Speaking of the inroads into the American Church of neo-pagan Modernism (i.e., liberalism, existentialism) and its primary doctrine evolution at the beginning of the last century, Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), the Professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary said:
"The truth is that liberalism has lost sight of the very centre and core of the Christian teaching. In the Christian view of God as set forth in the Bible, there are many elements. But one attribute of God is absolutely fundamental in the Bible; one attribute is absolutely necessary in order to render intelligible all the rest. That attribute 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. It is true, indeed, that according to the Bible God is immanent in the world. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him. But He is immanent in the world not because He is identified with the world, but because He is the free Creator and upholder of it. Between the creature and the Creator a great gulf is fixed." (The Paganization of Biblical Studies, Dr. Peter Jones)
All things created by God, including human beings, are distinct from Him said Church Father Irenaeus in affirmation of Machen's statement. Nor is matter coeternal with God as pagans from the time of Nimrod on through to our own time (Modernist theologians) claim:
"But the things established are distinct from Him who has established them, and what [things] have been made from Him who has made them. For He is Himself uncreated, both without beginning and end, and lacking nothing. He is Himself sufficient for this very thing, existence; but the things which have been made by Him have received a beginning... He indeed who made all things can alone, together with His Word, properly be termed God and Lord; but the things which have been made cannot have this term applied to them, neither should they justly assume that appellation which belongs to the Creator." ("Is Creatio Ex Nihilo A Post-Biblical Invention? An Examination Of Gerhard May's Proposal," Paul Copan, Trinity Journal 17.1; Spring 1996)
Paul Tillich (1886-1965) was a modernist theologian fascinated with both existentialism (neo-Gnostic nihilism) and Buddhism. Having embraced these naturalistic conceptions he declared that it was time to retire the word God, by which he meant the Holy Trinity God in Three Persons, because the idea of divine consubstantiality posited by these naturalistic conceptions eliminates the uniqueness, and otherness of the living, personal Holy Trinity, thus allowing man to share the very substance of God.
Tillich replaced the Holy Trinity with existentialist and Buddhist expressions such as “Ultimate Concern” and “Ground of Being” to express his idea that there is no longer a personal Holy Trinity "out there" Who acts in history. Now there is only an impersonal God substance similar to sarvam khalvidam brahma, or All is truly Brahman and by extension, a universal God-self---ayam atma brahmam: "The Self is Brahman." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5)
But if there is no living, personal Holy Trinity "out there," then it logically follows that there is no source for life, consciousness, soul, spirit and will, or for human dignity, worth, liberty, and property. If man is not God's spiritual image-bearer, then he is less than nothing, a conclusion Buddha reached long before Jesus Christ God-Incarnate walked this earth:
"Six centuries before Jesus Christ, the Buddha already knew that if God does not exist, then the human self cannot exist either......Therefore, he deconstructed the Hindu idea of the soul. When one starts peeling the onion skin of one's psyche, he discovers that there is no solid core at the center of one's being. Your sense of self is an illusion. Reality is nonself (anatman). You don't exist. Liberation, the Buddha taught, is realizing the unreality of your existence." (The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 6)
Buddha taught that liberation from suffering is non-self, or the one-mindedness of nonbeing, which Tillich sought. Hannah Tillich records her husbands demon-haunted strivings toward nonself:
"A Japanese Zen master, sitting with him in earnest confrontation, once described him as 'not one of the enlightened yet.' He still made the distinction between 'good' and 'evil.' The Zen master had banned good and evil in his world, acquiring physical immobility and perfect quietude. He listened with the inner ear and would not permit demons to enter his five orifices. He was not tortured by nightmarish dreams. He had found the dissolution of his 'koan.' Paulus lived in fear. His nervous body was tense; his desires -- many. His fingers would fiddle with a pebble from the beach, a silver coin, or a paper clip. He breathed unevenly and sighed heavily, an ever guilt-ridden Christian in distress. His was the Temptation of Saint Antony in Grunewald's altar, attacked by demons. His solution was to suffer the demons, take them into his being and describe them in words. He was the martyr of the mind. The Zen master talked to him about 'austerity' of the mind. But out of the ecstatic shambles of Paulus's mind came his visions of the coming, his penetration of the present, his knowledge of the past, and his compassion and understanding. Only rarely, when watching the constant motion of the ocean waves, did he find the onemindedness of nonbeing. Occasionally he found it in terror, but never in quietude." (ibid, Jones)
By whatever name Modernists apply to themselves, at bottom they are neo-pagans after the fashion of Tillich who promote a "new" God and Jesus together with a syncretistic view of Spirit. Marcus Borg for example, is a fellow of the neo-Gnostic pagan Jesus Seminar and author of the book, "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time." Raised an evangelical Lutheran, Borg has discovered a new view of the Spirit and of Jesus.
This Jesus said Borg, is like Socrates,
"... a teacher of a subversive wisdom. Like the Buddha, he had an Enlightenment experience. Like a shaman, he was a healer. Like Gandhi, he protested against a purity system." (ibid, Jones)
Borg's view of God, reality and Jesus is grounded in the occult spirituality of Huston Smith. Smith is a sponsor of the Temple of Understanding, an organism of the Luciferian Theosophical Society devoted to global syncretism which now has the privileged status of a Non-Governmental Organization in the United Nations. Smith was a faculty member with well-known New Ager and Assistant Secretary-General of the U.N., Robert Mueller, the Dalai Lama and Marilyn Ferguson, author of the book, "The Aquarian Conspiracy." Smith believes that through the work of a syncretic "spirit" an invisible energy is shaping the great religious traditions of the world into a single truth, a single Jesus, a single Spirit and an earthly Global Church of the one spirit. (ibid, Jones)
The New Spirit and Jesus of the Jesus Seminar gives us a Christ-less Christianity, a well without living waters, for the global era.
Presbyterian heretic Lloyd Geering predicts that the quickly emerging culture will be post-Christian, global, and spiritually pagan because evolution proves that as human beings evolved (created themselves from nothing) they created language, symbols, religious explanations and the Holy Trinity, the Divine Creator of all things. And because they actually believed He really existed they caused a distinction between themselves and God. Classic Christian theology has called this the Creator/creature distinction. But now that the syncretic Spirit is dissolving the Creator-creation distinction from Western and American consciousness, the time for glorifying the Almighty (male) God who supposedly rules is now over. The end of orthodox Christianity is so evident,
"that some future generation may well be moved to discard the Christian calendar entirely, and rename the year 2000 AD as 1 GE, the first year of the global era." Thus Geering believes "the UN's time has finally come. It is only within the framework of that global organization that the common problems of mankind can be collectively addressed." Global consciousness is causing us "to discover and acknowledge both cultural diversity and cultural relativity," as well as to create "one unified species [through] a global consciousness/super-consciousness." (ibid, Jones)
In the spirit of globalization (oneness), Nigerian Pentecostal Pastor Nimi Wariboko, pastor of the biggest Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, in New York , makes the case for a denationalized global currency as an alternative to the dollar, euro, and yen in his book, "God and Money: A Theology of Money in a Globalizing World." Pastor Wariboko calls this new global currency the Earth Dollar.
Like many Modernist theologians, Wariboko is fascinated by Paul Tillich's neo-Gnostic and Buddhist conceptions as well as by the demon-possessed Karl Marx whose peculiarly twisted writings on Jesus Christ were studied by Wariboko. In this light it is not surprising that like Jesus Seminar theologians Wariboko has a "new" Jesus and a 'new" syncretic Spirit, as he makes clear in his review of Frank D. Macchia's, "Justified in the Spirit: Creation, Redemption, and the Triune God." In the following remarks, Wariboko criticizes Macchia's conception of Spirit, saying it is not robust (syncretic) enough,
"Macchia’s conception of the Spirit is not robust enough to accommodate indigenous, non-Western understandings of spirit (entity and non-entity) within the Trinitarian framework he has built. Pentecostalism is a global phenomenon and the conception of the Spirit or even Trinity (and trinitarian principles) must seriously consider non-Western ideas." (Justified in the Spirit: Creation, Redemption, and the Triune God, Wariboko, January 8th, 2011, RenewalDynamics.com)
In "The Pentecostal Principle" Wariboko explains that the essence of Pentecostalism extends to the ultimate questions of God, being and reality itself. Thus the essence of the “pentecostal” as a “spirit” is a transformative creative energy within the materiality of existence (the One Substance). As Wariboko is inspired by Tillich it stands to reason that his conception of reality(God) is similar to Brahman the Great Cosmic Spirit – the monistic Ultimate One Substance (prakriti matter) or Essence of material phenomena into which everything is plugged. Rob Bell teaches this as well:
"There is an energy in the world, a spark, an electricity that everything is plugged into The Greeks called it zoe, the mystics call it “Spirit,” and Obi-Wan called it “the Force. … This energy, spark, and electricity that pulses through all of creation sustains it, fuels it, and keeps it going. Growing, evolving, reproducing, making more.” (Love Wins, Rob Bell, p. 144-145)
These seething evolutionary forces and life-giving energy systems (Spirit) not only power the Divine One Substance but reach into the psyche, stirring imagination and bringing psychic powers. The adept who has mastered the seething energies of Spirit discovers and experiences the "inner light," also called the divine spark and inner Christ or "coin," according to Wariboko. Since money is a sacrament of divine-human unity, the "new" Jesus is a New Being, a form of divine mystical coin,
"...that supplies energy to believers so that life and future may continue..." (God and Money, Wariboko, pp. 46-47)
From the Renaissance to our own time, neo-pagan Gnostic (existentialist), Hermetic, Mystery Religion and Eastern mystical conceptions packaged as biological and spiritual theories of evolution, various neo-Platonic (i.e., Ground of Being) and Tree of Life conceptions together with pre-existing or spontaneously generated matter theories, multiverse conceptions, "new" Jesus and syncretic Spirit expressions have swept the post-Christian West and America, even entering into the whole body of the Church.
At bottom, all of these neo-pagan conceptions are nihilistic, meaning there is no source for life and being (soul/spirit), and all of them are ultimately coming together in an occult planetary mythology that grew out of the Renaissance and maintains that man is not fallen, that he is ultimately perfectible through a process of evolution and through leaps of consciousness he can realize that he is God. Tragically, many people today, including growing numbers of theologians and rank-and-file Christians, whether Roman or Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Protestant, are being seduced by this mythology. The common thread among all of these neo-pagan conceptions is a single mind directing the formation of the new pagan religious consciousness. It is the mind of the same fallen angel who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden with the words, "Ye shall be as Gods." (Gen. 3:5)