Part of the work involved in writing a book is reading the works of others who have explored the subject of which you are interested in learning more about so that you are more informed and have references for your book.
Am I Being Deceived is a book I am currently reading and I am so "blown away" by what I have read so far that I am compelled to share some of the ideas and perspectives of the authors Mark and Patti Virkler. I may be writing several blogs based on this book because the content is crucially relevant for Christians now.
The basic gist of the book is a comparison between true Christianity, Phariseeism, and the New Age movement. A brief description of the three is presented in the introductory chapter of the book and goes something like this:
PHARISEEISM: (p. XV) The Bible without the Spirit
1. Claiming to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
2. Not expecting any feelings because that is emotionalism.
3. Never expect to hear God's voice because we now have the Bible.
4. No expectation of His vision, because dreams and visions were for the older Bible times and not for today.
5. No expectation of the anointing power of God because "the age of miracles has passed."
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT: (p. XVII) The Spirit without the Bible
1. Rejects the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.
2. No absolute truth -- truth is relative
3. Whatever is experienced in the spirit world dictates to be true is true and is god.
TRUE CHRISTIANITY: (p.XVIII) The Spirit and the Bible
1. Seek a genuine personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
2. God still speaks and moves in His power as He did from the beginning of time. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) "For I, the Lord, do not change; ...." Malachi 3:6 (ESV)
3. The Holy Spirit is God. We are to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit ("When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, but whatever He hears He will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come." John 16:13 ESV) and be filled with the Holy Spirit ("And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18 ESV)
4. The Bible is the true, inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. ("All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16,17 ESV)
There is enough truth embedded in false doctrine and philosophies that it becomes believable. If a person is not grounded in the Word of God and walking in the Holy Spirit, he is in extreme danger of being deceived, believing lies.
Phariseeism: Bible without the Spirit
New Age Movement: Spirit without the Bible
True Christianity: Spirit and the Bible
Two of these religious philosophies will take you to hell. One will take you to eternal life.