Nick Hall’s Together event is back again (October 20-21), this year as Together 2018 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas (which can hold around 1/2 million people). On the event’s Facebook page, it reads:
Love Matt Chandler? See him and many more for free on October 20-21 as we bring the nation together for an event that we believe will spark another Jesus movement!! Join us for this FREE EVENT at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Fort Worth as we #MoveCloser to Jesus and the world around us! Visit togethergeneration.com to learn more!
On the promotional video (near the 26-second mark) on the Facebook page, it calls this effort “a new Jesus movement” (obviously referring to the Jesus movement of the 1970s). On the promotional video below, it lists the line up of speakers and musicians which includes a conglomeration of popular evangelical and charismatic celebrities including Bethel Music from Bill Johnson’s extreme charismatic, contemplative Bethel Church, Jesus Culture (an offshoot of Bethel Church), Hillsong, Francis Chan (who recently said God was going to kill those who criticize Christian leaders), Priscilla Shirer (a long-time strong advocate for contemplative prayer), her father Tony Evans, Ravi Zacharias (who will share a platform with “anyone” in order to share “his” message), and Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM, which recently announced it wanted “all” YWAMers to practice contemplative prayer).
According to an article on RNS announcing Together 2018, the “aim [is] to promote unity and lift up the name of Jesus”:
“In an age defined by division that often labels us as those who are for and against politics, issues and each other—Jesus invites all of us to move closer,” said Nick Hall, PULSE founder and evangelist. “He alone offers the hope and leadership we desperately need and Together is about calling people from all backgrounds to move closer to Jesus and the world around us.”
The last Together event took place in 2016. Lighthouse Trails wrote about it in our article titled “DRESS REHEARSAL FOR A FALSE REVIVAL? – Evangelical, Charismatic, Emerging Leaders, & Pope Francis Unite for “Together 2016” in Washington, DC.”
The basic premise of this and other similar events happening throughout evangelical/charismatic Christianity today is: The only way the world is going to see Jesus is if all things and every person identifying as “Christian” unify regardless of doctrine or beliefs. In fact, doctrine stands in the way of unity and must be laid to the sidelines. This is how Nick Hall was able to include the Pope in Together 2016. That is the only way to have this all-inclusive mass unity take place. Catholic mystic Thomas Merton explained how this could happen. During a conversation with a Sufi (Islamic mystic) teacher, Merton acknowledged that unity and fellowship could never happen if doctrine (such as the Cross, he said) was given precedence. Merton said the only way interspiritual unity could take place is through mysticism.1 Tony Campolo, in his book Speaking My Mind, said the same thing. When you consider that a large number of the celebrities speaking or singing at Together 2018 are contemplative mysticism advocates, it is easy to see that the underlying current for this event will draw from the same fountain from which Merton drew.
While doctrine is not equivalent to “faith,” it is the framework of our faith, and without it, there is no Christian faith but rather a watered-down, greyed-out false religious movement led by “another Jesus.”
Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd Ed. (Eureka, MT, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2002, 2006) quoting Thomas Merton from Rob Baker and Gray Henry, Editors, Merton and Sufism (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 1999), p. 109.