By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on May 30, 2009 in AM Missives, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, Current Issues, Dallas Willard, Emergence Christianity, Emergent Church, Features, Southern Baptist Convention
For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7:4-6, KJV)
The Visible Church Ignoring Warnings At Her Own Spiritual Peril
Because she is ignoring the warnings of her watchman concerning the very grave spiritual danger of spurious Spiritual Formation, which had only been on the horizon of American Christianity. As Apprising Ministries pointed out in Move Over Pastors For Spiritual Directors/Gurus, the reason we are even having to talk about gurus and yogis…er, spiritual directors, within mainstream evangelicalism can be traced directly back to its now open embrace of the Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism perpetrated by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster.
This mysticism-lite, which had only been on the horizon of the American Christianity, is then given a veneer of scholarship through Foster’s friend and spiritual twin Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard accelerating it’s penetration into the evangelical camp of our Lord’s visible church. If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to please make the time to read a few of the AM pieces below. Then you will better be able to recognize the source of this attack on God’s Reformation of His Church that arrived in the Trojan Horse of the Emerging Church.
While speaking a while back at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Dr. John MacArthur, by no means a radical, made the startling and dead on statement that America has been abandoned by God. It’s been my contention all along that an arid intellectualism has all but put out the fire of the Holy Spirit in many Christian’s lives, but not their desire for “more” in their relationship to the Lord. So then, on the other side of this critical issue there are those so hungry for a touch of God that they go to those other extremes, which always ends up as experience over Scripture.
Being that I’m not a strict cessationist I have no problem with those who experience God; and because the Lord has also given me a love for study, I also have no difficulty with people who want to know God intellectually through His Word. However at the same time, if these two areas are not humbly balanced through obedience to the Lord’s prescribed means of grace, by prayer, and by complete submission to the text of the Bible then you end up with the doctrines of demons currently espoused by seducing spirits in Satan’s growing Ecumenical Church of Deceit.
The end result for those who persist in the forbidden practices of spurious CSM, which as you will see in Contemplative Spirituality Of Richard Foster Rooted In The Eastern Desert And Thomas Merton originated with heretical Desert hermits and then flowered through the anti-biblical monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, is a false sense of the love of mankind and the deception that we are somehow divine. In classic mysticism, whatever stripe of skubalon, this dead wrong teaching is referred to as “the divine spark” or a “spark of the divine” in man.
I talk further about this in The Emergent “One” and how through the misplaced mystic belief that there is some kind of pure True Self deep inside we then end up with mankind in love with himself (see–2 Timothy 3:2). You think this is far-fetched? Then you may wish to consider the aforementioned SBTS now is instituting a program under the direction of Donald Whitney where one can now receive a doctorate in “spirituality,” which is the subject of Bob DeWaay’s CIC article Donald Whitney and Spiritual Disciplines: Spirituality Without Boundries.
As a Southern Baptist pastor myself, well at least for now, you just may wish to note that in Baptist State Convention Of North Carolina (SBC) Points Us To Renovare International Conference you can see for yourself entire Slowly Becoming Catholic state conventions no longer even feel the need to hide their embrace of spirituality rooted in figures of the Roman Catholic Counter Reformation like Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the spiritual Gestapo unit the Jesuits. History will show that they were, at the very least, just a bit hostile toward God’s Reformers.
But Now Battle Has Become Your Calling
The very clear and present danger in all of this Protestant evangelical embrace CSM is that it lulls the Church into a coma of complacency and into believing the spiritual war between Christ and Satan is now over. And in this way she willingly lays down her arms and then wanders straight into the deadly fallacy of interfaith/interspirtual worship. Men like Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt of the postliberal cult of are already hinting at resurrecting the heresy of Christian Universalism, essentially that at the Cross Christ already redeemed all of mankind.
These things taught by demons are exactly what A.W. Tozer is sounding the trumpet about below as he warns us in the important teaching that follows. So beloved, pick your Sword of the Spirit back up and get ready to fight these seducing spirits and their doctrines of devils. Cower before these deceivers no more and let us ride to the sound of the guns! Let them know my brothers and sisters that this glorious battle for the absolute Truth of our King of kings and Lord of lords is to the end!
For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:16-17)
Someday the church can relax her guard, call her watchmen down from the wall and live in safety and peace; but not yet, not yet….
The healthiest man has enough lethal bacteria in him to kill him within twenty-four hours except for one thing-the amazing power of the human organism to resist bacterial attack. Every mortal body must fight its internal enemies day and night. Once it surrenders its hours are numbered. Quite literally it must fight or die….
The church lives in a hostile world. Within and around her are enemies that not only could destroy her, but are meant to and will unless she resists force with yet greater force. The Christian would collapse from sheer external pressure were there not within him a counterpressure sufficiently great to prevent it. The power of the Holy Spirit is, therefore, not optional but necessary. Without it the children of God simply cannot live the life of heaven on earth. The hindrances are too many and too effective. (TIC, 086-087)
“Thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit within me to wage this constant warfare for me. In my flesh I am so weak for such unrelenting battle. Give Your strength today. Amen.” (Tozer on Christian Leadership, November 11)