Contemplative Prayer (Berean Research White Paper)

Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative PrayerDefinition of Contemplative Prayer:  A form of Christian mysticism that allegedly brings about a mystical union with God

The mystical “spirituality” that is so popular in evangelical and charismatic circles today is a yearning for an experiential relationship with God that downplays the role of faith and Scripture and that exalts “transcendental” experiences that lift the individual from the earthly mundane into a higher “spiritual” plane. Biblical prayer is talking with God; mystical spirituality prayer is meditation and “centering” and other such things. Biblical Christianity is a patient walk of faith; mystical spirituality is more a flight of fancy. Biblical study is analyzing and meditating upon the literal truth of the Scripture; mystical spirituality focuses on a “deeper meaning”; it is more allegorical and “transcendental” than literal. — David W. Cloud.

Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within.

Advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, however, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.

Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence as the ground in which our being is rooted, the Source from whom our life emerges at every moment…. Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. We open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing – closer than consciousness itself.1

Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God’s voice correcting, guiding, and directing you…. The fundamental idea is simply to enjoy the companionship of God, stilling your own thoughts so you can listen should God choose to speak. For this reason, contemplative prayer is sometimes referred to as ‘the prayer of silence.’2

Practice and Technique

Seeks to empty the mind and enter an altered state of consciousness by:

  • repetition of a mantra;3
  • focusing on one’s breathing;
  • contemplating images or icons.4

To read the rest of this article and footnotes, click here:  Berean Research

More A.A. Fun Facts for you and your friends

“The ouija board began moving in earnest. What followed was the fairly usual experience-it was a strange melange of Aristotle, St. Francis, diverse archangels with odd names, deceased friends–some in purgatory and others doing nicely, thank you! There were malign and mischievious ones of all descriptions telling of vices quite beyond my ken, even as former alcoholics. Then, the seemingly virtuous entities would elbow them out with messages of comfort, information, advice—and sometimes just sheer nonsense.” (A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, quoted in PASS IT ON, Wilson’s official A.A. biography, pg. 278) (emphasis mine)

“Do not seek out mediums and spiritists; do not seek out and be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)

“…[AA co-founders] Bill and Dr. Bob believed vigorously and aggressively. They were working away at the spiritualism; it was not just a hobby.” (Early A.A. member Tom Powers, quoted in PASS IT ON, pg. 280) (emphasis mine)

Want to learn more? Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps

“Be Still And Know That You Are Not God!” by Warren B. Smith

Is God in everyone? Alcoholics Anonymous has  taught this to millions of alcoholics. According to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book:

“Sometimes we had to search fearlessly but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis, it is only there that He may be found.” (pg. 55) (bold mine)

Can this be found in the Bible? Absolutely not.

By no means is Alcoholics Anonymous alone in making this assertion.

The claim that God is in all people, and/or in everything, is becoming increasingly prevalent–even in the visible church.

Warren B. Smith has written Be Still and Know That You are Not God!–God is Not “in” Everyone and Everything. This booklet offers biblical proof that God is not in all men, nor is God in all that exists.

It is an important issue as this is foundational to the rising false/new age church.

You can read Smith’s booklet HERE

Published in: on June 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Alcoholics Anonymous cripples Body of Christ

In The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, author Christine Wicker credits Alcoholics Anonymous with “hastening the fall of the evangelical church.” (pp. 133-138)

Wicker notes how A.A. “slowly exposed people to the notion they could get [a god] without the dogma, the doctrine, and the outdated rules. Without the church, in fact.” (pp. 133-138)

Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. (Jeremiah 2:11)

This is why many have rejected the Christ of the Bible. This is why many have created a  god of their own understanding. A.A.’s higher power theology has spread throughout the culture.

While 12 Step-indoctrinated Christians cling to A.A. even as it weakens the Body of Christ, Emergent leader Phyllis Tickle celebrates Alcoholics Anonymous for that very reason.

“As Phyllis Tickle has noted, the development of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) probably did as much as other, more celebrated events to undermine our concept of religion. Emerging in the late 1930s, AA made it acceptable to talk about a generic God–a ‘higher power.’” (bold mine) You can find this statement in A Heretic’s Guide To Eternity, by Spencer Burke (The Ooze) and Barry Taylor, pg. 34-35, foreword by Brian McLaren.

Burke and Taylor further note what AA has brought on us. Of course, they see it as a good thing: “Consequently, a generation of people began speaking about God in new ways not previously sanctioned by the consensual illusion–and traditional religious perspectives began to change as a result.”

Yes. And what a change it has been.

“Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible?” by Marsha West

Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible?

Bono & U2Any [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I’d ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, “I’m awfully sorry, you don’t bring any references with you.” ~ A.W. Tozier

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not Bono, U2 front man and one of the world’s most recognized rock stars, is an authentic Christian, although he states that he is.  Many Bible believing Christians have looked at the evidence and have come out and said that, although he professes Christ, he’s not a true Christian.

So let’s examine the evidence.

On his belief about Jesus Christ, Bono said this:

I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God.

Does he mean the Jesus who’s the Second Person of the holy Trinity?

In 2005 after the release of his book “Grace Over Karma” he stated:

The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

He’s right.  It’s not our own good works that gets us to heaven “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” that saves us. (Eph. 2:8-9)

In 2014 Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, interviewed the rock star on his radio broadcast and said this:

[H]e’s known great success, both in his career as a musician, and in his work as a global advocate for the poorest of the poor. He’s also the co-founder of The ONE Campaign, and their motivation is to help people who are suffering. 

All of this is true.  But that means he’s a do-gooder.  It does not make him regenerate.

Not surprisingly, when Daly invited him on the show conservative Christians who are aware of some of the controversial things he has said over the years thought it was a mistake.  Many people wondered why a pro-family leader of Daly’s stature would pass him off as a Christian by saying, “he’s a believer in Jesus Christ, and professes Christ as his Savior. In fact, Bono’s spiritual journey has been greatly influenced by a mutual good friend — Eugene Peterson, who’s the author of The Message. And he’s also written a great book called Run With The Horses that has had a great influence on Bono and many of us.”

I don’t have the space to address my concerns with Eugene Peterson or The Message Bible he penned – it’s a parody of the Bible.  So links are included below.

Wolf pack Looking at the things Bono has said (I’m coming to that) although he professes a belief in Christ clearly he doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.  Moreover, his social views are decidedly “progressive.”  In fact, his religious beliefs blend nicely with emergent gurus such as Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.  These men are leftists who are leading the Church away from Sola Scriptura into what Ken Silva referred to as the “emerging cult of the new liberal theology.”  The controversial movement, called the Emerging/Emergent Church (EC), seeks to reach the unchurched with their unbiblical version of the Christian message.  In so doing they have cooked up a cauldron of syncretism stew.

So – what’s important to know about EC leaders is that their aim is change and their plan, and they do have one, is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and bring forth a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.”  Be wary of words such as story (story of God, story of Jesus)… becoming… conversation… missional… reimagine… tribe… deconstruction… vision, etc.  Emergents are “Christ followers,” they are “Social Justice Christians.”

Social Justice Christianity

The moniker liberals who profess Christ prefer is Social Justice Christian.   One conservative blogger commented that Bono is “social justice, ecumenical, globalist, Agenda 21 promoting.”

He’s all of that for sure.  Bono’s an activist and philanthropist with a stated goal to eliminate world poverty.  Because he’s hugely popular people want to know what he thinks about this and that.  So naturally he takes every opportunity to promote causes he cares about including HIV/AIDS infection in Africa and third-world debt relief.  Tom De Weese of the American Policy Center once quipped that he “dogged political leaders around the world, using his rock star status to pressure them into accepting his brand of global guilt.”

So – should it matter to Bible believing Christians that Bono is a “progressive”?  Should we be concerned that he’s spreading Social Justice Christianity around the globe?  I mean, he’s telling people about Jesus, isn’t he?

Well, yes, it should matter to Christians that a person as famous as Bono is promoting an unbiblical version of Christianity and a “different Jesus.”  Many people idolize celebrities.  Adoring fans hang on their every word.   And, sadly, many Christians don’t read their bibles so they not only are ignorant of its teaching, they lack spiritual discernment.  In other words, they’re easily influenced by celebrity but not so much by the Bible.

When it comes to a LIE-celeb such as Bono, the question we must ask ourselves is this: What gospel is he sharing, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ or is he sharing another Jesus…another spirit…another gospel (2 Cor. 11:4)?  If it’s the later then it makes him a false teacher.

The Apostle Paul spoke out against counterfeit Christians: 

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor. 12-15) 

Elliott Nesch of The Waundering Path writes:

How many of those who have been saved from extreme poverty through Bono’s ONE Campaign are now saved from their sins through the same effort? Can social justice, debt relief, and elimination of the AIDS epidemic bring glory to God when it is completely unconnected to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (Source)

A very good question. 

Can’t We All Just COEXIST?

COEXIST

Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) has a piece entitled Focus on the Family Gives Bono a Platform – Another Example Where 2 +2 Don’t Add Up.  LTR shares a quote by Christian researcher Berit Kjos from her book Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception:

U2’s 2005 tour was aimed at joining all religions into a unified global spirituality. To emphasize the coming solidarity, the word “COEXIST” was featured on a giant screen. The capital “C” pointed to the Islamic crescent, the “X” symbolized the Jewish Star of David, and the “T” was a reminder of the Christian cross. Bono led massive crowds in a vibrant chant: “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—It’s True! 

Not everyone approved. Singer/songwriter Tara Leigh Cobble said, “He repeated the words like a mantra, and some people even began to repeat it with him. I suddenly wanted to crawl out of my skin. . . . Was Bono, my supposed brother in Christ, preaching some kind of universalism?” 

“I felt like I was witnessing an antichrist,” said her friend. 

In one song, “God’s Country,” Bono belts out the words, “I stand with the sons of Cain,” The Bible tells us that Cain “was of that wicked one, and slew his brother” (1 John 3:12), not exactly someone who a Christian would want to be found standing in agreement with.

Kjos later says:

Are Christian leaders speaking up and warning others about Bono? No, on the contrary, reveals one Christian journalist:

“One of the leaders being promoted today by those purporting to be officiating the way for our young people—to include Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell—is ‘Christian’ Rock star Bono of U2, whom many emergents view as their ‘prophet’ and the main icon of their movement. In Bono’s rendition of Psalm 23, he alters the entire thrust and message of this beautiful psalm to something that sounds nothing less than blasphemous. For example . . . he alters the wording to say ‘I have cursed thy rod and staff. They no longer comfort me.’”  [This rendition of Psalm 23 is documented in The Submerging Church DVD.] 

And in the summer of 2005, Rick Warren attended the Live 8 Concert with Bono where he was made the official pastor at the event.  Rick Warren did not issue a warning at the event about Bono, leaving the impression on thousands of young people’s minds that Bono is OK.  (from chapter 17, HPC)

Bono Helps Gay’s Win The Day

Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch is one Christian who isn’t standing up for Bono.  And he isn’t concerned about issuing a warning either.  Muehlenberg came out swinging after Bono threw his support to Bible torturing radical gay activists who were out to legalize same-sex “marriage” in Ireland.  Homosexuals were ecstatic to have a rock star behind them in their effort to legalize same-sex “marriage.”  Pink News reported: 

Irish singer Bono, speaking ahead of the band’s latest world tour, said “Marriage is an idea that transcends religion.” 

Bono, who is from a mixed Anglican and Catholic family, told the Irish Times: 

“[Marriage] is owned by the people. They can decide. It is not a religious institution. 

“As far as I know, Jesus wasn’t a married man and neither are most priests talking about it. It is not a religious idea. 

“In my mind, commitment is one of the most impossibly great human traits. It is a hard thing to hold on to, and anything that brings that together is a totally wonderful thing.” 

Gay-affirming Bono does not understand the implications of tossing aside God’s plan for marriage—one man one woman for life—so that men can marry men.

Muehlenberg had these harsh words for U2’s front man:

Bono endorses same-sex

Another clear-cut acid test of Christian commitment has to do with the issue of homosexuality. If you get someone trying to tell you that homosexual marriage is just peachy and Jesus would be fully supportive of it, then you know you’ve got a religious fraud on your hands, and you should give him a very wide berth. 

One so-called believer who has worried me greatly for years has in my eyes nailed his coffin completely by his recent support of sodomite marriage. Bono and U2 are going utterly brain-dead in supporting the Irish vote on homosexual marriage. 

So if you think Bono is some sort of great Christian, you better think again. This comes from the U2 website: 

On Friday Ireland votes in an historic referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage. Here’s what the band say: #voteYes.

“Commitment, love and devotion are some of the most impossibly great human traits. Trying to co-opt the word marriage is like trying to make love or devotion gender- or religion-specific. And that has to stop. Marriage is human-specific: a human commitment, one that transcends religion, transcends politics. It should be encouraged wherever, whenever and between whomever that love, that devotion and that commitment exists. #voteYES” 

This has got to be one of the most idiotic things I have read in a long time. We expect atheists and militant homosexual activists to come up with sheer baloney like this, but someone who calls himself a Christian? This man is a fool, in the biblical sense of the word. (Source)

The bottom line is this: A person cannot profess a belief in Jesus Christ and live like the devil.  Like so many so-called Christians, Bono takes Christianity cafeteria style – he picks and chooses what pleases him and avoids what doesn’t.

Christianity is serious business, brethren.  Jesus requires much of His sheep.  “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Do you love Him?

“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Do you get your guidance from the Bible?

Bono does but only when it suits his purpose.

Recommended Resources:

Transcript of Focus on the Family interview

The Homosexual Agenda—Berean Research

What is the purpose of marriage?–CARM

Also,

Eugene Peterson

The Message Bible

Reading

Does the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge—Marsha West

U2′s Bono, Unorthodox Superman—Elliott Nesch

Copyright by Marsha West, 2015.  All rights reserved

Published in: on June 16, 2015 at 2:14 am  Comments (1)  
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The Alcoholics Anonymous Prevention Plan: Pointing people away from Christ

It’s prevention and dilution, all in one twelve step package.

Alcoholics Anonymous has two spiritual purposes. One is to point unbelievers away from Christ; the other is to water down or weaken the theology of the Christians who have joined the AA religion. Because of exposure to the twelve step program there are many AA Christians who confuse “recovery” with sanctification.

Hurting alcoholics who do not know the Lord learn, through meetings and the AA Big Book, that they do not need Christ at all in order to have a relationship with the Father:

“The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered our hearts and our lives in a way that is miraculous.” (AA Big Book, pg.25)

“[A]ll of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.” (AA Big Book, pg.28)

Without Christ we are far from God. We are, in fact, doomed to eternal torment.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

This is why AA is not to be celebrated or encouraged, for it turns many toward strange concepts of “god.” In AA theology, Christ is, at best, simply one higher power among many. Thus the gospel of AA is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed. (Galatians 1:9)

Okay, but can’t Christians attend AA anyway, since we do know the Savior? 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 makes it clear we are to remain separate from such a thing:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; … “THEREFORE, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.

AA serves as a perfect trap. Alcoholics are taught only AA can help them, when in fact there are many Christians and non-believers who have quit drinking and who do not rely on AA to stay sober.

But people fear trying to stay sober without AA, and these invisible chains bind many.

The people in Alcoholics Anonymous need missionaries. But, just as with Christians who minister to Mormons, and Buddhists, and Muslims, there must be no participating in the AA religion.

There are three A.A. Big Book references to a broad spirituality.

1) “We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.”– AA Big Book, pg.75 (bold mine)

2) “We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men. When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.”– AA  Big Book, pg.46-47 (bold mine)

3) “If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.”–AA Big Book, pg. 55 (bold mine)

Yet, this is just what Christ warns us about:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is BROAD that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13)

Alcoholics Anonymous has quietly and effectively derailed our culture from Christ and the Bible, and moved us to a shape shifting higher power. Questions about how weak the church is can be answered by studying the ascension and dominance of the A.A. higher power theology.

Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them; (Ephesians 5:11)

Related: Click here to learn more

New Apostolic Reformation wants to rule your church…and your government

You don’t need to read anything past this–just click the link to Holly Pivec’s article:     http://www.spiritoferror.org/2015/06/hidden-in-plain-sight-the-nar-agenda-of-the-response-sc/5567 …

New Apostolic Reformation adherents believe they are mandated by God to rule the church, and civil government. Go to Holly’s blog and read the documentation.

What is it going to take to convince George Wood, leader of Assemblies of God, to leave the NAR-infested Empowered21?

The A.A. Big Book: God only found “deep down within us”

Originally posted on My Word Like Fire:

Well, it must be true, because it’s in the A.A. Big Book.

According to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, “Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis, it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.” (pg. 55, bold mine)

That is right out of the New Age/New Thought handbook.

How many hurting, unsaved alcoholics come to believe this is true–that God can only be found by looking deep down within themselves? This is one of many examples of A.A. Big Book heresy–a complete denial of Jesus Christ.

When is God within people? When those people have accepted Christ as Savior. The Bible tells us: However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of…

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The Appalachian Mountain Pastor and Metal-Face Girl

Originally posted on great and cheezy poetry:

Vernal didn’t get it, and didn’t try

Emma quietly wondered why

Pastor Larry didn’t bat an eye

about piercings and tattoos

He said, “Less concerned ’bout inked-up skin

Than knowing if you’ve turned from sin

Christ is concerned that you know Him

That’s the good, Good News.”

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Published in: on June 12, 2015 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A.A. co-founder knew Christians would see his view of Christ as “terrific heresy”

Originally posted on My Word Like Fire:

According to A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, “Christ is, of course, the leading figure to me. Yet I have never been able to receive complete assurance that He was one hundred per cent God. I seem to be just as comfortable with the figure of ninety-nine per cent. I know that from a conservative Christian point of view this is a terrific heresy.” [1]

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58)

Keep Bill Wilson’s admission in mind when pro-A.A. authors like Dick B. and Ken B. try and cast Wilson as a Christian, and A.A. as Christian in origin.

Source Notes:
1. Mel B., My Search For Bill W., pg. 21 ( from a letter dated July 2, 1956 from A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson to Mel B.)

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