SPIRITUAL REPLICATION, MENTORING, AND IMPARTATION – ARE WE CREATING CHRISTIAN CLONES OR TRUE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST?
(This article was originally printed in February, 2007)
As we discussed in last month’s article, the church has moved away from all forms and exercises of Biblical discernment and righteous judgment. Therefore, it should not surprise us to see that, from the outside, the modern “church” appears to be a super-kind and loving place where no one is ever criticized and where all variance of opinion can be accepted through friendly dialogue. Happy church-goers rest in fleshly affirmations from their leaders, as these leaders receive all their creative ideas, philosophies, and sciences, throwing them all into one big melting pot. Yet, in this all-encompassing and seemingly tolerant witches’ brew of spiritual heresy, there are overlying goals and plans to which all members are blindly conforming. In fact, as we will see, Christians are being specially bred to further these goals. Through leadership training, primarily designed for church growth, the church has embarked upon this new spiritual breeding project. By sporting slogans, such as “every believer a leader,” we have recently seen a widespread movement in the church world to incorporate programs like “mentoring,” “discipling,” “fathering,” “shepherding,” “coaching,” etc. In each of these, we find that believers are quickly taught to obey leaders, slyly grabbing hold of their obedience to the Holy Spirit. This is why Biblical discernment does not seem to be necessary to believers in such churches. Why would believers be concerned with correct doctrine when they are being trained like foot soldiers? It is not the soldier’s job to worry about the ideologies behind the war; he simply executes the streamlined protocols of his commanding officers. But what is even more chilling is that not only does this leadership training give someone bodily governance over others in his church, it actually causes a spiritual change in him as well.
It seems as though mad scientists have entered the church today. We hear them speaking of “spiritual DNA” which must be spread through believers and multiplied in their churches. There is a kind of religious eugenics plan taking place in which the next evolutionary advancement depends on having the right DNA. This special breeding process, which occurs through principles of leadership, often begins within small groups, frequently called “cells.” Rick Warren gives us a great example with his “Purpose-Driven DNA.” In an on-line article explaining which churches should receive “Purpose Driven Health Awards,” Warren states, “They form small groups on purpose: Purpose Driven DNA is implanted in every cell (group) of the congregation. Each small group helps the members fulfill each of the five purposes in their lives. The goal is to help every believer live a purpose driven life.” The DNA implementation process is basically the same in all churches; it is just that particular churches have particular brands such as “purpose-driven,” “G-12,” etc. The process closely resembles a multi-level marketing pyramid and may go something like this: “Identify, select and ‘mentor’ a core group of young men… Send out these core leaders in designated directions, like arrows shot into the culture… Assist them in ‘replicating their DNA’ by creating downline networked systems of transitioning churches that follow their particular rendition of the overall model… Now let’s suppose that there were four major directions that the core group leadership of Emergent/emerging took as they were sent out. Each stream would only differ on the externals and nonessentials, but the main agenda would still be emergent transformation.” The plan is to entirely transform the Christian Church!
One ministry purports: “When the people of God begin to realize that the purpose of Jesus on the earth was to birth a new breed of people who would carry the DNA of God within them and bring heaven to earth daily, we will begin to live with purpose. When the people of God begin to realize their identity as the very offspring of God and that as He is right now, so are we in this world, the church will begin to shake the nations with the power of God.” Some have even tried to say that this model began with Jesus and His Disciples: “This follows the model of Jesus and his disciples, or Paul and the men he mentored during the days recorded in Acts. Those men went deep into relationships to make a radical change in their identities and their spiritual DNA.” The idea is that God used “deep relationship” to make “radical change in their identities” is blasphemous. It is Faith in Christ alone which can change the heart of man. Furthermore, we readily find that small group relationships are actually a control tactic used in cults and secret societies. This is precisely where new “spiritual DNA” may be implanted to exert a spiritual control upon a person. In fact, the entire cell multiplication system is motivated by a cult-like spirit! Unfortunately, this only produces a phony Christian who tries to sell Christianity rather than preach the Gospel. Social psychology uses the term “social cohesion,” which has shown that people who see their group as exclusive and meet in relaxed settings become more loyal to one another. Members are, then, more likely to listen to each other and reach compromise when critical decisions are made.
THE NEW APOSTOLIC BREED
Thus, a new apostolic breed is coming, and make no mistake about it, anyone who fails to accept the new DNA will quickly be shunned from this elite “Christian” clique and uncover the stinging wrath which lies in wait within what otherwise seem to be extremely loving leaders. In fact, the idea has already been suggested that those who do not have the right DNA must be eliminated due to their “reptilian brain!” Doesn’t this sound a whole lot more like Darwinian atheists than preachers? And who are some of the gurus at the top of this unholy pyramid? Headed by Bob Buford, the Leadership Network has played a key role in building and training a generation of “pastoral” leaders. Not surprisingly, Buford himself had a mentor, a businessman named Peter Drucker. It also should not surprise us that these principles actually originated outside the church, and Drucker’s philosophies are particularly scary. Having been influenced by esoteric German philosophy during the 1800s, his ideas are actually the same ones that gave rise to the totalitarian governments of the Twentieth Century, which were utilitarian in nature, designed to manage people on earth. These governments required humans to perform under an oppressive system of accountability. Therefore, the Leadership Network spread, not Biblical principles, but Nazi-like disciplines. “…like leaven, the thoughts and ideas of Drucker have permeated throughout the evangelical world. Buford’s role has been to add sugar to the starter, making sure that the leaven could rapidly fill the whole lump.”
THE LEADERSHIP NETWORK
The Leadership Network is also connected with what is called the New Apostolic Reformation, headed by C. Peter Wagner. In a 1999 publication of the Leadership Network called Next, Wagner wrote an article entitled, “Another New Wineskin… The New Apostolic Reformation.” Connected with the New Apostolic Reformation we find more big wigs like Bill Hybels, Robert Schuller, and Rick Warren. Smaller congregations across the country model their own churches after the “successful” churches of these men. In his book, Churchquake: How the New Apostolic Reformation is Shaking up the Church as we Know It, Wagner identifies both Hybels and Warren as New Apostolic pastors. Wagner even oversaw Rick Warren’s doctrinal thesis at Fuller Theological Seminary, which later became his first book, The Purpose-Driven Church. Actually, Robert Schuller, who has been influenced by many New Age teachers as he promoted ideas like “positive thinking” and “unlimited human potential,” has played a large role in Warren’s, Hybels’, and Wagner’s lives. A September 8, 1989 “Christianity Today” showed a picture of Hybels with Dr. Robert Schuller and C. Peter Wagner at Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. And, Schuller’s influence upon Rick Warren has been so obvious, Warren has been accused by plagiary. It is a fact that Warren did attend many of Schuller’s pastoral training courses before his own ministry took off.
Starting with the term “mentor,” let’s look at the original origins of some of these leadership terms and practices. Like Buford’s leadership principles, “mentoring” first became popular in today’s New Age business world. Over the past 25 years, business gurus and leadership training workshops have endorsed mentoring principles to build their businesses. Mentoring has spread throughout all aspects of society including the corporate world, education, social work, community clubs, various religions, etc., and somehow it has even become an integral part of pop culture, just as hip as personalized cyberspaces and café lattes. So, of course, worldly-minded “pastors” had to have a piece of this universally appealing pie to help grow their congregations. A movement known as Promise Keepers played a large role in this. True Biblical discipling means to teach the Word of God so that a person may grow in his personal relationship with Christ. But, mentoring brings forth the idea of role modeling so that others may imitate certain behaviors, attitudes, characteristics, etc. It has been said that “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, so it is obvious that this system idolizes men while taking the focus away from Jesus and His Word. The Church was not meant to be a place for cloning and copying one another. It is a place for entirely new creations in Christ to be grown and nurtured in the Ways of the Lord. Nonetheless, Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox (Issue #286) included several links to secular websites which give tons of helpful hints for the advancement of mentoring programs. Apparently, the modern church needs advice from the secular business world, since mentoring is nowhere to be found in the Bible.
Today “mentor” generally refers to a title or position. A mentor has the position of guiding or instructing another. However, in times past, “Mentor” was used as an actual name, both the name of a man and the name of a spirit! Yes, a channeled demonic spirit! An entranced medium may allow a “state possession” by “an invisible operator” also called a “guide” to “deliver direct or relayed messages.” So in the occult world, “mentor”< clearly denotes the idea of a “spirit guide,” often accessed through demonic possession. Seeing that mentorship is widely used from the occult to the modern commercial enterprises, there is clearly something captivating about the concept. So, the question must be asked: just exactly what spirit or spirits is the modern church passing down to the next generation? A famous psychic medium named Stainton Moses was “the charge [ channeler, ed.] of an organized band of 49 spirits” who asserted “that a missionary effort to uplift the human race was being made in the spirit realms.” “Mentor,” in fact, was said to be the name of one of these 49 spirits. Remember, Adolf Hitler also had a plan to “uplift” the human race and produce a special breed of men; he wanted to spawn a supreme Arian race. Now, if a man does indeed pass-on or “impart” (another leadership buzzword to watch out for) a spirit to another man it is not the Holy Spirit, but another spirit. This includes all thoughts of passing on one’s own spirit, a spiritual gift, a spiritual anointing, or in worst case scenario, a disembodied spirit which may temporarily possess a man.
“Impartation” can be defined as the transmission of information or communication by means of transmitted signals. The spiritual impartation used in churches today follows this exactly thought, but the information transferred is spiritual in nature. One pastor of a cell-group oriented church recently told his congregation: “Today, I want to talk about what it means to be spiritually reproducing yourself or to multiply the Christ in you over into another person… spiritual reproduction is the impartation and transfer of one’s own values and skills to another person or generation.” But, neither the Holy Spirit nor any part of the Holy Spirit can be passed from one person to another. The Holy Spirit is a Person Himself: He is God. HE does not separate and distribute Himself through humanity. Any Work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life can only be generated through that individual’s Faith in Christ and Him Crucified. In this way alone can the person of Christ live within a man. Any other “life” imparted is dead while it lives; it is demonic.
Concerning his name as a human personality, Mentor was actually a character in Greek mythology. When he left for the Trojan War, Odysseus left Mentor to protect and teach his son, Telemachus. The first recorded modern use of the term in 1699, comes from a book entitled, “Les Adventures de Telemaque”, by French mystic, religious writer and educator, Francois Fenelon. Here is a quote from page 136 in this book: “Oh happy Telemachus! You will never be bewildered as I have been bewildered as I have been bewildered, while you have such a guide and instructor! Mentor, you are the master!” Interestingly, the Bible warns of the philosophy and wisdom of the Greeks. Perhaps the biggest problem here is the simple fact that a person may learn to rely on a mentor rather than Christ. Sure, the mentor will often claim that he points to Christ, but when the student has a question, who does he run to first – his mentor or Jesus? Slowly but surely, a mentor can become a living idol, an all-knowing spiritual advisor and trusted friend. Even after a mentor dies, one could find himself seeking his mentor’s advice as he, perhaps even subconsciously, invokes his mentor’s spirit to comfort and counsel him along life’s perplexing path. “‘I’ve long since ceased trying to determine what thoughts are mine and which come from Peter,’ says Mr. Buford…” The Devil’s tricks are often very subtle. Jesus is the trusted Friend and Counselor you need. Satan will try to substitute many in His place.
“The best of them is a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of your watchmen and your visitation comes; now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lies in your bosom. For the son dishonours the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Mic. 7:4-7).
“…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5).