Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

What Are We Actually Talking About Concerning “Common Ground” Among Religions?

This piece from Apprising Ministries is designed to give you a little better understanding as to why “Progressive Christians” ala Marcus Borg or “Progressive Evangelicals” ala Tony Campolo or quasi-Christians involved with the Emerging Church like Guru Brian McLaren and Roshi Richard Foster are all excited about meditation pow wows with other “faith traditions” aka interspiritual “dialogues.” Here you’ll see from the words of those involved with antibiblical Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which is truly transcendental meditation-lite for the Christian, that they are coming to believe God is working even within these other world religions.

Essentially we’re witnessing a reimagined version of liberalism’s ficticious Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man, and social reform of whatever neighborhood you live in; it is a new form of liberalism, a postliberalism. But the real role of the actual Body of Christ has exactly zero to do with the bringing together of the world’s religions for the LORD God Almighty of the Bible. As I’ve said before you may find the following a little bit startling because this uniting of religions does happen to be the goal of the god of this age; at least for a time. Which brings us full circle to the vehicle with which Satan will eventually temporarily accomplish his unity among religions—Mystical Encounters.

From my studies concerning the amazing influx lately of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) right into mainstream evangelicalism itself, and CSM has already been an intregral part of dead mainline denominations for years, I can tell you that the one common thread I’ve seen in their interspiritual dialogues is the practice of meditation. However, no matter how many times those like Borg or Campolo repeat their mystic mantra these neo-Gnostics simply cannot establish any actual evidence whatsoever that this quasi-transcendental mediation was ever a part of Christ’s doctrine aka the Apostles’ teaching (see—Acts 2:42). This is because it’s beyond question that Jesus Himself never practiced or taught CSM and therefore neither did His Apostles.

If AM can survive financially, Lord willing, in forthcoming articles you’ll come to see from their own books that this supposedly Christian version of CSM, with its prime practice of CCP, is really the same numbing of the conscious mind in a vain attempt to “journey inward” down into the supposed “true” or “authentic” self such as that found in the meditation of pagan religions. Now, you can see more documentation on the following in John Main: Indian Swami A Holy Man of God so here I’ll just say that both Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker Guru of Contemplation Richard Foster and Emergent Church anti-theologian Tony Jones highly recommend the late Roman Catholic monk “Dom” John Main as a good source for learning how to practice the so-called “Christian” meditation of CCP.

However, in his Christian Meditation:The Gethsemani Talks (CMTGT) Main himself tells us that he actually learned how to meditate from a Hindu Swami. If meditation truly was a part of the “Christian tradition” as these mystic wannabes keep telling us, then don’t you find it a just a little bit odd that CCP had to be “corrected” by someone the Bible tells us is performing his religious “disciplines” to demons and not to God (see—1 Corinthians 10:20)? Yet Main informs us:

My teacher was an Indian swami… I was deeply impressed by his peacefulness and calm wisdom… For the swami, the aim of meditation was the coming to awareness of the Spirit of the Universe who dwells in our hearts and he recited these verses from the Upanishads: “He contains all things,…and, in silence, is loving to all. This is the Spirit that is in my heart. This is Brahman.” The swami read this passage with such devotion and such meaning I asked him if he would accept me as a pupil to teach me how to meditate in his way…

He said: “To meditate you must become silent… In our tradition we know only one way in which you can arrive at that stillness,…a word that we call a mantra. To meditate, what you must do is to choose this word and then repeat it, faithfully, lovingly, and continually… And during the time of your meditation there must be in your mind no thoughts,… The sole sound will be the sound of your mantra, your word.

The mantra…is like a harmonic…within ourselves as we begin to build up a resonance…[which] leads us forward to our own wholeness… We begin to experience the deep unity we all possess in our own being. And then the harmonic begins to build up a resonance between you and all creatures and all creation and a unity between you and your Creator.” I would often ask the swami: “How long will this take? How long will it take me to achieve enlightenment?” But the swami would either ignore my crassness or else would reply with the words that really sum up his teaching and wisdom: “Say your mantra.” 
(11, 12, 13, italics his)

Amazingly Main, allegedly a Christian, is accepting that this unregenerate master teacher of a pagan religion is indwelt by the Holy Spirit because he read a passage of “the Upanishads” with “such meaning and such devotion.” And not only that but Main is later asked in CMTGT by a fellow Benedictine monk, “How important was it to meditate in the first instance with your teacher, your guru, the holy Hindu Swami?” Yep, you read that right; a Roman Catholic priest, which in apostate Roman Catholicism is supposedly a type of “holy man” himself, just called an unsaved pagan teacher of a false polytheistic religion “the holy Hindu Swami.”

So for argument’s sake right now let’s just say that Roman Catholic priests like Main really are Christians. Here now is the answer from his Christian brother John Main:

It was certainly a very great help to me. He was a man of very deep and very evident holiness and power, and just to be with him was to know you were in the presence of the power of a really radiant human being… I learned to meditate with a man who was not a Christian but he certainly believed in God—Knew God—and, as I read to you from The Upanishads the other night, he had a deeply vital sense of God dwelling within him. Now it may be significant that it was not until 15 years later after I learned to meditate with him that I began dimly to understand what my master had taught me and to understand the incredible richness of its full expression in the Christian. (46, 47, italics his).

There you can also see the rotten root of the idea currently perpretrated by the Emergent Church about experiencing God in “the Other.” Leaving that aside for now, it serves our purposes here for me to draw to your attention exactly what the above now would mean. We’d have a Christian entrusted as an ambassador of Jesus Christ to preach His exclusive Gospel who has just told us someone so deeply immersed in a false religion that he was in fact a Swami teaching this religion actually “knows” God. Men and women, what is more we’d now have a child of the living God groveling at the feet of someone sacrificing to demons—who ultimately worships Satan—and referring to him, instead of Jesus Christ, as “my master.”

Now statements like, “It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts” by Brian McLaren or, “there’s going to be no difference between the way God going to interact with you when you die and the way God’s going to interact with a Muslim when a Muslim dies” by Doug Pagitt should begin to make more sense to you. In fact it’s all pretty much along the same lines as the following from the late “Spiritual Master” M. Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating—yet another of these Living Spiritual Teachers, both heroes of those practicing CSM and who are also renowned for their supposed “expertise” in teaching CCP:

In the course of the years, sitting in silent prayer, beyond where words can interfere, men and women of many diverse traditions have come together. In that deeper place a oneness is experienced that gives assurance and heart to our feeble ecumenical efforts and interreligious dialogues. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has said that if one percent of the people would meditate we will have peace. Jesus spoke of the leaven that will leaven the whole. (Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer, 10,11, emphasis mine)

Meditation Will Transform [Transcend] Mankind’s Various Religious Beliefs Into “Unity”

Can you imagine the sheer absurdity and thick spiritual blindness in attempting to make Jesus agree with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi!? Yikes fellas come back to earth, even the stoned out Beatles could see through his mystic mumbo jumbo. But what do all of the men mentioned above have in common; the practice of so-called “Christian” meditation. In closing this for now I’ll give you one more quite contemporary example of the rotten universal fruit produced through prolonged practice of this spurious CSM masquerading as Christian Spiritual Formation (SF). The very same SF, I will add, as currently espoused in The Cult of Guru Richard Foster e.g. by Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard

In the following we will clearly see an obvious bias in favor of Islam by Tony Campolo, which you’ll be able to note below from his book Speaking My Mind (SMM). And in addition you can also notice that Emergent Evangelical Prophet Tony Campolo will prophesy about how CSM, and most specifically Contemplative/Centering Prayer, will be an instrument of coming unity between the many religions:

a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God, which seem at odds with their own spiritual traditionsbut have much in common with each other. (149)

Men and women with this spurious CSM, which is really a neo-Gnostic New Spirituality, now slithering into your churches and youth groups you really need to begin to recognize the language of the theological agenda behind it. As I have warned you many times before this reimagined so-called “Christian” Mysticism is itself a form of transcendental meditation. What practioners of CSM are excited about is this experience some call “ecstatic union”—allegedly with God—while others use terms like “transformation” or “enlightenment.” And this transformation through meditation is what these mystic wannabes see as the “common ground” within the various “faith traditions,” which is their rather nebulous term encompassing other world religions. Mystics all believe at some level that their particular brand of meditation—whatever name they ascribe to it—is the necessary tool to journey down inside themselves to find the divine, or God, within.

It’s often referred to a “a divine spark” in classic mysticism but “Christian” mysticism-lite usually calls this the “true self.” Whichever way you slice it the goal is to accomplish further inward transformation aka the enlightenment of man. Just think back to what you read above from “Christian” Guru Main above. You see, many in the New Age version of transcendental meditation feel that eventually through meditation man is going to come to see that we’re really all worshiping the same “God.” Hopefully now you should begin to understand why it is that these people are laboring so hard to try and get people to put aside their “differnces” to instead be willing to learn from each “religious tradition.” And this is because—in their dead wrong view—every religion contains at least some vestiges of truth left from mankind’s original knowledge of the Reality; the Sacred, the mysteries of God etc., etc., blah, blah.

The question you’d better start asking your church leaders is: What in the world are these types of wrong teachings completely counter to the historic orthodox Christian faith doing in our evangelical churches? Or as you can see in Tony Campolo to Enlighten Southern Baptists in Virginia whole state conventions of the pretending to be Protestant Southern Baptist Convention. So with all of this in mind now let’s consider what Tony Campolo is going to tell you in SMM: 

I don’t know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystic experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism?… The founder of this movement was Hasan Al Basri (A.D. 642-728)… [Basri’s] attempt to bring about religious reform very much paralleled the path of Francis [of Assisi], both in style and spiritual direction. Both men sensed a sacred presence in everything and claimed to have experienced a mystical union with God. (149, 150)

As I pointed out in Tony Campolo: “Christian Mysticism” Trumps the Bible (Part 2) it really shouldn’t be too hard at this point to realize here Campolo is suggesting that subjective mystic encounters are indeed valid expressions of experiencing God. We note that on the next page of SMM, in true mystic fashion, Campolo says, “we will never know in this life who has this mystical involvement with the resurrected Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and who does not” (151). Well, I suggest Tony ought to skip his next CCP session and actually read the Bible for a change because if he does, for example, Campolo could see:

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13)

While everyone has a right to believe whatever they want to about God, and that right—to believe not the belief itself—should be respected, those practicing religions which deny Who Jesus is cannot be indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. However, in spite of the Biblical truth I just taught you as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in Speaking My Mind Tony Campolo simply goes on with his futile and completely subjective speculation that, “It may also be the case that many who never would have called themselves Christians were truly possessed by Christ and will be invited into the eternal kingdom.” Men and women, now you have seen why people who share this belief are more interested in getting “faith-based” religious people working together to “solve Global problems” while performing acts of social reform than they are in seeing souls saved.

This becomes crystal clear for those who have eyes to see as Tony Campolo tells sleepy evangelicals, doing their fabulous impression of Rip Van Winkle, a little bed-time story as they drift deeper into their spiritual coma:

A leading evangelist told me about an encounter he had with a non-Christian during a trip through China that raised the possibility. While there, he visited a monastery, and as he entered the walled-in gardens of the place, he noticed one of the monks in deep meditation. At the prompting of the Spirit, he went over to talk to the man, and with his translator, he explained the story of Jesus. He opened the New Testament and showed him what the Bible taught about salvation.

As he spoke, he noticed the monk was visibilty moved. Actually, there were tears in the monk’s eyes. My friend, the evangelist, then asked, “Won’t you accept this Jesus into your heart and let Him be your personal Savior?” The monk answered with surprise, “Accept Him? How can I accept Him into my life when He is already there? All the vine you were telling me about Him, His Spirit within me was affiming the truth of what you were saying. Constantly I heard His Spirit say, “He’s is talking of Me! He is talking of Me!” I do not need to accept Him. He is already in me, affirming the message of your Bible. I have known Him for a very long time.”

My friend asked me, “Was this man possessed by Jesus before I ever arrived? Was he a Christian before he knew the name of Jesus? And, if I had not come with the gospel message, would God accept him on the Day of Judgment?” I don’t know how to answer the questions my friend posed, but I do know this: we should preach the gospel to every living creature and let the judgment of who is saved and who is lost fall into the hands of the Judge of the universe. (151, 152) 

Sounds very pious; and there is an element of truth in what Campolo has been saying: No, we human beings cannot “know” precisely “who has had this mystical involvement” with the Lord. However, the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Scriptures has already told us who cannot “be possessed by Jesus.” For example, speaking by this Spirit Jesus Himself says to a practicing Buddhist monk who denies Christ’s true nature — “if you do not believe that I Am [the Eternal God] you will die in your sins”(John  8:24, Greek). But by now you should be able to see what’s been going on with contemplatives e.g. like Rob Bell who openly attack Sola Scriptura—and does so from the sanctity of your youth groups.

In the end, the result of the mystic musings of those like Campolo et al actually negates the text of the Bible in favor of the existential “feelings” of their own highly subjective imaginations. Prayerfully another time I’ll show you in more detail that they feel those who are also involved with the practice of meditation can also come to know God even though they may not know Jesus because of their wrong belief that within all of mankind there’s already a spark of the divine. But it’s not like they’re hiding this; don’t you remember the Nooma DVD “Breathe” by Rob Bell where he says, “this divine breath [i.e. Spirit] is in every single human being” [booklet, 015]?

And the sad fact is, this spiritually mortal musing really is as old as mystic delusion itself:

“I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14)