Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Michael W. Smith, David Crowder, Greg Laurie, RTS professor Reggie Kidd Speak at Emergent Conference

From Lighthouse Trails Research:


The 2009 National Worship Leader Conference took place on July 20-23 in Leawood, Kansas and brought together a convergence of contemplative/emerging speakers.

Michael W. Smith has most likely sent tens of thousands to the feet of mysticism proponent Brennan Manning through his endorsement of Manning. In light of Manning's spiritual views, that is very troubling. For instance, in Manning's book, Above All (in which Smith wrote the foreword), Manning echoes the words of Thomas Merton biographer and mystic William Shannon when Shannon (and Manning) rejected the idea that a loving God would send His son to a violent death: THAT God does not exist, they both insisted. 2 What's more Manning actually teaches mantra-like meditation is his book, The Signature of Jesus.

David Crowder [of the David Crowder Band], also at the conference, is the author of the contemplative-promoting book, Praise Habit (referring to the habits worn by Catholic nuns). In an interview with (a web site for Catholic teens), Crowder admits: "Much of the Catholic traditions and writings have been influential in my formation of faith ... I've found much inspiration there." These Catholic traditions referred to are those emulated by monks such as Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating.

The conference offered numerous workshops interspersed with the above speakers' lectures. Just as an example, a workshop taught by Reggie Kidd, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and on faculty at the very contemplative Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, included instructions on worshipping through the "Eucharist prayer" and through "chanting the psalms." 3 Videos presented at the conference included those by emerging figures Shane Claiborne, Richard Twiss, and others.

Many of our readers may be wondering why Greg Laurie would be speaking at this clearly contemplative/emerging conference. Laurie's head pastor, Chuck Smith, made it very clear a few years ago that Calvary Chapel would NOT be going in the contemplative/emerging direction. But, come to think of it, Chuck Smith also said at that time that Calvary Chapel had to reject the Purpose Driven movement, but on August 9th, according to Greg Laurie's website he spoke at Saddleback Church at a number of services.

End quote.

**NOTE**also see: Saddleback's joy of hosting Laurie here.

****Note**** Go here to read more on the Laurie/Rick Warren hand-holding.

At Roman Catholic LifeTeen, and here is what they define as "Life Teen Spirituality":

Because of our deep Eucharistic devotion, Life Teen has developed a spirituality that is:
100% Catholic
Obedient to the Magisterium
Centered on the Eucharist
Focused on social justice

End quote.

There is no question this is a thoroughly Romanish ministry.

I found this answer from David Crowder's interview intersting and really, not very biblical:


Smith: Your music is everything but predictable. Where do you find creative inspiration?

I think an artist's role is to simply pay attention to life, to the living of it. Art helps interpret experience. It helps us interpret what it means to be alive and human and, in our particular case, what it means to be alive and human in relationship with the divine. So I think it would be fair to say that I find more inspiring moments watching life unfold than say, watching a movie or reading or listening to music, although I love all of those things as well. I think it is less an artist's role to interpret life from another's perspective and more to participate

End quote.

Nothing about Scripture. Nothing about Jesus Christ. Its all about subjective experience, personal introspection, sprinkled with some New Age/Mysticism verbage like "the divine".

Crowder goes on with his Romanist influence:


Smith: You are not Catholic, but on your Illuminate album, you sing a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. What's your connection?

Much of the Catholic traditions and writings have been influential in my formation of faith and to be quite contradictory of what was stated earlier, I've found much inspiration there. St. Francis is a figure I'm equally attracted to and repelled by. I long for his powers of disassociation from the trappings of "stuff." I'm beset with consumption and materialism, and he is a compelling symbol of contentment. His contentment and way of suffering terrify me.

...Ludicrous and offensive, it is the Divine's intrusion into our condition.

End quote.

Michael W. Smith's endorsement of Manning isn't surprising; he's never been doctrinally sound, really. Music is his interest, not biblical Truth. And that's from a person who used to really enjoy his music, one upon a time.

As for Greg Laurie and Calvary Chapel, I got some heat for stating that I saw CCOCM going emergent. The evidence is increasing. Denying something and then behaving in favor of the same thing shows that not only is there hypocrisy going on, but the actions speak louder than words. Why it is that some public pastors deny the Emergent Church Movement, then turn around and endorse it by speaking at its conferences and sharing its leaders' platforms is beyond me. Do professing Christians only hear the weak "denials" and ignore the actions? Its certainly true so often in the political arena, which is why so many Obama supporters are backing away from him now--his actions are not in accordance with his earlier "claims" to the people and thus they are surprised and upset.

So deny PDL and ECM, then join them in their promotion of heresy? Folks, its time to wake up and see the truth. Those who are in error do not promote themselves as erroneous, but as "one of us".

How do you suppose false teachers secretly sneak in among you?


Anonymous said...

I was a friend of Greg on Facebook and un-friended him AFTER seeing him going to Saddleback. I would like to think that it's like going into a bar and speaking the truth and bringing those to Christ and he did post that many came to Christ that nite ...
But something bugs me about him going there ...
Jesus went to minister to those who were outside of the usual - Matthew the tax collector, the woman at the well. Peter went to speak with Cornelius - but still - I guess I don't know that he doesn't endorse the movement ... hummm - something to think about and pray about ...
What do you think of the book from days of old called "Practicing the Presence of God" by Bro Lawrence - I read it years ago ...

Denise said...

Hi Bevy,

I'm wondering just how much or how little authority Chuck Smith has anymore over CC.

I saw cracks with Smith over his son, who is emergent and who denies Hell....they claimed they are closer now than ever (a few years ago in a newspaper interview) which spoke volumes. Truth divides as Jesus says---entire households, but in the Smiths' case, error caused them to ignore Truth and hug each other all the more. So Smith's wavering isn't a surprise.

Here's something else that comes to mind: a few months ago Mark Driscoll (the cussing and sexually explicit goat-herder) spoke at Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. Now that was a red flag for the discerning Christians...but so many were actually disappointed that he didn't present the Gospel while on stage there. A man, who's so foul-mouthed that Christian radio stations have to remove him, where mothers have to turn off the radio so their kids can't hear, where public teachers like MacArthur rightly rebuke such horrific behavior...and they were surprised he didn't proclaim the Gospel? So the question is for Driscoll and Laurie...what was their motive for being there? If not to rebuke their audience and hosts, then it was to garner a larger following. Period. Whether they admit it or not. Pink said, "But the one who winks at your faults, is silent about your sins, and refuses to rebuke you for what is dishonoring to God—is your enemy and hates you!"

To be silent when given, literally, a platform to proclaim the only Gospel that saves, is to be an enemy of it--and the souls of lost men.

Denise said...

Hey Bevy,

I have concerns about Lawrence. Its been a while since I read up on that stuff...but off the top of my head, isn't it strange to say one can "practice the presence of God"? I mean if you really sit and think about that phrase, its odd, you know? Its also not found in Scripture...when you consider Psalms for instance....I'll see if I have any info on Lawrence. As I recall he's a fav of Contemplative Spiritualists.

Denise said...

Ah here it is:


"[T]he 17th century [French] monk, Brother Lawrence, developed a technique--mostly through inspiration and intuition--which leads to results akin to those developed by the continued practice of either Zen or mindfulness meditation. In The Practice of the Presence of God, he wrote:

"This made me resolve to give the all for the All: so after having given myself wholly to GOD, to make all the satisfaction I could for my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not He; and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world ... I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His holy Presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. I found no small pain in this exercise, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that occurred, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily. I made this my business, as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of GOD. Such has been my common practice ever since I entered into religion." From Western Mystical Traditions (Quote by Brother Lawrence from First Letter)
End quote.


It is said of Brother Lawrence that when something had taken his mind away from love's presence he would receive "a reminder from God" that so moved his soul that he "cried out, singing and dancing violently like a mad man." You will note that the reminders came from God and were not his own doing. (Gerald May, The Awakened Heart (New York, NY:Harper Collins, First Harper Collins Paperback Edition, 1993) p. 87, citing from The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, translated by John Delaney, Image Books, 1977, p. 34.)

Brother Lawrence says that secret conversations with God must be "repeat[ed] often in the day," and "for the right practice of it, the heart must be empty of all other things." He speaks of the trouble of wandering thoughts and says that the habit of practicing the presence of God is the “one remedy" and the "best and easiest method" he knows to dissolve distractions. (from A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 146-147)

Warren endorses Lawrence:

Denise said...

Ok the link didn't paste fully, so here it is again:

Anonymous said...

Ya know- I thot the "smith" was Michael W. Smith in the article you've done. :( Oops!

Ya - I read the Lawrence book YEARS ago when in the A/G movement - I have a copy - but have tried a couple of times to read it and it just didn't sit right with me - so thanks for answering that question. I didn't think it was right and it is alot of HARD work. I would rather keep my mind on the Word of God and meditate on it instead!

I do agree that it's not scriptural - maybe Lawrence had some mental issues. :(
God bless and thanks for answering that!
Did Greg Laurie present the gospel? You're upset that he didn't rebuke Warren?

Anonymous said...

Oh - one other thing - Chuck Smith has LITTLE authority in Calvary Chapels - IF one has a problem with a Calvary anywhere and one contacts Costa Mesa - they will get little done. They do not watch over CC's as others do their churches. They will PULL a Calvary chapel lable IF they don't agree with a certain church - and I have heard of a certain x-calvary chapel minister who was messed up and doing all sorts of things (I'm sorry this is not complete details) who was TOLD he would not be starting a new church under the CC umbrella.
They don't really WORK as a denominational church ... in fact I don't know much except they are loosely tied to the Costa Mesa church and don't get involved in Church discipline much at all.

Anonymous said...

Here it is:

Denise said...

Interesting Bevy.It seems they aren't very organized or should I say, consistant.

Denise said...

See this article:

I also added it to the main post here, too.

Jim Burton said...

Denise, I am glad that your are back from vacation, or where-ever, I missed you.


Denise said...

Yes, we went on a much-needed vacation! We went to Washington DC and Boston. It was a great trip. Its good to be back.