But [Jesus] answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”  (Matthew 4:4, NASB)

Christ Jesus Himself Is The One Who First Taught Us Sola Scriptura

This post was actually borne out of a couple of discussions I’ve been having lately with people indicative of those taking exception to some of what I have been writing lately here at Apprising Ministries concerning corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM). No doubt they feel that I’m trying to teach Christianity isn’t spiritual, which is not at all what I’m saying. In fact, no one credible writing concerning this spurious CSM masquerading as so-called Spiritual Formation, as espoused by Dallas Willard along with his friend Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic “Roshi” Richard Foster, is trying to say that worshiping God in spirit and in truth isn’t…well, spiritual.

No, the issue is not “spirituality” per se; the issue is: How in the Bible did God say we are to approach Him spiritually? Pastor Bob DeWaay gets to the heart of the matter in the ongoing case against mystic dreamers like Foster and Willard when he says:

There are ordained means in the New Testament, by which the Christian grows in the grace and knowledge of the Lord: the Word, ordinances, and prayer. Also, fellowship is a means of corporately sharing in the means of grace that God has given us. If by faith we avail ourselves of God’s ordained means, we are assured that Christ will thereby convey the benefits of His redemption to His people.

As in the Old Testament, to depart from God’s ordained means is to put oneself outside of God’s blessing and protection. Likewise, as in the Old Testament, even what God has ordained can be abused. For example, the Word can be misinterpreted, baptism can be viewed as a means of justification apart from faith, communion can be turned into a meritorious work, and prayer can be turned into a mystical process to seek new revelations. We not only need God’s ordained means, but we need to avail ourselves of them on His terms. (Online source)

The following from Gary Gilley will then shed additional light upon the very grave danger at the rotten root of this spirituality of the self as well as the current rebellion in the visible church against Sola Scriptura, which Dr. James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries has correctly pointed out was “the formal principle” of the Reformation:

I am often asked what I see as the next important challenge facing evangelical Christianity.  Such questions are asked in the wake of major movements that have changed the face of evangelicalism in the last two decades, including the market-driven church and the closely related “Purpose Driven Life” (PDL) campaigns that have so greatly impacted God’s people.  The legacy of both of these movements will not be that the church discovered new ways of worship, or new methodologies to replace the outdated.  Instead, I fear that they will be remembered by future generations for their undermining of the authority of Scripture. 

To be sure these movements were not the genesis of the lack of confidence in God’s Word – there have been many forerunners.  Actually they have capitalized upon this trend and have taken it to a new level.  It is not that everything the church growth experts and PDL espouses is wrong; it is that the authority for what the church now believes has shifted.  It has shifted from the infallible Scriptures to psychological and sociological experts, opinions of the masses, trends of the moment and the philosophy of pragmatism.  This shift has been subtle, which has made it all the more dangerous. 

Few have bothered to deny the Bible itself, they just misquote it, abuse its meaning, force their opinion on it, and if necessary mistranslate it to give the appearance that the Scriptures are backing their claims.  The affect of all of this scriptural manipulation is to both erode the authority of God’s Word and to give the appearance that what Scripture has to say isn’t really important.  It is only a short step from here to a Christian community that no longer has much use for the Bible. (Online source)

Men and women, it’s well past time for people to understand that this is precisely where the evangelicalism itself has now headed; because in order to follow Foster’s quasi-Christian mysticism-lite one must first abandon Sola Scriptura. Please; you really haven’t noted the highly ecumenical state within evangelicalism today? Case in point being Rick Warren, arguably the most famous minister in the Southern Baptist Convention—itself the largest allegedly “Protestant” denomination in the US—openly embracing apostate Roman Catholicism as a legitimate expression of the Christian faith. Look for yourself in SBC Protestant Pastor Rick Warren Double-Minded on the Reformation and Roman Catholicism, and he’s hardly alone in this completely subjective reversal of the Reformation.

As it concerns pretending to be Protestant evangelicalism’s sordid lust affair with self-centered CSM it’s vital that you come to know that in reality this is simply a reimagined version of the so-called “Christian” mysticism originating with heretical hermits and hermettes in the desert and which would later flower in the also antibiblical monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Now carefully consider the following by Dr. John MacArthur from 1994. Keep in mind this was also three years before the birth of the extremely ecumenical Emerging Church—the Trojan Horse of the Devil—through which Richard Foster et al would unload corrupt Quaker mysticism along with his own brand of neo-pietism into your local evangelical churches.

Actually what MacArthur wrote below has turned out to be quite prophetic as to why we are only now beginning to pay a very heavy price in forthcoming 1 Peter 4:17 judgments for years of “what does that verse mean to you” Bible teaching. And in addition MacArthur enlightens you as to why I have so often been discussing the subject of neo-orthodoxy:

Neo-orthodoxy is the term used to identify an existentialist variety of Christianity. Because it denies the essential objective basis of truth—the absolute truth and authority of Scripture—neo-orthodoxy must be understood as pseudo-Christianity… Thus while neo-orthodox theologians often sound as if they affirming traditional beliefs, their actual system differs radically from the historic understanding of the Christian faith.

By denying the objectivity of truth, they relegate all theology to the realm of subjective relativism. It is a theology perfectly suited for the age in which we live. And that is precisely why it is so deadly… [Contemplative Spirituality aka] Mysticism is perfectly suited for religious existentialism; indeed, it is the inevitable consequence. The mystic disdains rational understanding and seeks truth instead through the feelings, the imagination, personal visions, inner voices, private illumination, of other purely subjective means. Objective truth becomes practically superfluous. Mysticial experiences are therefore self-authenticating; that is, they are not subject to any form of objective verification.    

You can read further in Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) of Spiritual Formation is Reckless Faith. And so we come around here as to why men such as Emerging Church icon Rob Bell and his friend Emergent Church leader Doug Pagitt have laid spiritual landmines at the base of Sola Scriptura in an attempt to blow this foundational pillar of the Protestant Reformation out of the way. For God’s Word cuts straight across their flawed inclusive and “Progressive” postliberal delusions concerning a repainted Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of man, and the social reform of the neighborhood where you live. 

Now can you see why Sola Scriptura was, and is, the foundational principle for the Church of Jesus Christ? For it is in the Bible that God gives us the way He wants us to approach Him spiritually. In closing, I will say tragically evangelicalism, with its own reimagined version of apostate Roman Catholic mysticism, has right now foolishly placed itself right back onto the very same wrong road leading to the very same religious bondage which would finally cause God to raise up His Reformers in the first place. And what was it the Lord has already warned us through:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-10, ESV)

See also: