They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. (1 John 2:19)

Back To The Dark Ages

Apprising Ministries is glad to see in 9 Marks: Intervarsity Press Seems Adrift that at least one of the more  middle-of-the-road mainstream evangelical ministries may finally see what we in the field of online apologetics and discernment ministry have been trying to tell you all along. We’ve been faithfully laboring to warn that apostatizing pretending to be Protestant evangelicalism is paying a heavy price for its foolish embrace of the sinfully ecumenial Emerging Church aka Emergent Church—which morphed into Emergence Christianity (EC).

I’ve pointed out before that the EC was a Trojan Horse which unloaded corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster—and his spiritual twin Dallas Willard—within the mainstream of evangelicalism. It’s also beyond question that this CSM—rooted as it is in the Counter Reformation spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism—masquerading as spurious Spiritual Formation was planted within the EC as a key core doctrine right from its inception.

Sadly this EC rebellion against the proper Christian spirituality of Sola Scriptura is really Liberalism 2.0, which has already been installed into your evangelical Young Adult and Youth Groups, and comes complete with this CSM virus that goes about short-circuiting critical thinking skills. Being I’m still with the Southern Baptist Convention, for now, I’ll give you a perfect example from within the Slowly Becoming Catholic using America’s Megapastor—Leadership Network‘s propped up Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren.

AM’s shown you e.g. in SBC Protestant Pastor Rick Warren Double-Minded On The Reformation And Roman Catholicism that for all intents and purposes Warren is about as Protestant as Pope Benedict XVI himself. In Rick Warren And Peter Scazzero Up To Monk-ee Business I reminded you that at his upcoming conference Radicalis next month at Saddleback Church, which also features Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley, Warren is all set to pronounce his PDL blessing upon an “evangelical” CSM guru by the name of Peter Scazzero.

Here we give you look at some of the fruit of Scazzero’s man-centered and warped work. For example, under the subheading Faithful to Your True Self  in The Emotionally Healthy Church Scazzero ever so quietly coos:

I want to ask these questions: Does how I am living my life fit my God-given nature? Does it fit my true self (to use Thomas Merton’s terminology in his Seeds of Contemplation)? (144)

Then to make the point he’s advancing, as it concerns his CSM psycho-babble concept of living within our God-given abilities, because it’s supposedly the way to avoid living “frustrated and angry lives” Scazzero goes on to quote the deceased universalist Henri Nouwen; who just like CSM Golden Buddha Thomas Merton, was also a Roman Catholic monk much closer to the Buddha than the Christ. And this romanticizing of these heroes of the Roman Catholic Church is all a part of the rotten fruit of this CSM, which really ought to send up a flag of the deepest crimson.

As I’ve said before, if you want to make the time you can see Merton’s nauseating idolatry for yourself from his own diary in Thomas Merton And The Buddhas as he describes feeling “a sense of beauty and spiritual validity running together in one aesthetic illumination” while standing before the Buddha statues at Polonnaruwa. And Nouwen’s personal practice of CSM would lead him to this antichrist doctrine:

Today I personally believe that Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her way to God. (Sabbatical Journey, 51)

Yet we see an egregious example of this revisionist history in Scazzero’s first book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality under the subheading Discovering God’s Will And Your Emotion. While Scazzero’s leading what amounts to a group therapy session, and helping us not feel “defective,” he shares about his coming to “be honest about my feelings (72).” Regeneration is then obfuscated here in favor of pop psychology while Scazzero explains that he “also began the journey to know myself that I might know God.”  And then our “Protestant” spiritual director wannabe tells us:

It wasn’t till later that I began to learn of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, and his classic work on the importance of maintaining a balance between our reason (intellect) and feelings (heart). His development of a set of guidelines that respected the important place of our emotions in discerning God’s will has served believers for 450 years.

He rightly emphasized the foundation of a complete commitment to do God’s will, follow Scripture, and seek wise counsel. Yet in addition, he provided excellent guidlines for sorting out how God speaks to us through the raw material of our emotions. The issue is not, by any means, to blindly follow our feelings, but to acknowledge them as a part of the way God communicates to us.

Ignatius explored the difference between consolations (those interior movements and feelings that bring life, joy, peace, and the fruit of the Spirit) and desolations (that which brings us “death,” inner turmoil, disquiet, and “spiritual turbulence”). With this inner awareness of what we are feeling in our insides, Ignatius echoed the apostle John, who said “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God (1 John 4:1). (73)

Here I do find a point of agreement with Pete Scazzero; we should follow what God has told us through His inspired vessel John, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits. And when we do, we’ll see below that Scazzero is just making stuff up concerning Ignatius of Loyola, who was the founder of the militantly pro-Roman Catholic Church spiritual Gestapo Unit known as the Jesuits. And whether his work is “classic” or not really depends upon one’s view of the Reformation; for you see, actual history shows that Ignatius and his Jesuits weren’t exactly friendly toward the Lord’s Reformers. 

Scratching Itching Evangelical Ears And Romanticizing Roman Catholic Mystics

In The Story of Christianity historian Justo Gonzalez tells us of an alleged vision that would radically change Ignatius’ life. Gonzalez explains that:

[Ignatius] then went on a pilgrimage to the hermitage of Montserrat, where,…he devoted himself to the service of His Lady, the Virgin,…his spirit, tormented—as Luther’s had been earlier—by a profound sense of his sin. His account…is strikingly similar to Luther’s…” (Vol. II, 117)

Ah, but the reaction of each man to this revelation of their own sinfulness would turn out to be radically different; and I might add diametrically opposed, as Gonzalez informs us:

At this point, however, the parallelism between Luther and Loyola breaks down, for while the German friar set out on a path that would eventually lead to an open break with the Catholic Church, the Spaniard took the opposite track. From then on [Ignatius] devoted his life, no longer to the monastic quest for his own salvation, but now to the service of the church and her mission. (ibid.)

We have a serious problem because above Scazzero told us that Ignatius of Loyola developed “a set of guidelines” for “discerning God’s will” that has “served believers for 450 years,” and yet, it would be those very guidelines for supposedly discerning God’s will that led him “to the service of the [Roman Catholic C]hurch.” And since Ignatius of Loyola, as well as his Jesuits, denied the Gospel and Sola Scriptura right along with Rome, as a former Roman Catholic how then am I supposed to believe Scazzero that he “rightly emphasized” a “complete commitment” to “do God’s will, [and] follow Scripture”?

Answer: I can’t; and I don’t, and neither should you. As I close this out for now, I will remind you that in the preface to “The Vintage Spiritual Classics Editon” of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius the late Avery Dulles, who was himself a Jesuit, tells us these exercises recapitulate (briefly restate):

some of the finest fruits of medieval spirituality and stands at the opening of a new age. It thus marks a crucial turning point in the history of [Roman] Catholic spirituality. St. Ignatius, as much as any individual, might be said to represent the transition from medieval to modern [Roman] Catholicism. He and his companions, even before they became aware of the Reformation as a threat, were at work revitalizing the [Roman Catholic] faith in southern Europe. In the mid-sixteenth century they vigorously opposed the tide of the Reformation in regions such as Austria, Bavaria, the Rhineland, and Poland.

They [the Jesuits] struggled mightily to recapture England and Scotland for the [Roman] Catholic faith. They spearheaded the [Roman Catholic] Church’s missionary thrust to the New World of the Americas as well as to Northern Africa, India, and East Asia. Favoring the growing centralization of the Church, they worked closely with the popes, as have their successors even to our own generation. In all these endeavors they used The Spiritual Exercises as their handbook. (xiii, xiv, emphasis mine)

The following is from the online edition of Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatuis, 337 through 370, from the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Oregon Province:


Let the following Rules be observed. 

First Rule
. The first: All judgment laid aside, we ought to have our mind ready and prompt to obey, in all, the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church Hierarchical.

Second Rule
. The second: To praise confession to a Priest, and the reception of the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar once in the year, and much more each month, and much better from week to week, with the conditions required and due.

Third Rule
. The third: To praise the hearing of Mass often, likewise hymns, psalms, and long prayers, in the church and out of it; likewise the hours set at the time fixed for each Divine Office and for all prayer and all Canonical Hours.

Thirteenth Rule
. To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed. (Online source, emphasis mine)

Now you tell me: Is the above really rightly emphasizing a complete commitment to follow Scripture and to do God’s will; or is it slavery to the Roman Catholic Church, which Dr. John MacArthur has rightly called Satan’s best front for the Kingdom of God. And so the critical question before us really becomes: Why are evangelical leaders in general, as well as leaders in the SBC, mute when men like Rick Warren and Peter Scazzero defecate upon the blood of the Reformers who were brutally murdered at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church, to which men like Ignatius of Loyola had sold their very souls.

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