Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him Myself in keeping with his great idolatry.’ (Ezekiel 14:4)

Michael Spencer, aka “the Internet Monk,” who has been taking his shots at the Lord’s work here at Apprising Ministries for quite some time now, has been at it again. For those who may not have heard of this “Monk,” Spencer himself tells us he “has been a minister, youth specialist, writer, teacher and communicator in churches and schools for over 30 years. I am deconstructing my evangelicalism and throwing away whatever is not vitally connected to Jesus.”

Checking out the links for “Blogs I Read” at his “personal web space,” which include Emergent Guru Brian McLaren, Emergent pastor and rock-a-billy devotee Dan Kimball, Roman Catholic writer Amy Wellborn, Emergent theologian Scot McKnight, and Emergent church planter Andrew Jones, it would seem to me that Spencer is instead “deconstructing” the historic orthodox Christian faith right along with these others.

Oh, and it just so happens that the supposed “evangelical” Spencer appears to be quite the fan of the late Roman Catholic Mystic Monk Thomas Merton who ended his life for all intents and purposes as a Buddhist. Apparently he feels he is the protector of all things Merton and here is Spencer’s so-called “riff” concerning my heavily documented teaching about Merton:

Without a doubt, there are no words to describe the working over Tom Merton is getting at the hands of the TR watchbloggers. Apparently, Merton is a candidate for the antiChrist and the source of all that’s wrong in evangelicalism. Pretty good for a guy who died by getting tangled up with a fan in 1968 and never entered an evangelical church or school in his life.

As sordid a misrepresentation of someone in Christian history as I’ve ever seen. Just the totally inability to understand monasticism itself is stunning, much less what Merton is talking about most of the time.

Well now, Michael. Above is yet another classic example of how the subject of contemplative spirituality begins to set the reasoning process in reverse. Spencer begins with a straw man when he says, “Merton is a candidate for the antiChrist and the source of all that’s wrong in evangelicalism,” which is something that no one in the discernment field has said anyway. However, at the same time it is simply beyond question that Thomas Merton has had a huge impact on those who teach Contemplative/Centering Prayer such as Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster.

And because so many alleged teachers of contemplative reference Merton as an example of this heretical practice his Gnostic mystical musing have now gained a disproportionate credibility within evangelical circles as the Reformation continues to be attacked. Spencer also writes above, “Just the totally inability to understand monasticism itself is stunning.” That’s odd, one of the major sources I use as I teach about the antibiblical monastic system of the apostate Church of Rome is Merton’s book The Silent Life.

And as far as Spencer’s ludicrous statements that my work concerning the abysmal example of Christianity portrayed by the Mystic Monk Thomas Merton which he calls “as sordid a misrepresentation of someone in Christian history as I’ve ever seen,” here I provide the link to Do You Know Where Your Mystic Teaching Comes From: Thomas Merton, which is the article in question. This way you may look at the evidence and decide for yourself.