Does Heresy Matter? Part 2 of Ted Dekker’s Cult of the Forgotten Way

I recently read Ted Dekker’s book, Waking Up (to who you really are, if you dare). Aside from the overly mystical and cheesy title, it contains some very troubling heresy. Namely, that the “Ted Dekker” that he sees in the mirror is the false Ted, the one that is passing away, while the “spiritual” Ted is the “real” one.

This is known as Dualism. Here’s what you’ll find on Wikipedia about the heresies of the early church:

“Many groups held dualistic beliefs, maintaining that reality was composed into two radically opposing parts: matter, seen as evil, and spirit, seen as good. Such views gave rise to some theology of the “incarnation” that were declared heresies. Most scholars agree that the Bible teaches that both the material and the spiritual worlds were created by God and were therefore both good.[28]

 
The good part of what Ted starts with is that we, as Christians, should remember that we are “in” Christ, and are viewed by God through His Risen and Ascended presence in Heaven before God the Father.

Yes, true.

But he inserts “identity,” in the equation. I suppose our “identity” with God might be seen in terms of Salvation. But that is different from our identity of who we are. In other words, if you’re a writer, and your name is Ted Dekker, that’s not the fake person. That’s who God created. That’s the talent and occupation God has ordained. If your name is Peter and you’re a fisherman, you remain Peter and a fisherman, though God might re-purpose your fishing for His Kingdom.

Bottom line, we do not disappear into Christ, we are joined to Christ. And this is the subtle twist that false prophets will use to derail sound teaching.

Here’s the verse Dekker uses, for reference:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7

Interestingly, there’s no “identity” mentioned here. It pertains to our status with God (which, to Dekker’s credit, he addresses). He outlines how he felt shame for … wanting to succeed and working really hard? And still feeling “unworthy.” I don’t see any penitent confessions here. Just a common admission of “I struggle with pride because I’m so driven to succeed!”

Anyway, he’s in tears at his efforts to find favor with God through street preaching, mission trips, monastic wandering in the mountains, etc. And, despite all his attempts to earn favor from God, he feels empty and alone … no peace, no joy, no love.

Boo hoo.

So, he hears a voice—evidently God is talking directly to him, so we better all listen up!—telling him that he’s already there! He is loved. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

     “Does your Father not love you with the same love that He asks you to love others?”

     The room went utterly still. I blinked, unable to comprehend. 
     “What is love?” the voice asked. 
     But I knew, of course. Love was a staggering concept that held no record of wrong and was kind in the face of cruelty. When the evil man attacked, love turned the cheek without offering blame or grievance. This is the love no one knows—the same love Jesus talked about often. 
     “Does your Father not love you in the same way He asks you to love others?” 
 
Okay, there’s good and bad here. The bad is that he’s holding court with God through some whispered voice, which is total heresy. The continued bad is that he relies on what he “knows” about the definition of love from a verse taken out of context. He’s like Satan, who takes the word of God, then twists it. Only, instead of saying “did God really say?” Dekker just comes out and fills in blanks with his own opinions. The whole part of love being “when the evil man attacked, love turned the cheek without offering blame or grievance is Ted adding his version to love.

Don’t worry, it gets much worse:

     Then I heard another thought, like a voice but not a voice at the same time (gag!).

     “Let go of all that you think you know about Me, so that you can KNOW Me.” 
     Translation: let go of your intellectual knowing so that you can experience my love (to know in a biblical sense). 
 
Now, I’m pretty sure that NO WRITER OF SCRIPTURE EVER said to divorce your intellect to know God. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. But, perhaps that first part about “Let go of all that you think you know about Me…” is the real “jumping off” part.

Now, in regard to the “biblical sense,” I fear he means something here:

     It was then that I began to know my Father intimately in the way Jesus talked about knowing the Father—a word used for a deep intimate experience between a man and a woman. 

 
Oh, boy. This, too, is not a new concept. In fact, that’s why some claim that the Holy Spirit is the female part of the Trinity. And some will liken being “in the Spirit” to having sex.

Frankly, if I were superstitious, I wouldn’t stand too close to this guy in a thunderstorm.

I suspect that the same demon that whispered this junk to Ted Dekker has stolen any chance that he will ever repent and believe.

The reason someone will feel condemnation as they attempt to please God is because they have not repented of their sinfulness before a Holy God. They have not seen God as Loving AND Holy AND Just.

Loving<

 

First, God does love the world. He loves us without apparent cause, while we are rebels against Him. He loved us so much, He became one of us (material, fully man), lived a SINLESS life, and bore the brunt of God’s wrath (which we deserve) so that we can be declared sinless before God (in Christ).

Holy 
 

God is completely Holy. This means that there is not a speck of filth or darkness or unrighteous hate in Him. And, just like a surgeon will insist on a sterile environment for surgery, God cannot let any darkness, sin or filth into His presence.

P.S. We are born rebels against God, filled with self-directed desires that hate God. Thus, we cannot be accepted by God. Even our “good” deeds are as rotting grave-clothes to God.

Just

 

God is Just. This means he won’t take a bribe. We cannot earn our salvation by an inch or a yard. We cannot be “cleansed” with water sprinkling to erase this debt. In fact, our debt keeps mounting every day, so we cannot possibly off-set it by good works or Random Acts of Kindness. Plus, when we do those things hoping for a good return … it’s not such a good deed. It’s a bribe. Bald-faced.

Since God is Just, He must demand the penalty for our sinful, rebellious behavior. We don’t measure up. We can’t measure up. We’re going to pay the price.

But then we get back to that Love part. God’s love and mercy is what saves us. The Gospel is so wonderful because it SATISFIES all aspects of God (His Holiness, His Justice and His Love).

Dekker’s conclusion is a selfish one. He wants to “experience” God’s peace and joy, etc. “in THIS LIFE.”

The problem is that Jesus never gives his followers the notion that we will enjoy this life. He gives us peace, but not as the world gives. His joy is laden with brutal cross-bearing, trials and tribulations from the world.

Jesus wasn’t glib and easy-going. Rather, He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3) He was despised and rejected. He wasn’t winsome!

The god of Ted Dekker’s Forgotten Way seems interested in elevating our experience on earth. But that will be to our eternal demise.

Advertisements

9 Comments

  1. I bought the books, Forgotten Way, but have yet to read them. From your article and all the comments looks like they may be fire starter. He does have some good pointers on basic writing though. I’ve always said the enemy does not fight fair. He starts on all of us when we are children; and in Mr. Dekker’s case he grew up in a pagan, demonic infested place. Even with missionary parents he was easy prey for thoughts and ideas satan (no I don’t capitalize his name) wanted to use later in his life, with just enough hooks to pull many of us into his web.
    I found a couple of your remarks particularly interesting and would like your permission to quote them, with proper credit of course, IF the opportunity arises. I’ll have a copy of this article with me for reference.

    Like

    Reply

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and for searching out Dekker and his study. I think you’re right. We get hooks in us from our culture and sometimes they even seem good at the time. The New Apostolic movement has what appears to be good intentions. They’ll bring up good points. But then they start calling down things from God and even assuming God’s power.

      Like

      Reply

  2. And this is why I am feeling so uneasy with Dekker’s teachings. Wish I had found you before I bought his books and started the study with The Group on Facebook. I have been reading and keeping up with what they are saying, but … something just feels wrong to me. Maybe it is when he says things like, well this is what Yeshua really meant when he said that, or maybe it is how so many in the group are fawning over this new revelation (think golden tablets), or maybe it is the use of partial scriptures in trying to prove a point. It could be almost anything. I am leaning towards it being the Spirit in me telling me that there is something seriously not right here. Get back to the Bible where God is revealed in Jesus Christ as both loving and just. I think I’m going to have to burn Dekker’s books. Thank you, Bryn.

    Like

    Reply

    1. I used to enjoy his novels. And he seems like he really wants to be good and thinks he is seeking God. Unfortunately, so did King Saul. It’s very troubling about Dekker. So many get sucked in and led astray.

      Like

      Reply

  3. Hi! I have a question. When you say Ted added his version to “turning the other cheek” does it not say in Scripture that Love holds no record of wrong? 1 Cor 13 and as far as “divorcing intellect” doesn’t the Bible say “lean not on your own understanding?” and “my ways are not your ways”?
    Your most valid point seems to be dualism.

    Like

    Reply

    1. The verse Ted uses does not say what he adds to it. There was blame when the soldiers beat Christ. There was grievance. But Christ entrusted that to God the Father. We shouldn’t keep record of wrong in bitterness like the servant who refused to forgive his fellow servant. That parable better illustrates our need to forgive out of a recognition of how great our debt was, and how it was forgiven. Ted is commuting heresy because he’s cherry-picking concepts and divorcing them from repentance, obedience and confession. He makes the center him, or you, in this life, and utterly fails to address the true issue of glorifying God. Instead, it’s about our own identity, and that being “divine,” which comes from Eastern religion.

      It’s very likely that someone who is living in sin has not “forgotten who they really are” but instead have never submitted to Jesus’ Lordship and have not trusted only in His sacrifice as payment for their guilt before God. Those people will be focused on happiness in “this life.”

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s