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Only Two Religions 7 - From Personal Spirituality to Worldview

Heritage Presbyterian Church
Adult Sunday School

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Only Two Religions 7 - From Personal Spirituality to Worldview

  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 7 2 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview 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 7 3 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview 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 7 4 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Lesson Introduction • The New Age movement focused on the individual’s spirituality, but over time certain individuals sought to develop their experiences into a worldview for everyone • This worldview rejects both Christianity and atheism, but rather than presenting a novel alternative, it merely rearticulates the ancient pagan worldview • This lecture will show how this worldview developed and its basis
  5. 5. Lesson Slide 7 5 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Scripture Reading (pt 1) • 22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'
  6. 6. Lesson Slide 7 6 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Scripture Reading (pt 2) • 29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, "We will hear you again about this." 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. Acts 17:22-34
  7. 7. Lesson Slide 7 7 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Teaching Objectives 1. To show how the new spirituality has gone from a focus on the self to the development of a worldview 2. To explain the character of the post-secular, post-Christian worldview 3. To demonstrate that the new worldview is really a rearticulation of the pagan worldview
  8. 8. Lesson Slide 7 8 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Watch Lecture 7
  9. 9. Lesson Slide 7 9 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A New Wisdom Tradition? • The USA, once known for sending Christian missionaries, has become the creator and incubator of a potent, virulent, and consistent Oneist cosmology • Joins Eastern spirituality with Western pragmatism • Promoted as a new wisdom tradition by Western “shamans” for the salvation of the entire planet • The movement deliberately plans for a systematic reprogramming of the 21st century Western mind • Powerful pagan worldviews are not new • Ancient Babylon: made pagan religions fashionable…they incorporated art, drama, and music into religion until the pagan ideas were attractively represented as the highest expressions of their culture • Imperial Rome: promised unified peace, provided bread and circuses, all in a totalizing pagan package
  10. 10. Lesson Slide 7 10 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview The New Age Grows Up • Early years in the Sixties • A stream of Eastern spirituality merged with a brook of Western esoterism (the search for the true divine self) to become, in a few short years, a flood called “The New Age” • Some dismissed it as a shallow, diffuse religion with little social impact • Going mainstream now • Reappearance behind the mantra, “I’m spiritual but not religious” • For many, their personal quest for inner enlightenment doesn’t rise above issues of pragmatic usefulness • Holistic health • Yoga • Stress reduction techniques (e.g., mindfulness meditation) • Has developed into a search for something beyond personal individualistic enlightenment
  11. 11. Lesson Slide 7 11 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview New Age Pioneers • “This shift from narcissism to humility to big Self is, and always has been, the journey of the mystic and the realizer. The bigger our self becomes after we’ve transcended the crippling effects of narcissism, the more powerfully and creatively we will be able to live our precious human lives. Because we’ve gotten over our small selves, we will be living for a higher purpose. And that’s what changes everything.” ~ Andrew Cohen, 2012 • “What lies in store as we move towards the longed- for conjunction of the opposites…[is the question,] can the human psyche realize its own creative potential through building its own cosmology and supplying it with its own gods?” ~ June Singer, 1977
  12. 12. Lesson Slide 7 12 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A Pagan Cosmology for All • “Cosmology” – the holding together of seemingly unrelated elements as organic features of a coherent worldview • The new full-scale pagan cosmology represents the second birth of the New Age, now devoted to the “great work” of a clear articulation of paganism • Ken Wilbur, important pioneer in the field of consciousness. His Oneist vision, based on Buddhism, is a far-reaching cosmology: • “…to include matter, body, mind, soul and spirit as they appear in self, culture and nature: a vision that attempts to be comprehensive, balanced and inclusive…that embraces science, art, and morals; that equally includes disciplines from physics to spirituality, biology to aesthetics, sociology to contemplative prayer; that shows up in integral politics, integral medicine, integral business, integral spirituality.”
  13. 13. Lesson Slide 7 13 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A New View of the World • Pagan cosmological visionaries wield vast influence • Present at many global meetings and organizations • Increasing influence among the world’s cultural and political leaders • Today’s second generation spiritualists (“cultural creatives, “progressives,” “brights,” “integral spiritualists”) claim a following of 50 million in the USA and 80-90 million in the EU • Peter Jones noted in 2014, the goal of their well-define blueprint for the “new human”: take over the USA and Western culture by AD 2020! • Essential to this takeover is worldview, which, because of its breadth, can silence objectors and make falsehood look perfectly acceptable • What do you think? Is this plan currently being executed by cultural elites?
  14. 14. Lesson Slide 7 14 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A Cosmology of Liberated Politics • Modern “Purificationism” as a vast, worldwide alliance of social movements that look ahead to a new era of social justice and sustainable development, in which diverse cultures will end discrimination and harmoniously share the earth • Predicts a government of grassroots organizations and globalist corporations that are purer than past democracies • But also counts on political power as a means of utopian social transformation begun with 19th-century Marxism, to arrive at the equal distribution of all things human
  15. 15. Lesson Slide 7 15 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Why is Socialism Suddenly Cool? • Political Liberation and Psychological Liberation • New Marxism/Socialism seeks to transform not only the working conditions of the disenfranchised but the imprisonment of the human psyche in the chains of divinely- created cosmic structures • A “political” (for the modern polis) cosmology that includes views on sexuality in a wholesale program of human identity politics • “Our conception of socialism is not limited to restructuring work and economic activity. It embraces altering the full range of social, cultural, political and familial structures and power relations…all the institutional forces that affect our lives.” ~ Paul Buhle, author of Marxism in the United States
  16. 16. Lesson Slide 7 16 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A Cosmology of Nature Worship • Care for the environment is good and necessary, but it can also serve as an occasion for the extension of radical utopian thinking • The ecospiritual agenda is introduced on campus through the idea and practice of “sustainability” • Defined more broadly than ecology • Includes elements of a multicultural sustainability of pansexuality, socialism, and interfaith • We are taught Life will only be sustainable when we are all one and all distinctions are eliminated • Cooperation undoubtedly merges into religious syncretism for those introduced to the nature-worshiping spirituality of contemporary deep ecology (aka, the “perennial philosophy”), which will save the earth • This new resolve for personal mysticism, collective social justice, and egalitarian politics is, perhaps, the beginning of a new, all-encompassing seductive religious vision
  17. 17. Lesson Slide 7 17 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A Cosmology of Comprehensive Sexual Liberation • In the contemporary push for a classless egalitarian society in which all privilege must be cast aside, gender distinction is the final bulwark of difference and thus must be eradicated • Since the New Age cosmology as pagan roots, it will naturally idealize homosexuality, as pagan tradition has always done • Homosexuality/transgenderism (LGBT) is now the defining issue for a general program of human transformation into a Oneist reality • First presented as a civil rights issue, this seemingly noble request hid the intent to challenge and change the presumption of heteronormativity and thus to redefine the very notion of sexuality for everyone
  18. 18. Lesson Slide 7 18 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview How LGBT Norms Affect Everyone • This sexual agenda is an essential element of an apocalyptic transformation of human society and a utopian remaking of human identity • All binary distinctions eliminated • All related “isms” eliminated (e.g., classicism, racism, sexism, machismoism, heterosexism, and ageism) and adherents smeared as “phobic” • All sexual and gender expressions normalized • In the new pagan cosmology, expect of utopia: • Traditional norms of male and female as things of the past • LGBTQ people have the same access to “all cultural, social, political, and economic structures” • Marriage will be for all, with no special privileges attached to it • An endlessly expanding list of celebrated and civil-rights-protected sexual/gender categories (e.g., pedophilia, zoophilia (bestiality), all forms of sexual sadism)
  19. 19. Lesson Slide 7 19 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview A Cosmology of Complete Egalitarianism • Labeling, exposing, persecuting, prosecuting, and eradicating dissenters to the pagan Oneist cosmology • Christians, labeled as hypocritical moralists • White men, labeled as benefactors of systemic racism • Nationalists and anti-globalists as alt-right xenophobic racists • Complementarians, labeled as misogynists and sexists • Capitalists, labeled as greedy oppressors of humanity • Traditional families, labeled as homo/transphobic • The goal is to deconstruct traditional Christian institutions and values in order to replace them with a new order of radical egalitarianism, all in the name of equality to unite the opposites in a Oneist worldview
  20. 20. Lesson Slide 7 20 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Spiritual Implications • The utopian pagan cosmology understands how deeply the Christian faith has molded Western culture and intends to destroy the “bourgeois” Judeo-Christian culture as the first step toward a better world • Such a powerful cosmology takes on an unmistakably religious character • The sociological analysis, joined to the ideology of revolutionary sexual and spiritual liberation, forms a powerfully influential movement, determined to reinvent the world • As politics becomes more all-inclusive, it becomes more religious, claiming to answer all human aspirations, physical and spiritual, and to usher in a better world • Pagan utopia ushers in an era that is no longer simply post-Christian or post-modern, but post-secular
  21. 21. Lesson Slide 7 21 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview The Great Synthesis: Spirituality and Science • Postsecularism seeks to trace a middle path of wisdom between two “now-defunct” ways of living and thinking • Reason must not rule out religion • Multiculturalism demands opposition to religious extremism • Extremist theism (Biblical Christianity) • Extremist atheism (self-assured dogmatic rationalism) • Postsecularism claims to be on the right side of history in representing the triumph of a pagan cosmology • The demise of secular humanism • The retreat of Christianity as a major cultural force • The explosion of spiritualism • This new intellectual openness to spirituality is hailed as the high point of human evolution—the moment when the human intellect is reaching a highly critical stage of transfiguration as an authentic expression of nature’s unfolding
  22. 22. Lesson Slide 7 22 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Jung’s Influence • Jung’s psychological and scientific theories of the unconscious are crucial to this new construction • The new synthesis will include only expressions of oneism on the intellectual stage as some kind of climactic synthesis • Platonic and pre-Socratic philosophy • Hermeticism • Mythology and the mystery religions • Buddhism and Hinduism • Gnosticism and the major esoteric traditions • Neolithic European and Native American spiritual traditions • Because Jung’s spirituality is claimed to be scientific, he becomes an essential factor in the postsecular merging of the old enemies of science and spirituality • The new human will opening embrace Eastern spiritualities as scientific and extra-scientific truth • Postsecular intellectuals will be “scientists” like Jung
  23. 23. Lesson Slide 7 23 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Science Meets Spirituality • The new science of quantum physics with its indeterminacy principles provides the perfect opening for the new spirituality • Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicists Heisenberg and Schrodinger were inclined to understand quantum mechanics through a more Eastern metaphysical worldview • The “evolutionization” of spirituality: evolution as true science, blended with deep spirituality to make a spiritual new worldview to meet the demands of the 21st century • Human history is supposed to culminate in a great synthesis of the two tendencies of Western history • The autonomous mind of scientism • The wild spirit of the Romantics (spiritualists) • The predicted outcome is a grand marriage of the rational with the mythical, the normal with the paranormal, the material with the immaterial, the human with the divine • According to this account, Christianity will disappear from history. Theism will be completely eliminated.
  24. 24. Lesson Slide 7 24 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview The New Pantheism & Secular Atheism: Blood Brothers • Secular atheists and new spirituality believers are two groups of moderns who accept the same literal description of reality • The new god of modern spirituality (based on ancient paganism) is so thoroughly naturalistic that a godless nature can be expected to perform about as well as a godly one • Both are equally plausible because, essentially, they describe the same thing (Nature) using different terminology • This synthesis is eminently possible (even including all the religions and large portions of the church) by jumping on the trains of interfaith and interspirituality • The postsecular age is also the interspiritual age
  25. 25. Lesson Slide 7 25 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Given Over to a Seductive but False Cosmology • The rise of a worldview that claims to be the spiritual culmination of the long flow of Western history • Christians must understand the basic nature of this vision of this overarching cosmology is applied to all areas of human behavior • The new morality is to stamp out ideas and the people who hold them as the right thing to do in order to attain a fair and just utopian society • The growing marginalization and silencing of Twoist thinking will lead to its criminalization; it will be stamped out in the wake of a new definition of justice. This process has begun! • The goal: to remake America by first undoing it • Attack religious liberties as backward and bigoted • Incorporate the new morality into public policy because religious dissent is no longer considered the free expression of individual behavior • Promote the new morality as a generalized cosmology that is followed by everyone who wishes to be on the right side of history
  26. 26. Lesson Slide 7 26 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Study Question Answers 1. Post-secularism rejects both Christianity and atheism. True 2. Peter Jones believes that the two most important factors that motivate human beings are spirituality and sexuality. 3. A major pillar of the post-secular worldview is the recovery of nature spirituality. True 4. The descendants of the New Age movement now refer to themselves as all of the following except global visionaries. 5. The philosopher Richard Tarnas believes that the human story is culminating in a great synthesis bringing together the two tendencies of Western history—the autonomous mind of the scientist and the wild spirit of the romantics. True
  27. 27. Lesson Slide 7 27 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Discussion Questions 1. Peter Jones noted that the ancient Babylonians made pagan religion fashionable by incorporating art, drama, and music into their religion. Can you think of some instances of this occurring in the United States? 2. The idea that humanity can unite to save the planet has become very popular in recent years. What is the problem with this idea? What alternative can Christians offer? 3. How does the shift of focus from an individual’s spirituality to the construction of a worldview result in a more active promotion of paganism? 4. Compare and contrast the Christian hope for the future with that of the so-called world purificationists, who preach global human renewal and predict apocalypse as its woeful alternative.
  28. 28. Lesson Slide 7 28 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview 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 disastrously fails to promote the goodness and health of human sexuality as created good by God, to be enjoyed on his terms. The revolution Jung and his followers desired has today liberated sex and rediscovered religion—but not the Truth of Christianity.
  29. 29. Lesson Slide 7 29 From Personal Spirituality to Worldview Resources by Peter Jones • Only Two Religions (study guide) • Only Two Religions (evangelism tool) • (website) • (website) • The Other Worldview (book) • The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture (booklet)