I recall a sermon in our former church when the pastor mentioned the Nephalim. Cannot remember exactly where we were, I think in the book of James. He mentioned some extra biblical material like the “book of Moses” or something and spoke about the Nephalim as spawn of angels and of men. I thought this was VERY odd. By then we were already uneasy with our former church. This teaching about Nephalim as mating with angels took me back to conversations I had I believe with Jehovah’s Witnesses but it may be Mormons. I know I didn’t agree with the idea that angels have physical bodies and actual offpring, especially with some not of their kind.
The pastor also called people to think of their burdens in a prayer. They were to imagine them, then hold them. At one point in the prayer we were all to release these burdens to Jesus. It reminded me very much of training we had as resident assistants where we wrote something on paper and threw it out. All this was some kind of training exercise intended to get our guard down and a “trust” thing when training for a secular job. In prayer, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. I do not like to have a pastor ask congregations to parrot what he does, or to repeat after him. It bothers me in that people set themselves up for dishonesty to God. Calling the crowd to go follow a series of phrases without knowing where it’s leading, or do a set of actions seems manipulative to me. I do not have a problem with responsive readings and the like. I also don’t like strange activities that feel very much like a “giving my burdens” to God thing where there is a tactile and imagined moment. You have to “picture” your burdens and “picture handing them over” to God. It’s this visualization that can happen where you picture burying your bad habits Dr. Phil style I am not fond of.