The Exalted Church is represented by the misguided biblical hermeneutic that treats Spirit-regeneration and empowerment, whether the indwelling Holy Spirit or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, like an event that makes Christian believers god-like in their everyday walk in this life and this world, divinely enabled to sin not. This type of biblical interpretation leads very naturally to a syncretization of certain biblical proof texts regarding the convicting and sanctifying ministries of the Holy Spirit with the manifold secular and academic psychological and physiological self-improvement strategies for success. This divine-secular combination then supports the spiritual ideology of the continuously walking and talking sanctified god-man, who thrives and succeeds in all of his endeavors.
The best indicator of Christian secularization is the focus on self. The so-called biblical spirituality described above has been variously morphed by many Christian pastors and counselors into self-help teachings, which convey that the man or woman who possesses the Holy Spirit also possesses the wisdom of heaven into any number of 12-point methods for spiritual, relational, professional, and physical success in this world. Not surprisingly, Christian men and women are drawn to these self-help teachings in droves. It gives them a self-directed strategy to cope with and work through life’s great challenges, believing that God is somehow involved in it. This kind of god-man religiosity is simply a form of humanistic self-exaltation, exchanging the worship of the immortal God for the image of the mortal man. It is kalos, but it is not agathos. In other words, it has the appearance of something good, but God is not in it.
The adherents of a spiritual god-man philosophy are often zealous for God, but their passion is not according to truth and knowledge. Unfortunately, their leaders, having staked their names and reputations on their religious ideology, do not repent easily. History proves that genuine correction to numerically successful but theologically misguided religious endeavors of the Exalted Church have seldom occurred without violent reactions from its existing structures of government. Their thinking is that numeric success is a sure sign of God’s blessing and, therefore, is worthy of defense. In other words, God’s corrective movements within the Exalted Church have usually elicited an exalted counter-strategy that demonizes the movement and is designed to preserve the leaders’ positions of mutual esteem, prosperity, and influence.
God has purposed the New Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit specifically for His child’s worship to Himself in Spirit and truth. Therefore, relative to any so-called corrective movement in the church, the primacy of authentic Spirit-empowered worship to God will always be the surest sign that God is involved in it. Such a movement is always restorative and never innovative.