The False Gospel of Mysticism

In our day, teachings on self-spirituality, personal belief systems, self-esteem, and inner emotional lives abound. Mysticism is making a comeback.

Mysticism began as early as Eve’s decision in the garden to listen to her own intuition and the voice of the devil rather than God’s Word. It continued when Cain listened to his own inner voice rather than God’s warning. Mysticism became a grand display when Aaron led the people of Israel to make their own god according to their liking rather than following the God who had already spoken.

Mysticism is nothing new.

Today it just sounds different. People will say things more like, “That’s not how I like to picture God,” instead of, “Let’s make a golden calf;” but it means the same thing. People will claim that there is more to God than what the Bible says, but what they really mean is that they prefer their own intuitions to the written Word. To wit . . .

An Overview of Mysticism

  • G/god – The god of mysticism is made in our image, according to oour likeness, pliable to our own feelings, malleable according to our preferences.
  • B/bible – God has revealed himself in many different ways, and the bible is equal to all the other ways (nature, self, other people, history, etc.).
  • Sin – Sin is the failure to listen to God’s voice inside of you. It involves the lack of a certain spiritual quality to your life because you did not properly commune with your personal god that day.
  • Christ – Jesus came to re-institute a special kind of living with God. He came to teach us and reorient us to the god that is everywhere, if we will only listen.
  • Atonement – ummmm, what?
  • Salvation – Salvation is the process by which you know Jesus in your own personal way. Whether or not you believe the gospel is irrelevant here.
  • Church – We prefer to call this a “fellowship” or “group.” These are the people that believe in a god somewhat like yours and like to talk and sing about him in the vaguest possible terms.
  • End Times – We like to call this the “consummation” or just “the end.” What happens here is anybody’s guess, but we hope for our guess.

As you can see, mysticism is slippery and quite hard to follow. Do mystics believe the gospel? De facto, it’s hard to tell. Do they know the true and living God? They sure think they do.

A Final Warning
Remember, mystics write fancy lines like this:

I don’t think that Jesus’ teachings were primarily about creating doctrines for people to believe in. They were a prophetic calling of a new humanity into existence. They were an invitation into living in a new way, an invitation to the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

So be careful. The mystical writer, pastor, teacher, or musician you follow may not be an under-shepherd but a wolf leading you away (Acts 20:29-30) from knowing the God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ through His written Word. Only the Word can show you, if you will but listen.


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

One Response to The False Gospel of Mysticism

  1. Pingback: Psalm 119: Life from the Word « Your Cross on My Back

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