Call to Descernment Ted Dekker’s Forgotten Way

I have to admit, when I saw the advertisements for Ted Dekker’s The Forgotten Way, red flags went up. Words like “waking up,” “alignment” and “being light” are potential New Age terms that have been seeping into Christianity for some time. And so, I wrote this blog to call fellow-Christians to exercise discernment.

I haven’t read all of Ted’s Forgotten Way devotionals. My initial critique of this study (which I’m amending a year later) leaned heavily on his free e-book “Waking Up” and excerpts I’d read, as well as the advertising. I’m editing this post, and taking a few other posts down because I’ve had the benefit of further review and additional input.

The most important point to make here is that regardless of whose study or commentary we select to supplement our Bible studies, we should always make sure it is only a supplement–not the main course. That holds true for preachers or teachers we come across. If you attend a church, you are considered “noble” if you search out the scriptures to confirm what is being taught–as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11 (and they were examining what Paul was teaching!).

We should be wary of any teaching that claims to be the final interpretation of the Bible. The Catholic Church claims to be “infallible” interpreters of Scripture. Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

I read a number of Ted’s “meditations” on verses and see some concerning interpretive methods. He tends to pull a lesson from a verse by massaging it with his own spin. Overall, he gets a lot RIGHT.

His emphasis is that if Christians walk in darkness, they are not abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ, specifically in demonstrating His Love, is what Dekker contends is the “Forgotten Way.”

And he’s 100% right. So many professing Christians seem to lack evidence of love. So many have a form of godliness that ultimately denies it’s power.

Ted hopes to point people to Christ’s love, as found in 1 Corinthians 13, which he says “holds no record of wrong,” or “no judgment.” His interpretation of this is a mixed bag to me. I read that passage as “not easily provoked,” and then “doesn’t take account of evil.” Basically, I think the context suggests that our love to each other should not remember past offenses and we shouldn’t be an open nerve to everything our fellow Christians do.

Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of those things. Otherwise, Paul wouldn’t have had to write it!

I’ve read a few other meditations, as well as some posts by folks who are doing the study as a group. I think there is a lot of good that can come from a study that encourages people to examine their walk as image-bearers of Christ.

Some of Ted’s marketing for the study has concerned me, though. He merges two texts, one from Matthew 5 “You are the light of the world,” and then 1 John 1, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” The result suggests that we are the light and there is no darkness in us. He’s getting at the fact that when we abide in Christ, we walk in the light. But, this comes across oddly in the promotional material.

In this day and age we have a lot of voices declaring advertising a “new” perspective, etc. A lo of that is marketing. I’m a bit weary of the ad agency lingo that is used in connection with Bible studies or church programs. “Do you feel like …”, “Well, maybe what you’ve been longing for is within your reach …” “Don’t wait, take the plunge, you can be free for only …”

That’s how marketing gets our attention. I see that sort of thing and it turns me off. I’m sure there is more subtle advertising that still gets me.

Ted also uses an analogy of Superman for the Christian who is not abiding in Christ’s love. In this example, Christians “forget” they are Superman, and need to be reminded to go to the phone booth and take off their clothes (lies, faulty beliefs) to reveal they are actually Superman and can fly.

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I’m not a fan of the analogy. First of all, I’m a Marvel fan, not DC. 🙂 Second, Superman is a rip from Moses and Christ. The creators designed him that way. He was sent in a “basket” away from certain destruction and adopted by parents on Earth who raised them as their own. He then realizes his true nature as an adult and uses powers to be a light to the world and provide hope.

Basically, there are things that could be issues, depending on how they are presented in the full study. And, regarless of whose study you choose to use, exercise discernment! I enjoy the works of F.B. Meyer. I’ve been encouraged by his devotionals and have been blessed with his insight on Scripture. That said, I compare what he says to what the Bible says. Because our standard is the Bible, not F.B. Meyer, Ted Dekker, John Piper, or any of the others out there (past or present).

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61 Comments

  1. …Extending grace also as we all seek to have wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of God’s word.

    Bryn, I appreciate your zeal in having us Christians content with the truth of God’s Word to us. I feel and sense (and as you’ve humbly communicated) that there definitely was an “EDGE” as you wrote your review or critique. I get this… we all have seasons and reasons when certain spiritual or biblical things or topics stir us and nag us – sometimes to the point where our bias comes thru more than our gracious need to point people to the real Truth as we understand it even in Christ.

    I think what Ted is trying to show us [as flawed as we all do], is that too many of us live on the “other side of the River Jordan” or the “other side of the Red Sea” – meaning that even though we have been redeemed and are in relationship with/in Christ, like the Israelites in covenant with God, we still too often “look back”; and blindly at times “desire to GO back” to bondage… mainly because we don’t know quite how to reconcile the “waters”, the “trials”, the “storms”, the seeming lack of victory in the “darkness” we find ourselves bound in. And one may say, “don’t feel that way!”. The storms are part of LIFE – even spiritual life. But so is the “joy” and “victory” and “life” and “resurrection” post death and into resurrection and life.

    I’m not a dualist or dispensationalist, but the gentle warning against secessionism is partly what I think Ted is trying to draw us away from and rightly draw us to the Holy Spirit in the Light of His Word. [But as he said also, “his words will too, be interpreted…” hence (i think) the “meditations”.

    “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.” ~ John 16:13

    “Jesus replied, ‘I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is bornk of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:3, 5-8

    “Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her vineyards back to her and make the Valley of Achor into a gateway of hope. There she will respond as she did
    in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of the land of Egypt. ~ Hosea 2:14-15

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      1. I revised my critique to only include aspects I’ve seen first hand. As you can tell from the comments, I have spoken with Ted. I see where he’s coming from. As I say in my review, there is good, which you so nicely point out with Biblical illustration.

        Yet, there must never be a discounting of Biblical truth by brushing it off as just one’s interpretation. There is one, correct, interpretation of the Bible and we strive to understand it correctly.

        You’ve used a few passages out of context, as well. The Holy Spirit was promised to bring inspired truth to the apostles, confirming that they would write Biblical cannon. The way the Spirit leads us in all truth is by teaching us through Scripture, not experience.

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  2. Interresting to note that the bible reference 8 times: Love your neighbour as yourself. This article says the bible does not say we must love ourselves.:-)

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  3. I was really enjoying the points made in this article until the author stooped to make fun of Ted Dekker ( ie hair gel comment). Theology aside, credibility is lost when people act with immaturity and sarcasm. They will know we are Christians by our love, not by our knowledge of scripture.

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    1. Actually, Grace, I wasn’t making fun of Dekker with the hair gel comment. That was just indicating how people can commercialize spiritual things. I was deeply worried that I had included some snyde ad hominem attack, which I should never do. But, upon rereading the blog, I think you might have misinterpreted what I was getting to. Granted, I did write this with a bit of an edge. I’ve been convicted of the need to avoid too much of that and will start revising these posts. I don’t want to distract from the message by being a “shock jock.”

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  4. Hi Bryn! I came across your blog on The Forgotten Way and just wanted to reach out and thank you for the time you’ve taken to express your views on the teachings of Jesus in this busy world where many relegate such things to the bottom shelf, so to speak.

    I was delighted to see that you, like me, are a missionary kid! That makes us brothers in more ways than one. And you are an author! But first and foremost, we are brothers in Christ, both dedicated to following the teachings of Jesus as His disciples so that we might be the light in this world of darkness, as you so aptly say. That, far more than what we may or may not agree on, joins us. And to that end, we offer praise to Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, who alone is the way, the truth and the life.

    I honor you, my brother, and I offer you love in this season as we celebrate His incarnation. I so appreciated your blog on love and I, along with you, pray that we may continue to awaken to the love of Jesus.

    As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans: Love is the fulfillment of the law . . . It is already the hour to awaken from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. (Romans 13:10-11)

    In regards to what may or may not be “Biblical”, we can agree that when we say something is or is not Biblical, what we are really saying is that something does or does not line up with “our interpretation” of the Bible, which are often interpretations we have been taught by others in various denominations. We both know that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, but our interpretations of the teachings of Jesus might vary. So we offer each other grace as we honor our Savior.

    I can say that my reading of 1 Corinthians 13 leads me to believe that any interpretation of Scripture that does not lead us finally to the agape love that is kind and patient and which holds no record of wrong, is likely misleading. Knowing all mysteries and all knowledge and having the faith to move mountains means nothing without that staggering love, Paul tells us. Such an amazing passage.

    I know you are on the narrow path with me, and so we rejoice together in our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

    I am sure that when we die and look back on this life in our eternal, glorified bodies (Paul’s language for how our bodies will change), I’ll learn where we were on point, and where we missed the point. So I humble myself with you and put my words on the alter of Truth to be tested by the Spirit of Truth.

    I do think you may have misunderstood my writing in The Forgotten Way (regarding duality, for example–I am not a dualist but believe that our bodies are joined with Christ and are the temple of the Holy Spirit in this life, and that we will have glorified bodies when we die–I thought I was very clear about that in the meditations) but that’s okay. Please forgive me for any offense I have caused you. Like you, I’m not Jesus, nor do I dare claim to have exclusive insight to what He taught, as I made clear in the book.

    I can see by your blog that your heart is pure and that you love Jesus. Again, please forgive me for any concern I may have caused you. As writers, we know that our words will be subject to interpretation, but offense isn’t our intention. Our intention is Christ and Christ alone and so we press on.

    BTW, I called the book The Forgotten Way because I often forget who I am as the reborn son of my heavenly Father–particularly in the moments when I face trouble. Forgetting my identity in Christ in that moment, I can react with fear and hold grievances. It seems to me that many of our brothers and sisters also tend to forget themselves, so to speak. And as much, many have forgotten the teachings of Jesus and no longer seek to follow Him.

    Satan is the great deceiver and has blinded many to the light of Christ in this world, my brother. Together we stand against the powers of darkness as we seek to walk in the light in which there is no darkness.

    May we each be led by the Holy Spirit and His discernment as we stand in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Sorry for the epistle. I think that if we had a good, long conversation, we would find far more to agree about than disagree about. If you like, you can reach me by email or phone rather than back and forth here.

    In Christ, and Christ alone.

    Ted Dekker

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    1. Hi Ted, thanks for stopping by my blog and for your humble attitude at my critique. I’m glad you didn’t take my concern over your book in a harsh light. I believe I mention that you have very good points along the way, mixed with some that could be very misleading.

      I believe we do have a lot to agree on. I try very hard–by God’s grace–to make sure I give others respect for their views, even if I disagree. So, while I have deep concerns about various things I point out, I recognize you have not arrived at them lightly. At the same time, I hope brothers and sisters in Christ, friends and family will grant me the same respect that when/if I disagree I don’t do so lightly and I may be persuaded later on.

      I’d love to have a longer conversation. I have wondered if some of the concerns I’ve had might stem more from the marketing vs. the content.

      Again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my posts. I remain concerned about various aspects of a New Age-type interpretation of the Bible. You’re right that much of our interpretation is colored by the interpretation from those who taught us/books we’ve read. So, in a sense, it means that those of us who write things down bear a heavier burden to ensure we don’t lead people astray. That type of thing was a problem in the 1st Century as much as it is today.

      Have a blessed and happy Christmas!

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      1. Hi Bryn! Thank you for your speedy response. If you’d like to connect, how might we do that? Does this email work?

        Much has changed since the early church, including communication, but I think the Biblical model of going to a brother personally rather than in a public forum still stands today.

        Want to connect by phone?

        Hope this reaches you.

        Your Brother, Ted.

        >

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      2. Hey, Ted, thank you for your obvious interest in discussing our shared faith. I agree that a comments section isn’t the place. Should I email your fan email address to provide you my information? I certainly would want to correct any part of my review based on our discussion.

        In the love of Christ,

        Bryn

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      3. Yes, just use that email. Fantastic! I look forward to connecting.

        Thanks, Bryn. Even if we don’t discuss theology (which I’m sure will 🙂 it will be great to talk to another MK author.

        Blessings.

        Ted

        >

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      4. Hi Bryn! Checking my email I see that I haven’t yet received anything from you yet and I wondered if you might have the wrong address. I would give you my personal email here, but it’s public, right? So you can use fanmail@teddekker.com and we can go from there. Sorry for the hassle.

        I think there are things I am meant to learn from you so I look forward to connecting. I rarely have much contact with readers and would love the interchange.

        Ted

        >

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      5. I just checked and evidently my routing through gmail is broken so I’m not getting emails that are sent straight to the fanmail address. Instead, go to teddekker.com , select contact, and send me a message that way. That’s working.

        So sorry for this mix up. At least now I know there’s a problem with my contact routing 🙂

        Thanks, Bryn

        >

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  5. I think that your critique of Decker’s study is way way too critical. It’s a Bible STUDY, designed just to make us think a little deeper and study a little more about what the Word says to us. As far as “Yeshua’s” usage; surely you don’t think Jesus was pronounced “Jesus’ in His day? What does that matter anyway? I know that Jesus (Yeshua) was a common name during the time of Christ. Whether it’s John, Yeshua, or Jesus; it doesn’t matter because when the Christ is added on, we know we are talking “Messiah”!!!
    Do you never forget who you are? You must be super-human at best. Everyone forgets at times; in tragedy, in desperation, in just worrying, we have a tendency to first be afraid, and then to pray to our Father. He reminds us who we are through HIs Spirit. The analogy for Superman is just being used to explain having a power we don’t know at times we have; I don’t think many Christians even tap into a tenth of the power they can have through Jesus through faith. We don’t think we deserve to call on that Power, for one thing. He was NOT comparing Jesus to Superman. It was an analogy; just as Christ Himself used analogies so often in His teachings; a simple landowner, for one, was compared to the Heavenly Father in the Prodigal Son.
    How much good does it for you to try and tear down a study such as this one? It’s just a study, by a human, with sincere goals and accurate scripture. No scripture is twisted or changed. We use it along with other studies to try and expand our thinking; doesn’t matter, we are still saved, but it is good to see points of view as long as the scripture is not changed.
    About the “love yourself”? I’ve been in this study for a while and haven’t noticed that. Perhaps Decker is saying “love yourself” enough to live as one of HIs children; don’t mistreat your body or deny spiritual growth for yourself because in taking care of yourself you are better equipped to put others first?

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    1. Suzanne, thanks for stopping by. I’m no more critical than the apostles were of false teaching. As I mention, there are parts of what Dekker says that are true. Unfortunately, he leads people astray with the subtle twists. Also, in his e-book promo he specifically states he heard the voice of God telling him to forget everything he knew about God in favor of the new experience. That contradicts scripture and sound Bible study. He focuses on the “here in this life,” as if that were the goal of our salvation. And, while that isn’t entirely wrong, Dekker’s marketing is extremely cult-like. He states he’s uncovered the truth that has been lost for 2,000 years??? Really? I think Joseph Smith said the same thing.

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  6. I can partially agree with you here. I have read his books and something sounds off, not quite right. Like to much focus on self and your lack of fear as a solution. Not enough focus on God as the solution and the reason for your faith being Him and His love and provision for you.
    Something sure seems off if I could just peg it down.
    Definitely liked Chris Walley’s lamb among the stars series better.

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  7. Perhaps this book resonates with so many people because sound teaching no longer is happening in the church any longer. I noticed people in the video clips that I’ve seen where all roughly the same age. People don’t understand their identity in Christ so book like this is important as it brings that teaching back. I think this book in your comments are more a commentary on what is happening in the Christian world today. It also concerns me that people Russian to attack other believers so quickly.

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    1. I agree. Sound teaching is lacking in popular Christianity. I think this book resonates because of that. People do not endure sound doctrine. While Dekker’s teaching about having our identity in Christ is a good point, a true point, that’s when he jumps off into mysticism. Satan uses 90% truth, then the twist. Sound doctrine doesn’t involve a book that some guy wrote with a new “revelation” that has been lost for 2000 years. That’s how cults start. As for attacking other believers, you’d want to look at the Bible again. Read the epistles and note how many times Paul, Peter, Jude or John “attack” those who are advancing false doctrine. It’s called contending for the faith. It’s no different than the true statement you made that sound teaching is no longer occurring in the church today.

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      1. My point was this: most of the time when something new is written or a new leader emerges, there are those that jump on the wagon to criticize. The world is not blind to this. They view it as brickering and it does not lead the lost closer to the cross. It simply doesn’t. The world is repelled by this.

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  8. I have found Ted Dekker’s The Forgotten Way to be spiritually sound, authentic, and a tremendous tool to empower Christians to experience more of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. He presents Christianity in both Spirit and Truth. You must have both to live life abundantly as Jesus promised in John 10:10. I’m not interested in debating your point of view, I just want to share that Dekker’s insight and challenge to experience God outside of the box that I had neatly placed Him in, has created a hunger in me to truly KNOW God, not just know about Him. I have the same Spirit living in me as lived in the first Century Christians. I can honestly say that because of the transformation that has taken place in me as a result of KNOWING Christ and grasping His extravagant love for me, I am living a life of love, joy, and peace like I never have before. Yes, being in alignment with the Spirit of God manifests His gifts, including peace which is the opposite of anxiousness. I rejoice that He loves me enough that He doesn’t want me to go through life anxious and wrought with worry…I lived too much of my 55 years that way. Ted Dekker has had the same experience in His life. He just wants others to have the same kind of spiritual freedom. We have the choice to live life abundantly in Christ now, on earth, rather than only looking forward to it in eternity.

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    1. “Spiritually sound” is differently than Biblically sound. The Bible says we will share in the sufferings of Christ. We are called to be outcasts in this world. True, we are not to be anxious about our needs, but we will experience the sorrows of being in a fallen world. Also, the love we have is for God the Father and is shown by obedience. Dekker does say some true things. But all heretics will couch their heresy with truth.

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      1. Honestly tired of ‘biblically sound’. The Bible was written by the hands of men inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is living and active. It is Jesus. It is the Father. It is the Holy Spirit. It is not the 4th part of the Trinity.
        My point is simple. The bible is easy to coerce. The Holy Spirit is not, but a lot of ‘biblically sound’ people are deaf to the Spirit.
        Why?
        Control issues.
        What good is a car manual if you never experience the joy of driving the car.

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      2. Biblically sound shouldn’t be at odds with the Holy Spirit. The Bible commands us to test the spirits. How? By searching the Scriptures. I disagree that the Bible is living, if you mean adapting. Truth doesn’t change over time or based on circumstances.

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  9. I have been a fan of ‘christian fiction’ for years now, even some of Dekker’s works, but only as a means of entertainment. I think I would have a problem with any person who claimed to have suddenly had revealed to them some spiritual truth that is a ‘game changer’ in humanity’s relationship with God. It is, and has been for over a couple of thousand years, already all in one book, the Bible. And, I realize that some people believe there are some scriptures in the Bible that are ‘left to the interpretation of the individual reading it’. I personally do not believe that any part of the Holy Bible would, or could, change it’s meaning for anyone. So after much research, and as much as I enjoy Ted’s fiction, I do not plan on purchasing his works discussed here.
    This is my humble opinion.
    I pray for God’s wisdom to all who want to better themselves and their relationship with the one and only God.

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    1. Revelation, as I’ve discovered rarely (if ever) occurs in a vacuum. ‘Identity’ is a Christian topic that the Holy Spirit is on and people are earnestly seeking, from mixed up millenials to aging baby boomers.
      God made every person with a perfect mold and that identity can only be discovered by crawling up in his lap and finding out about who we are by talking to Him.
      It cannot be found in our past or our present. Our future is in His hands. We are not a sum of our mistakes or our successes. We are who he designed us to be.
      Truth trumps experiences.
      That is what ‘finding who we are’ means. Knowing more about the person God designed me to be, ‘the me’ I will be in heaven… therefore the ‘heaven to earth’ in the Lord’s Prayer.
      We spend too much time trying to ‘not do’ things, not make another ‘mistake’ and rightfully so but all too much focus is on that.
      We are not a sum of what we don’t do wrong. We are a sum of who he says we are. That was not just Dekkers rev my friend. That is anyone’s who asks.

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      1. Thanks for reading and for contributing to the discussion. You’re right that we aren’t defined by our mistakes, or by our attempts at good deeds. Dekker’s right that we should find our ID in Christ. But his unpacking of that concept is way too close to Universalist/New Age. He twists the Bible and has the audacity to claim this view of his came from the mouth of God and has been “forgotten” for 2000 years. He’s a heretic.

        I agree that we all work through finding who we are in a maturing sense, a s as nctification sense… Etc. But I wouldn’t classify that type of revelation as Dekker seems to do.

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  10. Second time through. Prayed and asked for wisdom from the Holy Spirit. Was reading and things just were not aligning for me. I’m not as profound as many who have written in this blog, but I do feel a quickening in my spirit that some thing just is not ringing true. Therefore, I pitched the book and will use the Bible and the truths within to get to know the LORD and myself better.

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      1. Sadly, I recently purchased both the book and study guide as that was the choice of a my small Bible study group. The video that was shared as we began seemed a bit “new agey”, but I decided to move past it. And, the initial reading was very warm and inviting. HOWEVER, as I began the meditations and the study guide something just kept niggling at me. I started cross referencing (or trying) and looking for stated “facts” that I could not find in the scriptures.
        I went back to my group and shared my concerns and learned others were feeling the same, but it generated great conversation so I decided to keep going. That same evening after reading more my concerns grew. I truly believe God has revealed that this is not healthy reading for me. I told my group that if I determined it wasn’t healthy for me that I would not continue. Tonight I closed the books and will recycle the paper tomorrow.
        I feel extremely blessed to have been given discernment in this area. My concern is with those that will consider this biblically sound and therefore be lead astray.
        Fortunately I only swallowed a few sips of this kool-aide.

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    1. Enjoyed reading the comments, and Byrn’s take…but I especially appreciate this. A person who enjoyed the book, then decided to try it discerningly, so prayed for that first, then read again, and was enlightened, and made aware of ‘off’ness…:)

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  11. Dekker’s encouragement to live and love like Jesus and his claim that we can do that because of who we are in Christ is a critical aspect of Christian faith. Also, recognition that we will fail some of the time and God still loves us is very important. So, his message is very good even if some interpretations of scripture are not perfect. I seldom read a book where some question doesn’t come up about interpretation. I prefer to see this book as a way to help people live a more victorious life in Christ Jesus, which seems to be Dekker’s objectve.

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    1. I agree that those aspects you pointed out are true, and good. But, deception isn’t about what someone gets right … it’s about what they get wrong, or twist. Dekker’s “spiritual cleanse” is not actually his work, from what I can see. It’s marketed as these “meditations” that he did for his kids, but in fact was co-written with Bill Vanderbrush. So, the premise of the book in the promotion is false. Dekker claims to have been given these words directly from God in an audible-but-not-audible voice in his head. He advocates letting go of all you “think you know,” in favor of feeling. And he promises an extravagant experience “in this life.”

      Just like Joel Osteen will say things that are true, and he’ll properly interpret a passage, it’s the application that becomes problematic. Satan knows the Bible very well, too. In fact, he used it with his temptation of Christ.

      Everything about the supposed Bible study is leading people astray, and doing so for a huge profit for Dekker (who lives in a gated community in a country club in Texas).

      A stopped clock gets the time right 2x a day. So, don’t be surprised when a universalist is saying something that jives with proper theology.

      I’d also caution you in saying “I … see this book as a way to help people live a more victorious life in Christ Jesus…” Does that comport with truth? I see what you mean. I get a lot of help through various devotionals, etc. But, it is the Bible alone, with the working of the Holy Spirit that will give us a victorious life in Jesus Christ.

      I’d just challenge the assumption that Dekker’s objective is truly for the spiritual edification of Christ’s people on this basis: If that were true, why does it cost so much? Why such a huge marketing campaign using such crass marketing like “Are you ready to find out who you really are? Do you dare?” Come on, that’s as cheap as “Buy now before it’s too late, this offer is only good for a limited time!!” Dekker claims he is letting go of this world in favor of his identity with Christ, and yet he’s employing all the sales tactics of the world and he has yet to sell all his posessions to follow Christ.

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      1. I could write a response to these criticisms, but I’m not sure that would be productive. I don’t see anything heretical in Dekker’s writing. Nor do I see overt misquotations of scripture. I would encourage you to re-read The Forgotten Way with the idea that many people are being helped to see their life in Christ as one of love, peace and power. That’s exactly what Jesus told us we would experience; not without pain, but with the strength to endure whatever comes. Let’s all be one in Christ rather than divided. There’s more good in this book than controversial ideas. They’re not new ideas and they are supported by scripture if you look at the footnotes. And I don’t see a problem with the fact that Dekker makes money from his writing any more than I see a problem with any Christian author making money; or that a pastor earns a salary for leading a church.

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      2. Thanks for your input, Robert. I agree that a number of the things Dekker says are true. Our identity should be in Christ, we should rely on His strength to love as He loves, etc. That’s what makes the “Forgotten Way” so deceptive. I’ll also agree that the Lord uses the words of wicked men to accomplish His purpose. So, while Dekker might not be a Caiaphas, prophesying about killing Christ from a position of envy, he may be more like a Demas who loved the things of this world (2 Timothy 4:10), or a Diotrephes who likes to put himself first (3 John 1:9). Discernment is about separating the almost right from wrong. I carefully reviewed what Dekker had because I didn’t want to write against someone who was doing good, but had crass marketing. Unfortunately, his e-book just came out and said things that no humble servant of the Lord would say. Again, I appreciate your point. I agree that not everything Dekker says is eeevil. But, it’s in the application and the subtle turns of a verse where true heresy rears its head. It’s the quiet, “did God really say?” in which the devil works. Dekker’s site used to say that this “way” has been forgotten for 2000 years, implying that it is on par with Scripture. And, in fact, since he claims special revelation from God, it would be.

        I’m not trying to divide Christians. I’m trying to warn Christians from false teaching. This is no different than what Paul, Peter, John and Jude did in their epistles. We should be good Bereans who do not follow the teachings of men lightly, but search them out. I’d encourage you to do the same. If Dekker’s teaching is good, then he’d be referring people to the Bible. If he’s claiming that his “21 Day cleanse” is going to change people, he’s advocating a new gospel.

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      3. If listening to or reading discussions of scripture is heresy then we are all guilty. Dekker is structuring a study of scripture to help us understand its meaning. This study is based on the Bible as evidenced by the many references. So, I respectfully disagree with your conclusions. Even so, we are brothers in Christ.

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      4. Robert, you’re employing a “straw man” argument. I never said “listening to or reading discussions of scripture is heresy.” That’s a pretty easy thesis to disprove. In fact, you’ve joined me on my site to read a discussion of scripture. I’m honored that you stopped by, in fact. I’m also encouraged that you’re someone who appears to think these things through. I appreciate that you’ve given the time to consider the points I’ve made. Could we ask any more? But, to the issue, Dekker would be fine if he wrote a book with his interpretation of verses, or some impressions of what these verses meant to his personal walk with the Lord (and some of the content does relate to that, which I thought was good). Where it veers into heresy is when he claims it is “The” way, or that it has been “Forgotten” for 2000 years, yada, yada, yada. That’s absurd. That’s pure arrogance. It also descends to heresy when he claims to have been spoken to directly from God. While he claims to be teaching about love, he’s focusing on how “we feel” and what “we experience.” In Waking Up he brushes aside any question of sinful disobedience with this idea that he just woke up to realize that he was already accepted (true, if he repented and turned to the Lord). He effectively dismisses the issue of sinful behavior that would be an indication that someone never repented, never turned to the Lord, was never crucified with Him, never had their sinful self buried and never received the new life of the resurrection. He dismisses Paul’s warning to work out your salvation with fear and trembling Phil 2:12. I don’t believe a person who has repented can lose their salvation. Namely because God is the author and finisher of their faith. But, on our end, we need to be very concerned whether we are ‘in’ the faith or self-decieved. To use Dekker’s illustration, we may not be Superman. We may actually be Clark Kent. And, by the way, that is such a horrible illustration given that Superman was a character designed after Jesus Christ. It’s almost too obvious when coupled with Dekker’s statement that “you are the light,” that he’s advocating we are divine and we join in the presence of the Trinity in a dance. Really? Anyway, I hope this is helpful to you. Personally, I’ve found F.B. Meyer’s devotionals and books of great help in my spiritual growth. You might consider checking them out.

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      5. Have you? Have you sold everything and followed Christ? I dare say not. You are judging Ted through your own lens and self condemnation. Ted is right. What you believe about yourself you become. If you want to love your neighbors as yourself, then you must first love yourself otherwise you have only your self hatred to give others.

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      6. Sorry, but that’s pop psychology, not theology. I am discerning with judgment the way we are called to do. Each day we are to pick up our cross and follow Christ. We are not called to savor the things of this world. As to Ted’s wealth, that’s hardly the issue as compared to his satanic doctrine of “you are the light.”

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      7. I don’t know where to jump in here to comment, so I guess this as good a place as any. You cautioned about following the opinions of all of the wonderful, well-known people who endorsed the book, because they are just men. The same caution goes for you. Except in your case, what career would you have if you didn’t have something to pass judgement on.

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      8. Zing! The point you’ve missed is that we should discern scriptural things by God’s word, not human opinions. You also stab yourself with your own sword since you’re passing judgment on me. The difference between us, however is that yours is an ad hominem attack, while I’m pointing out Biblical problems in Dekker’s study. What I’m doing is actually endorsed by scripture, to test every spirit, to be a good here an and to stand up against false teaching.

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  12. Mr. Dekker is a millionaire author now making lots of money selling his Forgotten Way products to people craving an infusion of spirituality in their lives. In view of how much money and fame he now has, why is he not at least doing this at cost. Something stinks.

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    1. His marketing for the “Forgotten Way” is anything but forgotten. It plays on multiple cognitive biases as identified by sales experts. So, leaving doctrine out of this, there’s a lot of problems with Dekker’s method, as well as profiting off of the gospel (loose as it is here).

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  13. Thank you for your insights. This is what I suspected. I had the same thoughts about how we’ve all been so “lost” until his revelation of the forgotten way. I am interested to know the process he used for his revelations. I suspect he used contemplative meditation, same as Sarah Young in Jesus Calling. It’s so dangerous for Christians to be led by these supposed new insights. These are the same methods used by mefiums to hear from the other side, and against which we are warned in the Bible. There are a whole crop of these ‘prophets’ getting new interpretations of scripture…Sarah Bessy, Jen Hatmaker, Beth Moore, etc. Please dont be led astray by these false prophets looking to Eastern meditation/religious methods. Isaiah 2:6 tells us God had forsaken the house of Jacob because “they replenished from the east and are soothsayers like the Philistines”. The Israelites had turned away from the one true God and toward the practices of the east. These mystics i.e. teachers of today, get guidance from ‘familiar spirits’ which tell them that God is all love and that we should combine our beliefs together (all religions) without judgement. This is part of the coming one world religion. But there is a judgement coming. Its not for we Christians to condemn anyone to Hell but it is right to point out false teaching and methods to keep believers from falling for these false teachers. They are not using new methods. They are in fact quite ancient.

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    1. maybe i’ve been under a rock, but what has Beth Moore said/done that would indicate she is a “false prophet”? I am not tasked with defending her, just curious. I have taken several of her studies and have found them to be biblical, did I miss something?

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      1. It’s more her talks than her studies, from what I’ve heard and read. She has begun claiming to get images, or impressions from God, telling her to go someplace and wait for further instructions, etc. She has advocated contemplative prayer which is at best borderline mysticism. I’ve seen her early studies and they seem fine. But, most folks who go off track don’t go all at once or even 100%. They’ll often be 80-90% good, with the 10-20% bad.

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  14. Just wanted to point out that Dekker IS referring to the “planks and specks” verses here:

    “If only we could see ourselves as the Father sees us and so be who we already are. If only we could remove the planks of offense that have blocked true vision (Matt. 7:5).”

    It looks like you reversed the numbers for the reference. If you look at his quote (above), he says “Matt. 7:5,” which IS the planks and specks verse. You quoted Matthew 5:7 below.

    “Here’s the reference for Matthew:

    ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7′”

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    1. Thanks, Mandy. Perhaps I had a moment of dislexia. 🙂 I tried to double-check the reference used on that Vital link, but it is no longer working. I amended the article since it doesn’t appear he had the reference wrong. But the term “planks of offense” is often used by the Word Faith movement and is also changing the context of that verse. It mirrors Rob Bell’s “ignorance” claim in his book Love Wins. Basically, we need to remove our ignorance of God’s love so we can experience the fact that we’re all okay. While Dekker doesn’t clearly seem to be a Universalist like Bell, he’s certainly taking verses out of context and then providing a “new” gospel that is essentially a New Age “awakening” versus the true Gospel of repentance and faith. Thanks for your feedback!

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