The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. (Psalm 93:1-2)

Deceiving Spirits Asking: “Did God Actually Say?”

Apprising Ministries now brings to your attention the critical subject of Emergent Interfaith Compromise as a while back, prompted by Radio Bible Class quoting Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), and thanks to my friend Cecil Andrews of Take Heed Ministries I found out it wasn’t the first time, I would write an article called Who Is Henri Nouwen? Men and women, Nouwen was yet another of the priest/monks involved in the Contemplative/Centering Prayer of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism. People lauded as spiritual superstars who have now become even more known to the evangelical community through their being promoted by The Cult of Guru Richard Foster and myriad Spiritual Directors within the Emergent Church such as “key mentor” Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard with their spurious Spiritual Formation. For the correct perspective it’s also very important to understand that this postliberal cult of the larger new evangelical Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD) actually began as a rebellion against the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible.

Now Emergents can howl loudly with their foul-mouthed protests all they want to but most of the leaders of this emerging schism were, and are, neo-orthodox (at best) in their view of Holy Scripture. The truth is that they are heavily influenced by Karl Barth’s wrong approach to the Bible. Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989), in his day a leading authority in the field of Comparative Religion, summed up Barth’s faulty teaching this way: The Bible is a divine mailbox where we receive communiqués from Heaven. However, Martin is absolutely correct when he goes on to say: “The problem is, the Bible isn’t just a mailbox, the Bible is the message from Heaven!” And once you open the door to Barth’s existential approach to Holy Scripture, then your human reasoning becomes the criterion by which you decide what you “feel” God is saying. Does this begin to make sense now when you hear Emerging Church leaders such as Swami Brian McLaren or Tony Jones or Doug Pagitt or Dan Kimball or Rob Bell as they waffle on key issues and on core doctrines of the historic orthodox Christian faith?

You see, they are themselves now caught in the false philosophy of postmodern relativism that they so often refer to. It’s really no wonder that these poor “fools” (look it up in Scripture) can’t make any kind of a stand with any kind of “certitude.” Instead of “this is what God said,” it becomes a hopeless merry-go-round of what they may think God has said, and not what the text of the Bible tells us God has said. I am indebted to Martin’s audiotape “The Cult Of Liberal Theology” for this illustration. But today I ask: What is it going to take for these spiritually obtuse evangelicals to finally see this Christian agnosticism for what it is: “Yea, hath God said?” Through their anthropocentric pelagianism of man-pleasing centered on self theology deceiving spirits have brazenly entered the sanctuary of our Lord’s Church with their things taught by demons and ushered in the fulfillment of the new reformation Robert Schuller prophesied in his “classic” book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation. And to think, some still say there are no prophets around today.

Blessed Art Thou, Lord Our God, King Of The Universe

And one of the most important doctrine of devils that these seducing spirits are forcing us to face in our lifetime is this warped and toxic idea of “interfaith dialogues.” Now let us not go chasing red herrings here; we are not talking about befriending those in other religions in hopes of leading them to Christ, or the importance of respecting their “faith traditions,” nor are we begrudging their right to worship however they wish. As one minister correctly puts it: “They have as much right to be wrong as we Christians have to be right.” No one is arguing against those things, but attempting to lead people by the power of God the Holy Spirit to God the Son–Christ Jesus of Nazareth, Who is the only Savior God the Father has provided is not what these compromised “Christians” are doing in these interfaith gatherings. This you will come to see in the final section of our two part look at Emergent Interfaith Compromise. For now though we begin the foreword Henri Nouwen wrote to Thomas Ryan’s book Disciplines For Christian Living: Interfaith Perspectives (DCL).

Men and women, you need to realize that these interfaith meetings are simply not what you might think. They are actually about so-called Christians wanting to learn how those in other religions experience God and then to incorporate these facets of this worship and/or “disciplines” into their own so-called “Christian living.” O yes, I readily admit this does play great to the love of self which is described here in Scripture – in the last days…men shall be lovers of their own selves (see–2 Timothy 3:5), as in the worship of mankind himself. But this is what the Lord says – “You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23, ESV). So you can see why these existential “believers” about Christ just don’t want the Bible getting in their way because those practitioners of religion (and all religion is false) they are in “dialogue” with are not actually offering worship or sacrifice to God at all. Didn’t you know; the Lord Himself has already plainly told us:

What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
(1 Corinthians 10:19-21, KJV)

What’s that you say; your liberal professor at Bible college taught you that the Apostle Paul wrote that? Better think again. All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and further – Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). This is the clear testimony of the Bible, you are free to deny it if you wish, but you have no right to teach that it says otherwise. And even in His Old Testament God the Holy Spirit told us what He thinks of one who claims to serve the Lord but in spiritual adultery has instead:

abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior. They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. They sacrificed to demons, which are not God–gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear. You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.

The LORD saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols.

The Ecumenical Religion Of The Global Family

As we turn more specifically to Nouwen’s foreword in DCL by Thomas Ryan, let me point out that Ryan is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher, a member of the Congregation of St. Paul, Paulists (CSP) in the Roman Catholic Church, and it really shouldn’t surprise any one following this issue of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism that the back cover of this book informs us that he “is Coordinator/Ecumenical Officer of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the Paulist Office of Ecumenism.” Hmm, can you sense a theme for this man’s work? We also know we’re not going to receive a Biblical perspective as Nouwen begins by telling us that “Thomas Ryan has written a very broadminded, eminently practical and deeply personal book about the Christian life” (1). The discerning will immediately notice a couple of things: A) This work is “very broadminded” and B) It will also be right in line with a liberal/existential, “this how I personally ‘feel’ about it” type of approach to the Christian faith. Both of these things have themselves become hallmarks of today’s psycho-self antichrist “Christian” message of the ECoD.

Nouwen then writes, “I am convinced that this book will be of great help and support to the many people who have a deep faith in Jesus…” Here again we see the rapacious results of relativism in our society. Those like Nouwen who persist in the transcendental meditation of Contemplative/Centering Prayer originally culled from the non-reasoning of Eastern Religions learn to shut down the critical reasoning process God has given us. Therefore they cannot understand that this alleged postmodernism is actually another fulfillment of Colossians 2:8 in that it takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. The absolute Truth is that just because Nouwen is subjectively “convinced” DCL is “of great help and support” to “people who have a deep faith in Jesus,” it doesn’t change the objective fact brought out by Ray Yungen in his book A Time of Departing that DCL “mixes Christianity with Hindu spirituality” (62). This becomes obvious in that Ryan is a certified yoga instructor and would mean that in reality DCL is actually quite harmful to anyone who has “a deep faith in Jesus.”

As we close out this look at the Emergent Interfaith Compromise next time you will see that these dialogues only end up dragging the professing Christian down into adding practices from these pagan religions into their own “worship”. In the sad case of Roman Catholic monk Thomas Merton, by the time of his “accidental” death he had virtually become a Buddhist. This is in large part due to the fact that this Contemplative/Centering Prayer at the very heart of this “spiritual formation” is truly just transcendental meditation in Christian terms. What we are trying to get people to understand is that those who practice it–regardless of their so-called faith traditions–eventually end up with the same testimony of experiencing the “light” and “love” of God flowing into their inner self/true self. Men and women, the main point I want you to take from my introductory piece on this crucial issue of our time is that these people are not actually experiencing God, but rather they are encountering deceiving spirits impersonating God. 2 Corinthians 11:4 warns the Christian and makes it quite clear that there is such a thing as another spirit one can be in danger of receiving.

Finally, as far as those in the other false religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, you have already seen that the Bible has told us in no uncertain terms these people are in reality offering their worship and sacrifices to demons and not to God. So what knowledge about the Lord could the true Christian possibly acquire from them? The truth is that child of God isn’t to learn about our Creator from pagans, rather as an ambassador of Christ, the job of the Christian is to proclaim the Gospel of salvation to these lost people. And it most cetrtainly is not to end up in Emergent Interfaith Compromise with them.