The “spirit” of the Age

PMAIn the past few days I have been involved in several exchanges with individuals who, regardless of the truth shared with them, were not going to be denied, come hell or high water.

It is the “spirit” of the age in which we live, where more and more people are asserting their “spirit”ual prowess in spite what God has said on the subject.

Take, for instance, the idea that so long as one thinks positive thoughts, then positive feelings will be generated, which, in turn, will result in positive results.

While I am all for being positive, the worldview which generates this kind of philosophical outlook is clearly out of step with the Bible, if not simply out of step with reality.

It is similar to something that came out a couple of years ago in book and video form called The Secret, or the magical power of attraction nonsense produced by New Age guru Rhonda Byrne.

Nevertheless, when I challenged the person positing the positive thoughts mantra with the proposition that regardless of how positive I thought about being a millionaire, I still was not one, nor would being a millionaire necessarily make me positive.

In fact, in many instances, multiplied a million times over, those who are millionaires, or richer, are some of the most negative, miserable, depressed persons walking the earth.

Moreover, because of the fleeting nature of riches, those who are millionaires tend to create the polar opposite of positive results and end up either in trouble with the law or doing things which are morally and ethically contrary to God and humanity.Seventh Day Adventism

Ironically, the person with whom I was having the discussion was not positively receptive of my rebuttal, but, claiming to be a “Christian”—the ostensible trump card in these kinds of debates, even though the person playing the card usually knows very little to nothing about what Christianity really entails—was unwilling to respond to such a positive thought.  Go figure.

Two other discussions with two other persons involved the teachings of those who are renowned false prophets and teachers, namely Ellen G. White of Seventh Day Adventism notoriety and self-help charlatan Joel Osteen.

It was not that those defending those characters were mean-spirited or not well-intentioned.  It was that regardless of the information presented and the arguments made, which clearly showed the erroneous nature of their decision-making, they were not going to be moved.  They felt what they felt and that settled it.

In one instance a subjective appeal was made to the Holy Spirit.  He led the person to follow the false teachings.  Really?  The Holy Spirit is going to lead a person into error and do it in the name of Jesus Christ?

When presented with the reality that many of those in the cults make the same kind of appeal to justify their misguided allegiances, then it was ad hominem time.

An ad hominem is a logical fallacy, which is a Latin expression that means “to the man,” whereby instead of addressing the messenger’s argument, a personal attack is waged against the messenger.

All of the sudden I was guilty of “slander.”  I slandered the proponent of Seventh Day Adventism because his message was of the Holy Spirit, and he only cited Ellen G. White when she agreed with the Bible.

But, are not all cult leaders and their followers motivated by the Holy Spirit, and their messages in agreement with the Bible?

Joel OsteenAs for Joel Osteen, who has admitted, live, during television interviews his rejection of Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, that Mormons were Christians, and unrepentant homosexuals would enter the kingdom of God one day, the story was much the same.

He leads people to God, so what difference does it make, was one argument.  My question was, if he denies Jesus Christ as the only way to God, then how could it be possible that he was leading anyone to God?

In fact, would it not be more likely that he was leading people away from God—perhaps all the way to Kolob, which is synonymous with the biblical hell?

Clearly, we live in a day of heightened spiritual deception.  Con artists abound and an incredible lack of discernment is pervasive.

Tragically, those who are being deceived are absolutely adamant that they are right and everyone else is wrong, even when their irrational, if not totally silent, responses are manifestly in error.

It is such recalcitrance, if not hubris, that is not only destroying the lives of many people, as the wolves in sheep’s clothing reap a lucrative harvest, but severely weaken an already anemic Christian witness in Wolf Among the Sheepthe world.

Spiritual deception, fallacious thinking, lack of discernment, stubbornness, and arrogance, all being done in the name of Christ.  It is the “spirit” of the age, and it is bound to only get worse.

About the Author

President, Christian Apologetics Project PhD Candidate, Northwest University (2018) MA Apologetics w/ Honors, BIOLA University (2005) ThM, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2003) MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2000) BA Pastoral Ministry & Bible, Baptist Bible College (1992)

1 Comment on "The “spirit” of the Age"

  1. Amen! Tell the truth!

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