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Only Two Religions 5 - Paganism in the Spotlight

Heritage Presbyterian Church
Adult Sunday School

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Only Two Religions 5 - Paganism in the Spotlight

  1. 1. P e t e r J o n e s Director of truthXchange A Worldview & Culture Teaching Series by Ligonier Ministries Adult Sunday School Summer 2019
  2. 2. Lesson Slide 5 2 Paganism in the Spotlight The Big Question How can we make sense of the breakneck spiritual and social changes happening right now in our culture? and How should Christians respond?
  3. 3. Lesson Slide 5 3 Paganism in the Spotlight Lessons in the Series 1. Explaining Modern Culture 2. The Rise & Fall of Secular Humanism 3. Carl Jung’s Alternative Spirituality 4. Paganism in the Shadows 5. Paganism in the Spotlight 6. Pagan Sexuality 7. From Personal Spirituality to Worldview 8. Where Is Society Headed? 9. Unbiblical Responses 10.Articulating a Biblical Worldview 11.Living in Holiness 12.Thinking with a Discerning Mind
  4. 4. Lesson Slide 5 4 Paganism in the Spotlight Lesson Introduction • The 1960s saw what some have called a pagan revival, and what others have described as a cataclysmic change • It was a period in which the influence of Christianity waned and alternative spiritualities filled the void • Many modern spiritual movements began during this time, and embodied the pagan ideology of Carl Jung • By examining the history and influence of these religions, one can better grasp their similarities and understand how they have had such an influence on modern culture
  5. 5. Lesson Slide 5 5 Paganism in the Spotlight Scripture Reading • As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3:10-18
  6. 6. Lesson Slide 5 6 Paganism in the Spotlight Teaching Objectives 1. To show that the spiritual movement of the 1960s was a pagan revival 2. To show the drastic change in spirituality during the 1960s 3. To demonstrate how what was marginal in the 1960s has become mainstream in the present
  7. 7. Lesson Slide 5 7 Paganism in the Spotlight Watch Lecture 5
  8. 8. Lesson Slide 5 8 Paganism in the Spotlight A Spiritual Tsunami • Joseph Campbell popularized Jung’s ideas about mythology • Wildly successful books • 1988 PBS documentary The Power of Myth • Campbell was translating Jung’s esoteric language of transpersonal psychology into layman’s terms • Inner problems and inner mysteries need the guideposts that myths provide • Myths are the search for meaning by human beings throughout the ages • Myths are not to be seen as mere purveyors of rational meaning; rather, they create the experience of being alive • The recent publication of the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts, making available a heretical form of Christianity • Hippies go East and the gurus go West—led to proliferation of scores of alternative spiritualities
  9. 9. Lesson Slide 5 9 Paganism in the Spotlight Hindu America? • Jung was fascinated with yoga, Hindu spirituality, and the culture of India, where he traveled in 1937-1938 • Documenting the “Hindu conversion” of America • Philip Goldberg, American Veda • Colin Campbell, The Easternization of the West • We all now experience the effects in our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not, in our thinking and vocabulary of concepts (mantra, avatar, karma) • Though techniques like yoga, mindfulness, Eastern meditation, healing touch, and Ayurveda seem innocent enough and may even accomplish some pragmatic ends, their worldview assumptions are Oneist. The New Age movement has morphed and gone mainstream.
  10. 10. Lesson Slide 5 10 Paganism in the Spotlight Not Heterodox Deviations, But a Paradigm Shift 1. The old enemy, secularism, is on the way out 2. A new spiritual enemy has appeared—paganism 3. Christianity no longer occupies a privileged position in Western society 4. Some Christians, mesmerized by the success and apparent beauty of this cultural spiritual movement, fail to see that its basic religious vision stems from a deliberate attempt to undermine the Christian faith and the civilization it helped to engender 5. The new religious option is massive in its conception and breathtaking in its intentions. It is bent on seizing ideological power—all, of course, “for the good of humanity.”
  11. 11. Lesson Slide 5 11 Paganism in the Spotlight Not Heterodox Deviations, But a Paradigm Shift 6. Leaving Bible tracts on park benches, referring to “the old, old story” or having pleasant but shallow conversations with our neighbors will not be sufficient witness in a post-Christian cultural situation of widespread antagonism toward the gospel 7. Understanding our culture’s deep commitment to Oneism and developing an appropriate Twoist response is essential both for evangelism and for cultural renewal • This spiritual phenomenon is variously called • The Fourth Awakening • The Great Emergence • The Great Shift • The New Pentecost
  12. 12. Lesson Slide 5 12 Paganism in the Spotlight Study Question Answers 1. The pagan vision of the world is now being applied to all areas—science, law, education, politics, sexuality, ecology, and ethics. True 2. Some have called the present-day spiritual movement The Fourth Great Awakening. 3. The new spirituality is content to let everyone practice their own religion. False 4. A characteristic phrase of the new spirituality is “We’re spiritual but not religious”. 5. The Age of Aquarius refers to the moment in the zodiacal system where the Age of Pisces, represented by a fish, is superseded by the age of the goddess who brings spiritual drink. True
  13. 13. Lesson Slide 5 13 Paganism in the Spotlight Discussion Questions 1. One of the characteristics of the new spirituality is that people claim to practice spirituality without being religious. Have you seen a parallel in the church? What are the dangers of this sort of thinking? 2. Have you participated in or witnessed an interfaith movement? Do you think such movements help or hurt the spread of the Christian faith and worldview? 3. Many in today’s society want to see Christianity conform to the idea that all forms of religion are equally valid expressions. How should Christians combat this view? 4. How can Christians demonstrate that their refusal to conform is actually an expression of love for others?
  14. 14. Lesson Slide 5 14 Paganism in the Spotlight Next Lesson The contemporary belief of some in the church that there are no categorical sexual and gender distinctions fails the test of biblical faithfulness. It tramples over Genesis 1:27 (male and female in God’s image), which grants deep religious meaning to sexual distinctiveness and complementarity.
  15. 15. Lesson Slide 5 15 Paganism in the Spotlight Resources by Peter Jones • Only Two Religions (study guide) • Only Two Religions (evangelism tool) • truthxchange.com (website) • heritage-pca.org (website) • The Other Worldview (book) • The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture (booklet)

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