People who have studied their Bibles very carefully, who have a thorough working knowledge of comparative world religions, and who have also done in-depth research in the fields of the psuedo-Christian cults, Eastern cults and the occult, find it hard to believe that Christian leaders can make the statements further down in this article.
First a look at where contemplative practices originated and then some quotes from Christian leaders [who either practice these things, endorse them, or are involved within the contemplative/emerging church movement that is bringing them into the church].
Are mystical contemplative practices Christian and can they be found in the New Testament?
No, mystical contemplative practices are not Christian, cannot be found in the New Testament and they have their roots in pagan religions such as Hinduism, Budddhism and Toaism. The Desert Fathers [and other Christian Mystics]integrated pagan spirituality with their Christian spirituality and came up with a so-called 'method' that "worked". Contemplative mysticism is by no means Christian and it ultimately undermines the blood atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is the ultimate in 'Christian Pragmatism' - "If it works it must be of God."
The red links below come from a giant occult/mysticism website www.experiencefestival.com . This website shows that 'contemplative spirituality' is actually based on eastern occult practices.
Christian leaders have repackaged eastern 'contemplative spirituality' either ignorantly or with full knwoledge. We warn the reader here about the Experience Festival Website...there is much occult content on it.
We have simply posted this here because the parallels between occult mysticism and the Emerging Church Contemplative Prayer movement are too similiar to dismiss as merely conincidence. Something more is going on behind the scenes. Something very dark indeed!
In actuality, mystical occultism is masquerading as 'deeper spirituality' in the Christian church.
at the Nada: Hindu - Hinduism Dictionary on Nada
[Warning...the Desert Fathers got their ideas from Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism]
Spiritual Practices: Christian Mantras And Meditation
But because of the universal validity of this practice, the Desert Fathers adopted it and made this the starting point for the "tradition of pure prayer" ...www.experiencefestival.com/ a/Spiritual_Practices/id/5434 - Similar pages
Vispassana Meditation and Meditation
[Warning...Contemplative meditation is Hindu meditation repacked for Christians]
[Warning...See what the occult, Wiccan and Theosophical Dictionaries have to say]
Christian Mantras and Meditation
[Warning...this is occultism in Christian clothes]
[Warning - Yoga is Hindu occultism at its finests]
All this is based in Mysticism - click here to see what Mysticism is
Are the Emerging Church leaders partaking in or endosring any of the above practices?
Quotes by Emerging Church Leaders
"Meditative prayer like that we experienced in the labyrinth resonates with hearts of emerging generations."
—Dan Kimball, Vintage Faith
"Many Christians use "Breath Prayers" throughout their day. You choose a brief sentence, or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath."
"My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ," McManus, author of a new book called The Barbarian Way, said in a telephone interview. "Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I'm anti-Christian. I think they might be right."
—Erwin McManus, from The Barbarian Way
"The fact is that contemplative spirituality will play a huge part in the Church of the future, and candles are just the beginning."
"Emergent doesn't have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbors and ask, 'What's this dinner party's position on absolute truth?' No, you don't, because it's a non-sensical question."
Tony Jones At the 2005 National Youth Workers Convention
"Writers like Dallas Willard, Richard Foster and Eugene Peterson are our Godfathers."
"He [Brian McLaren] cites Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines, as key mentors for the emerging church."
—The Emergent Mystique, Christianity Today, 11/04
"[W]e should stop to reflect and to treasure the words, to turn them over and over in our minds, repeating them ..."
—Richard Foster, Renovare
"Some of the values of the emerging church are an emphasis on emotions, global outlook, a rise in the use of arts, and a rise in mysticism and spirituality."
Creating Worship Gatherings for the Emerging Church
"Church Should Be Like a Dance Club"
Creating Worship Gatherings for the Emerging Church
"I stopped reading from the approved evangelical reading list and began to distance myself from the evangelical agenda. I discovered new authors and new voices at the bookstore
-Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and St. Teresa of Avila. The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Contemplative spirituality seemed to open up a whole new way for me to understand and experience God. I was deeply moved by works like The Cloud of Unknowing, The Dark Night of the Soul and the Early Writings of the Desert Fathers."
—Spencer Burke, The Ooze,
The quotes above are from 'Christian leaders'?
Christian leaders ought to be discerning and should know better than to endorse and/or be involved in contemplative mystical practices.
See more info at Lighthouse Trails Research Project
Click here to see Emerging Church leaders grouped together with The 50 Most Influential 'Christians In America
...the church is in trouble gang!!!