A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT

Higher-Purpose

A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT 

By Jay Wegter

INTRODUCTION

The concept of the higher Christian life arose in the nineteenth century in connection with the holiness tradition in America.  The movement grew in popularity and ultimately spread to England.  Keswick, England became the home of the higher life conventions.  In time, the movement returned to America with great momentum.  “The Higher Life movement has influenced the rise of other theologically conservative movements, the founding of a number of institutions, the growth of foreign missions, and the theological perspective of several denominations.”1

Description of the Movement

          The higher Christian life is an explanation of the means and methods involved in advancing the believer’s progressive sanctification.  The purpose of this paper is to identify the areas where the higher life model of sanctification differs from the scriptural doctrine of sanctification.

          Though not identical, three terms are used synonymously to refer to the movement; “The higher Christian life,” the “Victorious Christian Life,” and “Keswick Teaching.”  In this paper, any of the three terms may be used to refer to the whole body of higher life teaching.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND

          The inception of the higher life movement is often identified with the publication of William Edwin Boardman’s book, The Higher Christian Life (1858).  The book argued that Christ was to be received for sanctification sometime after justification. Continue reading

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Torah Observance – Opposing God, Following Blind Men

Grant Swart

In keeping with previous articles on this blog regarding the Hebrew Roots Movement, the following article serves to further illustrate the severe and often deadly error in the religious teachings of the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM). It clearly contrasts the deceiving practice of Torah Observance, as practiced by the HRM, against Christianity.

It draws our attention to the fact that the HRM does not complete or compliment Christianity, it does not fill in missing pieces, but rather it downplays and nullifies the atonement of Christ and overthrows the New Covenant and the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God. The teachings of the HRM remove all possibility of salvation by grace through faith.

The HRM and Christianity are not similar faiths that differ in non-essential aspects. The HRM and Christianity do not simply read from the same Book and interpret essential doctrines in different ways. Christianity does not lack that which is found in the practices and belief system of the HRM. Torah Observance is not an alternative form of Christianity and it cannot be practiced in conjunction with Christianity, it is a regressive form of religion in which there can be no forgiveness of sin or salvation.  Continue reading

Eastern Meditation Sneaks into the Church

Prof. Johan Malan, University of Limpopo, South Africa

There is a widespread resurgence of Eastern meditation among nominal Christians in the West. In many churches and other Christian circles, prayer is increasingly replaced by meditation, which is also described as contemplation, centring prayers, or quiet prayers. Meditation is often accompanied by Yoga relaxation exercises and relaxed breathing in order to promote a mental shift from the rational left brain to the intuitive right brain.

The basic objective with meditation – whether it be Hindu-based Transcendental Meditation (TM), Buddhist, Islamic or ‘Christian’ meditation – is to acquire a situation of complete rest in your body, soul and spirit, thereby eliminating stress and facilitating contact with deeper, more creative levels of your consciousness. Rational thinking is intentionally suppressed and switched off while you transcend to mystical spheres to make contact with your deeper self. According to Naomi Humphrey (Meditation – the inner way) meditation helps to deliver you from spiritual and mental bondage, and also from fear, by enabling you to transcend to a new perception of reality. The result is a holistic way of life in which spirit and matter become integrated.

The inner journey Continue reading

Houses Built on Sand

By Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (August 2011)

A house built on sand is a house without a proper foundation – it is bound to collapse when it is battered by heavy storms, despite its solid appearance above the ground. The same principle applies to individuals and nations: without a sound spiritual and moral foundation they are heading for disaster when afflicted by the storms of life (cf. Matt. 7:24-27). Jesus Christ is the only true foundation that offers lasting stability against all the storms which are incessantly unleashed from an evil world: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

The unpleasant fact about our present situation is that, despite a small minority of evangelical Christians, we are essentially living in a post-Christian world which has rejected the only true foundation. Politicians are the architects of a nation’s ideological foundation and they, as well as the electorate who agree with them and have elected them to positions of authority, must take the responsibility when things go horribly wrong. Everywhere in the world problems are rapidly mounting and they sure spell disaster. We already find ourselves in a situation in which most countries are heading for a major collapse in all spheres of public life – political, social, economic, moral, as well as religious. The signs of a dramatic breakdown are there for all to see.

Continue reading

The Dangers of Postmodernism

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