Home > apologetics, Christian Authors, church history, Worldview > For Still Our Ancient Foe: Binary Thinking Vs Paganism

For Still Our Ancient Foe: Binary Thinking Vs Paganism

May 11, 2018

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals hosted a recent conference, the 2017 Quakertown Conference on Reformed Theology — held Nov. 17-18 in Quakertown, PA: For Still Our Ancient Foe.  The conference included seven lectures from four speakers: Kent Hughes, Tom Nettles, Peter Jones and Dennis Cahill.

Among the lectures on the theme that references Martin Luther’s classic hymn, I found the two lectures from Dr. Peter Jones particularly interesting: Exposing the Lies of Our Ancient Foe and How Did We Get Here, and Where is the Culture Going? These lectures pertained to the same subject, Jones’ observations about American religion over the last several decades, with focus (from the lecture titles) on exposing the Current Lies of Our Ancient Foe, and where is the Church (the professing Church) going?

Jones’ insights on American culture, in contrast with the America he first knew in 1964 (he was friends with John Lennon in high school, and came over to America the same year, though not with the Beatles) and yet as a direct result of the 1960s sexual revolution, are spot-on.  Beyond my previous understanding of Romans 1, Jones well explains the two types of religion in the world:  not the common saying of ‘works salvation versus grace’, but a more philosophical (yet true) contrast between “one” and  “two.”  All religion comes down to one of these two:  those who worship the creation (paganism, one-ism) in contrast with those who worship the creator as distinct from the creation (biblical, two-ism); a contrast between binary and non-binary thinking.

Jones references many authors and books, noting the early trends in the 1970s and the cultural shift from modernism/secularism to eastern spirituality.  An author in the 1970s predicted that atheist secularism would give way to the gods of Greek and Roman mythology; instead of Greek and Roman, the trend actually went to Indian Hinduism.  In our now ‘post-secular’ society, the ‘New Age’ promoted in the 1980s and early 1990s has come into its own, including the pagan focus on merging and reducing everything to “one,” blurring the distinctions that truly exist between God (the Creator) and us (the created).  The leaders of the 1960s sexual revolution concluded that between the two “extremes” of theism and atheism, the “true” middle-ground is pantheism.

I had some previous familiarity with the ‘New Age,’ from the books about it in the Christian bookstore in the early 1990s as well as the pop culture references such as Star Wars and other movies promoting pantheism, such as the book/movie “Secret Garden.”  What is new (to me), brought out by Peter Jones, is the connection between pantheist paganism and homosexuality and transgenderism.  The “Age of Aquarius,” popularized in the late 1960s catchy tune from the Fifth Dimension was also the ‘age of androgyny;’ here reference June Singer’s 1977 book, Androgyny: Toward A New Theory of Sexuality, which describes androgyny as the sacrament of oneism (paganism).  Additional research shows that all ancient, animist religions of the world – Mayan and Aztecs, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Canaan, and elsewhere – feature an androgynous (homosexual) leader.

In the Reformation and Puritan era, the big question was, ‘how can I be saved’?  Today, the big question is ‘Who am I’ – our human identity.  Homosexuality and transgenderism says our identity is whatever we make it to be, something fluid and changeable; an identity that removes distinctions to merge with ‘the one.’  Yet our biblical identity includes heterosexuality and gender distinctions – which show the Creator-creation distinction as well as the relationship of Christ to His people.  We affirm “two,” the Creator God apart from us.  Trinitarian understanding also comes from affirming Creator/creation distinctions.  Our God is not a single entity (monad), that is incomplete without us; before creation ever existed, He was complete: Father, Son and Spirit.  The impersonal gods of non-Christian monotheist religions (such as Islam), do not have the concept of love and relationships.

For further study, here is a list of books mentioned in the conference lectures (many of these are written by unbelievers and apostates; their views described by Peter Jones):

  1. Isreal2
    May 11, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Very interesting.

  2. Robert
    May 12, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Very interesting, Lynda.
    * They say the fact of the Trinity perfectly “solves the problem” of the One and the Many.
    * The whole modern thing where everyone says “it’s all good” seems to go along with this new age/panthism/hinduism you are talking about.
    * perhaps it’s no coincidence all the Indians coming over to the West to work.

  3. Robert
    May 12, 2018 at 7:47 am

    …. of course for the Christian it is “all good” no matter what. (Rom. 8:28)

  4. Gerry
    May 12, 2018 at 8:55 am

    This is indeed interesting, but while the Evil One is certainly behind this effort, it is NOT his only means or method of warfare.

    When I was truly converted out of Armenian Dispensationalism, the Lord led me into a study of The Enemies methods. I read broadly in the area of spiritual warfare from modern authors, such as Walvord (yes, I know he is dispensational) and Joanna Michaelsen (yes her too) and Neal Anderson (Freedom in Christ Ministries, also Arminian) as well as the classical Reformed and Puritan authors such as Dr Richard Gilpin, Bunyan, and Thomas Brooks (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices). These and other authors modern and older I studied with great interest, knowing I had been deceived in buying into Armenian Dispensationalism, and praying for wisdom never to be deceived again.

    What I came away with was that Satan is a genius and he has “something for everyone”.

    From outright Satanism to the most subtle lie mixed with truth, he seeks to sow error, confusion, lies, despair by every means at his disposal and power which are “legion”.

    One lie he would have us believe is that this new wave of his into New Age philosophy is the the only, or primary, means by which he is at work today. Not true. Everywhere you look he is busy now. Within and without the church.

    In the church he still sowes false doctrine, just as he always has. The great apostasy that Paul warned of in the last days has to do with those who profess Christ, not new age religion, and there are those who do both, some to the supposed exclusion of the One True God, and some to the syncretism of Him with lies.

    Harry Potter, Warewolves, “Lucifer”has his own program on a major Network, magic tricks, contacting spirit guides, getting in touch with a higher power, charismatic excess, Charles Gradisin Finney’s “conversion experience in the woods”, etc, etc, etc, and some branches of conservative Christianity, in denial about it all, with others claiming Satan is bound due to the false doctrine of Amillenialism.

    Jay Adams claims on his web site that Christian counselors will not encounter demon possession because Satan and his minions supposedly don’t do this any more!

    This is a prime example of the damage done by adhering to a false doctrine, I think, such as the “binding of Satan” as taught in amillennial circles. It blinds to reality.

    Just as the Word tells us Satan is busy in every area of life, within and without the church, seeking to bring the now more populous world to the condition it was “at the time of Noah”, where the thoughts of man were only evil continually.

    My belief is that we are almost there, and that we reject the clear teaching of the Word about our enemy and his devices at our peril, for his power is such, and is manifest such, “that if it were possible, he would deceive even the very elect”.

    It is all of Satan

    • Gerry
      May 13, 2018 at 10:42 am

      In my previous post I neglected to mention a key passage from the OT which I believe relates to the matter Satan’s sowing of error in the many ways at his disposal.

      The passage is in Jeremiah:

      Jeremiah 15:19 (KJV)
      Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, [and] thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.

      The context tells us that Jeremiah had been complaining bitterly to God about the rejection and persecution his ministry had brought upon him.

      This verse relates part of God’s answer to Jeremiah; specifically his duty as one sent from God to erring sinners.

      That duty was to “take forth the precious from the vile”. This I believe is the mark and duty of all true ministers sent from God. They, at great opposition “take forth” the “precious Truth” “from the vile error” which Satan has been busy mixing together, and proclaim this pure precious Truth to the people.

      In doing so they have the great honor of being as God’s Mouth spoken to men.

      It is this mixing of truth with error that makes Satan’s lies seem true at times and believable.

      A related passage is found in Acts 20 where Paul is addressing the Ephesians elders before he leaves them for the last time, knowing he will never see their face again in this life. He warns them of the “grevious wolves that will come in among them speaking perverse things to draw away deciples after them”.

      Paul tells them that he did two things in his teaching. One was that he lived out what he taught, not saying one thing and doing another. This is, in effect a most powerful form of teaching, a life lived for God. But which God? Many live out sacrificial lives of good works for “God”, but it is not the God of the Bible.

      This brings us to Paul’s claim that he “did not shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of the Word of God”.

      Paul knew, as did Jeremiah, that when a man teaches all of what God teaches in His Word it inflames the enmity of men toward their creator and motivates them to attempt to silence the messenger. That is why so many shrink back from declaring the whole counsel, choosing rather to give them part of it instead. Thus they leave out key points, the hard truths, or mix them with error, in an attempt to make it more appealing to the “itching ears” “who love to have it so.”

      My point is that Satan, of course, knows all of this and the great power of error to damn men to hell after they have served him rather than God, all the while thinking they have indeed served God. As such, he delights to mix precious Truth with vile error, rather than, “take forth the precious from the vile”.

      And in doing so Satan disguises his “ministers as angels of light”.

      But in doing so “precious Truth”, is mixed with “vile error”, making the one so speaking not as Gods mouth, though at first glance he may appear to be a “messenger of light”.

      Paul tells us in doing this he “was free of the blood of all men”, a reference to Gods warning to Ezekiel in Ezek. 3:16-19 about the error of false teaching and it’s consequences for such teachers:

      16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
      17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
      18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
      19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

      Here we see that if a watchman faithfully teaches the Word he will be saved even if his message is rejected, but if he fails to warn, his own soul is in peril.

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