The blog of Newspring Church, which is pastored by Perry Noble, has published a post that began fairly innocuously, but quickly spiraled into potentially dangerous territory.
The post, entitled, “28 Days that Changed My Life,” does not name an author, so at this time it is assumed that it was written by the church’s lead pastor, Perry Noble. The post begins by encouraging the reader to set aside time to pray and study God’s Word each morning before the busyness of the day commences. This is a practical discipline for any believer, as time in the Word each morning may help to keep one’s focus throughout the day on the things of the Lord. Noble took this one step further, however, and proposed that each person keep a journal of what was studied that day. Of course, journaling, while not a command or requirement found in Scripture, is not a harmful activity if one finds that it aids in their spiritual growth.
Unfortunately, Perry Noble does not simply teach in this article that the Christian should write down the objective truths of Scripture that were learned during that day’s “quiet time.” Rather, Noble instructs his readers to sit silently and wait for God to speak to them:
The Lord desires His very best for you. Knowing what His best is takes time–not just time talking to Him but time to be still and listen. Psalm 37:7 commands us to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” When you have some uninterrupted time, sit quietly with a pen and paper and wait. Then write what you hear during the silence. This sounds like a simple task, but for many of us it is a real challenge. Discipline yourself to set aside a time of stillness before the Lord to hear God speak. He will speak right to your heart. Source
What Noble is teaching here is dangerously similar to the mystical practice of contemplative prayer. Proponents of this so-called “spiritual discipline” encourage practitioners to wait in silence before the Lord for a word from Him, thus undermining the final and authoritative words of Scripture. To learn more about this practice, please visit CRN’s research article on contemplative prayer.