Labyrinths And New Age Occult Prayer Walks
Labyrinths, New Age occult prayer walks, and demonic prayer labyrinths are entering Christian churches in North America. So what is a labyrinth? Labyrinths are pagan instruments used as occult gateways into the supernatural. Most think of a labyrinth as a maze that's easy to get lost in with winding paths and dead ends.
A Labyrinth is different than a maze because it is a winding path. For the spiritually discerning the Labyrinth is nothing more than occult paganism masquerading itself as another form of Christian prayer.
The prayer Labyrinth, also known as a meditation Labyrinth, is used for prayer, religious, mystical rituals, initiations, and for spiritual growth say New Age disciples. Labyrinth prayer walks are not biblical nor should they be used within the Christian faith. Those that teach their use offer them as “another type of prayer, or prayer in motion.”
We are not talking about a Christian praying to the God of the Bible while walking down the sidewalk. No, this is occult spiritualism. To New Age disciples, a Labyrinth represents the “path of life.” As one travels the Labyrinth’s path of life, it leads their walk to the center of an intricate design representing the center of oneself then exiting along the same path. A prayer or meditation Labyrinth only has one route or a single path. Again, unlike the maze, a Labyrinth is designed with one destination and is impossible to get lost within.
THE LABYRINTH SOCIETY
According to the Labyrinth Society, their vision is to “activate and facilitate the transformation of the human spirit.” They also use the prayer Labyrinth as “a personal practice for healing and growth, a tool for community building, an agent for global peace, and a metaphor for life.”
These Labyrinth groups offer workshops about the Labyrinth for “divine imprint, mystical tradition, as a sacred path and gateway.” It’s surely a gateway, an occult gateway and used by New Age practitioners to transcend into an altered state of consciousness. In that state, they believe in becoming one with the divine universe. After one's “centering,” they can exit the Labyrinth to take their newly found spiritual awakening and revelation to the world.
Those promoting prayer and meditation Labyrinths wrongly use a Catholic cathedral, not bible scripture, as historical precedent for their use because the medieval "Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres" outside Paris, France has a prayer Labyrinth. Chartres removes their sanctuary chairs once a month exposing its Labyrinth on the floor to attract pilgrims that walk the Labyrinth with their heads bowed in prayer.
THREE STAGES OF AN OCCULT PRAYER WALK
The prayer Labyrinth path has three stages - the inward journey, the center, and the outward journey.
1. The first stage is the "inward journey." In the first stage or journey of the prayer walk within the Labyrinth, one forgets about their particular roles in life such as mother, father, wife, husband, teacher, carpenter, and enters the path meditating on the words “I am.” Psychologist Helen Schucman wrote "The Course in Miracles" in 1965. She said the material came from an "inner voice." The book is full of Gnostic heresies. The course teaches such things as, "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself. God's Name is holy but no holier than yours. To call upon His Name is to call upon your own." This demonic "you are a god or another I Am" teaching is consistent within New Age circles.
Using a prayer mantra or Sanskrit is paganistic. Christians don't use chanting or repetitious prayers to get God to hear them. The Apostle John did not teach Labyrinth prayer walks. He taught disciples to pray with confidence according to Christ's will. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14).
Jesus taught against prayer mantras. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye, therefore, like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (Matthew 6:5-8).
This type of meditation is wrongly used to empty the mind of all negative thoughts that would hinder their approach to God. Along the path, the secret meaning of life is discovered. As Christians, we know there is only one “I Am that I Am” and that is Christ Jesus the only begotten son of the living God. We are not to empty the mind but to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).
2. The second stage is “the center.” Here you "achieve emptiness within." To the New Age practitioner, this is the place of "inner silence, stillness, waiting’s, and expecting nothing but the infilling of love." The center of the Labyrinth is for meditative prayer, stillness, and peace. Again, the goal is to connect with the divine. “Union” with the divine universe is the very definition of Yoga. New Age teachers know "centering" is a tool to discover the divine self. At the center, they believe for divine revelation. What they find are demonic familiar spirits.
People are deceived into thinking the Labyrinth path leads them closer to Christ. Christians should understand that revelation is given by the will of the Holy Spirit only, not by meditation Labyrinths. You can't make the Holy Spirit give you anything through occult rituals or Labyrinth prayer walking. The Apostle Paul wrote, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1-3).
3. The third stage is the "outward journey." The theme of the outward journey is a relationship with self and others and the divine union with the universe, to feel at one with God, neighbor, self, and nature. (All the oneness terminology is Hinduism.) Along the outward journey, one travels out of the Labyrinth to share his or her newly discovered spiritual mysteries.
"The Society" also teaches Prayer Labyrinths as a “sacred geometry” that helps open the heart. Again, a Christian does not need a geometric walking path to open their heart to Christ. Some Labyrinths are very sophisticated with four quadrants representing the four seasons, four pathways, and even four directions. Christians should know they can never find true transformation in the center of a prayer Labyrinth no matter how intricate the design.
The only way to transformation is repenting of your sin, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and renewing your mind with the Word of God. Scriptures lay out the plan of salvation."The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:8-10). These New Age Labyrinth groups are deceived by trying to "develop new ways of worshipping that connect more effectively with the growing numbers of people disaffected by the church." Labyrinth walking does not come out of the teachings of Christ but out of paganism. History supports its use coming from ancient Babylonia. The clay tablet above is an image of a Babylonia Labyrinth dating 2000-1700 BC.
Prayer and meditation Labyrinths are all across the country like Grace Cathedral (Episcopal) in San Francisco; Trinity Episcopalian in Santa Barbara, CA; Christ the King Lutheran in Torrance, CA; St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston; the Church of St. Andrew in Marblehead, MA; Resurrection Lutheran in Dublin, CA; Peace Lutheran in Austin, TX; Holy Trinity Lutheran in Hickory, NC; and Peace Lutheran in Danville, CA, among other congregations. They are also being promoted within the Emergent Church and New Age groups.
A Christian does not need a prayer Labyrinth for prayer answers or to find God. Scripture declares, “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
As already said, there is nothing wrong with walking down the street of your city in prayer. Using a prayer Labyrinth is very different. Hinduism teaches that life is on a path and to some, the Labyrinth is a model of that path. So for New Age practitioners a Labyrinth meditation walk is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with an enlightened awareness of who you are. The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Nowhere in Scripture did the apostles teach disciples to find themselves in a prayer Labyrinth. Jesus instructed his disciples to die to self-saying, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25).
Religious, even occult rituals, like Labyrinth prayer walking, will not lead you closer to Christ. Nor will they help you receive spiritual enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. These demonic rituals only serve to promote New Age occult mysticism.
Yes, prayer is part of the Christian faith. It is communication with the Father through the Son. Prayer is personal and intimate and part of every Christian’s faith. Scripture says, "Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).
SEEKING SIGNS AND WONDERS
This generation seeks after signs and wonders, hidden meanings, mystical experiences, something magical, even spectacular orphic experiences. They are "bored with the old traditional approach of Christian services." They want something more. They want an experience. Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe." (Mark 16:17). Signs and wonders follow the believer; the believer does not follow after signs and wonders.
Biblical signs and wonders are confirmations to the resurrection of Christ whom after His ascension now sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for the saints. "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). Seeking supernatural experiences is dangerous and provides an opportunity for demon spirits. All supernatural experiences, no matter how real, need to be tested. Scripture declares, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
I was taught several different ways to teach the Bible including, topical where we discuss certain topics; expository, this is a verse by verse study; and Holy Spirit led where you just flow with the Holy Ghost. Today I see preachers and teachers using experiences with little to no mention of Scripture. This is dangerous. For disciples of Christ to discern supernatural experiences they must know the Word of God. As already said, experiences, no matter how supernatural, must be judged against the written Word of God. To "try" means to put to the test for biblical accuracy.
The Bible is your only measure of truth. Without it, you would be easily deceived. Scripture declares, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"(Hebrews 4:12). Christ' disciples asked him to teach them to pray. Nowhere do we see Jesus draw out a Labyrinth prayer path. Here is what Christ taught. "After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen" (Matthew 6:9-13).
OCCULT PAGAN ROOTS
Labyrinths are pagan. They come in various circular geometric designs symbolizing the universe. They are used chiefly in Hinduism and Buddhism as aids to meditation. Some suspect they were brought to the Western world by the grandfather of the New Age movement Dr. Carl Jung. Associated with the Labyrinth is the double-bladed ax known as a labrys. The labry is a goddess emblem. The spiral Labyrinth shape is also a goddess symbol wrote Joseph Campbell in “The Mask of God: Primitive Mythology.”
Episcopal priest Lauren Artress wrote “Walking A Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool.” She says, “Walking the Labyrinth has reemerged today as a metaphor for the spiritual journey and a powerful tool for transformation. This walking meditation is an archetype, a mystical ritual found in all religious traditions. It quiets the mind and opens the soul. Walking a Sacred Path explores the historical origins of this divine imprint and shares the discoveries of modern-day seekers. It shows us the potential of the Labyrinth to inspire change and renewal, and serves as a guide to help us develop the higher level of human awareness we need to survive in the twenty-first century.”
The prayer Labyrinth is nothing more than a fancy Ouija Board marketed to gain wisdom and hidden mysteries of life but is nothing more than a portal for demonic influence. To use pagan rituals in a Christian context is wrong. Jehovah says, “These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place" (Deuteronomy 12:1-3).
Again, mediation Labyrinths are spiritual gateways and portals for demonic entry. Familiar spirits are glad to accompany those on the journey. Stay away from the New Age prayer Labyrinth. Remember, the Labyrinth represents the coiled snake goddess (Acts 16:16).
Finally, dear friends of Christ I ask you to stand with me against these New Age spirits entering the Church of God and trying to take our children captive.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark -STAY INFORMED
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