Apprising Ministries continues documenting the growing influence of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) right into the timid heart of the squishy evanjellyfish pretending to be Protestant community. I’ve told you that the main catalyst for this spiritual skubalon is the Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin, Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard; both of whom teach the same spurious spirituality, which they’ve been pawning off for years as so-called Spiritual Formation.

Though it’s metastasized throughout the church visible now through the spiritual cancer that is the neo-liberal cult of the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church, don’t you kid yourselves; the CSM of Foster-Willard-ism has long been used undercover right within your mainstream evangelical seminaries since at least the early ’80’s. So, if you’re brave enough, and if he’s (and sadly, she’s) honest enough, go ask your own pastor if they ran into this themselves. And this brings me now to my follow up post to *UPDATE* Frank Viola Practices Corrupt Contemplative/Centering Prayer?

In Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, And Mystic Meister Eckhart I had told you that I have read an advanced copy of Jesus Manifesto (JM), which is the new book by Frank Viola and his friend Emergent Church “evangelical” theologian Leonard Sweet released on June 1. I’ve begun to show you that both Viola and Sweet leave much to be desired theologically to begin with from a Reformation theology viewpoint. As far as some of us are concerned, all the heavy emphasis upon “community” and capitulation to postmodernity in Emergent Church circles is looking the part of the rise of some kind of fascism in a spiritual form. [1]

That aside, in the prior article concerning Frank Viola’s own testimony of his becoming involved with spurious CSM somewhere around 1993 I explained how it was I even came to know about a series of articles about Frank Viola at Truthspeaker’s Weblog. And, while I do not know who runs this website, I was made aware that they had referred to a “report from Herescope (source)”. [2] I then pointed out that the Herescope post being spoken of is The Other Side of Emergent: The New Apostolic Reformation, which was posted on June 1, the day JM came out.

We’re told:

Sweet and Viola’s book, Jesus Manifesto, is subtitled “Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ,” and it pushes the envelope on redefining Jesus, including “You can be a Jesus Manifest.”[2] A quick glance at the lineup of key endorsers for this book includes a list of who’s who in Emergent, the Latter Rain cult, neoevangelicalism and the New Apostolic Reformation. (Online source)

Very significant that people from such a diverse theological perspective could all endorse JM; perhaps this would prompt the writer of the aforementioned post at Truthspeaker’s to say:

Frank is now doing and promoting contemplative prayer his theology is completely corrupted. (Reported here on this blog) (Online source)

I found that quite interesting being that much of my work lately here for the online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries, as I said above, is covering the spurious CSM at the rotten core of the Emerging Church 2.0 and its new form of postmodern Progressive Christianity it calls Emergence Christianity. This is not at all simply liberalism rehashed; rather, this postmodern neo-liberal theology and philosophy is more metaphysical and existential i.e. centered of self than was the original Cult of Liberalism, which you’ll also recall was known as “modern theology.”

So the first phase of the Emergent Church was to attack and defeat the old liberal/progressive ideology; now that this has been done, they have just turned their guns full-force on the foolish mainstream evangelical camp, which they’ve been indoctrinating for years through evangelicalism’s own church-related schools, seminaries, publishing houses, etc. I just told you in Meet Mentors And Methodology Of Brian McLaren that with his new book A New Kind of Christianity (ANKoC) McLaren has come out of the closet, as it were, and all but laid this new postmodern version of progressive theology out on the table.

Keep in mind here that now EC guru Brian McLaren is himself a Living Spiritual Teacher right alongside Foster and teachers of the new spirituality such as Deepak Chopra, the Dalai LamaThich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, and Marianne Williamson; I hope you like the smell of coffee because it’s well past time to wake up. The truth is, for years now mainstream evangelical Young Adult and Youth ministries have been getting a steady indoctrination from the likes of the “Emergent trinity” of McLaren, self professed progessive theologian  Tony Jones, who’s “theologian at residence” at the EC church of the third member, his universalist “pastor” Doug Pagitt.

And if you think this was all an accident, then you’d better think again; because these evil Emerging Church leaders learned well from their spiritual forebears in what the late cult expert Dr. Walter Martin has labeled “the cult of liberalism, or modern theology.” Dr. Martin laid out their methodology in one of his last lecture series circa 1985:

There is a progression that takes place in liberal theology: It begins with a corrupt bibliology, a corrupt view of the nature and the inspiration of Scripture. They have a corrupt theology because once you are picking and choosing from the Bible what you want, your theology has to suffer from it, because your human reason is corrupt… every major theological seminary that has turned from orthodox Christianity began with disbelief of Biblical doctrine. There wasn’t a single exception.

This corrupt Bibliology then lead them to the next step. Their theology began to be touched by it, their view of the Cross, the Virgin Birth were both immediately questioned; then came the miracles of Christ… And finally they had emptied the Gospel of all its content; they were simply using the outward shell so that they go on collecting money from the people and the churches; because they knew that if the people in the pew knew that they were apostate, they’d throw them out. So the strategy was hang on to the trust funds; hang on to the money we’ve got; hang on the properties we control, and we will gradually educate the laymen into this new approach to theology.

And then finally we will take control of everything. The gradual process of feeding you theological poison until you become immunized enough so that you don’t know what’s happening to you. And when you wake up to what’s happening to you, it’s too late they’ve got everything. That is not a baseless charge, I stand prepared to prove that the Cult of Liberal Theology in the United States has deliberately and consistently followed this methodology to entrap, control and dominate the denominations and the churches of the United States and our educational institutions.
(The Cult of Liberalism, available from Walter Martin Religious InfoNet)

Well guess what; because of their Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along,” approach to the Christian faith, it’s already happened within much of the mainstream of evanjellyfish, and particularly inside the younger sectors. That’s why I am exposing people pretending to be Protestant evangelicals like Frank Viola who are recommending the practice of anti-Sola Scriputra Counter Reformation (Hello!) spirituality. But here’s the curious thing, *UPDATE* Frank Viola Practices Corrupt Contemplative/Centering Prayer? went online late afternoon yesterday, a Sunday at that.

By this morning someone, perhaps Frank Viola himself, had made sure the online source—I’d retrieved from Viola’s own website—was blocked. The question that needs to be asked is: Why? Truthspeaker’s Weblog had republished a newsletter from Frank Viola containing an article which is entitled Slaughtering Sacred Cows: Part 3 “The Felt-Presence of God” by Frank Viola. There’s a screen shot in my previous post that shows it was part of a series; a series that also seems to have since vanished, which was why I went and found it. 

Even though what we have is an eyewitness account concerning that Viola newsletter, I still felt it was important to corroborate its content, which now I more than have done. The fact is, the article in question is online elsewhere at websites that have nothing to do with Apprising Ministries, and we do already have the hard copy of it on file here as well. No doubt this information concerning Frank Viola really does shed much more light on my earlier post Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, And Mystic Meister Eckhart where I began to look at a statement by Leonard Sweet about allegedly being misrepresented online.

The “Felt-Presence” article by Viola gives me good reason to understand why he and Sweet would favorably quote the heretical mystic Meister Eckhart; in it Viola speaks of supposed wisdom that he has “gleaned from various ancient spiritual instructors and that I have built into my own life over the last decade,” one of these is presumed to be Eckhart. Also in that article Viola tells us that one “my closest friends is a man named Frank Valdez,” whom he says he met “in 1992.” Viola then informs us that he:

told Frank about my observations on “the Toronto blessing.” This led into an invaluable discussion that marked a turning point in my life. Frank said to me, “There is a Christian tradition that practices a form of prayer that employs no words. It’s beyond speaking in tongues and deeper than the Toronto blessing.” (Copy on file)

Viola makes a point to also tell us that this really “had my attention” so he then asked Valdez what he meant; Viola shares that:

Frank began to share with me about the contemplative prayer tradition. He spoke about centering prayer, lectio divina, and other ancient spiritual practices that were unfamiliar to me at the time. He also used a word that I wasn’t too keen on. I’ve since learned that this word has been historically used to honor people . . . and with equal rigor, it has been used to damn them. Frank introduced me to the Christian “mystics.”

Paranthetically, to offer some overly-simplistic definitions, contemplative prayer is a prayer of interior silence that is beyond words. Centering prayer is a silent gazing upon the Lord that employs the use of a “sacred word” like “Lord” or “Jesus” to center one’s attention upon Him when the mind begins to wander. Lectio Divina is a form of spiritual communion where the Scriptures are turned into prayer. [3]

Next Viola fleshes this out a bit; and as one who’s studied mysticism for years now, I can tell you he uses the standard party line of all those who are in lock-step with this spurious CSM:

These were Christians who sought experiential union with their God. They had a fervent love for the Lord that had landed them into hot water. That love caused them to think and experiment “outside the box” of traditional religion. In their desperation to know the Lord intimately, some of them discovered ways of communing with God that went beyond petition-prayer, Bible-reading, and speaking in tongues.

In short, I was intrigued by what Frank shared with me that day. I then launched into a quest to read the writings that were part of this tradition. More importantly, I began to implement some of their discoveries into my own devotional life. As the years passed, I met others who were on this same journey. They too had gleaned from the same writings that had helped me so much. 

I’ve written quite a bit about the subjects surrounding these mystics, e.g. Using Contemplative/Centering Prayer As “Christian” Meditation, so in closing this for now I’ll bring us to the heart of the matter with someone (Frank Viola?) blocking access to this article after I quoted it yesterday. In the “Felt-Presence” article we’ve already seen Viola explain to us that what Valdez told him “marked a turning point” in Viola’s life; i.e. this “contemplative prayer tradition” with its “ancient spiritual practices” supposedly helps us seek “experiential union with” God, Viola personally implemented “some of” this himself, and apparently it all “helped so much.”

And in that “Felt-Presence” article Viola also writes:

My hope is that the Spirit of God would use this article to give His people a proper perspective of God’s holy presence. A perspective that will de-mystify the mystical in their lives and set them at liberty to love their Lord beyond feelings and sensations. A perspective that will encourage them to walk by the highest spiritual sense of all . . .  faith. And faith transcends the realm of the senses. As Paul put it, “we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Fair enough; well then, I find the following questions emerging: How is Viola’s “hope” ever supposed to come to pass by someone blocking people from even reading the article? And further, if these so-called spiritual disciplines really did mark such a turning point in the life of Frank Viola; if this contemplative prayer tradition really is so filled with such great Christians, then why is it that suddenly someone seems to be trying to hide his involvement with their Counter Reformation spirituality? Why would the co-author of the Jesus Manifesto want to deprive the Body of Christ of this important Mystic Manifesto?


[1] The interested reader is referred to the online article Fascism Reborn by Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough, host of the Fighting for the Faith program on Pirate Christian Radio.
[2], accessed 6/7/10.
[3] I previously covered these alleged “ancient spiritual practices” and so-called “Christian” mystics in *UPDATE* Frank Viola Practices Corrupt Contemplative/Centering Prayer?

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