Friday, January 14, 2011

"But God...."

Posted by Christine Pack

I know that the world at large views Christians as arrogant, judgmental and condemning.  And sadly, I have to say that many who claim the name of Christ are this way.  But when true, born again Christians are simply speaking what the Scriptures say, it is not us that the world finds itself at odds is God.  There is something so supernaturally authoritative about Scripture that when we begin to speak it, it has the ability to pierce even those who seem the hardest, the coldest and the most closed off to the gospel.

I know this from personal experience.  I wanted nothing to do with the God of the Bible.  I much preferred the "God" of the world, which was a "God" who was ultra-tolerant, loving, and wanted only my personal best.  A "God" who didn't really care what I believed, so long as I was sincere in my beliefs.  This Universalist, all-paths-lead-to-me "God" was an easy "God" to worship.  He was not exclusive, judgmental or wrathful.  I could cherry pick from the religions that seemed interesting to me and "try them on for size," browsing like I might shop for a coat, trying a little mantra meditation here, a little vegeterianism there. And so I was lost in this hedonistic, easy-going postmodern spirituality for more than a decade.

My excuses for not bending the knee to the God of the Bible were many, and varied:
"I'm not as bad as (insert friend/neighbor/family member here)."
"Everybody I know does this, so it must be okay."
"The Bible has no authority over me, it was written by men, not God, and has been tinkered with over the centuries.  Sure, there's some good stuff in there, but it's not inerrant."
"Hey, I do my best."
But thankfully, God rescued me from my own foolish, worldly wisdom.  He opened my eyes to the horrific nature of my own sin, and I saw in one instant the wretchedness of my own depravity in a way I'd never seen it before.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I needed a Savior.  Like Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, I knew that my own "sin burden" would sink me lower than the grave, and into the fires of hell, rightfully so, for all my wretched sins committed against a holy God.

The excuses that had once tumbled so glibly out of my mouth were revealed in an instant for the foolishness that they were. My mouth was silenced.
"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God." (Romans 3:19)
Today, my heart is especially broken over friends who are still lost and, like I was once, in open rebellion to the God of the Bible. I have reconnected recently with a friend from long ago, and have wondered how to approach her with the gospel.  This friend is very, very dear to me, and stood by me during a very dark time in my life more than 20 years ago.  But recently, on a Facebook comment thread, this friend took exception to an article that I posted about a new, radical movement inside of evangelical Christianity that encourges Christians to embrace homosexuality as a viable lifestyle for some Christians.  Until recently, I have not posted much on homosexuality due to it being such a charged topic, but after reading a recent article by Christian writer Skip Coryell, I've changed my stance on writing about this issue.  Coryell basically makes the case that Christians in general have been intimidated into remaining silent on this "hot potato" issue, rather than speaking biblical truth into a lost and dark world that so desperately needs it.  So that's the background for this recent conflict between me and an old friend: we are on opposite sides not only on this issue of homosexuality, but on the issue of whether or not the Bible has spoken authoritatively on this, and all other, issues.

My friend, by all indications, seems to still have the same easygoing Universalist belief as so many in the world today, and the same one I held to for so long.  And what's not to like about a view which demands nothing of a person, and seems to grant permission to believe whatever one likes, and live however one wants?  Universalism seems like the religion of love, with its olly olly oxen free clarion call of "come one, come all."  I can attest that one of the reasons that I myself embraced Universalism as a young adult was that during this period of my life, I was working in an industry that attracted many homosexuals, some of whom I became friends with.  The biblical idea that these friends of mine would be damned for their sin was absolutely ludicrous to me.  Who could believe in such a God?  Moreover, who could love such a God?

What I came to realize after God saved me was that their sin of unrepentant homosexuality was no greater than my own sins of unrepentant covetousness, unrepentant pride, unrepentant stubborness. Like Jesus, we are to love the sinner but hate the sin.  Many people point to the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman as an example of Jesus-accepts-you-just-as-you-are tolerance.  Only, they conveniently leave out the last part where Jesus told the woman: "Go, and sin no more." (John 8:1-11)

We must - in love and with great compassion - exhort our homosexual friends to repent and bend the knee before their sovereign creator God, just as we would any other lost person.  And then we must understand  that all of us have besetting sins that we struggle with, all of us must seek to subdue and crucify our flesh, not in a works-righteous way, but in a God honoring and God glorifying way, so that our wills, our hearts, our minds, our bodies all come under the authority of Christ (Rom 13:14, Gal 3:27, Eph 4:24).  No, it's not easy, and yes, there are setbacks and ongoing struggles.  But when God saves us, He mercifully gives us the Holy Spirit, our ally behind enemy lines, as it were, who helps us grow and gives us strength and aids us as we become more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29).

I wish I could somehow reach into the hearts of all my lost friends - including the one I've recently gotten in touch with - and somehow explain to them that following Christ is not about getting a checklist of the "right" things to do and following it.  It is not someone grudgingly doing good things, the way a kid might hold his nose and drink down bad medicine.  It is being free from the curse and condemnation of sin, and then joyfully serving the Lord who bought us out of the slave market of sin.
"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23a
"Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin........But if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.' " John 8:34-36
We've broken God's moral laws, and we stand condemned.  We cannot forgive ourselves. We can't do enough good works to "get out of the hole" our sins have put us in.  There is no giant "scale" somewhere in the sky waiting to weigh out our good deeds against our bad deeds.  We are condemned, lost, doomed......unless God himself intervenes into this dire situation.  But miraculously, He did.  My pastor often comments that the 2 most precious words in the Bible are "But God..."

BUT GOD....sought us while we were yet sinners. (Romans 5:8)

BUT loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

BUT GOD....made a way for wretched, depraved men and women to be reconciled to a holy God, and has freed those who will repent and place their faith in Christ's atoning death from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

What amazing good news this is!  It is, in fact, the best news that the world has ever heard.  Will you commit to praying for those in your life who are lost, and need this good news?  Who don't recognize the bondage they're in?  After all, you might be the only Christian in someone's life who is willing to stand in the gap between them and the hell they are moving inexorably toward.  Perhaps you have given books, tracts, CDs, articles, etc. to the lost person in your life and you've been soundly rebuffed.  But what about prayer?  Have you earnestly appealed in prayer to God's mercy and lovingkindness on behalf of this person, knowing that any prayers they might make will go unheard?  I sometimes jokingly refer to prayer as the "throw up your hands" option.  You see, sometimes Christians will get frustrated after attempting to persuade the lost into salvation by appealing to their common sense and logic.  "Well," they might then say, exasperated, "I suppose there's always prayer!" As if prayer were somehow inferior to all the other attempts to persuade. But we must remember that salvation is a supernatural work of God, and there is a holy, supernatural mystery attached to the prayers of the righteous.  After all, Christians are the only ones who are allowed to approach the throne of grace where we know that we will be heard:
"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
Surely someone interceded on your behalf before the Lord of Glory when you were a sin-loving, God-hating rebellious sinner.  Won't you put aside some time today to stand in the gap for those you know who are lost?
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
photo credit: khrawlings via photopin cc

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Canon of Revelation is Closed

“I have heard many fanatical persons say the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them.  Now that is very generally revealed nonsense.  The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now.  He brings old things to our remembrance.  ‘He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have told you,’ [John 14:26].  The canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added.  God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one.  When it has been forgotten, and laid in the dusty chamber of our memory, he fetches it out and cleans the picture, but does not paint a new one.  There are no new doctrines, but the old ones are often revived.  It is not, I say, by any new revelation that the Spirit comforts.  He does so by telling us old things over again; he brings a fresh lamp to manifest the treasures hidden in Scripture; he unlocks the strong chests in which the truth had long lain, and he points to secret chambers filled with untold riches; but he coins no more, for enough is done.

Believer!  There is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever.  If thou shouldest outnumber the years of Methusaleh, there would be no need for a fresh revelation; if thou shouldest live till Christ should come upon the earth, there would be no necessity for the addition of a single word; if thou shouldest go down as deep as Jonah, or even descend as David said he did, into the belly of hell, still there would be enough in the Bible to comfort thee without a supplementary sentence.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The New Park Street Pulpit
Vol. I (1855), p. 38

See also:

Mystics or Christians....But Not Both

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who Said It?

Reprinted from The Crosstalk Blog

Read the following carefully.  After you have finished, try to guess where the author of these statements recently spoke:
"Now I see that God prefers to work through intermediaries–Mary and the saints . . . He wants us to pray through Mary and not only directly." (p. 154, Ecumenical Jihad)
"[Mary] may bring the churches together again and heal the tears in her Son's visible body on earth, she, the very one who seems to divide Catholics from Protestants. The most distinctive Catholic doctrines, especially those concerning the Eucharist and Mary, may prove to be the most unifying and attracting ones." (p. 158, Ecumenical Jihad)
"Consecrate your life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is the one who will win this war. She is the one (as the Bible says) who triumphs over Satan." (p. 169 – parenthesis in original, Ecumenical Jihad)

The author of these words recently spoke at:

A) World Youth Day for the Roman Catholic Church

B) Swimming the Tiber, a conference for Catholic converts sponsored by EWTN

C) Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren's Christian Apologetics Conference at Saddleback

The answer is C. Lighthouse Trails has the full story about the "Christian Apologetics" December conference--a report that demonstrates the growing disregard for the basic doctrinal teachings of Scripture. These are the doctrines that are essential to a proper understanding of the Gospel. They were the cause for the Reformation.

As a handful of Christians have been warning for some time, contemplative spirituality is drawing evangelicals to Rome. As could be expected, Rick Warren is leading the charge to overthrow the Reformation and to develop a global ecumenical spirituality that leads invariably back to Rome.

The author of the above statements is Peter Kreeft, a former Protestant who converted to Catholicism, and is now a Catholic apologist.  Kreeft is the author of the book Ecumenical Jihad, from which these quotes were taken.

The question is: Why would "America's Pastor" (Rick Warren) welcome an apologist for an apostate religious system into his church, and especially at a conference that is meant to give a defense of the Christian faith?

See also:

Rick Warren Promotes "Christianized" Mantra Meditation

Rick Warren: Driven By Destiny?

An Open Letter to Dr. John Piper

Why is Rick Warren Quoting Univeralist Henri Nouwen?

Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic Priest

Roman Catholic Mysticism and the Emergent Church Movement

How Not to Speak of Christ and His Work

Henri Nouwen and Buddhism

Rick Warren Wants Us To Learn From Henri Nouwen

The Wider Mercy Doctrine

The Need for Elders Who Guard Their Flock

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Anne Rice: No Bloody Atonement Necessary?

Posted by Christine Pack

Author Anne Rice recently blogged on her thoughts about Christmas and its meaning.  But Rice, who was embraced by many in the Christian community some years ago when she wrote about becoming a Christian, has further clairified in the article linked above that her version of "Christianity" is far from orthodox.

In her article, Rice speaks in great detail of the humanity of Christ.  In truth, this is a lovely thing to dwell on, this knowing that we have a Savior who identifies with us because he has lived a mortal life and therefore knows our weaknesses.  But Rice stops there (at Christ's humanity) and even explains that the very heart of the gospel itself and the very reason for Christ's incarnation - the atonement - is not necessary:
"(T)he genius of the Christmas Crib is that you do not need theology to approach it. You do not need any bloody atonement theory to touch the Christ Child’s outstretched hand. The story is complete there without the horror of the cross." (online source)
I would remind anyone reading what Anne Rice wrote that the atonement was not simply a theory.  It was an actual event that happened in history, and it is only through the atonement that we are able to touch Christ's "outstretched hand."  In fact, without the atonement, no one may approach God, and all who reject the atonement will remain under God's wrath.

To me, it is far more amazing to have a Savior who was human - yes - but who was fully God, too.  And because of his Deity, Christ was able to make the ultimate sacrifice: offering up his own perfect, sinless life and suffering God's wrath on behalf of those who would repent and place their faith in this atoning work done on their behalf.  God - in his magnificent, unsurpassable wisdom - made a way to reconcile wretched, sinful men and women to himself without compromising his perfect, holy justice.  He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who was both fully God and fully man, and who lived a perfect life, never sinning in thought, word or deed, and who, because of this, was able to offer up his life as a ransom for many. I broke God's laws, and Jesus paid my fine in his life's blood so that I could be released from the rightful condemnation of the law.  But this gift of salvation, though given freely, is narrow and exclusive.  Only those who recognize their sinful wretchedness and need for a Savior, and repent and place their faith in Christ's atoning work done on their behalf, will see the kingdom of Heaven.

A baby in a manger is not the whole story.  And in truth, we cannot - must not - stop at the manger.  The manger is just the beginning of the story of Jesus, and ultimately, this story leads to the Cross.

Anne Rice is celebrating the "what" of Jesus's incarnation (that He actually came, that He entered into time and space), but she is leaving out the most important part of Christ's incarnation, which is the "why" of his incarnation: the Cross.  Quite literally, Jesus was born so that one day He would die.  His life's mission was that He would be born, live a perfect life, and then die and rise again, conquering sin and death and reconciling God's people to himself.

This is the magnificent message of the manger.

photo credit: lanskymob via photopin cc
photo credit: abcdz2000 via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Anne Rice Rejects Christianity?

An Open Letter To Anne Rice

What Is Real Christianity?

Monday, December 27, 2010

"Sincerity" the Most Important Thing?

"The plain truth is, that “sincerity and earnestness” are becoming the idol of many Christians in these latter days. People seem to think it matters little what opinions a man holds in religion, so long as he is “earnest and sincere”, and you are thought uncharitable if you doubt his soundness in the faith! Against this idolatry of mere “earnestness” I enter my solemn protest. I charge every reader to remember that God’s written Word is the only rule of faith, and to believe nothing to be true and soul-saving in religion which cannot be proved by plain texts of Scripture. I entreat him to read the Bible and make it his only test of truth and error, right and wrong." - J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle wrote this almost a hundred years ago, but this is every bit as true now as it was in Ryle's day.  "Sincerity," especially, seems to be the chief measuring stick that today's postmoderns go by:
"Hey, as long as it works for you..." 
.....with the "it" merely being incidental and the "you" being of primary importance, when in fact the 'it' of Christianity is of paramount importance, and the 'you' is of very little importance.  (The 'it' of the Postmodern Manifesto, of course, refers to one's set of beliefs, one's doctrine, as it were.)

We all have friends who have succumbed to this newfangled way of Postmodern thinking.  They nod sagely, and they pat your hand when you attempt to speak truth to them, and they rush to assure you that you need not worry for them....after all, what they have 'works' for them.

But doesn't truth matter?  One of my favorite Christian pastors of today says that often he will go to a college auditorium and stand up at the podium and boldly proclaim:
"I am a seeker of truth!"
And when he does this, he says that he will most likely receive a standing ovation.  Cheers and hollering and fist pumping all around.  But, when he follows up this statement with this proclamation:
"I have found Truth.  I know exactly what Truth is!"
.....he is often booed and jeered.

Why is this?  Why is the pursuit of truth thought to be such a high and noble calling, and yet the proclamation of one's having found Truth deemed to be insufferably arrogant?

As Christians, we know that Truth is not a is a Who.  It is Jesus Christ, who said:
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6)
Truth isn't just what feels good, or what seems to work (pragmatism).  And yet many of today's church leaders seem to go by the maxim that if their church is growing, then "God must be in it."  But growth is not the sole measure of a church's spiritual health.  After all, today there are many, many examples of churches that are growing by leaps and bounds, but which routinely offer up self-help messages designed to tickle the ears of the hearers, messages about abundant living, good health, how to parent, be a good spouse, manage one's finances, etc., rather than sound biblical teaching.

But isn't it doctrine, in fact, that teaches man how he can be reconciled to a high and holy God?  Shouldn't this be the main job of the church?  Teaching about the essential doctrines of the faith and calling for repentance of sin and faith in Christ's atoning death?  After all, this was how Jesus and the apostles taught.

Think of it this way: wiccans, pagans, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are all very sincere in their beliefs. It's just that they are all sincerely deceived.  They all have's just that it's wrong doctrine.  And please understand this: the depth of their sincerity will be no safeguard whatsoever against the fires of hell awaiting them on the Day of Judgment.  Does this not give us all pause?

Just for the record, below are the essential doctrines of the Christian faith.  So essential to the faith are these truths, that lack of belief in even one of these doctrines is considered to be heresy.  I'm putting these doctrines forth because I keep having conversations with people who have no idea whatsoever that there are even essential beliefs a Christian must hold to in order to be considered orthodox.  (The result, of course, of an entire church generation having been primarily fed with ear-tickling, self-help messages.)  So here they are:

The Five Essential Beliefs of the Christian Faith
1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The Virgin Birth. 
3. The Blood Atonement.
4. The Bodily Resurrection.
5. The Inerrancy of the Scriptures. 

Not many words are used in comprising the above list of the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, but many challenging concepts are contained therein, are they not?  In fact, all true, born-again believers have had to wrestle through the hard truths contained in these 21 words, not to mention their implications.  If you have never seen this list before, I invite you to dwell on it and its truths, and make sure that you are in wholehearted agreement with them.  And if you are not, then, by all means, let the wrestling begin.  Your eternity depends upon it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Christmas Dispositions

by Jeremy Clarke, Legacy Baptist Church, NW Arkansas

I think no other time of year reveals the deep ruin of this world as vividly as Christmas.  This is a season, it seems, that brings an uncanny insurgence of feigned virtue; a season saturated with the deceitful schemes of ingenious marketing tactics and ploys intended to generate some measure of public sentiment so as to invoke the great machine of covetous consumerism.  I abhor the world’s even mild, transient, opportunistic attempts at identification with the virtues and symbols of our faith.  The whole Christmas “campaign” just accents the blackness and ignorance of a world that is perishing and passing away….and I have to be especially diligent not to become embittered by it all.

In that context, I was struck (as sovereignty would have it) with a simple question from an old Puritan work that I happened to be reading this morning.  The question posed was this: “Can you, if truly a Christian, contemplate the costly advent and agonies of the Son of God on your behalf, and yet be indifferent to the prosperity of the cause for which He came and died? Can you behold the Father of eternity resigning the Son of His love in compassion to you, and yet be careless about the conversion of a perishing soul?”

For me the question was internalized this way: “While it is true that the world’s “Christmas” is a mockery of our Lord Jesus Christ, why is my governing disposition one of embitterment, rather than of pity and compassion for those who will traverse December 25th…and all of their life…completely ignorant and darkened to the realities of the incarnate Christ, and to the free offer of salvation?” Likewise, if you profess to be a Christian, then you must know, as do I, that you are surrounded by souls that will exist forever.  What’s more, God has granted you to know the worth of a soul; to know the grim danger of unbelief and unfathomable glories of heaven, having illumined you and having called you through His gospel.  And will you, or I, with cold embitterment this Christmas, behold a dead world while simultaneously withholding the word of life?

If the Christian is to radiate Christ in December….and in whatever brief span of life awaits beyond…. consider this:
He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death.” (James 5:20)
It is, of course, God who has sovereignly chosen and who sovereignly does the saving, but His people are to be compassionate mouthpieces and instruments for His gospel.  Can a man truly believe the gospel and yet be inactive in its proclamation?  Not hardly.

What then? Christ Himself taught:
“The night cometh in which no man can work.” (John 9:4)
That is to say that there is coming a time when there will be no further opportunity to labor for the glory of God in the salvation of men.  What motivation then is ours to aspire to crowd the time we have with gospel labors!  If pity will move us at all, if compassion will mobilize us at all, it must move us here…and now, beloved.

Look to the Christ of the real Christmas who became for your welfare a Man of sorrows and suffering.  Think of that moment when you step into eternity and into His presence….and of those you will meet again who were snatched from an eternal night by the Spirit-empowered gospel uttered by the instrument of your lips.  Is there a carol known that can express the joy of being joined with them in the eternal songs of heaven sung to the glory of Christ? If there be such a one, may it be our song this Christmas.

photo credit: the idealist via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

For the Christian: "I Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You"

Legacy Baptist Church, Northwest Arkansas

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dan Kimball of the Emerging Church and Lectio Divina

by Ken Silva,
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17)
Things Aren’t As Simple As They May Appear
Apprising Ministries has been among those pioneering the mission filed of online apologetics and discernment ministry and it’s a well known fact that a major focus of mine has been the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church
In covering the EC I’ve been showing you, as well as carefully documenting, the really awful impact these rebels against the final authority of the Word of God are having upon the church visible through their postmodern version of Progressive Christian theology—a Liberalism 2.0—often referred to as “big tent” Emergence Christianity.
One of those involved with the EC, right from very early on, would be Dan Kimball, author of the book The Emerging Church. You may recall that I wrote a piece concerning Kimball last February called Curious Associations Ed Stetzer, Dan Kimball, And Tim Keller MissionSHIFT where I pointed you to this rather odd association of alleged Reformed men with Kimball. I also told you that I have spoken to him numerous times over a period of five years via email and by phone.
However, I ceased doing so because each time Kimball had asked me to keep any of the details off the record, which really doesn’t help at all; for you see, when one is a teacher in the public arena like Dan Kimball, via church conferences and books etc., then their beliefs and teachings are there for all to see. The problem which then arises is when one later says privately that they might believe other than their public record would indicate, then they themselves are introducing confusion. Recently Dan Kimball gave an interview, as you can see in Dan Kimball On The Record; some of which he chose to use to take some swipes at those of us in this line of ministry that he referred to as “watchdog discernment ministry.”
As I told you in Emerging Church Leader Dan Kimball On “Discernment Ministries”, he would also go on to writeA call for Christian discernment web sites to lovingly discern each other where this well known spokesman within the youth ministry sector EC would opine “a couple things” he “wanted to express” because:
someone I know has been hurt from a recent series of inaccurate things reported on Christian “discernment” web sites and in the comments on those web sites. In fact, many people get hurt from these web sites all the time. So often from misrepresentation and those posting not having facts correct about people… It is far too easy for people to make judgments, so incredibly often it is by those who have not even read the books by the very authors they judge. Or taken the time to look at the accuracy of web sites who may quote a sentence or two but never look at the context it was written from.  
I think that some (not all, but several) of these Christian discernment web sites and the people who comment on them and follow them don’t take these words of Jesus seriously [refers to John 7:24]. They judge by mere appearance. Not just the people who run the web sites, but also the people who make comments on them or link to them etc. They judge by appearance. They judge by guilt-by-association. They judge by taking sentences out of context to build a case for what they already pre-believe to prove their point. Almost cult-like actually, in how things can be twisted to make a point. (Online source)
Yeah, I can see here we can be thankful that Dan Kimball himself was above making any “judgements” about “several” anonymous “cult-like” Christian ”discernment web sites,” which he just knows “don’t take [the] words of Jesus seriously,” who “have not read” any books they write about, and simply “build a case for what they already pre-believe.” Kimball then went on to state:
I just think it is time for Christian discernment web sites to turn their focus on each other for a while. Like they do for “false teachers” in examining them, maybe they need to look out for “false discerners”. Figure out which ones are credible and which ones aren’t. Discernment web sites need to be discerning each other. I wish they would develop some sort of screening system or a code of discernment tools to hold each other accountable to that. Use your discerning skills and truly discern each other for a change to weed out the false discerners from the true discerners. (Online source)
To which I replied to him in the combox of his post: 
“Use your discerning skills and truly discern each other for a change.” Hmm, that sounds like it would also apply to leaders within the Emerging/ent Church as well, no?
(Online source)
Unfortunately, in a fashion quite typical of leaders within the Emerging Church, Kimball responds ignoring the substance of my comment: 
Hi Ken!
Thanks for commenting! Yes, we should be discerning what we teach constantly through the lens of Scripture. Absolutely!
And with discernment web sites they should be doing that all the more since that is 100% of what they do and focus on. I believe so much of the poorly done discerning would be cleaned up if discernment web sites held each other accountable and screened each other and checked the accuracy of what they report as they do with those they discern in the church world.
Thanks again for the comment! Hope all is well! (Online source)
So I had to spell it out for him: 
“I believe so much of the poorly done discerning would be cleaned up if discernment web sites held each other accountable and screened each other and checked the accuracy of what they report as they do with those they discern in the church world.”
I know what you mean; so much of the poorly done teaching would be cleaned up if Emerging Church web sites held each other accountable and screened each other and checked the accuracy of what they teach by Scripture as they do with those “fundamentalists” in the church world they so love to criticize.
I’m just sayin’. Thanks again for the the chance to comment! Hope all is well too!
(Online source)
Before One Begins To Teach They Should First Know What They’re Talking About
In other words, what’s sauce for the emerging goose is sauce for the discerning gander; if Dan Kimball doesn’t see a need for leaders within the Emerging Church to hold each other accountable and check their accuracy, then who in the world is he to pass judgment upon some anonymous so-called discernment websites that he’s apparently lumped all together? Kimball also trots out a favorite Emergent Church contrived complaint: “They judge by taking sentences out of context to build a case for what they already pre-believe to prove their point.” Right; yeah, because these guys apparently are above criticism, then it’s obvious that “they,” whomever they may be, must be blah, blah, blah.
Well, using Lectio Divina as an example, I’m about to show you that it’s Dan Kimball who is the one that’s causing the confusion; not discernment people, because his writings concerning it never gave any indication that he was merely reading the Bible as Lectio Divina. Kimball tells us in that aforementioned interview:
I was with about six or seven people once in Colorado, and someone said, “All right, we’re going to do Lectio Divina”; and they opened up to a passage in Scripture—I think it might have been the Psalms, I’m trying to remember, and they, you know, it was like “all right.” And I’d never heard of it before, but then that’s what it was called; sit around in a circle and someone just starts, y’know, and they’ll like open up the Bible and they read a section—I’m opening up my Bible right now—and they read, say, “Psalm” and it was “The Lord lives. Praise be to my rock. Exalted be God my savior.” That’s Psalm 18:46.
And then, they’d pause for a moment just like that and they’d say, “The Lord lives. Praise be to my rock. Exalted be God my savior.” An’ I think they read two or three verses and then w-went around the circle and I’m like, “You know that was refreshing!” We didn’t, you know, there was no mystical chanting, of like, losing your mind—it was—you’re reading a Bible verse, three or four times, and it was—it was actually—and what Irealized was it was just you were calming down for a moment, in the rush of meetings, and stuff that you were about to go into; and I’m like, “That was, I loved reading Scripture.” It was not the “emptying of mind” or’s going into some weird, meditative state of, you know, whatever. It was reading a Bible verse three or four ti[mes]—what the heck was wrong with that?
What’s wrong with that would be: This isn’t even Lectio Divina in the first place. The fact is, Dan Kimball is the one who writes promoting Lectio Divina, and then with no disclaimer in his teachings, he turns around and redefines what it is. Therefore, Kimball is the one who is taking things out of context, and not discernment people criticizing this practice of Counter Reformation spirituality, which I pointed out in Spread Of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism: Lectio Divina most certainly does involve Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP)—meditation in an altered state of consciousness—the main vehicle of CSM aka “silence.” You see, this practice of antibiblical ascetism—and all the so-called spritual disciplines—would flower in the monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism; i.e. this contributed to why the Lord would send His Reformers in the first place to bring us back to His Word.
Protestants adhering to sola Scriptura ala Reformation theology 1) don’t get to redefine practices that originated within Roman Catholicism, and 2) they would not even use these practices because they negate sola Scriptura in favor of sola Feelings-a. The tragic truth is, the Emerging Church was a Trojan Horse which unloaded corruptContemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) ala Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster—and his spiritual twin Dallas Willard—within the mainstream of evangelicalism. It’s also beyond question that this CSM—rooted as it is in the Counter Reformation (hello!) spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism—masquerading as spurious Spiritual Formation—was planted within the EC as a key core doctrine right from its inception; and when evanjellyfish embraced the EC it began moving away in earnest from the Biblical theology of the Reformation.
Men like Dan Kimball have been assisting this slide into apostasy e.g. with his recommending Lectio Divina as in the following: 
We have neglected so many of the disciplines of the historical church, including weekly fasting, practicing the silence [ala Desert Fathers], and lectio divina.[1]
As well as this:
In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican churches, you’ll find a well-developed calendar and more set pattern of worship. In many American branches of the church, however, liturgical practices were removed and forgotten a long time ago. Yet among emerging generations there is a desire to embrace Christianity’s ancient forms of worship, which includes liturgy.
In the book Soul Shaper, Tony Jones explains a lot of ancient spiritual disciplines and shows how they can be attractive ways of worship for emerging generations. Lectio Divina, which is the practice of repeatedly meditating and praying through a passage of Scripture, and many other spiritual exercises are being reintroduced in emerging worship gatherings.
There is also a growing practice in emerging worship to focus on the Christian calendar, which is organized around two major seasons of sacred time: Advent. Christmas, and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. Churches that have used liturgy for some time are breathing new life into their “routine” practices. Other emerging worship gatherings are revising ancient practices.
Then the below, which comes from an article by Kimball that ran in Ministry Toolbox at of fellow Druckerite, the Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren. In this piece called Emerging worship: Moving beyond only preaching and singing Kimball explains:
Ok, now Dan Kimball is claiming he that he apparently doesn’t understand what actual Lectio Divina is, but this really doesn’t help his case at all because he’s the one who just said we need to: “Take time to learn the history of various expressions of worship.” So, did Dan not even take his own advice then? I mean, as I showed you previously in Spread Of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism: Lectio Divina, under “Helpful Books” Kimball himself recommends the below from Tony Jones, progressive/liberal “theologian in residence” at the church of his equally heretical quasi-universalist pastor Doug Pagitt. You probably know that both are part of the unholy trinity in the Emergent Church along with Living Spiritual Teacher and Emerging Church guru Brian McLaren:
And when we read posts like this from Dan Kimball, even though he makes claims to the contrary, it’s a bit hard to believe that he didn’t know what his friends—whom he’d known for at least eight years or so—were teaching.
O but Dan Kimball doesn’t know what those heretics teach, believe, and confess. Well, be that as it may, underVia Contemplativa: Contemplative Approaches To Spirituality in the book Kimball has just recommended, his own friend (then at least) Tony Jones informs us that what Dan Kimball calls “a contemplative praying of the Scriptures” above was “cemented” into “Western monasticism” by “St. Benedict (c.480-c.550).”[3] In his book, which Dan Kimball wanted us to know is so “helpful,” Jones continues on the very next page to teach:
Lectio divina was articulated further by Guigo II (c.1117-c.1198, the ninth prior of the Grand Chartreuse, a Carthusian order in France. In his book Scala Claustralium (The Ladder of Monastics), Guigo writes:
One day I was engaged in physical work with my hands and I began to think about the spiritual tasks we humans have. While I was thinking, four spiritual steps came to mind: reading (lectio), meditation (meditatio), prayer (oratio), and contemplation (contemplatio). This is the ladder of monastics by which they are lifted up frtom the earth into heaven.. There are only a few distinct steps, but the distance covered is beyond measure and belief since the lower part is fixed on the earth and its top passes through the clouds to lay bare the secrets of heaven [Casey 59]
These four steps have been foundational in the practice of the lectio divina ever since.[4]
Now I’d be absolutely fascinated to see how Dan Kimball can explain how I’ve taken any of this out of context in order to fit some preconceived ideas I might have. I happen to be a former Roman Catholic and it’s an indisputable fact that Lectio Divina involves those four steps, which does also include the transcendental meditation-lite in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer. This is confirmed by no less an authority than the late Roman Catholic monk and supposed “Spiritual Master” Basil Pennington, a close friend of revered CSM guru Thomas Merton, who explains:
For the past twenty-five years we have been sharing Centering Prayer in all parts of the world. In all our prayer workshops we have always included lectio. For the monk and nun, lectio and contemplation, Centering Prayer, are all part of one reality.[5]
Finally, we consider Benedict XVI Promotes Biblical Meditation: Ancient Practice Could Bring Renewal to Church where we’re told that this spiritual Benedict Arnold, who will have forgotten more about Lectio Divina than Dan Kimball would ever know, instructs us he “believes that the recovery” of “the practice of lectio divina,” is going to usher in some kind of a ”new spiritual springtime for the Church.” Well, he must be just ecstatic as he watches foolish pretending to be Protestants doing just that as they follow other lost sheep coming home to antichrists of Rome. Pope Benedict continues:
“If this practice is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced that it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church,” stated the Holy Father. To promote “lectio divina,” Benedict XVI suggested “new methods, attentively pondered, adapted to the times.”…”lectio divina” became a mainstay of religious life. The monastic rules of Sts. Pacomius, Augustine, Basil and Benedict made the practice of diving reading, together with manual work and participation in liturgical life, the triple base of monastic life.
The systematization of “lectio divina” in four steps dates back to the 12th century, explained the Holy Father. Around 1150, Guido, a Carthusian monk, wrote a book entitled “The Monks’ Ladder,” where “he set out the theory of the four rungs: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation,” according to the Pope. “This is the ladder by which the monks ascend from earth to heaven.” (Online source)
So, as you can plainly see, when someone on a discernment website—whatever that means—says that Dan Kimball promotes practices of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism it’s precisely because they have done their homework and followed Kimball’s own advice to learn the history of various expressions of worship. The fact is, words mean what they’ve been defined by dictionaries and encyclopedias have defined them, or we lose any ability to even communicate. In the end, it’s been proven now that it is Dan Kimball himself who is out of context here concerning Lectio Divina, and not someone like me.
[1] Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations [Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2003], 223.
[2] Dan Kimball, Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations [Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2004], 93.
[3] Tony Jones, Soul Shaper: Exploring spirituality and contemplative practices in youth ministry [Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2003], 037. 
[4] Ibid., 038.
[5] M. Basil Pennington, Lectio Divina: Renewing the Ancient Practice of Praying the Scriptures [New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1998], ix.