False Teacher Mike King Continues His Influence in the Nazarene Denomination

Mike King may not be THE “king” of modern contemplative spirituality (Richard Foster is most often viewed as the leader), but he certainly is very influential. What makes him even more dangerous is that he has a long history of working with youth, including within the Church of the Nazarene. Mr. King is still involved, and currently is an Adjunct Faculty in the NTS Christian Formation and Discipleship Degree Program at Nazarene Theological Sedminary, and leads a program that connects youth with helping the hungry.The question is, why do leaders within the denomination still give a platform to someone who promotes false teaching and is more interested in quoting mystics and Roman Catholics? He is scheduled to speak on a FaceBook live session on Spiritual Formation and Youth on September 11, 2019.

king spiritual formation seminar

I present here as much evidence as I could find about Mike King, as a warning to anyone who will consider it, including the leadership in the Church of the Nazarene. (And to be clear however, Mike King is a symptom of the problem within the denomination, not the problem itself). I will begin with some general information about him. I then follow with a sampling of his religion-related tweets, going as far back as December, 2018. It is very interesting that a man who is still invited to Nazarene universities, seminaries, and colleges, has such a very strange liking for those he quotes. You can visit his Twitter site at: https://twitter.com/mdking

During the years from 2005 to 2011, Mike King was a heavy promoter of emerging spirituality and contemplative (New Age) prayer techniques. He also was a guest speaker at the Nazarene M7 Conference in February, 2007, where he spoke on contemplative spirituality. He was a founding board member and past Board chairman of the heretical, far left Wildgoose Festival, an annual event that features some of the most radical and apostate leaders in “Christianity.”

Mr. King also took part in a conference called Children, Youth, And A New Kind Of Christianity in 2012, in Washington D.C.  Some of the promoters of that event included the extreme and radical racist pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Also, emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, Samir Selmanovic, and Jim Wallis were there.  Mike King associates with these people who are unbiblical in their belief system, because he identifies with them!

 

Mike King And Wildgoose

When King organized the Wildgoose Festival in 2011, he was adjunct professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary, and also was a top youth leader in the church, organizing youth events nationwide. He is still the president of YouthFront, which seems well-intentioned, but which serves to help promote all the contemplative mysticism that he is so fond of, as well as his ecumenicalism and his connections with Roman Catholicism. It sadly serves as a major source of indoctrination of youth into all sorts of religious garbage masquerading as Christian.

The lineup over the years at Wildgoose Festival, which Mike King was clearly aware of and promoting, has been a steady parade of false teachers, heretics, and non-Christians claiming to be Christians. The Festival also openly invites people of any faith to come, but there has never been any focus on presenting the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone. Instead, Wildgoose clearly has stated its values as being fully open to anything and anyone, including homosexuals who claim to be Christian.

In a report by Jeffrey Walton on his blog in 2013, he writes on how much even worst that year’s Wildgoose would become.  The push for creating “trans” inclusive communities was on the list of topics, along with the recurring themes of homosexuality, non-Christian religions and activities, and of course the all night parties.
http://juicyecumenism.com/2013/07/12/wild-goose-festival-migrates-through-turbulent-issues-of-transgenderism-intersex/.
Here are two typical quotes from their website a few years ago: “We are a community creating a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art. We take inspiration from many places, such as Greenbelt, Burning Man, the Iona Community, SXSW, and others. The festival is open to everyone; we don’t censor what can be said;”

“The Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. We are followers of Jesus creating a festival of justice, spirituality, music and the arts. The festival is rooted in the Christian tradition and therefore open to all regardless of belief, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, denomination or religious affiliation.”

This is the kind of utter foolishness that Mike King has promoted for years, and yet, he continues to work and speak at a top seminary of the Church of the Nazarene. Here is just a short list of the many heretical headliners who typically appear at Wildgoose: Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, Jennifer Knapp, Ian Cron, Shane Claiborne, Phylis Tickle, Lauren Winner, Frank Schaeffer, Spencer Burker, Carl McColman, Pete Rollins, and many more.

“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.” (http://www.economist.com/node/18898389)

As you can see, Wildgoose is not committed to anything approaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and you will not find any real reference to the Gospel.  It is a festival committed to spirituality which is not Christian; it is blasphemous, disobedient to Christ, and worldly. And yet we have Mike King, an unabashed promoter of this festival, still speaking to f and influencing future Nazarene pastors, as well as influencing countless youth.

Mike King and The Enneagram

Mike King also is a fan of the Enneagram, which has occultic origins. It is a system invented years ago which uses a symbol that has nine points, and also has nine lines. It’s function is to analyze personality types and match people to a specific type. According to the Enneagram Institute, the Enneagram can help people restore balance to their “personality structure” and develop more desirable spiritual and psychological qualities. Believers in the Enneagram seek to unravel the mystery of their “true identity.” They see themselves as spiritual beings who have lost contact with their true nature. Once they discover their “true self”—by means of the Enneagram—they experience a spiritual awakening full of freedom and joy. (source: gotquestions.org).

This practice seems to be appearing more thoughout the evangelical world. I believe there is a great spiritual danger in the use of the Enneagram, especially if a Christian starts relying on it for spiritual guidance and direction. Quoting Kevin DeYoung: “[it] has been, from its inception (whenever that was), infused with spiritual significance. And therein lies the danger.”

 

Mike King Reveals His Love For Mysticism On Twitter

In this compilation ot tweets from his Twitter account, I searched for religion-related posts going as far back as December, 2018. It is quite interesting what I found, and you can see those here. Except for one quote of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and a few other names I did not recognize, all the other quotes were clearly not from people who would be considered traditional evangelicals, nor even close to being of the Wesleyan tradition. Instead, we see quotes by Henri Nouwen, Peter Enns, Julian of Norwich, Pope Francis, John Cassian, Ian Morgan Cron, Juergen Moltman, Cyprian of Carthage, Stanley Haurwaus. By far his favorite seems to be Henri Nouwen. Following this list of tweets, I will give brief summaries of each of these people that he has quoted, and what they believed and promoted.

 

 

Who Does Mike King Quote Or Promote? What Do They Believe? Here Are A Few

They say that your character or your philosophy of life is often reflected by the company you keep, or perhaps by the people you read or quote from. So who are these people that Mike King so glowingly quotes for the world to see? Is it wrong to come to any conclusions about Mike King, just based on who he quotes? Certainly not, especially since the abundance of evidence besides these tweets clearly shows where Mike King’s heart is at, at least in the world of Christianity.

 

Brian McLaren

Pastor, and godfather of the emergent movement; likens the Cross to false advertising for God, is confused as to whether homosexuality is a sin or not, promotes contemplative mysticism, rejects biblical inerrancy. McLaren performed a commitment ceremony for his son’s same sex marriage in 2012.
Quote: “The Bible is not considered an accurate, absolute, authoritative, or authoritarian source but a book to be experienced and one experience can be as valid as any other can. Experience, dialogue, feelings, and conversations are equated with Scripture while certitude, authority, and doctrine are to be eschewed!  No doctrines are to be absolute and truth or doctrine must be considered only with personal experiences, traditions, historical leaders, etc. The Bible is not an answer book.”
Source: A New Kind of Christianity, p. 52 Published: 2001.

 

Henri Nouwen

A Roman Catholic mystic who promoted contemplative prayer and also dabbled in Eastern religions. Nouwen claimed that contemplative meditation is necessary for an intimacy with God: “I do not believe anyone can ever become a deep person without stillness and silence” (quoted by Chuck Swindoll, So You Want to Be Like Christ, p. 65). He taught that the use of a mantra could take the practitioner into God’s presence. Nouwen’s involvement with mysticism led him to a form of universalism and panentheism (God is in all things).
“The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being” (Here and Now, p. 22).
In his final book Nouwen described his universalist doctrine as follows: “Today I personally believe that while 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 own way to God” (Sabbatical Journey, New York: Crossroad, 1998, p. 51).
At David Cloud’s website, you can read a comprhensive article on this mystic who is very popular now in the Nazarene denomination and many others as well: https://www.wayoflife.org/database/beware_of_henri_nouwen.html

 

Jim Wallis

Liberal political activist, radical social justice proponent, uses religion to sell his agenda in the political arena.  Founder of Sojourner’s.  Former spiritual advisor to President Obama. Quote: “Being born again was not meant to be a private religious experience that is hard to communicate to others, but rather the prerequisite for joining a new and very public movement—the Jesus and kingdom of God movement. It is an invitation to a whole new form and way of living, a transformation as radical as a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. It is far more than a call to a new inner life, or a rescue operation for heaven.”
Source: The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World [New York: Harper Collins, 2008] p56 Published.

 

Carl McColman

Author of “The Big Book of Christian Mysticism”, as well as books on Celtic spirituality. He spent several years as a Celtic pagan (neo-druid) before entering the Catholic church.  He is a blogger on contemplative spirituality.  He describes mysticism as Christianity’s best kept secret. He quotes the writer Abhishiktananda, a Benedictine monk who dabbled in Hindu spirituality: “The life of prayer and contemplation is simply to realize God’s presence in the depth of our being, in the depth of every being, and at the same time beyond all beings, beyond all that is within and all that is without.”

 

Peter Enns

Dr. Peter Enns promotes the idea that Adam and Eve were not real, historical people. He also believes that Moses did not write the first five books of the Old Testament. You can read more about his views on Genesis and creation her: http://servantsofgrace.org/peter-enns-jesus-genesis/

 

Jennifer Knapp

“Christian” artist who “came out” in 2010 about her homosexuality and her lesbian relationship.  Actively promotes homosexuality as being compatible with Christian living. Her bio says: “Under heavy scrutiny, Jennifer has unashamedly claimed her faith and her sexual orientation with astonishing straightforwardness and honesty.”

 

Spencer Burke

Founder of the website, The Ooze.  Universalist “Christian.” Quote: “I don’t believe any single religion owns heaven or God—even a religion that tries to include everyone. When I say I’m a universalist, what I really mean is that I don’t believe you have to convert to any particular religion to find God. As I see it, God finds us, and it has nothing to do with subscribing to any particular religious view… Universalism says that a theology of grace implies salvation for all, because if grace could be limited to some people and not to others,… it is in fact no grace at all…grace is bigger than any religion.” (A Heretic’s Guide To Eternity, pg 196, 197, 198)

 

Phylis Tickle (now deceased)

Author of The Great Emergence. Emergent leader.

Quote: “The new Christianity of the Great Emergence must discover some authority base or delivery system and/or governing agency of its own. It must formulate—and soon—something other than Luther’s Sola Scriptura which, although used so well by the Great Reformation originally, is now seen as hopelessly outmoded or insufficient …”
Book: by Phyllis Tickle entitled: The Great Emergence, pg 151 Published: 2008.

 

Ian Cron

Episcopal priest, mystic, speaker, author, wrote book on St Francis of Assisi and other books. Quotes mystic monk Thomas Merton on his Facebook page: “Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to Him, being attentive to Him, requires a lot of courage and know-how.” Thomas Merton”

 

Julian of Norwich

She was a mystic, contemplative, feminist and pantheist from the 13th century. Her universalism is seen in part in some of her quotes:
“For in man is God, and God is in all. And I hope by the grace of God he that beholdeth it thus shall be truly taught and mightily comforted…” JoN  “And after this I saw God in a Point, that is to say, in mine understanding, — by which sight I saw that He is in all things” JoN

 

Shane Claiborne

Emergent leader, promotes contemplative mysticism. Quote: “The time has come for a new kind of conversation, a new kind of Christianity, a new kind of revolution.” Book: by Shane Claiborne entitled: Irresistible Revolution p. 29 Published: February 2006.

 

Cathleen Falsani

Director of New Media at Sojourner’s (Jim Wallis’s group); author of Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace.  Promotes homosexuality in Christianity, as reported here: http://apprising.org/2011/01/14/gay-awakening-for-mainstream-evangelicalism-grows-closer/

 

Pope Francis

Head of the Roman Catholic Church. Promoter of all sorts of false teachings which is characteristic of Romanism, including a works-based salvation.

 

BioLogos

Mike King also promotes this organization, which is a group whose purpose includes promoting evolution, and which also has members who promote such heresies as process theology and open theism.

 

Links for further research:

https://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-06/left-leaning-christians-rally-around-wild-goose

https://wordandway.org/2011/06/27/progressive-christians-flock-to-wild-goose-festival/?fbclid=IwAR1_ZAICeeNKTrWVa44AeupdLG_HSMa6c4GS-ktGV1aW7rJ62mE7jjkrEZo

https://king.typepad.com/mike_king/wild-goose/

Trevecca Nazarene University Continues To Promote Mystical Silence Instead of Biblical Prayer

“…I am deepening in the mystical forms of prayer.” (Dan Boone)

 

Thanks to the undiscerning “leadership” of President Dan Boone, Trevecca Nazarene students will have the opportunity to go on a mystical ride. Once again, it time for the “Spiritual Formation” retreat at the Gethsemani monastery in Kentucky, spiritual home to the famed Roman Catholic mystic, universalist, and Buddhist sympathizer Thomas Merton. (https://www.trevecca.edu/community-life/faith-service/spiritual-formation-retreat)
Merton, who is dead, is a rising star amongst many undiscerning, confused or deceived Nazarene pastors of today. Along with his spiritual brother, Henri Nouwen, and other modern day proponents such as Richard Foster, they have risen to a prominence equaling and perhaps surpassing that old out of style book called the Bible.

 

Contemplative prayer uses the same meditative exercises used in Eastern religions and New Age cults. Practicing the silence has absolutely no basis in scripture, yet Dan Boone has deceived many students at Trevecca by sending them on yearly retreats alongside Roman Catholic nuns and monks. Dr. Boone also promotes the use of prayer labyrinths, and has had one there for years at Trevecca. After I exposed this more fully, he made excuses about it, and later re-named the labyrinth and called it something else.

Practicing the silence is simply another form of contemplative mysticism (or contemplative spirituality), which is often excused for by Boone and others by abusing the meaning of Psalm 46:10. Dr. Boone once said on his profile page at Nazarene Theological Seminary, “…I am deepening in the mystical forms of prayer.” (It is no longer there). Well, this is exactly where the Church of the Nazarene is going, and even more boldly than nine years ago when I first saw this coming.

The affinity for mysticism has taken over the Nazarene universities and the seminary and Bible college so much, that the holiness denomination is transforming into a reflection of the Roman Catholic Church combined with Eastern mysticism and contemplative prayer rituals. In the promotion for the retreat, students are given the option of spending time with the nuns during their prayer hours, almost certainly with the chance to hear prayers to Mary the co-redemptrix with Christ, and even the prayers to dead “saints.” When you view the video promotion, there is nothing that connects “silence” with any biblical teaching or instruction.

Forms of contemplative prayer include: centering prayer, labyrinth meditation, stations of the cross, breath prayers, the silence, lectio divina. The goal of contemplative prayer is to clear one’s mind so that you can hear God better. It seeks to empty the mind and enter an altered state of consciousness by repetition of a mantra; focusing on one’s breathing; contemplating images or icons. I suppose that through this method, the person will receive new revelation from God.

But biblical prayer is based on the scriptures:
See: Micah 7:7; Ps. 4:3; 1 John 5:14, 15

True prayer is with both spirit and mind, not one or the other. 1 Cor 14:15

True prayer talks to God the Father (Phil. 4:6) through Jesus Christ (John 16:23), in the power of the Holy Spirit. And we understand that what God has revealed in His Word is sufficient; any new revelation is unnecessary. 2 Tim. 3:16–17

 

The Retreat At Gethsemani And Its Purpose

 

Here is what Trevecca’s website says as it promotes what is basically a “Christianizing” of pagan practices:

“How does one learn about silence?  By being silent.
How does one hear the voice of God?  By listening”

But scripture says that, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Rom. 10:17

What is being promoted in this retreat is not a focus on hearing the voice of God through His word, but to become silent and somehow have God speak to you directly.  But if someone tells you that he heard God’s voice, how would you know if it was not actually a demonic voice?  They also say this:

“Are you looking for a true retreat, a chance to read, pray, rest, and enjoy nature? There will be no agendas, no meetings, and no requirement—just being quiet before God and listening for His voice.”

So what they are saying here is, to truly listen to the voice of God, we must be silent.  Is this how we are taught to listen to God?  Where is the biblical basis for this?  Is this the technique Neal Donald Walsch used before he wrote his book, Conversations With God, in which he claims he actually had conversations with God?  How does one believe him, and not me, or someone else?


“Union with God in 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.”

Union with God?  Stillness?  Emptiness?  Emptiness allows us to be open to the word of God??  Where is this remotely taught in scripture?  I can tell you, it is not.  Dan Boone and the emergent church people try justifying practicing the silence by quoting Psalm 46:10.  (“Be still, and know that I am God”).  He needs to read all of Psalm 46 in context, and he should know that it has nothing to do with practicing the silence.  Why do so many ordained elders in the Christian church today twist scripture for their own agenda? Emptying the mind is a dangerous practice that is inviting demons to come in, not God.

This is a constant promotion of not only mysticism and pagan prayer methods invented by man and not found anywhere in scripture, but also an encouragement of ecumenism and fellowship with those who practice a false works-based religion.  Instead of rescuing their students from the clutches of the false system of Rome, these leaders are sending our students directly back to what those from the Reformation were rejecting, year after year now.

Dr. Boone’s Love of Thomas Merton and Other Roman Catholic Mystics

Dr. Boone has called Thomas Merton and Ignatius of Loyola spiritual giants.
Merton was not a spiritual giant- he was a monk who said that he was “deeply impregnated with Sufism” because he believed that Eastern mysticism was compatible with and could be incorporated into Christianity.  He placed Mary high on a level equal to Jesus, and he prayed to many catholic saints.  He was influenced by Aldous Huxley, who found enlightenment through hallucinogenic drugs.
Ignatius of Loyola was no wiser, and as the founder of the Jesuits he brutally persecuted Christians and swore complete submission to the pope.  As most Roman Catholics do, he venerated Mary.  He practiced extreme asceticism, living in a cave for a year and never bathing.  He also promoted and taught visualization prayers, breath prayers, and other unbiblical practices (Source: Way of Life).  Yet, Dan Boone calls him a spiritual giant.

 

In a Letter to Pastors he wrote in 2009, Dr. Boone not only erroneously claimed that the Roman Catholic church was the only church for 1500 years after Christ, but he also exposed more error along with his ecumenical get along with everyone philosophy.  How is it that we can “be one” with the Roman Catholic Church?
“While Nazarenes are different from Catholics in very significant ways, we believe that we will share eternity with them in the presence of the Christ who prayed that we might be one.” (Dan Boone)

 

“Be one” with the Roman Catholic Church and all its false doctrines? His philosophy seems to be that anyone who claims the name of Jesus, no matter their belief otherwise, will spend eternity with Christ. This is contrary to Jesus’s teaching, and indicates Dr. Boone’s dangerous and ignorant thinking as he misleads others.

 

Nazarene Pastors Love Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and Other Mystics

Although Merton and Nouwen are proven false teachers who were universalists and Buddhist sympathizers, an alarming number of Nazarene leaders and pastors love their heretical work. Here are some recent comments by Nazarene pastors on a closed Nazarene FaceBook page, in a very “enthusiastic” discussion with Bible believers. Their names are not mentioned because it is a closed group, but I would love to challenge them to promote these false teachers openly at their churches and in public. Listen to some of them defend Henri Nouwen who promoted doctrines of demons:

One of my favorite authors since my sophomore year of university (Compassion). Grounded me as a new pastor (Return of the Prodigal Son). Helped me through an evacuation due to civil war and three moves in my first six months as a Nazarene missionary (Way of the Heart). Helped me see the significance of my work with organic church movements in west Africa and north America (Reaching Out). Love this guy, a real spiritual mentor for me. I encourage people to read his books whenever I can.” (A Nazarene college professor)

 

“In the Name of Jesus” has given me such encouragement time after time since college. And “Compassion” is a powerful, powerful book.” (a Nazarene pastor)

It is sad to see so many pastors in the Church of the Nazarene being deceived by the writings of a man who was not even a Christian. He was a false Christian, and a universalist. No wonder the church is in such pitiful spiritual condition. Those who are in positions of leadership and pastoring a Christian church will be held much more responsible by the Lord for promoting this man’s writing that is inspired by satan, not the Spirit of God.

 

The Fifth Column: Corrupt Leaders

I have seen material sent out by the New England District Superintendent that promotes writers who are mystics. My former pastor was proud of his library, once showing me his books which included such authors as Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton. Books by Merton, Nouwen and other mystics are being used in theology curriculums in the universities and seminary. Pastors are quoting Mother Theresa and other heretical mystics from Roman Catholicism- in their sermons! A pastor preached a Christmas sermon recently- all about Mary, and her co-partnership with the Savior. This stuff is straight out of Roman Catholicism!

 

I recently listened to a sermon titled “The Fifth Column.” It starts by describing this phrase that was used by a military leader, to describe how he will use a stealth group of loyalists hidden within the city, to weaken it and prepare for a final and decisive assault. The destruction of the church will be from within, as corrupt pastors slowly deceive undiscerning church members with the demonic influence of these mystics. We can no longer just call it “dubious”. We cannot just call it “not advisable”. We absolutely must not call it “a difference of viewpoints.”

We must call it what it is: demonic, unbiblical, destructive to the church, and we must call out the leaders and pastors who are promoting these false teachings.

 

Manny Silva

 

 

Links:

Free ebook resource: https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/evangelicals_and_mysticism.php

 

Articles:

 

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=618&more=1&c=1

 

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/emergent-church-what-is-it/prayer-labyrinths-what-are-they/

 

https://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/trevecca-nazarene-university-promoting-mysticism-and-pagan-practices/

 

https://www.wayoflife.org/database/thomasmerton.html

 

https://www.wayoflife.org/database/beware_of_henri_nouwen.html

 

https://www.wayoflife.org/database/richardfoster.html

 

 

Mystical Nonsense In The Church of the Nazarene

“Like lambs led to the slaughter, the people are being blinded by blind leaders.”

In the good old days, Nazarenes focused on bringing the Gospel to the Roman Catholics and introducing them to the real Jesus. My dad, a former Roman Catholic, used to travel on muleback through the mountains of Cape Verde, to preach the Gospel to Catholics. Now, the Church of the Nazarene is focused on incorporating the practices, rituals and traditions of a false religion, and calling them our brothers and sisters to boot! It’s quite amazing to watch.

One of the many cancers afflicting the Church of the Nazarene is the fascination with Roman Catholic and Eastern mysticism practices. The denomination is getting so wrapped up in feel good and legalistic ritualism at the expense of focusing on biblical preaching and teaching, that in a great number of churches now you might think you are at a Catholic mass. And yet at times, a Nazarene church will even go beyond what most Catholic churches are doing.

The College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe KS, as an example of many, is doing just that. Breath prayers are now the order of the day, and it is the norm at many Nazarene churches now. What are breath prayers, you may ask? They are simply a type of many kinds of contemplative mystical practices, or what is also called Christianized transcendental meditation. Below is their announcement on their site. Note the detailed instructions on the right as to when to inhale and exhale and then repeat a specific phrase.

college church breath rayer 2

Rick Warren popularized breath prayers, in his book Purpose Driven Life, a book that ought to be thrown in the garbage heap of false teaching. It is a book that, I confess, roped me in for a while, but by the grace of God, he opened my eyes to all this nonsense. It was a book that was used for small group study, and I was one of the leaders in these groups, and the more I read it, the more I realized something was not right. And one of the things he promotes in the book is breath prayers.

As explained at Lighthouse Trails Research:

Breath Prayers and Rick Warren

Are “breath prayers” a method by which we can become best friends with God? To direct people on a spiritual journey for 40 days, Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. The best selling book has impacted millions of persons. Some of Pastor Warren’s purpose involves his recommendations for “Becoming Best Friends with God.” The author shares six secrets to become God’s friends, one of which is practicing God’s presence by being in “constant conversation” with him. After quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (“pray without ceasing”), Warren asks how a Christian can practice unceasing prayer to which he answers, “One way is to use ‘breath prayers’ throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated in one breath.”

Then after providing ten examples of prayers, short biblical phrases that could work as breath prayers, Warren advises “Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart.” In this context Warren also cites the book of Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, who advocated experiencing the presence of God in the most menial of circumstances, by praying short conversational prayers throughout the day. The Roman Catholic practice of praying the rosary is also akin to breath prayers.

Though breath praying is not found in the Bible, advocates of the practice recommend repeating a short phrase, the phrase can be biblical, in prayer throughout the day. For example, in the parable of The Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus portrayed a tax collector who in repentance and humility, cried out, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'” Out of this The Desert Fathers, a monastic group in Egypt during 3rd and 4th centuries, created the “Kyrie Eleison” (“Lord have mercy.”) prayer which later became known as the “Jesus Prayer.” The prayer became a favorite of these fathers who later expanded it to be, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
(For the entire article, read here).

Breath prayers are not biblical. But this is what College Church is doing now, and I am sure, many others as well. At first, my thought was that “they don’t even try to hide this stuff anymore.” But then I realized that they probably are not trying to hide it, because they see nothing wrong with it! The pastors of this church are certainly deceived and lack biblical discernment, and when they introduce this kind of nonsense to the congregation, they propagate the deception to many sheep in the pews who also lack biblical discernment. Fortunately, there have been some who have escaped this church, which is a sad example of a denomination that is becoming more and more apostate.

Joining the apostasy bandwagon of all this nonsense are many other denominations and organizations. The United Methodist Church teaches that you can “re-energize your life with a new practice.”  They say that “breath prayers are another way to become more aware of God’s presence.” Guideposts, the Christian magazine, promotes breath prayers. Breath prayers are just part of the Roman Catholic and contemplative spirituality practices that have swept the Nazarene denomination and most other mainline denominations. Prayer labyrinths, prayer stations, ashes to the forehead and the observance of Lent, the “Eucharist”, and practicing the silence are all part of the “Roman Catholization” of the Church of the Nazarene.

It is obvious that mysticism and Roman Catholic practices are acceptable to most of the denomination now, and certainly its leaders have no problem with it. There is a retreat planned just before General Assembly, to be held at a Roman Catholic site, the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center, and that is no coincidence. These types of retreats have been going on for years. This center promotes the use of “spiritual directors.” Doug Hardy, a “spiritual director” who teaches at Nazarene Theological Seminary, is also part of this retreat, and you can be assured he will promote his spiritual direction foolishness at this event, and the sheep will eat it up. No one seems to care one bit that Doug Hardy is one of the leading promoters of contemplative mysticism in the world, and yet he indoctrinates future Nazarene pastors at the seminary with this nonsense.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, the people are being blinded by blind leaders. This is nothing new. It has been going on for years, and part of the blame falls right in the laps of the General Superintendents, who have totally abdicated any responsibility as the designated spiritual leaders of the denomination. But it’s not too late to repent from their dereliction of duty. And perhaps it’s not too late for the Nazarenes to bring the church back from the precipice of apostasy.

What I Saw At General Assembly: ​Fri​day June 2 1​

This is my first quick summary report of General Assembly 2013 of the Church of the Nazarene.  We will do a more complete assessment at the end of the convention.  For now, here is what essentially I saw on the first day I was there:

Attended A Workshop: Scripture As Spiritual Formation.  It was led by Mark Maddix of Northwest Nazarene University and Richard Thompson.

Shortly after it started, I think we knew where it was going.  Professor Maddix later promoted lectio divina, one of the contemplative spirituality rituals.  He later ended the session by encouraging people to investigate more into learning about spiritual formation.  At the end, I was the last person to ask a question, and I asked Mr. Maddix:

“My father was rescued from the bondage of the Roman Catholic church years ago as a young man, and became a Christian.  He preached for years as a Nazarene pastor until he died.  So why is it that the Nazarene denomination is welcoming and promoting mystical practices that come straight out of  Roman Catholicism, which is a false religion?”

Mark Maddix strongly disagreed with me.  Mr. Maddix unequivocally stated that the Roman Catholics are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  He does not believe it is a false religion, even though it is clear that the RCC preaches works-based salvation.  Mr. Maddix does not know what he is talking about regarding the history of the Roman Catholic Church.  He made an erroneous claim that we got the Bible from the RCC, which is dead wrong.

A man then came up to me- and said he was grieved at my comments and  my “attack” against Roman Catholics, because he has many friends who are Catholic.  I said so did I, and what does that have to do with telling the truth that it is a false religion.  I asked if he would be willing to show me through Scripture that I was wrong, but he walked away.  I sensed much disapproval after I asked my question, and when Bev Turner followed up with pointing out the teachings that are being promoted in the universities, a man across the room yelled at here disrespectfully, asking if she had read those books.  She responded yes, I did.  Telling the truth to these people touches a real never with them, but I thanked the Lord I had the chance to witness to the truth.  A young lady approached me after and thanked me for stating something and this issue, which was troubling her also.  It made it all worth it.

If we can reach one person in these sessions by voicing our biblical objection to what is going on, then I give praise to God for obediently following His command to “bring light into the darkness.”  I firmly believe that Mark Maddix, and a whole lot of other leadership in the church, have bought into these lies and have been deceived.  I believe if the question was asked of some of our General Superintendents, they might be forced to admit the same belief Mark Maddix expressed.

The church is embracing the rituals and beliefs of a false religion.  It is embracing a religion that actually teaches that we ourselves are lost, unless we come back to the “mother church!”  We are told in Scripture to come out, to be separate, not to join them.  As I think of my dad, and how he returned to preach to the very people who were lost as Roman Catholics, I continue to think how ironic that this has turned around this way.  It was a sad moment I experienced as I attended my first workshop at GA.

 

Attended A Workshop: Making Christlike Disciples in the LGBT Community

Led by Andy McGee, pastor of a LGBT Nazarene church.  Much was said how they reach out to the LGBT community, and about their “methods of reaching them, making them feel at home, or feeling comfortable and not threatened.  Much was said, but not once was the word sin used.  I asked a question at the end:

“Is there any instance at your church where some of these folks have actually given a testimony as to how they were forgiven and freed from the bondage of their homosexuality, as with all other sins?”  I honestly cannot remember the details of the answer, but it dot not really answer the question.  Rev. McGee characterized what I said as being the “Exodus International” approach- right after which I interjected that no… this was my biblical approach.

Later on another man asked “what about what Romans chapter 1 says about this?  How do you answer that question?”   Again, I don’t believe the answers very biblical.  I hope to be able to provide you with audio, because they said it was being recorded.  At the end, he and his folks received a loud, sanding ovation- probably on a par with the kind of ovation a General Superintendent gets when newly elected.  I thought the entire presentation was very strange, and left many questions unanswered.  Yet, this was received very warmly, and my impression was that, except for a few here and there, no one really cared to hear my question about being saved from sin.

I believe something like this church is a first step towards gay affirmation.  In fact, Rev. McGee erroneously said that people are born with homosexuality and cannot help that.  He actually used statement by the General Superintendents to support that view- and sadly, it may be true that they believe this as well.

There are other examples of this kind of softening of the biblical message to appease sinners.  The acceptance of homosexuality will probably be very complete by the time the next General Assembly happens.  This does not bode well for the Church of the Nazarene.

Master Plan

This program, which is the same as the G-12 movement, is inflicting great harm to the church.  At least five pastors have sent me reports on this problem in the last few years.  Their churches have been damaged, and parts of this seem very cult like.  One of the big movers of this thing spoke Friday, and my friend Charlie was not impressed with the presentation by Rev. Craig Rench, apparently one of the experts on the Master Plan.  To find more about this movement, please read this recent blog post by a Nazarene who has seen and experienced this:

http://themastersplannazarene.blogspot.ca/

 

Signs And Wonders In the Church

This seems to be another phenomenon which is catching on in the church with greater popularity, spurred on by the teachings and preachings of Rob McCorkle and Dan Bohi.  Sine Tim Wirth was there with me, he wrote some notes on this which I will share, but there will be further indepth reporting on “Fire Schools” which are being promoted at one of the General Assembly booths.

IHOP IS HERE, and so is the NAR, Kansas City Prophets, Rick Joyner. For those unfamiliar with the terms and the people, I will be posting articles on all these topics as a follow up to my Fire School article. The false signs and wonders are here folks. I will post articles on the other false revivals such as Lakeland with Todd Bentley, Toronto, Brownsville, etc… I will also do an article on impartation and the false pretense these folk use. Trust me the Holy Spirit is not limited to what man desires to conjure up and He is not at man’s beck and call to do our bidding. He is God and He goes and does at is His good pleasure, not ours. The Holy Spirit does not need to get a piggy back ride to your church through impartation. But a familiar spirit often does.

A Conversation With A Fire School Enthusiast

The following​ description by Tim of an encounter we had at the Fire Sachool booth, I believe, is ​a sad indication of how someone can be deceived so easily.

This was the big Fire School/Bohi promotion.  Manny and I had a very interesting conversation with a young lady,​ and Rob McCorkle had ​left before we had a chance to speak with him. I’m going to write a more detailed article on this Saturday​. The gist of it was I tried to ask this young lady where she found these manifestations in scripture. She said people fell forward. I said exactly. Only Jesus’s enemies fell backward when they came to arrest Him. This girl was really trying to control the conversation often cutting us off, trying to not let us speak. Manny bought up that no preacher is above scrutiny. Then on that point I went into what Dan preached giving exact quotes and I asked her if she thought the teaching matched up to scripture. I also pointed out where Dan actually stated he didn’t like the definition of faith expressed in the book of Hebrews and than gave his own definition of faith outside of scripture (by way of revelation knowledge perhaps?).  She stated she knows the Holy Spirit and almost implied I wasn’t saved. She said she fell to her knees and her arms were so heavy she could not move her arms.

We questioned her experience and Manny asked her if it was possible that she could be deceived. She stated no way because she knows the way the Holy Spirit moves. I asked her where is this found in scripture?  She could not answer.

Than an older lady came by and stated she never believed in the stuff either until she went and was bought to her knees, feeling a heaviness and was actually paralyzed and could not move either. I asked again where is this experience in scripture? I asked the young lady again about Dan’s teaching and how the Nazarene founder distanced himself from Azuza street and its manifestations. She than informed us we are not to “touch the anointed”. I explained to her that if you are saved you are anointed by the Holy Spirit for service. She than stated “I’m done here and I want you both to leave this area right now”. Even though her young man counterpart wanted to talk more. I apologized to her for upsetting her. She said “leave now”.  We left.

Tim will be reporting more on this soon.  I will try to update tomorrow night as needed.  Please pray for the COTN, it is really in deep trouble.

Manny

Friday, June 21, 2013

 

Roman Catholic Ritualism Corrupting Nazarene Schools and Churches

The Lenten season is upon us once again. As I have reported before, spiritual formation is one of the key avenues of the demonic influences coming into evangelical churches and universities.  Where spiritual formation is mentioned (another red flag is spiritual disciplines), it is more likely than not that it is an unhealthy emphasis on things other than what God has prescribed for our growth in spiritual maturity.  Christian spiritual formation would be that which is supported by Scripture and follows the model and examples given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles.  The problem is that today’s spiritual formation strays far from God’s word and incorporates inventions of man that goes back as far as the Desert Fathers, who introduced unscriptural methods of “getting closer to God.”  This is being taught at every Nazarene university and seminary.

The following, which I received  last week from an alumnus of Point Loma Nazarene University, is a reflection of the sad decline of the Church of the Nazarene.  We are moving away from a biblically based tradition, to a mystical, ritualistic and experience-based tradition based on man’s inventions.

“So this evening at Point Loma Nazarene University and most likely in other so called Christian universities they will have a “Traditional Ash Wednesday” chapel service.

Today’s chapel service speaker said that “Lent was needed.  The practice of Lent and the ritual of Ash Wednesday is the invitation for God’s spirit to come to you.”

Where does it say that in scripture!?!  He then said that this was a practice to “undo unholiness” a “seasonal affection time”. Really!?!

God does not ask us for a season, but if I recall scripture says DAILY…

And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:22)

Yes! I’m going to say it! If you are at Point Loma , any university, or any church service that is offering you a “Traditional Ash Wednesday” service, DON’T GO! The Word of God does NOT require this ritual or practice of you! God keep us in His TRUTH!!!  END QUOTE

In listening to that chapel service (Wednesday Feb. 13) with speaker Jamie Smith, I could barely finish it without hearing in almost every other sentence a promotion of Lenten practices that I had never before seen in my dad’s ministry or in any other Nazarene pastor’s ministry, nor during my years at Eastern Nazarene College.  Although the speaker mentioned Psalm 51, he used it erroneously to justify the practices of “spiritual disciplines” during a prescribed Lenten season, as if they are biblically mandated and necessary for spiritual growth.  I can smell this stuff a mile away it seems, because these people consistently have the same goal: move away from clear doctrine in Scripture, and embrace a lifestyle of experientialism and ritualism.  The result is a rejection of clear instruction from God, and a welcoming of your own personal “experience” of God, and a formulaic, unbiblical way of “doing” things to get an outcome.

Consider more of what Jamie Smith said in light of Scripture:

“So the church… is a peculiar people who are sort of stretched… which is why we keep time differently.  One of the ways the church has tried to embrace this peculiarity, this difference, is by inhabiting different calendars, different rhythms and seasons, with feasts and fasts, which are all meant to regulate and circle us back to the life of Jesus Christ.

“And so, around the world today, Christians will observe what we know as Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the season of Lent.  It’s a season of disciplined denial and focused confession.”

“I want to encourage you to see the spiritual disciplines associated with Lent as the answer to the prayer of Psalm 51.  The spiritual disciplines of denial are the answers to prayer in Psalm 51.”

“So the Psalmist’s prayer “create in me a clean heart”… that prayer now is answered in the gifts that God gives us, of bodily tactile disciplines, the visceral ritual of Ash Wednesday, and the ascetic practices of denial that accompany Lent.”

“Friends, I encourage you to receive in a way the ritual of Ash Wednesday and the disciplines of Lent as yet another way that our gracious God meets us right where we are.”

“This is how the Spirit of God creates in us a clean heart,  by meeting us in the practices and disciplines that are invitations into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. God actually knows that the way to our hearts is through our bodies.”

“And there is something tangible and bodily and visceral about the practices of denial, and the rituals of Ash Wednesday that are a way of God marking His love on our hearts.”

“We tend to assume that we will think our way into holiness.  We assume that we will get some information that will finally trigger a way for us to follow Jesus in the way that we’re supposed to do.” 

“We don’t think our way into holiness…. But what primarily drives our behavior… our actions… what moves us in the world is not for the most part the outcome of some logical conscience deliberative choices we make, it’s in fact governed by the power of habits we’ve acquired.” 

“It’s a season in which the Holy Spirit wants to tap into your affections and order them to the Kingdom of God.”

“…to see these rhythms and rituals as the conduits of the Spirit’s power is because I really think we need a paradigm shift in the way we think about sanctification.”

Very little of this is Scripturally sound, if any.  But I was not surprised by any of this, considering that Jamie Smith wrote a book called Desiring The Kingdom.  In the book, he makes the premise that ritual, or liturgy, is that which comes first, before someone’s Christian worldview or theology is formed.  In other words, he believes that “doing things” first, will then formulate what you believe inwardly.  This I straight out of works based Roman Catholic theology.

There is nothing Scriptural about Ash Wednesday rituals, or ashes to the forehead, or giving up something for Lent.  There is nothing “traditional” about it, other than it being man’s tradition, not God’s.  Yet, the Nazarene denomination and its leaders are defying God’s word and are shamelessly going forward with another year of Ashes to Fire, Lent, and the various mysticism based practices we have been warning about.  I have warned many times that the Nazarene leadership seems to be complicit with efforts to mix Roman Catholicism and mystical practices into a denomination that claims to preach holiness.  Should not the leaders, whose duty it is to interpret church doctrine, either explain how these practices are Scriptural, or if not, speak out against them?

Some Nazarene churches last week had Ash Wednesday services complete with the ritual of ashes being placed on the forehead.  There is no doubt it is happening, the only question is, what is the motive?  And what of those Nazarenes sitting in the pews who felt a bit awkward as others got up to receive their ashes?   Did they feel less pious for not going up?  And did the recipients feel good about a practice which never existed before in a denomination that preaches “holiness unto the Lord?”  Is this a way of attracting those of the Roman Catholic faith, by saying, “look at us, see, we are just like you.”

A Church Now Focusing On Experience, Instead of Doctrine

All these things are part of the “experience” that comes with the contemplative mysticism being introduced, and even some charismatic based revival. It’s prayer stations, and prayer labyrinths, and lectio divina, etc, etc. Do this ritual, or do that ritual, follow these steps, and you will get closer to God. We are exchanging a real experience with God through knowing His word and through prayer, for activities that are not prescribed by the Lord. Instead, the focus is taken away from Jesus, and becomes a focus on ourselves, and what WE do, not what He has done for us.

As many Nazarenes now focus on that magical goal of 40 days of Lent, what then after that?  How is your life after this specified time period going to look like?  Is this like the Super Bowl experience, where the hype builds up over time until the big event, and then we go back to “normal” until the next time around?  Do you really think that this is a “special” time God has set aside for you to grow spiritually, or is not God’s desire that we grow spiritually every day, without any gimmicks?

The bottom line is that no ritual can make our hearts become right with God, and instead, we may end up being only filled with personal, sinful pride for thinking “look at me, I’m better because I did this, and you did not.”

In his article Spiritual Formation at Worship, Dr. Gary Gilley states:

 “Deliberate asceticism, harsh treatment of the body and abstinence from acceptable activities, actions and food, may have the appearance of spiritual activity but have no effect on our souls, nor do they enhance our spiritual development. Lent is a hold-over from ascetic practices of the past that have no direct spiritual value.”

The danger of participating in these practices is that the Nazarene church will also eventually tell you, as the RCC does now, that these “new” liturgical practices are required for our “spiritual formation,” thus resulting in the practices of man once again casting aside the teachings of Holy Scripture.

I close with a word from Colossians 2:20-23 which I believe speaks to these issues:

“If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

 

Recommended Resources:

 Spiritual Formation at Worship, by Dr. Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel