The internet affords people the platform to write, share, blog, critique, connect, support, etc. I’ve received my fair share of comments including my favorite ones of being a sinister megalamonia or gracious as all f*#k. But a recent blog entry really intriqued me.
It referred over 4000+ hits to either this blog and/or the church website since it was published on August 27. The blog entry I’m referring to is from the “blog of Lighthouse Trails Research.” Who are they?
In the year 2000, we learned that a mantra-style meditation coupled with a mystical spirituality had been introduced to the evangelical church and was infiltrating youth groups, churches, seminaries, and Bible studies at an alarming rate. Thus, in the spring of 2001, we began Lighthouse Trails Publishing with the hope of exposing this dangerous and pervasive paradigm…
As we learned more about contemplative spirituality (also known as the spiritual formation movement), we came to realize it had infected the church in a wide variety of aspects. Models like Willow Creek, Purpose Driven, and the emerging church had become avenues through which contemplative was entering Christendom.
Because the premise of this spirituality is both pantheistic (God is all things) and panentheistic (God is in all things), thus refuting the gospel message of the Cross, we are compelled to address this issue. Lighthouse Trails Publishing and our research ministry, Lighthouse Trails Research Project, are here as a service to the body of Christ.
Huh? What? Willow, Purpose Driven, and Emerging all in the same sentence with the words pantheistic and panentheistic?
So, on their blog entry about Quest Church and its merger with Interbay Church, they wrote some interesting stuff about Quest, the Evangelical Covenant Church, Glen Palmberg [the ECC president], and even Scot McKnight. It’s actually quite confusing but that’s alot of referrals.
Sadly, a search on Evangelical Covenant’s main site reveals a propensity toward contemplative spirituality (an earmark of the emerging church). One article called Silent Retreat Ideas lists “wonderful resources” by mystics Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. Another article titled “Labyrinth Serves as ‘Guided Prayer Walk'” encourages church members to “walk the labyrinth.” 6 And yet another article, “Centering Prayer: Rediscovering God’s Presence” talks about the contribution mystic Thomas Keating has made to the centering prayer movement and encourages readers to “learn more.” And we could list article after article of a similar nature.
Clearly, the Evangelical Covenant denomination is embracing contemplative spirituality and the emerging church, which would explain why The Quest has been able to successfully absorb the 65 year old traditional Interbay Covenant. We just wonder though, did Interbay’s members realize what they were getting into?