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TheSword

Pervasive Occultism

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I'm currently reading a book that studies and details the pervaviseness of occultic practices in America.  The book contains a lot of survey data and one statistic that struck me is 1-in-4 Americans engage in some type of occultic practice (knowingly or unknowingly).  This stat easily bleeds over into the churches where professing Christians are engaging in it as well.

 

Have any of you come across people in your ministries that have come across severe problems as a result of playing around with stuff like ouija boards, witchcraft, and spiritism?  Have you had to counsel anyone sucked into this demonic world?  If so, how did you deal with the issue(s)?

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Watched an interesting documentary on how the modern-day signs and manifestations movement is virtually indistinguishable from Hindu Kundalini. Watching the comparisons, especially how the 'manifestation' is passed, they are strikingly similar.

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I have several relatives who regularly waste their money on Tarot card and palm readers.  Others who listen to satanic music, many who play with Ouija boards, and still others who drink blood and have sharpened and cut their teeth into fangs.  Many have a false hope of salvation and most hate God and Jesus Christ, all are destined for hell.

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For those I've spoken with who are still involved in such things a Ouija boards, witchcraft or "white magic", and such things, I've stress the importance of total separation from it. Immediately tossing in the trash or burning all things connected to these matters, even the "innocent" things some folks try to keep like "charms" or "crystals". Unless they are already familiar with the Scriptures, I take them to the Bible (if they are familiar with the Scripture in this area, I simply go over what the Bible says) and show them what the Lord says about witchcraft, contact with the dead, and the severe consequences of such and punishment which shows clearly just how seriously the Lord takes the matter. Of course all of this goes along with leading them to repentance, guiding them to spend serious time in prayer and Bible study; and where possible, spending time discipling them for a time.

 

If they are no longer involved in such things, but feel they are suffering the consequences of actions in their past, I take them to the Scripture which says we are no longer under condemnation, that Christ is greater than the devil, that the devil has no hold over us, that we are not to be in fear, that Christ has won the victory. I make sure we address their repentance, spend time in prayer, guide them to study the Word in the areas mentioned so they will realize the Enemy has no hold on them and if the Enemy tries to infiltrate their thoughts and make them fearful or trick them, that the Word shows us how to stand strong against such and realize it's just the Enemies attempts to deceive because if we don't yield, he can't touch us. Then, as in the other case, if possible I spend discipleship time with them for a period of time.

 

In both cases, if I'm unable to directly disciple them, I make it a point to maintain as much contact as possible at least until they are doing well.

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Most people see nothing wrong with reading their daily horoscope either. But little doors open bigger doors for the devil to get in! All the shows on TV now are about going to supposed "haunted houses". It's so easy for people to accept all that evil but impossible to believe in an Almighty God!

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Most people see nothing wrong with reading their daily horoscope either. But little doors open bigger doors for the devil to get in! All the shows on TV now are about going to supposed "haunted houses". It's so easy for people to accept all that evil but impossible to believe in an Almighty God!

 

Yes, that's probably one small step that leads to other things sooner or later for most people. Its amazing at how many magazines has the daily horoscope.

 

When I was young I always wanted a Ouija board, I really had no idea what it was I had only seen it in a catalog, but mother made sure I never got one!  :biggrin:

 

And another thing its amazing at the number of magazines that has pictures of immodest dressed women. I suppose that's a thing of the past.

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Black magic consultants regularly put their cards through our doors - curses removed, marital problems, exams, jobs, homes,  - all your problems solved - money back guarantee ....

 

We had a book table opposite where one consultant operated. His wife was giving out leaflets - she confided - "If he was any good, I wouldn't need to be out here, giving out these leaflets.

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Most people see nothing wrong with reading their daily horoscope either. But little doors open bigger doors for the devil to get in! All the shows on TV now are about going to supposed "haunted houses". It's so easy for people to accept all that evil but impossible to believe in an Almighty God!

Unfortunately his is something that infects the church nearly as much as the world. It's so common to hear a Christian talk about their horoscope as if it's something to pay attention to. Many Christians read those "Dear Abby" type advice columns as if the words put forth there are some sort of special revelation for life. I hear Christians talking about having seen ghosts and often when someone confronts them with reality, they want to start talking about this or that "real life" ghost show they watched about a real haunted house or something and talk about how real that is.

 

For some of these people it can be easy to see how they fall into this stuff, but for so many others it's amazing how these otherwise intelligent people who have been in church for years can fall for this mess. Indeed, many are much more willing to believe in the fakery and all the paranormal than they are what Scripture says. Sadly, one reason for this is they know much more about these tools of the devil than they do of the Word of God.

 

As surveys and polls continually indicate, even among professing born again believers in Christ who say they believe the Bible is the Word of God, only a very tiny percentage read their Bible at least once a month. An even smaller percentage say they read their Bible daily. For the rest, the vast majority of these Christians, they say they read the Bible a couple times a year or not at all. From my own experiences this seems to be accurate.

 

We are going to believe and follow what we feed our minds. If we are not feeding upon the Word of God regularly, we are feeding upon something else and that's where we will be moving towards.

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Most people see nothing wrong with reading their daily horoscope either. But little doors open bigger doors for the devil to get in! All the shows on TV now are about going to supposed "haunted houses". It's so easy for people to accept all that evil but impossible to believe in an Almighty God!

 

This is incredibly accurate. It seems there were 3 or 4 of these shows that started airing all at once and the channels were inundated with them.  I had left the channel on either History or Discovery one night (I don't remember which) and when I turned on the TV the next day it was in the middle of one of these shows.  I only stayed on the channel long enough to figure out what it was, but I saw enough in a few minutes to be horrified for the people on the show.  All I could think was, "if you only knew what you were actually dealing with you'd run out of the house and pick up your Bible!"

 

I also saw several places in the news how this new movie The Conjuring has captured people's attention and they're just enthralled with it.  I think there is, perhaps, a growing trend in people who have been trying to trust in science and humanism to explain everything and are becoming disillusioned with the lack of answers to their questions about the spiritual realm that they're searching for answers and the Adversary is ready and waiting to give them a false truth.  I know this stuff has been around since time began, but at least in Western culture, it seems to have picked up speed over the last couple decades or so.  Wicca and Spiritism are growing at alarming rate (avg 143% per year from 1990-2001).

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Referring to the post about Christians reading their Bible, most churches you don't even BRING your Bible! A lot of churches have like a catholic missal (?) reading book with replies for each Sunday of the year. Also, a lot of churches the actual preaching (if  you can call it that) is all of 5 to 10 minutes. The rest of service is filled with special singers or anything to fill the time that should be used for real preaching and the Gospel!

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I used to receive a newsletter from a pastor, concerning leadership in the church. Now, the pastor was a generally wise man, and I got a lot out of it.

 

One day I got an email from him that included a link to a small portion of an ebook he was recommending for leaders to read. I followed the link and got the frist few pages of the book. To my surprise, the wise Christian leader's recommended book had an opening statement, which was a quote from Lao Tzu, who you may or may not know, was the founder of Tao Buddhism. Not exactly a glowing endorsement for a book for Christians! So I contacted this pastor, and, I admit, I was concerned I would receive a scathing reply for daring to give a gentle rebuke to this wise man of God. However, I was pleased to receive a truly wise reply from a humble man who admitted his error, being that, having used other books by the same person and never finding anything bad, he recommended this one without reading it first. He apologized and immediately withdrew the recommendation with a note to all who received it as to his error.

 

My point is that there are those who really know little of the pervasiveness of the New Age in creeping into churches-I have know people who say, "I don;t need to read anything bu the Bible!" They ignore history, which can open the Bible in some ways, and ignore false doctrines and teachings of cults, and end up being fooled when it sneaks in, because they are so good at hiding intentions and meanings behind a smokescreen of biblical-sounding words and phrases. This man, as wise as he was, didn't bother to read even the first page, and even if he had, I am not sure he even knew who Lao Tzu was." Study to show thyself approved unto God..." 

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And the supposable good Bible commentary man C. S. Lewis, some people will read his fiction books, buy them for their children, & you never know where they will be led to.
 
And some Christians recommend Harry Potter movies & books.

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Referring to the post about Christians reading their Bible, most churches you don't even BRING your Bible! A lot of churches have like a catholic missal (?) reading book with replies for each Sunday of the year. Also, a lot of churches the actual preaching (if  you can call it that) is all of 5 to 10 minutes. The rest of service is filled with special singers or anything to fill the time that should be used for real preaching and the Gospel!

 

It not that way in this part of the country for most people that attend church services are carrying a Bible, except for the Catholic Church.

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It not that way in this part of the country for most people that attend church services are carrying a Bible, except for the Catholic Church.

Not here, not Methodist, Lutheran, Weslyan, Presbyterian or Assembly of God. AOG used to but they're a rock-n-roll church now with very superficial sermons printed off internet. (That was told to me by the son of former secretary of the church)

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Occultism has been greatly popularised by Hollywood, and of course the Harry Potter books have done their part to entice people into it. A lot of people buy into the idea that it's "just harmless fun" and don't understand the real spiritual dangers involved with it.

 

However, the lost can't discern things spiritually. Christians should be able to have a better understanding of the dangers. Yet many Christians are being enticed into the occult without even realising it. They're getting involved in things like contemplative prayer, "Christian" yoga and suchlike. Contemplative prayer is just Hindu/Buddhist mysticism with another name. They think these things will get them "closer to God", but in reality such activities are exposing them to demonic spirits. Mysticism will likely be the main glue of ecumenism in the future, and I believe that contemplative prayer is a much greater occultic danger, for the Christian church at least, than better-known practices like fortune-telling or Ouija boards (although those should certainly be avoided like the plague!).

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However, the lost can't discern things spiritually. Christians should be able to have a better understanding of the dangers. Yet many Christians are being enticed into the occult without even realising it. They're getting involved in things like contemplative prayer, "Christian" yoga and suchlike. Contemplative prayer is just Hindu/Buddhist mysticism with another name. They think these things will get them "closer to God", but in reality such activities are exposing them to demonic spirits. Mysticism will likely be the main glue of ecumenism in the future, and I believe that contemplative prayer is a much greater occultic danger, for the Christian church at least, than better-known practices like fortune-telling or Ouija boards (although those should certainly be avoided like the plague!).

 

:goodpost:

 

Yes. Contemplative prayer/mysticism (so-called 'spiritual formation') is becoming huge in churches nowadays - and not just the liberal, gospel-less ones. It is pervading evangelical colleges at an alarming rate.  And no one, including in our churches, seems aware of it.  This one has me concerned, for if they don't know the danger, they can't see and guard against the danger.  If this is so far advanced in its flood into the evangelical churches, it must already be seeping into ours.

 

One website that I often go to for information on this is www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/.  I don't know what denomination the authors are (pretty sure it's a mom & pop affair) - they write a lot about problems in Calvary Chapel, so that might have been a prior association - but they're a good source of warning & information regarding occult infiltration and contemplative mysticism in churches. Sometimes I even see Way of Life articles that pull from information on Lighthouse Trails. :wink

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Occultism has been greatly popularised by Hollywood, and of course the Harry Potter books have done their part to entice people into it. A lot of people buy into the idea that it's "just harmless fun" and don't understand the real spiritual dangers involved with it.

 

However, the lost can't discern things spiritually. Christians should be able to have a better understanding of the dangers. Yet many Christians are being enticed into the occult without even realising it. They're getting involved in things like contemplative prayer, "Christian" yoga and suchlike. Contemplative prayer is just Hindu/Buddhist mysticism with another name. They think these things will get them "closer to God", but in reality such activities are exposing them to demonic spirits. Mysticism will likely be the main glue of ecumenism in the future, and I believe that contemplative prayer is a much greater occultic danger, for the Christian church at least, than better-known practices like fortune-telling or Ouija boards (although those should certainly be avoided like the plague!).

 

Contemplative prayer is actually a very good practice.  It is a practice where one removes the distractions in one's mind and focuses solely upon listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Our minds are easily distracted.  Many times when I pray, I find my mind wondering off topic and thinking about what I need to get done, and other things.  

 

Contemplative prayer does not replace active forms of prayer where we let our petitions be known to God, but supplements it.  There are times we are to pray actively, and other times when we are to sit and rest, removing distractions and listening or the voice of God.  This is not a practice of emptying the mind, as eastern meditation, but rather removing distractions and focusing upon how God is working in our lives.  Often times, our minds are captivated by other thoughts so that we do not notice how God is trying to work in our lives.  It is really an exercise in examining one's self to identify bad behaviors, habits, areas of disobedience to Christ, etc. and allow God to illuminate those areas.

 

It is posturing one's self to listen to God.  Yes, we are to actively pray, but if we do all of the talking, we will never listen.  Sometimes we need to sit quietly and listen to God.

 

I compare it to Mary and Martha.  Much of the time, our minds are like Martha, going from one thing to the next.  Those tasks are necessary and good, but sometimes we need to be like Mary.  Perhaps we pick a scripture and focus upon it, removing all other distractions from our minds, and listening what God's spirit is trying to say to us.

 

So, contemplative prayer is very useful and good.  I understand that some people misunderstand what it is, but it is a very good practice. It is being led by the still waters to allow God to restore our soul.  :-)

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Question: "What is contemplative prayer?"

Answer:
It is important to first define “contemplative prayer.” Contemplative prayer is not just “contemplating while you pray.” The Bible instructs us to pray with our minds (1 Corinthians 14:15), so, clearly, prayer does involve contemplation. However, praying with your mind is not what “contemplative prayer” has come to mean. Contemplative prayer has slowly increased in practice and popularity along with the rise of the emerging church movement—a movement which embraces many unscriptural ideas and practices. Contemplative prayer is one such practice.

Contemplative prayer begins with “centering prayer,” a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. The purpose is to clear one’s mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may be more easily heard. After the centering prayer, the practitioner is to sit still, listen for direct guidance from God, and feel His presence.

Although this might sound like an innocent exercise, this type of prayer has no scriptural support whatsoever. In fact, it is just the opposite of how prayer is defined in the Bible. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6). “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:23-24). These verses and others clearly portray prayer as being comprehendible communication with God, not an esoteric, mystical meditation.

Contemplative prayer, by design, focuses on having a mystical experience with God. Mysticism, however, is purely subjective, and does not rely upon truth or fact. Yet the Word of God has been given to us for the very purpose of basing our faith, and our lives, on Truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17). What we know about God is based on fact; trusting in experiential knowledge over the biblical record takes a person outside of the standard that is the Bible.

Contemplative prayer is no different than the meditative exercises used in Eastern religions and New Age cults. Its most vocal supporters embrace an open spirituality among adherents from all religions, promoting the idea that salvation is gained by many paths, even though Christ Himself stated that salvation comes only through Him (John 14:6). Contemplative prayer, as practiced in the modern prayer movement, is in opposition to biblical Christianity and should definitely be avoided.


Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/contemplative-prayer.html#ixzz2a4jqm4nR

 

 

Definition of Contemplative Spirituality: a belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).

 

by Ray Yungen

It was Alice Bailey (the famous occult prophetess who coined the term New Age), who made this startling assertion:

It is, of course, easy to find many passages which link the way of the Christian Knower with that of his brother in the East. They bear witness to the same efficacy of method.

What did she mean by the term “Christian Knower”? The answer is unmistakable! … [O]ccultism is awakening the mystical faculties to see God in everything. In Hinduism, this is called reaching samadhi or enlightenment. It is the final objective of yoga meditation: God in everything – a force or power flowing through all that exists. William Johnston believes such an experience exists within the context of Christianity. He explains:

What I can safely say, however, is that there is a Christian samadhi that has always occupied an honored place in the spirituality of the West. This, I believe, is the thing that is nearest to Zen. It is this that I have called Christian Zen.

The famous psychologist Carl Jung predicted this system would be the yoga of the west. Christian Zen? Christian yoga? These seem to be oxymorons, like military pacifism or alcoholic sobriety. Christians, conservative ones at least, have always viewed these concepts as heretical and anti-biblical. The word most commonly used for it is pantheism – all is God. But when one looks at the Christian Zen movement one discovers a similar term, which for all practical purposes, means the same thing. This term is called panentheism?God is in all things….

[Does] panentheism have a legitimate place in orthodox Christianity? This is a vital question because panentheism is the foundational worldview among those who engage in mystical prayer. Ken Kaisch, a Episcopal priest and a teacher of mystical prayer, made this very clear in his book, Finding God, where he noted:

Meditation is a process through which we quiet the mind and the emotions and enter directly into the experience of the Divine…. there is a deep connection between us … God is in each of us.

Here lies the core of panentheism: God is in everything and everything is in God. The only difference between pantheism and panentheism is how God is in everything. This position of the panentheist is challenging to understand: Your outer personality is not God, but God is still in you as your true identity. This explains why mystics say, all is one. At the mystical level, they experience this God-force that seems to flow through everything and everybody. All creation has God in it as a living, vital presence. It is just hidden.

The theological implications of this worldview put it at direct odds with biblical Christianity for obvious reasons. Only one true God exists, and His identity is not in everyone. The fullness of God?s identity, in bodily form, rests in Jesus Christ and Him only!

 

 

 

The purpose of contemplative prayer is to enter an altered state of consciousness in order to find one's true self, thus finding God. This true self relates to the belief that man is basically good. Proponents of contemplative prayer teach that all human beings have a divine center and that all, not just born again believers, should practice contemplative prayer. 

 

 

 

"Contemplative consciousness," says [Thomas] Merton, is "a trans-cultural, trans-religious, trans-formed consciousness … it can shine through this or that system, religious or irreligious"

 

No. I would say contemplative prayer is not good.  Nor is it the meditation the Bible instructs for us to do - true meditation does NOT find one's true self first.

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Contemplative prayer is actually a very good practice.  It is a practice where one removes the distractions in one's mind and focuses solely upon listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Our minds are easily distracted.  Many times when I pray, I find my mind wondering off topic and thinking about what I need to get done, and other things.  

 

Contemplative prayer does not replace active forms of prayer where we let our petitions be known to God, but supplements it.  There are times we are to pray actively, and other times when we are to sit and rest, removing distractions and listening or the voice of God.  This is not a practice of emptying the mind, as eastern meditation, but rather removing distractions and focusing upon how God is working in our lives.  Often times, our minds are captivated by other thoughts so that we do not notice how God is trying to work in our lives.  It is really an exercise in examining one's self to identify bad behaviors, habits, areas of disobedience to Christ, etc. and allow God to illuminate those areas.

 

It is posturing one's self to listen to God.  Yes, we are to actively pray, but if we do all of the talking, we will never listen.  Sometimes we need to sit quietly and listen to God.

 

I compare it to Mary and Martha.  Much of the time, our minds are like Martha, going from one thing to the next.  Those tasks are necessary and good, but sometimes we need to be like Mary.  Perhaps we pick a scripture and focus upon it, removing all other distractions from our minds, and listening what God's spirit is trying to say to us.

 

So, contemplative prayer is very useful and good.  I understand that some people misunderstand what it is, but it is a very good practice. It is being led by the still waters to allow God to restore our soul.  :-)

 

Oh, no, KoB, it is not useful and good. It is a 'christianization' of Hindu practices, and it is terribly, terribly dangerous.  You said that CP isn't emptying the mind - perhaps you have been taught a misleading definition, because that is what true CP seeks to do. Contemplative prayer as it is taught isn't thinking about Scripture - filling our minds with it, as we are instructed. It seeks to boil it down to a one-word or phrase mantra that produces the same effect as Hindu or New Age 'meditation'. When you read the descriptions of the mental and physical effects of CP as it is taught by so-called 'christian' leaders, the effects are eerily similar to that of the kundalini energy of Hinduism and the New Age.  For those that are unsaved, it will open the mind to demon oppression and possession.

 

We disagree on a lot of things, you and I, and many of them (guns, etc.) are really of no eternal merit. This is. This is scarily dangerous.  Please, take a look at what HappyChristian copied above, and take a look through the Lighthouse Trails site I queried. You won't like most of it, but please consider its warning. This is not a practice you want to be involved with.

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Oh, no, KoB, it is not useful and good. It is a 'christianization' of Hindu practices, and it is terribly, terribly dangerous.  You said that CP isn't emptying the mind - perhaps you have been taught a misleading definition, because that is what true CP seeks to do. Contemplative prayer as it is taught isn't thinking about Scripture - filling our minds with it, as we are instructed. It seeks to boil it down to a one-word or phrase mantra that produces the same effect as Hindu or New Age 'meditation'. When you read the descriptions of the mental and physical effects of CP as it is taught by so-called 'christian' leaders, the effects are eerily similar to that of the kundalini energy of Hinduism and the New Age.  For those that are unsaved, it will open the mind to demon oppression and possession.

 

We disagree on a lot of things, you and I, and many of them (guns, etc.) are really of no eternal merit. This is. This is scarily dangerous.  Please, take a look at what HappyChristian copied above, and take a look through the Lighthouse Trails site I queried. You won't like most of it, but please consider its warning. This is not a practice you want to be involved with.

 

It is something that I have found great meaning in.  Thomas Merton has written much on the topic, and I find much of it to have deep meaning.  It is really reflection on who we are, what our flaws are, and how God is speaking to us to change us.  Here is one of my favorite passages on the topic by Thomas Merton

 

"Our desire and our prayer should be summed up in St. Augustine's words: Noverin te, noverim
me. We wish to gain a true evaluation of ourselves and of the world so as to understand the
meaning of our life as children of God redeemed from sin and death. We wish to gain a true loving
knowledge of God, our Father and Redeemer. We wish to lose ourselves in his love and rest in
him. We wish to hear his word and respond to it with our whole being. We wish to know his
merciful will and submit to it in its totality. These are the aims and goals of medatatio and oratio. 
This preparation for prayer can be prolonged by the slow, "sapiential" and loving recitation of a
favorite psalm, dwelling on the deep sense of the words for us here and now.
 In the language of the monastic fathers, all prayer, reading and meditation, and all the
activities of the monastic life are aimed at purity of heart, an unconditional and totally humble
surrender to God, a total acceptance of ourselves and of our situation as willed by him. It means
the renunciation of all deluded images of ourselves, all exaggerated estimates of our own
capacities, in order to obey God's will as it comes to us in the difficult demands of life in its
exacting truth. Purity of heart is then correlative to a new spiritual identity - the “self” as
recognized in the context of realities willed by God-Purity of heart is the enlightened awareness of
the new man, as opposed to the complex and perhaps rather disreputable fantasies of the "old
man."
 
Now, I am not trying to say everyone should practice it.  I am just saying that it is not related to HIndu or Buddhist practices, though it has been misunderstood as such (understandably so).  It comes from practices in the very early Christian church.  As I practice it, I usually recite a Psalm or passage of Scripture. The practice eliminates other distracting thoughts, and then I focus solely upon the scripture at hand.  Once my mind is at rest, I then move on to examining myself and try to listen what God is saying to me about what I need to change.  Oftentimes, this uncovers things and areas of sin that I was unaware of, such as a bad attitutde, or a seed of bitterness.

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It is something that I have found great meaning in.  Thomas Merton has written much on the topic, and I find much of it to have deep meaning.  It is really reflection on who we are, what our flaws are, and how God is speaking to us to change us.  Here is one of my favorite passages on the topic by Thomas Merton

 

 

This Thomas Merton?

 

Quotes by Thomas Merton:

“I’m deeply impregnated with Sufism.” (Merton, The Springs of Contemplation, p. 266)

“And I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own traditions, because they have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper into this than we have.” (Quote by Merton from the book, Lost Christianity by Jacob Needleman)

“Isn’t it a pity that people are going into LSD to have spiritual experiences, when we have a tradition in the Church [contemplative prayer] which no one knows anything about?” (Interview in which Matthew Fox quoted Merton).

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are …. If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are …I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other … At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth … This little point …is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.” (Merton,Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander -1989 edition, 157-158)

“I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity … I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” (Merton in David Steindl-Rast’s “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” – Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969)

"It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, ... now I realize what we all are .... If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are ...I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other ... At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth ... This little point ...is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody." 
(Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1989 edition, 157-158)

 

 

KoB, the early Christian church that you are referring to is the early Catholic church. The mystics that practiced it were heretics even by their standards! (Wow, never thought I'd be agreeing with the Catholic church on anything.) They came out of a church full of false doctrine, and in their attempt to find a satisfying spiritual truth, traveled into spiritualism.  Poor people!  I say that CP is exactly the same as Hindu & New Age practices because those are easily identifiable, false practices of today. Did the CP of yesteryear originate from those traditions? Perhaps it did, perhaps it didn't. Whether you can clearly trace its cultic 'christian' origins to eastern religious teachers or not is immaterial. In practice and conclusion it is clearly in agreement with those religions, and we can know its true origin, which it does share with those other traditions:

 

 

"...the devil...was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

 

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools... Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."  (Rom. 1:21-22, 25)

 

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Col. 2:8)

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This Thomas Merton?

 

Quotes by Thomas Merton:

“I’m deeply impregnated with Sufism.” (Merton, The Springs of Contemplation, p. 266)

“And I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own traditions, because they have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper into this than we have.” (Quote by Merton from the book, Lost Christianity by Jacob Needleman)

“Isn’t it a pity that people are going into LSD to have spiritual experiences, when we have a tradition in the Church [contemplative prayer] which no one knows anything about?” (Interview in which Matthew Fox quoted Merton).

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, … now I realize what we all are …. If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are …I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other … At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth … This little point …is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.” (Merton,Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander -1989 edition, 157-158)

“I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity … I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” (Merton in David Steindl-Rast’s “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” – Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969)

"It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, ... now I realize what we all are .... If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are ...I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other ... At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth ... This little point ...is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody." 
(Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1989 edition, 157-158)

 

 

KoB, the early Christian church that you are referring to is the early Catholic church. The mystics that practiced it were heretics even by their standards! (Wow, never thought I'd be agreeing with the Catholic church on anything.) They came out of a church full of false doctrine, and in their attempt to find a satisfying spiritual truth, traveled into spiritualism.  I say that CP is exactly the same as Hindu & New Age practices because those are easily identifiable, false practices of today. Did the CP of yesteryear originate from those traditions? Perhaps it did, perhaps it didn't. Whether you can clearly trace its cultic 'christian' origins to eastern religious teachers or not is immaterial. In practice and conclusion it is clearly in agreement with those religions, and we can know its true origin, which it does share with those other traditions:

 

 

"...the devil...was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

 

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools... Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."  (Rom. 1:21-22, 25)

 

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Col. 2:8)

Good stuff-right to the meat of the matter. Let his own words condemn him, and perhaps warn a brother away from the precipice.

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Most people see nothing wrong with reading their daily horoscope either. But little doors open bigger doors for the devil to get in! All the shows on TV now are about going to supposed "haunted houses". It's so easy for people to accept all that evil but impossible to believe in an Almighty God!

 

Most people see nothing wrong because these unscriptural things are allowed to slip in small doses at first then grow larger and larger and before one knows it they have started accepting things which are clearly unscriptural.  Many are drinking the kool-aid today without realizing it.

 

But God- He is waiting for the "whosever's" and "prodigal" sons to wake up and come to Him.  Honestly, though, I believe He must be nearing the end of His holy patience.

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