…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)

Opening The Door For CSM In The “Protestant” SBC

Apprising Ministries is one of the few labors in the Lord which is addressing the current drift away from sola Scriptura in contemporary evangelicalism. 

This falling away has opened the door for highly subjective and spiritually corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) with its Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), all of which flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism.

Men and women, right now this CSM is spreading as a cancer within the visible Christian church through the spurious Spiritual Formation as taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard. In Christianity Today Promoting the Cult of Richard Foster a few years back I told you about a feature interview with Foster in Christianity Today magazine.

And AM also showed you in Christianity Today Promoting the Roman Catholic Mystic Catherine of Siena there’s not even an attempt to hide evangelicalism’s lust for this centered on the self mysticism. The main reason for this is that for years now evangelicals really have been moving away from sola Scriputra and toward the more existential neo-orthodox view of Scripture. Think of the Bible studies you’ve been in where everyone discusses how they “feel” about a given text.In simple terms, we’ve slowly been taught to interpret the text of the Bible by what one thinks God might be saying and how we then feel about it.

Having been through the “Experiencing God” (EG) program when it was first a rage within the Southern Baptist Convention in the mid 90’s I am quite familiar with it. And I also know that it unfortunately laid the foundation for so-called “Christian” mysticism now openly taught by entire State Conventions of the SBC. This I’ve shown you even years ago in Georgia Baptist Convention (SBC) Now Promoting the Cult of Richard Foster and Apostasy, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) in the SBC and Disease in the Church where I bring out the epidemic within evangelicalism of me-no-wanna-see-i-tis.

Concerning EG Christian apologist Bob DeWaay tells us in his Criticial Issues Commentary piece Unbiblical Teachings on Prayer and Experiencing God: How Mysticism Misleads Christians that Henry Blackaby “does start out with some basic facts about the gospel.” However, DeWaay is exactly right when he says that “the reader is [then] quickly ushered into the realm of subjectivity that permeates Blackaby’s approach from beginning to end.” This is that neo-orthodox “feelings-oriented,” and very wrong approach to the Bible I spoke of earlier.

Southern Baptists Experiencing God In Protestant Mysticism-Lite

As DeWaay also goes on to point out:

For example, we are urged to evaluate our “present experience with God.” However, I have known people who are totally deceived and in bondage to false doctrine who are very excited about their experience with God, so such evaluation doesn’t do much good. For example, I once met a pastor who just returned from the Toronto laughing revival and was so very excited because he had seen “God” cause people to bark like dogs and quack like ducks. That is just one example why what one thinks about his own “experience with God” is immaterial. What we need to know are the terms God has laid down for knowing Him and walking faithfully with Him.

In Blackaby’s theology, the importance of God’s self-revelation through the Scriptures is de-emphasized while personal experience is given priority. He writes, “We come to know God as we experience Him. God reveals Himself through our experience of Him at work in our lives.” I am not disputing that God is at work in our lives if we have truly been converted. But, like other subjectivists, Blackaby de-emphasizes specific revelation (Scripture) and puts unwarranted emphasis on general revelation (what can be observed in the created order). Our personal, spiritual experiences are unreliable. People observing general revelation and interpreting their own spiritual experiences in light of it have created the host of the world’s false religions. (Online source)

Essentially what we are getting with EG is a mysticism-lite where we “feel” we’re having direct experience with God. But how do we know that it’s really God and not just reaction from e.g. some bad potato salad we may have eaten? This is the exact same kind of concern Dr. Gary Gilley expresses concerning the supposedly safe “spiritual formation” teaching of Donald Whitney, which you can read in Book Review: “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S. Whitney. Gilley also reviews EG in Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.

With this necessary backdrop, and by permisison, I publish the following short letter concerning EG, which I received here at AM just last night. Being here to handle these types of questions is an other reason why I will ask that if you have been blessed by my work in Christ at AM that you would consider supporting us financially. You can find out how to do so here:

Dear AM,

Some friends are going through the Experiencing God study and after reading the first few days of study I can see the misuse of scripture. Do you have any info on this study to help me expose it?

AM Reader

Hello AM Reader,

Thank you for contacting Apprising Ministries. You asked about “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackwell. The best refutations I’ve seen were done by a couple of friends of mine, Bob DeWaay and Gary Gilley.

I put the links below for you. The first is by Bob DeWaay and the three part series from Gary Gilley.

Unbiblical Teachings on Prayer and Experiencing God: How Mysticism Misleads Christians

Experiencing God – Part 1

Experiencing God – Part 2

Experiencing God – Part 3

I pray this helps.

Blessings in Christ,

Ken Silva, pastor-teacher

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