January 12, 2012

Are John Piper and Beth Moore Mormon? (and Louis Giglio too?) (UPDATE)

UPDATE : (added Jan 12)

Desiring God has issued a semi-mea culpa way down at the bottom of this article.
"Update: Formerly I listed Lectio Divina as a third system for prayer. I've since removed it for the confusion it has caused. We do not endorse contemplative spirituality. The main point I'd like to recommend is using the text of Scripture as an organizer for our prayers — prayers that are exegetically faithful and gospel rich. I'm sorry for introducing the category."

If only he were that quick to respond to everyone's concerns about Rick Warren.

Still, it seems somewhat incomplete. Why does he participate with those who DO promote lectio and continually dance around the "hearing from God" stuff. This is not the first time he's made these sorts of 'continuing revelation' noises. In the same Ask Pastor John episode where he answers questions about why he is OK with Rick Warren, he spent some time endorsing people 'bringing words from the Lord' - the context of which was clearly not Scripture but more like "What has the Lord been teaching you this week?" Sort of stuff. SO while this is a small step in the right direction, it is not enough to convince me that he knows what is really wrong.


Original post from 1-8-12 4:05pm
Two articles that ought to be read in light of each other:

By Ken Silva

Are Christians Mormon?
by Truman G. Madsen, Edited by Kerry A. Shirts

In particular contrast these two ideas observed in Christianity these days, first from Ken and then from Mormon Truman Madsden:

From Ken:
In closing this, for now, I’ll show you something that gives us real cause for concern in the seeming dangerous drift of Beth Moore and John Piper. Following are clips from Session 5 of Passion 2012 where we were to enter into the silence to let God speak to us, not only through Scripture, but directly inside of us as well. However, this is language actually straight out of CSM and can also refer to the TM-lite of CCP.

Beth Moore, John Piper et al each took turns reading from the Book of Ephesians; then they each would ask for silence and say something along the lines of: “Be still and let Jesus speak to you.” This is Beth Moore:
(Ken then provides video evidence of Moore at source link)

And from Truman Madsden:
Third, there was the claim that caused all to wince, of continual revelation. The Christian churches, in the absence of revelation, had tightened their views protectively, defensively, either around a holy man, the pope and hierarchy, or around a holy book, the Bible, which was alleged to be all-sufficient and only-sufficient. Religious knowing came only through that word and all other claims were treated as emotional extravagance.

Of Continual Revelation (See Prayer, Fasting, and Revelation home page)

Today it is different. Again the Quakers, George Fox, Rufus Jones, Elton Trueblood, speak (in these exact words) of continual revelation, by which they mean the cultivation of the inner light. [See, for example, George Fox, The Journal of George Fox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1911); Rufus Jones, The Inner Life (New York: 1922), The Testimony of the Soul (New York: Maclmillan, 1937), Spirit in Man (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1941), New Eyes for Invisibles (New York: Macmillan, 1943); and David Elton Trueblood, The Common Ventures of Life (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1949), The Essence of Spiritual Religion (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1936), and The Knowledge of God (New York: Harper & Row, 1939).] And they have abandoned the more extreme forms of mysticism--its world-hating, its denying of the subject-object distinction, its plea that one day we may be, in a metaphysical sense, one with the Ultimate. Instead, they are talking very intimately about what we would mean by the present influence of the light of Christ.

Please also listen to the 2 videos by Jim Wallis's Sojourners which Ken includes at the bottom this post:

The demonstration of Lectio and being still and letting God speak in your head or somewhere other than his Scripture being read, has me creeped out instantly in ALL the videos at the links above. When we are SILENT God's word is NOT GOING FORTH. What a clever way Satan has come up with to silence the church, by teaching them that it's a way to some deeper spirituality or closer intimacy with Christ, as if Christ's work is unfinished. The Colossian heresy lives on.

It is interesting how the LDS church in 1973 was already rejoicing in the departure of Christianity from Sola Scriptura. The writers he quotes are Quakers. One would think someone as well-read as John Piper has read them himself and noted the error of Quakerism. I think John Piper should get his head out of his ivory tower and pay attention to these same errors of church history which he is duplicating. And Beth Moore well, as long as I've known about her, Beth has always been pretty loosey goosey with Scripture. But hey, she's cute and entertaining, and means well, isn't that enough? Can't I be kinder?

She often wonders why God allowed her to be in this position of teaching. And of course, so do many of us, still. See, I do agree with her sometimes!

Louis Giglio in the clip on Silva's article says:
“God spoke to me.” (long pause) Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you. (pause) Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. (pause) God spoke to you.
Yes, Balaam... remember, God spoke to you. And so did a donkey. Hee haw.

Addendum 1-12 in lieu of DG's apology:

He very happily endorses Don Whitney's spiritual disciplines

Bob Dewaay's old CIC article on Whitney is very good.

And DG still sells many books promoting the contemplative spirituality that he thinks he has denounced in that small paragraph way down the DG page. Most people who post corrections post them prominently, unless they don't really want them to be seen by all. And then their behavior and teaching about the subject from then on out actually changes.

The whole thing reminds me of Beth Moore's insistence that she doesn't endorse contemplative spirituality after she participated in the "Be Still" DVD. But her behavior and teaching since then still supports the original assertions of her critics, as does this latest development.