Are McLaren, Bentley and Tolle from the same pack?
Brian McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church and an influential leader in the emerging church culture. He was recently listed by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.
But what he is teaching is far from traditional evangelical or even Protestant doctrine. What he preaches is another gospel. In fact, he admits that he is looking to other sources than the Bible for answers.
In a 2004 interview, Brian McLaren said the following about the Bible:
“We modern Protestants, whether liberal or conservative, can seem to think of only one thing to do with the Bible — analyze it, study it. Many of us are looking for other things to do with the Bible other than analyze it in sermons and studies.
So, we’re looking to the Benedictines, Ignatians, and others to learn ways of contemplating Scripture through practices like lectio divina, examen, and imaginative readings. We’re finding the value in ritual and symbol, which involve the body and imagination, not just the rational powers of analysis — and we’re being helped by brothers and sisters from other traditions.”
-An Interview with Brian McLaren
Besides, Catholicism, exactly what are some of these other traditions Brian McLaren was talking about?
“Brian McLaren wants us to learn more about ‘meditative practices, about which Zen Buddhism has said much. To talk about different things is not to contradict one another; it is, rather, to have much to offer one another’ (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 255.) Can Zen Buddhism have something to offer that would improve a Christian’s spiritual life when the Bible teaches us that we are already partakers of Christ Jesus’ divine nature? (2 Peter 1:3-11) McLaren cites contemplative meditation promoter Richard Foster as one of the key mentors for the Emergent movement.”—Spiritual Fusion: East comes West, Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries
-Source: Brian McLaren – New Age/Mystic/Contemplative
What does McLaren mean when he talks about these meditative practices?
Brian McLaren’s newest book, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices, is about exploring the ancient Christian spiritual practices. The review of this book at Lighthouse Trails Research (here) concludes with this:
In the last chapter of McLaren’s book, “Theosis (via Unitiva),” he sums up his calling by stating that “The purpose of the via purgativa [the practices] is to prepare us for the via illuminativa [the awakening], and the purpose of the via illuminativa is to prepare us for the via unitiva [all is one], the union of our nature with the nature of God” (pp. 171-172). He calls God “fire” and says, “We join God in being fire … Before the beginning … God was All, and All was God” (p. 175). This is the exact same message that Eckhart Tolle and Oprah are propagating. But while many Christians are now condemning Tolle’s message, they don’t realize that the very same message is permeating their very own churches.
Lectio Divina? Imagination? Awakening? Fire? As you may have noticed, McLaren (who says on his Deep Shift website that what we need is a ‘big shift’) is not the only one who is using these words. They are also a big part of the counterfeit revival that is going on right now.
Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions – a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. Leaders of this Counterfeit Revival, such as Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Rodney Howard Browne and John Arnott, have peppered their preaching and practice with fabrications, fantasies, and frauds, seemingly unaware of their profound consequences.
Many of the followers who at first flooded into Counterfeit Revival “power centers” have become disillusioned and have now slipped through the cracks into the kingdom of the cults.
John the Apostle warned, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
This warning is particularly relevant today, as Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of epic proportions.
-Lakeland Revival – Todd Bentley
New Age terms like transition, transformation, energy (fire), unblocking or opening your mind to the supernatural, and the concept of ‘feeling the shift’ are commonly used by many today, incuding Oprah’s friend Eckhart Tolle…
“You ask, “What does Word of Faith and Emergent Church have to do with Oprah?” Most likely you’ve heard of Eckhart Tolle and his blockbuster book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life Purpose. For the past few months Oprah has been promoting Tolle’s “revolutionary message” to her TV audience and offers a class on XM Satellite Radio. So, Oprah now sponsors two occult classes: A Course in Miracles with Marianne Williamson and A New Earth with Eckhart Tolle.
Listen to what Warren Smith says about The Shift:
“In her first class with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah asked if people had experienced the ‘shift’ while reading Tolle’s book, A New Earth. The question reminded me of Werner Erhard’s New Age EST program in the 1970s that taught this same idea of shifting one’s perception, and then similarly asking – ‘Did you get IT?’ Obviously, there is pressure to ‘get IT’ – to feel the shift: Oprah felt the shift – did you? Are you understanding this new [age] way of looking at yourself and the world? Or, are you being blocked by your mind and your ego from seeing this New Spirituality that can save our planet? Keep logging onto our classes. Keep reading Tolle’s book – you’ll ‘get it.’”
How interesting that Todd Bentley always calls the fire anointing “it” – step into “IT,” “IT’s” going to happen, this church and that city is going to get “IT,” or ”Come and get “IT”. And other churches are supposedly getting “IT” now too as youth pastors fly to Florida to ‘get some’ and bring “IT” back home.
Keep in mind that Todd Bentley, like McLaren, also has been learning the meditative practices of ‘brothers and sisters in other religions.’ He was discipled early on by a Roman Catholic Charismatic “prophet” named Frenchie. And who can forget his vision of Sadhu Sundar Singh – Hindu Mystic in Sheeps Clothing, whose meditation steps of Lectio Divina he practices AND teaches?
Exactly what is IT that Brian McLaren, Todd Bentley, and Eckhart Tolle are getting from their meditative practices which they have learned from other sources than the Bible? Could it be they are all from the same pack of wolves?
Meanwhile, the sheep on the slope are contemplating grazing on the pretty patches of green New Age grass, totally unaware of the gravity of their dire situation. They have taken their eyes off the Shepherd and have allowed themselves to be lured here by the false shepherds who promise to lead them to IT. They are oblivious to the watchmen who shout, “Don’t do it sheep! IT is not what you think IT is! Run away from “IT”, and back to the safety of the Good Shepherd, while there is still time!”
Some perk up their ears and listen, but most of them don’t want the truth. They want a pack of lies told by a pack of wolves. They just want IT.
There is a way which seems right to a man, But ITS end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons – 1 Timothy 4:1
Todd Bentley and a Spirit Named “Winds of Change”