IS IT BIBLICAL?
Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment. Isaiah 50:11
“Circling with prayer” is one of the terms I heard early on concerning what Mark Batterson said he did for his church and I was instantly disturbed. Why would a pastor, a church, an author, want to use this occult term and write a book with the title, “The Circle Maker”? Even in my limited knowledge of the occult, in my younger days I knew a ‘white witch’. She described the ‘circling‘ they did for energy and power, in order to invoke the ‘good spirits’ and yet they had a pentagram within the circle…
Circling or the ‘casting’ or ‘marking (drawing of circles) are used in the occult, magical and satanic practices; for evoking power, conjuring money, any big dreams, by manipulating the gods, spirits, demons….
I can see why people such as Joni Earackson Tada have fallen for this occult practice seeing as she embraces the New-Age Occult “Message” bible…(not a Bible)
So they commissioned them. In that CIRCLE of intensity and obedience, of fasting and praying, they laid hands on their heads and sent them off. THE MESS-AGE – MESSAGE (It is a MESS and it is New AGE) NOTICE ANY ADDITIONS?
CONTRAST THE KJV: And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:3
The One with Seven Stars in his right-fist grip, striding through the golden seven-lights’ CIRCLE. Rev 2:2 – the Mess-Age
No time to waste, for I’m well on my way to removing your light from the golden CIRCLE. Rev 2:5 – the Message
Look it up. Look up circle in the New Testament in the KJV = ZERO times. (No, I am not KJVO)
I thought this would be an easy post since my friend Judy wrote this, a simple copy and paste. A little formatting and I’m done. Trouble is, she also gave me a link to “Revive our Hearts” and the “True Women” conference. Troubling…
The True Women Conference was held in Indianapolis 2012 by “Revive our Hearts”, Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Link
List of speakers/singers/etc. at the True Woman Conference doing the circle making: Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Janet Parshall, Priscilla Shirer, Joni Eareckson Tada, Singer Kristyn Getty, Juli Slattery, Pastor Bill and Holly Eliff, , Dannah Gresh, Mary Kassian, Leslie Bennett, Leslie Basham, Bob Lepine.
Mark Batterson is the author of many best selling books, “The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears”, “All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life”, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge”. Lead Pastor at National Community church, aka “The Theater Church” in Washington, D.C.., He has six locations; Lincoln Theatre, Kingstowne, Potomac, Ballston, Georgetown, Barracks and evidently quite a following. They even have a ‘student’ edition of the book. All I can think of is Eugene Peterson’s Mess–age incants,
“As above, so below”…
The Circle Maker
By Judy Rominger
I have been reading a ‘Bible’ study on prayer – I use the term ‘Bible’ loosely because really the author based the heart and whole premise of his book on a legend — The Legend of Honi, to be precise. The author is teaching a prayer technique found nowhere in Scripture and introduces doctrine found nowhere in Scripture, but he uses and twists a whole lot of Scripture to try and support this legend he so very much loves.
It boils down to this…he’s teaching new way to pray to get BIG things out of God and introducing new doctrine based on a legend, and ‘Christians’ are buying it.
Seriously. I’m not joking. They are buying the lie that the author claims that God only honors bold prayers – that small prayers insult Him. That’s right. That’s what the author claims.
He says “we must all draw circles around our prayers like the fabled Jewish man Honi,…even draw chalk circles to sit and pray in”.
He says “The earth has circled the sun more than two thousand times since the day Honi drew his circle in the sand, but God is still looking for circle makers. And the timeless truth secreted within this ancient legend is as true now as it was then.” (He’s right about it being an ancient legend. The Gnostics & pagans practiced it, but it was condemned as a heresy by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 A.D. Amazing the resurgence of gnostic practices these last days, right? )
The Pastor/Author continues… “bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less.”
Where in Scripture does God say that He is offended by ‘non-bold’ prayers?
Let’s look at what we have here. We have a brand new prayer exercise being taught by a man and brand new doctrine – small prayers offend God!
Then he reiterates his claim . . . “If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.”
Wow. Where does the Lord say that in Scripture?
Does that mean when I’ve told one of my children to pray and ask God to help them study & do well on a college exam, that I should have told them instead to pray and ask God to give them an A+ 100% on a test I know is next to impossible for them to ace? Hmmm…. Does the minutia – the little details I share with the Lord happening in my life that I need His help with really insult him? Really? And another thing – don’t all good things come from God? The small and great?
But Jesus taught us to pray ….
“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….”
Think about that last line…our daily bread. Praying for my “daily bread”… Hmm, my daily sustenance – spiritual & physical – the everyday minutia.
Did Jesus get it wrong?
(Judy’s comments in parentheses within the indented comments by the authors, otherwise, her comments will follow.)
Then the author claims… “There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises (truth), answering prayers (truth), performing miracles (truth), and fulfilling dreams (All our dreams? Or only ones that fit within His will?).”
Then he continued “That is who He is. That is what He does. And the bigger the circle we draw (what?), the better, because God gets more glory.”
Wow. Draw circles? Draw big circles to bring Him more glory? How big should my circle be? And what color should I draw it in?
In Psalm 37, we are told “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land & enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this.” There is a priority given in these words; Trust Him and do good, & your first delight must be in the Lord, Himself – not what you want from Him. Are you really committed to Him having His way, trusting & delighting in Him even if His answer might be ‘no?’ Sometimes it’s not easy to trust and obey, because God might have different plans.
Yet the author of this book on prayer continues unequivocally to proclaim:
“I promise you this: God is ready and waiting. So while I have no idea what circumstances you find yourself in, I’m confident that you are only one prayer away from a DREAM FULFILLED, a promise kept or a miracle performed.”
Yes, we serve a miracle working God and yes, He keeps His promises, but He has a plan for each of our lives & that might not fulfill our current dreams or expectations. – For one thing His plan could exceed them, or turn them upside down, because He is after all King of Kings & Lord of Lords. So how do we glorify God with false doctrine, drawing circles (which isn’t found in Scripture), and treating Him like He is Santa Claus? Where is the Scripture that tells me to feed my narcissism? I cannot reconcile the teachings in this book with the Word the Lord spoke to His disciples, ” If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me (Matt. 16:24).”
Rather than feeding on the meat of God’s Word, people are feeding on stink weeds. What are the shepherds thinking who use these materials? What is wrong with just using God’s Word as our source and not adding to it or taking away from it?
Start with Amazon.com and read the description….
“According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, ‘Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.’ Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.”
The author described how when “the last of the Jewish prophets had died off, there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the wall of Jerusalem.”
He’s speaking of the time frame biblical scholars and theologians have long referred to as the period where God was silent. Yo — all the prophets are dead, but there’s HONI! There’s your sign…The author is good about giving this ‘eccentric sage’ a sweet and biblical sounding covering as he teaches about good ole Honi and his Honi practice.
He even anticipates some will criticize him as an advocate of “name it, claim it” theology, but insists it is not. I think he doth protest too much, because it is hardly distinguishable from it. But that doesn’t preclude him one bit from very often taking Scripture far beyond its context and making promises the Bible does not actually make.
Can you see any difference in his magic circles than the one here, found in the book The Magic Circle (a book of ritual occultism that I used to have)?
“There is no aspect of ritual occultism more ancient or more essential than the magic circle. Indeed, it is difficult to find systems of magic that do not use the circle in some form, and when they are found, they seem incomplete and naked. The magic circle is older than Solomon, older than Moses, and occurs throughout the world in all religions and systems of witchcraft and thaumaturgy. It divides, excludes, protects, attracts, focuses, and concentrates, as these functions are needed by the magician. It is used not merely for evocations, but for invocations, for charging of talismans, for scrying, for projecting accumulated occult energy, and even for meditation. A correct understanding of the circle, not only how to project it, but what it signifies symbolically, is the most basic knowledge any magician can possess, and no magician can be said to know anything of importance about magic who has not mastered the use of the circle.” -The Magic Circle by Donald Tyson
THE BIBLE TELLS US
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 ~ “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one, who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.”
I Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Prove ALL THINGS; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
I really don’t see any difference in this — telling people to draw circles to enhance their prayers than telling folks they’ve got to worship God by handling snakes.
At least there is a scripture that references handling snakes where there is none for drawing circles, but most would understand that God isn’t telling us all to go handle snakes. (I hope.) In this Scripture, found in the Gospel of Mark (16:18), Jesus tells His followers “And these signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and they will drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Is this a commandment Jesus is telling us all to follow? No! That doesn’t mean that God so loved the world, He said let’s go out and handle some snakes and drink poison!
He’s not saying this as an imperative or command for His people to follow, but an indication that some amazing signs will accompany those who follow Him. Those words Christ spoke certainly foretold the experience Paul had on the Island of Malta, however, he didn’t go out looking for a poisonous snake to hold. He was bitten unexpectedly and in front of witnesses who were stunned to realize His God indeed protected him as He promised. Again, in the context of all that is written there, God is explaining He has charge over us and can protect us from many things we may face in serving Him. He’s definitely not saying we are to deliberately hurt ourselves so as to test him to see if He will come through for us.
But if you follow the advice given in Mr. Batterson’s book – it sure sounds like one of the big things (impossible for you) – that God would be pleased with, doesn’t it?
Where else is this circle drawing for prayers found? Besides the mystical traditions of some Jewish legends and Gnosticism, it is found deep within the historical record of those who practice witchcraft as I’ve illustrated above. So look up ‘drawing circles,’ etc.. You will find an abundance of pagan web sites that teach the same.