Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and Founding Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An international author and spiritual leader, he teaches on incarnational mysticism, non-dual consciousness and contemplation.
In a recent video clip for a conference on Franciscan Mysticism: I Am That Which I Am Seeking, Rohr says that most of us believe things because our church told us to believe them, but there is something called The Univosity of Being (one voice)…
“When you speak of God, when you speak of angels, when you speak of humans, when you speak of animals, when you speak of trees, when you speak of fish, when you speak of the earth, you are using the work Being univocally . That might seems like an abstract philosophical position but I hope you can see how that creates an inclusive universe where everything is sacred where you can’t divide the world into the sacred and profane anymore. It’s over, and yet, most Christians to this day, in what was called the mainline orthodoxy still, most Christians I meet, Catholic and Protestant, still have the world divided into the sacred and the profane.”
-Richard Rohr, Franciscan Mysticism Conference preview
This is a view that basically puts the Creator and creation on a continuum which makes God susceptible to revolutionary critique by materialist science. In other words, it’s the philospher’s slippery slope towards Darwinism and atheism. It also leans towards panentheism, the belief the universe is contained within God and that the universe is part of God (see PANENTHEISM! WHAT IS THAT?).
Rohr is also a promoter of the Cosmic Christ, whom he believes is the foundation for interfaith dialogue. He writes:
“Only a truly cosmic Christ is adequate to the breadth of our problems and the depth of our hopes today….I personally do not believe that Jesus came to found a separate religion- as much as he came to present a universal message of vulnerability and foundational unity that is necessary for all religions, the human soul, and history itself to survive.”
- July-Sept. 2002 Radical Grace, “A Cosmic Christ” by Richard Rohr.
There are other major problems with his teachings:
In January of 2008, Rohr was a “presenter” at a conference on “Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening.”5 Consistent with contemplative spirituality, Rohr taught the equality of Buddha with Christ and the indwelling of God in all things. Rohr taught that the teachings of both Jesus and Buddha call people to transformational honesty. He declared, “They are both teaching us how to see and how to see all the way through! They both knew that if you see God for yourself, you will see the Divine in all things.”6
- Hazards unfolded by Emerging Church leaders
By Richard Bennett
In spite of these major concerns, in Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal For Listening To God by Steve and Evy Klassen of The Mark Centre (affiliated with the BC Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches), Steve Klassen quotes Richard Rohr on page 9 (from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See). Then on page 78 he further explains:
“…I have been able to read some of Richard Rohr’s writing and also have the privilege of meeting him on a men’s retreat. His writing and his teaching have impacted me deeply, especially in the area of meaning, purpose and identity. He said, “your importance is given and bestowed in this universe, which is the unbreakable covenant between you and your Creator. You are declared important; you cannot declare yourself important.”
-Steve Klassen, Your Ears Will Hear: A Journal for Listening to God, p 78
Does this philosophy fit with what the Bible says in regards to our importance in the universe?
Behold, thou hast made my days [as] an handbreadth; and mine age [is] as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state [is] altogether vanity. Psalm 39:5
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. Galatians 6:3
Is the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches at all concerned that the Mark Centre’s director admits to being deeply impacted by the writings and teachings of a proponent of the “Cosmic Christ” whose spirituality is linked with Matthew Fox - who also believes in the Cosmic Christ as well as pantheism (that God is in all things) and panentheism (that all is in God)? Should they be concerned that Steve Klassen counted it a privilege to have met a major advocate for interspirituality? Are they at all aware that Rohr’s teaching encompasses Eastern and new age fringe beliefs from gnostic mysticism to medieval metaphysics (mantra meditation, Enneagram, Univosity of Being, etc.)? Or what about Rohr’s all male retreats where men sometimes remove their clothing to release the demons (source), or that he has prayed to ‘Father Mother God’ (source), and has reportedly presided over same sex marriages? He is even on the same Vision Project list as his friend Brian McLaren. And now he has deeply influenced the author of a journal that will be used by hundreds of MB students, missionaries and pastors worldwide through the Mark Centre, whose strategy is to affect millions through contemplative spirituality.
Is anyone concerned?
The Mark Centre’s New Book
The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions
Brian McLaren’s good friend Richard Rohr
Priest: ‘The boy always gets naked…’
THE ENNEAGRAM GPS: GNOSTIC PATH TO SELF
Richard Rohr Teaching on the Ennegram
Mystic Madness: Spiraling Down into the Pit
-read how Richard Rohr (the Kything Monk) and friends represent a revival of occult mysticism within the Roman Catholic Church
Bongos, Dancers, and Father-Mother God
Dossier/documentation of Father Rohr’s disturbing teachings, tapes and writings:
Fr. Richard Rohr on “The Cosmic Christ
Panentheism! What is That?
by Orrel Steinkamp, The Plumbline, Volume 17, No. 3, May/June 2012
What is panentheism?
What is pantheism?
Brian McLaren and Fellow Visionaries
* NOTE: In the link below, notice that Starhawk (a leading practitioner of feminist Wicca (witchcraft) in the United States and teacher at ex-priest Michael Fox’s Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality) was invited to speak at the Center for Action and Contemplation, founded and directed by Richard Rohr. The CAC classes were in “Elements of Magic.”
More about Starhawk here:
WITCHCRAFT, WICCA AND NEOPAGANISM