By Jan Markell
The East has convinced the West that the greatest thing they have to offer is Eastern-style meditation. Because some Christians lack discernment, what we have is the complete hijacking of biblical meditation in favor of the Eastern brand. This is risky because it involves blanking out your mind and, by default, allowing anything in.
I guess this shouldn't be shocking when a major news story of 2009 had this headline: "More U.S. Christians Mix Eastern and New Age Beliefs." While you may think this is being done only by liberal Christianity, think again! It crosses all denominations. This is not just some kind of fad or an isolated phenomenon. It is building momentum month by month, and more and more people are seeing this mystical spirituality as a valid and powerful way to experience the presence of God. Many influential and respected people within Christianity view this practice as being perfectly in accordance with orthodox Christianity.
I have already presented the story of the Bethel symposium in early November that suggested there might be a common bond or "common ground" between Christianity and Buddhism in the realm of meditation. The symposium had information about "Christian Zen" but NO information about authentic, biblical meditation. There was no solid gospel presented in 75 minutes.
I have learned that hundreds of once-solid Bible colleges are flirting with the mystical so why should my school be exempt?
In 2009, we witnessed a huge growth in the new "mystical spirituality" so popular today. Mysticism is often presented as a gimmicky way to get closer to God through practices that are ungodly. Almost without exception, the practices are presented by professing Christians. One cannot help but recall all the Bible verses that warn of this.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8).Newsweek magazine picked up on the explosion of the mystical last year by writing that we're all Hindus now. Newsweek says,
"A recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, ourselves, each other, and eternity."Minnesota has always been proud of our wonderful Mayo Clinic, just 90 minutes south of me in Rochester, MN. In 1989 it saved my own life. But in recent years they, too, have brought in the mystical, and now they are peddling an "iPhone meditation app". It begins with a 50-second video explaining mystical meditation, reinforced by an iconic image of a sandy, palm tree-lined beach with cool blue water. It then instructs users on breathing and meditation techniques using a series of chimes, tones, and blue or white circles.
This device also allows users to flip through 10 "healing thoughts" at the base of the main screen, which users can share via Twitter, e-mail, etc.
People who are at any major medical clinic are compromised in many ways: Physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. They may have been laboring for months or years with chronic illness or terminal illness. They are open to anything that could change their health circumstances. Offering them a "meditation routine" that comes out of Hinduism, Buddhism, and the "New Age" is hardly helpful. It is strikingly harmful. I wrote about many related issues in my 1993 book Waiting for a Miracle. I understand this phenomenon better than most and that was affirmed by the hundreds of thank you notes I have received over the years.
It's doubtful that such outfits as the Mayo Clinic would promote the Bible and healing Bible verses. Instead, Mayo Clinic and related institutions import Eastern meditative practices that can seriously harm those who tap into them. At a time when one is facing a health crisis, all the world has to offer them is a device called a "mobile app." I spent two weeks at this wonderful clinic in 1994, before this trend hit. Had it been around and had I tapped into this "mobile app" in the years when I was struggling for physical and emotional healing, I would have tapped into energy forces that were destructive and not restorative.
Watch for the "meditation" craze to only get worse as Satan's demonic forces try to seduce and take people away from the gospel and biblical meditation. When you hear national Christian leaders inch closer and closer to embracing false meditation and all things mystical, make a mental note to scrutinize their programs, books, etc. Send out warnings to loved ones. No one is beyond being deceived. Sadly, the paranormal is the new normal. Be "watchmen on the wall" and sound a warning.
The good news is that God is only a prayer away. We don't need "iPhone mobile apps" to go deeper with God. Technology is overstepping its bounds! But the tragedy is that it is being used to allegedly "restore" sick people via risky meditative practices, and these folks tapping into it - out of desperation - may not have a clue!
The New Face of Mystical Spirituality - The Invisible Denomination: the New Age - Ray Yungen (DVD)
DANGERS OF CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY/MYSTICISM: LECTIO DIVINA - Apprising Ministries (Ken Silva)
Waiting for a Miracle: Devotions for Those Who Are Physically Weak - Jan Markell (Book)
Mayo Clinic launches mobile app company, meditation app - MedCity News
What is Christian mysticism? - GotQuestions.org