Mennonite Church Canada’s Slide into Apostasy

Because this blog not only shines the light on the MB Herald, but occasionally on other Mennonite monkey business, today let’s take a look at the way Mennonite Church Canada is going. In their Prayer, Notes and News – April 2011- Equipping #115, they want Mennonites to please pray for and with the Church because this is how your financial support of Mennonite Church Canada is ministering…from across the street to around the world!

What is their financial support going to?

A Lent Booklet

Just like their Mennonite Brethren cousins, they have been celebrating Lent:

If you have not already done so, check out Mennonite Church Canada’s Lent booklet, “Called and Shaped by Jesus.” It contains family activities that began on Shrove Tuesday and carry on right through Holy Week. Download here: http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1435
Thank you for the financial support that enables us to produce resources that nurture families in faith.

Remember that Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, is closely related to Mardis Gras and has nothing to do with Holy.

Emerging Church/Social Justice/Activists/Jesuits

For all of April, Mennonite Church Canada is promoting this:

Four days of celebration of music, art and conversation at the intersection of justice and spirituality: Announcing the first annual Wild Goose Festival, taking place June 23-26, 2011 at Shakori Hills, North Carolina (near Raleigh). England’s popular Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival comes to North America, with speakers including Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, Phyllis Tickle, Shane Claiborne, Richard Rohr, John Dear [Jesuit priest], Ched Myers and many more. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of what has been described as “followers of Jesus on the cutting edge of Christianity in North America.” For more information and to register, go to http://www.wildgoosefestival.org

World Politics and the UN Goals

They also invite their people to visit and interact with the blog of Willard Metzger, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, where you can read:

Monday, March 7, 2011
Always Have Time for You

I was recently part of an Inter Faith delegation of National Faith/Church leaders that gathered at Parliament Hill. Our task was to meet with federal political party leaders – Liberals, Bloc Quebecois, NDP, and Conservatives – to urge the honouring of Canada’s commitments towards the Millennium Development Goals.

After being ushered into the stately room we were soon being introduced to various MP’s and their Aides. I thrust out my hand and identified myself as the General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada.

“Mennonites,” said the MP with a broad smile, “I always have time for Mennonites”.

-willardmetzger.blogspot.com

Together, the above evidence shows that the Mennonite Church of Canada appears to be several steps ahead of the Mennonite Brethren on the down hill pathway to apostasy. We must pray that they will all wake up before they’ve gone too far down the wide road.

Menno Simons on the Doctrine of the Preachers

THE DOCTRINE OF THE PREACHERS.

As I have presented to the reader, the first part in relation to the sending and calling of a true preacher, according to the word of God, I will now, through the grace of God, present in like manner the second part, relating to the doctrine; for there is but little difference between their calling and their doctrine, as the calling is, even so, most commonly, is the doctrine.

Where the spirit of God urges or moves to preach, there will the word be incorruptibly taught in the power of God; and upright children of the spirit will thereby be born. But where flesh and blood calls, there will a carnal doctrine be taught and carnal disciples will be made, for that like produces like is incontrovertible. I deem it unnecessary here to prove this with much scripture, for their actions bear testimony.

The Scriptures plainly show how a preacher rightly called by the word of God is to rightly teach that word without perverting glosses, without any mingling of leaven; as Peter says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God,” 1 Peter 4:11. They are the children of the Holy Ghost who speak the word of the Spirit, as Christ said, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you,” Matt. 10:20. “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God,” John 3:34. To preach the word salutarily and unblamably, is one of the highest and greatest commands enjoined by Christ. He said, “Go ye in all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15.

The Gospel, the word of God, preached unmingled, in the power of the spirit, is the only right, true seed from which are born the truly believing and obedient children of God. If the church of Christ brings forth children from the doctrine of man, and not from God’s word, she is not faithful unto Christ, and her children are not of his seed….

Read more here:

http://www.mennosimons.net/ft013-doctrineofpreachers.html

Read the complete writings of Menno Simons HERE.

Speaking of Lent, Contemplative Spiritual Direction and Mennonites…

Speaking of Lent, Spiritual Direction and Mennonites, there is a contemplative network affiliated with the MB Conference called Imago Dei. It is directed by Rob Des Cotes who was recently a speaker for a pre-Lenten series. See here:

“Pilgrimage” – Pre-Lenten Ecumenical Study Program
Speaker: Pastor Rob Des Cotes, author of “Ultreia – Meditations for Spiritual Direction”
Location: Mt. Zion Lutheran Church
930 Cumberland Street, New Westminster

-http://www.htc.shawbiz.ca/february.html

Rob Des Cotes also recently taught a contemplative series on spiritual direction and Ignatian spirituality which was promoted by Western Canadian Baptist Churches, another denomination that appears to be sliding into contemplative spirituality. See here for details:

Canadian Baptists of Western Canada Promoting Contemplative Spiritual Exercises
http://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/canadian-baptists-of-western-canada-promoting-contemplative-spiritual-exercises/

Another place where this was recently taught was at a retreat for New Life Church in Kelowna, B.C., home of Stacey Campbell (noted for her Human Weeble Wobble ‘gift,’ she is the department leader for spiritual formation at New Life). Their retreat took place at a Roman Catholic retreat center where Rob Des Cotes also taught Ignatian Spirituality. See here for retreat details:

Seaton House Retreat Report
http://newlife.bc.ca/ministries/spiritual-formation/ancient-streams/seaton-house-retreat-report/

In light of these facts, and since Imago Dei is affiliated with the B.C. Mennonite Brethren Conference, Mennonites might want to ask their leaders if they believe supporting Ignatian Spirituality as taught by their Imago Dei community director is in keeping with their statement of faith.

*SEE ALSO:

Who is St. Ignatius of Loyola?
http://apprising.org/2008/12/13/who-is-ignatius-of-loyola/

An examen of relationships
http://www.canadianchristianity.com/christianliving/081002examen.html

Related posts:

MB Conference Promoting Next Level – Jesuit Training
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/mb-conference-promoting-next-level-jesuit-training/

Mennonites and St. Ignatius
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/mennonites-and-st-ignatius/

Pope Benedict, the Mennonites and the Jesuits
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/pope-benedict-the-mennonites-and-the-jesuits/

Examining the Examen of the Mennonite Brethren’s Retreat Centre
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/examing-the-examen-of-the-mennonite-brethrens-retreat-centre/

The History of Ignatian Spirituality
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/history-of-ignatius-spirituality/

What is a Mennonite’s Sacred Space?

On page three of the March MB Herald is a feature called:

Question of the month
How often does your spiritual practice include a sacred space for rest?
-more than once a week
-once a week
-once a month
-rarely
-when I go on vacation

Another question Mennonites might be asking before they answer is, what exactly is a sacred space? If they search the internet for the answer, they will find 2,390,000 results.

Here are the first five most popular:

1) [www.sacredspace.ie] – Sacred Space can be a website run by the Irish Jesuits with meditations to lead you in contemplative prayer.

2) [www.asacredspace.ca] – Sacred space can be a body, mind and soul treatment and community healing center in Alberta based on New Age, Eastern meditation and occult methods.

3) [www.sacred-space.nl] – Sacred space can also be about interspirituality – chakras, horoscopes, New Age and the metaphysical – ‘we are all children of the same universe.’

4) You can create your own sacred space here at [www.asacredspace.ca/]:

Creating a Sacred Space
A place for peace and introspection

Sacred Space can be as small as the breath taken in during prayer, as large as a cathedral or as expansive as an ocean view.

Unless you already have a special peaceful place set up in your home I suggest you challenge yourself to create a “sacred space” somewhere within your living area….

Once your space is in place you will likely want to honor it by doing some type of ritual, be it Wiccan, Native American, casting a gypsy spell, giving a prayer of gratitude, or blessing it in whatever way best aligns with your belief system. You will soon find yourself drawn to this sacred space more and more as you seek the solace and restfulness it provides. You begin to wonder how you ever lived without this Sacred Space that offers much healing, comfort and warmth.

http://healing.about.com/cs/spirituality/a/sacredspace.htm

If you click on ‘photos’ you will find out that a sacred space can also be a labyrinth, a prayer wall, an altar, a garden, or the Dalai Lama’s palace.

5) Jhadten Jewall [www.sacred-space.nl/] creates ‘sacred spaces’ – places in consciousness where you are one with your soul and its purpose and enjoy every moment of your incarnation! This includes Whizzard Cards, sacred journeys, soul readings, mother earth charity, etc.

And on and on the ‘sacred space’ list goes, from Shamanic, Buddhist and Zen sacred spaces to vampiric and yogic, but nothing associated with Christianity can be found for pages and pages.

As Christians, are sacred spaces something we need to have for our spiritual practices? Isn’t this what separates us from the pagan religions?

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4

And if we make a ‘sacred space,’ even for rest, are we practicing Colossians 3:2 which says to “Set your mind on things above, and not on things on the earth”?

A while ago Dan Kimball wrote a book called Sacred Space: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Multisensory Worship Experiences for Youth Ministry (Soul Shaper). This book is all about multisensory experiential worship, emerging church style (see here).

This is a picture of a prayer corner/sacred space from another book by Dan Kimball called Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity For New Generations. This is what the emerging church means by sacred space.

Is this what the MB Herald means by a ‘sacred space’? And what does it mean to rest in such a space? How can Mennonites answer a question that they don’t understand?

RELATED:

Multi-Sensory Worship Practices
http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/spirituality/lighthousetrails/08/12-oakland-multi-sensory.htm

The Emerging Church – Revival Or Return To Darkness?
http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c29.shtml

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Faith is a matter of the heart

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).

We cannot too often insist upon it that religion is a matter of the heart. It is the besetting sin of man to forget that God is a spirit, and that worship rendered to God must be of a spiritual kind. Idolatry is the full carrying out of this mischievous propensity. Instead of adoring the Great Invisible, and giving him the love of the heart, man sets up a block of wood or stone, and, burning incense and performing genuflections before it, he cries, “This is my god.” Where this idolatry does not assume the very grossest form it takes another, which is equally as objectionable in the sight of God.

Man pleads that he cannot worship God with his heart unless his memory is assisted by some outward object, and then he smuggles in his idol, and gratifies his depraved nature with will worship and outward formalism. God requires soul worship, and men give him body worship; he asks for the heart, and they present him with their lips; he demands their thoughts and their minds, and they give him banners, and vestments, and candles. Where man is hunted by very shame from outward superstitions, he betakes himself to anything sooner than yield his heart’s love to his Maker, submit his intellect to the great Creator’s teaching, and render all his faculties to the service of the Most High.

–C.H. Spurgeon [HT: The Berean Call]

Ortberg and Mennonites

The average church going Mennonite probably won’t know this, but just over one year ago John Ortberg spoke to a record crowd of 550 pastors and lay leaders last February 25 at Fresno Pacific University’s Central Valley Ministry Forum. Sponsors were KDUV-FM, the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, Growing Healthy Churches, and MB Biblical Seminary. (See Grace will fill the gap in people’s lives: Ortberg–2010 Ministry Forum attracts record crowd.)

Here is why some light needs to be shed on the subject:

John Ortberg Promotes Contemplative Spirituality
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/johnortberg.htm

John Ortberg Quotes Thomas Merton
http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/03/john-ortberg-quotes-thomas-merton.html

Ortberg Writes for Monvee
http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2010/11/monvee-you-dont-just-become-holieryou.html

John Ortberg promotes Enchantment
http://muddystreams.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/enchanter-john-ortberg/

Book Review, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg (NEW)
http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/06/book-review-life-youve-always-wanted.html

Oh Mennonites, why do you sponsor such men? Why do you sell John Ortberg’s books on your websites and promote them to your members? Where is your discernment?