Rick Warren and Contemplative Prayer

by Mike Ratliff

And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. (Jeremiah 14:14 ESV)

On September 21st, I posted “Is Contemplative Prayer Christian?”. The rest of the discernment team at CRN have been researching and posting on CSM and Contemplative/Centering Prayer or CCP as well. I was listening to an interview on The White Horse Inn the other day done by Michael Horton with Mark Galli who is the senior managing editor of Christianity Today. Most of the interview went well, but right at the end he started talking about Spiritual Formation as if it was something positive. Of course, as he used examples, it was obvious that his understanding of it was nothing like that of someone like Tim Keller whose version is total CSM. I was a bit nonplused I must say because he was so right on with his decrying moral therapeutic deism and the spiritual monstrosities that mega-churches become. Of course, as I thought through that, I think he may have been using the term with a genuine Christian meaning rather than a pseudo-christian meaning like those wolves in sheep’s clothing who are peddling CSM using Christian terminology within it so the gullible will buy into it. Of course, we shall see won’t we?  Continue reading

Prayer for Boldness

by Mike Ratliff

18 Διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν πνεύματι, καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπνοῦντες ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτερήσει καὶ δεήσει περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων 19 καὶ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, ἵνα μοι δοθῇ λόγος ἐν ἀνοίξει τοῦ στόματός μου, ἐν παρρησίᾳ γνωρίσαι τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, 20 ὑπὲρ οὗ πρεσβεύω ἐν ἁλύσει, ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ παρρησιάσωμαι ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι. (Ephesians 6:18-20 NA27)

18 By means of all prayer and petition, praying always in the Spirit, and to this end keeping watch with all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints, 19 and for me, that to me may be given utterance in opening my mouth in boldness to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 on behalf of which I am an ambassador in chains, that in it I may be bold as it is necessary for me to speak. (Ephesians 6:18-20 Possessing the Treasure New Testament V1) 

In the last couple of posts we have looked at CSM or Contemplative Prayer and one of its most visible proponents in the visible church, Tim Keller. Contemplative Prayer is a cleaned up, “Christianized” name for Transcendental Meditation, which is another name for Eastern Mysticism, which God calls Divination and strictly forbids (Deuteronomy 18:10). God forbids divination as a way to know him and his will. On the other hand, he has given us sanctioned ways, by his grace, through which those who are his can know him and his will. The primary way is through his Word as the Holy Spirit guides us according the will of God by his grace. We pray and ask God and he draws us to him and imparts wisdom, discernment, and through his Word, we gain knowledge of him and his ways. On the other hand, outside of those parameters is what men like Tim Keller calls Contemplative Prayer, but it only a dressed up version of divination and God hates it. Those who practice it are given over to it, are deceived by it, and soon believe the lies they are hearing from those evil spirits are coming from God himself.  Continue reading