In a blog posting entitled, "Unbelievers leading church services — why it’s discouraged," Churchmouse writes that over the past several years a growing trend has seen more non-Christians taking active leadership roles in church services. The milder examples of this involve churches, that out of desperation, hire unbelieving organists or choir directors. (http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/ )
But much more serious examples of unbelievers at the forefront of church services are the known atheists who lead them such as the notable atheist Philip Pullman who 'preached' in the University Church of St Mary’s two years ago. According to Archbishop Cranmer:
"....on the morning of Sunday 20th February, the preacher in the University Church of St Mary's was the notable atheist Philip Pullman. What glory to God that sermon must have brought. This, in the very church in which His Grace preached his final sermon, the stones still reverberating to the truth of his witness." (http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/oxford-elevates-atheists-to-pulpit.html )
Pullman is an atheist only with regard to the living, personal Triune God, but with regard to occult spirituality he is a believer. Although he uses many of the same names for God found in the scriptures, such as Yahweh, Adonai, the King, Father, and the Almighty, Pullman does not refer to God as the sovereign creator of conscious life and the universe but merely the first angelic being who took it upon himself to lay claim to the title 'God'.
" This is a catastrophic demotion. God, without any rights to call himself this, is unsurprisingly cast as a usurper, a tyrant, a despot. God is not a figure of love or mercy or grace. He is not a God of relationship, as he is absent from human affairs, except in that he opposes any freedom and individual thought because it is a threat to his power. Since he is not our creator, the giver of life, he prefers that humans are benign automatons. Since he is not the rightful judge of the universe, he is a tyrant." (Christian thinking ... about Philip Pullman? http://www.e-n.org.uk/ )
Though Pullman has yet to fully convince himself that the Triune God does not exist he nevertheless remains committed to the destruction of God and that of the Church. In a Washington Post interview he admitted that his goal is,
'"...to undermine the basis of Christian belief." The history of the Christian Church said Pullman, is a "record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny." (The Golden Compass: A Primer on Atheism, Russ Wise, 11/12/07, worldviewweekend.com )
Underlying Pullman’s ‘atheism’ is Luciferian Occultism, a syncretic neo-pagan mythology that like Free Masonry draws on ancient Egyptian Hermetic magic, Kabbalah, Orobouros (cosmic tree of life), Gnosticism, alchemy, Greco-Roman nature religions, Eastern mysticism/reincarnation/karma, spiritual and biological evolutionary conceptions (serpent power), neoplatonism, roisicrucianism, and Theosophy.
In “Occult Theocracy,” Edith Starr Miller elaborates on the serpent power/Masonry connection and by extension, on the same connection to Pullman's dark Gnosticism:
“Luciferian Occultism controls Freemasonry (and) is therefore not a novelty, but it bore a different name in the early days of Christianity. It was called Gnosticism…” (Occult Theocracy, p. 198, 1933)
Pullman's particular brand of Gnosticism holds to a conception that the manifest universe of which material creation is a part arose as a series of emanations, evolutions, emergences, or condensations from the godhead, divine Cosmic Spirit or mystical Dust, as Pullman calls it.
In his third book, The Amber Spyglass, Pullman describes how living beings such as God (the hated Authority) created themselves by condensing out of Dust---the eternally existing or spontaneously generated Divine One Substance (matter):
"The Authority, God, the Creator, The Lord... those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves—the first angel, true, the most powerful.... The first angels condensed out of Dust, and the Authority was the first of all.... " (pp. 31-32)
Pullman attributes his mystical Dust to evolving matter driven by intelligent consciousness, an occult conception that bears a striking similarity to the ancient occult symbol--- the Ouroboros: the seething serpent power, creative and/or evolutionary impulse or energy of the serpent figuratively depicted as either a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The serpent's body is often depicted as the Great Chain of Being, Cosmic Tree of Life, Teilhard de Chardin's Omega, transhumanism's Omega Point, Darwin's Tree of Life and with Pullman---Dust.
From the time of the ancients, serpent power has been important to religious and mythological symbolism all around the world. Pullman's primordial evolving matter driven by intelligent consciousness is a modern version of the Egyptian Nu---primordial waters--- in which serpent power was associated with,
..."the elemental forces that were in play before the creation of the world." (Carl Teichrib, Gods of Ancient Egypt, p. 182)
In China serpents were spiritually linked with earth and water while in Scandinavian myth a world serpent protected man from cosmic forces of chaos while in Hinduism,
".... the Cosmic Serpent—Ananta Sesha—symbolic of timeless eternity, carries the world on his 1000-fold [Cobra] hood…As the creative impulse stirs within the great Serpent in the Sky—when passive idea becomes active thought—the forces of attraction and repulsion come into play as ‘spirit’ begins its involution into "matter." (ibid, Teichrib)
Moreover, Kundalini yoga, a discipline within Hinduism, teaches that latent serpent energy lies at the base of the etheric human spine,
"…like a coiled serpent, ready to spring." (Harper's Dictionary of Hinduism, p. 156, ibid, Teichrib)
Serpent power is associated with today's occult New Age spirituality as well as Pullman's dark Gnosticism, Freemasonry and its' blatantly Luciferian sister, Theosophy, where according to Helena Blavatsky, serpent power represents self-generation and evolution through its own creative power.
The Orobouros with its' multiple dimensions and life-giving serpent powered energy systems not only powers the universe but reaches into the psyche, stirring imagination and bringing psychic powers. Pullman's cosmos of multiple universes or multiverses is the serpent powered Orobouros where the witches and other beings live:
“The witches have talked about this child for centuries past... Because they live so close to the place where the veil between the worlds is thin, they hear immortal whispers from time to time, in the voices of those beings who pass between the worlds. And they have spoken of a child such as this, who has a great destiny that can only be fulfilled elsewhere—not in this world, but far beyond. Without this child, we shall all die." ( The Golden Compass, Pullman, p. 176)
Pullman's mystical magical Dust within which witches and other beings dwell is very similar to the Orobouros of modern Luciferian theosophy. In this conception the Ouroboros ‘above’ corresponds to a number of different astral planes and sub-planes comprising the habitations,
"(of all) supernatural entities, the locale of gods and demons, the void where the thoughtforms dwell, the region inhabited by spirits of the air and other elements, and the various heavens and hells with their angelic and demonic hosts....With the help of ritual procedures, trained persons believe that they can 'rise on the planes,' and experience these regions in full awareness." ("Beyond the Body: The Human Double and the Astral planes, Benjamin Walker, 1974, pp. 117-8)
Whereas the Triune God (Pullman' Authority) was the first "angel" to condense out of Dust and represents everything evil, Sophia, who condensed later, is the goddess of wisdom who symbolizes everything good and is linked to the divine spark within Gnostikoi like Pullman. Sophia was banished, but we serve her still, said Pullman even though,
"... the Authority still reigns in the Kingdom, and Metatron is his Regent." (The Amber Spyglass, pp. 31-32)
Metatron appears primarily in the Kabbalah and other esoteric and occult sources. In Hermetic magic he is linked to the god Hermes and the mythical Emerald Tablet with its world famous magical code, "as above, so below."
The meaning of this code resides in the ancient Egyptian Hermetic principle of the macrocosm's (Dust) correlation with the microcosm (man/divine spark). “As above, so below” symbolized by the Ouroboros summarizes the idea that the magician who has actualized his divine spark (achieved higher consciousness) can spiritually ascend by way of ritual (i.e., transcendental meditation, mind-altering drugs) as he traverses the occult Path of Life or Western Magical Way to reach divine status, gain psychic powers and connect with higher powers existing in the various realms of the Orobouros in order to command change here below.
Dr. R. Scott Clark, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, examined the growing trend within modernist churches of inviting occultists and other pagans to preach and lead worship in a 2010 commentary, "The Scandal of Pagans Leading Worship." Dr. Scott begins his examination by turning to Paul:
"We have a fairly clear witness from Paul himself as to how he viewed the role of self-identified non-Christians in public worship. In 1 Cor 14 seems clear that Paul envisioned that “outsiders or unbelievers” (ιδιωαι η απιστοι – 1 Cor 14:23 – “unbelievers” and “outsiders” are two ways of describing same group) would find their way into Christian worship services. He did not, however, seem to imagine that they would be invited by the pastor and elders to lead the service! Rather, Paul envisioned that, when an unbeliever (and outsider) finds himself in a rightly ordered Christian worship service, the unbeliever would be convicted of his sins, come to faith and repentance and fall down before God." (http://heidelblog.net/2010/12/the-scandal-of-pagans-leading-worship/ )
Dr. Scott adds that we should also observe how Paul thinks about “unbelievers” and the distinction he regularly makes between them and Christians. For example,
"The latter are not to take internal disputes (which happen!) among Christians before “unbelievers” (1 Cor 6:6)...Unbelievers are those whose minds are “blinded” by “the god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4). Believers are not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14) because there is a fundamental spiritual antithesis between belief and unbelief ( 2 Cor 6:15)."
Paul teaches a spiritual antithesis, and nowhere does the antithesis come to a clearer expression in Holy Scripture than in the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo which reveals that man was created directly by God with a superhuman intelligence and original nature from which Adam, hence all of us, fell away and to which we are called back.
John 1:3 identifies Jesus Christ the Living Word as the Creator:
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." "He was in the world, and the world was made by him" (v. 10). "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (v. 14).
Jesus Christ is the Creator. Foremost of His miracles is creation out of nothing---six instantaneous acts or days of creation rather than the billions of years of evolutionary process or condensation out of pre-existing Dust as Pullman and like-minded fellow travelers hold:
"The first moment of time is the moment of God’s creative act and of creation’s simultaneous coming to be.” (Philosopher and New Testament scholar William Lane Craig quoted in "If God created the universe, then who created God?' by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation Ministries International)
On the miraculous creation of the first man Church Father John Chrysostom writes:
"And God formed man of dust from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul....the inbreathing communicated to the one created out of earth the power of life, and thus the nature of the soul was formed. What does a living soul mean? An active soul, which has the members of the body as the implements of its activities, submissive to its will." (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Seraphim Rose, p.215)
Gregory of Nyssa adds:
"The body and the soul were formed at the same time---not one before and the other afterwards..." (ibid, p. 218
Early Church Fathers make the point that the whole of creation, including the soul of man, was brought into existence from non-existence (ex nihilo), not from the Essence or Nature of God (paganism's Divine One Substance, Dust, Omega), therefore man and creation do not have the same essence as God and are not a part of God as most ancient and modern pagans, mystical pantheists, and Luciferian Occultists like Pullman believe.
Lest we be led away into the false opinion that the soul itself is Divine, or a part of God's essence as pantheists and Gnostic's teach (divine spark), Chrysostom writes:
"Certain senseless ones, being drawn away by their own conceptions, without thinking of anything in a God-befitting manner...dare to say that the soul has proceeded from the Essence of God. O frenzy! O folly! How many paths of perdition has the devil opened up for those who will serve him!" (ibid,Rose, p. 216)
The Apostle Paul speaks not of cosmic trees, astral planes and the witches and other beings supposedly existing there but of fallen angels, the "spirits of wickedness under the heavens" (Eph. 6:12) and their chief, "the prince of the powers of the air." (Eph. 2:2)
According to Paul, fallen angels are dispersed in a multitude throughout the whole blue expanse of sky which is visible to us---the dwelling place for the host of fallen angels who have been cast down from heaven. This means that in esoteric multiverse theories and occult cosmic tree of life conceptions, the whole blue expanse of sky under the heavens where fallen angels dwell is Pullman's Dust--the Ouroboros/cosmic tree ‘above’ consisting of realms, astral planes and sub-planes connected by the great chain of being up which the initiate spiritually ascends (evolves) as he traverses the occult Path of Life or Western Magical Way to reach divine status, gain psychic powers and connect with higher powers in order to command change here below.
Over eighty years ago, Rev. C. Leopold Clarke, a lecturer at a London Bible college, wrote a book entitled “Evolution and the Breakup of Christendom” in which he foretold the collapse of Christendom under the weight of “the intellectual and moral topsy-turvydom of Modernism and its primary doctrine, evolution.” (Evolution and the breakup of Christendom, Phillip Bell, creation.com, Nov. 27, 2012)
Modernism (Luciferian Occultism) is a synthesis of every heresy from the time of the ancients and in its modern form began when Renaissance Christian mystics and scholars such as Emanuel Swedenborg discovered Hermetic magic and esoteric Jewish Kabbalah texts which they studied and translated resulting in Hermetic Kabbalah. Then like Pico della Mirandola, argued that occult hermetic science---the divine technology or Magic Way of reaching divine status and powers through ritual procedures is the best proof of the divinity of Christ.
Somewhat later these tendencies became prevalent in liberal Protestantism and secular philosophy and were:
“...influenced by nineteenth-century studies by Kant and Hegel, by liberal Protestant theologians and biblical critics (such as Schleiermacher and von Harnack), by the evolutionary theories of Darwin, and by certain liberal political movements in Europe. The centers of Modernism were in France, England, Italy, and Germany. Two of its leading figures were Fr. Alfred Loisy, a French theologian and Scripture scholar, and Fr. George Tyrrell, an Irish-born Protestant who became a Catholic and a Jesuit, though he was dismissed from the Jesuits in 1906.” (Modernism, James Akin, http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/MODERSM.TXT )
In 1907 Pope Pius X dubbed Modernism and its’ principle doctrine evolution, “the synthesis of all heresies” in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis.
Twenty-three years later Rev. Clarke described Modernism’s principle doctrine evolution as,
“… the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration. It is a battering-ram of unbelief—a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high…Already a tremendous effect, on a wide scale, has been produced by the impact of this teaching—an effect which can only be likened to the … collapse of foundations.” (ibid)
Rev. Clarke believed that evolution was of another 'spirit' thus the trend of evolutionary science is not to help men find God but to lose Him, and Church leaders more eager to be “abreast of the times” to be well thought of and admired by the world than to be earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 1:3) help people to lose God rather than find Him.
Clarke pointedly observes that the,
“….faith of the Christian Church and of the average Christian has had, and still has, its foundation as much in the [truth] of the account of Creation, as in that of the person of Christ” and the “falling away” of Christendom from the faith of God could not proceed while the Bible held its rightful place in the judgment of the generation.
Now it has been displaced said Clarke,
“…as was foretold [2 Thess. 2:11], by the invasion of the modern intellect with the “strong delusion that shall believe a lie.” There is no evidence against the Bible, but there is the violent prejudice of the modern spirit and the modern cast of mind—the spirit that reckons God Himself to be out of date. ” (ibid)
Just so. It is the prejudice of the modern spirit working in and through the whole body of the Church by way of Church leaders more eager to be “abreast of the times” that rejects authentic Christian theism in favor of evolutionary conceptions, rock music, diversity, and tolerance to the point of inviting pagans and occultists to preach and lead worship.
Pullman and others of his persuasion have no place in God's House. Their preachings and teachings are an abomination from the devil himself.
On this issue Dr. Scott Clark pointedly reminds priests and Christians in general that though we live in the world, under God’s common providence, with unbeliever’s sharing (Matt 5:48) in God’s common gifts to humanity,
".... when we gather, on the Sabbath, for Christian worship, we withdraw from the common into a special, sacred space and time. It is not a time to celebrate our common humanity with non-believers, it is not a time for cultural, artistic expression and achievement. It is a time to bow before the face of our Holy Triune God and worship him as he as commanded (WCF 21.1). In this sense, holiness is about distinction (antithesis) between belief and unbelief. To make something sacred is to set it aside. That’s what we are, in corporate worship, God’s holy people, his holy priesthood (1 Pet 2:5), a holy temple. It is then that we express our status as a “holy nation” (1 Pet 2:9)." (ibid, The Scandal of Pagans Leading Worship)