One thing is for certain: Linger Conference (no, not Ligoneer, but Linger) is a man-centered venture. It’s preceded and prepped by f two very man-centered men: John Piper and CS Lewis. This is no surprise, considering that Piper is aLewisphile.
It’s all about Planet Me.
This is totally man-centered. In fact, honestly, it's something Oprah Winfrey could pose to her audience. If this is supposed to be about being and lingering in the presence of God, they’re doing the very opposite thing! How does being man-focused set the tone for an "encounter" with God, exactly?
Rather, Scripture commands:
Col 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
1Pe 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Eph 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
More Prepping For An Encounter
How do they prime the customers of Linger to get ready for an encounter with God (besides asking those Planet Me navel-gazing questions)?
Well, they have a pre-Linger Conference called Creative Day at the “Art House Dallas” which gets their minds on earthly things like "humanitarian" photography, networking, Broadway production, and music, and even vocal technique will be taught for a low low price of $59 which is separate than the conference and its fees. But how is any of this lingering “in God’s presence” is beyond me, much less prepping one's mind for a close encounter with the God of this universe!
The pre-conference conference will also have a teaching time by Jen Wilkin who is the managing editor of Chandler’s church’s blog. Of course her "bio" bills her, as a “women’s teacher”, but at the pre-conference it’s not listed as a "women only" class and she’ll be teaching “The Importance of Bible Literacy” (here's a taste of her Bible literacy---a many-armed goddess photo and all).
As with all Charismatics, women teaching men is not only acceptable, but proclaimed. The same thing goes on with Beth Moore and Kay Arthur who both also bill themselves as women's Bible study teachers, but in reality, also teach men Arthur to a lesser degree or more subtle degree than Moore). So most likely a bunch of men will bet sitting under her teaching--prepping for the presence of God (the very One who commands no woman is to teach OR have authority over men).
The Concept, Vision, and Purpose of Linger: mystic experiences the cure for the monotonous
“It is in the process of being worshiped that God communicates His presence to men.” - C.S. Lewis
The concept of lingering in God’s presence isn’t new. We see it throughout scripture, and we all know life makes more sense and we have more peace when we take the time to listen and worship. Worship changes us. It sculpts out a place for God, where He can be present in every aspect of our days. When we pause in His presence, He works miracles in our hearts. Monotony begins to fade and is replaced with a sense of joy and purpose that underlines our moments, our circumstances.
Linger Conference seeks to explore the concept of lingering in the presence of God as part of life-changing worship.
If you feel drained or like you’re going through the motions without a purpose or an awareness of God’s hand in your life, Linger Conference is for you.
And also they put this way, "The vision of the Linger Conference was born out of a desire to help fellow believers seek God; not God's blessings or God's strength through trials, but God himself." ~Linger
The Belief of Linger Conference: Charismaticism
The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually ﬁll each believer with power to witness and imparts His supernatural gifts for the ediﬁcation of the body and the work of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the ﬁrst century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner. The gifts are essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.
Straight Out of Sovereign Grace Ministries Charismatic Statement
Here is Sovereign Grace Ministries' document on the Holy Spirit and written by Jeff Purswell (also editor of charismatic Wayne Grudem's systematic theology book) as an addendum to clarify what and why they included Third Wavers and Pentecostals and Charismatics which was up for years, but was quietly removed without explanation:
Empowered by the Spirit
In addition to effecting regeneration and sanctification, the Holy
Spirit also empowers believers for Christian witness and service. While
all genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, the
New Testament indicates the importance of an ongoing, empowering
work of the Spirit subsequent to conversion as well. Being indwelt by
the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are theologically distinct
experiences. The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer continually
with increased power for Christian life and witness, and imparts his
supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and for various works
of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the
church of the first century are available today, are vital for the mission
of the church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.
Interestingly, Linger posts permission of use of copyright from Chandler's The Village website for their statement of faith (but doesn't directly link to the document itself--I had to look for it), but it actually goes back to Mahaney's SGM's document, which I believe precedes The Village's and that isn't recognized by either The Village or Linger.
The Acceptance of the Third Wave Pentecostalism (NAR)
SGM clearly was Charismatic from its foundation according to its writer, Jeff Purswell, and they wanted to also make clear they accepted into the fold Third Wave Pentecostals--the very heretical movement that Strange Fire showed was anti-biblical! Remember, this is the very document from which Linger claims of the sign gifts being necessary for mission work:
It states on pages 6-7:
Because the charismatic/Pentecostal viewpoint has been our
position historically, these values are particularly important
gauges for those exploring involvement in Sovereign Grace who
hold a third wave view. A degree of precision is important here. As
with most doctrines, those who hold to a third wave view represent
a spectrum of beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Indeed, in this particular
area of doctrine the categories of “attitude” and “practice”
are especially important. The modified Statement of Faith would
not necessarily embrace any and all who hold to a third wave view,
but those holding to what the writer would call a “robust third
wave view” (or, better, a “robust continuationist view”).
Such a view would comprise the values articulated above: a passion for the
Spirit’s presence and activity, a pursuit of the gifts, a faith-filled
expectation of God’s gracious granting of the gifts, an expectation
of conversions that exhibit more than simply profession but which
are accompanied by encounters with God’s Spirit that seem to be in
keeping with the momentous nature of conversion under the new
covenant, etc. It is these things, which historically have marked
the lives of so many in the Pentecostal and charismatic camps, that
we want to preserve. The modified statement simply accommodates
those who desire these same things, but who view them as
constitutive of the power of the new birth in the new covenant
Our attempt has been to craft a statement that is biblically
faithful, that emphasizes our particular values, and that could be
agreed upon by both a traditional Pentecostal and a “third waver.”
This is certainly possible with this statement as long as one does
not insist on specificity with regards to what one calls a second
experience with the Spirit, be it a “baptism in the Spirit” or a subsequent
filling of the Spirit.
So this is why Linger, Chandler, Piper, and NAR's Venable have common ground.
What This Means
I imagine quotes from or references to "Brother" Lawrence and Henry Blackaby or others like them will be made as they both have promoted that mystical "practicing the presence of God" stuff, along with more Lectio Divina as Passion 2013 promoted and practiced with John Piper, Francis Chan, Lou Giglio, and Beth Moore leading the young adults into.
Furthering mystic Charismaticism, Linger promises
"Worship is a core component of Linger Conference. We’ll gather for praise and worship times that will teach us all to defy expected time constraints and structure to truly come into God’s presences [sic]. We’ll hear keynotes from leading speakers who will help us expand our understanding of spending time with God. No matter where you are in your walk with Christ, you’ll be moved, involved and inspired."
They also say:
If I’ve known the benefits of lingering in everyday circumstances, then I’ve most assuredly known the value of lingering in God’s presence. Anytime I move worship off the grid of time constraints and expected formulas, I am blessed with a deeper, more meaningful, one-to-one connection. And the reward of this kind of lingering leaves blooper reels, extra pie or sales tips in the dust. Lingering in God’s presence is life changing.
It’s this simple truth that sparked the genesis of Linger Conference.
Linger Conference is a unique event created to help all of us learn what it is to linger in God’s presence. In two amazing days in Dallas in February 2014, we will assemble some of the brightest speakers, teachers and artists to share in the disassembling of our preconceived notions about spending time in God’s presence. From moments of undiluted worship to sessions that bring us together with like-minded friends and colleagues, Linger Conference is a chance to rest, review and renew so that we can bring more intentional worship back to our churches across the country.
~Linger (italics, original)
"Defy time constraints and structure" sounds like chaos and getting people revved up by music. This is classic Charismatic tactics to manipulate people into an altered state of consciousness and make them believe they are encountering God when they've more than likely encountered not only Self (again), but the demonic kingdom. It simply sounds like one of the countless Charismatic meetings I went to growing up, so this isn't new, it's just being brought into quasi Reformed camps.
It seems to me that with the notion of "lingering in God's presence" being the whole point of the conference, this "Get Away" room will be used to hold on to whatever lingering presence is left by keeping up the music, etc. Sort of lassoing the Spirit by use of music. I mean, you wouldn't want other Christians to get in your way of having a spiritual experience, would you? I can only hope it's not going to be a Boiler Room type of thing.
Linger Conference will be one of mystic experiences, with its foundation in Charismaticism. Just how bad it will be, is yet to be seen. But its foundation is off and its focus is off. It distracts people from going to Scripture.