THIS IS A STORY THAT CONTAINS THREE STORIES; EACH STORY HAS A MESSAGE.
Story # 1: Soldiers who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from their experiences during their service to the U.S. are being encouraged to turn to eastern style meditation techniques to find help through a program called Patriot Outreach. A free CD to any solider promises to give “effective help with Anger, Stress, Pain, Combat Stress and even P.T.S.D.” The CD presents an exercise in meditation that listeners are told to practice three times a day: http://copingstrategiescd.com/downloads/cdquality/CopingStrategies_FullCD_128K.mp3.
This exercise involves a focusing technique that is used during eastern-style meditation. The name of the exercise is called “Be Still and Know,” taken from Psalm 46:10. This is the main Bible verse used by contemplatives to “prove” that the Bible condones going into the “silence” through various meditation practices (mantras, lectio divina, breath prayers, etc). As Lighthouse Trails has shown in the past, the verse has been taken out of context. Nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to enter an altered state of mind using focusing or repetitive techniques in order to hear the voice of God or in this case relax and rid one’s self of stress, anxiety, and anger. Sadly, Patriot Outreach is pointing soldiers to something that could ultimately harm them spiritually.
Patriot Outreach is associated with radio talk show host from Oregon, Roy Masters. Masters is the founder of the Foundation of Human Understanding Worldwide (please use discernment if entering this site) and an outspoken advocate for meditation practices. Master’s website offers a number of products to teach meditation techniques, including the Be Still and Know CD.
Story #2: On July 19th, WorldNetDaily posted an article titled “Military praises ‘fantastic’ new post-traumatic stress therapy.” The article is written by WND‘s managing editor David Kupelian and is basically an infomercial for a CD called Be Still and Know, which offers a meditation technique for soldiers and veterans presented by Patriot Outreach. Kupelian offers this supportive quote:
Patriot Outreach is an organization that provides the useful tools for our troubled soldiers and arms them with a renewed inner strength – a strength never to be shaken or stirred by angry thoughts or uncontrolled emotion. …
While we understand thatWorldNetDaily offers the writings from those of many different views, they maintain a strong defense of conservativism and generally attract those with Judeo/Christian principles. Thus, it is surprising, to say the least, that Joseph Farah (WND founder) would allow an article to be posted (by his managing editor, no less) that outrightly promotes eastern meditation techniques, given that the overall philosophy/theology of eastern religion does not line up with Judeo/Christian or conservative standards.
Kupelian’s article draws strongly on the emotions, as he talks about soldiers who are suffering terribly from their experiences in the service. Lighthouse Trails holds a deep compassion for these soldiers who have risked their lives in the military; however, we find WorldNetDaily’s promotion of eastern meditation techniques as a valid solution more of an insult to these soldiers and veterans than a help. Thus, we call for WorldNetDaily to retract this article and make a formal, public apology to soldiers and veterans everywhere. If they do not, then they are making a statement to all that they embrace the ideologies that they have stood against for so long. How’s that you say? Mysticism is of the same ideology framework as evolution, abortion, homosexuality, pedophilia, and anti-semitism. We call it the death religion. It takes practitioners away from the One, the only One who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). It is interesting to note that David Kupelian has written books on the topic of evil (including The Marketing of Evil). If he understood that meditation does not produce good “fruit” but rather bad outcomes, perhaps he would reconsider his views on this topic.
Story #3: On the WorldNetDaily article promoting eastern meditation techniques, there are about five dozen comments by readers. While there are some comments that completely oppose what is being said in Kupelian’s article, a large number of the comments are praising the article. Here are a few of the praises:
Great article. Make it go viral, spread the message, lives are at stake every day.Hey this is just AWSOME! If it can save just one of those troops lives then I say CHARGE ON!This is wonderful! Next step is for the Be Still to go viral all over the internet so we can regain America and a free world!
We can only hope that WorldNetDaily, who has a large percentage of Christian readers, will retract Kupelian’s article promoting eastern meditation techniques and set their readers straight. But sadly, they have grown an audience of which many will not like to hear such a retraction; so now there is going to be a cost to do the right thing. One thing is likely, they’ll lose some readers either way they go.
Because it is relevant to this week’s WND article, here is our 2008 article below:
On January 18th, 2008, WorldNet Daily posted an article by WND Vice President, David Kupelian. The article came out in WND’s publication Whistleblowerthe previous month and is currently in wide circulation on the Internet. It is for this reason that Lighthouse Trails is compelled to respond. The information in the article could potentially mislead many into following the teachings of mystics and panentheists from the past.
Kupelian’s article, titled “If God is everywhere, why do so few people find Him?”does not refute the notion that God is everywhere but on the contrary backs up the idea by favorably referencing mystics who believed that God was in everyone. Kupelian throws in ambiguous comments like “Christianity is a mystical religion, not a legalistic one like Islam” which adds fuel to his persuasive recommendations about mystics such as Madame Guyon and St. John of the Cross. He also refers to George Fox, founder of the Quaker movement, and William Penn, also a Quaker. Of Penn, Kupelian states:
Penn, a Quaker and close friend of the movement’s founder George Fox, is quite dramatically saying God can somehow be found in stillness, echoing David the psalmist who wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
What many WND readers may not know is that Quakers (not all) traditionally believe that all humans have a Divine light within. That is what prompted Quaker Thomas Kelly to say: “Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return…. In that abiding yet energizing Center we are all made one” (pp. 29, 38, A Testament of Devotion). Kelly stated that the “Slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened … is within us all” (p. 29). He says the “Inward Christ” dwelled not just in the Christian’s heart, nor was something to be “accepted or rejected” but is “the living Center of Reference for all Christian souls … and of non-Christian groups as well” (p. 34).
George Fox would concur with Kelly. The three following statements by Fox George Fox illustrate this well:
“Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.”
“The Light shines through all.”
“There is that of divinity in all things.”
Kupelian comes to the defense of two mystics, Madame Guyon and St. John of the Cross, stating:
Whatever doctrinal reasons the Catholic Church might have had for rejecting Guyon, it’s hard to dispute the classic wisdom, espoused here, of seeking God in stillness.
But of that stillness, Guyon expressed these thoughts:
May I hasten to say that the kind of prayer I am speaking of is not a prayer that comes from your mind. It is a prayer that begins in the heart …. prayer that comes from the heart is not interrupted by thinking! (Madam Guyon, Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ p. 4)
G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach has written an excellent critique of Madame Guyon titled “The Mindless Mysticism of Madame Guyon.” Fisher’s research leaves no room for doubt as to Guyon’s mystical affinities. 1It is Guyon who said: “Here [the contemplative state] everything is God. God is everywhere and in all things.”2 Lastly, St. John of the Cross who said: “My beloved [God] is the high mountains, and the lovely valley forests, unexplored islands, rushing rivers.”3
Ray Yungen explains the problem: “To absolve these mystics of fundamental theological error, one has to also defend panentheism.”4 We are not proposing that David Kupelian of WorldNet Daily is a panentheist. However, the examples he is using as examples werepanentheists. And for the sake of many WND readers, this is something that has to be pointed out.
2. Timothy Freke, The Spiritual Canticle, the Wisdom of the Christian Mystics(Godsfield Press, 1998), p. 60.
3. Willigis Jager, The Search for the Meaning of Life(Ligouri, MO, Liguori/Triumph, 1995), p. 125.
4. Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2nd ed. (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails,) p. 74.