Unanswered Questions

Is it all bad news about the Mennonite Brethren? No, of course not. But as the spotlight has been shone upon the October MB Herald this month here at Menno-lite, there can no longer be any reasonable doubt that contemplative spirituality and Roman Catholic mysticism is rampant within the MB conference, churches and seminary. There were FIVE articles in the last issue alone that were either written about the new ancient spirituality or by those who promote it in some form, not to mention all their links and references to contemplative/emerging church theology or Jesuit spirituality. To see that this is not even being filtered out by the new editor of the MB Herald is very telling. We can only assume that he is either in agreement with contemplative spiritual formation or completely unaware of it. Either way it reveals the broad acceptance of these things by the MB denomination. At the same time, this may be a blessing in disguise, as far more has been uncovered than many of us would have ever known had it all been edited out. We can only hope that a few bold letters to the editor in the next issues will help to awaken those who have dozed off into complacency.

Now that we have all clearly seen what is going on, are there any voices that will speak out against these false teachings besides a few blogs which those in MB positions of authority have simply and admittedly “chuckled about,” to their shame? Researching these issues and writing about them out of concern for the church is no laughing matter. It’s not a fun hobby, or something done out of boredom to cause trouble or division. The posts on this blog, and others like it (of which there are only a handful), are birthed out of godly conviction and sorrow over the way these people have chosen. This kind of e-excavating involves extensive work, digging and toil over many hours of free time. It requires so much diligence that it may even qualify as one of the new spiritual disciplines.

Some have been wondering if Menno Simons would blog about these issues if he were here today. Judging from his bold words from the past, it would not be difficult to answer that question. And if he did, would today’s MB leaders chuckle about his blogging?

Isn’t it time for some important questions to be asked of those in leadership? Here are a few ideas:

Do you actually think it’s biblical to return to Roman Catholic practices?
Do you actually believe that the first century church practiced contemplative spirituality?
Have you forgotten why you call yourself Mennonites?
Do you think that under the circumstances it might be more appropriate to change your name in keeping with other emerging terms (un-christian, new kind of Christian, re-imagining, etc.) and call yourselves un-Mennonites, ex-mennonites, or post-Mennonites?
Do you honestly believe it is spirituality beneficial to promote Jesuit spirituality and practice the prayer methods of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits whose oath is to the Vatican?
Do you honestly think that it is beneficial to endorse Benedictine rules and rhythms to the people under your leadership?
Are you concerned that so many in your churches and seminaries are spewing forth the language and terminology of the emerging church and Roman Catholic mystics?
Have you forgotten your first love, Jesus Christ?
Do you realize or care that there are many concerned biblical Christians who have had to leave their beloved churches because of these teachings which you have condoned and promoted?
Will your Bible seminaries ever make the cut for this list?
Are you even aware that you are you teaching a mixture of truth and error?
Do you teach the difference between the holy and profane?
Or are you leading your sheep down the ecumenical path to Babylon?
Are you teaching discernment or the acceptance of neo-monasticism and emerging church theology?
Are you willing to take your stand on God’s Word or do you back away from controversy?
Are you protecting the sheep from the wolves?
Do you worry at all about leading those under your headship astray?
Are you at all concerned about your accountability to God?

Is the bold word on the back cover of the October 2010 MB Herald a typo? It says REGENERATE, but properly spelled, shouldn’t it look like this: R-E-P-E-N-T !? It’s not likely this will change, but with God all things are possible. Until this happens, the MB’s will continue to be led down this very slippery spiritual pathway. If the those in MB leadership cannot answer these simple questions now, then they WILL have to eventually answer to God. But wouldn’t now be better for them than later?

My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill And have forgotten their resting place. Jeremiah 50:6

3 thoughts on “Unanswered Questions

  1. I think I found a sixth reference to the “new ancient spirituality” found in the October 2010 MB Herald.

    What did you think of the poem, “In the shelter of God’s wings”, by Esther Hizsa under “Features” (online MB Herald does not use page numbers)? Sounded like a poem about CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER in my estimation.

    The following description is given of this poem’s author: “Esther Hizsa is a writer, pastor, and spiritual director, who lives in Burnaby, B.C., and leads an Imago Dei Community in nearby Port Moody.” (from the October 2010 MB Herald). ANOTHER female pastor, going against Scripture in her role as a pastor, since God’s Word forbids women to be pastors unless she is a pastor over women and children only. A spiritual director, one of those roles invented by Roman Catholic contemplatives. Leader of an Imago Dei Community, a place where contemplative spirituality is practiced and promoted.

    About the poem itself:
    A smoking angel commanding her to rest? And then a female angel (I never found one in Scripture). Are these maybe demons appearing as angels of light? Their appearance in the poem are obviously a product of a very imaginative mind, but they are definitely not biblical in nature. The appearance of an angel sent from God was recorded to have a terrifying effect on people, hence the angelic greeting, “Fear not!”.

    The question is asked, “This is prayer?” Well, it may be contemplative prayer, but the poem certainly didn’t leave me with any concept of what biblical prayer is.

    Throwing in a couple of biblical phrases does not make something biblical. I agree that the metaphor used (in the shelter of God’s wings) is a good one, but it is just that, a metaphor) to describe what it is like to trust God with your life.

    The type of prayer described sounds more like a mind-emptying exercise for the purpose of escaping reality and “feeling” God.

    I found a most excellent description of biblical prayer at bibleone.net (http://www.bibleone.net/print_tbs13.html). Although I cannot give a full endorsement to this website, (only because I have not yet had the time to examine it fully), its description of biblical prayer is the most comprehensive I have found. I recommend you follow the link to read the entire article, which gives many biblical references.

    The introduction says: “Biblical prayer is one-way communication made available to man by the grace of God in order that man may communicate with God. While today God primarily speaks to man through His written Word (the Bible), He encourages man to speak to Him through prayer. Prayer is not complicated or difficult. In a nutshell, it is simply talking to God.”

    For the benefit of anyone coming across this comment, please read the following articles on contemplative “prayer”:
    1. “Contemplating Contemplative Prayer: Is it Really Prayer?” by Marcia Montenegro
    2. Contemplative Prayer or Terror? by Roger Oakland


  2. Two years ago (Sept 28/11) after 69 years of theological slumber, I awoke by reading three of Warren Smith’s books, also reading “The Emergent Church WARNING A Dangerous Trojan Horse is creeping into the Evangelical Church” (by Dr. W. Goetz). How could all of these false teachings by Rick Warren et al mixing a little truth with a little error (Spiritual syncretism) have invaded most of the evangelical denominations without our pastor’s warnings?
    I also read your very Christian admonition to Brad Jerzak regarding his false prayers.
    We have something in common. You & I know Greg Benson! Brad and Jessica are now proud parents of a son!
    God Bless you and keep up the great writings and Teachings! Gerry Klassen

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