But if I say, “I will not remember Him, Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire, Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.
(Jeremiah 20:9)

Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism Leads To Reimagined Neo-Gnostic Asceticism

The original Cult of Liberal Theology, centered on the self (mankind) as it is, it’s still around in the form of “Progressive Christians” such as Marcus Borg, would often point to the Sermon on the Mount while it very skillfully played the heartstrings of humans concerning what someone like Emergent Church Guru Brian McLaren refers to as “global problems.”  Apprising Ministries has no quibble with that term because they are legitimate problems and they are global. Our difference is in our approach to soteriology and how to deal with said global problems.

What I draw your attention to here is the grave danger that your youth are in spiritually as they are thrown to Emerging Church icons and dreamers e.g. like Rob Bell and his friend Emerging Church Pastor Doug Pagitt who downplay and even obscure the genuine Gospel with its regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Today I do warn you in the Spirit that you had best soon come to recognize this time in which you are now living or you too will be swept away in these rapidly accelerating deceptions.

The sad fact is that today’s man-centered postevangelicalism with its Emerging rebellion against Sola Scriptura has now begun a deadly dance of deception with a neo-pietism fueled by the spurious Spiritual Formation of Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster and his spiritual twin ordained Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard. A false spirituality which is itself rooted in the asceticism of apostate Roman Catholicism.

Simply, asceticism refers to exercises and practices which a religious person puts themselves through that are thought to bring the body under subjection in a pursuit of more supposed spiritual purity. The following from Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo shows you that the Apostle Paul was even dealing with this kind of wrong teaching in the Book of Colossians:

The false teachers interposed a barrier between God and God’s people. They thought of elemental spirits that stood in the way and permitted access to God only by the path of asceticism. In the face of all such claims, Paul stresses the supremacy of Christ, who is “the image of the invisible God,” the one who brought creation about and holds it together, supreme over creation, preeminent in everything. And together with all this, he is “the head of the body, the church,” the one who made peace by the blood he shed on the cross (1:15-20). This combination of the greatness of Christ and of his saving work for believing runs through the epistle. It makes nonsense of any claim that other powers are involved in bringing people to God or that meritorious practices like asceticism pave the way.
(Online source)

But the huge problem with this reimagined neo-gnostic Contemplative/Spirituality/Mysticism repainted as it is from heretical Roman Catholic monks and nuns is that those who practice this very wrong approach to Christian spirituality ultimately receive a deception that these so-called spiritual disciplines will make one more pleasing and/or closer to God. Often these fools will refer to it as a “mystical union with God.” The feeling of euphoria which comes with their unbiblcal Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP) convinces them that they are “bathed in God’s love” and “one” with Him and for many even with the creation itself.

Study the musings of these messed-up mystics as I have and you’ll also often see them refer to the Sermon of the Mount as the ideal mankind is to live by—the really deceived like the aformentioned Borg will see Buddha as teaching the same ideals as Christ. Borg even goes so far as to reimagine [read: redefine] what being “born again” means so he can include his idol the unregenerate pagan Buddha as you’ll see in Marcus Borg: Buddha Was Born Again. Long story short these mystics believe that their CCP i.e. transcendental meditation-lite for Christians brings an “enlightenment” allowing them to follow the ideals Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount.

The Life Of The Genuine Christian Is Impossible In The Flesh

This is why, for example, so many of these “Christian” mystic meditators today revere the Dali Lama, a seducing spirit currently one mere heartbeat from Hell. However, in the devotion below from Oswald Chambers he is dead on target when he echoes the teachings of his Master Christ Jesus — “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). Not an ideal at all; what our Creator has just told us is that unless one is regenerated i.e. a new creation he has zero chance of ever living up to the perfection of our holy God as outlined in the Sermon on the Mount:

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
(Matthew 5:41)

The summing up of Our Lord’s teaching is that the relationship which He demands is an impossible one unless He has done a supernatural work in us. Jesus Christ demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice. No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His worker, only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Himself which has gone through the mill of His spring-cleaning until there is only one purpose left – I am here for God to send me where He will. Every other thing may get fogged, but this relationship to Jesus Christ must never be.

The Sermon on the Mount is not an ideal, it is a statement of what will happen in me when Jesus Christ has altered my disposition and put in a disposition like His own. Jesus Christ is the only One Who can fulfil the Sermon on the Mount.

If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must be made disciples supernaturally; as long as we have the dead set purpose of being disciples we may be sure we are not. “I have chosen you.” That is the way the grace of God begins. It is a constraint we cannot get away from; we can disobey it, but we cannot generate it. The drawing is done by the supernatural grace of God, and we never can trace where His work begins. Our Lord’s making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are easy to us naturally; He only asks us to do the things we are perfectly fitted to do by His grace, and the cross will come along that line always. (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, 198, 199)