Last week, a reader sent us an e-mail concerned about an article that AFA (American Family Association) just posted on the AFA Journal website. The article, titled “Study says meditation remains popular across diverse religions,” is actually an extract of a 2018 Pew Research Center article. (Pew is a liberal think tank.)
The article posted on AFA is clearly not posted to warn readers about meditation but rather is to show its supposed benefits and even goes so far as to say Christian “meditation” is much different than eastern meditation (something which Lighthouse Trails has proven over and over for many years that the opposite is true). Here is a short excerpt from the Pew article posted on AFA:
In Christian tradition, the discipline of meditation – otherwise known as silent contemplation – dates back to early Christian mystics [the desert fathers] who sought God in the quiet and solitude of the wilderness during the first centuries after the death of Jesus. Even before that, there are many examples in the Old Testament of godly people secluding themselves for a time of dedication to God.
However, it is helpful to note that Christian meditation and other forms of meditation are quite different. Today, Christians of various traditions hold to meditation as a means to draw closer to God and fill their minds with Him. In contrast to this, Eastern-style meditation generally involves clearing the mind.
While we would expect this mindset from Pew Research because they have never hidden their favorable views on meditation or the “new” spirituality, we are surprised that AFA is willing to be so bold about posting this pro-meditation article. A bit surprised – more disappointed than anything. It was in 2006 that Lighthouse Trails wrote a series of articles regarding AFA’s then bookstore that was filled with numerous books by contemplative mystics and New Age sympathizers. Many Lighthouse Trails readers contacted AFA after reading our articles and seeing the documentation. At one point, AFA received so many calls from our readers, they actually issued an apology after posting a pro-meditation book review. That retraction stated:
On August 28, 2006, AgapePress, a news division of American Family Association, carried a positive review of the book Sacred Listening. The author of the book is James L. Wakefield. The person who reviewed the book is a contributing writer and not a staff person of AFA or AgapePress. AFA and AgapePress have received a number of e-mails from AgapePress readers and AFA supporters who believe this book promotes New Age practices and teachings. AgapePress and AFA regret running this review — and, while AFA works with many religious groups on matters of public policy, it maintains a traditional evangelical position with respect to theology and Christian doctrine. Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association | Jody Brown, Editor, AgapePress (source)
However, even after that retraction, AFA’s bookstore continued carrying a wide variety of pro-contemplative meditation books. Lighthouse Trails sent a copy of A Time of Departing to AFA and spoke on the phone on one occasion to Tim Wildmon who admitted he was in a quandary because AFA had many Catholic supporters who were in favor of such books. In 2007, AFA shut their bookstore down all together. Apparently, it was easier to shut it down than address and deal with the contemplative issue.
Fast forward eleven years to this present posting of the pro-meditation article by AFA. What saddens us is that in all these years, Christianity’s most influential organizations and leaders have still not addressed the contemplative issue (which means they consider it a non-issue to contend with). And in these last eleven years, contemplative prayer (i.e., Spiritual Formation) has latched on to today’s Christian church resulting in a significant derailment of biblical teaching and practice within Christianity at large. Just look at Christian seminaries, colleges, and universities where we estimate over 90% have introduced contemplative spirituality into their student’s lives.
So, we have come full circle. AFA took down a bookstore eleven years ago that was riddled with heretical books, which outwardly removed the problem, but like a sinister thief hiding in a closet waiting for his moment to make his move, AFA never truly removed or dealt with the problem. What’s the point of trying to “save the culture,” which is the focus of AFA, if they don’t try to save the Gospel (which is under direct attack by the contemplative meditation movement)?
PEW RESEARCH ARTICLE
With regard to the 2018 Pew Research article that AFA quoted from, let’s take a moment and look at the rest of that article. In reality, AFA should have been posting the article as a warning to Christians. In the Pew article, it states how a growing number of Americans are meditating. They took statistics from a 2014 study, which shows that 49% of those who call themselves Evangelical Protestant meditate at least once a week. Forty percent of Catholics, 55 percent of black Protestants, and 36 percent of mainline Protestants (Episcopal, United Methodist, etc) meditate at least once a week.
Those figures were not shown in the AFA extract. Anyone reading these figures who understands the dangers of meditation should be alarmed at these high percentages among proclaiming Christians. If this doesn’t show that a paradigm shift has occurred, we don’t know what does. Lest some think that those responding to the Pew survey were thinking Pew was meaning regular prayer, the Pew article says they distinguished between the two in their questionnaire.
So, it appears that Lighthouse Trails is in a losing battle. Mystical meditation WILL prevail. It IS prevailing, and the result will be an apostate church that is wholly given over to delusion. That is because meditation (focusing on the breath or a word or phrase in order to go into a silent state – i.e., putting the mind into neutral) puts the practitioner into contact with a demonic realm (e.g. altered state of consciousness), and over time, this alters one’s spiritual outlook changing the mindset from a biblical view to a New Age panentheistic view.
What appears to be happening now is that we have reached a moment of decision as when Moses addressed his people and challenged them on which side they would stand. Or in the words of Joshua, “choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
If you are reading this article and have wondered about so-called Christian meditation and whether it is right or wrong, and whether it is the same as eastern meditation, we would be happy to send you a complimentary booklet that explains what meditation is and why it is not biblical nor spiritually safe. You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at P.O. Box 908, Eureka, MT 59917. Or if you prefer, click here to read this article by Ray Yungen who devoted his life to helping others see the dangers of contemplative meditation. The article shows that Christian “mediation” is from the same source as eastern-style meditation.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)