In the run up to Christ’s return, it was predicted Satanic deceptions would increase, “insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect,” (Matt. 24:24). One of Satan’s many deceptive tools is for his followers to use Christian-sounding terms for use in Christian circles. There are four of those terms that have gained popularity, of late:
1) Contemplative prayer: At first glance, this seems like a very Christian term. After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us to meditate/contemplate on God’s word (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 36:6; 1 Tim. 4:15)? However, contemplative prayer is part of the spiritual formation movement that has its roots in Eastern mysticism. Among the many false doctrines it purports is that one must completely clear one’s mind of any thoughts in silent prayer, focus on one’s breathing patterns, and tap into one’s own God-given “divine spark” within along with one’s individual spiritual disciplines to hear God’s voice, all for the purpose of forming oneself spiritually into what God wants and forming those callings into reality.
There are several problems with that scenario. For starters, Jesus said we should pray with specific things on our minds and hearts when he gave us the Lord’s prayer. It had nothing to do with breathing patterns. We were also given instructions to “pray with the spirit…and pray with the understanding also” in 1 Cor. 14:15. Prayer as a tool is meant for us to ultimately focus on glorifying God in the things we pray for instead of glorifying ourselves by tapping into a “divine spark.” Paul told us when we do ministry (prayer included), that he who plants and he who waters are nothing because it’s God who gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:7), even though we get rewards for what we do for God. However, Christians have been so deceived by contemplative prayer, some now call it “Christian contemplation.”
2) Mindfulness: The word mindfulness also sounds Christian when you first hear it. Peter commanded us to be “mindful” of the words spoken by the holy prophets and apostles, but mindfulness that is popular today (even among so-called Christians) has its roots in Buddhism and has a lot of similarities to contemplative prayer. It also calls on its followers to focus on their breathing patterns and to use self-focused meditation to intensify the body’s physical sensations and sensory perceptions. This practice expects people to ‘pay attention to…thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.‘
Mindfulness has the same drawbacks as contemplative prayer in that it is very self-focused and really has the goal of giving its practitioners the mindset that they can reach god-like status when they use it successfully. According to people who support it, studies allegedly show it enhances one’s physical and mental health, but what good is that when it negatively affects a person spiritually when they get so full of themselves they think they’re god-like? Furthermore, Hebrews 5:14 tells us that the spiritually mature (and by default the spiritual healthy) use their spiritual senses to discern between good and evil, not ignore right vs. wrong.
3) Reincarnation: an Eastern mystic belief that one comes back as a different species or different human body after one dies. This is supposed to happen repeatedly in cycles until one reaches godhood status. Eastern mystics have taught that resurrection is a form of reincarnation, and that Jesus taught reincarnation when he said John the Baptist was the return of Elijah. Many so-called Christians have bought into that false doctrine (search “Christian reincarnation” on YouTube).
The Bible teaches that it is appointed unto man ONCE to die and after that the judgment. So each person’s soul will either go to heaven or hell to await in heaven the resurrection of life for a resurrected body like Christ’s (John 5:29) or to await in hell the resurrection of damnation to be thrown in the lake of fire forever (Rev. 20:11-15).
4) Unity: This is a good thing among Christians when done the right way. But the world’s version of unity is based on the pagan, one world religion concept that all religions lead to God and specifically in Christendom that doctrine doesn’t matter since all denominations who call themselves Christian worship Jesus Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This fake “unity,” or ecumenism, was displayed in Washington, DC, this past weekend at the Together 2016 gathering. It was designed to bring Orthodox, Catholicism, and Protestantism together to present a false Christ with a false gospel that “doctrine doesn’t matter as long as you say you believe in Jesus.” Everyone from the Pope (via satellite), to Tim Tebow, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, LeCrae, Josh McDowell, et al. appeared to give the false impression we’re all one in Christ even if you believe in a works-based salvation. However, after 400 or so people got sick from the high temps, the authorities shut it down several hours earlier than planned.
Paul in Eph. 4: 13-15 spoke of the true unity of the faith that we should strive for. It calls for the knowledge of the Son of God that we display when we are not carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine conjured up by the sleight of men and their cunning craftiness. Together 2016 was exactly the type of “unity” we are to avoid.