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  • 19: Planetary Paganism
  • 19: Planetary Paganism

    You don’t appreciate your own bed until you travel a lot. I renewed contact with that delightful furniture item last week, when I returned from two weeks in Colombia, South America. But travel does not only make you appreciate home. It broadens your mind. In Colombia, I lectured to a total of 1400 local pastors and Christian leaders in three different cities: Bogotá, Villavicencio, and Barranquilla. As a North American gringo, I was concerned that my lectures might impose on Latin America what is true merely of the USA.

    I should not have worried. Colombians are well-acquainted with the “New Spirituality.” Latin America is rife with neo-paganism. It shows up in public life and in university courses via: traditional animism and shamanism; some forms of Roman Catholic syncretism and superstition; various extremist Pentecostal sects; and even in an intellectual following of those American hippies who came down in their minivans during the Sixties, doubtless in the search for high-grade cocaine.

    A medical doctor told me that before his conversion he had been a member of the Colombian Gnostic Church, which has a massive bronze statue of the Serpent at the entrance of the sanctuary. I asked an architect and his wife (ex-Roman Catholics) if they had gone deeply into the practice of pagan spirituality because they had been disappointed by their church. On the contrary, they were led in their spiritual quest by their local Jesuit priest. I spent one long evening with some wonderfully committed Christian university students. In one of their courses, three of them were required to participate in yoga and deep meditation. When they objected on religious grounds, they were unceremoniously ejected from the course with no academic credit. So much for tolerance and individual respect.

    This visit convinced me once more that Latin America needs the ministry we hope to provide. At the end of my lectures in Bogotá, one of the leading Pentecostal pastors came up to the lectern and made this amazing statement: “We are tired of the promise of miracles and of health and wealth. We need to come back to the Bible.” He had understood the importance of a biblical world view in response to pagan spirituality.

    Wherever I have gone, whether South and Central America, “secular” Europe, Australia and New Zealand, or North America, I have come to the same conclusion. We are facing the emergence of a “spiritually pagan planet.” Helping Christians to understand how to stand in such a time is truthXchange’s urgent call.

    My bed was not the only thing that awaited me on my arrival home. It is time again in San Diego for the gay parade, this time held under the approving eye of a lesbian pro-tem mayor. This parade, like those in Brazil, Australia and even Jerusalem reminds us that the homosexual movement is an integral part of this “new ‘spiritual’ civilization.” Just how integral became evident when I read the opinion of a leading homosexual “theorist.” For him, gay pride parades with their wild mix of “go-go boys,” topless lesbians and endless other sexual variations, “all throbbing to tribal drumbeats” constitute “the pressing back of cultural boundaries by a people uniquely qualified for spiritual exploration…modern day shamans…” This unbounded display of sexual excess, he assures us, is not a sin but “a gift, a blessing… a privilege…and a sacred service.” The author goes on to exhort gay people everywhere to exercise their spiritual gift…even if the world does not yet realize or fully appreciate our value and contributions.”

    Once the world does, look out! Here is a vivid picture of the future: the deconstruction of the normativity of the heterosexual culture (Gen 1:27), and the normalization of homosexuality, empowered by pagan spirituality. One day soon, in a profoundly compromised and “tolerant” society, intoxicated by notions and potions of civil rights and fair-play, biblical orthodoxy will find itself locked in a struggle for social survival with politically powerful homosexual shamans!

    The future is beginning to look very like the past. Rewind the historical video-tape: St. Augustine, in the fifth century AD, in the last gasps of the decadent Roman Empire, mentions parades of obscene actors who role-played disgusting acts, in the worship of the goddess, joined by her ladyship’s homosexual priests, galloi, well known for their cross-dressing, outrageous make-up, flamboyant hairstyles, and ritual ecstatic dancing, acting out in public their perversion “in the presence of an immense throng of spectators and listeners of both sexes.”

    Ultimately, nothing has changed. We and our children in the planetary empire of the twenty-first century must be ready, like our faithful Christian forebears, to face a new form of that ancient imperial decadence, similarly clothed in enabling power of occultic pagan spirituality.