Apostasy Update # 24 Does Making Believe We are God Make it so? | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update. I’m T. A. McMahon, and in this program we’re addressing biblical eschatology—what the Bible has to say prophetically about the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ. My partner in this discussion is Carl Teichrib. He’s the author of Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment.

Carl, welcome back, and thanks for joining me in our ongoing discussions of where the world and Christendom are headed according to the Scriptures as history draws to a close.

Carl: Good to be back, Tom. Looking forward to our conversation. 

Tom: You know, much of—as you well know, Carl, and people who have been following us—much of the information we’ve been presenting in this series is taken from four books: Game of Gods, your book, Carl; America, the Sorcerer’s New ApprenticeChristianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict; and most importantly, the Bible, which is God’s direct communication to mankind. We’re now focusing on Carl’s book Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment. And, Carl, I wanted to discuss some of the things you wrote about in chapter 14. 

But before we go there, it would be good to read some verses from Isaiah 47. You know, I’ve failed to read these passages during the last couple of weeks when we discussed the drug scene throughout the world, and particularly in the US with its legalizing of, well, the use of psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs. Actually, we could have read these verses for pretty much all of our discussions, because they relate to where the world is today. The prophet Isaiah is declaring to the people of Babylon how God will deal with their involvement in sorcery and related forms of divination; the rejection of God, their Creator, replacing Him with themselves; the worship of the natural world, the stars, astrology, false prophecies, all having to do with communication with demons. There is no denying the comparison with what’s taking place today. 

Again, Isaiah:47:8: “Therefore, hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly [in other words, “no problems,” right?], that sayeth in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for [what?] the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.”

Verse 10: “For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee [sound like modernism? Sound like the enlightenment?]; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.”

Verses 11-12: “Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. Stand now in thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.”

Verses 13-15: “Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.”

What do you think?

Carl: Wow! That’s today! It feels—it sounds like today, and with it, judgment.

Tom: You know, folks, these are tough words. But Babylon, certainly God used them, but they—even when He used them for, you know, to bring judgment against the Israelites, okay, their captivity—but nevertheless, they were accountable for what they did. And then to introduce all of these things…so God is dealing with them. So won’t He deal with those in later history that are doing exactly the same thing? Exactly the same thing. 

I mean, look at some of these things: “I am, and there is none else beside me.” Does that sound like we’re gods, or we’re claiming to be gods? 

“The multitude of thy sorceries….” We’ve talked about sorcery. It’s the use of pharmakeia in the New Testament, the use of drugs. It’s overwhelming, but as I said, when this was written, you know, thousands of years ago, yet here it is today being fulfilled in our time! And for the same reason: they turned away from the Creator of the universe, from the Creator God. Yeah, they weren’t Israelites, but nevertheless, they’re held accountable for creation—for, you know, for God laying out the creation of the universe, and these aspects that only a God of great power and strength… It’s all there, and that’ll be part of their, you know, their judgment. 

Carl: And a God of great patience.

Tom: Oh, wow! 

Carl: But, again, at some point there will be a judgment. There comes a judgment. 

What you just read, Tom, can fit today because man’s heart hasn’t changed, has it? 

Tom: No.

Carl: Not only has man’s heart not changed, our techniques, our desires, our aspirations to try to be spiritual on our own merit or through our own power, that hasn’t changed either. 

Tom: You see, and some people say, “Well, God, why would God judge them like that?” and so on. Hold on a second: you can go to the Psalms, and in the New Testament as well, the scripture about they’re going to reap what they have sown! They have brought this self-destruction in many ways. Yeah, God is going to pour out His wrath against those who are—do not want Him, and reject Him, and then are creating all kinds of problems for other people. Problems may not be the word—destruction for other people. So they’re going to reap what they’ve sown. In the Psalm, it says—I think Psalm 7, it may be there—but it talks about they have dug their own pit, and they have fallen in it! That’s the consequences of trying to be God, trying to work things out when you’re a finite—let alone sinful—but you’re a finite being. You’re going to replace the infinite God? Can’t happen.

Carl: No.

Tom: And we’re seeing the destruction of that today in so many ways, and a bent for that kind of destruction through drugs, which we’ve talked about the last couple of weeks.

Carl: When you look through Scripture and you see God’s judgment, when you see God’s final judgment, sometimes you shake your head and go, “Wow! That’s catastrophic. That’s harsh!” When I take a look at Scripture and I see the judgment that comes upon even the Earth itself, it makes sense, because we have elevated everything, including creation, including the Earth, including mankind, to the same stature as God. And God is a jealous God—not jealous in a petty or vindictive way, but in that He is…He has, by His own character, no other choice but to demonstrate that He is God alone by His very nature. He is God, and we’re not. And so we take upon ourselves an act of divine identity theft. We are stealing what is rightfully His, or claiming to steal what is rightfully His, because we can’t ever become as He is.

Tom: Mm-hmm.

Carl: But no wonder God brings judgment down on all these things we worship! 

Tom: Right. And there’s also, God doesn’t do anything without love…

Carl: Right.

Tom: …so somebody could say, “Well, how does this jealousy fit in with love?” Listen, I’ve got five children—I love them, okay? I’m concerned about them. When they are moving in this direction or that direction, which I know is going to bring destruction in their lives, I’m a jealous father for their sake, because I love them. So that’s another aspect that we forget about.

Carl: Mm-hmm.

Tom: So, you know, one of the things that we’ve seen over our many, many programs—and I think they’ve, hopefully, been very edifying to those who have tuned into them—but what we’re seeing today is happening at such a rate that it’s staggering. Even with that, you know, as a great resource, we’re talking about up-to-date things that are going on which are really antichrist beliefs, and a condition of the world that’s out there. 

You know, Carl, your book—and we talked about Samuel Andrews’ book, 120 years ago; Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, 30-some years ago; and your book—you know, I kid you, but it’s not a kid—you know, the ink’s practically not even dry yet on the book, okay? That’s how it is. But, Carl, you can’t keep up with this.

Carl: No, you can’t.

Tom: It’s, you know, even with those resources, understanding the times we’re in is growing, not exponentially, but growing so quickly and happening so quickly, you can’t keep up with it. I can’t!

Carl: No, it’s impossible to. What’s important is then to focus on what is fundamental, to watch and see and keep our eyes alert to what is happening around us, to develop a sound, solid biblical worldview, and then to allow God’s Holy Spirit and His Word to direct our paths as we navigate incredible changes that are taking place all around us. 

Tom: Yeah. You know, again, thinking about your book, here’s an option for you: how about writing a new chapter each month?

Carl: No! [laughs]

Tom: No, wait a minute! I’m kidding, but I’m not kidding! So, the Lord willing…

Carl: I know, I know!

Tom: …the Lord willing, you know, we’re going to have a once-a-month or maybe more (hopefully more) Apostasy Update with Carl Teichrib, you know, just to bring us up to speed: “Carl, what’s going on?” But don’t shock us, okay? 

Carl: [laughing]

Tom: Oh, brother! You know, folks, again, we laugh at this, but honestly (and I’ve said this over and over again) we’re laughing because it’s the theater of the absurd with what’s going on! But it’s heartbreaking! It’s really grievous to see these things and to see people buy into this and so on. 

Well, anyway, I want to get to chapter 14. That was my assignment, okay? And I just have the question for you—it’s an absolutely fascinating chapter, which, you know, how much time we’ll be able to spend on it, I don’t know. But we’ll make the time, okay? We’ll see how this goes. We’re not locked into anything in particular. So what about chapter 14? What was your objective, and could you, for us, summarize what you want your readers to come away with in that chapter?

Carl: First of all, chapter 14 tackles a topic, Tom, that I don’t think too many other Christian writers have tackled. It deals on the issue of transformational culture, evolutionary culture, the celebration—literally a celebration—of oneness. 

I know in the Christian area of apologetics there’s been a couple of articles written on Burning Man, but as far as I know, this chapter is the first time that I pulled this together, or somebody pulls this together from a Christian point of view demonstrating that this is indeed a global phenomenon. 

Tom: Mm-hmm.

Carl: And so chapter 14 is a chapter on celebratory festivals, transformational festivals—you could call it evolutionary culture. So it’s kind of unique. There’s really—it’s a…how do I say this? It is an eye-opening experience for people if they’ve never encountered this subject before, and it’s one of those subjects that’s very, very hard to describe, because it’s a visual subject. Transformational culture, transformational art really is visual in its orientation. 

So a couple of things that I’d like people to pull away from with this: first, if oneness—the idea that man, God, and nature—if oneness is the dominant worldview, and, Tom, I think we’ve pretty much nailed that down. It’s the dominant worldview.

Tom: Absolutely. There are only two options, right?

Carl: Right, exactly! It shapes our political visions, it shapes religions coming together through the interfaith movement—it does so much! So if it’s a dominant worldview, the dominant spiritual worldview, it has to have a cultural expression. So this isn’t just putting the worldview of oneness in movies or in literature—no, no, no, this is something more. This isn’t just putting the message in the medium, rather this is the medium itself becoming the message of oneness. The medium itself, specifically the festival, becomes a container through which people feel their cosmic unity and their sense of oneness. So this is a cultural expression of a religious spiritual worldview that’s prevalent today.

Number two, and this is also very important: it’s a reflection and it’s a refinement of the worldview already prevalent. It does both. It reflects it, and then during the course of the experience itself, it refines it and then it pushes that out into the cracks and crevices of the culture around us. And those who are engaged in it are not observers. You are participants, and that enables the experience to change you. You have now felt the spiritual experience of oneness. 

And then transformational culture, especially transformational festivals, you could say offers a spiritual alternative to the church, so far as to say that it is a type of church. In fact, that’s how participants describe it. It’s been described to me that way directly: “This is our church.” It’s a place where they now feel connected, they have a family, a place where they are experiencing spirituality all throughout the course of the event. 

So then the question is who goes to events like this? Who goes to transformational festivals?

I know, Tom, that for some of your audience, they’ll be scratching their heads going, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about! What is a transformational festival?” We’ll kind of get into it, but again, it’s kind of one of those subjects that’s difficult to describe with words because it is a visual subject. 

But who goes? Well, your family goes. Your neighbors go. Your children go. Your grandchildren go. Your parents, even your senior citizens, ‘cause I’ve met them there too! The people in your neighborhood. 

Okay, this is important: my church background, Tom, I come from an evangelical Mennonite background, okay? And I’ve given presentations on transformational culture even to the Mennonite churches. The first one that I attended, the first transformational event I attended, was a small one that took place in Manitoba, my home province, and probably less than 300 people. I was there doing surveys, and by the way, I’ve done surveys at others. I was doing surveys. The event was called Dimensional Rift. One of the things that I encountered was the people’s last names, those who were participating—Penners, and Heberts, and Leibs, and Klassens. These are all Mennonite last names! This is—hold on! These are my people! Why are they there? 

And so I’ve given this presentation at Mennonite churches talking about this, going, “These are the people I encountered.” And there’s a hushness that comes over the congregation, because they recognize, Oh, this is where my children go when they turn away from the faith. Yes, they will. They will go somewhere. They will find an alternative, and transformational culture is one of those alternatives. 

You can describe transformational culture, transformational festivals, as this way: it’s a lived happening of a spiritual principle, and that spiritual principle is, “By transgressing, I will transform.” The pith of the participants will feel that transformation as they celebrate experientially their oneness, as they feel transformation by transgressing the bounds.

So there’s a lot of stuff there to unpack, but that’s kind of…yeah. How do you describe something that is so wrapped up in the world of spirituality, psychology, because that’s there? It is artistic, absolutely artistic, and the art is amazing, by the way. I’ve been to a number of these events. The art is amazing, but all of it, all of it, is meant to drive home the experiential feeling that we are all celebrating our oneness.

Tom: You know, Carl, one of the things I really appreciated about that chapter, because you cover a lot of territory: first of all, you give the history starting with, as I remember, Aleister Crowley, and… But beginning there, and then you take the reader through this historical stuff which I grew up in, so we’re talking the ‘60s! You know, I graduated from high school in ’62, so I was aware of these things. And then as you point these things out, you get a sense, Okay, I see how this went from this and this. And of course, whether it was last week’s program or before, you gave an incredible timeline of how this stuff plays out. 

But the thing I appreciated about this is—so who…you know, you just said, “Who goes to these things, and are they going for what reasons?” And you give some of the reasons: hey, you know, for some people, hey, it’s party-hearty! It’s a way to get away. “No, we’re not into the spiritual stuff,” and so on. But the producers of this…I mean, you have things like—you can’t get away from it. There’s social engineering. There’s a kind of conditioning that goes on, and it’s played into through the devices. And…but even if it’s 10 percent…and it’s hard to give a, you know, put a number on this. 

But one of the points that you make after saying, “No, no, you know, Aunt Joan and Uncle Bob, they’re into this, but they just go to get away. They want a release from the pressures that they’re under.” And so for some it’s party-hearty, okay? But nevertheless, they are being influenced, they are being conditioned to a certain degree, and that’s where I think, even if you say 10 percent, who knows? Because these things make impressions. 

And one of the things we talked about before we started this program was an issue, an area, that…it was like, in my own head, I was aware of some of these things, but I never put it together as you did in this, and I’m talking about, really, the dance, electronic dance music. You know, some people have heard of it, even my age. Well, you’ve heard of the raves—not like we participated in it, but you get the idea. It’s a big party, it involves drugs, and so on, but this is huge. And I mentioned before that I was aware, because here in Central Oregon we had Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and I was involved in some part of the documentary that actually got him thrown out of the country, okay? A friend of mine, who I think you knew, Caryl Matrisciana…

Carl: Yes.

Tom: …she was born in India, one of the last British subjects to be born there as a British citizen. And it may have even been Pune, where Rajneesh’s ashram was. I’m not quite sure about that. But nevertheless, she talked her way in with a film crew to Rajneesh’s ashram, which was on the big, muddy 66,000 acres that he purchased, and that’s where he set up his cult, bigtime cult. But part of that was they’re dancing into, putting themselves into altered states of consciousness! 

Now, I’ve been aware of—talk about being close to home—I’ve been aware of the whirling dervishes. I’ve been to Mongolia; I’ve been to these places where that’s an effective device to get into an altered state of consciousness. And then right in front of me, because I was part of that production, was, you know, the Rajneeshes putting themselves into altered states of consciousness! 

Now, that brings up an interesting point, and I’d like you to talk about this: electronic dance music, EDM. How’s that work, Carl? Or how’s it different, or is it different, from what I’m just describing?

Carl: Yes and no. It is different, and at the same time it’s not. It’s different in that—here’s an example: if you just listen to EDM and bop around in your bedroom all by yourself, you are not going to go into that altered state of consciousness. If you join in with a large group and you do this in that group dynamic, the intention and the goal is to place you within that environment where you now feel like you are one. Your heart is one, everything is connected as one with the music, with each other, with the energy of that event. It’s a powerful mover, a very, very powerful, powerful tool! 

And so I’ve been to transformational events where EDM is by far the driving force, the—what I just described, the small one, Dimensional Rift, EDM was the driving force. When I’ve been to Burning Man, there’s a lot of camps where EDM is the driving force. In fact, EDM is the most listened-to music. You can’t escape it. It’s there the entire event, all seven or eight days. 

But at the same time, there’s also camps playing ABBA nonstop for seven days! That might take you into a different state of mind, let me tell you! [laughs] Like, “Turn it off!” after a while, you know? There’s another camp I know down the road from where my tent is, they’re playing jazz the entire event, the entire week. 

But…and each of these, I mean, they’re all participating in different ways. But the important element in all this is specifically the EDM experience as you move in the group, and that’s so important, Tom: in the group. The emotion of the group takes over, the feeling of the group becomes what empowers you. It’s there. It’s called the TAZ: Temporary Autonomous Zone. And for a moment, for a moment in time, you have stepped away from your past and you are in a liminal zone in a holding pattern as you now think, This is what my future, this is what reality, this is what utopia might look like. And it definitely takes you into an altered state of consciousness, especially when you combine ecstasy and other drugs that go along with the culture.

Tom: Well, that’s a part. It’s not always there, but for the most part, everything that I’ve read, yes, this is a part of getting people into this altered state of consciousness, whatever they can work.

Here’s a quote from your book: “The entire festival is a playground for amplifying extra sensory experience in an aural world of empathic pleasures. The psychedelic amalgam of music, dancing, and other forms of ecstatic entertainment are a sonic entanglement in visceral chemical rapture. The multiplex of out-of-mind and out-of-body experiences generated through the events chemical and technological expertise [there we have the electronic along with the chemical, okay?] allows attendees to explore an experimental and temporary social hybrid of entertainment, community [what you’ve been talking about], and spirituality.” It’s there.

Carl: Yes.

Tom: Now, again, as I said, not everybody, and you spelled this out, not everybody is there for these things, and so on. But they’re exposed to it. They can be seduced by it. The deception and—well, inducement is probably the best thing I can say about just being there with it.

So let me give you another one, because the, again, this is somebody playing music. Well, who are these guys that are playing music? They’re DJs, okay? And this one—this is a DJ who acts as a digital shaman (his words, “shaman,” and we’ve been talking about that, folks). He says, “I’m basically just using the whole party situation as a medium to do magic, to remake the tribal pagan ritual for the 21st century.” This is modern day shamanism without a doubt, with all that’s going on. 

I’ll give you one more: this is at Boom, and when I finish this, you can tell us about Boom. This is in Portugal, right?

Carl: Yes, right.

Tom: “At Boom, music is sacred. Dance floors are temples for transcending ordinary states of perception and the limitations of our egos. Through dance and music, we can reconstruct to our own individual divine essence while in sync with the beating heart of the whole tribe. All is one. Boom’s ultimate aim is to facilitate individual and collective transformation.” There are people behind it. 

And the other thing is…“Oh, is this just, really, people really interested in your spirituality for the most part?” You could say yes, but here’s another quote from your book: “The electronic dance music industries in aggregate is valued at $7.4 billion in the US in 2017.”

Carl: That’s right.

Tom: You know, I think it was—I don’t know if I was thinking about the Psalms or the verse that I read from Isaiah…no, I think it was in Isaiah that I just read. Didn’t it say something about “their merchants?”

Carl: Mm-hmm.

Tom: Their merchants. You know, it’s hard to disconnect “filthy lucre,” okay, as the King James says, from all these goings on, right?

Carl: It was a few years back, I can’t remember which year it was—I’m thinking 2014, but it might have been earlier, maybe 2013—the Tomorrowland Festival out of Belgium, which is a go-to global destination in terms of… It’s a transformational—it’s a transformational concert. It’s not just a festival, it really is more of a concert where you go as an observer, but the nature of it pulls you in as a participant. There’s no question about that. 

The Tomorrowland Festival at that point was the fastest-selling event of its kind in human history. I believe 180 or so thousand tickets went up for grabs. The servers crashed within the first moments of opening up. How fast, Tom, do you think it took to sell—I think it was 180 or 200,000 tickets? Five minutes? Two minutes? Thirty seconds? Still way off. Ten seconds? Nope. Five seconds? Nope. Reportedly under one second. Over a million people had jammed the server systems and it shut everything down, and they had to reboot it all and start again, because the demand was so intense. Which is why now Tomorrowland is—well, obviously not this year, it’s 2020! But Tomorrowland in the past has had to operate on two weekends because they have over 400,000 people, and demand far outstrips (and I mean far outstrips) supply. 

Tom: Yeah. You know, somebody could say, “Well, this is all about spirituality.” Well, this is about hedonism. This is about party-hearty. I mean, this is why many of the people get involved, but they are getting involved with something they have no idea how destructive it is. Again, folks, go back and read Isaiah 47.

Now, Carl…

Carl: And…

Tom: …we’ve only got about a minute left here, but I want to pick, the Lord willing, I want to pick up this and continue on. We can go from chapter 14. I know we could do this for a month, you know, programs, but it’s important. It’s really important. This is where it’s all going; that’s what I said at the beginning of this. This is where the world is going, and sadly the church has tied on to this in many ways. Not that—there’s a remnant, there’s no doubt about it, but for the most part, the professing church is into it.

So, Carl, thanks, bro, for sharing what you have, and Lord willing we’ll get on with this next week.

Carl: Excellent, Tom. Looking forward to it.

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