By Nathan Jones
Why does the Emergent Church use so much mystical paraphernalia in their worship?
Dr. Reagan and I on our ministry's television show Christ in Prophecy had the pleasure of asking this question of our special guest Caryl Matrisciana. Caryl is a best selling author and filmmaker and is a recognized expert on Eastern religions, contemporary cults, paganism and the occult. She has been involved in the production of more than 60 documentaries over the past 30 years. Her biographical testimony Out of India explains how she grew up under Hinduism in India and lived it in England and the U.S. as a New Ager before accepted Christ as Savior. She joined us to warn us about the Eastern religious influences inherent in the Emergent Church.
Dr. Reagan: One of the words that I hear over and over from the Emergent Church leaders is the word "contemplative." They're really heavy on that.
Let me read you a quote here from one of their leaders. "The fact is that contemplative spirituality will play a huge part in the church of the future, and I want to assure you that candles are just the beginning."
Caryl Matrisciana: Why? Because we are changing the names. If they said, "Eastern Mysticism is going to play a huge part in the new church," we wouldn't buy it. But, when you say "contemplate," that sounds better. They replace contemplate with meditate, but in Eastern Mysticism the contemplation and meditation is in the snake within you which is the idea that you can become one with everything.
That contemplative idea was by the way once deeply rooted in the desert fathers, and is part of the Roman Catholic mystical idea of connecting to God through silence, which is opposed to the Bible. We don't connect to God through silence, but that is part of the Catholic's centering prayer. It's contemplative spirituality where you go into a silence and you practice the presence.
All of these contemplative practices are for creating emotional feelings. They are based on subjectivity which is based on relative truth. You're experience is as good as my experience.
What they don't understand is that Satan is called an" angel of light" and the "demon of darkness," that "dragon" who is out to deceive the whole world. His job is deception, and he is going to come in as an angel of light. In fact, that same scripture in 2 Corinthians 11 says, "No wonder his ministers appear as ministers of righteousness."
Dr. Reagan: Yes, subjectivity always leads to an openness to deception. It is like people who tell me, "God told me this, or God told me that." They will tell me something that is totally off the wall as if they think that every thought that comes out of our fallen minds comes from God. Even if they had a thought from God, it might be completely convoluted by the time it goes through our fallen minds. We need to test everything by the word of God.
Caryl Matrisciana: We have to. It's like taking a sailor out into the middle of the ocean and sending him wherever the boat and the currents will take him. A sailor has to have a compass. He has to have a direction. Even at night if he doesn't have a compass or a direction he's got the stars to navigate by. Direction with purpose is based on objective truth and reality.
We too have to have our guide book. The Bible is the manual which God has given us to test His character against the character of Satan. We can then truly understand God's well-being, His mercy, His grace, and how to have a truly personal relationship with Him as opposed to the false God created by our subjective feelings.
In the last part of this interview with Caryl Matrisciana on the Emergent Church, we'll ask her what warning signs we should be looking out for in determining if one's church is going Emergent.