Capture Wolf in sheep's clothing - Photobucket

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” (2 Peter 2:1)

**UPDATED AND COMPLETED Wednesday 2:53 p.m. 5/20/15** I may add more at a later time, but because I have many other things that I’d like to  share with you, I am calling this ‘complete’ for now so that I can move on to other things that I’m working on.

God bless you all. Have a blessed day as you keep your focus on Jesus and not on the problems and discouragements of life.

Welcome to the first post in a new Category of posts that I have entitled, ‘False Teacher Friday – Learning The Importance of Being a Berean.’ Lord willing, once every month or so, I will be presenting you with information that you need to be aware of concerning certain popular Christian teachers or pastors, and information concerning some teachers or pastors that are not so well known. Their teachings will be misleading at the least, and heretical at the worst. If embraced, some of these teachings will lead you to a wrong understanding of Scripture, and others will lead you away from Biblical truth and the true Jesus Christ and into the world of mysticism and the occult.

Some of the teachers that I will be writing about will not be completely false, which is why their false teachings often go unnoticed, and this is what makes them so extremely dangerous. Their teachings can be over 97% Biblical truth, but if just that little bit of error is overlooked because we are not testing what they say in light of Scripture as God’s Word shows us we need to be doing (Acts 17:11), then slowly we will be led astray because we have placed our trust in man, instead of in God and the truth of His Word. One day we will all stand before God, and each of us will be responsible for what we choose to believe as truth. If we clearly refuse to test the teachings of those we listen to in light of Scripture and ignore the many warnings that God has given us about false teachers and how some of them would arise from among us and we end up being led astray, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Some of these pastors and teachers that I will be writing about may be at the very top of your ‘Favorite List,’ but if you truly love Jesus and the truth of His Word, then you will be willing to hear the truth as hard as it may be for you to hear it at first. I am expecting to lose some followers to this blog because of what I may be writing in the days and months ahead, but as a Christian who loves God and His Word and who desires to please God and not man, and as a Christian who desires to expose error and wake Christians up to the extreme importance of being followers of Jesus Christ and not being a follower of any man (or woman) and their ministry, I must speak out and not remain silent. All I ask is that you would please pray for discernment, read and listen to all the information that I will be sharing with you, and examine the Scriptures to see if what these pastors and teachers say is true or not. The decision you make next will be entirely up to you. But you can never say, “No one cared enough to warn me.”

Now for today’s False Teacher alert:

 

 LEARNING HOW SPIRITUAL DECEPTION IS ENTERING THE CHURCH

WARNING CONCERNING CURT THOMPSON

Curt Thompson is a psychiatrist and an author, and specializes in the field of Neuroscience. He is also a professing Christian.

Just in case the following video gets taken down one day, here’s a ‘quick capture’ I took of the video, and I typed out every word that he said in the following video for you, as well. (Emphasis in red is mine). I’d strongly advise you to pray for God to protect you spiritually before reading his words and listening to the video below.

While I watched the video, many concerns began to fill my mind. Pray for discernment and test what he says in light of Scripture, and see what concerns come to your mind before you read what I have shared with you below.

Capture Curt Thompson - Anatomy of the Soul Spiritual Exercise - YouTube

 

 “So…I’m going to invite you to do something with me right now. It’s gonna take just maybe two minutes…two or three minutes, and then we’re going to wrap up. I want you to close your eyes. Don’t be afraid. You’ll all still look the same when you ww…when you open your eyes. Okay? [Note: My thoughts – Sounded like he was going to say, “When you (ww)wake up,” but caught himself and change his mind for fear of revealing he was actually using hypnosis on them.] “Why don’t you take a deep breath. Why don’t you take another one…one more.  And right now I going to invite you to allow your mind to imagine, being in a place that you find to be comfortable, and comforting, peaceful…it could be anywhere…wherever you want it to be. (Pause) And as you’re in that place, and for some of us it may take us…a little longer to get there that it will for others…I want you to…now allowfor the presence of God…to join youin any way…your imagination…allows…to happen. (Short pause). I want you to…take a look at your surroundings. I want you to view that, I want you to sense that, be attentive to that; see it, smell it, feel it…And in that place…where you are…I want you to allow yourself to hear God telling you this, “You, are My son, whom I love. And…in him I ‘m very well please. I am so pleased  you’re on the earth. You are My daughter…and I love you. (Short pause) I’m so pleased you’re on the earth.” I want you  just to sit with that… for just a moment more…and allow God to tell you…that. And  I want you to pay attention…to what this moment…feels like. (Pause) And now I’m going to invite you to just slowly…when  you’re ready…but not before…just to simply allow…your attention…to be drawn back to this room, leaving that place, but knowing that that place is not leaving you. (Short pause) And when you’re ready,  feel free to open your eyes. (Pause) We who are followers of Jesus, believe that  He is in this place. And in that moment, He has made Himself plain to us all. This is no joke. This is real. And your brains have been changed. Because God is serious about doing that.  And He meets us in these ways and places. I want to suggest that if you were to do that exercise…that exercise took us three minutes. You do that exercise every day for the next six weeks, your life will be different.”

What you have just witnessed is one of the spiritual disciplines that is being highly promoted these days throughout Christian circles in Spiritual Formation classes. Spiritual Formation focuses on different spiritual practices/exercises and disciplines that supposedly help Christians develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. In reality, practices like the one you just saw lead Christians away from coming to know God through His Word because it has them focusing on having ‘experiences’ with God instead.

The ‘exercise’ that Curt Thompson just demonstrated in the above video is referred to as ‘visualization’ or ‘guided imagery’ in New Age Mysticism. In “Christian” ‘spiritual formation,’ as Curt Thompson would probably classify this so-called “exercise,” a person, who is sometimes referred to as a ‘spiritual director,’ will attempt to guide your thoughts to lead you to imagine you are some place quiet and peaceful and then he or she will have you focus on your surroundings and sometimes have you imagine you are in a certain passage of Scripture. The person/”spiritual director” may, for example, try and tell you that you see Jesus standing there, and you hear the waves of the Jordan River, and you smell the fish cooking over the fire, and you feel the breeze coming off the Jordan River, etc.  It’s an attempt to have you disengage your critical thinking process, and instead have you engage all your senses and “allow” the ‘spiritual director’ to have control over your thoughts. Thus the reason for their continued use of the term “allow.” Those who practice hypnosis know that they can do nothing unless they have your permission; they want you to completely and willingly surrender control of your mind so that they can manipulate your thinking while they give you commands through their ‘guided imagery‘ and ‘visualization‘ techniques.

Curt Thompson has them engage their senses during this exercise by telling them to “see it, smell it, feel it…allow yourself to hear God telling you…” These practices that lead people to ‘engage their senses’ are also popular in the Emergent/Emerging Church movement. (See video on the ‘Emergent Church’ under “RELATED VIDEOS,’ as well as all the other videos I posted for you, to learn more).

TESTING WHAT CURT THOMPSON SAID IN LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE

With a hypnotic tone to his voice, Curt Thompson spoke very slowly to those in attendance at this ‘chapel service.’ He said things like, “I’m going to invite you to do something with me right now…” “allow your mind to imagine being in a place…” “allow for the presence of God to join you in any way your imagination allows to happen,” “allow yourself to hear God telling you,” “allow God to tell you that,” “Now I’m going to invite you to just slowly…allow your attention to be drawn back to this room…”

Let’s look at what God’s Word has to say about our imagination, since Curt Thompson is definitely encouraging people to  use their imagination in these so-called ‘exercises.’  The following verse  is one of the first verses that my very first Bible study teacher had us memorize:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

MORE ON WHAT GOD’S WORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT OUR IMAGINATION

 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

“And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21)

“And the LORD said, “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Genesis 11:6)

“Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devises  which ye wrongfully imagine against me.” (Job 21:27)

“Why do the heather rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1)

“These six things doth hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart which deviseth wicked imaginations…” (Proverbs 6:16-18)

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.” (Jeremiah 7:24)

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:20-23)

As you can see, God does not have anything good to say about our imaginations, which is why we are to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are also told in Philippians 4 to:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV 1973,1978,1984)

Nowhere in Scripture did Jesus have His disciples close their eyes and imagine they were in a quiet place. When Jesus prayed, He spoke to His Father. Yes, oftentimes He withdrew from the crowds to be alone with His Father to pray, but Scripture shows us that He always spoke words and did not silently sit and visualize that He was somewhere else imagining being with His Father, nor did He ever instruct His disciples to do such things!

This is frightening! It doesn’t matter what ‘Christian’ terminology may be used during a session like this, the bottom like is there is no difference between these types of exercises and New Age ‘visualization’ and ‘guided imagery’ practices, and a Christian should completely avoid taking part in anything like this! If you ever hear your pastor or teacher tell you to ‘close your eyes,’ or to ‘take deep breaths,’ or ‘focus on your breath,’ or tells you to ‘imagine being in a quiet, peaceful place,’ or somewhere other than where you actually are, etc., a red flag should immediately pop up as a warning sign to you! These are basic steps meant to guide you into altered states of consciousness where your mind will be opened to suggestions by the ‘spiritual director,’ pastor, teacher, etc.

We must never give anyone our permission to have control over our thoughts and our minds! Except for the Holy Spirit, of course!

Now I’d like to draw your attention to Curt Thompson’s comments during this ‘exercise’ when he said:

“Allow yourself to hear God telling you this, “You are My son whom I love. And in him I’m very well pleased.”

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard him say that, was the fact that these were almost the exact words that God the Father said to God the Son, Jesus Christ, in Mark 1:11 when He was baptized by John in the Jordan River:

“As Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10,11)

Curt Thompson continues on by saying:

“I am so pleased you’re on the earth. You are my daughter…and I love you. I’m so pleased you’re on the earth.”

Another concern that crossed my mind as I heard him say that is: What if some of the students in that particular chapel service were not Christians. By hearing Curt Thompson suggest that God is saying those things to them would easily allow students who have not repented of their sins and placed their trust in Jesus’ propitiatory sacrifice on the cross as full payment for their sins to rest in a false sense of peace and lull them into believing that they are accepted by God just as they are. Some of them possibly may have never even heard the gospel and therefore may not realize that they are sinners in need of a Savior. If a practice is done like this amongst Christians, not only is it unbiblical and occultic, but also it is presenting “another gospel” with no power whatsoever to save.

I’m sorry, but the Jesus that a person may encounter during sessions like this will not be the Jesus of the Bible! God would never want us to participate in practices that are clearly done in Hindu and Buddhist religions, and practices like this are not forms of Biblical meditation and prayer.

I am sure Curt Thompson is probably a very wonderful man.  In the beginning of the many videos that I watched of him in order to do research for this post, I heard him proudly share the fact that he has been married for many years. As of the time of a certain video that I watched that was published in July 2013 he said he had been married for over 26 1/2 years, which is a remarkable and rare thing these days, and it also says a lot about his commitment and his character! However, we as Christians must base whom we choose to listen to as our teachers to be much more than just men and women of good character. First and foremost their teachings must line up with God’s Word and not compromise or contradict it in any way!

One question we must ask concerning Curt Thompson is, “How do the teachings of  Neuroscience compare to Biblical Christianity?” That was my main concern as I watched the above video, and I continued my search for more information to find the answer to that question.

Besides leading those who were attending  the chapel service that day in the unbiblical ‘exercise‘ using their imaginations, these were the most troubling things that I heard him say:

“We who are followers of Jesus, believe that  He is in this place. And in that moment, He has made Himself plain to us all. This is no joke. This is real. And your brains have been changed. Because God is serious about doing that.  And He meets us in these ways and places. I want to suggest that if you were to do that exercise…that exercise took us three minutes. You do that exercise every day for the next six weeks, your life will be different.”

It’s quite obvious that he is not joking about what he said. However, the God of the Bible does notmeet us in these ways and places” because these practices are rooted in eastern religions. Therefore, it seems to me that he is presenting “another Jesus” and “another gospel.” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4, Galatians 1:6-9)  Is he? How do the teachings of Neuroscience compare to Biblical truth and to the gospel? In my search for information to answer those very questions, I first found the following videos:

‘CURT THOMPSON: NEUROPLASTICITY AND SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES’

Please pray for discernment as you read and listen. This is most of what he had to say in the following video:

“The term Neuroplasticity really refers to the capacity of neurons to flexibly change.” 

“And as it turns out, Neurons are far more flexible than we ever thought they were. And by flexibility, by Neuroplasticity, or the neurons capacity to be flexible, plastic or malleable, we mean the following. First of all that neurons are able of regeneration.”

“All three of these things — regeneration, growth in length and diameter, and growth in density of connection — means that our mind has the capacity for doing things even after damage that we didn’t think it could do before. What does that have to do with Spiritual Transformation? We like to say that, in the brain, nothing changes without neurons changing. If I learn a new thing, if I put a new practice into a disciplined place, all of those things require the redirection of neurons to do things that they weren’t doing before. Neuroplasticity is something that we want to enhance in order to make that flexibility more accessible. Things like spiritual disciplines; fasting, confession, prayer, solitude, and so forth, do a couple of things. One, they open our awareness to things that our mind is sensing, feeling, evoking, that we typically are not paying attention to. If I am now paying attention to these new things, I’m asking my brain’s neurons to do things they weren’t doing before. And as such, I open up windows into connecting functions of my mind; experiences of my mind that were not being connected before. And so, the flexibility of Neuroplasticity, is, in some respects, almost interchangeable with Spiritual Formation. You can’t really talk about Spiritual Formation without invoking the activity of Neuroplasticity.”

 Even though Curt Thompson shared a lot of interesting things about the brain and neurons in the above video, it seemed to me by what he said that he was forgetting all about the miraculous transforming power of the Holy Spirit to change a person’s life, and making it all about man’s ability to achieve transformation by incorporating ‘spiritual disciplines‘ to bring change to our brain’s neurons and thus bring change to our habits and lives. If so, this indeed is “another gospel” that has no power to save.

Notice also his focus on ‘spiritual disciplines‘ and how he says they “open our awareness to things that our mind is sensing, feeling, evoking…” Instead of him saying, ‘If a Christian reads God’s Word it will bring about spiritual transformation,’ he focuses on leading Christians into having ‘experiences’ as you saw demonstrated in the very first video. 

In order to dig deeper into what else he teaches, I continued to search for more videos, and found this one:

‘CURT THOMPSON: A PATHWAY TO TRANSFORMATION’

Please continue to pray for discernment before you read and listen. Here again is most of what he said in the following video:

“We are much more likely to embody behavioral change, when what we are doing with our bodies…whether that means…what I’m saying, what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, what I’m acting…if those things make sense to me.”

“And so, for example, if someone says to me, “The more you pay attention to certain things, the more you establish that those things will become more permanent not just in your thinking, but literally in your brain,” and then I’m invited to pay attention to other things that can change the nature of how my brain is wired, I’m much more likely to do that, especially if you give me concrete practices such as meditation practices, for example,  that can change the way my brain is wired. Those, and many other elements of Neuroscience I think become grist for the mill where by which I can begin to make sense out of why I do what I do.”

“The reason we even talk about wanting transformation is because at some point in our life we can look around and say,   “My life is doing things that I wish it weren’t doing, and I want that to be different in very concrete practical ways. How can I make that happen.” We hear preached, we hear taught all the time things  like, “Be renewed, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I have no idea what that means in real life.

As I listened to all that he said in this video many Scriptures came to mind, as well as the thought that what he described sounded more like ‘behavior modification.

 

The reason someone might say, “my life is doing things that I wish it weren’t doing,” as Curt Thompson suggests that some may say, is not because of  “the nature of how our brains are wired,” as he suggests, but because of the sinful nature within all of us that can only be changed through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit by first coming to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and through the renewing of our minds (something that he claims he has a hard time understanding what that means) through the reading of God’s Word. Let’s look at some Scriptures to find the truth in God’s Word concerning all of this, and pray that Curt Thompson will one day come to understand the truth that is presented in God’s Word:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” 

“Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”

“Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 7:12-25 – 8:1-17 )

 

‘CURT THOMPSON: SPIRITUALITY, NEUROPLASTICITY, AND PERSONAL GROWTH (FULL INTERVIEW)’

 

‘CURT THOMPSON: PREACHING THE GOSPEL

IN THE LANGUAGE OF NEUROSCIENCE’

In the following video, Curt Thompson mentions the names of a few people that I had never heard of before. After searching and finding information on them, the evidence became even more clear that he was indeed promoting mindfulness meditation, contemplative prayer, etc.

At the 7:43 minute mark in the above video, he asks,

“How many of you know of Brene’ Brown’s work?”

Upon searching for information on Brene’ Brown I found this. Need I say more? :/

Continuing on with more of what I discovered while listening to Curt Thompson’s video: At the 8:19 minute mark he said the following:

“You may not know this, but, starting tomorrow there is a major conference at UCLA being run by my good friend, and a number of others called, ‘How People Change.’ Dan Siegel and his friends are running this program…” ‘How People Change – Relationships and Neuroplasticity in Psychotherapy.’

Here’s some of the information that I found on Curt Thompson’s “good friend,” Dan Siegel. Note the very last thing I included in the ‘quick capture’ below, which says:

July 31 – August 1  Rhinebeck NY  Omega: Mindfulness & Education Conference: Bringing Mindfulness Practice to Children Grades K – 12

Capture Curt Thompson mentioned Dan Siegel who promotes mindfulness

 

In the following video, Buddhism is clearly spoken about. Dan Siegel first talks with Jack Cornfield who then leads the people in a ‘mindfulness meditation‘ exercise. Again, please pray for discernment and protection before you watch. Note the Buddha statue in the background:

 

I also found this very disturbing video in which, as you can see from the title, Dan Siegel presents a session of ‘Guided Meditation.’ I truly do not want to post this, and I could only bring myself to watch less than  thirty seconds of this video, but sometimes we need to make Christians aware of just how these New Age/New Spirituality occult practices are entering the church. Also, since Curt Thompson makes it clear that Dan Siegel is his “good friend,” then I see this as related and very important information to add to this post to establish my valid concerns about him. I strongly urge you to pray for God’s protection and discernment if you choose to watch this video.

Realizing that Curt Thompson is a frequent speaker at Biola University by watching many of his videos, I decided to check out Biola’s website:

Capture Biola University - Curt Thompson - Psychiatrist and Author - About

Not only did I want to see what other information I could find on Biola’s website concerning Curt Thompson, but also I wanted to see who else they invited to speak there, and what subjects they chose to speak about.

In the ‘quick capture‘ I posted for you below, the video entitled How Mindfulness Can Change Your Brain‘ captured my attention. Once again, I saw it as a confirmation of Curt Thompson’s connection with the unbiblical practice of ‘mindfulness meditation.’ Sadly, these new age/new spirituality practices are taught at many ‘Christian’ colleges these days, and we as parents must make our children aware of these spiritually deceptive practices and make them realize the importance of testing things in light of Scripture so they will not be deceived and led astray from Biblical truth.

Capture Biola University - Curt Thompson - A Pathway to Transformation

Not recognizing who the man was that is pictured in the ‘Mindfulness’ video, I discovered that his name is Jeffrey Schwartz:

Even though Biola U invites some well respected Christians to speak there such as Alistair Begg, as you can see from the ‘quick capture’ below, they also have  speakers  such as Richard Rohr and Ruth Haley Barton (Lord willing, I will be sharing information on them with you at a later time) that would cause many discerning Christians to become very concerned because of their strong promotion of the unbiblical, mystical practice of Contemplative Prayer, among other things.

Capture Biola University - Richard Rohr and Ruth Haley Barton

In my search for more information, I also came across this excellent article in PDF form which was written by Callie W T Jobert —  Mindfulness and the Brain – A Christian Critique of Some Aspects of Neuroscience

 Reading that information again confirmed my hunch that Curt Thompson teaches New Age ‘mindfulness meditation.’ I only recently learned about this form of meditation mainly from the teachings of two Christians in particular who were once deeply entrenched in the New Age Movement  –Warren B Smith, and Marcia Montenegro.

REINVENTING JESUS CHRIST: MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – WARREN B SMITH

MINDFULNESS: NO-MIND OVER MATTER – MARCIA MONTENEGRO – CHRISTIAN ANSWERS FOR THE NEW AGE

MORE ON MINDFULNESS: NEVER MIND THE MIND – MARCIA MONTENEGRO – CHRISTIAN ANSWERS FOR THE NEW AGE

 Just the other day as I was going through some things that I had previously written but decided for one reason or another not to post on my blog, I came across something that was  absolutely perfect for this post! Back in 2012 I had written  something about Steven Furtick and I had added a Playlist to this post that I put together on my YouTube channel that I entitled, “Christian Brothers and Sisters! Are You Being Deceived?‘  In this ‘Playlist’ I not only had many videos concerning Steven Furtick, but I also had many videos about ‘Contemplative Prayer,’ and many others things because I always try to alert Christians to the importance of testing things in light of Scripture. To my amazement I discovered that the very first video that I had added to this Playlist is the one you see below! In this video, beginning at the :27 second mark, you will hear Curt Thompson clearly mention ‘meditation‘ and ‘Centering Prayer.’ Again, please pray for discernment, and test what he says in light of Scripture. In part, he said the following:

“…when people meditate in Centering Prayer exercises, for instance, that the density of neurons that are lighting up in the prefrontal cortex change over time and become more dense. So we know that when people become new in that sense, this is really something happening in the brain. It’s not just a metaphor, it’s not just in the abstract. When we who follow Jesus say things like, “When we are in Christ we are a new creations,” what I’m suggesting is that even though St. Paul wasn’t a Neuroscientist, that this is exactly what he’s talking about. That this is real change, that is concrete, that is measurable, and it tells us that God’s not really kidding when He’s creating newness within us. “And this kind of concrete change is the kind of change that we’re now looking for that gives us some hope in some sense that, yes, there is real transformation that’s taking place, in my mind and that when I have the mind of Christ, when my mind is being transformed, that’s no longer just…language. That’s real things that are happening in real bodies.” (Emphasis in red is mine).

‘ANATOMY OF THE SOUL: WHAT DOES IT MEAN’


If you’d like to watch the whole Playlist of 63 videos (at last count), here it is:

 

Here’s some more solid evidence that Curt Thompson is not only promoting New Age/New Spirituality meditation, but also he is completely distorting God’s Word. This is an excerpt from his book, ‘ANATOMY OF THE SOUL.’

Capture Curt Thompson - Anatomy of the Soul - portion from his bookSOURCE

Now let’s look at Scripture and discover what God has to say about meditation and prayer:

Psalms 1:1-6 – Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.   (Read More…)

“But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

“My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.” (Psalm 49:3)

“When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches.” (Psalm 63:6)

“My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”        (Psalm 104:34)

Psalms 119:1-127 – ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.   (Read More…)

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.        (Psalm 119:11)

“I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.”           (Psalm 119:15)

“My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:48)

“O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97)

“Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on Thee]: because he trusteth in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (note: The NIV version uses anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9)

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7)

“And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And He said unto them, “When ye pray, say,” (Luke 11:1,2a)

SOURCE (King James Bible Online)

Prayer and meditation for Christians is not going through a process of blanking our thoughts out of our minds by repeating a word over and over. Nor is it a process by which we close our eyes and imagine being in a peaceful place and allowing God to say things to us as Curt Thompson suggests that Christians do as demonstrated in the very first video that I posted for you. As you can see from these verses, Biblical meditation is Christians simply filling their minds with the truth of God’s Word and using our minds to dwell upon the truths presented in Scripture.

And prayer for a Christian is having the amazing privilege of coming before the very throne of God and being able to express not only our love and appreciation to Him, but also being able to express our concerns that weigh heavily upon our hearts to Him instead of worrying about the overwhelming things we face in life, and trusting that He will  work things out in His way and in His timing for our good and for His glory.

A FEW EXAMPLES OF PRAYER IN SCRIPTURE

1) ELISHA – “And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see. Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17)

2) HEZEKIAH – “And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth…” (2 Kings 19:15)

3) DAVID –  Expressed his heart in words to God in many of the Psalms: “Save me, O God by Your name; vindicate me by your might. Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 54:1,2)

“Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught…” (Psalm 55:1,2)

4) JONAH – In the belly of the fish: “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and You listened to my cry.” (Jonah 2:1,2)

5) DANIEL – “I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “LORD, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments…” (Daniel 9:4)

6) JESUS – on the Mount of Olives: “He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me, yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:41,42) 

He prays for Himself: “After Jesus said this, He looked up toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (John 17:1-3)

7)PAUL AND SILAS – “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them…” (Acts 16:25)

IN CLOSING

Time does not permit me to go into all the concerns that I have about what Curt Thompson said in the videos I shared with you. Let me just once again stress to you that these forms of spiritual practices are leading many astray because they are preaching a false gospel that leads people to believe that man has the ability within himself to bring change to his behavior by means other than by repenting and coming to Jesus Christ as a sinner in need of a Savior, and being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and by having our minds renewed by reading the truth of God’s Word. We are all wretched sinners in need of a Savior, and there is no other hope for man outside of Jesus Christ.

To Curt Thompson’s credit I did hear him share with his audience in one of his video presentations that he is a sinner. However, as I have demonstrated to you by his own words and by all the information that I added to this post, his main focus in his presentations is on telling people that by practicing these exercises (which are unbiblical and rooted in the occult) the neurons in our brains will begin to change, and this will bring change to our thinking and our behavior. This is not the gospel! The only way we can come to Him is with godly sorrow in our hearts because of the sin in our lives, and we will find and receive His mercy and His amazing grace and be transformed by His Spirit. Then, and only then will we have the ability to obey because we will have His Holy Spirit within us. We now have the power to choose to walk by the Spirit and not our flesh and we obey out of love and appreciation for what Jesus did for us when He took all of God’s wrath upon Himself and died in our place, satisfying God’s wrath that He has towards us because of our sins. God then sees us covered with the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ, and our sins are as far as the east is from the west, and they are cast into the depths of the sea never to be remembered again. (Philippians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:18, Psalm 103:11,12, Isaiah 43:25, 1 John 1:9, Micah 7:18,19, Romans 4:7,8)

We can come to know Him in a very real way through reading His Word, not by seeking to have ‘experiences’ that will only lead us away from Him and into spiritual deception and bondage.

When we place our trust in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation and if we choose to live our lives to please God and not man, when our life on earth comes to an end I can say by the authority of the Word of God that we will then hear Him speak to us. Those of us who are true followers of Jesus Christ and live to honor Him long to hear these words:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

RELATED SCRIPTURES

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-5)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7: 13-15)

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men. after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4)

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.  As we have already said, so now I say again:  If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:3-9)

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”        (1 Timothy 4:1)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when  men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 3:16,17-4:1-4)

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:6-8)

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoid profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace [be] with thee. Amen.”      (1 Timothy 6:20,21)

“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)

“But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)

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