**Update April 8, 2010: I’ve closed comments today for two reasons. One, Jason’s removed his book from Google Books. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he removed it as an admission he doesn’t uphold what he wrote in that book, which brings me to my next point. The other reason I closed comments is because I’ve decided to post answers to frequent objections about my concerns over Westerfield and the New Mystics theology…a theology that is absolutely no different than what he wrote in God Come to Me…a theology Westerfield still affirms…and is dangerous to the church. Here’s the first post: Miracles in the Bible Are NOT Normative.**
This weekend I received a by . I could only stomach about 16 pages. This was taken from page 3:
For the next several weeks, I stayed home and read the Bible day in and day out. I read it from front to back. I began to observe a very interesting theme throughout the Bible: I saw normal people like myself walking and talking with God. Many of these individuals also had bad resumes; some were even murderers and adulterers. I also read how Abraham was considered to be the father of the Faith. He received visitations from the Lord and angels. He communed with god and had supernatural encounters. After reading about Abraham and others in the Bible, I came to the conclusion that if all of this was happening to them, then it should be happening to me. I knew nothing about church history, doctrine or traditions. All I had was the Bible and the Holy Spirit, and I saw what a normal relationship with God could look like. The Lord would talk to people and work through them in miraculous ways. What surprised me even more than this was the fact that most of them were involved in professions other than “full-time ministry.” So when I read the Bible, what I saw were normal people having real encounters with God.
Westerfield goes onto explain about his trips to heaven, teleportation, encounters with Jesus, the heavy, palpable blanket of God’s presence, being burned alive by the spirit of God and his ability to dance salsa in public at a restaurant…even when he didn’t have a clue how to dance salsa.
Westerfield claims all this is normative Christian life. You just have to read the Bible to see it. Unfortunately, there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.
Where Westerfield Departs from the Truth
What’s missing in Westerfield’s booklet is any mention of judgment, brokenness, suffering, humility, sorrow for sins, submission to Christ, crucifiction or even Christ’s redeeming work.
Westerfield sweeps aside the story of a holy, just and righteous God redeeming a rebellious people to himself through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In it’s place he suggests that God doesn’t just want us to enjoy the supernatural circus…he wants us to join it!
I can only guess Westerfield glazed over the doctrinal books of the Bible, like Paul’s letters.
The plain fact is that imitation of Jesus, important though it is for Paul, was swallowed up by something far more important still. Not the example of Jesus, but the redeeming work of Jesus, was the primary thing for Paul.
Bottom line: Jesus is not primarily an example of faith. He is primarily the object of faith. And anybody who devotes his time to getting you to look away from that object of faith is suspect. Even dangerous. My heart is broken.
What do you think? Is prophetic rising star Jason Westerfield misguided, misunderstood or merely manic? More impotantly, is he dangerous?