According to Wikipedia, the prefix “pseudo”means lying or false. It is used to mark something that superficially appears to be (or behaves like) one thing, but is something else. Subject to context, pseudo may connote coincidence, imitation, intentional deception, or a combination thereof. Therefore pseudo-spirituality describes Satan’s counterfeit or false system of spirituality.
Most systems of pseudo-spirituality arise out of legalism. Legalism is defined as strictly conforming to a set of rules, rituals, religious standards or human good works as a means of gaining the approval of God for salvation and/or spirituality. Legalism is pseudo-spirituality by morality and taboos. Legalism originates from arrogance and results in moral degeneracy (self-righteous arrogance). A believer must learn to distinguish between the spiritual life and morality, and at the same time understand morality and its relationship to the Christian life.
God’s definition of morality is defined as the right conduct in the function of the Laws of Divine Establishment. Morality is conformity to the rules of right conduct according to establishment principles as found in Romans 13:1-10. Morality is conformity to the Laws of Divine Establishment, the believer’s duties and responsibilities toward establishment principles. Morality pertains to the character, conduct, ethics, motivations, and integrity related to the Laws of Divine Establishment found in the Word of God. Morality is right conduct related to divine institutions of marriage, family, and government.
Since divine institutions such as marriage, family, and government are for both believers and unbelievers alike, morality is for believers and unbelievers alike. Morality is the only way we can live together as a society and at the same time have privacy and freedom to fail or to succeed in life. In order to perpetuate the human race during the Angelic Conflict, God designed a set of laws to guarantee privacy, freedom, the protection of property and the perpetuation of the human race. Believers are commanded by the Word of God to be moral and to fulfill their obligation of right conduct within the framework of the national entity. Jesus emphasized the fact that believers have moral obligations and responsibilities when He said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 20:20-22)
Believers are commanded to be moral on the one hand, but on the other hand to live in a realm much higher than the system of morality found in divine establishment. Believers are mandated to a higher responsibility and purpose for a life that not only deals with mankind but also with angels who are watching us as part of the Angelic Conflict. Since unbelievers can be and often are extremely moral, obviously Christians should be able to match or exceed the morality of any unbeliever. Anything that an unbeliever can do is not the spiritual life. An unbeliever can be moral but not spiritual. The spiritual life belongs only to believers in Christ. Spirituality (which includes morality) is a higher calling than morality.
Morality is not the way of salvation, nor is morality the spiritual life of the believer. Morality is a lifestyle, but it is not the way of salvation. When morality is adopted as the way of salvation, then there is no salvation; for only faith alone in Jesus Christ can provide eternal life. While morality is not the way of salvation, it is related to our spiritual life through the Laws of Divine Establishment, which God expects us to observe.
Since the power of the spiritual life is the filling of the Holy Spirit, and since any form of sin on the part of a believer removes that power and control, violation of morality principles is destructive to a believer’s spiritual life. So, while morality is not the spiritual life, lack of morality potentially destroys the spiritual life if not dealt with through the Rebound Technique. Just as salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, so the spiritual life is based on God’s grace. God’s provision of the supernatural spiritual power to fulfill and execute God’s plan for our lives is a matter of His grace. This power exists for every believer in two categories: the power of the filling of the Spirit and the power of the utilization of Bible doctrine. (Titus 2:11-14)
Morality without humility produces arrogance (“I’m more moral than that person”), which is destructive to our spiritual life. God makes war against the arrogant believer, but He gives grace to the humble believer. (James 4:6; I Peter 5:5) Your spiritual life can function properly only with knowledge and application of the doctrine of Grace Orientation. And since all spiritual knowledge is found in God’s Word, your spiritual life must be related to the doctrine of Doctrinal Orientation. Both of these doctrines are part of the Problem-Solving Devices for believers.
When a believer becomes proud of his morality or uses his morality as leverage to manipulate others or to enter into the function of Christian activism and/or civil disobedience, that believer has destroyed his spiritual life through the violation of the morality code of the Word of God. Christian activism adopts the anti-morality concept that “the means justifies the end.” Therefore, Christian activism destroys property, life, privacy and all principles of human freedom. Most detrimental is self-righteous arrogance and the legalism of Christian activism which totally ignores the true Biblical objectives of the spiritual life.
A moral believer who gets caught up in their own arrogance of being superior to others often produces mental attitudes sins such as jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, hatred, vilification, malice, revenge, etc. The sins of the emotional complex often surface; sins like bitterness, fear, worry, anxiety, panic, irrationality, dissociation, denial, projection, animosity, self-pity, and the guilt complex. The sins of the lust pattern often become motivation for power and approbation lust, social lust, pleasure and chemical lust, greed, criminal lust, crusader lust, lust for revenge, malice, inflicting suffering on others.
Christianity is not morality but rather a relationship to God through Christ. (II Corinthians 5:17) However, in the Christian Way of Life, morality is a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Morality has no spiritual dynamics in the Christian Way of Life. Morality is simply one part of the Christian life. Morality cannot produce the spiritual life. (Galatians 3:2-3) Morality cannot advance the believer in the Protocol Plan of God. However, immorality will hinder a believer from executing the plan of God because immorality puts him out of fellowship. Morality cannot produce the enabling power of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Morality cannot provide spiritual maturity.
Experiential sanctification is a combination of the balance of maximum metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness and the enabling power (filling) of the Holy Spirit within God’s power system. This combination exists when a believer reaches spiritual maturity. Spirituality is so much greater than morality. Morality is designed for the function of freedom, making evangelism possible in every generation of human history. Morality protects human freedom. Morality guarantees freedom whereby the local church can function in providing Bible doctrine for spiritual growth. Morality is designed by God for the function of human freedom in relationship to the issues of the Angelic Conflict, i.e., salvation, spiritual growth, divine blessing. Morality creates the environment of freedom for you to be saved and study and apply Bible doctrine.
Spirituality by personality imitation begins by creating a role model out of another person that you admire or getting your eyes on people instead of getting your eyes on Christ. It involves associating with the superficial mannerisms of that believer rather than having the filling of the Spirit. For example: 1) wearing certain type clothes 2) not wearing make-up 3) denying or punishing yourself for bad behavior 4) speaking in a certain way with stereotype religious cliches, holy-sounding language such as “thou” and “thee” to address God. 5) having certain mannerisms such as poor posture and making certain facial expressions to connote sincerity and spirituality 6) the cultivation of a so-called sweet personality. All this adds up to the fact that a believer must learn to distinguish between spirituality and personality. God uses all different types of personalities, so you don’t have to create a “spiritual” personality.
Spirituality by “yielding” can be another system of pseudo-spirituality, if not properly understood. The Greek word for yielding in Romans 6:13-19 from the King James Version of the Bible is “paristemi” meaning to place yourself at someone’s disposal. Pseudo-spirituality through “yielding” assumes that a believer is spiritual because of some overt act of emotionalism like an act of rededication before the entire congregation. “Yielding” to God is the day-by-day function of the spiritual skills in your life. True dedication or rededication involves daily decisions from a position of strength to execute the Christian Way of Life. The true meaning of yielding is to present yourself to God as found in Romans 6:13 and presenting your body as a living sacrifice to God as found in Romans 12:1. True yielding is placing yourself at God’s disposal by being filled with the Holy Spirit and through the application of Bible doctrine on a daily basis.
Spirituality by tabooism is a false system of spirituality where certain prohibitions are established by legalistic Christians. A taboo is defined as a ban or inhibition resulting from social custom or emotional aversion. In this false system of pseudo-spirituality, a taboo is a so-called “sin” established by legalism and not really a true issue in the Christian life. A taboo is a forbidden activity by a religious group but is not directly forbidden by the Word of God. Tabooism superimposes legalism on the Christian community as if it were a mandate from God. Most taboos are based on human arrogance and prejudice. Hence, taboos are not a true issue in the Christian life.
Legalistic taboos originated from failure to understand dispensations by distinguishing between God’s plan for the Israel and God’s plan for the Church. Popular taboos of legalism include: do not drink, do not dance, do not go to movies, do not smoke, do not gamble, no swimming with the opposite sex, etc. Taboos must be regarded in terms of a certain amount of self-restraint under the filling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the four laws of Christian behavior apply: 1) the Law of Liberty - you have the right to do certain things which will not cause you to sin or enter into carnality. (I Corinthians 8:4, 9) You have to be careful when you are around people who might be corrupted by something that is meaningless to you. 2) the Law of Love - this is the function of impersonal love to avoid offending weaker believers and becoming a distraction to their spiritual growth (I Corinthians8:13) 3) the Law of Expediency - directed toward an unbeliever, in the interest of witnessing a believer refrains from doing certain things so that the unbeliever is not prevented from seeing the true issue in salvation - to believe in Christ. In self-righteous arrogance, an unbeliever often superimposes his own erroneous ideas of Christianity on the believer, and expects the believer to comply with those ideas regardless of their true spiritual connotation. (I Corinthians 9:18) 4) the Law of Supreme Sacrifice – this is the highest law of Christian behavior. It sometimes requires a believer to forsake even normal living and legitimate function in life, in order to serve our Lord in a special capacity such as a missionary. (I Corinthians 9:1-15)
Taboos reject the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Taboos reject the doctrine that the Christian Way of Life is a supernatural way of life, and therefore, demands a supernatural means of execution. Taboos ignore the principle that spiritual skills (learning doctrine) must precede production skills (execution of the Christian life) for the performance of divine good. Taboos produce legalistic bullying and weaken a believer’s free will to make their own choices in life. “Tabooists” judge and invade the privacy of others. Tabooism is therefore an attempt to legislate righteousness which we know is impossible. Righteousness in the Christian life is the result of spiritual growth and proper application of Bible doctrine.