Recently, I had the opportunity to help a friend deliver some material to a location just outside Philadelphia. All we had was an address, no name or exact location. Sounds like fun, let’s see how well the GPS does!
We pulled in to the small campus-like property still not sure if we had reached our intended destination. A gentleman walking along the driveway seemed like the perfect one to ask: “Is this 338 Plush Mill Road?”, I asked. “Yes, it is.”, said the man. “What do you do here?”, my friend asked. “We think and contemplate, I’m a full-time student here”, said the fifty-some year old. I told the gentleman that I think and contemplate all the time, even in the car! He congratulated me and went on his way.
I knew we were someplace different.
Once inside, it didn’t take long to figure out that we were at Pendle Hill, “A Quaker Study, Retreat, & Conference Center”. They were very polite and gracious and supplied us with a light breakfast.
Before we departed, I grabbed some literature to find out a little more about the place.
Although some of the general headings sounded OK: Arts and Writing, Living Your Faith, and Spiritual Practice, the actual classes were shallow, heretical, or outright New-Age! With titles like Yoga: A Tool for Spiritual Deepening, and Gender and the Search for an Authentic Self (for a mere $300 you can learn all
you need to know from Chloe, the “transsexual woman”).
Pendle’s website claims “The founders envisioned a new Quaker School of Social and Religious Education…” but the problem, as usual, is the lack of the Scriptures. When we abandon the Sovereign, Triune God of the universe, all we have left is fallen, sinful man to fill the void. So we ignore or incorrectly interpret the Bible and install our own “wisdom” to live by.
But is the modern Christian church much different from our Quaker neighbors. Is it any wonder that we can purchase Scripture Tea and Faith Fresheners at the local Christian bookstore or Cracker Barrel? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to putting verses on the tags of tea bags, but if that is the depth of your study of the Scriptures, my tea-sipping friend, you are still drinking the milk of God’s word.
As Jim mentioned in our last blog, it is time for some meat. If we don’t start growing soon, we will begin the slide down the slippery (milky) slope which leads to apostasy. Before you know it, well established churches will be encouraging their members to desire milk!
Woops, it’s already happening!
~ Toby Grater