Thursday, April 12, 2018


SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
April 12, 2018
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
Saddleback Church recommends a wide range of books on contemplative mysticism at its web site.Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun, for example, has been listed under the “Spiritual Growth” section for at least the past two years. Rick Warren, senior pastor at Saddleback, pretends that contemplative prayer is merely getting alone in a quiet place to meditate on God’s Word, but it goes far beyond that. Warren says that contemplative prayer is nothing like yoga, but as a former member of a Hindu meditation society, I can testify that practices such as centering prayer are definitely yoga-like.
Adele Calhoun recommends Roman Catholic monastic practices which were, in turn, borrowed from paganism, as we have documented in our book Contemplative Mysticism. Calhoun lists Roman Catholics as “spiritual tutors,” including M. Basil Pennington, Henri Nouwen, Peter Kreeft, William Meninger, Francis de Sales, Richard Rohr, William Johnson, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Keating, John of the Cross, Brother Lawrence, Tilden Edwards, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Thomas Merton, John Henry Newman, Julian of Norwich. Not only are these deeply misguided individuals laden down with Catholic heresies, but many were led by their mystical practices to universalism, panentheism, and even rank idolatry. (For example, Thomas Merton worshipped Buddhist idols.) Calhoun recommends following the Roman Catholic Church liturgical calendar, seeking spiritual direction from Catholic orders, and visiting Catholic retreat centers. She describes a pilgrimage she took with 30 women in her “covenant group” to visit the sites of Catholic mystics and to study their practices. She recommends a whole slew of unscriptural contemplative practices, including the Jesus prayer (vain repetition), palms up palms down (psychological visualization), lectio divina, imagination prayer, centering prayer, breath prayer, practicing the presence, silence, and spiritual direction. She recommends the use of single words as a mantra to drive away conscious thoughts. “Choose a simple word ... Let this word guard your attention. ... When your thoughts wander let them drop to the bottom of your mind. Don’t go after them. ... Imagine your distracting thoughts are part of the debris floating in the current of a river. Don’t try to capture these thoughts; release them and let the river of God’s life carry them away.” 

In describing her mysticism, Calhoun quotes Richard Rohr, “Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence.” This is not biblical contemplation; it is blind mysticism. Even when it comes to devotional reading of the Bible, Calhoun discourages “mentally critiquing or exegeting the text.” Rather, the Bible is to be used as a launching pad for mysticism as the practitioner refuses to “analyze” it but merely “listens and waits.” 

It is impossible to exaggerate the danger inherent in contemplative mysticism, and it is impossible to warn too loudly and plainly of the spiritual blindness of the “evangelical” leaders who are promoting it.

For more on this see 
Evangelicals and Contemplative Prayer, available in print and a free eBook edition from
EXCERPTS: "But what does this have to do with Saddleback Church and Rick Warren? What an excellent question “grasshopper.” So let me do some ‘splainin’. In Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) in Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) you’ll see that the advance of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism(CSM), which flowered within the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism, into the “Protestant” Southern Baptist Convention under the guise of Spiritual Formation really isn’t any secret.
Nor is the fact that Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren is a promoter of The Cult of Guru Richard Foster. In Rick Warren Guilty for Endorsing Richard Foster and His Reimagined Gnostic Mysticism I showed you that in Warren’s modern Church Growth Movement classic The Purpose Driven Church he says that from “time to time God has raised up a parachurch movement to reemphasize a neglected purpose of the church.”"
"And by the way, you can also purchase Celebration of Discipline at Saddleback Church along with Spirit of the Disciplines by Foster’s partner Dallas WillardLife of the Beloved by Roman Catholic priest Henri Nouwen(1932-1996) and Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, “pastor of spiritual formation at Christ Church in Oakbrook, IL,” all found in the bookstore of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in their Spiritual Disciplines section right next to the section of Spiritual Formation."