Posts Tagged ‘be still’

Is this old news?  I have a friend who has an online journal who posts devotionals from In Touch Ministries.  I’ve been noticing references to “quiet” and other comments leading me to think it’s contemplative.  Just check out todays devotional for yourself.


The advice in the devotional tells it’s readers to “”quiet your spirit” and listen to God.  Where in scripture are we told to “quiet your spirit?”  What could he possibly mean by this? 


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I just read an article on the Lighthouse Trails Research page (look at my blog roll and you can find a link to that page for interesting reading all around).  It mentions that everyone is talking about “the silence” or “be still.”  I’ve noted that the youth organization in our area has ignatius prayer links to teach meditative silent prayer (with breathing exercises and the like).  The article on the Lighthouse Trails site is so good, I’m encouraging people to read it and see how “Christian” authors are actually in parallel with New Age authors.  When groups line up so well, this shows a similar influence is possible…and in fact, because many of the “Christian” authors influencing our churches today quote some of the New Age authors, even some Buddist or Hindu authors…we can be sure the influence is the same.


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I’ve written my letter, mostly.  I’m having a few friends I trust look it over.  So now what? 

I’m a bit confused now, really.  I do not know how to trust any longer when it comes to hearing a sermon.  It’s like when I was younger and read “Late Great Planet Earth” and everything around me I saw was pointing to scary events.  I was hyper focused on the stuff I read, and was walking in fear.  I now feel unraveled, that I need to go back to basics so to speak, to get my bearings. 

I believe the emergent/seeker friendly/new spirituality/new age church is wide spread.   Because it is so widespread, I’m afraid I’ll just church shop my way into the same problem again.  Also, and this is very difficult, I now wonder how much of what I believe has been colored and touched by false teaching.  I do not want to throw away the good and true things I have learned because it seems like what mergent churches might teach.  I want to hold fast to what is good even if Rick Warren said it once.  You see, the lie is so close to the truth that there is some truth there.  It would be easy to loose faith after realizing the lies we were rubbing up against.  It’s hard to wonder how much of my “good will” feelings were my own or what was prompted by the suggestions of my church leaders.  Sometimes I look at the good things our church was doing (in terms of service and missions projects) and I begin to wonder what was wrong with that?  The only thing wrong, really, was that it wasn’t coming from God but coming from man’s plans.  To top it off, the message was distorted only slightly (more so now than then), and so what we were doing was not for God.  Is is an accurate thing to say our church was like Cain?  Abel brought the true sacrifice God required, and we were bringing something else.  That made everything we did not quite good enough, not quite right.  We were missing the mark.  So now, I live in this little world where I question so much of what I’m doing.  What do I do next? 

I also don’t want to judge people wrongly.  If there is a tie in to mergent, fine, I’ll avoid or try to redirect.  I don’t want to shy away from going out and walking around and praying for my neighbors.  Though “prayer walks” come from contemplative style churches, this doesn’t mean that praying for my neighbors should stop.  I don’t want to avoid going out by myself and praying just because contemplatives talk about solitude.  I also don’t want to avoid trying to find a quiet place to have a “quiet time” or spend time reading and praying because contemplatives talk of being still.  There is nothing wrong with going to the Father in prayer and finding a quiet place to pray.  It’s whether or not that is requried for “a closer relationship” to Him that’s questionable.  I will not be meditating with repetative phrases, I will not be opening myself up or centering in prayer.  So, being quiet for a while is not evil.  It’s just the distortion of the requirements and the mimicking eastern meditation methods that is wrong.  It’s not wrong to expect to be changed because I am a Christian, it’s just wrong to transform into something of this world.

So, I guess the “now what” is to just “do the next thing.”  I need to take time to be with my family, to study the Bible, to pray, and to find a place we can worship the only wise God, the true God.

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Whew.  So my children, three of them, heard the teacher say “be still and sit very quietly and think of all the good things God has given you.”  They all claim they were asked to shut their eyes, that this was read off a paper.  They also said it went on for five minutes at the time when they give offering.  I told this to a friend who took charge and talked with the teacher who said she did not read it off the paper, and she did this on her own accord.  She says she asked the children to pray silently and not to “keep thinking” while being still.  So, now my friend thinks I’ve focused on this issue too much and my kids are hyper sensitive.  My kids, by the way, all three of them, warned those who were around them that this seemed a lot like meditation and they didn’t like it.  Soon, I’m sure, we may be hearing from parents of these kids. 

So, did it happen the way my three little children ages 11, 9, and 8 describe, or did it happen the way the teacher said it did to my friend?  I don’t know.  I love this teacher by the way, we’ve had discussions, and I’ve witnessed her teach many times as I’ve been right there.  She’s always right on as far as I remember.  Maybe this was an honest mistake??? Not sure.  All I know is that if my boys came to me with this story I might think they could have missed a detail.  My daughter on the other hand is usually very careful to try to tell things as accurately as possible.  No, she’s not perfect, but she is one I trust.  They assure me prayer was not mentioned, there was no “amen” outloud.  The kids may have been asked to pray silently, but my three children all missed that command.  They brought the subject up to me because I had asked them to tell me what happened if they were ever told to sit quietly or “be still.”  I know my children were paying attention. 

Onto other fronts, my husband brought up some issues with an elder (he considers this man to be a mentor). This elder is a giver, a big teddy bear of a guy.  My husband was told today the same kinds of lines we’ve heard from the other elder.  He didn’t perceive the “bible police” statement to mean anything but to be loving when confronting others.  He says the P.E.A.C.E. plan of Warren’s is a method our church is using to make efforts more effective.  We are to “give hope” also and to serve the needy physically not just spiritually.  He then said to my husband that he would be recommending him for elder as “if you want change, you can do it most effectively in this church as an elder.”  Not sure what to make of that.

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I wrote this elsewhere, but wanted to give more of a picture of what happened today in church.

I was quite upset today when the pastor talked about contending for the faith from Jude and then said, “but don’t be Bible police” and said it was for a community to contend, not the individual. What does that mean? And then to say the church is just one generation away from death (he had the crowd answer “how many generations are we away from a dead church?” and there were people out there who yelled, ONE, and then he said, “do you believe it?” and  just about everyone said, “yes.”) but to not recall that the Bible teaches there is always a remnant saved by grace…denies how God has planned things and is in control. We are teaching our children, and the church is not about to die for lack of teaching, there are parents who are teaching their children. Noah was a remnant, and in bad times in many countries with atheist governments, there is still a remnant of hidden believers. It all just sounded like the pastor expected us not to think without consulting the group, and that we were to believe that the next generation is lost. Sure, we need to teach the children, but what does this mean and are we teaching them Biblically? How do we know if they separate the children from the parents in children’s ministry and youth groups?My kids told me today they did have a time when they were told to “be still” and think of all the things God has done for them. They were to be still, be quiet, and close their eyes, and think. They did this for about five minutes according to my kids, and no one offered a prayer at this time, it was just a time to think. I find this to be very subtle and yet disturbing. Why be still? Why not spend time thanking God for the things he’s done? 

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