Rick Warren - Another Week of Contemplative Spirituality

This week's e-newsletter by Rick Warren is promoting contemplative spirituality. For those who have watched this newsletter the last few years, that shouldn't really be a surprise. He promotes contemplative and/or emerging spirituality nearly every week. This week Warren draws attention to emerging church leader, Dan Kimball (who advocates lectio divina, the labyrinth and who promotes contemplatives like Brian McLaren and Henri Nouwen in his book, The Emerging Church). The article Warren has posted by Kimball is titled Emerging worship: Moving beyond only preaching and singing. In that article, Kimball states:

There is a richness to be found in looking back in church history and implementing ancient forms of worship, in addition to more recent ways. When choosing to implement something like *Lectio Divina* (a contemplative praying of the Scriptures) into a worship gathering, though, take a moment to teach worshipers the history of the practice so that it isn't perceived as just a gimmick.

Lectio divina isn't the only "ancient" form of worship Kimball promotes. In an article he wrote in 2001, Kimball extols the ancient labyrinth. Steve Muse of Eastern Regional Watch Ministries said the following about Kimball's promotion of the labyrinth: "As a former occultist, I learned such practices many years ago and even now, I have talked with former occultists who are shocked to see a demonic practice revived within the churches in the body of Christ."

When Kimball says that "We have the great opportunity to redefine the church to emerging generations" (from Youth Specialties Youth Workers Convention, 2002), this "redefin[ing]" he speaks of includes mystical practices that are the same that New Agers and Eastern religion followers practice. The premise of such practices is panentheist (i.e., God is in all things) and ultimately negates the very gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rick Warren has helped to launch Kimball's ministry (having endorsed his book, The Emerging Church) and continues to do so as we see in this week's newsletter. What Warren is really launching is an emerging spirituality that will help usher the world into a global religion that will leave no room for biblical Christianity. Incidentally, in this week's newsletter, Rick Warren quotes someone who is a leading proponent of the modern day contemplative prayer movement ... Richard Foster. Foster teaches that anyone, not just believers, can practice contemplative prayer and become a "portable sanctuary" for God. This would mean that people could bypass a relationship with Jesus Christ, bypass the Cross and reach God (see Be Still DVD). Rick Warren resonates with Richard Foster's spirituality and with Henri Nouwen's as well. Yet, in Nouwen's last book, Sabbatical Journey, he said he was uncomfortable with those who say Jesus is the only way to salvation and he felt it was his calling to help people find their own path.

While Christian leaders like James Dobson, Jack Hayford, Jerry Falwell, and countless others refuse to speak up against the Purpose Driven deception, they also refuse to speak up against contemplative spirituality. But that would make sense; they can't speak up against one without the other, and for the time being leaders are still mesmerized by Rick Warren and are equally seduced by mysticism.

For related information:

Commentary of Dan Kimball's Article "A-maze-ing Prayer: The Labyrinth Offers Ancient Meditation For Today's Hurried Souls"

"Dan Kimball's Emerging Church and Eastern Meditation
by Steve Muse

Research on Dan Kimball