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Since you asked...Practicing the Presence of God simply means that you are acknowledging Him in your daily life more. Ya know, like as I'm taking the trash out, I remember that God is with me. You do realize that we are in a relationship with God, right? God is Omnipresent. He is with you. If you read the book, you would see that the author didn't want to just live a 'normal' life. He wanted to constantly remind himself that God is with him. Didn't Jesus reconcile us back to God? This book is about a man's relationship with God.

Larry Chitwood

You have totally missed the point of the use of ancient Christian practices, and yes Catholics are Christians. Individual Christians must find their own way to connect with God. For some it is worship, either contemporary or ancient. For some it is prayer, simple sweet conversation seen in "main-line" Churches or Common Prayers prayed by believers for centuries, meaningful then and meaningful now.

Paul wrote in Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

Your practice of faith is what builds relationship between you and God and I celebrate that. Others may need something different. Why deny them any practice that builds relationship with God? I pray God fills your heart with the love of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and opens your heart and mind to tolerance and love for others.

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


Brother Lawrence was a Roman Catholic Monk. That is a serious red flag

He did not believe in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone by Christ's work alone. he believed in 'infused grace' and purgatory. He bought into a the cult of the saints, prayers to the virgin Mary and the Roman Catholic Mass (continual re-sacrifice of Christ). These heresies cannot be separated from the theology of Brother Lawrence's writings. Instead, they are assumed in them.

Read the in depth critique that Bob DeWaay wrote which I linked to at the end of this post.

Brother Lawrence is not merely teaching us to recognize that God is omnipresent. There's more to 'practicing the presence' than that, and there in lies the errors.

Dig deeper. Scrutinize more closely against the Word of God.

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


You are in serious error.

Roman Catholics do not believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone through Christ's work alone.

The Catholic church has anathematized the Gospel.

They deny that Christ's death on the cross is sufficient for our salvation.

They pray to the saints.

They pray to Mary. Some (not all) even worship Mary and believe that Mary is a coredemptrix with Christ in our salvation.

They believe that the mass is re-sacrifice of Christ.

Sorry but the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate church. Claiming otherwise proves you're naive and ignorant of the scriptures.

Acidri's Blog

The Emergent Movement and most of these mystic fads are spiritual foster children of the Seeker Sensitive movement. Water down the gospel,lose the potent authenticity that Christianity holds.
-Acidri's Blog


I remember as a new Christian about 20+ years ago reading Brother Lawrence--I thought at that time it was OK and it has on occassion had fruit in my life in reminding of Gods Omnipresence. Thankfully I had some strong Christian influences who turned me toward deeper things such as the Puritans and Sproul and Macarthur and the like. I would need to go back and read Practicing The Presence of God to see what may be beyond the Word of God in it and will read Bob Dewaays article when I get a chance

But I always wonder at those who so flippantly call for tolerance and love as though because I tolerate someone or love them that is going to make God let them into Heaven?? Is that not being judgemental as well--Telling God who He has to let into heaven--What Power you people have!! Toleration simply means that I can live and work alongside unbelievers without hating them or wishing them harm. And if I truly love somebody I have to tell them the truth as opportunity presents itself even if I just think they might be involved with something heretical that will draw them away from Jesus Christ and Salvation--Otherwise as Spurgeon pointed out I dont love them anymore than if I stand and watch their house burn down with them in it because it would be unloving to disturb their sleep


Seriously, Ken - I mean, Chris? The "red flag" is that it is a practice of traditional Catholicism?

What is prayer, if not the ***practice*** of communicating with God? What is meditating upon Scripture, if not the ***practice*** of deepening one's understanding of, and thus fellowship with, one's loving Creator?

As one can expect of you, your educated ignorance has caused you to dismiss, out of hand, anything that suggests that God, and relationship therewith, is anything broader than your personal experience.

As you've said, often and abusively to me, repent.


Chris, what would you call worship services except practicing the presence of the Lord? Shouldn't we strive to remember we are in the presence of the Lord always? (Exodus 33:14 NKJV) And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

The scripture tells us: (Psalms 140:13 NKJV) Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence. Are you saying that we shouldn't be practicing what we preach?

Even the Great Commission speaks to always being in the presence of the Lord - (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV) "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

We are encouraged to "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8 NKJV) - isn't this exactly what you asked for? Scripture telling us to practice the presence of the Lord - in effect, drawing near to Him so that He will draw near to us.

I am confused by your issue - is it with the phrase 'practicing the presence' that you object to, or to someone's idea of how to implement it? If the latter, perhaps you could rephrase your question so as to NOT imply that being close to God is heretical or apostate...

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


Hey look we found some common ground.

You said that these mystic practices come from "traditional Catholicism"?

Yep, you're right! These practices have their roots in the Mystical traditions of Catholicism that date back to the 4th Century AD. They're not Biblical. Neither Jesus nor His disciples, nor the prophets nor Moses practiced them nor taught them. Yep you're correct in pointing out that these are traditions of men.

You know, if I remember this correctly, Jesus had a thing or two that He said about traditions of men.

Here's what Jesus said about such things:

“Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”” (Mark 7:1–13)

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


I am referring to specific mystical and contemplative practices developed by Roman Catholic Monks for the express purpose of having a direct subjective mystical experience of God. I am not talking about worship and acknowledging God's omnipresence.

Take the time to read this article. http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue97b.htm

It will help better define the issues surrounding these practices.


Waitwaitwaitwait... Niether Jesus nor his disciples practiced them???????? Jesus didn't spend all night in prayer? Have we read the same Gospels?

You seem to think that a person desiring to more closely commune with the Almighty on a personal level is heretical. I can only repeat the question, if this is the case: Are you reading the same four Gospels in the canonical New Testament that I am?

Perhaps it is time to let go of your pride and admit that God is bigger than you.

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


Praying all night ≠ Mysticism.

These Roman Catholic Monastic practices are specifically geared to hook you into subjective mystical experiences.

I agree God is much much bigger than I could ever think or imagine but God has not ordained these mystical practices and it is pure arrogance to think that God will give you a subjective mystical experience or direct revelation through these human invented practices.

If you believe that God will give you a direct mystical experience through these practices then I have a super secret practice that I discovered while reading really ancient manuscripts that will plug you directly into the holy spirit. The practice involves oak trees, chicken feathers and nudity. It's loads of fun and I guarantee that it will give you a direct experience with God. I'll teach you this ancient practice for 3 easy payments of $39.99.


You obviously misunderstand the practices of contemplative prayer and Christian meditation.

I am not at all surprised by this.

To quote your own words, "you don't disprove a person's position by misrepresenting it then beating up on the misrepresented view." You can apply the same logic to a given discipline.

Seriously, dude. As you've abusively said to me time and again, reading comprehension, get some.

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


I've read the mystics for myself. AND I am very well versed in what popular Pomo pastors are teaching regarding these practices.

Here are few resources for your consideration.


What does this document teach that the Lectio Divina is for?


What does Tony Jones teach about these practices?

Finally listen to the sermon review on this edition of my program.


The sermon review begins at the 1:10:00 mark.


"If you believe that God will give you a direct mystical experience through these practices then I have a super secret practice that I discovered while reading really ancient manuscripts that will plug you directly into the holy spirit..."

I have one too, but it's free. See, what you do is get someone who must be male and must have proven that he reads & meditates over this special book every single day. This person has to have passed several tests created by men throughout the centuries to prove thier worth and purity - along with rigorous teachings & judgements. Only this special robed person can perform this rite. Once you find this especially manteled man, you must submit yourself to questioning & must proclaim your innermost beliefs regarding your belief in God. Remember, this questioning takes place among a crowd of people to whom you will be answerable for the rest of your membership in the group. Once all that is done, special words are said and either you are dunked in water or you have special holy water sprinkled on your head and... then magically, the holy spirit enters you...

OR - more simply, an honest confession of faith and baptism.

MY POINT IS - I think we're really talking semantics here. The whole idea of communion is very mystical, the idea of baptism is mystical - in that it is mysterious - as God is mysterious - I love that I will never know everything about God - That my relationship with Him is mysterious and that He works in MYSTERIOUS ways.

My God is mystical, Christ's ascension is mystical/mysterious. I worry that you are scaring people away from a beautiful and wonderful relationship with Christ and God through the Holy Spirit. A relationship that can be both spiritual and mysterious and loving and powerful.

Semantics, language, perspective, call it what you will, but how can you deny that anything that draws us nearer to God is good?


You know better than to expect me to listen to your podcast. As to the rest, igf I haven't read them yet, I will.

And when you get a moment, try and actually address the things I say, instead of using these responses as a springboard for prooftexting and speaking to things unrelated.

Oh, and repent.

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


Jesus himself ordained both Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

What Jesus and His disciples say those two practices do is what they do. They're not man made. They are God ordained.


I've read the Lectio Divina stuff, though not from Mars Hill.

By the way, did you steal the image on your blog from Tony Jones? That's something Ken Silva is famous for doing... but that stands to reason, doesn't it?

I have to say, Chris, that you are practicing isogesis with these documents to a degree unheard of before, even for you.

By all means, if you're scared of having a personal relationship with the living God, by all means don't. But, again, as you yourself said, "you don't disprove a person's position by misrepresenting it then beating up on the misrepresented view."


I don't see your issue yet - I read your link, it was someone else's opinion of yet another person's "posthumous collection of recalled teachings..." - incomplete by definition.

But you said "Even worse there are no practices given in the scriptures whereby if a person performed the right steps with the right attitude of the heart that they could climb the ladder into heaven and then God would grant that person a subjective 'experience' of the divine."

And yet, what do you call the entrance of the Holy Spirit after Baptism? Doesn't the acceptance of Christ as your saviour neccessarily mean a change in your life, a change of heart, a change of attitude, a "subjective experience of the divine?"

Did you not feel this when you were saved? Did you not feel a lifting of sin when you prayed your confessional prayer? If not of the divine, then from where did that feeling come?

You also said: "Go to church and receive the Lord's supper, pray the Lord's prayer and offer up prayers and petitions to God. These are the humble ways that God has chosen for us to experience Him on this side of Christ's return and these are sufficient and profound. To seek to go beyond these humble means is idolatrous and often time spiritually disastrous."

Are you saying that church, "while receiving the Lord's prayer and offering prayers and petitions to God" are the only time you can experience Him in your life? Really? Do you not experience God's Love in the birth of a newborn child? Do you not believe that serving our fellow men is not 'being about God's work'? Do you believe that mission work does not include an experience with God? I cannot believe that is the case...

If it is, if you have truly not felt the divine in your everyday life then I feel for you and pray that you can open your mind to the idea that because God is with you all the time, you can have a spiritual, even mysterious/mystical experience at any time.

I believe you are caught up in the fact that this individual is a Catholic Monk - it is as if your issue is with the Catholic church and it's teachings - not necessarily the concept of practicing the presence of the Lord.

I wish you peace.

Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


Here's the original sermon without my commentary.


Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian)


How exactly am I isogeting when it comes to these practices? Explain your point.

My point is simple: that those promoting these practices claim that they were developed for you to have direct mystical experiences of God. All the documentation I've given you says that.

I have no problem with my relationship with God. But I'd never claim that a practice I invented will plug you directly into God's power socket so that you can experience Him.

Larry Chitwood

James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


Chris, if I am hearing you correctly, there is no possible way in your view for a person to develop a direct relationship with God. One must, by design, be in a corporate worship context (and, if I may draw on your numerous vituperous imprecations against so many such contexts, only the **right** corporate worship context) in order to experience relationship with God.

If this is so, it is among the most hyperbolic and unScriptural things I've read, and a stretch even for the likes of you.

Humans in search of redemption by, reconciliation to, and relationship with the liviing God must indeed be involved in some form of corporate worship and study; however, to deny the personal, to discount they mystery, to denigrate the unknown, is utterly ridiculous.

To take ancient practices like Lectio Divina and contemplative prayer and dismiss them as invented practices that claim to "...plug you directly into God's power socket so that you can experience Him" is to (again, quoting you) attempt to "disprove a person's position by misrepresenting it then beating up on the misrepresented view."

I used to think you better than that. I have, of course, long ago learned my lesson.


If you want to practice the presence of God You need only to Go to Jesus. Not mary not the so called saints not the man to whom people call father in the church. You want to practice the presence of God read the true bible throw out the added books and stop trying to work your way to Heaven because that will only bring you further away from God and closer to hell. You want to practice the presence of God go to Jesus, only Jesus, just Jesus nuff said!!!!!!!

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