Author Of Heretical Book “Proudly” Welcomed At Northwest Nazarene

The press release reads at the beginning like this:

“Northwest Nazarene University Alumni Association is proud to welcome William Paul Young, author of The Shack, to campus Sept. 22, 2011. The Shack is one of the top 70 New York Bestsellers of all time.”

This school continues on a path of reckless invitations to just about anyone who claims that they are Christian.  A few years ago, it was universalist and panentheist Dr. Jay McDaniel promoting his version of the gospel, to the apparent delight of NNU professors and leaders.  (False Teaching In A Christian University: A Shocking Example).

There have been other very dubious speakers at the school.  Brennan Manning was a guest speaker on the college campus church. He was quoted favorably at a chapel service in 2008 by the college president.  Manning promotes contemplative mysticism, practicing “the silence”, mantras, centering prayer and other forms of New Age occultism and Eastern meditation.  In his book Abba’s Child, he refutes the Cross of Christ as the only way to salvation.  He mocks Bible-believers and calls them bibliolaters.  He believes that homosexuality is acceptable.  He is ecumenical and embraces other religions as valid.

Another false teacher welcomed in 2008 was Brian McLaren in his famous “Everything Must Change” tour.  McLaren and his friends wants to change EVERYTHING about Christianity, because in his wisdom, we have not learned a thing right in 2,000 years.  He is free to make that judgment, but then turns around says he has no clue if homosexuality is a sin.  In this video, Eric Barger describes some of the bizarre goings on at that conference at NNU with McLaren.

You can read more on the school’s bad decisions in this article I posted, Northwest Nazarene University: Symbol Of What’s Wrong In Our Christian Schools.

Will Northwest Nazarene leadership ever learn anything about proper discernment?  The Shack is one of the most heretical novels ever plied to Christians, yet so many have shown lack of biblical discernment with this novel.  If you have a pastor who promotes this book, he has a serious lack of discernment.

It promotes the most heretical concepts of God and His nature, and is blasphemous just on the basis of depicting God (called Papa) is depicted as a tall African-American woman, the Holy Spirit (Sarayu) as a small Asian woman, and Jesus as a Jewish carpenter.   It promotes the modalistic view of the Trinity that is taught by TD Jakes and other.  Modalism is the belief that God manifest Himself in three different ways, instead of what scripture teaches, that God is One, but three Persons in one.

The God of The Shack is also absolutely non-judgmental, which fits in with the ideology of the emergent church, of the ecumenical movement, of the New Evangelicals, and other aberrant movements that hold holds with just about anything.

In the novel, Jesus also tells Mack that he is “the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” The best way, NOT the only way.

Papa also says to Mack, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”
That is wrong.  God is a holy judge, and He will clearly punish us for our sin against Him.

In his review of the book, David Cloud notes:

In “The Shack,” Young presents traditional Bible-believing Christianity as hypocritical and hurtful. The book’s main character grew up under “rigorous rules,” and his father, who was an elder in the church, was “a closet drinker” and treated his family with cruelty when drunk (p. 7).

Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people, doesn’t like traditional Bible churches, does not accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and does not mind if the early chapters of the Bible are interpreted as “myth.

Another foundational problem with “The Shack” is its denial of the Bible as the absolute and sole authority. Note the following quote:

“In seminary he [the book’s main figure, Mack] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. … Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” (pp. 65, 66).

Not only is “The Shack’s” god suspiciously similar to the one described in the books of the more liberal branch of the emerging church (e.g., Rob Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren), it also has a strong kinship to the New Age god promoted by John Lennon and Oprah Winfrey.

Additional quotes from the book:

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. … I have no desire to make them Christian” (p. 182).

There is so much more wrong with this book, and yet NNU is proud to have William Paul Young on campus.  This is just one of the many reasons I do NOT recommend anyone to send their child to this school.  You do so at their peril.

Additional References:

The Shack’s Cool God (David Cloud)

The Shack — The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment (Dr. Al Mohler)

A Look At The Shack (audio) Dr Al Mohler
Matt Slick interview the ‘Shack’ author Paul Young:​nloads/videos/MattSlickInt​erviewsTheShackBookAuthorP​aulYoung070908.wmv

Anthony Harper’s interview with the ‘Burning Down The Shack’ author Dr. James DeYoung – link below:​nloads/audio/IMCNH%2009-09​-10BurningDownTheShackAuth​orDrDeYoung.mp3


Are The Watchmen Failing?

Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  Ezekiel 33:12

This post is less about Mike King, or David Crowder, or any one individual that might be mentioned here.  This is a question about church leadership and its responsibilities, and also is a question about what is your responsibility as a Bible believing Christian.

I remind you of what an utter disgrace it was… this Wildgoose Festival that occurred recently in North Carolina, masquerading as a “Christian” festival.  What an absolute slap in the face to our Lord Jesus Christ this was, as dozens of apostates were featured at this abominable gathering, including one organizer and board chairman of this event, Mike King.  I also remind you that he is an adjunct professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary, executive editor of IMMERSE Youth Journal which is published by Nazarene Publishing House, is involved with Barefoot Ministries which is another arm of the NPH, and he is president of YouthFront, a group that promotes contemplative mysticism and emergent ideas.   And just recently he also was a presenter at the Nazarene Youth Congress in Kentucky.

Here is an excerpt from a recent report on the Wildgoose Festival that Mr. King helped organize:

“Instead of Bible studies, there were labyrinth walks. Instead of praise-and-worship music, there was hymn-singing in a beer garden and a bluegrass liturgy presided over by a tattooed female Lutheran minister. Visitors were greeted with buckets of water in which to baptise themselves, and tubs of mud to remind them that “dust thou art”. (In Britain, the mud is usually underfoot.) Lecture topics ranged from sex trafficking and social justice to authority in the church and interfaith relations. Visitors could learn from Tom Prasada-Rao, a singer, how to chant “Om” and “Hallelujah Hare Krishna”, or hear Paul Fromberg, a pastor from San Francisco, talking about his 2005 wedding to another man. “God is changing the church through the bodies of gay men,” Mr Fromberg told a packed session on human sexuality. Also under discussion was “religious multiple belonging”—in other words, belonging to a clutch of different faiths at once.”   (

Again, what a disgrace this event was.  I have previously written and warned that one of the main targets of the apostate movement of emergent/emerging church is the youth.  In the Nazarene denomination, a primary influence in spreading these heresies is Mr. King, and yet he remains, and probably will remain, in any position that he is in today in the denomination, in spite of the damage he is doing to countless youth with his badly undiscerning associations and his blatantly open promotion of contemplative mysticism.   Why will he likely remain?  Perhaps it is because the leadership is asleep at the wheel?

 There are limited solutions to this problem.  The first is that the Lord will convict Mr. King of his error filled ways, and he repents of his emergent/mystical/ecumenical/gay affirming ideology whose source is Satan, not God.  However, those who have approved of his actions need the same kind of repentance.  Those who are responsible for allowing him to teach at NTS, along with others who are promoting mystical practices, should be questioned about their discernment.  An alternate solution is that perhaps a watchman of great influence or in a high leadership position (very high?) convinces him (and others at the seminary) to move on for the sake of our youth.  Or he could simply be relieved of his duties by those who are responsible for hiring him, yet, why would they if they also approve of his false teachings?  Do we have such a watchman?  Currently, the seminary does not even have a permanent president, but once he is hired, will he also continue the same unbiblical trends we are seeing develop at the seminary?

And so shortly after Wildgoose, King continued on to participate as a presenter at the Nazarene Youth Congress.  And the watchmen on the wall, if there are still any within our youth organizations today, missed at least one thing, if nothing else.  We have not had a complete report from NYC, but we hold our breaths in anticipation of what else was passed on to our youth besides what is glossed over in the program brochure.  I shudder to think of how wide Mr. King’s influence was at the NYC, but I prayed that no damage would come to any student because of his lack of discernment and support of a treasure trove of apostates from Wildgoose.

And now to at least one thing that was missed, and that is a featured singer at the Nazarene Youth Congress this past Saturday night illustrates the continuing compromises that are going on.  David Crowder is very popular in the Contemporary Christian Music world.  It seems that one of the problems today in Christianity is that as soon as a band labels itself “Christian”, and its songs are played on K-Luv or some other Christian oriented music station, and the songs sound and make us feel soooo good, that they are accepted without question.  But what is also wrong with many Christian contemporary groups and singers today is their eagerness to bring in worldly things and try to “consecrate” it to Jesus.  It is the same philosophy of Dan Boone, who claims that a pagan practice like a prayer labyrinth can be taken by Christians and be then sanctified for God’s purposes.  (In that case, let’s bring on the Santeria practice of sacrificing chickens on an altar and sanctify that for Jesus, because, what’s the difference?)

It seems too many of us, myself included, have become tolerant of just about any Christian band that sings really cool songs with a great beat that makes us feel good.  We start forgetting what music should be about and that is to give praise to HIM, not me!  And the influence of a Christian artist goes beyond his music, and that is where David Crowder shows his theology, as seen in this post by the writer at Defending Contending: David Crowder’s Crowded Theology.  Crowder wrote a book (Praise Habit), in which he quoted from the horrible paraphrased The Message Bible, and the back cover commentary is by emergent writer Donald Miller, of Blue Like Jazz fame.

Are our leaders letting these folks do anything, whatever they please, and turning aside so as not to cause “disunity” or hurt anyone’s feelings? After reading this review, I asked, did this slip by the discerning eyes of the watchmen on the wall?  Or, are there no watchmen on the wall within our youth organizations, and this is simply another example of compromise with anything and anyone that proclaims the name of Christ?

I’m afraid that it seems to be the latter. Such is the state of many denominations such as the Nazarene church, and nary a word from hardly any leader in the church.  Oh, some are speaking out.  And yes, I have been in touch with leaders, and former leaders, who are grieved in their hearts about what is happening.  Yet the continuing silence from most in leadership, and from most pastors, is amazing, because they have been receiving reports of these things for several years now.  They seem to forget the scriptural warnings about those who have seen and recognized evil, but fail to do anything about it.

Are the watchmen failing?

The Watchman, And Real Nazarenes Pt. 3

The Watchman

by Scottish pastor, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Thy way, not mine, O Lord, however dark it be;

Lead me by Thine own hand, choose out the path for me.

“…if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ … I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.” Ezekiel 33:6-7

“Some one, then, must undertake the ungracious task of probing and laying bare the evils of the age; for men must not be allowed to congratulate themselves that all is well. If others will not, he will.

If others shrink from the obloquy of such a work, he will not…. He loves his fellow-men too well. They may upbraid him; they may call him a misanthropist, or a prophet of evil; they may ascribe his warnings to the worst of motives, such as pride, or arrogance, or self-esteem, or malice, or envy; but he will give no heed to these unjust insinuations.

He will prefer being thus misunderstood and maligned, to allowing men to precipitate themselves upon a ruin which they see not. Rather than that they should perish, he will allow his own good name to be spoken against. He will risk every thing, even the hatred of brethren, rather than withhold the warning. If they give no heed to it, he has, at least, saved his own soul. If they do, he has saved both his own soul and theirs.

He would rather take up the glad tidings of peace, and tell men of Him who came the first time for shame and death, and who is coming the second time for glory and dominion; but he feels as one who has a special and personal message to deliver, which cannot be postponed.

He must remember that he is a watchman; and, having seen danger pressing on, he must not hesitate to make it known. He must speak his message of forewarning and rebuke, sparing no arrows, and neither smoothing down nor hiding any form of sin, but laying his finger upon every sore, and beseeching men to turn from their ungodliness. The evils around him press upon him sadly; the coming evils are foreshadowed upon his spirit, and, therefore, he lifts up his voice like a trumpet.

Satan has many snares which need to be detected; the world has many spells and lures which must be disenchanted; religion has many guises which must be unmasked, many devious paths of inconsistency which must be pointed out, many cherished errors which must be condemned, many carnal taints which must be abhorred and shunned. All these he must protest against without fear or favour.”

Smooth let it be or rough,

It will be still the best;

Winding or straight, it leads

Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;

I would not, if I might;

Choose Thou for me, my God,

So I shall walk aright.



Real Nazarenes Part 3

I am a third generation Nazarene taken to church at two weeks old.  Both of my grandmothers helped to start a Nazarene Church in Jerome and Johnstown, PA.  Two of my uncles and aunts pastored Nazarene churches.  My family and I sang in Nazarene churches as the “Singing Carrico Family” for many years.  I traveled and sang in an Iowa Youth Tour in 1967 with Dr. Jim Diehl and District Superintendent, Dr. Gene Phillips.  My heart is broken over the apostasy that has come into our denomination.  The emergent/new age teachings have been taught in our colleges and seminary and now we are having to deal with pastors, district superintendents, lay people and perhaps general superintendents deceiving our people.  God help us!  We need a Holy Ghost revival of true repentance and turning back to the Lord Jesus Christ from the very top officials right down to those who sit in the pews.  When it is time for me to pull my letter out of the Church of the Nazarene, I will do so.  With what I see going on right now, I don’t think it will be much longer.

Meldora Rapp


Well, I am a real Nazarene. I hold credentials in the Nazarene church as a District Licensed minister. I do support the COTN both in polity and in the Manual. However, we would be fools to realize that the church is not in trouble. We are. We are facing the worst form of an attack and that is from the inside. Those forces who malign us for being concerned Nazarenes, do not understand the fight or just how far this has gone. We must earnestly contend for the faith, once delivered to the saints.

When we compromise that Bible we end up condoning sin. We must not give into the world. We have allowed the world to infiltrate the church. If we fail to realize this, we are fools. We must draw a line in the sand and boldly say no more!

If we do not stand for truth in these trying days, then we will not stand when we need to. We are Nazarenes and should be above this emergent thought and stick to the word of the Lord for our answers.

We must pray and seek the Lords face and be bold enough to take a stand. If we cannot do this, our fate is sealed. If we give in to the world’s ways, compromising on sin and the only way to God is through Christ, we are lying to ourselves and those around us.

There is an opportunity here to stop the loss of people leaving the denomination and once again make the Nazarene church a beacon of light in a lost and dying world. Return to the ways not of the Catholic church, but of the Bible. In its words we find the answer to the problems of the world and of sin. When we love the sinner and the sin, we have crossed the line. May the Lord forgive us.

Mark Fonner

Mainstream Evangelicalism Embracing Contemplative Mysticism

from Pastor Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries:

on Jun 28, 2011

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.
Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

(Galatians 3:1-3)

Pretending To Be Protestant Evangelicals Adopting Roman Catholic Ascetic Practices

As part of our online apologetics and discernment labors Apprising Ministries been documenting the New Downgrade within evangelicalism, which accelerated when its own mainstream made the fateful decision to more fully embrace the sinfully ecumenical Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church. Now upgraded to the Emerging Church 2.0, it actually has its own new postmodern form of “big tent” Progressive Christianity—a Liberalism 2.0—sometimes referred to by these rebels against the final authority of God’s Word as Emergence Christianity.

The EC would prove to be a Trojan Horse where Satan has been able to off-load his ne0-Gnostic mystic corruption Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), an infestation of which is now becoming pandemic within the very heart of the church visible. I’ve told you before that this spurious CSM—the refried Roman Catholic mysticism “discovered” by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, and now perpetrated 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.

Let me give you an idea of how long this CSM has been slithering around in mainstream evangelicalism and exactly how far it has now spread. Dr. Gary Gilley has just reviewed The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Spiritual Disciplines For Ordinary People By John Ortberg and begins by telling us that Ortberg is:

a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, [who] published The Life You’ve Always Wanted in 1997 and expanded it in 2002. (Online source)

So this book dates back to when the EC left from its demonic den to begin slithering toward your local church circa 1997; and further, Willow Creek—though like the EC a part of the semi-pelagian (at best) Church Growth Movement—is not Emergent but a highly influential evangelical church in the more Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven-type camp. Yet just look at the CSM skubalon Ortberg throws at the flock:

The book, however, is heavily laced with the teachings, and teachers, of mysticism and Roman Catholic traditions and rituals.

The authors he draws from and quotes are a virtual Who’s—Who of mystics both past and present:

Richard Foster (pp. 9, 81, 100, 112, 113, 143)
Dallas Willard (pp. 10, 27, 35, 43, 52, 66, 92, 106)
St. John of the Cross (pp. 36, 157)
Thomas Kelly (pp. 76, 140, 150)
Thomas Merton (pp. 85, 95, 96)
Henri Nouwen (PP. 86, 99, 158, 161, 180)
Julian of Norwich (p. 91)
George Fox (p. 142)
Ignatius of Loyola (p. 142)
The Desert Fathers (pp. 171, 180)
Francois Fenelon (p. 173)
Madame Guyon (p. 186)

In addition, there are assorted liberals and Roman Catholic leaders that he quotes positively including:

James Dunn (p. 31)
G. K. Chesterton (p. 61)
Mother Teresa (pp. 66-68)
Carl Jung (p. 77)
Tony Campolo (p. 104)
Pope John XXIII (pp. 124, 207)
Soren Kierkegaard (pp. 11, 175, 218)

And as expected, since this book is about “spiritual disciplines for ordinary people,” there is much borrowed from Roman Catholic tradition, especially from the mystical wing (pp. 44, 54, 98, 102, 131, 201). (Online source)

Despite all of the above reasons to roundly reject it, as you can see below, this book of Romish coprolite comes highly recommended by Saddleback Church of Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren:

(Online source)

For more on books by teachers of CSM, which you’ll find recommended and sold at Saddlback, I refer you to a couple of my pieces from last year, Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, And Spiritual Disciplines and Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines. So here I’ll just show you that right underneath Ortberg’s book of mystic mythology at Saddleback’s recommended resources for Spiritual Disciplines you’ll find both of the main gurus in what’s becoming a cult of Foster-Willardism:

(Online source)

Notice that both of these books are made available to its flock by Saddleback, itself one of the most influential churches within the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest *cough* Protestant denomination in the U.S. Dr. Gilley has rightly referred to Foster’s magnum opus as a virtual encyclopedia of theological error.[1] I guess other than that it’s a pretty valuable book for evangelical Protestants; such is the growing syncretism and spiritual blindness. Ah, but there’s more; you’re probably aware that Dr. John Piper has apparently taken it upon himself to rehabilitate Rick Warren’s rep for the Reformed community. 

Well, let me now show you that they may possibly have even more in common than we knew. A year ago I wrote Questions Concerning Dr. John Piper where, even after they changed links at the online library of Bethlehem Baptist Church (BBC) of John Piper, we also find both books by Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. The links for the BBC library have again been redone since that piece I just referenced; however, today we will still find Foster:

(Online source)

You’ll also still find Foster’s sidekick Dallas Willard as well:

(Online source)

The other day in John Piper, Rick Warren & Foster-Willardism I pointed out that Foster’s Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home actually teaches us how do practice the crown jewel of CSM, a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP), which was never taught by Jesus or His Apostles. I’ve also told you in previous AM posts such as Acts 29 Network And Reformed Counter Reformation Spirituality? and Mark Driscoll And Neo-Reformed New Calvinist Contemplative Spirituality, this CSM really is infiltrating the younger sector of the Reformed camp.

In my estimation there’s very good reason for concern as these people, because of the credibility of John Piper—who’s seen by some as a “pioneer” of this New Calvinism[2], are rapidly growing in popularity and influence within the younger sectors of largely pretending to be Protestant mainstream evangelicalism. Another who is also making quite an impact within what looks to me to be a postmodern form of Calvinism, which embraces Reformation theology and then weds it with Counter Reformation spirituality, is Dr. Tim Keller. Note the following resource recommended by Saddleback:

(Online source)

This Spiritual Disciplines Handbook (SDH) by Adele Calhoun, a pastrix at Redeemer Community Church, is part of the fetid Formatio line at InterVarsityPress (IVP), which itself is absolutely chock full of CSM skubalon. We’re told SDH will teach us, “Fasting. Solitude. Contemplative prayer. Lectio divina.” [3] My guess is this is the kind of stuff that would prompt former staff worker at IVP, J. Mack Stiles, to write What’s Happening to InterVarsity? that ran recently at 9 Marks. And sadly, we aren’t even surprised anymore to see Tim Keller as the first with an endorsement for SDH:

(Online source)

And just what “profited” Dr. Keller from the “experience” of pastrix Calhoun (in violation of God’s Word) that he would wish to so “highly recommend?” Well, right on the back cover of her SDH Calhoun tells us this handbook of heterodox (at best) practices features “how to” information on CCP and Lectio Divina. As I peruse my personal copy of SDH I’m informed that I can learn how to “open myself to God” through the Examen of Counter Reformation figure Ignatius of Loyola, founder of that militantly pro-Roman Catholic Church spiritual Gestapo Unit aka the Jesuits; who weren’t real fond of Protestant Reformers.

You need to understand this stuff isn’t a mere abberation, and it’s definitely not guilt by association; no, this is guilt by endorsement. Remember, John Piper is the one who opened up Warrengate and then decided to continue promoting him in a recent interview, which I covered e.g. in John Piper Interviews Rick Warren At Saddleback. So, if you want more information, here I’ll just point you Hangin’ With Mr. Piper (Some Observations On The Piper-Warren Interview) by Lane Chaplin:

there has been a lot of talk with Warren being called a chameleon, and I certainly appreciate this commentary. There is abundant evidence for this conclusion. However, make no mistake, “chameleon” is just a nicer way of saying, “hypocrite” or “deceiver.” The interesting part is that the “chameleon” label is not just being applied by wing-nut discernment folk who also believe aliens give them Smucker’s for their toast every morning. It is also being applied by significant leaders in evangelicalism abroad to characterize Warren.

I find this encouraging. A true leader stands up in the face of adversity, and it’s refreshing to see so many leaders not capitulating to Piper’s endorsement even though it may, no doubt, cost them something temporal whether that be status, income from books, advertising, etc. (Online source)

Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism Is Melding Evangelicals And Progressive/Liberals

As I begin to close this out, for now, I’ll tell you plainly that the concern needs to be the kind of fruit that this refried Roman Catholic mysticism invariably produces. Lord willing, and should funding allow, I plan to document further for you what CSM does to those who persist in it. Your biggest clues are 1) as it spread through the antibiblical monastic traditions of the Church of Rome, CSM played a major role in producing apostate Roman Catholicism in the first place; and 2) just take a look at what it’s done to those in the Emerging Church like its iconic rock star pastor Rob Bell, who’s now openly arguing for Christian Universalism through his Love Wins mythology.

Here’s an example that touches directly upon both Willow Creek and Saddleback; at his inaugural Radicalis conference Rick Warren featured a CSM guru by the name of Peter Scazzero (in video below), founder and pastor of New Life Fellowship Church:

(Online source)

As you can see, Scazzero’s shtick is teaching CSM to Protestant evangelical pastors; and you need to know that he also does it for the Willow Creek Association (WCA), which extends from the man-centered Church Growth Movement mega-church Willow Creek Community Church. In Peter Scazzero Recommending Contemplative/Centering Prayer I brought out how we’re told that WCA “is regarded as the most influential ministry to evangelical pastors in the U.S.”[4] You’ll see below that Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS) is officially partnered with WCA:

(Online source)

The point is, with the ringing endorsement of CGM gurus Rick Warren and Bill Hybels we can see that Peter Scazzero, sadly, is now gaining more and more of a forum within mainstream evangelical circles for his Romish psychobabble, which has little to nothing to do with proper Christian spirituality. They aren’t the only ones recommending Scazzero either; consider what Redeeemer Presbyterian Church (RPC) of Tim Keller lists under Recommended Resources for Community Formation and Small Group Ministries:

As I first showed you in Tim Keller Also Promoting Mystic Guru Peter Scazzero, on page 144 of The Emotionally Healthy Church (EMC) Scazzero teaches the mystic myth of the “true self”; and as you’ll see below, he appeals to apostate Roman Catholic mystics Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen to do it:

Since guru Scazzero uses Merton as his expert witness on this so-called true self, and you can see in Thomas Merton And The Buddhas his lifelong devotion to CSM would make him more like the Buddha than the Christ, I’ll tell you it ends up a clear denial of the cardinal doctrine of original sin. Merton mused that at “the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth.”[6] And here’s a couple of revelations from Nouwen that he gleaned from his CSM:

One of the discoveries we make in [contemplative/centering] prayer is that the closer we come to God, the closer we come to all our brothers and sisters in the human family. God is not a private God. The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.[7]

Today I personally believe that Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her way to God.[8]

Note Nouwen, like all mystics, believed God already dwells within each human being thereby negating need for  regeneration; and what is more he also adhered to the Love Wins mythology of Christian Universalism now argued for by Rob Bell from inside mainstream evangelicalism. Well, following is a little sample of where CSM has been leading Peter Scazzero himself; he who is so highly recommended by Rick Warren, WCA, and RPC. Look at this tweet sent out by Scazzero a little while back:

(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 AwakeningLiving Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren: (CPIA) by Cynthia Bourgeault (below), 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

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 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. Well, I turn now to my personal copy of Bourgeault’s book—also cited above by Scazzero—and following I’ll show you what this “mystic with a brilliant mind,” who “reminds” McLaren of the CSM Golden Buddha Thomas Merton, and whom apparently guru Scazzero also feels “deserves a far wider readship.” Here’s what she has to tell us concerning the alleged “awakening” mystics seek in their 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.[9]

Bourgeault also draws from the work of Living Spiritual Teacher of New Age spirituality Eckhart Tolle; and in the midst of a bunch of psychobabble about the “work on self,” she 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 or panentheism]. 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].[10]

That’s why the mystics seek to silence the mind, aka the “monkey mind” as they seek union with God in their true—untouched by sin—self. So to further instruct us about this mythic monkey mind I’ll now 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 hopes:

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…[11]

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 barely even pretending to be Protestant evangelical community we have now come full circle in turning to pagans, and adopting their spiritual practices. This is precisely what those original apostate desert hermits in the third century would do; and through John Cassian their mystic musings would then go on to flower in the aformentioned Roman Catholic monastic traditions.

Again, bottom line: That deceptive subjectivism would eventually lead to the Protestant Reformation; but unfortunately, this time I don’t see any Reformers, just joiners. I’ve been warning you, in no uncertain terms, that it’s well past time for recognizing the inclusive—and increasingly universal—fruit of the Emerging Church, and of the spiritual skubalon of Foster-Willardism. You see, they go hand-in-hand; all who dabble in this mysticism eventually begin to believe God is trying to bring unity and all Christian factions together. Is it any wonder we see Saddleback Church Of Rick Warren Using Rob Bell Teachings?

You really can’t see that those in the Emerging Church on the wild goose chase after another spirit are merely a little farther down the path than the Ortbergs and the Warrens are, for now? You mean to say you haven’t noticed the drastic drift of neo-Gnostic mystics like Rob Bell over the past few years resulting in his ear-tickling Love Wins mythology? I’m telling you, from years of studying mysticism, be it from Living Spiritual Teacher and Roman Catholic priest Richard Rohr to Sufi Islam to Hinduism, all mystics eventually end up in love with mankind; and then later finally shipwreck upon the reef of universalism.

The truth is, God is not going to save everyone and He isn’t trying to bring all religions together; or even all traditions of professing Christendom for that matter. However, this isn’t what you’re hearing right now in the broader visible church; and the fact is, the spread of mysticism has much to do with this. Bank on it, you’ll hear more and more of the below mumbo jumbo in the days to come:

(Online source)

It should be quite obvious that the Apostles and other early Christians were not martyred for encouraging questions; no, they were murdered for offering Jesus as the only answer to man’s sin problem. Let me warn you, as evangelicalism drifts deeper into mysticism you’ll see more people laying aside answers, i.e. doctrinal distinctives, in order to join The Emerging Church On Its Wild Goose Chase. This is because God is sending 1 Peter 4:17 judgments upon this gelatinous generation and allowing spiritual darkness to increase. A word to the wise among us, it has now become Critical To Know Your Bible!

Next time I’ll give you yet another peek at the future of evangelicalism if its younger sectors, from years of propaganda from Foster-Willardism and by Emergent leaders like universalist Emerging Church pastor Doug Pagitt, continue on their current course.

End Notes:

[1], accessed 6/28/11.

[2], accessed 6/28/11.

[3], accessed 6/28/11.

[4], accessed 6/28/11.

[5] Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Church [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003], 144.

[6] Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander [New York: Doubleday, 1966], 158, emphasis mine.

[7] Henri Nouwen, Here And Now [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1994], 24, 25, emphasis mine.

[8] Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1998], 51, emphasis mine.

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

[10] Ibid., 126.

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

See also:








Biblical Separation Is Not A Non-Essential

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”  (1 Cor 1:10)

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11)

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17)

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”  (2 Cor. 6:14-17)

“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thess. 3:13-15)

A recent post, Preparing For Separation And Loss, gave some advice for those who are struggling with false teaching in their church, and the difficulty of coming to a decision on when to leave.  The doctrine of biblical separation clearly can be applied in these situations, yet, it does not seem to be a doctrine taught much anymore.  With the influence of the ecumenical movement, pastors and churches have compromised biblical principles for the sake of fellowship with any group that proclaims the name of Christ.  However, that should not be the case.  I have seen examples in the Nazarene denomination where there are ecumenical services with Roman Catholic churches* and Episcopal churches** (which condone homosexual clergy).  These and other apostate denominations are being allowed to blur the lines of what is a biblical church or not, and the logical conclusion then should be to also have fellowship with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who also proclaim the name of Christ.  So what’s the difference?  A few weeks ago, “evangelical” churches across the country allowed passages of the Quran to be read in their services, in a misguided show of “understanding.”

The ecumenical movement’s philosophy is clearly contrary to scripture.  This philosophy believes that “diversity” amongst many groups makes for good fellowship.  Ecumenists often justify their ungodly associations with any group that calls itself Christian, with that familiar phrase, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity.”  But as David Cloud states in A Limited Message or A Limited Fellowship, “Some things are not essential to salvation but they are essential to full obedience, and the Christian has no liberty under God to sort out the Scriptures into essentials and non-essentials! It is our duty to declare the whole counsel of God, and to do it wherever we are.”  This is absolutely true, and we have no right to try to parse out and decide what commandments the Lord has given us as “non-essential!”

The following is a letter from a reader which I am re-posting by permission:

“Dear Brother Manny,

       We totally agree with your six points  regarding what to expect when one separates from apostasy and/or implements biblical separation whether ecclesial or personal. We can attest that they are universally true, regardless of denomination. The effects on most who choose to separate are complex and varied as you have summarized, but we believe it is a way the Lord baptizes us into genuine and increased separation/holiness/sanctification, by using what might be called “tough love” by which the Lord paints the extreme contrast between Himself and man’s ways. Our own experience over several years in the Nazarene church was a reminder to us of just how far the Nazarene church and other denominations large and small have sunk in the name of ecumenism and emerging growth methods, although at the time we knew nothing about the “new paradigm of doing church”.
      As I told you before, we attended and were members of a large Nazarene church in the early 1990s outside Norristown, PA, close to Philadelphia. I was in the choir and my wife headed a “sort of biblical” if you will, 12 Step ministry. After a lot of “grief given and taken” with leadership and loyal Nazarenes over the decline of a biblical/holiness focus and the mental illness of the then pastor which was denied, we made a complete break with this church, which now already had a new pastor who was implementing the Warren/Drucker business model and the Hybels modelof the new emerging growth movement. It was more painful to stay and silently acquiesce to this new “enlightened” and arrogant authority structure than to leave.
      Subsequent church experiences outside the Nazarene church were not much better and generally worse. We were adrift for a long time. Each time we were branded as negative and divisive if we dared even question the leadership about the decline in Bible focus and content. Sometimes it was so bad we left a particular church almost immediately without contesting what was happening therein, thinking again that our standards were way too high.
      There was a long period when I did not go to church due to bitterness and also failing to find a truly biblical church that was not also extremely legalistic. My wife would try going somewhere just to “keep in fellowship” which was no biblical fellowship at all. Sometimes our very young daughter would sense there was something wrong and refused to go, or go reluctantly.
      A move to Delaware six years ago did not improve matters. Trying several “Independent Baptist” churches and one Southern Baptist church also disappointed. Both the Southern Baptist one and two of the Independent Baptist churches have and still do accept Freemasons into membership with either ignorance or dismissiveness about the occult nature of Freemasons yoking with true believers.
      Now we know that these churches as well as the ones in PA typically never taught separation/sanctification/holiness. We also know now that those doctrines do not fit well in a church committed to inclusiveness and ecumenism, but rather are relegated to a vast and growing group of “non-essentials” of the faith, a downgrade if you will from doctrine to an optional status. With the aim of unity at the expense of purity, all these churches are willing to incorporate unregenerate persons into fellowship, ministry and programs on the strength of the recitation of a “sinners prayer” usually devoid of the need for faith in Jesus Christ along with concurrent repentance, and the misguided hope that they will grow into the faith. After all, they need these people to staff all the numerous and sundry programs heavily covered with fun and entertainment, at the expense of the Word of God and the truth contained therein.
       Praise God He has led us to an “Independent Fundamental Baptist” church in PA which is all it says it is. And finally, we have a pastor who believes in biblical separation and teaches it. Not the legalistic set of rules common among many, but separation TO the Lord, for His sake and glory.
      Put aside all the hurts and disappointments. See that the Lord always has something better for us and wants us to grow in Him, not stagnate spiritually where man has put himself on the throne.
      For your readers we would recommend two websites in addition to Manny Silva’s that have greatly helped us understand where we’ve been and where we’re supposed to go. They are:

Trust in Him and Him alone”

Footnotes and  Resources:

* Roman Catholicism And It’s Heresies
True Christian Unity (David Cloud)

** Why would Bible believers fellowship with the Episcopal church, along with its support of homosexuality in the church, and when its Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, says the following: “The overarching connection in all of these crises has to do with the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God. It’s caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy, at the center of existence, as the ground of being. That heresy is one reason for the theme of this Convention.” (  And imagine your denomination joining up with the United Nations, a godless anti-Christian organization.  That’s exactly what the apostate Episcopal Church has done:

Preparing For Separation And Loss

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”  2 Corinthians 6:17

It is difficult to lose a loved one, especially a parent. For several years, during the time when my parents were old but still fairly healthy, the thought crossed my mind from time to time that someday in the future, I would be facing the reality of losing one of them, and then the other parent.  When the day came that mom got weaker, and eventually needed nursing home care, I took another step closer to that reality that the loss was near.  It helped me to recognize and accept the fact that it was going to happen, and that I must be prepared for it.

There is another type of separation which is very difficult to deal with, and that is separation from your church of many years because of false teachings.  I believe more Christians are now facing this issue than ever before.  In these days of apostasy all around us, pastors and other leaders are falling over each other in a rush to compromise the gospel for the latest fad, and some of them have been the most trusted and solid Christian leaders in the past. The result is that more Christians are finding it very difficult to find a church which is biblically sound.

My position is clear on this, and scripturally sound: when a church has stopped preaching and abiding by sound doctrine, and you have done all that you can to help correct that course, you have no choice but to leave that unhealthy church.  And when Christians start coming to the realization that they can no longer stay with their church, it is still difficult to make that final decision that severs the ties that they have had for so long.  It truly is like losing a loved one, or like getting divorced.  Yet they will not feel the full impact until they have left, and will be shocked at the aftermath of their decision.

To those who are approaching this decision, I must give you some advance notice as to what will probably happen to you after you leave.  Some of it is based on what happened to us, although I have had similar testimony from dozens who have written to me about having to leave.  Regardless of what happens after you leave, you can know that continuing to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ will help strengthen you in any situations you encounter.

You can expect some or all of the following:

1. Prepare to be alone.  Do not expect a flood of concerned phone calls or emails from folks from your old church. This is what happened with us, and was also the same with many who have written to me.  It will be as if your old friends, perhaps even relatives, never knew you existed.  You will start wondering, “were these people really my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ?  If so, why has not one person picked up the phone to ask why we are no longer at our church of many years?”  So be ready for a really strange, inexplicable silence from most of those you thought were your closest friends in church.

2. Prepare to be labeled the cause of the problem- in the “nice” way.  In the best case scenario, leaders from your former church will explain to others that you are confused, and have erred, and you need time to come to your senses before coming back into fellowship.  Perhaps they will ask the church to pray for you and your family.  You will become in their eyes someone to be pitied.  However, do not expect that they will try to help you in any way; it will most likely only be rhetoric.

2. Prepare to be labeled the cause of the problem- in the WORST way.  In the worst case scenario, the pastor and/or leaders will make sure that the church understands that you are the cause of the problem, that you were divisive, that you refused to go along with the “mission” of the church, and that you brought all this upon yourself, and no one else. If they go even further, you may actually be called out publicly as a troublemaker, sometimes from the pulpit itself, as some have testified in their letters.  If you stay and fight, you may even be “disfellowshiped” and thrown out of the membership.

3. Do not obsess with convincing others.  If some are willing to listen to you, and months later it seems to have had no impact on them, let it go.  It is not up to you now.  Speak to others who give you the opportunity, but move on after that, unless they sincerely are interested in finding the truth and hearing all sides of the matter.

4. Do not forget what church you are really a member of.  You are a member of the true church of Jesus Christ, and not any one denomination.  That cannot be taken away from you.  Church leaders and denominational leaders will often fail, sometimes miserably, and you will feel abandoned.  But the true head of the Church, Jesus Christ, never fails, and never leaves you.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”  John 10:29

5. Do not let your emotional ties cloud your allegiance to the Lord.  Yes, there will be emotions that will toss you to and fro, and perhaps months of crying, and wondering why did it all have to happen this way?  It’s not like you had to move out of state to a new job, or some other reason that is very understandable.  But if there is false teaching in your church, and staying would mean compromising the truth, what choice do you really have?

6. If you have young children, you must leave even sooner.  Our children are too precious, and if false teaching is in a church, rest assured it will filter down to the youngest in the church.  Contemplative mysticism is being taught in the Nazarene church to young middle schoolers already.  Are you willing to risk your young child or teenager’s spiritual well being and remain at your church out of some misguided loyalty,  or because you will miss all your friends, the potluck dinners and the church picnics?

6. Continually pray for guidance and wisdom, stay in God’s word, and ask the Lord to help you find a solid, Bible believing church.  It’s really that simple.  Your spiritual health should always come first above any other reason to stay at your church.  If you have exhausted all your own efforts at trying to wake up the leaders, or others in the church, then you have done all you could.  You must now trust the Lord no matter what.

If you are thinking you may have to leave your church because of false teaching, may the Lord guide you, and give you wisdom, as you make your decisions.  It is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it may be the only option you have left.  If Jesus Christ is truly your foundation, you know that He will never leave you.  He will be there for you, even when all others have betrayed you.


Additional Resources:

I have been reading a blog,, since early 2009, and it coincided with the time that my “troubles” started.  Christian Lady has been one of my favorite blogs, because I often would read a new post, and it felt like she was describing what  me and what my family was going through.  I post comments now and then there. For those especially going through this type of situation now, I highly recommend reading some of her posts, especially starting around February of 2009, such as this one where I left a short note: will get a good perspective of the before and after effects of leaving a church.

Excerpt from Christian Lady on March 19, 2009

We left our church because we saw emergent creeping in. We were unsure if we were on target at first, but now I have no doubt we were right. Sometimes it’s a conversation with friends still attending, sometimes we pop into someone who left months or years ago. At any rate, the things that some say were “lies from the pit of hell” that came from our mouths are ever more proving to have not been lies.

My advice, if you have any strange little feelings that your church is “off” on biblical teaching in any way is to go to the leadership and ask questions. Be wise in how you ask, think, study, pray, pray pray. Ask them what books they recommend. Ask them what speakers they are listening to. Ask them what conferences they plan to attend. Ask their opinion about different books. Ask them what they know about this or that topic. Ask their favorite passages in scripture. Ask, ask, ask. Then, you can begin to challenge. Challenge on what they say at the pulpit, challenge on what they read, who they listen to, who they quote. If a pastor is following Christ, they likely will appreciate information that is helpful. If not, you’re going to go through a bit of trial. Pray for your friends but don’t burn bridges with them. You never know who will see what you are seeing, and who else is asking. Things are not what they seem. You might think someone is against you, but unless you hear it from their lips…or from the lips of someone you trust…don’t assume they are in agreement with the wrong teachings in your church. If you can find an ally, grab hold of them. Always pray. Offer to pray for your pastors, and really do it. Offer to pray with others who have the same doubts you do. It’s possible God may spare your church from ruin. You never know. Do what is best.

See also:

My Church Is Becoming Emerging/Emergent/Emergence- How Do I Go About Leaving?