Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards on Scriptural Meditation

I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. (Psalm 119:99)

For years now Christians have been warned about the danger of the mind-emptying practice of contemplative prayer, and some have taken heed.

On the other hand, have we ever really understood the value–and the wonder–of true biblical meditation? Many years ago Charles Spurgeon  called such meditation “a most blessed, but most neglected duty,”[1] and this description holds true for many today.

Scriptural (or biblical) meditation is not about emptying our minds and entering the silence, the realm of deceptive spiritual experiences and false Christs. Far from it. Consider these words about meditating on the Word of God from Jonathan Edwards.

Edwards wrote, “I seemed often to see so much light exhibited by every sentence, and such a refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading; often dwelling long on one sentence to see the wonders contained in it, and yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders.” [2]

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

Charles Spurgeon stated, “It is well to meditate upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. A man who hears many sermons, is not necessarily well-instructed in the faith. We may read so many religious books, that we overload our brains, and they may be unable to work under the weight of the great mass of paper and of printer’s ink. The man who reads but one book, and that book his Bible, and then meditates much upon it, will be a better scholar in Christ’s school than he who merely reads hundreds of books, and meditates not at all.”

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (Psalm 119:48)

Do you want to hear from the Living God? Then meditate upon His Word.

Source Notes:

1. Meditating on the Scriptures by Charles Spurgeon  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/bstudy/meditate.htm

2. The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh, Scotland; The Banner of Truth Trust; 1974) p. 30, http://theoldguys.org/category/scriptural-meditation/

3. Meditating on the Scriptures by Charles Spurgeon http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/bstudy/meditate.htm

HT: http://theoldguys.org/

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on C.S. Lewis

Tides and Turning

A commenter on the blog brought an interesting quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones to my attention (one that I had never heard). In his first sermon in his famous series called Revival, the doctor said this:

Do you remember the vogue of CS Lewis? You don’t hear much about him now, but why all the excitement? Ah, here is a philosopher. And it indicates our pathetic faith and belief in these methods, which are nothing but apologetics. As exactly in the beginning of the 18th century they were pinning their faith to Bishop Butler and his great Analogy of Religion…

The doctor is nothing if not irenic! (or not). Interestingly, that comment about C.S. Lewis was edited out of the sermon when it came to be published in book form. I checked again tonight. It’s simply not there. But you can find it at the 39 minute mark of…

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Published in: on February 6, 2016 at 4:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Have We Lost Our Minds?

Stacey L. Lacik

The weird and wacky comes not only from the East, but also from the West.  The West Coast, to be specific.  In Redding, California, there is a church called Bethel.  And at this church called Bethel, there is a ministry called SOZO.  And within this ministry called SOZO (Greek for saved, healed, delivered) there is another ministry called Shabar.  (A Hebrew word meaning broken-hearted but which can also mean shattered).

There are six ‘tools’ that are used in SOZO:

  • Father Ladder
  • Four Doors
  • Presenting Jesus
  • The Wall
  • Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool)
  • Divine Editing (Advanced Tool)

These are psycho-therapeutic techniques used by the facilitator (counselor) in a 2-3 hour session for determining the point of the client’s “father wound”, an idea straight out of repressed memory therapy and the inner-healing movement.

For those who have sought help, healing or deliverance through SOZO, but were unable to attain (or…

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Published in: on February 4, 2016 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Christian meditation: what’s biblical and what’s not” by Marsha West

Marsha West writes:

In Joshua 1:8 God said: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” So, what exactly did God have in mind when He told Joshua to meditate on His word? Well, we can be certain of one thing. The Lord was not suggesting that Joshua sit in the lotus position repeating a mantra until he attained an altered state of consciousness.  “These help bring one into states other than normal waking consciousness, in which a person becomes open to mystical experience, the spirit realm, or cosmic consciousness,” warns Bill Muehlenberg.

The sort of meditation God had in mind was not Eastern meditation. He has made it clear that His people are not to adopt pagan practices and those who do are out of His will. The purpose of eastern-style meditation is to “seek the God within.” That’s pantheism, brethren. People who hold this view believe that God is all and all is God. “A tree is God, a rock is God, an animal is God, the sky is God, the sun is God, you are God, etc.” The biblical view is that God is separate from His creation.  Genesis 1:1-30

More on biblical meditation in a moment, but first…

Sit Still!

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” There’s been a huge misunderstanding in the Christian community as to what this verse means.

Click to continue reading this Berean Reseach article

12 Steps “certainly not from God” says T.A. McMahon

My Word Like Fire

A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson  “had an experience (which he viewed as spiritual enlightenment) that convinced him that only ‘a Power greater than’ himself could keep him sober. Attempting to understand his mystical experience, he was led into spiritism, a form of divination condemned in the Scriptures. His official biography indicates that the content of the 12-Steps principles came to him ‘rapidly’ through spirit communication. Certainly not from God.”  writes The Berean Call’s T.A. McMahon. Read The Berean Call article

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Published in: on February 3, 2016 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Bill Johnson Cornucopia of False Teaching, Bible Twisting and General Absurdity

Over at The Messed Up Church we are offered: “Here are a whole bunch of articles from different Christians from various theological and denominational backgrounds who all agree on the very un-Biblical and downright dangerous beliefs of Bill Johnson”…

Consider forwarding this Cornucopia to friends and church family. To peruse… click here…

Published in: on February 2, 2016 at 12:13 pm  Comments (3)  
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“Part Two Review of Beth Moore’s 2015 Living Proof Live Simulcast” by Chapter 3 Ministries

An objective review of a Beth Moore Simulcast event. The good, the bad, and the disturbing.

Chapter 3 Ministries Review

Published in: on January 31, 2016 at 2:46 am  Comments (2)  
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An uncomfortable or uplifting moment with Martyn Lloyd-Jones

From The Living God, a sermon by the great Reformed preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

In the same way, of course, they are not interested in the whole notion of revival. They never talk about it; in fact, they dislike it. Revivals are regarded as enthusiasm, as something excessive, dangerous, ecstatic. They say this is not what is needed. We have received everything, we are born again, we have the Scriptures. What we need to do is just to go on to understand the Scriptures more deeply. They not only do not expect the Spirit to come upon them, but they do not like teaching which suggests that He can come, and that we should pray for Him to come. All this is disliked.

The entire sermon can be found here…

Published in: on January 30, 2016 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Behold Your God” Study defines biblical meditation

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

Behold Your God: Rethinking God Biblically, by Pastor John Snyder, has been a blessing to many. The women in our church are currently using this study, and the excerpts below are from Week 3, Day 4 of the Daily Devotional Workbook:

“The Christian approach to meditation is the opposite of that which is practiced in many other religions. Meditation is often thought of as the process of quieting and emptying one’s mind. But in Christianity, meditation is focused on filling the mind. Meditation means to muse, to think on, and to reflect.” (pg. 52)

Is biblical meditation important? Yes. The study quotes Christians who have understood this very important aspect of our walk with the Lord.

“Many are troubled if they omit a sermon, a time of public prayer, but you are never troubled that you have omitted meditation, perhaps all your lifetime to this very day.” (Richard Baxter)

“Faith is lean and ready to starve unless it be fed with continual meditation.” (Thomas Manton)

The  Behold Your God Daily Devotional Workbook explains, “[Biblical]Meditation is simply the work of reading Bible truths slowly and thinking them over in our minds. Often this is mixed with prayer–talking with God about what He has said to us. It is the same idea as a cow chewing its cud. We take a truth, work it from every angle, chew it, come back to it later, talk to God about what it says, think about how it is connected with other things the Bible says on the same subject, and find a place in our lives for it.” (pg. 52)

Unfortunately, thousands and thousand of Christians now believe that Christian meditation involves blanking out the mind and entering a state known as the silence. This is known as contemplative prayer.

Lighthouse Trails and others have warned for a long time now that contemplative prayer (essentially the same as Eastern/New Age meditation but presented/disguised with Christian terminology) has infected the visible church.

It may well be that participation in contemplative prayer is the reason why Mike Bickle of International House of Prayer (see video), Rick Warren, and others are no longer able to distinguish the difference between Catholicism and biblical Christianity. Don’t kid yourself: This practice can have profound theological consequences.

Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, warns, “Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions. Christians are haplessly lulled into it by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.” (pg.140)

Perhaps if pastors and churches had truly understood, practiced, and emphasized biblical meditation, the infection of contemplative prayer could have been significantly lessened, or perhaps even prevented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Controversial Christian historian David Barton…misinterpretations…errors…and Glenn Beck” by Marsha West

According to Marsha West:

“If your family homeschools, or if you send your kids to a Christian school, or even if you are actively involved in Republican politics, listen to talk radio, and consider yourself a TEA party oriented person, the name David Barton has circled around your orbit at least a few times.” ~ Fred Butler, Hip & Thigh

“America’s favorite historian” (at one time) has become a controversial figure.  A few years ago David Barton was criticized for “cherry-picking” historical citations to present a Christian narrative of American history.  Not surprisingly Christian bashers on the Left accused Barton of misinterpretations and errors in his writing.

They weren’t alone in their criticism. A number of highly regarded conservative evangelicals and Catholics jumped on the bandwagon and began criticizing his misuse of information.

Jay W. Richards of the Discovery Institute was one such critic.  Richards, a Catholic, was so troubled by some of Barton’s writings that he invited a group of politically conservative evangelicals and Catholic historians to take part in an evaluation.  Dr. Gregg Frazer of the Masters College in Santa Clarita, CA agreed to participate.  Frazer, a conservative evangelical, authored The Religious Beliefs of the American Founders: Reason, Religion, and Revolution.   In his book he states his belief that America’s Founders were neither deists nor Christians, they were something in-between.  The term he uses is “theistic rationalist.”  When Frazer critiqued David Barton’s popular video America’s Godly Heritage he found many of its factual claims questionable.  For example: Barton’s claim that “52 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were ‘orthodox, evangelical Christians.’” According to Frazer, Barton’s claim is bogus.  click here to continue reading article

Published in: on January 26, 2016 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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