Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crosstalk Interview: Evangelical Leaders Pushing Mysticism

Thank you to Ingrid Schlueter, host of Crosstalk America, for having me on her radio show today.

During the show, I briefly went over my own testimony of being mercifully saved out of the New Age (which is today called "New Spirituality" and "Integral Spirituality"), only to find that the same mysticism I had once practiced was now coming into the church.

Mysticism has gone mainstream, and many of today's pastors and authors are "speaking" the language of mysticism (Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines, Solitude and Silence, etc.), as well as selling books leading unwitting readers into occultic mystical practices- chiefly, mantra meditation.  The book Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster, first published in 1978 and taught today in most seminaries as a "classic of the faith," has probably been the one book that has been the most instrumental in bringing Roman Catholic/pagan mysticism into the church.  Some of the more surprising names moving in this mystical direction are well-respected leaders in evangelicalism today:
Dr. John Piper
Tim Keller
Matt Chandler
Mark Driscoll
Rick Warren
One thing I'm not sure I explained well in the interview that I wanted to go over here is that when people do contemplative prayer as taught by the mystics (with mantra meditation), they WILL have a spiritual experience. A lot of people tend to think the occult is all smoke and mirrors and diversionary tactics. That's not true. The occult is the area of the spiritual realm over which Satan has dominion. If it will take a person's focus off of God, he is more than happy to give an experience that will be profound, intense, positive, and yes, supernatural. At least, in the beginning, these meditative experiences will be positive and will "feel" good. At some point, though, Satan's mask will "slip," because as Ingrid pointed out, he is evil and it is his intention to steal, kill and destroy. He will not stay masked forever.

I have friends who do contemplative prayer, and I know this is kind of a ruthless prayer, but I pray that they will get a glimpse of Satan's true nature that will so terrify them that they will repent, and run back to the Savior and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.....rather than approaching the Lord with worship that has been syncretized with pagan practices.

You can listen to the show in its entirety here.

 Additional Resources 

Rick Warren Promotes "Christianized" Mantra Meditation

Mark Driscoll: The Face of Contemplative Calvinism

Emergent Church: Religious Syncretism

Matt Chandler: A "Reformed" Charismatic?

Dr. John Piper: Unanswered Questions