Contemplative Prayer opposes Biblical Christianity.   Leave a comment

Having a background in both the Charismatic church and the Methodist churches, both denominations I have gleaned much good out of. Yet I also found in their approach to spirituality something that does not exactly promote the the gospel of Christ a a first priority. Our battle cry back in the 1980′ was “change the methodof church, keep the message but change the Method! “Method” came to be preferred over sound Biblical exposition.
The mysticism that surrounds the “gifts’ of the Spirit” among the charimatic/pentecostals and something similair ccall called “Contemplative Prayer” among the more liberal mainline denominations, these practices were initially promoted by by the likes of Richard Foster and Thomas Merton todays proponents would be Rick Warren, Bell and Brian McClaren.

Both these in my opinion have nothing in common with the gospel. No mention of salvation by grace, it is taken a “given” that God loves everybody and everyone goes to heaven. Maybe a prayer is encouraged to commit yourself to the Lord, but a prayer by itself does not save anyone. Only Christ saves. Getting back to the subject. Contemplative prayer or mysticism seem to miss out this Biblical injunction.from Deuteronomy 18.
When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in [a] the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.

Contemplative prayer as a practice is not new and it is a practice that opposes the gospel. A word form one of the leading proponents of Contemplative prayer shows plainly what they believe.

Richard Foster a leading Evangelical, lauds this practice as pantheistic identification with God. Foster states, “Contemplative Prayer immerses us into the silence of God. How desperately we in the modern world need this wordless baptism!…Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence.” Foster asks rhetorically, “What is the goal of Contemplative Prayer?” And he answers, “To this question the old writers answer with one voice: union with God….Bonaventure, a follower of Saint Francis, says that our final goal is ‘union with God,’ which is a pure relationship where we see ‘nothing.’ Seeing “nothing” and the “wordless baptism” are just an Evangelical rehashing of Catholic irrational superstitious myth.

Rather a scripture says in 2 Corinthians 4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The Catholic priest Thomas Keating agrees with Foster as he writes, “Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions.
Foster, Richard J., Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (San Francisco: Harper, 1992) p. 155
God is not an impersonal entity as Keating states. To say this is simple blasphemy.As to “union with God” that mysticism of this nature promotes. God is transcendent in His character, we are creatures not Creator. Wer do not “assimialte into God” either, that is the teaching of Budhism.

Having formerly spent much of my youth in a word faith type church I was for a time carried away by mysticism of another sort. And there it was more of a sin to not “flow in the gifts of th Spirit” than to repent and believe the gospel. Experience was encouraged more than repentance and faith.

The Word Faith movement dramatizes this even further and I quote, In a sermon tape, Kenneth Copeland states, “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” In a 1987 crusade,

Copeland is documented as saying, “I say this and repeat it so it don’t upset you too bad. [sic] When I read in the Bible where He (Jesus) says, I AM, I say, Yes, I am too!” Kenneth Hagin in Word of Faith says, “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ.

http://www.watchman.org/reltop/unbiblcl.htm 11/11/02

True faith involves a repudiation of the self-deceit of experiential mystical means of reaching God, “for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus stands ready to receive every sinner who will throw away his rebellion and pride and trust in Him alone for salvation! Preaching the real historical Christ and His Gospel is the answer to the mindless adumbrations of Rome and the ecumenical mystics. Thus alone can the true Church, God’s People “go forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” The Gospel is a mighty deliverance from the groveling religious subjectivism.

This is by no means an exhaustive argument but a warning that christians or professiong christians at least, should not “add” to the gospel. Contemplative Prayer opens the door to a mysticim that draws the mind into alterantive states of being. And this the Bible expressly forbids.

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Posted March 16, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

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