Are Spiritual Disciplines the same as Spiritual Formation?

by Mike Ratliff

[4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV)

The very last thing I want for my own Christian walk is to get off the narrow way and fall into some form of deception following after some sort of false teacher that promises a way to get closer to God if we only follow him (or her) only to find out that we are like the blind following after blind guides. Any who is truly born of God is in Christ. They are new creations. They were once dead in their trespasses and sins and now they have been made alive by God himself (Ephesians 2:1-9). All through the Bible we are commanded to draw close to God, to repent, to be holy even as our Heavenly Father is Holy, et cetera. This is for the mature in Christ, not the immature. How do we grow from new Christians into those who are those living sacrifices Paul spoke of in Romans 12:1? Continue reading

The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines

by Mike Ratliff

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations– “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)–according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23 ESV)

As we have been seeing, in the attacks on the Church by what is now called “Progressive Christianity,” what the enemies of God’s Truth are actually constructing is a Spiritual Labyrinth whose complexity is designed to confuse and deceive. At the core of these attacks and replacement of genuine Christianity with “Progressive Christianity” or “A New Type of Christianity” is an emphasis on Spiritual Formation. What is this? I contacted Bob DeWaay at Twin Cities Fellowship for any help he could provide in direction and information so I could get a better handle on this and so present this to you that we may all know better what is really happening in our churches and what God would have us do in response.  Continue reading