Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” (Hosea 14:1-2)
The Contemplative Road To Apostasy
The crippling effects of the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church continue to grow around the world as this letter from Northern Ireland clearly shows. In his book The Sacred Way leading Emergent theologian Tony Jones, the National Coordinator of Emergent-US, tells us about his own apostasy which led him into the antibiblical practices of Contemplative Spirituality:
I was raised in a nice, Midwestern, church-going family. I went away to college and got involved in a conservative evangelical college group then went straight to seminary after graduation. In other words, by the time I was 25, my views on God, prayer, the Bible, etc. were pretty screwed up (15).
As you should be able to see nothing there “forced” Jones into a position where he wanted more than the prescribed way to worship God in the Bible. This way which has been fine for great men of God down through the ages like Calvin and Edwards and Spurgeon and Tozer and MacArthur. No, like so many in the Emergent rebellion against the Bible today emerging Hollow Men like Tony Jones simply weren’t satisfied by what God has said. So to have his itching ears tickled Jones turned to apostate Jesuits, and to the Taize Community, a very ecumenical group and its social gospel which he calls “an amazing community of peace, brotherhood, and prayer” (16).
From there Jones turned panentheistic so-called “Christian” mystics and began to “voraciously read authors” like apostate Roman Catholics like “St. John of the Cross” and his mentor “St. Theresa of Avila.” And sure enough the further Jones turned from the way God has said we should worship Him the deception grew until Jones “had come to the realization that there must be something more (ibid.) Jones tells us how he discovers:
there is an incredible richness in the [contemplative] spiritual practices of ancient and modern Christian communities from around the world. Incorporating new ways of praying, meditating, reading the Bible, and so on. (sic) have fueled my faith and my passion for spirituality in ways I never thought possible, and have, without question, brought me into a closer relationship with God (17).
What you are about to read below is some touching testimony about the effects of these “spiritual disciplines” that Jones is writing about above. You will be able to catch a glimpse of what these heretical practices are currently doing to an evangelical church in Northern Ireland, and also read about the very real pain that the adoption of them by the leadership of this church is causing an entire family of committed Christians who were forced to leave their fellowship because of this insidious infestation of Contemplative Spirituality.
So-called “disciplines” of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (i.e. transcendental meditation for the “Christian”) that were developed in the unbiblical monastic traditions of the heretical Church of Rome and which are now being taught in the evangelical community by Living Spiritual Teacher and apostate Quaker Richard Foster through the invitation of your pastors to their everlasting shame.
Dear Apprising Ministries,
Apologies for the long e-mail. Please feel free to post this or any extract or circulate in any way you see fit.
Earlier this year myself, my wife and her parents found ourselves sitting in our independent evangelical church (I’ll not give you the name of the church or pastor yet as we still hope that they will repent) listening to the pastor starting a sermon on “spiritual disciplines.” I was expecting good teaching on prayer, fasting, Bible study, perhaps even quiet times.
Instead (and quite out of the blue for us, although in reflection after the event it had been creeping up on us through various things such as setting up prayer-stations in the warehouse building we met in), we found the pastor showing pictures of Muslims, orthodox Jews, Buddhists, etc. and extolling the virtues of prayer straps, rosaries, stations of the cross, labyrinths, breath prayers and so on. All of this will help us “get closer to God for a deeper spiritual experience!”
Sounds like a false gospel to me. I immediately started shuffling in my chair, flicking through the Bible and muttering “is that not the Holy Spirit’s job?” I actually felt physically ill and asked my family to leave. It was probably a little rude but it was a choice between this and starting a quite vocal rebuke.
Anyway, I contacted the pastor by text message and asked to speak to him in person about our concerns and he (reluctantly) called to our house that evening. To cut a long story short, he ended the evening by asking me if I “would condemn to Hell those Christians who weren’t born again?” I was astonished at this and after replying, “well yes, the Bible makes that clear.”
I went on to ask him (because I wanted to be clear about this) if individuals needed to born again to enter the Kingdom of God. He replied that he thought I was looking for a yes or no answer and that it wasn’t as simple as that and he told me that he had to leave our home. I then said that in response we would have to speak to the elders as I was now even more concerned.
Subsequently we were only allowed to speak to the elders if we submitted our concerns in writing. We did (although I’m no theologian so it was quite difficult to do this and couldn’t convey the depth of our concerns) and I’ve attached the overview sheet. Your website and many other blogs were useful in putting this together and we attached print outs of articles on the labyrinth etc.
The meeting with the elders was almost a riot. Of course they focused on us leaving the service that Sunday and even though I apologized they decided to take great offence at this. They were also offended when I wanted to read from the Bible (they didn’t bring any Bibles with them). However, the crunch came when they asked me what I wanted them to do? I said “Repent.”
Anyway, they then suggested that it was all a misunderstanding and that it was really a matter of “style” and “personal taste” and we could take it or leave it but, perhaps we should really consider going else where.
How could we stay after all that? I am deeply saddened by this and I pray that this false teaching is exposed in the all of the Northern Ireland churches. Mostly these “spiritual disciplines” are being brought in through youth groups and are deceiving many.
We only have one fully fledged “Emergent Church” here in Northern Ireland – it is called IKON and it appears to be an exercise for non-believing philosophers. This is our story. We don’t have a church to go to for the moment but meet with a few friends on Friday nights for fellowship, prayer and worship.
Yours in Christ,
Your Help Is Needed Now
It is because of the increasing amount of letters like this that I am now receiving at Apprising Ministries each day that it has become imperative for us to pray that God will right now bring about the financial supporters necessary as I enter this work full time. The time has now arrived for me to launch the speaking end of AM. I need to be able to come into these areas and teach other pastors how to handle the growing deceptions in this rapidly accelerating apostasy as this Age of Grace draws closer to the end.
You may read more about this burden the Lord has now placed in my heart here.