As you can see in previous Apprising Ministries articles such as Rick Warren And Saddleback Church: Prayer Is Not For The Novice and Saddleback Church Pastors Using Rob Bell Teachings and Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren And Saddleback Church Openly Recommend Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren has actually been doing so for quite some time now.
Why not; he’s bigger than the Reformation itself, see Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren Corrects Martin Luther and SBC Protestant Pastor Rick Warren Double-Minded On The Reformation And Roman Catholicism. Now Warren has an upcoming conference at his Saddleback Church in February called Radicalis that will also be featuring Perry Noble, Mark Driscoll, and Peter Scazerro in addition to himself.
In the latest email promoting this conference entitled Chat Live with Radicalis Speaker, Pete Scazzero, Wednesday, December 9 at 11 am pst Warren writes:
Chat live with Pete Scazzero, tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9 at 11 am pst (2 pm est). Pete will be teaching how to develop emotionally healthy leadership in churches at Radicalis this February.
Pete, along with his wife, Geri, are co-founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality to pastors, leaders and local churches. (On file at AM)
The problem is, this current fad within mainstream evangelicalism of practicing corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster—and his spiritual twin Dallas Willard—doesn’t produce spiritual health; quite the opposite, it contributes mightily to a fulfillment of this Scripture men will be lovers of self (see—2 Tim 3:2, NASB).
It’s simply beyond question that this recent form of CSM, under the quise of Spiritual Formation with it’s main vehicle of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP)—which is actually meditation in an altered state of consciousness—flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Sadly, a growing spiritual blindness is making many too dull to see it now.
They are becoming so spiritually obtuse that they no longer recognize these seducing spirits with their doctrines of demons.spreading as a cancer within the visible church. And I’ve added the word “mysticism” whenever I mention contemplative spirituality, for this is precisely what we’re dealing with now within alledgedly “Protestant,” but no longer protesting, squishy evanjellyfish.
How pathetic that men like Warren can’t piece this mystery together: CSM, with practices like Lectio Divina and the transcendental meditation-lite aka CCP, originated with apostate desert hermits and hermettes who ignored what Jesus clearly told His Church to do — “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21, ESV). Quite obviously, Jesus did not live in a cave contemplating His navel.
In the recent AM article Move Over Pastors For Spiritual Directors/Gurus I quoted Thomas Merton, the revered CSM Golden Buddha who knew more about this stupid approach to spirituality than Warren or Foster will ever know. Merton’s disgusting idolatry is evident in Thomas Merton And The Buddhas; the truth is, his devotion to the practice of CSM made Merton more like the Buddha than the Christ.
Merton tells us in his book Spiritual Direction & Meditation where all of this talk of so-called “spiritual directors” like Pete Scazzero orginally came from:
[The] original, primitive meaning of spiritual direction suggests a particular need connected with a special ascetic task, a peculiar vocation for which a professional formation is required. In other words, spiritual direction is a monastic concept. It is a practice which was unnecessary until men withdrew from the Christian community in order to live as solitaries in the desert.
For the ordinary member in the primitive Christian community there was no particular need of personal direction in the professional sense. The bishop, the living and visible representative of the apostle who had founded the local Church, spoke for Christ and the apostles, and, helped by the presbyters, took care of all the spiritual needs of his flock. (11, emphasis mine)
However, what needs to be understood here is that this spiritual direction i.e. gurus, and the practices of CSM, would eventually take the Church of Rome so far away from proper biblical spirituality that Jesus Himself became so disgusted with it He would then raise up His Church Reformers. I hope now just a little light has cut through the postmodern fog of highly subjective experiences for you.
Do you seriously think that God is pleased His church visible is right now returning to the EXACT same spirituality such as that practiced by apostates (being charitable) like Ignatius of Loyola, champion of apostate Roman Catholicism and founder of the militantly pro-Church of Rome spiritual Gestapo Unit known as the Jesuits; you may recall the Jesuits weren’t exactly fond of the Protestant Reformers.
If so, you need to have your spiritual head examined. The same spiritual practices will lead to the same results; and thus far, CSM has already opened the door into mainstream evangelicalism for mystics openly hostile to Sola Scriptura e.g. Rob Bell, Elvis of the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, which is a cult of postliberalism—now morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC).
For years the EC has been sowing their love of “mystery” into your Young Adult and Youth ministries; and in An Excellent Jeremiad From Mr. Spurgeon you’ll read some insightful comments from Phil Johnson about what has resulted from this Liberalism 2.0, and how Spurgeon encountered virtually the same kind of effete “Christianity” in the Downgrade Controversy. O but it’ll be different this time; right?
No, it won’t; it is the cause of people beginning to think first with their “heart” [read: emotions], and we will watch the inevitable progession that previously took place within the nearly dead mainline “Protestant” denominations start happening within mainstream evangelicalism. Roughly, and generally, it begins with this spurious spirituality of CSM, which then kicks out Sola Scriptura for subjective experience.
This leads to ecumenicism, bringing with it acceptance of the Roman Catholic Church as simply another “Christian faith tradition”; then ordination of women pastors, the jettisoning of Hell, inclusiveness—particularly of GLBTQs, and then the ordination of practicing homosexuals. Acceptance by the EC is already helping to advance the notoriety of such “gay affirming pastors” as Nadia Bolz-Weber and Jay Bakker.
If you’re brave enough, go poll the Young Adult and Youth Groups at your local evangelical church, and you’ll see for yourself just how far the above progression has already advanced within them after years of being used as spiritual guinea pigs trying out “alternative worship practices” [read: Emerging Church]. Know this, turning away from the all-sufficiency of Holy Scripture to the self comes with great cost.