mysticism

Is the World Race a Cult?

The similarities are concerning. We have addressed a few marks of a cult based on Seth’s response to cult criticism in another post, we have written other posts addressing pagan and mystical influence and also Seth’s thoughts on families and his “fatherly” role to begin to answer a few of the concerns mentioned in this post.

Let’s start with this blog post titled,Is the World Race a Cult?!? by a former racer asking and answering this question.

To this Racer, please consider what we have written.  It is for you and your fellow Racers that we have spent the time writing about our concerns.  We understand how subtle error can be and this fact should propel us to do our homework, carefully studying Scripture and comparing it with what is being taught.

Here is this Racer’s answer to the question posed in the title of his blog post.

“I SHOULD HAVE given more thought to the possibility of joining a potential cult, but the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension kind of took my mind off of it after a little bit of anxious prayer (Phil 4:6-7).  And when praying  about something like this for such a short time led me to drop the issue, I am pretty satisfied…It seems the cult hysteria comes down to 2 main issues: 1) “Abandoning” your family and 2) Mixing Eastern religion with the Gospel…

Following Jesus will make enemies within your own family.  (Matt 10:34-36).  If you are going on the World Race to obey the Great Commission and make disciples, then the cult hysteria is just a scheme of Satan to keep you back…”

While prayer is always advised, it is concerning that this Racer does not mention  searching the scriptures before making a decision.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  He is brilliant and cunning, seeking to deceive the undiscerning.  Dismissing concerns as “cult hysteria” without careful evaluation is unwise.

He continues, “Eastern ReligionThis issue was a little more troubling for me, but I have reached a satisfactory answer for myself, but it might not satisfy all of you.  I haven’t done much research into Eastern Religion, nor have I deeply researched all the criticisms about contemplative prayer that are levied against AIM, nor have I deeply researched the resources that AIM recommends on the subject.  But here is my understanding of the contemplative prayer issue: if the answer conforms to the Word of God, why are you worried about it? …”

And if God “speaks” and it contradicts His Word, it’s OBVIOUSLY WRONG.”

That is honestly as far as I have delved into this issue…

Again, the lack of research is troubling.  Contemplative prayer is a mystical practice, not a Biblical one.  To affirm it as long as it doesn’t contradict scripture sounds correct, but without enough knowledge about where this practice has come from (Eastern religions) and a true understanding of how we are to pray based on Christ’s model we can be easily led into demonic practices and open to demonic voices disguising themselves as truth.

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Here is a Biblical example of the demonic powers speaking truth and rebuked for it.

Acts 16:16-18 “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

 We cannot always assume that the truth spoken is from God, if the method is not from God, such as mystical practices, we are to shun them as from the enemy. 

God commanded Israel to tear down the high places and destroy every practice that had anything to do with false worship.  He did not say we should redeem it for His name, He said to shun and destroy it, then to worship the way He commanded.  He will not have His Holy Name associated with pagans.  Deut 12:4 “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.”

The Racer continues, “If in the ridiculously unlikely chance that AIM is a cult that doesn’t preach the true gospel, then I’m still going to preach the true gospel! “

Noble, if misguided. Unfortunately, this Racer does not actually address the issues of a cult. He provides  scripture verses but they are not addressing the actual concerns. The discussion is continued here.


 

Adventures in Missions and the Emergent Church

We have found that AIM has characteristics of the New Apostolic Reformation Movement and also the Emergent Church, neither of which are Biblical. As a reminder, it is the subtly of the error that the Enemy is so crafty at.  There is some truth written on Seth’s blogs, but the error found there is an attack on the Lord Jesus, His Church, and His Word.  Therefore we must be discerning. Seth tends to contradict himself often.

Ephesians 4:14 “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

“The Emergent Church movement is a progressive Christian movement that attempts to elevate experience and feelings on a par with Christian doctrine.  Many do not believe man can know absolute truth, and believe God must be experienced outside of traditional biblical doctrines. Emergent church leaders usually adopt the principles of social justice, liberation theology, and collective salvation. Some leaders also incorporate elements of Universalism, the Seeker-Friendly Movement, and even New Age Spirituality.”

“Regarding doctrine, these folks generally reject systematic Christian theology, the integrity of Scripture, and gospel exclusivity. They don’t believe Christianity is the one true religion and many associated with the emergent church promote homosexuality. Some deny the deity of Jesus Christ; they call for diversity, “unity,” and camaraderie among all religions, and they modify and expand their teachings. It is quite clearly and simply a war against the Truth… What those involved mostly agree on is their disdain for fundamental Christianity and disillusionment with the organized, traditional, and institutional church.”source

This site, provides a few characteristics to use in comparing AIM to this movement. They are frightening in their similarity to Adventures in Missions and Seth Barnes. While AIM may not agree with every characteristic, they are similar to enough to warrant concern.

1) Does not like to spend money on church buildings. Prefer meeting as “house churches

Seth“The institution of the church is just like every other institution – it is slow to respond to the realities of a world that is racing by it…The original disciples resisted structure, only giving in to a division of labor with deacons doing some work after a lot of time had passed. The Bible does not tell us much about how to structure ourselves..Unity and love cannot be organized; they happen as a function of covenantal relationships..”…(Comments section) “And in my personal life, I’m passionately committed to regular worship with a home church

Seth has spoken negatively about the church in many blog posts.  While there is much to lament about the compromising church today, Christ did in fact set up a structure, the disciples did not resist it.  They taught, as instruments of the Holy Spirit, exactly how Christ wants His church structured.  They ensured the teaching of sound doctrine and refutation of error.  See Acts, Timothy, Titus, etc, . Predictably, false teachers want to minimize the church that has the responsibility to refute their error. We have not seen Seth show any desire to be taught sound doctrine, instead there seems to be only a desire for unity and love (though believers can only have genuine unity if it is centered around TRUTH).   Neither have we seen him lament that the lack of strong exegetical teaching in the church today.

 “…put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you…He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:5, 9

2) A reading list that “consists primarily of (and leaders to follow) …(to name a few) 

Henri NouwenDallas Willard, Brennan Manning, Frederick Buechner , Donald Miller, Richard RohrSeth references these men often, a search of his blog will reveal more references than these, see also our previous posts.

3) Support women in all levels of ministry including women pastors.

Seth“when it came time for our team to do spiritual warfare, it was the women who were best equipped to do it” Seth“God is calling out a whole generation of radicals, but it’s the women are responding first and most boldly.” Seth“Women the world over are better servant leaders than many men”and he also sees no problem with women today being labeled apostles.

4) Following Jesus is living the right way, not believing in the right things

Seth-“He (Jesus)  often seems to be more concerned with our healing than he is with our theology.” Seth“Following him is hard enough without requiring disciples to study theology.” and ironicly he also says contradicting himself, “At AIM, we have a high view of Scripture”.

5) Eschatology: Building the kingdom of God on earth.

The AwakeningIt all started with a dream. A dream that a generation would stand up and walk like Jesus walked. Healing the sick, raising the dead, and bringing the Kingdom to the darkest places on earth…expect Kingdom come.”

6) Familiar words-story, mosaic, matrix

Seth“Jesus clued us in to life behind the matrix.” Seth“To climb out of the Matrix, they need to walk in brokenness for a while. And then they need to walk in freedom” SethHow will they ever get out of the Matrix-like life they’re living?” Seth“To live the life God designed us for, we need to live better stories and we need to relearn the art of telling them.”Seth“God loves stories…Storytelling connects in the spirit like laughter or tears or smells. It connects viscerally so that the story stays lodged in our spirit and may even change us. God infuses stories with the kind of deep magic that Tolkien and Lewis understood.” WHAT??

7) Practice Lectio divina a.k.a. spiritual formation…the silence…centering, breath…but is best known as contemplative (listening) prayer. –

Seth has written an entire book on this, “The Art of Listening Prayer” and these are Seth’s posts on Listening Prayer,

“A practice of Catholic monks and gnostics, gaining acceptance as an integral part of the Emerging Church…The dangers inherent in this kind of practice, and its astonishing similarity to transcendental meditation and other dangerous rituals, should be carefully considered. It has the potential to become a pursuit of mystical experience where the goal is to free the mind and empower oneself. The Christian should use the Scriptures to pursue the knowledge of God, wisdom, and holiness through the objective meaning of the text with the aim of transforming the mind according to truth. God said His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), not for lack of mystical, personal encounters with Him…Finally, the attack on the sufficiency of Scripture is a clear distinctive of lectio divina.”

 

What is the 42nd Generation and the G42 Academy-??

Hebrews 13:9-“Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings”

AIM is connected to another organization called the 42nd Generation spearheaded by Andrew Shearman. 

This organization is cause for our warning against Adventures in Missions, as is most every organization that they endorse.

Seth Barnes calls Shearman his “Spiritual Father” and  Seth writes about his organization extensively.

Shearman worked for a number of years with Adventures in Missions and spurred the creation of The World Race.

Like Seth, Andrew is influenced by universalists  Frederick Buechner (see our post, Mentors and Influences) and Henri Nouwen (see post, Mysticism influences AIM).

Andrew founded G42 and the G42 Leadership Academy He says,

“The purpose of life is to die fully alive in God and in yourself; and to die happy with God and yourself…As a prisoner of hope, Andrew is committed to Tabernacle of David and Feast of Tabernacles! He and his friends are committed to government in the Kingdom by servant apostles and prophets, networking with others of the same heart and values…Maybe St. Iraneus was right 1800 years ago: “The Glory of God is a person, fully alive.”

Note the self-centered emphasis of Shearman’s life purpose. In direct contrast, God’s word calls us to glorify Him with our lives.  Also note the lack of the Gospel message or mention of Jesus Christ in Shearman’s Bio.

In contrast, “To glorify God is to extol His attributes—His holiness, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, majesty, sovereignty, power, and omniscience, to name a few—rehearsing them over and over in our minds and telling others about the singular nature of the salvation only He offers”source .

We will bring God glory either through our repentance and faith in Christ or by our just punishment in eternal hell. (Rom 9:22-23)

Shearman’s organization derived it’s name from the supposed “secret” generation from  genealogy found in the book of Matthew.  Andrew says,

“The 42nd generation is between Jesus and Christ…the 42nd generation will come about when Christ is formed in us as the body of Christ.”

This is nonsense, the Bible is NOT mysterious and there is no secret generation.  There are plenty of better logical explanations for this genealogy than this horrible interpretation.

Matthew Henry’s commentary simply says, “The general summary of all this genealogy we have, v. 17, where it is summed up in three fourteens, signalized by remarkable periods. In the first fourteen, we have the family of David rising, and looking forth as the morning; in the second, we have it flourishing in its meridian lustre; in the third, we have it declining and growing less and less, dwindling into the family of a poor carpenter, and then Christ shines forth out of it, the glory of his people Israel.”

He also explains, “It being Matthew’s design, for the sake of memory, to reduce the number of Christ’s ancestors to three fourteens, it was requisite that in this period three should be left out.”

What Andrew is espousing is dangerous teaching, prideful, deceptive, imaginary…we are never told to look for codes and implanted numerology. The focus of this organization has been put on “us” and taken off Christ, the beauty of the genealogy due to the grace shown sinners to be so honored to be a part of His line. There is good and bad in the successions but, again from the commentary, “Grace does not run in the blood, neither does reigning sin. God’s grace is his own, and he gives or withholds it as he pleases.”

Based on Matthew Henry’s comments, there are actually more generations that are not listed and some were left out for sake of ease of memory so the 42nd generation is not actually the 42nd…Dan Phillips of the Pyromaniacs blog helps us out by explaining,

“There is no evidence that the Bible is meant to be read that way.  God  doesn’t speak in hidden code. When Christ and the apostles handled Scripture, it was never mystical or associated with numerology, it was plain sense. Playing with Jesus’ name is dangerously silly. Matt 1:1  simply says it’s the genealogy of Jesus Christ. He’s one and the same, “Jesus…who is called Christ” (v.16). And, again, it’s the birth of “Jesus Christ” (v. 18) that we read about.”

The foundation of Andrew Shearman’s organization is based on faulty and dangerous interpretation.

1 Tim 1:4 …”charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith…Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,  desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

2 Tim 2:15-17 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.”

Mentors, Influences, Praiseworthy Men

On several occasions Seth Barnes has blogged about authors whose writings have influenced him. 

His posts on the most transformative books he has read  part 1and part 2 include books written by false teachers Bill Johnson and Peter Wagner, as well as mystics Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, and Frederick Buechner.

In his post titled 11 Books in 11 Months Seth lists books that he feels will help young people on the World Race grow spiritually during their 11 months abroad.  His list includes many of the same authors. (Interesting that he puts his own book on the list)

For those who are not familiar with some of these authors/teachers, information is provided below.

Bill Johnson of Bethel Church:

  • Bill’s theology embraces a doctrine that teaches that during His earthly ministry Jesus operated only as a man and not God. Johnson claims that Christ laid aside His divinity. Johnson says, “He performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God . . . . not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unattainable for us”
  • Seth quoting Bill Johnson: “Our hearts know there is much more to life than we perceive with our senses; we are spiritually agitated by our lack of connection with the realm of the supernatural.”
  • Praise  “Bill Johnson is a favorite of racers.”

Peter Wagner-New Apostolic Reformation founder and “apostle and prophet”

  • Founder of the Wagner Institute is an international network of apostolic training centers…to meet the needs of leaders who have become a part of the New Apostolic reformation…….new teaching paradigm—impartation and activation—coupled with world-class instruction from proven apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in an intimate classroom setting…
  • quote Seth says, “The book of “Acts” (by Peter Wagner)  is the best text on missions ever written…As a missionary and as the father of five, I took my kids through it over the course of a year”

Todd Bentley-NAR anointed- “apostle and prophet”

  • Praise from Seth “My initial opinion was more strongly focused around Bentley’s flaws, but since then I’ve moderated my perspective with the understanding that God doesn’t have servants who have fixed their sin issue, so he uses the flawed servants who are available and hungry…Whatever else he was, Bentley was hungry and available.  The issue is not, “Did God show up and change lives through what Bentley ignited in Lakeland?”  The answer to that question is “yes…be prepared to also consider the good fruit that he has produced there. To do otherwise is to risk missing God.” video of Lakeland

Jack Deere (Former Professor, Dallas Theological Seminary)

“Jack Deere believes the sufficiency of Scripture is a demonic doctrine, undermining our ability to hear His audible voice …”one of Satan’s most successful attacks has been to develop a doctrine that teaches God no longer speaks to us except through the written word. Ultimately, this doctrine is demonic even though Christian theologians have been used to perfect it.”  1990 Conference by Jack Deere, Cited by Mark Thompson in The Briefing, April 24, 1990

Frederick Buechner (American writer and theologian)

 What is the meaning of a Christian?  In his book Listening To Your Life, Christian author Frederick Buechner provides us with his compelling view on this question:
“… it is possible to be on Christ’s way and with his mark upon you without ever having heard of Christ, and for that reason to be on your way to God though maybe you don’t even believe in God.”

Seth on Buechner’s Listening to your life “I just love to read Buechner – he is so deep. This book is like a “greatest hits” of his other writings…I don’t know if it’s possible for wisdom to rub off just by reading it over and over, if it is, then put this one next to your Bible.”

There are also several websites/blogs/magazines that Seth recommends on his blog.  Information on these listed below. 

Wrecked.org

Wrecked is another website run by Seth Barnes. (Looks like this is not an easily accessible page any longer when on their site. Hopefully this link will continue to work, the quotes below are copied from it.)He links to this site at bottom of the  Adventures website as a related site.  Here is how they describe friends.

“Friends-Wrecked for the Ordinary is a non-profit group dedicated to sharing stories about radical faith lifestyles. We depend on partners and friends for advertising and support.

These outstanding friends share a similar vision of pursuing a life of faith.

Several have helped us over the course of this project in one way or another other, and we love them for that. And many of these organizations are action-oriented justice sites, so check them out and plug in.”

Listed are Geez Magazine and Donald Miller.

 **As an update(11/5/16) , Seth is no longer listed as an author, however this link shows that Wrecked is published by Adventures in Missions as their online magazine.

Friends with Geez Magazine

Geez magazine describes itself as an online magazine that inspires “holy mischief in an age of fast faith.”…It’s called “Geez, “an exasperated exclamation derived from Jesus’ name that some Christians consider to be blasphemous.” The editor of Geez, Aiden Enns, reflects 

“My faith development took a hit when I abandoned objective truths such as Jesus is Lord. I still believe there is truth, but it shifts. Truth retracts and expands as we discover problems with what we praise as truth. This obliges me to withdraw my allegiance to old (but still alive) truths such as male superiority, heterosexism, and the multiple underpinnings of oppression.”

There are quite a few articles and references to the homosexual lifestyle and advocates of homosexual indocrination . Geez also writes about the feminist and gender confusion agenda denouncing God’s plan for marriage and gender.

The links in this chain of the mystical are never ending…also at Seth’s Wrecked blog one of his co-authors, Megan, states she is…

“Easily excited at any mention of self-awareness, honest truth, inner healing, and radical living. Dreams of enlightening others about the Enneagram as a tool for spiritual growth and writing books on practical tools for spiritual formation.” Here are some warnings about the Enneagram

Donald Miller, an emergent author and  friend of Seth’s also linked to on Wrecked as “sharing a similiar vision”, He denies total depravity stating people are basically good, this makes sense with  this information about Miller and the Enneagram This article states,

“The Enneagram is something that is promoted as a tool for assessing one’s personality traits. More insidiously, however, it has at its root some very troubling New Age theology; chiefly, the idea that all people are born with a Divine inner spark. Rather than being Christian in nature, this view of the Divine inner spark is distinctly eastern and panentheistic”…and “The closest thing the Enneagram has to the Christian concept of sin is that “unprocessed pain” (not sin) results in one’s life not running as smoothly as one wishes. This is in distinct contrast to the biblical understanding of sin, and is actually more Buddhist in theology than Christian”

Mysticism influences AIM

Seth Barnes’ blogs praise the mystics and encourages racers to learn from them and their methods. 

During his (Thomas’) last years, he became deeply interested in Asian religions, particularly Zen Buddhism, and in promoting East-West dialogue. After several meetings with Merton during the American monk’s trip to the Far East in 1968, the Dalai Lama praised him as having a more profound understanding of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known.”

(We are not sure that is the praise a “Christian” should desire)

  • Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest who founded the Center for Action and Contemplation.  In January, 2008 Rohr was a “presenter” at Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening.  Rohr taught the equality of Buddha with Christ.

Seth on Richard Rohr “Among other things, we need to search the Scriptures as an aid  to growth and we need to interact with men like Rohr whom God has blessed with spiritual insight.” (…an aid?? how about the source)

  • Henry Nouwen is a Catholic mystic and universalist.  Seth says of one of his books, “… Nouwen himself has been a mentor thru books like this one.” Nouwen says in his book Sabbatical Journey, “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.

Seth:Why I love Henri Nouwen “We don’t lack information or access to it – what we lack is the means by which to sort it all and make sense of it. That’s the job of wisdom. And that’s why I love Henri Nouwen….He’s one of the wisest writers around. I get his morning devotional email and every morning, it’s amazing what he can do with a paragraph or two.”

 

Pagan and Mystical Influence-some background

1 Tim 4:1-“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared.”

What is Mysticism?

Benjamin B. Warfield states, in his paper, Mysticism and Christianity,

We may be mystics, or we may be Christians. We cannot be both. And the pretension of being both usually merely veils defection from Christianity. Mysticism baptized with the name of Christianity is not thereby made Christianity. A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But it does not follow that whatever we choose to call a rose will possess the rose’s fragrance.”  

 As an Introduction to the type of Mysticism permeating AIM read this link about Spiritual Formation.   The author says,

“If you know anyone who is being drawn into the deceptive practices of Christian mysticism, Spiritual Formation, and Contemplative Prayer, please warn them. These things look spiritual and sound spiritual, but they are occultic and will lead into a dangerous spiritual realm. We must be diligent to guard our hearts and minds: after all, it is the Lord’s honor and glory which are at stake. When we become just as pagan as the world, how is God revealed, exalted and glorified? And not only must He be rightly exalted, it is mockery to blend worldly pagan practices into our worship of Him. The Lord will not be mocked, and He will discipline those He loves. Those “ecstatic experiences” reported by mystics of other faith traditions? Having once been a mystic myself, I can attest that the mystical experiences may start out this way, but if continued, will lead to a very dark place.”

 Christine Pack has come out of mysticism to salvation. This Fighting for the Faith interview  with Pack (breaks for a long commercial at one point jump back in @32.50) is very helpful and informative.

Christine Pack writes in Mysticism, Counterfeit Holy Spirit, “Let’s think about why mysticism would be at the core of so many false religions. It must serve some purpose, after all. Well, my take on this, having participated in many different “flavors” of mysticism is that mysticism functions as a counterfeit Holy Spirit experience.

What is Contemplative/Listening Prayer?

 Again from Christine Pack,

“Spiritual formation seks to lure evangelicals into ancient Catholic and Orthodox contemplative practices in order to draw closer to God, experience His presence, and hear His voice apart from Scripture. In order to embrace this mystical form of spirituality, contemplatives are willing to compromise at virtually every turn. Central doctrines such as sola fide and sola Scriptura are shrugged off as secondary. Methods never found in the Bible as the true means of spiritual growth and of knowing God, are emphasized. And complete heretics such as Thomas Merton are seen as reliable spiritual guides to spirituality. The contemplatives have sold out to Catholic mysticism and abandoned the clear teaching of Scripture. Sadly, in the process many undiscerning evangelicals will follow suit.” “So in a way, I feel I have been surrounded by these wicked mystical practices all of my life. I know them from the inside out, and I know how deceptive they are. They can deceive unregenerate people into thinking for years – in many cases, a lifetime – that they have a real, active, ongoing relationship with the God of the universe, when in reality, they do not, and are on their way to hell.

Marcia Montenegro, of Christian Answers for the New Age, writes,

Contemplative Prayer, also called Centering Prayer or Listening Prayer, has been taught by Roman Catholic monks Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and Basil Pennington, as well as by Quaker Richard Foster, and is being advocated by many others. There is no one authority on this method, nor is there necessarily a consistent teaching on it, though most of the founding teachers quote medieval mystics, Hindu, and Buddhist spiritual teachers.” “The influence of Buddhism and Hinduism on Contemplative Prayer is apparent. Words such as “detachment,” “transformation,” “emptiness,” “enlightenment” and “awakening” (common terms of Seth Barnes) swim in and out of the waters of these books. The use of such terms certainly mandates a closer inspection of what is being taught, despite the fact that contemplative prayer is presented as Christian practice.

On her blog, Pamela Courvrette,  writes,

“Unfortunately, many Christians believe Satan and his minions are only involved with Ouija Boards and spirit mediums;… Yes, of course Satan and his demons have a hand in these things. However, using his subtle deception, it’s inside the church where he does his best work. It’s within the ‘safe’ confines of a church that he deceives through false doctrine and tempts with experiences, personal revelations, and secret knowledge. He doesn’t show up as the visible boogeyman in pew number nine; he shows up as falsehood. Certainly, if he did show up in person, he would sit in the center of the front row, smiling, and clutching a well-worn Bible.

Here is an example of concern raised regarding AIM and this practice, in this letter to the EditorFrom Missionary Couple: Young Missionary Women From AIM (Adventures in Missions) Being Taught Contemplative Prayer”

 

Warnings from other sources

A quick google search on World Race Concerns reveals quite a few sources for discerning the error at the mission organization Adventures in Missions.

Many have commented on this last article, some, of course, in defense of AIM, but pay attention to those with concern.

Alex says, “One of the most troubling things was AIM’s connection to the New  Apostolic Reformation and Kingdom Now theology.”

Mark says, “After only 15 minutes at AIM’s site, this site and one other it is easy to determine that AIM is cultic – if not an outright cult – and it’s leaders are simply in touch with their own spirit guides ( demons ) which they have falsely believed is the Holy Spirit talking to them. I found the statement that they place discipleship above evangelism to be troubling as their idea of “discipleship” appears to include the concept of total obedience to leadership.

“I noticed red flags immediately at training camp with no mention of the name of Jesus for the first few hours of orientation and an immensely secularized worship session to get the kids pumped up…

Never in a million years would I ever want any of our students to experience or be exposed to what I went through on the World Race. I fear, that the majority of the young people who go on this trip, are lured away from the faith via emotionalism and a “do what feels good, God loves you no matter what” approach to experiencing freedom in Christ…After a very traumatic experience being exposed to NAR/Dominion theology and the likes of occultic practices through AIM...told that I was not there to preach the Gospel, or teach the bible, or concern myself with other people’s spiritual growth — I was there to learn how to hear the voice of God.

I was being told that I made things too theological and this was infecting others. When I asked for answers, I was always referred to Seth Barnes’s “Kingdom Journeys” and “the process”…Again, I was told I make things too theological. They went so far as to say that I make the word of God an idol. I got under the coordinator’s collar enough that she slipped up in evident frustration/anger and explained to me that the church spiritual formation is according to Ephesians 4, and that Seth Barnes is an Apostle...

The crazy thing about these leader types from headquarters is that they won’t address you or answer your questions without always prefacing with, “Ok, so what’s your Myers-Briggs personality and your spiritual gifting?”…

Many had fallen for AIM’s approach to acts of service as being enough to show the world Jesus — never once was it encouraged to preach the Gospel…I’ve been having trouble debriefing and suffering from panic attacks since the World Race. I was literally rescued by my church…The sad thing is that the majority of the participants don’t recognize they’re being indoctrinated or they don’t see red-flags or harm being done. After all, it’s a fun adventure of doing good works in the name of Jesus while discovering who you really are and being healed of baggage you have…etc…according to the spin…”

Testimony video-“Why I left the World Race”