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“National Pastor's Conferene Opens with Yoga”
by True Discernment   
March 1st, 2008

From slice of Laodicea - Yes, folks, it is time again for the Zondervan's National Pastors Convention in San Diego. Cue the sitar players, start up the incense, and drag out the yoga mats! You think that I jest about the yoga, and you are wrong. Under the heading, Christian Yoga, it reads:

“Join Shelly Pagitt for a time of prayer, stretching, and meditative reflection as you begin your day at the NPC. If possible, please bring a mat with you for the stretching time.”

Shelly Pagitt, wife of emerging Pied Piper, Doug, will be bowing before the pastors and their wives and saying, “Namaste”. That’s how a yoga session starts, and the words are Sanskrit for “I bow to the divine within you.” Yoga journal describes “Namaste” this way.

“The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

When the pastors are done with their Hindu worship, they can cruise into a workshop with Roger Olson. His is a harmless enough sounding name that evokes images of a guy in a flannel shirt up in Duluth somewhere, serving lutefisk or making Swedish meatballs. This Roger Olson, however, will be redefining evangelicalism. He has quite an agenda. He will be speaking on the following:

How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative

“Are ‘evangelical’ and ‘conservative’ synonymous or even inseparably linked? Not necessarily. In some cases it is possible to be more evangelical by being less conservative. We will look at how history sheds light on radical evangelical faith that breaks with the status quo and forges new paths in theology, worship and service.”

Well, Roger, we’ve seen where those new paths in theology, worship and service are leading the church. Witchcraft. (See the post below.) As if this wasn’t enough, Roger will be going further.

Postconservative Evangelical Theology

“Evangelical theology is breaking out of and moving beyond the traditional “left/right” spectrum of liberal to conservative. That spectrum is based on responses to modernity. What happens when evangelical theology interacts with postmodernity? Can there be a postconservative evangelical theology as there is a postliberal mainline Protestant theology? What do they have in common?”

I know, I know. Lemme answer the question. They have rebellion in common. These movements have rebelled against God by denying the authority of His Word. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. That’s why young people are actually attempting to Christianize real stuff. It’s all the same thing, folks.

To prove my point, Ruth Haley Barton is another speaker at the National Pastors Convention. After sewing her seeds of contemplative mystical spirituality at Willow Creek under Bill Hybels, she has now moved on. Look at her bio.

Ruth Haley Barton is a spiritual director, teacher, and retreat leader trained through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Pathways Center for Spiritual Leadership in Nashville, Tennessee. Ruth is cofounder of The Transforming Center. She is also the author of several books including Sacred Rhythms and Invitation to Solitude and Silence.

But wait a minute. I’m on the mailing list for the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. It’s an organization dedicated to the use of contemplative practice by people of all religions to encounter the “divine”. Founder Tilden Edwards said this about contemplative spirituality.

“This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality.”
—Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend, p. 18.

So the pastors at the National Pastors Convention will sit back, refreshed from their yoga, and listen to Ruth Haley Barton, who was trained at Shalem, tell them how the mystical stream of contemplative prayer can enhance their ministries.

As if eastern spirituality wasn’t bad enough , Zondervan, who sponsors the NPC, has brought in political liberals like Shane Claiborne and Jim Wallis to make sure that left-wing theology matches left-wing politics. You can see the full line-up of speakers here.

The National Pastors Convention is an indication of evangelicalism’s future. Only those whose feet are on the rock of the unchanging Word of God will not be swept away by this tsunami of spiritual deception. The deception is not the exception, it is the norm now. Contend for the faith.

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