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John Eldredge's Waking the Dead

The Lord Jesus gave me several writings in 2015 which discuss, at least in part, John Eldredge's book, "Waking the Dead." I am going to share them here with you. There are 4 of them, but I may not share all 4 of them. But, I will begin here with the first of the 4:

I’m Jealous For You

Monday, June 1, 2015, 6:33 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “My Prayer.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 (NASB).

I Betrothed You (vv. 1-2)

I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

Again, Paul wrote this to the church, the body of Christ in Corinth. He was distressed over his spiritual children because false teachers had come in among them who were trying to persuade them to reject Paul (and the other apostles) which, in essence, was to also reject Christ and the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the apostles were God’s chosen instruments (servants) to bring the gospel message to both Jew and Gentile, and to lead them to salvation in Christ Jesus, their Lord. So, much of this letter was written in defense of the apostles and their ministry, and in refuting the lies that these false teachers were spreading about them, because if the apostles were discredited, so would be the gospel as was taught by them. So, in defending themselves, they were also defending the gospel.

Paul loved his children in the Lord so much that he spent his life in service to his Lord and to them, often forsaking his own needs. He wept many tears over them, and was greatly grieved and distressed over how they were being so strongly influenced by these liars and deceivers, though I feel certain that not all were, but it seems some or many were.

Paul said he was jealous for them with a godly jealously, i.e. with a burning zeal for God, for his Word, for truth, for holiness and purity, for righteousness, and for the church to walk in that holiness and righteousness and no longer after the flesh. Paul, in sharing with them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in leading them to salvation, in a sense, betrothed (promised; engaged; gave in marriage) them to Jesus Christ. He, in essence, was the father who gave the bride away. Yet, we have to have the picture in mind here of engagement/marriage according to Jewish culture of that period of time, which is much different from my culture today in America. When a father gave his daughter in engagement to a man in that day, they were as good as married, just without the consummation of the marriage and without them living together. She was considered his wife, and he her husband, and they were to conduct their lives just as though the wedding had already taken place, which is also how we are to conduct our lives, walking daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.

And, that is the picture, too, of our relationship with Jesus Christ. We, the church, are his bride, but we are in the engagement period right now, though just as binding as an actual marriage, for an engagement in that culture was legally binding, like a marriage contract. So, breaking off an engagement was much like getting a divorce. The wedding won’t actually take place, though, until Christ Jesus returns for his bride. But, oh, what a glorious day that will be when I shall see my Savior face to face and I am with him forever!

You Bear With This (vv. 3-4)

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

Eve, the wife of Adam, was with God and with her husband in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, when created by God, lived in perfect harmony with God and were without sin. But, then they sinned, and since that time all humankind has been born into sin, and bears the image of Adam. Now mankind was separated from God, without hope, and doomed to eternity in hell, so God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we could be made right with God and restored to fellowship with the Father. It is by grace we have been saved, through faith – it is the gift of God, not of our own fleshly works lest any of us should boast that we deserved or earned our own salvation. We have been made pure, not because we have kept the law perfectly, but because Jesus paid the price for our sins, and because he took the punishment for our sin. By his stripes we are healed.

Yet, faith in Jesus Christ means we have gotten engaged (betrothed) to Jesus Christ. We are to love and obey him, serve him, submit to his Lordship over our lives, surrender our wills to him, and conduct our lives no longer after the flesh but after the Spirit. We are to be faithful to him in our commitment to be his bride and in having him be our husband. We are not to have any more boyfriends (idols, false gods, etc.). So, Paul was concerned for the church that they might be deceived by Satan, via these false teachers, and that they might be led astray, or that their minds might be corrupted, turning them away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ, which they were to have for Christ as his bride. There seemed to be evidence that this was already beginning to take place, for Paul said they were bearing with, having patience with, and were putting up with false teaching.

They Masquerade (vv. 12-15)

But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

I believe the Lord would have me give you a modern-day example of this. A couple of days ago I was presented with the book, Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge. John Eldredge is a very popular author of books, primarily written to men, though many women read them, too. His books are being used in many churches today, particularly in men’s groups, in place of Bible studies, and this is a very sad reality. John Eldredge relies heavily on movies and movie quotes, including movies which promote what is sinful, and he includes quotes from various writers, including mystics and those who have rejected God entirely, yet not to expose them as being false, but to include them as sources to support his teaching.

Eldredge includes quotes from the Bible, too, but usually out of context. As well, he distorts the truth, twists it, and makes it say what he wants it to say, but he doesn’t really teach the word. He often blends the word right in with his false teaching, or else he neatly places it in there every now and then to give the appearance, it would seem, that what he is writing is Biblical, though he doesn’t really explain what a lot of these verses are talking about, and then he goes off on his own psychobabble which he so cleverly passes off as truth.

Ok, to give you some examples of what I am talking about I will quote some of what he said in this book so that you can see for yourselves that this man is a false teacher of the worse kind, and that this book comes straight out of the pit of hell.

“Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive”

Eldredge began his book with a quote from Wallace Stevens, now deceased, who was an American Modernist poet. A modernist, among other things, is one who rejects traditional forms of religious faith. “A notable characteristic of Modernism is self-consciousness.” “More common, especially in the West, are those who see it as a socially progressive trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve and reshape their environment with the aid of practical experimentation, scientific knowledge, or technology.” “In his book Opus Posthumous, Stevens writes, ‘After one has abandoned a belief in God, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life’s redemption.’" Wow! [Source: Wikipedia] As we will see, I believe, Eldredge appears to be a modernist, too.

He quoted Stevens as saying, “The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.” He followed this with a quote from “Jesus of Nazareth,” in which Jesus said, “Narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:14).

Next, Eldredge leads us down a path of self-discovery, looking for answers to life’s questions and to the meaning of life. He said, “Twenty clear days a year – that sounds about like my life. I think I see what’s really going on about that often. The rest of the time, it feels like fog, like the bathroom mirror after a hot shower” He said, “Oh, I’d love to wake each morning knowing exactly who I am and where God is taking me” “But, for most of us, life seems more like driving along with a dirty windshield and then turning into the sun,” which then clouds his vision even further. (Quotes from pg. 5).

Then, he goes on to describe life’s misfortunes and how people, including himself, question God, and why he isn’t there for them, and question what happened to this abundant life they were promised, etc. The conclusion? “Either (a) we’re blowing it, or (b) God is holding out on us, or a combination of both (pg. 9).” Then, he prayed, “Jesus, take away the fog and the clouds and the veil, and help me to see… give me eyes to really see” (pg. 10).

So, what did he end up seeing? He asked the question, “What did Jesus mean when he promised us life?” (pg. 11). He said, “God’s intentions toward me might be better than I’d thought. His happiness and my happiness are tied together? My coming fully alive is what he’s committed to? That’s the offer of Christianity?” (pg. 12).

Eldredge leads us to believe that knowledge (facts) about God do not lead us to happiness. While that is true, he then says it is because facts get lodged in the mind; “they don’t speak at the level we need to hear… but when you tell a story, you speak to the heart” (pg. 24). Now, stories to him also mean movies, novels, and such, which he uses extensively to illustrate his philosophy he wants to convey, even if the movies are loaded with moral filth. He quoted Rolland Hein saying, “They are the kind of story that wakes you up, and suddenly you say, ‘Yes, yes, this is what my life has really been about! Here is where my meaning and my destiny lie!’” Eldredge adds, “And we need some waking up, you and I” (pg. 25). He then quotes Kilby: “Systemizing drains away color and life, but myth restores. Myth is necessary because of what man is… because man is fundamentally mythic. His real health depends upon his knowing and living his… mythic nature” (pg. 26). Wow!

He speaks of Jesus in this way, “An innocent man, the Son of God, bleeding for the sins of the world. Standing in for us, as Jack gives his life for Rose in Titanic,…” (pg. 61; a reference to a movie in which Jack has sex with Rose, to whom he is not married. Rose is actually engaged to another man, I believe.). He makes several such references in this book in which he compares what is spiritual to what is worldly and sinful, and brings God down to human level, as though they are somehow on an even playing field with sinful man, but this is even more sinister than that, for it compares a holy God and what Jesus did in dying on the cross for our sins with an ungodly man giving his life for a woman with whom he had had an illicit affair. Wow!

He said, “The cross is not the focal point of Christianity” (pg. 64), the resurrection should be or is, in his opinion. He went on to suggest that those who walked with Jesus didn’t make the cross central (pg. 64). He said, “As the record goes, what the apostles preached was the Resurrection” (pg. 64). Let me remind us all here that Paul, in the power of the Spirit of God, said, “For the message of THE CROSS is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Co. 1:18). Without the cross, there would be no resurrection. Without the cross, there would be no forgiveness of sins. Jesus said that if we want to live, we must first die. John Eldredge minimizes and almost dismisses the importance of the cross of Christ. So many want their resurrection without the cross, and that is what ails our society. We must be warned against these who masquerade themselves as “servants of righteousness,” so that we are not led away by their deceptions.

My Prayer / An Original Work / May 30, 2011

“Fill me with Your Spirit;
help me to love others;
Let me know Your power;
be an overcomer.
Show me how to follow
Jesus Christ, my Savior;
Be His faithful servant
to obey Him always.

“Lead me with Your presence;
help me know the right way;
Teach me love and kindness,
generous compassion.
Give me grace and courage
to be Jesus’ witness,
Teaching His salvation
to a world who needs Him.”

Won’t you come and follow
Jesus Christ, your Savior?
He died so you’d be
free of control of your sin;
Free to follow His ways
in complete surrender;
Living sacrifices –
let His grace transform you.

This one is not specific to just Eldredge or to any book he has written, in particular, but it covers the subject of destructive heresies within the church more in general, although reference is made to him in this writing.

Destructive Heresies

Saturday, August 1, 2015, 9:44 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Sheep.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Peter 2 (Selected vv. NASB).

False Teachers (vv. 1-3)

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

A heresy is a deviation; “an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth” (M-W). It is similar in nature to apostasy, which means “departure (implying desertion); apostasy – literally, ‘a leaving, from a previous standing’" (biblehub.com). There is much heresy and apostasy within the church today, which has been secretly introduced into the teachings of the church. It was very slight and subtle, at first, but as the people began to accept the lies which were cleverly disguised as truth, more and more was introduced, and more and more was also accepted as truth when, in fact, much of it was lies.

It works something like this: My husband and I both grew up with televisions in our homes during the 1950’s through the 1970’s. So, as children and young adults, TV watching was just part of our lives. TV shows back then were much tamer than they are now, yet they had many subtle messages contained within them which were being daily introduced into our minds. In the 1980’s we were introduced to movie rentals. Up to that moment, we had seen movies mainly on TV, which were edited for television, so renting movies meant introducing even more stuff into our minds. We got addicted to watching movies, and soon we had seen most of the ones in the video store, and so we started buying movies, and introduced even more garbage into our minds. Little by little we accepted more and more junk, which we should never have accepted, all in the name of entertainment. The more we accepted, the more we desensitized ourselves to what we were taking into our minds.

And, this is how heresy gets secretly introduced into the church, too. The process has been slow and subtle. The more the people of the church have accepted these subtle heresies, the more they have become desensitized to them to where they don’t see them. For instance, in 1999 my husband and I put our TV away for 6 months. At first we didn’t know what to do without it, but then we did fine, but after 6 months we reintroduced it back into our lives, which was a mistake. We were both amazed at what we now noticed that we had not noticed before. We were also shocked at how much we had been desensitized to the junk so that we didn’t see it. Logic says we should have discarded the TV then, but it was in 2008 that we got rid of our TV for good, and I have not missed it one bit. Praise the Lord!

In the protestant evangelical church, which was my upbringing, I have seen a huge paradigm shift take place in the church just in the past 15 years. That is when I became aware of the Rick Warren Purpose Driven movement, which literally transformed evangelical Christianity away from the foundations of the gospel according to Jesus and his apostles to a foundation of human teachings and human marketing schemes for the purpose of drawing in large crowds of people into the gatherings of the church. That is when I began to notice pastors, who had once preached the true gospel of salvation, altering and diluting the gospel to make it more appealing to human flesh. They began to focus most of their time and attention and financial contributions toward the “Big Show” on Sunday mornings, and on making the world feel comfortable, non-threatened and not offended by the gospel.

Then, in 2011, I became aware of an even greater deviation from the truth. This one was not just diluting the gospel to make it more appealing to the people of this sinful world, or marketing the church just like any other human-based business, or making church “fun” and “entertaining” for the world so they would want to come to its meetings. This deviation (apostasy) moved in the direction of the blending of different religions into one and the introduction of pagan beliefs and practices into the church in the name of Christianity. And, the people put up with it easily enough.

Because the church did not blink an eye, for the most part, when all these other transitions and introductions of destructive heresies took place, the people were prepped to just accept whatever their pastors fed them next. Too many people are far too trusting of people in positions of religious leadership and they often follow them blindly with full allegiance, and thus they do not test what they hear against the Word to make sure it is truth.

This transition is called “Emergent” or “New Age,” and there is much deception contained within. I was first introduced to this through the teachings of a man named John Eldredge, because a loved one of mine was following this man’s false teachings. Eldredge was a student of Larry Crabb, and Larry Crabb was a student of the teachings of CS Lewis. The teachings of Eldredge, Crabb and Lewis all mix pagan mythology and mysticism in with Christianity. And, a large portion of today’s church has accepted this teaching. This is all leading to a one-world religion where the people of the world put aside what divides us and they all come together as one in unity under the New World Order “beast,” unless they refuse the mark of the beast and choose to stand strong on their faith in Jesus Christ.

Promising Freedom (vv. 17-22)

These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

Many, many church congregations today have introduced movies or movie clips into their worship services. They see this as using parables to teach biblical truth, but often times the movies from which these “clips” are taken have situations in them where people who are not married to each other are involved sexually one with the other. So, they are using what is ungodly and unholy to try to teach what is godly, righteous and holy, but the two are in conflict with each other. Or else the movies glorify other sins such as stealing, lying or cheating, etc. In addition to this, many pastors are very worldly, and so they introduce worldly thought and actions into their sermons, oftentimes in order to make them more entertaining. So, meeting together with the church in these buildings called “church” these days is not much different than going to see movies in a movie theatre. We have had to walk out of church meetings because of the sensual nature of what was going on inside.

Many of these modern church congregations and their leaders prey on the people of this sinful world who are “unchurched” and who lack biblical knowledge and understanding, because the biblically ignorant are most likely to believe whatever they are told. At the same time, many of these leaders, too, are warned against those who hold to the truths of scripture and who believe in the gospel as taught by Jesus and his apostles, and these leaders are, thus, being schooled in how to get rid of those with “strong convictions.” They teach the people that all they have to do is pray a prayer to receive Christ, and that they don’t have to repent of sin or obey Christ to be saved. In fact, many of these false teachers tell the people that God requires nothing of them at all other than the faith to believe, although that faith is not explained. So, they are promising people freedom from the punishment of sin and they are giving them a false hope of heaven when they die, yet they are not free themselves from slavery to sin nor do they teach freedom from bondage to sin.

Yet, Jesus taught death to sin. He said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self (his self-life), take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self), and follow (obey) Jesus. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity, but if we willingly lose our lives (die to sin and self), we will gain eternal life (See Lu. 9:23-25). His Word teaches us that coming to faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness (new birth) of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:24). Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (See 1 Peter 2:24). He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us (2 Co. 5:15). And, He died that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who walk no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. If we walk according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (See Ro. 8:1-14).

Scripture also warns much against mixing paganism in with faith in the One and Only true God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The NT scriptures have set the standard for Christian faith and practice. They have much to warn us against, but also to encourage us in, if we will spend the time becoming students of the Word and not be students of movies and ungodly and humanistic teaching and philosophy, so that we know the will of God for our lives. Jesus said that his sheep (his followers) know his voice, they listen to him, and they follow (obey) him, and these are the ones who can’t be snatched out of his hands. He also said that his sheep don’t follow strangers (false teachers), but they run away from them.

So, are we listening to the Lord by spending much time in his Word, hearing what he has to say? And, by obeying what we hear from the Lord? Are we testing what we hear from humans against the Word of God, to see if it is truth, or if we are believing lies? And, are we running away from false teachers/teaching? Or, are we spiritually and physically lazy, and so we just buy into whatever sounds good to our itching ears, and so we don’t bother to check it out to see if it is truth or not? We need to follow our Lord in obedience, and not follow strangers (those who teach what is contrary to the truths of scripture and the gospel). And, we need to be discerning about what we are daily taking into our minds. If we are allowing ourselves to daily be entertained by what is junk and what is sinful, it will fight against us being able to walk in the Spirit and to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God.

My Sheep / An Original Work / June 24, 2012

Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.

Thats terrible Sue that people are getting their morals from ungodly movies and ignoring God.

I dont know why watching a silly movie would be more exciting than spending time with the Creator of the Universe. At judgement day Hes not going to care how many movies anyones seen but whether you read or heard His Word and kept his commandments.

I used to work in a picture library and some workers did nothing but keyword pictures describing what clothes hollywood actors were wearing. What a waste of time! The world placed so much importance on what these actors were wearing when they werent acting in the movies. Why I dont know. It sold magazines..? I havent been to any churches that incorporated worldly movies into their sermons but I am wary of people who constantly quote CS Lewis as if he was an apostle. Cs Lewis got his teaching from a guy called George macdonald who was writing fairy tales and fantasy. Fantasy is not truth people. But many people want to believe a delusion/fantasy than the truth.

'Narnia' is not a christian movie, neither is 'the shack' but people seem to want to make them out to be christian. Another one I hear is star wars! As for Titanic well that wasnt christian.

I tend to fall asleep in most movies so, they are kind of wasted on me.
Thats terrible Sue that people are getting their morals from ungodly movies and ignoring God.

I dont know why watching a silly movie would be more exciting than spending time with the Creator of the Universe. At judgement day Hes not going to care how many movies anyones seen but whether you read or heard His Word and kept his commandments.

I used to work in a picture library and some workers did nothing but keyword pictures describing what clothes hollywood actors were wearing. What a waste of time! The world placed so much importance on what these actors were wearing when they werent acting in the movies. Why I dont know. It sold magazines..? I havent been to any churches that incorporated worldly movies into their sermons but I am wary of people who constantly quote CS Lewis as if he was an apostle. Cs Lewis got his teaching from a guy called George macdonald who was writing fairy tales and fantasy. Fantasy is not truth people. But many people want to believe a delusion/fantasy than the truth.

'Narnia' is not a christian movie, neither is 'the shack' but people seem to want to make them out to be christian. Another one I hear is star wars! As for Titanic well that wasnt christian.

I tend to fall asleep in most movies so, they are kind of wasted on me.
Thanks, Lanolin. I agree! Many of the churches my husband and I attended over the years did use movie clips for their sermons, but lots of times the movies themselves were not wholesome movies. Even though they did not show the bad stuff in the clips, they introduced the movies into people's minds, and if people then got the movie and watched it, in many cases the movies had inappropriate material contained within, and some even had sex scenes. But, the modern way is to show movie clips and they feel it is like Jesus telling parables, but it isn't, for it opens up a whole world of evil into people's minds and hearts if the clips shown are from movies which have filth, sensuality, bad language, immorality, etc. contained within.

Some of these pastors, granted, probably show these clips innocently, i.e. they got the movie clip off of some sermon site and they didn't actually see the whole movie, so they were unaware. But, I have shared with church leaders my concerns over some of these clips, because, in my past life, I watched some of those movies, and I can no longer have those thoughts in my mind, not that I should have ever, but even by seeing the clip it reminds me of the movie and I don't want to go there, so I have had to walk out of church meetings, so that I don't have those thoughts put into my head, because I want my mind to remain pure always. It is really sad when you have to walk out of a gathering of the church because they are filling your mind with the immorality of the world, but sad to say, that is more common here than what many people realize.

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