In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 1:7-8)

Defending Idolatry

For quite some time now Michael Spencer, who “is the primary writer and editor of Internet Monk publications, and the moderator of the Boar’s Head Tavern,” has for reasons known only to him decided to make this small work in Christ here at Apprising Ministries the focus of his negative attention on numerous occasions. Since I wasn’t saying anything that even remotely had to do with him I just let it go for a few months. But since he continues to question my research, and particularly as it applies to the Mystic Monk Thomas Merton and Contemplative Spirituality, I felt led of the Lord to finally address it. As many of you already know who follow AM and some of our other friends in this field of discernment Merton is one the golden Buddhas of the transcendental meditation for the Christian known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer.

Let me first point out that Spencer claims he is “a post-evangelical reformation Christian humanist” who is “nailing my thoughts to the door of the world.” Now, why someone who apparently sees himself in line with Martin Luther would take it upon himself to be the defender of Thomas Merton, an apostate Roman Catholic monk that was virtually a Buddhist by the time he was electrocuted, escapes me. As to Merton, in Thomas Merton and the Buddhas I present irrefutable evidence of his nauseating compromise as an alleged Christian by using a section from the book Thomas Merton: My Brother by the late Spiritual Master M. Basil Pennington. Pennington was a fellow Roman Catholic Trappist monk and a close friend of Merton’s who actually quotes from the Mystic Monk’s own personal journal where Merton himself expresses his awe and wonder while standing before the huge idols of Buddhism in Polonnaruwa.

And yet incredibly Spencer, a supposed “post-evangelical reformation Christian humanist,” has now felt he had to put together FREE THOMAS MERTON!, which he tells us is “a 30 minute podcast on Thomas Merton. I cover a lot of Merton basics.” Spencer also informs his readers that he will “try to put some of Merton’s interest in Eastern ‘mysticism’ in perspective.” Let’s get this straight; an alleged post-evangelical reformation Christian is going to praise an apostate Roman Catholic monk’s twisted Contemplative Spirituality as well as his adulterous idolatry by putting it “in perspective.” And some wonder why the evangelical Christian community is in such pathetic shape today? Well, unfortunately in the case of the Internet Monk Michael Spencer we have a good example as to why the Reformation is actually being reversed by spiritually obtuse followers of the Ecumenical Church of Deceit, the dutiful daughter of the apostate Church of Rome.

The I-Monk Is No Novice

Men and women, it needs to be pointed out here that Michael Spencer has been a pastor and minister for many years. However, as an example of just how low the standards for evangelical Christian ministry have now sunk, I am going to present the response that Spencer posted at The Boar’s Head Tavern to my above mentioned article defending my research into Merton and the Contemplative Spirituality such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster. Before I do however, in addition to information already supplied in The Internet Monk Defends Thomas Merton, let me give you a little further background into Spencer’s labors:

Michael started working with students in 1976, and worked as a youth ministry specialist in four different churches over a period of thirteen years. In the same time, he graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1984 with a Master’s degree in Theology. He took every philosophy course available and is much indebted to his time with Drs. Richard Cunningham and Timothy George. He returned for post-graduate study in 1987.

In 1988, Michael left youth ministry and became a pastor. Michael enjoyed preaching, but the rest of the pastorate wasn’t his game, so he soon figured out that God had something else in store. In 1992 he became the campus minister at Oneida Baptist Institute. In 2004, he became Assistant to the President. OBI is a Christian boarding school for grades 6-12 in Eastern Kentucky that takes students from all over America and the world. Many are not Christians or are the products of other worldviews. Michael preaches to over 400 students sixteen times a month and teaches Bible, English III and A.P. English IV. (The Bible and Shakespeare. What a gig.) He also teaches an adult Bible study, counsels and leads worship for the school community.

Michael started Internet Monk right after the November 2000 elections, and has been blogging ever since. His work has been noted on blogs around the world and published in newspapers and magazines, such as Modern Reformation. He also writes at He’s more opinionated on paper than in person. Once an enthusiastic Calvinist, Michael now prefers to say he’s a New Covenant, Reformation-loving Christian with a lot of interest in some of what’s happening in the emerging church.

The above gives us much insight into the gradual compromise of the historic orthodox Christian faith which has apparently been ongoing in Spencer’s life until finally he felt led to attack someone like me whom he apparently sees as some sort of fundamentalist Calvinist. When in point of fact, I do not claim to be either one. In any event, as you can clearly see, with Spencer we are not dealing with some novice who isn’t in a better position to know the dangers of opening oneself up to delusion by disobeying God’s Word concerning spiritual adultery and through turning his back on the Reformation that the Lord brought about in His Own Church. In his response “Defending The Mert-Dude” referenced earlier Spencer says:

“Apprising” Ministries–the source for 90% of the fertilizer being spread in the TR blogosphere–has singled out yours truly for a post.

Incidentally for those who may not know what “TR” is in reference to Phil Johnson gives us a definition, “TR” is a derisive term meaning ‘Truly Reformed,’ usually applied to people who try to be more-Reformed-than-thou.” And then Spencer goes on to write:

It works like this: Contemplative Spirituality is bad. What is contemplative spirituality? It’s why Foster and Mclaren (sic) and Willard and thousands of other people who can’t spell contemplative are in actual fact sympathizers with the Roman Catholic Church. But what is contemplative spirituality? Well… like….think about stuff you shouldn’t think about. You’re like….thinking about stuff when you could be reading a Puritan book. And it’s Catholic. Which is very bad. Why is the Catholic Church bad? Because they aren’t fundamentalist Calvinists, that’s why? And they practice contemplative spirituality. Did I mention that?

Prediction: This Apprising post will set records. I’m that good.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

I will simply let Internet Monk’s words speak for him and instead – urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Romans 16:17-18) I felt led by my Lord to share this in the interest of showing just how far the things taught by demons through seducing spirits in the ECoD have slithered into the Body of Christ. So deep has this antichrist spirit penetrated the Christian Church that a minister with the credentials and training of a Michael Spencer can be brought so low as to so vehemently attack the faith he is sworn to uphold as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In my mind, a sad example indeed:

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (1 Timothy 6:3-5, ESV)