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SILENCING THE WATCHMEN

October 21, 2017

From "Running Against the Wind," by Brian Flynn

 

"At my own home church (a large metropolitan church), the pastor insisted that if I was going to continue my seminar at their church, I was forbidden to "name names," and in fact, the pastors did not even want me mentioning the practice of contemplative prayer. 
"That's odd," I thought.
"If we aren't promoting contemplative prayer in this church, why stop me from warning believers?"
But I honored their request. "After all," I told myself, "this church isn't teaching contemplative prayer; at least I can warn my congregation of other New Age practices they might run up against." I was relieved to know my own church was not involved in Richard Foster's or Brennan Manning's form of spirituality.
But then one day something strange took place.
I learned that Ray Yungen's book ("A Time of Departing"), which had been purchased by our church bookstore, HAD SUDDENLY BEEN BANNED FROM THE STORE!
The reason I discovered later -- the book named names.
I felt a little alarmed at even the idea that the book was now suddenly FORBIDDEN.
A few weeks later, on a Saturday afternoon, while teaching the seminar in one of the church's classrooms, someone came up at break and told me that directly across the hall another seminar was taking place with a guest speaker -- an avid promoter of Richard Foster and contemplative prayer!
I was shocked . . . and angry. 
Here I and other watchmen were being silenced to speak the truth, while contemplative prayer was being ushered into my church!
I had naively believed the pastors when they said they didn't want to name names because it was "too divisive;" in reality, they had far more sympathy and dealings with contemplative spirituality than I ever would have imagined.
And it broke my heart to know it.
After that, I knew I HAD TO NAME NAMES. 
And I knew I had to warn my brothers and sisters in Christ about contemplative prayer. 
Within a few weeks, I was called into a "special" meeting. Those present were furious with me -- explaining to me that the church's policy was to NEVER name names. I had violated that policy, and the pastors insisted I comply.
But how could I in good conscience? To do so would be disobedience to God.
HOW CAN ONE WARN THE FLOCK OF FALSE TEACHING IF THE NAMES OF FALSE TEACHERS CANNOT BE DISCUSSED AND ANALYZED?
By this standard, the Apostle Paul would have to be silenced! Paul had no hesitation in naming the names of Hymenaeus and Philetus (II Timothy 2:16-17). Scripture gives many other examples of men of God, true believers, who had to name names to effectively warn the flock of God (see I Timothy 1:19-20; II Timothy 1:15; 4:14; III John 9-10; Acts 20:26-31). NOT NAMING NAMES WOULD BE LIKE A PARENT SENDING HER CHILD OUT TO PLAY IN THE YARD AND NOT WARNING HIM TO STAY OUT OF THE STREET BECAUSE THE CARS PASSING DROVE VERY FAST.
"I cannot keep silent about this," I told the pastors that day.
"The premise of contemplative prayer is that ALL paths lead to God, thus completely negating the gospel message of Salvation through Christ's atoning work ALONE. And by your refusal to examine closely these teachings, you are leading the flock into a dangerous place of heresy and deception."
I respectfully told them I was compelled to share the truth -- I would not be able to comply with their wishes.
Thus it became clear to everyone in that room that day that I no longer had a place in that church."

 

-- Brian Flynn; former New Ager and "psychic," now born-again child of God, Director of One Truth Ministries. From his book, "Running Against the Wind."

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