The exaltation of self, "I am a god", or "I am divine" is the Gnostic connection with the "New Age" and "elitism".
The following quotes identify the Church's new wave link with New Age thought. It shows the source of the elite mindset taking over in the Church as well as the secular world:
. . . it is not those who rely upon a personal historical Jesus for their salvation by 'belief', but the real Christians are those who have recognised that the Cosmic Christ principle is verily and truly their own higher Self, and who strive to have that 'brought to birth' in them, so that even here and now they may act in the power of that supreme divine nature, even as the historical man Jesus is reputed to have done. It is these alone who can truly say that their 'life is hid with Christ in God.' (Col. 3:8)
'The discovery of the Mystic Christ in you is being "born from above". This knowledge is of the utmost importance to human victory over the lower self. The imperishable secret of human life is the mystic Christ in all men, their hope of glory.' [Archdeacon Wilberforce, Mystic Immanence, p.5]
Yet verily, this is a mystery. We can but dimly apprehend the heights and depths of it. We can but follow, each in his own manner and circumstances, that Road, that PATH BY WHICH TO DEITY WE CLIMB, which has been pointed out to us by the great teachers of the past, and of the present . . . 'enter in at the straight gate' which leads to life eternal; it will only be a few who will accept that underlying teaching of the Christian Scriptures which I have here endeavoured to elucidate as being in line with what the Sages and Initiates of the Ancient Wisdom have taught in all ages, i.e. the great fact of Man's inherent divine nature, and the potentiality which every individual possesses of realising that divine nature in all its potency to overcome every human disability - sin, sickness, death - and thereby to attain, even here and now, 'the peace which passeth all understanding . . . '
It is by belief in or recognition of this great fact of the indwelling 'Christ' (not the historical Jesus) that the individual may start on his return journey to his 'Father's home', and step by step may attain at last, here and now, to the conquest of sin, suffering, and death, even as the man Jesus is represented as having attained. [The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures, Bradford and Dickens, London, 1936, pp. 211-15]
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise From outward things whate'er you may believe. There is an inmost centre in us all Where truth abides in fullness; but around, Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in.
In the CENTRE of our being is to be found the Soul, the source of all truth, and the Christos, wherein will come the Father. Toward this CENTRE we must direct our search. But before we can drink of this fountain of life and wisdom, which as a spring of clear and living water, we must break through "wall upon wall" of "the gross flesh" that "hems it in" [The Sons of God by R. Swinburne Clymer, Published by The Philosophical Publishing Company, 1925]
From the above three quotes we learn:
The following quote chosen from a vast file of material gathered from modern T.V. evangelists proves how current Christian thought ties in with Rosicrucian (New Age) and "Manifest Sons of God". It shows how an "elitist" mentality is permeating Christian thought.
Say I'm born of heaven - God man. I'm a God-man. I'm a sample of Jesus. I'm a super being. Say it! Say it! Who's a super being? I walk in the realm of the supernatural. Say it! Who walks in the realm of the supernatural? . . . Say after me . . . Here's what I want you to say after me OK?
Col. 3:10 Get the knowledge, get the spirit-man renewed, get him strong, and when he's strong, he'll hold off sickness. HJe'll keep your body well, and brother, you want to prosper. Money will be falling on you from left, right and centre. God will begin to prosper you, for money always follows righteousness and righteous living . . .
Say after me, I hold my destiny . . . The reason many of us ask and never get is because our spirit-man isn't strong enough to give it to us. Say after me, everything I ever want is in me already. [Benny Hinn, aired on Saturday, October 20, 1990 on TBN]
Although Benny Hinn has since made a public statement to the effect that he has recanted much of his earlier teaching, the mindset and receptivity among Christians toward this Gnostic philosophy is very evident. At the time of the airing of these ideas, few believers responded in the Berean-like way, comparing Hinn's ideas with Scripture. Those that did respond with justified criticism were often met with counter-criticism. The majority of listeners, already receptive to the idea of "new deeper truths", sat passively glued to the T.V. sets, absorbing yet another "deep truth" and becoming more entrenched in Gnostic philosophy.
The following is an account of Frank B. Robinson, the notorious cult leader of the "Psychiana Movement" in 1928 (Moscow, Idaho). At the time he was in his room crying out to "find God".
Kneeling there, he felt his mind cleansed of every thought save the thought of the presence of God. His eyes filled with tears and he found himself breathing deeply, repeating with every inhalation words which seemed to have been whispered to him, 'I believe in the Power of the Living God!'
He had the vivid feeling that he was not along in the room. He could sense the Presence of something or someone, although he could see no one nor hear hear anything but the words he so earnestly repeated. Yet something had drawn aside a curtain deep within him and he seemed to be standing face to face with the Power that is life. No longer, he said later, did he feel a limiting consciousness; he felt only a single specific sense of complete unity with God. In that flashing moment of insight, he realised as never before that he was the inner counterpart of a divine creative power. From then on he was convinced that he was the personalised activity of cosmic force . . . after that afternoon he was a changed man. [Strange Sects and Curious Cults: A Study of Their Origin and Influence, Larsen, Egon, New York: Hart, 1972]
Frank B. Robinson's Gnostic premise rejected:
He believed in:
The concept that the spirit or soul of man is the divine element in man is the form of mysticism that races against the Scriptures for the prize - thought to be true spirituality.
"Mysticism is the idea that direct knowledge of God or ultimate reality is achieved through personal, subjective intuition or experience apart from, or even contrary to, historyical fact or objective divine revelation." Arthur Johnson, a professor at West Texas State University, elaborates:
Furthermore, it is from this emotional quality that another characteristic results, namely, its 'self-authenticating' nature. The mystic rarely questions the goodness and value of his experience. Consequently, if he describes it as giving him information, he rarely questions the truth of his newly gained "knowledge". It is this claim that mystical experiences are "ways of knowing" truth that is vital to understanding many religious movements we see today. [Our Sufficiency in Christ, John MacArthur, Jr., Word Publishing, 1991]
The concept of Gnosticism is at the heart of Rosicrucianism, New Age thought and Manifest Sons of God teachings. By Christian orthodox definition the core of these thoughts (inner mystic knowledge) and beliefs are occultic. In varying degrees this thinking has and is infiltrating the church at an alarming rate. The Pentecostals and Charismatics are not exempt. The most common characteristic is an "elitise" mentality.
The following ideas and beliefs are characteristic of Rosicrucianism and Manifest Sons of God, some of which, and in some cases all, are being received and taught by a great part of the church. See whether you can identify any of the following heresies:
These heresies project the following picture:
THE CHURCH OF ILLUMINATION has been steadily at work with the idea that ultimately the various churches would merge for the benefit of all religions as well as of all mankind.
THE CHURCH OF ILLUMINATION looks forward with confidence to a constantly increasing feeling of good will and religious tolerance among the various creeds, so that some day in the not too distant future the dream of unification can be realised and one all-embracing religion taught to all the peoples of all the earth. [The Church of Illumination by Rev. R. Swinburne Clymer, M.D., Quakertown, PA, USA.]
This is the vision the Church, for the most part, is accepting and upholding, above the Scriptures. This is the "elitism" that fundamentalists, charismatics, pentecostals and evangelicals are now opening to. This is the mysticism that enshrines the new age form of "elitism" in the Church.
The core of spiritual elitism lives in the psyche of man. Psyche, generally means mind, the invisible spirit part of man, life, soul, self, passions, feelings, desires, appetites, etc. There are a few theories as to what it means. However, it is quite safe to say, psyche is at the core of man's individuality, and personality, thoughts and feelings. Satan knows this and is why he is interested in the psyche and individuality of man.
When the "psyche" of man, through the subtle influence of Satan, assumes the role of a "god-man", the individual will very likely become spiritually and morally unnatural. Thoughts and ideas become abstract and esoteric in nature. Behaviour generally assumes one of two directions, "Legalism" or "Liberalism". Extremism, as well as "Elitism" usually characterises the god-man role. Sometimes, it is difficult to identify the psyche of an individual. But, given enough time it will eventually surface and be quite evident.
The teachines of the "New Age" as well as that of the apostate church, for the most part, are designed to magnify and glorify the psyche of man, hence the present obsession with "self-esteem", "self-potential" and "self-indulgence" within many churches.
Any gospel centred on self-glorification (self-esteem) will in a matter of time pervert the psyche and give rise to an unnatural individual. How is this so? Scripture clearly indicates that at the heart of man dwells unrighteousness, the springboard for all sin and evil doing. Scripture says that even our righteousness is as filthy rags. Scripture calls man to faith in Christ and repentance toward God. The self-glorification (self-esteem, psychology-friendly) gospel declares man to be essentially good (essence is god-like) and calls him to self-realisation of this good(god)ness. Instead of casting our failure, frailties and sin at the foot of the Cross, and allowing Jesus Christ to live His life in us, we permid "godhood" to dwell in our unregenerate spirit. As this thinking courses to its extremist conclusion, we're right back to Eden and the lie of Satan "ye shall be as gods".
It was in view of this happening in the Church in the last days that the Apostle Paul sternly warned the Church against seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. (1 Tim. 4:1).
The unnatural individual is identified in the Scripture as: one who changes the trugh of God into a lie . . . worshipping the creature more than the Creator . . . changes the glofy of God into the image . . . made like to corruptible things and has pleasure in what is unnatural. When these psyche characteristics appear it means the individual is under wrong influences or demonic control.
Havind individuality is perfectly natural, in fact it is a God-given faculty and certainly deserves recognition, nurturing and a place in our thinking and relations. However, when individuality is used to build a case in support of man's potential superiority over the Word of God, the Creator, the Deity of Christ, righteousness and the Cross of Calvary - "spiritual abuse" is in focus.
This brings us to the heart of elitism. Ever since the fall of man, individuality has thrived on self-esteem, egoism, introversion and selfish exploits, to the point that the Creator, the Scriptures, and the Cross of Christ have suffered abuse. Experience has proven over and over again that when self is deified or glorified in any way, shape or form, the Gospel of Christ (in its unadulterated form) becomes a sore offence. When individuality steps or tries to step beyond the natural as defined by Scripture, an abstract world emerges, generally characterised by sensualism, mysticism, Gnosticism and elitism. (Romans 1:18-32). Unnaturalism is an escape from reality. The unnatural individual's justification for how he feels and believes hinges on - "I am a god".
Unfortunately the deified psyche philosophy has and is permeating the whole of society with no exception to the Church, affecting millions of members who sit Sunday after Sunday listening to another gospel. Self is pr-eminent in the Gnostic gospel. Instead of the truth sought in God's Word and insight into what is right or wrong in the laws of God, "self" is sought. The current self-centred "elitist" religion denies the deity of Christ as the only true God; denies the vicarious atonement, the glory and wisdom of the cross and the efficacy of the blood of the cross. Whoever accepts or includes Gnostic thought in their preaching renders the cross of Christ of no effect and could inadvertently become an enemy of the cross.
For true Christians there is only one pre-eminent concept and that is the Gospel of the glory of the Cross where self and the world died. At the Cross the devil was soundly defeated.
Oh, the glory of His Cross I see!
Oh, the glory of the Cross I see!
Oh, the glory of the Cross I see!