I talk a lot about the trendy but biblically erroneous teachings on new spiritual technologies. The suggestion that we can finally unlock the “secrets” to a full life of faith capitalizes on our culture’s desperate search for purpose and prevalent “fear of missing out” (see more on those topics here and here). But not only is it dangerous for Christians to go looking for these things; if we just back up and look at the lives of a few Bible heroes, the logic even becomes downright silly! Let’s see…
Joseph—Should we label him ineffective, spiritually lacking? After all, he didn’t have the Catholic mystics to lead him into self-torture, levitation, and erotic encounters with entities.
Joshua—Look what all Joshua accomplished. His only “secret” was to obey God’s commands and be bold. Could he have accomplished more if he’d done lectio divina?
Nehemiah—Would Nehemiah have been more amazing if he’d walked a labyrinth? (Why didn’t he build one when he was restoring the Jerusalem city walls?)
Daniel—If only he’d known about contemplative prayer. Poor schmuck.
Paul—Had he visualized/invoked the spirit of Moses and listened to Moses’s cosmic advice, think what a great missionary he could have been!
No! How silly! All we need to do is to know and love the Lord, to study what the Lord says and what those guys did—and do the same.
Perhaps, deep down, we’re trying to make our lives easy. Just saying a mantra or getting into the lotus position feels spiritual. And it certainly is much easier than standing up to our modern-day equivalents of Pharaoh or the Canaanites or King Nebuchadnezzar or the gods of Athens. Hmm…