GUILT BY ASSOCIATION: How far is Too Far…???

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on June 16, 2008

For anyone interested,

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As a Reformed Charismatic (abeit Reforming—meaning on some things, I’m always learning), I’ve had many dealings with people on various sides of the street. Some of them being within WOF, and others within REFORMED THEOLOGY—and on all sides, many of them have their respective teachers and leaders whom they respect while also having others whom they’re bothered by. Many within Reformed Theology have long noted that many in WOF theology have a methodology of “chew the meat, spit out the bones” that’s unbiblical and that the reason why many within WOF that’re teaching false teachings are allowed to thrive. THey believe that looking for an aspect of truth in something/consequently approving of it in TOTAL if it can be found in deadly to the faith—–but interestingly enough, I often see that on the Reformed Side of things there’s the mentality that we’re not guilty of this ourselves.

If the mentality of “guilt by association” is true, though, how far would one be willing to take that? One of greatest biblical Preachers I know of is named John Piper….and there’s a conference at his church called “Desiring God 2006 National Conference, to be held on September 29th.

This time, they’lll be addressing ‘the Supremacy of Christ in a postmodern world.’….and according to John Piper, founder of the Desiring God ministries, speakers for the national conference are ‘eager to speak on behalf of the risen Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ.’ However, one of the speakers is Mark Driscoll (of Mars Hill Church), who is an Emerging Reformer like Piper and considered to be one of the emerging church leaders…”……& while Driscoll has has distanced himself from certain emergent leaderss/denounced them as herecticalr (McLaren, Jones, etc.), documentation shows Driscoll is promoting contemplative spirituality…….in the words of the site (Lighthouse Trails Research)

Contemplative spirituality (i.e., New Age mysticism) is the vehicle that the postmodern world is using to reach their objectives. By including a pro-contemplative speaker at this conference will confuse participants at best and dangerously mislead them spiritually at worst. Rather than bringing Mark Driscoll in as a speaker, his spiritual sympathies towards contemplative should be exposed, and people should be warned.

According to the Acts 29 Network (Driscoll’s ministry)recommended reading list of “worthy literature” Mark Driscoll recommends books by Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and a book called The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Other books on the list include those by panentheist St. John of the Cross, and a collection of books about Celtic Spirituality (i.e., contemplative spirituality) as well as books by Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila, Eugene Peterson, and Larry Crabb (AACC). Act 29’s recommendation of Thomas Merton (who said he was impregnated with Sufism: Islamic mysticism)is perhaps the most telling of all. One of the books Driscoll recommends by Merton is Wisdom of the Desert (referring to the desert fathers). Lighthouse Trails Research has contacted Acts 29 in the recent past and told them about these recommended resources and their dangers. As we stated in our previous article:

For Driscoll to say he has distanced himself from some aspects of the emerging church (or the Emergent leaders) but then advocate Merton and this line up of other avid mystics is an oxymoron.

The point is, Mark Driscoll is promoting contemplative spirituality, and for someone to say they don’t promote the emerging church but then promote contemplative is faulty thinking because the latter is so much worse – it is contemplative spirituality that makes the emerging church so heretical. Remember, the premise of contemplative is that all paths lead to God and God is within all creation.

We hope and pray that Mark Driscoll will remove these contemplative recommendations from his website and make a public statement saying that contemplative spirituality is an anti-biblical belief system that he rejects. Otherwise, we pray that John Piper will find someone else to speak at his upcoming conference.

If Driscoll wasn’t removed from the conference, would you still attend? And if John Piper didn’t remove him (as he hasn’t), Is John Piper NOW A FALSE TEACHER TOO?

Moreover, what would you make of his being on stage with Beth Moore at the conferences entitled “PASSION” by Louie Giglio, seeing that she has taken some flack for promoting CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER? Would you still support him?

Or Piper’s appearing with Louie Giglio in support of the Passion Conferences, even though Giglio is apart of North Point Ministries—http://www.northpoint.org/ –and as much of the blessing the church is in many regards, they’re very much supportive of the “Seeker-Friendly” mentality…..and the pastor of the church Andy Stanely has shared the stage with others like Rick Warren, Erwin McManus, Rob Bell and others teaching Herectical and anti-Biblical teachings and
yet never calling anything out?

For evidence, http://www.catalystspace.com/events/past.aspx and http://www.creativepastors.com/product_1219 & http://www.exponentialconference.org/

If difficult, I more than understand….as it’s the same with me and SAM STORMS regarding his mentioning in an interview I heard of folks who’ve most influenced him….with John Piper being at the top of the list due to John’s personal friendship and theological orientation and other old skool folks who were solid like Jonathan Edwards, Calvin, Luther, Owen, the 19th century Princeton theologian, Charles Hodge, 19th century theologian William G. T. Shedd and B. B. Warfield. Others who influenced/blessed him were people like Mike Bickle, Jack Deere, and Wayne Grudem, primarily when it comes to his rejection of cessationism and broader experience of the Holy Spirit (which to a degree I understand since it’s been the same for me)

Or sincerly speaking, what happens when one goes to the Christian Bookstore to get a good solid book by someone teaching sound theology despite all of the bad ones out there as well? Would buying/investing in one mean that I validate everything the store does and that I should boycott it?

Take it a step further, and what are we to do with a myriad of individuals who’ve done much to aid the kingdom but seem to be compromising themselves.

As Lee Strobel said when giving an endorsement for the PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE,
If you only read one book on what life is all about—make it this one! Rick Warren is absolutely brilliant at explaining our real purpose in the world and making the complex understandable. Read this book, then give it to everyone you care about. It is life-changing. Believe me, you’ll never be the same after reading this!” What a gift!”

Lee Strobel, Author, The Case for Christ

That grieved me seeing that, but it made me think of something. If I’m against Purpose-Driven movement and yet I’m supporting someone solid like Strobel who supports Warren, am I not now guilty of supporting Purpose Driven because I now have helped support someone connected to it—even if their book has done much to help believers in their walk? And is Lee Strobel now a false teacher because of his association?

Or for that matter, folks like James Dobson for some of his associations despite the great work he does with “Focus on the Family” because many MORMONS buy his books/support him financially?

2 John 1:7-11

7Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

If I’m to be consistent with II John 2:7-10, then that makes me think……or folks like “Way of the Master” with Kirk Cameron, Todd Friel, and Ray Comfort because of their associations with TBN/THOSE hosting it—despite how in-depth and frequently they combat false teachings 24/7 and have served to equipp the Body OF CHRIST IN NUMEROUS WAYS? Same with the late James Kennedy, Charles Stanely, and numerous others


2 Responses to “GUILT BY ASSOCIATION: How far is Too Far…???”

  1. joyfulfreedom1 said

    Hey man,

    Here you are definitely onto something. I would put Henry Blackaby in that mysticism and contemplative category myself. This is why I’ve deleted some links, and some posts on both of my blogs. Many people don’t distance themselves, but that 1st John passage and verse 11 in particular is clear.

    I definitely agree with your sentiment in this post. I saw a lot of the same things within the Reformed community. I have world of respect for many of the brothers, especially the African American Reformed community. But I had a major problem with some throwing Tony Evans under the bus, but Swindoll, and Blackaby were good. Even using Experiencing God in bible studies.

    I feel you on this not distancing oneself from those that are spurious.

    I have even heard people explain that those that are on TBN, that (I’ll use Charles Stanley for example) are there so people can hear the truth admist lies. The problem I have with line of reasoning is, when men that are supposedly solid bible teachers, will sit in a chair on a PTL program and skin and grin with the Crouches or whoever is on the couch at that time.

    I also struggle with that reasoning because the Youngs (Ed Sr. and Jr., reminds me of Kim Possible’s Senor Senior and Junior now)having shared a platform with T.D. Jakes. So, that whole light in darkness on TBN is a straw man at best.

    No shock about Strobel though. He went from Willow Creek to Saddleback and wrote those books during the process. A better question for me regarding Strobel would be, is it a good work though the author is tainted by his associations?

    I had a harder time with Hank Hanegraaff, the so-called bible answer man, supposedly leading a discernment ministry unable to discern the errors that many others pointed out in the whole PDC/PDL movement. But I basically chalked that up to a couple of good ole boys in the O.C. hooking up, giving each other the necessary pub, that they needed to get and keep some money, IMHO, being from the O.C. myself.

    Finally, you have got to lighthouse trails research if you haven’t already. They are putting it down with this whole contemplative thang!

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