INFLUENCE OF RICHARD ROHR ON ROB BELL AND HIS LOVE WINS MYTHOLOGY

In pieces like Who Is Richard Rohr? and Richard Rohr And The Emerging Church As The Third Way here at Apprising Ministries I’ve introduced you to Living Spiritual Teacher and Roman Catholic mystic Richard Rohr.

Rohr is a fellow Red Letter Christian with his friend Living Spiritual Teacher and Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren; which makes The Gospel Coalition And Trevin Wax Recommending Richard Rohr? very odd.

Being a mystic Rohr’s main claim to fame is as a leading guru of corrupt Counter Reformation Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which incontrovertibly flowered within long apostate Roman Catholicism.

In particular the crown jewel of spurious CSM, a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP); i.e. transcendental meditation lightly sprayed with Christian terms.

CCP is known by the neo-gnostics spewing CSM to be the vehicle of “transformation” which eventually takes the practitioner into seeing beyond mere belief systems (i.e. doctrine) into faith in the Divine (their nebulous god).

Years ago I told you in Rob Bell In A Nutshell: Contemplative Mysticism that Rob Bell had begun recommending Richard Rohr’s book Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (EB), which is all about CCP.

Then in my 2009 piece Through Rob Bell “The Great Enlightened Ones” Tell Us Man Has Divine Greatness I showed you that Bell finally came out as a mystic in his sermon I will say it again, and again, and again.

In that sermon Bell opined:

It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time.

Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way.1

When you consider the evil influence of Richard Rohr, it’s not a real surprise that Rob Bell would be among those who believe that the mystics, in whatever religion mind you, are to be considered “the great enlightened ones.”

In EB CSM guru Rohr muses this myth:

The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. God is never found to be an abusive father or a tyrannical mother, but always a lover who is more than we dared hope for. How different than the “account manager” that most people seem to worship. God is a lover who receives and forgives everything.2

This is a clear description of the spiritual deception these mystics open themselves up to. Translation: I find the god that I want to worship made in my own image; and notice it’s “the mystics” who supposedly “know God well.”

Like all neo-gonostics Richard Rohr makes no real distinction concerning religions, which is why such as these are listening to what mystics of whatever stripe say; in fact he even opens EB with a quote from a Muslim mystic.

In other words, we’re being told that these mystics have “more” understanding of God through their meditation in altered states of consciousness than we poor mere second class citizens do with only our Scriptures.

Which now brings us around to the following segment below from the Fighting for the Faith program of Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough on Pirate Christian Radio. You’ll hear Rob Bell talking about his Christology.

As he does he reveals his own sinful ecumenicism and mysticism:

Over the years, spending time at the Dominican center, here in town; and reading Richard Rohr and Ronald Rolheiser…and finding in the Catholic Jesus a sacramental imagination…[a profound respect of the Eucharist] and what it is that brings us together—an integration—of my soul, and my heart, and my body, and nature, a-and a Jesus who brought it all together; instead of constantly dividing it apart.

Not a Jesus of components and pieces; but a Jesus who wove it all together and was fine [a holistic Jesus]…was fine, [he] could take all of me; was fine, I met the mystic Jesus.
(15:52-15:59; 17:03-17:08; 17:-48-18:10; 18:18-18:22)

There’s no “Catholic” or “mystic Jesus”, there’s only Christ Jesus of Nazareth. The point is, you can see that Rob Bell—through prolonged exposure to, and practice of, Rohr’s CSM teachings—radically changed; for the worse.

Back in 2009 I showed you Richard Rohr: Roman Catholicism And Christian Universalism. That’s the eventual fetid fruit of CSM. So is it really any wonder that Rohr’s disciple Rob Bell would come to his Love Wins mythology.

Closing this out, the video clip below comes from an appearance by Rob Bell in April of 2011 at the spiritual black hole Winnetka Congregational Church in Winnetka, IL. Bell was introduced by pastrix Jennifer Gleichauf.3

The acoustics in the room caused quite a bit of echo so a transcription follows the clip. It’s quite telling as Bell again talks about the evil influence of neo-gnostic Richard Rohr and other apostate Roman Catholics upon him:

Audience member: [I’d like to know the] the Catholic Church has influenced your walk with the Lord? Catholic thinkers?

Rob Bell: How the Catholic Church has influenced my walk with the Lord? Which I’m sensing… (laughter)

Audience member: (laughing) Half of the Catholic clergy were wondering. (laughter)

Bell: Um, I don’t even know if I’ve ever told this story. Our church grew quite quickly and became a very awkward, interesting place for my wife to go to church, because a normal church experience became sort of impossible for her.

Because, she’s sort of introverted and the people who would stop her and she really went through a struggle where she was like, “When I go there, all of these people sort of attach and want something…” and it was a very, very traumatic thing to start a church and realize that it didn’t work for your wife to go there.

And there was a Dominican center near our house, and she started going there for classes in spiritual direction. And it absolutely changed her and transformed her at a key moment in our lives. And so she’s like, “Rob, there’s this school sister of Notre Dame there who’s a spiritual director and you’ve gotta go meet with her.”

So I started meeting with her and from there, was taken into a whole world of Ronald Rolheisers and Richard Rohrs and, um, absolutely transformed me. My understandings of incarnation, the centrality of the Eucharist, um, the world is good, um…

So I am extraordinarily indebted. And, I even, when people talk, well “there’s Catholics and then there’s Christians”… I think they’re all followers of Jesus.

Further reading

Endnotes

  1. http://marshill.org/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=57_38&products_id=319, 5:41-6:23, accessed 8/1/12.
  2. Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer [New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 2003], 131.
  3. http://www.wcc-joinus.org/staff.html, accessed 8/2/12.