People will be lovers of self. (2 Timothy 3:2)
Pleasing Themselves Rather Than God
Apprising Ministries has been warning about, and documenting, the sad slide of largely pretending to be Protestant evangelicalism into becoming what I’ve referred to as The Ecumenical Church Of Deceit (ECoD); and much of the current sorry state of the church visible can be traced back through to the semi-pelagian (at best) man-centered Church Growth Movement of Fuller Theological Seminary.
While spiritual darkness continues to creep across apostatizing evangelicalism in The New Downgrade, a major part of my commission as pastor-teacher here becomes helping to apprise you of developing trends within the visible Christian community during this time parallel to Amos 8:11-12. As a leading online apologetics and discernment labor in the Lord, for the time I may have left, I’ll continue reminding you about the vital importance of the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura.
Leaving this aside now the evangelical community is embarking upon a very dangerous spiritual game of Russian roulette embracing highly subjective Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard. Sadly this is yet another bad by-product of its welcoming in the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church, of which that dubious duo were key mentors.
You may know that CSM is merely repackaged Roman Catholic mysticism and was a core doctrine of the EC from its hatching in hell; in addition it plays a critical role as the neo-Gnostic foundation of its new postmodern version of Progressive Christian theology under their spiritual circus “big tent” Emergence Christianity. As spurious CSM now spreads as leaven throughout the entire lump of the church visible it’s become the cause of a growing syncretism; and without a doubt one of the biggest syncretists within evangelicalism is the religious chameleon Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren.
As you may also be aware, PDL Pope Warren is captain of the Saddleback Church, one of the most high profile megachurches within the Southern Baptist Convention; the SBC being the largest Protestant denomination in the country. Yesterday I warned you again that Promoting Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism Is Ok In The Southern Baptist Convention and that Saddleback is leading this armada against the final authority of God’s Word, e.g. Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines, and further, using the apostate spiritual stylings of EC icon Rob Bell as you’ll see in Saddleback Church Of Rick Warren Using Rob Bell Teachings.
What you may not have seen before is that Second Baptist Church (2ndBC) in Houston, TX where Dr. Ed Young, Sr. is the senior pastor, has also joined the fleet teaching that Counter Reformation spirituality is to be encouraged for Protestants as I brought out yesterday in my article Dr. Ed Young Promoting Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism For His Southern Baptists. Let’s get something straight; in this line of ministry the Lord placed me in, I spend a lot of time in spiritual sewers studying warped and toxic doctrine. The impression many have is that someone like me gets all exorcised over what I find; but the truth is, I really don’t.
Take for example the likes of the unholy EC trinity of apostates, Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren, universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt, and his friend Tony Jones, who’s the progressive/liberal “theologian in residence” at Pagitt’s social gathering called Solomon’s Porch. No tired ol’ heresy that these wolves drag in and then force the evangelical community to deal with surprises or shocks me; I expect it, that’s what false brethren do to carve out a following (cf. Acts 20:30). One quick digression; I know both Jones and Pagitt have whined to me that I put them in articles which have nothing to do with them.
Fruit Of Contemplative Practices Within Rome Would Eventually Cause The Reformation
So perhaps you’re wondering, “What would these guys have to do with any of this?” I’m so glad you asked; the very doctrine I allude to is a direct result of the practice of CSM, which I’ve told you was a darling doctrine of the Emerging Church from the time it slithered out of its demonic den circa 1997. The truth is, CSM flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Through the centuries it spread as spiritual cancer throughout the doctrine of Roman Catholicism eating away at it until the theology of Rome was so centered on the self (i.e. mankind) God would stir up the Protestant Reformation.
One need only take a look at the fetid fruit produced by the unholy EC trinity, as well as their earlier CSM forebear with all of their spiritual monk-ee business, to see it produces the same man-love. Do you seriously think the result is going to be different now that we have a proliferation of Protholics in evangelicalism; such are these compromisers who are part Protestant and part Catholic. If you do, you really do need to have your spiritual head examined. Right now though, I’m getting no reaction whatsoever to this story concerning CSM being openly taught from the pulpit of 2ndBC by one of its preaching pastors.
Here’s what I don’t think people are getting; so as a former Roman Catholic, whom God in His mercy delivered me from what Dr. John MacArthur called Satan’s best front for God’s Kingdom, I will attempt to walk you through this grave spiritual situation. The SBC, which may now stand for Slowly Becoming Catholic, is the largest ostensibly conservative Protestant denomination in the U.S. and is as mainstream as it gets in the visible church. Dr. Ed Young, Sr. is a two-time president of the SBC and no lightwieight in that denomination.
His 2ndBC is a huge megachurch within the SBC. If you make the time to look at the previously mentioned article with Dr. Young in the title then you’ll see the actual video of Gary Thomas (below), who is a preaching pastor on the staff of Dr. Young’s 2ndBC and not merely a guest speaker, doing his sermon at 2ndBC this past Sunday. You’ll also clearly see him, on video and from his books, promote and praise Roman Catholic mystics and call them “precious Christian brothers and sisters.” You’ll also see Dr. Young’s personal endorsement of Thomas’ writing and Young’s recommendation of his supposed spiritual insights:
As you’ll hear in that video below Gary Thomas’ main point of teaching right now, while promoting his latest book Thirsting for God: Spiritual Refreshment for the Sacred Journey, is encouraging people to read what he calls the “Christian classics.” He’ll tell you himself that these include, for example, the emotionally troubled Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila and her disciple John of the Cross. So Thomas has clearly set aside the Protestant Reformers’ assessments of these Roman Catholic mystics; but remember, Teresa and John were living at the same time as were these Reformers. And also keep in mind that they were actually active in the Counter Reformation movement within the RCC.
In fact, precisely in answer to mystics like these, the Protestant Reformers rightly emphasized that the proper way to approach Christian spirituality was to meet God in His Word, the Bible, one of His prescribed means of grace. However, in order to teach his mystic mythology Thomas has to set aside sola Scriptura along with these apostate Roman Catholic nuns and monks; they don’t mix. You really need to understand that this is all vivid evidence of an egregious infection of epidemic proportions because it quite accurately represents the views of more and more younger evangelicals.
Not only that, but from years of using marred materials from teachers in the Emerging Church, this also serves to further illustrate the awful effects Emergent philosophy is now having within the mainstream of the evangelical community. Sadly, desperate for numbers circa 2000 foolish leaders within once conservative evangelical churches would end up using their own young as spiritual guinea pigs in “alternative” worship services and quite literally bring wolves into Young Adult and Youth ministry sheep pens. And the first thing los lobos did was to separate them away from trust in Holy Scripture.
Bottom line: If Roman Catholic mysticism is now being promoted and recommended so openly in megachurches like 2ndBC and Saddleback Church within the SBC, then we really have a huge problem.