ARTICLES  OPPOSING  "CHRISTIAN"  MYSTICISM
 

Note:

Hebrews 5:14 teaches that mature Christians should be capable of discerning between good and evil, between true doctrine and the
doctrine of devils.  The publications included below are intended to provide the diligent truth-seeker with a thorough understanding of this topic.  We at Inquisitive Christianity do not endorse all of the content included in these publications.  After all, it is a rare gift to discover a publication with which one has no disagreement.  Nevertheless, we believe that these publications offer valuable information for those who seek the truth and are spiritually mature enough to exercise discernment.

 

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Spiritual Formation  /  Spiritual Disciplines

 

Appraising Ministries: Spiritual Formation

 

Dr. Gary Gilley argues that while some use the term “spiritual formation” as a synonym for discipleship, this is a mistake.  Regardless of how spiritual formation is officially defined, the means of spiritual formation within the movement is always spiritual disciplines drawn almost entirely from Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox mystics. Some evangelicals attempt to clean the disciplines up and redeem them for non-Catholic use, but the fact remains these disciplines are not taught in Scripture as channels for spiritual growth and discipleship.

 

 

Mysticism

 

Dr. Gary Gilley is the pastor of Southern View Chapel. In this series of articles, he reviews and critiques the mystical practices invading the church via the spiritual formation movement.

Part 1 - Mysticism

Part 2 - Mysticism

Part 3 - Mysticism

Part 4 - Mysticism

Part 5 - Mysticism

 

 

In Plain Site: Altered States of Consciousness

 

We at Inquisitive Christianity disagree with many of the doctrines presented at In Plain Site. Nevertheless, we believe that this article is a valuable tool in helping anyone better understand the spiritual formation movement. The content of this article is sound and well-researched.

 

 

Christian Research Network: Spiritual Formation

 

The Christian Research Network is a hub for news and information on current issues in the church. Contributors desire to direct readers back to Jesus Christ and His life, death and resurrection for sinners, as revealed in the Scriptures. This article identifies the spiritual disciplines and part of the history behind the spiritual formation movement, along with the dangers of this movement.

 

 

Critical Issues Commentary: The Dangers of Spiritual Formation & Spiritual Disciplines

 

Critical Issues Commentary is a series of carefully researched essays on important theological issues. It was founded by Bob Dewaay to help people find their way out of unbiblical teachings that confused their understanding of the faith. This articles examines the dangers of the spiritual formation movement through a critique of Dallas Willard's book The Spirit of the Disciplines.

Contemporary Christian Divination

Donald Whitney & the Spiritual Disciplines

A Critique of Dallas Willard & The Spirit of the Disciplines

 

 

What Are the True Spiritual Disciplines?

 

Although popular, the spiritual formation movement does not match the Biblical definition of spiritual growth. Neither does the spiritual formation movement advocate Biblical methods for developing spiritual growth.

 

 

Evangelicals Turning to Roman Catholic Contemplative Spirituality

 

Everywhere evangelicals are turning to Roman Catholic styles of contemplative spirituality (which in many cases were borrowed from pagan sources), such as ritualistic rote prayers, chanting, meditation, centering prayer, the use of prayer beads, Stations of the Cross, lectio divina, labyrinths, and “the daily office.” God forbids His people to associate with heretical and pagan things such as meditation practices and labyrinths and monks and monasteries and Mary worship and the Mass. To break down the walls of separation from error is an exceedingly dangerous thing.

 

 

Is Your Church Doing Spiritual Formation?

 

 

A Christianity Today article states: “Spiritual Formation is in.” Those who are teaching spiritual formation believe that we cannot be "deep" Christians without it. This 16 page booklet by Lighthouse Trails Research Project is designed to help Christians identify spiritual formation teachings and understand the dangers inherent in this movement.

 

 

Contemplative Prayer  /  Centering Prayer  /  Breath Prayer

 

The Origin of Contemplative Centering Prayer

 

Contemplative prayer arose through the reflections and writings of the Desert Fathers. Prior to the Desert Fathers, this type of mystic meditation of contemplative centering prayer was unknown to the church.

Article 1

Article 2

 

 

History & Origins of Contemplative Prayer

 

We at Inquisitive Christianity disagree with many of the doctrines presented at In Plain Site. Nevertheless, we believe that these select articles are valuable tools in helping anyone better understand the spiritual formation movement. The content of these articles is sound and well-researched.

Part 1 - Roots of Evil ... Contemplating the History & Origins of Contemplative Prayer

Part 2 - Roots of Evil ... Contemplating the History & Origins of Contemplative Prayer

 

 

What Is Contemplative Prayer, and Is It Biblical?

 

Dr. Gary Gilley is pastor of Southern View Chapel. In this article he concludes, "Spiritual formation seeks to lure evangelicals into ancient Catholic and Orthodox contemplative practices in order to draw closer to God, experience His presence, and hear His voice apart from Scripture. In order to embrace this mystical form of spirituality, contemplatives are willing to compromise at virtually every turn. Central doctrines such as sola fide and sola Scriptura are shrugged off as secondary. Methods never found in the Bible as the true means of spiritual growth and of knowing God, are emphasized. And complete heretics such as Thomas Merton are seen as reliable spiritual guides to spirituality. The contemplatives have sold out to Catholic mysticism and abandoned the clear teaching of Scripture. Sadly, in the process many undiscerning evangelicals will follow suit."

 

 

Got Questions?

 

Got Questions Ministries seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by providing biblical, applicable, and timely answers to spiritually related questions through an internet presence. 

What Is Contemplative Prayer?

What Is Centering Prayer?

What Is Soaking Prayer?

 

 

Comparing Contemplative Prayer with Biblical Prayer

 

Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation, or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. However, in both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer.  Despite this, advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.

 

 

Meditating on Contemplative Prayer

 

As Christians, we are constrained by Holy Scripture never to venture any further spiritually than what is contained within the actual text of God’s Word in the closed Canon of the Bible. As such, each and every experience must itself be tested by the Word of God.

Part 1

Part 2

 

 

Contemplative Prayer: Seducing Spirits & a Doctrine of Devils

 

The contemplative practices are not advocated in Scripture. When anyone chooses not to abide by sound doctrine, the result is a faulty faith based on experiences or fables instead of the sure Word of God. Contemplative practices are infiltrating evangelical and fundamental churches which is contributing to the unbiblical ecumenical movement already underway.

 

 

When You Pray, Say ...

 

Even in Jesus’ day the way to pray was controversial. Jesus spoke about prayer to correct the wrong methods and manners of prayer originating from and employed by men. Jesus taught against the publicity with which hypocrites pray and the repetition by which pagans pray. Jesus neither taught nor practiced prayer via a mindless and mute language. Words are the lego blocks of prayer!

 

 

Psalm 46:10 Does Not Teach Contemplative Prayer

 

Psalm 46:10 is regularly used by proponents of contemplative prayer in support of their doctrine. However, the Bible speaks against the core tenets of contemplative prayer, and Psalm 46:10 must be divorced from both its immediate context as well as the greater context of the Bible if it is to be used as a proof text for contemplative prayer.

Article 1

Article 2

 

 

Prayer Labyrinth

 

What Is a Prayer Labyrinth?

 

A labyrinth is a single path which leads, via a circuitous route, to the center of an intricate design and back out again. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is designed for ease of navigation, and it is impossible to get lost within one. How then is the labyrinth used as a prayer tool, and is doing so Biblical?

 

 

Enter the Labyrinth

 

Walking the labyrinth has become a popular spiritual exercise across the country and around the world. Regardless, the prayer labyrinth cannot have any spiritual benefit for a Christian. It is a New Age and pagan practice, and there is no basis for those who practice Biblical Christianity to embrace the labyrinth as an acceptable tool for meditation and prayer.

 

 

The Labyrinth Journey

 

 

Paradoxically, while the evangelical Christian community talks about "spiritual warfare" and "putting on the full amour of God," many of these same churches can be found embracing that which they claim to counter. In seeking relevancy, the church has become dangerously experiential in nature, and old forms of mysticism are becoming center-pieces in experiences of faith. The labyrinth prayer-walk, which follows a single winding path to a central location, is a case in point.

 

 

Yoga

 

Yoga: A Christian Perspective

 

 

Yoga’s proposition today is no different to its original intention by Lord Shiva, the triune deity of Hinduism, the religion of India. At its core is the contemplative prayer (meditation) of Yoga consciousness that teaches one can be mentally, physically and spiritually “yoked” in the “inner self” with the outer “universal consciousness” known as Brahman, believed to be God and a divine energy. The conjured, self-invoked altered state of yoga consciousness is designed to bring “enlightenment”, an awareness of one’s god-self and the ability “self” has to control everlasting death (known as reincarnation). The hope of all types of Yoga, (which in their very essence embrace Kundalini power) affirm that one will be “like God” and not die, the same spiritual lies offered by Kundalini (known in India as serpent wisdom) to Eve in the Garden if Eden.

 

 

Chris Lawson: Yoga

 

 

Chris Lawson, is Founder of Spiritual Research Network, a Christian outreach dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel and encouraging biblical discernment. As a researcher, writer and counselor, Chris Lawson endeavors to help people escape the clutches of spiritual deception.

How Do People Define the Term Yoga?

Christian Yoga: Rooted In Hindu Occultism

Kundalini Energy: Yoga's Power, Influence, & Occult Phenomena in the Church

 

 

Marsha West: Yoga

 

 

Marsha West  is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is also designer and webmaster of On Solid Rock Resources, a Christian apologetics website.

Christian Yoga? C'mon!

Can a Pagan Practice Be Christianized?

 

 

CARM: Should Christians Practice Yoga?

 

It is not recommended that Christians practice yoga since the intention of yoga is a path in order to attain salvation. Yoga is different from other exercise systems because it is more than just exercise.  The point of yoga is to combine body, mind, and soul together.

 

 

Let Us Reason: Yoga

 

Eastern spiritual practices are to have no place in the church. The practice of yoga by Christians encourages the assimilation of values and spiritual practices of other religions into the Church. In truth, yoga is decidedly incompatible with Christianity--even when it is granted a Christian flavor.

Part 1 - A Great Compromise

Part 2 - Yoga is for Christians Too!

Part 3 - Christian Yoga, a Long Stretch to God

 

 

John Ankerberg: Yoga

 

 

Dr. John Ankerberg  is Founder and President of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America. His television and radio programs are broadcast into 106 million American homes and are available in more than 200 nations in 12 languages. Author, co-author, or contributor of 158 books and study guides in 20 languages, his writings have sold more than 3 million copies and reach millions of readers each year online.

Innocent Yoga?

Yoga: The Occult

What Eastern Gurus Say about Occult Practices - Yoga

Yoga Theory & Practice: Separable?

 

 

Lectio Divina

 

What Is Lectio Divina?

 

The practice of lectio divina is currently very popular among Roman Catholics and Gnostics, and it is gaining acceptance as an integral part of the devotional practices of the Emerging Church. Lectio Divina is Latin for "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading," and it represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and provide special spiritual insights. However, there are inherent dangers in this prayer method.

 

 

Lighthouse Trails: Lectio Divina

 

 

According to Father Thomas Keating, lectio divina is not traditional Bible study, not reading the Scriptures for understanding and edification, and not praying the Scriptures. Keating says that lectio divina is an introduction into the more intense practices of contemplative prayer and centering prayer. Nevertheless, lectio divina is today becoming popular within evangelical Christianity.

 

 

Lectio Divina

 

This article focuses on John Piper's promotion and practice of lectio divina. It questions why Biblical Christians would promote a Roman Catholic mystical practice that is inherently dangerous spiritually.

 

 

Sacred Reading (Lectio Divina)

 

Dr. Gary Gilley is the pastor of Southern View Chapel. In this article, he examines the practice of lectio divina, also known as sacred reading.