Although not meant to replace other kinds of prayer, the basic idea behind Contemplative Prayer is to curtail one's imagination/thought process and totally center one's mind on God - not by conscious thought, but by simply feeling God within - an indescribable union with Him. Unfortunately, in this world of 'warm fuzzies' people are obsessed with how they feel. Thus they assume that if they feel the presence of God, He must be there. The problem is Contemplative Prayer is not only unsupported by Scripture, but the methods used by 'Christian' mystics to achieve a "higher realm of consciousness", and the experience once they do, is is exactly the same as Buddhist meditators, Hindus, New Agers, Shamans, Witches etc. However, since it is certain that, regardless of personal belief, something does transpire during mystical experiences, the question that springs to mind is what can explain this phenomena. Let us not forget that evil spirits have been practicing the art of deception for thousands of years, and willingly give whatever experiences they know people will fall for.
Contemplative Prayer - The Pioneers (Chapter Seven of the above article)
Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and Thomas Keating are four influential and very popular teachers of contemplative prayer who fraternized with Eastern mystics, embraced the spiritual philosophies and religious practices of Buddhism, Hinduism etc. incorporating them into Christianity. They also endorsed various pagan 'spiritual' books that flatly contradict the Bible. Yet, multiple thousands of people all over the world, including many well known church leaders, have seen fit to suspend all common sense, ignore the many, many warnings in Scripture, and blindly follow the teachings of these wolves who could not even see through Rome’s foundational heresies. So why are we not insisting that our teachers at least be Christians?
Word Of Faith
I have heard it said.. If the New Age movement is the greatest threat to evangelical Christianity from without, the Word-Faith/Positive Confession movement is its greatest threat from within. This is not entirely true. The Word of Faith movement IS the New Age movement... with a few Christian terms and concepts sprinkled in for to keep it believable. It is deeply alarming that most Christians seem to be blissfully unaware of the fact that the principles of the Word-Faith movement being trumpeted from pulpits across the land, not only stems from the same occult sources as the spiritual movement known as New Thought, but uses exactly the same terminology and techniques. The non-believing world claims that there are spiritual “laws” which people can learn to use on their behalf.. However, because the Word Faith group claims to be Christian, they have to somehow add God into the mixture. But since the Biblical God does not fit this mold, they completely reinvent Him in an image that conforms to their beliefs, teaching that the power of faith is a force - one that can even twist God's arm. Note that this doctrine applies to both health and finances. Modern day Charismatics and Evangelicals believe that physical healing is part of the atonement and all Christians should be materially well off. Guess someone forgot to tell Paul.
Slain In The Spirit
When one carefully examines the texts put forward to make the case that "slain in the spirit" and other related manifestations such as laughter, shaking and other bodily convulsions are phenomena rooted in the Scriptures, it becomes patently obvious that this is not the case. Holy Canon is void of any accounts, testimonies or experiences that even faintly resemble ‘Slain In The Spirit’. Where then does the practice originate? Unfortunately being slain/resting/shaking/being drunk in the spirit etc, along with "holy laughter" are only two more examples of doctrine that has been directly derived from occult sources. It has terrifying parallels with the Hindu practice of “awakening” a person’s Kundalini, a concentrated form of life force, lying dormant in our bodies. The ‘awakening’ of the Kundalini, or expanded states of consciousness, is often brought about by a guru conferring the spiritual "power" or awakening on disciples by means of a touch to the forehead. If that isn’t disturbing enough, Not only are the the requirements for receiving are the same, but the methods of transmissions are the same and the resulting physical manifestations are virtually indistinguishable. How then can these practices be Christian?
The Toronto Deception
The origins, progress and underlying erroneous doctrines of the phenomenon. There is little question that the Toronto Blessing was caused by a combination of hypnotic power and influence, and supernatural demonic power..
Citing the book of Acts, most of the groups that teach the doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit claim that the single outward sign of this 'second blessing' is speaking in other tongues. This often takes place in an intensely emotional religious atmosphere sometimes called a "tarry meeting", in which seekers agonize and plead with God to send down His Holy Spirit. All too often, this is accompanied by fervent even feverish prayer, hymn singing, jumping up and down, hand clapping, etc. The person who supposedly receives the Holy Spirit, will start speaking in incoherent, unintelligible, repetitive words or phrases. Jerking, twitching, falling on the floor and screaming is also quite common.
Neither tongues nor the erratic movements are restricted to born again Christian believers but has been seen throughout history in both pagan and heretical Christian movements without, apparently, ANY difference. Even worse is that if you watch certain videos in chapter 5, you will see that the jerking, the screaming, and the collapse, are exactly the same in voodoo rituals, people who have a 'kundalini awakening' (as taught in Hinduism), and Pentecostals all over the world.
Which brings up the multi million dollar question of where the unintelligible gibberish and crazy movements come from? Can any Christian believe for one moment that God has bestowed the gift of the Holy Spirit on Christians, non-Christians, cults, and pagans without any discrimination whatsoever. Or is it that most Christians know, but rarely seems to take seriously, is the fact that not every spirit is of God... and extremely dangerous to us. If this is true, how did evil spirits infiltrate the church?
Move of God or demonic deception? It is extremely disturbing to make a comparison between the experiences and behaviour of the people at Toronto, Brownsville and Lakeland with disciples of Hindu gurus who have had a conferring of a form of spiritual "power" or Kundalini awakening on them.
Walking The Labyrinth
The Labyrinth, touted as a medieval tool for the Postmodern Age, originated with pagan spirituality, was directly imported from a Cathedral where the focus of worship is the Black Madonna. It was introduced to the western church by a Den of Vipers called Grace Cathedral. Is it a coincidence that within the last 20 years an ancient practice that had been abandoned by the “Church” has once again been introduced into the church? Discernment being at such an all time low, the practice is being welcomed with open arms by thousands of Christians embracing this age-old occult practice.
Santa Claus.. Pretender To The Throne
For the most part, the world will tolerate stars, angels, Christmas trees, or a baby sleeping in a manger. But there’s still "no room at the inn" for the King who invites us to walk His lowly path. Worse.. Jesus’ place has been usurped by a pleasant fat fellow boasting a red hat and a team of reindeer. So how do we understand the Santa Claus phenomenon? What do we REALLY know about Santa? Is he just a harmless, friendly fellow? Or is there something or someone else hiding behind the façade?
Are Yoga & Christianity Compatible?
For many in the West, yoga is simply a system of physical exercise, a means of strengthening the body, improving flexibility, and even healing or preventing a variety of bodily ailments. But if we inquire into the history and philosophy of yoga we discover that, much more than a system of physical exercise for health, Yoga is an ancient path to spiritual growth.
More To Yoga Than Meets The Eye
The most popular yoga offered in one's local Recreation Center is Hatha Yoga, so-called physical yoga involving numerous yoga techniques called asanas. These asanas appear to the uninitiated to be mere stretching exercises. The more fully initiated realize that yogic asanas are worship postures to Hindu deities. They also know that North Americans are not quite ready yet for the full truth about the religious identity of yoga. There is no Yoga without Hinduism.
What Eastern Gurus Say About Occult Practices
In short those who practice the occultism of the East also warn of its dangers. This is why those who seek the so-called "wisdom from the East" frequently get more than they bargained for.
The Emerging Church
“Music that's rock-concert loud. Rap that recites Scripture, verse by verse. Art stations for people to express their spirituality in the midst of the service. Flashing videos and wafting incense. Celtic crosses and coffeehouse poetry. Interaction and contemplation..” [Section]