The Christian Telegraph, one of Russia’s largest online source for Christian news, has named Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and Mark Driscoll three of the top 10 most influential Christians in 2010. Leonard Sweet is named top strategist of the year, Rick Warren top diplomat of the year, and Mark Driscoll top reformer of the year. Christian Telegraph’s chief editor Serge Serhiienko says, “What influenced the choices were their accomplishments in 2010, polling data and frequency of mention in the press.”1 What the article does not say though is that all three of these “leaders” in Christianity are contemplative proponents, which means that in view of this huge influence, thousands and thousands are being influenced toward contemplative spirituality (a belief system that ultimately leads to New Age thinking).
Lighthouse Trails has been documenting for nine years now the contemplative/emerging movement in the Christian church, and numerous articles (and books) have reported on the propensities of the three named individuals above. A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen has an entire chapter on Rick Warren’s promotion of contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation). Yungen also discusses Leonard Sweet. A “Wonderful” Deception by Warren Smith extensively addresses Rick Warren’s spiritual affinities as well as Leonard Sweet’s Quantum Spirituality. Faith Undone by Roger Oakland lays out information about all three of the men.
The reason for the present day deception that has come into the church is not limited to these three leaders however. Most Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities, and most of the large Christian publishing houses have all taken the turn to follow the contemplative/emerging New Christianity.
Why is this so serious? Because the very core of contemplative is warned about in the Bible, referred to as the “mystery of iniquity” (occultism which exemplifies that man is equal to or part of God). In the altered state that is brought about through the repetition of a word or a phrase, a feeling of oneness with all things is achieved. This connectedness to all things (Sweet has called it the Theory of Everything) negates the Gospel message, which teaches that man is not God or equal to God but is rather sinful and unholy and needs a holy Savior and a substitutionary atonement to be saved. But contemplatives come to embrace more of a Hinduistic or New Age belief that all is one and all is connected together.