As a leading online apologetics and discernment work, Apprising Ministries has been warning you about the teachings the Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell, co-teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church along with his good friend Shane Hipps

For at least the past five years now I’ve also been covering 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] with its newer, more clearly delineated, postmodern form of Progressive Christian theology—a Liberalism 2.0—that these rebels against God’s Word often refer to as “big tent” Emergence Christianity.

The crown jewel of this spurious CSM is a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP) and these neo-Gnostics who are pushing their TM-lite CCP know that there’s a very real “transformation” which occurs after its prolonged practice. 

I first covered this a couple of years ago in Thomas Keating On Contemplative/Centering Prayer;  in his writings Living Spiritual Teacher and Roman Catholic mystic Thomas Keating tells us openly that this CCP:

is a process of inner transformation, a conversation initiated by God and leading, if we consent, to divine union. One’s way of seeing reality changes in the process. A restructuring of consciousness takes place which empowers one to perceive, relate and respond with increasing sensitivity to the divine presence in, through, and beyond everything that exists.[2]

By definition CCP, a form of transcendental meditation, absolutely does involve us in some kind of a “transcending” or i.e. an alleged awakening ; a going beyond perceived reality. It’s very real; and it’s deadly dangerous, and what many people don’t seem to realize is Rob Bell has been practicing CCP for years. 

 The following is from Bell’s October 2009 sermon I will say it again, and again, and again:

It’s interesting how many traditions (pause) When you read the great enlightened ones; meditation, centering prayer, reflection—in every tradition you can find the mystics—and what’s always at the heart of the spiritual lives, the everyday lives of the great ones was always a period of time.

Whether it’s prayers, chanting, meditation, reflection, study—whatever you call it—what is it essentially; it’s taking time to breathe. Because when you’ve been breathing, (slight pause) in a proper sort of way, you’re far better equipped to handle what life throws your way. (5:41-6:23)

If one doesn’t recognize here that Bell is praising “the mystics” for their supposedly superior spiritual understanding, which is but a reimagined Gnosticism, I personally believe it’s simply because they just do not wish to see. And a classic symptom of the deception one receives as they continue on in this unbiblical practice of meditation in altered states of consciousness is a distorted view of the actual nature of unregenerate mankind.

This is the background against which to view the Love Wins Mythology Of Rob Bell. For you see, CSM leads one into a highly subjective—feelings-oriented—neo-orthodox (at best) approach to Scripture and let’s the individual (or “community”) interpret the text of Scripture by what they “feel” God might possibly be saying in a given text.

In other words this inner transformation aka “enlightment” supposedly received by these neo-Gnostics their mysticism for the Christian always trumps the Bible text when it comes to “experiencing” God. As an illustration of just how far Rob Bell has drifted I point you to his sermon  of 2/7/99 What is this babbler saying, the day MHBC launched.

Actually, contrary to what’s commonly percieved, Rob Bell did not open MHBC preaching in Leviticus; however, it would be the first series he went into within weeks. You can download and listen to this sermon right here.


[1], accessed 4/8/11.

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