For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, ESV)

The Great “Enlightened Ones” Telling Us Through Rob Bell That We’re All Divine

As Apprising Ministries said in Phyllis Tickle and the Emerging Church: It’s Not If Sola Scriptura Ends But When the evangelical community chose to embrace these Emergent wolves and the price is just now beginning to be counted as only the very tip of a huge iceberg of apostasy is starting to reveal itself. Know this: People who have departed from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (see—1 Timothy 4:1) have already embedded themselves in evangelical leadership positions and are waiting for the right time to come emerging.

And we being this article by pointing out that in his Nooma DVD “Breathe” Rob Bell, the Elvis of the Emerging Church, tells us:

we’ve been breathed into by the Creator of the universe, and this divine breath is in every single human being ever. Like it’s written in the Psalms…Psalms 8 says that, “God has crowned us with glory and honor.” Glory and honor in this passage isn’t referring to God, it’s referring to the people God has made. We’re these sacred, divine, dirt clods…

The above was actually developed from a sermon Bell did on “breathing” back in 2005, which made the rounds on the Internet Front of the Truth War last year, where he also tells us—saying he’s using the words of Nelson Mandela:

There is a greatness [in mankind]. The writer here [of Psalm 8] uses the word “glory and honor” that resides in every single human being. Fragile and yet filled with the potential for glory and honor. I love how Nelson Mandela puts it in one of his writings. He says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

And then he concludes by saying, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to manifest the glory—put on display, to show—the glory of God that is within us.” He says, “you may be a dirt clod, but there is greatness and power and glory that resides in every singe human being.” (Week 330 05/29/05, audio sermon 12:27-13:28, transcription on file)

When AM first began documenting this departure from the faith by Rob Bell three years ago it was difficult to unpack what he was saying for the average Christian, being they are so taken with Bell’s exceptional communication skills. However, as the Emergent rebellion against Sola Scriptura has gained a stronger foothold within nearly comatose evangelicalism, who long ago traded their discernment skills for entertaining stories (see opening text), leaders in this postliberal cult like Rob Bell grow emboldened as they drift deeper into delusions taught by demons.

Case in point is his Sunday November 16, 2008 where Bell completely steps out of the closet of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster and tells his Christian congregation:

It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time. Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way. (I will say it again, and again, and again,  [5:41-6:23])

If you’re still tracking with (in English that’s following) me I return your attention now to the supposed “Mandela” quote where Guru Bell tells us “you may be a dirt clod, but there is greatness and power and glory that resides in every single human being.” Why is that; because “this divine breath is in every single human being ever.” And what has Bell taught us all along; that “breath” is spirit—it’s the heart of his whole shtick right down to “Nooma,” which is the phonetic spelling of the Greek word—pneuma, meaning “spirit.”

So, what Bell has just told you above is that God’s Spirit “is in every single human being ever.” We Biblically refute this particular myth in Understanding the New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind; but you need to know that Mandela didn’t write the words Bell attributes to him. No, as previously pointed out in Rob Bell and New Age Guru Marianne Williamson those words were actually penned by New Age Priestess Marianne Williamson in her book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles:

‘our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us the most.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, famous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just some of us; it’s in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. And as we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (190,191, emphasis mine)

Through Transcendental Meditation Demons Teach That Mankind Is Divine

But A Course in Miracles was channeled through Helen Schucman by a demon impersonating Jesus Christ. And here’s what’s being missed by most people; in Doctrines of Spiritism and Rob Bell, concerning our opening text Dr. Walter Martin, author of The Kingdom of the Cults, was quite right when he said that demons are very real and they do have teachings. And one of their classic doctrines in that in transcendental meditation the human being will find a higher consciousness. In different religions it’s called by different names e.g. transformation, enlightenment, but the end result is the belief that on some level mankind is divine.

So here now I will again remind you that the common connection between Christians like Bell and unregenerate unbelievers like Marianne Williamson lies in their belief that—only the mystics of each of these alleged “traditions” i.e. religions are the truly “great enlightened ones.” Along these same lines Christian Roshi Richard Foster, mentioned earlier, is thought by an increasing number of people to have rediscovered some of these enlightened ones in a Christian context. But in Evangelical Rip Van Winkles Employ Quaker Mystic Richard Foster For Bedtime Fables I pointed you to an excellent series on Mysticism done by Dr. Gary Gilley where he tells you that what Foster has actually done is to bring in:

classical mysticism [which] was virtually unknown in Evangelical circles until 1978 when Quaker minister Richard J. Foster published Celebration of Discipline, the Path to Spiritual Growth. Hailed by Christianity Today as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century and voted by the readers of that magazine as the third most influential book after the Bible, Celebration of Discipline has blown the doors off evangelicals’ understanding of spirituality. What Foster has done, in essense, is reintroduce to the church the so-called “masters of the interior life” as he likes to call the Medieval mystics.  He declares that they alone have discovered the key to true spiritual life and slowly, over the last few years, convinced multitudes that he is right. (Online source)   

And in any and all of these religions spoken of by Bell as we began this piece all of the mystics share a common pratice—transcendental medition. You may recall in Emerging Eastern-Style Meditation for Global Peace…and Worse… AM gave you an example which illustrates with crystalline clarity what I’ve been talking about here when we pointed out how in his 2004 book Speaking My Mind Tony Campolo wrote:

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 traditions but have much in common with each other

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?  (149, 150, emphasis mine)

As I close this for now let me begin to connect up some of these dots for you to help you round out the bigger picture. Previously in Who Is Phyllis Tickle? we showed you that Tickle, who claims to be an Episcopal Christian, is “currently a Senior Fellow of Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral.” The Washington National Cathedral (WNC) website gives some background concerning its “interfaith” message, having thrown out the exclusivity of the Christian Gospel:

Washington National Cathedral [which] is a church for national purposes, an Episcopal cathedral welcoming to people of all faiths and none. A unique blend of the spiritual and the civic, the Cathedral is a voice for a generous-spirited Christianity and a catalyst for reconciliation and interfaith dialogue that promotes respect and understanding. We invite everyone to become partners with us and share in our commitment to create a hopeful and just world. (Online source)

So you can see that this WNC is allegedly “an Episcopal” Christian church, but unfortunately, it’s actually just an extension of the spiritual black-hole of postliberal theology aka “Progressive Christianity.“ Continuing with along with the supposition that it is the mystic masters of the interior life within various religions being allegedly enlightened with true knowledge of God the WNC website gives us the lowdown on their Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage where we can learn more about transcendental mediation-lite for Christians aka Contemplative/Centering Prayer (Online source).

One of the worship practices of WNC is Sacred Circles, which is “A Celebration of Women’s Spirituality” where e.g. this coming February one can:

Be empowered to live with love as the collective priority for action. Join in this diverse chorus of voices and reap a harvest of pragmatic spiritual learning.

* Karen Armstrong invites us to practice compassion of all living beings
* Sakena Yacoobi on empowering 350,000 women and girls under the Taliban
* Joanna Macy reconnects us to a loving relationship with the living planet
* Beth Nielsen Chapman sings us together into the “human family songbook”
* Elizabeth Lesser encourages us to trust our emotional and spiritual intelligences  (Online source)

As you can see the historic orthodox Christian faith long ago left the building that is WNC. The video clip below is from the 2005 Sacred Circles event at WNC, which featured Marianne Williamson. And to give you a little peek at where we’re going with this coming Global Family of “God,” note once again the mantra all mystics eventually glean from the alleged enlightenment of their meditation, highlighted in the text below: The Spirit of God is already within all of mankind:

Thank you so much; it is such an honor to be here with all of you, and particularly to be on the pulpit at the National Cathedral. This Cathedral celebrates the common religious themes that bind Americans together. This is the place where our nation officially celebrates, what as a nation we have to celebrate, and mourns, what as a nation we have to mourn. A Cathedral such as this is a symbol of an inner space; the Gothic architecture points upward, we are reminded here, of a space more important than any building, and that is a space within our hearts.

Both Marjerie and Teirsa yesterday, speaking of the Jewish and the Christian traditions, spoke abut prayerfulness, spoke about the sacred feminine; and yet, there is more that goes on inside the temple of God as well. That temple space within us, and I believe that should be reflected in the temple space within the material world, is also a place—where according to both Judaism and Christianity; and other religions in their own way—it is recognized that God shall not be mocked. In A Course in Miraclesit points out that the line “God shall not be mocked” simply means, “He isn’t.” And in both the Jewish and Christian tradtions God is not pleased with hypocrites. (00:11-02:01)

Yikes; talk about speaking judgment upon oneself. O, how thankful should Williamson—and that counterfiet Christian Cathedral—be for God’s common grace because, for now, He chose to allow these hypocrites to mock Him that day.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not for me to say, nor is it for the spiritual and religious impulse of this great Cathedral to determine what your policial views should be about the Iraqui war—or anything else—however, for us to be true to the Spirit of God within us all, let us at least cry; let us at least mourn, let us at least grieve. (13:42-14:11)

I’d say we have a real spiritual sickness spreading within evangelicalism when Rob Bell, one of its most popular teachers of Christian youth, is preaching the exact same thing regarding God the Holy Spirit as an unbelieving pagan. And I must say that Marianne Williamson is right about one thing: Let us at least cry; let at least mourn, let us at least grieve…

See also:








Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Spencer Burke: More on hell and universalism