An airline flight has a starting point and a desired destination. But if someone messes with the controls, the trajectory shifts. Bit by bit, and unnoticed by the passengers, the plane goes more and more off track. Then…disaster.
We like to think we’re too smart to be thrown off course spiritually. Surely we’d notice false teaching and get back on track. But not if the false teaching is inserted secretly, cleverly, and in tiny doses.
See this chart that Berit Kjos featured, “From Truth to a New Spirituality.” Though written in 2008, the three columns are still relevant to show how a slight shift in trajectory can move a person’s thinking away from Bible truth and into outright false teaching. (And of course, there would be smaller, more subtle baby steps in between what’s listed here.)
The foundational teachings of other religions absolutely cannot mesh with Christianity. If you hadn’t realized that someone’s been “messing with your controls,” that chart illustrates the church’s shift toward other “isms.” I also encourage people (especially church leaders) to read Where Has Oprah Taken Us? by Stephen Mansfield, followed by A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen. Everyone will recognize the names of those people that Oprah made famous and will recognize some of their key teachings, which Mansfield outlines so well. Then Yungen’s book quotes popular Christian writers whose teachings not only sound the same but actually trace to the same roots. Follow the spiritual family trees; the parallels are unmistakable. (Note that those books are several years old. New players/teachings are always appearing on the scene.)
We all have a responsibility to help each other stay on the correct trajectory. But we haven’t been savvy as to how our foundation is being shifted. As one person put it, it’s like those primitive houses that are built on stilts. When the support poles need changing, new ones are nudged in beside the old but just slightly higher. When the old poles are knocked out, the house is now sitting on a new foundation, but—and this is the creepy part, in a spiritual analogy—no one even felt the switchover. I can’t think of a better way to describe what is happening right under our noses.