Dear Lighthouse Trails:
This fall I ordered Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, and was also sent Roger Oakland’s book, Faith Undone. Thank you! I first devoured Ray’s book and finished Roger’s this morning.
“Speechless” is how I feel! I hardly know what to say, except that I am very grateful for their research and writing. Ten years ago I may have wondered what it was they were upset about; however, in recent years I can attest personally to some of these atrocities within the church. A few years ago, we were members of a PCUSA church in which the associate pastor and his wife (dear friends) delved full-speed into studies, sessions, and retreats on Prayer (contemplative, meditative, breath, Taize, etc.). I participated but all the while sensed there was something not right about all of it. All of what Ray and Roger mention regarding contemplative prayer and related mysticism is definitely alive and well. And, we are in a mid-size midwest town.
In other venues, I’ve heard pastors and lay people talk about breath prayers (and all sorts of contemplative prayer), Nooma programs, churches wanting to ‘return’ to high liturgy and a more Roman Catholic mysticism, although I’ve not (yet) heard anyone use the word ‘mysticism’ — that may raise red flags with the more rural Midwesterners! As they state, these things have infiltrated churches of all stripes. Our experience has been PCUSA and United Methodist. (Fortunately, due in part to these authors’ books and my participation in Bible Study Fellowship with their stand on the Word of God, I was adamant that we find a confessing church, and were able to locate a confessing Methodist church not too far away. We are so grateful [our church stands] firm in the Christ of the Bible.) It’s downright difficult to find any church these days which doesn’t have some form of contemplative prayer, a bent toward ecumenicism, global inclusiveness, and the like. This is what scares me.
Last year I had a casual conversation with the wife of a former missionary who chided me for being so “literal” about Scripture and for not understanding how others live in other parts of the world … and that there are definitely other ways of “getting to God,” although she personally believes Jesus is the way for her!
I could go on … and on. I don’t know when I’ve read two books which have disturbed me so greatly, and that is because I’ve seen some of it first-hand, and Scripture confirms the truth of it. Truly, I believe many are deceived, the lies are so clever. Isn’t that what Satan does? My prayers are for those who are blindly involved in these things, and those who are drawn to the false Gospel.
Please … relay my thanks and words to these authors. It was so important in their books to have so many direct quotes from those who follow and promote these ways, and from Scripture which warns of us the deceit. I have been praying for Ray and Roger and those like them who unashamedly stand for the Gospel of the true Jesus.
Thank you so much for publishing these books. My copies are all marked up, so plan to order fresh copies to loan to friends.
Sincerely, M.L. (U.S.A.)