“I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.’ ” (Ezekiel 20:7, NASB)

Let me just say at the outset that the more I study contemplative spirituality, the deeper the deceptive connections to things taught by demons it gets. For example, in the April 2000 edition of Perspective from Renovare we read:

Andre Louf is an experienced teacher of prayer. He belongs to the Cistercian religious community, which is known both in Europe and America for a life of joyful simplicity. Cistercians (sometimes called Trappists)…observe silence, times of solitude,…they are known for the depth of their prayer lives. In the United States, Cistercians Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating are well known as teachers of centering prayer.

By the way, you may find it interesting that this above section is also contained on page 31 of my copy of the book Spiritual Classics which itself was edited by Living Spiritual Teacher Living Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster along with Emilie Griffin. It is Griffin who is being interviewed in that issue of Perspective by another old friend, one Linda Graybeal. Connect up the dots, folks.

What will follow in a bit is an excerpt from Keating’s book Open Mind Open Heart (OMOH) – recommended by Emergent theologian Tony Jones – where this apostate Roman Catholic monk actually encourages the practice of “psychic gifts.” Therein we will have an example of the kinds of things this “well known” teacher of so-called “Christian” mysticism is now getting passed down to evangelical pastors and youth pastors through men like Jones and Foster. First Keating informs us that the “psychic level of consciousness is one level above the mental egoic stage, which is the general level of present development.”

By the way, for your convenience here is a chart from mystic Philip St. Romain that will give you a visual for this. O yes, I hear the Emergent protest arise: “This is prejudicial; what has this to do with Thomas Keating? There’s no connection between these two.” Ah, but if you think so, you’d actually be quite mistaken. The truth is that in 1990, ten years prior to Renovare’s above statement, Keating wrote the foreword to a most interesting book by mystic Philip St. Romain called Kundalini Energy and Spirituality (KES).

Now, in KES Guru Keating said:

This book is the first description that I know of in Christian literature about the awakening of kundalini energy in a purely Christian context. Kundalini has long been known in Taoist, Hindu, and Buddhist spirituality. The fact that this complete awakening occurred in the context of a classical development of Christian prayer makes it an important contribution to East/West dialogue. Given the newness of the kundalini experience in Christian circles, however, any theological interpretation is bound to be tentative.

Reading the Christian mystics from the perspective of his own experience of kundalini energy, the author sees many examples of its working in the lives of Christian saints and mystics. Since this energy is also at work today in numerous persons who are devoting themselves to contemplative prayer, this book is an important contribution to the renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition. It will be a great consolation to those who have experienced physical symptoms arising from the awakening of kundalini in the course of their spiritual journey, even if they have not experienced it to the full extent described by the author. His compelling testimony is a powerful affirmation of the potential of every human being for higher states of consciousness.

Let me ask you to consider this: Do you seriously think these men of the Emergent Church, e.g. Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones and Brian McLaren didn’t know these kinds of things when they got involved with this movement? What better playing field could they possibly have for a theological agenda of uniting all religions through transcendental mediation than an “evangelical” movement with a neo-orthodox (at best) view of Scripture and so-called “Christian” mysticism as its core doctrine for spirituality.

As we return to OMOH Guru Keating will go on to tell us that “I have noticed a significant increase in the number of persons experiencing psychic gifts in recent years.” As we move closer to the end of the Age of Grace this would not be unexpected. But perhaps you still think somehow that this contemplative spirituality infesting our Lord’s Church and your own pastors is somehow in line with the historic orthodox Christian faith.

Then I ask you to keep in mind that the spiritism that you are about to read is coming from a mystic monk in the apostate Church of Rome, yet another Living Spiritual Teacher, and further, Keating himself actually comes recommended to us by Richard Foster, himself a Quaker who is busy teaching Reformation-denying “Christian” mysticism to the Body of Christ as an “evangelical. Chuck Swindoll, what in the world are you and other evangelical leaders thinking? Keating writes matter of factly:

In one year alone, I met six people with out-of-body- experiences. While asleep or praying they experienced leaving their body and moving around the house. One man living in Colorado unwittingly found himself in his old home in Massachusetts. No matter how powerful these parapsychological phenomena may be, we should not allow ourselves to be pulled off center by them or to be distracted from our time of prayer. If we wait patiently the phenomenon will pass. If we are doing centering prayer, we should return to the sacred word.

There are actually methods to develop direct control over physiological functions like our breath, heartbeat, and body temperature. I once heard about a young man who had been reading about controlled breathing. Although he knew how to stop breathing, unfortunately he had neglected to read the chapter on how to start breathing again. He never woke up. If you are interested in psychic phenomena, be sure to practice them under an approved master… In ways often undiscernible to human beings, God allows parapsychological phenomena to operate, or not to operate, as he sees fit (7,8).

But God the Holy Spirit says:

”When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a wizard or a necromancer, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD.

And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)