I thought how nice...another cult comes into being.
I was ready to dismiss it as such, but then I noticed this phrase in the article:
"There are no crosses or images of Jesus in the room, though the Seaside ministers say the congregation consider itself loosely to be Christian."
O.K. I decided that I've got to challenge this.
Is this new term, "loosely Christian" taking the place of what the book of Jude calls heresy and apostasy? You bet! Of course it is! Heresy and apostasy is warned about in many of the Epistles of Paul, as well. It is prophesied in the Bible that in the last days, people would have "itching ears" for what they want to hear instead of knowing the absolute truth of God's Word, the Bible.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
2Ti 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
I will analyze what was said in the article and my comments will appear after each paragraph.
Seaside church becomes Center for Spiritual Living
By: RUTH MARVIN WEBSTER - Staff Writer
WHAT WE BELIEVE: An occasional series looking at different faiths.
On any Sunday morning, as a light salty breeze drifts in from the Pacific under a bright cloudless sky, a crossing guard stands in the middle of Lake Drive in Encinitas waving traffic into the Seaside parking lot. The sign at the street still reads Seaside Church of Religious Science, but a new one has been ordered. Soon it will read Seaside Center for Spiritual Living.
My first question. Whose "spirit" are they living with and for? We shall see.
The name has been changed, at least in part, so it no longer will be confused with the Churches of Scientology or Christian Science. "In February at our annual gathering, it was decided to change the name," said the Rev. Dr. Rev. Christina Tillotson, one of the ministers at the center.
Oh yes! Don't want to confuse one cult with another cult! That wouldn't be prudent!
She said that people have often asked her whether the churchgoers were Scientologists or Christian Scientists. "We are still the United Church of Religious Science legally, but we are now doing business as the United Centers for Spiritual Living."
That explains it some. With all the bad publicity that has fallen upon the Scientology cult via Tom Cruise's bizarre behavior, I can't blame them for being motivated to get both the inference of "Scientology" and the label of "Christian Scientist" out of their title! BTW, Christian Science is neither Christian nor Scientific...two heresies for the price of one!
And they're doing a good business. Hundreds of shiny sedans park in straight lines for the 9 and 11 o'clock services. Parking for first-time visitors remains empty near the front of the building, which looks more like a warehouse than a church. Greeters stand by the open doors, extending their hands and their smiles.
Inside the large auditorium, called the sanctuary, rows of forest-green conference chairs placed before the stage fill quickly. There are no crosses or images of Jesus in the room, though the Seaside ministers say the congregation consider itself loosely to be Christian.
What?? Loosely Christian? I can't even believe that they would say that! It's comparable to someone claiming that they are "loosely pregnant." Either you are or you're not!
The point is, either a person is a Christian or isn't a Christian. Since the word Christian means, "Christ in one," there can be no such thing as a "loose" Christian. Carnal Christian? Yes. There are many. But "loosely Christian" gives away their cult status in a heartbeat!
Notice that they don't have "crosses or images of Jesus" in the room. So tell me. Whom do they worship? Do they even know?? They appear similar to the "religious" people in Athens when Paul said in Acts 17:23 - "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
Another thing. When the cross of Christ is ignored, the alarm bells should go off. Beware the crossless gospel!
"We say it's inclusively Christian, and that the words of Jesus are universal spiritual principles that live in each individual," said Dr. Christian Sorensen, Seaside's spiritual leader. "We are a non-judgmental faith ---- a spiritual nexus, inspiring people to live their divinity and reach out globally."
Here we go! The "tolerance, inclusivity" claim that leads directly to relativism and spiritual oblivion! Oprah and Deepak Chopra would love this group!
But notice how they go further...they claim to want to inspire people to "live their DIVINITY"!! Did you catch that? Breaks the very first commandment..Thou shalt have no other gods before me!
Exd 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Oldest trick in the book!
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Instead of the word "amen," the phrase "and so it is" is used during the service. There are no pews, no Bibles or prayer books, no mention of sin. No recitation of the Lord's Prayer.
No Bibles. No mention of sin. No Lord's prayer. How un-Christian can you get??
2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Jesus speaking about the Bible:
Jhn 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
It is only through Jesus Christ that we are saved and is wellpleasing in God's sight.
Hbr 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
If we say we don't sin (or ignore the fact) then we deceive ourselves:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
1 John 1:8 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Lord, teach us to pray:
Luk 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Luk 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Luk 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
Luk 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
A jazz band plays and a guest performer, Mary Dolan, who has collaborated with Bernie Taupin and other big names, strums her guitar and sings spirituals in a rich, soulful voice. The entire room stands to sing, clasping hands and swaying back and forth. "Last Sunday, we had over 400 people here," said Sorensen. "It's fun. I talk about joy. It is a joyful place where we feel the presence of God. And there is lots of music by the best jazz band."
Sorensen says he loves performing artists; his father was an actor and he was a model and actor for a time as well.
On this Sunday, Sorensen speaks about forgiveness, making the analogy between the beach pebbles his young son likes to pick up and stuff into his pockets and the wrongs people do us in our lives.
"Dr. Christian is so dynamic when he speaks, it just flows through him," said Tillotson. "People just love to stand up and clap after he talks."
1Jo 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
This "preacher" ignores the Word of God. Whom does he in fact follow then?
Jhn 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Sorensen started his ministry in Solana Beach with 25 people nearly 15 years ago. Now the congregation has more than 800 active members. The church also just acquired over an acre of new land and there are four-year plans and six-year plans to build new structures. Last year, members raised more than a million dollars.
"We can offer more opportunities, with our growth," he said. "What is exciting is that we continue to provide spiritual nourishment. It's not about the business, but that it delivers nourishment."
What kind of "spiritual" nourishment? From whom does their spirituality arise?
1 John - Chapter 4
1Jo 4:1 ¶ Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jo 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Last year, Seaside opened a new private elementary school on the grounds, offering kindergarten and first grade. "Last year, we started out with 12 children," said Tillotson. "This year we have a new amazing teacher whom we managed to spirit away from one of the elementary school districts around here. We plan to offer a new grade level every year."
The center has recently started a masters program, accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, in consciousness studies. A distance-learning program, it started five years ago and takes at least three years to complete. "We are the only small seminary in the world that is accredited," said Tillotson, who serves as the programs dean. "Right now, it is a masters and a ministerial license, but we are working on a program for lay people."
Coursework includes classes in philosophy, psychology, science and spirtuality as well as on many of the world's religions.
It's not about religion...it's about relationship...with Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord and Savior!
Sorensen said he was "born into this" as both his mother and father were followers of Religious Science from the early days of the movement that began in Los Angeles under the leadership of Dr. Ernest Holmes.
Though he was born and raised in New England, Holmes discovered his spiritual philosophy and his following in Southern California. First working as a purchasing agent for the city of Venice in Los Angeles, he began lecturing at libraries and later at the Ambassador Hotel and the Wiltern Theatre on Sunday mornings about philosophy, religion and metaphysics. Then, with the publication of his successful book, "The Science of Mind" in 1926, even more people came to his speaking engagements.
It's all about him apparently. No mention of anything being about the one and only true God of the universe!
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
After a few years, Holmes and his followers incorporated as a nonprofit religious and educational organization called the Institute of Religious Science and the School of Philosophy. Later the institute launched a popular monthly magazine called Science of Mind Magazine which recently celebrated its 70th anniversary and has a worldwide circulation.
But before Holmes' death in 1960, a schism within the church occurred over adoption of a new constitution that would involve increased centralization of power in a national body. At the time, 46 churches chose to accept the constitution, forming what is known today at the United Centers for Spiritual Living, based in Burbank.
The other branch of 19 churches formed Religious Science International which is based in Spokane, Wash. According to the Rev. Kathryn McDowell, an ordained Religious Science minister based in Arizona, the United Church of Religious Science has 40,000 members worldwide in 160 churches and 106 study groups, with smaller branches and churches retaining a great deal of autonomy.
Using the views expressed in Holmes' "The Science of Mind," the Religious Science movement is said to endorse all sorts of meditation from creative visualization to more traditional techniques as a way to commune with a state of God. It also endorses all forms of prayer and teaching a form of prayer called Spiritual Mind Treatment, a sort of affirmation or statement about a particular goal.
Commune with a state of God? Whose god? What god? Man's mind is a god?
We are warned about divination in both the Old and New Testaments.
Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
2Ki 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Jer 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Eze 13:7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith [it]; albeit I have not spoken?
Act 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Act 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Act 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Religious Science believes that heaven and hell are states of mind, that sins are transgressions of spiritual perfection and that there is no devil per se. As for the concept of life after death, it also teaches the eternality of life, though it neither endorses nor rejects the idea of reincarnation.
Jesus called hell a real place, spoke about how vitally important it is to avoid going there, and mentioned it several times during his three year ministry on earth.
Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Mat 23:33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mar 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Luk 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
Luk 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Apostles speaking of hell:
Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Jam 3:6 And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Resurrected and ascended Jesus speaking about hell in Revelation:
Rev 1:18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
"We like to say we are teaching a spiritual philosophy, a broad perspective and religion as dogma," said Sorensen. "We don't make other religions wrong and recognize there are many paths to enlightenment. We welcome everyone."
Deepak Chopra's dream! Similar philosophy, too.
But what does Jesus say?
Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
There are many, many more Scriptures that we could add to this post! Care to share some? Please do!