Update 01/15/09: See this update about Brennan Manning’s Teachings.
This is very sad and makes my heart ache for where the Assembly of God as a denomination is headed!
Central Assembly of God in Springfield Missouri is near the General Council of The Assembly of God’s Headquarters and many in the leadership of the General Council are counted in its membership.
Jim Bradford, the Senior Pastor at Central is considered to be the top candidate as the next Head of the Assembly of God’s Evangel University.
Brennan Manning is a Roman Catholic and a former Franciscan Monk who advocates Contemplative “Prayer” and “Spirituality”. Contemplative Prayer is actually just renamed Hindu Transcendental Meditation.
Contemplative “Prayer” originated in the 4th Century A.D from what were known as the “Desert Fathers”. These were apostate Monks who spent their time in seclusion “meditating” in the caves in the remote deserts of Arabia, repeating a word or phrase over and over until they went into a trance,.
This contemplative or “centering” prayer involves a person emptying their mind and concentrating on one word or phrase, and continually repeating it until the person reaches a “spiritual” trance state. And this is exactly the same as Hindu Transcendental Mediation.
And in the 2oth century a Trappist Monk by the name of Thomas Merton popularized Contemplative Prayer after he regularly travelled to the far east to make contact with and explore Eatern Religions and Hindu Transcendental Meditation techniques.
Merton claimed to “have had a religious experience while viewing enormous statues of the Buddha”. Oddly enough Merton died in a freak accident on one of his trips to the far east exploring Eastern Religions. He was electrocuted while getting out of a bathtub when he touched a poorly grounded electric fan.
How sad that The Assembly of God Leadership has not only welcomed in Rick Warren’s apostate teachings but now the leadership is welcoming in Idolotrous Roman Catholic and Hindu teachings!
This tells me that the AOG is clearly reached the end of the road as a denomination that speaks Biblical Truth!
It has been reported to me by very recent members of Central Assembly of God, our flagship church, the church where many of the A/G Leaders attend, that Pastor Jim Bradford has hosted a Willow Creek 40 Days of Prayer seminar AND that he has scheduled a highly visible proponent of contemplative prayer to speak at Central Assembly. In fact, I verified with Central Assembly’s own web site that Pastor Bradford is so excited to present Brennan Manning in conference starting January 30th, 2009. Just pay 25 bucks and you too can be part of this exclusive event!
I can only logically conclude one of two things here: first, I would have to question Jim Bradford’s discernment, or second, I would wonder whether Jim Bradford is not a dupe of the Rick Warrens, Brian McLarens and Earl Crepses out there, but rather a fellow disciple of the New Age (Old Hinduism).
Neither alternative would be good. In the first case, a shepherd who has no warning bells go off when a wolf is near, is a danger to his flock and ought to be replaced. But, in this instance, Jim Bradford is inviting the wolf right into his sheepfold. In the second case, we have a hireling fattening his flock for the wholesale kill by Satan himself. God will not allow the introduction of Hinduism (an age old practice of inviting demons to enter into ones empty mind and daily activities) into our churches without punishment.
Why do I say Hinduism? Because contemplative prayer is simply a 21st century renaming of Transcendental Meditation, the Hindu practice of clearing ones mind to allow demons to enter in and speak. Contemplative prayer (CP) is putting oneself into a trance.
NOWHERE in the Bible is there any mention of putting oneself into a trance. The ONLY trances mentioned are those induced by God Himself! In CP, the practitioner EMPTIES their mind.
When God puts us into a trance, He FILLS our mind with His thoughts and His WORD. Think on this: in nature, whose boundaries were set by God at Creation, any empty vessel makes itself prone to be filled by the next and nearest opportunity. For instance, a city built below sea level is fine as long as the levies that surround it hold. But, as in Katrina and New Orleans, when the levies broke, the sea rushed in and mixed with the sewage creating uninhabitable space.
And finally, emptying our minds is disobedience to God’s command in Philippians 4:8 to THINK on these things referring to a list of traits which concretely describe the character of God Himself. Scripturally, I could go on and on. . . . . .
Read the Full article here.