4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.The first warning (Col 2:4 above) concerns deceptive modern ideas about Christianity, Christology and the Certainty of your salvation, which sound good – but are completely ungodly and unbiblical.
It is almost understandable why even sensible Christians could fall prey to some of the faulty teachings we see and hear these days because they sound so good, even biblical and makes the person feel good. In times of trouble, doubt, temptation and trial, if a brand new well-dressed and well-spoken author/speaker and even singer comes along with a new exciting take on an old problem, the appeal and response are tremendous. The bookstores – both Christian and secular – are full of books from every imaginable angle to make a person feel good about their lives….except the one angle that really matters. This is the matter of sin.
Every problem under the sun begin, results from and will never be resolved until we deal with the matter of sin., Instead, we have teaching from million selling books which tell us it is “Our Best Life Now”. Just in case anyone is confused, the best life for the Christian is NOT now, but in the eternal Kingdom of the Christ. Tell the Christian who is being literally destroyed in the persecuted lands, that his/her best life is now!! The heresy does not get any better than “The Power of I Am”…..not “I Am Who I Am” (Yahweh”)….but “I am”… as in self-declarations of Biblical principles. (No photos will be posted of these books here, so as to not promote them).
Now, there is nothing wrong at all with claiming the Promises of God as in “I am more than a conqueror”… or “I am a child of God, saved and redeemed”…..or “I am the chief of sinners….until Jesus rescued me”. This is proclaiming Bible truths. What is troubling and a violation of the Second Commandment is a famous pastor, who knows better, taking the Name of the Lord in vain to sell books!
But there are other deceptive teachings and practices which unsuspecting believers should not only be aware of, but should avoid like the plague! Two increasingly popular practices from very faulty teachings are Contemplative Prayer and Mindfulness. BEWARE OF BOTH!
In its simplest definition, Contemplative prayer is also called “centering prayer” or meditation. Now this meditation is not the same as the Bible calls for in Psalm 1 where we “meditate”, study, chew on and understand what the Word of God is saying to us. No, this centering meditation and contemplation seeks mystic experiences with God where Jesus is hardly ever in the picture. It requires emptying one’s mind and not praying on what is canonized Scripture, but what the gurus of this movement tells us what we may do to achieve “Spiritual Formation”.
One of the dangers of this mysticism, where the practitioner sits in silence waiting to hear from God, while centering on a passage of some book by Thomas Merton, Dallas Willard or even chanting a bible verse/passage over and over, is that it can lead a person away from both Christ and Christianity. I know a person it actually happened to from Connecticut. She was/is an avid blogger and stay at home mother of three children who was so caught up in being open to deceptive new thoughts and teachings she walked away from Christ, to her own eternal loss! This person had elevated the teachings of the Emergent Church and Ecumenism that she started reading, promoting and practicing. Ancient mysticism from both Hindu, some Catholic theologians and alleged Christian ones became woven fully into her spirit...and all of this while going to a mainline church in the center of Connecticut.
We had several disagreements including one with her co-“meditators” who instantly branded me intolerant. One day, Jessica wrote some chilling words. She had gone to her church for the final time, looked around and “contemplated” a while. She wrote that she looked at all the people with whom she had grown up her entire life and felt suddenly quite alienated from them. She felt , in fact, alienated from the entire state of being in a Christian church. She then said she felt sad, as then and there, she made the decision to walk away from the church, Christianity and reject Jesus Christ as the only Way, the Truth and the Life!
This is the kind of end result of years of so-called “open-mindedness” towards every strange philosophy of man and the devil. This is the fruit of messing with strange mystic garbage, saying it is based on the Bible and promoting it to many, while fellowshipping with like-minded lost souls. I broke off any contact with this person because she and her family plunged headlong into pagan Hinduism, Buddhist “meditation” and all sorts of potential Baal worship. To the elite and the well-connected, this is the in-thing and makes them feel enlightened. To Holy God of Heaven and the Bible, this is storing up wrath for That Day.
The slide into eternal separation from God, first began, because people listen to strange and deceptive words, which became practices. Which leads us to a new strange and unbiblical concept called “Mindfulness”.
MINDFULNESS: Potentially, this is even more dangerous to the future eternal homes of millions of souls, as if Contemplative Prayer/Spiritual Formation were not enough. Mindlessness is leading people away from the Gospel weekly, while sounding good, easy and oh-so-modern and “cool”. In fact, this fits right into the template of those who call themselves “spiritual”.
According to dictionary definition, “mindfulness” is about focusing on a person’s awareness, mostly at the current moment, while concentrating fully on experiential stuff: thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. It has nothing to do with Jesus, God, The Bible or the Holy Spirit. In fact, its origins are Eastern Mysticism, Buddhism and Hinduism rolled up into one! In fact the word “mindfulness” is a translation from the Buddhist “pali” term called “sati”.
Proponents of this ungodly practice say it is good for Christians to do for good health, stress removal etc…etc…just like they do when they promote alleged “Christian” Yoga. Both Mindfulness and Yoga cannot be associated with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are an anathema to the pure Word of Christ and His Word which said “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5)“. If you speak to any true Hindu and practitioner of yoga, they will tell you exactly what it is – Hinduism. Every movement is based on the “theology” of that earth religion. Mindfulness is the same. If the people promoting this stuff in public schools and general society were honest with you, they would tell the truth that it is part of the Eightfold Path OF BUDDHISM! Google it yourself. This will not be promoted in this article.
There is a huge reason the Apostle Paul warns of these nice sounding ideas and diverse philosophies. Who would be against stress relief and being “in your right mind”. The issue begins as to where the beliefs used to address these issues originate. People go to hell – the state of eternal and FOREVER separation from God – not because of what they do, but because of what they believe. Many in modern Christianity which is a mile wide and half inch deep, were never born again and are easily led astray by these modern easy fixes for peace, joy and contentment. Some authentic Christians may even be fooled by this for a while. Both will face an Righteous God on Judgement Day with no answer for this deadly folly.
Of the many evils out there for their “Spiritual Formation” these two are the most dangerous, because they have been proven 1000 times over to lead people away from Jesus Christ – the Creator and Sustainer of Life. A lot of these practices are promoted by the Emergent Church and their supporters in the megachurches. (Click here to read more on the Emergent Church). Our job as Authentic Believers and Followers of Christ is to stay faithful to Him, remain planted like trees by living water and be obedient to His Spirit. Anything else will cause loss – permanent and deadly.