17 August 2010

Christianity Today Acknowledges the Contemplative Prayer Controversy...and the Role of Beth Moore as an Influential Promoter

The Lighthouse Trails blog has posted a fantastic article addressing Christianity Today's latest cover-story article about Beth Moore and her ties to contemplative spirituality. I'll post some of the article below as a teaser, but please take a few moments to visit Lighthouse Trails and read the article in its entirety.
In the August 2010 cover story of Christianity Today, the magazine has brought out two things that the major Christian media has thus far ignored – one, that Beth Moore, described as “the most popular Bible teacher in America”  by CT is a proponent of contemplative prayer, and two, that there is a debate over whether contemplative meditation is of Eastern religious origin or not. This Lighthouse Trails special report will look at both of these facets, Beth Moore’s contemplative propensities (incidentally, she is noted in CT  for influencing “millions” of women) and the vital question as to whether contemplative prayer is indeed rooted in Eastern mysticism. 
Christianity Today hit the nail right on the head when it informed its readers that:
“Critics argue that contemplative prayer is rooted in Eastern mysticism and thus not a practice that Christians should engage in.”
Lighthouse Trails has always warned that contemplative prayer is in fact rooted in Eastern mysticism, with a heavy emphasis on the word “rooted.” In Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, Yungen brings out that contemplative prayer was created by the Desert Fathers, a group of monks who lived in the desert during the early middle ages. Quoting Ken Kaisch, A Time of Departing reveals:
 "It was a time of great experimentation with spiritual methods. Many different kinds of disciplines were tried, some of which are too harsh or extreme for people today. Many different methods of prayer were created and explored by them. (Finding God, p. 191)."
[...]
The thoughtful and discerning Christian needs to ask whether the Be Still DVD is an accurate “expression of Truth,” as Beth Moore says it is, and is there truly “no problem with Beth’s participation” in this project? Considering the fact that Christianity Today calls Moore “the most popular Bible teacher in America,” these are fair questions to ask. Moore has the potential of leading  millions of women in a spiritually dangerous direction. Those women in turn will bring this mystical teaching home to their husbands, children, and churches. In the Be Still DVD, Moore states: “[I]f we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There’s got to be a stillness.” Moore says that it is not possible to “truly know” that He is God without “a stillness.” She is not talking about a quiet place to pray and spend time in God’s word, but rather she is talking about a stillness of the mind – this is what contemplatives strive for – unless you practice this stillness of the mind, your relationship with the Lord is inadequate. According to Beth Moore, you don’t even know Him in the way you should. 
Read the article in its entirety here

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