Tag Archives: New Age

Of What Spirit Are We?

LeeAnnRubsam.com

…When the time was come that [Jesus] should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before him. The messengers went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  But the Samaritans did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did?”  But Jesus turned, and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of man has not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”   — Luke 9:51-56

For some time, I’ve been troubled at the number of websites and blogs devoted solely to criticizing various brothers and sisters in the Christian apostolic/prophetic community.  Google the name of any well-known prophet, apostle, or revivalist, and you’ll find that the top ten sites are primarily run by people who feel their God-given mission in life is to expose the “heresy” of others.  Some are so obsessed with harassing and discrediting a particular person that it almost smacks of stalking.  Talk about having a “ministry” specialty! 

As I’ve said before, apostolic/prophetic Christianity is my particular circle.  I see the problems too, and there are times I get pretty perturbed.  Yes, some are teaching things that are not biblically supportable.  Yes, some are hiding sin.  A lot of housecleaning is needed, and I believe God is in the process of doing that.  He wants a pure and spotless Bride. 

But there is something more disturbing to me than doctrinal aberrations and high-profile sin.  It is the hardness of heart that causes Christians to think they can mock and curse other believers and not have a twinge of conscience in doing so.  It doesn’t matter if we agree with someone’s doctrine and mode of ministry or not.  The Lord Jesus has not given us permission to tear members of the Body of Christ apart.  Pointing the finger and screaming, “Heretic!” or licking our chops over the latest one to fall aligns us with an entirely different spirit than the Holy Spirit.  Revelation 12:10 describes Satan as “the accuser of our brethren … which accused them before our God day and night.” 

I’m not saying we should whitewash sin and doctrinal error.  They are a shame and a blot on the Body of Christ.  I am asking what spirit we are of — the spirit of hatred, anger, and criticalness? Or the spirit of mercy, humility, and godly sorrow when a brother sins?  Jesus was grieved with the Pharisees of His day for their lack of mercy and their prideful delusion that they were several notches above other people.  The Pharisaical spirit is alive and well in the Church today.  It is a spirit totally aligned with hell, not the righteous purity of the Holy Spirit. 

There is a better way to address the problems in Christianity today.  For those of us who teach, we can continue to patiently lay down biblical foundations and warn against pitfalls, so that those who truly want to do right can learn to move in life-giving, Spirit-filled patterns.  We don’t need to point fingers and name names in the process of bringing God’s people into maturity.  Let’s teach the principles, so that people can learn to discern between the good and the bad, while keeping our fingers to ourselves. 

And all of us can learn to mind our own business — spending our time in sober prayer and fasting, rather than wasting precious hours at Internet forums, blogs, and chat rooms, talking, talking, always talking, about the latest ministry flap or failure. 

Let’s encourage and build up one another, lifting each other out of the muck if any of us should fall.  The devil doesn’t need our help in beating up on the Body– but he’s more than happy to let us join hands with him if we want to.

LeeAnnRubsam.com

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Is Lee Ann Rubsam New Age?

leeannrubsam.com

Today’s post is just for fun.  I like to take a quick glance through the search stats every day to see how people have arrived at this blog.  And, lo and behold, I discovered that I must have achieved some kind of celebrity status.  Somebody is sniffing around to find out, “Is Lee Ann Rubsam New Age?”  I love it!

No, I can’t say that I am, and I certainly don’t want to be.  A younger age might be real nice, but New Age, no!  I love communicating with Holy Spirit, but any other spirits can just take a hike.  No yoga, transcendental meditation, reincarnation, or what in tarnation going on here!  No sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, humming “Ommm….”  Seriously, if I got myself in the pretzel position, the family would need a crowbar to pry me loose.  I’ve been known to say, “Uhmmm” a few times, but it was always when I got to the bottom of the basement stairs and couldn’t remember why I went down there, or when my mind went completely blank right in the middle of whatever I was saying.  I think that is due to fifties-brain, not New Age.

I wouldn’t know what New Age music sounded like if I heard it.  I’m told it is a lot of ocean waves, bird twitters, and wind sounds, and I have no problem with that, since God made those sounds, but somebody told ignorant little me that there are subliminal messages in the background.  Not wanting any subliminal weirdness, I just decided to suppress my curiosity about what New Age-style music sounds like, and live on in my ignorance.  If I want any messages, I’ll read my Bible and listen to Holy Spirit’s promptings, thank you.  I’ve heard real ocean waves, bird twitters wake me up most mornings, and boisterous wind sounds make me nervous.  Boy, I hope listening to the real stuff doesn’t qualify me as a New Ager.  And I guess I’m a little like Elijah — haven’t heard God in the wind, earthquake, or fire — but I’ve heard Him plenty of times in the “still small voice.”

Channeling: now there you’ve got me.  I guess I’ve done that.  You see, our basement kept flooding, and we had to have all new drain tile channel installed to fix the problem.  It’s been dry as the Sahara down there ever since.  Yep, we did drain tile channel.   But getting a pipeline to familiar spirits?  Ewww.  Wouldn’t even think of going there!  The witch of Endor  and Hezekiah’s son Manasseh did that.  I don’t think it sat real well with the Lord.  Yes, I’ve certainly stayed away from what they were into.  Does channel surfing count?  We don’t have a TV, so I don’t do that, either.

Do I soak?  Not in the tub — hate bubble baths.  As for soaking prayer, just read my blog series on it.  It will probably set your mind at ease — but if it doesn’t, I just can’t help you.

Back to something more serious next time.  This was fun!

leeannrubsam.com

Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 3

Today’s entry is a little wackier than the previous two.  (I have my less-than-serious side.)  I’d like to discuss the doctrines of soaking and my experiences with them.  You didn’t know there were doctrines?  Well, officially there aren’t.  But after one gets the same advice over and over, it begins to sound like doctrine.

1.)  Position — It’s best to be lying on your back on the floor, face up.  For enhanced soaking, make sure you have a cute little pillow and a favorite soaking blankie.

I think it is probably a good idea to be face up.  It’s easier to breathe that way.  I don’t like to lie on the floor, for several reasons — it’s hard, my back hurts when I do it, and in Wisconsin in the winter, it’s too cold on the floor.  The pillows with Winnie the Pooh or Tweety Bird on them are cute, but I’m not sure I need them.  How they enhance soaking will be discussed in Point 3.

2.)   You have to quiet your mind so that you are receptive to the Lord’s Presence.

I understand.  I have encountered people who seem to be in a constant frenzy in their thoughts.  It evidences in what comes out of their mouths.  I’m not like that — unless I’ve had a l-i-t-t-l-e too much Dr. Pepper.  So, perhaps my mind isn’t as unquiet as some people’s. But I have struggled with this, mainly because of the subdoctrines that go with it:

a.) You must empty your mind of everything.

Before you get your grundies in a bundle, I’ll agree with what you’re worried about: emptying your mind is a New Age/Eastern religious practice.  But some people who soak say you have to do this.  My mind does not empty.  This may be a good thing.  Who needs to be empty-headed?  So, the other subdoctrine about having a quiet mind is much better, and hopefully won’t mess with anybody’s worries about New Age.

b.) You shouldn’t try to empty your mind.  Instead, you should focus on Jesus.

I like this one better.  Dennis Walker, a wonderful teacher we met in Peru, corrected the empty-headed soaking notion.  He said the mind was never meant by God to be empty.  (Aha! I thought so!)  It was meant to be focused.  (OK, focusing I am usually good at.)  Focus on Jesus.  (I like this.)  Still, I have a hard time focusing for long, it seems.  Some people said I must picture Jesus as He appears in Revelation 1.  (OK, I did that.  It lasted about 10 seconds.  How much time must I try to visualize that particular picture of Jesus?  I am not good at pictures.  I cannot remember what I look like as soon as I leave the mirror behind — which isn’t all bad.)  So, the getting-a-picture-of-Jesus thing isn’t working.  Maybe I will try picturing Jesus blessing the little children instead.

Now, I know, some of you are still weirding out.  You are thinking, “Red light!  Red light!  She wants us to picture Jesus in our minds!  That’s visualization!  She even said the V word (visualize)!  New Age!  New Age!  New Age!  Whoop!  Whoop!  Whoop!”  Sorry, I can’t help you.  Your mind is not quiet enough to listen, even if I tried.  Let’s just not worry about it.  I don’t do well trying to picture Jesus, and you don’t want to, so let’s just not even bother to do it, OK?  I think we can still get into God’s presence without this step.

On to the cardinal doctrine of soaking:

3.)  It is A-OK to fall asleep while soaking.

We are told that falling asleep is part of soaking.  We will have heavenly dreams while we sleep during soaking.  I have a theory: the sleeping part of soaking is not prayer; it is a nap.  I know I am way too practical, but I’m sorry.  I do not feel spiritual when I fall asleep during soaking.  I have just taken a nap, but I have not been praying.  I have not had any heavenly dreams (most of the time), I have not had any revelations, and I have not felt close to Jesus.  I figure it is the same as going to bed at night.  I may have a God-dream when I go to bed, but then again, I may not.  And I never tell myself when I go to bed at night that this is my prayer time.  I would feel awfully foolish trying to convince myself and God that bedtime was prayer time.

(I could use this sleeping/praying concept to oh-so impress people, couldn’t I? “So, Lee Ann, how long do you pray every day?”  “Well, I am one of those really big prayer warriors.  I pray six to eight hours a day.”  I wouldn’t have to mention that I meant that was how long I sleep at night, and wouldn’t I sound spiritual!)

Unfortunately, I always fall asleep when trying to soak, and I do it very quickly — within five minutes.  When I wake up a half hour later, I mourn the lost time I could have been spending with Jesus, if I had been praying rather than soaking.  Ah, well!

If you are into napping as part of your soaking time, that’s why the blankie and the Tweety Bird pillow are important.

4.)  You have to have certain music playing in order to soak.

Did you know there is such a thing as soaking music?  And it is very nice, too.  Just stick “soaking music” in Google and you’ll find it.  I like some of the soaking music in small doses.  But after a short time, it really starts to bug me.  It either helps put me to sleep, or it gets too busy and loud after a few tracks.  But, this is OK if you regularly fall asleep during your soaking time, because you will not notice when it gets too busy and loud; you are already snoring.  Do you want to know how I know this?  I complained to a friend about some music she had recommended.

“Hey, Mary Sue, you know the Gonzales lady you recommended for soaking?  Well, I like the first few tracks, but then she gets to wailing at the top of her lungs all of a sudden, and the only thing I can visualize is a wide-open mouth the size of Carlsbad Caverns about to swallow me.”

Do you know what she said?  “I don’t even know what’s in the middle of those CD’s.  I usually only get as far as the first couple of tracks, and then I’m out like a light, and I wake up about the time she’s on the last track.”

I prefer straight worship music to soaking music (although some soaking music could fall into the worship category).  Tomorrow I’ll give my theory on why worship music works better for me.

Previous — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 2
Next — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 4

 Full Gospel Family Publications                      Character Building for Families

 

Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 1

I’ve been trying to discipline myself to do “soaking prayer” for many months now.  Basically, soaking prayer is quieting oneself before the Lord for an extended period of time for the purpose of intimate contact with Him, giving Him the opportunity to speak.  It hasn’t always been a fun adventure for me.  Sometimes it’s so frustrating that I want to permanently pitch the whole idea out the window.

My particular circle of Christianity is the charismatic, prophetic community.  Most of the people around me insist that soaking prayer is a must, if one does not want to be a pygmy Christian.  I’m not so sure they are completely right.  The following five-part series explains what soaking prayer is and how my own experience with it has been to date.

Soaking prayer became very popular during the Toronto Blessing revival, but it’s really been around as long as the Church has.  Some people weird out about it, thinking it is “meditation” or “mysticism” and therefore it’s Eastern religion, not Christian.  Soaking prayer is not yoga and such things, however. Psalm  104:34 says, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”   And Genesis 24:63 tells us Isaac was “meditating in the field” when he first met Rebekah.  There are lots more references in the Bible to meditating on God and on His Word.  And, if you use a concordance to look up words like “mystery” and “mysteries” in the New Testament, you will find that Jesus and the apostles spoke frequently about the mysteries of the Kingdom, or the “hidden wisdom.”  So “mysticism” — which involves mysteries (hidden things) — is not necessarily bad.

I’ve heard many ideas from a variety of  people about this type of prayer.  Sometimes it has sounded very ooky-spooky, depending on who was talking about it.  I’m finding that there are some expert soakers that I trust, and some that I do not, based on what I see happening in their lives.  The people who are balanced, godly people, who exhibit wisdom and grace, I listen to.  Those who are not showing the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, I do not like to listen to — no matter how stupendous their heavenly experiences sound.

I am mystified by people who are into soaking prayer for hours a day and say they are seeing all sorts of heavenly visions, but they do NOT exhibit Christ-likeness.  There must be some kind of disconnect going on in their lives that is not normal.  If we are truly connecting with God, and seeing into His supernatural realm, our lives should be changing.  When Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1-8) he said he became “undone.”  I hear that phrase thrown around a lot.  I don’t think, for Isaiah, that being “undone” was a momentary experience of chills and thrills.  It was a life-changing deal.  He took on a new purity.  The revelation of God’s holiness became a deposit of holiness in Isaiah himself.  Encounters with The Holy One should mean we take on a measure of the character of Jesus.  Transformation into His likeness should be the fruit of spending great amounts of time with Him.  This seems pretty basic to me.

I think sometimes the problem is that some of the expert soakers are not spending much time reading the Bible.  I mean reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, not just the portions that talk about heavenly visions (like Revelation and Ezekiel).  I like spending time with the Lord in prayer.  But I also know I need to commune with Him through His Word.  Sometimes in reading my Bible, I sense God is speaking directly to me through a verse or passage.  Sometimes I go for days where that direct speaking is not the case, but I am still learning general concepts that I need to be reminded of.  For instance, God talks a lot about how to relate in a godly fashion toward other people, especially in the New Testament letters to the Church.  I don’t always feel like God is giving me special, personal conviction or instruction when I read the Bible, but He is still speaking to me.  I am taking in His way, His concepts.  I still become like Him by absorbing these truths in a general way on a regular basis.

All Bible reading need not take us up into heavenly visions in order to be productive in our lives.  I don’t believe all time spent in prayer communion with God must necessarily involve heavenly visions, either.  It’s about Him, not about what glorious visions we can get out of Him — which is where I’ll pick up next time.

Next — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 2

 Full Gospel Family Publications                      Character Building for Families