Monday, November 26, 2007


Okay, I really had not planned on posting another commentary this soon, but after rolling on over to Roll Over Menno and reading one of their latest postings, entitled Barefoot Mennonites, I decided it was necessary. Necessary, because this article mentions that one of the workshops that took place at the Going Barefoot conference held at Canadian Mennonite University in October was sponsored by MCC and The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Churches (amongst others). The workshop was presented to tackle the issue of with how to deal with people who create blogs which may be construed as negative (or as I like to think, warn others of false doctrine). I will freely admit that I have been examining the direction the MB Conference has been taking with a sense of dread and profound sadness for the past year or so already, and that IS partly why I have started this blog. I have felt that I needed to have a voice. Letters to the MB Herald only allow 150-200 words. That is not enough to discuss a topic like this. Those who are openly and publicly promoting questionable practices need to be rebuked openly and publicly. This is no personal private matter that requires the use of the Matthew 18:15-17 principle. Paul publicly rebuked those who were teaching false doctrine and named the offenders.

About 18 months ago I took part in a required seminary course (at a non-MB seminary) called Spiritual Formation. At this time I did not have any type of understanding about contemplative spirituality or the "spiritual disciplines", and was quite taken with what I had learned there. It just seemed so "spiritual". It was not long after that I came across a number of materials addressing these issues, and I realized that all was not as it seemed. The experience of taking the class also taught me how easily I had been and could be deceived by these things if I was not going back to the Scriptures "to see if these things were so". Something was coming into the seminary I attended, as well as many other Christian institutions (including the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary) under the radar so to speak, that was deceptive and led down a dangerous path spiritually. It was a form of godliness, but denied the power. It was something called contemplative spirituality that was coming through the Spiritual Formation classes. You can see for yourself here some unbiblical forms of prayer being taught, such as apophatic prayer, the prayer of examen, labyrinth prayer and body prayer, amongst other practices that need to be seriously examined, at MBBS. This is definitely not exclusive to the MB Conference however. This is showing up in every denomination. I just happen to be more concerned about the MB Conference because I have been a member of an MB Church for nearly 30 years.

Here is a quote from the ROLL OVER MENNO article mentioned in the first paragraph:
"Some of the things going on within some Mennonite organizations are being exposed by blogs like Roll Over Menno. These organizations many not like it and see it as a negative problem, but as long as these Mennonites continue to promote contemplative spirituality, labyrinths, Spiritual Direction International, and the green gospel, while chumming with our modern day Haman on the bridge to Rome, there will continue to be blogs and websites like this that tell the truth. Maybe it’s time for these organizations to truly go barefoot and remove the steel toed boots that are covering up the bare facts."

ROLL OVER MENNO is just one such blog. Mine is another, and I have found others who are exposing this trend. I am not necessarily picking on the MBs. But I will point out that this trend IS happening in the Conference. I have said very little about the situation for over a year already, but as I see it continuing with fervor down this path, I decided it was time for me to warn others. I do not want to take the time on this post to get into all the workings of the contemplative spirituality movement, because I don't believe I need to reinvent the wheel. There are other blogs (morebooksandthings) who have examined this issue carefully, and other websites too. Carla, from morebooksandthings, has an extensive collection of articles which expose the emerging church and contemplative spirituality movement. The discernment websites I have included on the sidebar also tackle this issue. You really need to take the time to examine this issue for yourself. It can be overwhelming and sometimes almost unbelievable that something like this can be happening with so few people understanding what lies beneath it, but that is precisely why I've decided to speak out. Will the MB Conference try to silence or discredit me? Will they dislike what I have to say? Possibly. But that's okay. If I'm wrong about this all I ask is that you try to show me how and why. For the past year I have been gathering a binder full of articles from past MB publications and articles which expose this movement as spiritually suspect and downright dangerous. Based on my findings and hundreds of hours of studying the movement has led me to believe that it is a path which eventually leads its practitioners to a spiritual unity with ALL religions and into apostasy. Dare we ignore such an issue?

Now let's get something straight here. I do not believe for one minute that the professors and promoters of this in the MB Conference are not sincere Christians. I do believe they love the Lord and want to know Him better. (I think that is why this movement appeals to them; it claims to help you do just that - incorrectly claims to). And I do not think that they set out to deceive others, but rather have been deceived themselves by pseudo-evangelicals (false teachers) who have crept into the system, largely through textbooks and study materials. False teachers are what Paul and other apostles warn about repeatedly. The way is NARROW, not wide. Apostasy is one of the signs that Scripture teaches will take place as this present age comes to an end.

If you are the member of a Mennonite Brethren Church, it is your responsibility to look at what is happening here. We are exhorted in Scripture to examine, teach, warn and rebuke. If the MB Conference has a problem with anyone who is doing this, those in leadership need to examine themselves. Openness to correction is an important trait in a believer's life, and those in leadersip at the MB Conference ARE NOT EXEMPT.


carla said...

Preach it sister!!! Amen!

Jerry said...

Shouldn't we take a closer look to see why these folks are going this direction? Is it possible to find weaknesses in our organized way of doing things that these people are reacting to? Is it possible they are looking for the God who is relevant to every situation in life rather than One seems to be important in a church/chapel building for "church", or "when I die and go to heaven"?

Jerry said...

View the DVD called "Misplaced- A compilation of thoughts by young adults on church" done by makeyouthink studios in partnership with EFC (Evangelical Fellowship of Canada). It's very interesting.

BONNIE said...

Thanks Jerry, I'll think about that, and also try to check out that DVD if I can find it. I'll try to post a comprehensive comment tomorrow. It's time for my head to hit the bed for now!