In a CT follow-up article two months later titled “Christian McCarthyism,” Philip Yancey denounced as “McCarthyism” any attempt to bring correction in the church. That accusatory label succeeded 50 years ago in protecting Communists in influential positions (who were betraying the United States from within) by ridiculing anyone who exposed Communist infiltration. We now know that McCarthy was right! In like manner, those who stand against heresy and desire correction in the church today are also ridiculed. Will the church likewise awaken too late?
Yancey said that Karen Mains had merely “written about her dream life,” and quoted neither her nor her critics. Such a cover-up of heresy and occultism in a leading evangelical magazine is unconscionable! He argued, “It is time for us to remember that Jesus named love, not theological or political correctness, as the identifying mark of Christians.” Political correctness has nothing to do with Christianity, but doctrinal soundness is its safeguard. Yancey seems to have forgotten that love’s language is “the truth” (Ephesians:4:15) and that Christ Himself said that love causes Him to correct those who fall into error (Revelation:3:19).
Christianity Today has played a major role in giving credibility and respectability to the occult. Yancey says, “Richard Foster dares to use words like meditation…which puts him under suspicion as a New Ager.” In fact, Foster advocates and gives instructions on how to practice Eastern meditation so that the visualized image of Jesus comes to life: “You can actually encounter the living Christ in the event, be addressed by His voice and be touched by His healing power…Jesus Christ will actually come to you.”
What Foster advocates is the most powerful occult technique known. Yet he has the backing of Christian leaders around the world, and many of them have joined his Renovare movement for reviving Eastern mysticism in the church. Yancey and CT suppress anything that would reflect badly upon well-regarded Christian leaders, and present Foster as having become the target of false charges.
Tony Campolo is also depicted as unfairly criticized, as though his blatant heresies were nonexistent. Like Sir John Marks Templeton, Campolo says that Christ dwells in everyone whether they know it or not. In a recent book, in a chapter titled “Embracing the Feminine Side of God,” Campolo declares: “There is that feminine side of me that must be recovered and strengthened if I am to be like Christ…. And until I feel the feminine in Jesus, there is a part of Him with which I cannot identify.” Yet it is “Christian McCarthyism” to point out that such ideas are unbiblical!
Christianity Today seems more concerned with defending error than correcting it (which it does, selectively, at times). Nor is CT the only such magazine that has drifted away from the truth. Writing in the magazine of the Evangelical Covenant Church, North Park Theological Seminary professor Richard W. Carlson decries the “paranoid responses” on the part of critics of the New Age movement. “All is clearly not bad in New Age,” he writes, and some “Aspects may even be healthy for the church….” No wonder such statements as the following could be uttered triumphantly by a professor lecturing at Harvard Divinity School:
“The environmental movement, in conjunction with New Age spirituality and the rediscovery of the native American worldview, is assaulting the arrogant domination of nature that has brought the planet to the brink of ecocatastrophe…. All life is sacred and must be protected from the ravages of the species ironically titled Homo sapiens. And so, more recently, there has been the revelation of Gaia, the entire earth as a living entity. The Great Goddess has had many names this is but the latest…. It is above all the Bible that must be blamed…! The repressive, racist, phallocratic and hierarchical heritage of biblical religion has deformed Western culture. The Christian churches, of course, have been the chief vehicle of this monumental deformation…. What is on the decline is the tattered residue of the Judeo-Christian tradition I the churches and synagogues…. This particular god is dying if not yet quite dead. But other, more ancient, gods are alive and stirring.”