Have you ever questioned why so many of America’s mainline denominations frequently support leftist organizations and causes such as same sex marriage, or abortion, or why they openly invite practicing homosexuals in as ministers, or wondered why so many have abandoned the Bible as the Word of God? It’s because many of them, at least at the leadership level, have virtually become leftist organizations pushing liberation theology, social justice, new age philosophy, humanism and everything but the Word of God.
At center is the notoriously radical National Council of Churches (NCC), who since their inception have been an unabashed supporter of Communist regimes and uprisings all over the world, in the name of “human rights.” Aiding and abetting their work is the Geneva-based parent organization, the World Council of Churches (WCC). The rights these two organizations demand for radical, Islamic, and communist regimes are the same rights they refuse to extend to Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, a small nation surrounded by terrorists sworn to annihilate it.
The Catholic Church from which contemplative spirituality sprung, has also been infected, at least in the U.S., by leftist liberation theology and a major infiltration of its seminaries by homosexuals. Father Donald B. Cozzens in The Changing Face of the Priesthood, writes that the real problem facing the church is the “disproportionate number of gay men that populate our seminaries.”
Paul Likoudis, editor of the Wanderer, one of America’s oldest Catholic newspapers wrote in his book Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda, that homosexuals, pedophiles and other perverse persons in the US and Canada, began carefully plotting and promoting a sexual liberation agenda that first manifested itself in the new catechetical texts rushed into print during the Second Vatican Council. “The evidence is now irrefutable that an influential and very powerful coterie within the Catholic Church, well embedded and well protected by the Roman Catholic hierarchy and their peers in the police, the courts, legislatures and media, is successfully advancing a sexual liberation agenda that will not end until every social stigma attached to any sexual activity, no matter how bizarre, has been erased.”
Contemplative spirituality has entered virtually every evangelical denomination to one degree or another, pushed as a way of being and of praying through the use of ritualistic rote prayers, chanting, meditation, centered prayer, the use of prayer beads, etc. The cover story for the February 2008 issue of Christianity Today, The Future Lies in the Past, described the “lost secrets of the ancient church” that are being rediscovered by evangelicals, urging the embracement of symbols and sacraments, dialogue with Catholicism and Orthodoxy. They even urged that evangelicals should “stop debating” and “break out the candles and incense” and pray the “lectio divina” and learn the “Catholic ascetic disciplines” from “practicing monks and nuns,” all leading to a “deepening ecumenical conversation.”
Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, pushing mysticism, has sold millions of copies, and was even selected by Christianity Today as one of the top ten books of the 20th Century. Foster, a former Quaker, pushes New Age Mysticism, through centering prayer, visualization, guided imagery, mantras, walking the labyrinth, interpretation of dreams, channeling the light of Christ, and even out-of-body experiences.
Contemplative mysticism is being promoted by many influential pastors such as Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who frequently promotes meditation, centering prayer, etc. In his book The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life, Warren advises readers to “use breath prayers” as per the Benedictine monks, quotes John Main, a Catholic monk who believes that Christ “is not limited to Jesus of Nazareth, but remains among us in the monastic leaders, etc.,” and Henri Nouwen who believes that man can be saved apart from personal faith in Christ. Warren also recommends Foster’s book as “having a valid message” and claims that the contemplative movement will “help bring the church into full maturity.”
David Jeremiah, in his 2003 book Life Wide Open: Unleashing the Power of a Passionate Life, favorably quotes many mystics, including Sue Monk Kidd who in her book The Dance of the Dissident Daughter describes her journey from a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher to a goddess worshipper via the path of contemplative prayer; Peter Senge who is a Buddhist, and John of the Cross, a Catholic saint.
New Agers borrow many beliefs from Hinduism which teaches that we are connected to an impersonal energy force, which is god, and that this god-energy flows into each of us so we are also god. Thinking we are god, they teach we can create our own reality, experience our own god-power called god-consciousness, super-consciousness, self-realization, etc. To reach this awareness, New Agers use mantras or yoga to reach an altered level of consciousness to discover their own divinity.
Far too many of today’s Christians have been swept up into leftist movements, the so-called popular culture. Thinking they are doing God’s work behind enemy lines they’ve gradually taken on many more characteristics and attitudes of the enemy than they realize. Christianity, the driving force behind Western civilization, has been dumbed down. Is it any wonder that the church, and America, are in trouble?
“Ye hypocrites, . . ., this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15: 7-9