Exceptional Piety or Mysticism?
Throughout much of church history there have, time and time again, arisen movements and behaviors within the Church, which many view as exceptionally pious. Our own day is no exception. Within camps of the new Calvinism movement, the popularity of this type of behavior seems to be on the increase, with no signs of letting up.
The main characteristic to which I am referring consists mainly in the reliance or guidance of the Holy Spirit apart from the Word of God, and specifically apart from the moral law of God. Separating the work, or seeking the guidance of the Spirit, apart from the Word of God is nothing new, and has been an error that has creeped into Christendom for centuries.
While many hold that such practice is merely a version of Christianity, they seem to not realize that, in actuality, it is a departure from it. One of the great characteristics of mysticism is long prayers, sitting in silence and waiting on the Spirit to move, lead and guide one into the will of God. That is not Christianity, and, such as it is, denies the objective revelation of the will of God in the Bible.
We must be careful, brethren, that in our seeking the will of God in our lives, we do not stray from the written Word and rely on some mysterious guidance ‘of the Spirit’ for that is a dangerous practice. Without the guidance of the Word, how do you know it is not another spirit, a dark one, you are lending an ear!?
The substitution of a subjective, emotional, leading is a well-known error of charismatic teaching and practice. New Calvinism, incorporating charismatic theology into it’s psuedo- reformed thinking, has introduced this mystical practice into the Church once again. We must remain alert.
The only sure guide for the Christian, in all aspects of this life, is the sure foundation of the objective revelation of God found only in His written Word.