It is with sobriety and sadness that Lighthouse Trails reports that MOPS is promoting contemplative spirituality. This means that not only will tens of thousands of mothers be introduced to contemplative but potentially thousands of children will be affected also.
In March 2006, it came to our attention that MOPS Was Part Of CCN (Church Communication Network), a network of Christian ministries that promotes contemplative spirituality. However, and perhaps even more disturbing, MOPS is promoting (and selling) books that are pro- contemplative. The book that stands out among the others is Breathe. The author, Keri Wyatt Kent, is a writer for Willow Creek Community Church and often speaks on Spiritual Formation. Her upcoming book, Listen: Finding God In The Story Of Your Life, teaches readers to "listen" to God through "spiritual practices," including the practice of silence. The author quotes extensively throughout the book both contemplatives and New Agers, including Henri Nouwen, M.Scott Peck, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Rick Warren, Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton, and Eugene Peterson (read A Time Of Departing for more on the New Age and/or contemplative connections to these mentioned authors).
As with many contemplatives, Kent said (in her book) that she didn't really get a lot out of the Bible until she started practicing contemplative methods such as Lectio Divina: "When I was introduced to the ancient practice, Lectio Divina, everything changed" (p. 151). Kent encourages the use of breath prayers and quotes contemplative Jan Johnson to help build her case for this practice.
For those who might be saying right now, "Ok, so MOPS likes one of Kent's books,Breathe - it isn't this one that is so blatantly contemplative and filled with New Age meditation concepts and quotes. But on the back cover of Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life sits an endorsement by Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS, which reads: "Keri offers insightful and practical help for all of us who are "hearing impaired" in our spirits. Ah ... what a relief!"
On the MOPS website, they also sell newly released Chicken Soup for the Mothers of Preschooler's Soul by New Agers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and MOPS, Elisa Morgan. (The Chicken Soup for the Soul books are discussed in A Time of Departing.)
We pray that Elisa Morgan will realize that contemplative spirituality is not going to help nurture little children and their mothers but will in fact harm them spirituality to immeasurable degrees. Once again, we beseech organizations that call themselves "Christian" to reject the teachings of contemplative prayer and cling to biblical truth.