Lectio Divina, the new rage of the Emergent Church as they run pell mell back to Rome. The subject itself is very serious but sometimes laughter is much needed medicine to the soul. In this light, I’ve included a link here for your listening enjoyment. It is a satirical radio sketch of Rob Bell’s Lectio Divina by Marty Python’s Flying Circus Church which, if you have a sense of humor like mine, will not only give you a great laugh but also will, in a more serious way, reveal the foolishness and absurdity of this so-called spiritual practice. [Thanks to A Little Leaven!]
What is the whole papacy but a beautiful false front and a deceptively glittering holiness under which the wretched devil lies in hiding? The devil always desires to imitate God in this way. He cannot bear to observe God speaking. If he cannot prevent it or hinder God’s Word by force, he opposes it with a semblance of piety, takes the very words God had spoken and so twist them as to peddle his lies and poison under their name. (What Luther Says, II: 10007)
Since the papal church not only neglects the command of Christ but even compels the people to ignore it and to act against it, it is certain that it is not Christ’s church but the synagogue of Satan which prescribes sin and prohibits righteousness. It clearly and indisputably follows that it must be the abomination of Antichrist and the furious harlot of the devil. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)
The negotiation about doctrinal agreement displeases me altogether, for this is utterly impossible unless the pope has his papacy abolished. Therefore avoid and flee those who seek the middle of the road. Think of me after I am dead and such middle-of-the-road men arise, for nothing good will come of it. There can be no compromise. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)
Read the rest of the article here.
Chris Rosebrough is tackling an unbelievable issue that has crept into the church: The continued march backward into Romanism by supposed Evangelicals (some of which are the golden calves of Americanized Christianity) through the use of monastic meditation practices. He addresses this in his post Purpose-Driven Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism (which is where I obtained the quotes below).
Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism is becoming all the rage among innovative post-modern purpose-driven pastors. Practices developed by Roman Catholic Monks such as the Lectio Divina, The Practice of the Presence of God and the Prayer Examen which was created by on [sic] of the arch enemies of the Protestant Reformation, Ignatius Loyola are openly being promoted by an alarming number of seeker-driven / Purpose-Driven pastors. These so-called ’spiritual disciplines’ are being featured at Willow Creek, Saddleback, and Mars Hill to name just a few.
Rosebrough examines an absolutely astonishing sermon from seeker-sensitive pastor Scott Hodge who teaches his whole congregation that practicing the mystical Lecito Divina (like eating at a five-star restaurant) is somehow better than reading the Scriptures for yourself without the magical formula (like eating McDonalds). This is unbelievable when you consider Hodge is considered an evangelical protestant. What in the world did Luther break from Romanism for if this guy is directing his people to place the yoke back upon their necks and return to the bondage of Rome’s dead religion?
Let me be clear here, Pastor Scot Hodge is not promoting meditative practices similar to Lecito Divina, he’s promoting Lecito Divina itself. He spends the overwhelming majority of his sermon singing its praises and he even walks his whole congregation through a Lecito Divina session that will make your hair stand on end (for those familiar with Eastern mysticism and New Age practices).
To hear this unbelievable “sermon” and Rosebrough’s commentary with it, you can download it by right clicking here. It starts at 1:08:08 into the podcast.
While listening to this sermon, keep in mind that this Roman Catholic mystical practice was developed by men who did not believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone by Christ’s work alone. These monks were trying to earn their salvation through their monkery. These practices are not taught in the scriptures. Neither Jesus, his disciples, the prophets nor the patriarchs practiced Lectio Divina. This Roman Catholic practice is pure monastic mythology and spiritual fantasy and rather than helping you experience God, it is more likely that you will experience self deception or demonic spirits.
For those unfamiliar with Scott Hodge, DefCon dealt with him back in 2007 when his video mocking the sacred ordinance of baptism was making its rounds on the internet. You can check out our previous post on Scott Hodge in the post Narcissism Gone Wild.
The fact that seeker-driven and Purpose-Driven pastors are adopting Roman Catholic Monastic practices in droves proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that chasing after relevance has caused them to abandon Biblical truth and they are now being blown about by every wind of false doctrine. (Eph. 4:7-19) Sadly, this is what happens when you try to marry the church to the ’spirit of the age’.
This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan and scheme and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, “How will this affect their souls?”
– J.C. Ryle
1816 – 1900
As we all know Haiti has suffered a catastrophic earthquake that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, where countless additional lives hang in the balance due to lack of water, food and medical care. What many may not know though is that Haiti is a nation in darkness, spiritual darkness as it is largely given over to Voodoo and has been for years.
Before continuing, what exactly is Voodoo? According to Dictionary.com, it is said to be:
A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of slaves from West Africa, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.1
From the same source, animism is said to be:
1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena. 2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that are separable or separate from bodies.2
So we can see that “Voodoo grew out of the animist religions [which were] brought to the country by [African] slaves.” This religion “…was then overlaid by the Catholicism of the plantation owners … [which] led in many places to syncretism, or fusing, of the two belief systems.” 3 A fusing that has given Haiti its dominant syncretistic religion that mixes Catholicism and Voodoo; a religion it has practiced for hundreds of years.
But Voodoo was never a recognized religion in Haiti even though most practiced it in one form or another. All of this changed in 2003 when Voodoo was “…recognised as a religion on a par with others worshipped in the country.” 4 This formal recognition was done by Haiti’s President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
A godly nation would have wept at such a decision, but not so in Haiti since it is said that “…over 90% of Haitians are voodooisant.”5 Voodoo being a religion that is practiced in the open and in the home “…where each family has their own collection of household gods, many of them Catholic saints. In many households, it sits comfortably alongside a family’s Catholic observance.”6 Catholic observance that is not merely winked at but supported as the “…Catholic church officially backs the right of families to practise voodoo.”7 How accommodating of the Vatican!
Yet there is hope for the people of Haiti even in the midst of such unimaginable suffering. Hope that will not be found in Voodoo any more than it will be in Catholicism. Rather, the hope is in Jesus Christ, the light of the world that came to destroy the works of the devil and darkness; the very works that Voodoo glorifies and embodies. Jesus can set the people of Haiti free but it must be the Jesus as revealed in the Scriptures and not the idols of Catholicism or the “Eucharist Jesus” which lead not to freedom but more bondage.
Thankfully, the gospel message is being preached in Haiti as there are believers and missionaries there. Individuals who obviously need our prayers and support not only due to their physical sufferings, but also the spiritual darkness that covers their land. We can only hope that the earthquake will engender godly fear in the people whereby they repent lest a worse thing happen unto them.
Below I have included a few videos for the readers of DefCon to get better educated on Haiti so you can properly pray for the people of this land. Note that the first two videos show demonic posession. If you only watch one video, please make sure it is the last one.
1 – “voodoo.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 29 Jan. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/voodoo>.
2 – “animism.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 29 Jan. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/animism>.
3 – Gledhill, Ruth. “Voodoo faith ‘could hinder Haiti’s recovery from quake’.” TIMESONLINE January 15, 2010. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6990002.ece
4 – BBC News. “Haiti makes voodoo official.” BBC News April 30, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2985627.stm
5 – Ibid.
6 – Gledhill, Ruth. “Voodoo faith ‘could hinder Haiti’s recovery from quake’.”
7 – Ibid.
So what do you do when you’re preaching to a church full of people and you want to persuade them to believe that a sin (that’s clearly defined in Scripture) isn’t really a sin?
Well, if you’re Jay Bakker, you first go for the shock of it all then follow it up with making the congregation feel stupid. If that doesn’t work, make them feel guilty. And if that still doesn’t work turn on the tears to manipulate their emotions.
And what do you do if none of this works? If you’re the Sundance Channel you make a short video of the incident, insert some sentimental music at just right spot, and make it available to upload to YouTube.