Tony Campolo’s ‘Thin Places’: Occultic Christianity

“You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob.  They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines  and embrace pagan customs.”  Isaiah 2:6

Nazarenes and all other Christians, welcome to the mystical world of the occult, when you welcome Tony Campolo.

Anyone- yes, anyone- who supports this man as a legitimate Christian leader is complicit with his agenda to promote his doctrines of demons!  You are guilty of helping a false prophet possibly deceiving your very own children someday.  I am making this point clear to you because there are pastors out there- irresponsible pastors- who are recklessly or ignorantly promoting this man for what he said at ENC last week.

What Tony Campolo said last week resulted in my post from Monday which as I said, got my blood boiling for various reasons.  I would like to help you understand clearly what Dr. Campolo meant when he referenced “the thin place.”  After reading this, could anyone let me know if you still think it is wise to have such a man speak to any group of Christian students, or adults, or pastors?  If not, could you write a letter to the leadership of ENC or your school of interest, and ask that Tony Campolo and others like him never speak there?

Thin places are tied closely to and are a part of the new spirituality.  They are part of the whole repertoire of contemplative spirituality practices that are just a repackaged and “Christianized” form, of transcendental meditation.  TM is not taught in the Bible in any way, shape or form.  It’s no surprise that Marcus Borg (denies the uniqueness of Christ) has an affinity to thin places, as reported here.   False teacher Brian McLaren attests to having experienced thin places.  (“Yes, I have experienced both dimensions of what you describe: God’s presence flowing like a gentle current in simple human interaction, and God’s presence shining through what the old Celts called “thin places.”” )
Scot McKnight, a proponent of emergent church ideology, speaks favorably of thin places as a way of getting close to God.  So it all ties together, and I am sure this is a concept that no emergent/post-modern Christian will criticize, because that would undermine their philosophy of non-judgmentalism, and their house of cards would fall along with the rest of their false gospel.

What’s a thin place? According to Sylvia Maddox at the Explore Faith website:

“There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller. A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.”

Thin places are also well described on a website by Mindie Burgoyne (  I don’t know if she is the foremost expert on this topic, but she certainly seems to have a good grasp of its history, philosophy, and practice.  Mindie says on her blog, Where This World Meets The Eternal World,  that she has a deep interest in the mystical.  No surprise there if you like thin places.  Here is a basic definition she gives:

“In simple terms a ‘thin place’ is a place where the veil between this world and the Other world is thin, the Other world is more near.  This meaning assumes the perceiver senses the existence of a world beyond  what we know through our five senses.  Since the times of ancient civilization the fascination with the “Other world” has occupied human minds.  To some it is heaven, the kingdom, paradise.  To others it may be hell, an abyss, the unknown.  Whatever you perceive the Other world to be, a thin place is a place where connection to that world seems effortless, and ephemeral signs of its existence are almost palpable.”

And here she attests to Dr. Campolo’s reference to the Celtics as those who know of these thin places well:

“The Pre-Christian and Celtic people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England had a keen sense for thin places.   The landscape is littered with monuments, markings and ruins that once boldly stated, “This is a thin place. This is holy ground.”  The very ground itself seems to call out, “Come here and be transformed.”  In a quiet moment, a visitor today can feel the connection with the people whose spirits first marked these spots, and all the pilgrims who have visited since.  They are vivid reminders that we are all joined inside and outside of time.”

Apparently there are also thin moments”, but I won’t get into that- she explains that too.  But she then says later:

“A thin place is simply that – a PLACE where the veil is thin.  The place itself calls you, draws you into itself, transports you into the presence of the world beyond this world.  The thinness of place moves you into the presence of the mysterious power.  There, all things you perceive through your senses are charged, electrified, illuminated with the presence of that power.”

She further explains thin places:

“This brings us to another characteristic of thin places.  They are often marked by human spirits that have gone before, felt the thinness and been changed by it.  Thin places not only transcend the senses, but transcend the boundaries of time and space.  While you’re there, time seems to stand still, and there is a communion with the human spirits that have walked there before and are yet to walk.”

Thin places apparently sharpen your senses:

“The more you experience thin places, the sharper your senses become.”

You can apparently meet the “Divine Presence” in thin places:

“Thin Places are ports in the storm of life, where the pilgrims can move closer to the God they seek,  where one leaves that which is familiar and journeys into the Divine Presence.”

And this is perhaps the “gospel message” of thin places:

“They probe to the core of the human heart and open the pathway that leads to satisfying the familiar hungers and yearnings common to all people on earth, the hunger to be connected, to be a part of something greater, to be loved, to find peace.”

In an article by Michael McMullen on the same site, he describes how thin places are like and where some of them are, such as Croagh Patrick mountain in Europe:

“Christian and pagan, this is a sacred mountain…  For on this high and remote place one is close to the gate of heaven, close to the early Christian spirit and perhaps close to ones best aspirations…   He (St. Patrick) imposed a new spirituality on and old spirituality and there is a continuum in the thought patterns between the pagan and the Christian mind. On many of the pagan symbols he and his followers cut the firm cross of Christ. Perhaps we could say that the ancient Irish possessed minds that were naturally Christian.”

If all of this is biblical in any way, I don’t know what else to tell you.  But this is what Tony Campolo meant when he told perhaps 300 students at a Christian school about a thin place.

My point in all this is not to put down Mindie Burgoyne or any other proponent of this stuff, because she is not being invited to our Christian schools-yet.   I do pray that she will wake up from this deception and find the true Christ of the Bible, otherwise her soul is lost.  She and others I quoted are an example I used to show you what this “thin place” is, and that Tony Campolo is connected to it, and he believes in it, and yet he is still speaking to Nazarene youth.

This is nothing but of the occult and the mysticism of today’s emergent church and their New Age friends! If anyone understands what they just read, they will clearly see this.  And for anyone to pretend that Tony Campolo has something good to offer, and deserves to speak at a Christian campus, then let us go on and invite others as well!  Based on that criteria, how about inviting also the following: Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Joyce Myers, Benny Hinn, Robert Schuler, Leonard Sweet (he’s already on the list apparently).  Let’s just bring in anyone- anyone at all- who has at least a few good things to say, who can dazzle the crowd with some well-placed scripture, and the undiscerning young person walks away thinking, “man that was a great message!  The spirit was really moving today!”  But all it was that day, was the spirit of the age, not the Spirit of God, and yet, so many are being deceived right before our eyes.

If some of you don’t understand yet why I am against this man and others speaking to Christian audiences, I pray that you will understand now.  I pray that God will reveal the truth to you about some of these predators who are only tools of satan.  That’s all they are, tools of satan.  If I am wrong, may God open my eyes and forgive me, but I cannot see that, when I clearly see what scripture speaks to us about them, and what they do to twist the word of God.  They are “hypocritical liars.”

I’m not a “Bible scholar.”  Some of you would embarrass me with your command of memorized scripture, or your ability to find a passage in the Bible quickly.  But… don’t you see it too?  If so, why are some of you mad at us for telling the truth?  All I am interested in doing with these posts is to help keep at least one person from going to hell based on a false gospel, a false Jesus.  But I am really afraid for some of you, (and some of you used to be my friends) because I truly believe the greatest deception is still to come.  And I’m afraid you may get swept into it, and the worst thing that you can do, is deny the real Jesus, and compromise, and join the crowd that is going down the wide road of “unity”, and ecumenism, and one-ism.  It’s a well-paved road, very comfortable, very accommodating, very understanding, that leads straight to everlasting punishment.

Nazarenes and other Christians, welcome to the mystical world of the occult, when you welcome Tony Campolo.

5 responses to “Tony Campolo’s ‘Thin Places’: Occultic Christianity

  1. Hi Manny:

    Mindy Burgoyne says this in her description “They are often marked by human spirits that have gone before,”

    We are given explicit warning in scripture against those who would deal with or posses a familiar spirit. We are to have nothing to do with them. These are surely not the actual spirits of the dearly departed, rather they are evil spirits who masquerade in this form. This is not a way to find God.

    Lev 20:6 ¶ And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

    The proper path is found in the next verse.

    Lev 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I [am] the LORD your God.

  2. We’ve spent the last few years “refocusing” and finding out what itching ears want to hear.

    Why should it surprise us that folks want everything “spiritual” EXCEPT repentance for sin and belief in Jesus for salvation?

    After all, we’ve taught them to just tell us what they want.

    How long has it been since you heard a sermon that focused on God rather than on people?

  3. Thanks for the post. I found it from LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS. I am behind on understanding this emergent church stuff and you have made things very clear. I just spent 3 years in a church where the pastor strongly denied being emergent. But his desire to be “relevant” made the teaching very water-down. I think most Christians around me have been affected by this “new spirituality” but will resist negative comments against specific ministries. We are being so deceived!

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