July 7, 2007

Mystic Madness: Spiraling Down into the Pit

In spite of all the warnings being sounded in the church by various discernment ministries concerning the occult connection to centering/contemplative prayer, the practice is gaining, not losing, strength in the Evangelical church. But we’re merely looking at the beginners – the mere babies in this occult practice – those who don’t know where these monastic disciplines can lead. There is a group of "charismatic Catholics" who are battling the advanced contemplatives in their circles. Evangelical contemplative novices should look at their Catholic counterparts to see where this monastic exercise can take them.

The advanced form of contemplative prayer is called "Kything Prayer." Catholic apologist Eddie Russell describes the practice:

"This is a way of calling up another person's spirit to enter you, so that you can use their energy and gifts for yourself. You can also let others "centre" into your spirit to call your spirit to them. You can do this with saints as well as others who are dead and it's all done in the name of Christian Prayer." 

In other words, advanced contemplative prayer can lead to spirit possession by so-called dead saints that are really demonic spirits masquerading as those who once lived. But the novices in the contemplative prayer fad in the Emerging Church would never agree to any such a thing, would they? Well, maybe not if it was presented to them in this way – but by going into the so-called spirit realm in their altered states of consciousness, they open themselves up to just such deception and spiritual oppression, if not outright possession. It’s hard to imagine some contemplative prayer defenders such as Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah or Beth Moore putting their seal of approval on kything, yet by endorsing centering prayer they are leading people in that spiritual direction.

We can learn a lesson from the World War II propaganda film, "Reefer Madness." The principle they so hysterically tried to convey is that if a soldier experimented with marijuana, he would end up a heroin addict. In other words, pot smoking was step one on the path of drug addiction. There was a grain of truth to that. Not all pot smokers ended up heroin addicts, but certainly all heroin addicts started out using less extreme drugs like marijuana in the beginning.

There’s a parallel in the church today. Young believers who are experimenting with unbiblical ways to create an atmosphere to connect with God’s presence may start off with the "Jesus prayer" and then move on to the next spiritual exercise such as contemplative, and then try "Christian" yoga, and before long they have crossed over from Christianity into the religion of the Dalai Lama.

Kything Prayer was popularized at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a Catholic monastic retreat whose founder, Franciscan priest Richard Rohr (pictured at right) wrote a book called, "The Enneagram, A Christian Perspective." "The Enneagram is from Sufism," according to Catholic scholars, that "was developed by…an occultist and Sufi master" who "held the view that the universe is ‘a living and evolving structure administered by conscious beings’ and, that universe is also ‘an intelligent organism.’"

Eddie Russell is battling Rohr’s influence in Australia where his occult ideas have been popularized in teaching centers Down Under. He wrote: 

"The Enneagram however, is high on the list of programs for those training to be Pastoral Workers through the Maranatha Institute of the Archdiocese of Perth and more recently it has been introduced into the training for Catechist's Certificates in a unit on spirituality [2003]. In the advertising promotion it reads, "A method of self discovery and an aid to conversion and spiritual growth." The Maranatha Institute seem to be claiming that the Enneagram will bring conversion, but to what? Doubtfully to Jesus Christ. It is more certainly to the Enneagram and that is the only spiritual growth that will be obtained: Enneagram Spirituality. - From information given to us we are informed that in the first level of the Enneagram Jesus is mentioned a lot. However, when the Enneagram progresses up to the fourth level there is little or no mention of Jesus at all."

"The Maranatha Institute's courses, that also include the Myers & Briggs program, Radiant Heart [A Christianised tantric yoga of sex], Labyrinths and other suspect practices, says that the Enneagram offers Catholics an opportunity to, "Deepen their knowledge and understanding of Catholic faith and practice." Well, according to Maranatha, the Enneagram [and obviously these other practices] is the Catholic Faith which we must apparently practice if we want to grow in spirituality and service in the Church! Sadly and reprehensibly, these Enneagram programs are taught by nuns and priests in this institute. Having said all this it would be unjust not to mention that there are lecturers and priests whose theology and integrity cannot be faulted and their courses are excellent. It's just a pity that the Enneagram and many other so-called spiritual faith programs cannot be seen for what they are and removed from the curriculum."

The theme of the current issue of Rohr’s newsletter, Radical Grace, is "Jesus/Buddha." On page 16 is an article entitled, "Still Life: A Buddhist Christian Contemplative Journey," written by Gordon Peerman, an Episcopal priest who claims to be a Buddhist Christian. He writes about his "month-long silent Buddhist retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California," where went to learn the "Buddhist practice by way of Thomas Merton and the Trappists" (Merton’s order of monks). He spoke of meeting a like-minded friend there who, like himself, "had come to Zen by way of the Christian contemplative practice he’d done with the Trappists. While on retreat at a Trappist abbey some years ago, Kurt met his Zen master, and thereafter found himself drawn ever more deeply into Buddhist practice."

These people are not some hidden, fringe group of Catholics. They represent a revival of occult mysticism within the Roman Catholic Church and it is VERY popular. In fact, Richard Rohr, the Kything monk, holds conferences all over the world, teaching these "mysteries" to both Catholic nuns and priests as well as the "laity". He is very busy. On his calendar he has quite an itinerary:

  • July 16-31, Fordham University, Bronx – Course on Spirituality of the Two Halves of Life
  • July 27, New York City – Jesus as Non Dual Master
  • Aug. 3-5, Albuquerque, NM – The Great Chain of Being – Simplifying Our Lives"
  • Aug. 6-7, St. Louis, Missouri – Franciscan Friars
  • Sept. 12-16, 2007, Queensland, Australia, Oct. 24-28, Julian, California; and in 2008 - May 14-18, Albuquerque, NM; August 13-16m, Princeton, Illinois; Sept. 17-21, Claryville, New York – "Men’s Rites of Passage: This is not about religion, but about spirituality, about age-old traditions that guide us into manhood, about coming to trust that there is something much greater at work in our lives than we could ever imagine."
  • Sept. 14-15 – National Catholic Development Conference
  • Sept. 26-29, Houston, Texas – Contemplative Outreach
  • Nov. 9-11 Dallas, Texas – How Do We Breathe Under Water?: The Gospel and 12-Step Spirituality.
  • Dec. 30, Prague, Czech Republic – Holding the Tension: The Power of Paradox.
  • Jan. 25-27, 2008 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening.

His itinerary is huge – that was only a portion of it. In fact, he will be speaking with a contemplative Catholic master who is often quoted by the Emergent Church and looked up to by Evangelicals as an authority on the contemplative: Thomas Keating (pictured at left), September 28-30 in Houston, Texas. They will share the platform at the Contemplative Outreach 2007 annual conference on the subject: "Contemplative Vision." So this heretic and necromancer’s influence is very widespread, he is extremely entrenched.

And on Oct. 19-21, Cleveland, Ohio he will be in an ecumenical conference called, "Reviving Our Spirits: Transforming Our Politics" with Jim Wallis, (pictured at right) the founder and editor of Sojourners Magazine who is described as "one of the most respected and best connected evangelicals in the world." This no doubt is a strong foothold into the Evangelical church.

Why are we hearing this sort of occultic talk dressed up with Christian garb today? It is no surprise when you look at the warnings in the last book of the Bible:

" But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)

" But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie." (Rev. 22:15).

So at the time of the Lord’s return, sorcery would be popular, otherwise why would the Lord have honed in on that? The dictionary defines a sorcerer as "a person who practices sorcery"; and sorcery as "the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining."

The extreme contemplative practice of kything prayer is a return to necromancy: the conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events." And the mind-blanking meditation being popularized in many religious and secular circles is a short-cut to the astral plane, repackaged in Christianized terms such as the spirit realm or being lifted up into God’s glory, etc.

"According to Occult, Theosophical, and New Age teachings, the astral plane can be visited consciously with the astral body through means of meditation and mantra, lucid dreaming, or other forms of training and development. The common human being normally separates his or her consciousness and astral vehicle from the physical body every night as he or she sleeps. Clairvoyants can see the astral vehicle floating a few inches over the sleeping physical body. This separation of the astral vehicle from the physical body every night is necessary for the human being to receive and process energies coming from higher, spiritual or more subtle planes of existence allowing the individual to awake the following day with his or her energies renewed. Human individuals that are spiritually advanced or trained in the use of their astral vehicle, can separate their consciousness and astral vehicle from the physical body at will and remain fully aware of the circumstances, using this capability at night to perform altruistic services or receive esoteric knowledge and training while in the astral plane." Source: Wikipedia

The Emergents, liberal Protestants, and those in the apostolic-prophetic movement are furlongs behind the Catholic monks on their journey away from the God of the Bible. But if they keep holding up Catholic mystics as their inspiration, they will all fall into the pit!


Heavenly Father, keep your children protected from the packs of wolves in sheep's clothing that are targeting your little ones. Don't let the children of the Most High God fall into these snares and pits that lead to the devil's dominion. As the great apostasy gears up all around us, keep us from the many deceptions we see around us. Help your people see through the many disguises of the evil one who dresses up his ministers as ministers of righteousness when there is nothing holy about them. Lord Jesus, thank you for your promise to keep us from stumbling and to present us faultless before the presence of Your glory with exceeding joy. Even so come, Lord Jesus. Amen!
  Send your comments to Jackie at:

Hit Counter