Tag Archives: heresy

I always thought Meister Eckhart was a heretic

But apparently, he wasn’t.

The Eckhart Society has posted a page which tells the story of his relationship to the doctrinal authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, from his times to our times. Recent attempts to rehabilitate Eckhart have been considered unnecessary because only a small part of Eckhart’s writings were officially censured. Catholic authorities never ruled Eckhart to be a heretic.

Here’s a interesting quotation from Eckhart, which is posted on a page of the man’s quotations:

“Do not imagine that your reason can grow to the knowledge of God.”

Innocent beginnings, horrific endings

“Suppose you move to a different area, and are keeping your eyes open for a good group to belong to (a social club, a church, a synagogue, or service organization). You visit one such group where the people are very friendly, loving, and give you individual attention. The group has a variety of programs: a rehabilitation program for drug addicts, services and nursing homes for the elderly, help for the poor, and free clinics. The leader inspires the disillusioned, the disenchanted, and those who have been rejected elsewhere. He is well-known and respected in the area, and the mayor gave him a position as Director of the City Housing Authority. Would you join this group?

“Suppose you spend four years in college and nearly two years in graduate school to prepare for a career in Christian music. Then the ministers of your home church tell you that you are not needed in their music program. Shortly afterward, you find a new group that welcomes you with open arms. They really care for people. The leader of this group has fascinating Bible studies. You and everyone else are able to sit and listen to him for several hours at a time. Would you stay in this group?

“If you answered ‘yes’ to the first situation, you joined the church led by Jim Jones who led over 900 of his followers into a mass suicide murder. If you liked the second group, you became a follower of David Koresh who led over 80 of his followers to die in a blaze of fire.

“A wolf in sheep’s clothing is a short and simple description of a cult leader – as these men were.

“Are there any warning signs that a group and its leader are dangerous? That’s largely what this book is about.” — Stephen Martin, from the introduction to his book The Heresy of Mind Control: Recognizing Con Artists, Tyrants, and Spiritual Abusers in Leadership

How many concerns do you have about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland, Fla., ‘revival’?

Before you answer, check out this video clip, and then click the comment button below, and start making your list.

How many items on your list of concerns?

Keep your freedom: how spiritual seekers can avoid some traps

Almost all cult leaders and Christians who manipulate place a high emphasis on being “led by the Lord.”… In the first century those who thought that personal revelation was an authority above Scriptures were called Gnostics…. We must ever guard ourselves against the words and pet phrases that hint of superior spirituality…. When we divide life into snug “spiritual” and “nonspiritual” compartments, we are thinking heretically and may blindly accept a cultic view of life.

— Harold Bussell, in his book By Hook or By Crook: How Cults Lure Christians

Conferences that conjure power, or, man-made ways to make God talk

I found this on the Web site of a prophetic ministry. Can you discern the heretical doctrines and general nuttiness within this promotional note for an upcoming conference?

There seems to be a remarkable new spiritual energy being released in our conferences. Everyone on our staff, as well as many who have been attending our conferences for years, seem to all think that our recent Harvest and Worship & Warfare Conferences were the best we’ve ever had. Overall, I think so too, but there was also a great spiritual momentum that I have honestly not felt anything like in over a decade. Already you can feel the spiritual energy building for our New Year’s Conference in which we seek the Lord for prophetic words for the coming year. In the past, we have received some that were remarkable. These are obviously crucial times, and we are going to need to have increasingly clear and accurate guidance for them. There is also a great spiritual momentum building, and if you are planning to join us for this conference, please register and reserve your rooms at Heritage as soon as possible, as space is limited and we are expecting this conference to fill up quickly.

Problems with the above promo:

1. How frequently did Biblical prophets hold conferences so they could hear from the Lord? And, conversely, how frequently did the Lord decide to talk to prophets at times the prophets had not previously scheduled? The suggestion is that we, or at least the right sages, can make God talk.

2. How does the Lord’s work depend on “spiritual momentum?” Does God need a running start to accomplish certain things? God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. No build-up required. No straining involved.

3. “Already you can feel the spiritual energy building for our New Year’s Conference in which we seek the Lord for prophetic words for the coming year.” First, see #2 above. Second, since when does God operate on the calendar year?

4. “There is also a great spiritual momentum building, and if you are planning to join us for this conference, please register and reserve your rooms…as soon as possible.” The word “and” sticks out here. Being a conjunction, the word “and” tends to connect related ideas. Perhaps, then, one could conclude that the “spiritual momentum” announced in the first part of this compound sentence is intended to encourage the registrations and reservations requested in the second part. Following the above italicized excerpt, a link to the confence Web site notes that registration for the conference is $50 each for adults and children. The price is a gamble on the possiblity that “some” of the prophecy this year will be “remarkable.”

Like so many ministries that claim special supernatural giftings, this ministry depends on its followers accepting the assumption that critical thinking will hinder the work of God. Thus, they open themselves up to nebulous, vapid, un-Biblical beliefs merely because those beliefs are presented with conviction. Yet the mind, like the heart, was created for humans to use.

-Colin Foote Burch