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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Marsha West
Bio: Marsha West
Date:  September 14, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Christians are mixed up…in mysticism

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).

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 markeeters 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 N’ Tasty® the gullible public, mouths watering, head straight to the golden arches! The Big N’ 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.” (To read Christian Yoga? C’mon! see the link at the end of this article. 1)

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 Ávila, “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 see the link at the end of this article. 2)

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 [3].”

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 [4].”

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.” 5)

Any person who honestly believes “we are one” as do pantheists should consider this: When you die you will become “absolute nothingness.” Isn’t that comforting?

Christianity believes that the born-again Christian’s resurrected body will spend eternity in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Understand that pantheists are not saved. The unsaved are dead in their transgressions and sins. (Eph 2:1) The Bible is crystal clear on who is, and who is not saved: ”For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:15-17).

Jesus said what He meant, and meant what He said. No one who denies that Christ is the one and only way to heaven will spend eternity in His kingdom. And this includes individuals that are held in high esteem like, say, cardinals, bishops, priests, pastors, ministers, elders, deacons and other church leaders. Also included are those who attend church regularly…teach Sunday School…sing in the church choir…lead Bible studies…church employees…evangelists, televangelists, missionaries, teachers, writers, singers, musicians, speakers, lecturers, radio and TV personalities or any “spiritual” person.

The plain fact is that historic orthodox Christianity is theistic. A belief in pantheism is found in religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and the New Age movement. Moreover, followers of pantheism are likely to put a great deal of importance on personal experience and pay little or no attention to Church doctrines.

Now then, I promised to elighten you on the three steps to get you started in kything prayer. They are as follows:

1. Center yourself in God. 2. Lovingly focus on God or the person or thing you want to kythe with, and 3. Make contact through visualization. (From the book “Kything: The Art of Spiritual Presence”)

Workshops are available for those who wish to learn all the ins and outs of KP. One workshop attendee says, “some people express uncomfortableness [sic] with entering into another's center, but could invite the other person's spirit into themselves.” The person’s advice? “Do whatever is easy for you. Kything occurs in either form of union.... Invite the giftedness or energy you need to flow through your Kything partner and into you, be open to receive the gift or energy and welcome them in quiet." Kything involves, “focusing your spiritual presence in another person or their presence in you. Kything with another individual allows you to share in their energies and giftedness.”

A website that promotes mysticism and out and out heresy, contains the article “The Voice in the Stillness: An overview of some Christian ways of meditation.” The person who penned the article makes the following assertion:

“This is an extremely powerful way of sensing your connections to the Lord and to what is known as the ‘communion of saints,’ the fellowship of all creatures in God [6].”

First of all, the “communion of the saints” comes from the Apostles’ Creed, which is a Catholic doctrine “containing in brief statements, or ‘articles,’ the fundamental tenets of Christian belief [7].” According to the Catholic encyclopedia the clause refers to the “spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth.” The meaning of “communion of the saints” is that the “saints” (all Christians) are a single body who fellowship, partnership and share in the well-being of all believers.

The writer then says,

“Once contact is established, you might dialogue with the other. For instance, if you're kything with a holy person or with Christ, ‘talk’ with him and listen to his responses. Remember that although imagination is the vehicle, it does not in any way mean that the contact is not ‘real’."

Not only can you enter into a spiritual relationship with our Lord, you can kythe with another human being -- or your pet Pomeranian! Kyther’s say it’s even possible to kythe with an individual who is unknown to the person initiating the kythe. I am not making this up, folks. “Christians” actually participate in this lunacy.

According to the Bible’s teaching on spirits, the “contact” and “dialogue” is with none other than demons. So what’s being touted here is occultic channeling/mediumistic practices that are forbidden by God! (Lev. 19:31, Lev 20:6, Deut 18:10-11, 1 Chron 10:13, Jer 27:9-10, Acts 16:16-24, & Rev 22:15) Those who kythe are inviting demon possession! (This does not apply to a true born-again Christian, as followers of Jesus Christ cannot be demon possessed or “demonized.” But Christians who engage in mysticism can open themselves up to demon oppression. On the other hand, unbelievers can be, and some actually are, demon possessed.)

But enough about demons. On to the abovementioned Enneagram.

You ask, “What in blue blazes is the Enneagram?” In short, it’s a form of modern psychology that categorizes people into nine basic personality types. The concept is rooted in several teachings such as the Seven Deadly Sins and the Kabbalah. Supposedly the Enneagram symbol, the enneagon, dates back to Pythagoras or even earlier, and is based on Sufi mysticism. This alone should be a red flag for Christians!

Using the Enneagram while engaging in KP can be done with “any other person, present or absent, dead or alive, whose Enneagramic reading ‘moves against your numerical arrows’. The key is to ‘let your center find itself within the person with whom you are kything’ and to ‘Picture yourself within the [other] person.’ An alternative form of Enneagramic kything is to ‘invite the other person’s spirit into themselves’ [8].”

Recently on Oprah and Friends, Dr. Oz Mehmet talked with Father Richard Rohr about “helping people find deeper spiritual enlightenment by gaining a greater understanding of their personality through the Enneagram personality system, an ancient tool that explains how human personality works” [9].

The Enneagram is just more New Age rubbish. And hopefully Christians who tune into Oprah’s TV and radio programs won’t buy into the lie. (To read more about the Enneagram go to link 8.)

A few months ago Oprah promoted “The Secret.” Author Rhonda Byrne claims “The Secret is so powerful that it can change the course of your life.” Basically, the big secret is the ridiculous notion that there’s a “law of attraction.” How does this so-called law work? Simply ask for what you want, believe it, and you’ll receive it. For the pessimist who’s resigned that nothing will ever change, nothing ever will. Because of Oprah, untold thousands of undiscerning Christians went out and bought the DVD and the tie in book. Now they’re championing “The Secret.” Some Christians don’t have the sense God gave a gnat. By watching Oprah they’re been lured into New Age spirituality and they don’t even realize it. (To read more about “The Secret” go to link 10.)

Now, I realize unregenerate people won’t be convinced by my argument against mystical experiences and they’ll continue to do as they please, even though some of the things they do displease God. My question for the professing Christian is once you choose to involve yourself in mysticism, where are the boundaries?

It’s wonderful to “feel” closer to God, especially if you’re going through a rough time of it. But engaging in meditation is just plain wrong! As I’ve pointed out, God opposes any involvement in mysticism -- He even calls it evil. And by the way, Christians should be very weary of trusting their “feelings” and “experiences.” Can you really trust your emotions?

Christians are called to obedience. Meaning, they must keep God’s commandments whether they like it or not. The reward in keeping His commandments is that you can know that you know Him. “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22).

So heed what the Lord says and stay away from any form of Eastern mysticism. Don’t go there…even if all your friends are doing it…even if Oprah advocates it…even if you find “deeper spiritual enlightenment.” It doesn’t matter if you’re “connecting with God on a deeper level.” Stop it! God says no! You must do everything He asks of you because you belong to Him now. You were bought with a price and redeemed from the pit of hell. He is your Lord and Master.

You want to experience God? Here’s how: “Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. – 1 John 3:24

Marsha West
Berean Research (Owner, Editor)

Send email feedback to Marsha West


Notes:  [1] Christian yoga? C’mon! By Marsha West

http://newswithviews.com/West/marsha30.htm

[2] Biblical Meditation By J. Hampton Keathley, III, Th.M.

http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=989

[3] Kything - Answers.com

http://www.answers.com/kything

[4] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Stanford University website

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism/

[5] A Nature Meditation By Robert Elias Najemy

http://www.1stholistic.com/Reading/health-a-nature-meditation.htm

[6] The Voice in the Stillness: An overview of some Christian ways of meditation -- The Wild Things of God website

http://frimmin.com/faith/meditation.html

[7] Apostles' Creed – Catholic Encyclopedia

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01629a.htm

[8] Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagram By the Reverend Ed Hird

http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/st_simons/arm04.htm

[9] Finding Spiritual Enlightenment Original Air Date: July 30, 2007

http://www2.oprah.com/xm/moz/200707/moz_20070730.jhtml

[10] Is Oprah Peddling Snake Oil? By Marsha West

http://newswithviews.com/West/marsha35.htm

Additional Reading:

Life in a Secular Culture By Rick Wade

http://www.probe.org/society/life-in-a-secular-culture.html

Answering the Big Questions of Life By Sue Bohlin

http://www.origins.org/articles/bohlin_bigquestion.html

Copyright By Marsha West, 2007. All rights reserved.


Biography - Marsha West

Marsha West is a religious and political-based writer. Until recently Marsha was owner and managing editor of the Email Brigade website and the EMB News Report for over 20 years. She is currently co-owner and editor of Berean Research and general editor of the Christian Research Network. Marsha’s articles have been published widely, both online and in print. Her articles appear on Berean Research, Christian Research Network, News With Views, RenewAmerica and Web Commentary. Visit her resource website: http://onsolidrockresources.com


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