Dangers of Henry Blackaby

Dear Friends,

Recently, there have been a few events in our lives and interactions that have brought some issues to the forefront once again. We have seen more and more Christians are being duped by what appears to be good theology, but is actually dangerous teaching.

One of the dangers that is assaulting the true church of Jesus Christ is in the area of contemplative prayer, also referred to as contemplative mysticism. In a nutshell, this teaching is based on a combination of New Age and Roman Catholic mysticism.

The danger of overrunning the evangelical church is immense. This teaching is heresy with many well known evangelicals touting this as biblical theology. There is NOT ONE Scripture that teaches the emptying of our minds.

Here is an example of what contemplative mysticism/prayer is according to one of the main teachers of this system known as “Spiritual Formation.”

“In your imagination allow your spiritual body, shining with light, to rise out of your physical body. Look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily. Imagine your spiritual self, alive and vibrant, rising up through the clouds and into the stratosphere. . . Go deeper and deeper into outer space until there is nothing except the warm presence of the eternal Creator. Rest in His presence. Listen quietly, anticipating the unanticipated. Note carefully any instruction given. With time and experience you will be able to distinguish readily between mere human thought that may bubble up to the conscious mind and the True Spirit which inwardly moves upon the heart. (Foster: 27, 28)”

In the coming weeks, it is my intention of defending truth and contending for the faith by pointing out the dangers of this movement. We will also expose the people promoting this heresy. Our hope is that you will give prayerful consideration to this matter. Read the Scriptures. Be a Berean Christian. Realize the dangers that now seem more prevalent in the church than out of it.

If you are a pastor, elder, or teacher, please do not jump on the bandwagon and use materials just because every other church seems to use it. Go against the flow. Stand for what is right. You will be held accountable for what you teach to others.

With that said, I am posting three links here from Southern View Chapel. The pastor is Dr. Gary Gilley and has an excellent series of books on the church, which includes “This Little Church Stayed Home.” These links below detail the heresy that is being spread throughout many churches, even Baptist ones have bought into Henry Blackaby’s promotion of contemplative prayer.

Experiencing God – Part 1

Experiencing God – Part 2

Experiencing God – Part 3

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Gary Gilley The new-paradigm church is offering a purely commercialized, yuppie brand of Christianity found nowhere in the New Testament. . . . Is a person coming to Christ in order to bolster her self-esteem or experience a great thrill, truly born again? If [average church goer] Mary does not clearly understand that the real issue on the table is her personal sinfulness that has offended a holy and righteous God, does she understand the gospel at all? If she believes that Christ died on the cross to save her from a poor self-image in order to give her a fulfilling life brimming with excitement, has she not been presented with a gospel so hopelessly muddled that the true gospel is still a mystery to her? Can such a person, who so totally misunderstands the purpose and nature of Calvary, be saved, even though she has prayed the “sinner’s prayer?” From my understanding of the true gospel I would have to say probably not. And if a multitude of these kinds of Marys are now flooding into the local church, what kind of church is being created?

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley The primacy of the Word of God during [the early decades of the 1700s] was seen in the highly doctrinal sermons, which were addressed to both the heart and the mind. The plain-style worship services ensured that the focus was neither on the minister nor on the surroundings but on the God who addressed them in the Word.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley The Bible is God-centered. Psychology is man-centered. The Bible teaches that our purpose in life is to glorify God. Therefore, everything else is subject to that purpose. Psychology, being man-centered, has as its highest goal the happiness of the individual. This is the foundation for the current emphasis on felt need. If mankind’s greatest goal is his own happiness, then all other things in life, including God, become means to secure that happiness. . . . This worldview is completely at odds with the biblical worldview. Since this is true, to offer God or salvation as the means whereby our felt needs are satisfied is a perversion of biblical teaching at best, and more likely a false gospel.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley We live in a society that increasingly drifts toward the form rather than the substance, which embraces the superficial, lives to play, will pay almost any amount of money to be amused, and prizes fun as the highest pursuit of life. Conviction has been replaced by thrill and few seem to notice. . . . One would hope that things would be different among Evangelical Christians, but such does not seem to be the case. It appears that the church is in lockstep with the world.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley The temptation arises for a church to change, or at least hide, who they are so that they appeal to unchurched Harry. Additionally, the church is tempted to alter its message to correspond with what Harry wants to hear and thinks he needs. The end result is a felt-need gospel that appeals to Harry’s fallen nature in an effort to entice him to come to Christ, the ultimate felt-need supplier, so that he is fulfilled and feels better about himself.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley While we do not affirm that everything modern is evil or that everything ancient was excellent, there is no doubt that the greater part of the boasted “progress” in Christendom of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was a progress downward and not upward—away from God and not toward Him, into the darkness and not the light.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley The gospel is not about helping [un-churched] ‘Harry’ feel better about himself and his circumstances; it is about his rebelliousness against a holy God who will ultimately condemn him to Hell if he does not repent and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins. The distinction between the market-driven approach and the biblical approach lies largely in understanding this fundamental difference.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley Give Christians the need-oriented pop-psychology that they had grown to love, . . . just alter it a bit with some verses and some references to Jesus–they would never catch on that what they were swallowing was not biblical Christianity at all, but an almost unrecognizable perversion. Whether this approach was calculated or naively taken matters little. The result is the same: a psychologized Christian community which no longer recognizes the difference between the teachings of the Bible and the teachings of Carl Rogers and no longer cares.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley Too many Christians, just like their unsaved counterparts, are impressed by appearances rather than structure; are seeking thrills and excitement rather than substance; are more apt to respond to emotional manipulation than a rational discourse. How does a church compete in this rather crowded marketplace? If entertainment has become the standard way of life (as some are suggesting) then how can the churches vie unless they become a bastion of entertainment? But if it gives way to this powerful temptation has not the church been transformed into something other than the church?

– Garry Gilley

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Gary Gilley The most successful arm of the evangelical church in recent years, in terms of growth, money, and prestige, has been the market-driven (seeker-sensitive, new-paradigm, user-friendly) church. Because of this success these churches are being mimicked all over the country, and indeed, the world. But is this church fully dressed? Is she outfitted in the biblically prescribed robes of evangelism, edification, worship, and instruction? Or is she wrapped in rags composed of empty human philosophy stitched together with bits and pieces of truth? If the latter is true, why have so few seemed to notice?

– Garry Gilley

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Gary Gilley Today, virtually every heresy found in the Christian ranks can be traced back to some form of rejection of the Bible as God’s final authority. It may be pragmatism (which adds success to the Bible); mysticism (which adds experience); tradition (which adds the past): legalism (which adds man’s rules); or philosophy such as psychology (which adds man’s wisdom). The end result is all the same: the Word of God takes a back seat to the inventions and imaginations of men.

– Gary Gilley

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Gary Gilley There is very little understanding or desire for biblical truth and theology even among Christians. The Bible is not being expounded in many pulpits today. Christian radio saturates the airwaves with talk shows and psychology experts. Christian magazines aimed at the laymen are full of testimonies but devoid of solid spiritual food, and so few believers study the Word for themselves. As a result, we are a spiritually starved people who are no longer able to discern truth from error.

– Gary Gilley

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If [the local church was] to draw the masses, like the televangelist did, it apparently could best be done by wrapping the faith in the package of entertainment—for the people, having now been trained to be consumers, have also been taught that the ultimate sin is to be bored. Hence the birth of the market-driven church that caters to the insatiable appetite for amusement in society in general.

– Gary Gilley

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Let’s play “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” For $500,000: Which of these churches was a growing church in the book of Revelation; the church at Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22), which saw itself as rich and wealthy and in need of nothing or the church at Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11), which was described as poor, in tribulation, and facing great persecution? Need a lifeline you say? Here you go: God said of the Laodicean church that he would spit them out of his mouth, but of the Smyrna church that they would receive the crown of life.

– Gary Gilley

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By 1800 the American church was in a dismal state and ripe for anything that would offer some kind of spiritual sustenance. The Second Great Awakening, which began in 1801 in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, would fill that void and forever change Christianity in America. Sermons of substance were rapidly replaced with emotional appeals. Doctrine was steadily replaced by “conversion” stories, and the preacher’s performance became more important than what was taught. Music took on a central role as emotionalism became the order of the day. Ministers began to study “what worked” in order to draw a crowd. . . . In other words, church services became a form of entertainment.

– Gary Gilley

Book review: “This Little Church Went to Market” by Gary Gilley.

I just finished reading Gary Gilley’s excellent book This Little Church Went to Market. I wish I could get this quick and easy read into the hands of every Christian (especially those in the Laodicean churches).

Gilley covers such topics as the market-driven’s philosophy, music, and false gospel. He’s also not afriad to name names. I highly recommend this enlightening examination and scathing indictment of Western Christendom; it’s a book that needs to be read.

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Growing churches are creating an atmosphere, an environment of fun. So fun has replaced holiness as the church’s goal. Having a good time has become the criterion of an excellent, growing church, since fun and entertainment is what consumers want. Yet Bible references encouraging churches to become havens of fun are, as one may suspect, lacking.

– Gary Gilley