All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27, ESV) 

The Christian Is An Ambassador of Jesus Christ To Speak For God, Not Man

My friend Jim Luppachino has an interesting post at Watcher’s Lamp called Mysticism Melds Muslims & Mary where he brings a press release from The Islamic Republic News Agency to our attention:

The book ‘Jesus and Mary in Islamic Mysticism’ written by the late noted German scholar Annemarie Schimmel was published in Croatian language in Croatia… Annemarie Schimmel (1922–2003) was a well-known and very influential German Islamologist who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism.

She mainly focused on the personalities of Jesus Christ and Mary in Islam with references from the holy Qur’an and Persian literature…  Annemarie Schimmel had said on this book: “I wrote this work to show my compatriots the strength of the links between Islam and Christianity. I hope that Muslims’ respect for Jesus, son of Mary, and their love for Mary could be a link between these two religions. (Online source)

As nice as “Muslims’ respect for Jesus” may sound, to quote C.S. Lewis—famed favorite of the Emerging Church—from Mere Christianity, Jesus hasn’t left us the option of simply “respecting” Him:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. (56)

Luppachino also points out that April 26 the New York Open Center will be presenting a workshop called Mary And Jesus In Islam And Sufism:

Many Christians do not realize that in Islamic mysticism the figures of Mary and Jesus are venerated as archetypes of purity and sainthood. In these two half-day workshops, which will include meditation, the contemplation of particular themes, PowerPoint presentations and group discussions of specially translated texts, we will look at how this link between the two faiths offers common ground for fruitful ecumenical dialogue,… (Online source

You’ll also see in the Apprising Ministries piece Roman Catholicism Spawned The Current Apostasy In Evangelicalism that all of this man-centered mysticism does indeed have such ecumenical dialogue at its heretical heart. This can be observed within the writings of apostate (at best) Roman Catholic monks like Thomas Merton, his friend the late “Spiritual Master” M. Basil Pennington, “Living Spiritual Teacher” Brother David Stendl-Rast and  Thomas Keating—yet another—of these Living Spiritual Teachers of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM).

These teachers of a counterfeit Christianity have long felt that their transcendental meditation-lite, referred to as Contemporary/Centering Prayer (CCP), is the key for “common ground” in helping bring “faith traditions” i.e. other religions into a oneness. For example, here’s Pennington and Keating from their book Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer:

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. (10,11, emphasis mine)

And this type of lunacy in the Lord’s Name, once largely confined within rancid Roman Catholicism, has now been dragged right into the heart of evanjellyfish through what is now being called Emergence Christianity, which they arrogantly tout as the next reformation. Right in line with these Roman Catholic mystics of myth e.g. we now have Emergence icon Rob Bell spewing foolishness like “The Great Enlightened Ones” Tell Us Man Has Divine Greatness. Consider the following from a couple of other heroes for humanistic humanitarian “Christianity” Tony Campolo and his duped disciple Shane Claiborne.

In Tony Campolo: “Christian Mysticism” Trumps The Bible (Part 2) I discuss an interview Claiborne conducted with Campolo called On Evangelicals And Interfaith Cooperation, which ran a couple of years ago in Cross Currents. Concerning so-called “inter-religious cooperation” between missionaries of Islam and Christianity Campolo’s comrade Claiborne asks the self-professed “progessive evangelical” Red Letter Christian Tony Campolo if those involved in these interfaith/interspirital peace powwows “need to stop trying to convert each other.”

Now note in his answer below how Campolo is quite careful to even include practicing Muslims among those who are what he calls “God’s people”:

SC: Both Muslims and Christians are very evangelical in the sense of desiring others to come to faith in their God. When we talk about inter-religious cooperation, does that mean that we need to stop trying to convert each other?

TC: We don’t have to give up trying to convert each other. What we have to do is show respect to one another. And to speak to each other with a sense that even if people don’t convert, they are God’s people, God loves them, and we do not make the judgment of who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. (Online source)

We’ve been trying to warn you for a while now that your evangelical churches ignore this Emerging inclusivism of this Emergence Christianity, which is actually the new de-formation of the visible church, at great spiritual peril; particularly for your youth. Out of one side of his very active mouth, and he’s hardly alone in this, Campolo will tells us that Christians don’t have to give up “trying to convert” Muslims; but then out of the other side of it he goes on to say “that even if people don’t convert, they are God’s people.”

But such is the idiocy of the postmodern/postliberal double-speak and this is also the reason why these Emergent rebels against Sola Scriptura place orthopraxy i.e. involvement in social causes ahead of orthodoxy. Emerging mystical “missional churches” don’t have to be concerned with preaching the genuine gospel; because  if practicing pagans really “are God’s people,” then why would Christians ever need to risk offending another person of God; and in some more hardcore Muslim countries, even put put their own lives at risk, in order to try to convert them?

Misguided Marriage Of Emergence Theory And Mystic Man-Love As A Theology Of Hope

The question should now be convert these people to what? According to mystics like Campolo and Claiborne practicing Muslims are already God’s people. And now you know why Emergence Christianity isn’t really all that concerned with the primary mission of the Christian — 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 (2 Corinthians 5:20, NASB). In the throes of their deception they become convinced all religions, in some way, are of God; but the truth is, they are not. 

And this brings us back around to the perilous dangers involved with CSM and its meditation, which is an altered state of consciousness that eventually leads one into a flawed perception of reality. There’s a very real reason why we are now hearing about this Emergence; space doesn’t allow further discussion, so here I’ll simply show you that it’s tied to something called “emergence theory.” In the book A is for Abductive, Leonard Sweet, Brian McLaren, and Jerry Haselmayer tell us “E is for Emergence”; and as they explain this theory you’ll understand why Emergent theology is so community-oriented.

Briefly they tell us Emergence is “an approach to science that is sensitive to the ways a whole can become more than the sum of its parts…” (107). One of the main reasons why these Apostles of Unbelief are high on Emergence is therein they find a vehicle into which they can also incorporate the theory of evolution along with the Christian faith; because, in their delusion, Emergence theory is:

A postmodern way out of the science versus Scripture, creation versus evolution (“evil-ution”) wars. Emergence theory incorporates into an intellectual and spiritual framework ancient and recent arguments of intelligent design (focusing on diversity and complexity) with certain aspects of evolution (natural selection and the fossil record).

In this view, part of the goodness of Creation is an inherent potential to generate new possibilities so that more and more goodness can emerge. Emergence is a faith-friendly view of the world that dethrones reductionist [i.e. analytical] thinkers… (108 109) 

For those who wish to look further into all of this and what it means to Emergence Christianity, I highly recommend the new book The Emergent Church: Undefining Christianity by Bob DeWaay where he skillfully brings out just why it is so many Emerging Church leaders e.g. McLaren and Rob Bell are so enamored with quasi-Buddhist Ken Wilber. Famed for his integral theory” DeWaay points out that, like all mystics, Wilbur also believes meditation “advances consciousness” so it’s really no wonder “various versions of meditation are popular in Emergent Churches” (188).

Now specific to this article, in the case of someone practicing Islam—which patently denies the Deity of Christ—God has already informed us of the tragic result of that denial when Jesus says — “unless you believe that I Am [the eternal God], you will die in your sins” (John 8:24, Greek). Here the Lord has left no wiggle room for any patronizing “respect.” In closing this for now, just as all mystics who practice the CCP of spurious CSM long enough, Campolo has developed an obvious bias in favor of mystical Sufi Islam as you’ll be able to note below from his book Speaking My Mind (SMM). 

And in the following you’ll also see Emergent Evangelical Prophet Tony Campolo prophesy about how CSM, most specifically CCP, will be an important instrument for the coming antichrist 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 traditions but have much in common with each other. (149)

Now you should better be able to understand Luppachino’s point in bringing the above issues to our attention. Mysticism aka contemplative spirituality or spiritual formation is most definitely a major factor in bringing about a unity among the religions of fallen mankind; but it is not a Biblical one, because no real union with the one true and living God can be arrived at unless one is in Christ. But, for the mystic, what Scripture says takes a back seat; if it’s even in the car at all. For they are driven by their experiences, which couldn’t be clearer as Campolo goes on to speculate 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, emphasis mine)

Can you now begin to recognize the language of the theological agenda of this neo-Gnostic New Spirituality? This so-called “Christian” mysticism is another form of transcendental meditation with an experience of “ecstatic union,” allegedly with God, which then becomes the “common ground” uniting these various “faith traditions.” Mystics of all religions, those alleged “enlightened ones” Rob Bell speaks of above, believe—at some level—that their particular brand of meditation is essential in the necessary journey down inside themselves to find “God” whom they believe is already within mankind.

But now the following from the Bible, which these mystics would love to be rid of, should come across with bone-chilling force:

every inclination of [man’s] heart is evil from childhood… There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death… The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? …[men] are evil… What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly…

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires… I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out… The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Genesis 8:21; Proverbs 16:25; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 7:11; Mark 7:20-22; Romans 7:18, 8:5-8)

See also: