Monday, December 10, 2007


In a recent comment sent to my blog entitled MYSTICISM AND THIS GENERATION, a reader said that if as a Christian I am not "contemplating, meditating on God, and His Word, I'm not growing". In a blog entitled IF NOT YOU, WHO? I had included the "contemplative/experiential/mystical gospel" in a list with other false gospels. Today I will begin to explain why I chose to include it in that list. I agree with my reader's comment that contemplating or meditating on God and His Word (as long as it is in a biblical manner) is essential to a Christian's spiritual growth. However, there is a movement well underway which has HIJACKED this spiritual discipline and is now promoting its own agenda within Christendom. I believe this is one of the tactics Satan is presently using to undermine God's Word and the power of the cross.

Scripture admonishes us to meditate upon God's Word. Upon examining various passages of Scripture I have found that the word meditate, when examined in its context and with the Hebrew and Greek meanings refers to the act of pondering, "revolving in the mind", reflecting on, declaring, reciting and/or memorizing something from God's Word. Many examples of this can be found in the Old Testament. See Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2 andPsalm 63:5-7.

This is for the purpose of renewing our sinful minds, teaching us to obey and conforming us to God's will. This is a good thing to do.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2

The only place I can find in any version that uses the term "contemplate" is found in Romans 4:19 in the NASB, which speaks of Abraham contemplating the condition of his body with regard to the promise given to him about becoming a great nation. Obviously here, the meaning conotes considering or thinking about, which is the same as meditate.

The New Age Movement and Eastern religions also use meditation and contemplation in their spiritual practices. This would be at the opposite end of the spiritual spectrum from biblical meditation. It is occultic and Satanic in nature. Here is a perfect example of this type of meditation, found at

Transmission Meditation is both a world service (Karma yoga) and the most potent technique of personal development (Laya yoga) available today. This meditation is a virtual 'hot house' for the spiritual growth of those who participate on a consistent basis. It provides a vehicle for service affecting the entire evolution of humanity for the better.Transmission Meditation enhances any other developmental practice currently used by the individual, and the potency of energies released during meditation can initiate powerful healing experiences. You can help the world and personally benefit at the same time!
Thousands of people around the world are joining together to aid in the work of transmitting these powerful new spiritual energies for the benefit of humanity and the construction of a new world based on Brotherhood, Sharing and Justice. With the advent of the Aquarian Age, this new opportunity is available to those who seek to serve their fellow men. Under the experienced guidance and direction of the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, the energies of Love and Light and Power can be safely 'stepped down'. These energies facilitate the difficult changes now in progress and speed the transformations leading to a better world for all. You are invited to join with others who are meditating and transmitting these special energies.

*The Masters of Wisdom, together forming the Spiritual Hierarchy, are the custodians of the Divine Plan for this planet. They have inspired great human achievements throughout history, working from behind the scenes through their disciples in all fields of human endeavor. The Masters guide and teach, but it is humanity itself, responding of its own free will to their stimulus, which creates each new civilization."(1)

And then we have the bridge between these two types of meditation, bringing them together, meeting in the middle and becoming a new form. In actuality, this is the Hegelian Dialectic at work (thesis + antitheses = synthesis). In other words, and in this case, take the biblical idea of meditation, add the new age/eastern technique to it, and you get a combination of the two. An example of this is Christian Zen. Here is a website called Seven Thunders with an explanation:

Seven Thunders is an organization formed to support growth towards a deepening spiritual awareness and appreciation of life. We believe each of us has a unique path and we benefit from teachers and companions along the Way. Membership is open to all people interested in the practice of contemplative prayer or meditation.

Formed in 1992, Seven Thunders is incorporated in Oregon as a non-profit ecumenical religious organization. For guidance we look to teachers from the Christian contemplative tradition as interpreted by Fr. Willigis Jaeger, OSB, and from the Zen Buddhist tradition of the Diamond Sangha. (2)

Contemplative Intensive Retreats include approximately 8 hours of sitting contemplation each day. Our Contemplative program is modeled after the format established by Fr. Willigis Jaeger, Roshi, a Benedictine monk, who studied Zen in Japan for 6 years with Yamada Koun Roshi. Fr. Jaeger is one of the pioneers in adapting Zen techniques to contemplative Christian practice. (3)

Although this organization says on their website that they do not attempt to merge the two systems, this is exactly what they ARE doing. Is it permissible for Christians to learn spiritual techniques from people of different faiths? Scripture is emphatic in teaching that we are not to follow the spiritual practices of those who worship a different god. Hindus, Bhuddist, and New Agers continue to insist that we do worship the same God; but, if we are faithful to God's Word, this can never be so.

Richard Foster, Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and Basil Pennington are all men who are melding the two forms of meditation and are actively teaching them. This spiritual practice is called "contemplative prayer" or "centering prayer". The following is a letter from the President of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler (the Friar Thomas she refers to is Thomas Keating):


From the President
Vedanta Presentation
Love, The Free Flow of Grace

by Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, President

Editor’s Note:
Vedanta is one of the world’s most ancient religious philosophies, affirming the oneness of existence, the divinity of the soul, and the harmony of religions.

This article was excerpted from my keynote presentation at the annual Vedanta Society Memorial Day Inter- Faith Retreat held in Olemant, California. For almost thirty years this retreat has featured an inter-faith dialogue. Spiritual seekers from all faiths are invited. Over the past thirty years, the group has increased to over 1,000 persons in attendance.

Fr. Thomas was the keynote speaker in the late 80’s and this year it was my pleasure to present Centering Prayer and the Christian contemplative dimension of the Gospel under a large tent that was erected in a beautiful, park-like environment for this special occasion.

Swami Yuktatmananda> of St. Petersburg, Florida spoke on a similar topic from the standpoint of Vedanta.

Christian message is Love—to love one another as Christ has loved us and to love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Love is the energy that relates us one to another as human beings. It unites each of us to the center of ourselves and, beyond that center, to the Indwelling Spirit. The love that we share is fueled by God’s love for us. It is an endless supply of love flowing through us. As Christians, we call it Grace.

We can’t isolate ourselves from interacting with others; our families, friends, neighbors, anyone we meet in our daily encounters. Unless we behave in a loving way—starting with loving ourselves—we are not allowing the love of God to flow. We can’t say, “I love God, but I don’t love my neighbor.”

Contemplative living cultivates the freedom to say and do what the Spirit prompts us to say or do, without exceptions or conditions. Keeping an open heart, mind and intention, refreshed daily by our Centering Prayer practice, is vitally important. We begin to grasp that, as we sit in silence each day, we are holding and supporting one another in the energy of love.

It is an approach from “the ground up” to being human, to being lovers of God and lovers of one another.

In the silence the only thing we have to do is to be present and open. The Spirit does the work. The Spirit binds us to each other and we let go of our thoughts that separate us. That is to say, we let go of judgments, assumptions and opinions of who we are and who others are, and remain open to find out the truth of who we really are in God.

Whether we are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu is not important. These words label our belief systems. What we share and what human condition. If we let go and let God live our lives for us and act from a place of love, transformation is possible. We find that differences can be resolved and peace can be part of our lived experience. Grace, then, is the recognition that there is no separation between us and all that is good and true.

Contrary to popular opinion about the nature of contemplation—that it is simply a withdrawal into oneself—contemplation is both silence and action. Contemplation places us in the immediacy of open presence, which is living life as it is one moment at a time.

The humble giving of ourselves, one to the other, in order to understand the movements of love and the free flow of Grace with open heartfulness is the joy that is lying in wait for us through the contemplative life. (4)


So, the question I ask you, dear reader is this:
IS THIS A FAITHFUL BIBLICAL RENDERING OF PRAYER and MEDITATION? or is it an occultic practice? How are we supposed to pray and meditate? Is it according to the biblical description given in the way King David meditated or it is according to the Desert Fathers and their practice of meditation (contemplative prayer)? It absolutely cannot be both.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:14-18


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