The dangers of unbiblical "breathing exercises", mantra´s, "centering" and other Yoga/ New Age practices being introduced to the church through what is called "Contemplative Prayer"...
SOME THOUGHTS on MYSTICISM -by Eddie Hyatt.
In a recent church gathering a well-known evangelical pastor led his congregation in a “breathing” exercise in which they were exhorted to take “nice, big, deep breaths.” He went on to explain that such breathing exercises, along with meditation, reflection, and silence, have been central to the Christian tradition for thousands of years. He then sought to buttress his argument by pointing out that, “In Yoga, one of the central tenets of Yoga is your breath needs to remain the same regardless of pose. And the Yoga Masters say this is how it is when you follow Jesus and surrender to God.”[i]
Pastor Rob Bell is typical of many today who are looking to the medieval mystics (and to Eastern forms of mysticism) in their search for spiritual reality. But while many of the medieval mystics can be admired for their passion and devotion, they cannot be followed in many of their doctrines and experiences. Being loyal to the medieval church and sharing in its lax (and sometimes hostile) attitude toward Scripture, they often exhibit a glaring lack of discernment and common sense. So while some of their experiences are, no doubt, genuine, many are obviously psychic and some are probably demonic.
Commenting on medieval mysticism and its neglect of Scripture, Dr. Hans Kung, the most widely read Catholic theologian in the world today, says,
These new revelations not only overshadowed the Bible and the Gospel, but also Him whom the Gospel proclaims and to whom the Bible bears witness. It is striking how rarely Christ appeared in all these “revelations,” “apparitions,” and “wonders.” Catholics who followed in the wake of every new “revelation,” which often turned out to be fantasy or deceit, and indulged their desire for sensation by looking for the latest reports of miracles—and yet who had never once in their whole lives read the Scriptures from cover to cover.[ii]
The Origins of Mysticism
Medieval mysticism arose in reaction to the lifeless, outward forms of the medieval church. During the same period evangelical revival groups also emerged for similar reasons. But whereas the revival groups, such as the Waldenses and Albigneses, gave their loyalties to the Scriptures, and looked there for models of faith and spirituality, the mystics tended to give their allegiance to the pope and the institutional church.[iii] This meant that the mystics were more susceptible to non-Biblical approaches to spirituality and this resulted in their adoption of many beliefs and practices that were rooted in pagan, mystical thought, particularly Neoplatonism.
[i] www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/robbelltranscript.doc [ii] Hans Kung, The Church (Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1976), 257-58. [iii] See my book, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2002) for a more thorough discussion of this issue.
Submitted 6/3/2009 9:57:21 PM | Author: Eddie Hyatt