But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

It’s pretty obvious that if God had wanted us all to live in the false kind of unity currently being promoted through more and more professing Christian teachers who’re hawking their neo-Gnostic mysticism of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), e.g. Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard, then He would not have allowed the influx of false prophets in the first place.

And in posts like Dr. John Piper And Unanswered Questions here at Apprising Ministries I’ve been showing you just how far their myths have penetrated pretending to be Protetsant squishy evanjellyfish. O Lord God Alimighty, we pray You will send us men of boldness; real men of God, who tremble before your Word; and yet, fear no man! Foster, Willard, and others of their spiritual ilk in the Emergent Church have slithered in their spurious CSM masked as Spiritual Formation.

I don’t agree with everything he taught; however, I do believe we all should take heed of what A.W. Tozer writes here:

Whatever it may be in our Christian experience that originates outside the Scriptures should, for that very reason, be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them. If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed Truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in the Scriptures. “To the Word and to the Tesimony” must always be the last and final proof.”

Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with caution until it can furnish Scriptural proof of its validity. Throughout the twentieth century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among truths that were to be revealed in the last days. The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite! Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning.

Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the Apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence!

The reason so many—even within mainstream evangelicalism—are embracing centered of the self CSM, a form of neo-Gnosticism that flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism, completely foreign to the proper Christian spirituality of Sola Scriptura is because there is such a thing as dead orthodoxy; it’s always been around. While discussing Pietism & Subjective Christianity Dr. Gary Gilley put his finger on the problem in his 2005 series on Mysticism:

Balance. Is there anything more elusive? Most of us are constantly striving for balance, whether it is with our time, money, diet or relationships. If few of us are ever content that we have found just the right balance in these areas of life, the same can be said for the historical church. God’s people tend to swing from one extreme to another with great regularity, causing considerable tension within the body of Christ.

One such tension has been, and still is, between the academic and the experiential, between those who place great emphasis on the theological and those who place the bulk of their emphasis on the subjective. Subjective oriented believers cast the term “dead orthodoxy” at their counterpart. (Online source)

We’re in the midst of those swings within the mainstream church visible today; and along with it, we’re now seeing a rebirth of an ascetic-lite neo-Pietism. Dr. Gilley explains:

Pietism began as a reaction to the highly intellectualized orthodoxy that had become common in Lutheran and Reformed churches in the decades following the Reformation. Pietism made its appearance as a distinct historical movement within Protestantism, at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries, around 1690-1730. Its aim was to stress “practical piety,” as distinct from the polemical dogmatic theology to which the Reformation had initially given a certain priority.

Against the intellectualist and abstract understanding of God and of dogmatic truth, pietism set a practical, active piety (Praxis pietatis): good works, daily self-examination for progress in virtues according to objective criteria,… (Online source)

Those following the Pied Pipers of Pietism selling their neo-Gnostic CSM such as the Emerging Church rock star icon Rob Bell, or Leadership Network‘s Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren, will recognize this respectively as “follow God in the way of Jesus” or the infamous foolishness of the supposed new reformation of “Deeds not Creeds.” About the time LN was working to groom Rick Warrenism as the next phase in the Church Growth Movement Dr. Michael Saward, Professor of Politics at The Open University in the UK, made a dead-on-target assessment:

This is the disturbing legacy of the 1960s and 70s. A generation brought up on guitars, choruses, and home group discussions. Educated , as one of them put it to me, not to use words with precision because the image is dominant, not the word. Equipped not to handle doctrine but rather to ‘share.’

A compassionate, caring generation, suspicious of definition and labels, uneasy at, and sometimes incapable of, being asked to wrestle with sustained didactic exposition of theology. Excellent when it comes to providing religious music, drama and art. Not so good when asked to preach and teach the Faith. [1]

Unfortunately, and I wish I had better news for you, as a tsumani of apostasy approaches mainstream evangelicalism—pushed along as it is by 1 Peter 4:17 judgments—we’re only now beginning to pay the price; because without a unity of Biblical doctrine, then what else is there but a false unity based loosely upon some utopian dream of “making the world a better place.” The wise be getting prepared to resist; we are going to witness more and more strange bedfellows, some of whom we’d never have dreamed doing so, laying doctrine aside to advance their mythical “missional” mandate of dominionism. 
However, paraphrasing the pop philosophers the Temptations from their 1970 hit song Ball of Confusion: “And the church sleeps on.”

[1] Cited in Iain H. Murray, Evangelicalism Divided ( Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust: 2000), 254.

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