Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8

Church Growth Techniques Sowed To The Flesh  

For at least the past five years now online apologetics and discernment ministries like our friends at Lighthouse Trails Research, as well as here at Apprising Ministries, have warning about the growing infestation within evangelicalism of critical thinking skills-numbing corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard. None other than Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren told you they were “key mentors” of the Emerging Church. [1] So what did you think they were mentoring these Emergent leaders in? 

For example, you can see in Mark Driscoll And Neo-Reformed New Calvinist Contemplative Spirituality, this spurious CSM is way deeper into the very heart of the nearly spiritual comatose evangelical community than many seem to know. Also consider in Dr. John Piper And Unanswered Questions, who’s beyond question a key figure in a rebirth of Kuyperian neo-Calvinism (there’s nothing new under the sun), I showed you many questionable books are currently available in the Online catalog of Bethlehem Baptist Church where Dr. John Piper is listed as “Vocational Elder; Pastor for Preaching & Vision; Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary.” [2] And as of this writing they still remain there.

Space here allows just one quick example; we find two books by Brennan Manning, a leading contemplative teacher of CSM, including his magnum opus Ragamuffin Gospel. The first question you need to ask is: Why? The second question is similar: Why, doesn’t this seem to bother anyone? I’ve already told you that Manning’s personal website leaves no doubt that he is a mystic [3] and my friend Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, who has personally spoken with Brennan Manning and could hardly be classified as some radical “ODM,” further fills us in through his post Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Consider Brennan Manning, an inactive Roman Catholic priest,… In the last ten years, he has become a popular speaker in many “evangelical” churches… Manning overemphasizes the love and grace of God while ignoring His attributes of justice, righteousness and holiness. He teaches that Jesus has redeemed all of mankind. His “good news” is that everyone is already saved. (Online source

Well, I have news for you; this universalism from Manning above is classic, centered of the self (read: mankind), mysticism. And now for the final question: Why, in the video below, does Dr. Piper appear to be trying to make it sound like there’s even been a tradition of CSM within Reformation theology? But the truth is, CSM is actually antithetical to Sola Scriptura; and in fact, the Reformers were quite literally dealing with the original spiritual knuckleheads in the Church of Rome who’s own practice of CSM contributed mightily to their apostate Roman Catholicism. So would Dr. Piper et al have us now return to such subjective spirituality? Answer: Yes, this is precisely what they are doing by buying into CSM nonsense. 

Then in addition, added to this murky mix is the fact that mainstream evanjellyfish churches—under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation—have long been using your young as spiritual guinea pigs in exposing them to the mystic musings of Emergent Church wolves. As a result we’ve now ended up deep within the Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language and the mental off-roading that is postmodernism; words lose their fixed meanings and out goes logical thinking, which is always the fruit of mysticism. Again, you may be better able to undertsand this Emerging Church by stepping back and looking at it this way: Liberal theology was also known as modern theology and it was an attempt to make “Christianity” compatible with the culture of its time. 

And so this Emergence Christianity is a postmodern theology; a postliberalism, which is itself now attempting to be relevant to this particular capricious culture. I quoted the following recently in The Emerging Church Highjacking Evangelicalism; in closing this for now, I will tell you again that these tactics outlined below are precisely the same ones being used today by the Emerging/ent/ence Church. EC leaders learned well from their evil forebears and have first leveled the very same attack against Sola Scriptura at evangelicals. Circa 1985 Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989), a renouned expert on religious cults, would tell us exactly how Satan injected his poison into the now mortally wounded mainline denominations of the visible church: 

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

Not that I am anyone, but the above is precisely why back in November I labeled the Emerging Church a neo-liberal cult, which is exactly what it is. The Lord be praised, from studying their developing theology, I could see that it was a new form of liberalism; a postmodern Progressive Christianity; now being called “big tent” Emergence Christianity, it’s heavy with the metaphysical neo-Gnostic spirituality people are so into today. However, in lock-step with their evil forebears, these Emergent vipers like Brian McLaren—who to be very clear is no Christian brother of mine—used the exact same methodology once used by those original liberals to capture the mainline denominations; only this time the attack ala Acts 20:30 would come from within slumbering mainstream evangelicalism. 

This evangelical fad of contemplative spirituality has now become a spiritual verison of snake-handling.


[1] http://tiny.cc/dpm2s, accessed 6/23/10.
[2]  http://tinyurl.com/28l8eq5, accessed 6/23/10.
[3] http://www.brennanmanning.com/, accessed 6/23/10/ 

See also: