"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 John 1:9)
Today, pagan religious practices are infiltrating Christian churches through various means including the New Age Movement, Lectio Divina and contemplative prayer (also called centering prayer). Popular modern day teachers like Beth Moore are promoting other teachers like Brennan Manning, a Francescan priest ordained in 1963 who has taught on praying contemplative prayer and repetitive mantras in a book entitled Signature of Jesus (see page 204). On the next page he warns his readers to not judge/evaluate their contemplative prayer times (translation: put all God-given discernment aside). In the Las Vegas area, some ministries have chosen to boycott Moore's materials in order to "protect the flock", while others have chosen to abide and continue in them.
As a result of aberrant teachings arising in Christian churches (see the predictions of this in the Bible from the prophets including Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:30, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 1 Timothy 4:1), various gifted apologetics and discernment ministries have popped up through the world. These ministries specialize in exposing false doctrines and practices out of love for other Christians (and love for the truth of the Bible) in order that fellow believers in Christ would come out of the deception and apostasy. Be on the look-out as popular evangelical leaders join together and hold hands to bring contemplative prayer to thousands: Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Richard Foster and even Max Lucado (also an avid supporter of Manning; see his full endorsement on the last page of Manning's book here). We must be wise and alert to the modern false ecumenical, last days agenda. This (part I) apologetics/discernment article is just a brief review of Beth Moore's endorsement of Brennan Manning.
According to an article on contemplative prayer, contemplative prayer has slowly increased in practice and popularity along with the rise of the emerging church movement—a movement which embraces many unscriptural teachings and practices. Contemplative prayer is one such practice. Moore speaks about contemplative prayer in the audio provided.
In Beth Moore's book entitled When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, available at the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson, Brennan Manning is quoted several times in chapters two, four and eighteen. Moore states that Manning's book is "remarkable". Moore is an avid fan of Brennan Manning's teachings:
Brenning Manning, in one of the most remarkable books I have ever read, follows Bonhoeffer's quote with his own words... (Page 398; chapter eighteen).
Beth Moore also endorses his book Ruthless Trust in chapter two. In chapter four, she quotes his book The Ragamuffin Gospel when he speaks of becoming an alcoholic after he became a Christian and after he served as a spiritual director at a catholic seminary. In chapter four, Beth Moore states:
The Body of Christ is blessed indeed...that Manning would minister to us out of his wealth of experience. What God has used Manning to bring to the mixed bag of our generation of believers may be a gift without parallel (page 116; chapter four).
In the endnotes of her book When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, Brennan Manning is noted several times. Moore has fully endorsed Manning and encouraged her followers to read his literature and embrace his teaching. Furthermore, Lectio Divina is listed in the citations of the book by publisher/director Amy Reinhold entitled, Be Still: 31 Days to a Deeper Meditative Prayer Life. Why is it that modern day teachers are working hard at promoting lectio divina to their followers? The publishers of this book have realeased the following official summary: "Thirty-one daily meditations which introduce readers to a form of contemplative prayer called lectio divina, in which scripture is read allowed slowly and deliberately". What does the Bible say?
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:11)
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure (1 Timothy 5:22)
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)
From the Lighthouse Trails Research Newsletter:
As contemplative prayer is fast becoming a household and church wide term, partly due to projects like the Be Still DVD recently released by Fox Home Entertainment, some may ask, 'What's so bad about this practice anyway?' Something that New Agers seem to understand, but so many Christians miss, is the fact that the silence, which undergirds the whole contemplative movement, is the common denominator that ultimately leads to what is termed interspirituality, which in turn diminishes the message of the Cross.
Those who practice contemplative prayer are in great danger, and it is this that motivates many of us to continue our pleas for discernment. Many Christian leaders appear to be reluctant to speak up against the spiritual formation (i.e., contemplative) movement, and in fact may even be on the verge of joining hands with those in it. If a Christian leader is not taking a solid biblical stand against contemplative, then that leader is failing to alert his flock to a warning they need to hear. These are strong words, but if we as Christian believers do not defend the precious faith, which is the only means of salvation for mankind, who will?
Jesus said, 'And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it' (Matthew 10:38- 39).
Why is Moore such a fan of Manning? Manning also speaks of the new age term "Christ Consciousness" on page 212 of his book Signature of Jesus, and cites mystic Thomas Merton in his endnotes numerous times. Manning also taught this as a "truth": we cannot know Christ without contemplative prayer. "We come to know Christ as we persevere in contemplative prayer" (page 200). The purpose of a pastor or teacher (like Beth Moore claims to be) is to guard the flock, not point them down the wrong road. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28). Pray for teachers across the nation that they will not lead others down the apostate road as they promote teachers who are false and/or apostate. Oh dear friends, please fervently pray for our leaders in Las Vegas and our fellow believers to have eyes to see what Christ wants.
A couple of local churches in the Las Vegas area (in Henderson) will be hosting a Beth Moore event this weekend. Moore will be broadcasted from Green Valley Baptist Church this Saturday, Septemeber 15th at 9:30 am in Henderson via a live simulcast (please note that this is not a free event). Community Church at Anthem is also promoting and participating in this event. Green Valley Baptist Church is also having an upcoming fall Bible Study featuring Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer called 'Faithful Abundant and True'.
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)
Related Resources and Apologetics/Discernment Articles:
Contemplative Prayer and the Evangelical Church by Ray Yungen
Be Still and Watch in Horror as Contemplative Apostasy Floods the Church by Spiritual Research Network
Priscilla Shirer and Contemplative/Centering Prayer by Apprising Ministries
Discerning False Prophets (part 1) Doctrinal Fruit by Johanna Michaelson
Southern Baptist Convention Using More Counter Reformation Contemplative Spirituality by Apprising Ministries
An Exploration of Centering Prayer on Examiner
Rick Warren Embracing New Age Spirituality on Examiner
Beth Moore Gives Thumbs Up to 'Be Still' DVD by Lighthouse Trails Research Project
'Be Still' DVD by Lighthouse Trails Research Project
Be Still and Know...That You are Being Deceived by Brian Flynn of Forgotten Word Ministries
What is Christian Mysticism by GotQuestions
What is Apostasy and How Can I Recognize It? by GotQuestions
What is the New Age Movement? by CARM (Christian Apologetics Research Movement)
Beth Moore on the Contemplative Bandwagon by Way of Life Ministries
Brennan Manning by Way of Life Literature, Inc.
Brennan Manning and Contemplative Prayer by Lighthouse Trails Research Project
Beth Moore speaks on Contemplative Prayer on YouTube
Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism by Apprising Ministries
Gird Up Your Loins with Truth by Becky Savio
The Embrace of Contemplative Spirituality in the Post-Modern Church by Airo Ministries
Beth Moore's Illicit Tent of Meeting by Bob DeWaay