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.