CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER, MYSTICISM, KUNDALINI
(328) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY – CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER, MYSTICISM, KUNDALINI
This video gives a brief overview of what types of CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER & MYSTICISM are moving through many EVANGELICAL CHURCHES today – sometimes in a subtle fashion. The danger of this subtle influence on the church is that the language used, the practices taught, the sermons spoken, the books sold and read…etc., on any of these subjects become increasingly infested with these new concepts that it becomes difficult to notice how far these issues have strayed from biblical truth.
- In 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, the Apostle Paul calls on us to – “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” (NASB) His wording is not spoken in a casual way but rather he uses strong language with words such as “everything” and “every form“.
- In a similar fashion, John likewise gives us a strong warning in 1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (NKJV)
These warnings call on us with both direct and indirect actions to make sure that we protect ourselves from things that are not from God as wells as warnings about about being exposed to evil and false teachings that at the time of these NT writings, the church was already being affected by.
This video clip is from the DVD production entitled “The Submerging Church”. Joe Schimmel, a Pastor who has studied and written about these topics, discusses how they have crept into the church through popular outlets – many of which you will probably recognize. He talks about the popularity of transcendental mediation (TM) and its introduction into popular American culture (e.g. music) by MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI during the 1960s – groups including the Beatles, the Beach Boys,….etc. Some reference is given to how TM was introduced to kids in our public school systems under the guise of it being a scientifically proven method to reduce stress, improve test scores…etc. and not a religious practice. The ironic thing is that it includes the use of MANTRAs that were actually names of Hindu gods (so much for being strictly scientific). The question that arises is by engaging in these pagan rituals and practices, are they exposing the participants to evil influences? There are similar variations to these practices that we see happening today ranging from medical programs (RHEIKI), fitness programs (YOGA), youth meditation programs in PUBLIC SCHOOLS and in the church (CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER) where the same questions needs to asked. If the Apostle Paul and John asked these questions, should we not also ask the same questions today?
Notice in the video some popular teachers such as RICK WARREN and ROB BELL teaching their audience how to participate in these practices. Rick Warren is being advised by a doctor (one of the doctors in his Daniel Plan) to repeat a word over and over again during meditation (i.e. a MANTRA) – stating that this method is scientific and religious? Rob Bell introduces his audiences to other teachers such as KEN WILBUR who promote New Age and Occultism. Bell teaches the audience to engage in a popular EASTERN MYSTICISM technique involving BREATHING. He calls it the THEOLOGY OF BREATHING and appeals to church tradition over the thousands of years for its legitimacy.
Rick Warren appeals to science and Rob Bell appeals to ancient church tradition to justify their teachings involving meditation and mysticism. What happened to one of the most basic EVANGELICAL foundational practice of looking to the BIBLE for our guidance? More importantly, what happened to following after what the Bible itself commands us to do and warns us to avoid?
Matthew 6:7 – “when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them.”
The appeal to science is a clever way of disguising the true religious source of a practice. It is popular today, especially in the Emerging Church, that an appeal to early church tradition (in many cases to Roman Catholic mystical traditions) is used to justify a teaching or practice. The idea that since the Early Church was closer to the time of Christ and the Apostles, they must be correct in their interpretation and teachings. Well, if you study these historic early church figures and what they actually taught, even without a seminary degree, you can quickly come to realize that some of these teachings are the very opposite of what Scripture teaches. Many of the Early Church Fathers, as noble and sacrificial as they were with their lives at the time, some of what they taught would be considered heretical today. If you want to back to the early church, go back to the earliest church possible – the writings in the New Testament.
Listen to what Paul is pleading with Timothy about sticking with biblical doctrine and warning about those who have strayed –
1 Timothy 1:3-7 – “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.” (NKJV)
The call is urgent – teach no other doctrine! See what you think about these issues in this video clip: