When Christians Operate By The Same Principals As Spiritists Do
In Part 1 and Part 2 of “The Difference Between Reiki, Spiritism, And Christian Healing Ministry,” we saw that although Reiki and Spiritism do have results and a very real spiritual effect, they are far inferior to Christ because they can never bring redemption or lasting freedom. Last week in Part 3, we discussed how Reiki and many other forms of alternative healing operate according to the “elemental spirits of this universe” or the “basic principles of this world,” and not according to Christ.
Today we will begin looking at what some common “Christian” teachings which are not Christ-centered have in common with witchcraft, Reiki, and Spiritism.
Christianity Is Simple
Last week, we discussed how the doctrine of Gnosticism is related to Reiki. Gnosticism and Reiki both teach reliance on secret spiritual knowledge. We read the exhortations of Paul in Colossians and of the apostle John in 2nd John, both written in opposition to Gnostic teaching. Paul emphasized that we have the fullness of God and everything we need, including all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, in Christ.
John warned the churches that those who don’t abide in the teaching of Christ, but go beyond it, don’t have God. In other words, what Jesus taught is enough! Don’t listen to anybody who tells you “Yeah, what Jesus taught was all right, but you need more! There is some secret knowledge that you need to attain to be truly enlightened.” Neither should you listen to anybody who tells you that Jesus’ teaching was just a starting point, but now you need their “special knowledge” or secret interpretation to really understand what Jesus said.
Hold Fast To The Simplicity That Is In Christ
Paul expressed concern about the church in Corinth being led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV) But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Paul’s writing repeatedly speaks of all that we have in Jesus. The serpent, Satan, tries to get us to doubt what we have in Jesus and doubt what is already available to us because of the gospel, so that we are always trying to do something more to attain these things. He makes everything complicated. The gospel is simple. We have been cleansed from sin, made right with God, and received a righteous nature because of Jesus’ sacrifice. We are delivered from death through Jesus’ death, and we are raised to life and victory through Jesus’ resurrection.
What the church needs isn’t something new. What we need is to understand the gospel and hold fast to it. Instead of feeling like we need to add more to the gospel, we need to keep walking in the same simple gospel we first received, just as we received it.
Colossians 2:6-10 (NIV) So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
How Do Christians Make Things Complicated?
What Jesus taught his disciples to do was simple. They were to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. They were to use the authority in his name. They were to baptize and make disciples of all nations.
Yet many Christians think that we need so much more. Some teach that it is important to understand demonic hierarchies, sharing beliefs about angeology and demonology that go well beyond what scripture teaches. A heavy emphasis on angelic hierarchies was actually one of the marks of the original Gnostics! Others make a big deal out of extra-scriptural revelation in visions, as if it was a much-needed revelation for us to have “breakthrough.” Paul also specifically addressed these things when he opposed the Gnostics in the book of Colossians.
Colossians 2:18-19 (NIV) Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Don’t misunderstand me. Many of you who are already familiar with my writing know that I have a positive attitude towards supernatural visions. I wrote about my Grandmother’s visions of heaven in Grammy’s First Trip To Heaven and Grammy’s Second Trip To Heaven. Although these visions may have had some extra-scriptural details, such details are side issues to the really important thing—the revelation of Christ and the gospel. Neither are those details anything that we would teach as doctrine.
On the other hand, there are some who make out extra-scriptural “revelations” they have had to be of paramount importance. Steer clear of this! Visions can highlight important scriptural truths, but we aren’t going to get the “revival” or “breakthrough” that we want from a revelation in a vision which goes beyond the teaching of scripture. If we aren’t seeing “breakthrough” or “revival,” then what we need is a greater revelation of Christ and the gospel, not a revelation that goes beyond Jesus.
Some others place great importance on understanding the Nephilim, which are barely mentioned in scripture. The Nephilim are a curiousity, a side issue, not the gospel. The Bible says so little about them because there is little value in understanding them.
I recently read a paper arguing that the earth is really flat. (The author was not named) It said “NASA wants to convince them there is no God, and we are not special in the universe. The truth of the true nature of the earth coming out might well lead to the greatest revival ever!!”
It’s sad this Christian is imagining that learning the “true nature of the earth” could lead to the “greatest revival ever.” Even if the earth really were flat, it would be a fact of little relevance as regarding the gospel and the work of Jesus. The gospel we have is enough to change the world! What we need for the “greatest revival ever” to happen isn’t for people to figure out if the earth is round or flat, or any other side issues like that. In fact, the “greatest revival ever” is currently happening, and it is happening as people are catching the revelation of Jesus and understanding the gospel!
People usually go seeking something more because their understanding of the gospel has been undermined so as to become devoid of power. Many fall into the trap of mentally acknowledging the basic gospel truths while denying their implications. We can acknowledge that Jesus came in the flesh, died for our sins, and rose from the dead, yet live and act as if he never did.
If that’s the case, what we really need is to get back to basics and understand everything gospel truths imply. That’s why I write!
Next week, we’ll continue by discussing another way Christians often get drawn into operating like Spiritists in Righteousness, Blessing, Salvation. After that, stay tuned for The Law And Witchcraft! We’ll go on to see how many Christians fall in to living by the same spiritual principals that work when a Macumba priest sacrifices a chicken.