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Exposing spiritual formation part 1 & 2


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This is an update/revised version as of 5-12-14

Published in: Spiritual
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Exposing spiritual formation part 1 & 2

  1. 1. S p i r i t u a l l y E x p e r i e n c i n g G o d (P a r t 1) T h e A l p h a a n d t h e O me g a
  2. 2. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (Ezekiel 33:6-7)
  3. 3. Reprove. Gr. elegchō, “to refute,” “to convict,” “to expose.” Compare the use of the word in Luke 3:19; John 3:20; 8:9; 16:8. By word and life Christians should be a continuous rebuke to the world of evil. It is not sufficient to “have no fellowship” with the works of evil; they must be reproved. The Christian cannot be neutral, a passive observer in the face of wickedness; he must be aggressive in exposure and denunciation of sin. Sympathy with afflicted men must not degenerate into an easygoing indifference or sentimental tolerance, otherwise it will be hard to show that we have “no fellowship” with the works of darkness. Gr. Greek Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 1033 Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
  4. 4. What would you have done if you had been there the day that Eve was at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
  5. 5. Mrs. White spoke of “the efforts of the enemy to undermine the foundation of our faith through the dissemination of seductive theories . . . One night a scene was clearly presented before me. A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, "Iceberg just ahead!" There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg. An authoritative voice cried out, "Meet it!" . . . The engineer put on full steam, and the man at the wheel steered the ship straight into the iceberg. With a crash she struck the ice. There was a fearful shock, and the iceberg broke into many pieces, falling with a noise like thunder to the deck. The passengers were violently shaken by the force of the collisions, but no lives were lost. The vessel was injured, but not beyond repair. She rebounded from the contact, trembling from stem to stern, like a living creature. Then she moved forward on her way. {1SM 205.3} . . . For the next few days I worked early and late, preparing for our people the instruction given me regarding the errors that were coming in among us. {1SM 206.2}
  6. 6. I would especially like to emphasize that the purpose of sharing names and organizations is not to tear down those within the church or to condemn people, that alone is the Lord’s work. But there are people who are associating themselves with deadly error, error that is infecting my child and yours, my family and yours, my neighbors and yours, my church and yours. These individuals and entities are publicly promoting this “new spirituality.” For that reason it should be publicly denounced. It is not a denunciation of the individuals themselves but of the error they espouse. The Lord calls us to rebuke and exhort but to do it in love and this is our purpose.
  7. 7. Mrs. White publicly reproved a sister. She and her husband said that instead of Mrs. White publicly reproving her, she should have followed the “directions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17. . .” James White then replied “that he should understand that these words of our Lord had reference to cases of personal trespass, and could not be applied in the case of this sister. She had not trespassed against Sister White. But that which had been reproved publicly was public wrongs which threatened the prosperity of the church and the cause. Here, said my husband, is a text applicable to the case: 1 Timothy 5:20: "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." {2T 15.2}
  8. 8. Men whom God favored, and to whom he entrusted great responsibilities, were sometimes overcome by temptation and committed sin, even as we at the present day strive, waver, and frequently fall into error. Their lives, with all their faults and follies, are open before us, both for our encouragement and warning. . . As they, though sometimes beaten back, recovered their ground, and were blessed of God, so we too may be overcomers in the strength of Jesus. On the other hand, the record of their lives may serve as a warning to us. It shows that God will by no means clear the guilty. He sees sin in his most favored ones, and he deals with it in them even more strictly than in those who have less light and responsibility. {PP 238.2}
  9. 9. Introduction “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” are “Deceiving Many of the Elect” ! Today many SDA leaders and members are innocently, or some not so innocently, being seduced by the miracles and demons of the “three fold union” of Revelation. The three great spiritual forces composing this “three fold union” are clearly identified in Revelation 16:13-14 (NKJV), which says, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan & spiritualism), out of the mouth of the beast (the Roman Catholicism), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (Apostate Protestantism including some deceived SDAʼs). 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them (an ecumenical movement) to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
  10. 10. This presentation documents how these “three spiritual demonic forces” are being brought into the SDA church. Catholic Mysticism and New Age Spiritualism is covertly (and sometimes openly) being brought into our SDA churches, educational institutions and hospitals by SDA leaders. We document some of the leaders and where they are getting their “new creative ideas for prayer and worship”. Some of these leaders may be naïve, innocent and ignorant. Others are well informed and knowledgeable of their sources. Some even openly acknowledge & document receiving their material from Catholic Jesuits and New Age “Spiritualistic” leaders.
  11. 11. These attacks against our SDA Church and the Truth of Godʼs Word are just a few evidences that Jesus is coming soon! “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17 Jesus warned us, Matthew 24:24-27 (NKJV), “Then if anyone says to you, ʻLook, here is the Christ!ʻor ʻThere!ʻdo not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ʻLook, He is in the desert!ʻ(or some other “retreat”) do not go out; or ʻLook, He is in the inner rooms!ʻ(special “Prayer Rooms”) do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
  12. 12. Before we consider what some believe to be “good things” coming from Jesuit “spiritual instructors,” please consider the following history. Protestant and Seventh‐day Adventist Bible scholars have long recognized “the little horn power and beast power of Daniel 7, Daniel 8 , and Revelation to be the Roman Catholic church and its satanically inspired opposition to Jesus, His faithful followers, and His Word. . . In the Vatican today stands a marble statue of Ignatius Loyola honoring him for his leadership in destroying those choosing to follow scripture instead of Catholic Tradition. “Come now, let us reason together”. Has the Jesuit Order of today suddenly had a conversion and is now seeking to spiritually strengthen their openly avowed enemies, the Seventh‐day Adventists and other Protestants, the people of the book ?
  13. 13. Or, could it be, the Jesuit’s have finally found an effective strategy to woo Seventh‐day Adventist and Protestant focus away from their preaching of the “more sure word of prophecy” (which puts Catholics in such a bad light) to a new focus on Catholic Jesuit forms of supposedly wonderful spiritual exercises such as Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Taize’ Prayer, Labyrinths, Lectio Devina, and Spiritual Formation. And then, as a powerful seductive spiritual force engulfs their being during these exercises, the “angel of light” overwhelms their senses with an experience of spiritual ecstasy banishing the Biblical warnings and the “still small voice” of the genuine Holy Spirit. Now they are hooked on “the experience of Christ Consciousness” and “Centering contemplative prayer” which becomes their new spiritual focus. Happily the Jesuit’s see they neglect to study and preach the deep Truths of the Holy Scriptures. Now Satan is happy. The Jesuits are happy. And the seduced “saint” is reveling in his seduction and praying earnestly to his new found god of love, “Please do it again!”, “Please be intimate with me again”, while the true God’s present Testing Truths are neglected and gradually exchanged for Ecumenical Truths acceptable and adaptable to all the Great Religions of the world which are moving along “the broad way leading to destruction” as they intimately worship their god.
  14. 14. The Story of the Trojan Horse: The story is told of the Greeks, who pursued an unsuccessful 10-year siege battle against the city of Troy. So the Greeks decided to use craft and cunning to accomplish what they had failed to achieve by open warfare. They built a huge figure of a horse. Inside the horse they hid a select force of 30 men, then Greeks pretended to sail away. Feeling safe, the people of Troy opened the gates of their city and pulled the Horse inside as a trophy of their victory over the Greeks. That night, however, the 30 Greek soldiers crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back to Troy under cover of night. The Greek army entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war. The priest of Troy warned the people of Troy not to bring in the horse. But the priest and his two sons were killed before he could be believed. The Kings daughter also warned that the horse would be the downfall of the city and its royal family, but she too was ignored. Hence their doom and their loss of the war.
  15. 15. Trojan Horse: A "Trojan Horse" has come to mean a strategy that causes a targeted people to invite a foe into their securely protected bastion or place. Question.... Could some leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church be ignoring clear warnings and be bringing in a Trojan Horse through the gates and within the walls of our Seventh-day Adventist Church? Or to use Jesus’ warning could we be facing “WOLVES in SHEEP’S CLOTHING” ?
  16. 16. Welcome to the new age of “mystical spirituality” and its many ways of “encountering God.” These are being woven into our churches, youth organizations, health ministries and educational institutions. Could these new ways of being “spiritual” be actually old- fashioned spiritualism disguised in new clothes? Are we honestly-mistaken about today‟s “God-encounters” and other attempts to reach higher levels of spirituality? Could these be “the Omega” of deadly heresies? Is it possible that these are Trojan horses being wheeled into our churches and we aren‟t realizing it?
  17. 17. “That which has been [is] what will be, That which [is] done is what will be done, And [there is] nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this [is] new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.” Ecclesiastes 1:9,10
  18. 18. History
  19. 19. In the Great Controversy, Ellen White has this to say about the reformation.... “The seed which Luther had sown sprung up everywhere. His absence accomplished a work which his presence would have failed to do. Other laborers felt a new responsibility, now that their great leader was removed. With new faith and earnestness they pressed forward to do all in their power, that the work so nobly begun might not be hindered. {GC88 185.3} But Satan was not idle. He now attempted what he has attempted in every other reformatory movement,--to deceive and destroy the people by palming off upon them a counterfeit in place of the true work. As there were false christs in the first century of the Christian church, so there arose false prophets in the sixteenth century. {GC88 186.1}
  20. 20. A few men, deeply affected by the excitement in the religious world, imagined themselves to have received special revelations from Heaven, and claimed to have been divinely commissioned to carry forward to its completion the Reformation which, they declared, had been but feebly begun by Luther. In truth, they were undoing the very work which he had accomplished. They rejected the great principle which was the very foundation of the Reformation,-- that the Word of God is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and for that unerring guide they substituted the changeable, uncertain standard of their own feelings and impressions. By this act of setting aside the great detector of error and falsehood, the way was opened for Satan to control minds as best pleased himself. {GC88 186.2}” ...The fruit of the new teaching soon became apparent. The people were led to neglect the Bible or to wholly cast it aside. [GC pg. 185-187]
  21. 21. As is so often the case with misleading teachings, it came to the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists subtly, as new, advanced truth. At first it was not discerned as a threat to the church. Dr. Kellogg had toyed with these concepts before James White's death in 1881, and considering it "great light," had discussed it with Ellen White. "'Those theories are wrong,'" she told him. "'I have met them before.'" He seemed dazed as she showed him the outcome of espousing such a philosophy. She then admonished, "'Never teach such theories in our institutions; do not present them to the people.'"
  22. 22. Fifteen years later (1895) a Dr. A. H. Lewis, editor of the Sabbath Recorder, prominent among Seventh Day Baptists, and steeped in pantheism, visited Battle Creek and was entertained in the Kellogg home (Mrs. Kellogg was a Seventh Day Baptist). Lewis talked his pantheistic views, which did not fall on deaf ears. Kellogg first introduced pantheism publicly in 1897 in a series of talks at the ministerial institute that preceded the General Conference session held in the College View church at Lincoln, Nebraska. [5BIO pg. 281]
  23. 23. Abram Herbert Lewis (1832-1908) History tell us that... “In 1847 Lewis, along with his parents, migrated to Wisconsin, settling first at Milton and then moving north to Berlin, where his father became leader of a group which in 1850, was constituted as a church. Opportunities for education were limited, but young Herbert made the most of books and lyceums. It was during this time that he was influenced by a brilliant skeptic and spiritualist physician. Lewis went through a period of doubt as he began to question his faith in the Bible and orthodox Christianity. He even asked that his name be dropped from the roll, on the grounds that he was not in harmony with the beliefs of the church....“ Lewis in wording his account of the experience said... “Under [a spiritualist physician‟s] influence I became a „medium,‟ after the rude manner of those times.” Taken from the book Rev. Abram Herbert Lewis, D.D., LL.D, a Biographical Sketch, American Sabbath Tract Society by Theodore L. Gardiner, pg. 15
  24. 24. Dr. and Mrs. John H. Kellogg Mrs. Kellogg, a life long Seventh-day Baptist, had Graduated from Alfred University in 1872 and completed her masters degree there in 1885. Dr. Lewis was once Mrs. Kellogg‟s pastor and president of the university where she got her degree. Lewis‟s paper (newsletter), the Sabbath Recorder, was steeped in pantheism and it came regularly to the Kellogg home. Windows: Selected Readings in Seventh-day Adventist Church History by: Emmett K. Vande Vere pg. 251-252
  25. 25. On February 18, 1902, and Dr. Kellogg was on his way home to Battle Creek. Changing trains in Chicago, the doctor received his first notice that the Battle Creek Sanitarium—his pride and joy--had been reduced to ash and cinders by fire. Taking his seat on the train, he requested a desk and paper. Preliminary plans for a new building were finished by the time he arrived home. Discarding Ellen White’s often- expressed wish that “the sanitarium were miles away from Battle Creek,” the doctor laid plans for not just a new building, but a larger and more expensive building. Naturally, such a project would entail considerable expense, therefore a plan was laid for the denomination to mobilize the laity in a campaign to sell a new book prepared by the doctor. All profits, including Kellogg’s royalties, would go to assist the medical work of the church. This book, of course, was Kellogg’s infamous volume, The Living Temple. The General Conference Executive Committee reviewed Kellogg’s book and decided that The Living Temple would not be published under the auspices of the church. Unconvinced, Dr. Kellogg ordered an initial printing of five thousand copies at his own expense. The books were to be produced by the Review and Herald. Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 153-156
  26. 26. In November, 1901, the message now found in Testimonies, vol. 8, 90-96 was read to the Board of Directors of the Review and Herald. It reads, in part: “I feel a terror of soul as I see to what a pass our publishing house has come. The presses in the Lord’s institution have been printing the soul destroying theories of Romanism and other mysteries of iniquity. The office must be purged of this objectionable matter... You have given matter containing Satan’s sentiments into the hands of the workers, bringing his deceptive, polluting principles before their minds. The Lord looks upon this action on your part as helping Satan to prepare his snare to catch souls. God will not hold guiltless those who have done this thing. He has a controversy with the managers of the publishing house. I have been almost afraid to open the Review, fearing to see that God has cleansed the publishing house by fire... Unless there is a reformation, calamity will overtake the publishing house, and the world will know the reason... In the visions of the night I saw a sword of fire hung out over Battle Creek.” Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 153-156
  27. 27. A second time that same year, December 30, 1902, a major Adventist enterprise fell prey to fire, this time it was the Review and Herald Publishing house. It is worth noting that earlier that day the building had been inspected by the chief of the city fire department. Examining the electrical lines and other possible sources of danger, he “pronounced everything in satisfactory condition”. Obviously, something wasn’t satisfactory because that same day the building was totally destroyed. Five days later, when the debris had cooled enough to allow, the fireproof vault was opened. All the printing plates stored inside the vault had survived. The plates for The Living Temple, however, were waiting to go on the press at the time of the fire and so disappeared in the flames. Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 153-156
  28. 28. It was February, 1904, and the time had come for Ellen White to bring finality to the twenty years of pointed warnings and reproofs aimed at Dr. J.H. Kellogg and others who joined with him in an apostasy among the leaders of the Remnant church. This apostasy included, but was not exclusive to the pantheism espoused in Dr. Kellogg’s book “Living Temple,” which contained theories leading to erroneous conclusions concerning the presence and nature of God. The acceptance of these theories by the thought leaders of the church in Battle Creek opened the door to satanic control of their minds. “We need not the mysticism that is in this book. Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from God. It is represented to me that the writer of this book is on a false track. He has lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time. He knows not whither his steps are tending.” Testimonies for the Church Containing Letters to Physicians and Ministers Instruction to Seventh-day Adventists (1904), page 52
  29. 29. As is so often the case with misleading teachings, it came to the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists subtly, as new, advanced truth. -- MS 70, 1905. {5BIO 281.4} “In Living Temple the assertion is made that God is in the flower, in the leaf, in the sinner. But God does not live in the sinner. The Word declares that He abides only in the hearts of those who love Him and do righteousness. God does not abide in the heart of the sinner; it is the enemy who abides there.” ,1SAT 343.1-
  30. 30. “Though no positive connection has yet been shown, it is worth noting that this is exactly the position being taken at that time by the recently formed (1875) Theosophical Society of America.* This society is still very much in existence, and is widely considered the single most important force in the early development of what is now more commonly referred to as the “New Age Movement”. ...Their journal, The Theosophist, was a curious mixture of pantheism, reincarnation, meditation, and occult methodologies.” Taken from the book Hindsight: Seventh-day Adventist History in Essays and Extracts by Dave Fiedler pg. 171 *(Formed by Madame H. P. Blavatsky who was a spirit medium)
  31. 31. The Lord revealed to her the changes that might have taken place in the structure of the church if Dr. Kellogg and his associates would have implemented their plans. “The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. . . We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?” {I SM 204}
  32. 32. “I have some things to say to our teachers in reference to the new book The Living Temple. Be careful how you sustain the sentiments of this book regarding the personality of God. As the Lord presents matters to me, these sentiments do not bear the endorsement of God. They are a snare that the enemy has prepared for these last days. . . .” ,5BIO 297.6- Ellen White revealed what she had seen, saying... "Angels clothed with beautiful garments, like angels of light, were escorting Dr. Kellogg from place to place, and inspiring him to speak words of pompous boasting that were offensive to God."-- Letter 220, 1903. {5BIO 304.5} That which has been said in the testimonies in regard to Living Temple, and its misleading sentiments, is not overdrawn. Some of its theories are misleading, and their influence will be to close the minds of those who receive them against the truth for this time. Men may explain and explain in regard to these theories, nevertheless they are contrary to the truth. Scriptures are misplaced and misapplied, taken out of their connection and given a wrong application. Thus those are deceived who have not a vital, personal experience in the truths that have made us as a people what we are. {5BIO 305.3}
  33. 33. “Living Temple,” contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. ...Few can discern the result of entertaining the sophistries advocated by some at this time. But the Lord has lifted the curtain, and has shown me the result that would follow. The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.” 1SM 203,20 I am instructed to speak plainly. "Meet it," is the word spoken to me. "Meet it firmly, and without delay." But it is not to be met by our taking our working forces from the field to investigate doctrines and points of difference. We have no such investigation to make. In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. (1SM, p. 200). {5BIO 305.5}
  34. 34. “Just as long as men consent to listen to these sophistries, a subtle influence will weave the fine threads of these seductive theories into their minds, and men who should turn away from the first sound of such teaching will learn to love it. As loyal subjects we must refuse even to listen to these sophistries. Their influence is something like a deadly viper, poisoning the minds of all who listen. It is a branch of hypnotism, deadening the sensibilities of the soul.” {10MR 163.2} “I was bidden to warn our people on no account to send their children to Battle Creek to receive an education, because these delusive, scientific theories would be presented in the most seducing forms. . . Words and sentiments from my books will be taken and presented as being in harmony with his theories. But the Lord has forbidden us to enter into any discussion with him. . . .” ,SpTB06 42.1-
  35. 35. Inspired counsel has warned us that there would be a satanic assault more intense than that which almost caused the church to fall 100 years ago. Ellen White trembled for the safety of God’s people and the potential effects this assault might have if left unmet and was extremely concerned for the safety of the church. This “omega” must be something terribly threatening and dangerous. What could possibly have made her react the way she did? We shall see shortly...
  36. 36. Spiritualism is now changing its form, veiling some of its more objectionable and immoral features, and assuming a Christian guise. Formerly it denounced Christ and the Bible; now it professes to accept both. The Bible is interpreted in a manner that is attractive to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. A God of love is presented; but his justice, his denunciations of sin, the requirements of his holy law, are all kept out of sight. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses of those who do not make God's word the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily rejected as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned. As Spiritualism assimilates more closely to the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. {4SP 405}
  37. 37. “Satan's angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, and will proclaim it as new and wonderful; yet while in some respects the message may be truth, it will be mingled with human inventions, and will teach for doctrine the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. Many apparently good things will need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from it. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging, though almost imperceptibly, from the right path. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a while it is seen to be widely divergent from the way which leads to holiness and heaven.” (Evangelism pg. 590)
  38. 38. “There is a way *that seems+ right to a man, But its end *is+ the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 Remember this graphic !
  39. 39. This presentation will help to make you aware of some mystical and spiritualistic teachings which are subtly making inroads into many Christian churches, including Adventism. These inroads are coming under the guise of revival, enhanced spirituality, and a postmodern approach to Christianity. Have you heard of any of the following: contemplative prayer, centering prayer, breath prayer, prayer labyrinth, taize prayer, Christian yoga, spiritual disciplines & spiritual formation, lectio divina, the silence, sacred spaces, The One Project, and Jesus prayer, prayer stations, prayer rooms, etc.? This “new spirituality” has many, many names. It’s nature is mystical, pantheistic, non-sectarian, ecumenical and humanistic. There is seen a low regard of doctrine and theology, a huge emphasis on social justice and discovering our ancient future, a reinvention of Christianity and church, it targets our youth and has its own erroneous interpretation of Scripture. It is new age theology and spiritualism wrapped in Christian terminology.
  40. 40. Centering Prayer or Contemplative Prayer
  41. 41. This book by Sarah Young is extremely popular and has made inroads to Adventism. Sarah Young describes the method of prayer in which she receives messages from this presence that she calls “Jesus.” These methods are identical to the way spirits are channeled by spirit mediums. Young also draws from other authors who are mystical in nature and introduces the language of spiritual formation.
  42. 42. This “contemplative/mystical” prayer, refers to a method of prayer that leads to a level of consciousness where thoughts have ceased and the individual enters a state of mind called the “Silence,” where many believe they experience the presence of God. Attaining this “Contemplative” state, is facilitated by what is called “Centering Prayer;” one of various methods or techniques of focusing or “centering” the mind, leading eventually to an altered state. Once mastered, this centering method submerges the disciple to a level of consciousness that is on par with the trance of hypnosis. . . This altered state of mind is called by many names; the Silence, the Quiet Place, and the Stillness, are a few used by Spiritual Formation enthusiasts. It is here, in this “Mystical Silence,” where all mental activity ceases; a place in the mind where there are no images or awareness of the flow of thoughts, that one has the most profound and life-changing experiences; including a sense of God’s presence, as they have never experienced before. It is here, where the devotee comes to understand his unity and “oneness,” with all created things and all other people and becomes acutely aware of their new mission in life, having much greater insight into how God leads them in everything they do. It is also in this “Mystical Silence,” that some hear what they believe is Jesus, as He speaks with them personally.
  43. 43. Laurie Cabot, a witch, wrote: “The science of Witchcraft is based on our ability to enter an altered state of consciousness we call ‘alpha,’ where the brain waves register seven to fourteen cycles per second. …this is a state of consciousness associated with relaxation, meditation, and dreaming…In alpha the MIND OPENS UP TO NONORDINARY FORMS OF COMMUNICATION, such as TELEPATHY, CLAIRVOYANCE, AND PRECOGNITION. Here we may also experience out-of-body sensations and psychokinesis, or RECEIVE MYSTICAL, VISIONARY INFORMATION that does NOT come through the five senses. In alpha the rational filters that process ordinary reality are weakened or removed, and the mind is receptive to nonordinary realities.” [Laurie Cabot with Tom Cowan, Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment (NY, NY: Delacorte Press, 1989), p. 173].
  44. 44. 2717 Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come"12 or "silent love."13 Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.” The New Roman Catholic Catechism under the heading “Contemplative Prayer”
  45. 45. Parts of the article entitled “Centering Prayer” A Treasure for the Soul from The National Catholic Weekly magazine called “America” Joseph G. Sandman | SEPTEMBER 9, 2000 (Joseph G. Sandman is Vice President for Advancement at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches a workshop on centering prayer, Institute for Pastoral Studies.) The Origins of Centering Prayer The current practice of centering prayer can be traced to the mid-1970ʼs, St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer, Mass., and three monks, Abbot Thomas Keating, William Meninger and Basil Pennington. . . Fathers Keating, Meninger and Pennington entered into intense, sustained dialogue with leaders from other traditions who lived near the abbey. They invited to the abbey ecumenically oriented Catholic theologians, an Eastern Zen master, Joshu Roshi Sasaki, who offered weeklong retreats on Buddhist meditation, and a former Trappist, Paul Marechal, who taught transcendental meditation. The interaction between these Christian monks and practitioners of Eastern meditation helped distill the practice of Christian contemplative prayer into a form that could be easily practiced by a diverse array of “nonmonastic” believers: priests, nuns, brothers and lay men and women. At a monastery gathering in the mid-1970ʼs, Keating posed a question to his fellow monks that provided the impetus to the centering prayer movement: “Could we put the Christian tradition into a form that would be accessible to people in the active ministry today and to young people who have been instructed in an Eastern technique and might be inspired to return to their Christian roots if they knew there was something similar in the Christian tradition?”
  46. 46. William Meningerʼscontribution was to develop a simple, easily taught method of prayer based on the 14th-century mystical classic, The Cloud of Unknowing. Believers are invited to enter into a deep, silent state of “unknowing” during which one expresses oneʼs“naked intent” to rest in deep communion with God. Meninger suggested the mental repetition of a single “sacred word” that symbolizes the believerʼsintention to turn completely toward God. This made it easier to let go of the thoughts and feelings that would invariably come into oneʼs awareness during prayer. The Growth of Centering Prayer Flowing from Meninger and Basil Penningtonʼsretreats in the mid-1970ʼs, the teaching and practice of centering prayer has grown steadily in the United States and abroad. . . Keating and his associates trained others to teach centering prayer. . . Keating moved to St. BenedictʼsMonastery in Snowmass, Colo., in 1981. There he offered a series of talks on prayer at a local parish in Aspen. These conferences and retreats represent an important seminal event in the growth of centering prayer. . . The past 16 years have seen . . . significant growth in the practice of centering prayer around the world.
  47. 47. What Is Centering Prayer? (These are their words) Centering prayer is a remarkably simple method that opens one to Godʼsgift of contemplative prayer. Its practice expands oneʼsreceptivity to the presence and activity of God in oneʼslife. It is a distillation of the practice of monastic spirituality into two relatively short periods of prayer each day. (Abbot, Father) Keating suggests only four simple guidelines for practicing centering prayer: 1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to Godʼs presence and action within. 2. Sitting comfortably with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently and introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to Godʼspresence and action within. 3. When you become aware of thoughts, return ever so gently to the sacred word. 4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
  48. 48. Click Here . . .
  49. 49. Contemplative prayer - is not just “contemplating while you pray.” The Bible instructs us to pray with our minds (1 Corinthians 14:15), so, clearly, prayer does involve contemplation. However, praying with your mind is not what “contemplative prayer” has come to mean. Contemplative prayer has slowly increased in practice and popularity along with the rise of the emerging church movement—a movement which embraces many unscriptural ideas and practices. Contemplative prayer is one such practice. Contemplative prayer, also known as “centering prayer,” is a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. While contemplative prayer is done differently in the various groups that practice it, there are similarities. Contemplative prayer involves choosing a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God's presence and action within. Contemplative prayer usually includes sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settling briefly and silently, introducing the sacred word. When a contemplative pray-er becomes aware of thoughts, he/she is to return ever so gently to the sacred word. ...Contemplative prayer, by design, focuses on having a mystical experience with God.
  50. 50. Founded and directed by Tom & Delcy Kuhlman “Mrs. Kuhlman's 25 years of mothering her own and other people's children contributed insights concerning unmet needs for pastoral services to help people surmount everyday stresses. Accordingly she earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and continued for five units of clinical pastoral education. With this preparation and the endorsement of the Adventist chaplaincy ministries office, she assumed the responsibilities of staff chaplain for the Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana. Mrs. Kuhlman... resigned from that position because she and her husband [felt] called to establish a spiritual retreat facility. It will be located on 70 acres near the seminary at Andrews University in order to allow easy access to ministers, students, and others wishing to enrich their spiritual development.” Adventist Review
  51. 51. We define spiritual direction as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication with him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship. Barry & Connolly (Jesuit Priests)
  52. 52. Prayer Labyrinth in Spring
  53. 53. Adventist Education
  54. 54. “Today there are coming into educational institutions and into the churches everywhere spiritualistic teachings that undermine faith in God and in His word.... [B]ut however beautifully clothed, this theory is a most dangerous deception.... The result of accepting it is separation from God” (Ministry of Healing, p. 428).
  55. 55. Spiritual Formation = Contemplative Spirituality, Sacred Listening, Ignatian Way Breath Prayers
  56. 56. One of the ironies of CP is that it essentially is not prayer.
  57. 57. Ignatius of Loyola created and conducted this apostolate for 15 years before he was ordained. Through it, everyone knows, he drew scores of men into the Company of Jesus. It surprises no one who knows the history that Spiritual Exercises are proving an astonishingly effective instrument of lay spirituality even in the postmodern era. They are being used for and by and with lay people in many formats all around the world and then supply the basis of sophisticated spiritualities for the marketplace. It is safe to say that more people are going through the one-on-one directed Exercises today than at any time in history. It is safe to say something more: Spiritual Exercises are being used as an apostolic instrument by better-educated laity. (Tetlow, 1994, National Jesuit News, Dec.)
  58. 58. Spiritual Formation, another term for contemplative spirituality, eventually leads into the arena of the emerging church (both are based in mysticism). Spiritual Formation -- Spiritual Formation is just another term for Contemplative Spirituality. The idea behind Spiritual Formation is that we need certain practices and disciplines in order to be like Christ. “The best way to understand this process is to recall what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible became the forbidden book. . . . I believe history is repeating itself. As the Word of God becomes less and less important, the rise in mystical experiences escalates, and these experiences are presented to convince the unsuspecting that Christianity is about feeling, touching, smelling, and seeing God. The postmodern mindset is the perfect environment for fostering spiritual formation. This term suggests there are various ways and means to get closer to God and to emulate him. Thus the idea that if you do certain practices, you can be more like Jesus. Proponents of spiritual formation erroneously teach that anyone can practice these mystical rituals and find God within. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite.” (Coming from the Lighthouse Newsletter, Oct. 08, 2007).
  59. 59. • What is Spiritual Formation • (a.k.a. "Sacred Listening" "the Ignatian Way" “Spiritual Disciplines”)? Spiritual formation (SF) teaches the occult ideas of "inner healing," and "contemplative prayer". Spiritual Formation is the Roman Catholic Mysticism formulated by Ignatius Loyola who founded the Jesuit Order in the year 1540. It involves deeply occult techniques like lectio devina.
  60. 60. Dr. Derek J. Morris – Former advisor and college professor who taught Spiritual Formation classes Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at Southern Adventist University, and formerly, senior pastor of the Forest Lake SDA Church. Currently, Dr. Morris is the Editor of Ministry Magazine and adjunct Spiritual Formation professor at Andrews University Theological Seminary. I spoke to Dr. Morris personally and he has assured me that he abandoned spiritual formation and those things that go along with it. He stated that he believes non-biblical spiritual formation is dangerous to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dr. Morris has denounced spiritual formation publicly. HOWEVER . . . . . .
  61. 61. “A leading Protestant advocate of spiritual direction is Tilden Edwards, director of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C. As I began my own prayerful search for a spiritual friend, I came across the significant work by Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction. I strongly recommend this book as a valuable resource. There, for the first time, I caught a glimpse of the real value of spiritual direction as a means of nurturing spiritual life.”—Spiritual Formation, pp. 6-7. “Spiritual Formation In Ministry” by Derek Morris
  62. 62. Morris continues: “I called Shalem and shared with Dr. Gerald May that I was a pastor, interested in the process of spiritual direction. His response was very positive. He offered to send me a list of several individuals in my state who had completed or who were presently enrolled in the Spiritual Guidance Program. He suggested that I select a spiritual friend that I could easily relate to, and that I seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the process.”—Spiritual Formation, pp. 7-8. Morris tells how he was “experiencing a high level of resistance. I was to learn later that such resistance is common…” (p.8). (May I suggest that this resistance was the voice of conscience warning not to do this) Morris just overrides the resistance telling how he had “twenty days of resistance” but then he called Louise Young. “I shared with her my spiritual journey and my desire to explore the process of spiritual direction.” (p. 8).
  63. 63. Morris tells of how Barry and Connolly, two Jesuits, in their book, The Practice of Spiritual Direction, spend an entire chapter dealing with the phenomenon of ‘resistance.” (Morris, p. 8). Finally, after much “resistance” and fear, Barry Young became Morris’ Spiritual Director. Morris describes the ‘tremendous freedom” once he took the plunge to reveal his hidden self. Basically, the Spiritual Director functions as a kind of Father confessor. Morris quotes Elizabeth O’Conner describing the process: “It is an open relationship where your fear, feelings of rebellion, critical attitudes, misgivings, etc., are confessed… Your Spiritual director is one to whom you want to reveal your hidden self.” (Elizabeth O’Conner, Call to Commitment (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), p. 201. (emphasis added)
  64. 64. In concluding his paper, Derek Morris recommends that the young theology student, who leaves the seminary for his first parish, should get a Spiritual Director as soon as he arrives at his parish: “In the years that followed I discovered experientially what Roy Oswald had concluded from his research of 102 Seminary graduates some years before: Crossing the boundary for Seminary to parish is never easy. Moreover, the need for personal spiritual formation is ongoing. However, the process of spiritual direction is a tremendous resource. He notes that ‘Those who had the good fortune of finding a spiritual father/mother/friend as they begun in the parish found the going somewhat easier.’ *Oswald. P. 18.+” –Derek Morris, Spiritual Formation in Ministry, pp. 11, 12.
  65. 65. Many are now aware that Dr. Morris is now the editor of Ministry Magazine, a publication that goes out to ministers of all faiths throughout the world. It has been circulated recently that Dr. Morris had recanted his position on spiritual formation. However, since taking over as editor of Ministry Magazine, he has allowed publication of articles by other authors who believe in and promote spiritual formation. Authors like: • Bonta Joyner-Shields (assistant editor of the Adventist Review) • Skip Bell (theology professor at Andrews University & leader of Vervent) • Eugene Peterson (author of the Message Bible) • Joseph Kidder (theology professor at Andrews University) • And others, all in issues of Ministry Magazine while Morris was editor These are involved or at least sympathetic with spiritual formation and quote others who are deeply involved in the spiritual formation movement like, Leonard Sweet, Reggie McNeal, Monte Sahlin, etc. Morris’ answer to this is that these articles were slated for publication (six months) before he took over as editor.
  66. 66. Morris was senior pastor at Calimesa SDA Church from 2001 to 2004. An assistant pastor, Ken Curtis, was also there working under Morris and is still working as assistant pastor there. Curtis’ responsibilities include teaching spiritual formation. Curtis says that while Morris was senior pastor, there was “no indication” that he had abandoned spiritual formation. What kind of spiritual formation do they teach at Calimesa SDA Church?
  67. 67. Written in part by Adele Gonzales, a Catholic Author Recommended authors include Bill Hybels, John Ortberg, Eugene Peterson, Brian McLaren and others who promote mystical spiritual formation
  68. 68. While at Forest Lake church, Morris established the “House of Prayer Experience” prayer meetings. The source of the House of Prayer movement is interesting.
  69. 69. The House of Prayer movement was started by a Catholic priest. It was designed to promote things such as “silence, solitude, prolonged solitary prayer [and studying] . . . the masters of spirituality. Among those who were drawn to it was Thomas Merton.
  70. 70. Morris states he abandoned mystical spiritual formation in the early/mid 1980’s. Morris was teaching a group of chaplains at a chaplain’s convention at the Grand Ole Opry Hotel in 1990. During his presentations, he was promoting mystical, contemplative prayer to these Adventist chaplains. Let’s explore a little more about Morris.
  71. 71. A thesis written by Dr. Derek Morris This web page is dedicated to those who are promoting “spiritual direction” and other contemplative/spiritual formation ideas.
  72. 72. Derek Morris : Adjunct professor teaching Spiritual Formation 2010
  73. 73. "Men in positions of responsibility are in danger of changing leaders. This I know, for it has been plainly revealed to me." [SpTB02 48.2] "But I am now speaking of actual mistakes and errors that those who really love God and the truth sometimes commit. There is manifested on the part of men in responsible positions an unwillingness to confess where they have been in the wrong; and their neglect is working disaster, not only to themselves, but to the churches. . . you will be left to make mistakes of a similar character, you will continue to lack wisdom, and will call sin righteousness and righteousness sin. The multitude of deceptions that will prevail in these last days will encircle you, and you will change leaders, and not know that you have done so." Review & Herald, vol. 2 p. 448-49. Dec.16, 1890.
  74. 74. There has been a call for Morris to resign his positions of leadership within the Adventist Church based upon the following quotation from Early Writings, p. 101. God will not entrust the care of His precious flock to men whose mind and judgment have been weakened by former errors that they have cherished, such as so-called perfectionism and Spiritualism, and who, by their course while in these errors, have disgraced themselves and brought reproach upon the cause of truth. Although they may now feel free from error and competent to go forth and to teach this last message, God will not accept them. He will not entrust precious souls to their care; for their judgment was perverted while in error, and is now weakened. The great and holy One is a jealous God, and He will have holy men to carry His truth. The holy law spoken by God from Sinai is a part of Himself, and holy men who are its strict observers will alone honor Him by teaching it to others. {EW 101.2} Morris has definitely been involved in spiritualism when he delved into spiritual formation.
  75. 75. Andrews Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
  76. 76. The name of the program has been changed but the content has remained the same.
  77. 77. Pastor Dwight Nelson quotes from emerging church/contemplative authors like N. T. Wright, Frederick Buechner, Stuart Devenish, Henri Nouwen & others. Also notice Pastor Nelson’s hands. This still was taken from a sermon about prayer. This hand gesture was given at least 7 times during the sermon and has a mystical meaning indicating the person has “ascended to new heights” spiritually or has been “enlightened.” I have watched other sermons and have not seen this gesture again.
  78. 78. Another source of danger against which we should be constantly on guard is the reading of infidel authors. Such works are inspired by the enemy of truth, and no one can read them without imperiling the soul. It is true that some who are affected by them may finally recover; but all who tamper with their evil influence place themselves on Satan's ground, and he makes the most of his advantage. As they invite his temptations they have not wisdom to discern or strength to resist them. With a fascinating, bewitching power, unbelief and infidelity fasten themselves upon the mind. {CT 135.3} We are constantly surrounded by unbelief. The very atmosphere seems charged with it. Only by constant effort can we resist its power. Those who value their salvation should shun infidel writings as they would shun the leprosy. {CT 136.1}
  79. 79. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness.--PK 188 (c. 1914). Men whom He has greatly honored will, in the closing scenes of this earth's history, pattern after ancient Israel. . . and the truth that they need to keep them from wrong practices will leak out of the soul like water from a leaky vessel.--13MR 379, 381 (1904). Many will show that they are not one with Christ, that they are not dead to the world, that they may live with Him; and frequent will be the apostasies of men who have occupied responsible positions.--RH Sept. 11, 1888. {LDE 178, 179}
  80. 80. In Hunger, Dybdahl favorably instructs on contemplative practices such as lectio divina, visualization, the Jesus prayer, and breath prayers. Dybdahl says in Hunger that Henri Nouwen “intensified” his “craving” for “God’s presence.” But the presence that Nouwen is speaking of is the same as that of mystics . . . Dybdahl’s book is brimming with references to contemplative mystics: David Benner, Morton Kelsey, Adele Alberg Calhoun, Tilden Edwards, Richard Foster, Ken Boa, and Brother Lawrence.
  81. 81. Remember the pose this man is in. You will see it again.
  82. 82. Dybdahl explains in his book that in his “not-so-secret quest for God,” he turned to Quaker Thomas Kelly’s book A Testament of Devotion. It is Kelly, a panentheist, who said that within every human being is a “Divine Center,” a “secret sanctuary” (from A Testament of Devotion). Dybdahl is a Professor at Andrews Theological Seminary
  83. 83. Required Reading for a course at Andrews University, taught by Jon Dybdahl
  84. 84. Another course by Jon Dybdahl at Andrews University
  85. 85. Oakwood University
  86. 86. Oakwood University published a rebuttal to a video featuring Deonte Jefferson, in which Mr. Jefferson accused a Professor Kwesi of teaching spiritual formation. As part of the rebuttal, Professor Kwesi’s syllabus was published. From the syllabus it is apparent that Kwesi is teaching the spiritual disciplines of Richard Foster. These disciplines were gleaned from the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. The syllabus has not changed since that time. Rather than discount Mr. Jefferson’s account, the university gave it credence. Oakwood’s response is very similar to that of Andrew’s University.
  88. 88. Celebration of Discipline Prayer; Finding the Heart’s True Home
  89. 89. Published by the Committee on Adventist Ministry to College and University Students (AMiCUS)
  90. 90. General Conference Bulletin, informing the church at large of its plans to implement the teaching of Spiritual Formation around the world. “The Adventist world church created the International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education (IBMTE) in September 2001, designed to provide overall guidance and standards to the professional training of pastors, evangelists, theologians, teachers, chaplains and other denominational employees involved in ministerial and religious formation, or spiritual formation, in each of the church's 13 regions around the world.” - ATN News -
  91. 91. Matt. 7:15 Tells us... Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
  92. 92. Take a break! S p i r i t u a l l y E x p e r i e n c i n g G o d (P a r t 2) T h e A l p h a a n d t h e O me g a
  93. 93. Lectio Divina Latin for "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading" and represents a method of prayer and Scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights. The principles of lectio divina were expressed around the year A.D. 220 and practiced by Catholic monks, especially the monastic rules of Sts. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil, and Benedict.
  94. 94. The practice of lectio divina is currently very popular among Catholics and gnostics, and is gaining acceptance as an integral part of the devotional practices of the Emerging Church. Pope Benedict XVI said in a 2005 speech, “I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart.” Lectio is also said to be adaptable for people of other faiths in reading their scripture— whether that be the Bhagavad Gita, the Torah, or the Koran. Non- Christians may simply make suitable modifications of the method to accommodate secular traditions. The actual practice of lectio divina begins with a time of relaxation, making oneself comfortable and clearing the mind of mundane thoughts and cares. Some lectio practitioners find it helpful to concentrate by beginning with deep, cleansing breaths and reciting a chosen phrase or word over and over to help free the mind.
  95. 95. The pastor of Pioneer Memorial is Dwight Nelson
  96. 96. Christian mysticism - is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Christian mysticism usually centers on a practice or practices . . . such as deep prayer (i.e. meditation, contemplation) involving the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. This approach and lifestyle is distinguished from other forms of Christian practice by its aim of achieving unity with the divine. In the tradition of Mystical Theology, Biblical texts are typically interpreted allegorically... For Christians the major emphasis of mysticism concerns a spiritual transformation of the egoic self. . . The Eastern Christian tradition speaks of this transformation in terms of theosis or divinization, perhaps best summed up by an ancient aphorism usually attributed to Athanasius of Alexandria: "God became human so that man might become god.“
  97. 97. Another form of Christian mysticism is Taize prayer and worship
  98. 98. Taize Worship Taizé prayer - Taize is an ecumenical sung and silent participatory prayer service designed to achieve a contemplative state through music, song and silence. “Something very interesting at Taizé is that this formula of calming repetition has been taken up in the liturgy; that is, it is not used only in personal prayer, but also in prayer together or common prayer. Some young people, who know almost nothing of mystery, are introduced to it here, and they begin to learn how to pray.” Olivier Clément en_article338.html Brother Roger, [was] the founder and Prior of the ecumenical community of Taize, France. . . His father, a Protestant minister of the Lutheran tradition, had a powerful influence on the life and spirituality of the young Roger. Of him Roger wrote many years later, "I am sure that my father was a mystic at heart.
  99. 99. Located in Taize, France..... On Friday nights the Cross of Taize, an icon brought to Taize by the members of the orthodox Church, is placed flat on the floor of the Church of Reconciliation. The weekly liturgical commemoration of the Paschal Mystery thus begins. All present are invited to come forward to the cross. As a gesture of their solidarity with the poor and oppressed peoples of the world, they place their foreheads on the Cross and remain there for a few moments. This symbolic gesture brings home very clearly that Christ still suffers in the downtrodden and victims of injustice in the world today.
  100. 100. Examples
  101. 101. Prayer Labyrinths
  102. 102. Prayer Labyrinth A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. It is so designed to lead to a center (one's own self) and back again into the world - it does not lead one to Jesus, but teaches self-reliance ("New Age")! At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.
  103. 103. Labyrinth – A “Prayer Tool,” the labyrinth is a winding walk through a maze pathway, that one takes physically. It is another way to perform contemplative or centering prayer in which all paths lead to God, the middle-eye of “Divine Illumination” (the mystical realization of our own Divinity) at the center. . . The Labyrinth has been part of the esoteric world for a long time and its roots are deep into the occult, New Age, and pagan world; its uses and purposes are as a “conduit for the mystical.” According to the international Labyrinth Society it is "a single path or universal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation.“
  104. 104. Prayer Labyrinth
  105. 105. 2004 SDA European Youth Congress Workshops
  106. 106. Examples: Prayer Labyrinths with Prayer stations
  107. 107. Many of our Adventist Institutions and supporting ministries, both educational and medical, have labyrinths on their campuses. Just do a Google search for “Labyrinth Adventist” and you’ll find several contemporary examples. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
  108. 108. Want more? Go to this prayer labyrinth. Richard Foster Brother Lawrence Article from the Australian edition of Signs of the Times entitled: “Stillness is Golden”
  109. 109. Postmodernism and the Emergent Church Movement
  110. 110. We are being told... we must develop Emerging Churches which can reach the postmodern mindset.
  111. 111. We are revamping our worship styles... Reborn worship...
  112. 112. • Ecumenicalism Ecumenicalism—“Deified ecumenical empire” When there is a loss of a transcendent religious consensus, the community idolizes “unity” while still accommodating great diversity. For example: --When Rome lost its localized ancestral religion and turned into a vast empire, it instituted emperor worship. The divinized Roman empire was “ecumenical,” that is worldwide Rome tolerated people of all religions, provided they worshipped Caesar as God. Christians who couldn’t do this were put to death.
  113. 113. In Today’s postmodern society we are also seeing a new reality emerging—the worship of unity, which will ultimately result in the loss of liberty. --Talks of “global unity” by environmentalists, New Age theologians, business gurus, rock stars, etc. --Global economy --Ominously, an ecumenical movement to unite all religions. The “ecumenical movement” . . . attempted to unite all churches by obliterating their distinct beliefs. Note that the worship of unity inevitably results in a loss of liberty. Individuality, by definition, must be suppressed if there is to be unity. It has happened before—during the early church, medieval church, communist era. And may happen again—in our time—even in protestant America.
  114. 114. The different religious groups would maintain their own separate identities, but a universal spiritual practice would bind them together–not so much a one- world church as a one-world spirituality. Episcopal priest and New Age leader Matthew Fox explains what he calls “deep ecumenism”: Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions. Without this I am convinced there will never be global peace or justice since the human race needs spiritual depths and disciplines, celebrations and rituals, to awaken its better selves. The promise of ecumenism, the coming together of religions, has been thwarted because world religions have not been relating at the level of mysticism.12 Fox believes that all world religions will eventually be bound together by the “Cosmic Christ”13 principle, which is another term for the higher self.
  115. 115. Postmodernism and the Emergent Church: Between 40-50 years ago, a fundamental shift took place in the way people think about reality. And with this shift in reality, the church has been greatly impacted on how it views itself and its mission in the world. Scholars refers to this seismic shift as post-modernism. And the Emergent Church is an attempt by some Christians to respond to this new reality. Many church members see everything as fine: new worship style, new approach music, new approaches to church growth, new kinds of leadership in the church, new (alternate) lifestyle, etc. Attention is given to . . . make the house more comfortable and "user- friendly, changing our terminology from worship service to a “gathering” or “community”. We water down our unique remnant message and capitalize on our similarities with other denominations all under the pretense of “loving our neighbor” or “unity”.
  116. 116. The two key concepts that define postmodernism are: 1.) “THERE ARE NO MORAL ABSOLUTES” “There Is No Right or Wrong” - “Morality is relative” 2.) “THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES” “There Is No Absolute--“Truth is relative” The first claim deals with ethics or morality. The second concerns truth or teachings/ doctrines. These two pillars of postmodernism are the Trojan horses that some seek to drag into the church. The absence of moral absolutes (no objective basis of right or wrong) reflects a much bigger problem—namely, the loss of objective truth. Postmodernisms 2 key pillars/concepts Only one problem: These are absolutes!
  117. 117. The contemporary postmodern culture further creates these problems... While people have always committed sins, they at least acknowledged these were sins. . . However, today, what we have is not only immoral behavior, but a loss of moral criteria. This is true even in the church. We face not only a moral collapse but a collapse of meaning. “There are no absolutes.” It is hard to proclaim forgiveness of sins to people who believe that, since morality is relative, they have no sins to forgive. It is hard to witness to truth to people who believe that truth is relative (“Maybe Jesus works for you; but crystals work for me”).
  118. 118. Postmodernists idolize absolutely their new secular trinity of tolerance–diversity–choice. The intellect is replaced by the will. Reason is replaced by emotion. Morality is replaced by relativism. Reality itself becomes a social construct. • Where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.
  119. 119. Either people are ignorant or simply confused. But that is precisely another mark of postmodernism: Believing in mutually inconsistent ideas: For example in postmodernism, --You can be a Christian and not believe that Jesus is the Son of God --You can believe in Christ and Buddha at the same time --You can be a Protestant and not believe that the Bible is the inspired and trustworthy rule of faith --You can be an Adventist and not believe in a literal, visible, and audible second coming. --You can be a Seventh-day Adventist and not believe that God created the world in six literal days and rested on the seventh; hence a Seventh-day Adventist. Today, it is possible to claim to be a good Adventist and believe in naturalistic evolution This is called pluralism...
  120. 120. Pastor Loren Seibold editor I’m a fan of pluralism. There, I said it.
  121. 121. • What we have now is pluralism (your truth is as valid as my truth). • Your education is now not to teach you truth but to redefine truth, it’s about “what works” (pragmatism). It’s no longer about the pursuit of truth. • Religion is now a preference, a taste or a choice, we believe in what we like, in what we want to believe, peoples views of God vary (cafeteria style religion). You create your own designer “god”. • Morality then becomes a desire (what I like or want).
  122. 122. To the postmodernist, the claims of Christianity are not denied; they are rejected because they purport to be true. Those who believe “there are no absolutes” will dismiss those who don’t share these same ideas and label them as “intolerant,” as trying to force their beliefs on other people. No historical text (e.g. Bible) can be absolutely true. We must approach the text, not to find out what it objectively means (the truth), but to unmask what it is hiding. We call this “the hermeneutics of suspicion.” Don’t believe what the text says but instead, “interrogate the text” to uncover its hidden political or sexual agenda. For example, we must not humbly accept, bur rather interrogate the --Bible --E.G White’s writings, and so on.... --History, etc. • So we now have spirituality without a truth foundation and once we remove truth from spirituality we have spiritualism (the occult).
  123. 123. • A new way of "doing" church is emerging. In this radical paradigm shift, exposition is being replaced with entertainment, preaching with performances, doctrine with drama, and theology with theatrics. • In seeking to capture the upper hand in church growth, a new wave of pastors is reinventing church and repackaging the gospel into a product to be sold to "consumers." Whatever reportedly works in one church is being franchised out to various "markets" abroad. As when gold was discovered in the foothills of California, so ministers are beating a path to the doorsteps of exploding churches and super-hyped conferences where the latest "strike" has been reported. Unfortunately the newly panned gold often turns out to be "fool's gold." Not all that glitters is actually gold.
  124. 124. Rick Warren: pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church in California. Has written a 399-page book, “The Purpose Driven Church, which is being used as a “How-to” manual throughout church growth circles. Its principal teachings are: • The principle of pragmatism: (p. 13-15) He says pastors need to learn to recognize a “wave of God’s Spirit and ride it” • (p. 14) ...“if it works , it must be right”! ...He encourages young pastors to leave behind that old fashioned church music in favor of jazz or rock or whatever turns your people on! He encourages churches to imitate the culture and “dress down” for church.
  125. 125. -Cultivate an informal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We made a strategic decision to stop singing hymns in our seeker services. We have attracted thousands more because of our music. (p. 285) -Saddleback now has a complete pop/rock orchestra. (p. 290) (so whether you come to serve God depends on if your style of music is being played) -Use more performed music than congregational singing... (p. 291) -The ground we have in common is not the Bible, but our common needs, hurts and interests as human beings. (p. 295) *Note: the focus is on meeting peoples needs but they are neglecting leading them to Christ. (Matt. 6:31-33 needs religion)
  126. 126. In his book Rick Warren also states... "You must match your music to the kind of people God wants your church to reach.... It will determine the kind of people you attract, the kind of people you keep, and the kind of people you lose.“ (Rick Warren, “Selecting Worship Music”, July 29, 2002) "The church that claims to reach everyone is only fooling themselves. No style of church can possibly reach everyone. . . Whoever your church has right now is who you're likely to attract more of - whether you like that fact or not.” What is the likelihood of a church full of retirees reaching teenagers? What is the likelihood of a church full of urban professionals reaching farmers? What is the likelihood of a church full of military personnel reaching peace activists? Highly unlikely. That's why we must start all kinds of services and churches." (in other words we must be “seeker sensitive”) (Rick Warren Interview, Pastor', August)
  127. 127. I disagree with Rick Warren and his followers... If it is true that rock music (disguised as praise music and praise dancing) is the most effective medium to reach young people today, why is it that math teachers and chemistry professors donʼtset their classes to heavy beat and hip swinging music? Why donʼtpoliticians employ clowns and illusionists to present their political messages? Common sense tells us that these entertainment media are not the most credible methods to communicate serious messages. A doctor, meeting an apprehensive patient, does not dress like a clown in order to tell his patient that she has cancer. If a doctor who wants to be taken seriously does not resort to this kind of frivolity, isnʼtit folly to announce Godʼsmessage of warning and judgment to a dying world by resorting to entertainment? It is often suggested that because most people—especially young people—donʼt want to listen to the gospel, we have to “bait” them with gospel entertainment and gimmicks. Once we attract them by these contemporary methods, then we can “hook” them with the true message. It is a mistake for us to think that the world will embrace our message when we use worldly methods. The New Testament tells us that when Christ came to the world, “the world knew him not” (Jn 1:10), for He was “not of this world” (Jn 8:23). What makes us believe that we can succeed in ways that Christ did not use?
  128. 128. Dan Kimball says of Rick Warren.... Rick Warren is not only supportive of the “emerging church,” he believes that it is exactly what is required at this time. He believes this is what “the purpose-driven” church that he founded will become in the “postmodern world.” He notes: “In the past twenty years, spiritual seekers have changed a lot. In the first place, there are a whole lot more of them. There are seekers everywhere. I’ve never seen more people so hungry to discover and develop the spiritual dimension of their lives. That is why there is such a big interest in Eastern thought, New Age practices, mysticism and the transcendent.” Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for the New Generation, Zondervan, 2003, page 6. Notice: Developing a close relationship with Christ and learning to die to self is not mentioned at all. Many are allowing the “seekers” to dictate what is and is not taught in churches today. God is no longer the focus hence we have created a man centered religion.
  129. 129. Rob Bell (famous for his NOOMA videos, author of “Velvet Elvis” and “Love Wins”) NOOMA comes from the greek word “pneuma” meaning breath and the idea of noogenesis, the emergence of intelligent forms of life. In his writings, Bell affirms things as truth regardless of the source, saying "I affirm the truth anywhere in any religious system, in any worldview. If it's true, it belongs to God."[12] Bell says, "This is not just the same old message with new methods. We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life. "He [Bell]described breath as a form of prayer and urged people to relax and "breathe out" all of their anger and stress from the past week." —David Crumm, Getting To The Root Of Religion
  130. 130. Ellen White in reference to Battle Creek College had this to say about the importance of numbers... “If you lower the standard in order to secure popularity and an increase of numbers, and then make this increase a cause of rejoicing, you show great blindness. If numbers were evidence of success, Satan might claim the pre-eminence; for in this world his followers are largely in the majority. It is the degree of moral power pervading the college that is a test of its prosperity. It is the virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people composing our churches, not their numbers, that should be a source of joy and thankfulness.” ,5T 31.3-
  131. 131. Someone says, “I know some of these authors have some theological issues, but there is some good in what they say too. I just take the good and leave the other out.” Here’s an illustration of the fallacy of this argument:
  132. 132. Unfortunately, some of us pastors and church leaders are sometimes to blame for the introduction of gospel gimmicks into church. We appear to put popularity, job security, position, and the illusion of outward success above our duty to the Chief Shepherd. We seem to fear that if we were to take a stand against these forms of worldliness in our churches, we would create enemies and threaten our support among our constituencies. It is often suggested that before we can reach the world with the gospel, we have to employ the worldʼsmethods to proclaim Christʼs truth. But this reasoning is indefensible for at least two important reasons: (1) Worldly methods trivialize the message; (2) Worldly methods are contrary to biblical teaching. “Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts the world to Christ.” GC pg. 509
  133. 133. Warning of the dangers inherent in responding to other churchesʼ invitations to learn from them and employ their methods of labor, Mrs. White wrote: “They may desire us to unite with them and accept their plans, and may make propositions in regard to our course of action which may give the enemy an advantage over us” (General Conference Bulletin, April 13, 1891). Throughout our history, there has always been a temptation for our ministers to pattern our practices after other churches. Ellen G. White warned against this in her day: “A new order of things has come into the ministry. There is a desire to pattern after other churches” (Signs of the Times, Dec. 27, 1899). She expressed her concerns about the influence of other churches on our ministers: “Some ministers are adopting the customs of other churches, copying their habits and manner of labor.” (ibid., May 25, 1882).
  134. 134. Again, she plainly states... “There is to be no compromise with those who make void the law of God. It is not safe to rely upon them as counselors. Our testimony is not to be less decided now than formerly; our real position is not to be cloaked in order to please the world's great men. They may desire us to unite with them and accept their plans, and may make propositions in regard to our course of action which may give the enemy an advantage over us…… you are not to look to the world in order to learn what you shall write and publish or what you shall speak. Let all your words and works testify, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables" (2 Peter 1:16). "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19); italics supplied. {2SM 371.1} “. . . mysticism, New Age ideology, and a return to Rome, are the building blocks of the emerging church.”
  135. 135. Let’s look at some of the many ways Seventh-day Adventists are choosing to “re-invent” worship....
  136. 136. A place where our youth are invited to “experience” or “encounter” God through prayer stations, the silence, contemplative prayer, prayer rooms, etc.
  137. 137. Allan Martin, who helped create GODencounters. (with his wife and daughter)
  138. 138. Godencounters by Allan Martin, Shayna Bailey and Lynell LaMountain (husband of singer Jennifer LaMountain)
  139. 139. By Lynell Lamountain and Allan Martin
  140. 140. Link2Uth June 2006 vol. 11 Issue 6 by A. Allan Martin, PhD. Finally, an opportunity for young adults to come and explore the spiritual disciplines that Jesus invites us to!” lauded Matthew Gamble, a featured presenter at the 2006 GODencounters Conference held in Florida. “Finally, an atmosphere where young adults can come and worship God freely! . . . God is up to something huge.” Gamble was among over 3,200 attendees who shared in the 10-day gathering focusing on rest and refreshment that God offers in “Sacred Space” also known as Sabbath. Based on the Biblical passage of Matthew 11:28-30, young adults experienced worship sessions, prayer rooms, concerts, and social venues giving emphasis to Godʼsdesire for us to learn the “rhythms of grace.” Admittedly, being still enough to hear the voice of grace is not easy. “I am guilty of living a hectic lifestyle,” confessed Red Cereno, a 32-year-old, graphic designer. “GODencounters made me realize that to have that sacred space with God I have to put Him first on my list--not just an afterthought when Iʼm drowning in lifeʼssea of obligations and responsibilities.” Gamble along with Terry Hershey, Michael Card, and Elia King encouraged young adults to create “living” room in their lives, where the white noise of “busyness” doesnʼtdrown out the deeper life that Christ is drawing us toward. In music, Biblical preaching, interactive prayers, and group discussions, the value of sacred space was affirmed. “Iʼverealized how much stuff occupies my mind and that I need to stop and disconnect from the world,” added Kim, who works as a teacher. “GODencounters has truly deepened my intimacy with God. It has shown me the importance of my sacred space and hearing Godʼsvoice.” Engineering major, Ruben Moore, 17, shared, “GODencounters has taught me to be still with God, allowing the sacred space in my life to be filled by His presence.” Sacred Space is more than stillness, more than Sabbath observance; Itʼsliving life according to Godʼsrhythm and delighting in relationships with Him and His children. GODencounters afforded young adults a chance to explore this together and encourage each other in that journey. Joining with thousands of other young adults admittedly took some by surprise. (continues on next slide......)
  141. 141. “Itʼsamazing to realize that Iʼmnot the only one struggling. Itʼseven more amazing to come to a place like GODencounters and find people who understand and are willing to take the time, and make the effort to help me in my walk with Christ,” shared Wesley Lange, a 25-year-old, avionics mechanic. “Everyoneʼsenhanced my GODencounter! My relationship has been greatly renewed!” Fire department EMT, Shannon Prachniak, 31, added, “GODencounters has been a refreshing and renewing reminder of what kind of follower of Christ I want to be. More of my time in this world needs to be spent in constant communion with God and His people.” “Itʼsso encouraging to me to gather with other young adults in my community and see so much fervor for Jesus,” shared Erika Hueneke, a 26-year-old freelance writer. “I also found that I probably wouldnʼthave set aside this sacred space for myself – GODencounters created this space for me. In it, I heard the voice of grace and was challenged to be that voice in othersʼears.” The GODencounters Conference intends to be more than a spiritual pep rally, an event, a momentary religious rush. Committed to a seven-year process of focusing on vital spiritual disciplines for young adults, there is a holy intention to GODencounters. In addition to the conference, there are follow-up retreats and gatherings popping up across the country. There are many resources online [] including referrals to faith communities and small groups committed to doing life together locally. For many, GODencounters is a life-changing experience, attuning young adults hearts to Godʼsvoice for the long haul... Link2Uth June 2006 vol. 11 Issue 6 by A. Allen Martin, PhD.
  142. 142. Suggested books from the GODencounters Team members
  143. 143. Others include: Richard Foster Jon Dybdahl John Ortberg Tony Campolo Philip Yancey Chuck Swindoll
  144. 144. “I learned about this way of having a born-again experience from reading Catholic mystics, especially The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. Ignatius, a founder of the Jesuit order, was once a soldier and it was only when he spent a long time in a hospital bed recovering from a battle wound that his heart and mind focused on God. Like most Catholic mystics he developed an intense desire to experience a “oneness” with God. Gradually, he came to feel an intense yearning for the kind of spiritual purity that he believed would enable him to experience the fullness of God’s presence within.” pg. 30 “After the Reformation, we Protestants left behind much that was troubling about Roman Catholicism of the fifteenth century. I am convinced we left too much behind. The methods of praying employed by the likes of Ignatius have become precious to me. With the help of some Catholic saints, my prayer life has deepened. pg. 31 ~ Tony Compolo Letters To A Young Evangelical
  145. 145. What is meant by “experiencing God”?
  146. 146. Notice the mystical look to these ads. Coincidental?
  147. 147. Who are they really experiencing and encountering ?
  148. 148. At Forest Lake Church
  149. 149. Prayer rooms & prayer Journeys Matthew Gamble: Part of the Center for Creative Ministry and fan of Ryan Bell
  150. 150. Serving in the Ohio Conference, strongly supports the new spirituality
  151. 151. Chairman Matthew Gamble is listed as a consultant along with Dave Gemmell and Greg Nelson
  152. 152. Remember Faith House Manhattan?
  153. 153. Excerpt from the Southern Accent from Southern Adventist University Sabbath, January 31 9 a.m. – Adoration 1 - Leonard Sweet (Church) 9:30-10:15 a.m. - Continental Breakfast (Church Fellowship Hall) 10:15 a.m. - Saltworks Sabbath School (Hulsey Wellness Center) Social Experiment - formerly SMC & 9:75 (Church Fellowship Hall) Come & Reason (Wolftever Room - Thatcher South) Adoration 2 - Leonard Sweet (Church) 11:30 a.m. - Connect: Andy Nash (Collegedale Academy) 11:45 a.m. - Renewal: Leonard Sweet (Church) 2 p.m. - Brazilian Club Evangelism (Wright Hall) 3:30 p.m. - Benefit Concert for the Pewitts (Church) Adventist Theological Society - Dr. Jud Lake (Lynn Wood Chapel) 6 p.m. - Evensong - Collegedale Academy Choir (Church) 8 p.m. - Warren Miller Ski Movie (lies P.E. Center) Leonard Sweet was invited to speak in the church services by Alex Bryan
  154. 154. Southern Adventist University
  155. 155. Joe Horness
  156. 156. • Joe Horness - After 25 years as the Worship Director and a leader on the Programming staff at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Illinois, Joe has recently moved to Traverse City, Michigan, where he is now the Associate Pastor and Director of Worship Arts at Bay Pointe Community Church. . . As the director of Engaging the Heart Ministries he regularly teaches and consults with churches on the topic of planning and leading effective worship ministries.
  157. 157. Pastor Sam Leonor from La Sierra University Some people call it a church service, but we prefer the term “Gathering.” ~Pastor Sam Leonor~
  158. 158. Pastor Sam Leonor Member of the band “Big Face Grace”
  159. 159. Video of “Big Face Grace” at La Sierra University with SDA Pastors Sam Leonor & Tim Gillespie Both of these pastors are leaders in “The One Project”
  160. 160. “The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.“ {2SM 36} “...last January the Lord showed me that erroneous theories and methods would be brought into our camp meetings, and that the history of the past would be repeated. I felt greatly distressed. I was instructed to say that at these demonstrations demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people; that the enemy was trying to arrange matters so that the camp meetings, which have been the means of bringing the truth of the third angel's message before multitudes, should lose their force and influence.” ,2SM 37-
  161. 161. “Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God....” ,2SM 37.2-
  162. 162. Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed. Clear and definite instruction has been given in order that all may understand. But the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines, and largely destroys the influence of those who would be a power for good if they held firm the beginning of their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them. {2SM 38}
  163. 163. Kundalini Yoga Reminiscent of eastern forms of worship
  164. 164. Forest Lake SDA Church, Orlando FL Then Senior Pastor Derek J. Morris
  165. 165. Notice: Jason Illian
  166. 166. One of Jason’s Twitter quotes... “A wise man believes Someone is greater than himself. RT @chrisbrogan: We often think we want a Savior. What we really need is ourselves.”
  167. 167. You’ll also find “sacred spaces” at many GODencounters and prayer retreats. Definition of Sacred Spaces – an atmosphere conducive to Contemplative Prayer/Worship/Spirituality, created by setting mood through props, art, furniture, fabric, lighting, incense, music, etc. Derives from occult ritual in which there is a sensory environment created in order to draw the spiritual forces into a specific physical dimension and space.
  168. 168. Sacred Space is a prayer website which . . . Was created by two members of the Jesuit Order.
  169. 169. Prayer Stations – A place set aside for prayer. It can be set up with a combination of candles, incense, crosses, icons, Scripture passages, devotional questions, a prayer notebook, and a soft place to kneel or sit. There can even be a guide or helper there to pray with you. Can also be called “Contemplative Gathering Stations” or “Journey to the Cross.” "Stations of the Cross" is a Catholic ritual with 14 prayer stations, each one with pictures or sculptures that depict the various "stages" of Jesus Christ's final days. This is a practice that began centuries ago and was sanctioned by the Pope Clement 12th in 1731. In more recent days the practice has spilled over from the Catholic church into the evangelical church.
  170. 170. Various Prayer Stations
  171. 171. Sacred Space for “prayer” and “contemplation” (Adventist)
  172. 172. Prayer Room at Collegedale SDA Church at SAU in TN
  173. 173. Same prayer room at Collegedale SDA Church
  174. 174. Prayer Room
  175. 175. The Georgia Cumberland Academy Seventh-day Adventist Church is hosting a special Prayer room . . . With 25-30 different stations where people can experience prayer in different ways.
  176. 176. Prayer Station
  177. 177. Fulton, Maryland
  178. 178. Matthew 6:7,8 "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen [do.] For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them...”
  179. 179. Does any of this sound similar to what we are seeing in our own SDA retreats, college campuses, youth programs,etc.???? Non-Adventist, Mike Perschon from Alberta, Canada wrote an article for Youthworker Journal called Desert Youth Worker: Disciplines, Mystics, and the Contemplative Life. In it, Mike shared his journey with the classic spiritual disciplines and his experimentation with forms of contemplative prayer. In that article, he wrote the following paragraph: "I started using the phrase "listening prayer" when I talked about my own experiences in meditation. I built myself a prayer room—a tiny sanctuary in a basement closet filled with books on spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and Christian mysticism. In that space I lit candles, burned incense, hung rosaries, and listened to tapes of Benedictine monks. I meditated for hours on words, images, and sounds. I reached the point of being able to achieve alpha brain patterns, the state in which dreams occur, while still awake and meditating.“ to_Society.pdf