LTRP Note: This was actually a review of Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing on our store site, but because this scenario is playing out in churches throughout North America, we are posting it as a letter.
To Lighthouse Trails:
A few years ago a friend at my church came up to me looking quite disturbed and said, “Can you believe our church is teaching contemplative prayer?”
I just looked at her in shock and asked, “What’s wrong with contemplating and praying?”
She said, “No, no, no! You don’t get it – it’s not that – it’s CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER!!”
I asked again, incredulously this time, what’s wrong with contemplating and praying. “I don’t have a problem with that – at all.”
She said, “You don’t get it – but I’ll bring you a book next week that will explain it.” And she brought Ray Yungen’s, A Time of Departing.
It helps to have an open mind. If a Christian brother or sister tells you they have something they want you to consider – at least be willing to consider it. I started the book with an open mind and was quickly engrossed by it. It very methodically and logically lays out the case against contemplative prayer/spirituality/meditation. By the end of the book, I realized what our church was doing was really dangerous and completely unbiblical. It’s a prominent well-known mega church in New York City where I had heard the pastor speak out against eastern/mystical meditation from the pulpit so I naively thought he must not be aware that the church was promoting it in several of its weekend classes.
After reading Yungen’s book and doing a little further study, I had the information I needed to go to the leadership of the church to warn them what they were getting into. I say naively, because as it turns out, they knew exactly what they were doing, and they had every intention of continuing it. They knew it was unbiblical, but they didn’t care. And that’s all I needed to know to make my decision whether to stay or leave the church. I decided to depart. It truly was a time of departing for me!
I will be forever grateful to Ray Yungen and this book for being the instrument God used to open my eyes to this new/old teaching that is consuming churches everywhere. Every Christian in America needs to know about this – even if you’re in a good church. Even good pastors can be fooled by it because it’s so subtly deceptive. And it’s absolutely pervasive. It is everywhere.
So arm yourself with knowledge, and A Time of Departing is a great place to start!