'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
We are living in a time not too different from what was occurring in Greece during the Apostle Paul's journeys. Worldly philosophies can become a religion created into a private "God", a pseudo Christianity. They also present a counterfeit spiritualism, a subtle mix of logic and practical way of dealing with life problems and circumstances. It refers to the "spiritual" often, falsely leaving the impression that since the ideas are spiritual, they can be trusted to solve the individual's emotional and psychological conflicts and problems.
All is an attempt to undercut true spirituality and present an alternative to Christianity. The teachings are particularly attractive to those having emotional conflicts and problems caused by past events in their lives. It is even more attractive to those who have had bad experiences with religion, and particularly those who have had such experiences while involved in a church or other Christian organization.
These false philosophies are constantly multiplying, presenting a new approach, a different mental discipline or mental exercise, to supposedly lead to more self esteem, personal power of personality, and even "spiritual power". Some involve a formula for response to problems in personal relationships, mental manipulation of their own emotions, and subtle manipulation of the emotions and personalities of others.
The payoff is presented as being personal peace, emotional tranquility, peace of mind, better self esteem, and of course greater success in all the activities of life, especially in inter-personal and competitive settings. There seems to be no end to the books, seminars, lectures, etc., trumpeting this extra personal power in all areas of life. Sometimes reference is made to "religion", which could appeal to those with that type of bent, experience, or orientation.
Some of these philosophies imply a different, and more free religious belief, implying a release from Christian beliefs and obligations which produce guilt feelings and negative emotions. Most claim to produce personal satisfactions, especially the release from guilt feelings, that "religion" fails to produce in living life. These philosophies satisfy. Religion (Christianity) does not, it is claimed or implied.
Most of these attempts to satisfy unconverted minds simply manipulate the carnal impulses, attempt to change "negative" thought patterns, and manipulate the same impulses in others in order to placate the uneasiness and guilt feelings in themselves. It ends up being a deception and a corruption of true psychology, and effectively cuts the practitioners off from the true God. God may be mentioned, but Jesus Christ almost never (Proverbs 28:15).
Taken together, they are a Babylon of confusion and deception, designed by Satan to deceive and blind, and to keep in darkness those who are susceptible (Ezekiel 22:25-26)
Since the results presented would be good, these teachings amount to counterfeits of true Christianity, and the genuine results of a personal belief in Jesus Christ, and the relationship we can have with Him, and in Him to others. The problem with these strange philosophies and their claimed solutions is that they do not work. Since they do not work, new ones must continually be devised, or the old ones adjusted in some way which, it is claimed, will finally produce the desired state of mind and emotions. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
These types of deceptions has been around a long time. Only the names and tactics are constantly changing. It started the day that Jesus was crucified. That day, the world was tuned on its head. Mankind no longer had an excuse. This is clearly stated by the Apostle Paul in the Greek city of Athens long ago. The Athenians were constantly searching for something new. At that time, it seemed to be THE place for new ideas of every kind. If some wanted to hear, or to espouse some "new thing", Athens was the place to be! They had established an alter where they worshiped "the unknown God".
Does it sound a little familiar?
Perhaps we have not erected alters to the "unknown God" (or have we?...), but it seems this is the day of "some new thing"; some new approach to success, peace of mind, and personal centeredness. Paul is saying the same thing to our society today, when he said:
"Such [former] ages of ignorance God, it is true, ignored and allowed to pass unnoticed; but now He charges all people everywhere to repent to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins, Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31}
If you feel that you or someone you know may be slipping into this quagmire of deceptive psychology and strange philosophies, perhaps you can love them enough to help them avoid or extract themselves from the deception, and keep yourself free from the cunning ways of Satan's world systems!
"Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah). For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]." - Colossians 2:7-9 (AMP)
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