Monday, April 07, 2008

Submerging the Mind With Poison

Submerging has a recent post touting Henri Nouwen via Ben Witherington.

Submerging is an arm ministry of Reclaiming the Mind

"This is the community blog of Reclaiming the Mind Ministries and sister blog to Parchment and Pen. We have a variety of contributors who add daily to the contents. The discussion is biblical, Christ-centered, and irenic.The views expressed here do not necessarily represent that of Reclaiming the Mind Ministries (although we are hopeful!)"

Favorite quotes of Nouwen given by Joanie D:

“To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our own imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear.

If it is true that God in Jesus Christ is waiting for our response to divine love, then we can discover a whole new perspective on how to wait in life.”

Ben Witherington (RTM's Converse With a Scholar offered him in the past although finding a direct link to him is removed for some reason) is pro-Roman Catholic, which means he's ecumenical and does not understand how the Gospel stands in contrast to what the RCC teaches:

He writes for inter-religious beliefnet:

“There can be little doubt that Cardinal Ratzinger had some of these deeper nuances of "following" in mind when he preached the Pope's homily. After all, we have now learned that the Holy Father actually contemplated stepping down in 2000, but then realized that Jesus had called him, like he had called Peter (his protégé and model as Pope) to follow him, even unto death, as a leader of the church. He was to spend his life force in that service, pouring out his life as an example of self-sacrificial love for others--the very opposite of self-centered or selfish behavior.

We may trust he has by now heard the Lord say those very things to him. We may hope that the next Pope is nearly so good and gracious a follower of the one who said "Follow me."

Its no wonder then, that Witherington has offered Nouwen as a positive teacher for his readers.

Richard Nouwen

"Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God."—From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen's last book page 51, 1998 Hardcover Edition

New Age Universalism:

Prayer is soul work because our souls are those sacred centers where all is one, ... It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is. (From Bread for the Journey)

"a place for everyone in heaven"(Life of the Beloved - p. 53)

"The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is the same as the one who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being." Here and Now by Henri Nouwen; page 22

Henri Nouwen and His Buddhist Sympathies

Seminaries, Bible-studies and churches use his materials and quote from him. What did he really believe? by Ray Yungen

An individual who has gained popularity and respect in Christian circles, akin to that of Thomas Merton, is the now deceased Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen. Like Merton, Nouwen combines a strong devotion to God with a poetic, comforting, yet distinctly intellectual style that strikes a strong and sympathetic chord with what could be called Christian intelligentsia. Many pastors and professors are greatly attracted to his deep thinking. In fact, one of his biographers revealed that in a 1994 survey of 3,400 U.S. Protestant church leaders, Nouwen ranked second only to Billy Graham in influence among them.

Nouwen also attracts many lay people who regard him as very inspirational. One person told me that Nouwen's appeal could be compared to that of motherhood a warm comforting embrace that leaves you feeling good. Despite these glowing attributes, several aspects of Nouwen's spirituality have earned him a place in this book.

Unfortunately, this widely read and often-quoted author, at the end of his life, stated in clear terms that he approached God from a universalistic view. He proclaimed:

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God's house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.

Nouwen's endorsement of a book by Hindu spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, teaching mantra meditation, further illustrates his universalistic sympathies. On the back cover, Nouwen stated, "This book has helped me a great deal."—Read Entire Article, Henri Nouwen and Buddhism

Ray Yungen goes on to say:

Nouwen also wrote the foreword to a book that mixes Christianity with Hindu spirituality, in which he says:

[T]he author shows a wonderful openness to the gifts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Moslem religion. He discovers their great wisdom for the spiritual life of the Christian ... Ryan [the author] went to India to learn from spiritual traditions other than his own. He brought home many treasures and offers them to us in the book

God demands purity in doctrine and practice. Nouwen, Witherington, and Submerge does not.

2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2Co 6:15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 2Co 6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2Co 6:17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 2Co 6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty."

Jer 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.

Claiming what you are doing for the glory of God or for His church won't work. Its been done before by the slick false prophets of old:

Jer 7:4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.'

Peace? Shiloh ("Peace")will not have peace, nor will those "temples of the Lord" that combine pagan practices and doctrint with Truth. Using His name as a mantra for His glory yet combining it with evil doctrine and practices like that of the Occult and New Age will anger God:

Jer 7:9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'--only to go on doing all these abominations? Jer 7:11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD. Jer 7:12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. Jer 7:13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, Jer 7:14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.

The God Who Sees Is Intolerant

Jer 7:23 But this command I gave them: 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.' Jer 7:24 But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

Jer 7:27 "So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. Jer 7:28 And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

Jer 7:29 "'Cut off your hair and cast it away; raise a lamentation on the bare heights, for the LORD has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.' Jer 7:30 "For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the LORD. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. Jer 7:31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

Deu 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

One of Joanie's favorite Nouwen's quotes is, “If it is true that God in Jesus Christ is waiting for our response to divine love...."

This doesn't make sense, as most of Nouwen's thought don't. Reading his paper was definitly a wading through fuzzy, confusing, New Age mumbo-jumbo. What SCRIPTURE says though is this:

Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ....5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1Jn 4:9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

2 Thes. 2: 13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Eze 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Eph. 1: 11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him
who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,

Rom. 8: 30 And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace HIMSELF SANCTIFY you COMPLETELY, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; HE will surely do it.

I don't see God "waiting" but rather bringing all things in conformity to HIS plan and HIS will. We wait on Him, for Him. HE doesn't wait for us. Scripture doesn't show God as passive, but rather as active (as the verses show above). Even in the crucifixion which Nouwen touches on, God was clearly active, indeed, since Gen. 1:1.

Acts 427 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

I'm so thankful that the true God of Scripture isn't man-centered nor waiting for man to do anything or understand anything. HE is truly in control of His whole creation and is conforming His true children actively by the power of the Word and the Person of the Holy Spirit. To HIS glory and grace.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as HE chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before HIM. In love 5 HE predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which HE has blessed us in the Beloved.


TruthinLove said...

The quoting and use of Roman Catholic writers by Pastors, Teachers, and other people within Evangelical Churches-Websites-Books is rampant. You can't help but see it everywhere. Sometimes I sit down and just weep over it and sometimes I get downright angry ....

These are people who hold up the Word of God as inerrant, claim that Jesus is their Lord/Savior and are the leader of many people. But they hand out this poison like "Freddie" would do to unsuspecting children on some demonic Holloween Movie. Do these pople even think?? .... do they understand what they do??...they are unleashing poison on the people they supposedly love!!! This affects believers and God warns us against offending them.

Mathew 18:6-7

6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

As you point out Henri Nouwen is a Roman Catholic and his beliefs followed RC Teachings..thus damning him to hell....Why do I want anything by him going to believers? But you have Church Leaders like Billy and Franklin Graham , Warren, Hybels, Colson, and many others saying all is good with the RC Church...They are brothers and sisters in Christ..NO THEY ARE NOT!!!

I use to go to Second Baptist Church in Houston where Dr. Ed Young and his son Ben, preach. They put a listing of devotion book suggestions in their current Spring Book...I about threw up...

Thomas Kempis ( RC Priest who was a Mystic )..The Imitation Of Christ

Brother Lawrence ( Carmelite Mystic ) The Practice of the Presence of God

Richard Foster ( RC Mystic Wannabee )Twelve Spirtual Disciplines and other writings

and on..( Warren, Peterson,Willard ..ugh)

This is a stalwart SBC church gone astray but affecting over 40,000 members...( Just think what Joel Olsteen's Church does )Whew! And you wonder why Ed Jr. does what he does ...just look at Daddy...I cry just thinking about it...all those people ...decieved....made to sin...oh yes some of these leaders are my brothers and sisters but that makes it even worse...but I am starting to believe that oh so many are wolves in sheeps clothing..

Ken over at Apprising Ministries always points out, that we are marching to the one big world church, led by the RC Church....We sure are ....Come Lord Jesus!

Matthew 7:15,16 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits....
2 Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth , and be turned aside to fables.

Acts 20:29-31 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves . Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Matthew 15:9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 3:16,17 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

Denise said...

Wow truth, I couldn't agree with you more!

It SHOULD anger us to see the sheep being fleeced (pun intended). It SHOULD anger us to see HIS name and glory be used to approve of evil doctrine and deeds (the ostensible "For the glory of God" phrase).

I, like you, see the circle of true, biblical Christianity shrinking all the time. HE is sifting even now.

I see The Merge beginning and it isn't pretty. Its deadly.

Thank you for your love of the Truth and Scripture!

You might enjoy this article over at Biblical Thoughts:

TruthinLove said...


I want to thank for the Website. I am printing off the JP Moreland Article now. I will comment later today.

Do you ever feel you are called to be a "Watchman" but you asked yourself where is the wall, where is the watchtower and by the way where are the others? Well you are one of the others as are bloggers and non bloggers, but I still ask where is the wall? Is it the internet it our it our it is it is it ....

For me I do not feel like I have found my watchtower nor the wall it sits on...For the message from us all is still greatly muffled, to say the least..

The Word of God God!!! And we should fight for this truth as we would fight off wolves that were trying to eat our very children..for they are...But here is the main point ...We should fight it because our Love for God is so high and deep that we will literally die, defending His Word, because He Deserves our love and His Honor is at stake.....And I will be .......if I am going to sit here silently and let the Word of God be maligned ...He is My Life ...He is My Love...He is Everything to me!!! He came down to hell where I wanted to be and lovingly pulled me out ....I owe Him everything....

Have a Blessed Day