In earlier Apprising Ministries articles like and Christian Soldiers Standing Up For Jesus? and the semi-satirical Recipe For Spiritual Disaster I’ve been trying to bring to your attention how a Rodney King theology of, “Can’t we all just get along” is serving to cripple the witness of the church visible.

A major factor contributing to this pathetic compromising is the spread of Counter Reformation spirituality and Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala gurus Dallas Willard and his spiritual twin Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster.

There’s no excuse; for example, two years ago I warned you that Rick Warren Now Openly Promoting Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism as he brought Protholic CSM guru Peter Scazzero in to the first Radicalis conference. Sadly however, as you can see in John Piper, Rick Warren & Foster-Willardism and Tim Keller And Contemplative Spirituality CSM has now infected the Reformed community.

You need to know that Scazzero is partnered with the leadership of Bill Hybel’s warped Willow Creek Association(WCA), which extends from another notorious man-centered Church Growth Movement mega-church Willow Creek. We’re told that WCA “is regarded as the most influential ministry to evangelical pastors in the U.S”[1] and Scazzero’s CSM materials are being used within WCA to teach Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which is meditation in an altered state of consciousness:

(Online source)

Guru Scazzero is so far gone now that he recently wrote Centering Prayer: Entering the Apophatic Prayer Tradition detailing what he taught the staff of his New Life Fellowship Church, which includes Jacqueline Snape as his Assistant Executive Pastrix; though her title has now been amended to “Elder In Residence.” As all so-called Christian mystics Scazzero begins referencing, out of context, Psalm 46:10 — “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Note carefully the sordid spiritual sources from which he draws this information as guru Scazzero then tells us:

(Online source)

I seriously don’t know what it’s going to take to awaken evangelical leaders from their dead-on impression of Rip Van Winkle. This CSM nonsense has absolutely no place in the Protestant Christian community; and it isn’t even being taught by Protestants. Jesus never taught it and neither did His Apostles. Living Spiritual Teacher Thomas Keating and the late Spiritual Master Basil Pennington are apostate Roman Catholic monks and mystics.

You’ll see in Mainstream Evangelicalism Embracing Contemplative Mysticism that the “Rev.” Cindy Bourgeault, who’s a dutiful disciple of Keating, comes highly recommended by Brian McLaren. As a matter of fact, guru Bourgeault’s recently lead an online spiritual retreat along with the unbelieving Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat—with whom I’ve had personal run-ins—for a whacked New Age website called Spirituality & Practice; which is the seedy spiritual source for that Living Spiritual Teachers Project.

In Peter Scazzero Bringing Rome Home To His Church I gave you another indication of just how far off track spiritually he is becoming. There you’ll see that “Protestant” aspiring monk and guru Peter Scazzero brought in a Roman Catholic to teach Roman Catholic theology to his *cough* Protestant church. Here’s yet another pathetic illustration of compromise as the other day Scazzero tweeted:

(Online source)

The link takes up to something called The Enneagram Institute World Headquarters. Wonderful; CSM now has led guru Scazzero right into the neighborhood of universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt, part of the Emerging Church trinity along with his equally heretical progressive theologian in residence Tony Jones along with Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren.

See for yourself in Doug Pagitt Excited About Events Through The Lens Of The Enneagram. However, far more than a mere “personality test” the Enneagram, which to no real surprise is also pushed by Red Letter Christian and Roman Catholic mystic Richard Rohr, originates in the mystical strain of Islam known as Sufism (see below). In Enneagram system: Alternative Health Dictionary on Enneagram system we’re told it’s a:

System of spiritual psychology based on an ancient Sufi [Islam] typology of nine (ennea in Greek) personality types or primary roles (Online source)

This is confirmed in The Enneagram where we read:

The roots of the enneagram can be traced to two men: George Gurdjieff and Oscar Ichazo. Both men were involved in occultic pursuits. Guurdjiieff learned of the enneagram from a sect of Sufis (mystical Islam). The Sufis used the enneagram for numerological divination. Oscar Ichazo later developed a personality theory around the enneagram and added it. (Online source)

In Sufism the goal is to use mystical practices such as transcendental meditation and altered states of consciousness to make oneself whole in union with God, which is thought to be “redemption.” And toward the path of this redemption, with its own version of “the true self,” the enneagram chart is thought to assist this process. Christian apologist Mike Oppenheimer of the fine online apologetics and discernment ministry Let Us Reason explains:

The Enneagram symbol is a nine-pointed, star-like figure. The nine lines comprise a perfect triangle and a twisted hexagon contained within a circle. This is a New Age type mandala, a mystical gateway to personality classification. The drawing is based upon a belief in the mystical properties of the numbers 7 and 3.

There are lines that connect some of the points on the circumference of the circle, an arrangement based on what are taken to be the mystical and cosmological properties of the numbers three and seven. Mixtures with numerically adjoining types are particularly frequent, called “wings.” A 5′s wing will either be type 4, or type 6 (or occasionally both). A 9′s wing will either be type 8 or 1.

The Enneagram is chart or diagram with many points and lines inside and touching a circle. The enneagram symbol itself is a circle along whose circumference appear nine equally spaced points marked by the numerals 1 through 9 in succession. The chart purports to describe nine different personality types, and a automatic or mechanical response to life. (Online source)

By the way, the aforementioned George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1866?-1949) was:

considered by some to be the greatest mystical teacher of all time, and by others to be a fraud. His liberation philosophy, commonly called “the Work,” set occultism on its ear in the 1920s and paved the way for now-conventional techniques of group and encounter therapy. [1]

So practicing CSM is leading Peter Scazzero in the same direction as Doug Pagitt and now right into lock-step spiritually with Gurdjieff’s “work” of the Fourth Way where:

one may pass from the darkness of this world with its wars, hatred and confusion to the inner sanctuary of the heart where one can discover what Gurdjieff calls “Real I”, whereby a man or woman can develop the wish, as the Gospels instructs, to “Love God with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”…

If more of us could consciously live the ideas contained in Psychological Commentaries on the Teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky we would, indeed, guarantee entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven for every man, woman and child on the planet… (Online source)

Yet another reason to avoid practicing CSM and CCP. In closing this, for now, the point is Peter Scazzero’s not a minor player and he has the ringing endorsements of both CGM gurus Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. He’s infecting scores of evangelical pastors with this foolishness. Finally, Scazzero’s compromised protholic CSM also comes highly recommended by New Calvinist mentor Tim Keller, an ostensibly Reformed Gospel Coalition Council Member, as well:

(Online source)

Dr. Keller then tells us in his endorsement within The Emotionally Healthy Church (EHC) itself:

Such is the state of the church visible when TGC has members openly, and highly, recommending the perverted practices of Counter Reformation spirituality…and now you can see…even worse…

End notes:

[1], accessed 1/16/12.

See also: