This is an update and follow-up to the Apprising Ministries piece “From Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) All the Way to Renovare and Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster” originally posted 12/10/2006. Shortly after this article appeared the original links from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) website that were used within it suddenly disappeared as apparently BSCNC revamped their WebPages.

Let me also make sure to point out that as far as I know this had nothing to do with the AM piece but had simply been in the works anyway. My point here is that I am led of the Lord to look further into the encroachment of anti-Reformation Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) into the Southern Baptist Convention so it seems good to also revisit the BSCNC website once again.

He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east. He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the house of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here?” (Ezekiel 8:16-17)

Spiritual Adultery Spreads From The State Level Down

Some of my concerns for the SBC overall have been discussed in more depth, see e.g. What Kind of Prayer in Southern Baptist Convention Prayer Emphasis? and Something Definitely Not Right with New Orleans Seminary. But for now let it suffice to say that for those actually willing to look at it the evidence of CSM currently spreading throughout the largest allegedly “Protestant” denomination in the US under the guise of Spiritual Formation (SF), and which flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism, continues to grow. The piece about BSCNC I mentioned above was itself a follow up to Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) And Contemplative Spirituality where I took the reader around the previous BSCNC website with an entire section devoted to the dissemination of SF.

As shown in Something Not Right with Southern Baptist Convention Crossover ‘08 it appears pretty obvious that CSM, developed as it was by apostate Roman Catholic mystics, has slithered deeper into the Slowly Becoming Catholic through its cover of SF. And so I wanted to see if this SBC State Convention was still encouraging, and even propagating, this decidedly non-Protestant CSM among Southern Baptist churches. And sure enough they most certainly are. Again, keep in mind we’re not talking here about a couple of small local churches; no, this is the website of BSCNC, which is the official state convention of North Carolina for the national SBC itself.

This means that BSCNC ministers to all of the affiliated local SBC churches in the entire state; and so now we are witnessing the same kind of rampant spiritual adultery with the East, which played an important role in bringing about the Reformation, happening in an entire SBC state convention—the BSCNC itself! So this really should be of concern to anyone who calls themselves a Southern Baptist—and especially in NC—because if one state is openly promoting the so-called “Christian” mysticism of CSM then you know this apostasy will only spread — A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. (Galatians 5:9)

Watching The Leaven of CSM Rise Before Your Eyes

As we move to the BSCNC website and go to the Office of Prayer we will then see the link for Spiritual Formation on the left of the page. Clicking on its link we go to the SF section where three quarters of the way down that page on the left hand side we meet Wendy Minton Edwards BSCNC “Spiritual Formation Coach” of the “Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening” and “Mission Growth Evangelism.” The old website used to have a link where one could click to learn more about Edwards, but on the revamped SF page I wasn’t able to find one.

So I’ll tell you that in Spiritual Formation Survey and Contemplative Prayer in the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) I have already pointed out that the Spiritual Formation brochure features “Spiritual Formation Coach” Wendy Minton Edwards who has “close to 30 years of experience in ministry education, training, and discipleship.” As a matter of fact Dr. Edwards does have an “earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Spirituality from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.” So we are safe to assume that Dr. Edwards does know her field of Spiritual Formation.

Among the things we can view at the new SF page is the current SpiritLines Newsletter (SN), “Written by: Wendy Minton Edwards, Spiritual Formation Coach,” or we can View [A] Past Edition of SpiritLines, and we can even go follow the link to the SpiritLines Weblog (SL) that is maintained by the BSCNC: Office of Prayer of which Dr. Edwards is a part. Well, as we go over to the SL blog we certainly do get an eyeful of a whole host of CSM garbage.

Participating In Practices That We Don’t Recommend?

I’ll talk more about that in Part Two but in closing for now let me note that under the heading Upcoming Events we do see the following disclaimer: “Retreat information is provided for informational purposes only. It does not include endorsements or recommendations.” However, this begs the question: Why would Dr. Edwards want to make sure that the Office of Prayer provides the type of information found on this SL blog to Southern Baptists in North Carolina if our Spiritual Formation Coach didn’t think it would be of some benefit to what those infatuated with CSM so often call our “spiritual journey”?

At least part of our answer can be found as we look a little further into one of Dr. Edward’s associations. She is involved with something called the Advent Spirituality Center (ASC) where she has “added to the hopes and vision of the Advent Center to nurture the quest for a deepening life in God” (Online source). Not surprisingly we’re enlightened that the ASC grew from “a small group of seekers” and now includes “people from other places and traditions seeking ways to develop a deeper, centered-in-God life” who are also involved in the alleged CSM “spiritual discipline” of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP).

We’re also told that the ASC is “built on a rich Baptist tradition of spirituality” but apparently this isn’t enough so it’s also “enhanced by the larger stream of Christian spirituality.” But it’s exactly this “larger stream of Christian spirituality” of CSM—with its CCP—that has absolutely no place within Biblical Protestant evangelicalism. And so now a couple of very important questions arise: Why is Southern Baptist “Spiritual Formation Coach” Dr. Edwards herself involved with such a place? And why is she then bringing these neo-pagan practices of spurious CSM into the BSCNC in the first place?