[Excerpt from Crept In Unawares: Mysticism by Heath Henning]

 

In chapter six of The Pursuit of God, entitled “the Speaking Voice,” A.W. Tozer repeats the most common verse out of contexts to teach silence to hear God’s voice.

To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence….
The Bible will never be a living Book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe…. A man… is a victim of a divided psychology. He tries to think of God as mute everywhere else and vocal only in a book.1)A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Christian Publications Inc., 1982, 1993, p. 73-74

This interpretation of Psalms 46:10 is marked in Walter Martin’s Cult Reference Bible as “Eastern/Occultic”2)Walter Maritn, Walter Martin’s Cults Reference Bible (KJV), Vision House Publishers, 1981, p. 498 to indicate how it is commonly used out of context. C. Murray Rogers, an Anglican priest involved with interfaith dialogue took to the experience based religion of the Eastern mysticism.

One great gift of my brothers and sisters in Asia, in the families of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, is to convince me that we dare not stop with words or concepts, that the eidos level is a false halting-place. Only the “knowledge of God”, the vision of God, in the biblical sense of deep experience, counts…. To know about God, to talk about God, to preach about prayer, is very different from knowing God, from tasting and practicing contemplative prayer.3)C. Murray Rogers, “On the Pilgrim Path,” Tosh Arai and Wesley Ariarajah, ed., Spirituality in Interfaith Dialogue, Orbis Books, 1989, p. 15

Also casting away proper hermeneutics by taking the poetic language of Scriptures for literal experiences, Tozer convinces his readers that through the five senses, Christians are capable of knowing God closer.

What can all this mean except that we have in our hearts organs by means of which we can know God as certainly as we know material things through our familiar five senses?…
And this not by any trick of the imagination but in downright actuality. The soul has eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear. Feeble they may be from long disuse, but by the life-giving touch of Christ they are now alive and capable of sharpest sight and most sensitive hearing….
A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel God, who is our life and our all.4)A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Christian Publications Inc., 1982, 1993, p. 47, 53-54

An “actual” ability to “know God” with our “five senses” is to “inwardly feel God” which he identifies as “God-consciousness” to become “our all.”
The purpose of this form of Eastern meditation in the Eastern religions is to become aware of your deity (god-consciousness) and that of nature’s deity (pantheism) and to understand the union the individual has with nature (monism). It should therefore come to no surprise that Tozer presented similar conclusions. “God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works.”5)A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Christian Publications Inc., 1982, 1993, p. 55 This is the doctrine of panentheism – God is in all – and has been the middle ground between Christian apostates and the neo-pagan New Age movement, and will undoubtedly be the doctrine of antichrist’s world religion. Another individual involved with the interfaith dialogue explains that this panentheism is at the heart of contemplative practices. Swami Amaldas said, “Among the gifts given by God to India, the greatest is that of interiority, the awareness of the presence of God dwelling in the heart of every human person, which is fostered by prayer and meditation, by contemplative silence and the practice of yoga and sannyasa.”6)Swami Amaldas, “Interiority, Awareness and Realization,” Tosh Arai and Wesley Ariarajah, ed., Spirituality in Interfaith Dialogue, Orbis Books, 1989, p.32 William Johnston comment correlates with Tozer’s “God-consciousness,” saying:

…we imagine that we are separated from God, from the universe and from other people. And this small, separate self is illusory….
When I lose the consciousness of separation and isolation in order to embrace the consciousness of the all, I am reaching a state that Buddhism calls emptiness and Christianity calls humility.7)William Johnston, Letters to Contemplatives, Orbis Books, 1992, p. 68

The Emergent church has embraced this oneness with the all while rejecting the vicarious blood atonement of Christ.

We are being moved, as a community, beyond theories about atonement, to enter into atonement itself, or at-one-ment – the new reality and new relationship of oneness with God which Christ incarnated (in life, cross, and resurrection) and into which we are all invited “for all time.”8)Kare Ward, “The Emerging Church and Communal Theology,” in Robert Webber, Listening to the Beliefs of the Emergent Churches, Zondervan, 2007, p. 164, as cited by Roger Oakland, Faith Undone: the emerging church… a new reformation or an end-time deception, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2007, p. 217

Contemplative prayer is a major factor in the Emergent church. “On virtually every emerging church website I have seen and every emergent church book I have read, a full contemplative menu of mantra meditation, labyrinths, the silence, books by authors as Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, and so on, is offered.”9)Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind: the transformation of a new age medium and his warning to the church, second edition, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2005, p. 202 Many Emergent website mention Tozer to justify contemplative prayer among orthodox Protestants.
R. D. Clements warned, “Satan is quite capable of providing spiritual experiences for the undiscerning. And there is evidence that some, if not all, of the mystic experiences obtained by using Eastern meditative techniques are being exploited by Satan in this way.”10)R. D. Clements, God & the Gurus, Inter Varsity Press, 1975, p. 42 Brian Flynn asked, “Why would a method that has never brought any person of an Eastern religion to the truth of Christ bring a Christian closer to Christ?”11)Brian Flynn, Running Against the Wind: the transformation of a new age medium and his warning to the church, second edition, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2005, p. 177

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