"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
One of the first verses of Scripture I learned early in my Christian life was the one above. It was in Bible School, Central Bible College, Springfield, Mo. (1959) This verse was drilled home to everyone, everyday, all the time. I, a new Christian, wondered what this was all about. Why the emphasis? I could not imagine a Christian needing this verse of Scripture tattooed on their forearm, their forehead, their hand, their tongue, on their brain and everywhere else.
A Christian being delivered from death and brought to life surely doesn't need to be reminded of the saving power of our Lord Jesus every day all the time does he?
Since those days I discovered the preciousness of the above Scripture. Many, many times I have used the verse above. Many, many times I have turned to God when I felt like doing the other. Thank God, by His power, His providence, I called upon him again and again. Believe me, He has always been there (I know, some would say "right He is there", well, yes He is there, He is really there, for sure).
No book on positive thinking, of bondage breaking, of a great awakening, of post modernism, of the next reformation, of being purpose driven, or an emergent manifesto has had an effect on my life like 2 Chronicles 7:14 has. Yes I am His; yes, He has healed me, and yes I have had to humble myself, pray, and call on His Name. And, yes, He has made me well from my sickness this fallow ground, this heart that still needs work on.
This I know for sure, I would not trade being a Christian. I would not trade knowing God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit even if it meant adding one moment to my life here.
I drive by the spot where I became a Christian periodically. Each time a joy, a tearful joy comes to my heart. I cannot speak. I am overwhelmed at this regeneration I received that day. The day I first talked with God I remember like it was yesterday.
The following is an alert from a man burdened over the direction of the Assemblies of God denomination, the denominational school where 2 Chronicles 7:14 was drilled in my head.
This is hard to believe. A denomination committed to the Scriptures has decided being committed to Scripture is not enough or necessary. Should 2 Chronicles be tattooed on our hand, forearm, forehead, tongue, our brain? Yes, very definitely, it should. God forgive us of our sins, our churches, our pastors, our seminaries. Our theologians have disregarded Your Word. The Assemblies of God, full of the Holy Ghost people, are dependent on anything but the Holy Ghost today.
Contemplative Prayers Seminars at Central Assembly
Greetings in the Name of Our LORD Jesus Christ,
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 bigwigs 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!
NOTE: Brennan Manning's engagement at Central was cancelled 'due to [his] eye surgery.' You can verify this at Mr. Manning's own web site, BrennanManning.com. I have a screen capture of Manning's event web page as proof. And the point is not whether the event was held at Central but that it was even scheduled in the first place.
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 one's 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 one's 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.
Jim Bradford, you have polluted God's house and for that you will be judged. There will be consequences just like those listed in several places in Jeremiah for the pastors who lead His people astray. Please repent before your soul is required of you. I'd hate to be in your shoes if you died without repentance. And then God listed all the souls who were making Hell their eternal abode because you chose to follow another gospel besides the one outlined by Jesus Christ and Paul. And you influenced those souls into Hell.
What is it Jim? A big job or a bad judgment? Heady numbers or Hell next? Leadership books or learning your Bible? Read the story of Nathan the prophet talking to King David about murdering Uriah so he can commit adultery with Uriah's wife. Nathan's punchline to King David is eternally applicable to the man who has everything from God but decides that isn't good enough and gets sloppy in his walk. Jim Bradford, YOU are the man!
Members of Central Assembly, are you going to allow a man who converses with demons (Brennan Manning), and will be encouraging you to do so as well (clever servant of the Serpent [Mr. Manning won't say that is what he is doing or that you will be doing] he'll wrap his whole speech around Jesus, love and peace and emotionally appealing stories--all the while telling you damnable lies), to enter Central Assembly? Are you going to continue to retain as your pastor someone who either can't discern the truth from a lie or is living a lie right from your pulpit? God will not hold you guiltless if you do nothing! And for some of you, walking away without saying anything to the board, the pastor, and your pew neighbors is tantamount to doing nothing since you will be feeding your fellow congregation members to the wolves. I'm not saying don't leave. Central was way down the New Age path even before this. I'm am saying, if God is speaking to you to speak to "them" before you leave, then you must obey. Are you even listening for God's "still, small voice"? Or are we all more loyal to our churches and our A/G leadership than to God?
Even So Quickly Come LORD Jesus!
N.E. Mi. Ref. Soc.