…they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners.
(Isaiah 2:6)

Circle Up The Wagons We’re Heading Home To Rome

Evangelicals are quick to praise Charles Spurgeon, who stood tall for the purity of God’s Gospel during the Downgrade Controversy; this is quite unlike what’s going on today in what’s really a  New Downgrade No-Controversy With Its Apostles Of Unbelief.

Spurgeon reminds you what squishy evangelical leaders have forgotten concerning the pletora of false teachers littering the landscape of the church visible: 

“The preachers of false doctrine dislike nothing more than the premature detection of their doings. Only give them time enough to prepare men’s minds for the reception of their ‘new views,’ and they are confident of success. They have had too much time already, and any who refuse to speak out now must be held to be ‘partakers of their evil deeds.’

As Mr. Spurgeon says, ‘A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory and man of his hope.'” (Online source)

This online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries has been blessed of Jesus to be used as one of His “go-to” ministries in the area of the ne0-Gnostic corruption called Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which is now pandemic within mainstream evangelicalism through its foolish embrace of the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church with its quasi-universalism in a new version of Progressive Christian theology under their spiritual circus “big tent” Emergence Christianity.

You need to understand that this spurious CSM—the refried Roman Catholic mysticism “discovered” by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, and now perpetrated within the mainstream of evangelicalism as supposed Spiritual Formation with an able assist from his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard, was a core doctrine in the EC right from its hatching in Hell.

As I showed you in Rick Warren Guilty For Endorsing The Cult Of Guru Richard Foster And His Reimagined Gnostic Mysticism, while discussing what he calls The Discipleship/Spiritual Formation Movement, Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren has written:

A reemphasis on developing believers to full maturity has been the focus of this movement. Organizations such as the Navigators, Worldwide Discipleship, and Campus Crusade for Christ, and authors such as Waylon Moore, Gary Kuhne, Gene Getz, Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard have underscored the importance of building up Christians and establishing personal spiritual disciplines.[1]

I also showed you in Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines, at the Spiritual Disciplines page of its The Spiritual Growth Center at his Saddleback flagship, we find a prominent recommendation of Richard Foster’s magum opus Celebration Of Discipline (CoD)[2] However, Dr. Gary Gilley has rightly pointed out, “Celebration of Discipline alone, not even referencing Foster’s other writings and teachings and ministries, is a virtual encyclopedia of theological error.”[3]

Then on that same page at Saddleback Church we also find The Spirit of the Disciplines by Foster’s friend Dallas Willard, who I pointed out is an SBC minister as is Rick Warren; but Christian apologist Bob DeWaay shows us in his The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines that, “Dallas Willard bases his entire spiritual disciplines book on his understanding of Matthew 11:29, 30,” and further, “The idea of practicing spiritual disciplines was imported to the text, not found there.”[4]

Another thing to keep in mind is that Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren, one third of the unholy trinity of EC apostates along with universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt and his friend Tony Jones—the progressive “theologian in residence” at Solomon’s Porch—informed us that Foster and Willard were “key mentors for the emerging church”[5] and their whole shtick is spreading spurious CSM under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation (SF), which has been used in evangelical seminaries for years now.

Now at this point I remind you, as you can see e.g. just from a couple of days ago in Doug Pagitt And Alleged Slander and Doug Pagitt Shows His Character, pastors like me who expose these pathetic posers immediately hear the cry that we’re being dishonest. So wanting to make sure we don’t make a wrong assessment concerning the motivation and discernment of these false prophets and quasi-Christian teachers I’ve been methodically building these cases against them much as would a lawyer. 

With this all in mind then what you have seen above, and are about to see below, is not guilt by association; it is guilt by endorsement, plain and simple. It’s an incontrovertable fact that Rick Warren promotes the SF of Foster and Willard; this is to promote CSM that certainly does involve Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP)—meditation in an altered state of consciousness—the main vehicle of CSM aka “silence.” Of course he’s hardly alone as a pretending to be Protestant promoting the Counter Reformation spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism.

At the same time Warren is definitely responsible for lending his huge forum to a teacher of CSM by the name of Peter Scazzero, which as I showed you in Peter Scazzero Promoted By Rick Warren, Warren did at his Radicalis conference this past February at Saddleback Church. In the mass email Chat Live with Radicalis Speaker, Pete Scazzero, Wednesday, December 9 at 11 am pst Warren himself told us:

Pete, along with his wife, Geri, are co-founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality to pastors, leaders and local churches. (On file at AM, emphasis mine)

So there no question Rick Warren knew that Scazzero peddles CSM. You should also know that Scazzero has been partnered for quite some time with the warped Willow Creek Association (WCA), which extends from another notorious man-centered Church Growth Movement mega-church Willow Creek; and we’re told that WCA “is regarded as the most influential ministry to evangelical pastors in the U.S.”[6]:

(Online source)

Why Would Professing Christians Turn To Pagan Religious Practices To Worship God?

The point is that with the ringing endorsement of CGM gurus Rick Warren and Bill Hybels we can see that Peter Scazzero, sadly, is now very highly influential within mainstream evangelical circles. In posts like Peter Scazzero As Spiritual Benedict Arnold and Peter Scazzero Bringing Rome Home To His Church I’ve been showing you the rotten fruit of CSM in the disgusting compromise of Scazzero; and in addition, how CSM also moves practioners away from the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura into a quasi-universal love of self (cf. 2 Timothy 3:2).

Here’s another example of the grave dangers of CSM and its critical-thinking killing TM for Christians known as contemplative or centering prayer; the words are actually interchangable for the so-called spiritual discipline of Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP)—meditation in an altered state of consciousness—i.e. transcendental meditation lightly sprayed with Christian terminology. Now consider a tweet yesterday sent out by Scazzero:

(Online source)

The link above takes us to Contemplative Outreach where we’re told that Living Spiritual Teacher and apostate Roman Catholic monk Thomas Keating is it spiritual guide:

(Online source)

You can learn more about guru Keating’s mystic musings in Thomas Keating On Contemplative/Centering Prayer; for now, I want to draw your attention to the book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening (CPIA) by Cynthia Bourgeault, which Peter Scazzero tells us he’s “[e]njoying as part of my time with God.” I’m going to show you just how united these neo-Gnostic dreamers are becoming, and just how far they have now penetrated into the heart of mainstream evangelicalism. We have real reason for concern here because you’re about to see this even includes heretical progressive/liberals like Brian McLaren. 

In Good Shepherd Church Going Ape…Almost I first told you about “The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Ph.D” whom The Contemplative Society informs us is an:

Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader [who] divides her time between solitude on Eagle Island, Maine, and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative path. She is the founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. (Online source)

Her name is already familiar to those of us tracking the traitorous teachings of EC guru McLaren because in his post 11 Women Writers You Should Be Reading McLaren mused:

Here are some of my favorite women writers of spirituality and theology in no particular order with short comments on why I recommend them… 5. Cynthia Bourgeault: Cynthia reminds me of Thomas Merton — she is a mystic with a brilliant mind who deserves far wider readership. (Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening)… (Online source, bold his)

Notice guru McLaren specifically recommends CPIA; and from my personal copy of Bourgeault’s book cited above, I” show you in the following what this “mystic with a brilliant mind,” who “reminds” McLaren of the CSM Golden Buddha Thomas Merton, and whom the EC guru feels “deserves a far wider readship,” has to tell us concerning the alleged “awakening” mystics seek in silent meditation. i.e. CCP:

But why is intentional silence so important to this process of awakening?… I had read somewhere that without spiritual training the human mind is unable to concentrate on anything for more than two minutes… The Buddhists smilingly call this “monkey mind.” The little beast jumps from one tree limb to the other, taking the whole of it with us.[7]

Bourgeault also draws from the work of pantheist mystic Eckhart Tolle, and in the midst of a bunch of psychobabble about the “work on self,” tells us in CPIA—whose foreword is done by the aforementioned guru Thomas Keating—that:

Most spiritual teachers link the inner observer [alleged true self] with a state of being they call presence, or in other words, an active awareness of Being itself [pantheism]. Rather than getting lost in the contents of consciousness (those “reactions, desires, and aversions” Tolle speaks of), you learn to pay attention to the field of consciousness as well—not just the boats [individual-self] floating down the river, but the river itself [God-self.[8]

That’s why the mystics seek to silence the mind, aka the “monkey mind”; so to further instruct us about this mythic monkey mind I’ll call as an expert witness Shane Hipps, the new co-teaching pastor now along with his good friend Rob Bell at Mars Hill Bible Church; the below is from his sermon Enlightenment, which is all about the supposed “spiritual discipline of silence” aka CCP. MHBC pastor Hipps surmises:

Silent prayer is when you go to a silent place and then you quiet the mind; and you don’t say anything to God…you just “be.” Now, if any of you have ever tried this, you know it’s totally maddening (laughs) to try to just stop thinking, right?

And because we all know that’s pretty much impossible because the mind is like a frantic monkey bouncing around on the inside of your brain…[9]

If there’s any question of the origin of this monkey mind myth, let me refer you to The Monkey Mind entry in the online A Guide to Buddhism A to Z where we find out:

The monkey mind (kapicitta) is a term sometimes used by the Buddha to describe the agitated, easily distracted and incessantly moving behaviour of ordinary human consciousness (Ja.III,148; V,445). Once he observed: ‘Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night’ (S.II,93). (Online source)

Which now begs the question: Why are Christians, who ostensibly have a personal relationship with God in Christ, now having to turn to Buddhists, who may or may not even believe there is a God, in order to learn about Christian spirituality? You might want to consider this: With today’s pretending to be Protestant evangelical community we have now come full circle in turning pagans and adopting their spiritual practices, as did the original apostate desert hermits, whose mystic musings would flower in the monastic traditions.

Bottom line: That deceptive subjectivism would eventually lead to the Protestant Reformation; unfortunately, this time I don’t see any Reformers, just joiners.


[1] Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995], 126.

[2], accessed 1/5/11.

[3], accessed 1/5/11.

[4], accessed 1/5/11.

[5], accessed 1/5/11.

[6], accessed 1/5/11.

[7] Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening [Cambridge: Cowley Publications, 2004 ], 10, 11.

[8] Ibid., 126.

[9] From transcript within my post Shane Hipps Exposed II.

See also: