Rick Warren Promotes Contemplative Prayer

In Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox, Issue 226, September 28th, 2005, (his weekly e-newsletter to nearly 150,000 pastors around the world), his feature article is titled: De-Mystify Spiritual Growth.

He begins the article with: "Mention the term 'spirituality' today and many people will conjure up images of wearing white robes, sitting in a yoga lotus position, burning incense, and chanting 'ommmmm' with their eyes closed." This opening sentence gives the reader the impression that the article is going to condemn Eastern or New Age mysticism. It is, however, a misleading introduction, for Warren goes on to say that spiritual maturity can be obtained through various "practical, everyday habits" or "certain exercises" or disciplines that "Saddleback places a great deal of emphasis on." While the article itself does not say what these disciplines are, information that Rick Warren has provided throughout his newsletter does indeed show that these disciplines are none other than Eastern or New Age mysticism.

  In the Book Look section of the newsletter, Rick Warren features Dallas Willard's book, Renovation of the Heart. In this book, Willard tells readers they must apply "spiritual disciplines" to their lives.

Dallas Willard and contemplative Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline, believe those disciplines to include the teachings of Thomas Merton who said he wanted to be the best Buddhist he could be and likened contemplative prayer to an LSD trip. Willard not only agrees with Richard Foster on these "spiritual disciplines" but also Sue Monk Kidd, whose endorsement sits on the back cover of Willard's book, The Spirit of the Disciplines. Sue Monk Kidd, author of several contemplative books said the following:

"I am speaking of recognizing the hidden truth that we are one with all people. We are part of them and they are part of us ... When we encounter another person, ... we should walk as if we were upon holy ground. We should respond as if God dwells there."

Monk Kidd, once a conservative Baptist Sunday School teacher, is now a strong advocate for the spiritual disciplines as described by Willard and Richard Foster. She promotes and teaches about the feminine goddess within, mantra meditation and more.

  Rick Warren continues (in this same newsletter) promoting the contemplative disciplines by making mention of a recent conference put on by the Spiritual Formation Forum that features Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Larry Crabb and Todd Hunter (North American president of the Alpha Course and a supporter of the emerging church and Renovare). Warren then proceeds to quote Brennan Manning and Rob Bell, both believers in incorporating Eastern mystical prayer practices into Christianity.

  "We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life."- Rob Bell, Teaching Pastor Mars Hill Bible Church from The Emergent Mystique, CT

"Contemplative prayer is nothing other than coming into consciousness of what is already there." Brennan Manning, Signature of Jesus

According to Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, Rick Warren is going to do with contemplative prayer what Richard Foster could not ... take it and spread it throughout the world on a massive level. We are watching it happen with our very eyes. Rick Warren is a contemplative—perhaps he too wonders how he has gotten away with so much and been able to promote such a spirituality as this virtually unopposed. In view of the fact that the premise of contemplative spirituality is all paths lead to God, this blatant promotion is a tragedy.

Related Links on Rick Warren's Promotion of Contemplative Spirituality

Rick Warren and Yoga

Kay Warren Endorses contemplative,
universalist Henri Nouwen

Rick Warren Teams Up with New Age sympathizer
and futurist Leonard Sweet

Rick Warren and Contemplative Spirituality

Rick Warren and the New Age

Rick Warren's Pastors.com - Leading Pastors into Interspirituality via Contemplative Spirituality  

Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Goes Global, Taking Contemplative Prayer With Them

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