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Thread: In Touch Magazine Of Charles Stanley Promoting Contemplative New Monasticism?

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    Default In Touch Magazine Of Charles Stanley Promoting Contemplative New Monasticism?

    IN TOUCH MAGAZINE OF CHARLES STANLEY PROMOTING CONTEMPLATIVE NEW MONASTICISM : Apprising Ministries


    IN TOUCH MAGAZINE OF CHARLES STANLEY PROMOTING CONTEMPLATIVE NEW MONASTICISM
    By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jun 30, 2011 in AM Missives, Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, Current Issues, Features

    While I make no claim to know when the Lord Jesus will return, I will say that it’s entirely possible we are living in a time where we are seeing the beginning of a great falling away.

    And so a large part of our online apologetics and discernment labors Apprising Ministries is to document the New Downgrade within evangelicalism, which accelerated when its own mainstream made the fateful decision to more fully embrace the sinfully ecumenical Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church.

    I’ve told you before that the EC has proven to be a Trojan Horse where Satan was able to off-load his ne0-Gnostic mystic corruption Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism(CSM) right within the very heart of the church visible. It’s beyond question that this spurious CSM—the refried Roman Catholic mysticism “discovered” by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, and now perpetrated as supposed Spiritual Formation with an able assist from his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard, was a core doctrine in the EC right from its hatching in hell.

    What’s vital for you to grasp is that, having kicked out the pillar of sola Scriptura, a now upgraded to the Emerging Church 2.0 is spreading its own new postmodern form of “big tent” Progressive Christianity—a Liberalism 2.0. However, at the same time foolish evangelical church leaders, desperate to fill their buildings, began having “alternative” worship services and using materials from EC leaders just filled with Counter Reformation teachings and spirituality in their Young Adult and Youth Groups. Some 10 years rolling down that track, we’re only now beginning to see the syncretism it’s been causing.

    You might remember in Mainstream Evangelicalism Embracing Contemplative Mysticism I supplied you with tons of documentation showing that CSM has now deeply penetrated the mainstream of the allegedly Protestant evangelical community. It’s actually been slithering in for years now; so people like Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren, unquestionably one of the most influential pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention, are becoming emboldened and no longer feel they need to hide their affinity for it. Now I’ll show you that Saddleback Church certainly isn’t the only SBC entity promoting CSM.

    We turn to Contemplative Spirituality Lands on Charles Stanley’s In Touch Magazine . . . Again. This piece over at the blog of leading online apologetics and discernment work Lighthouse Trails Research begins:

    Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a writer, speaker, and activist who is a leader in the “New Monastic” movement. He lives in North Carolina at the Rutba House, a new monastic community.

    Wilson-Hartgrove is most recently known for co-authoring Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals with new monastic activist Shane Claiborne. (Online source)

    Resisting wrestling with the serpent, for now we leave aside the serious issues with Red Letter Christian—and disciple of Tony Campolo—Shane Claiborne. Mike Stanwood, the author of the Lighthouse post, tells us that Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (seen below) “was recently profiled in Charles Stanley’s In Touch magazine” as you can see here:


    (Online source)

    Stanwood continues:

    The January 2011 article called “The Craft of Stability: Discovering the Ancient Art of Staying Put” written by Cameron Lawrence highlights the “ intentional Christian community” at the Rutba House and their “daily prayer routine.”

    The In Touch article states that Rutba House is an evangelical community rooted in the Protestant tradition, and that Wilson-Hartgrove is an ordained Baptist minister. The In Touch article also reports that Rutba’s community principles are borrowed from Benedictine monks and that all of their efforts are based on St. Benedict’s “rule of life.” (Online source)

    Here we go mentally off-roading again into the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language. Stanwood is quite correct when he then points out:

    However, these two statements are completely contradictory: A “Protestant tradition” and “principles” “borrowed from Benedictine monks” completely contradict each other if we are talking about a biblical tradition when we say “Protestant tradition.” The contemplative beliefs promoted by Wilson-Hartgrove are not biblical. (Online source)

    This is yet another example of following one’s feelings rather than assessing “principles” by God’s infallible and inerrant Word in Holy Scripture. I’ll say it again, you need to recognize the kind of fruit that this refried Roman Catholic mysticism invariably produces. Lord willing, and should funding allow, I plan to document further for you what CSM does to those who persist in it. A good example can be seen in Peter Scazzero Bringing Rome Home To His Church; and Scazzero even comes recommended by the likes of Rick Warren and Tim Keller.

    As I said before, your biggest clues are 1) as it spread through the antibiblical monastic traditions of the Church of Rome, CSM played a major role in producing apostate Roman Catholicism in the first place. And 2) just take a look at what it’s done to those in the Emerging Church like its iconic rock star pastor Rob Bell, who’s now openly arguing for Christian Universalism through his Love Wins mythology; and even though he adheres to postmodern neo-liberalism, he’s still considered an evangelical.

    Why; because he’s a nice man and people feel that he must be following God; but Bell’s a neo-Gnostic with a different gospel as you’ll see when his mystic musings are Biblically tested in Rob Bell And Postmodern Neo-Liberalism. In closing this out, for now, above Mike Stanwood told us that this new monk Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove—who’s a leading proponent of unbiblical neo-monasticism—co-authored the book “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals with new monastic activist Shane Claiborne.”

    The following two sections are from this book; first:



    As you can see, there’s praise for this apostate Roman Catholic mystic, a disciple of the troubled Teresa of Avila; as well as for his teaching about some supposed dark night of the soul. To mystics this allegedly occurs to them as they begin to grow deeper in their practice the crown jewel of CSM, a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP). Dr. Gary Gilley explains:

    The phrase “dark night of the soul” has become, on a popular level, the description of a period of deep depression or dryness, but this is certainly not what St. John meant… He set out, during the time of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, to explain the life of the mystic and the mystical way.

    Classical mysticism is composed of three parts: purgation, in which the senses and spirit are purged of all desires; illumination, in which God supernaturally floods the soul with His love while the individual remains passive; and union, in which the soul is united with God in perfection.

    Such an individual will be able to skip purgatory since purgatory’s work has been completed in this life (pp. 107-108, 174). To this pursuit the medieval monks and hermits devoted their lives.

    The mystical way is nowhere supported by Scripture, even though St. John makes many attempts to do so… Concerning purgation we are told that there is two stages: purgation of the senses (explained in book one) and of the spirit, the subject of book two.

    The dark night is a description of these two levels of purgation. (Online source)

    Then we’re given the wisdom of another apostate Roman Catholic monk, Thomas Merton, the Golden Buddha of CSM. Despite the fact that Merton’s life-long devotion to CCP, which would make him more like the Buddha than the Christ as you can see in Thomas Merton And The Buddhas, we are given Merton with the mystic gibberish below:



    Finally, concerning the video interview below Stanwood is right that we’ll hear “Wilson-Hartgrove [as he] talks about the concepts in his book; the new monastic movement, desert vision, desert fathers, and redistribution of wealth.”

    In addition, the way he speaks about what Jesus did on the cross is quite consistent with mysticism’s and progressive/liberalism’s view that He chose to show us the way of love and to enter into human suffering by taking on the evil empire.
    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)

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    I am sorry. On this one I have to say, "no way I believe this".

    I listen, read and watch Charles Stanley all the time. And I have never seen any of this.
    Psalm 30:11-12 (New King James Version)

    11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
    12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.



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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptureReady_7 View Post
    I am sorry. On this one I have to say, "no way I believe this".

    I listen, read and watch Charles Stanley all the time. And I have never seen any of this.
    I agree! Charles Stanley is one awesome guy with his head screwed-on (IMHO) and would never expect this from him.
    "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1st Corinthians 2 v 9.

    I said 'If you knew me You wouldn't want me, my scars are hidden by the face i wear'
    He said 'My child my scars go deeper, and it was love for you that put them there' - I am loved, Gaither Vocal Band.

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    I did a search and found more information about Charles Stanley at Biblical Discernment Ministries.
    Rom. 8:19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
    Rom. 8:28 God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

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    Only a couple years back, hearing the phrase "dark night of the soul", having no idea what it meant, and having to really dig around to find out. The same for contemplative spirituality. Now, only a couple years later, it's seems everywhere. It just leaves you stunned that you are actually watching the apostasy happen before your eyes. We knew it was coming, could see so many false teachers out there, but now, just leaves you speachless.

    Thanks for you great post here, I am enjoying reading them

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptureReady_7 View Post
    I am sorry. On this one I have to say, "no way I believe this".

    I listen, read and watch Charles Stanley all the time. And I have never seen any of this.
    http://www.intouch.org/magazine/cont...t_of_stability

    Rutba House—named for a town where Jonathan and Leah experienced hospitality while traveling through Iraq—is an evangelical community rooted in the Protestant tradition, and Wilson-Hartgrove is an ordained Baptist minister. Yet each member agrees to live according to the group’s “rule of life.” This set of values and practical guidelines for living in community is borrowed in part from a sixth-century monk named Benedict of Nursa (founder of the monastic order known today as the Benedictines). Undergirding all of Rutba’s efforts is a fundamental belief in one of Benedict’s key principles: the importance of stability to Christian life.
    That conviction sent Wilson-Hartgrove searching. He found his answer in ancient monastic wisdom and communal life—an unlikely influence for a Southern Baptist, but one that has made all the difference. “I started reading monastic literature and realized, Oh, there have been people committed to stability, thinking about stability, and praying their way into this practice for centuries,” he explains. “There was a lot to draw on.” He and Leah founded Rutba House with a handful of people in 2003. They all agreed to commit to one another and their chosen place for life. Unless God tells them otherwise, they’re not going anywhere else.
    I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Rev. 3:8,10)


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    The intentional use of the word "Craft" sets off red flags for me.

    A tradesman (craftsman) has a craft in the worldly or physical sense, but using "craft" in a "spiritual" sense immediately brings to mind such things as "witchcraft" or "priestcraft".
    Such "spiritual craft" denies the Gospel.

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    Default I listen to him.

    He is all Bible , no fluff...

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    I like Charles Stanley, too, and maybe his magazine publishes articles that are outside his awareness. Now, on the other hand, if it's an outreach arm of his ministry, then he 'should' be aware of what's going out under its cover which 'implies' an agreement from him, even if he hasn't actually seen it, much less approved it.

    Either way, there's probably very little reason for everyone to get all defensive about C. Stanley. No minister is above the Biblical admonition for us to be like the Bereans, and check their work/ministry against Scripture. If his ministry magazine is off track in this, the followers of this ministry need to let them know that we smell apostasy here and would like a retraction.

    -Lynn

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    Looks like everybody is an apostate now, oh my.

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    billiefan2000 thankyou for posting this.
    I have been receiving the InTouch magazines for
    a couple of years now. I am even a part of their
    InTouch Impact team prayer partnership.

    I just went and looked to see if I still had the Jan issue
    and if this article was in there. Sure enough it was.
    I don't always read every article so I missed this.

    Now I am going to have to go through some of the other
    magazines with a fine tooth comb to see what else I may have missed.

    I have to call and find out more about this.If they are promoting
    this I will have to tell them to take me off the prayer team and cancel my magazines
    that I no longer want to be a part of this.

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    I've been following these articles posted in the Apostasy forum regarding contemplative prayer for a while now. I'm having a hard time following some of the connections that are drawn, and some of this comes from my own ignorance, but in other areas, it seems like there are assumptions being made that don't really hold. I certainly see plain examples of people who preach about contemplative prayer who also uphold a very liberal view of scripture, and I would never endorse such a thing. However, I know of more than one preacher cited that just don't match the picture being painted by these articles. Charles Stanely is an example, as well as a preacher I have found a lot of sound teaching from - John Piper. Here is Piper describing contemplative prayer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTbX_88vJyY

    In this video he points out himself that we shouldn't follow Catholic mysticism theology, which doesn't really line up with the complaints against him in one of these articles. Is there a part of his explanation that isn't Biblically sound? (I'm genuinely asking - I haven't researched this nearly as much as others).

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    Default Charlie

    I rarely post but this one I have to say something. People please dont believe everything you read. Just because one person says a bible teacher is off....find out for yourself! I LOVE Charles Stanley. He is SOUND!! I have done his studies, watched him on tv and read his books. I also have done his study on the Holy Spirit which was right on. He is one of the last people who I would believe to get into anything not of the Bible. Have you seen him carrying it when he is preaching. It is worn out!! Charles Stanley would have to say with his own mouth something not of the Word for me to believe he would be into something wierd.

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    I have read and listened to Dr.Charles Stanley for years. I am sorry to see some negative feedback regarding him on this messageboard.Satan must be working overtime in his life right now because he is bringing too many people to Christ for Satan's comfort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithg View Post
    I've been following these articles posted in the Apostasy forum regarding contemplative prayer for a while now. I'm having a hard time following some of the connections that are drawn, and some of this comes from my own ignorance, but in other areas, it seems like there are assumptions being made that don't really hold. I certainly see plain examples of people who preach about contemplative prayer who also uphold a very liberal view of scripture, and I would never endorse such a thing. However, I know of more than one preacher cited that just don't match the picture being painted by these articles. Charles Stanely is an example, as well as a preacher I have found a lot of sound teaching from - John Piper. Here is Piper describing contemplative prayer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTbX_88vJyY

    In this video he points out himself that we shouldn't follow Catholic mysticism theology, which doesn't really line up with the complaints against him in one of these articles. Is there a part of his explanation that isn't Biblically sound? (I'm genuinely asking - I haven't researched this nearly as much as others).
    He is just as given to contemplative prayer but he denies the Romanism form. It is still as he says mystical but since it's reformed it's kosher in his mind. I have seen many reformed churches embracing contemplative practices, but if they say it's not catholic they somehow think it's OK. There are many examples, mark driscoll is just like his mentor and so is rick warren, just to name a few.
    There is One King, and He is not this guy.

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    I've had a chance to catch some of Dr. Stanley in the recent past and have found him to be sound. (My samplings are not exhaustive by any means.)

    Even the best tended garden gets a weed or two. Perhaps Dr. S does not edit his magazine?

    Come soon Lord Jesus - Take us Safely Home

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.



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    What a dirty trick. The article had nothing to do with Charles Stanley. Written, edited, etc by someone else. Just a nasty way of getting people's attention by putting Charles Stanley in the same sentence as an apostate practice.

    Why not write the author's name and then of in touch magazine. Why not just in touch magazine.

    Shame on Ken Silva.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OnceWasLost View Post
    He is just as given to contemplative prayer but he denies the Romanism form. It is still as he says mystical but since it's reformed it's kosher in his mind. I have seen many reformed churches embracing contemplative practices, but if they say it's not catholic they somehow think it's OK. There are many examples, mark driscoll is just like his mentor and so is rick warren, just to name a few.
    But what about what he said about contemplative prayer? It seems like the thing thats wrong with it (from what I've read) is that it comes from a Catholic tradition, and that it's unbiblical. He addresses both of those complaints with scripture to back it up. What's wrong with his reasoning?

    I have no desire to defend or endorse practices which are against the will of God, and want to be extremely cautious about what teachings I follow. That said, it seems like all the charges against this are by association. Ive seen very little in the way of scriptural arguments, especially constrasting a particular teaching or idea on one hand and a countering passage of scripture on the other. It seems because words like 'meditation' and 'mystical' are often associated with false religions, that when used to describe the contemplation of the glories of God they must be heretical. Similarly, because some of these ideas have been adopted by churches/teachers that do not have sound doctrine in other areas, that it must be bad.

    I want to be clear that my defense of this practice is not a sure one, I just haven't seen much convincing evidence that meditating on God through prayer is bad. I find myself just natuarlly meditating on scripture all the time, and it can be sort of a form of prayer. Numerous times I've paused after seeing something beautiful in His creation, or after reading some amazing bit of scripture, and meditated on it - and often spoke out to God in prayer at those moments. This seems like exactly what is being described here.

    I'm a new believer, so I would love some Godly wisdom on this topic. It troubles me as I have respect for those on this forum (which seem to largely support these articles against contemplative prayer and pastors like John Piper), and I also have respect for pastor's like John Piper.
    Last edited by smithg; July 9th, 2011 at 01:48 PM. Reason: grammar and clarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFrancisco View Post
    What a dirty trick. The article had nothing to do with Charles Stanley. Written, edited, etc by someone else. Just a nasty way of getting people's attention by putting Charles Stanley in the same sentence as an apostate practice.

    Why not write the author's name and then of in touch magazine. Why not just in touch magazine.

    Shame on Ken Silva.

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    Default Meditation

    Quote Originally Posted by smithg View Post
    But what about what he said about contemplative prayer? It seems like the thing thats wrong with it (from what I've read) is that it comes from a Catholic tradition, and that it's unbiblical. He addresses both of those complaints with scripture to back it up. What's wrong with his reasoning?

    I have no desire to defend or endorse practices which are against the will of God, and want to be extremely cautious about what teachings I follow. That said, it seems like all the charges against this are by association. Ive seen very little in the way of scriptural arguments, especially constrasting a particular teaching or idea on one hand and a countering passage of scripture on the other. It seems because words like 'meditation' and 'mystical' are often associated with false religions, that when used to describe the contemplation of the glories of God they must be heretical. Similarly, because some of these ideas have been adopted by churches/teachers that do not have sound doctrine in other areas, that it must be bad.

    I want to be clear that my defense of this practice is not a sure one, I just haven't seen much convincing evidence that meditating on God through prayer is bad. I find myself just natuarlly meditating on scripture all the time, and it can be sort of a form of prayer. Numerous times I've paused after seeing something beautiful in His creation, or after reading some amazing bit of scripture, and meditated on it - and often spoke out to God in prayer at those moments. This seems like exactly what is being described here.

    I'm a new believer, so I would love some Godly wisdom on this topic. It troubles me as I have respect for those on this forum (which seem to largely support these articles against contemplative prayer and pastors like John Piper), and I also have respect for pastor's like John Piper.
    I think you have to look at the word "meditation". In scripture, we are told to meditate on God's word day and night. There is a difference between Biblical Meditation and Contemplative meditation. Biblical meditation involves filling our mind with God's word, memorizing it, studying it, and applying it to our lives. Contemplative mediatation involves emptying our minds and focusing on a word or phrase and repeating it over and over. A phrase such as "God is Love", or "Jesus Loves Me". Contemplative also uses lights, music, sound etc.. to bring about a trance-like state, or hypnotic state. One fills our mind with God's word and our mind is fully engaged with thinking about it, the other empties our mind which leaves us open to Satan and unbiblical ideas. "An idle mind is the Devil's workshop" so to speak. Hope this helps.

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