Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Altered State of Silence

The info in this newsletter from Lighthouse Trails Research shows how extensively contemplative prayer is now sweeping through the body of Christ. Check it out below.


ps.-this is not a time for silence


The Altered State of Silence - Promoted by Both New Agers and Christian Leaders

Different than finding a quiet place away from noise and distractions, the silence is referring to a stillness of the mind.

Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, says it is like putting the mind in neutral. Contemplatives say it is like tuning into another frequency. New Agers call it different things like a thin place, sacred space, ecstasy; whatever it is called, both New Agers and Christian leaders are telling us we must practice silence and stillness if we really want to know God. Here is a sampling:

"What you need is stillness and silence so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear." —Ruth Haley Barton, "Beyond Words" (Running Against the Wind, p. 153)

"The basic method promoted in The Cloud is to move beyond thinking into a place of utter stillness with the Lord ... the believer must first achieve a state of silence and contemplation, and then God works in the believer’s heart."—Tony Jones, ATOD, p. 174

"Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence.... It is this recreating silence to which we are called in Contemplative Prayer.—Richard Foster, RAW, pp. 169, 173, Be Still DVD participant

"It is through silence that you find your inner being."—Vijay Eswaran, In the Sphere of Silence, RAW, p. 198

"This book [In the Sphere of Silence] is a wonderful guide on how to enter the realm of silence and draw closer to God."—New Age sympathizer, Ken Blanchard, RAW, p. 198

"Go into the silence for guidance" —New Ager, Wayne Dyer, ATOD p. 18

"While we are all equally precious in the eyes of God, we are not all equally ready to listen to 'God's speech in his wondrous, terrible, gentle, loving, all embracing silence.'"—Richard Foster, RAW, p. 145

"When one enters the deeper layers of contemplative prayer one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness ... the profound mystical silence ... an absence of thought." —Thomas Merton biographer, William Johnston, ATOD, p. 33

"In the silence is a dynamic presence. And that’s God, and we become attuned to that."—Interspiritualist, Wayne Teasdale, ATOD, p. 55

"I do not believe anyone can ever become a deep person [intimate with God] without stillness and silence.” —Charles Swindoll, ATOD, p. 190

"The most important human activity in the life of any believer is spending time with God in meditation," referring to his 3 part series, Meditation: The Power of Silence.—Dr. Charles Stanley, 4/11/06 radio broadcast, Be Still DVD supporter

From the Be Still DVD:

"One of the great things silence does, it gives us a new concept of God."—Calvin Miller, Be Still DVD participant


Blogger Loki said...

Seriously Kenny, what difference does it make if I am still and quiet while I reflect on God or if I'm not still?

12:00 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

Being still and quiet is not wrong. Trying to "listen" to God while being still, quiet and trying to empty yourself of thoughts is dangerous. This is what the contemplatives are promoting. They claim you can receive the leading of the Holy Spirit as you learn to practice this discipline. I would suggest reading Psalm 119 and see how emptying the mind is the opposite of what one should do in order to listen to God. Our minds should be filled with God's word, precepts, statues etc.

More posts on this is forthcoming. There is a lot of info to include. I am trying to trickle it out proportionately so as not to dump too much info at once

12:12 PM  
Blogger KCO said...

"Seriously" Loki,

Do you really think that we are saying that silence by itself is bad? Come on. That's silly.

There is a context here to these articles. Let's not stray into ridiculous notions (not even Marc Hienrich would have posted a comment like that).


12:24 PM  
Blogger Loki said...

Keith, no need for that remark = not even Marc Hienrich would have posted a comment like that).
You need to learn how to tame your tongue, I don't use contemplative prayer, but that's the basis of contemplative prayer, being still and listening to the Spirit, there is nothing wrong or unbiblical about that...If you don't agree with it that's fine but there is no need for that little remark especially if this is your site promoting your thoughts on certain issues that are so insignificant when compared to Jesus on the cross.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loki, from your comments concerning contemplative prayer I don't think you fully understand what is really behind it. Yes, finding a quiet place to sit and read your bible and pray is biblical and good. However I know from experience that what the promoters of contemplative prayer are talking about and practising is quite differant than that. I went to a women's ministry morning class at my church thinking it was providing a "class" as a way for us to get away from all our busyness and everything at home that keeps us moms distracted from spending quality time with the Lord only to find the class introducing something to us called contemplative prayer that required us to sit quietly and concentrate on sounds around us then eventually just our own breathing and heartbeat until a word or phrase came to mind. Then we were to just focus on that word or phrase until we sensed God's presense with us and then were to just listen to what he had to say. These classes kept introducing things like Lectio Divina (sacred readings), Labyrinths, etc. Reading scripture to understand what it was actually saying and trying to teach us was replaced by meditating on a word or phrase until God spoke to us through that. Very strangely, nothing of warning or correction or admonition is ever used for this so called Christian practise that Jesus and his disciples supposedly practised. I kept sensing in the beginning of this class that something wasn't quite right and it seemed to be kind of like new age stuff but I foolishly trusted the people teaching the class and ignored the promptings of warning that the Holy Spirit was speaking. Later however, as more and more things were being introduced I became more uneasy with it all and asked God to give me clear discernment and show me if this was of him or not. It was about a week later that God brought a friend to my home asking me to check out a book by a former new ager who'd become a Christian. As I read this book God opened my eyes to see clearly that my initial thoughts of this being kind of like new age stuff was correct. Contemplative prayer is in fact very new age as it is exactly what transcendental meditation is only with Christian terms attached to it. The book that shed light on this for me is "Running Against the Wind." by Brian Flynn. I have read many other books and articles that shed further light on this subject and I highly recommend also Ray Yungen's book, "A Time Of Departing" Of course the main book to read any study carefully with the desire to know the absolute truth of God, is the Holy Bible. Whatever does not line up completely with scripture is to be rejected. See Rom.12:2, 1Thes.5:21, and 1John 4:1. Please investigate this very carefully and with much prayer for discernment. This issue is very significant as it undermines completely what Jesus did on the cross and will eventually lead to a complete rejection of the cross of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation on the part of those who continue to practise it. ...Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith....1Peter 5:8&9. ...for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising , then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. 2Cor.11:14&15. With love and concern. -Char

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what Brian Flynn, a former medium - New Ager who has turned to Christ, has to say.

"Throughout the gospel God has communicated to those of His choosing and the time of His choosing, but never by a practice that man initiated." http://www.worldviewweekend.com/secure/cwnetwork/article.php?&ArticleID=512> My Former New Age Life & the Danger of Contemplative Prayer By Brian Flynn

Man through out time has tired by many methods to get God in him, God to do his bidding, etc. by fleshly methods.
This contemplative prayer is just another of those flawed ideas to "go deeper" or to get God to be more intimate by some action we must do. It's religion.... If you do this, God will do that. Pretty much the same thing Jesus dealt with during His earthly walk. Those who said if you obeyed the law, then you will be righteous before God and go to heaven.

I will continue my walk with the Lord just as I started, in faith. Don't need any new program, conference, method - Just Him.

Colossians 2:6-7 As therefore you received Christ
Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, rooted and
built up in him, and established in the faith,
even as you were taught, abounding in it in

9:15 PM  
Blogger Loki said...

Char, I've experienced it once for myself, it never undermined the cross, and trust me, the one thing that will never change is the way to salvation, admitting we're all selfish evil people who sin against a holy God, and accepting what His Son did on calvary. Meditating on the cross is what I experienced, and it blew my mind of what Christ did for us, if anything it enhanced my sorrow for sinning against God daily. It's good to say it's not for you but I want to see scripture that tells me it's wrong. In the NKJV the bible says meditate 20 times, and like I said there's nothing wrong w/meditating and trying to visualize the things of God.

11:54 AM  

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