In earlier Apprising Ministries articles like and Christian Soldiers Standing Up For Jesus? and the semi-satirical Recipe For Spiritual DisasterI’ve been trying to bring to your attention how a Rodney King theology of, “Can’t we all just get along” is serving to cripple the witness of the church visible.
A major factor contributing to this is the spread of Counter Reformation spirituality and Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala gurus Dallas Willard and his spiritual twin Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster.
You need to realize that it’s even slithered deeply into the mainstream of evangelicalism as you can see e.g. in Gospel Coalition Contributor Mike Cosper Defends Retreat With Roman Catholics. CSM is not a neutral practice; know this, my research shows that once someone begins dabbling in this they almost immediately begin to drift away from proper Biblical doctrine.
I’ve recently been showing just how bad the fruit of this sad slide has become in pieces like Pathetic Protholics Like James Robison Are Reversing The Reformation and Rick Warren And Teachings Of Demons. If you make the time to actually examine the copious amount of documentation you will see men who have been a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is reputed to be the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, openly teaching the Roman Catholic Church is part of the Body of Christ.
I have told you before that the crown jewel of this spurious CSM is something called Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which is actually meditation in an altered state of consciousness, ie. transcendental meditation lightly sprayed in Christian terms. From studying this CSM and its CCP—perpetrated upon the Protestant community under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation—I can tell you for a fact that all who dabble in it end up in sinful ecumenicism.
Another way of putting it is these practitioners end up Protholics; not really Protestant and not yet quite Roman Catholic. If you want a vivid illustration then consider Tim Keller Recommended Peter Scazzero Spreading Spurious Centering Prayer, where you see that Peter Scazzero—who’s taught CSM for Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren and still does for the Willow Creek Association—sounds less Protestant and more like Living Spiritual Teacher and Roman Catholic monk Thomas Keating.
Below Keating, whose devotion to CSM and CCP has led him to virtually become a pantheist, shares with you his warped spirituality that the inward journey of CCP helps anyone experience a “Higher Power” or God or “the Other” inside all of mankind, Christian or not:
Those under the delusion attained from the divination of CSM come to believe there’s “a spark of the divine” deep down within everyone, which thereby negates the need for regeneration of the sinner by God the Holy Spirit. Thomas Keating’s fellow Trappist monk, the late Thomas Merton—a leading authority on CSM/CCP—put it this way:
that expression, le point vierge, (I cannot translate it) comes in here. At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our mind or the brutalities of our own will.
No way around it; what you’ve just read is an outright denial of the cardinal Christian doctrine of original sin. I also recently reminded you in Thomas Merton And The Gospel Coalition Blog that Merton’s life-long devotion to spurious CSM, and most particularly CCP, would make him far more like the Buddha than anything resembling the Christ. Read the disgusting idolatry of the apostate (at best) Thomas Merton for yourself from his own diary in Thomas Merton And The Buddhas.
All which brings us to the book Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer by Kurt Bjorklund, which you can see from the Moody website was published by them in September of this year:
Apparently Moody’s had a change of mind in recommending CCP as because back in 2007 they insisted:
Herein lies the problem caused by these syncretistic Protholics wishing to pretend to be Protestant in theology while practicing Counter Reformation spirituality originating within apostate Roman Catholicism: People e.g. like Moody and Donald Whitney use these Roman Catholic terms with meanings they attach to them. Therefore, they are the ones causing confusion not online apologetics and discernment ministries. The Reformers, many of whom were contemporaries of these whacked RC mystics, rejected these things.
I have this book by Dr. Kurt Bjorklund, pastor of Orchard Hill Church in Pittsburg, PA, and it’s essentially a book filled with rote prayers to be read and.or repeated. Though it’s chock full of prayers by mystics, the book itself is not at all about contemplative prayer, aka centering prayer, e.g. as would be taught by those like Keating or Merton. So why bill it as such? It will disappoint those who practice CSM and (at best) sows confusion in evangelical circles; and (at worst) recommends Thomas Merton by using some of his work.
Under Day 88 PRAYERS FOR WISDOM/GUIDANCE we read:
Notice here that Merton is billing merely as a “priest,” which is misleading as one could assume he was an Episcopal priest when he died a slave to the false gospel of the Church of Rome. Next in that same section there’s:
Let me tell you a bit more about this “French theologian” François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon aka simply Fenelon. He was a mystic and New Avent, the online Roman Catholic encyclopedia, informs us he was a staunch Roman Catholic who was:
A celebrated French bishop… Fénelon was grounded not only in the practice of piety and priestly virtue, but above all in solid [Roman] Catholic doctrine,… In 1678 Harlay de Champvallon, Archbishop of Paris, entrusted Fénelon with the direction of the house of “Nouvelles-Catholiques”, a community founded in 1634 by Archbishop Jean-François de Gondi for Protestant young women about to enter the Church or converts who needed to be strengthened in the [Roman Catholic] Faith.
It was a new and delicate form of apostolate which thus offered itself to Fénelon’s zealand required all the resources of his theological knowledge, persuasive eloquence, and magnetic personality. Within late years his conduct has been severely criticized, and he has been even called intolerant but these charges are without serious foundation and have not been accepted even by the Protestant authors of the “Encyclopédie des Sciences Religieuses“; their verdict on Fénelon is that in justice to him it must be said that in making converts [to Roman Catholicism] he ever employed persuasion rather than severity”.
When Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, by which Henry IV had granted freedom of public worship to the Protestants, missionaries were chosen from among the greatest orators of the day, e.g. Bourdaloue, Fléchier, and others, and were sent to those parts of France where heretics were most numerous, to labour for their conversion. At the suggestion of his friend Bossuet, Fénelon was sent with five companions to Santonge, where he manifested great zeal,… (Online source, emphasis mine)
As you can plainly see—from a Roman Catholic source—Fenelon obviously had much theological knowledge concerning apostate Roman Catholicism; and further, Fenelon was also greatly zealous in his labor for “the conversion” of those Protestant “heretics” back into the Roman Catholic Church.
Remind me again why, as a former Roman Catholic, I would want to follow the teaching—and practice the mysticism—whose fruit would cause Fenelon to die faithfully serving the Roman Catholic Church that has placed its—never changed—anathema upon the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself. Consider Acts 15:1-2.
It’s an incontrovertible fact that the mystics who developed CSM and CCP were led away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These practices so infected the theology of the Church of Rome that it would eventually lead to the Lord raising up His Reformers to return us to His Word. So why would Moody now recommend we practice CSM/CCP?
 Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander [New York: Doubleday, 1966], 158, emphasis mine.
 Bjorklund, Kurt (2011-09-27). Prayers for Today (p. 106). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.