…they are full of things from the east… (Isaiah 2:6)

Going Beyond Scripture Like Roman Catholics Mystics

In Priscilla Shirer And Contemplative/Centering Prayer, which serves as the first part of this follow up article, Apprising Ministries reminded you that both Shirer and her good friend Beth Moore were part of the Be Still…And Know That I Am God DVD. I explained further that this Be Still project was openly advocating a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP).

And this is easily corroborated, for example, from a pro-contemplative prayer article entitled “Be Still” Invites Viewers to Discover Contemplative Prayer, which was carried by the mainstream evangelical website You also saw that Shirer’s ministry, Going Beyond Ministries (GBM), arose from what Shirer called her “inner revival,” which involved the Lord “speaking” to her:

In her case, God was speaking to her about going to “the place of abundant living–an experiential relationship with God.” “He said: ‘Priscilla, you’ve been at this mountain long enough. There is a new place that I want to take you to,’” Shirer says. In light of God’s challenge, Shirer naturally desired to “go beyond” personally. (Online source)

Like I’ve said before, as soon as you hear someone claiming to teach in the Name of Jesus Christ use the term “go beyond” your discernment radar needs to kick in. The key question to ask is: Go beyond, what? As I’ve pointed out previously, invariably where we’re headed is going beyond Scripture. Again, here’s the bottom line: In the Bible we know we hear God’s Voice; but as soon as we go beyond into “inner,” i.e highly subjective, experiences we then open a door that is leading so many today into such spiritual deception.

I’ve already told you that this CCP—a transcendental meditation-lite lightly sprayed with Christian terminology—the very crown jewel of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which itself is actually a romaticized version of the Counter Reformation [hello!] spirituality of apostate (at best) Roman Catholic mystics. It’s become the current fad now under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation e.g. that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with his trusty spiritual twin Dallas Willard

Against this backdrop I now point you to the GBM blog and a July 23 entry “Submitted by Priscilla” called Wisbits, seen below via screen shot in case it suddenly vanishes:

(Online source)

Shirer begins by telling us that she’s “anxious to connect you with some folks who I think you’ll be so blessed by.” And then she continues:

Years ago, I got a chance to meet Jan Johnson albeit only by phone – and yet in the short time we spent talking, I was encouraged and redirected in so many ways. As a young woman trying to navigate the ins and outs of my relationship with the Lord, Ms. Jan spoke wisdom into my life that was extremely pivotal in my life – personally and in ministry.

While I’ve not had the chance to meet her in person (I’m hoping to attend one of her conferences one day) I’m continually blessed by the word the Lord places on her heart every month through her “Wisbits” – articles she writes for anyone to subscribe to.
(Online source)

Hence the title of Shirer’s post. Before we go on, in Beth Moore And Lifeway (SBC) Head Deeper Still Into Deception I told you about the Deeper Still conferences of LifeWay, which is the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Now consider the following from an article that originally appeared in Charisma Magazine, which is a leading voice within the charismatic movement, where we’re told by SBC Bible teacher Beth Moore:

“[Priscilla] is quite possibly the most gifted communicator I have ever witnessed,” says consummate Bible teacher Beth Moore, who has ministered alongside Shirer and Kay Arthur at Deeper Still events for the last three years and has been on a ministry circuit for more than 15… (Online source)

So we should take notice when this “most gifted communicator” Priscilla Shirer tells us above that “in the short time” she spent talking with Jan Johnson she was “redirected in so many ways”; and not only that, Shirer also shares how she’s “continually blessed by the word the Lord places on her heart.” Mighty impressive praise Shirer lavishes upon Johnson, whom she’s so “anxious to connect” with the women who follow her. But the question we need to ask is: Exactly who is this Jan Johnson that’s supposedly speaking such “wisdom into” Shirer’s life?

Entering The Spiritual Twilight Zone In The Silence Of “Christian” Meditation

As I originally showed you two years ago in Learn Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) The SBC Way With Baptist State Convention Of North Carolina And Spiritual Director Jan Johnson “spiritual director”/guru Jan Johnson tells us that she is, “a writer, speaker and spiritual director in southern California.”[1] And interestingly enough under “Teaching” at Johnson’s website we read:

Teaching: lectio divina instructor for Dallas Willard’s Fuller Seminary class: Spirituality and Ministry; Senior Teaching Fellow, Renovaré Institute;… Education: BA, Christian education, Ozark Christian College {}; journalism courses, UCLA; spirituality courses, Azusa Pacific University; graduate, Academy for Spiritual Formation {}; Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola 30-day Retreat, 2006; D.Min. Graduate Theological Foundation (Ignatian Spirituality & Spiritual Direction), 2006. (Online source)

The leading online apologetics and discernment ministry Lighthouse Trails Research informs us that the “Upper Room is a religious organization that promotes Eastern style meditation and is the creator of the popular, meditation tool Walk to Emmaus”;[2] and you may recall that Ignatius of Loyola was the apostate (at best) founder of the militantly anti-Reformation pro-Roman Catholic Church spiritual Gestapo Unit known as the Jesuits. So quite obviously Johnson is well-trained in “Ignatian style meditation” in an altered state of consciousness; in other words, the Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP) I mentioned before, which forms the centerpiece of that spurious CSM perpetrated by the dubious duo of Foster and Willard. In reality however, it’s but a romanticized version of the putrid Pietism that first festered within the anti-biblical monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.

So, considering Johnson is “Senior Teaching Fellow” at Foster’s spiritual blackhole of Renovare, we’re not at all surprised that among her writings she lists Dallas Willard’s Study Guide to the Divine Conspiracy. And Johnson also recommends that:

For more in-depth information and exercises, take a look at my book Savoring God’s Word, which explains both lectio divina and Ignatian style meditation in detail.[3]

In my prior post concerning guru Johnson I told that in the November 2007 SLN of her SpiritLines Newsletters, then “Spiritual Formation Coach” for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) Dr. Wendy Edwards, teaches us about this so-called “Christian Meditation.” Under “Christian Meditation Helps” we find guru Edwards recommending Johnson’s book When The Soul Listens: Finding Rest And Direction In Contemplative Prayer (WtSL). Welcome to the whacked Wonderland of postmodern Humpty Dumpty language; click on that link and it’ll take you to the SBC publishing outlet Lifeway Christian Stores where members of the Southern Baptist Convention—ostensibly the largest Protestant denomination in the United States—may purchase this book teaching the main practice of the Counnter Reformation spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism:

(Online source)

When The Soul Listens: Finding Rest And Direction In Contemplative Prayer (WtSL) by Jan Johnson happens to be part of the Spiritual Formation Line [read: contemplative spirituality] series of NavPress of The Navigators so it carries a General Introduction by—surprise—Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard. In WtSL guru Johnson gives us the following instruction about the transcendental meditation-lite of CCP:

The two primary tools of the contemplative way are the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude… Madame Jeanne Guyon, a sought-after counselor and author of the seventeenth-century classic Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, wrote that two kinds of people keep silent:

The first is one who has nothing to say, and the other is one who has too much to say. In the case of the deeper encounter with the Lord, the latter is true. Silence is produced from [abundant life in God], not from lack. This silence is rich, full and alive!

… Both silence and solitude require discipline at first, but then they become enjoyable and refreshing… Thomas Kelly assures us. It is not an arduous task, but “nothing more than turning our heart toward God and receiving in turn His love.” [4]

Next guru Johnson goes on to speculate, “In solitary silence, we encounter the love of God,” but then she quotes deceased universalist Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen to caution us that if we really want God to touch us, “It requires a lot of inner solitude and silence”[5], i.e. this CCP form of so-called “Christian” meditation. She also wants us to know in WtSL that, “Silence and solitude are the outward, physical manifestations of the inward surrender of the heart.” Johnson explains that in CCP aka transcendental meditation-lite:

We relinquish talking, analyzing, and enjoying the company of others in order to attend only to God. This relinquishment is crucial. “We have all heard this holy Whisper at times,” wrote Thomas Kelly, a Quaker college professor… “[But w]e have not surrendered all else, to attend to it alone.”[6]

Leaving the burden of the Law just placed upon us as I close this out, for now, to fill you in further concerning the Roman Catholic messed-up mystic Madame Jeanne Guyon mentioned favorably above by guru Jan Johnson I will refer you to The Mindless Mysticism of Madame Guyon by the fine apologetics and discernment ministry Personal Freedom Outreach. Let me also briefly enlighten you concerning Thomas R. Kelly, yet another spiritually corrupt Quaker mystic. Johnson’s quotes of Kelly come from his book A Testament of Devotion (AToD). On page 3 of my copy of AToD, which even contains an Introduction from guru Richard Foster, the mystic Kelly shares about the Inner Light, which is the classic heretical Quaker doctrine that God is already dwells within all mankind. But what you may not know is this teaching itself is actually a mythical musing of classic mysticism often referred to as “the divine spark” or “a spark of the divine.”[7]

In fact Kelly himself begins by quoting the heretical Roman Catholic mystic Meister Eckhart, who’s a veritable superstar of this mind-numbing mysticism, who was sharing the demonic delusion of  “the Light” supposedly “[d]eep within us all”:

Meister Eckhart wrote: “As thou art in church or cell, that same frame of mind carry into the world, into its turmoil and its fitfulness” Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctu [sic] of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice,…the Light within,… It is the Shekinah of the soul, the Presence in the midst. Here is the slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened to become the soul we clothe in earthly form and action. And He is within us all. [8]

But casting these mythical mystic musings back to Hell where they belong, I now proclaim to you, no; “He” is not “within us all,” as it is written:

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:8-9)

And following is the final fruit produced by Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen, a leading teacher of this anti-biblical Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism; below is the “revelation” which came to him through an entire lifetime devoted to this “Ignatian style meditation” in an altered state of consciousness aka Contemplative/Centering Prayer:

One of the discoveries we make in [contemplative/centering] prayer is that the closer we come to God, the closer we come to all our brothers and sisters in the human family. God is not a private God. The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being. [9]

Today I personally believe that Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her way to God. [10]

The following questions now come emerging: Why would you want to practice this Contemplative/Centering Prayer when it made one of its most noted, and knowledgeable, practitioners into a universalist? And, why is Priscilla Shirer so anxious to expose the thousands of women who follow her to gurus like Jan Johnson who are foisting this foolishness upon Christ’s church? So, you tell me.


[1], this is the Google cache because Johnson’s website was not working at the time of this writing 8/28/10.


[3]  Unfortunately Johnson’s website was still not functioning properly but the original link was here:, accessed 8/26/08.

[4]  Jan Johnson, When The Soul Listens: Finding Rest And Direction In Contemplative Prayer [Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1999], 79, 80, 81.

[5]  Ibid., 82.

[6]  Ibid., 83.

[7]  I refute this mystic fantasy Biblically in Understanding The New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind.

[8]  Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament Of Devotion [New York: HarperCollins, 1992], 3.

[9]  Henri Nouwen, Here And Now [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1994], 24, 25, emphasis mine.

[10] Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1998], 51, emphasis mine. 

See also: