Seven Mountains Analyzed – Seven Years On

7mDo not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances.

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NASB

The true test of any doctrine, teaching, or idea is whether it leads one into, or away, from a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.  It does not matter how much Bible it references, how many church cultural maxims it seems to uphold, or how much it appeases our collective religious ‘guilt’ (whether deserved nor not), in the end, the only thing that matters is whether our faith is being expressed in love (Galatians 5:6), and whether that love continues to “abound in all knowledge and in depth of insight” (Philippians 1:9).

It is whether a teaching leads us, who receive it, are brought closer to or further away from God in the process.  In addition, it is also about how well we bring others to know Christ, but this must never be at the loss of the former.  The first commandment is first, the second is second.  Always.

So, it is when we consider the so ‘Seven Mountains’ message that has been trumpeted and accepted by such a wide part of the body of Christ.

It is no secret that I, the author, have not been a particular fan of the doctrine.  After holding my tongue for a while, to analyze and see how the doctrine played itself out through the body of Christ, I eventually put forth a few short videos on the subject.

Volumes could be said on the subject, but the bottom line issue that I have come up with concerning the topic is that while the message was originally given to three leaders in the body of Christ as a strategy to disciple a culture, it is now preached to a generation that knows nothing of discipline and who, by and large, see nothing wrong with the culture they are supposedly going to change.  In other perspectives, while it was originally given to leaders about how to teach a culture, it has been inherently modified from its original form by the concept of ‘mountains’, as opposed to the ‘spheres’ of society it was originally presented as.  Why does this make a difference?  Because a sphere is an area or arena into which one enters into, and the teaching can truly disciple.  On the other hand, a mountain is something you climb to the top of, conquer, and dominate.  Shortly put, where the spheres were about entering into, the mountain concept is about perpetuating a top-down model where the masses (who are said to be largely irrelevant) are directed by those at the top, and these so-called ‘benefactors’ tell people how to think, behave, and act.  This is, of course, again, the direct opposite of true, Biblical discipleship.  It is the way the world works, though, but it should not be that way among those who name Christ.

In Christian discipleship, the seed of the Word of God is sown into the hearts, and, through faith, the tree of righteousness grows up in them, a mighty plant, yielding fruit.  Even as Jesus said, the Spirit would well up within unto Eternal Life.  It is a one-on-one, a single heart at a time, teaching, equipping, and training unto righteousness that produces a people whose authority is God and His Word, not the latest and greatest teacher of such, which is mere man.

But, this is, indeed, too often the character of this generation, seeking personality over truth, and it is, unfortunately perpetuated by those who teach this doctrine.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25 NASB

The character of the the one who is mature is the one firmly built upon Christ alone as the rock of his foundation.  While he can receive counsel from others (Proverbs 21:6), and is mutually submitted one unto another (Ephesians 5:21), as well as to his leaders God has placed in his life (Hebrews 13:17), his conscience is determined by God, His Word, and by Christ.

He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

John 12:48 NASB

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Seven Mountains, what is the ultimate fruit?  Has it brought about, or can it ever bring about, greater love for Jesus?  Do those who hold to it find themselves to be more deeply in love with the things of God, hatred of the world and its things (1 John 2:15), and a greater degree of holiness and sanctity in the church (Luke 15:10), or passion for His name?

Do you see anyone, as they pursue worldly careers, jobs, and things that make them happy in this life, all under the name of being able to influence people selling all for the cause of Christ, losing their life to find it, and following Jesus wherever He goes?

God certainly can lead someone into the marketplace.  It is not even wrong to have a secular job, to work with your hands so you have something to give, or to do all that you do to the glory of Christ.  Nor, of course, is it wrong to be a light wherever you are.  It is simply wrong to say that that is the call of God, or to use that rationale as the justification pursuit of worldly success is therefore ‘of God’, if they have not heard from God themselves.

This is, as it were, the opposite of discipleship.  True discipleship is turning the eyes and ears of the heart to the Lord Himself, who then, by His wisdom, can direct each and every individual where He will.  No one questions that God does, indeed, call and place people in leadership in the body of Christ.  But, the focus of the teaching must determine whether it is of God or not.  Wisdom is proved right by her actions.  It either leads people to God, and makes Him the basis for all of our decisions, or it fills us with our own logic, our own understanding, in a way that we no longer have to seek Him to make our decisions on where to go.

When one is led into business by the Lord, the fruit of the Kingdom is always the result.  When one co-opts a message such as the Seven Mountains to justify a selfish intent in their own heart for worldly success, it is just self.  While these are by no means the only two categories of people, the fruit of those who labor under a false premise, such as the Seven Mountains, are always to be disappointed.

The time-tested truth of Scripture is always the answer.  It was the heart of the message of the original ‘Seven Spheres’, discipleship into the Word.  It may not seem glamorous, flashy, or new, but, Jesus said it was that ‘smallest of seeds’.  Simply teaching the Word of Christ, the Gospel message, is enough to produce the Gospel fruit.  If God is calling many people into business, then simply state that, and model that–it is God who calls them, not another, not a ‘leader’.

If just that one truth were preached, the message might be useful.  But, the Seven Spheres never involved going into and being a part of them, nor climbing the worldly ladder of success.  It spoke merely of influence, which has nothing to do with joining in or competing on the same ladder with those who are already there.

Unfortunately, judging from the fruit of the Seven Mountains, looking back over the seven or eight years of its popularity, the net result has been a watering down of the Gospel call, a division of the body of Christ, and a wrong focus on many things which are not the ‘main thing’.  The main thing, of course, is keeping the main thing the main thing.

The seven mountains does just the opposite.

Its time for the body of Christ to judge the prophetic.  Reject the bad, hold fast to what is good.