You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. (Isaiah 2:6)

Director Of Missions Recommends Heresy

A reader of Apprising Ministries has made me aware that Kent Shirley, Director of Missions for the Grand Valley Baptist Association of Grand Junction, Colorado which is officially affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention recommends that his fellow Southern Baptists get ready to embrace the Gnostic mysticism which bloomed in the monastic system of the apostate Church of Rome. In his Recommended Reading for Pastor & Staff Shirley says:

Here are some books that have challenged my thinking, greatly inspired me or both! Warning! If you are set in your thinking about church methodology, these may be dangerous to your health! The works are books that I have either read or re-read recently. These works are my personal recommendation for reading and enlightenment and are not in any way meant to represent the views of the Grand Valley Baptist Association. Kent Shirley (emphasis his)

Nice try with the disclaimer at the end but as one who is essentially a bishop Shirley’s “recommendations” will exert much influence on the pastors he is the overseer of. This is more centered on man pragmatism and seeking to grow churches through the supposed wisdom of man instead of simply preaching the Gospel and letting the Lord add to the Church those who are to be saved. And found among these “works” is a usual fair of questionable Church Growth names but this one immediately sends up a red flag, The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George G. Hunter III. It follows the Emergent mantra that we can supposedly learn much from this Celtic way of Christianity in order to help the decidedly inferior brand of “western Christianity.”

The editorial review tells us that “Celtic Christianity: the form of Christian faith that flourished among the people of Ireland during the Middle Ages has gained a great deal of attention lately. George G. Hunter III points out that, while the attention paid to the Celtic Christians is well deserved, much of it fails to recognize the true genius of this ancient form of Christianity.” And then we’re told further that if “we are to spread the gospel in this culture of secular seekers, we would do well to learn from the Celts.” Without wrestling with the snake here suffice to say that according to church historian Bruce Shelley this so-called Celtic Christianity is “traced to Patrick in the early fifth century” and but “a century later the entire structure of the church was monastic” (Church History in Plain Language, 156).

A dubious source at best and interestingly enough you will see this monastic theme from apostate Rome reappear in a moment. Also on Shirley’s recommended reading list for his pastors we find The Barbarian Way by Emergent Pastor Erwin McManus and More Ready Than You Realize by Emergent Spiritual Director Brian McLaren. So here is DOM within the Southern Baptist Convention “recommending” that his pastors read a heretic like Guru Brian McLaren who denies the inerrancy and final authority of the Bible and as I show in Brian McLaren in Denial, he also denies the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Christ on the Cross.

The Celtic Connection

But of special note here is a book that is beginning to penetrate more and more evangelical churches, and I must say I was shocked to see it recommended within the Southern Baptist Convention, Red Moon Rising (RMR) by Peter Greig and Dave Roberts. I’ll have more on this book another time but for now I draw your attention to another extension of Gnostic mysticism which is now emerging into the evangelical church, and here recommended to other SBC pastors in his charge by Kent Shirley.

Your key to understanding its origin and what this 24-7 prayer movement is about comes when we see the website refer to these “prayer rooms” as “Millenium 3 Monasteries.” This term itself is actually derived from chapter 19 of RMR by Greig and Roberts. Roberts, who does have experience with youth ministry within the broader Emergent Church movement, is also author of the book Following Jesus: A Guidebook for the Non-Religious. His book promises:

Following Jesus will revolutionize your walk with God by revealing a perspective on Christ you’ve never seen before. It explores foundational truths and challenges misconceptions by examining who he was and what serving him means today. It is a non-religious discipleship manual for the spiritually hungry. (back cover)

Clearly a part of the Emergent Church Peter Grieg is becoming more known even within evangelical circles now as the originator of “the 24-7 prayer movement.” In fact the full title of the book by Grieg and Roberts is Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation where on its back cover we are informed that, “An Army Is Emerging” and this book is actually the “story of the 24-7 Prayer movement, which started in 1999 in England and has since exploded into more than 50 countries.”

As we go 24-7 we are told about Greig:

Peter Greig is an author, church-planter and one of the founding leaders of 24-7 prayer, a British charity which has grown in six years from a single day-and-night ‘prayer room into an international, interdenominational Christian movement committed to prayer, mission and justice.

In A conversation with Pete Greig which originally ran in Relevant Magazine’s website Greig says that the idea initially began when, “We were inspired by the 18th century Moravians who prayed non-stop for 100 years in shifts.” And then he tells us:

Five years later, 24-7 prayer is in 65 nations, has missions movements, targeting the high places in youth culture, has prayed continuously since September 1999 and is even establishing modern day monasteries based on the example of the ancient celts. (emphasis mine)

It may have begun on a good note but it is seriously off-track now. Note above the “modern day monasteries.” If you look at the middle left of the page at 24-7 you will see a link which reads 24-7 boiler rooms. At the top left of this page when you click on [rhythm] and you’ll be brought to categories such as “Monasticism,” “Liturgy,” “Meditations,” “Mission,” and “Prayer.” Again this is going to be an ongoing investigation but you should be able to see that we are dealing here with the Gnostic mysticism of Contemplative Spirituality which blossomed through the monastic traditions of the apostate Roman Catholic Church.

And now we have Kent Shirley the Director of Missions of the Grand Valley Baptist Association of Grand Junction, Colorado an official affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention recommending that his pastors begin to study these pagan practices. This is absolutely deplorable and sadly RMR will be coming to an evangelical church near you. Not only that but in an article called Dr.Frank Page Answers Questions for SBC Bloggers the Southern Baptist Convention President says:

I see many valuable contributions to the SBC coming from the Emergent Leaders Movement. I believe it is a positive thing to see a broader number of participants in our convention’s direction. I personally applaud this movement.

And because RMR is also being sold through Lifeway Christian Stores, “A division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention,” this primer for so-called “Christian” mysticism will be coming to more and more Southern Baptist churches as well.


As of 12/13/06 books by both Brian McLaren and Donald Miller (added after this article) have suddenly vanished from Shirley’s list with no explanation. Perhaps he’d finally noticed McLaren’s book on “evangelism” More Ready Than You Realize was endorsed by the Elvis of Emergent Rob Bell.