Thursday, April 23, 2009



Please note: If you desire to link to this article in particular or copy, print or publish any part of it I request that you ask my permission by contacting me at fortheauthor(at)

I have decided to publish the contents of a self-styled thesis I completed on April 7th of this year. It was written at the request of the pastor of our local MB church in order to help him and others in our church understand the rationale behind our actions when we requested the withdrawal of our membership from it. It is the fruit of nearly three years of research and deliberation regarding a trend I began to notice in the MB Conference after I encountered it in the Spiritual Formation course while I was taking several classes at Briercrest Seminary in Caronport, Saskatchewan (not an MB school), during which I became completely enthralled with the concept of contemplative spirituality. (You can read my personal testimony about this at

Through a series of circumstances which I believe were directed by the Holy Spirit, I began to see this movement towards mysticism in the church at large, as something completely different from what is was purported to be by its proponents. I have since repented of my involvement with these things and have renounced them publicly at every opportunity.

Many people still do not understand what the real problems are with this movement. This thesis is an attempt to clarify my position in an abbreviated manner.

Although I will not name those who have published helpful articles on these issues and given me personal support along this journey (you know who you are, and I will likely forget someone if I attempt to make a list since there are so many), I once again thank you all for the help you have given along the way. Above all, I thank my God for sending Jesus Christ ~ the Way, the Truth, and the Life ~ for the Holy Spirit who convicts and warns, comforts and directs us, and for leaving us His Holy written Word, the Bible as a permanent record of His life and letters of instruction to keep us on the true path of life.

I appeal to all who come across this article to carefully examine the issues before you accept or reject what I have to say. May you carefully measure my words by the yardstick of Scripture. It is God's Word that is the final authority on all things. This thesis is merely my statement of what I see happening, a warning to those involved in the Mennonite Brethren Conference, and a call to examine the issue in light of God's Word. It is also a call to repentance from "fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11). Before reading it I request that you ask God to open your spiritual eyes and heart, to reveal to you whether or not I speak the truth. God is not the author of confusion, and He will reveal the truth to those who truly and honestly seek it without attempting to defend their preconceived notions before Him. If what I have written is not in accordance with the truth, it is my prayer that God will reveal that to me, and that you will not be led astray by it. God is ultimately my Witness and my Judge, although those who are spiritual are to judge all things. So now, if you consider yourself qualified (spiritual), judge for yourself whether what I have to say is right or not. May God guide and direct you.

 (Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that this thesis has been posted on another website (which is anti-Israel in nature), The Information Underground (Anti-Zionist ThinkTank), without my permission to do so. I desire my readers to know that this website does not have my approval to do so, and in fact, as of today (December 11, 2009) they have refused to remove it as I have requested. This is a website I do not have any affiliation with, nor do I sympathize with their cause in any way. Because I am not interested in any legal recourse at this time, I will let the matter rest with this statement; however this does not mean the individual(s) who operate The Information Underground have received my endorsement in any way. I have sent them several letters, one of which was published. The second one I sent has not yet been posted. It is a rebuttal and a challenge to their anti-Israel position. Let it be known that I am not responsible for the way this group is using my thesis, and should any other individuals or groups use it without my consent, you will be hearing from me and asked to remove it if you are using it in a manner for other than what it is intended. I will post your name on this note as well, stating such. The letter of my rebuttal to the moderator of the Information Underground can be read HERE.)



Bonnie Klaassen , April 7, 2009
Revised April 21, 2009

1. There is an apostate form of Christianity sweeping the church that is uniting the greater part of professing Christians into a global spirituality (whose basis is mysticism - Mystery Babylon) and drawing many unsuspecting Christians into its wake. Those who do not understand and resist it will likely succumb to its deception. Time is of the essence in getting the word out.

2. It is flourishing in an atmosphere where most Christian young people are biblically and doctrinally illiterate, Christian institutes of higher learning are becoming increasingly liberal while maintaining a conservative statement of faith, and in a culture that exalts experience over faith in an era of tolerance. This is the perfect environment for mass spiritual deception to enter the church. Although it purports to be otherwise, it is man-centered rather than God-centered. It is a counterfeit spirituality, the spirit of anti-christ.

3. It appeals to scholars by playing upon their desire to appear respectable and contemporary to the more liberal Christian institutions of higher learning and to the world. In this way it seduces older, trusted sources. Its teachings are introduced by those who appear to be Christian, but if their theology is carefully examined, would deviate from the major biblical doctrines. It is endorsed by these institutions and there is a trickle-down effect into all sectors of the church with time.

4. It is part of a greater movement that has a tolerant spiritual mindset, is liberal in its theology, and is the result of a lack of a militant defense of the authority of Scripture and a simple walk of faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. This larger movement also includes both the secular and Christian environmental and social justice movements (MCC is one of the groups involved). They are intertwined and cooperative with secular groups in the agenda to create a one-world spirituality and a global government. Many in these movements, especially Christians, are unaware or in denial of the agenda underlying these movements in the secular world. A mystical spirituality under girds and rounds out these secular movements; they go hand in hand. (2 Cor. 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
1 Cor. 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”)

5. It is entering in through the avenues of Christian seminaries and Bible Schools, Christian publishing houses, ministries, conferences, and teaching materials, especially for our youth.

6. Some of the movements involved are the emergent church, the purpose-driven model, charismatic, ancient-future, post-modernist liberal churches, and the mystical faction of the Roman Catholic church. The infiltration into the Christian church was planned by the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue in the 1970s which was formed for this express purpose. Although it is Satan who is behind the deception, the Roman Catholic church is a major player in this movement. Their method is to introduce the practices (of which mysticism is only one area) of Roman Catholicism into the Christian church. The Christian church then becomes “romanized” without changing the formal doctrine, until such a time when it willingly and outwardly submits. In this way the Christian church harbors “closet Catholics” who influence the church from the inside out. Where in times past the Roman Catholic church used threats and coercion, it now uses deceit and seduction to draw men away from the faith once delivered to the saints. Since the Roman Catholic church has historically syncretised the Christian faith with paganism, and is actively continuing to do so to this day, this will serve to unite those who are drawn into its net to do the same. Essentially, the Harlot is attempting to persuade the Bride to join her in her spiritual harlotry.

7. It is entering in the form of contemplative prayer, “Christian yoga”, breath prayers, the “Jesus Prayer”, imaginative prayer, Ignatian spiritual exercises (based on the teachings of Ignatius of Loyola), centering prayer, quietism, lectio divinia, taize, labyrinths, Christianized tantric sex, drumming circles and other mystical and spiritual practices which have no legitimate basis in Scripture. In its least threatening form it is commonly referred to as “Spiritual Formation”, the “spiritual disciplines” (both of which would include some biblical practices alongside), or contemplative spirituality. By using cunning words and altering the meanings of familiar terms, those who are attracted to an experience-based spirituality are drawn into its snare. The true Christian faith is faith-based, and that faith is to be lived out or experienced on the basis of this faith, not the other way around. (“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38). Those in the contemplative movement allow their experiences to shape their theology, and this it most certainly does. This movement towards mysticism is more than just a trend. It is very broad in its scope, and has spiritually devastating consequences which I believe will contribute to the apostasy of the church, the “falling away” foretold in scripture. I believe this apostasy will include a return to many of the practices of the Roman Catholic church, contemplative and otherwise (the introduction of “Lent”, for example). It is a move towards corrupting what is simple (the gospel according to Scripture alone) and materializing the spiritual (appealing to the flesh).

8. It is cloaked in familiar Christian terminology at its outset to lead its potential Christian practitioners into its spirituality, accompanied by Scripture taken out of context or given a broader interpretation than is allowable in proper exegesis. Those who follow this path to its logical conclusion will probably come to accept that all religions worship the same god by different names and in different forms. They believe that “all is one” and that in that unity is god. The outcome is a spiritual unity in diversity, whereby people can continue in the religion of their choice while they are united in the spiritual practice of mysticism. In this situation, no one tries to convert another to their religion. Beyond mere tolerance, there is complete acceptance of all religions as equal and valid. “Christian mysticism” has Buddhism, Hinduism, Gnosticism and other false religions and their practices as its counterpart. True practitioners of “Christian mysticism” have no problem learning from their practices and soon accept their spirituality as valid.

9. Those who promote its practices are enemies of the cross, in that they promise intimacy with God apart from the blood of Christ, or as an addition to it, thereby nullifying its efficacy. In reality, it is pagan and its practitioners will eventually encounter an “angel of light” and be introduced to doctrines of demons. They are encountering a god of their own imagination, not the God of the Bible. It is a practice which changes what people believe about who God is and how He interacts with mankind. Many of the proponents of contemplative mysticism who claim to be Christian now openly deny the atoning aspect of Christ’s work on the cross and have “alternative” understandings of what Christ’s death means. Brian McLaren, speaker and author, whom the MB Conference is promoting, is one of these people. Another who has recently come to light is the author of the best-selling book, The Shack which has been promoted in the MB Herald. Many in the emergent church, a primary avenue for mysticism in evangelical circles, are either undermining the purpose of the cross or altering its meaning. It also works the other way around, in that those who accept alternative meanings eventually turn to mysticism in an attempt to draw near to God, as the cross no longer holds the power for them that it used to.

10. The Mennonite Brethren Conference and MBBS are promoting authors and speakers who are engaged in this mystical spirituality. Classes in “Spiritual Formation” are required courses for all students at nearly all Mennonite Bible Schools and seminaries. Kindred Press, the publishing arm of the MB Conference, promotes authors who are engaged in its practices, and the MB Conference promotes speakers who do the same. The Mennonites are listed among denominations which are rapidly and willingly becoming infiltrated by this movement by discernment ministries who have been following it for years. I believe many who are promoting it are misguided shepherds themselves. Most of them have failed to see the history, falsely so-called “Christian”, of this movement, and the role it will play in the final deception of the world as they believe the lie that “ye shall be as gods” and seek a spiritual unity as the world once did at the tower of Babel in rebellion to the only true God. In reading this thesis, please understand one thing clearly: it is not those who point out these errors that cause division in the body of Christ, but those who teach false doctrine and pagan practices or are in collusion with those who do. Furthermore, I believe it is already too late to change the direction of the MB Conference in this matter. Its tentacles have already reached into most churches in one way or another, of which we see evidence in nearly every MB Herald that comes through our door. It is for this reason that we withdrew our membership. As a matter of conscience, we could no longer support an organization clearly headed in a spiritual direction we were not.

11. This is the crux of the matter: either I am on a spiritual tangent leading down a rabbit trail on this issue, or the MB Conference is heading into spiritual apostasy as it continues down this pathway. I am calling all local church bodies, and my own body of believers in particular, to examine the issue carefully and prayerfully, as I believe the implications are too great to ignore.

12. Two quotes follow by Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet which reveal the mindset of “Christian” authors who are promoting mystical spirituality (Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren teamed up in 2003 to write A is for Abductive: The Language of the Emerging Church. Rick Warren has also promoted Leonard Sweet, as recently as 2008):

A quote from Lighthouse Trails, in a book review of Brian McLaren’sFinding our Way Again: The Return of Ancient Practices published in 2008 (Brian McLaren is a prolific author and a popular speaker in Christian institutions and conferences):

“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. For those readers who care about the spiritual future of their children and grandchildren, it is vital they understand the meaning of McLaren's spirituality in particular and the emerging/contemplative movement in general. We believe this is an extremely compelling motivation and should prompt us as believers to defend the faith and the gospel message of Jesus Christ.”1.

Several years ago Leonard Sweet wrote a book called Quantum Spirituality in which he quotes Karl Rahner, a Jesuit priest. Sweet is a rather prolific author and his books can be found in most Christian bookstores. This is what Sweet says in Quantum Spirituality on page 68:

“Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of the Christian tradition, is now situated in postmodernist culture near the center.... In the words of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, "The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing." [Mysticism] is metaphysics arrived at through mindbody experiences. Mysticism begins in experience; it ends in theology.”2.

In the last decade there has been a dramatic rise in the practice of mysticism both inside and outside of the church. If you have not encountered it yet, you or your children or grandchildren will in time. They will encounter it at school, in medical or counselling clinics, at their place of business, in a leadership workshop, at the shopping mall, in a sports setting, or in their church or youth group or in a book. It is a practice which will fit within any system and goes by many names depending on the setting.

It has already made vast inroads into the MB Conference through the Seminary, Bible schools, books offered, speakers promoted and conferences for pastors and youth workers. I have been noting its promotion in MB circles for a number of years already, almost without any opposition from any person in a position of leadership. It is gradually making its way into the smaller, more isolated churches, especially as our children and grandchildren make their way out into the world and as people have greater access to information. Only those who understand the terminology, the names of false teachers and the adaptive nature of this movement, and are firmly grounded in their faith and in biblical doctrines, and are committed to abiding in the simple practice of their faith according to the teachings of Scripture alone will be spared the coming delusion that is to come upon the world in the last days.

It is time to get your spiritual house in order, for Christ will soon call His own away from this world before He will judge the earth with holy wrath upon all those who do not belong to Him in the final years of this era. The delusion is coming. Walk as children of light.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them.”
Ephesians 5:11

1. (Book Review: Brian McLaren's New Book Finding our Way Again. Source: the Editors at Lighthouse Trails)
2. (the online link is now broken. Sweet's website appears to be under construction at present)

1 comment:

Sisterlisa said...

It could be even more clear to say why one should leave organized religion altogether. The Mennonite Church isn't the only one falling into a trap and it's not only about the mysticism. I believe it's organized religion as a whole. Jesus already established His Church, why should man take it upon themselves to organize it in their own fashion. That's spiritual adultery.