“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers. Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!’” (Jeremiah 44:2-4)

Preparing For A Spiritual Free-Fall

Lately in pieces like Is Shane Claiborne A Christian-Muslim?, where you’ll see Claiborne talk about a “devout Muslim brother” he knows, Apprising Ministries has been showing you that doctrinal lines continue to be blurred at warp speed; and it’s getting so bad that more and more professing evangelicals are now even wanting to embrace other religions as viable before God. However, that never seemed to work out very well for Israel in the Old Testament; God takes a real dim view of syncretism.

This is simply the next step of a progression into apostasy followed by practitioners of critical thinking skills killing, and spiritually corrupt, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM); and as I told you in Jim Wallis And Sojourners Making Muslim-Christians, the new postmodern version of Progressive Christian theology—aka “big tent” Emergence Christianity—spewed by the sinfully ecumenial Emerging Church aka Emergent Church has universalism at its calamitous core.

With this in mind then, I’ll tell you the motto for the United Methodist Church denomination is Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors. Well, you’re about to see just how wide open the door of the UMC actually is. Meet St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, with Rev. Dr. Antoinette L. Cook as your pastrix presiding:

(Online source)

Pastrix Antoinette Cook, better known as Toni, also served as Co-Coordinator of Meditate 08 During the DNC Denver, CO Aug. 23-28, 2008:

(Online source)

The following gives you a flavor of what went on at Med 08:

(Online source)

In The Denver Post article St. Paul’s Methodist celebrates 150 years of progressive ministry in Denver Electa Draper informs us:

If you’re St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, one century you’re losing church leaders because they’re going off to fight for the South in the Civil War. The next century you’re one of the first three churches in the country to officially and fully embrace the gay community. You also offer Buddhist-inspired spiritual services every Sunday. (Online source)

Yeah, I’m afraid you really did read that right; this UMC church—oops, I mean United Methodist, Reconciling, and Buddhist Christian InterSpiritual Community, offers Buddhist-inspired services; and more:

(Online source)

We see, here with St. Paul Denver ( SPD), another example of the fetid fruit of CSM and its crowning jewel Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP); a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness i.e. transcendental meditation lightly sprayed with Christian terminology. This is evident within the phrase, “We nurture the Sacred within us all“; the quote from a Chief Seattle, “All things are connected,” and this from Living Spiritual Teacher of the New Spirituality Andrew Harvey, “The Sacred points us back to the Divine Consciousness within and without.”

The delusion all mystics who practice this kind of transcendental meditation eventually receive, no matter what religion they may be, is referred to as “a divine spark”; or as you’ll see below from Shane Hipps—co-teaching pastor with EC icon Rob Bell—sometimes this false belief that God already indwells all of mankind is called “a spark of the divine.” I showed you previously in Rob Bell And Shane Hipps Teaching Mysticism Hipps himself mused:

God animates everything that is in the world… This logos affects everybody including Osama bin Laden, as long as he’s got breath, in him, is a spark of the divine.[1]

Pastrix Toni Cook Opens Door For Apostate Interspiritual Worship In A UMC Church

Electa Draper tells us in Buddhism strengthens ties to church, an earlier article in the Denver Post, that pastrix Toni was:

a founder of St. Paul’s Buddhist Christian InterSpiritual Community in Denver, [and] said religious rivalry creates more problems than reconciliation… Cook decided: “There’s got to be a way to share sacred space without trying to convert one another.” (Online source)

Draper explains in her later DP article that not converting people is a real theme for pastrix Cook; it seems, “In 1988-89, when attendance dropped to 15 at SPD, unfortnately for them “Toni Cook walked in” with her deluded dream:

“I wanted to be in a church with truly open doors,” she said… In 1995, she and the church sponsored a new outreach, the Buddhist Christian Interfaith Service, every Sunday. “It doesn’t mean we’re not fully rooted in Christianity,” Cook said. “We can coexist and share sacred space without the need to convert.” (Online source)

Yeah, none of that messy preaching of the Gospel of repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name; O no, says pastrix Toni Cook, better we simply “coexist.” And share space they do; as indeed, this SPD is a most unusual Christian-Buddhist Interspiritual UMC church. Take for example:

(Online source)

Sure, as you can see, even your pet can now practice spiritual adultery right along with you; very nice. Then in the evening we can discover…ah, “The Joy of Being” with ol’ Dr. Bob:

(Online source)

Now, but of course, we don’t want to leave out evangelicalism’s new fave rave religion Islam; and so, there’s also dinner with an Imam:

(Online source)

You betcha, always a plus to learn your false spirituality from someone who’s also “a fabulous cook!” And if Native American practice that grew out of ancient Aztec medicine and spirituality is more your bag, then be sure to catch David Atekpatzin Young; he’s an Apache Curandero (traditional healer) and spiritual leader of the Iglesia de Aztlan:

(Online source)

We are coming to see that these doors at this SPD Buddhist-Christian InterSpiritual Community are as wide open as they can possibly be for this allee allee in free Love Train rolling down the track in the mainline UMC. O, and I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t note the books “for reflection” pastrix Cook would like to direct you to:

(Online source)

Uh-huh, it’s that Living Spiritual Teacher (LST) Ekhart Tolle; the pantheist orator of Oprahfied spirituality who was “born Ulrich Tolle, but later in life took the name of ‘Eckhart’ in honor of Catholic mystic Meister Eckhart, one of many mystics throughout the ages who have championed this idea of inner-peace-through-mysticism.”[2] By the way, the full title of that book by David Korten is The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, which gives you an idea where he’s coming from—building the Global Family for the Antichrist—and then there’s The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained by Stevan Davies.

From the foreword we read:

The Gospel of Thomas really is, I believe, the clearest guide we have to the vision of the world’s supreme mystical revolutionary, the teacher known as Jesus. To those who learn to unpack its sometimes cryptic sayings, the Gospel of Thomas offers a naked and dazzlingly subversive representation of Jesus’ defining and most radical discovery: that the living Kingdom of God burns in us and surrounds us at all moments. (Online source)

Prominent Proponent Of Anti-Christian New Spirituality Teaches In A UMC Church

And who do you suppose did this foreword; ya just can’t make this stuff up, the aforementioned Andrew Harvey. You might be interested to know e.g. that LST Andrew Harvey comes complete with the following recommendations; first, from fellow Living Spiritual Teacher Marianne Williamson:

(Online source)

Then there’s another guru of the New Spirituality, Living Spiritual Teacher Deepak Chopra:

(Online source)

Mighty high praise for Andrew Harvey from noted leaders in what was formerly called the New Age movement, but which is now known as the New Spirituality because it is indeed penetrating across all contemplative communities; Harvey has taught Two Hours of Rumi—a Muslim mystic—at SPD:

 (Online source)

We’re also told:

Recorded live at the Buddhist Christian InterSpiritual Community at St. Paul Church in Denver, this passionate lecture is unparalleled in its excitement and insightfulness.
(Online source)

Hoo-wee, and just what “unparalleled” wisdom and “insightfulness” do we find from guru Harvey at pastrix Cooks’ UMC church, oops, make that her UMC Buddhist Christian InterSpiritual Community; consider the following:

Rumi is being recognized as the unique spiritual genius he is, as someone who is fused at the highest level and with the greatest possible intensity the intellect of a Plato, the vision, passion and soul-force of a Christ or Buddha, and the extraordinary literary gifts of a Shakespeare. Rumi is not only the world’s greatest mystical poet, but also an essential guide to the new planetary spiritual renaissance that is slowly emerging from the ruins of our civilization. (Online source)

Well, “Beam me up, Scotty!” Huh, “the new planetary renaissance” is now “emerging”; but since when was that part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? O silly me, I forgot; we don’t want to convert anyone, so that’s why we’re not surprised by Rev. Dr. pastrix Toni Cook wanting to make sure we can order Harvey’s mystic mythology concerning the Gospel of Thomas:

(Online source)

Remember, guru Harvey already told us that the Gospel of Thomas is universalism; “the living Kingdom of God” already “burns in us,” and since “the Gospel of Thomas portrays Jesus as a wisdom-loving sage” teaching “that self-knowledge and contemplation of the nature of this world are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven,” it’s a perfect fit with all who practice contemplative spirituality. You see, this is exactly where all mystics eventually end up from their practice of meditation in an altered state of consciousness, i.e. the very same transcendental meditation lightly sprayed with Christian terminology, which I told you above professing Christians call Contemplative/Centering Prayer.

In closing this, for now, I’ll tell you that St. Paul Denver, United Methodist, Reconciling, and Buddhist Christian InterSpiritual Community is on the very same broad path of progressive Christianity—with its contemplative spirituality—that’s taught, and practiced, in the upgraded Emerging Church 2.0 with its postmodern version of big tent Progressive Christian theology and its corrupt core of universalism:

(Online source)

Welcome to your evangelical nightmare…this spiritual blackhole is part of the United Methodist Church.


[1] I refute this Biblically in Understanding The New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind.

[2], accessed 9/28/10.

See also: