The pagan intellectuals reclothed their original ideas in a garment of christian phraseology but bestowed the keys of the symbolism only upon those duly initiated and bound to secrecy” Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Catholic philosopher and historian Thomas Molnar (1921-2010) agrees with Manly's claim:
"....the occult penetrates the lowered defenses of the Christian tradition...The entire symbology of Christianity yields to other, sometimes older symbologies with their underlying creeds and doctrines." (The Pagan Temptation, Thomas Molnar, pp. 166-167)
Examples of important occult doctrines that have supplanted the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo under cover as modern science are for example, the Great Chain of Being (as above, so below) which with the addition of time became a full-fledged evolutionary theory, ancient anti-human Gnostic cosmogonies such as Darwinism, and Teilhard's Hindu-pantheist Hermetic immanentist version which has a god-force emerging out of matter after billions of years of evolution.
In 1993 journalist Terry Mattingly attended the occult pagan syncretistic services celebrated by the West's occult intelligentsia at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Mattingly wrote:
"Before the bread and wine were brought to the altar, the musicians offered a rhythmic chant that soared into the cathedral vault: "Praises to Obatala, ruler of the heaven; Praises to Yemenja, ruler of the waters of life; Praises to Ausur, ruler of Amenta, the realm of the ancestors; Praises to Ra and Ausar, rulers of the light and the resurrected soul." (On Global Wizardry: Techniques of Pagan Spirituality and a Christian Response, Peter Jones, chapter 5, Dave Doveton, p. 75)
St. John the Divine is actually a masonic cathedral built by the Brotherhood in 1925. Its' completion was such a prized accomplishment for the Brotherhood that it was featured on the front page of “Masonic World” of March 1925:
“It is particularly fitting that the Masons, who were the principal builders of cathedrals and churches during the greatest cathedral-building period, should now have a prominent part in the movement to build America’s greatest cathedral (…) Little need be added to the story of Freemasonry during the cathedral-building period; its monuments are its best history, alike of its genius, its faith and its symbols.” (Sinister Sites – St. John The Divine Cathedral, Vigilant Citizen, Feb 13th, 2009)
Two occult symbols, an illuminati pyramid and all-seeing eye crown the cathedral: http://i2.wp.com/vigilantcitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/fed.jpg
Vigilant Citizen argues that the most shocking aspect of the cathedral are its' prophetic pillars, conceived in 1997, depicting the destruction of New York city (including the Twin Towers) and the rise of a new world order:
The Twin Towers collapsing:
While ancient Egyptian and West African deities are invoked in St. John the Divine, undiscerning, uninformed Protestant and contemporary evangelical denominations are unwittingly following suit by incorporating pagan, Gnostic symbols, rituals, doctrines, devices, mystical techniques and language into their worship.
Symbols are nonverbal ways of communicating truths enshrined in our Christian faith. The 'cross' not only refers to Christ's finished work of redemption but as a symbol for the entire gospel message. Other Biblical symbols are the lamb of God, dove, fire, earthly stones, heavenly bread and living water.
Among occult symbols, rituals, devices, techniques and language being adopted by Christian churches are labyrinths, the Enneagram, African story-telling (churches now have their own unfolding story), yoga, communal festivals, in-Church dramas, dance, and occult pagan versions of the Christian contemplative tradition like those of Richard Foster, Thomas Keating, Tilden Edwards, and Richard Rohr.
Foster embraces Teilhard's Hymn of the Universe which initiates Christians into the ways of inner mystical contact with the world depicted as a divinely-infused living organism, Omega or the goddess Gaia. Occult pagan mystical techniques are being adopted uncritically by many evangelical churches including Willow Creek.
Haley Barton was trained as a spiritual director at the interreligious Shalem Institute for Spiritual Foundation founded by Tilden Edwards. Barton describes today's spiritual technologies, or mystical stream as a bridge:
"This mystical stream is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality." (Pagan Contemplative Techniques, Pamela Frost, p. 197, On Global Wizardry)
And then there's the rock music so very popular in both our degraded culture and emergent and contemporary evangelical churches:
"Were we to scour the globe in search of the most aggressively malevolent and unmistakably evil music in existence, it is more than likely that nothing would be found anywhere to surpass voodoo in these attributes ... as the rhythmic accompaniment to satanic rituals and orgies, voodoo is the quintessence of tonal evil. ... Its multiple rhythms, rather than uniting into an integrated whole, are performed in a certain kind of conflict with one another. ... What is certain is that to hear this music is to become instantly encompassed by the sound of its raw, livid power. ... Musicologists and historians are in no doubt that the drum rhythms of Africa were carried to America and were transmitted and translated into the style of music which became known as jazz. Since jazz and the blues were the parents of rock and roll, this also means that there exists a direct line of descent from the voodoo ceremonies of Africa, through jazz, to rock and roll and all other forms of rock music today." (The Secret Power of Music, David Tame, pp. 189-190)
Over the past three hundred years the Western Judeo-Christian tradition grounded in the Revelation of God has been incrementally eclipsed by an apostate Christian occult intelligentsia that emerged out of the Renaissance and has been the real power behind the counter-cultural, anti-tradition and sexual revolutions issuing in socialism and communism. Through their insidious machinations, occult pagan spirituality has been artfully revamped and revised for modern Western consumption.
In "The Making of the New Spirituality," James Herrick masterfully demonstrates how each major tenet of the Western Judeo-Christian tradition, which he calls the Revealed Word, has been radically reinvented and disseminated throughout our culture and in our schools by apostate theologians, spiritual directors, new religious cults, and through books, speeches, magazines, popular TV programs, plays, radio interviews, music, and websites.
With regard to the Revealed Word, Herrick lists seven major tenets:
1. The supernatural authority of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures: Beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, the Bible is taken to be divinely delivered, thus uniquely authoritative as a source of ultimate truth.
2. A personal, creating and wholly other God: God is all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere and possesses traits of personality---thoughts, motives, and the capacity to form relationships. He created the physical and spiritual worlds ex nihilo, or out of nothing. Moreover He is neither contained in nor equivalent with the created order, meaning that man does not have a share of God's substance.
3. God's creation of the human race: The Revealed Word teaches that the human race is a special creation of God, the only part of the creation to bear His spiritual image (mind/spirit). Man then is not a product of strictly natural processes.
4. An intervening God: The Revealed Word affirms that God's activity includes involvement in the lives of individual human beings. On occasion God's personal involvement is in the form of communication and at other times He miraculously alters the ordinary course of cause and effect. Though He invites address and petition through prayer He is not at the command of human beings.
5. Humankind's Fall: The human race fell into sin at the beginning of its existence as a consequence of their refusal to accept divinely mandated limitations on their activities. The Fall carried with it various catastrophic consequences including spiritual confusion, a state of spiritual separation from God and the inevitability of death.
6. Jesus Christ is God Incarnate: Jesus Christ uniquely manifested God in human form. Jesus is a revelation of God's nature in person and the only human being to ever fully express the divine nature. His death and resurrection are uniquely redemptive of fallen humanity. These events are the sole provision by the living God for the salvation of the human race. There is no other way but His offer of salvation.
7. Human destiny and divine judgment: The Revealed Word insists that the eternal destiny of the human race is to be determined only by God. Neither the present earth nor the human race exists indefinitely. Human beings live but one life. They do not spiritually evolve or reincarnate. A final judgment of the human race will occur, and each individual human being will be held accountable for the life lived.
Herrick calls the new spirituality "the New Religious Synthesis" and lists seven of its major components:
1. History is not important: As evolution is a primary doctrine of the new spirituality, and evolution implies continuous change, then history as a record of events in space and time is as useless and absurd as unchanging higher truths , moral absolutes and "He made them male and female."
2. The dominance of reason: Reason---also mind, consciousness, intellect, awareness, divine spark, pattern, or imagination---is the mystical divine essence in humans. It is virtually unlimited in its potential development through scientific study, evolution, and mystical experiences. The divine essence is the gateway to human apprehension of spiritual insights such as 'oneness' and 'interconnectedness' coming to those with the most highly evolved consciousness:
"Perhaps the most vital function of psychedelic drugs and plants is their ability to reliably produce spiritual or mystical experiences. These transpersonal experiences of “oneness,” or inseparability, often result in an increased sense of ecological awareness, a greater sense of interconnection, a transcendence of the fear of death, a sense of the sacred or divine, a desire to help humanity, and an identification with something much larger than one’s body or personal life." (Psychedelic Drug Research Heralds the Future Science of Divinity, David Jay Brown, Santa Cruz Patch, June 2012)
3. The spiritualization of science: The tool employed by divine reason to acquire new spiritual truths
4. The animation of nature: Nature (matter) is infused with and animated by divine spirit, the Force, Zoe, consciousness or life force. This is animism.
5. Hidden knowledge (gnosis) and spiritual progress: Gnosis is the key to spiritual insight and human progress and is the preserve of some scientists, spiritual directors, gurus, god-men, mediums and a new class of Western shaman. Such knowledge comes by means of science and spiritual technologies that lead to direct communication with the Ultimate Source (nonliving monistic One Substance, Omega, Universal Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, Chaos, Divine Abyss, Primordial Matter). Emptying the mind and disconnecting from reality are the goals of spiritual technologies:
".....spiritual power and a vibrant connection with the universe (is attained by) emptying the mind, leaving reality and getting “high” within. Meditation (sometimes facilitated by, in a Woodstock way, listening to rock music, experimenting with sex, and smoking pot or popping hallucinatory drugs—you know, a little help from “my friends”) often induced what can be called “altered state[s] of consciousness...." "Ecstasy can be deliberately induced using religious or creative activities, meditation, music, dancing, breathing exercises, physical exercise, sex or consumption of psychotropic drugs.” (Altered States: A Different Gate, Sarah Leslie and Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Herescope, April 2011)
This essay has briefly examined a few of the symbols, rituals, doctrines, devices, and language common to contemporary occult pagan spirituality whether in its' "Christian" guise or non-Christian forms.
With respect to supernatural Christian theism, pagan spirituality is its' exact opposite or antithesis and under no circumstances are Christians to accommodate the Church to paganism.
The Apostle Paul aptly describes pagan knowledge as the futility of minds and foolish, hardened, darkened hearts. (Romans 1:21) Paul is not naïve. He knows that pagan thinking is neither innocent nor neutral for they knowingly suppress the truth about God in preference to 'self.'(Rom. 1:18).
Apart from God human thinking is idolatrous because it raises 'self' up in preference to God. Such intellectual pride is an expression of "the doctrine of demons" as Paul says in 1 Tim. 4:1.