There is a persistent attack to debilitate the Christian Church from with in, the enemy is not looking to completely destroy it, but to contaminate it & change it into something else, in order to use it for a different purpose for what it was really created. The way they are working to accomplish this is by bringing subtle false doctrines & infiltrating the church with many false teachers, that will call for ecumenical unity but will attack sound doctrine & those who defend it. They are not hiding their intentions:
“There will not be any disassociation between the Universal (means Catholic) church, the Sacred Lodge of all true Masons, and the inner circles of the esoteric societies… In this way, the goals and work of the United Nations shall be solidified and a new Church of God, led by all the religions and by all the spiritual groups, shall put an end to the great heresy of separateness.” Theosophist & Occultic Alice Bailey, See more on Fanatic for Jesus
Some of this false doctrines that are gaining acceptance in Christian churches are Western Mysticism, Catholic Mysticism, Contemplative prayer, Gnosticism, etc. We don’t find any of these practices in the Bible.
Mysticism is a word derived from the Greek that means ‘conceal or mystery‘. Mysticism is a claim of direct union with God that bypasses the mind (reason), & also bypasses the Lord Jesus Christ &/or His doctrine. This is serious error since Jesus is the only mediator between God & men (1 Timothy 2:5, Acts 4:12, John 4:16). The American Heritage Dictionary defines Mysticism as:
‘Belief in direct experience of transcendent reality or God, especially by means of contemplation and asceticism instead of rational thought.
Mysticism is an attempt to gain ultimate knowledge of God by a direct experience that bypasses the mind. The strong influence of Catholic mysticism has helped immensely to transform the New Age Movement from being merely a counter-culture sub-culture to becoming a new source of spiritual vision for the world. Catholic mysticism has very effectively and subtly invaded many facets of life without being recognized or critically examined. Christiananswers
Mysticism, unity with God is practiced in New Age, Roman Catholicism, Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), Islam (the Sufi sect), Taoism & is also found in Hinduism. As you can notice mysticism would help unite many religions.
Catholic Mysticism is being promoted and taught by many Christian churches & ministries, like: (New Apostolic Reformation -NAR) Mike Bickel’s IHOP churches, Emergent Rick Warren/Saddle back Church (Be aware of churches that use Warren’s books & his inner healing ‘Celebrate Recovery’), also (NAR) Bethel Church of Bill Johnson, (NAR) Rick Joyner’s Morning Star Church, The Baptist Standard etc. & by teachers like New Calvinist John Piper (who promotes Richard Foster & Rick Warren, the practice of lectio divina, etc), David Jeremiah, Chuck Swindoll, Rob Bell, John Crowder, Patricia King, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Mark Virkler, Luis & Kevin Palau, etc.
Many are recommending the books of Catholic Mystics like Teresa de Avila, Brother Lawrence, John of the Cross, Thomas a Kempis, (His book ‘Imitation of Christ‘ influenced Ignatius Loyola & it’s still used as spiritual exercise by Jesuits. The book places emphasis on the devotion to the Eucharist as key element of spiritual life), Ignatius of Loyola ( a Crypt-Jew that practiced kabbalah & founder of the Jesuits); The confessions of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas; Francis de Sales, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Anne Catherine Emmerich (Mel Gibson‘s inspiration for ‘The Passion of the Christ‘ -with porn stars), Henry Suso, Madame Guyon, Julian of Norwich, Catholic priest Henri Nouwen (1) (2), Thomas Merton, (1), (Pope Francis & Merton), father Thomas Dubay, contemplatives Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington (both Catholic monks).
And also books, videos, etc. of other non-Catholic, but Christians, or New Agers mystics & Contemplatives like Richard Foster (founder of Renovare & a disciple of mystic Catholic monk Thomas Merton), (1) (2), Gary Thomas, Dallas Willard, Anglican father Gilbert, Philip Yancey, many from the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) John Crowder, contemplative David Benner, feminine spiritualist Sue Monk Kidd, Eugene Peterson author of the non bible ‘The Message’, contemplative Beth Moore, also contemplative Mark Virkler a disciple of John Robert Stevens (1), author of “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice”, who also was influenced by Jesuit priests Matt & Dennis Linn, and their Ignatian spirituality.
The goal of the New Age Movement has consistently been to bring in the Age of Aquarius when all will recognize “the god within themselves”. Catholic and Eastern mystics claim to discover God in the depths of their being (without Jesus). But the true Christian looks away from himself to the righteousness of Jesus Christ , who suffered in a real world & died on a cross to pay for our sins.
This false doctrine of Mysticism that includes Contemplative prayer, mantra chanting (meditation), Lectio Divina, to be still, etc, is being pushed mainly by The Emergent Church Movement, New Apostolic Reformation Movement & The Ecumenical Movement , which are trying to unite us with Rome into one world religion.
Catholic Mysticism started with what they call the ‘early fathers’ & mothers (nuns) also called the ‘Desert Fathers‘, who were hermits and monks that lived a monastic life mainly in the deserts of Egypt in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. Some of them lived in isolation & others adopted rules for communal life that evolved into larger monastic communities.
“In the early Middle Ages, there lived a group of hermits in the wilderness areas of the Middle East. They were known to history as the desert fathers.
“They dwelt in small isolated communities for the purpose of devoting their lives completely to God without distraction. The contemplative movement traces its roots back to these monks. They were the ones who first promoted the mantra as a prayer tool.
“One meditation scholar made this connection when he said: ‘The meditation practices and rules for living of these earliest Christian monks bear strong similarity to those of their Hindu and Buddhist renunciate brethren several kingdoms to the East … the meditative techniques they adopted for finding their God suggest either a borrowing from the East or a spontaneous rediscovery.’ http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com
Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are “spiritual formation,” “the silence,” “the stillness,” “ancient-wisdom,” “spiritual disciplines,” and many others.
Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement. Lighthouse Trails
In his book, Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas (also author of ‘Sacred Marriage’) instructs readers:
It is particularly difficult to describe this type of prayer in writing, as it is best taught in person. In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing. (p. 185). Lighthousetrails
Jesus instructed us: ” When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7, KJV). The word vain means “empty” or “useless”.
Ancient mysticism has entered in the church which is Satan old deceptions re-packaged. These movements promoting Mysticism are using familiar Christian words like for example the word Meditation, but the meditation they practice got nothing to do with the biblical meditation, has to do instead with chanting a mantra over & over verbally or mentally to empty their minds to an alpha state to induce a trance or an altered state of consciousness.
For those not familiar with what the “alpha brain patterns” are, following we have two descriptions:
-Mystical states of consciousness happen in the alpha state . . . The Alpha State also occurs voluntarily during light hypnosis, meditation, biofeedback, day dreaming, hypnogogic and hypnapompic states. 28
-Alpha is the springboard for all psychic and magical workings. It is the heart of witchcraft. 29 -Booklet “Is your Church Doing Spiritual Formation?“
“Spiritual Disciplines Handbook”– Christian Org., Seminaries, and Ministry Leaders Incorporate This Mystical Primer into Christian Education
Emerging Church: Road to Rome – video 10 min.