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The Dutch Reformed Church’s Downward Spiral into Apostasy

Posted by Tom Lessing on April 20, 2009

Isaiah 2:6 Surely [Lord] You have rejected and forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled [with customs] from the east and with soothsayers [who foretell] like the Philistines; also they strike hands and make pledges and agreements with the children of aliens. (Emphasis added)

Several high profile Dutch Reformed clergy as well as other well-known professors and doctors have openly and publically proclaimed that Christianity does not have the exclusive rights to spiritual truths and that Christians may learn from Eastern religions and even the New Age Movement. Professor Stephan Joubert of e-church fame, said on March 1, 2009 in a sermon at the Kemptonkruin Dutch Reformed Church:

“He [Rob Bell] says you must engage the culture. You must listen to the Buddhists. You must listen to what they have to say. It startles Christians because they do not clearly hear what Rob Bell is saying. He does not say: become like them. He says: read their stuff; find out why they are so important. They too may have truth. Truth is not only in Christianity. You find truth in Judaism. You can find truth in atheism. You can find truth wherever. God’s general truth is a little wider, but you say ‘Jesus is Lord.’”

Prof. Stephan Joubert is deceived and he is deceiving many if not all of his congregants in the e-church. Does the emerging mantra “Jesus is Lord” which was used ever so profusely in the charismatic movement have magical qualities, giving one a free pass to say and do whatever one likes without having to fear God’s righteous judgments? Has he never read Matthew 7:22, 23?

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Rev. Jannie Pelser of the Rant and Dal Community Church and presenter of the programme “Brandpunt” on Radio Pulpit  is equally deceived. He said on Friday, 3 April  2009 in his programme.

“Is God’s revelation and work not bigger than Christianity? Could there not be elements . . . could we not learn from one another, regardless of the fact that it may even be the New Age. But when I think in terms of the contemplative [spirituality] . . . a being still before God, an openness to God. Is it not a rewarding moment?

My commentary here has since sparked off a debate between me and Rev. Guillaume Smit of the Brackenfell West Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape who feels that Christians may participate in Eastern religious activities such as yoga, karate, tae kwon do and other meditation techniques without compunction or fear that they may be getting involved in idolatry. He wrote as follows here.

This is why a Christian could, in principle, have the freedom to participate in eastern sport such as tae kwon do, karate or judo, provided the instructor only teaches the sport and not any form of eastern philosophy along with the sport. And since this is a point of contention for more conservative (sic) Christians, a Christian could also participate in meditation techniques that enable him/her to relax and get focused on worship or studying Scripture, provided this isn’t part of practices that is closely associated with eastern religions. Obviously, it makes sense to argue that participating in new age practices such as astrology or spiritism falls outside the scope of this principle, as these practices are also closely associated with the occult.

Could it be possible that Rev. Smit has ruled out the work of the Holy Spirit in worship and the studying of the Bible? Rev Guillaume’s statement that meditation techniques enable Christians to focus on worship and the studying of the Bible, is completely at variance with the teachings of Jesus. True worship, He said, is to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). God, Who is Spirit, cannot be worshipped in any other way than in spirit and in truth. This simply means that anyone’s spirit who hasn’t been quickened (made alive unto God) through repentance and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross cannot worship God because their spirit is still dead in sin and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). Jesus made this point when he told the man, who first wanted to bury his dad after Jesus had commanded him to follow Him, to let the dead bury their dead (Luke 9:60). The second prerequisite for true worship is to worship God in truth, the truth as we find it in God’s Word ALONE. The Holy Spirit ALONE can enlighten the mind to understand the Scriptures. In fact, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach God’s children all things and bring to their remembrance the things whatsoever He taught His disciples. In his High Priestly prayer Jesus asked his Father to sanctify his disciples in his truth, emphasising the fact that his Word is truth. Both Stephan Joubert and Jannie Pelser as well as Guillaume Smit are in the dangerous position of denying and vilifying the fact that it is ONLY the Holy Spirit that guides us into ALL truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit works ONLY within the parameters of God’s revealed truth as we find it in His Word. As such there can be no beneficial truths whatsoever in other religions and philosophies, let alone the New Age movement. I fear that our churches and their congregants (the sheep and little lambs) are being led astray by their pastors and “dominees” into a maze or labyrinth of venomous reptiles from whence it is becoming increasingly difficult to escape. In little more than a quarter of a century the Dutch reformed Church has moved from a position where it was outspoken against Eastern religions and their practices to a position of tolerance and participation mainly through one of its most “respected” champions of so-called Christian meditation, Dr. Willem Nicol.

Below is a tract the Dutch Reformed Church distributed to warn its congregants against transcendental meditation. As you can see it was published in 1977, a mere 32 years ago which shows how rapidly the Dutch Reformed Church has spiralled into apostasy since that time.

transcendental-meditation-11 Transcendental Meditation 2

Transcendental Meditation 3 Transcendental Meditation 4

I would like to translate some key phrases in behalf of our English readers. On page 3 it reads as follows:

The initiation ceremony is clearly a religious ritual and no one is allowed to participate in TM without it. The pupil and teacher remove their shoes, enter the room with candles and incense and place an offering of a white handkerchief, fruit and flowers on the altar in front of a photo of Guru Dev, Maharishi’s master.

A song of prayer is sung during this event to glorify pagan gods.

The pupil then receives his own MANTRA, a word or sound of one or more syllables which is completely meaningless to the pupil. TM claims that every person on earth has his/her own mantra that uniquely suits them. They assert that the teacher fortuitously receives the pupil’s mantra from Maharishi and that the teacher has the knack to know his pupil so well after only a few minutes that he is able to present him with just the right one.

A heavy atmosphere of mysticism and superstition surrounds this mantra: this word and it alone enables the devotee to meditate. It may never be written down or disclosed to someone else. The reason for this is evident. No wonder some people have discovered that they have the same mantra.

The above ceremony is known as the “Puja” in which the photo of the Guru Dev is used as a representation of the Hindu deities, Brahman, Shiva and Vishnu. The MANTRA can also be the name of one of thousands of Hindu gods. Christianized meditation in which the name “Jesus” or a phrase such as “have mercy on me” are used as mantras are no less dangerous to one’s spiritual life than the above mentioned ceremony. Some may argue that Christianized meditation has no affiliation to the offerings in the “Puja” ceremony. The fact remains that the repetitive mumbling of the mantra, whatever it may be, produces altered states of consciousness and opens the devotee up to demonic entities. In any case the Word of God forbids Christians to use a vain repetition of words as the gentiles do who think they will be heard by much speaking (Matthew 6:7).

Rev. Smit’s provisos to “detoxify” any form of Eastern meditation from its inherent and inseparable religious overtones, so that the Christian may worship God and study His Word in a relaxed way, is preposterous. The Bible warns that we should have no spiritual union with idolaters and the unbelievers’ spiritualities.

2 Cor 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

The flip side of this coin is, however, that if your body is not the temple of God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God does not indwell you, you may probably participate in these idolatrous practices without compunction. By all means, continue to do so but remember that the wrath of God will remain on you until you repent of your ways. This applies to all the other disciplines Rev. Smit mentioned in his defence of these practices, i.e. tae kwon do, karate or judo. Karate has its roots in Zen Buddhism and its principles were handed down in great secrecy by word of mouth from Zen Master to Buddhist Monk. An Indian Buddhist priest named Bodhidharma in the 6th century A.D. in China, synthesized karate techniques and Yoga meditation in order to unite mind, spirit, and body. (Among the Chinese styles are kung fu or gung fu, wu shu, and pa kua. Tai kwan do and hapkido are among the Korean styles.) Karate is clearly not only a mental and moral exercise, but indeed, a spiritual experience. In each practice session there is a concerted effort to unite mind, spirit, and body just as Bodhidharma sought to do with Zen priests.

Rev 18: 4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;

To end my commentary on this subject I would like to quote from Dr. Kurt Koch’s book “Occult ABC” to highlight the dangers of yoga.

Yoga chakras YOGAYoga of Jesus

The word yoga is derived from Sanskrit and is possibly the root underlying the Greek word “ioge,” shelter, and the Latin “jugum,” yoke. If these linguistic associations are anything to go by, to practice yoga is to put oneself under a yoke, or to seek shelter from a protective power.

It is impossible to present yoga fully in a short chapter. To begin with, there are many forms of Indian and Tibetan yoga, so many that it would take more than one large volume to list them all. It would take up too much space here even to describe one single form.

For a good introduction to yoga, Maurice Ray’s book Joga, ja oder nein? is recommended. This book describes Hatha Yoga and Raja (Royal) Yoga from the standpoint of the Christian faith. It is the best discussion of yoga from a Christian point of view known to me.

In this brief account I can only give a very limited part of the whole. I have used the following sources:

1. Pastoral counselling in the West and the East, especially in East Asia, where I have travelled extensively eight times.

2. Information given me by the Indian professor de Roy, who has studied the yoga practice in his country.

3. The definitive work by Mishra on Patanjali Yoga: The Textbook of Yoga Psychology. Several key sentences from Mishra’s work will introduce us to the spiritual atmosphere of yoga:

a. The higher ego of man is transcendent and immanent, without beginning and without end, it has no birth and no death.

b. Yoga means the synthesis of the physical and metaphysical universe.

c. Heaven and hell are only products of the human mind.

d. Behind magic, mysticism and also behind the occult the yoga system is present.

These four sentences show clearly that yoga and the Bible cannot be harmonized in the remotest way. The systems of the Far East and the Christian faith are irreconcilable opposites.

If we take a cross section of the most well-known forms of yoga, we can recognize four stages.

The first stage has the aim of helping the student of yoga to gain control of his consciousness and his body. This goal is achieved by means of mental and physical exercises.

The mental exercises include meditation, autogenic training, con­centration, and “koan,” a litany involving the continuous repetition of a mantra (secret word).

The physical exercises include breathing exercises and various bodily postures like the lotus position, the cobra position, and the headstand.

This first stage is thus psychosomatic in nature, producing unity of body and mind.

There are many Christians who believe that it is possible to par­ticipate in this first stage of yoga without harm. It is merely a matter of relaxation exercises. If only this were true! Counselling experience tells otherwise. This technique of relaxation and these “emptying exercises” so highly spoken of by the yogis lead to the inflowing of another spirit—other spirits. The students of yoga do not notice it.

Ex 266 G.C., a Christian teacher, told me that during an evan­gelistic campaign, a certain man and his daughter had wished to surrender their lives to Christ. But they found themselves unable to do so. Only after they had renounced their yoga exercises and repented of them did they succeed in coming through to Christ.

Ex 267 In Johannesburg, South Africa, I counselled a theology student. He was a young man who had been converted to Christ some years before. Hearing about a yoga course which had been announced in church, he applied to join. After a few months, he noticed a change in his spiritual life. His desire to read the Bible disappeared. He also became tired of prayer. I advised him very strongly to give up his yoga exercises at once and to renounce the whole thing.

The second stage of yoga involves the control of the unconscious mind. When a person has mastered the second stage, he can control and guide, for instance, his visceral nerves. I have met masters of the second stage who can perform astonishing feats.

Ex 268 In a Western university town, I met a theology student who practiced the second stage of yoga. He was able to increase or decrease his circulation of blood. Being inclined to be humorous, he used to entertain his fellow students by showing off his abilities. He could make one of his ears red and the other one white at the same time. He could also cause red spots to appear on his skin by suggestion.

I could only wonder what kind of gospel this young man will one day preach to his parishioners.

Ex 271 The most enlightening experience I have had of this sort was in California. A young woman came to me for counselling. She told me that she had been a master of the second stage of yoga. In the course of her yoga exercises, she had actually chosen Jesus as her guru. Note this, not Jesus as her Savior and Redeemer, but only as her example, her great master. During her yoga exercises, she developed occult powers. She became unhappy about it, and tried to free herself. It was then that she first realized what a power yoga had over her. She began to seek Christ. Several of her friends prayed for her. After terrible struggles she became free. She wrote an account of her experi­ences entitled “From Yoga to Christ.” She gave me permission to publish it.

Yoga does not liberate; it enslaves. Yoga does not free; it binds. Yoga does not enlighten; it brings confusion. Yoga does not prepare the way for Christ, as Father J. M. Dechanet (Cahier du Val) claims, but makes people immune to redemption through Christ. Yoga does not open the door for the Holy Spirit, but for spiritist spirits.

The third stage of yoga is concerned with the mastery of the natural powers. I have found very few examples of this in the West, but very many in the East. It is the speciality of Tibetan yogis to combine magic and yoga. After three years of apprenticeship under a lama, who is the master of this art, the adept (apprentice) has to be able to produce energy in the form of heat in natural objects, such as melting ice by means of mental concentration.

I have still more frequently come across the converse of this, where yogis are able to produce heat and even flames. We find this among the fire worshippers, who also practice fire magic.

Ex 272 In Port Elizabeth, one of these fire masters, who had emigrated from India to South Africa, came to me for counselling. He made a confession and asked for my help. I showed him the way to Jesus. He was willing to accept Jesus as his Lord. I do not know if he has continued in the faith. Occultists often fall back into their old ways.

Those who are still in doubt as to whether stage one or two of yoga results in occult processes must admit that when it comes to stage three, yoga leads to the powers of the abyss.

At the fourth stage, the yogi gains the mastery of the dark arts. The Lamas of Tibet are particularly well known for this. I have collected very many examples of stage four yoga. In Kalimpong on the Tibetan border, I came into contact with many Tibetans. I have also received reports from former missionaries in Tibet. Especially enlightening was the confession of a man who has given me permission to publish his story.

Ex 273 My informant had studied yoga, magic and spiritism for ten years with the Lamas. He had heard of my lectures in Sydney and followed me on to Newcastle, Australia. He made a full confession and named his specific sins. He said, “What the Lamas teach is the cult of spirits, the cult of demons. Please help me to become free.” We had a long talk together. From this man I learned that the Tibetan yogis are masters of the trance, materialization, excursion of the soul, telekinesis, levitation, perfectly controlled telepathy, and all the arts of spiritism. At stage four, which I have met in this intensity only with Tibetans, Zombis, Alauts, Maccumbas, and voodooists, yoga can no longer, with the best will in the world, disguise its true character. Here yoga reaches its ultimate master — Satan, whose desire it is with his promises and his wiles to snatch people away into the abyss.

There is no need for further comment on the religious side of yoga. Yoga ends not only in self-redemption and atheism, but in the cult of demons. Those who undertake to take part in yoga exercises enter a force field by which they are unwittingly directed towards the origin of these powers. These are the powers of which Paul speaks in his epistles, (see Colossians 2:15). Christ has freed us from the spirits, demons, and powers. The chief of these powers is Lucifer, who is seeking to win back those he has lost. And what successes he has gained, for yoga has become the fashion in the West!

A quotation from a book published overseas confirms my own view. In the book “Satan kumpf um diese Welt,” by Lindsey and Carlson, we read, “Chris Pike (a son of Bishop Pike) told me in a personal interview that he previously practiced yoga and meditation. As a result he had become controlled by spirit beings which had nearly destroyed his life. He then renounced these powers in the name of Jesus, and today he is a witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. His life was completely changed.” (Effects of Occult Devices 261)

All Christians who are allowing themselves unsuspectingly to be led astray into yoga should take note of Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Kurt Koch: Occult ABC” Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, pp 256-261).

One of the strangest phenomena of our postmodern times is that many clergy actually practice the “ancient-future” philosophy of the emergent church. They cling to their traditional roots and simultaneously take hold of so-called new age practices in a wonderfully pyrotechnical display of emergent unification. This is not of God and will inevitably lead you into the miseries of the abyss . . . unless of course you repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

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