By Jimmie Brodersen:
They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth - John 17:16-17
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” - John 4:24
The Word of the Lord God Almighty is TRUTH. Sadly many add and promote adding practices from other religions, as well as whatever they consider helpful, in order to have a mystical/supernatural experience. If you think about it, this action is a statement saying “the Word of God is not enough”, and even questions whether the word of God is truth. Praise, worship, and all aspects of our lives as Christians are to be pure, and follow the word of the Lord. We are not to reach outside and bring in pagan practices; that is a form of “strange/profane fire”. Do you recall how much the LORD detests strange/profane fire?
Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ’By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace. ” – Lev 10:1-3 (NKJV)
Aaron’s sons were not permitted or authorized to give an offering of praise however they saw fit; it was unauthorized, and therefore profane. We are not authorized to worship, praise, and serve God however we would like to, it must be within the guidelines of His word. We are not to add mysticism. It is not acceptable to add chants/mantras/transcendental meditation, go into trances, or to pray to anyone other than the Lord. When someone does so, he or she is before the Lord with profane practices from other religions, practices from outside of His word. Strange fire is disobedience, and disobedience is sin. When a person is involved with mystical practices the person is also inviting demons into his or her life. While a demon cannot possess (enter and control) a born again Christian, a demon can still oppress and be influential. Even without the demons these practices provide deceiving experiences that give a sensation of a divine encounter.
These practices are increasing in popularity. Much of the influence comes from popular pastors and worship leaders who have learned from the Catholic Mystics writings, and or new age mystics (some of whom also studied the Catholic mystics). While many of these pastors are known to be emergent or otherwise false teachers, less is known about the worship leaders. Some people do not care about the background of the worship leaders, which is ignoring the influencing factors of the songs.
Have you ever sat down and considered lyrics to worship songs? Why do so many of the modern worship songs lack lyrical content? Why do so many of the modern songs repeat one or two phrases, or even one word literally a dozen or dozens of times? Do people not realize that is chanting? Some people claim that the repetitions cause them feel connected to God, which is an emotional deception. Why are so many of the modern songs self-edifying, not actually praising the Lord, worshiping/adoring the Lord? Yes, sometimes we do need affirmation; however a church worship service is not the time, the time for us to receive affirmation would be during the sermon, then afterward we sing thanks and praise to the Lord. Some songs are stories, while others are not even of sound doctrine. To be blunt, many of the songs are not inspired by the Holy Spirit. Some songs were inspired by the Holy Spirit, but were not meant for church service. Many of the songs are inspired by mystic practices, false doctrine, or by imagination.
I suggest we consider what prayer is. To pray simply is to communicate with the Lord. There are types of prayers:
First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone - 1 Tim 2:1 (HCSB)
Petitions are personal requests. The word for “prayers” means fervent prayer and worship. Intercession is to go to the Lord with concerns for other people; our request is for them rather than ourselves. I am sure we know what thanksgiving is.
And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” - Eph 5:18-20 (HCSB)
When we sing songs of praise, thanksgiving, and worship to the Lord, we are communicating to Him, so we are praying. (Also, the Hymns here are not what the Hymns some people have been using for the past few hundred years) Not one of these types of prayers or songs in the bible involve certain physical positioning, chants, mantras, or going into a trance. Most of the book of Psalms are songs, read them and compare them to contemporary worship music.
I have noticed churches singing songs written by Kim Walker (Kim Walker-Smith). I would like to give you some background on Walker. Kim Walker-Smith is known not only for solo songs but also as part of “The Jesus culture” which is from Bethel Church in Redding California, which is part of a cult called New Apostolic Reformation. Bethel Church is full of false prophets and false teachers, among them are Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton.
Would you agree that the songs chosen by a church’s own worship team should represent the beliefs of the church? Why then unless you are part of the NAR would you sing songs from the NAR? Or songs by contemplatives/emergents/Catholics? If you were part of church leadership, and perhaps you are, and you were putting together a special event, which includes guest worship, would you not want to have a group whose beliefs are the same as those of yours and the church you are part of? Would you not personally check the spiritual backgrounds of the groups? There are churches whose leadership does not check, or maybe they ignore, either way by using the songs or hosting these musical groups promotes and endorses these practices and doctrines.
This summer the annual Harvest Evangelical Crusade held in Anaheim California, which is part of the ministry of Greg Laurie and his mega church Harvest, will include Contemplative and seemingly Catholic David Crowder, and Contemplative Gungor. I am not accusing the pastor of outright promotion of this mysticism, it may be a lack of wisdom by not doing research; however it is possible leadership may be ignoring information. http://www.harvest.org/crusades/2012/anaheim/
“Now we realize that there’s almost a multiplication in what we are able to do,” continues Crowder. “All the guys want to keep making music and have even already started working on stuff. That part is really exciting. And for myself, I’ll continue to live the way I’m wired. And I feel like I’m wired to help figure out ways to serve the Church musically.” Of course of all our rituals, one of the most complex is understanding that there is a time to say hello, and a time to say goodbye. The David Crowder*Band has chosen their final record, Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys]), to represent their goodbye, “And it’s all centered around the Eucharist,” finishes Crowder. “And so we thought, man, this is a great place to finish things up—to just come back around this. I guess the period at the end of the sentence would be Christ and his sacrifice, and his in-dwelling.”
- from http://worshipleader.com/saying-goodbye-david-crowder/
In Gungor’s blogs he promotes contemplative prayer, emergent authors, and transcendental meditation. This link is to an article from last year. In other blogs Gungor speaks about something called “Gungor Common Book of Meditative Prayer” of which I could not find information about.
“Assisi helped me discover a new discipline for me that I can’t believe I had gone so long without Meditation. I had tried meditating a handful of times before, but it never really did that much for me. So I stopped. But in Assisi, we would get up every morning and meditate with each other for an hour. Than we’d do a movement meditation, then we’d go and meditate on our own for most of the day, and then we’d get together at night one more time and meditate for another half hour before going to bed. That’s a lot of meditation. And I finally got it. Now I understand why people from pretty much all religions do this. To be honest, when I first considered trying out meditation, I was a little nervous. I had some lingering little superstitions from my childhood about meditation floating around in my mind… As a kid, I was pretty much taught that if you meditate or do yoga or anything like that, demons are going to come in and take over your brain, and next thing I know, I’ll be bent over screeching like Emily Rose or something. If any of you have similar superstitions that have been inculcated deep into your psyche, I sympathize with you and I recommend just telling God about it. Something like, “Hey, I want to open my heart to you in this discipline, but I’m a little nervous about it for some reason. Help me out would you?” That’s a formal prayer from the Gungor Common Book of Meditative Prayer that you can memorize if you’d like. Anyway, for those of you that don’t know how to meditate, I’ll tell you what I do, and maybe it will help you if you are interested in trying out this ancient discipline.”
Taken from http://gungormusic.com/2010/12/pilgrimage-pt-3-meditation/
Also read http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?tag=gungor
How could somebody who promotes the central and most important of all Catholic dogma be included at a protestant/nondenominational event? If you do not understand the Eucharist, do some research; in short, it is a false gospel and idolatry. The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is literally in the monstrance, Christ is the wafer. They teach that when a person drinks the wine and eats the bread that those sacraments literally become the flesh and blood of Christ (transubstantiation). People worship, praise, and give prayers of petitions and intercessions to the wafer in the monstrance.
Writing about matters like this, where serious matters in such personal areas of life are dealt with is not easy, nor enjoyable. I take this very seriously, and with a heavy heart. I want to be clear that in no way am I suggesting that these people or the churches that host them do not love the Lord, I am not even thinking about judging their personal salvation. I am writing only about the spiritual/mystical practices that have been incorporated. Please understand I am not attacking Greg Laurie, this is about the practices the worship leaders promote and engage in, and the fact they are not to be accepted.
Judgment must be used in the case of cults, false teachers, and false religions. We were warned false teachers would exist. We are to discern false teaching, the discernment comes from knowing the Lord, and some people have discernment of Spirits. (1 Cor 12:10) We are to shun those who teach Jesus differently than what we read in the bible, or teach a different means of salvation, when a different doctrine is taught from what we read in the New Testament.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men will rise up from your own number with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.” - Acts 20:29-31
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” - Romans 16:17 (NKJV)
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.” - 2 Thess 3:6
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” - 2 John 1:9-11
“If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing, but has a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.” - 1 Tim 6:3-5
“not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!” - Gal 1:7-9
We are told it is important to contend for the faith, which is to recognize false teaching in the church and speak against it, defending the true message of Christ.
“Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.” - Jude 1:3
Since we know conclusively, we are not to have Ecumenical meetings I am greatly disappointed to see Ecumenical worship at what is promoted as an “Evangelical outreach”. How can we go out witnessing with the bible if we do not obey it when we are evangelizing? We need to understand the word of God is HOLY. The word of the LORD is to be taken seriously and with reverence. We do not take from it what we prefer and leave out the rest. The word of the Lord is not something to bargain with, we are not to compromise it. By accepting and promoting people who have compromised and disobeyed the scriptures we sin as well.
I began working on this on the evening of Sunday June 24th, after days in prayer. I spent two hours putting together thoughts and thinking about verses. I was very tired in a lot of pain, so I decided I would go to bed, and then continue putting this together Monday. I did not sleep. As soon as I had laid down, all of my painful health conditions faired up at once and did so until Tuesday night. I have several health conditions, and I never have had each one of them at their worst all at once. Monday night was worse than Sunday night, and I knew there were demons around for several hours. I have had demonic oppression in the past when working on writing about topics that involve demons. Satan and his demons do not want the truth exposed, they want people to believe they know the truth and know Jesus when in fact they are deceived. Satan and his demons want people to ignore the truth, and make compromises. The most popular compromises in this area seem to be “this will not hurt me” and “it still honors and glorifies the Lord”. Knowing the truth, we know that those are lies. God is not honored by strange fire, and He does not accept it, regardless of how sincere we are.
I wish everyone could understand how serious this is, and how heartbreaking it is to see good ministries go bad. Strange fire is killing the church! I submit to you that the apostasy Paul wrote about in 2nd Thessalonians chapter two verse three is occurring now. This ecumenical shift which has been taking place in the church around the world is a great falling away from the word of God and forming a new religion. I believe that while there is demonic influence which is causing this, a great deal of this falling away is due to laziness and apathy. Many Christians lack discernment because they do not engage in diligent personal bible study or any personal bible study. Without significant knowledge and comprehension of the Bible which brings discernment, people are caught up in all sorts of doctrines, and terrible ideas. We who know the truth need to allow the LORD to use us to inform other believers and start destroying the infection of compromise in the church. Each of us individually has to consider and decide the following:
Will I stand up for truth and righteousness, for and with the word of God? Will I glorify the Lord and Honor the Lord by obeying His word? Or will I cower and avoid conflict, and ignore the truth and hope it does not harm us as we disobey the Lord?
Let’s be sure our worship and service for the Lord is pure, not strange fire.
For more information about contemplative spirituality you can visit the following:
And I recommend the following books
“A Time of Departing” by Ray Yungen
“Faith undone” by Roger Oakland
In Christ Jesus,
Jimmie R Brodersen