CMA’s Theological Seminary’s Dean Walborn Teaches “Centering Prayer” Techniques
Podcast 2: “The Rationale for Discipline” taught by Ron Walborn at Delta Lake Bible Conference 2005
“We’re gonna do a little exercise on Centering Prayer!”
The Dean, then, proceeds to define “centering prayer.” He says this prayer isn’t about a lot of words from us, and it’s not even about words coming from God. It’s about a silencing of our words, and verbiage always busily racing about in our minds.
The fear though, intones Walborn, is if we go into silence, it will be like “New Age Meditation.” Dr. Walborn states that in “New Age Meditation” the goal is “to empty your mind.” But, in “Christian Centering Prayer” the goal is to find “the mind of Christ.” As to why those in the New Age empty their minds, Walborn says, “I’m not sure why.” “And they succeed!” (Emptying their minds.)
Therefore, to pray, he explains, we need to calm our minds because our minds are “jabber boxes” thinking of what’s going to happen next, or lists of things we need to do. Now, the worst thing we can do, he instructs, is say “Stop it!” So if your mind jabbers at you say, “Thank you! I’ll remember that. Then, just let it go.”
Walborn, above, uses a phrase just about like a New Age practitioner does. Read more on a site called “Our Infinite Energy” where it says, “So how do we quiet the mind? … Ask it to be quiet. Acknowledge its strengths; move on from its limitations. Literally say, thank you mind, but you can be quiet now.”
Read here: http://www.ourinfiniteenergy.com/2012/02/exercise-visual-meditation-quieting-the-mind.html
Walborn then continues, “Some of you may need to use a phrase (mantra) like “God loves me!” to stop your “jabber.” Others may want something a little meatier like “ Not my will, but thine be done.”
And he notes that the fear is what if when we get into “the silence” that something else comes. But Walborn soothes: “He’s a good God, would He give us a stone? He’s been waiting for you all this time to get your “jabbering mind” to be still.” And so begins the time “to center” and “to disarm.” He begins to sing.
Walborn, as you read above, during this session taught his listeners how to ready themselves to do centering prayer. Hear Walborn’s friend and lead pastor, Pete Scazzero to his former student Rich Villodas, do the same. Listen as Scazzero interviews Father William Meninger, a Trappist Monk, who then teaches the New Life Fellowship congregation to do “Centering Prayer.” http://vimeo.com/32849561
Read also here http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/history-contemplative-outreach the history of “Centering Prayer.” See how it was revived by Keating, Pennington, and Meninger.
Matt Slick, a Christian apologist, writes an excellent short article on “Centering Prayer.” Read here!
http://carm.org/centering-prayer And it’s not just Christian apologists who warn against this prayer,
but here is a Catholic apologist, who also warns about the dangers of centering prayer.
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=234 And here is one more excellent resource with many sites on the deception of centering prayer.
Perhaps, you counter, well Walborn is saying that his method will achieve “Christian Centering Prayer.”
But, he does the very same techniques all of the others do; and he points you on the first podcast to reference after reference which encourages practicing this prayer. You may also contend that Walborn uses such spiritual words, and seems to genuinely worship. While he may do this remember how he is leading his listeners, and how later on they can easily use these techniques to go deeper and deeper. And how sad is that, that Mr. Walborn has led unsuspecting, undiscerning persons into such dangerous territory.
If you still aren’t convinced I challenge you to go to any TM website, of which there are many, and see how closely “Centering Prayer” is modeled on “TM.”
Perhaps, Dr. Walborn should read these words of Ray Yungen, and the late Dr. Paul Bubna, President of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Yungen wrote: “The answer to the contemplative prayer movement is simple. A Christian is complete in Christ. The argument that contemplative prayer can bring a fuller measure of God’s love, … is the epitome of dishonor to Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. It is, in essence, anti-Christian.” And Dr. Bubna wrote: “Knowing Christ is a journey of solid theological understanding. It is the Holy Spirit illuminating the scriptures to our darkened minds and hearts that give birth to the wonder of conditional love.” Yungen continues: “Those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them do not need the silence. It is one thing to find a quiet place to pray (which Jesus did) but quite another to go into an altered state of consciousness (which Jesus never did). The Christian hears the voice of Jehovah through the Holy Spirit, not through contemplative prayer. Again, Jesus made it clear He is the one who initiates this process, not man.”(John 14:15-17) From: A Time of Departing pp.132-133.
Learn to Discern Words from “Glossary of Terms” at the end of A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen:
Centering/Centering Prayer: Another term for contemplative meditation (going deep within your center) A type of meditation being promoted … under the guise of prayer.
Contemplative Prayer: Going beyond thought by the use of repeated words or phrases.
Mantra: Word or words repeated either silently or verbally to induce an altered state of consciousness.
Sacred Space: Either a physical spot where one goes to engage in a mystical practice or the actual silence or the state of being during the mystical experience.
The silence: Absence of normal thought.
Learn to Discern Granny Verse: “Also of your own selves shall men (women) arise, speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples away after them.” Acts 20:30