By Marsha West
September 15, 2007
More and more of those who profess Christ are “experiencing God” in ways that lands them smack dab in the middle of the New Age movement. It’s not like they haven’t been warned about experimenting with mysticism. They’ve been warned plenty, yet they totally disregard wise counsel. So if you’re among the sheep who have gone astray, consider the Bible’s wise counsel: “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him” (Deut 13:4).
I must admit I’m mystified (pun intended) as to why so many Christians are choosing to leave the narrow road Jesus spoke of and follow Oprah down the broad road that leads to destruction. What’s up with that?
The Bible says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” not Oprah!
Reading God’s Word to know Him and His ways just doesn’t cut it for some so-called Christians, which is why a number of them are venturing into the astral plane hoping to connect with God on a “deeper level beyond your thinking.” Even though Scripture is opposed to any form of mysticism (2 Chronicles 33:6), many Christians are joining “Christian yoga” classes and praising the health benefits — even getting their kids involved. Sly marketers sell Christians on yoga’s good mind/body health benefits (Deepak Chopra, anyone?), plus they say it will help you to “apprehend God.” As an extra-added bonus you can tone those flabby abs!
There’s big bucks to be made from yoga. In America, it’s a $30 billion-a-year business. And speaking of big bucks, McDonald’s is masterful at marketing their products to consumers. When your run of the mill hamburger is promoted as the Big-Tasty® the gullible public, mouths watering, head straight to the golden arches! The Big-Tasty® sure tastes good, but is it good for you? The burger contains 8 grams of saturated fat, 70 grams of cholesterol, and 500 calories per serving. Sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen.
Christians are being lured into “Christian yoga” by promises of good health. Sure, it’s a tad New Age, but what’s the big deal? I mean, everyone’s doin’ it, so it’s a good thing…right? Does that kind of logic not make your blood boil?
Affixing a new handle to an ancient Hindu practice may make it palatable for the Christian consumer, but it doesn’t change the fact that offering yoga in a Christian setting is unacceptable. You cannot separate yoga from the Hindu religious system. As I said in my commentary, Christian Yoga? C’mon!, “Classical yoga is intended to put one into an altered state of consciousness. Believers who think they’re ‘just exercising’ are being swept into a counterfeit religion.”
Eastern mysticism leads to destruction. But that doesn’t stop some Christians from involving themselves in “kything prayer” (KP), which is another unbiblical kind of prayer and meditation. This bizarre prayer practice will astound even the most well-informed followers of Jesus Christ. One way to engage in KP is the Enneagram, which is a heresy of the first order. I’ll get to “kything” in a moment. But first a bit about “contemplative prayer” AKA “centering prayer.” For centuries, Catholic mystics have engaged in contemplative prayer. Today Catholics and Protestants alike practice CP. Carmelite nun and Spanish mystic, St. Teresa of –vila, “a very much-loved contemplative Catholic saint” spent hours in meditation, which she called the “prayer of quiet.” She recommended the following prayer technique to another nun:
“Pray the Lord’s Prayer, but take an hour to pray it. Spend a few minutes entering into each individual phrase, until it becomes truly the prayer of your heart, and you become the prayer.”
I have no clue what “become the prayer” means, but Jesus Christ never taught His followers any such thing. He never taught them to empty their minds, which is what occurs during Transcendental meditation. The “prayer of quiet” has its roots in Eastern mysticism, not the Bible. People will argue that Catholic monks have been engaging in CP for centuries, like that alone should make it acceptable. However, it doesn’t negate the fact that meditation goes against the express teaching of Scripture. “Let no one be found among you … who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead” (Deut. 18:10-11).
Granted, the Bible says Christians are to mediate. Joshua 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Meditation is contemplating what God says in the pages of Holy Scripture so that we will do everything written in it. In other words, so that God’s people will know what He expects and be obedient. As John MacArthur observes, “It is not enough just to study the Bible. We must meditate upon it. In a very real sense we are giving our brain a bath; we are washing it in the purifying solution of God’s Word.” I read somewhere that if a Christian is careless in Bible reading he or she will care less about Christian living. (To read more on Christian meditation.)
As I mentioned above, Christians are involving themselves in “kything prayer” (KP). There are other examples of outright heresy practiced by Christians could be brought to light, but KP is sufficiently concerning that it deserves a few paragraphs here. That way, when a well-meaning, albeit undiscerning, person introduces KP into your church you’ll be equipped to explain its connection to Eastern mysticism. (Unfortunately there are church leaders who are as undiscerning as some laypeople, hence they, too, are guilty of introducing false teaching and outright heresy into the Body of Christ!) If only Christians would heed Paul’s words to Timothy: ” … you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:15-17).
Most Christians aren’t “thoroughly equipped” for one simple reason — they don’t bother to meditate on God’s Word. A large number of evangelicals admit that they’re too busy to spend time in their Bibles and only pray on the run, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that liberalism has a foothold in most mainline denominations and is spreading like wildfire through evangelicalism (which was once ultra conservative). Bear in mind that “progressive Christians” (liberals) have the unmitigated arrogance to profess their love for Christ, yet they endeavor to mold His church into a decidedly unbiblical worldview. You can put a steeple on it, but that doesn’t make it Christian. But I digress.
“Kythe” is an ancient Scottish word that means “to make known; to manifest; to show.” It’s described as a sort of telepathic communication whereby “one person almost becomes another, seeing through their eyes and feeling through their senses.” Kythers communicate through methods other than the senses, which sounds a lot like mental telepathy! While in this frame of mind, “the two people intuitively know the meaning of what the other is telling them, disregarding such things as words or pictures. The idea may be based on the concept of Oneness, which states that all that exists, is one in its source and end…recollection and assertion of that concept puts a person ‘in Kythe’ with that which they are concentrating on.”
Before I enlighten you with the three steps to get started in KP, I should mention that the concept of “Oneness” comes from Eastern Religion’s belief in pantheism — God is everything and everything is God. “All that exists constitutes a ‘unity’ and this all-inclusive unity is in some sense divine.”
How does pantheism explain human nature? I love how Sue Bohlin puts it, “Pantheism explains human nature by saying we’re all a part of god, but our problem is that we forget we’re god. We just need to be re-educated and start living like the god we are.”
Christianity does not hold that God is “everything and everything is God.” On the contrary, authentic Christians are theists. Theism holds that God is transcendent, that He is separate and distinct from His creation, and that He possesses the attributes of personality, hence God is personal. Moreover, Christians believe that in the incarnation God took on bodily form and became the God-man (Theanthropos.)
No Christian should buy into the New Age movement’s lie that each human soul is akin to a drop of water in a sea of Divine Consciousness. (“Here there is not even energy; no body, no mind, no light, no sound – absolute nothingness – total vacuum – only tremendous potential unmanifest Divine Consciousness, from which all life and material creation flows.”
1, Christian yoga? C’mon! By Marsha West
2, Biblical Meditation By J. Hampton Keathley, III, Th.M.
3, Kything – Answers.com
4, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Stanford University website
5, A Nature Meditation By Robert Elias Najemy
6, The Voice in the Stillness: An overview of some Christian ways of meditation — The Wild Things of God website
7, Apostles’ Creed – Catholic Encyclopedia
8, Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagram By the Reverend Ed Hird
9, Finding Spiritual Enlightenment Original Air Date: July 30, 2007
10, Is Oprah Peddling Snake Oil? By Marsha West