Part 3: Why Christians should never practice Mindfulness or access any interventions that contravene the Scriptures:
God has the power to miraculously heal as evidenced many times throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, especially when Christ was on earth and during the establishment of the early New Testament church; ultimately, all healing is from the Lord but more often than not, God is pleased to employ means so it would be extremely foolish for a Christian not to avail of medical interventions based on scientific research as a cure for their physical maladies without very good reason. Having said this, God will never use means that contradict His Word because this would result in Him denying Himself and that would be utterly impossible. (2nd Timothy 2:13). Therefore, the employment of therapeutic psychological interventions or counselling that are based upon godless humanistic theories or Gnostic/mystical meditative practices as a means to treat emotional problems are totally out of bounds for Christians because they are contrary to God’s Word.
The Word of God is the Christians greatest Counsellor and another of the Lord’s appointed means for soothing His people’s troubled souls. The promotion and practice of Mindfulness within Christianity is tantamount to mixing Gnosticism, mysticism and human philosophy with Divine truth and such a mixture is abhorrent to the Lord.
“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13.
"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because the Truth is not in them" Isaiah 8:19-20.
Part of Christ’s condescension was to share in His peoples experience of fatigue, sorrow and pain, thus enabling Him to be touched by the feelings of our infirmities and qualifying Him to be our faithful High Priest (Hebrews 4:15); The Lord experienced what it was like to be plunged into the depths of deepest melancholy and despair during the three hours of darkness at Calvary, during which time He was brought to feel what it was like to be separated from His Father for the very first time in His eternal existence, although being the all-knowing God, He knew full well that this could never actually happen.
The Lord Jesus Christ, being deeply touched by the feelings of our infirmities, combined with His ability to know everything about us, is singularly qualified to minister to the malady of His people’s souls through His appointed means, which is God’s Word.
The Scriptures have the answer for every eventuality arising within a Christian’s life and with an infinite supply of God’s grace available, they are a most efficient means to help Christians cope with any stress, anxiety or low moods that may arise as a consequence of afflictions that the Lord may providentially permit within their lives.
There is little doubt that emotional problems are becoming more prevalent in society and among Christians. There may be a correlation with the sad fact that many professing Christians are neglecting the means of grace whereby they are enabled to grow in grace and in the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: The means of grace includes attending a place of worship where the Word is faithfully preached, Baptism, attendance at the Lord’s Supper and personal devotions that include reading, studying, meditating upon the Scriptures and prayer.
Neglect of the means of grace as ordained by the Lord will render a Christian vulnerable to being overwhelmed by the cares of this life and this will distract them from the Lord and His Word; this in turn, will deprive them of a sense of the Lord’s presence and the supply of God’s grace and peace within their lives that is brought to them through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2nd Peter 1:2-4. (emphasis ours)
Knowing that he cannot prevent a saved sinner from getting to heaven, Satan puts all of his energies into destroying a Christian’s testimony by distracting their thoughts away from the Lord, His Word and the means of grace, all of which are used by the Lord to help the Christian live a holy life, thus enabling them to shine before men and glorify Him. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon described Satan’s strategy this way: “He [Satan] will attack your steadfastness:..What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do." (Morning & Evening 26th May, PM).
Satan has perfected multiple ways to distract Christians perhaps by persuading them to spend excessive amounts of time on other things; for example, worldly pleasures, leisure activities, hobbies, pursuit of academic excellence (secular & theological), career ambitions, family or even an over involvement in church activities.
Mystical meditations, including Mindfulness, are a just a few of the many strategies used by Satan to induce Christians into a slumber so that they are distracted away from the Lord and His Word; as already mentioned within this article, distraction is no new weapon in Satan’s armoury as he first did this with Eve in the Garden of Eden but his repeated use of it throughout history has made him more skilled in its use; this is clearly evidenced with the introduction of Gnosticism into the early New Testament Church; the development of popery was one of Satan’s most successful strategies to distract from God’s Word and induce slumber; this was achieved through Rome’s emphasis on the traditions of men, monasticism and mysticism, resulting in such a suppression of gospel light that the minds of untold multitudes of souls were blinded during the Dark Ages and Satan continues this success to up until the present day through popery. (2nd Corinthians 4:4).
Recently there has been a huge increase in the number of people within professing Christendom practising Lectio Divina, Centring Prayer, Contemplative Prayer and Mindfulness etc, all of which, without exception, will divert a Christian’s attention away from God’s Word and the means of grace. Mystical meditative practices have no Scriptural authority whatsoever and they are expressly forbidden because they are rooted in occult Eastern beliefs. On the contrary, there are numerous verses throughout the Old and New Testaments encouraging God’s people to constantly meditate upon His Word and to keep His Word to the very forefront of their thoughts:
“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. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2;
“O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97;
“Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.” Job 22:22;
“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19;
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16.
The following verse highlights the importance that the Lord puts upon the retention of His Word within the hearts and minds of His people at ALL times, not in a literal sense as many Orthodox Jews continue to do at this time through the superstitious binding of Scripture verses to their foreheads and hands, but through exercise of the means of grace, whereby the Word of God is hidden in a Christian’s heart and mind and brought to their remembrance by the Holy Spirit so that the Word influences their every thought, motive, decision, and action:
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deuteronomy 6:9.
There are countless benefits for Christians who walk in the light of God’s Word and the following are just a few:
The Scriptures reveal Christ:
God’s people are strengthened and built up in their most holy faith when they are enabled by the Holy Spirit to behold Christ and all of His work on their behalf as foreshadowed in the Old Testament and explicitly revealed in the New Testament; unlike mystical meditation, biblical meditation requires the engagement of the intellect to facilitate a prayerful pondering upon God’s Word; with the help of the Holy Spirit, such study will open the Christian’s eyes to behold wonderful things out of His law. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18.
How could Mindfulness with its mystically induced sense of peace or calm ever exceed the peace of God that passes all understanding and may always be experienced regardless of a Christian’s adverse circumstances? Or what sense of a mystical ‘divine’ presence within or without of oneself could ever substitute the joy experienced by a Christian upon having Christ revealed unto them by the Holy Spirit when He opens up their understanding of the Scriptures?
“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:32.
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me…..For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.” John 5:39&46.
Abandonment of one’s thoughts in any shape or form is unscriptural and unsafe; contrariwise, Christians should continuously think upon God’s Word because all of their thoughts, desires, motives and actions need to be governed by the Word; they principally need to consider the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on their behalf: His incarnation; His perfect life of obedience; His substitutionary death at Calvary; His resurrection and His intercession and also take hold upon the promises contained throughout the Word.
Contemplation on Christ’s work and all the wonderful promises throughout His Word ought to fill Christians with thankfulness and praise and give them the grace needed to cope with whatever adverse circumstances God permits into their lives; consideration of Christ and His work on their behalf will not deliver Christians from passing through dark valleys or undergoing tribulations but it is one of the Scripturally appointed means whereby they will be helped to endure their trials, experiences that will eventually come to an end, if not in this life then most definitely in the next. “….Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” Psalm 30:5.
The Scriptures provide comfort, assurance & guidance: Regardless of the intensity of any Christian’s physical or emotional suffering, they can be enabled through God’s grace to recall and trust in the many promises contained within the Scriptures:
“This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.” Psalm 119:50;
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” Romans 8:16;
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13;
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.
The Scriptures reveal God’s will for a Christian:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6;
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11.
The Scriptures have a Sanctifying Effect:
True Biblical meditative study undertaken with the help of the Holy Spirit will always have a sanctifying effect upon a Christian’s heart and this will influence their behaviour by a manifestation of holy conduct and speech that is conformed to the Word of God;
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:17-19;
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Psalm 119:9.
The Scriptures Keep God’s People Watchful:
As the end of this age approaches it is more vital than ever for Christians to guard their hearts and minds and this can only be achieved by studying, contemplating, memorising and listening to God’s Word. As previously shown, Mindfulness and other forms of meditation are designed to bypass human thought processes and to prevent people from having a firm grasp on present reality and truth.
One of Satan’s most successful distractions has been averting Christian’s from studying the prophetic Scriptures regarding Christ’s 2nd Advent. He has managed to do this by distracting Christians away from the plainest meaning of God’s Word and by focusing their thoughts upon the deceitful and fanciful interpretations of men that have caused much confusion and have undermined the perfect harmony and clarity of end time prophesies found in abundance within the Old and New Testaments. As a result, many Christians avoid reading the prophetic Scriptures and in doing so deprive themselves of the great blessing that is brought unto them when the Lord begins to open up their understanding of the times; the Christian will not only be filled with joy as they learn more about what the Lord's 2nd coming entails but as they identify the signs that will indicate His return is drawing nigh, they will be inspired to live a sanctified life. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1st John 3:3. (emphasis ours)
A significant sign of Christ’s imminent return is a slumbering church and this is illustrated in Matthew 25, which is a continuation of Matthew 24, where Christ is speaking to His disciples mainly about events that will unfold immediately prior to His second advent; the parable about the five wise and five foolish virgins awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom reveals that they were all sleeping, thus prophesying the slumbering state of Christendom prior to the Lord Jesus Christ’s 2nd Advent. This can be easily remedied by a Christian’s confession of their ignorance and by repentance for neglecting large portions of God’s Word that pertain to Christ’s 2nd Coming, His earthly reign and the end of this present world; the Lord will respond to a Christian’s request for an opening up of their understanding of the prophetic Scriptures if that prayer is offered from a humble and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17)
It is undeniable fact that many churches and individual Christians are in a deep slumber at the present time, a state undoubtedly brought about because the Holy Spirit has withdrawn His influence due to the widespread forsaking of the old paths; this has produced a famine of sound biblical preaching (Amos 8:11); an increased ignorance of God’s Word has resulting in much worldliness and disobedience among many Christians.
As mentioned before, without the power of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life, they can do absolutely nothing. They can study, ponder and memorise the Scriptures but only the Holy Spirit can open their understanding and cause them to delight in His Word. How dull and dry the Scriptures become without the Lord illuminating the reading and preaching of the Scriptures; Christians can faithfully attend the means of grace but only the Holy Spirit can sanctify their use unto them; Christians can pray but only the Holy Spirit can help their infirmities and teach them to pray aright. (Romans 8:26); They can seek to obey God’s Word but only the Holy Spirit can give them the grace to love Christ so that it will be their ardent desire and delight to keep His commandments; this obedience is not of any meritorious value because Christ has already kept the Law of God and fulfilled all righteousness on behalf of His people so that they are accepted as righteous in God’s sight; nevertheless, by keeping God’s commandments, Christians are enabled to glorify God and magnify His Word.
The Holy Spirit never totally leaves a genuine Christian because they have the earnest (deposit) of the Spirit and are always indwelt by Him or else they are not truly saved. “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.” Romans 8:9.
Nevertheless, a Christian can lose a sense of the Lord’s presence and their spiritual fruitfulness if the Holy Spirit is compelled to withdraw to a distance because of their disobedience. A Christian can easily determine their spiritual position before the Lord by thinking back to the time of their conversion when they were born again and grafted into the Vine and this was evidenced by the Fruit of the Spirit within their lives. (Galatians 5:22-23). However, this infilling is subject to a Christian obeying God’s Word (Acts 5:32) and without this fullness the Christian is placed in a precarious position because they are now in a backslidden state with an inclination to walk in the flesh and instead of yielding spiritual fruit, they will now produce the fruits of the flesh. (Galatians 5: 20-21); they will cease to delight the means of grace and will find attendance to the preaching of the Word and prayer laborious and dull.
There has never been a time in the history of world when it has been more important for Christians to separate from every false way and to walk obediently in the Spirit, Who will guide them into all truth within the confines of the old paths, where is the good way. (Jeremiah 6:16).
Only as Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit will they be kept from slumbering and alerted to discern the widespread deception currently permeating even previously faithful churches. There is a great need for individual Christians and the oversight of churches to try the spirits because Christendom is currently being bombarded with myriads of false teachers who have crept in unawares (e.g. New Calvinists and New Evangelicals). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1st John 4:1. These false teachers are peddling seemingly innocuous doctrines, (e.g. Spiritual Disciplines, Mystical Prayer techniques, Mindfulness etc) but even a little leaven, if not searched out and removed, will spread throughout the whole lump, destroying the testimony and usefulness of individual Christians and churches that currently hold forth the truth. (Galatians 5:9)
A Christian who is walking submissively in the Spirit cannot be spared from partaking in Christ’s sufferings and they may indeed be subjected to difficult or even prolonged times of emotional turmoil; however, they will never feel compelled to turn to Mindfulness or any other God dishonouring psychological interventions because they already have at their disposal all that they need to ease the malady of their souls; through God’s means of grace and with the help of the Holy Spirit, a Christian will patiently endure their tribulations and also rejoice that they have been privileged to share in Christ’s sufferings.
Satan’s strategies won’t change and he will continue to distract and deceive until the end of the world but it is hoped that the information contained in this article regarding humanistic psychological interventions, Mindfulness, and other Gnostic mystical meditations will help to alert and convince Christians that these practices are based on heretical teachings and are wiles of the Devil that should never be countenanced or undertaken by Christians.
May the Lord be pleased to awaken His people as the end of this age draws to a close and help them to keep their lamps trimmed and burning brightly in watchful readiness for the Bridegroom’s return.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:11-12.