Posts Tagged ‘Southern Baptist’

Guest Post: Albert Mohler Gives Air Time to Author of “The Benedict Option” (A Monastic/Catholic Promoting Book)

LTRP Note: This is another example of a major Christian leader laying aside the integrity of biblical faith and giving credence to the Roman Catholicism and contemplative mysticism for the sake of “unity” and “morality.”

By Cathy Mickel
(Author of Spiritual Junk Food: The Dumbing Down of Christian Youth)

Albert Mohler

Where is the wisdom in Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, giving air time to Rod Dreher, the author of The Benedict Option (a book highlighting the way of Saint Benedict, Catholic “saint” and founder of the monastic Benedictine order)? (Other evangelical leaders who support the book are Matt Chandler;,  Russell Moore;,  and John Piper; )

In the interview, Mohler says, “[T]he book is very important. I want to commend it to every thinking Christian. We ought to read this book and we ought also to read far beyond the title.” (

The following are a few quotes from what the author of The Benedict Option said to Albert Mohler in the interview.

[T]he West owes an incalculable debt to those Benedictine monks.

So this is nothing new. We’re just rediscovering an old tradition, things that our ancestors knew. And look, I think that whether we’re evangelical, Catholic, or Orthodox, we need to go back to the early church to see how our ancestors did it, see what they did, see how they embodied the faith and culture and practices [contemplative prayer].

. . . time for Christians to take seriously the times we’re in, to read the signs of the times and to respond in a responsible way, in a clear way, in a patient way. And I use Saint Benedict of Nursia [considered the “father of western monasticism”], the 6th century saint, who was a Christian who lived through the fall of the Roman Empire; he was born four years after the Empire officially fell. And he went down to Rome to get his education and saw it was completely corrupt, it was falling apart. He went out to the woods to pray; he lived in cave for three years, and asked God to show him what to do with his life. He ended up coming out and founding a monastic order. That monastic order he founded ended up over the next few centuries spreading like wildfire throughout Western Europe. And what they did was prepare the way for civilization to return to Western Europe. They tendered within those monasteries the Scriptures, the prayers, the liturgies, and the old ways of doing things. So they became a sort of ark that traveled over the dark sea of time until it found dry land, and there was light after the darkness.” [see John Caddock’s article Brennan Manning’s “New Monks” & Their Dangerous Contemplative Monasticism”]

One of the stories I tell in the book is about going to the Benedictine monastery in Norcia, a small town in the mountains of central Italy, that was where say Benedict was born. He was a son of the Roman governor. Well, there’s still a monastery there today. Napoleon closed it down in 1810, but in the year 2000 some American monks went there and reopened it. And they wanted to sing the traditional Latin mass, and it’s become a real oasis of Christian peace and beauty. Well, it’s the sort of place where you go there up in the mountains, and you really envy these men, their peace, where they can worship and meet visitors.

[I]n my own case, my life is shaped around liturgy that’s been in our church for 1500 years. My life is shaped around the chanting of Psalms and on all kinds of sensual ways that embody the faith. Of course you can have smells and bells and go straight to hell, that doesn’t change you and lead to greater conversion. But for me as an Orthodox Christian and me as a Catholic, the faith had more traction and it drew me in closer and closer. (emphasis added)

Here is Amazon’s description of Benedict Option:

In a radical new vision for the future of Christianity, NYT bestselling author and conservative columnist Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life [contemplative prayer] . . .

In The Benedict Option, Dreher calls on traditional Christians to learn from the example of St. Benedict of Nursia, a sixth-century monk who turned from the chaos and decadence of the collapsing Roman Empire, and found a new way to live out the faith in community. For five difficult centuries, Benedict’s monks kept the faith alive through the Dark Ages, and prepared the way for the rebirth of civilization. What do ordinary 21st century Christians — Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox — have to learn from the teaching and example of this great spiritual father? That they must read the signs of the times, abandon hope for a political solution to our civilization’s problems, and turn their attention to creating resilient spiritual centers that can survive the coming storm. Whatever their Christian tradition, they must draw on the secrets of Benedictine wisdom to build up the local church, create countercultural schools based on the classical tradition, rebuild family life, thicken communal bonds, and develop survival strategies for doctors, teachers, and others on the front lines of persecution. . . .

Added section from Lighthouse Trails editors—Here are a few quotes from the book, The Benedict Option:

Imagine that you are at a Catholic mass in a dreary 1970s-era suburban church that looks like a converted Pizza Hut. The next Sunday you are at a high Catholic mass in New York City, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Scripture reading is the same in both places, and Jesus is just as present in the Eucharist at Our Lady of Pizza Hut as at St. Patrick’s. Chances are, though, that you had to work harder to conjure a sense of the true holiness of the mass in the suburban church than in the cathedral—though theologically speaking, the “information” conveyed in Word and Sacrament in both places was the same. This is the difference liturgy can make. (Dreher, Rod. The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, pp. 106-107, Penguin Publishing Group; emphasis added)

I told the priest how, in response to a personal crisis, my own orthodox priest back in Louisiana had assigned me a strict daily prayer rule, praying the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”) for about an hour each day. It was dull and difficult at first, but I did it out of obedience. Every day, for a seemingly endless hour, silent prayer. In time, though, the hour seemed much shorter, and I discovered that the peace I had conspicuously lacked in my soul came forth. (The Benedict Option, p. 59)

For the monks, prayer is not simply words they speak. Each monk spends several hours daily doing lectio divina, a Benedictine method of Scripture study that involves reading a Scripture passage, meditating on it, praying about it, and finally contemplating its meaning for the soul. (The Benedict Option, pp. 58-59)

The Reformation broke the religious unity [with Rome] of Europe. In Protestant lands, it birthed an unresolvable crisis in religious authority, which over the coming centuries would cause unending schisms. The Benedict Option, p. 45, emphasis added)

If you don’t control your own attention, there are plenty of people eager to do it for you. The first step in regaining cognitive control is creating a space of silence in which you can think. During a deep spiritual crisis in my own life, the toxic tide of chronic anxiety did not began to recede from my mind until my priest ordered me to take up a daily rule of contemplative prayer. Stilling my mind for an hour of prayer was incredibly difficult, but it eventually opened up a beachhead in which the Holy Spirit could work to calm the stormy waters within.  (The Benedict Option, pp. 227-228, emphasis added)

In a 2017 Christianity Today article titled, “The Benedict Option’s Vision for a Christian Village” by Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, Dreher says the following. Our deciphering is in brackets:

I have written The Benedict Option to wake up the church, and to encourage it to act to strengthen itself [unify by removing the barriers between Protestantism and Catholicism], while there is still time. If we want to survive, we have to return to the roots of our faith [not biblical roots, monastic roots of the desert fathers and other mystics], both in thought and in deed. We are going to have to learn habits of the heart [contemplative prayer practices – Nouwen called it moving from the moral (doctrine) to the mystical] forgotten by believers in the West [that’s what Merton taught]. We are going to have to change our lives, and our approach to life, in radical ways. In short, we are going to have to be the church, without compromise, no matter what it costs [the cost is going to be the death of biblical truth]. (source)

These remarks by Dreher are reminiscent of the contemplative pioneer and disciple of Thomas Merton, Richard Foster, when he said: “I see a Catholic monk from the hills of Kentucky standing alongside a Baptist evangelist from the streets of Los Angeles and together offering up a sacrifice of praise. I see a people.” (Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water, San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1998, p. 273) We need not look very far to know how such an ecumenical unifying will take place. The contemplative prayer movement is the vehicle, and it is in our midst waiting for the unaware and undiscerning to hop on for the ride.

One can only wonder, will there be any Christian leaders left standing when the battle is over?  Remember the words of Jesus when He said,

[W]hen the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)



The Path From Independent Baptist to the Shack, Rome and Beyond (or the treacherous waters of Southern Baptist Convention)

LTRP Note: The Southern Baptist Convention is changing. Recently, Rick Warren spoke at their annual convention and encouraged pastors to climb on board his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In view of the move we have seen in the Southern Baptist Convention over the last several years (like most other evangelical denominations and movements) toward the contemplative/progressive/emerging spirituality, this article by David Cloud of Way of Life is insightful.

“The Path From Independent Baptist to the Shack, Rome and Beyond”
by David Cloud

The path from Independent Baptist to the broader evangelical church is clearly marked, and it typically leads through the Southern Baptist Convention. There we encounter treacherous waters where ancient heresies and end-times fables abound.

I don’t know of any Independent Baptist preachers (yet) who believe in the non-judgmental Shack god/goddess or salvation apart from faith in Christ or Christian homosexuality or the downgrade of hell or the partial inspiration of Scripture or Robert Schuller’s self-esteemism or who love the Roman Catholic mass or promote contemplative mysticism or deny the substitutionary atonement of Christ or promote New Age practitioners.

But many evangelicals and Southern Baptists are guilty of these things.

When the walls of separation are torn down or become “soft,” Independent Baptists can drift into these treacherous waters and become shipwrecked. In fact, they don’t even have to drift out of the Independent Baptist movement today, because the treacherous waters are back flowing into the IB movement through the gaps in separation and bringing the spiritual dangers with them.

Some claim that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is “conservative” and theologically safe today and that the battle against liberalism has been won. There is a move by some fundamentalists to join hands with “conservative evangelicals.” Click here to continue reading.


In November 2004, Lighthouse Trails issued its first alert to readers on Christian colleges that are promoting contemplative spirituality. The four colleges listed in that alert were San Fransisco Theological Seminary, Biola University, Bethel University, and Lincoln Christian College and Seminary. Since then, numerous other alerts have been issued. What has become all too painfully clear is that the majority of Christian colleges and seminaries in North America have, in varying degrees, begun to incorporate contemplative spirituality into their colleges. It is not just a few schools – it is most, and for those who understand the dangers of contemplative (and emerging), it is obvious that Christian colleges are in a crisis of faith.

The following is a list of the articles we have written on the college situation. Is your child’s school listed here? It’s worth checking out:

Biola University – January 2005

Dallas Theological Seminary – April 2005

Assemblies of God Theological Seminary – May/June 2005

Assemblies of God Theological Seminary – Article #2 – November 2005

Wheaton College Promoting Contemplative Spirituality – March 2006

Christian Colleges – A Dangerous Place For Young Christians – June 2006

Azusa Pacific University

Wheaton College

Back to School – Is Your College Student Safe? – August 2006

The Shape of Things to Come – Biola University – September 2006

Moody Bible – September 2006

Cedarville University – October 2006

Trinity Western University – December 2006

Liberty University – February 2007

A Glimpse of the Future of Christian Higher Education – March 2007

Prairie Bible Institute – August 2007

Liberty University – Article #2 – August 2007

Moody Bible Institute – Article #2 – September 2007

Briercrest College – September 2007

Southwest Baptist University – October 2007

Baylor University – November 2007

Belmont University – November 2007

Moody Bible Institute – Article #3 – November 2007

Prairie Bible Institute – Article #2 – November 2007

Southeastern University (AOG) – December 2007

Moody Bible Institute – Article #4 – January 2008

Palm Beach Atlantic University – January 2008

Cedarville University – January 2008

Nazarene Universities – February 2008

Liberty University – Article #3 – February 2008

University Student Stands Alone Against Emerging Spirituality – February 2008

Mount Vernon Nazarene – March 2008

Moody Bible Institute Looks for New President – August 1, 2008

Cedarville University – Article #3 – March 2008

Bethel University New President: “Catholic friends taught me about contemplative prayer.” – July 3, 2008

Jonathan Falwell Becomes Vice-Chancellor at Liberty University – September 11, 2008

Ambrose University (CMA & Nazarene) Full Speed into Contemplative/Emergent – October 12, 2008

Biola University Student Reports on Contemplative Chapel Services – Warns Parents to Avoid Biola – October 20, 2008

Biola University Contacts Lighthouse Trails – Accuses of Libel – October 21, 2008

Non-Contemplative Pillsbury Baptist Bible College to Close – November 24, 2008

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary May Be Heading into Troubled Contemplative Waters – January 12, 2009

Keri Wyatt Kent Continues Leading Women Toward Contemplative – Moody Bible Institute Helps – February 12, 2009

Trevecca Nazarene University Promoting Contemplative Spirituality in No Small Way – February 18, 2009

Emergent/Mystical Leaders at Baylor University – April 13, 2009

Point Loma Nazarene University Welcomes Brian McLaren and Embraces Contemplative Spirituality – April 19, 2009

Gordon College in MA Brings Emerging Contemplative Spirituality to Students June 19, 2009

For more information:

Our database of Christian colleges using contemplative materials

Some Christian colleges that DON’T promote contemplative spirituality

Lighthouse Trails RSS Feed

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