Sunday, October 1, 2017

Contemplative Prayer

Perhaps the most significant manifestation of mysticism in the modern church is contemplative prayer, which draws very heavily from Buddhism and Hinduism. In this form of mystical prayer, one becomes deeply quiet, empties the mind (as in Eastern meditation), falls into an altered state of consciousness, and goes into his center, where he supposedly merges with the divine. Rational thought is completely transcended.

To help induce a mystical state, proponents use breathing exercises (much like Taoists) and a mantra (or sacred word, such as ma-ra-na-tha), which is repeated over and over again to aid in deep meditation. Apparently, Christian mystics believe that simply because they utilize a Christian-sounding mantra makes the practice itself a Christian practice-a dangerously wrong assumption.

Amazingly, many who practice contemplative prayer cite Psalm 62:5 in support of the practice: "For God alone, O my soul, waits in silence, for my hope is from him." However, this verse has nothing to do with prayer or contemplation but rather simply encourages believers to wait without distraction in eager expectation for God to act in deliverance.

Another verse taken out of context is Psalm 46:10 (KJV): "Be still, and know that I am God." The act of being still, however, has nothing to do with prayer or contemplation, but simply indicates that one should slow down and trust God rather than get in a fuss over tough circumstances.

Ron Rhodes, 5-Minute Apologetics for Today, p. 363

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