False Teachers and Prophets, Part 5

October 5, 2020 at 11:28 AM 15 comments

In our previous article in this series, we highlighted several errors that came into the church generations ago but are still with us. We also highlighted a few individuals who are well known and have embraced these errors.

In this article, we’re going to highlight the issue of contemplative prayer because it appears that so many well known Christian leaders are embracing aspects of it and at the same time, because of that, are encouraging those who read their books and attend their workshops to do the same. Is it wrong? Unscriptural?

The reality is that if a person teaches anything other than what is taught in Scripture, they should be marked and avoided, according to Paul (Romans 16:17). Are you willing to do that even it if means that you must disengage from a person you may have been following and enjoyed for years? It would seem there is no other choice because the “leaven” that they carry within them and broadcast will eventually wind up working its way into and throughout your life. What this means is that over time, you will find your faith shipwrecked, just as theirs is shipwrecked. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen eventually.

Of course, it’s up to you, but I believe we have an obligation to embrace what is right and accept teaching only from people who are also correct doctrinally. Anything else is cheapening the grace of God and the message of the Gospel and will do harm.

Contemplative Prayer
A good definition of what is known as Contemplative Prayer is “Contemplative prayer begins with ‘centering prayer,’ a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. The purpose is to clear one’s mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may be more easily heard. After the centering prayer, the practitioner is to sit still, listen for direct guidance from God, and feel His presence.” [1; emphasis added]

This then is no different from using a “mantra” while practicing Transcendental Medication (TM). The purpose of the mantra is to produce a hypnotic state so that the actual meaning of the word is lost. This helps us to disengage our active thinking. “The mantra allows the practitioner to put aside thinking in order to reach an altered state of consciousness called ‘the silence place’ in which one allegedly experiences God directly.” [2]

Longtime readers of this blog know that my background includes involvement in the Charismatic Movement in the 1970s. It was during this time that I began to experiment with “hearing” from God because this is what we were encouraged to do. Often, this extra-biblical revelation was just that – something that came to a person within the person’s mind, separate from Scripture.

I can vividly recall two occasions where I believed at the time that God had literally spoken to me. It was not an outside audible voice. It was audible in the sense that it was not my voice in my head, but a separate voice altogether over which I had no control.

On one occasion, I had put a bunch of clothes on layaway and months had gone by and still had not come up with the money to buy them. I continually complained to God about my situation. One day, while I was actually going to the bathroom and taking up my complaint that God had not provided the money for me to purchase the clothing out of layaway, my mind became silenced. I was not necessarily trying to silence it. I was simply complaining. It was as though someone had interrupted me while speaking audibly but my prayers were completely in my head. Things became deathly quiet in my mind.

At any rate, I then heard this question: “Did I tell you to buy them?” There was no anger or sarcasm associated with that voice. It was simply a question. I recall that I almost stopped breathing when I realized what was happening. I instantly stopped complaining and waited several more months until I had come up with the necessary funds to buy my clothes.

On another occasion, I was getting ready to donate money to an organization that donated Bibles to people of foreign nations. I filled out the card, but something didn’t feel right, so I left it on the kitchen table. Each time I tried to mail it I couldn’t. I then noticed that when you gave so much, the organization would then send you one of the Bibles too. So, I crossed that out and told them to take my Bible and send it overseas as well. Thinking that was it, I tried to mail it but couldn’t, so I left it on the table and continued to pray about it.

Within a day or so as I was sitting there I heard the same voice in my head out of the blue that said simply, “They do not do what they say they do.” Well, I was ecstatic and went over to the kitchen, grabbed the card and threw it in the garbage happy to move on.

Question: how can I know that in each situation, God had actually talked to me? Answer: I cannot know. It is based solely on how I felt at the time about the voice. What if some demon was playing a trick on me? We know that Paul says that Satan comes as an angel of light for the purpose of deceiving (2 Corinthians 11:14). What if this “voice” was not God but Satan’s and it at first would appear very godlike, but over time, after I got used to listening to that voice, would pull me further and further from truth and God’s will? In truth, this is very likely what would have transpired. Read the secular, New Age book, “Seth Speaks” to find out how a woman following her “voice” was essentially destroyed over time and died.

I have no way of knowing if in the second instance the organization actually did what they professed to do or not. How could I have checked into that? By depending upon a “voice” that appeared to tell me they did not, but maybe they did, I would eventually get to a point where I wouldn’t even need God’s Word at all, but would simply wait and expect to hear the “voice” in my head to tell me what I needed to know. See how that works? I would go to Scripture to “verify” my experience instead of going to Scripture alone.

There were many within the Charismatic Movement who boasted of this type of thing. I’ve also read many books by New Agers who also experienced this. Christians would say that Satan was simply trying to impersonate God to unbelievers but that he can’t do that to Christians. That’s not what Paul says and for Christians to come to a point of believing that God only will speak to us outside His Word is extremely dangerous because it relies totally on our subjective experience, not His Word.

With Contemplative Prayer, it is very much like the aforementioned Transcendental Meditation. The person is supposed to focus on a word or short phrase to empty the mind. This emptying allows God to speak to us, it is said. The problem here is that God never tells us to empty our minds. Focusing on a word or phrase is what a person does in TM so that their mind is released to not focus on anything. This is also called “inner space” because it draws the person inside his own mind.

It is one thing to contemplate or even meditate on Scripture so that we learn the meaning of what God wants us to know and so that His Word will take root within us. It is quite another thing to do what you can to empty your mind so that it focuses on nothing, which purportedly then finally allows God to “speak” to us. He actually speaks to us through His Word. He then opens or closes doors as we rely on Him to guide us.

Contemplative Prayer has its beginnings in the Roman Catholic Church. This in-depth article linked below deals with the modern beginnings of this mystical movement as it relates to the Catholic Church and its inroads into Protestantism. [3] Much of it goes back to the 14th century with The Cloud of Unknowing, a book written by an unknown Catholic monk, still available today in Christian bookstores. Another small book by Brother Lawrence called Practicing the Presence of God impacted my life until I saw what it was and rejected it as demonic.

Prayer should always be comprehendible to the person praying. We should not delve into areas where our minds no longer comprehend what we are thinking because we have “stopped” the thinking process. When God says to “be still” He is not talking about emptying our minds. He is talking about stopping the busyness in our lives and focusing on Him, His power, His authority and His will. This cannot be done if we are trying to empty our minds.

The article from Way of Life (below) discusses the Taizé approach that originated in southern France during WWII. The goal of the movement is peace and ecumenical unity. That should be a huge red flag because any organization that attempts to bring various religious expressions and beliefs together in unity is not of God, but of Satan. There is no way Christians can be involved in something like this because it will force a compromising of our beliefs in order to “get along” with those of opposing faiths and beliefs.

The World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches and many religious groups today are all calling for “unity” via “ecumenism” in order to have true peace in the world. This will never happen although Satan will make a good play of it and the world will think peace is right around the corner (1 Thess 5:3).

Contemplative Prayer is no different from mystical experiences in general. People involved in Contemplative Prayer often use the rituals found within Roman Catholicism or New Age meditation. The bottom line is that these things are purely subjective, determined to be “truth” or “error” based solely on how the person feels about what they are experiencing. It is extremely dangerous.

The most troubling part of this is the amount of Christian leaders today who have not only embraced aspects of Contemplative Prayer but are highly recommending it to Christians.

Some of the people and organizations who are involved with Contemplative Prayer and recommend it are:

  • Christianity Today
  • Richard Foster (probably the start of the whole thing in USA)
  • Brennan Manning
  • Vineyard Churches
  • Southern Baptist Convention
  • Beth Moore
  • Pricilla Shirer
  • Rick Warren
  • Bill Hybels
  • Chuck Swindoll
  • David Jeremiah
  • Prairie Bible Institute
  • Radio Bible Class
  • Biola
  • Navigators
  • Mark Driscoll
  • John Piper
  • Tim Keller
  • Max Lucado
  • Philip Yancy
  • Lee Strobel
  • Charles Stanley
  • Moody Press/Moody Radio
  • Liberty University

These are just some of the people and organizations involved in pushing Contemplative Prayer. There are many others and I would encourage readers to determine for themselves whether any authors they read, practice or recommend aspects of Contemplative Prayer.

It is as though we must look at everyone who is well known, who has sold millions of books, as suspect. That’s probably a good thing though because Paul himself was not above that and encouraged people to reject him if what he taught was contrary to Scripture (Galatians 1:8). However, today, we are told we should not “judge” others, when in point of fact, Jesus was warning against judging another’s motivation for doing something. Only God can do that because only He can see motivations. We however, must judge a person’s words and/or actions against Scripture as we do our own.

Please be careful who you follow.

 

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html

[2] https://www.wayoflife.org/database/evangelicals_turning_to_catholic_spirituality.html

[3] Ibid

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, salvation, Satanism, second coming. Tags: , , , .

Technocracy: China’s Pollution False Teachers and Prophets, Part 6

15 Comments

  • 1. False Teachers and Prophets, Part 7 | Study - Grow - Know  |  October 19, 2020 at 10:15 AM

    […] part six of this series, we highlighted the problem of the “name it, claim it” camp of people within […]

  • 2. False Teachers and Prophets, Part 6 | Study - Grow - Know  |  October 8, 2020 at 11:44 AM

    […] part five of this series, we discussed problems associated with Contemplative Prayer and some of the Christian leaders who […]

  • 3. Lynn  |  October 5, 2020 at 6:10 PM

    Amen. Wise and timely words. We were just talking about the abuse of the “don’t judge me” verses and how they are usually taken out of context. We are to encourage and exhort one another which may include calling out bad behaviors…faithful are the wounds of a friend. At the same time, we’re not to speak evil of one another which includes questioning motives. Certainly we need the Spirits guidance to live a God glorifying life and walk in obedience.

    • 4. modres  |  October 5, 2020 at 6:56 PM

      Thank you, Lynn.

  • 5. Taylor  |  October 5, 2020 at 3:15 PM

    I really enjoyed the article on Contemplative Prayer and the various people you listed who are associated with or endorsing it. I’ve been reading your blogs for many years now and find them highly informative, keep up the good work.

    That said, one of the people listed was David Jeremiah. I’ve read many of books on end times and listened to many of his messages and never encountered him talking about contemplative prayer. I’d like to additional research on my own but would also appreciate any links to any information you might have come across concerning the same…

    • 6. modres  |  October 5, 2020 at 3:33 PM

      Hi Taylor,

      Thanks for your comments.

      In the article I included from Way of Life, they document Jeremiah’s flirting with it. If you read through the article, toward the bottom when they start listing people and orgs, David Jeremiah is referenced and quoted. In his 2003 book he favorably quotes Sue Monk Kidd, a mystic connected with Southern Baptist Convention. He’s also had John Ortberg in the pulpit of Jeremiah’s church. Ortberg is a major proponent of Contemplative Prayer.

      Here’s a link also to another article that highlights Jeremiah’s connections with the late Paul Crouch, Paula White, and others and he also endorsed “Jesus Calling.”

      https://www.wayoflife.org/database/evangelicals_turning_to_catholic_spirituality.html

      • 7. Taylor  |  October 8, 2020 at 1:21 PM

        Appreciate the follow up…keep up the good work!

      • 8. modres  |  October 8, 2020 at 2:56 PM

        Will do my best – thanks!

    • 9. modres  |  October 5, 2020 at 7:15 PM

      I just realized I included the link to the Way of Life Literature article but not the other one which highlights Jeremiah endorsing “Jesus Calling,” etc. Here it is Taylor:

      https://bereanresearch.org/dr-david-jeremiah-endorses-jesus-calling/

  • 10. Maranatha Today  |  October 5, 2020 at 2:27 PM

    “It is as though we must look at everyone who is well known, who has sold millions of books, as suspect. That’s probably a good thing though because Paul himself was not above that and encouraged people to reject him if what he taught was contrary to Scripture (Galatians 1:8).”

    Isaiah 2:22 New International Version (NIV)
    Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?

    This scripture comes to mind…Many put their “trust” in these deceivers and it’s so sad. Our “spiritual” antenna must be up all the time in these times!

    Thanks for another important article as we go through these perilous days. Blessings to you and your wife.

    • 11. modres  |  October 5, 2020 at 2:30 PM

      Thanks for your comments, Maranatha.

  • 12. Maranatha Today  |  October 5, 2020 at 1:11 PM

    Crimes Against Humanity Transcript

    Click to access Crimes%20against%20Humanity.pdf

    I emailed the You Tube video earlier. Hope you got it!

    • 13. modres  |  October 5, 2020 at 1:25 PM

      I don’t recall getting a YT video link sent to my email…

    • 14. modres  |  October 5, 2020 at 1:57 PM

      I located the video and have already begun listening to it and sharing it on social network. Thanks!

  • 15. Maranatha Today  |  October 5, 2020 at 1:11 PM

    Crimes Against Humanity Transcript

    Click to access Crimes%20against%20Humanity.pdf

    I emailed the You Tube video earlier. Hope you got it!


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