The time is past wherein we can emphasise a future and coming kingdom. People are no longer interested in a possible heavenly state or a probable hell. They need to learn that the kingdom is here and must express itself on earth; it consists of those who do the will of God at any cost, as Christ did, and who can love one another as Christ loved us.
[DTW note: The way into that kingdom is the way that Christ trod. Bear this in mind when you read Melissa’s “The Jesus Way” into the Kingdom of God. There is no difference between them whatsoever]. It involves the sacrifice of the personal self for the good of the world, and the service of humanity instead of the service of one’s own desires. In the course of enunciating these new truths concerning love and service Christ lost his life. Canon Streeter tells us that “the significance and value of the death of Christ springs from its inner quality. It is the expression in the external act of a freely chosen self-dedication, ungrudging, and without reserve, to the highest service of God and man. The suffering incidental to such self-offering is morally creative.”[ccxviii] 40 — Alice Bailey: From Bethlehem To Calvary CHAPTER FIVE – The Fourth Initiation . . . The Crucifixion – Part 2.
“The Mystics Quoting Mystics” End Time Fad
At first, this heading seems a bit superfluous. However, when it is viewed against the backdrop of a spiritual journey, a journey beginning with life and ending in death, the death of the cross, one begins to wonder why mystics prefer to quote mystics instead of the Bible. Mystics in toto would immediately object and reply, “Oh! But we do quote from the Bible in all our sermons.” In fact, they do, but they never interpret or text proof what they had read from the Bible in accordance with proper biblical exegesis. As Don Carson put it, “A text without context is a pretext for a proof text.”
If the internal biblical context alone provides the essential exegesis for a proof text, and indeed it always does, no external source like an article, poem, dissertation, essay, or any other kind of exposition may be used to validate biblical truth. This truth is founded on an immovable Rock, Jesus Christ, and has no need of extra-biblical eisegesis to defend it against the winds and storms Satan and his hordes can muster.
Nevertheless, two of Mosaïek Kerk’s most prolific and revered pastors, Melissa van Biljon and Johan Geyser, have done so very pungently in two sermons they delivered in this time of reminiscence of our Lord’s suffering and death more than two thousand years ago.
“Melissa van Biljon – Jesus Way” End Time Fad
Melissa gleaned the sermon she delivered on Palm Sunday (10th April 2022) from Mark 11:1-11 as part of Mosaïek Kerk’s series, “The Jesus Way” during holy week, prevenient to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Her entire sermon, and not surprisingly so, is saturated with a mystical flavour instead of an uncomplicated exegesis of the order of events during that week before Christ’s crucifixion in Jerusalem.
Her reading from Mark’s gospel is based primarily on these premises:
- Jesus’ message is that there is another way of life. There is a way the world offers and there is a way that leads to the Kingdom of God. And every time Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God, He is talking about a life with God. When He says, the time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand or is near, He is saying a life with God is available and here right now. And Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday proclaims the good news of the way of the Lord to us.
- There are three places Jesus takes us when we follow Him.
- Jesus leads us to Jerusalem, the heart of political, economic, and religious power, a symbol of status, importance, and position for political leaders, religious leaders, and the rich. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in the midst of the cheering crowd’s hosannas, He is in effect saying, “I am not standing for the kingdom of politics, economics, and the religious of this day. I stand for God’s Kingdom. Jesus cannot justify the massive structures of evil and unrighteousness that surrounded Him. He knew He needed to stand up and take a stand against unrighteousness, as He did the next day when He “ . . . cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.” (Mark 11:15). According to Melissa van Biljon He would have failed to be the Messiah for both Israel and the world if He did not take a stand against the evils of the political and religious structures in Jerusalem. It follows, according to van Biljon and the mystical band of vagabonds fighting for social justice, that Jesus was an activist.
- The road to Jerusalem decides what we stand for. Sometimes we must stand up in defense of faithfulness; negotiate with honesty in business deals; stand up against inequalities between the haves and the have-nots; or against the inequalities between race and gender. We are invited to live as Jesus would, and He took a stand against the powers in Jerusalem who were against God’s Kingdom with courage, but also with vulnerability, and humility. “How are you going to enter Jerusalem; How are you going to take that stand?” she then asked. Christ invites us to do it in a way of humility and authenticity.
- The way of Jesus also leads to the cross. (8:34:14). The universal human condition is to opt for the hosannas, the hallelujahs, but without the cross on Good Friday. They don’t want to go there. Instead of illustrating the meaning of the cross from Scripture, Melissa van Biljon turns to William Penn (1644-1718) a Quaker mystic and universalist, who wrote, “No pain, no palm; No thorns, no throne; No gall, no glory; No cross, no crown.” The pain, and the thorns, and the gall, and the cross are all part of following Jesus. You cannot have the palm, the throne, or the crown without the cross. Only then, after having quoted William Penn, a Quaker mystic and universalist who believed that Christ dwells in everyone as an inner light, did she turn to Jesus who said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34). Melissa’s path from William Penn to Jesus Christ conclusively proves that the primary goal of all mystics is to quote other mystics first before quoting the Bible. The reason thereof is clear, and that is to subliminally teach their audiences to intentionally understand the Bible in a mystical fashion. We shall see how it is done later in this critique. Van Biljon asserts that the way to the cross is to take up our own cross and follow Jesus in that way.
- The way of Jesus always leads to the Kingdom of God. Melissa’s vibrant word-painting that depicts two ways of entering Jerusalem glows with colorful and poetic nuances. She dramatically portrays how Pontius Pilate entered Jerusalem from the West while Jesus entered it on the opposite side from the East on that Palm Sunday. The question needs to be asked; is her vivid portrayal of the two entries her own or could she perhaps have plagiarized it from someone else’s word-painting without mentioning his or her name? The following section will provide the answer and, indeed, prove without any doubt which spirit – not the Holy Spirit – inspired her sermon.
“The Jesus the Saviour versus Jesus the Activist” End Time Fad
In the mystical and emergent quarters of our world, Jesus is often portrayed as an activist who took a stand against the evil and corrupt political, religious, social, and economic structures of his time. A Google search of the phrase “Jesus the activist” produced within a few seconds more than 18 million results. The Internet is replete with statements such as, “Jesus was a radical social activist who died fighting for justice and the common good.” Another blogsite writes: –
My proselytizing here is of a political rather than religious nature. It isn’t the divine figure of Christ I am interested in but the purely historical Jesus, a radical Mediterranean Jewish peasant building a revolutionary movement two millennia ago. Jesus of Nazareth was an activist, and, judging by the two-thousand-year duration and global spread of his message and movement, a very good one. He was successful, in part, because he approached activism and organizing creatively. Jesus understood the fundamentals of using story and spectacle, signs and symbols as means to criticize the status quo and offer up an alternative vision.
It reminds us once again of what Melissa van Biljon said in her sermon that Jesus “would have been a failure to be the Messiah for both Israel and the world if He had not taken a stand against the evils of the political and religious structures in Jerusalem.” This, in itself, is a scandalous failure to present the Gospel in its essence. Jesus did not come to stand for or against anything or anyone. His itinerary had no political, social, or religious overtones or agendas. He came to the world, as He said, to do the will of his Father (John 6:38-40) which was to die for sin (1 Corinthians 15:3), nothing more, nothing less.
The moment you see yourself as a follower of Jesus the activist and take a stand against the wrongs of this world, albeit the inequalities between the haves and the have-nots, or against the inequalities between race and gender. (including a stand against the bias between heterosexuality and homosexuality), you are in effect taking sides against the things you think are at variance with your own spiritual dispositions and personal spiritual journey. Such an attitude breeds an air of pharisaic contempt for your counterparts, thanking the Lord “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Luke 18:11). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), not only the corrupt and evil political, social and religious systems throughout the ages.
“The Parroting God-haters” End Time Fad
Melissa seems to have a penchant for God-haters and their books. One of her more subtle ways to show publicly for whom and for what she prefers to stand is her tendency to almost verbally quote them without mentioning their names or sources. In her final address on the Jesus way, “The way of Jesus always leads to the Kingdom of God” she nearly verbally quotes Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan from their book, The Last Week, in which they postulate that there were two processions entering Jerusalem on a spring day in the year 30. One was a peasant procession, the other an imperial pageantry of power and Roman splendor.
Jesus rode on the colt of a donkey down the Mount of Olives from the West. On the other side of the city, from the east, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, entered the city at the head of a column of Imperial Cavalry and soldiers. Jesus’ procession proclaimed the kingdom of God; Pilates’ proclaimed the might of the Roman Empire. The two processions embody the central conflict of the week that led to Jesus’ crucifixion.
Imagine that procession,” Borg and Crossan wrote. “A visual panoply of imperial power: Cavalry on horses, foot soldiers, leather armour, helmets, weapons, harnesses, golden eagles mounted on poles, sun glinting on metal and gold. Sounds: the marching of feet, the creaking of leather, the clinking of bridles, the beating of drums.
Enthralled by the flowery words of the two Jesus Seminar scoundrels who believed that Jesus’ resurrection was not a literal but a metaphorical one and that his body was probably devoured or eaten by dogs, Melissa uses the very same words: “gold-plated eagles mounted on poles and glinting brightly in the rays of the sun” to describe Pontius Pilate’s entry into Jerusalem. The question we are constrained to ask, is why the mystics superimpose a narrative not found in the Bible onto Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as if both entrances – that of Jesus and Pontius Pilate – occurred on the same day?
Stephan Joubert’s appeal to mystics that they should use their gift of imagination to understand Scripture more intuitively could probably be the spark that set off the notion that the Kingdom of God, seated on the lowly colt of a donkey, and Imperial Rome, haughtily perched on a spirited white stallion, entered the City of God on the same day. In any event, re-imagining the Bible, and especially the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God, and eternal life itself is the order of the day in the mystical view of biblical events.
The reason for Jesus Christ’s and Pontius Pilate’s imaginary same-day entrance into Jerusalem filters through beautifully in Melissa van Biljon’s description of the cross — ever so subtly that one needs to listen very carefully to what she’s actually saying. She quotes Mark 8:34 where Jesus lays down the terms for following Him; self-denial and a daily taking up of one’s own cross. However, she quickly falls into the same trap Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan had fallen into by turning the cross into a kind of humble and yet defiant way to stand up to evil and corrupt institutions. She valiantly says: –
In the 1st century Christianity, the cross had a dual meaning. On the one hand it represented the power of the Roman Empire. It was only that power that could crucify people, and it was used as a symbol of punishment for crime. … When someone acted against that power, they were crucified. On the other hand, . . . the cross became the symbol for the way, the way of death followed by the resurrection, the way to enter a new life by dying to an old life. The cross is the way of transformation.
Certainly, the Roman authorities alone meted out punishment by crucifixion on those who were guilty of, not only theft, murder, and any other kind of criminality, but also of insurrection. Yet, strangely enough, it was not the Roman Empire who orchestrated and finally demanded Jesus Christ to be put to death on the cross. It was the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Jewish Sanhedrin who twisted the mighty Roman Empire’s powerful arm to kill Jesus. Surely, Melissa van Biljon and her contemplative compatriots at Mosaïek Kerk should know that Jesus Christ’s trial first began before the Jewish Sanhedrin, shortly after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that it was the Jewish Sanhedrin who bribed a Jewish disciple of Jesus to deliver Him into their hands with thirty pieces of silver.
It was at this preliminary hearing before the High Priest Annas where He was accused of violating the Sabbath, threatening to destroy the Jewish temple, practicing sorcery (delivering people from the power of Satan by the power of Satan), and claiming to be the Jewish Messiah. As you may have noticed, all these accusations had a distinctly Jewish ring to them and there was nothing vaguely similar to it in Rome that one could call it a Roman plot.
The Jewish Sanhedrin wanted to kill Him from the word go and would probably have done so if they had the authority to do so. In fact, Melissa van Biljon should also know, that when Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate thereafter, the one who allegedly entered Jerusalem on a white stallion the very same day Jesus had ridden into the city on a colt, boldly and authoritatively stated, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” (Luke 23:4; NIV).
However, the Jewish Sanhedrin seized the opportunity to arrest Pontius Pilate’s attention when they succinctly charged Jesus with insurrection against Caesar the king and a Roman deity. “He claims to be the King of the Jews,” they said mockingly. “We have no king but Caesar,” they said later when Pontius Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” This was an exclamation of astonishment and seems to have been a last attempt to sway the Jewish Sanhedrin’s resolve to have Him crucified in a probable bid to save Jesus. Hadn’t he already declared the Man innocent of any crime?
“Building a Kingdom of God Right Here and Now on the Rubble of Past Demolished Kingdoms” End Time Fad
Alice Bailey wrote in her book “From Bethlehem to Calvary: Chapter 7, Our Immediate Goal . . . The Founding of the Kingdom – Part 1 –
If man is divine, if the testimony of the ages is true, and if Christ came to show us divinity in expression and to found the new kingdom, then the breaking down today of the old forms, and the widespread destruction of the familiar structures of society and religion, may simply be part of the process of instituting the new processes of life and the planned work of a vital evolving spirit. A reaction to the appearance of the kingdom may account for the unrest of the masses, and the general sensitive response to the new ideals may be due to the impact of the force of the kingdom upon the minds of the more advanced people of the world. The mystic and the Christian may talk in terms of the kingdom of God; philanthropists and philosophers may talk in terms of the world community, of the new civilization, of the world federation of nations, of humanity as a body corporate, of community living and of internationalism and economic interdependence and world unity; but these are mere words and names which differing types of mind apply to the one great emerging fact of a new kingdom in nature arising out of the human kingdom, with its own principles of living, its laws of group welfare, and its brotherhood of man.
In the unfoldment of the human consciousness, we are passing out of the necessary stage of individualism; we have temporarily lost sight of the deeper truths, the mystical values, and the one Life behind all forms. We have been too much occupied with material and selfish interests. But this has been a needed stage, even though it may well be that it has persisted too long. It is time for us to end the period of selfish individualism, permitting it no longer to be a controlling factor in our lives, time for us to begin to blend and unify the deeper elements of the world of reality with the outer life. The best minds of the age are now appreciating this, and on every hand the call is going out for a deepening of life, a recognition of the nature of and the need for a coherent understanding of the world processes, and their conscious intelligent integration into a recognisable world order. The disintegration in the world at this time is right and good, provided we understand why it is taking place and by what it should be succeeded. Destruction which is carried on with a view to eventual construction is right and proper, but the plans for the coming building must be somewhere understood, and some idea must exist as to subsequent reconstruction.
Our need today is to see the hidden thread of purpose which will lead us out of the apparent impasse; to isolate, out of the many theories, that basic theory which not only has its roots in the past, but is capable of application in a new way, in new terms, by those who are permeated with the new vision. We need what Dr. Schweitzer calls “… the recognition that civilization is founded on some sort of theory of the universe and can be restored only through a spiritual awakening and a will for ethical good in the mass of mankind.” This awakening is already here, and the will to good is present. The teaching of Christ is not obsolete and out of date. It needs only to be rescued from the interpretations of the theologies of the past, and taken at its simple face value, which is an expression of the divinity of man, of his participation in the kingdom, which is in process of being brought into recognition, and of his immortality as a citizen of that kingdom. What we are in reality passing through is “a religious initiation into the mysteries of Being,” and from that we shall emerge with a deepened sense of God immanent in ourselves and in all humanity.
Another basic thought emerges out of all that we have considered. It is whether or not we are today transiting out of the age of authority into the age of experience, and whether this transition does not indicate that the race is rapidly preparing for initiation. We are revolting from doctrines, having very little use for them, and the reason, Dr. Dewey tells us, is that “… adherence to anybody of doctrines and dogmas based upon a specific authority signifies distrust in the power of experience to provide, in its own ongoing movement, the needed principles of belief and action. Faith in its newer sense signifies that experience itself is the sole ultimate authority. “It is obvious that this connotes not uniformity but a recognition of our essential unity.https://www.lucistrust.org/online_books/from_bethlehem_calvary/chapter_seven_our_immediate_goal_the_founding_the_kingdom_part1
One of the most surprising enigmas of the end-time apostasy and its protagonists is that they all say the same things without ever having had any or very little contact with one another whatsoever. There can only be one reason for this; they are or have been inspired by the same spirit. True Christians are familiar with only two kinds of spirits – the Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit) and the spirit of error (Satan and his demons) (1 John 4:6). The paradigm shift from an individualistic metanoeō (repentance) to a communal or social metanoeō (also known as a shift from a forensic penal substitution to “a way of life” paradigm) is gaining an alarming foothold in just about every conceivable Christian denomination, and the common denominator causing the communal union between every Tom, Dick and Harry is the spiritual conduit called meditation (contemplative spirituality).
These are some of the expressions mystics use in their vocabulary.
- Contemplative prayer.
- Centering prayer.
- Centering down.
- Paschal spirituality. (Make a mental note of this one because it has a significant bearing on Good Friday)
- The discipline of the secret.
- Contemplative spirituality.
- Celebrating the darkness.
- The Mineral Man.
- Practicing the presence.
- The interior life.
- Intimacy with Abba,
- The uncloistered contemplative life.
- Inner integration,
- Yielding to the Center,
- The bridge of faith,
- Notional knowledge,
- Contemporary spiritual masters,
- Masters of the interior life,
- Shadow self, false self,
- Mysterium tremendum,
- Existential experience,
- The Abba experience.
The drumbeat sounding the demolishing of the old order to establish the new order (a communal caricature of death and resurrection) is becoming louder each successive year, whilst the voices that warned against it in the past are becoming dimmer and dimmer. Marcus Borg, in a sermon he gave in his Lenten Noonday Preaching Series at Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis, Tennessee, on March 16, 1999, articulated the justice of God as follows.
By systemic injustice, I mean sources of suffering caused by cultural systems, by the structures of society. I think in many ways, this is a difficult notion for us, made more difficult to grasp by the ethos of American individualism. So let me say a bit more about systemic injustice. Think of all the suffering caused throughout history in the ancient world and in the contemporary world by economic exploitation and destructive impoverishment, by the way elites in every society have made the system work in their own self-interest, by political oppression, by all the isms — racism, sexism, nationalism, imperialism, and you can add your own isms. These are all examples of systemic injustice. Injustice is built into cultural systems. More subtly, think of all the suffering caused by rigidly held convention and the cultural shaming that frequently goes along with it.
I want to relate all of this to the word repent. Repenting, and repentance is one of the central themes of Lent. It is also one of those very heavy words — repent. When I was growing up, repenting was always associated with becoming really contrite about one’s sinfulness and experiencing guilt. . ..
The roots of the word “repent” are very interesting and suggest something quite different — not intensification of guilt and contrition. When we look at the Greek roots of the word repentance, the verb is metonoata. The noun is metanoia. The Greek roots are very interesting. Meta means beyond. The noun from which the second part of the word repent is derived is noose in Greek, and it means mind. Putting that together, to repent means “to go beyond the mind that you have. . ..
All of this, it seems to me, is what it means to take Jesus seriously, even as all of this is also the journey of Lent. The path of following Jesus is an invitation to go beyond the minds that we have. (Read the entire sermon here)
The Center for Action and Contemplation, founded by the Franciscan monk, Richard Rohr, in 1987, wrote on holy Thursday, 18th April 2019: –
Two theologians I deeply respect, Marcus Borg (1942-2015) and John Dominic Crossan (b. 1934), offer important historical and symbolic context for the crucifixion. The theory of “penal substitutionary atonement” only became dominant in recent centuries. Over the next two days, consider their advanced perspective on Jesus’ death on the cross:
This common Christian understanding goes far beyond what the New Testament says. Of course, sacrificial imagery is used there, but the language of sacrifice is only one of several different ways that the authors of the New Testament articulate the meaning of Jesus’s execution. They also see it as the domination system’s “no” to Jesus (and God), as the defeat of the powers that rule this world by disclosing their moral bankruptcy, as revelation of the path of transformation [dying and rising], and as disclosure of the depth of God’s love for us.
Though Mark provides the earliest story of Good Friday . . . Mark’s narrative combines retrospective interpretation with history remembered. . . .
Mark tells us that Jesus was crucified between two “bandits.” The Greek word translated “bandits” is commonly used for guerilla fighters against Rome, who were either “terrorists” or “freedom fighters,” depending upon one’s point of view. Their presence in the story reminds us that crucifixion was used specifically for people who systematically refused to accept Roman imperial authority. Ordinary criminals were not crucified. Jesus is executed as a rebel against Rome between two other rebels against Rome. . . .https://cac.org/layered-meanings-2019-04-18/
The foreword to Marcus Borg’s book “Jesus: The Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary” (June 2, 2015), says this of Jesus : –
Come to know Jesus as you have never known him before: as a revolutionary prophet with an exciting new moral vision. Top biblical scholar Marcus J. Borg, after a lifetime of work and study, presents a historically accurate Jesus unlike any we have previously seen. This Christ is a charismatic sage and healer who courageously and surprisingly confronts the societal crises of his day, a man living in the power of the spirit and dedicated to radical social change. This fresh and innovative vision of Jesus will inspire and guide those who have moved beyond traditional church teaching about the Son of God and who are willing to see our savior in a whole new light.Jesus: The Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary” (June 2, 2015)
Like John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg believed that Christ’s resurrection was not literal but purely metaphorical and that his body was probably eaten by dogs. Richard Rohr (CAC), on the other hand, asserts that —
“to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead is not really a leap of faith. Resurrection and renewal are, in fact, the universal and observable patterns of everything. We might just as well use non-religious terms like springtime, regeneration, healing, forgiveness, life cycles, darkness and light. . .. If divine incarnation has any truth to it, then resurrection is a foregone conclusion, not a one-time anomaly in the body of Jesus, as our Western theology of the resurrection tried to prove—and of course, it couldn’t. The Risen Christ is not a one-time miracle but the revelation of a universal pattern that is hard to see in the short run.”
Therefore, there is nothing extraordinary or unobtrusive about Christ’s resurrection that demands faith. His resurrection has been pre-figured and post-figured in the universal patterns since the beginning of time.
On their about page, CAC presents their mission as follows:
Transforming Ourselves, Each Other, and the World
The Center for Action and Contemplation’s programs and resources are designed to help deepen prayer practice [Lectio Divina, Silence and especially Jesuit Ignatian spirituality] and strengthen compassionate engagement in the world.
What We Do
Father Richard Rohr’s vision has always been about providing spiritual grounding for a movement of contemplative activists, prophetic leaders, and spiritual seekers. In the tradition of Jesus, St. Francis, and all mystics, the role of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) is to provide spiritual wisdom and guidance to support both inner and outer transformation.
Melissa van Biljon frequently uses the words “transformation” and “way of life” in her sermon, as do all mystics. However, the transformation they embrace in their imaginative intuitive minds has nothing to do with the biblical way of renewing the mind (Romans 12:2). Theirs is a mystical out-of-mind or beyond-the-mind experience.
The way of life accompanied by pain, suffering, and death to selfishness is the way to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus, Himself is no longer the Door to His Kingdom. The way is embodied in the way you imitate Him as his follower, as Alice Bailey put it “Christ died in order to bring to our notice that the way into the kingdom of God was the way of love and of service. He served and loved and wrought miracles and gathered together the poor and the hungry.”
“The Paschal Spirituality” End Time Fad
Paschal spirituality, as we’ve already seen earlier, is part and parcel of the mystical journey contemplative religionists follow to experience oneness with God and ultimately a sort of wholeness spirituality. It is important to note, from the very outset, that faith and biblical doctrines (dogmas) are inseparable, and that anything remotely called “spiritual” removed from biblical doctrine is not of God. It is another gospel that cannot save. This is precisely why the Word of God proclaims that “ . . . they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report (preaching of biblical doctrine)? So then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. [sound doctrine]” (Romans 10:16-17).
A biblically-based faith relies wholeheartedly on God who has already done everything through his Son, Jesus Christ, for our wholeness (salvation and sanctification). An experiential mystical orientated lifestyle relies on the Self to accomplish wholeness which, in a sense, recalls Jude’s woe unto them who follow the way of Cain. Saint Mary’s Press defines Paschal Mystery as follows:-
This is the definition of Paschal Mystery in the glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Christ’s work of redemption accomplished principally by his Passion, death, Resurrection, and glorious Ascension, whereby “dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life” (1067; cf. 654). The paschal mystery is celebrated and made present in the liturgy of the Church, and its saving effects are communicated through the sacraments (1076), especially the Eucharist, which renews the paschal sacrifice of Christ as the sacrifice offered by the Church (571, 1362–1372). (P. 891).
The overtones of Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5) cannot be denied in the above quote. Experiential knowledge, and not faith in God and his finished work on the cross alone, is the bedrock of Paschal Spirituality. It involves a process instead of a Tetelestai (“paid in full”). Saint Mary’s Press continues to say,
Thus, one way of describing the Paschal Mystery is the process through which Christ’s work saves us from death and from eternal separation from the Holy Trinity. Or, to describe it in positive terms, the Paschal Mystery is the process through which Christ’s work makes everlasting life possible for all people and brings us into full and eternal union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Another way of describing the Paschal Mystery is centered on the theological concepts of Heaven and hell. Because hell can be defined as “the state of being eternally separated from God” and Heaven can be defined as “the state of being in complete, eternal union with God,” a popular description of the Paschal Mystery is that it is the process through which Christ saves us from the “fires of hell” so that we might enjoy the glories of Heaven.
Hence the Roman Catholic’s abominable repetitive liturgy of the Eucharist when the bread and the wine supposedly become the body and blood of Jesus when a priest administers it to his congregants. Saint Mary’s Press further reports: –
Correctly understood then, the mysteries of faith share several characteristics. First, they are mysterious in the sense that we cannot discover them through human reasoning [insert: And this is why mystics teach you to go beyond your mind for your intuitive imagination to kick in] or scientific exploration. But this does not mean that they cannot be known or understood — God has revealed these truths to us, particularly through the Scriptures and Tradition. They must be accepted in faith, and once accepted, their meaning and purpose is understood by the believer.
In case you haven’t noticed, “these truths have been revealed to us through the Scriptures and Tradition.” And what are these traditions, may we ask? — the Desert Fathers’ or Jesuit Ignatius of Loyola’s traditions? God never once admonishes or advises people to put their faith in traditions. Jesus Christ, Himself said, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
“The Silence” End Time Fad
In his doctoral thesis “A MODEL FOR THE ACCOMPANIMENT OF SEEKERS WITH A CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND INTO SILENCE IN THEIR QUEST FOR WHOLENESS” (obtained from the Radboud University Nijmegen, Holland, a thoroughly Roman Catholic institution) Johan Geyser mentions the word “experience” 313 times, never a single time the word “blood” (the very core of the Gospel of God – Hebrews 9:22), and the word “faith” a mere 18 times, never in the context of trusting God, as Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15),” but in a mystical contemplative way in the quest to experience God first-hand and in a more immediate fashion. Therefore, it is a faith or a trust contemplatives put in their daily practices, aka Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer, Practicing the Presence, and Practicing the Silence instead of in God and his doctrines alone.
Rice (1991:7) describes it as follows:
“There are many people for whom ordinary religious practices are not sufficient. People seek a deeper experiential relationship with God and a faith that is grounded in first hand knowing. Some of the most sensitive of seekers have left institutional religion altogether in their search for something that can be sensed in their heart as well as their minds”.
“King (1997:39) makes the point that all too often theology and intuitions are devoid of spiritual nourishment and are not clearly a source of life and energy. Duquoc and Gutitierrez (1994:vii) are of the opinion that the need of seekers today is for immediacy with God; however, many institutions do not encourage spiritual experience. The emphasis today is not so much on religion, as on spirituality. In fact, religion is often seen as an obstacle and not an aid in the seeker’s quest. Nolan (2006:10) says that what attracts attention more than anything else is the claim that mystic union is a religious experience, that is, spirituality, rather than a religious dogma, as in the practice of religion. Nolan (2006:10) therefore defines spirituality in general as the actual experience of God, and religion as the institutional aspects and dogma surrounding the actual experience.”
The exchange of sound biblical doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3) for an experiential spirituality is extremely dangerous. It is not only based on subjective personal experiences which the Bible relates to building your life on sand (Matthew 7:24-27), but also on the experience of their mentors or gurus who are supposedly masters in their field of spirituality.
Gautama Buddha is said to have discovered the practice of silence. When he was asked to elaborate on the existence or non-existence of God, he told a theist (believer in Rama) that there is no god; and to the atheist, he affirmed that there is a god. One of his disciples who overheard him asked why his answers had a two-fold meaning. Buddha answered that he told the theist there is no god to encourage him to find the truth about himself because his belief in a god stifled his spiritual quest for the truth within himself. Adversely, he told the atheist that there is a god so that he too may overcome his stifled spiritual journey and start his quest for the truth that god is imminently within himself. It is evident that the Buddha encouraged them to practice the silence as he had been doing all along in his quest to find enlightenment.
In a nutshell: They are proclaiming that their personal experiences with God, produced by spiritual practices such as out of or beyond the mind contemplative, meditative, silent, and in-the-now moments, have effectively and concisely replaced a childlike faith in God. Allow me to remind you what God says about this stupendously stupid lifestyle or journey, as they like to call it.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12).
The Bible never says, “Without experience, it is impossible to please God.” It says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6).
I have said it before, and I say it again — the Mosaïek Kerk of Johan Geyser and his mystical compatriots is a synagogue of Satan, leading many to their destruction in an endless eternity of sorrow and suffering in their separation from God. And believe me, there is no silence there. NOTHING! The wailing and gnashing of teeth will be an enormous crescendo of eternal woes (Matthew 13:42).