Dear Lighthouse Trails:
Two and a half years ago the leadership of the Western PA District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance invited Ruth Haley Barton to speak to its pastors and lay delegates at its annual District Conference.
I sat in amazement as I watched my fellow pastors nod their heads in affirmation as Mrs. Barton said Moses went in to the desert to meditate. I didn’t see my fellow pastors turn to the book of Exodus to read the account of Moses. My Bible says Moses went to the desert to escape being killed by Pharaoh.
Mrs. Barton also twisted the account of Elijah to say it was contemplative meditation which brought him out of his despair and depression. At no time did I hear anyone in District C&MA leadership correct Mrs. Barton’s misrepresentation of Scripture.
Other Districts also have had Mrs. Barton speak to their pastors. The late Brennan Manning and other heretical teachers also have been promoted. When I questioned my District Superintendent about the use and promotion of Mr. Manning, I was told he must be all right, because the denomination has used him as a speaker at national youth rallies.
When I learned last spring that my District had invited as speakers for our next District Conference two C&MA seminary professors who teach contemplative meditation, I decided it was time to resign from the C&MA after __ years of ministry. Sadly, the C&MA is no longer what it once was.
Currently my wife and I are working secular jobs, and I preach in independent churches when given the opportunity. Prospects for full-time pastoral ministry seem slim, since I am __ years old. However, I would rather do what I am doing than continue to support the heresy being promoted in the C&MA.
Everywhere in God’s Word where meditation is mentioned, the object of meditation is God’s Word, God’s law, God’s statutes, etc. I see no mention of a centering prayer that I heard Mrs. Barton promote. I want no part of pagan, vain repetitions. Using Christian words doesn’t negate the pagan practice. I was saved out of Catholicism and want no part of Catholicism, Hinduism, or Buddhism.