Great article gotten here:
That’s what a Christian friend I hadn’t seen for a while told me when I hooked up with them recently. We had gotten into a discussion and I had made the comment, “Contemplative prayer is New Age”.
So let’s discuss it. Should Christians practice the same kind of things as Buddhist, Hindu’s and New Agers? Because they are all practicing Contemplative prayer, only they just call it meditation.
Check this out: “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success” Josh.1:8
Christian meditation is very different from Eastern meditation. Followers of Jesus Christ are not to sit in the lotus pose in an altered state of consciousness seeking the “God within” like pagans do. The Bible teaches that when Christians meditate our minds are to be fully engaged. We are never to go into a trance-state.
Did you know that the word ‘meditation’ in Hebrew means basically to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart it is called musing or meditation. So meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it. And I can hear the Contemplatives telling me, “That’s what I’m doing!” And I say, no you’re not. A fully engaged mind in not in an altered state of consciousness.
“Sometimes you need to read a passage over and over…reflect on it…analyze it…and listen while the Holy Spirit speaks truth to you. A word of warning: Listening to God does not require that you “empty” your mind. This meditative practice, called Lectio divina a.k.a. spiritual formation…the silence…best known as contemplative (centering) prayer (CP). CP is a growing trend in evangelical churches despite the fact that this sort of prayer ritual comes from teaching associated with Catholic mystics such as Meister Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila. CP was reintroduced by Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, William Meninger, Basil Pennington and other mystics.”
“Many in the Emergent Church movement (ECM) are advancing Roman Catholic mysticism as well. Yet they insist on being seen as mainline evangelicals. ECM has not only introduced aberrant teaching into our churches, it undermines the authority of Scripture….Few have bothered to deny the Bible itself, they just misquote it, abuse its meaning, force their opinion on it, and if necessary mistranslate it to give the appearance that the Scriptures are backing their claims.”
On that last note, that teaching is what is slithering its way into the body of Christ today. Believers who do not practice Contemplative spirituality are looked at as though they don’t know how to ‘really touch God’, old fashioned, legalistic i.e. going thru the motions or not moving in the Spirit.
Southern Baptists are not immune. SBC is slowing beginning to mean Slowly Becoming Catholic. Check this out:
http://www.reformata.org/2010/07/priscilla-shirer-and-contemplativecentering-prayer/ LIFEWAY (SBC) heavily promotes Contemplatives, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur – all of them advocates of Contemplative Spirituality – and the women flock to the workshops featuring them.
Pastors, don’t ever think that you are above being taken in by Contemplative Spirituality because you don’t meditate the way they do. If you are promoting these workshops, then you are promoting New Age.
Did I help the person I spoke with step away from practicing this? The jury’s still out on that one. I only know that I shared the truth of God’s Word and the lessons I’ve learned about this deception taking place within the Body. Time will tell…