Emerging church mystics and contemplatives will be the prophets and visionaries, says Cynthia Bourgeault

“In this new percolation of the spirit that is often being called nowadays ‘The Emerging Church,’ it is the mystics and the contemplatives who will emerge as the prophets and the visionaries–because their contemplative practice makes this evolution inescapable,” states Episcopal priest/contemplative teacher Cynthia Bourgeault. [1]

Bourgeault is featured on a St. John the Divine Anglican Church podcast. I discovered her lecture as I researched this church, and its (now retired) rector, Harold Munn. At the live stage event, Stories From The Shack, The Shack author Paul Young had revealed his mother had read The Shack, and then told Paul’s sister, “Debbie, your brother is a heretic.” 

The author’s mother had turned to rector Harold Munn for advice about the book, and Munn had reassured her the Father-goddess imagery was perfectly all right. The audience at Stories From The Shack was very much under the impression that Harold Munn is a traditional Christian.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, and Paul Young’s elderly mother is relying on the understanding of someone with a very different jesus than her own.  St. John the Divine is a pro-gay church, and has hosted the gay organization, PFLAG, for a long time. You can read about this strange The Shack-related story HERE, if you’d like.

It is not surprising Cynthia Bourgeault was a guest lecturer at St. John the Divine, where contemplative prayer is regularly scheduled. Bourgeault states that, “Contemplative practice…contributes two key pieces without which the whole gospel enterprise grinds to a halt. Visionary seeing–seeing through the eye of the heart; and compassionate action–completely non-judgmental and hence truly nonviolent. Both of these are the fruits of a radical transformation of consciousness which contemplative practices steadily and relentelessly midwifes.” [2]

She notes that this meditative practice gradually instills a whole new way of perceiving reality. An actual change in how one thinks.

This is absolutely correct. We are watching as understanding of Jesus is being changed within the very Body of Christ. 

The  “Christian” contemplative movement–which is Eastern/new age meditation  masked with “Christian” terminology”–intersects, mingles, aligns with, or strengthens other errant teachings. Interestingly, Bourgeault noted the affinity between the A.A./recovery movement and the contemplative goal of “open availability of Divine Presence.”

Thus has Bourgeault’s own teacher, Fr. Thomas Keating, identified the Twelve Step program as a place where contemplative practices may be furthered. After all, it is already in Alcoholics Anonymous. (READ)

Historically, around the world, much has been experienced in the meditative silence. Bliss. Spirit-guides. A higher self. Oneness. And there have been false “christs,” wrapped in shining deception, communicating instructions and “wisdom” to some.

We can see the effect of one such false “christ” through the Oxford Group-related book, God Calling, in early AA history. [3] Alcoholics Anonymous came out of Dr. Frank Buchman’s neo-evangelical Oxford Group of the 1930s. Buchman is credited with spreading meditation on every continent.[4]

AA co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith attended Buchman’s Oxford Group meetings together and separately. They poured Oxford Group meditative practices, along with its generic spiritual principles, into the bubbling stew of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It is no coincidence that Rob Bell, who is successfully placing “Christian universalism” within evangelicalism, is a contemplative. So is Brian Mclaren. So is Eugene Peterson, and so are many others. From this trance-religion, false christs are rising.

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

If this information about contemplative prayer/meditation is new to you, or you keep hearing about “spiritual formation,” your questions can be answered over at the Prayer Aware website. (HERE)  The writer is either able to break these concepts down and explain them in a way I can understand, or send me to an appropriate site. Another excellent resource is the Sola Sisters. (HERE)

Please, be careful. Hold to what the Word of God teaches. Remember, He is Holy. He will not be mocked. But He will save and deliver you. Drug addict, homosexual, teller of white lies, whoever you are.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) 

Do not listen when they tell you homosexuality is acceptable to the Lord; do not seek to find Him in spiritual formation, or in The Shack.

Time is short.

But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:6)


1. Mystics and Contemplatives as Visonaries and Prophets  http://stjohnthedivine.podomatic.com/player/web/2011-03-25T13_09_57-07_00

2. Mystics and Contemplatives as Visionaries and Prophets  http://stjohnthedivine.podomatic.com/player/web/2011-03-25T13_09_57-07_00

3. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1196

4. Dave Hunt, God As You Conceive Him/Her/It  http://www.raptureready.com/resource/hunt/dh2.html  (Condensed and adapted from Chapter 15 of Occult Invasion) (Fall ’97 release) “MRA was est and TM. It was consciousness raising and sensitivity. It was encounter and confrontation. Frank Buchman was drying out drunks before A.A’s Bill W had his first cocktail He was moving hundreds of people in hotel ballrooms to “share” with each other before Werner Erhard was born. He inspired thousands on all continents to meditate…decades before Maharishi Mahesh Yogi left India. He was indeed Mr. Human Potential. ahead of his time….Paul Tournier…has frequently expressed his debt to Buchman for much of his own approach to counseling….”  Willard Hunter, The Man Who Would Change the World: Frank Buchman and Moral ReArmament (unpublished manuscript,1977),110-111; cited in Livesey,88-89

3 Responses to “Emerging church mystics and contemplatives will be the prophets and visionaries, says Cynthia Bourgeault”

  • Though I don’t agree with everyone within its umbrella, I’m thankful for the emerging movement. It is a sign of life in an otherwise stagnant pond, wedded to legalism and an arbitrary division between that which is sacred and that which is supposedly “secular.” I pray that God continues to bless the emerging movement in the same way that he already has. Finally people are taking the message of God’s boundless grace seriously.

    • mywordlikefire:

      This is another “jesus” that is rising, and many in the emergent movement have rejected the faith of their fathers. Not all within the movement, but this is far from a Biblical faith in many cases.

  • Stephen John:

    If possible, even ‘the elect’ will be deceived.