Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Quantum Charismatics

Part 9: The Physics of Heaven*
A Serial Book Review & Theological Interaction


"The God Vibration" author Dan McCollam at School of the Prophets


By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

Review of Chapter 8 (authored by Dan McCollam)
“The God Vibration”[1]

All of creation is constantly resonating with the praises of God. (Psalm 19:1-4) God’s voice and the sound of angels can also be heard and experienced by man. A whole new realm of encounter awaits those who possess three simple qualities: expectancy, intentionality, and intimacy. Because God, creation, and the angels are constantly interacting, we can expect to hear from them at times.
—Dan McCollam
(TPOH, 85)

Introduction
In a dialectic three step, Dan McCollam dances with deception as he first accepts the Genesis account of creation (no other step need be taken), then synthesizes that account with quantum physics and finally, promotes contemplative spirituality or mysticism as the way to encounter the supernatural realm.[2] In this chapter the author weaves together a combination of Scripture, science and supernaturalism.

Scripture
In his chapter “The God Vibration,” the author employs the Bible to explain the origin of the universe. God the Father, as the opening verses of Genesis state, created “something out of nothing.” (TPOH, 79) To buttress the creation account, McCollam refers to the writings of creation scientist Dr. Henry Morris (1918-2006).[3] He also accepts that the Son is the Creator (John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2), and that “by” Christ the universe coheres or holds together (Colossians 1:17b). But then he injects physics into the explanation of origins. As the chapter’s preface states, Modern scientific discoveries have recently joined the voice of ancient sacred writings to pull back the veil of ignorance that once shrouded the power of sound in God’s universe.(TPOH, 77)

Science
For example, McCollam defines the action of Holy Spirit’s “moving [or] hovering over the surface of the waters” as “vibrating,” a meaning he imports from quantum physics (Genesis 1:2). The author states: “Therefore it could be said that the Holy Spirit vibrated over the formless universe” even as he proceeds to add, “Vibrations are the forces that hold particle matter together.”(TPOH, 79-80) These continuing vibrations of the Spirit of God McCollum associates with string theory; that theory of quantum physics which proposes that, “there are tiny vibrating strands of energy at the center of all matter.”(TPOH, 81)
McCollam's bio at Bill Johnson's Bethel website "School of the Prophets"

McCollam constructs this theory from the Hebrew word used to describe the Holy Spirit as “hovering” (i.e., rachaph) over dead and dark material mass God had spoke into existence ex nihilo, out of nothing, spoke into existence. The author states “hovering” can mean “vibrating” despite the fact that in its only other occurrence in the Old Testament the rare verb pictures an eagle providentially caring for its young eaglets by guarding the nest (Deuteronomy 32:11). So rachaph pictures God’s Spirit protectively hovering “over the surface of the waters” as God (the Father and the Son) was about to energize matter with light and fill the void of an otherwise empty universe.

For McCollam it might be assessed that the Genesis narrative provides the “frame” for his understanding of origins which he then “fills” with inferences extracted from the science of quantum physics (i.e., that the material universe is filled with “vibrations” infused in it by God).[4] As he states, “Quantum physics serves as one of the great scientific disciplines bridging the river of confusion between science and biblical kingdom thinking.”(TPOH, 77) But McCollam does not stop there.

Supernaturalism
In taking his quantum leap of faith and providing a platform for pursuing mysticism, McCollam proposes that “God... and the angels are constantly interacting” with a vibrating universe and then proceeds to advocate readers get in on the action by opening their hearts, eyes and ears with “an expectancy to encounter the sounds and sights of heaven on a new level.”(TPOH, 85) Openness to the vibrating oneness of reality, says the author, will breed the spiritual “intimacy” necessary to incubate “increased encounters from the supernatural realm.”(TPOH, 86) So vibrations become the focal point for contacting and encountering nature (of which all earth-bound persons like us are a part) or super-nature (the realm inhabited by God, angels, Satan, demons, Nephilim, space aliens, familial spirits or whatever other invented entities or mythological deities are believed to inhabit and traverse throughout the universe). But how does one make the “contact” to connect with the supernatural beings inhabiting the universe’s upper story or outer space? According to the author, the devout can generally do so by cultivating the right attitudes and taking the proper action.[5]
McCollam at a NAR-related website:
http://www.reva.org.sg/author/jamestan/


Panentheism and Process
So my problem with the worldview McCollam creates does not lie in the references he makes to the Genesis creation—though I think, as has been pointed out, his interpretation is off on some points—but with his enhancing the Scriptural account by integrating speculative science into it.[6] (“Everything in the universe has a vibration at the center of it.”—TPOH, 84). All creation therefore becomes animated with and permeated of the vibrations of God. This oneness worldview is panentheistic and resembles that of process theologians.[7] Both systems of spirituality and thought incorporate God into the being (permeation of divine vibrations throughout the universe—i.e., panentheism) and becoming (divine interaction with that energy—i.e., process) of the universe. Both understandings sacrifice God’s transcendence upon the altar of “His immanence,” which becomes the seedbed of idolatry. In his dedicatory prayer for the Temple, Solomon steered clear of the idea of oneness (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6; Compare Isaiah 66:1.). The universe is not God’s “container.” While God is omnipresent throughout, He does not omnipermeate the universe.

Though energy may help us to understand reality, it does not explain, I believe, the entire complex in which “we live, move and have our being” Acts 17:28a, KJV). By itself, light or energy reveal nothing to us about God’s plan of divine redemption for both a fallen humanity and creation.

So in our acceptance of the Genesis account as well other points regarding creation, I agree with the author. But despite some agreement, there resides a “quantum” difference regarding our understanding of and spiritual experience in the reality we know as “life.” In short, by reading speculative science into the understanding of God’s Word and then seeking confirmation of the synthesis by adventuring into speculative spirituality, McCollam undermines the sufficiency of Holy Scripture.

We turn to look at the mystic way the author promotes at the end of the chapter.
McCollam at a 2010 School of the Prophets


The Mystic Way
1. Anticipation
First, anticipate . . . “Open your heart, your eyes, and your ears with the expectancy to encounter the sounds and sights of heaven on a new level,” counsels McCollam.(TPOH, 85) To experience whatever “vibrations” might be “out there,” Christians must make preparations “down here.” They must break away from their old spiritual past (traditional paths to spirituality like Bible reading, prayer, the Apostle’s teaching, fellowship with other believers, and observing the Lord’s Table) in order to experience a new spiritual future, to encounter the “vibrations” of the supernatural realm in new ways. “Expect it” if you want to “get it”! McCollam writes that, “God wants to broadband your ability to receive from Him.”[8](TPOH, 85-86) So at the vibrating quantum level of reality, God “delights” to interact with His children even as He interacts with that reality Himself. So to this end, both “faith and expectancy create an environment for encounter.”(TPOH, 86) But the believer is not to stand idly by and wait for encounters to just happen (though mystics teach that encounters can be spontaneous). Illuminations may unexpectedly happen.

Phony Glory
In his chapter titled “The Luminous Phenomena of Mysticism” from his book The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, Herbert Thurston, S.J., notes “the frequent occurrence of luminous phenomena in mediumistic séances” which then inclines him to think “that similar manifestations are not likely to be lacking in the records of mysticism.”[9] Then the fact of the similarity between the miracles of Moses and the counterfeits performed by Pharaoh’s magicians leads Thurston to therefore observe that,

No careful student of physical research can fail to notice a very close resemblance between the marvels recorded in the lives of Saints, and the phenomena of what is loosely termed spiritualism.[10]

Though on this point I do not think Thurston was indicting the mysticism of the saints to be spiritualism, his analogy does beg the question about PSI phenomena, which authors in The Physics of Heaven advocate experiencing, “How can anyone definitively discern which is which?” Reader: Connect the dots. Even Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light and we therefore should not be surprised that his ministers are likewise (2 Corinthians 11:14). So expectancy can end in fantasy and deception, or worse.
McCollam advertised on TheElijahList, 2/17/11,
http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word/9595

2. Initiation
Second, initiate . . . Encounters are not accidental. Activity, not passivity, is the key to experience the “God vibration” or the sights and sounds of the supernatural realm. Heaven can come down to earth, and devout souls can make that happen. So Christians must develop intentionality if they are to experience the supernatural realm. “Intentionality is simply the decision to see and listen.”(TPOH, 86) “Activate your sensitivity to your aural and spiritual environment,” suggests McCollam, and then adds, “When you suspect a unique sound or light encounter—follow it.”(TPOH, 86) (Ed. Note: In other words, pay no attention to the Apostle Paul’s notice that, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”—2 Corinthians 11:14). Though the author does not directly use either the verbs contemplate or meditate, he repackages the activity with the advice to “activate your sensitivity to your aural and spiritual environment phrase.” So to activate, Christians might be encouraged to contemplate. This initiatory mystical practice has been around the church for fifteen centuries plus and produced physical phenomena—what the author would call “encounters”—from the supernatural realm.[11] Of the relationship between contemplative or meditative prayer, paranormal expert Rosemary Guiley notes that often,

Psychic phenomena and powers are associated with prayer and meditation. The literature of Western mystics describes clairvoyance, clairaudience, levitation, precognition, prophecy, and so on as unsought by-products of mystical prayer.[12]

After referring to clairvoyance experienced by St. Anthony (1195-1231) and levitations by St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) and St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1633)—“who could ‘fly’ short distances and stay aloft for a considerable time”—Guiley remarks that, “Such phenomena may be compared to the siddhis of Eastern meditation and yoga.”[13]

On this point it should be noted that Jonathan Welton, another author in a chapter in The Physics of Heaven, has stated:

I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.(TPOH, 49)
McCollam advertised on TheElijahList, 2/17/11,
http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word/9595


3. Cultivation
Third, remain sensitive . . . Because “encounters are born out of intimacy,” Christians need to keep their hearts sensitive and humble before God. At the slightest hint that God might be vibrating a message to or an encounter with them, they need to cease what they are doing and “turn aside with Him even if just for a moment.”(TPOH, 86) To this end, Christians need to continually “cultivate a sense of the Lord’s presence” in their everyday life for “Intimacy is the incubator of increased encounters from the supernatural realm.”(TPOH, 86).

This raises the question, “Intimate encounters with what?” The realm of spirits, whether angelic and demonic, is real. Seeking intimacy with supernatural entities, whatever they might be, is unscriptural. Never are we told in the Bible to seek intimacy with angels. Furthermore, Scripture tells believers, in light of the spiritual conflict they are in, to “Resist the devil” (James 4:7) and not give him “opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27). In the contemplative and mystical world, intimacy may provide opportunity for unwanted invaders to bring their influence to bear upon our lives.

To the contrary, believers’ intimacy with God and experiencing His enduring presence in their lives comes by grace through faith in the Gospel. For reason of their being baptized by the Spirit when the believe they are thus united together with Christ and His church where with other believers they can “in Christ” worship God, continue in the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship with one another, observe the ordinances of the Lord, cultivate His righteousness in their lifestyles, and evangelize the lost.[14]


Interacting with the Chapter
God the First Cause
In his analysis of “The God Vibration,” Dan McCollam prevails upon the cosmological argument for the existence of God; specifically that the vibrations in the universe today could not exist unless God originally energized the cosmos. (See footnote 4.) He correctly states: “Energy does not create itself; it must have a source or energizer.”(TPOH, 81) Something cannot derive from nothing. So Hoover states that, “The choice is simple: one chooses either a self-existent God or a self-existent universe.”[15] McCollam, as I, chooses to believe the former while Stephen Hawking (1942-    ), embracing the big bang idea that gravity self-derived spontaneously, reportedly stated in his book The Grand Design that, given the existence of gravity, “the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”[16] Hawking opines that physics offers a “more convincing explanation” for the universe’s origin because “miracles of religion ‘aren’t compatible’ with scientific fact.”[17] He also thinks that believing in heaven or an afterlife is “a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”[18] So we have a universe in which at this point in time, energy seems omnipresent and some might say omnipotent.


Energy Spirituality
So McCollam believes that given the scientific fact that energy fills the universe and holds it together, “The God Vibration” as he calls it, and that therefore God and other supernatural beings interact with what he calls a “singing” creation.(TPOH, 84) “All creation” he writes, “is constantly resonating with the praises of God. (Psalm 19:1-4)” And the way to get in on the interaction is to receive communications from God, angels and even the creation itself through cultivating a contemplative or mystic way of “expectancy, intentionality, and intimacy.”(TPOH, 85-86)

Interestingly, Augustine (354-430) advocated a similar spiritual path of energy spirituality when he wrote that through contemplation (i.e., mysticism) a person can attain to “the Divine Kinetic Energy, whereby all things were made and exist.”[19] As Augustine describes his contemplative experience in encountering the “Divine Kinetic”; that is moving, however momentarily, from the natural to the supernatural realm:

My mind in the swift flash of a motitation [Latin, “to move about”], attained to the Absolute Being, the Ultimate and only Reality, All that Is. Then, of a truth, I saw and understood What is Invisible comprehended by Things Created. Yet I could not sustain the sight of Infinity and Eternal Reality. It was a glimpse, transient, a second’s space.[20] 


So what McCollam advocates is nothing new, for Augustine likely adapted his contemplative path from the philosophers who and the mystery religions that were either contemporary with or preceded him.[21] As Summers stated approvingly, “Fathers and Saints of the Church, not without purpose, have sanctified and legitimized many terms in the Mysteries by applying them to the Divine faith and inspired practice of the Catholic Church.”[22]

Cosmos, Curse and Chaos[23]
But nature does not always, as McCollam states, “sing.” Often it groans and screams. Vibrations are not always positive. Yes, even in its fallen state nature evidences beauty. But it can also be a beast. Nature is both fractal and chaotic. Even as beautiful mountains, forests and lakes adorn this planet, so also do earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, volcanoes ravage it (See Job 1:16, 19.). Chaos remains the dark side of the quantum physical world, a negative aspect of reality which McCollam ignores in his chapter “The God Vibration.”

In his fanciful reliance on creation’s positive vibes recorded in Genesis 1, he makes no mention of Genesis 3 where God told the first persons that because of their sin against Him, “Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it / All the days of your life... For you are dust, / And to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:17-19). In alluding to that original curse, Paul wrote, “We know that the whole creation groans [Not sings!] and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now” (Romans 8:22). So the theory McCollam imposes on the Bible does not fit the reality in which we live, unless Christians believe we’re already living in the kingdom, something both the Bible and experience contradict.

Conclusion
Chaos will continue until “the regeneration” when “according to His promise,” God will create a “new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13*; Compare Matthew 18:28.). In view of the present distress, it becomes difficult to see how quantum physics bridges “the river of confusion between science and biblical kingdom thinking.”(TPOH, 77) After all, while the science of quantum physics sees fractal order in the universe (the remnant of the garden) it also observes chaotic disorder (the result of the fall and curse).

So before God’s kingdom can come, chaos must cease and the curse be lifted. The biblical kingdom will not come until Jesus comes, binds Satan, restores creation, and judges the world. When this prophetic promise is fulfilled, when believers are translated, resurrected and manifested as God’s sons, chaos will cease (“the wolf will lie down with the lamb”) and believers will become “priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (Isaiah 11:1-10; Revelation 20:4-6*).


Endnotes
[1] Dan McCollam, Chapter 8: “The God Vibration,” The Physics of Heaven: Exploring God’s Mysteries of Sound, Light, Energy, Vibrations and Quantum Physics, by Judy Franklin & Ellyn Davis (Crossville, TN: Double Portion Publishing, 2012): 77-86.
[2] In common with the religions of the East, “mysticism” is the word used to describe a process by which human beings attempt to experience union with God. So as one meets the word “contemplation” in the writings of the church fathers and modern evangelicals, it is assumed that contemplation differs from mysticism because, “In the West for centuries” wrote Montague Summers, “the word which was in use was Contemplation and not Mysticism.” But practically the words refer to the same thing. See Montague Summers, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism: With Especial Reference to the Stigmata, Divine and Diabolic (London, GB: Rider & Company, 1950): 26. The point is that modern day evangelical contemplatives are—as they attempt to incubate union with God through practicing spiritual disciplines and following spiritual directors—mystics!
[3] I might add that personally, the writings of Dr. Morris as well as Dr. Duane Gish (1921-2013), also influenced my understanding of creation and delivered me from believing evolutionary theory. See Henry M. Morris, Studies in the Bible and Science (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1966).
[4] To illustrate: Like a clock, the universe evidences “design.” Like a clock, the universe also “ticks.” So the questions regarding origins become, “Who designed the universe?” and “Who originally energized it?” Genesis informs believers that out of nothing God first created and energized the material from which He would then construct the clock. After creating matter, God said, “Let there be light” and “there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Morris states that, “The energy of light, in fact, may be considered the most basic form of energy.” See Morris, Studies in the Bible and Science: 124. At the moment He spoke the Word, the infinite God infused His creation with finite energy (This energy evidences that it’s “finite” because it’s undergoing entropy.) Thus God energized the matter from which He would proceed to form and fill what would become a living universe. God is not only the Originator of the universe but also the Energizer and Designer of it. Presently, science studies and calculates that energy, its motion and the forces affecting its motion. This is called quantum physics or kinetics.
As other philosophical physicists, Stephen Hawking understands gravity, though it’s unexplainable—gravity just “is”—to be the kinetic genius of the universe. This cause Hawking to deduce that gravity is God. But if gravity is god, god is decaying, a fact known to every scientist. So perhaps in the far, far, and far distant future when god “runs out” of energy and reaches the omega point (this is called metastasis), planetary life as we know it will end. The universe will flame out! This prophetic end inheres within nature; that is, unless God intervenes by reconstituting, reenergizing and resurrecting the universe, something Scripture promises He will do (See Isaiah 50:9;  2 Peter 3:10-13; Compare Romans 8:18-25.).
[5] The “mystical path” can involve as few as three stages or perhaps, as many as seven. The three most common involve “contemplation” (what McCollam calls “expectancy”), “illumination” (what McCollam calls “encounters with the supernatural realm” and what Petry stated involves hearing and seeing “attendant voices and visitations”), and “communion” (what McCollam calls the “sense of the Lord’s presence in your everyday life”). The fourth stage involves “unification” and “deification”; that is God’s entry and perfect penetration into the fabric of one’s physical and psychological being while yet in this life on earth. See Ray C. Petry, Editor, Late Medieval Mysticism: The Library of Christian Classics, Volume 17 (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1957): 21.
[6] Regarding this integration, three points can be noted: first, attempting to understand God by inferences from nature might qualify as “natural theology,” and “by nature” natural theology is non-redemptive; second, science (human knowing) has and will continue to change and any who marry their understanding of Christianity today to science today may widow their faith tomorrow; and third, Paul warns that the enticements of scientific philosophy—and quantum physics mostly is philosophy—will, as they become enamored with “the elementary principles of the world,” lead Christians away from Christ (Colossians 2:8).
[7] Unlike pantheism (God is all.), panentheism asserts that a universal soul inhabits, permeates or vibrates inside matter of nature so that if persons hug a tree, they are not hugging God per se, but merely the wood hosting the divine soul. Process theology or philosophy on the other hand, emphasizes God’s participation—what McCollam calls “interaction”—in a changing or vibrating universe, to the extent that “as the word turns” or changes, God turns and changes also. I am not saying that McCollam espouses panentheism or process theology, but only that his thinking resembles them, both of which contradict Genesis 1-3.
[8] Broadband means, “Of, having, or relating to a wide band of electromagnetic frequencies.” See Webster’s II: New College Dictionary (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995): 140.
[9] Herbert Thurston, S.J., The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, J.H. Crehan, Editor (Fort Collins, CO: Roman Catholic Books, 1951): 169-170.
[10] Ibid: 170.
[11] See Thurston, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, and Montague Summers, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism: With Especial Reference to the Stigmata, Divine and Diabolic (London, GB: Rider & Company, 1950).
[12] Rosemary Ellen Guiley, “Prayer,” Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience (New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991): 462.
[13] Ibid.
[14] See Larry DeBruyn, “God’s Present of His Presence,” Discernment Ministries (http://www.discernment-ministries.org/God’s%20Present%20of%20His%20Presence.pdf).
[15] Arlie J. Hoover, “God, Arguments for the Existence of,” The Concise Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Edited by Walter A. Elwell, Abridged by Peter Toon (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991): 195.
[16] Richard Allen Greene, “Stephen Hawking: God didn’t create universe,” CNN, September 2, 2010 (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/09/02/hawking.god.universe/index.html).
[17] Dominique Mosbergen, “Stephen Hawking Says ‘There Is No God’: Confirms He’s An Atheist,” The Huffington Post, September 25, 2014 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/25/stephen-hawking-atheist_n_5882860.html).
[18] Ken Ammi, “Atheist Stephen Hawking claims to know that God does not exist,” Examiner.com, October 13, 2014 (http://www.examiner.com/article/atheist-stephen-hawking-claims-to-know-that-god-does-not-exist).
[19] Summers, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism: 27, quoting St. Augustine, De Quantitate Animae, 75, 76.
[20] Ibid. This quote is Summers’ translation from the Latin text taken from St. Augustine Confessions, Books I-VIII (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1912): Book VIII, Chapter XVII.
[21] Ibid: 19-23.
[22] Ibid: 23-24.
[23] Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “Quantum Physics and the New Spirituality: from Cosmos, to Chaos, to Consciousness,” Parts 1, 2, and 3, Herescope Blog Spot, October 22, 25, 28, 2010 (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/10/quantum-physics-and-new-spirituality.html).


*Read Part 1: "The Physics of Heaven"
Read Part 2: "The Power of the Zero-Point Field"
Read Sidebar: "Jesus' Lesser Works"
Read Part 3: "Extracting the Precious From the Worthless"
Read Part 4: "Vibrating in Harmony With God"
Read Part 5: BILL JOHNSON: Squandering Our Spiritual Inheritance
Read Part 6: Unsagacious Seers
Read Part 7: Bad Vibes

Read Part 8: "Sound of Heaven, Symphony of Earth"

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Cell Church

The New Structure
for the New Church
for the New Millennium

C. Peter Wagner's original vision for hierarchical networks.[1]

By Sarah H. Leslie

Twenty years ago I began researching the networking hierarchical cell church structure that was beginning to emerge in the evangelical church. I gave two "Cell Church" talks. One presentation was in 1997 at a Discernment Ministries conference in Missisauga, Ontario, Canada, and a few years later an updated talk was given in 1999 at a Discernment Ministries conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The following audio comes from the later 1999 talk.

Listen to the audio:

This talk was graphic intensive, so the referenced exhibits are available from Discernment Ministries ("A. Cell Church Structure with transparencies").

I had always intended to put the information in these talks into a written document. But personal life circumstances continually thwarted this plan. But by 2005 we had launched the Herescope blog, and a good deal of the research eventually ended up in articles. For the serious researcher Al Dager's 1990 book Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion is foundational reading.

A later book by Dager, titled The World Christian Movement: A Great Delusion Leading to the Religio-Political State of the Anti-Christ, also contains material referenced in my talk. Much of its research on the global mission movement originated through the efforts of the late Nancy Flint. In the mid 1990s Nancy took a trip across the United States, visiting with discernment researchers to share her disturbing findings. (Both of Dager's books are available from Discernment Ministries or Amazon.com.)

In 2007 a 10-part series of Herescope titled "The Doctrines of Dominionism" was based on Nancy Flint's research. Here we described the new doctrines that were being concocted by evangelical leaders:
Al Dager developed a chart (page 171, Vengeance Is Ours, 1990) that diagrammed the esoteric historical roots and interconnecting movements that undergird historical Dominion teachings. These include a mixture of Gnosticism, Theosophy, British Israelism, Identity, and Anti-Semitism. Some of this racism has been simmering for decades, embedded within Reconstructionism, the Latter Rain Movement and the New Apostolic Reformation. The most disturbing aspect of this is the idea of pure "bloodlines" of "new breed" of "elect seed." (Read "What Is Dominionism?" and "IHOP's New Breed Leaders," "Denying Dominionism," e.g.) 


These cell church talks reference the early stages of the New Apostolic Reformation which was being launched by C. Peter Wagner. His rapidly forming hierarchy was to be headed up by "self-anointed, self-appointed" apostles (see graphic at the top of this post, and read more history HERE). Wagner and others claimed that these new "apostles" would be infallible and would be able to re-define doctrine. Positioning these "apostles" and "prophets" at the top was marketed to the church as necessary to fulfilling the Great Commission. In the year 2007 a series of article were posted on Herescope that summarized these apostolic networking church structures and doctrines. It was titled "The Networking Church":

The Cell Church Structure
The exhibit below is a cellular chart from page 195 of Ralph W. Neighbour, Jr.'s book Where Do We Go From Here? A Guidebook for the Cell Group Church (Touch, 1990). Keep in mind that this isn't just about the local church. This is also the structure of a city-wide church (ecumenical) as envisioned and described by the cell church architects. It is also the structure of the multi-site church of Leadership Network. It would become the model for C. Peter Wagner's hierarchies -- now called the 7 mountains (quite literally a pyramid marketing structure) for apostolic dominion.
This chart above can also serve as the structure for downline network marketing, which appears to be the intended purpose of the reconfiguration of the church. This structure makes it easy to disseminate a novel idea (new heresy) across peer-driven networks. Read our 8-part series "The Dopamine-Driven Church" in 2007 here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The 1980 book Holonomy: A Human Systems Theory (Intersystems Publications) by Jeffrey Stamps is an authoritative summary of General Systems Theory applied to human evolution and behavior. This book is also a blueprint for how mankind's evolution could be best achieved via cellular networking hierarchies. The exhibit below is one of the charts referenced from the book (page 37):
Below is the most offensive exhibit from the book (page 38), depicting the esoteric belief that there are people who are failing to properly evolve due to a reptilian brain stem. According to this paradigm, those who are mystical in thinking and behavior are more evolutionary advanced than those who believe and act in terms of traditional absolutes (i.e., Christians). Assessments of people based on signs of evolutionary progress (as ascertained by their adoption of the mystical ideas and practices of the New Age Movement) can become a method of discrimination. Those people who aren't performing according to the new "systems" management of the government, church and corporate worlds will be subjected to penalties of various sorts.
The Role of Stanford Research Institute
In the late 1990s those of us researching this cell church structure in the church still didn't have all of the pieces of the puzzle. Because the esoteric doctrines and systems described in Holonomy matched what we were reading about in the emerging "apostolic" cellular church, we suspected a common root. Our best guess, based on our unique backgrounds, experiences and training, was that it was probably the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). We asked: had the SRI influenced evangelical leaders, even trained them, in these new systems methods?

By 2003 we had researched Peter Drucker and Leadership Network and found interesting connections. But it wasn't until 2005, when we stumbled onto the two Evangelical Consultations on the Future, when we discovered that SRI's Willis Harman had made presentations to key evangelical leaders, that we realized that our worst suspicions had been confirmed. Read the following accounts about these Consultations on the Future:

Several years ago while writing a book review of Chuck Missler's Alien Encounters we discovered even more linkages between evangelical leaders and SRI. The following 6-part article series investigated the influence SRI may have had on Missler's concoction of strange new eschatological doctrines regarding space aliens and adulterated human DNA: 

There are many other links that we could provide for further research. Suffice it to say that for the past ten years the Herescope blog has been the chief venue for documenting the preliminary findings discussed in the key "Cell Church Talks" of the late 1990s. More will be written on these topics in the days to come, Lord willing. For those who wish to read further on some of these topics, see the following background articles:

Conclusion
These talks are now 16 years old, and as such are a research "snapshot in time." Some of the things I said have changed as discernment researchers have delved deeper into these topics. For example, we weren't sure if we were looking at a multi-headed hydra or a one-headed octopus. The downline networks that were forming in Christendom seemed to be independent of one another, yet there was an ongoing call for unity. It seemed destined to culminate in a one-world church. (Read "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism.") For example, the false prophets of the NAR had been calling for a merging of streams into rivers for several decades.

It is now quite obvious that the downline networking model functions by stealth, superimposing its own structure on top of an existing model (such as denominations), until it sucks the old life out of it and ends up totally controlling it. Parachurch organizations such as Leadership Network, trained pastors and leaders across a global spectrum in this new model of church governance. The excessive evangelical fascination with leadership has given rise to cult-like status for its superstars and created lockstep blind followers. Read:

The future of this cell church structure will be seen in Tim Keller's emerging "Center Church" for New York City -- a collaborative "hub" model of church and state and corporate interests (i.e., Peter Drucker's "3-legged stool") that will transform the church into a webbed social welfare organization that oversees humans from cradle-to-grave, womb-to-tomb. See Leadership Network's Eric Swanson diagram below, where the 7 mountains for dominion are referred to as 7 "domains" -- i.e., networks. Compare this chart with the graphic at the top of this post.
Eric Swanson, To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010),
Figure 2, Foreword, p. 11. This is a visual chart of the "7 domains of culture."
The Church in this diagram is seen encompassing the other 6 secular "domains."

Endnote:
1. *Exhibit 1: C. Peter Wagner, "A Letter From C. Peter Wagner," Global Harvest Ministries, Monday, August 20, 2007. Original url was: http://shekinahshome.blogspot.com/2007/08/letter-from-c-peter-wagner.html. Read more about this at http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/apostolic-dominionism.html and also http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/06/7-m-mandate.html
2. This diagram was referenced in my Cell Church Talks along with several other "hub" diagrams from education reform plans in various states across the country. Many of these concentric circle charts incorporated the church into the state. They envisioned the school as the center of the community, providing lifelong welfare services, job training, healthcare, etc., and linking each citizen to the state in intrusive ways.


Read the previous two posts related to this one:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

“Network of Networks”

Networking for Global Peace


“The Aquarian Conspiracy is...
a network of many networks aimed at social transformation.”
[1]

“Rick Warren’s newly created Global PEACE Coalition...
a plan of epic ambition, to turn at least half
of the world's tens of millions of Christian churches
into a giant 'network of networks'
dedicated to relieving the poverty and misery of the developing world.”
[2]

Leadership Network's description of its organizational purpose,
NEXT newsletter, Dec. 1997, p. 3
.
[3]

Another older Discernment Ministries conference audio has been posted online (see previous post). This is a talk by Sarah H. Leslie from a 2007 conference. This talk was titled "Global PEACE Plan 1 Networking" and it covered a key transition period in the evangelical church world where everything was shifting over to networking structures and emerging new theologies.

Listen to the audio:

As in our previous post, the following exhibits will provide the listener with documentation for the topics discussed in this presentation.

This presentation began with a book review of Marilyn Ferguson's landmark book that launched the New Age Movement, titled The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J.P. Tarcher, 1980). Quoted sections are read from this book and then commented upon. Note the prominent 666 logo on her book cover. We've often written about Marilyn Ferguson and her impact on the church. See, for example HERE, HEREHERE, and especially HERE.

In the year 2007 a number of article series were posted on Herescope on the topic of the networking church structures and doctrines. The first was an 8-part series titled "The Networking Church" which talked about how these networking ideas were incorporated into the doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation:

Another related Herescope series was titled "Networking P.E.A.C.E." Read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Thomas S. Kuhn was cited regarding the philosophy of the paradigm shift in his book titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It provided a foundational ideology for the New Age Movement. A cursory overview of Kuhn can be read at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn and Herescope wrote about him HERE.

Several times Dr. Dennis Cuddy and his excellent research into the New Age and mental health was cited. Key quotes came from Dr. Cuddy's book Education Mental Health & Social Control. This is available at Amazon.com. Dr. Cuddy is a regular columnist for NewsWithViews; see his articles HERE.

The disturbing documentation about Theosophist Willis Harman, and his influence over evangelical leaders in the late 1970s at two consultations on the future sponsored by the Billy Graham Association, is summarized in the following Herescope posts:
The Discernment Research Group first broke the story about Harman in September 2005 in a series of posts that ran into October 2005. One can look through the posts to read more details about these consultations.
There was a key overview article "What Is Transformation?" posted on Beris Kjos's website. See also the chart "New Age Terms in the Church" which is very helpful in understanding the vocabulary that is now part of church doctrine.  There is a helpful list of Discernment Research Group articles on her site: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/discernment/

For information on the collaborative New Age health model, now used by Rick Warren in his "Daniel Plan," see the following articles:
Ervin Laszlo's 1974 book A Strategy for the Future (George Braziller, Inc., 1974) was cited, mentioning a few key diagrams. Here are two exhibits from his book illustrating the networking cellular and global governance. 
Exhibit 1, page 126,
Laszlo's local neighborhood cells in a "world system"
Exhibit 2, p. 150,
Laszlo's plan for global governance structure
Many of the themes and topics on Herescope the past ten years have fleshed in the documentation of this talk in 2007. For example, read "Earth: The Old Story, The New Story" and view the charts HERE.

We have also written about the significance of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who was cited frequently by Ferguson for propounding the doctrine of the evolution of human consciousness. Just a few of these articles include:
As more of these talks are published online, we will inform Herescope readers.


Endnotes:
1. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J.P. Tarcher, 1980), page 217. 
2. David Van Biema, "Rick Warren Goes Global," TIME Magazine, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1809833,00.html, May. 27, 2008. Cited in the Herescope post: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-global-civility.html
3. For yet another example of this same phrase "network of networks," see the Apprising Ministries 2/23/10 post "THE EMERGING CHURCH AND PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AFTER GOOGLE," quoting Tony Jones from the Foreword (pages ix and x) to Philip Clayton's book Transforming Christian Theology. The Emergent Church, like purpose-driven and Acts 29, was also spawned by Leadership Network.

Note: The audio file may experience problems in the Firefox browser. However you may download the file for playing offline.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Covenant-Driven

Ten Years and Counting. . . 

"When you sign a membership covenant, you are signing a legal document.
Ask yourself if you were told that this is the case.
If you were not told this, ask why you weren't.
In every other venue outside of a church,
you would most likely get legal advice before signing a contract.
Why would you not do the same for a church contract?"
[1]


An audio file has just been posted online of a talk given over 10 years ago at a Discernment Ministries conference. The presentation was by Discernment Research Group member Sarah H. Leslie, and it was an early refutation of the Purpose-Driven church covenant model being widely disseminated by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California.

Early on we recognized and warned about the many problems that would develop as a result of the covenant church model which was based on the corporate business model introduced into the church by Peter Drucker via Bob Buford's Leadership Network. The purpose-driven brand name was the most recognizable, but many other networks within Leadership Networks' vast array of downline networks, especially including Acts 29, would also rely heavily upon this covenant-driven model. We anticipated that there would eventually be fallout in churches - particularly among women, children, handicapped, disabled, elderly and others - who would slip through the cracks, be damaged, or penalized for their imperfections. 

Listen to the audio:


The Herescope blog began posting 10 years ago, so if you listen to the audio file you will recognize the references to the many of topics that have been posted on Herescope. However, for those who seek additional documentation, and wish to research these issues further, below is a partial list of topics mentioned in this comprehensive overview conference report.

The audio talk was given shortly after the 2004 monograph The Pied Pipers of Purpose was published. This monograph is available for purchase at the Discernment Ministries office, 903-567-6423, and it is also available for download here: http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Purpose_Driven.pdf

The talk mentions education reform issues, specifically the book the deliberate dumbing down of america by Charlotte T. Iserbyt, available at Amazon.com or for a free download at: http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com.  Also read the 3-part article series about so-called school "choice" titled "The Choice Charade".
The conference talk specifically references an earlier article critical of church covenants published by Discernment Ministries. Recently this paper, originally titled "The Shepherding Movement Comes of Age," was republished on the Herescope blog: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-troubles-with-church-covenants.html 

Here is the issue of Leadership Network's newsletter NEXT that included the eastern religious Ying/Yang sign in its discussion about management guru Jim Collins. Notice the clock graphic and note that each subheading includes a ying/yang graphic. The use of such a well-known occult symbol has raised many questions about which faith Leadership Network promotes.
Leadership Network, NEXT, Vol. 3, No. 1, May 1997


Regarding Rick Warren, our early warnings in 2005 were sadly quite accurate. We believe that the most important post we ever wrote about Rick Warren is "Rick Warren - Is He Scary?" Most of the questions that we raised in this post have never been answered. Rick Warren took his entire P.E.A.C.E. "missionary" plan under the radar and the press has given him a free pass to work his global agenda without critical scrutiny. Below is a sampling of articles (including some that are part of a series) we wrote about Rick Warren's attempt to turn purpose-driven into a global movement:

Missionaries who were specifically told to NOT preach the Gospel is documented here: Africa Watch Update: Missionaries told "not to minister the Word"! Rick Warren's early partner, Bruce Wilkinson, experienced a failed venture in Swaziland: Breaking News! Mr Jabez's Dream Turns to Nightmare

The original 2-part article about Rick Warren's launching of his Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is archived in the Discernment Newsletters:

For our writings on the recent Mars Hill debacle, and its connections to the Leadership Network organization and these same organizational structure and ideologies, see the series "The Culture Which Gave Rise to Mark Driscoll":

Finally, we wish to point out that many of the topics covered in this 2005 talk were influential in the publication of Paul Smith's book New Evangelicalism: The New World Order.  Read about his book here: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-evangelicalism-new-world-order.html

Discernment Ministries has recently authorized Dr. Martin Erdmann to post a number of our current and older, but still relevant, conference files on the Internet. As Dr. Erdmann puts up more of the Discernment conference videos and audios online, we will post notifications and links for Herescope readers.


Endnote:
1. "The Village Church/Matt Chandler: The Problems With Membership Contracts," 6/1/15, http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/06/01/the-village-churchmatt-chandler-the-problems-with-membership-contracts/ For another recent covenant horror story, see "Do Acts 29 Churches Share the Same DNA as the Mothership – Matt Chandler’s The Village Church?" 1/3/15, http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/06/03/do-acts-29-churches-share-the-dna-of-the-mothership-matt-chandlers-the-village-church/

Note: The audio file may experience problems in the Firefox browser. However you may download the file for playing offline.