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Thread: Differences between mystical meditation, contemplative prayer, and Biblical Prayer *Merged*

  1. #1
    Berean Girl Guest

    Question Differences between mystical meditation, contemplative prayer, and Biblical Prayer *Merged*

    Contemplative Spirituality and the Emerging Church Come to Kansas through YouthFront and MNU

    Contemplative spirituality and the emerging church have come to Kansas and in no small way. First of all, the Christian university in Olathe, Kansas, MidAmerica Nazarene University, is introducing students to the writings of Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Henri Nouwen, and Rob Bell, four of the strongest voices for contemplative emerging spirituality.1 In the required chapel services, speakers include Tony Jones, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo, Calvin Miller, and Leonard Sweet, all of whom teach mystical spiritual practices. A newer style of chapel has been introduced at MNU: "Morning Prayers." The description for the service reads: "It will be a contemplative, liturgical service, which will include the reading of the morning prayers, scriptures, hymns, and communion." 2 MNU is just one of a number of Nazarene Universities that has moved swiftly into the contemplative/emerging camp over the past few years.

    Secondly is a Kansas-based Christian organization called YouthFront, a national youth ministry training organization that has gone in the contemplative/emerging direction. Books being promoted by YouthFront include those by emerging leaders Scot McKnight and Tony Jones, and YouthFront's president Mike King. King is the author of Presence-Centered Youth Ministry (also promoted by YouthFront), and in his book, he presents the classic contemplative/emerging teachings. The majority of the quotes and references in the book are by contemplatives such as Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, Ignatius Loyola, and Brother Lawrence as well as emerging church leaders such as Tony Campolo, Robert Webber, Mike Yaconelli, Phyllis Tickle and more. In a chapter titled "Prayer Practices for Presence-Centered Youth Ministry, King advises readers to practice exercises such as breath prayers, prayer ropes, Ignatius exercises, silence and solitude, making the sign of the cross, praying with icons, and more.

    Not surprisingly, Mark Ostreicher, of Youth Specialties, placed his endorsement on the back cover of King's book. Youth Specialties is a leader in bringing contemplative/emerging beliefs to tens of thousands of youth across North America.

    YouthFront has had a significant influence in Kansas through their YouthFront Camps, where young people are "trained." Kansas City magazine chose YouthFront Camps as "a 2008 Family Favorite in their 'reader-approved choices for the favorite family-friendly places in the Kansas City area.'"3 It is alarming to know that families in Kansas are trusting their children to mystics.

    In addition to training youth, YouthFront also trains youth workers who come from many different churches. Part of this training involves participation in events such as the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention, a pro-contemplative, pro-emergent convention which speakers list includes names such as Mark Yaconelli, Jim Burns, Greg Stier, Phyllis Tickle, Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, and many others in the contemplative/emergent camp.

    This past summer Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) partnered with YouthFront to teach a youth spirituality and formation course.4 The following link is to a blog posting written by someone who witnessed what was taking place with teens at YouthFront: http://revolutioninjesusland.com/ind.../30/youthfront.

    Kansas is also the home of the highly prolific IHOP (International House of Prayer) with contemplative proponent Mike Bickle. With the influence of MidAmerica Nazarene University, YouthFront, and IHOP, it looks like contemplative prayer and the emerging church have planted their feet down solid on Kansas soil.

    Related Stories:

    Those Who Resist

    Nazarene Superintendent Praises "A Time of Departing" But Denomination's Schools Sinking into Contemplative

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch....2printer4w.php
    Last edited by Berean Girl; October 1st, 2008 at 05:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Blood Covered Guest

    Default I feel silly asking but what does contemplative mean?

    I see alot of post on this. Please I want to know exactly what it means. I'm thinking it has something to do with New Age am I correct.

  3. #3
    Meezerluvr Guest

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    You are correct. Don't feel silly asking, I never heard of this term either until it really snowballed a few years ago! It got a great start from Rick Warren. It is a "mystical" way to approach and worship God. Eastern mysticism dressed up in Christian terminology. One of the things that is taught is "centering prayer" which is basically to empty your mind, just like the mystics do. It is dangerous and leading a multitude away from the God of our Holy Bible. God forbids one to practice the forms of mysticism that is involved here. I would like to lead you to a excellent website that teaches the details involved in contemplative spirituality. www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com You will love them as they uphold the truth of our Lord. I am not allowed to post direct articles from their website here, but Sing4Him does and gives everyone a wealth of great info.! God bless you as you continue to walk in His truth.

  4. #4
    dreadreadrea Guest

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    ya know, ive been wondering this too. its interesting. it just hit me that i have taken part of this without even knowing it. when i was a teenager at the church i got saved at. they had a 4 step process to draw nearer to God they introduced one day. it was clear ur mind completely, repent, and two others i cant remember. im a little irritated right now. but thanks for shedding some light on that question.

  5. #5
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    Check these links.

    There is a whole bunch to read here, Lighthouse is fantastic!

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch....lformation.htm

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.....htm#cprituals

    There are a couple of audio studies too. Look at the two studies called "Contemplative" and for sure listen to the Warren Smith studies.

    Go to the bottom of the page and look for the "Church in the Last Days" series.

    http://www.calvarychapelcypress.net/current.html

  6. #6
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    Contemplative prayer= transcendental meditation

    (it is Eastern mysticism dressed up in Christian terminology.
    Last edited by Buzzardhut; December 10th, 2009 at 11:37 AM.
    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)

  7. #7
    Blood Covered Guest

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    Thanks alot for ya'll's help. I'm learning alot. Do you think these teachers like Beth Moore realise what they are doing is wrong? I'm sure it's been brought to their attention you would think.

  8. #8
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    Default Help - don't know what's right anymore!

    So many of my spiritually strong (seemingly) friends love various pastors and christian leaders that are listed as no nos on the apostasy lists I've found here. I've been tending to believe what's written on this forum, but its starting to make my head spin! People like Todd Bentley are easy for me to dismiss (although I do have a friend who believes him still), but some of the others I just don't get. It seems like everyone is a problem . Even James Dobson whom I've loved to listen to for so long. And some of my friends announce that they are contemplative without seeing a thing wrong with it. These friends love Jesus and try to live according to His will. Now I know some of you are going to say that being contemplative is not being in His will, but how can I explain this to other people. These friends are sincere in their beliefs - and of course they are saved - so does it really matter? Are there easy explanations? Some of the links I've followed are just too complex for my little brain .

    And how do I know the smart people on this website are right? (This is not to spark controversy - its a sincere question).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    So many of my spiritually strong (seemingly) friends love various pastors and christian leaders that are listed as no nos on the apostasy lists I've found here. I've been tending to believe what's written on this forum, but its starting to make my head spin! People like Todd Bentley are easy for me to dismiss (although I do have a friend who believes him still), but some of the others I just don't get. It seems like everyone is a problem . Even James Dobson whom I've loved to listen to for so long. And some of my friends announce that they are contemplative without seeing a thing wrong with it. These friends love Jesus and try to live according to His will. Now I know some of you are going to say that being contemplative is not being in His will, but how can I explain this to other people. These friends are sincere in their beliefs - and of course they are saved - so does it really matter? Are there easy explanations? Some of the links I've followed are just too complex for my little brain .

    And how do I know the smart people on this website are right? (This is not to spark controversy - its a sincere question).
    The most simple thing to say of contemplative is there is nothing scriptural to back it up. Also, ask them why we should follow formulas to be "spiritual"?

    Bottom line, if they cannot prove everything and anything by scripture, then it is a man made obstacle between man and God. It is a deviation from God's Word and a promotion of man's ability to reach God. It also trivializes the cross and the ability for us to go directly to Him. It further trivializes the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us in truth.

  10. #10
    madrush Guest

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    What does being "contemplative" mean (in this context)? The definition for that word is being deep in thought or thinking on a subject right? What am I missing here?

  11. #11
    His Bride Guest

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    My experience has been that people love to hold on to the teachers and preachers that they have favored, even when they have begun to uphold some unscriptural practices and doctrines. When I have brought things to their attention I have been labeled as intolerant, judgmental, etc. It doesn't matter that I can point to scripture to show them the truth. My position is to bring the truth into the light. What they decide to do about it is up to each of them individually. Unfortunately, they won't be able to deny that they heard the truth! We will all be accountable one day.

    Share the truth with your friends, pray for them, and leave it in the Lord's hands, as with everything else.

    God bless.

  12. #12
    Biblenuggetlady Guest

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    Have your friends listen to this series, it is a must listen to, for all believers in these days. Scroll down to Last Days Church Series

    http://www.calvarychapelcypress.net/current.html

    This series will equip you to counter false teachings spreading like cancer in the church, and will put a fire in your belly to stand against them.

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    skater - ya know, sometimes I feel like this too. It's those times that I need to remember that God's Word is the final authority in all cases. It also helps to grab ahold of that faith you have in God and what you know to be true from the Bible with a grip so hard that Satan would have to pry it from your cold dead hands.

    I think this is what God was talking about when he speaks of us as overcomers. Sometimes we don't need to know why. We just need to take God at his word and never let go. And that's what Jesus was talking about when he said that unless a person has faith like one of these children, they would not enter the kingdom of heaven. Kids can be so gullible at times, they'd believe anything. That's the way we need to be with God. Be like gullible kids that will believe anything God says.
    "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

    Hebrews 12:3-4
    For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

  14. #14
    rodyshusband Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    So many of my spiritually strong (seemingly) friends love various pastors and christian leaders that are listed as no nos on the apostasy lists I've found here. I've been tending to believe what's written on this forum, but its starting to make my head spin! People like Todd Bentley are easy for me to dismiss (although I do have a friend who believes him still), but some of the others I just don't get. It seems like everyone is a problem . Even James Dobson whom I've loved to listen to for so long. And some of my friends announce that they are contemplative without seeing a thing wrong with it. These friends love Jesus and try to live according to His will. Now I know some of you are going to say that being contemplative is not being in His will, but how can I explain this to other people. These friends are sincere in their beliefs - and of course they are saved - so does it really matter? Are there easy explanations? Some of the links I've followed are just too complex for my little brain .

    And how do I know the smart people on this website are right? (This is not to spark controversy - its a sincere question).
    I know what you're saying.
    It seems the only ministries not deemed "apostate" here are John MacArthur and Kirk Cameron.
    There is always the threat of isolation and exclusivism among like believers when power prevails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    So many of my spiritually strong (seemingly) friends love various pastors and christian leaders that are listed as no nos on the apostasy lists I've found here. I've been tending to believe what's written on this forum, but its starting to make my head spin! People like Todd Bentley are easy for me to dismiss (although I do have a friend who believes him still), but some of the others I just don't get. It seems like everyone is a problem . Even James Dobson whom I've loved to listen to for so long. And some of my friends announce that they are contemplative without seeing a thing wrong with it. These friends love Jesus and try to live according to His will. Now I know some of you are going to say that being contemplative is not being in His will, but how can I explain this to other people. These friends are sincere in their beliefs - and of course they are saved - so does it really matter? Are there easy explanations? Some of the links I've followed are just too complex for my little brain .

    And how do I know the smart people on this website are right? (This is not to spark controversy - its a sincere question).
    seems to me we can only trust in Jesus

    Quote Originally Posted by rodyshusband View Post
    I know what you're saying.
    It seems the only ministries not deemed "apostate" here are John MacArthur and Kirk Cameron.
    There is always the threat of isolation and exclusivism among like believers when power prevails.
    I'm not 100% sold on MacArthur. I also like Dave Hunt
    I still see Cameron as just an actor, not theologian, I like that Todd Friel guy on the radio program

    Quote Originally Posted by madrush View Post
    What does being "contemplative" mean (in this context)? The definition for that word is being deep in thought or thinking on a subject right? What am I missing here?
    it's new age mysticism and gnosticism



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  16. #16
    Biblenuggetlady Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodyshusband View Post
    I know what you're saying.
    It seems the only ministries not deemed "apostate" here are John MacArthur and Kirk Cameron.
    There is always the threat of isolation and exclusivism among like believers when power prevails.
    I hope that is not the impression that folks have here. There are many Godly ministers today and they need to be kept in prayer as they seem to be lone voices crying in the wilderness. We need to remember that these men are "men" and we are not to elevate them to the place of Jesus. I had a couple pastors that I put up on pedastals and they were brought down. I think God does this for two reasons, to get man's eyes back on Him and to humble all of us, when we start getting too big for our britches.

    One pastor, I followed regularly, gave to his ministry and I had just gone to see him speak at a big conference, he stood on the platform and called for other men to leave their pastoral positions for having been caught in adultery and other sexual sin, it wasn't a month when this pastor's behavoir was made public. Hypocracy, I think that is worse than the sins that were committed, sure they got caught, hopefully they repented....but to rebuke another while you are doing the same thing really struck me hard. It shakes you up and your stomach knots when that happens. I don't do that with any "man" now. I compare everything to scripture. The Bible is the source of Truth, not a man just because he has "pastor" before his name. If what you are hearing doesn't line up to scripture, you have to make a decision. I don't think there is one pastor out there, even the "good ones" that we will agree 100% on everything they say, but when the Gospel is not given or watered down, or the focus is taken off Christ, or mysticism is brought in...that is more serious than if we disagree with someone on a "non essential" matter. If a pastor is errant on big things, and doesn't have proper understanding of scripture, it will reflect in most of his teachings, not a minor topic. For example, one respected teacher is against counselling for Christians or treatment with medication for depression-I consider that a minor difference in light of his other teachings; whereas a major topic such as mysticim, more than one way to Heaven, Jesus is not literally the Son of God...these are major issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biblenuggetlady View Post
    Have your friends listen to this series, it is a must listen to, for all believers in these days. Scroll down to Last Days Church Series

    http://www.calvarychapelcypress.net/current.html

    This series will equip you to counter false teachings spreading like cancer in the church, and will put a fire in your belly to stand against them.
    I listen to music and watch entertainment, I prefer to read theology! Give me a transcript I can read, highlight, compare to the written Word, and lay down and come back to without having to try to restart it where I think I left off.

    It's like some of these 1+ hour youtube shows that "You've got to watch this" many post. I don't have an hour I can sit down and watch/listen to and then dig into the Word, hoping I heard whomever correctly. I do however have 5 min here and 10 min there that I can use to read, meditate on, reread, look up, put down, and ask questions about.

    The problem is is that many who speak well can't write worth beans.

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    I know sometimes reading a lengthy article can be tough so hopefully this helps answer what in contemplative.


    Contemplative Prayer:

    As it is expressed in a modern day movement is mystically (i.e. based on a technique or method) in which one empties the mind of thought through repetition, usually of a word or phrase or focus on the breath. In this case the silence would be an absence of thought, all thought.

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/cp.htm
    Contemplative Spirituality:

    A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/

    Spiritual Formation:

    A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.

    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch....lformation.htm
    A 'Spiritual' walk is not accomplished by a program or series of 'disciplines'. It is accomplished by a vital relationship with the living God. It comes from a forgiveness of sin and a new life in Jesus Christ. It comes by studying God's Word and rejecting anything that is contrary to that Word.

  19. #19
    kcofohio Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by skater View Post
    And how do I know the smart people on this website are right? (This is not to spark controversy - its a sincere question).
    I thank God for a place to read and pray for what my brothers and sisters in Jesus are going through. I have found that all man left to himself will fall. That is why we pray for one another. Strengthen each other. I pray for my Pastor alot, that God will direct his footsteps. I must remember his is but a man.

    We must be aware of the wolves that seek their oown belly full.

    Don't take mans word for it, seek God's word.

    (1Ti 4:1) But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,

    (1Ti 4:2) speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience,

    (1Ti 4:3) forbidding to marry, saying to abstain from foods which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

    (1Ti 4:4) For every creation of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.

    (1Ti 4:5) For it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer.

    (1Ti 4:6) Having suggested these things to the brothers, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the Words of Faith and by the good doctrine which you have followed.

    (1Ti 4:7) But refuse profane and old-womanish tales, and exercise yourself to godliness.

    I know there is no other name, but Jesus, that I would trust on, the Rock of our Salvation.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the replies. I will think on what was posted and read some other things. For now, I'm not planning to push my friends too hard, but I do want to be educated. For a while we attended an independent Baptist church - it seems like many of their beliefs matched the views on RR. By this I mean that nothing should come between us and Jesus. We really liked that part of the church. Other things were troubling (it got a little legalistic and judgemental). Sorry my thoughts are so jumbled - I can hear my kids in the background and I need to get off of here and homeschool! Thanks again for your insights.

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