Catholic Mysticism and the Emerging Church

Objective Salvation in the Lord of Glory

 As Mediator, Christ Jesus is the only means of union between God and man, “that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”[26]  Christ Jesus is exalted to “the right hand of the Majesty on high”[27] as the One Savior.  He and His Gospel are objective and real.  This Gospel is not an idle tale, nor a piece of incomprehensible mysticism; rather, it is the proclamation of the awesome, historical work of redemption accomplished by God Himself.  The Father appointed Christ Jesus as the guarantor of real salvation.  Christ Jesus was glorified for finishing the Father’s mightiest work.  In Christ’s own words, “I have glorified thee on earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”[28]  He had fulfilled all the Father’s will, and so, gloriously honored the Father.  As Savior, He is exalted high above “all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”[29]  He alone – not some mystic charm of Papal Rome or Buddha – has been given all authority in heaven and in earth.  He has been given power over all flesh that He should, in His own words, “give eternal life to as many as thou [God] hast given him.”[30]  He alone has been given a name, which is above every name, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”[31]  It is God’s commandment that we trust on Christ.  “This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ.”[32]

  True faith involves a repudiation of the self-deceit of any experiential mystical means of reaching God, “for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”[33]  The Lord Jesus stands ready to receive every sinner who will throw away his rebellion and pride and trust in Him alone for salvation.  Preaching the real historical Christ and His Gospel is the answer to the mindless adumbrations of Rome and the ecumenical mystics.  Thus alone, can the true Church, God’s people, go “forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”[34]  The Gospel is a mighty deliverance from the groveling religious subjectivism of Rome and her Emerging Church cohort.  To know God is life itself to a Christian.  In the words of the Lord Himself, “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”[35]  Knowledge of God, and faith in Him, are the means whereby all spiritual supports and comforts are conveyed to the true believers.  “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”[36]

Conclusion and Application

 We now understand how serious is the infiltration of Catholic mysticism into its own system, and now the same mysticism is being propagated by the Emergent Church movement.  The machinations of Catholic mysticism, and that of the Emergent Church, have clearly unveiled apostasy, seeing that they have rejected the Christ of history, received “the christ of Satan,” which “christ” is “enlightenment,” and “self realization;” while they sport and play with Satan’s rites for fulfillment in such as “Centering Prayer,” “The Ignatian Examen,” and “The Labyrinth.”

  There is no valid excuse for true believers to be deceived by “false apostles” who transform themselves into the “apostles of Christ,” “for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”[37]  There are many false prophets gone out into the world, but if we diligently study these things, which God has recorded for our safeguard against the subtle deceptions of Satan, we need not mislead nor be misled.   The forces of evil are present in the influence and power of the Papal Church, and at the time, the Emerging Church is powerful, but not all-powerful.  It has been fought and overcome by One greater and mightier.  We take courage, though the subtleties and deceit of mysticism beats fiercely upon us, they only drive us closer to Christ.  “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”[38]  What a glorious closing for the Lord’s final discourse to His Apostles, what a wonderful Word to us at this hour.  There must be no surrender, no compromise, and no fellowship with the world of mysticism.  Here is the Lord’s war-cry; “him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”[39]  As we stand strong in Him, it will not be long before the conflict will cease!  For “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”[40]

Permission is given to copy this article.

Richard Bennett is a former Roman Catholic priest who was converted to Christ.  He runs an evangelistic ministry called Berean Beacon based in Texas, USA.


[1]. Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, No. 56, Nostra Aetate, “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,” 28 Oct. 1965, Austin Flannery, Gen. Ed., Vol. I, Para. 2, p. 739. 


[2]. Vatican II Document No. 64, Gaudium et Spes, 7 Dec. 1965 in Flannery, Vol. I, Sec. 2, 3 pp. 904-5.  Bolding in any quotation is added in this presentation.


[3]. William Johnston, The Mirror Mind (New York: Fordham University Press, 1990) p.7.


[4]. Ibid., p. 33, 39


[5]. 1/8/2009


[6]. Others, Shane Claiborne is a founding partner of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia.  Alexie Torres-Fleming is the founder of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice in the South Bronx.  In addition, she is the co-founder of the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance.


[7]. Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence (Baker: Grand Rapids, MI., 2008)


[8]. 1/21/09.


[9]. Ibid., p. 46 & 47


[10]. Ibid., p. 100 & 101






[13]. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Image edition Dec. 1989 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1966) pp. 157-158.  This book has official Roman Catholic approval.


[14]. William Shannon, Seeds of Peace: Contemplation and Non-Violence (New York: Crossroad Publ. Co., 1996) p. 73


[15]. Foster, Richard J., Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (San Francisco: Harper, 1992) p. 155


[16]. Ibid., p. 159


[17]. Tony Jones, The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005) p. 15


[18]. Sole Shaper, p. 233


[19]. The Sacred Way, pp. 198-199; Soul Shaper, p. 233-234


[20]. Job 38:2


[21]. Exodus 20:4-5 Verse 5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD they God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”


[22]. Transcript on file at Apprising Ministries Website:


[23]., 1/21/09, bold theirs.


[24]. Matthew 7:17


[25]. II Corinthians 10:5


[26]. Ephesians 1:10


[27]. Hebrews 1:3


[28]. John 17:4


[29]. Ephesians 1:21


[30]. John 17:2


[31]. Philippians 2:10-11


[32]. I John 3:23


[33]. I Timothy 2:5


[34]. Song of Solomon 6:10


[35]. John 17:3


[36]. II Peter 1:3


[37]. II Corinthians 11:13-14


[38]. John 16:33


[39]. Revelation 3:21


[40]. I John 5:4

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