Contemplative Prayer – Another Unscriptural Practice -Another Jesus

 

Navigating The Serious Side of Spinal complaints - RED FLAGS ...

Any time you see the word Contemplative used to describe anything Christian a big RED FLAG should go up. Contemplative prayer became popular during the Emergent Church movement at the beginning of the 20th century, which permotes many unbiblical practices and ideologies.

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.  https://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html

There are a couple of things very wrong with this type of practice.  The first is that the Bible clearly tells us not to use vain repetition when we pray.  Matthew 6:7 (KJV) says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Philippians 4:6 (KJV) says, “Be careful for nothing: but in every think by prayer ans supplication with thanksgiving let your request be make known unto God.  John 16:23-24 (KJV) says, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” These are three examples of how we should be praying to God and none of them are about repeating yourself over and over.  In fact trying to empty your mind and repeating a phrase over and over can put you into a trans-like-state opening yourself up to emotionalism, mysticism and demon spirits.  This is the opposite of being sober minded and sound in the faith.  And just an added note, this is another reason I can’t stomach modern “Christian” music that repeats the same words over and over again, usually in a copulation of Bible verses taken out of context along with hypnotic drum beats and rhythms of a rock and roll band.    

The second major error is the emptying of the mind is suppose to help you “hear” God’s voice and to “feel” His presence.  As a disclaimer I am a strong cessationist, meaning that God has already spoken through his written word, The Holy Bible, and God is no longer speaking to us today.  I also realize that their are Christians that truly believe that the Lord spoke to them.  These particular people I am thinking about talked about hearing from God in the midst of their activities or prayer, they were not purposely sitting still to listen to God’s voice.  When you sit still to clear your mind to listen for God’s voice you WILL put your own thoughts and feelings into what you want to hear, instead of interpreting God’s Word as HE intended.  I personally have never heard God speak to me directly outside of the Bible.  If I want to hear the Lord speak I read His Word out loud.  Another aspect to consider is that if you are hearing direct revelation from God then it should be written down in the Bible……right?  When people say they hear directly from God you can never rebuke them because it’s from God….right?  This is very dangerous and it really does make me angry.  Especially when what they think they heard is God’s voice, but their “god” told them homosexuality is ok because they prayed and “Jesus” told them so.  This is a true story by they way.  One of my former friend’s told me this.  Unfortunately, she needs the Gospel, and if she does not repent from her sin, she will be in Hell.

There is no example, that I can think of, in the Bible that a person in the Bible was sitting around waiting for God’s voice.  God spoke to them while they were living their lives.  NONE of the men of the Bible sat down to clear their minds so they could hear from God.  It’s just not how God works, EVER!!  We need to obey God’s Word not seek after our own wants and emotions to get what makes us feel good.  I think of King Saul, and how the Lord stopped speaking to him because he did not obey Gods’s Word.  What did King Saul do?  Saul took drastic steps. Saul often “heard God” through dreams or through the priests, but not this time. So he consulted a medium, even though he had persecuted them. He wanted to have an answer, and if God wouldn’t answer, Saul was going to find the dead Samuel, and have a medium call him up. Even had Saul not been king, it would be a drastic step, don’t you think?  Contemplative prayer is exactly this unbiblical practice Saul used to “hear” from “god”  Saul was not able to hear from the Lord any more so he consulted a medium.  I would argue that Contemplative prayer is conjuring up a medium of your own making.  Satan can disguise himself as an angle of light, and he will deceive you, just as the case with King Saul, thinking the prophet Samuel was talking to him.  God spoke through people as HE pleased to do.  Contemplative prayer seeks to hear from God as we please, dismissing God’s Word as not enough as to how to live our lives. (It also makes a person rich with money and fame if they claim to hear from Almighty God himself)  😦 

The Bible tells us to meditate on God’s Word day and night.  Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”  This verse sums up how we should be thinking and meditating on God’s Word.  As I like to tell my children, “Do it God’s Way and you will be okay.”  Often when I want to do God’s will it is a mixer of reading and obeying God’s Word with a strong conviction.  For example, writing about Contemplative prayer.  I literally can not get it off my mind until I address it.  It weighs on my conscious.  I have a strong urge to warn the church.  And I also have very strong convictions, I believe from the Lord, to use my gift of discernment to warn the church about unbiblical ideologies sneaking into the church.  So now I am obeying.  Even though I’m not the best writer 🙂

Pslam 46:10 says to be still and know that I am God: is often taken out of context.  This verse means to “Be still‘ and to stop striving, stop fighting, relax. It also means to “put your hands down”. Sometimes we put our hands up to defend ourselves from all that life can bring our way. Or as I like to put it stop fighting and striving, especially against our enemies. The Lord’s revenge is much sweeter and just.

Contemplative prayer, by design, focuses on having a mystical experience with God. Mysticism, however, is purely subjective, and does not rely upon truth or fact. Yet the Word of God has been given to us for the very purpose of basing our faith, and our lives, on Truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17). What we know about God is based on fact; trusting in experiential knowledge over the biblical record takes a person outside of the standard that is the Bible.

Contemplative prayer is no different than the meditative exercises used in Eastern religions and New Age cults. Its most vocal supporters embrace an open spirituality among adherents from all religions, promoting the idea that salvation is gained by many paths, even though Christ Himself stated that salvation comes only through Him (John 14:6). Contemplative prayer, as practiced in the modern prayer movement, is in opposition to biblical Christianity and should definitely be avoided.  https://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html

 

Discovery Bible Study Examined

How do you read the Bible?  This is a question that was asked to a local pastor in our community here in Archbold.  His response was that he uses the “Discovery Bible Study” method.  Well you MUST examine everything according to scripture to understand if the is actually a good method of reading the Bible.

This is an excerpt from the document sent to my husband…..

The DBS (“Discovery Bible Study”) in a nutshell
Isaiah 55:11 says,
“When my word goes forth, it shall not return empty or void,
but will accomplish the thing for which I sent it.”

This verse best encapsulates the DBS. God’s word does what He said it would do—and the DBS
helps us get out of the way so that God proves Himself faithful to His promise. There is
absolutely nothing “mystical” about the DBS, but it is miraculous. Here is why I think God is
honoring this Disciple-Making Model in profound ways:

1. The DBS is a God-honoring and God-exalting process. People directly engage and
rub up against God’s word. In doing so, He—He alone—receives the glory as He proves
Himself faithful over and over again as HE enlightens the hearts of people to discover
who He is directly from His word.
2. The Holy Spirit becomes the Teacher. It gets the teacher, dvds, and other ‘book
studies’ out of the way, allowing the “True Teacher” –the Holy Spirit—to enter and teach.
3. There is a dependency on God to reveal Truth—and He does—every time.
4. God delights in speaking through people; He speaks through His word and through
people to reveal Himself in the DBS process. That is spectacular to see unfold. No
kidding, it is an adventure each time.
5. The DBS disciples and inherently makes disciples. So far, I’ve done the DBS
about 150 times. Never once (and there is no exaggeration here) has the ball fumbled
down the field—not once. It is stunning every time—especially with those who are
seeking or who are young in their walk with Christ. And it is refreshing and rehabilitating
for those of us who think we’ve been discipled and are good disciplers.
6. The DBS is relentless in shepherding towards transformational living
through: personal authenticity, accountability, personal responsibility, evangelism,
prayer, and acts of service.

People often tire of a study, but I’ve not experienced anyone “tiring” of the DBS process
because it is so natural, engaging, and empowering. Who gets tired of encountering the
God of the Universe?
The DBS is much like a cake: it needs to be tasted first in order to really “get it”. Then, after
tasting it, a discussion of why it was so good and how it was made is more profitable and
enlightening. It’s the “tasting” that makes the difference, as the ingredients below don’t “wow”
or convince. But like most good cakes, it’s about simple, good ingredients—mixed in the right
way and in precise amounts–that make it work. The same is true with the DBS.
(By way of observation, everyone initially wants to “tweak” the DBS process—especially those
who’ve not tasted or tested it for very long. I advise to stay the course. Watch and see God
honor this process. The words, the order, and the methodology behind each ordered step have
immense value, purpose, and intentionality. You will find that in “tasting and seeing it” that the
Lord, indeed, is good.
The best thing that you can do is to DO the DBS with a group of people AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
There’s no need to stock the pond; the DBS will hold its own with anyone as long as you cling
tightly to the process. Test and taste it.

Click to access DBS.pdf

Right here in this document in the first column is says in the second to last paragraph from the bottom, that the study’s goal is not to get a person saved, “right away.”  They are not in a hurry. Well… what if they died on the way home from this study?  Seems like an urgent thing to me.

Here is a video of how to use this method…

What could possibly go wrong!!!  Yikes!!

  1. First of all this study’s main claim is that it lets the Holy Spirit lead you into truth.  It begs to question.  How do you know that you even have the Holy Spirit?  How do you discern if the Holy Spirit is leading you in the right direction? While it is true that the Holy Spirit will lead you into truth, you HAVE TO read God’s Word in context, in order to understand the truth.
  2. In the video the women said a lady was lead to the Lord through Genesis Chapter 1.  She did not make it clear that lady repented and trusted Jesus as her Lord to save her from her sins.  Where is the Gospel?  The Discovery Bible Study makes it clear that it’s not suppose to be offensive and a “safe space” for everyone to share.  There is no correcting a person if they are taking the Bible out of context.
  3.  The emphasis on reading a scripture 3 times, then closing your Bible to paraphrase what you read, and then answering the questions on what YOU discovered, not what the Word of God is actually saying. They also suggest that any Bible can be used.  A paraphrase of the Bible, like the Message Bible is not God’s Word.  There is no emphasis on dividing the Word of God properly, or scripture interpreting Scripture. No emphasis of properly handling the text.
  4. They claim that God is delighted to speak through people.  What?  First God spoke through men that loved God in the Bible.  God was not always pleased with them.  God is especially not pleased if men and women of God use His spoken word out of context. Interpreting the Bible how ever you want to mean can lead to Blasphemy.
  5. The next very bad claim is that it is “stunning” every time or your money back. Guaranteed!  Okay I made this part up, but it defiantly seems they are just trying to sell you a product.  It just makes you feel “gooooddddd” no matter if you are a young believer or an older person in the faith. Or an Atheist!  Well, the reading the Bible should make you feel the opposite, you are not good and you are a guilty sinner.
  6. The last point is that this study is all about FEELINGS oh woe woe FEELINGS!  When your faith is based on how it makes you feel you are missing the ENTIRE purpose of the Bible.  The Bible is sharper then a two edged sword!  It cuts and divides!  It’s the most difficult life to live because you have to die to self and take up your cross and follow Jesus. Not a Jesus of your own making but the one of the Bible.

Here is another example of this horrible “Bible Study”

 

You need a person of peace, do you mean a teacher that can lead you to the truth of scripture when you are taking it out of context? Then you need to be Polly positive, and  meet people’s felt needs.  Then you can have a home church with a bunch of atheist who do not have the Holy Spirit.  Church is not for unbelievers!  You can not make disciples of unbelievers!  They ask unbelievers to follow the Bible.  People who are not Christians have no obligation nor the Holy Spirit to follow the Bible.  They are heathens that need to be saved from the pits of Hell!  If you are offended by this, well you should be.  This is not what God’s Word tells us to do.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

This study claims that you don’t need to be an “expert” in teaching the Bible.  James 3:1 says, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” Meaning you should not seek to be a teacher!  Why? because if you do not teach the Word of God properly you will have a greater judgment. You must be an expert in God’s Word to teach it.

2 Timothy 2 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

This Bible study has one good idea and that is to use the authority of God’s Word to direct our lives.  After this point it just adds good works to the unbeliever. They will not be saved by doing anything, and this is a different Gospel.

Looking for a women’s Bible Study here is one by Michelle Leseley.

Bible Studies

I also think she does an excellent job explaining how to study the Bible.

Here is the FULL Gospel and how to be saved.

 

Dangers of Yoga and Meditation

 

Meditation help our mind and heart care and give us a beautiful ...

Most Christians today are unaware of the pagan spiritual reality behind the practice of yoga. Most teachers in our culture do not even fully understand the spiritual implications of what they teach. Yoga has been cleverly masked in our society so that most Christians think there are no negative implications so long as they 1) Just do the exercise part, or 2) Simply plug Jesus into the practice and call it good.

I strongly disagree.

I presently was sitting in the waiting room at the Fulton County hospital with my little guy and was finally convicted to write about this very important issue.  On the hospital’s informational TV monitor a very disturbing health practice came up on the screen about mindfulness.  If you go onto the Fulton County web page you will find all the Health and Wellness Programs.  Some of them are not harmful and fine others are not this way.  This is what I will explain here, so stick with me.

Health and Wellness Programs

They have…

TAI CHI/QI GONG

Slow and deliberate movements, meditation and breathing exercises that can promote general well-being and health, increase energy and stamina, decrease stress and anxiety and improve muscle strength and flexibility.  Moves are done primarily in standing but can can also be done seated so they are great for any age or fitness level.

Vera Flow

Dance, stretch and find your true flow in this class like none other you have ever experienced. Find your true flow in body and mind as you stretch your body and train your mind to the rhythm of the music. Vera Flow is just what you need to feel completely relaxed and content.

Yoga for all ages

This class consists of basic Yoga postures, breathing and relaxation techniques. Yoga poses and passive stretches are the focus of this artful format. It’s a total body workout as you use the weight of your body to hold the various poses!

Many of these classes are at the FCHC Wellness Center, but some are at Archbold Ruihley  Park, FCHC Beck Meeting Room, Evergreen Elementary, Delta Public Library, and Trinity United Methodist Church.

You are probably saying, “What is the big deal?”  Well it’s a huge deal.  These practices are cultic and harmful.  They are also very popular and have no scientific evidence to actually prove the claims of being helpful in managing stress or anxiety.

Jessica Smith’s website, The Truth Behind Yoga, explains how dangerous these eastern practices are.  She gives two examples of meditation.

Example 1: One man sits cross-legged. The sun rose twenty minutes ago, casting a soft glow through the dancing smoke of incense, but he didn’t notice. His glazed eyes have been vacantly cast toward the floor for over an hour. His upper body rocks ever-so slightly in rhythm with the mantra he softly repeats. This little prayer invites and invokes the deity or “energy” associated with the chanted sounds to help him deepen his practice. Invoking deities or “energies” can be done many ways, not just through chanting. Sometimes he practices yoga, sometimes holds an image of a teacher in his mind. Every once in awhile, he even uses hallucinogenic drugs that seem to “open” him to energies that help him reach deep esoteric levels. These are some, but not all the ways he practices meditation to get closer to the final goal: To obtain absolute knowledge and freedom by uniting with the divine consciousness.

Example 2: Another man sits at his kitchen table. It is early and out the window the sun just begins to warm soft gold on the horizon. The man prays to the Lord, asking for wisdom as he seeks his word. He opens the Bible and studies a passage. He thinks about the passage, and what the Lord is saying to him through it. What does it mean? How does this apply to my life, he ponders. He memorizes a verse from the passage that he particularly likes. Throughout the day, he tries to remember the scripture, tries to log it into long-term memory. He loves the way the verse reminds him of the message he learned earlier that morning. Later that afternoon, he finds himself in a stressful situation, and the verse immediately pops to mind. It brings him immediate peace and clarity at a time that would have otherwise brought discomfort and confusion. Silently, he praises the Lord for his goodness and the richness of his word. His lips form into a little smile as he thinks about the scripture that says the Lord’s word is a lamp unto his feet. He gets it–the word really does light up the right way to go. He loves meditating on the word of the Lord. It brings him closer to his ultimate goal: To worship Jesus with his thoughts, attitudes, actions, words, and life  .https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/what-is-meditation/

Understand the difference:
1. THE LORD’S INSTRUCTION: Meditation = Filling the Mind
What it is:
The Lord’s instruction regarding meditation is to always be filling the mind with thoughts of him (*see attached list of Bible verses referencing “meditate” and “meditation”). The idea is that we love the Lord so much we think about him all the time, that we constantly seek his will and delight in thinking about his word, his instructions, and the awesome things he has done in the past and continues to do all the time.  https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/what-is-meditation/

2. EASTERN/NEW AGE INSTRUCTION: Meditation = Emptying the Mind
What it is:
In direct opposition is the Eastern spiritual tradition of meditation, which instructs emptying the mind of thought to open one’s mind to the spiritual realm and ultimately reach a state of merging and oneness with the ultimate consciousness. This technique is often called “mindfulness” or “open-mind” meditation.  https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/what-is-meditation/

Dangers of Yoga and other Eastern Practices

This was an article from a non Christian website that explains the research behind New Age Mediation practices. Here is an excerpt from the article.

The researchers identified 59 kinds of unexpected or unwanted experiences, which they classified into seven domains: cognitive, perceptual, affective (related to moods), somatic, conative (related to motivation), sense of self, and social. Among the experiences described to them were feelings of anxiety and fear, involuntary twitching, insomnia, a sense of complete detachment from one’s emotions, hypersensitivity to light or sound, distortion in time and space, nausea, hallucinations, irritability, and the re-experiencing of past traumas. The associated levels of distress and impairment ranged from “mild and transient to severe and lasting,” according to the study. Most would not imagine that these side-effects could be hiding behind the lotus-print curtains of your local meditation center.  https://qz.com/993465/theres-a-dark-side-to-meditation-that-no-one-talks-about/

Another research article stated this.

Buddhist-derived meditation practices are currently being employed as a popular form of health promotion. While meditation programs draw inspiration from Buddhist textual sources for the benefits of meditation, these sources also acknowledge a wide range of other effects beyond health-related outcomes. The Varieties of Contemplative Experience study investigates meditation-related experiences that are typically underreported, particularly experiences that are described as challenging, difficult, distressing, functionally impairing, and/or requiring additional support. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176239

It’s very important to remember that Christians are not to practice pagan rituals or religions.  Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;  and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.

The god of these practices are pagan and their is no way to Christianize any of this for our benefit.  Lighthouse Trails has many resoursces about these pagan practices.  An excerpt from an article titled Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or a Doorway to the Occult states this.

But how does one engage in the actual practice of New Age meditation? For starters, one begins by repeating a single world or short phrase for a minimum of twenty minutes (once a meditator is good at meditating, he can even shorten that time). But if for some reason, the meditator finds himself given to active thought again, he must revert back to repeating that same word or phrase. This word or phrase is what is referred to as “the mantra.” A similar method involves focusing on the breath for the same amount of time. Yet another method, commonly found in Shamanic cultures, incorporates the use of both chanting and drumming. Alongside of this, there exists an even more subtle “Christian” form of meditation, which employs the use of biblical phrases, a single word such as “Jesus,” and spiritual-sounding phrases such as “Maranatha,” “Abba Father,” “You are my Lord,” and “Here I Am.”  https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=18828

I see some Christians doing this type of practice by having a mantra or a phrase they use.  I mostly have seen it done as a word or phrase they try to live by the entire year.  Instead of taking up the entire counsel of God they focus on one word.  This is dangerous and unbiblical.  I have seen this done with popular Christian personalities, usually women, and usually a false teacher.  We need to be reading our Bibles and taking up the entire counsel of God not focusing on one word.  This is not what the Lord wants us to do.

I recommend strongly that Christians stay FAR AWAY from these practices.

Author and religion professor at Indiana University, Candy Gunther Brown warns of this tendency specifically within the context of yoga and other spiritually rooted practices

“There’s also evidence that practicing something connected with religion can actually change people’s beliefs. Christians, in particular, tend to think a person’s intent determines whether something is religious. They don’t realize that active participation can actually change someone’s intent. Over time, people who start off attracted to an alternative practice because there’s a perceived health benefit start to embrace the religious ideas underneath these practices” (Christianity Today, November 2013).

https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/christian-yoga-and-yoga-for-exercise-only/

There are many great resources about this topic.  Please share this with others and even your local hospital, school, community, and even your church.

Resources:

https://bereanresearch.org/new-age/  (you can find many resources on this link at the end of the article.

https://www.truthbehindyoga.com/christian-yoga-and-yoga-for-exercise-only/

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/

Here is an interview:

https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/understanding-the-times/custom-player/