In my brief time in ministry, I've tried to maintain a laser-like focus on producing powerful seminar information on today's most urgent topics. But, in the mean time, literally hundreds of individuals have asked about my testimony - and shame on me for not sharing it sooner!
Here's just one brief tidbit of a very long story.
Most of my brethren don't know this, but I spent most of my 20's swimming in the waters of Babylon's "emerging church" movement. I mean, I was all in. I drank the kool aid.
And praise the Lord for present truth! It was at the end of 2008 that my eyes were first opened wide to perceive the truth of the Bible. I can say, without hesitation, that the next year or two was the most life-changing period of my life, as I joined and embraced the last-days present truth movement. A whole new identity and mission took hold of my life.
Yet, during the initial awakening period, I was also reading and listening to the same emerging church writers and preachers that had been my spiritual mentors for most of my adult life - Rob Bell, Dallas Willard, Brian McLaren, et. al. And I slowly came to realize the dangers of what I had been a part of for nearly a decade.
I still distinctly remember a sermon from my favorite emerging church speaker/writer, Rob Bell. My wife and I attended his church, Mars Hill, and listened to his sermons - religiously - for the better part of a decade. As I listened to one sermon in particular, Rob Bell made a clean break, a dramatic departure from Christianity, when he spoke glowingly of the practice of meditation.
To be clear, he was not talking about "meditating on the law" as recommended in Psalm 1. Instead, he praised the "great enlightened ones" and the "mystics" from various religious traditions who practiced these meditative spiritual exercises each day, while sitting on a cushion.
If this description gives you a picture of eastern meditation - you're spot on. In fact, one of the hallmarks of emerging church preachers and writers is that they regularly speak disparagingly of "western" ideas of spirituality. Eastern is far more en vogue in emerging church circles.
Now, to understand the significance of the statements - enlightened ones, mystics, various religious traditions, meditation - keep in mind that this was a seemingly Christian sermon on a Sunday morning in a seemingly Christian church service. And years of Bible teaching, most of which was non-heretical, had preceded this message. So, along with the thousands of people attending this church service, I had (foolishly) been investing this church and this speaker with much confidence and trust. Everything seemed fine; after all, they talked about helping the poor and loving God and loving our neighbor! What could possibly be so dangerous about this church? ... so we thought.
Then this came our way: Christians should practice mediation on a cushion like the great enlightened mystics do.
Brethren, emerging church theology and spiritual exercises have found their way into all Christian denominations. As somebody who has come out of Babylon, I urge you: do not eat from that tree of knowledge, for it is not the pure spiritual food for the Christian, but it is laced with many deceptions. Take it from my personal testimony: entering into an new age alpha trance brings spiritual blindness, not a 'third eye' of enlightenment.
Or, better yet, take it from the Bible: meditate on the law day and night, and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.