Although not meant to replace other kinds of prayer, the basic idea behind Contemplative Prayer is to 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" is exactly the same as the methods used by 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 we please 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 were (Keating is still alive) 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. In spite of the fact that they endorsed various pagan 'spiritual' books that flatly contradict the Bible, 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?
The Prosperity Doctrine and The Word of Faith Movement
Note: This is a mixed bag. The Prosperity Doctrine is the belief subscribed to by millions of Christians that although Christians should keep one eye on Heaven, God doesn't want His people to wait until then to have the best of everything including good health and material possessions - He wants believers to be healthy, wealthy, and happy in this life. This doctrine stems from human greed combined with a self-serving interpretation of certain Scriptural passages. The best thing that can be said is that it is not rooted in the occult.
However, the Word-Faith movement that has taken this belief to an entirely new level is an entirely different matter. Word of Faith teachers do not refer to faith as a person's belief in and reliance on the power of God, but teach that the words themselves have creative "power". Thus what a person believes and says determines his future. This could be seen as highly imaginative except for 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 with a few Christian terms to keep it believable. What is deeply alarming is that most Christians seem to be blissfully unaware of the connection. This is a not an honest doctrinal difference among orthodox believers, but a confrontation between the gospel preached by the Lord Jesus Christ and another gospel.
Slain In The Spirit
The texts put forward to ’prove’ that being ‘slain in the spirit’ and other related manifestations ( laughter, shaking and other bodily convulsions) are Biblical, do no such thing. The Scriptures are void of any account that even faintly resemble an of these mostly bizarre happenings. 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. They have terrifying parallels with the Hindu practice of “awakening” a person’s Kundalini - a concentrated form of life force said to be lying dormant in our bodies. 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?
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. It is a tragedy that most Christians have read the verse that tells us that not every spirit is of God (1 John 4:1 but few seem to take it as a warning or even consider it seriously. So how did evil spirits infiltrate the church?
Walking The Labyrinth
The last couple of decades has seen so called Christian advocates of the labyrinth portraying the practice as a "rediscovery" of a lost form of ‘Christian’ spirituality. Tragically, many believers today have little trouble adopting heathen practices - then sticking Christian labels on them. In reality, the labyrinth, introduced to the western church by the Canon for Special Ministeries at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral (a hotbed of apostasy) is an inter-religious and deeply mystical tool. However, discernment is at such an all time low that this age-old occult practice is being welcomed with open arms by thousands of Christians. The fact that a previously hidden and long forgotten relic in an old Gothic Cathedral in France has recently led to countless thousands of labyrinths being used in the so called Christian world is one more piece of evidence of how far we have fallen and how near the end times we are.
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?
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..
Is Physical Healing Included In The Atonement?
Among those who believe that God can and does heal today, many Charismatics and Evangelicals believe that Christ's reconciling work guarantees believers physical healing, just as much as it guarantees them spiritual healing and eternal life. Thus all they have to do is ‘claim’ their healing (See article above). This is soundly disputed by more conservative Christians. While there is no question that there an unshakable connection between physical and spiritual healing (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 , there is a fundamental mistake being made by people on both sides of the issue.
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]