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Neologisms for Evangelicals

SOLA MYSTICA [(soh’-luh) (mis’-tik-uh)]

[Sola 1685–95; and Italian, Latin sōlus alone] [Mystica:1275–1325; Middle English mystic; Latin mysticus; Greek mystikós, equivalent to mýst (ēs) an initiate into the mysteries + -ikos -ic; akin to myeîn to initiate, teach]

  1. Mystical experience alone—in contrast to the Reformation which set forth the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone)—as the basis for spiritual authority; new revelation and/or spiritual encounters deriving from mystical experience as modern evangelicalism’s basis for final authority spiritual matters.
  2. Ascribing superior significance and insight to paranormal encounters and mysterious experiences so that they provide new revelations and/or insights which supplement, enhance, enliven, enlighten and even supplant the Word of God.
  3. Believing that mystical experience trumps Bible Truth and doctrine in matters pertaining to life and godliness.
  4. Devotion to mystical experience as the great arbiter of truth in matters pertaining to spirituality.
  5. Personal preoccupation with or addiction to mystical experiences as the foundation for living out one’s daily faith.
  6. The idea that spiritual maturity may be obtained by multiple mystical experiences, and that the increasing frequency and intensity of these experiences elevates one’s spirituality above others who have not had these experiences.
  7. The arrogant belief that through accumulated experiences, the experiencer attains greater spiritual power and potential for leadership. These meritorious benefits lead the experiencer to have a more expansive “kingdom work” of transforming one’s self, others and society.

Related Concepts: Sola Experientia and Mystica Scriptura


In “waiting upon the Lord” we are both “quickened” and “lifted” into the realms of the Spirit. While we wait, the Lord works, re-orienting our desires and creating within us a sensitivity and openness to the “realm of the Spirit.” This process of maturing us spiritually may be hindered as, while we work, the Lord waits. It is much easier to work for the Lord than to come apart and become quiet so we can wait on Him.[1]

“Warrior activation exercises in extreme levels of prophetic proficiency & accuracy accomplishing your maximum spiritual aptitude development…. Optimal prophetic activation exercises in properly delivering prophetic words, visions, dream interpretations, prophetic evangelism & THE SUPERNATURAL!… Ongoing, interactive and creative prophetic activation exercises purposed and guaranteed to produce accelerated prophetic growth for the serious warrior… as you journey into a new discovery of God’s heart and destiny for your life as God equips you to be a part of His end time prophetic army!”[2]


The new Elite doctrine undermines the message of evangelism. Everyone is just where he is supposed to be – where God wants him at that time. Recruits for the movement are not obtained from the ranks of the unsaved, but are plucked off one or two at a time from Christian groups by phrases like “Wouldn’t you like to learn new, deep truths?”, “Have you entered in?”, “Come into the inner court”, or “Surely, you want to move on with God?”. These phrases stir spiritual pride and elitism in most, as well as a sense of inferiority or feeling of being unspiritual if we do not understand and want to participate. Everyone else seems to understand, why not us? Spiritual pride comes to those who think they understand and are part of the “New Thing” because they have these “new deeper truths” and the rest are just poor babes.[3]

As in the eastern religions, the perception of God is sought subjectively rather than in God Himself and the written Word. There is a desire to know God through feelings, mystic thoughts, voices, visions and dreams. A “sense” of the “presence of God” is believed on as long as spiritual experiences last. When these experiences subside or cease, spiritual fervour wears down to rise again when a spurt of vain and endless fantasy starts a new “spiritual” cycle. Gnostic prophets are known to have a form of godliness based on a spiritual roller coaster experience. Their philosophy of known God depends on touching God experientially. Faith is produced subjectively through experiences and then turned inward on self until a feeling of “knowing God” or “possessing God” comes about. The Word of God and the commandments are not believed on as the final voice of God, or as the only source by which He is known. One of the characteristics of a false prophet, albeit sometimes hard to detect, is the lack of love toward the commandments of God. (1 John 4:6; John 3:23, 24: John 14:15). Warning: If a prophet tries to draw one to God either by mystic or subjective experiences without reference to the Scriptures as the only authentic way of knowing God, he is false and must be avoided! To impress the ignorant or naive Christians that they (the Gnostic prophets) have profound knowledge and a deep spirituality, it is not uncommon to see them manifest certain quirks thought to be spiritual traits.

By the spiritualising of the Scriptures they eloquently express fantastic ideas to reveal how deep they “feel” and “think” about God. It is appropriate to say that spiritual experiences are not necessarily wrong. However, if they conflict with the Holy Scriptures, draw a believer away from the Word of God or substitute the Word of God, as do the Gnostic experiences, they are devilish.

“Gnostic” prophets subtly send out a message that their insight of God exceeds that of the written Word of God. They appear as if they know something about God that others need to search for through them. It is as if they have the keys which unlock the secrets of divine life.

Christians are told to look inward to find God. The danger in this pagan belief makes Christians open to input from the supernatural realm beyond God’s written Word. Claiming to know God in any way other than through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is religious speculation. History proves it leads to doctrines of devils. God in His wisdom gave man the Bible. Through this precious Book he can come to know God without man’s religious wisdom. Anything short of the Scriptures stops short of the redemptive knowledge of God. All the sought-after experiences to know God on a deeper level lead to both carnal and demonic activities.

How do you know God? The answer is so simple. You know Him through His Written Word! The Holy Spirit leads and teaches in no other way!

Every word of God is pure:
(Proverbs 30:5)

[1] Wade E. Taylor, “Maintaining Our Spirituality,” The Elijah List, 9/24/11, http://www.elijahlist.com/words/html/textonly-092411-Taylor.html Bold in original.
[2] Advertisement for the “Warrior’s International University ONLINE PROPHETIC MATRIX TRAINING and School of Prophets” run by “anointed and Apostolic Prophet and Prophetic Psalmist” Reeni Mederos (who is under Bill Hamon’s Christian International Apostolic Network), The Elijah List, 7/19/10, http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word_pf.html?ID=8965 Bold in original.
[3] Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, Strange Fire: The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church, (Lafayette, IN: Discernment Ministries, 1995)  http://discernment-ministries.org/StrangeFire.pdf, p. 29. See also page 35, “Mysticism Defined.” 
[4] Ibid, pp. 48-49. 

Adapted from www.dictionary.com

NOTE: This post is authored by several members of the Discernment Research Group, including Pastor Larry DeBruyn and Sarah Leslie, along with Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries. This is part of a joint project to develop a descriptive vocabulary for the new doctrines, practices and heresies of the emerging evangelical church.