Emergent Mysticism – Part 1

Tom (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded in 2008. Tom Lessing originally founded the website "Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray". Tom Lessing joined Discerning the World in May 2013 and all his articles were moved across to DTW.

21 Responses

  1. Hrugnir says:

    Saying God speaks when we are silent does not mean he does not speak to others when we speak. Human being were given two ears and one mouth. While we should preach the gospel boldly and not stay silent when the Truth should be told, we’re not told to just babble all day long.

    You’re describing silence as if it was an invention of Satan.

    “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:… a time to keep silence, and a time to speak”
    (Ecc 3:1,7)

    “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust– there may yet be hope;”
    (Lam 3:26-29)

    “If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.”
    (1 Cor 14:27-28)

    “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
    (Psa 46:10)

    “Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
    (Zech 2:13)

    I agree there can be an overt focus on silence over speaking, but silence is sometimes a VERY fitting response to God. We do want to HEAR of He actually has something to say, no?

  2. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    >> Saying God speaks when we are silent does not mean he does not speak to others when we speak. Human being were given two ears and one mouth. While we should preach the gospel boldly and not stay silent when the Truth should be told, we’re not told to just babble all day long.

    You’re describing silence as if it was an invention of Satan.

    You can’t be serious? There is a HUGE HUGE difference between keeping quiet, being still, and silence vs practising meditation.

    Here is a good example of silence that has nothing to do with meditation: ‘While reading your comment I was shocked into silence’.

    We HEAR what GOD is saying when we READ the Word of God. And HE convicts us through HIS HOLY SPIRIT that dwells in us when we are born again. Do you know what I am talking about?

  3. Michael Anthony says:


    Doing a bible lookup with ‘still/silent’ keywords to try and prove a point… bad, very bad idea. Did I mention that it is very irresponsible too? You must read a scripture in its CONTEXT. Did I mention that scriptures should be read contextually?

    Ok, lemme give you one – Zechariah (2:13), the overall context is Israel and the end times as well as the millenium. This book overall is prophetic (also in terms of the day of the Lord/judgement.) You cannot pull that verse out of that context.

    And the real snoozer using 1 Corinthians 14, most other translations (including the one you used but not so clear) says that the person WHO must keep SILENT is the ONE WHO GAVE THE TONGUE (if there is no interpreter HE MUST REMAIN SILENT speaking between himself and GOD) The scripture can also read as one or more instances of this occurance therefore the ‘any’ and ‘each of them’ definition.

    Dude, please can you try and not impose a meaning on the text?

    There is no scriptural basis for saying that God speaks if or when we are silent. God has already spoken – through his established word.

  4. Thomas Lessing says:

    The “stillness” or “silence” the emergents promulgate is not the usual run of the mill meaning of “silence” but the complete passivity of the mind. An inactive or passive mind as opposed to an active, sober and vigilant mind is very dangerous because it sets the stage for demonic delusion, deception and even possession. The Nobel Peace Prize Winner and neurologist, Sir John Eccles, described the brain as “A machine a ghost can operate.” As soon as you let go or surrender your capacity to “will” or “not to will” (as in hypnotism) you actually surrender your mind to any other entity out there somewhere, in stead of having your own spirit (which includes your free-will) control your mind. The same passivity of mind can be induced by drugs, chanting, drumming, trance dancing, hypnotism, mandalas etc.

    The main reason the emergents want to achieve “silence” through contemplative meditation is to enter into the presence of God. Think of it, if we were able to enter into the very presence of God, we would have had no need of a Mediator Who claimed that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one can come to the Father but by and through Him. Would we have been able to enter into the presence of God if Jesus had been incarnated but not crucified? Never! because the Word clearly states that it is through His shed blood and His alone that we are granted permission to approach God in His innermost sanctuary in heaven (Hebrews 10:19-22). It is pure blasphemy to think anyone can enter into the presence of God through meditative silence or any other contemplative way. It is nothing else but the way of Cain. It is an outright denial and rejection of the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18).

    Anyone who dabbles in contemplative disciplines such as contemplative prayer, silence, labyrinths etc. are playing with fire.

  5. Janet says:

    “Anyone who dabbles in silence (is) playing with fire”…”Dabbles” in silence??? (I am referring to the above post.)

    What do we do with the verse in Scripture,

    “Be still and know that I am God”?

    I don’t think the author was imagining the individual who was “being still” either reading the Bible or speaking aloud while knowing and being aware of God.

    I don’t know how a person CAN know God without sitting in silence – not ALL of the time, but a LOT of the time. And please don’t go thinking that I mean New Age meditation – I mean focusing on Jesus in the silence.

  6. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    Do you EMPTY YOU MIND and MEDITATE LIKE like a new ager? Are you SURE you are not a new ager? IF you are NOT then WHY are you ARGUING with this article? Do you USE EASTERN RELIGIOUS TECHNIQUES when you read the bible?

    Seeing as though you are all for quoting scripture, tell me what the bible says about OTHER GODS and OTHER RELIGIONS?

  7. Janet says:

    Dear Deborah,

    I don’t think you read my post in its entirety, or you would have seen my last sentence, where I anticipated that you would think I meditated in the New Age/Eastern manner. I do not.

    To repeat, I don’t “empty my mind and meditate like a New Ager”. I do not believe in other gods. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One”. This is what I believe.

    I am starting to see that perhaps you have a sort of knee-jerk reaction to things posted here, and maybe do not read them carefully. You certainly didn’t read my post carefully. That is obvious to me.

    You could save yourself a lot of what you must feel is “righteous anger” by not having this automatic reaction to what people write here, but instead, reading the posts more carefully.

    There is silence, and there is the “trance state”, and channeling. Silence is an important part of Christian prayer. Channeling can put us in serious danger through opening ourselves up to dark entities.

  8. Robbie says:

    Read the whole article … not just the heading.

  9. maizie says:

    The Holy Spirit teaches us, Spirit to spirit even while we sleep but it is essential to know God’s Word which is the foundation for the Holy spirit as He does not build upon any but Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Cornerstone of our faith.

  10. Werner says:


    the only thing we can do with this verse is to read it in context; ‘be still’ in this passage (if you are refering to Psalm 46:10), actually means ‘stop striving’, they are therefore told to cease from warlike activities and acknowledge God’s supremacy.

    The verse (in context), further carries the idea of refraining from vain strivings and lack of confidence. The refrain is repeated in order to show the triumph of this confidence in God.

    When we rape a verse,we can make the Scriptures mean anything we want, we can make our own doctrines, we can defend our own follies, and even start our own religions…

  11. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    No Janet, you did not read this article properly. If you understood what it was saying you would not be arguing about what biblical prayer is vs meditation. Prayer is prayer, being sill is being sill (not silence). But meditation is meditation, silence is silence, emptying your mind is occult or repeating verses or mantras is WRONG. Don’t come here and try flip the coin on me.

  12. Janet says:

    [deleted] If you want to go then, good bye Janet. If you want to side with New Age teachers such as those in this article be our guest, but please do not make your issues ours as we content to fight for the GOSPEL TRUTH; ALWAYS. As I said before, IF YOU WERE A GENUINE CHRISTIAN you would not be arguing with us. You want us to engage in dialogue that in the end show you to be right and we wont do that because you are not right. The truth is quite plain to see in the article, but if you fail to see it and view me as the manipulator then, unfortunately you are blind to the truth. I pray the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to what you believe and that you do not fall into the trap of a false holy spirit awakening.

  13. john1 says:

    Silence is very important as it is our nature. None of us were born with any indwelling of words, no matter how profound or true sounding. We are all taught many things that in order to experience God working in our lives we have to unlearn. It is by being silent that take in the world around us. God is not heard by those whose minds and mouths are too busy yapping, but by those who will become still, patient, open, loving, silent.

  14. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    What a load of horse pucky. You sound like you delve deeply into mysticism. From this moment forth I suggest you keep silent because I don’t want to hear from you anymore.

  15. Martin Horan says:

    The sad thing is, Deborah, a lot of people do want to hear from these people who’d be best living by what they preach and remain silent!
    God gave us the gift of speech, no-one else did.
    I have a friend who cannot speak and would love to. He was born dumb and still remains so, though a Christian. Maybe some of the people who come out with these statements would think of dumb people and realize the blessing they’ve been given.
    We are told to CONTEND for the faith once delivered. How do we contend if we are silent? The fact is, we don’t because we can’t.
    Where in the Bible–full of all necessary teaching–does it say “for God to work in our lives we have to unlearn things”?
    When God comes into our lives we learn more and the wrong things go. To unlearn things is an unfortunate choice of words by virtue of the fact that it’s illogical.

  16. Marion says:

    Martin – “illogical” – good point.

    Perhaps a better choice for the one talking about “unlearning” would have been the fact that we are to REJECT the lies, REPENT, and RECEIVE the love of the truth..

    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…”(John 14:6a)

    “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

  17. Naomi says:

    Jesus reveals himself as the Father to those whom He chooses. They are the true disciples
    Those who have left all to seek God…this is why Jesus mentions the narrow door
    To life…to which he says ..few there will be who will find.
    Jesus says…who has not left mother, father, wife , home, brother
    Sister…for His sake and the Gospel is not worthy of the kingdon
    Which is the knowledge of God….for this reason Jesus says to his true
    Disciples..to you has been given the secrets of the kingdom of God, to others
    I speak in parables that they maybe ever seeing, but NEVER perceiving..
    A true disciple does not delve in the matters of the flesh, like the
    Carnal ” christians ” who profess to be christians, but cannot obey
    Be obedient to Jesus…this is why Jesus says…DO NOT cAll me LORD , LORD and do
    Not do as I say…a true disciple is one who has heard the voice of
    The Father…and one to whom the divine will has been revealed…
    This is the silence experienced, it belongs to those who love
    God…and have done His will…

  18. Martin Horan says:

    Very good points, Marion.
    Sorry I’ve just got back on this site thus my slowness in thanking you for points that should always be in the forefront of my mind. Thanks.

  19. Laurent says:

    When you want to discuss or have a useful speech with someone, it is better to have a clear mind, free of “noise”.
    A better understanding of yourself also helps (extreme conditioning nowadays).
    A contemplative prayer is somehow smoothing out all that “noise” and have a “heart to heart” discussion with our Savior Jesus Christ.
    You would be surprised how rich a silent conversation with your heart and a clear mind can be. No need of words.
    Jesus did speak to your mind/brain but also to your Heart (look for this world in the Bible) which is the core of your transformation process; but the mind is still useful to have something to start a “conversation” or writing “theology”.
    But as most people have a very limited intellectual capacity, the Heart path is available to everyone (think still about some Bible verses…) and especially the “lowest” ones.

    I am thus not speaking of being opened passively to any incoming spirit but just call Jesus, contemplate what He has gone through, observe Him, try to “grasp”what you can and what you are offered (by the Holy Spirit?). It is truly amazing but only a few seem to be offered this path and you can view some Truths you would not by reading scriptures with your limited intellectual capacity.
    Visions can be gifts to help you in this process of redemption.

    Question: Would some of you have hanged prophets who had visions like the Pharisees killed Jesus ?
    Of course, not !

    I have been meditating for long and it can obviously be dangerous (won’t give details I am sure you anticipate long enough) but a contemplative prayer is something else you are clearly not understanding simply because of a lack of experience (it almost can’t be explained but experienced).

    Are you sure of what Jesus was doing in the desert for 40 days and nights or even John the Baptist to reject Apostles, Catholic Saints or Doctors of the Catholic Church as Mystics ?

    God bless you all.

  20. Laurent

    There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever in Scripture that contemplative prayer (silence) can usher you into the holiest of holies in heaven. In fact, it distinctly says that the blood of Christ Jesus alone permits you to enter into the holiest in heaven.

    Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb 10:19-22).

    If silent prayer (contemplative meditation) was able to bring one into the presence of God, any person involved in any other religion practicing meditation would have been able to come into the presence of the God of the Bible. In fact, silent prayer of whatever shape or form is an outright rejection of Jesus Christ as the only Door by whom we may enter into the holiest of holies in heaven. It is another gospel which, as Paul says, is not gospel at all.

    You said,

    I have been meditating for long and it can obviously be dangerous (won’t give details I am sure you anticipate long enough) but a contemplative prayer is something else you are clearly not understanding simply because of a lack of experience (it almost can’t be explained but experienced).

    Allow me to ask you, are there any dangers involved in entering into the presence of God by the blood of Christ? Can you name any?

    You said,

    Are you sure of what Jesus was doing in the desert for 40 days and nights…?

    You ought to know because the Bible tells us without any ambiguity that “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Mat 4:1) It does not say that He spent 40 days in the desert to pray, let alone sit silently in a frame of contemplative meditation. In fact, He consistently rebuked the devil by quoting Scripture to him. Please don’t read into Scripture which it does not say or teach. That is very dangerous.

  21. Laurent wrote:

    When you want to discuss or have a useful speech with someone, it is better to have a clear mind, free of “noise”.
    A better understanding of yourself also helps (extreme conditioning nowadays).

    I suppose this is the reason why so many churches (including the Mosaïek Kerk in Fairlands, Johannesburg of Johan Geyser) allow for prayer AND Meditation before the pastor delivers his or her emergent mystical sermons – to get a clear mind so that you may understand them. Perhaps the legal courts should institute a similar practice and allow the accused a time of prayer AND meditation before they are pronounced guilty.

    THE ACCUSED: “Your honor, I really did not understand your reasoning to pronounce me guilty. Please allow me a brief moment of prayer and meditation so that I may clear my cluttered mind and the noise in it. A better understanding of myself will help me to understand your reasoning.”

    THE JUDGE: “By all means, go ahead and step into the little room at the back where you may pray and meditate at your heart’s delight. However, be sure that your silent prayer and meditation won’t change my ruling one bit. You are guilty and deserve your life’s sentence.”

    THE ACCUSED: “Thank you, your honor. I understand.

    Laurent, when I read your comment I did not need to clear my mind with silent prayer and meditation to understand why Jesus said there are but few who find the strait gate and the narrow way (Mat 7:14). They fail to find it because they are forever forging and practicing techniques, methods, systems, and practices to try and enter into the presence of God. God must of necessity reject their little techniques, in the same way He rejected Cain’s offering. You know what happened then. He killed a prophet (his brother Abel).