Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October Holy Ghost Stories: Burning Man 2011



It's October and everyone loves a good "Holy" Ghost story. This one comes from our adevntures at Burning Man 2011. Lisa and I went with a team, put together by Cindy McGill of Hope for the Harvest, to go to Burning Man and help people have encounters with the Holy Ghost.

This story occurs mid-week in our Burning Man adventure. It's Wednesday, around dinner time, and one of our team members, Marilyn was working with a woman who was having a spirit manifestation in the encounters tent. Sometimes during Holy Ghost encounters, people with spirits will manifest in the presence of the creator. This woman, whom we'll call Alice, was doubled over and her stomach was in pain. We usually work in groups, and Marilyn was alone. One of our team members came out and got me and told me of the spirit that was manifesting. I entered our encounters tent and asked Marilyn what was going on. Marilyn told me she was working with Alice, a returning person who had a similar experience of manifestation, when she first came to us on the previous day. Alice was a Reiki healer from a camp across the street. Alice knew it was an unclean spirit and she wanted it out of her.

Now Marilyn and I had to explain to her what was happening and I wanted to know about her spiritual back ground. It was a spiritual line we had to cross that could have damaging repercussions spiritually if Alice wasn't prepared. I asked Alice about her spiritual background and she told me her family was Jewish. Our friend was a woman of Jewish heritage.

I asked her what name she called God, "Yahweh?"

She said,"No, Elohim!"

Alice said her stomach felt sick, she was doubled over from the pain, and felt like she was going to throw up. Marilyn and I worked together in binding the spirit in the stomach and ordered it to release the stomach. In the name of Elohim we commanded the spirit to leave her. After a couple of minutes of battle the spirit was driven out of the woman and she was free from it.

So Marilyn and I sealed the woman in prayer with Elohim. The woman commented that this moment shocked her and turned everything she thought she believed in spirituality -was now upside down. I told her she pretty much had it right the first time with Elohim. She knew what demons were and found out first hand they were real. She smiled and felt lighter as she parted with us in her new freedom.

The Holy Ghost will meet you where you're at, even if you're in the middle of the desert at a festival where ANYHTING GOES!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rick Warren and Centering Prayer









My passion is Christian mysticism, which has it's foundations on the mystical body of Christ. I am an avid student of the rich history of Christian mystics, St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and Padre Pio, to name a few. St. Teresa of Avila did a marvelous job of documenting the prayer life of a mystic, and no where in any of these writings is the Centering Prayer (CP) technique mentioned.

In a recent tweet by Rick Warren of Saddleback church, he encouraged his tweet followers to practice CP. As a student of mystical theology I must protest Rick and his current apostasy and, shout "No! No! No!".

The tweet leads to this site, Centering Prayer Trusts Jesus Brings Transformation.

Mr. Warren, centering prayer is eastern mysticism, which draws from divinity from self and not from God. New Agers use mantras and yoga to go to a higher consciousness. As a deliverance minister I am already aware of the dangers of yoga and the harm that Christian practitioners invite into their body and soul.

Colossians 2:4-8
4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it[a] with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Mr. Warren is introducing dangerous philosophies outside the teachings of Christ. Centering prayer does not bring the transformation that St. Teresa of Avila spoke of in her exhaustive volumes on prayer life. St. Teresa spoke of a transforming union, where one's prayer life, and one's descriptive meditation on reading of the scripture lead's one into a deeper relationship with God. St. Teresa spoke of both mental and vocal prayer in one's prayer life. These are the foundations to a Christian contemplative prayer life.

I believe St. Teresa would have smacked Mr. Warren over the back of the head with a wooden ruler for even suggesting one practice CP. CP entered the church through the teachings of Fr. Keatings. His teachings say that using CP you can bring yourself into a religious experience by practicing CP in your meditation. Contrary to the true church mystic's teachings where God grants us favors of a religious experience that are instigated by Him the most high and not by our own efforts. The use of CP is new Age to bring one into an altered consciousness. Or from a deliverance ministry point of view, opening a doorway. I am not a fear monger so I will leave it at that.

CP is used as a tool for transcendental meditation. This is the same concept it is being used for here. If God won't come to me I shall go to God.

Mr. Warren you need to read the Fire Within, by the late Fr. Thomas DuBay. Even Fr. Dubay denounced CP in his teachings as being New Age and eastern mysticism. There are two types of mystics and contemplation. The Christian mystic whose heart and mind is focused on God. And there is the eastern mystic who is focused on emptying themselves for experiences only they themselves as god can achieve. The later is an abomination of God and it is the fundamental source of CP. A Christian contemplative has a mind and heart fixed on Jesus. An eastern contemplative is focused on emptying their minds.

Fr. Keatings suggests Christians using CP should empty themselves too. This is where the line has been crossed. Prayer is a time to communicate with God, not to empty ourselves and make ourselves void of thought. St. Teresa outlined for us, too, what to do when we get distracted in prayer. It happens. We don't use mantras and centering prayer!

Our ministry has delivered people from yoga, where a presence was there. Again, I don't want to be a fear monger. But remember when you when you go into transcendental meditation you do leave a doorway open to yourself.


Addendum:
12/08/13 - Father Thomas Dubay on contemplation.
Starting at 02:30 Fr. Dubay talks about a person seeking deep prayer life needs to avoid process oriented prayer, and mentions centering prayer.
Fr. Dubay is an expert on contemplative prayer and doesn't like CP because of it's Zen Buddism roots.