This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2Timothy 3:1-5, KJV)

Guilt By Association Or Contemplative Road To Apostasy?

On page 13 of his book So, You Want To Be Like Christ? Essentials to Get You There (SYW) Chuck Swindoll, the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary, heartily endorses the work of Dallas Willard, who along with his friend Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic “Roshi” Richard Foster, are key proponents of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism through their brand of spurious Spiritual Formation, which germinated in the so-called “Desert Fathers” and then flowered through the monastic tradition of the apostate Roman Catholicism.

Swindoll informs us:

I came across Dallas Willard’s excellent work The Spirit of the Disciplines. Bedside reading it is not. This convicting piece of literature is not something you plop down on the sofa and read alongside People magazine. Willard’s words make you think.

And here’s something that these words from Willard makes one think about. On his own website Dallas Willard tells us that people who don’t know Jesus can still be saved:

What Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy of being saved, they will be saved. At that point many Christians get very anxious, saying that absolutely no one is worthy of being saved. The implication of that is that a person can be almost totally good, but miss the message about Jesus, and be sent to hell.

What kind of a God would do that? I am not going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save. I am not going to say ‘he can’t save them.’ I am happy for God to save anyone he wants in any way he can. It is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved. (Online source, emphasis mine)

This is the kind of thinking we get from a philosopher like Willard? The better question is: What kind of a God would even choose to save undeserving rebels in the first place? The loving and merciful, yet holy and just LORD God Almighty of the Bible Who became man Himself to go to the Cross and make a way for people who hated Him to be saved. What Willard conveniently leaves out is that it is our Creator God Himself Who stated what His Gospel would be; and not that He couldn’t save someone another way, it’s that the Lord said that He wouldn’t save anyone apart from Christ.

But this is what happens when evangelical leaders attempt to jump on a popular bandwagon without knowing where the doomed caravan is actually heading. In fact on page 15 of SYW Southern Baptist pastor Swindoll even refers to Celebration of Discipline, the foundational text book  as a “meaningful work.” For an actual Christian assessment from Dr. Gary Gilley I refer you to “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster an Encyclopedia of Theological Error

What I’ve been trying to tell you is that everyone who practices these so-called “spiritual disciplines” of CSM elong enough eventually falls in love with mankind. Remember from our text above it is written that in last days men will be lovers of their own selves. As this delusion setrs in their theology becomes more and more inclusive and then many finally end up preaching universalism. Take for example in SYW that Swindoll quotes favorably from the book The Way of the Heart by the late Roman Catholic monk and mystic Henri Nouwen.

Nouwen’s own practice of the transcendental-lite meditation of Contemplative/Centering Prayer, which is exactly what advocates of CSM are talking about by “silence and solitude,” ultimately led him to teach universalism in his book Sabbatical Journey. Nouwen says:

Today I personally believe that while 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 own way to God (51)

O, and let us not get the idea that Swindoll wasn’t that familiar with Nouwen’s book because four years earlier in his article The Depths Of God Swindoll writes: “In his book The Way of the Heart Henri Nouwen does a splendid job of analyzing the downside of what he calls ‘our wordy world.’ ” And in fact it’s a part of this same quote which appears on page 10 of SWY just a bit before Swindoll’s citation of Willard mentioned earlier.

Dallas Willard, who practices these alleged spiritual disiplines of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysiticism, and Nouwen who did as well, both end up saying virtually the same antibiblical things regarding the salvation of mankind. Guilt by association or the broad contemplative road of apostasy? Well, I’ll let you decide, but if I were you Charles Swindoll I’d get myself off the path you’re on post haste!