From Physics To Metaphysics

by Roger Oakland

Evolution, according to its biological definition, is a mechanism that changes life through time. Although for years, many have used the idea of evolution to explain away God, there are many today who are saying, because of evolution, everything is God. This trend is obvious in Great Britain, the very country where Charles Darwin authored his theory – physics has turned into metaphysics? How is this possible?

Glastonbury is situated in the southern part of England. From antiquity, Glastonbury has been known as a mystical center where numerous people have made the claim they have encountered the spiritual realm. Many and fantastic are the legends, a mythology which is still alive and growing today. Every year people go there from all over the world seeking spiritual solutions to their physical problems.

I had the opportunity to visit Glastonbury in the spring of 1997 while I was in England. I had just spent a couple of days researching the life of Charles Darwin and investigating the impact this man had on so many lives. His message, centered on natural selection and survival of the fittest, still shapes the thinking of evolutionists today. His motive, a disdain for Christianity, provides the basis for the “scientific” view there is no need for the supernatural. Today, throughout England and around the world, numerous monuments erected in his honor called “natural history museums,” project his beliefs as if he were God.

My trip to Glastonbury and Stonehenge revealed another aspect of Darwinism that most “evolutionary biologists” are not thrilled to discuss. The idea of natural selection may have been designed to explain God away, but in reality, through time, it has been the catalyst which has created an environment which has done exactly the opposite. It seems there has been a major shift in thinking over the past few decades. Our present generation has become frustrated with believing in naturalism. Now they are willing to believe that anything and everything is God.

There is no question mysticism and superstition, which modern science was supposed to have eliminated, has made a comeback in Great Britain. The shops in Glastonbury were filled with spiritual paraphernalia which would make one think we had returned to the pagan past.

At the core of these resurrected ideas was the basic belief in evolution. Man, according to the “new spirituality,” is on the verge of taking a giant leap of evolution. “Space brothers” or “spiritual guides,” whom it is believed have evolved to a “higher lever,” are waiting for us to make the leap. Meanwhile, worldly intellects are encouraged to spend their time practicing yoga, humming mantras or rubbing crystals. There are many ways to contact the “gods.”

I am fascinated with how evolution has evolved over the years – from mysticism to Darwinism then back to mysticism again. History has repeated itself, just as it has done many times before. The only thing that is unique this time is that “evolutionary mysticism” is a global religion. The Bible describes this current trend as “Christian Babylonianism.” The Bible also makes it clear that it will trigger off God’s wrath. Based upon my understanding of current events, it appears the time of God’s wrath may be soon! (from Understand the Times with Roger Oakland)

Roger Oakland is the author of Faith Undone, a compelling and well documented critique of the emerging church and the new spirituality.

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Emerging Church and Spirituality Shopping

Article from Emerging Church “Fresh Expressions” UK website (bold emphasis added):

Steve Hollinghurst, Researcher in Evangelism to Post-Christian Culture at Church Army’s Sheffield Centre, and Yvonne Richmond (Chaplain for evangelism at Coventry Cathedral) kicked off a national tour ‘Equipping your church in a spiritual age’ designed to help local churches engage with today’s growing interest in spirituality.

Mind, Body, Spirit

Last weekend, Steve was speaking on ‘discovering meditation with the Christian mystics,’ at the 10th Mind, Body, Spirit festival held in Manchester’s G-Mex Centre. This is the second biggest fair of its kind in Britain with over 15,000 visitors shopping for spirituality over three days. You will find herbal remedies, crystals, angel inspired art, past life therapy, spell-casting and various forms of spiritual and psychic healing.

Fairs like this are now quite common with over 150 of varying size being held across the UK each year – part of a growing culture connected to the contemporary search for spirituality in modern Britain. All those who come tend to be spirituality open and keen and relaxed about exploring ideas, theories and approaches to further enhance their search for the spiritual.

Steve has been running a ’Regenerate’ stall there for three years and is well-known for successfully training and equipping churches to engage with the spiritually seeking communities. This comes after being a key member of ‘Elemental’ at this year’s Glastonbury festival where Steve and others engaged with spiritual explorers through washing feet and providing a music, chat and chill out venue. He even runs a web blog called on earth as in heaven which he describes as ‘a place dedicated to musings about the work of God and how it is expressed at lived out in this new spiritual world and its many cultures.’

Spirituality shopping’ is really in at the moment,’ says Steve. He is an ordained Anglican minister who, in his early teens, turned his back on all things church and within a few years was into the occult, tarot, astrology and ritual magic.

‘The Regenerate stand came out of awareness that amidst this search for spirituality, Christianity was simply not on the agenda. Whilst some Christians remained of the view that this spirituality movement should be ignored, and others that it should be opposed, my encounters with people exploring spirituality led me to believe that not only were these people worth taking seriously, many were directly experiencing what seemed to be the God I also knew.’

Steve describes his main challenging in engaging with this new community to be to create a place where he could meet with people who were spirituality open enough to encounter a fresh expression of Christianity. From this idea the vision was born of a stall offering such an exploration in amongst all the others – Regenerate.

Steve continues, ‘We knew that many of the people we were seeking to connect with were either hostile to or suspicious of the church so we did not want to call the stand anything that made it immediately obvious we were Christians, so we chose the name regenerate – pointing to the way we believe Jesus could regeneration lives.’

The stall contains some carefully chosen Christian symbols such as a Celtic rather than a traditional cross, as Steve found that the idea of Celtic Christianity is more openly received. Other symbols were more subtle and require people to explore them as visual maids for meditation – including a depiction of Jesus as the tree of life. This became something of a talking point with those who stopped to admire it and opened up conversations about Jesus at the centre of life.

For those interested in the power and symbolism of tarot cards and angel decks Steve uses a ‘Jesus deck’ as a different way of communicating the Gospel stories. He asks people to chose a card from the deck and then explores with them the story the card depicts and the accompanying biblical text. Regenerate also offers healing prayer to people who are exploring a whole range of therapies and they are generally very open to being prayed for. Steve explains that he is keen for them to understand that as Christians we believe in a God that heals rather than the success of a particular technique.

Steve describes Regenerate’s presence at MBS 2005 a great success with increased and deeper encounters with spiritual explorers than in previous years, leading in some cases to people significantly reviewing their attitude to Christianity. He reckons around 200 individuals visited the stall over three days – many of whom who normally have no contact with Christianity.

One irony is that some of the main business Steve and his team had was from other stall holders who asked for prayer despite being practitioners of alternative healing and were both surprised and delighted to see Christians at the event. Steve comments, ‘A number of these had childhood church backgrounds and saw church as something deeply unspiritual and certainly did not associate the church with healing or meditation. Much of the work we are doing is in breaking down these negative stereotypes of what church is.’

Steve’s commitment to this area has work has opened up a role for him within the Group For Evangelisation (A co-ordinating group of Churches Together in England and a specialist researcher post in evangelism to post-Christian culture at Church Army’s Sheffield Centre. He was a key speaker in last year’s ‘Where’s your church in a spiritual age?’ tour of eleven venues across the UK and has recently returned from speaking engagements in the USA.

Along with other colleagues, Steve has a presence at the large Mind Body Spirit and Glastonbury Festivals where he is convinced people show a very open attitude to the Christian faith as a factor in what he describes as a ‘consumerist approach to spirituality, where Jesus is considered one of a number of product options.’

~ End of Article ~

Be Alert! — Consumerist, Spiritual Shopping aka Cafeteria Christianity delivered as “Fresh Expressions” Emergence Christianity.

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