“They are altogether stupid and foolish in their discipline of delusion – their idol is wood… Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his molten images are deceitful, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery. In the time of their punishment they will perish” (Jeremiah 10:8,14,15).

The Language Of The Emergent New Evangelical “Christ-followers”

I sincerely do wish I didn’t have to put that in the title of this article. But amazingly even after drawing attention in Emergent Church Leader Tony Jones Drops the “F-Bomb” on the Bible at Christian Worldview Network that Tony Jones, published by “Show Me The Money” Zondervan and National Coordinator of Emergent “Anything Goes” Village, said of God’s Word: “The Bible is an f***king scary book (pardon my French, but that’s the only way I know how to convey how strongly I feel about this)” [Online source], there has been less response in evangelical circles than if Jones had said, “I believe the Bible is inerrant.”

Well, Mr. Jones–bearing striking spiritual similarity to Dylan’s Mr. Jones–the Bible should be a scary Book to posers such as the new cult of liberal theology now emerging from the subversive shadows into the apostatizing $evangelical$ community. Stupid and foolish in their discipline of delusion – their idol of Romish spiritual bondage. And I warned of this Emergent danger to your youth in Emergent Wolves Enter Your Sheep Pens Through Youth Groups where you’ll see Emergent Dan Kimball confirm this truth in his book Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations.

And speaking of Dan Kimball, who by appearing more orthodox is way more harmful to so-called “Protestant” evangelicalism than Tony Jones, in Dan Kimball and Lectio Divina I show that in the above mentioned book Kimball recommends the work of his friend Tony Jones as he writes:

among emerging generations there is a desire to embrace Christianity’s ancient forms of worship, which includes liturgy. In the book Soul Shaper, Tony Jones explains a lot of ancient spiritual disciplines and shows how they can be attractive ways of worship for emerging generations. Lectio Divina, which is the practice of repeatedly meditating and praying through a passage of Scripture, and many other spiritual exercises are being reintroduced in emerging worship gatherings. (93)

And what idolatrous and Romish anti-Reformational “ancient spiritual disciplines” might these be? I’m glad you asked. First you must understand that “Christian” mysticism and its practices are an integral part of the theology of the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church. In fact the full title of his 2001 book is Soul Shaper: Exploring Spirituality And Contemplative Practices In Youth Ministry (SS), which tells us how potentially dangerous it has become to the evangelical community as the book was literally targeted for youth ministers and pastors.

Put To Shame By Their Idols Because Their Practices Lead To Spiritual Deception

In SS Tony Jones gives us his version of the historical background concerning one of these “ancient spiritual disciplines” practiced by what have become known as “Christian” mystics, one that he refers to as “centering prayer.”

“Like the Jesus Prayer, Centering Prayer grew out of the reflections and writings of the Desert Fathers. John Cassian (c.360-c.430) came from the West and made a pilgrimage to the desert to learn the ways of contemplative prayer (073, emphasis added).

Notice in the above we can see that “the Jesus Prayer,” and “Centering Prayer” arose through “the reflections and writings of the Desert Fathers.” One might also observe there is no mention of this being an Apostolic doctrine nor is there reference to Christ or His Apostles employing these practices for the simple fact that it wasn’t and they didn’t. And we also should note that Jones equates “Centering Prayer” here with “contemplative prayer.”

Now before anyone thinks I am being unfair because I am quoting something that Jones wrote years ago, let me inform you the above information is repeated verbatim on p. 70 of his book The Sacred Way (SW) released in 2005. It is in fact contained in a section called: “PART II: VIA CONTEMPLATIVA contemplative APPROACHES TO SPIRITUALITY.” Among these “contemplative approaches to spirituality” we find: “Silence and Solitude,” “Sacred Reading,” “The Jesus Prayer,” “Centering Prayer,” “Meditation,” “The Ignatian Examen,” “Icons,” “Spiritual Direction,” and “The Daily Office.”

In his recommendation of Meister Eckhardt’s Collected Works Tony Jones tells us that they are, “a mystical treatise on the intersection between Greek philosophy and Christian theology with an emphasis on God’s indwelling of humanity” (252). But what we need to see here about this Emergent Church movement is that at its core theology is the seed of a growing deception that within all the religions of the world to varying degrees there is a universal work of God.

In fact, each chapter of SS introduces the reader to a new spiritual practice, and true to his word Jones begins each one with the alleged history and theology behind each “discipline” within. For instance, here is Jones’ rather unique historic background for chapter 9 on “icons.” He informs us that, “According to legend, the first icon (icon is Greek for ‘image’) was made by Jesus himself” (109). He then describes this “extrabiblical story kept alive by the church,” where supposedly Jesus wipes His face on a cloth leaving “a near-perfect imprint.”

Among these legends Jones goes on to describe one “we observe in the Stations of the Cross,” where “another tradition has Veronica (vera icona, ‘true image’) handing Jesus a cloth to wipe his face as he carried his Cross to Golgotha––this icon is kept in one of the massive piers that support the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome” (111). Finally Jones tells the unsuspecting reader that all of these “stories tie the origin of iconography to Jesus Himself” (ibid).

United By Their Love Of Themselves

Which brings us full circle now to why someone like Tony Jones would find the Bible such an f –well, scary Book. It is written: For the shepherds have become stupid, And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they have not prospered, And all their flock is scattered. (Jeremiah 10:21, NASB) And this is the kind of “Christian” that Wheaton College is bringing in yet again to warp–oops, speak to–students because they see nothing in the teachings or conduct of spiritually gutless compromisers and appalling pretenders to the faith like Tony Jones which would cause them to think he shouldn’t be brought in as just another alternative to Christian ministry.

And why not, at this Ancient Faith [read: Roman contemplative mysticism] for the Church’s Future Conference put on by Biblical and Theological Studies of Wheaton College in the Billy Graham Center will be Brian Daley, SJ, a priest in the apostate Church of Rome. Well, here’s praying that genuine Christians concerned for their youth and demanding accountability for funds given to ostensibly evenagelical Protestant $Wheaton College$ will flood them with letters of protest to keep these wolves in sheep’s clothing away from the flock.