Cooperative Baptists Going the Way of Emergents



There’s a disturbing and growing trend in Baptist camps, namely, that of the practice of contemplative worship. It’s an ancient form of worship alright, but it’s not biblical. Just more strange fire leading Protestants back to Romish popery.

This article in the Associated Baptist Press (ABP) talks about this growing trend. Listen to one practitioner:

“I have gained a new appreciation for contemplative styles,” he said. “Just sitting and trying to be silent and feel and listen, as opposed to going to God with a list of things you need to pray for.”

Yeah, we don’t need to be casting all our cares on Him, do we?

The movement has largely been fueled by those promoting, writing and preaching the benefits of the ancient spirituality practice – which is certainly not Christian.  New Calvinism has it’s proponents with the likes of Tim Keller, John Piper and others leading the charge. Many within the ‘young, restless and reformed’ wave are eating it up, as Dennis Miller says, ‘like piranhas on a ham steak.’ The rebellious aspect of new Calvinism only makes the desire for contemplative practices more intense, wanting to exchange the ‘old dead reformed orthodoxy’ for a more vibrant experience a la D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones ‘Joy Unspeakable.’ Dangerous stuff. Combine this with the already-in-need-of-fumigation emergent church nonsense and you have a cauldron of theological errors that would keep those discernment ministries busy for decades. Both the emergents and CBF are practicing these contemplative worship forms, and it seems to keep growing. It crosses denominations, with the Presbyterians, Methodist, et al jumping on the bandwagon. The ‘new reformation’, or reformed camps hands are just as dirty with the Gospel Coalition shamelessly silent against it and, in fact, promoting it themselves. 

Here’s a telling quote from the piece:

What they all find in common is a yearning for an experience of God that transcends rational and emotional concepts. “It’s creating sacred space in which people can actually feel, touch and listen to God in their midst.”

An experience. Surrounding this whole desire is the taking out of context (at least) one passage of Scripture, namely this one, and I hear it all the time in defense of the practice:

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! – Psalm 46:10

I truly wish those who are proponents of contemplative practices would take the time to look at the context of this verse.

First of all, this is not a message to God’s people, on the contrary, it’s both a reprimand and a warning to God’s enemies! Yep, that’s right. The Hebrew word translated ‘Be still’ is râphâh (raw-faw) and it means basically, stop, cease. Moreover, it is spoken, again, to God’s enemies, not His people. The message here is simply an admonition to God’s enemies to cease or stop making war on His people, and it has absolutely nothing to do with God’s people sitting in a circle, or lighting candles, learning chants, etc while being silent and waiting for ‘the experience’.

To see this verse, or any other for that matter as a basis for using some monkish practice in search of an experience is nonsense. It’s bad exegesis. Make that horrendous.

What we should be yearning for is more holiness, and we get that by God’s grace working in us loving obedience to mortify our own sins and obeying God’s Word.

So, what do you do if you see this kind of contemplative thing taking place in your fellowship? Lovingly warn others who are getting caught up in it using the Word of God.

Then leave, get out of there.