And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess. 2:11-12
The following are descriptions of two upcoming retreats that emphasize “silence” (emptying the mind), which will probably become the norm throughout the Nazarene denomination. Since our General Superintendents have never publicly spoken out against these types of retreats, we must conclude by default that they support it (and I have asked them about these issues). We are becoming a mini- Roman Catholic Church within what claims to be a holiness church. This is no longer the church of my father, who God rescued from the bondage of apostate Roman Catholic religion and became a missionary to the Catholics, NOT a partner with them. Our leaders continue with their silence on these matters; it will be interesting to see for how long. We are now only 17 months away from the next General Assembly. It is clear to me that the denomination is splitting internally between the Bible believers, and those who are pushing or accepting the radical agendas of the emergent/missional/ecumenical movement.
Richard Bennett, former RCC priest, says about these types of activities:
“Communion with God is a participation in eternal life by grace through faith. Such communion is not achieved by imagination, visualizations, solitude, or mystical formulas. Christ Jesus the Lord warned that, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” The present day Emerging Church movement is full of deceitful, contemplative practices. Only by taking heed to the counsel of the Lord can His followers escape ruin. The danger of the Emerging Church’s type of spirituality is that it replaces the certainty of the written Word with subjective experiences. True coming to God is by trusting on the perfect life and sacrifice of Christ that includes repentance and forsaking of sin.” (Emergent Church Indoctrinates With Catholic Style Eastern Mysticism, Richard Bennett)
Retreat #1: St. Gertrude’s Monastery
Northwest Nazarene University is sponsoring a women’s retreat at St. Gertrude’s: http://www.stgertrudes.org/
Title: A Place to Satisfy Your Hunger For God: A Monastic Immersion Experience
The contact for this retreat is NNU professor, Julene Tegerstrand, at email@example.com
What is the vision of St. Gertrude’s? “We are monastic women who follow the ancient Rule of Benedict.”
What is the Rule of Benedict? This Rule teaches salvation and sanctification through asceticism. This system, created by St. Benedict, directed every aspect of a monk’s life: his clothing, relationships, travel, duties, schedule, meals, worship, reading, habitat, sleep. (1) This is legalism, in other words. This is works based salvation, which now many of our Nazarene leaders are promoting and our General Superintendents are apparently doing nothing about, thus giving it their stamp of approval by default.
What is a monastic immersion experience? It includes experiencing monastic prayer (i.e. contemplative spirituality, centering prayer, silence). It’s open to women of all faith backgrounds as well. Interspirituality in other words, or interfaith, which is another growing trend. Right at the start of their YouTube video, they urge us to “come and listen with us”, the typical wording that describes practicing the silence, a contemplative mystical experience whose goal is to empty the mind.
So those who attend this retreat sponsored by NNU will learn new (unscriptural) things which we as Bible believing Christians have rejected for years. Now it appears to be acceptable, and not only that, appears to be what these people want the church to look like! The wolves have entered the sheep pen already, don’t you think? And the shepherds are still sleeping. You must ask yourself: why are Nazarenes and other evangelical denominations encouraging others to incorporate Roman Catholic practices into their lives, when these practices are false, legalistic, works-based? In other words, this is teaching another gospel, another Jesus, and negates what Christ has done on the Cross once and for all.
Retreat #2: Spiritual Formation
Trevecca Nazarene University is sponsoring a spiritual formation retreat at the Loretto MotherHouse in KY
Title: Silence And Listening For The Voice of God
The contact for this retreat is Brent Tallman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have previously written about this retreat (Trevecca Leaders Continue Indoctrination of Heresy). Here are some quotes from the website (bold emphasis is mine):
So the goal of this retreat will be to help us minimize distractions and noise, so that we might gain a better understanding of how to be silent and how to truly listen for the voice of God.
“Union with Godin prayer requires us to learn to quiet ourselves–yes, from the noises which surround us, but also from inward noises (restlessness, fears, our agenda’s, etc.)It is this stillness and emptiness which allows us to be open to hearing the voice of God.”
There will be no agendas, no meetings, and no requirements–just being quiet before God and listening for His voice.
Upon looking at their agenda, the attendees will be doing the following:
1. Arriving at the site on Friday in immediate silence.
2. Then, going to dinner in total silence.
3. Having breakfast and lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday every day in total silence.
4. Practicing silence throughout the day.
5. Going through an (optional) tour of the Motherhouse- and Meet at the Church following Mass!
6. On Sunday night, they will finally have a service with testimonies and reflections on a “Wesley Covenant renewal”. I have no idea what that has to do with anything else here.
7. And… they are encouraged to join the sisters daily in their “hours of prayers”, Roman Catholic style.
I have warned President Dan Boone of this many times, to which his responses have not reflected what the title of one of his books implies, “a charitable discourse.” He is promoting false practices to young people, and he is responsible, thus I fear for his soul. God’s word say that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10:31 This is why I cannot recommend Trevecca for any Bible believer to send their children. Neither can I recommend NNU anymore as well. They are both schools which are promoting contemplative mysticism, which is unbiblical.
Conclusion: The lines are being blurred, and yet the worst delusions are yet to come, and soon, it will all look the same, it will all look good, and discernment will be gone from even more Christians. By that time, many will have fallen for this blending of good with bad, and their hearts will be hardened even more. It will then be to late for them.
Beware, life as a Christian will most likely get more difficult, and the persecution and ostracizing will be far more serious from within, not without. Your choice is either for the easy road, or the hard road. I remind you that the hard road is the way of the genuine Christian believer, and it will be narrow as well. At least our Lord said so, and who is to argue with Him?
(1) Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond, David Cloud, p. 328
For additional research: