I have been doing battle with Manchester Cathedral and their ‘spirit of life’ festival. As none of you know me I thought it may be helpful to briefly share why I have been drawn to this battle front.
The so called ‘New Age’ movement has been around for a long time now. (To be accurate, since the Garden of Eden). I did not realise the extent of its tentacles of lies until the Lord restored me to Himself after a long period of backsliding.
I was saved in the mid 70’s and was baptised in a solid Free Church fellowship. However I was drawn to charismatic goings-on of various sorts, of which my pastor did not approve. I even went to a Morris Cerullo rally at the Albert Hall (before he was banned from Britain!)
During my period of backsliding my (then) wife was keen to get away from the church and explore ‘alternatives’. It got to such a state that the spiritual path was whatever book she was reading at the time. It was when her ‘spirit guide’ told her to leave me in order to spiritually grow that the Lord brought me back in one night of great repenting. This led to an irreconcilable friction in our marriage as new-agers hate Christians.
The Lord brought me back through His word; all through my backslidden years I kept my AV by my bed, wondering why I had lost the desire to read it. It was because I had been beguiled by spiritual experience instead of solid prayer and scripture study and biblical meditation.
As I began to read scripture and started to go to church again, I was astonished by how much had changed during 12 years in the wilderness. I was originally saved during a sermon in an Anglican church, but how they have changed!
- Clergy are now regularly called ‘Father’.
- Even evangelical Anglican churches have a ‘mass-like’ communion in many places.
- You can just about fellowship with any denomination as unity is everything.
- Unrestricted praying in tongues in some Anglican churches
- Alpha courses coming in to replace solid Bible studies.
My last attempt at an evangelical church was a community fellowship with good solid Bible preaching, however:
- They replaced prayer meetings with a thing called ‘godspace’ where you could meditate on non-scriptural displays to new-age music.
- The associate pastor joined the board of Renovaré and replaced house fellowships with ‘spiritual formation’ groups.
- The last resort was when an apostate Renovaré speaker and healer, William Vaswig (now deceased), was invited to speak about the clearly-demonic healing manifestations of Agnes Sanford.
So when I found out about the forthcoming ‘spirit of life’ festival at Manchester Cathedral, all my alarm bells started to ring. The spirit of life website promises us: fire breathing vicars, dream interpretation, ‘Jesus Deck’ Readings and spiritual meditations among many other things. I want to be shocked, but having experienced so much in the church already I suppose it is a natural next step for Anglicans to run an all-out festival.
I left a message on the cathedral website:
“I have read with dismay that you propose to hold a 'spirit of life' festival. I have seen 'new age beliefs' and 'spirituality' from the inside. These were the spirits holding the Canaanites in demonic bondage and seduced the Israelites until they were eventually carried away in bondage because they turned away from the fear and love of God and His law. Christ has freed true Christians from such bondage (I know from experience). If you cannot discern the spiritual danger in all this, then you are not of Christ.”
Their reply blamed misrepresentation in the press. They claim to be evangelical. They believe that those seeking ‘spirituality’ at psychic fairs are going to the wrong place and should be coming to church where Christians can get alongside them.
Trying to make the church look like the world is an old error. Festivals were put on the same day as pagan celebrations, often with the same symbolism. Church buildings were, and are, planted in pagan sites, adopting pagan architecture and symbolism again. It is just another manifestation of those trying to make their mark by techniques not endorsed, and often condemned, by scripture.
Dream interpretation, card reading, fire eating and so on are occult manifestations. (Note on dream interpretation: there are passages in the Bible where God makes a specific use of dreams. Outside of that, any random use of dreams is at best silly and at worst a demonic trap – I know from experience.)
We have the gospel and we have the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit. When we wait upon God He gives us everything we need to build His church.
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
© March 2011