07 April 2010

Breaking the Spell: Emotionally-driven trances or Spirit-led?

An excellent post over at Sola Sisters:
Breaking the Spell: Emotionally-driven trances or Spirit-led?
There is a theological collapse at the heart of many churches catapulted by a serious complacency when it comes to discernment. What stinks is that if you genuinely call to question ANYTHING these days you are quickly labeled hyper-critical and dismissed with the flick of a finger. Why?

Perhaps it is just easier to what? Bury my head in the sand so as not to ruffle feathers and possibly cause anyone to... think.

Think? Why think when it is much easier to empty my mind? You know, the newest evangelical craze calls us to "empty our minds" so that we can meditate.
Here's the problem. This type of meditation that calls Christians to "empty their minds" is based on Eastern mysticism and not on Scripture. Yes, God calls for us to mediate on His word with our minds fully engaged.
Unless our minds are renewed by God's Word, then we will most assuredly worry, fear, doubt, be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, etc. Biblical meditation is not a matter of emptying the mind, but of renewing it with God's Holy Word of Truth.

Here are Scriptures found with the key word search "meditate" and "meditation"
  1. Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. ...
  2. Psalm 1:2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,and on his law he meditates day and night.
  3. Psalm 77:12 I will ponder all your work,and meditate on your mighty deeds.
  4. Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
  5. Psalm 119:23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,your servant will meditate on your statutes.
  6. Psalm 119:27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
  7. Psalm 119:48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,and I will meditate on your statutes.
  8. Psalm 119:78 ... I will meditate on your precepts.
  9. Psalm 119:148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,that I may meditate on your promise.
  10. Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done;I ponder the work of your hands.
  11. Psalm 145:5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
  12. Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heartbe acceptable in your sight,O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
  13. Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
  14. Psalm 119:97 Oh how I love your law!It is my meditation all the day.
  15. Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,for your testimonies are my meditation.

Let's look at some Scripture that tells us to empty our minds. I will start with a search in the Bible with the key word "empty" in relation to thinking or speaking. Here is what I found:
  1. Matthew 6:7 " And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
  2. Matthew 12:44 Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."
  3. Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
  4. Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
  5. Titus 1:9-10 ...holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers...

Here is a key word search in the Scriptures of the word "mind"
  1. Matthew 16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."
  2. Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
  3. Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
  4. Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
  5. Romans 8:5-7 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
  6. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  7. 1 Corinthians 14:15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
  8. 1 Corinthians 14:19
    Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
  9. 2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.
  10. 2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
  11. Ephesians 2:3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
    Ephesians 4:17 [ The New Life ] Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
  12. Ephesians 4:23
    and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
  13. Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
  14. Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
  15. Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
  16. 1 Timothy 6:5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
  17. Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
  18. Titus 2:2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
  19. 1 Peter 1:13 [ Called to Be Holy ] Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
  20. 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
  21. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

And when I did a key phrase search "empty your mind" in every translation I could find, including "The Message" and "The Amplified Bible" I came up... empty.

Please, show me how this can be so popular among Christians? But, show me using Scripture in context. I don't want your opinion or your experiences. I want the Truth.

“tell us how to discern the truth.” :You may judge of it by three things; by God, by Christ, and by man; that is, the truth which honours God, the truth which glorifies Christ, and the truth which humbles man. - Charles Spurgeon

1 comment:

  1. "There is a theological collapse at the heart of many churches .......comes to discernment. ... if you genuinely call to question ANYTHING these days you are quickly labeled hyper-critical and dismissed with the flick of a finger. Why?"

    Such a true statement.
    1. Many Christians do not read or study the Word.
    2. They don't know truth from error.
    3. They stand by what sounds the best for them.
    4. Lack of discernment, truth is rejected.
    5. Some pastors take the easy road...
    6. Evidence os a possibly soon rapture.


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