One of the trends being followed by Apprising Ministries right now along the Internet front within apostatizing evangelicalism is a growing syncretism. It’s already so bad that even heretical Oneness Pentecostal purveyor and Word Faith mogul T.D. Jakes is being mainstreamed.
I’ve talked about it before e.g. in The Elephant Room, T.D. Jakes & Cindy Trimm; you’ll also see in James MacDonald, T.D. Jakes, And Postmodern Obfuscation that MacDonald is defending Jakes before he’s even entered the Elephant Room.
Another area of this sickening syncretism I’ve been showing you going on in spiritually spineless evanjellyfish is illustrated in recent AM articles like SBC’S Beth Moore Merely Pretending To Be Protestant and James Robison And Rick Warren Working To Reverse The Protestant Reformation and Southern Baptist Kay Warren Promoting Devout Roman Catholic Jean Vanier.
Being SBC, for now, and as a former Roman Catholic—whom God in His mercy delivered me from that religious bondage into the glorious liberty of the sons of God—this romancing of Rome by major figures in the SBC is certain to catch my attention. I happen to take the following from the Lord very seriously:
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Since it’s not the point of this piece suffice here to say that, along with the false philosophy of postmodernism descending upon the mainstream of the church visible, we’re witnessing the evil effects of the Emergent Church and its core doctrine of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM). Now consider that this divination of CSM flowered in the monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.
As such, it’s really no wonder that people influenced by it end up with a warped view of Rome. I was discussing this with my good friend Richard Bennett—a former Roman Catholic priest—on the phone last night. From monitoring Intel I’m seeing there is going to be a real push within mainstream evangelicalism, maybe even as soon as this year, to start including the Roman Catholic Church as a Christian denomination.
The lines are more blurred than you may even realize. For example, I happened to see the below tweet last night from Steve Camp, which actually serves as an excellent example of how it’s been happening:
Steve Camp can hardly be dismissed as some “angry discernment blogger” and he did ask Russell Moore the key question this morning:
As of this writing Steve tells me that Moore’s not responded to the question. If you don’t know:
Dr. Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church, where he ministers weekly at the congregation’s Fegenbush location. (Online source)
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is a Southern Baptist-affiliated school where Dr. Al Molher is president. Camp’s tweet contains the link to Moore’s blog post The Next Billy Graham Might Be Drunk Right Now. His piece highlights encouragement Moore derives from a conversation he had with the late theologian Carl C.F. Henry. Moore said he asked Henry if he “saw any hope in the coming generation of evangelicals.”
Moore then continues:
And I will never forget his reply.
“Why, you speak as though Christianity were genetic,” he said. “Of course, there is hope for the next generation of evangelicals. But the leaders of the next generation might not be coming from the current evangelical establishment. They are probably still pagans.”
“Who knew that Saul of Tarsus was to be the great apostle to the Gentiles?” he asked us. “Who knew that God would raise up a C.S. Lewis, a Charles Colson? They were unbelievers who, once saved by the grace of God, were mighty warriors for the faith.” (Online source)
Resisting the urge to wrestle with the serpent concerning C.S. Lewis and SBC ecumenicist Chuck Colson, Moore is correct when goes on to say that “the same principle applied to Henry himself.” Next comes the section which should raise your concern:
The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might be a misogynist, profanity-spewing hip-hop artist right now. The next Billy Graham might be passed out drunk in a fraternity house right now.
The next Charles Spurgeon might be making posters for a Gay Pride March right now. The next Mother Teresa might be managing an abortion clinic right now.
(Online source, emphasis mine)
Steve Camp’s comment correctly brings out the heart of the matter:
This is quite a problematic position to be advanced by Russell Moore concerning the Roman Catholic universalist who even took her name after the emotionally troubled Roman Catholic mystic Teresa of Avila, a major player in Counter Reformation spirituality. We simply cannot follow fickle feelings based upon mere appearances; instead, let’s do what Jesus tells us to:
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24)
So, now we’ll look a little closer at the record concerning the fruit of Mother Teresa’s spiritual confessions, who died a slave to the apostate Roman Catholic Church, which has condemned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No, that doesn’t sound pleasant; however, these are the facts. Now, are we really to believe the following words of idolatry should be accepted as having come from someone who was actually a Christian:
When the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity had just been established, we needed a building for the Congregation’s motherhouse. To get it, I promised the Virgin to pray 85,000 Memorares.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
There were not too man of us yet. How were we going to take care of our debt? I came up with a solution: to bring together all the children and the sick we were taking care of in Nirmal Hriday and Shishu Bhavan. I taught them the prayer and we all promised to pray it. The building did not take long to become ours.
Though I’m saddened and surprised at Russell Moore’s position, he’s hardly the only one in the SBC who holds it. For example back in May of this year Kay Warren, whose husband Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren captains the Southern Baptist flagship Saddleback Church, tweeted the following quote from the mystic Roman Catholic nun:
More indication of the growing infestation within the visible church of ne0-Gnostic corruption CSM ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, perpetrated within the mainstream of evangelicalism as supposed Spiritual Formation with an able assist from his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard. There is some truth there, God is faithful to His children; but those enslaved to apostate Roman Catholicism aren’t His.
Now before you play the “narrow-minded ODM” card, I suggest you pay attention to the following from The Myth of Mother Teresa by well-respected Reformed Christian blogger Tim Challies, who’s hardly considered a radical:
Upon examination, though, the Mother Teresa portrayed by the media and popularized in our culture is glorified (soon to be beatified) and almost deified. A close examination of her beliefs and the work she did shows that her legacy may be little more than fiction.
Mother Teresa, as goes without saying, was a devout Roman Catholic. As such, some of her beliefs would necessarily have to stand at odds with core Christian beliefs. This has not appeared to trouble many Christians who continue today, even in Protestant churches, to uphold her as a prime example of Christian virtue, love and self-sacrifice. Her devotion to Catholic theology is obvious in her speeches and writing…we get a glimpse of beliefs that contradict so many gospel truths.
We see a belief in transubstantiation (that the bread of communion actually becomes the body of Christ) and her belief that Christ is present in this bread. We also see her belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a mediator between God and ourselves (see Catholic Catechism, paragraph #969, #1172 and #494) and as such, plays a role in our salvation…we can only be left believing that she was more than a Catholic, but was a Universalist, believing essentially that all religion leads to the same God.
Time and again we see her expounding such universalist beliefs… A Simple Path is a compilation of the teachings and meditations of Mother Teresa. Labeled as a “unique spiritual guide” we would expect this book to contain unique insights into Scripture and into the Christian life by someone who is perceived as being a Christian spiritual giant. Instead,… Through the entire book there is never a hint that she relies on Christ alone for her salvation. Rather we read things like, “I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic” (Page 31).
Consider also the following quote from another source, “I love all religions. … If people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there.” Or in another place, “All is God — Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God.” We see, then, that Mother Teresa held beliefs that contradict many Biblical principles… What, then, is the importance of debunking the myth of Mother Teresa?
The answer is this. Pastors of Protestant churches around the world continue to speak of Mother Teresa in saintly terms. They hold her up as the ultimate example of self-sacrifice for the sake of the gospel. From the pulpits they discuss how she responded to Christ’s Great Commission to spread the gospel to all lands. The reality, though, is that if she preached at all, she preached a false religion. In so doing she provides us with an example not of a Christian responding to God’s call, but an example of deeds of charity and compassion completely separated from the Truth. (Online source)
Well, as I already showed you in Rick Warren, Mother Teresa, And “All You Need Is Love”, one of those “Pastors of Protestant churches around the world [who] continue to speak of Mother Teresa in saintly terms” is Rick Warren himself. Consider the below tweet from a year ago:
Ever the promoter, the link takes us to Time magazine’s Special Commemorative hardcover book Mother Teresa: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint, with introduction by Rick Warren. If you’ve read it, as I have, you’ll quickly see from his introduction that Rick Warren does indeed hold up Mother Teresa “as the ultimate example of self-sacrifice for the sake of the gospel” as Tim Challies just suggested above.
Sadly now Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has just done so as well. In closing this, for now, I leave you with the words of Mother Teresa from my personal copy of the particular book from which I quote below. What you’ll see is the result of the delusions received by someone who devoted her life to practicing the neo-Gnostic divination of CSM.
Notice carefully that Mother Teresa’s practice of the crown jewel of CSM, a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), led her straight into the quasi-Christian Universalism of the Love Wins mythology of Rob Bell. A gospel of goodness with its resulting denial of the exclusive claims of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ:
We never try to convert those who receive [aid from her organization] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men — simply better — we will be satisfied. Growing up in love they will be nearer to God and find him in his goodness. Every human being comes from the hand of God and we all know what is the love of God for us.
My religion is everything to me but for every individual, according to the grace God had given that soul. God has his own ways and means to work in the hearts of men and we do not know how close they are to him but by their actions we will always know whether they are at his disposal or not.
Whether you are a Hindu, a Moslem or a Christian, how you live your life is the proof that you are fully his or not. We must not condemn or judge or pass words that will hurt people. Maybe a person has never heard of Christianity. We do not know what way God is appearing to that soul and what way God is drawing that soul, and therefore who are we to condemn anybody?
It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation. This is the way God comes into his life.
I don’t know if Russell Moore knew this was Mother Teresa’s gospel of universalism; but I do know this: Those are not the words of a disciple of Jesus Christ. As loving of mankind as this might appear on the surface I think you’ll realize this is very definitely not the Gospel preached by Christ and His Apostles and which would cost each of them—save John—their lives. It’s simply not in line with the Great Commission:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Well, I’m here to tell you in the Lord that it’s well past time for us to begin doing what we can to stop all of this romanticizing of apostates in the Christian community and start telling their followers the truth…
 Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa: In My Own Words [New York: Gramercy, 1997], 63, emphasis mine.
 Kathryn Spink, Mother Teresa, Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers [New York: HarperCollins, 1983], 81, 82, emphasis mine.