Vulnerability To Deception In Religion

“If the soul, which is the natural side of man’s being, is predominant, or any or all of its sides intellectual, emotional, or volitional - then the door is wide open to deception; and deception, being what it is, does not mean that there is no zeal for God, but rather that it is zeal but not according to knowledge.”  ~ T. Austin-Sparks ~

Uncovering deception is a passion of mine, and communicating about it. The foregoing paragraph is a simple outline to understand the mechanism to how people get deceived, even when they love Christ and know Him. It deserves a lot of reflection and unpacking! 

I know I was duped and duped for probably 20 years with New Age ideas, since the Lutheran Church I belonged to NEVER warned against these things. It took going through some very dark experiences to pull out of New Age. And it was a gradual slide into it, even while in that church. You can so easily slip into that, especially when the churches don't do their job of discipling and warning people about what's out there. I'd like to spare folks from that and more if possible. 

It's not just New Age, but getting fooled with pseudo Christian ideas from the positive confession/prosperity camp (Joel Olsteen, Joyce Meyers, Benny Hinn etc), from the Zionist Kabbalah/Talmud deception of the "support Israel" camp/rapture theory - originating in Darby and Scofield (John Hagee promotes this a great deal among many others), psychobabble, megachurches, charismania, liberal social gospel, and even the pop Christian genre of the flesh-appealing music "industry" that can be emotionally manipulative, while people think they're getting a "Holy Spirit" experience. I realize this will probably step on a lot of toes, but it needs to be looked at, without even approaching the other subjects of cults like Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons.

A lot of these popular "teachers" and "influencers" are the only "doctrine" some people get exposed to, as Evangelical churches (and many non denom's and even Protestants who ought to know better) seem abysmally weak in BASIC Scriptural understanding and teaching, but are big on "experiencing" Jesus, or a me centered pseudo gospel. But that begs the question, which Jesus are you experiencing, based upon the knowledge you have? 

There must be soundness of creed and making sure folks are not walking in deceived, or with the intent to deceive! Spiritually speaking this is as irresponsible as having a baby and then leaving it on its own, or shoving off the responsibility onto someone else to feed and nurture it with what it requires each phase of growth. 

It also means that simply reciting a credal statement (what I believe) every Sunday morning, along with a repetitive order of worship, simply lulls the flock to sleep.

Yet, the "deeds not creeds" meme of mega church promoter Rick Warren is not an acceptable concept either, when it comes to why ministries, biblically speaking, are to exist - to perfect (mature, complete) the saints See Ephesians 4:11-13. “And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.” So if it doesn’t matter what you believe, it sure allows for big buildings and “campuses" and religious business corporations that make their religious sounding founders wealthy enough to hob nob with the rich and famous of this world who hate Jesus Chirst! There’s always a plentiful supply of feathers to tickle the ears of those who’ll generously support what they want to hear, which does not challenge them toward the “fullness of Christ!”

"Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet..."  Romans 16:17-20a.  

"Dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned." Provided there was such a foundational teaching in the first place and it was learned. If the Apostles saw what goes on today as to the degree and forms of deceptions, they'd be spinning in their graves.