For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2)

Transformation Is Very Real…Spiritual Deception

Unfortunately the spiritually obtuse seem to think the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church is dead. However, what Apprising Ministries has been documenting for you is that we’ve now witnessed an upgrade to the Emerging Church 2.0, which claims its “big tent” postmodern Progressive Christianity aka Emergence Christianity is the historic Gospel of Jesus Christ bringing His kingdom to the earth now.

This becomes possible in their minds when we consider that the flawed philosophy of postmodernism is known for paradoxes and its irrational philosophy. So essentially we end up in a whacked Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language, which is why corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) is so appealing to these postmodern liberals in the Emerging Church. Since I covered these subjects in more depth elsewhere, e.g. in Mysticism And Postmodernism, The Emerging Church, And Evangelicalism, here I’ll just remind you that mysticism is perfectly suited to the philosophy of postmoderism that now dominates much of this caprious culture in which we find ourselves.

It’s important that you come to understand as well this is all also similar to the Gnosticism we see being battled by the Apostles themselves in the New Testament; the common thread is their supposed superior secret knowledge gleaned from the practice of CSM, which is why I’ve labeled as neo-Gnostics people like Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard—as well as those who follow these deceivers like Living Spiritual Teacher andEC guru Brian McLaren and his disciple EC rock star pastor Rob Bell

As I pointed out before, you must realize such as these delude themselves into thinking they are the “initiated” and “enlightened” ones who’re just a little bit better than the average Christian because of their practicing so-called spiritual disciplines of spurious CSM under the guise of Spiritual Formation. The most important of which would be the practice of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which is a transcendental meditation-lite while in an altered state of consciousness; and this is what they have in common with the other religions these compromisers are so busy courting right now.

I’ve told you before that these neo-Gnostics are pushing their TM-lite CCP because they know that there’s a very real, and quite literal, “transformation” which occurs through its prolonged practice. Years ago I began warning you here at Apprising Ministries about letting the warped and toxic teachings of these EC leaders into your Young Adult and Youth ministries, but now this putrescent skubalon has slithered right into mainstream evangelicalism, which is why e.g. we see that more and more Protestants now consider apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of Christianity.

A perfect example of this repugnant compromise is Peter Scazzero Recommending Contemplative/Centering Prayer and his sending his followers the link to Contemplative Outreach via Twitter, which claims Living Spiritual Teacher and apostate Roman Catholic monk Thomas Keating as its cofounder and spiritual guide:

(Online source)

CSM guru Thomas Keating, who’s seen in the video below along with quasi-Buddhist Ken Wilbur—a leading proponent of New Age spirituality, is undoubtedly a superstar teacher in the world of CCP and as hardcore a contemplative as they come. More on him in a moment, but first, notice Scazzero is “enjoying” the book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault:

The Contemplative Society informs us Bourgeault is an:

Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader [who] divides her time between solitude on Eagle Island, Maine, and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative path. She is the founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. (Online source)

Her name is already familiar to those of us tracking the traitorous teachings of EC guru Brian McLaren as in his post 11 Women Writers You Should Be Reading McLaren mused:

Here are some of my favorite women writers of spirituality and theology in no particular order with short comments on why I recommend them… 5. Cynthia Bourgeault: Cynthia reminds me of Thomas Merton — she is a mystic with a brilliant mind who deserves far wider readership. (Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening)… (Online source, bold his)

From my personal copy of Bourgeault’s book cited above, following is what this “mystic with a brilliant mind,” who “reminds” McLaren of the CSM Golden Buddha Thomas Merton, and whom the EC guru feels “deserves a far wider readship,” has to tell us concerning the alleged “awakening” [read: transformation] mystics seek in silent meditation and the effect of the so-called “monkey mind” upon it:

But why is intentional silence so important to this process of awakening?… I had read somewhere that without spiritual training the human mind is unable to concentrate on anything for more than two minutes…

The Buddhists smilingly call this “monkey mind.” The little beast jumps from one tree limb to the other, taking the whole of it with us.[1]

Our second expert witness concerning this so-called monkey mind is Shane Hipps, co-teaching pastor now along with his good friend Rob Bell at Mars Hill Bible Church; the below is from his sermon Enlightenment, which is all about the supposed “spiritual discipline of silence,” mystic-speak for CCP. MHBC pastor Hipps surmises:

Silent prayer is when you go to a silent place and then you quiet the mind; and you don’t say anything to God…you just “be.” Now, if any of you have ever tried this, you know it’s totally maddening (laughs) to try to just stop thinking, right?

And because we all know that’s pretty much impossible because the mind is like a frantic monkey bouncing around on the inside of your brain…[2]

If there’s any question of the origin of this monkey mind myth, let me refer you to The Monkey Mind entry in the online A Guide to Buddhism A to Z where we find out:

The monkey mind (kapicitta) is a term sometimes used by the Buddha to describe the agitated, easily distracted and incessantly moving behaviour of ordinary human consciousness (Ja.III,148; V,445). Once he observed: ‘Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night’ (S.II,93). (Online source)

Quasi-Buddhist Contemplative Spirituality Within Mainsteam Evangelicalism

Which now begs the question: Why do Christians, who ostensibly have a personal relationship with God in Christ, suddenly have to turn to Buddhists, who may or may not even believe there is a God, in order to learn about Christian spirituality? This kind of lunacy in the Lord’s Name where Peter Scazzero, who is partnered with Willow Creek Association (WCA) and has also been promoted by PD Pope Rick Warren as well, to send his followers to basically Buddhist Bourgeault and to Thomas Keating, an apostate Roman Catholic mystic, should immediately arrest your attention.

Scazzero’s shtick is Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, an organization used by WCA, and Warren has had Scazzero himself come to Saddleback and teach his psycho-babble version of CSM to evangelical pastors at Radicalis. In other words, Scazzero is infecting churches from the top down. However, the disciplines of CSM first negate sola Scriptura in favor of squishy subjective experiences; when it’s then married to centered on the self postmodernism and injected into evangelicalism you have the recipe for spiritual disaster.

 This is a major factor as to how the genuine Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name has now been largely replaced by the man-centered gospel of the changed life in order to make this world a better place for all.[3] Now I’ll show you what the goal of CSM is, which will explain to you why you hear s much rhetoric about our supposed need to “awaken” and be “transformed.” I first covered this a couple of years ago in Thomas Keating On Contemplative/Centering Prayer; in his teachings guru Keating tells us openly this CCP, the crown jewel of CSM:

is a process of inner transformation, a conversation initiated by God and leading, if we consent, to divine union. One’s way of seeing reality changes in the process. A restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, relate and respond with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through, and beyond everything that exists.[4]

By definition CCP, as a form of transcendental meditation, absolutely does involve us in some kind of a “transcending” or i.e. an alleged awakening ; a going beyond perceived reality. You’d best begin to realize that this is unquestionably an altered state of consciousness and is itself is a new form of Gnosticism where the supposedly superior enlightened ones are thought to come into union with Reality/the Sacred/God. And no matter how hard Keating, or any other Emerging Church leader, tries to verbally tap-dance this away, what this superstar level teacher of CCP has just described is, indeed, transcendental meditation in an altered state of consciousness.

But what these so-called Christian mystics will then try and do is to convince us that this “inner transformation,” which as I said is actually quite real, is somehow Christian because it supposedly has a different focus (or intent) than that of the type of meditation we find in Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, or Sufi Islam. However, if there are in fact “changes” in someone’s acuity, then this type of meditation has indeed caused them to “transcend” their prior perception of reality; as CCP guru Keating has just explained, in contemplative spirituality there is a “restructuring of consciousness [which] takes place.” Buddhists call this satori, enlightenment; and it affects the mind, permanently for those who persist in the meditation of CCP.

In closing this, for now, I’ll show you what the deceiving/seducing spirits behind this are aiming these men at; study this out for yourself and you will quickly see that the gurus of mediation in altered states of consciousness personally believe if more people practiced transcendental meditation this resultant “inner transformation,” would then lead to a world peace in a Global Family. In fact Keating’s late friend, supposed Spiritual Master, M. Basil Pennington has written:

In the course of the years, sitting in silent prayer, beyond where words can interfere, men and women of many diverse traditions have come together. In that deeper place a oneness is experienced that gives assurance and heart to our feeble ecumenical efforts and interreligious dialogues. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has said that if one percent of the people would meditate we will have peace. Jesus spoke of the leaven that will leaven the whole.[5]

I find it interesting to note that Pennington manages to get exactly backward the intent of what Jesus meant when He spoke of the leaven of the teachings from false religious leaders. You may recall that I’ve told you before the EC is not at all simply rehashing old liberal theology, the fact is, this is actually a new form of postmodern liberal/progressive theology—Liberalism 2.0—complete with an upgrade which allows for more of the spiritual dimension than did the old modern form of liberal theology.

As I showed you in More On—The god Of The Emerging Church essentially this “big tent” Christianity incorporates emergence theory of evolutionary science because many in the EC believe that, right now, mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness; and in their delusions (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) these neo-Gnostics feel their Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism—and particularly this transcendental meditation for the Christian they call Contemplative/Centering Prayer—plays a huge role in this alleged evolution.

Now a mindful phrase to contemplate: Have nothing to do with this specious spiritual monkey business.

End notes:

[1] Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening [Cambridge: Cowley Publications, 2004 ], 10, 11.

[2] From transcript within my post Shane Hipps Exposed II.

[3] See The Emerging Church: Kingdom Of God Here Now.

[4] Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart [New York: Continuum, 2006], 4, emphasis mine.

[5] M. Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, Thomas E. Clarke, Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer [Woodstock: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2002], 10,11, emphasis mine.

See also: