Spiritual formation is gearing the Church up for self delusion

On March 9, 2013 · 39 Comments

The greatest danger to Christianity today is the downplaying of biblical doctrine. The Church is built upon the word of God given to the prophets and the apostles for leading people to Christ and for maturing believers in the faith.

True Christianity is not built on personal feeling or what you think God is saying to you because you learned to practice certain spiritual disciplines. Yet, that is what many Christian leaders and Christian education centers are teaching others.

Spiritual formation is taught and is required in almost all Christian higher leaning centers today and the graduates then teach it from pulpits, in seminars, and in Christian books. I think what was said on this gty.org blog gets to the heart of the spiritual formation movement.

many of the leading voices in the spiritual formation movement stress the need for more intuitive interpretations of spirituality. They encourage believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, and yoga. In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology.

But any kind of subjective spirituality that draws your focus away from the Lord and His truth can have disastrous results, derailing your spiritual growth and cutting you off from God’s plan for your sanctification.

All true spiritual growth starts with the preeminent role of God’s Word in the lives of His people.

Further, I think the following article by Christian Pack on Christian Formation goes on to explain the issues and the dangers. You really need to read the whole article but here is one excerpt.

Spiritual Formation is identical to classic occultic meditation practices taught in Hinduism, Buddhism, wicca, paganism, etc. The technique goes something like this: find a quiet spot to sit or lie down, breathe deeply, and begin to focus on something for the purpose of stilling your thoughts. (The “something” can literally be almost anything: a candle, a word, a phrase, repetitive music, drumming, one’s own breath, etc.) After about 20 minutes of practicing this technique, which is simple to do, a person will enter into an altered state of consciousness. In this altered state of consciousness, the mind is no longer active and critically engaged, and able to assess data. In this state, the mind is passive, its God-given barriers down; it is able only to receive information, much like a radio receiver. Mystics from all faith traditions the world over often report ecstatic experiences of becoming yoked to some spiritual energy, leaving them feeling refreshed, energized, and peaceful after engaging in their mystical practices.

I am going to try to explain the issues of spiritual formation with its contemplative prayer so that everyone can understand. I think one reason people do not understand this stuff is all the fancy terminology used.

Either those identifying with Christ believe that God gave His revealed word once and for all through his written word or they think that God is still giving further revelation and it is up to each individual to learn how to obtain that new revelation and get into the ranks of the spiritually elite that hear His voice. (Of course the Pope, the Mormon Prophet and the self-appointed-anointed of the Charismatic Movement claim direct Revelation just by their position.)

The biblical path to God’s revelation means that God is sovereign and was fully able to give His inerrant unchangeable word for all people through His own chosen prophets and apostles. The second path to revelation means that God is dependent on our actions and is a respecter of persons that learn how to hear His “still small voice”.

They get this “still small voice” from 1 Ki 19:12. What they do not understand is that Elijah was a chosen prophet of God. And God spoke to Him quite distantly before, during and after this passage. So the passage is not saying what they read into it. Let me explain.

Elijah was on a very long fast because he was in fear for his life and was praying that God would judge Israel that killed all of Jehovah’s prophets and that were trying to kill him. God clearly spoke to Elijah while he was hiding in a cave and told him to go before the mount so that the nature of Jehovah could be reveled to him.

The message given was that God was not to be found in great natural events and catastrophic judgment that Elijah wanted but God was revealed in a “calm voice”. Then God told Elijah that he was to go to Syria and anoint Hazael as King of Syria and Hazael and Syria would severely chastise Israel in God’s own timing.

So this was God’s calm rational measured method to chastise unbelieving Israel rather than some national catastrophe like Elijah obvious was praying for and wanted to see in Jehovah. And why no instant catastrophe on Israel? Because there were thousands of people in Israel that still had not bowed their knee to Baal. People should not build theology about hearing from God on a verse that they do not understand.

We do not learn how to become Ezekiel and we do not hear God by mystical spiritual formation techniques. Some think they can learn to become prophets but they are wrong and these presumptions people are infecting Christendom with bad doctrine because gospel lite church leaders share media platforms with these heretics and even promote them.

I am one that thinks that everything we need to know for faith and practice can be found in the scriptures and that God speaks to us through His revealed word. That does not mean that the Holy Spirit can not enlighten us or impress upon our hearts spiritual direction but this spiritual guidance is not the same thing as the Rhema words of presumptions revelation that the hyper-charismatics and spiritual formation programs promote.

If these people were meditating on God’s written word, I would find no fault in that because we are clearly told to do that. However by learning spiritual formation techniques they are really trying to find God in their own mind instead of in His written word.

Through Spiritual formation techniques, the god or Jesus created by their own mind is self-made, or even worse, their god or Jesus may have been implanted in their mind by a deceiving spirit.

How many mystics have received revelation from the occult that they thought was coming from God? Even many of the great humanistic philosophers of the last few centuries communicated with familiar spirits. That fact can be verified from some of their own writings

There are those that think God gives direct messages like some weak radio signal and if they get their flesh quiet enough and their spiritual importance antenna high enough above the rest, they can tune in and hear His latest broadcast. Believe me, when God spoke to His prophets they had absolutely no problem hearing Him. I do not recall one prophet ever saying huh or having to go through a learning curve like some modern false prophets claim when they are proven wrong? The one time God spoke audibly to Israel they were so terrified that they asked Him not to speak to them again lest they die (Ex 20:19). Presumptions false prophets claiming to hear from God ought to take heed and repent.

The mind is deceitful and it plays tricks. As a new Christian in the Charismatic Movement of the 1970′s, I was taught that I needed to speak in tongues, so I did. However, it did not take long for me to realize that when using and interpreting my “prayer language” I was really telling myself what I wanted to hear. In other words, through tongues, I was making God say things to me that He was not saying. When I realized that, I stopped the practice and separated from churches that were teaching people to interpret illusions of their own minds. How is this Spiritual Formation with its contemplative prayer any different?

Today, hearing from God is being taught everywhere. The methods are the same that Eastern pagan mystics and Catholic mystics use to hear from the spirits. Thanks to the influence of Charismatic movement leaders, and the Spiritual Formation discipline taught in almost all Bible colleges, most of the Evangelical movement now believes that direct revelation from God is something to be achieved.

Spiritual formation is really nothing but a bio-feedback technique as is transcendental meditation, it is a form of  self-hypnotism. You learn to quiet your body and focus your mind to hear very selective self-speak. Everyone talks to themselves mentally, even in their sleep, if you don’t you’re probably dead. Just because you can learn brain wave altering techniques to tune into normally subconscious thoughts, and to run with those thoughts to some Christian sounding jargon or image, does not mean that you reached Jesus or are hearing from God.

There were times when I was awakened from sleep that I could pick up where a dream left off by willfully focusing on the dream and going back into dreamland. This is much the same thing and with lots of practice the technique can get much more highly focused and controlled. That becomes self-effort to reach God. That is contrary to God being totally available to all of faith that call on Him.

You might say, I have Jesus and that is why I can hear voices from God, but if you actually had Jesus you would have no need to try to have a dialogue with Him in dreamland brain wavelengths through spiritual formation techniques. God is not the author of confusion. Can you imagine the confusion when everyone in a fellowship is telling everyone else a different version of what Jesus or God told them this week. I have news, it is already happening in some circles.

Apparently, many church leaders think that God does not have issues with those speaking presumption. Judge not lest you be judged is one verse that they love to throw at you. Or touch not my anointed is another one. Grow up people! Quit with the ignorant childish clichés and learn to discern scripture in full context of all the scriptures. God gave you His word and He gave you your brain so that you could sort out truth from error. It is time that some people used those tools. The Bible is not a book where Bible clichés overrule solid biblical doctrines.

The Bible is God’s revealed word to the nations. We are not to blindly follow every new wind of doctrine. But, the wind never stops blowing and itching ears are always looking for some new wind to tickle them .

People are claiming revelations from God that come from themselves or the Devil. That is why nothing they say comes true. That is why biblical doctrine needs to be taught now more than ever. It is not a coincidence that the same people pushing people to get some private mystical revelation from God are the same ones that downplay biblical doctrine and Bible prophecy.

Spiritual formation with its contemplative prayer and its Emergent Church movement and its ties to the hyper-charismatics is just another fleshly self-aggrandizement diversion to keep churches and Christians off focus from what they really should be teaching and doing in these last days.

Did God really tell you to build that bigger church building and put your church in debt or did you tell yourself that? Did God really tell you that you are going to marry that woman or did you tell yourself that. Did God really tell you that you are healed or did you tell yourself that. Did God really tell you that you are a prophet or did you tell yourself that? Did God really tell you to give to TBN to get a hundred fold blessing or did you tell yourself that or did someone on TBN plant the suggestion in your mind? The list of presumptions justified by claims of hearing from God are endless.

Today more than ever we should be preaching the revealed word. Apostasy is upon us and we are nearing the end times. It is time to get our house in order. This should be a major focus of the Church. Instead, too many people in our churches are promoting techniques for people to find their own fairy dust so they can magically make their life on earth wonderful. The book stores are full of smiling faces telling you how you can have a better life now. Don’t go there! If you follow them, they will lead you to “The Shack” that has “The Secret” that allows the spiritual elite to speak into existence their own worldly utopian reality.

Spiritual formation is gearing the Church up for more self-delusion. They downplay the Bible. They want you to believe that you can hear from God through some mystical technique where subjective Rhema words from God becomes the new gospel truth. Spiritual formation was designed for our biblically dumbed down post-modern generation where the only absolute truth is found between one’s two ears.


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 Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.


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39 Responses to “Spiritual formation is gearing the Church up for self delusion”

  1. FrankNo Gravatar says:

    This is a very relevant and timely article, Don. Many Christians are not aware of these “spiritual formation” practices and thus are not aware of their dangers. Keep throwing light on this, because this is just another heretical practice that is growing, unfortunately.

  2. Hi Don-

    Right on. I was involved in the Charismatic movement of the 1970′s too and I know from sad experience that what you say is true. It seemed, at times, like God was “speaking” to some of the members of the group I was involved in more than he ever talked to Moses.

    When I began to question some things (Hey, where’s THAT in the Bible? or Why didn’t that “prophecy” come to pass?) I became an outcast. I was labeled a “sower of discord among the brethren” and a “bull in the China cabinet” Christian. My girlfriend (now my wife of 34 years) was told by a leader not to marry me because there was something “evil” inside of me.

    It’s testament to the saving/keeping power of the LORD that I’m still a believer 35 years after my conversion. But by the grace of God, I would have assuredly turned my back on the faith.

  3. Ohio JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you for sharing a true work of the Holy Spirit in discernment. This is the gift people seek in all the wrong places. I pray they will read these words and their hearts will be filled.

  4. Wayne YoungNo Gravatar says:

    Great article Don. I too have been through this whole charismatic mess; however it was through the FGBF that I did get saved. It is so very important that we through God’s word understand the “Still small Voice” which often we ignore because we feel that it could not be possible for God to say something like that to me. As stated because of the thousands of Books out there with 7 steps to this, and 12 steps to that, it becomes quite confusing, this is when we must go to God’s word. His word is pure and kept unto this day, it is not up for comprimise, or change and we must learn to ask him for the answers should we not understand. It is so important in the last days that we learn to hear from HIM. I have found that anytime someone told me to do something, or if something comes into my mind, that his word, as stated is always confirmed by 2 or more witnesses. God Bless you for this blog, and may God through his Holy Spirit reveal this to those who are wandering in the wilderness.

  5. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Don for another great insight. I also for years attended the pentecostal (circus act) churches. What amazed me the most was the amount of people who would speak in tongues, tell you what God told them to tell you, run around the church, use their prayer language and basically whatever they please, then quit going to church altogether because they get mad over something like the Color of the hymn books. It used to be that my biggest concern with raising my children was what the world was teaching them. Now I am more concerned with what the church is telling them. It has become difficult for me to find authors and preachers that speak the truth any more. I used to rely on BOT radio for truth but they even have apostates now. Do you know who out there that we can trust for truth?

  6. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Sure there are some. It would be too long a list to start listing them all here.

  7. Hello Don,

    I think I can speak with a certain amount of authority having experienced the seminary “spiritual formation” teaching first hand. In the mid 90′s, when I was in graduate school, half of my classes were Bible, the other half Psychology. The intent was good.. To make sure that future Therapists would have a strong theological foundation. This was the time when the spiritual formation movement was taking off… The likes of Foster was required reading.

    There was even a required class called…. Spiritual Formation. What was emphasized was “spiritual disciplines”, such as fasting, meditative prayer, etc. As with most forms of deception, they start off with good intent, and some grain of truth, and then turn it into legalism. I remember raising this point to professors, and receiving considerable pushback from other students who were studying for the M.Div’s.

    Then they added to the mix Brennan Manning… Who in my opinion confuses people by over complicating the relationship with God. His approach is to so push the envelope of intensity and emotional fervor as your “relationship with God” that I am sure there are many people who run screaming for the exits. Again, kernals of truth, but wrapped up in faulty legalistic teaching that leads the person to become the controlling agent in the relationship with God.

    The biggest lie of all of this is the obsession with making christianity “tangible” in the same way the cults are. Thats what the “spiritual disciplines” are for. To give us the “feeling” of being Christian. Turning it from a faith based relationship, to a self based relationship.

    Sorry if this was too long… :) Thanks for your article Don.
    Rod in Oregon

  8. I also wonder how many people have been turned away from the Gospel after the whole tongues deal… I have seen it as well… speaking in tongues, and low and behold, God said exactly what you wanted to hear. I have not seen the research, but between legalism and self fulfilling “tongues” prophecy, I bet it’s a significant number.

    Rod in Oregon

  9. As a young Christian I looked into the Pentecostal claims, even went to one of their meetings where the cacophony of sound brought the passage you quoted above Don, very clearly to mind; God is not the author of confusion. I never went back.

    What we are seeing today is the results of the Pentecostal movement’s success in propagating their pernicious lustful teachings last century. It is much easier and superficially pleasant to follow the lusts of the flesh than to pick up one’s cross in following Christ.

    I have said it before and will say it again, emotion can become addictive, ecstatics are emotion out of control. To use a rather coarse but descriptive term the Pentecostal ecstatics could be termed as spiritual masturbation.

    The disciples of the Pentecostal movement then, are now the leaders of the so called evangelicals today, ignorant lustful men and women.

    Narrow is the way in following Christ but broad is the way that leads to destruction.

  10. Don, this is why I have given up looking for a true church. Each one always has something or someone in authority that clearly goes against the Bible and Gods word.
    I believe it is possible to hear from God, but not in the way the Televangelists or many preachers say ” God told me….. .”
    One night, about 12 yrs ago, I was laid off from from work due to the economy. I was an electrician, and even jobs on the side were hard to get. This was after the tech bubble. I was worried I would not be able to be the main provider and very fearful, even though my wife worked. While reading the bible and praying, I heard an audible voice say, ” I am your provider.” I looked around my living room and just thought I imagined it, and again I heard the gentle voice say again, ” I am your provider.” I started crying as I felt the presence of God so strongly in my living room. As my pay and time worked went down, my wife’s pay would increase to almost what we both made together.
    I never heard an audible voice prior to that or ever again. I didn’t imagine it, but I didn’t go looking for the voice whenever I needed something. I always seek God for any major decision and wait until I either get an uncomfortable feeling in the spirit, or a peaceful feeling if I am to go ahead with a choice. But for hearing Gods voice for every little thing, I have serious doubts that God would speak to someone on a daily basis in an audible voice. I don’t trust many people of faith much, especially some of the self anointed pastors. So for now I just read my bible and ask God to help me to understand what his word says. Wait, God is telling me to make scrambled eggs instead of over easy Sunday morning. ( Sarcasm )

  11. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Rod,

    I knew people and even leaders in the Charismatic movement that would be on top of a mountain claiming to be hearing from God and the next month they would be in a mental hospital being treated for severe depression. Don’t ask me if manic/depression was wagging the dog or if unfulfilled expectations on heights where no one can dwell for long drove the dog into a deep depression.

    I suspect there is a lot of both in this emotional experience based movement. It draws unstable people and it also makes stable people unstable IMHO. Of course they would blame their fall on a direct Satanic attack rather than take any credit for falling in a black hole. I did not know many of these people that were grounded in the word. They mainly cherry picked verses that they though supported their leaders claims. Everything was about ways to work up new manifestations of the Sprint. All In the name of Jesus, of course.

  12. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a member of the club of people who briefly were in the charismatic movement. In the eighties my sister-in-law worked at Kenneth Copeland ministries. I attended two of his meetings with her. I also attended a very popular church in Irving, Tx. that hosted guests like Rex Humbard and Rick Stanley [Elvis Presley's step brother]. This church was always packed. People came early to get the front pews. There had to be some excitement. A message from God[tongues] a prophecy, slayings in the spirit or a sermon on give us your money and God will give you back a hundred fold. Oh, and anointings. It took years for my brother to gently lead his wife away from these teachings. They get a firm grip on a person’s mind. And these churches pack them in. “What a mess” is an understatement but I can’t think of anything else to say about it.

  13. Don,

    I think you are absolutely correct. The problems with an emotionally based “relationship” with God are many. First of all, I believe that emotions can and often are the playground of the enemy. Emotions are valid, but often irrational and have more to do with our own desires (for better or for worse), what we are experiencing, or the food that was eaten.

    It does appear to me that these tangible experience based “christian” movements are precisely what the enemy needs.

    What Brian from Oz says is very true… Emotional experiences are often part of an addictive response. Which is why life in emotion land is a roller coaster ride.

    Now if you will excuse me, I am off to meditate and self flagellate with a cat of nine tails while reading the spirit of the disciplines again…. ;)

    Rod in Oregon

  14. Bob In TexasNo Gravatar says:

    We are in the process of a doctrine dilution event coming to Houston at which the churches in Houston plan to link arms in the name of “unity.” This includes SBC churches. It is called “Love Houston.” It will be interesting to see which churches join in this – and which do not. I have a bad feeling that the SBC church that I attend will join this event.

  15. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    Don, I went to the link you provided and also reread your article. This sounds like a spiritualist movement not a church movement. You mentioned “familiar spirits.” I believe these practices can and will open doors for demonic activity in peoples lives. What I want to say to your readers is DON’T. That’s a trip you do not want to take. Even innocent curiosity is an invitation to evil spirits if you dabble or experiment. It’s a chilling and terrifying way to live. I know from experience. If you want to know and hear from God read His word, the bible. I am appalled that church leaders would even suggest such practices. I could write a thesis on this subject but I’ll stop here.

  16. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Caitlin,

    It can be a spiritualist movement in disguise. It is a church movement since it is spreading through the churches of Christendom but it should not be a Church movement. Thanks for your warning. I hope some will not allow themselves to be manipulated into using unbiblical and even demonic techniques that lead people to believe that they are communicating with God.

  17. Don FrittsNo Gravatar says:

    Don , Another great article. People are always wanting to add something to God’s written word.
    God does not respond to emotion , He responds to faith and obedience to His Word. Jesus clearly said The Holy Spirit would teach us truth, that should settle it. As the the song says, “Grace brought me safely this far and grace will lead me home” There are many people claiming to be prophets for their own self ego and money.

  18. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    There was a lot in this article to consider. I want to talk about taking verses out of context. Judge not lest you be judged. This one gets tossed around like a warning. It keeps popping up on my fb page. It was there again tonight. What I know it doesn’t mean is lacking discernment between right and wrong. Paul taught that believers were to judge in the church. This is what I do know but what does it mean, exactly?

  19. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Caitlin,

    That is correct,
    It is talking judging the motive of believers. It was not talking about not judging bad doctrine according to the scriptures.

  20. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    Ok thanks. I considered either motives or hypocracy might be part of it. I was reading your Halloween story again. Luv it. Maybe that’s where I should have commented on the demonic activity I experienced. lol

  21. “Judge not lest you be judged.”

    I have said this before too but I believe it is worth repeating.
    If we do judge a person’s words or actions let it be according to God’s word. It is then not we who do the judging, but God’s word.

    People who use that verse in the manner Caitlin suggests are usually shallow in their understanding, ‘cherry picking’ verses in an attempt to put down the truth and to defend their self-righteous apostasy. We should not be afraid of them.

  22. DonNo Gravatar says:

    The Last comment by ~David with his link was removed because it leads to an hour long advertisement and crap. Neither are allowed on my site.

  23. Paul SimmonsNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s another abused verse that is yanked out of context immediately following “… judge not…”. It’s Luke 6:38. “Give and it shall be given unto you …”. This verse has absolutely NOTHING to do with money. The previous verses tell us what “it” is : Love, fogiveness, and mercy. If the name it-claim it, blab it and grab it crowd really believed that if I send them $10, then God will send me $1000, then why don’t THEY send ME $10 and let God send THEM $1000?

  24. It seems like people usually cite the “judge not” verse about the time they are caught doing something they shouldn’t be doin’…. I like Paul’s idea.. How about these con men practice what they preach in reverse.. I would volunteer to assist them. They can send me monthly checks for whatever amount they choose… :)

    Rod in Oregon

  25. AnnaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Don,
    I’ve been reading Brannon Howse’s excellent book Trojan Horse and he has a great quote by you in it! I suppose you are familiar with his website and materials. Very good resources. But it was very cool to find you quoted, especially as the book deals with some of what you just covered in this article.

  26. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Anna,

    I know of his book and much of what is in it because I listen to him quite often. In fact, right now in my spare time I was listening to a good program that he has on the Jesuits and it is still free.
    I did not know that Brannon quoted anything by me in his book. Now I am curious?

  27. SherryNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve had experiences with the charismatic movement myself and I need not reiterate what has already been said here by you and your readers. Here’s the thing, can you imagine having to do all this work to communicate to your spouse? To hear from your mom or dad? And then you walk away with only a vague idea of what they were telling you? God is our Father! I don’t know how many times I have heard from God while reading His Word (duh) or while doing the dishes where He reminds me of what he has said in His Word. My, oh my! How do our persecuted brothers and sisters, whose tormentors give them no rest, hear from God if they cannot quiet their minds to the point of emptiness? Just a bit of sarcasm there to make a point. God bless~

  28. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Sherry,

    You said the key point. God spoke to you through the written infallible word. He brought this to your mind. You did not set out to empty your mind by saying some mantra with the express purpose of having some mystical experience of a conversation with God. There is a difference between meditating on God’s word and meditating for the sake of meditating or thinking that your meditating is going to mystically allow you to have a conversation with God.

  29. Don,

    There has been interesting brain research on both prayer and meditation. There is a specific region of the brain that lights up on PET scans when a person meditates.. But a completely different, small area that lights up when a person is in deep prayer. The prayer region only lights up when a person is praying, not during any other thought activity. So mind emptying meditation, and prayer, are accessing to different areas. Which tells me they are achieving two different purposes. It’s early on Sunday, and I have not finished my first cup of morning coffee, so the names of these two regions is not coming to memory. But it sure is fascinating research.

    Rod in Oregon

  30. AnnaNo Gravatar says:

    Don,
    In his excellent book, Religious Trojan Horse, Brannon Howse quotes from your article,
    “The Woman on the Beast in End Times Prophecy has Dominion Theology.” However, I’m only half way through and I may yet find you again in there. Well done.

  31. rosebudNo Gravatar says:

    extra biblical experiences amongst charismatics are very goofy, one of our Christian brothers told a group of us that at a certain large church he saw every kind of goofiness you could imagine, anyway—what good is it to be a word of faith church without real faith in God’s word….hmmm

  32. Caitlin LaneNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not sure what contemplative prayer is, exactly. The other comment I want to make ties in with spiritualst practices. I was reading the article on The Shack. I checked that book out of the library a few years ago but never finished reading it. If it had been mine I would have filed it in the trash can. Anyway, in the article I noticed that the character Mack had tried astro travel. That’s what I did that got me into trouble. I can see where people who might be seduced by the spiritual formation movement would also likely think The Shack was a good book.

  33. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Caitlin,

    Most of them do like “The Shack”. Simply put, contemplative prayer is using mystical techniques to alter your brain so that you can communicate with Jesus or God in your own mind.

  34. Yeah.. I suckered for the Shack… I confess…

    Rod

  35. ChristinaNo Gravatar says:

    Another good article, Don, thank you.
    I was involved in contemplative prayer for about a year (and had reservations about it all the way through) but allowed myself to be sucked in for a while.
    A “warning bell” moment for me was when the lady who ran the prayer sessions asked me to read out the first few verses of Psalm 91. As I know this Psalm quite well I was able to quote verses 1-3 without opening my Bible. The leader was impressed and said to me, “I hardly ever read the Bible, I just talk to Jesus directly,” (or words to that effect). I remembered thinking to myself that there was something wrong but I ignored it.
    Later, during “deliverance” prayer the same lady told me that a relative of mine called Joseph (no idea if this is accurate as I don’t know any relative’s names – I’m adopted) was in purgatory and needed me to pray Rosaries for him to get him out. She had a vision of him in some deep, dark cellar-like place. She then gave me a set of rosary beads and some prayer cards and I was silly enough to give her some money to have a mass said for my “uncle”.
    I felt mesmerised and took it all in like I was a sponge (I even slept with the beads under my pillow that night as she’d told me the crucifix bit would protect me) but when I got away from her I warred within myself for several days before throwing out the rosary beads and prayer cards.
    I think there is some sort of deceptive spirit attached to all of this stuff. I knew it wasn’t right but I was caught up in it for a while and kept telling myself it would be okay.
    Try to tell other people that, though, and most of them think you are just being legalistic and judgemental. They look at you like you are the unstable one!
    Once again, thanks for your insights, Don.

  36. What a wonderfully adept description of the wizardry going on today. The comments regarding speaking and interpreting “tongues as our special prayer language” as being a form of self-imposed, fleshly illusion was interesting. I’ve been studying this subject for many months now and am no longer a believer in a special prayer language, but there are still so many who continue to misinterpret scripture in this regard. I’m reading a book by Perry Stone called Exposing Satan’s Playbook, and it was good, up until he started pushing this “speaking in ecstatic tongues” agenda, because “as christian we don’t always know what or how to pray”. Aren’t we suppose to pray the word? Can someone recommend credible sources on this subject?

  37. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Suddenlyseized,

    John MacArthur is doing a conference on the subject and I guess after it takes place you will be able to get the DVD’S and his book on the subject may be available. I believe it is called “Strange Fire”. It is about all the unbiblical happenings among the Charismatics that are taking place in the name of Jesus.

  38. Thanks for the tip. I didn’t know about that. I looked up “strange fire” and was reading up on the Conference scheduled to take place Oct. 16 and 17th. We should pray and fast for John’s safety and guidance because he’ll be taking on the “big guns”. Many Charismatic leaders not only have “itchy ears” they have “itchy trigger fingers” and are already poised for WAR, as many already see themselves as end time warriors. John MacArthur is a humble, meek man who believes in honoring the Lord and giving him holy reverence in acceptable forms of worship in spirit and truth, and when he opens up this proverbial “can of worms” and exposes and challenges the current careless, aberrant and manipulative “false and unacceptable” forms of Charismatic worship (“strange” in Hebrew means unauthorized, foreign, or profane), all hell will break loose – literally. John MacArthur needs our prayers and support because he’ll be battling the stronghold demons of religious pride. They will twist, contort, and distort the truth and say that John is the one who blasphemes the Holy Spirit!

    I hope you will follow up after the conference with an article on this subject with your own commentary on this matter of strange fire and give scriptural insight in your own straight forward no nonsense style!

  39. DonNo Gravatar says:

    Suddenlyseized,

    Actually I have been writing about the signs and wonders heretics for a long time. Those posts can be found mostly under the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation or Dominion theology tags.

    If you look through the bellow excerpts you will find plenty of articles on these heretics.
    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/wordpress/tag/new-apostolic-reformation/

    And here is but one case in point.
    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/wordpress/more-baloney-piled-high-on-rutz-crackers-for-the-latest-nar-megashift.html

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