What is Hyper Spiritualism? It is a blend of emotional focused worship and subconscious guilt hiding that does not produce true spiritual change in a persons life. Hyper Spiritualism can be found at seeker focused, emergent, and charismatic churches. Hyper Spiritualist desire to act and feel a certain way to ‘feel’ more spiritual and to ‘feel’ better about the sin they live in. This form of pseudo-worship makes people focus on their feelings at the moment without ever addressing the deeper need of a heart change in the rest of their life. What does scripture say about Hyper Spiritualism?
Worship in Truth.
Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman speaks volumes on this matter in John 4:4-26. Jesus came to her and asked for something simple. Right off the bat he defied social worldly norms. Jews did not associate with Samaritans and this would have been offensive to Jews for Jesus to do (John 4:9). Yet, Jesus wasn’t concerned about offending or social norms. He held heavenly things above things of this world, including peoples opinions and feelings (John 4:10). She recognized that Jesus was getting at something else but could not see past her worldly thinking (John 4:11). Jesus starts setting up the fundamental difference between the spiritual and things of the world. Notice, he says “whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever!… water springing up within him for eternal life.“ She sees limited temporary external things but Jesus is speaking of eternal internal things. BUT when she asks for it, the very first thing Jesus does is address her sin (John 4:15-17). Jesus shines light on, and calls out, her adulterous sexually immoral lifestyle (John 4:17). Notice her response; she thinks she worships God, just in a different location than the Jews (John 4:19). Again, seeing worship in a temporal external worldly sense. Jesus again shines light on and calls out her pseudo worship (John 4:22). She sees worshiping God as something of how and where; Jesus is leading her to see that worship and salvation is through Him, a Jew, and in him, as the Son of God and Savior from her sexual immorality and sinful life. Jesus focused and not her focused.
Then Jesus states “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). The truth is, she was living in sin and her worship was actually of herself, her feelings, and to make her self feel better about the lifestyle she was living. The truth is that Jesus came to free her, from herself, sin SO THAT she can truly worship God.
Hyper Spiritualist are just like this Samaritan woman. They go to church, sing all kinds of feel-good songs, feel better about themselves, and then go home and back to their sinful lifestyles. Even while ‘worshiping’ they are in sin, in the fact that they are subconsciously worshiping their feelings and doing it for themselves. They or their church do not address their sins first, and do not show the need for freedom from their sins; so that they can actually worship God in spirit and truth.
Also read The Joy of TRUTH | Spiritual Legalism | Hyper-Grace theology | The Self and The Center of Everything | Your Feelings Do Not Determine Truth | God’s Truths are Not a Matter of Opinions | Born This Way | The Other Side of The Real Jesus | Follow Your Heart? | The Holy Spirit or Emotionalism?
What Seed are you?
Somewhere in your life, someone (through the Holy Spirit) sowed a seed of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in your mind and heart. Even the Samaritan woman believed in the Messiah. But not all who have heard the Gospel seed flourish and become a true worshiper of God. Some seeds never take root and the gospel message and is dismissed and rejected (Matthew 13:4; Matthew 13:19). Yet other seeds do take root but are not deeply rooted. These people are not involved in a gospel centered church or surrounded by people who truly worship God in spirit and truth. When hard times come, they fall away (Matthew 13:5-6; Matthew 13:20-21). Yet others believe the gospel message, may be involved in a gospel centered church but because of sin they are not able to grow in faith and truly worship God (Matthew 13:7; Matthew 13:22). Finally, there are some who grow because they can weather the hard times, are not tangled in sin, and are firmly planted in a gospel centered community; they produce spiritual fruit and all that is pleasing to God. They worship God in spirit and truth (Matthew 13:8; Matthew 13:23).
Hyper Spiritualist are not involved in a gospel centered community, they do not address their sinful lifestyles, and are choked by their sin; nor can they weather hard times. They are dependent on their emotions and feelings from day to day, even at church. This is why it is so important to be involved in a gospel centered community, address your sins, get untangled from the world so that you can be spiritually fruitful and truly glorify God.
Also read Guard Your Heart
Claiming In Jesus’ Name
Anyone can claim anything and attach the phrase “in Jesus’ name” with it. That does not make it worship or God glorifying. The scariest statement in scripture is this:
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers! (Matthew 7:21-23)
Hyper Spiritualist will say and do things and then claim it in Jesus’ name. But Jesus makes it clear that only those who do the will of God the Father are saved. What is God’s will? To worship and serve God for God’s glory alone. Not to worship and serve God to feel better about yourself or to make you look spiritual in front of man as you live in sin.
What Tree are you?
We CAN recognize a gospel centered community and we CAN see people that are used by God to lead us closer to him; to worship him in spirit and truth. Every tree (you and me) produce fruit. The fruit is either good or bad. The good fruit is something that is done out of faith for God’s glory alone. Jesus TELLS us we CAN recognize good trees and bad trees:
“ In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
Hyper Spiritualist do things at church by just words and in their feelings; but then produce bad fruit which is seen by how they live their life and not just what they claimed at church. Their fruit is their sinful lifestyles that is unchanging.
The Holy Spirit, through Paul, reveals in greater detail what kind of fruit a good tree produces in their whole life and not just on Sundays:
“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Seeds planted in good soil, who grow up into strong trees that produce good fruit is an analogy of spiritual maturity. This has nothing to do with the age of the body but is completely dependent on the immaterial spirit and the Holy Spirit. This is an on going process which is made complete at our bodily death. Paul himself said he was not perfect (Philippians 3:12) but he continues to strive for it because of God’s continuous unending call (Philippians 3:14). The Holy Spirit, through Peter, stated that we are given everything we need for this continued spiritual growth (2 Peter 1:3). He also explains the continuous process of spiritual maturity which keeps us useful for God’s purposes and fruitfulness:
“make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5–8)
God makes us participants in our own spiritual maturity. It starts with having faith and leads to the selfless sacrificial God Glorifying love. We increase in knowledge of God’s truths and of him, we reflect his attributes in godliness, we increase in self-control and are able to endure hard times better, and all this enables us to love the way God loves us.
Hyper Spiritualist lack self-control in their life and are less focused on godliness. Their love is for themselves and anyone who supports them. They lack in the knowledge of God and do not see or understand the need to address their sinful lifestyles because they feel good on Sundays.
Spiritual Maturity IS an absolute result for all who truly worship God in spirit and truth. Hyper Spiritualist do not spiritually mature and just continue to live day to day without lasting change in their heart and mind which changes their life and lifestyles.
Also read How Old Are You, Spiritually? | What is ‘Doctrine’ and does it matter? | Why The Disciples of The Apostles Matter Today | The Satisfaction of Christ Jesus | The Beauty of Accountability | The New You Forever | Faith Without Works is Dead
Being a ‘moral’ person has never saved anyone. What is ‘good’ is not an opinion of each individual and is not relative. Obeying laws and appeasing everyone while trying hard not to offend anyone, does not save anyone. Faithfully recognizing the desperate need for Jesus Christ as Lord God and Savior and freedom from sinful lifestyles is fundamental to coming to know God and worship him in spirit and truth. From there, anyone can grow in knowledge of God and begin spiritually maturing.
Only trusting and believing in the Gospel Message frees people to worship God in spirit and truth. This message is offensive to people who live sinful lifestyles as it requires a eternal payment for their sins; because of the eternal heinousness of their sins. As a result of faith, the pure joy of freedom in Christ can be truly experienced. Freedom to genuinely worship God in spirit and in truth for all eternity.
Is your church and community Hyper Spiritualist? Check out 10 Elements of a Healthy Church
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