The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Stranger And Stranger Spiritual Bedfellows Are Joining Forces And Becoming Mainstream 

Among the issues Apprising Ministries covers is the heretical Word Faith movement as it continues heading toward acceptance within the mainstream of evangelicalism; and as I mentioned previously, people Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen with man-centered self-esteem messages ala Robert Schueller are actually tip-of-the-spear for deeper WF heresies. As another example in Sound The Alarm On Paula White I showed you where Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven evangelical pastor Steven Furtick, a disciple of Perry Noble and one of the Popes of the Carolinas, calls heretical Word Faith pastor Osteen “a great man of God.” I also told you that Furtick’s latest project is working the Word Faith-like shtick of his forthcoming book Sun Stand Still in a style quite reminicent of well known Word Faith preacher Jentezen Franklin.

Of course it doesn’t come as any real surprise when we find out that Steven Furtick was one of the speakers at Franklin’s recently concluded Forward 2010 Conference. As I’ve been showing you, doctrinal lines continue to be erased with great rapidity in The Ecumenical Church Of Deceit (ECoD). It truly is all part and parcel in what G. Richard Fisher of the fine discernment ministry Personal Freedom Outreach has called The Superstitious Church of the 21st Century; and because of the evil influence of postmodernity people now follow feelings instead of Scripture, so pastor Fisher correctly points out that:

We have been fighting and will continue to fight battles which we thought were won or put to rest in the first three centuries of the Church’s history. What used to be commonplace in the world of the occult and in the world of hyper-liberalism is now common in the world of both Charismatic and Evangelical Christianity.

There has been an incredible paradigm shift in the world of Christianity. This shift has been so radical that the Church of Jesus Christ is beginning to resemble the culture of Athens found in Acts 17. Luke speaks out in verse 21 and describes the confusion in this way: “For all the Athenians and foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or hear some new thing.” Luke then concludes in verse 22 by quoting the Apostle Paul as saying, “in all things you are very religious.” Indeed, the god of novelty was reigning in Athens…

The parallels to our own age are stark and frightening. Just pick up a copy of Charisma magazine and glance at its advertisements and its promotional items. It is Athens all over again — with a vengeance… (Online source)

One of the hottest fads of the superstitious ECoD is practicing  Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster and his trusty spiritual twin Dallas Willard. You may remember my reminding you that Living Spiritual Teacher and leadng Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren told us that this spiritually disastrous duo “Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines, [have been] key mentors for the emerging church.”[1] Sadly, once spiritually obtuse evangelicals began using its teachings in Youth and Young Adult ministries the neo-liberal cult of the Emerging Church would prove to be the perfect Trojan Horse from which to unload their romanticized version of Roman Catholic Counter Reformation [hello!] spirituality that serves to short out one’s critical thinking skills.

My post Scott Hodge Shares His Love For Julian Of Norwich shows how far this CSM has spread because he’s one of the fast rising stars of the Druckerite Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven movement containing the aforementioned Perry Noble and Steven Furtick. Yet there’s Hodge, ostensibly a mainstream evangelical Protestant, paying homage to an apostate (at best) ascetic Roman Catholic mystic as a fine example of seeking direct experience with “God.” I also warned you in posts like Priscilla Shirer Promoting Contemplative/Centering Prayer, Southern Baptist Soul Shaping Return To Religious Bondage, and Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines, that CSM is being spread by popular women teachers and we’re also up to our eyeballs with this lunacy in the Lord’s Name in the Southern Baptist Convention—supposedly the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.

Yesterday my friend north of the border, Carla of More Books And Things, sent me this link to a CBN blog called Soul Transformation and the post Hearing God’s Voice Today by “Christian psychotherapist and spiritual director” Bill Gaultiere. Along with his wife Kristi, also a Christian psychotherapist and spiritual director, guru Gaultiere runs something they call Soul Shepherding where—through your donation—they are so kind to offer “a way for you to partner with” as these gurus stamp out all the “tremendous stress” supposedly causing “pastors, pastors’ wives, missionaries, and other caregivers” to “burn out or blow out.” The gurus Gaultiere announce:

(Online source)

Indeed, for each pastor this infestation of mystics within the mainstream of the largely pretending to be Protestant evangelical community may “reach” they are infecting many other people, which is why I’m warning you about just how wide spread this CSM—the reimagined mysticism of apostate Roman Catholicism—is becoming. You are probably aware that CBN stands for the Christian Broadcasting Network, which was started by Pat Robertson[2], and is very popular with—as well as highly influential within—the more middle-of-the-road crowd of the charismatic and Pentecostal movement; whereas the Trinity Broadcasting Network comprises sort of the lunatic fringe, and the more heretical, of the Word Faith movement. So you see, with CBN and its programming, we’re undoubtedly dealing here with a very large segment of Christians within the church visible.

Not long ago in Beth Moore Attacks The Protestant Reformation, if you don’t know Moore is a wildly popular SBC Bible teacher who works closely with the aforementioned Shirer, I reminded you that the crown jewel of CSM is a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP); i.e. transcendental meditation lightly sprayed with Christian terminology. It has become a real source of concern for those of us in the ministry field of online apologetics and discernment because this spurious CCP, which attacks the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura, is now even associated with people around the neo-Reformed camp like “New Calvinists” such as Dr. Tim Keller, and the controversial Mark Driscoll with his church planting Acts 29 Network, which is already on the outskirts of the Emerging Church.

Do You Not Know That A Little Leaven Leavens The Whole Lump?

As I’ve studied mysticism these past few years, and vitually every religion incorporates its practice on some level, I’ve noticed that among the most common ways mystics will often refer to this CCP meditation would be “wordless prayer” and practicing “silence and solitude.” Sure enough after our neo-Gnostic guru Gaultiere indoctrinates encourages us to believe “that God still speaks to people today like he did in the Bible times,” which by the way we call Scripture, and then tells us we should follow nebulous “impressions” that he admits “is a subjective, inner” experience we’re ready to receive our special “Soul Transformation Resources,” one of which just happens to be Silence and Solitude:

(Online source)

When we click on the link Silence and Solitude we’re whisked away to guru Gaultiere’s site and his article article of the same name where he begins by quoting guru Dallas Willard who informs us “that practicing silence and solitude is the most important spiritual discipline for people today.” Lord willing, another time I’ll more fully deconstruct guru Gaultiere’s mystical musings; however, here I’m only going to tell you that the main problem these dreamers have is they mistakenly take the life of Jesus of Nazareth as normative for the Christian. Truly He is our Example, and because Jesus already lived the Perfect life for us, we do receive power through the Gospel of His finished work on the Cross that we may have the have gift of repentance and the forgiveness of sins in His Name. That all understood, now we can look at a classic example where these mystics derail. Guru Gaultiere muses in Jesus’ Rhythm of Life:

Jesus lived in a particular “rhythm of life” that was essential to his well-being, his own faith-life, and his ministry to others.  It was his way of life with God that is the secret to the holy and wholesome life he lived….

We tend to explain Jesus’ holiness and miracles by saying, “He was the Son of God.” That is a fact, but it is not an adequate answer! Jesus was fully God, but he was also fully man.
(Online source)

This is how subtle Satan is mixing truth with error; what guru Gaultiere’s ended up doing is committing the logical fallacy of the false analogy, where Jesus is indeed fully man, still we human beings cannot be compared completely to Him because we are not fully God as He is; He is also Creator, we are but creations. For example, when’s the last time you’ve observed one of these mystics able to command a storm to stop, and it does; this is the Creator showing His mastery over His creation. And a little tip for you; I sincerely hope you don’t go attempting to walk upon the water, at least not without some kind of a flotation device handy. Now that you can see this, I’ll tell you that in his S&S post guru Gaultiere simply goes on with the typical blather so common with teachers of this CSM nonsense first that Jesus allegedly meditated and then on to those apostate hermits.

It’s actually a pretty sanitized version of the  so-called “desert fathers” given by guru Gaultiere, which from my own studies, leads me to believe that he’s largely drawing his information simply from those he quotes in support of this mystic mythology such as Richard Foster and deceased Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen. I also found it odd that guru Gaultiere seems to stop short of recommending the transcendental meditation of CCP, because all of his sources are practioners of it. Guru Gaultiere gushes concerning Nouwen, providing a lengthy quote from the mystic, telling us he’s a good source to explain “how our initial experience in complete quiet and aloneness with God is likely to feel.” I’m afraid not guru Gaultiere; any of us familiar with the mythology of Henri Nouwen know that he’s not at all talking about simply being by oneself and not saying any words.

No, even today through extensive use of his writings Henri Nouwen remains a leading teacher of this anti-biblical, and spiritually corrupt, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism. Well, following I’ll show you the final fruit produced by the mystic Nouwen; for most of his life Nouwen would dedicate himself to the practice of “Christian” transcendental meditation in an altered state of consciousness, this so-called “silence and solitude” of Contemplative/Centering Prayer, below is the “revelation” Henri Nouwen received in the end:

One of the discoveries we make in [contemplative/centering] prayer is that the closer we come to God, the closer we come to all our brothers and sisters in the human family. God is not a private God. The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being. [3]

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. [4]

I find a question now comes emerging: Why would you want to practice this Contemplative/Centering Prayer when it made one of its most noted, and knowledgeable, practitioners into a universalist?  Guru Gaultiere I suggest you, and Pat Robertson, go do some homework because the truth is this CSM “prayer” CCP—which any way you slice it is meditation in an altered state of consciousness—is what Satan is using to bring in the deception that God supposedly wants all religions in “unity.” Stay tuned because in my role as pastor-teacher I plan to continue reminding you that Jesus said — “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-16); and one of the fruit all these practitioners of CSM share is a sinful ecumenicism that’s going to end up laying the foundation for the coming Global religion.

I’ve been writing about this for a couple of years now; it’s already blinding the fools in the Emerging Church with their silly circus big tent” of pseudo Christianity, CSM has long been in the Vineyard of John Wimber, Kansas City false prophet Mike Bickle of the ignominious IHOP has taught it , the younger hyper-charismatics have John Crowder And The New Mystics, and I showed you again above how far it’s spreading into pretending to be Protestant evanjellyfish. But the bottom line is found in my opening text; and it’s also among the 1 Peter 4:17  judgments Jesus is sending upon the visible Christian church:

they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Part of this truth is to obey, through Christ, what God has said in His Word concerning the means of grace by which He told us we can approach Him. In his excellent article Contemporary Christian Divination: The False Claims and Practices of Christian Mystics Bob DeWaay, pastor of Twin City Fellowship who also heads their Critical Issues Commentary, reminds us that our spiritual practices are not neutral:

If we could come by any means, then tarot cards, Ouija boards, crystal balls, psychic powers, etc. could all legitimately be used to contact God. Since certain techniques are forbidden, then the claim that humans can come to God by any means whatsoever is unbiblical. Therefore, we conclude that God has restricted the means of coming to Him and worshipping Him.

There are restrictions. The question is, “Who determines them?” The options are that individuals determine them for themselves, church traditions determine the restrictions, or the Scriptures determine the restrictions. I argue that if individuals determine the restrictions for themselves, there are no restrictions.

I [have] argued that methods are not neutral: either humans can come to the true God by any means that they see fit or God restricts the means by which we can come to Him. This was proven by the fact that various forms of divination are forbidden where divination is defined as any technique used to gain secret information that God has not chosen to reveal. (Online source)

The wise will cease any more involvement with these practices of CSM as those who don’t will receive spiritual deception that they won’t be able to stop because, in some very real way, it is sent from God.


End notes:

[1], accessed 9/5/10.

[2], accessed 9/5/10.

[3]  Henri Nouwen, Here And Now [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1994], 24, 25, emphasis mine.

[4] Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1998], 51, emphasis mine.

See also: