"R.C. Sproul, Jr. (himself an Evangelical) said that an Evangelical is a Fundamentalist who wants the respect of Modernists, and sells his soul to get it. Some wags would say that Evangelicals are better at selling souls than saving souls. Sproul added, “We evangelicals are they who cut this deal with the Modernists, ‘We will call you brother, if you will call us scholar.’” Ah, yes, “scholar.” That is the driving desire of most Evangelicals–intellectual respectability." (Biblical Christians Will Never Fit into Polite Society! Don Boys, Ph.D, donboys.cstnews.com)
Modernism: the Synthesis of All Heresies
Modernism and/or liberalism first developed in 19th century Germany. Its first real manifestation was at the University in Tubingen where a lapsed Christian theologian named Ferdinand Baur (1792-1860) had formed a school of theology which would raise questions about the Christian faith, a tactic designed to undermine its status as the fount of truth and moral law through destructive criticism. Among areas which came under attack were the person of Jesus Christ, the Genesis account, the fall and nature of sin, the authority of the Bible, the way of spiritual salvation, apostolic tradition and Church doctrine.
But by far the most heretical and destructive incursion into divine truth was the modernist assertion of the immanence of God at the expense of His transcendence (separateness from His creation) so that the Creator becomes an expression of an evolving cosmic process. J. Gresham Machen understood that immanence by any definition is pantheism:
"The truth is that liberalism has lost sight of the very center and core of the Christian teaching. (The) one attribute of God (that) is absolutely fundamental in the Bible...is the awful transcendence of God. From beginning to end the Bible is concerned to set forth the awful gulf that separates the creature from the Creator...Between the creature and the Creator a great gulf is fixed." (Christianity and Liberalism, Machen, 1923, pp. 62-63)
The concept of immanence owes much to the philosophy of the occult pantheist Georg Hegel (1770-1831). Hegel and Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854) were the first major apostate Christian philosophers in the West to propound a philosophy of spiritual evolution (Hegel's dialectic). This was many years before Karl Marx de-spiritualized Hegel's philosophy to produce dialectical materialism and Charles Darwin published his biological theory.
Hegel is an important link between modernism and ancient Gnosticism. According to Professor Kurt Rudolph, Hegel, Jakob Boehme (1575-1624), Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854), and Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1854) were the philosophical heirs of ancient Gnosticism. (Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism, Rudolph, p. 368, in From Old Gnosticism to New Age," Alan Morrison)
Mircea Eliade concurs with Rudoph's conclusions. Eliade claims that Hegel's early writings were strongly influenced by Christoph Oetinger (1702-1782), the gnostic Kabbalist and disciple of Jakob Boehme and Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1722).
In his book, "Scientific Mythologies," James A. Herrick traces the contemporary 'aliens from outer-space' idea back to certain Renaissance astrologers, occultists, and mystics such as Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) who claimed to not only receive telepathic secrets from spirits but to have visited populated planets during out-of-body experiences.
Swedenborg's influence is far-reaching. From Kant to the occult theosophist Madame Blavatsky and points in between and on into our own time to psychologist J.B. Rhine, a vast array of science fiction writers (i.e., Clarke, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Steven Spielberg) and numerous modern evolutionary scientists including Francis Crick and Richard Dawkins.
In a historical analysis of mystery religions, secret orders and Gnosticism entitled, "From Old Gnosticism to New Age," researcher Alan Morrison writes:
"This period also marked the appearance of the sister discipline of theological liberalism, "higher criticism," which questioned the authorship and dating of individual books of the Bible...Such unsanctified exploration naturally led to an enquiry into the identity of the historical Jesus---typified in the anti-supernaturalistic book, "The Life of Jesus," written in 1835 by Baur's pupil, D.F. Strauss (1808-1874)" (Morrison, SCP Journal, Vol. 28:4-29:1, 2005, pp. 33-34)
Modernists eagerly embraced Hegel's dialectic and then later Darwin's biological variant and Teilhard's idea, which posited the emergence of an immanent god out of matter that had been evolving for vast periods of time. Evolution dovetailed neatly with theological moderns who had already posited evolutionary development of religion throughout the millennia based on Hegel's idea. When Darwin published his biological version mid-century, apostate moderns were more than ready to jettison Biblical teaching:
"We death-of-God theologians, along with many others today, accept without reservation the relativistic intellectual and spiritual climate of our time...We have given up believing that there is something about Christians that makes our views inevitable or necessary or (by definition) better than alternatives. We merely represent one of the possible intellectual options today." (ibid, Rev. William Hamilton, Playboy, Aug, 1966, p. 84)
This way of thinking is held by a great many liberalized "Christian" theologians, archbishops, ministers, reverends, priests and pastors of the church today.
By the turn of the century, the beginnings of a counter-tradition hierarchy of modern Godless theologians, many with backgrounds in Theosophy and spiritism, had arisen and were assaulting and destroying the Church from within.
In 1907 Pope Pius X noted with alarm that modernist "thinking" was taking hold of the contemporary mind, and in that way taking possession of Western civilization, including Catholic laity and priests. The Pope identified "Modernism" and its primary doctrine evolution a synthesis of all heresies in the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis.
The Pope noted that Modernist heretics were claiming that Christ is in us (Gnostic divine spark together with mystical pantheist monism) and that through evolution an immanentist Christ-force progressed and/or "emanated from nature spontaneously and of itself," a distinctly Gnostic concept that presupposes either eternally existing or spontaneously generated matter.
Since evolution implies continuous change, becoming, and/or progress, apostates claim that immutable (unchanging) truth and moral laws do not exist, therefore there is nothing immutable in the Bible or the Church. All are relative, that is, subject to change because everything is infused with impersonal divine spirit (animism) in continuous process of change, therefore truth, tradition, religion and dogma live and evolve and "must in fact be changed" as their purpose is to express the religious feelings of each new generation.
Hence, a fundamental idea for Modernism is "consciousness" - individual and social. This mystical pantheist notion is expressed repeatedly in modernist writings in terms such as "immanence", "consciousness raising," the "world spirit", "the One Spirit," "the spirit of the age," "oneness" "Christ consciousness" "we are the world" and other like terms. Since this "spirit" is always evolving and changing with the dominant ideas of the age religion must change, it must become modern and/or contemporary. If religion doesn't change as the One Spirit changes it is worse than useless. Thus the Modernist anti-tradition agenda of change, of going forward, becoming contemporary, of constantly changing. (The Heresy of John Paul II, the Aquinas Site, sedevacantist.com)
Progress or change also refers to reincarnation. Modernism replaces resurrection with reincarnation, as the respected traditionalist metaphysician Rene Guenon (1886-1951) reveals in his highly acclaimed critical analysis of modernist Theosophy and Spiritism entitled, "The Spiritist Fallacy."
Guenon writes that in early Theosophist and spiritist circles use of the word 'progress' or 'progressivist' preceded the use of the word 'evolution.' The roots of Theosophy, hence of evolution, stretch back to the ancient Upanishads of India and to ancient Greece, and in its modern version, progress and/or evolution describes the progress (transmigration/reincarnation) of soul as it inhabits in succession the bodies of different beings over the course of thousands or even millions and billions of years.
Eventually the word evolution became preferred, especially by empirical realists and materialists like Karl Marx because it had a more 'scientific' allure:
"This kind of 'verbalism'...provides the illusion of thought for those incapable of really thinking..." wrote Guenon. (ibid, p. 231)
Guenon defines progress, progressivism, evolution and their derivatives as satanic and adherents as unconscious Satanists because for the most part their hubris and ignorance blind them to the extreme dangers of the "infernal fire" they play with:
"..every theory that notably disfigures the Divinity should in some measure be regarded as satanic; and conceptions of a limited God and of a God who evolves should here be placed in the front rank...." Thus "evolutionism" in general and Modernist "conceptions" in particular are satanic. The 'immanentist' Christ-force of the Liberal Church is satanic because it "openly submits the Divinity to becoming." (ibid, p. 257)
In many ways, the spirit of Modernism has infected Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholicism as well as Evangelicalism. In his book, "New Evangelicalism: the New World Order," Paul Smith writes that New Evangelicalism (i.e., Purpose Driven Church) has the anti-tradition objective of change, of transformation, of becoming,
"....postmodern and seeker friendly in order to better communicate with the postmodern homogenous groups. Accommodation became the oil that lubricated the process." (p. 110)
Since socialism (healing of the world; mystical pantheist oneness) is Modernism's evangelism it rejects the sinfulness of man and individual spiritual salvation in favor of feel-good therapeutic models and good deeds:
"The Purpose Driven model ushers in a new reformation based on behavior rather than beliefs; deeds rather than creeds; and what the church does rather than what the church believes." (Smith, p. 111)
The spirit of New Evangelicalism wages war against every manifestation of the traditional church from hymnals to rules and reverence for God's House. New Evangelical Rick Warren views traditionalists as pillars holding up progress, thus they must be driven off. Paul Smith comments:
"The new evangelical seminary trains men and women to take a traditional church and mold it into a postmodern accommodating mindset that will reach a postmodern culture." (Smith, p. 128)
Smith sees that New Evangelicalism is preparing Christians for what is in process of being birthed---a New World Order. Agenda 21 describes the coming order in exoteric political and environmental terms. Esoterically it is occult mystical pantheism necessitating a "profound reorientation of all humans," meaning a conversion of souls away from the worship of the transcendent living God and toward worship of the One Spirit. A counter-conversion of souls is the goal of the spirit of change:
“Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by every person on Earth…it calls for specific changes in the activities of all people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced… ” Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet (Earthpress, 1993).
The Spirit of Change
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." Ephesians 6:12
The average Christian today appears either apathetic or blind to the ominous changes around them, let alone what they portend:
"...the very idea of tradition has been destroyed to such an extent that those who seek to recover it no longer know which way to turn, and are only too ready to accept all the false ideas presented to them in its place and under its name." (Rene Guenon, False Dawn, p. 436)
A vast dark wing covers the West. Within its' shadow America implodes as the Church fractures and radically transforms as it merges into the broad path that leads to destruction. A vigorous shaking and threshing is going on. Something is happening that "we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should see and understand," warns Dr. Albert Mohler:
""People no longer know what they have lost, much less that they themselves are lost....The landscape is changing, the skies are darkening — and this is something we know with a... spiritual sense, a spiritual urgency." (Albert Mohler, The Disappearance of God, p. 158)