The New Inquisition?

A pastor in California prohibits his congregation from using teaching materials by popular evangelical teacher Beth Moore because of her advocacy of contemplative prayer. Click here to listen.

Why Trappists Make Great Spiritual Guides
Five Approaches to InterSpirituality
Emptiness and Non-Attachment
Catholic Meditation and Contemplative Prayer: What's the Difference?
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Sue

    Wow. That evil contemplative prayer must be so insidious if they can’t even do her bible studies for fear that her whole perception of the Bible is skewed by her evil contemplative prayer practices! Danger! Danger!

    (Yeah, like she probably doesn’t call the Bible “God’s Word.” She probably has this evil idea that “God’s Word” is Jesus Christ.

    Sigh. That kind of religious paradigm always requires enemies.

    Ahhh, the old “Pastor Gary is going to explain these things to us from God’s word” comment. I love how Pastor Gary can’t be called anything but Pastor Gary. That would probably give him an identity crisis if he was just plain old Gary, now, wouldn’t it? Would stop the power trips a bit and all. If he wasn’t Pastor Gary, he wouldn’t get a clap from his audience … sorry, congregation every time he got off to disseminate his words of wisdom.

    Well, I managed to get about a quarter of the way through it, and I just couldn’t listen to this anymore, Carl. As soon as he started talking about the antichrist, it started me thinking about how it was going to be a giant wad of fearmongering, and that strangely enough what this pastor would end up doing would be calling good evil. I wonder about this whole “last days/antichrist” view of things, about how it ends up that you are suspicious and mistrustful of everything … even the stuff that is good because if it’s good, you automatically stat suspecting that it is of the antichrist. Shucks. How do you get through such a paradigm without giving yourself cancer?

  • zoecarnate

    Well-said, Sue! Fortunately there are those (from across the Christian spectrum) who are rethinking eschatology, wondering what certain apocalyptic utterances actually meant to their original hearers…and the revolutionary application today–that God *just might* not be in perpetual war with humanity! I’d especially recommend you check out Presence. My prediction (and I am a futurist-in-training!) is that this more positive view of the “end age” as a covenantal transition period 2,000 years ago rather than some literal doom to look forward to will really catch on in the next five years, among evangelicals, mainliners, and beyond.

  • Jan

    WOW–I never knew that Beth Moore advocated contemplative prayer! I’ve always distanced myself from her teachings, and now I may have to reconsider. . . .I am really impressed.

  • Carl McColman

    I really don’t know that much about Beth Moore, but I do know that she is featured in the movie Be Still which promotes contemplative practice to an evangelical audience.

  • Julie

    Does Pastor Gary actually think Beth Moore is trying to be a decisive force in the world? He’s a bit extreme. I am not surprised Beth is embracing comtemplative prayer. Go Beth! I am a Catholic woman, who along with 7 other Catholic women, did a Beth Moore video Bible Study, “Jesus, the One and Only,” that takes you through Jesus’ life using Luke’s Gospel. While we wished there were references to saints, the Mass and sacraments, that did not hinder us from exploring our relationship with Jesus. She is a charismatic, appealing speaker and we liked learning with a woman leader. We went into it knowing it would not have Catholic influences and that she would present things more conservatively than we cared for, but we trusted that God would open our hearts and minds to get out of the study what each of us needed. Beth has much to offer to Catholics, Protestants, whomever. I’m glad my God trusts me(instead of my having to trust Pastor Gary) to make judgements on what helps deepen my relationship with him.

    Does anyone recommend any Catholic bible studies that will provoke good discussions and be relevant to the lives of women in their 30′s and 40′s raising families and working?

  • Sue

    hey, zoecarnate, thanks for the link to presence. it looks mighty interesting :)