Bishop of Bling Endorses the Occult
The one thing all ‘faiths’ have in common is prayer. What if Satan could infiltrate this spiritual language and unite all of the world’s faiths? I want to tell you he has done just that. This language is known variously among the faiths. In Buddhism it is known as ‘Zen’, in Hindu it is ‘yoga’, in the New Age it is ‘centring’ and in ‘Christianity’ it is known as ‘contemplative or breath prayers.’ This ‘Christian’ version is nothing more, nothing less than Transcendental Meditation. It has rightly been described as the western bridge to eastern mysticism. Recently, flamboyant Bishop of Bling T.D. Jakes defended the practice insisting that one’s ‘intent’ was the core issue. I seem to recall the road to hell being paved with such ‘intentions’. As the following article points out, by Jake's reasoning one could use an Ouija board to contact Jesus.
Author Ray Yungen in his brilliant book ‘A Time of Departing’ says, “What looks godly or spiritually benign on the surface may have principles behind it that are in dire conflict with Christianity.” One needs to remember that yoga is not simply an exercise it is a spiritual discipline. Yoga, meaning ‘union’ is the practice of removing all thoughts from the mind via controlled breath and chants in order to contact the ‘higher self’ otherwise known as ‘the god within’. It is often accompanied by feelings of euphoria and ecstasy. Spiritually speaking there is no difference between yoga, transcendental meditation and ‘contemplative’ or ‘breath’ prayers. “Panentheism (the belief that God is all and in all) is the bedrock of the contemplative prayer movement.”, says Ray Yungen, “Therefore, the establishment of whether or not it is biblically valid is imperative.” THERE IS NOT ONE SCRIPTURE in the entire Bible validating this occult practice. It is a seduction which will be embraced by those who are led by their emotions and not by the Word of the living God.
Jakes could not be more wrong about yoga for the following reasons: 1) It is not biblical, 2) it correlates with occult methods (i.e. mantra, vain repetition), 3) it is sympathetic to Eastern Mystical perceptions, and 4) it is a doctrine of demons given by seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1). Seeing the church is in a state of apostasy, it is hardly surprising that this practice has become so popular. Despite one’s ‘intentions’ it eventually leads the unwitting participant to believe that he himself is God. T.D Jakes is wrong on a great many issues, however on this particular one he has really stepped over the line as the following article and commentaries from Lighthouse Trails points out.
T.D. Jakes Article on Washington Post Addresses Yoga
The famous pastor quotes Lighthouse Trails as saying "Christian leaders are embracing practices and a new spirituality that borrows from Eastern mysticism and New Age philosophy" but Jakes says yoga is OK if intent is right.
On April 16, 2007, Lighthouse Trails Research received a phone call from a student at Harvard University who was doing research on yoga being taught in the public schools. The student told us about a Washington Post article that quoted Lighthouse Trails. We later learned that the article on the Washington Post website was written by the popular pastor T. D. Jakes.
Jakes (named the "Most Influential Christian" in 2006) is pastor of the mega-church Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. The Washington Post article titled "Know What to Try and Why" addresses the growing topic of Christians practicing yoga. Jakes quotes Lighthouse Trails as saying that certain Christian leaders are:
... embracing practices and a new spirituality that borrows from Eastern mysticism and New Age philosophy.
He lists Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, and Eugene Peterson as some whom we say are doing this. However, it is unsure and ironic that Jakes has quoted Lighthouse Trails because then he turns around and condones Christians utilizing eastern practices.
Jakes quoted an article we wrote titled "Evangelical Leaders Promote New Age and Eastern Spiritual Practices." Interestingly, in his own article, Jakes rightly states:
In Warren's Purpose-Driven Life, he does encourage people to practice "breath prayers" by repeating words and phrases over and over in a mantra-style prayer, a practice that is similar to that found in Hindu yoga and Zen Buddhism."
But he seems to advocate Rick Warren's position by stating:
In many cases yoga can be viewed as a quiet place where we individually meditate on God's word and who that God is.
Jakes justifies doing this by saying:
I believe at the core of the debate is what your intentions are when one practices the exercises of yoga or when you meditate.
Former New Age medium, Brian Flynn, talks about this intention of the heart in relation to mystical meditation:
How could one know that the God met in the stratosphere [meditative state] is the God of the Bible? Contemplatives have an answer for that - Intent! As long as the intent of the heart is to find Jesus through this meditation technique or contemplative prayer, then that is what will be found. No questions asked! However, what if the intent is to find Buddha, will this method work, or is it only reserved for Christians?
Tilden Edwards, another contemplative and the founder of
the pantheistic Shalem Institute for Spiritual
Ray Yungen elaborates on intent:
Practitioners of this method [meditation] believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ - it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices.
So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, "Why not? Why shouldn't we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?" The answer to this is actually found in Scripture. While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and were never based on a method for the altering of consciousness.
In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it. By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God's sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach.
Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament). Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God's response. (2)
T. D. Jakes is wrong when he says that as long as the intent is right, the practice doesn't matter. Unfortunately, as perhaps the most popular pastor today, Jakes will mislead countless people in the wrong direction and will further help bring a mystical, interspiritual religion to the world at large.
Frankly, we are not sure why Jakes even mentioned Lighthouse Trails. But since he did, we wanted to take this opportunity to repeat the words of our article, from which T. D. Jakes quoted:
In what appears to be a sweeping phenomenon, Christian leaders are embracing practices and a new spirituality that borrows from Eastern mysticism and New Age philosophy. The changes are taking place worldwide and involve many of the most popular evangelical leaders including Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, Richard Foster, Tony Campolo, and Eugene Peterson ... oh and add to that list ... T. D. Jakes.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving [seducing] spirits and doctrines of demons. (I Timothy 4:1)
Read what others have to say on the subject:
· Pastor Larry De Bruyn - "Christianity cannot be integrated with yoga and remain Christian. To think otherwise imperils the Christian truth and faith. As the managing editor of 'Hinduism Today,' Sannyasin Arumugaswami, remarks, 'Hinduism is the soul of yoga 'based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. . . . A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs'.' East is east, and west is west, and if Christianity is to remain Christian, 'the twain' should never be married. Can yogic practices be integrated with the Christian faith?
· Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries - "The practice of Yoga is pagan at best, and occult at worst. Its teachings emanate from the Eastern religions, all of which teach that self is God, only we just don't realize it until we do the techniques. 'The goal of Yoga is self-realization-to look deeply within to what ought to be the temple of the one true God and to discover the alleged true Self or higher Self to be God. Nothing could be more religious than that, yet with straight faces, all of the Yogis insist that practicing Yoga does not change anyone's religious beliefs.' Read More ...
· "There is no Christian Yoga?" by Yogi Baba Prem - "It was quite astonishing to see on the flyer 'Christian Yoga! This Thursday night....' I could feel the wheels spinning in my brain. 'Christian Yoga,' I thought. Now while Christians can practice yoga, I am not aware of any Christian teachings about yoga. Yoga is not a Judeo/Christian word! It is not a part of the Roman Catholic teachings and certainly not a part of protestant teachings. It is not found within the King James Version of the bible. It is a Hindu word, or more correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization. So how did we get 'Christian Yoga'? "From this I could conclude that 'Christian Yoga' could only indicate one of two possibilities:"
1) Christianity is threatened by yoga and is attempting to take over this system that “invaded their turf” pertaining to spiritual teachings and techniques.
2) Christianity is subconsciously attempting to return to the spiritual roots of civilization—the Vedic civilization. Read More ...
· Author Ray Yungen - At the very core of the meditation effort is the concept of what is called the higher self. This is thought to be the part of the individual linked to the Divine Essence of the Universe, the part of man that is God. Contact with this higher self is the ultimate goal in meditation and has always been at the very heart of occultism. Yungen says that those who meditate are: Individuals who, in the context of historical occultism, are in mystical contact with unseen sources and dimensions; who receive guidance and direction from these dimensions, and most importantly, who promote this state-of-being to the rest of humanity.
So while it may at first appear that meditation helps calm and relax the meditator, in reality, he or she is coming into contact with "unseen forces," which we believe are familiar spirits (demons).
One New Ager explains where this is all heading:
Soon it also became apparent that those of us experiencing this inner contact were instinctively (and spontaneously) drawing together, forming a network. In the many years since, I have watched this network grow and widen to literally encompass the globe. What was once a rare experience - that of meeting another person who admitted to a similar super conscious presence in his or her life - has now become a common, even frequent, event ... what I once saw as a personal (and individual) transformation I now see as part of a massive and collective human movement.
In other words, the destination of meditation is that all will come together in unity. But this demonic realm that millions are being drawn into will not have the Gospel in its midst. And thus, countless souls will be lost.
Ray Yungen sums up the whole subject very well when he wrote:
Salvation is having personal faith and trust in the person and finished work (sacrifice) of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have "peace with God" (Romans 5:1), are "forgiven" (Ephesians 5:4), and are "reconciled" to God (II Corinthians ) only by Him. That's where our faith or trust is to be directed. The notion of achieving Christ consciousness [through meditation] is just not compatible with being redeemed by Christ's precious blood. The two just don't mix. Romans 5:6 says: "For when we were yet without strength [spiritually impotent], in due time Christ died for the ungodly." A consciousness can't die for anyone - only a person can. If you "receive not the love of the truth," as Scripture says, your eternal destination will be determined:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. (II Thessalonians 2:9-11).
Says Author Ray Yungen: “The question may arise – how can credible Christian organisations justify and condone meditative practices that clearly resemble Eastern Meditation? Christian terminology surrounds these practices. It only takes a few Christian leaders with national profiles to embrace a teaching that sounds Christian to bring about big changes in the church. Moreover, we have many trusting Christians who do not use the scriptures to test the claims of others. Building an entire prayer method around an out of context verse or two is presumptuous, at best. Now more than ever, it is critical that Christians devote themselves to serious Bible study and discernment regarding this issue. “
“In the spiritual climate of today, a unifying, mystical prayer practice
fits the paradigm necessary to unite the various world religions – the
contemplative prayer movement is such a practice! I believe this movement is
taking many on a downward spiral that could lead to the great apostasy. For
this to happen, as the Bible says, there will be ‘seducing spirits’ who design a spirituality nearly indistinguishable from the truth.
Every Christian must therefore discern whether or not the contemplative prayer
movement is a deeper way of walking with God or a deception that undermines the
very Gospel itself.” [Ray Yungen, ‘A Time of Departing’, Lighthouse Trails Publishing
In His Everlasting Embrace
Tony & Pamela Dean