Why is “Centering Prayer” Wrong? A Helpful Comment from Pr. John A. Frahm
It is relatively easy to point out the flaws in the LCMS under President Kieschnick’s leadership as I have done recently with this “Centering Prayer” issue. It is like shooting ducks in a pond. It takes a little more effort to teach to correct the flaws. We thank Pr. Frahm for posting the following quotes from Luther in the Smalcald Articles.
The quotes from Luther point out that anytime we seek spiritual enlightenment apart from the written word of God, as centering prayer does, we are engaging in the false theology of “enthusiasm” which literally means “being in God” (Greek “en” which means “in” and “theos” which means “god”). Being in God is certainly a good thing but as the Lutheran Confessions point out and as Pr. Frahm reminds us, our being in God is limited to our receiving His word and sacraments. As Scott Diekman points out, seeking God outside of word and sacrament is the devil’s playing field, not that of the Holy Spirit.
Here is Pr. Frahm’s comment:
December 29th, 2009 at 10:59 | #4From the Smalcald Articles;
(For a quick and easy online access to the Lutheran Confessions we recommend you check out Pastor McCain’s website The Book of Concord.)
9] In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison] having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon, and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially of that of the Papacy and Mahomet. 10] Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. 11] It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. 12] Neither was John the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor did he leap in his mother’s womb without the voice of Mary. 13] And Peter says, 2 Pet. 1:21: The prophecy came not by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Without the outward Word, however, they were not holy, much less would the Holy Ghost have moved them to speak when they still were unholy [or profane]; for they were holy, says he, since the Holy Ghost spake through them.