I would like to make a plea to all born again, godly Christians. Please, please, please, SEPARATE yourself from any schools or churches which teach Spiritual Formation (SF)/Contemplative Prayer(CP), and which tout postmodern (PM)(Emerging/ Emergent/Emergence) teachings. LEAVE. Run as far away as you can, as fast as you can. And don’t let any so-called Christians – evangelical or otherwise – drag you down into these heresies. Look to the Truth of God’s Word alone, and stand strong on it.
In order to resist this End Times onslaught of SF/CS and PM teachings, we need to separate ourselves from these teachings. And we need to study what God’s Word says regarding “straying from the Truth” and “how to avoid straying from the Truth.” So here goes…
Throughout biblical history, it seems that godly people have always fallen by the wayside. Or, as Paul wrote, “made shipwreck of their faith” (I Tim. 1:19). They have always had a tendency to sin, first dabbling in disobedience (including the occult), then compromising their godly beliefs and falling away from their trust in God. The very first example, of course, was when Satan tempted Eve. He lied to her, saying, “hath God said…?” (Gen. 3:1, KJV) If Eve had turned her back on Satan (separated from him and ran away), he would not have had a chance to tempt her.
I found this passage in Deuteronomy to be relevant regarding SF/CP and PM teachings:
9) When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. 11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13) Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14) For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deut. 18:9-13, KJV).
How much more direct can God’s Word get? God specifically warns us to avoid/separate ourselves from all occult practices. No matter what those in SF/CP and PM tell you, they are (either knowingly or unknowingly) getting involved in occult practices. So, avoid these individuals!!
Of course, the above-mentioned passage in Deuteronomy lists only some of the occult practices which God specifically forbids. [I will plan to list additional forbidden practices as I locate the Bible passages.]
Individuals involved in SF/CP and PM teachings might respond that they are NOT engaging in occult practices. They may insist that they are practicing centering prayer, the labyrinth, etc. in a “Christian” way. This is impossible!! Suppose they were presented with an Ouija board. Could they use the Ouija board in a “Christian” way? Of course not! In the same way, it is impossible to use centering prayer, the labyrinth, and all other inherently occult contemplative practices in a “Christian” way. And evangelicals practicing CP almost always become more open, eventually, to more blatantly occult practices. Several are mentioned in the Deuteronomy passage above: horoscopes (“observers of times”), and, attempting to contact one’s guardian angel who is actually a demonic impersonator (“a consulter with familiar spirits”).
Another point – evangelicals into SF/CP and PM teachings admire the writings of numerous Catholic mystics. (Once they “get into” Catholicism mysticism, they may eventually move on to studying Hindu mysticism, Buddhist mysticism, etc.) But even Catholicism, taken by itself, is full of occult practices such as idol worship and contact with the dead. I will add links to articles exposing occultism within Catholicism, as I locate them. In regards to my original point: all born again Christians should SEPARATE themselves from Catholicism entirely, since Catholicism is so rife with occult practices.
Occultism is demonic, and it is inseparable from mysticism. All those involved in mysticism – whether it be evangelical mysticism, Catholic mysticism, Hindu mysticism, Buddhist mysticism, the New Age movement, or whatever – are engaging in blatantly demonic rebellion against the Lord our God. We as born again, biblically sound Christians are truly engaged in a spiritual battle against all those involved in any kind of CP/mysticism. Remember Ephesians Chapter 6?
10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints… (Eph. 6:10-18, KJV)