Apprising Ministries continues looking into Contemplative Mysticism In The Southern Baptist Convention. In that previous post I further shared my concerns that corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) developed in the antibiblical traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism has slithered from its den in Hell further into the supposedly evangelical “Protestant” Southern Baptist Convention of which I am still a part…for now.

The State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCBI) is hosting the SBC website Crossover ’08—Family, Faith, Fun where we read:

The Southern Baptist Convention will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10 & 11, 2008. Crossover Indiana is scheduled for June 6&7, 2008 in the Central Indiana area. (Online source)

According to the news story “INDY: Fulfilling the Mission” in the Baptist Press (BP):

Fulfilling the mission Christ gave His followers — bringing lost souls into God’s Kingdom — will be the focus of the 151st session of the Southern Baptist Convention when it convenes June 10-11 at the Indiana Convention Center…

An intensified focus on prayer will be another feature of the convention. In addition to the prayer room, signs will be posted around the convention center to help messengers make a “prayer journey” for the annual meeting. A virtual prayerwalk will be available at for people who can’t attend the convention. Information for those interested in volunteering to intercede for the annual meeting is available on that site as well. (Online source)

So here in the words I have highlighted above we have what initially concerned me as one well-versed in the teachings of CSM, and we also have the confirmation that the website Crossover ’08—though maintained by the SCBI—is officially representing the national Southern Baptist Convention. And in another BP story we are told:

This year’s prayer emphasis at the Southern Baptist Convention has been boosted by the efforts of Indianapolis-area pastors who have caught a vision of what can happen when people spend more time praying.

At last year’s meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, a first-of-its-kind prayer room featured videos, maps and other visual aids along with Bible verses, specific requests and journals to facilitate prayer. The room was filled throughout the annual meeting, and the results were overwhelming, Dale Eakes, this year’s SBC prayer team coordinator, told Baptist Press. (Online source)

Keep the name Dale Eakes in mind as we will be returning to Eakes, who is Senior Pastor of Warren Baptist Church and SCBI Prayer Coordinator, in Part Two next time. In my first article concerning this “prayer emphasis” I asked the all important question right in the title itself Prayer Is News In The Southern Baptist Convention—But What Type Of Prayer? And I have good reason to wonder because for a couple of years now I have been trying to alert the slumbering Slowly Becoming Catholic to the growing hiss of CSM spreading as a spiritual cancer within it under the umbrella of “spiritual formation.”

Space only allows just a couple of quick examples. From my piece SBC Embraces Emergent Church and Contemplative Spirituality I showed you that the SBC’s Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, “today considered a vital growing force in Southern Baptist missionary and ministry efforts,” featured the course “P1115 Spiritual Formation” taught by Dr. Faith Kim. Checking the syllabus we saw that one of the primary textbooks used by Dr. Kim was Celebration of Discipline by Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster.

In the same piece I also told you that Lifeway Christian Stores (LCS), “A division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention” has scores of books with very questionable theology. I even gave you a partial listing of books offered by LCS from Emergent Church leaders like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, as well as the Sultan of Spiritual Disciplines Richard Foster, a Quaker. In addition at LCS there’s works by the late Spiritual Master M. Basil Pennington, a Roman Catholic monk who was a personal friend of a Golden Buddha of CMS Thomas Merton, and books from the late Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) yet another Roman Catholic priest.

As another example of something not being right in the SBC we point out that LCS is selling books like Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence (ISS) by Ruth Haley Barton, who is another one of these contemplative spiritual directors growing like tares among God’s wheat field. Not only does LCS not give any kind of disclaimer but they actually advertise this piece of spiritual skubalon by using the positive language of Amazon’s “Book Description”:

Ruth Haley Barton invites you to meet God deeply and fully outside the demands and noise of daily life. She leads you on a journey toward freedom and authenticity, toward becoming the person God created you to be. (Online source)

One of the people Barton points us to in order to help us “meet God fully and deeply” is the Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Rohr. Rohr happens to be author of a popular book teaching CSM called Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, which Spiritual Director Barton references in chapter 6 of her ISS. To introduce you further to Rohr we now turn to the website of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). Under the section Our Founder we are told that “Father Richard Rohr is a Franciscan [Roman Catholic priest] of the New Mexico Province” (Online source)

Swami Barton opens chapter one of ISS with the following bit of mystic wisdom from Roshi Rohr, “A good journey begins with knowing where we are and being willing to go somewhere else” (25). Well, here is where the deceptive journey of the practice of Contemplative/Centering Prayer has taken Roshi Rohr. In January of 2008 he was a featured “presenter” at Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening (Online source)—sponsored by his own CAC—where in true contemplative messed up mystic theology he taught the equality of Buddha with Christ and the indwelling of God in all things:

The Four Noble Truths are the distilled essence of the Buddhist teaching. In this retreat, each of the Four Noble Truths will be introduced and explored, with emphasis given to the presence of each Noble Truth at the heart of Jesus’ call to awaken to God’s presence in every detail of our daily lives…

The teachings of both Jesus and Buddha call us to transformational honesty. They are both teaching us how to see, and how to see all the way through! They both knew that if you see God for yourself, you will see the Divine in all things. (Online source)

And finally as I pointed out in From Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) All The Way to Renovare and Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster this particular state convention of the SBC makes absolutely no attempt whatsoever to cover their own foray into neo-pagan mystic practices. Why BSCNC even comes complete with their own “Spiritual Formation Coach” in Wendy Minton Edwards along with her SpiritLines Newsletter and Spirit Weblog recommending purveyors of perverse so-called “Christian” mysticism like the contemplative Roman Catholic priest Henri Nouwen mentioned above, and of course Swami Foster himself.

In my previous look at the “Prayer” link from Crossover ’08 I mentioned I hadn’t been able to ascertain who had written the posts I was discussing. Well, it turns out they were written by SCBI Prayer Coordinator Dale Eakes and next time I’ll fill you in a little bit on his reaction to my assessments. But in closing for now, with all of these spiritual directors, Roman Catholic priests, spiritual formation coaches and guru wannabes, the question at some point for the supposedly “Protestant” SBC has got to be:

Why are we evangelical Protestants turning our backs on the Reformation and returning to those teachers of corrupt contemplative spirituality/mysticism from the Roman Catholic Church?