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“Lecto Divina Part 2”
by Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond - David Cloud   
July 13th, 2016

Second, lectio divina associates the practitioner with centuries-old heresy. 

Lectio divina was invented by the heretic Origen in the third century and was adopted as a Roman Catholic practice in the Dark Ages. Origen is a dangerous man to follow. Among other heresies, he denied the infallible inspiration of Scripture and the literal history of the early chapters of Genesis, taught baptismal regeneration and universal salvation, and believed that Jesus is a created being. 

The practice of lectio divina was incorporated into the rules of Rome's dark monasticism. It was systematized into four steps in the 12th century by Guido II, a Carthusian monk, in "The Ladder of Four Rungs" or "The Monk's Ladder." The four steps are reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation, which are supposed to be the means by which one "can climb from earth to heaven" and learn "heavenly secrets."

Thus, lectio divina is intimately associated with Roman Catholicism and its false gospel. Modern lectio divina gurus such as Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating follow in the footsteps of ancient Catholic heretics by intertwining this practice with the heresies of Rome. Merton, for example, associates lectio divina with the Mass (which he describes as a "living and supremely efficacious re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice"), baptismal regeneration, meriting union with God, prayers to Mary, and salvation through works (Spiritual Direction and Meditation, pp. 62, 71, 72, 74, 108). 

Bible believers have maintained rich devotional practices throughout the church age without resorting to something invented by heretics and developed in the bosom of the Harlot Church. 

Third, lectio divina is typically used as a means of receiving personal revelation and mystical experiences beyond the words of Scripture. 

Youth Specialties' Youth Worker Journal says of lectio divina, "THE GOAL ISN'T EXEGESIS OR ANALYSIS, but allowing God to speak to us through the word" (quoted from Brian Flynn, "Lectio Divina--Sacred Divination"). 

This refers to a mystical knowing and a transcendental revelation that supposedly exists beyond conscious thought.

Brian Flynn makes an important observation: 

 "The concept of allowing God to speak through His Word is perfectly legitimate. I experience that when I read or meditate on the Bible. However, in the context of this [Youth Specialties'] article the purpose is not to contemplate the meaning of a Bible verse by thinking about it but is rather meant to gain an experience from it."

Thomas Keating says: "The early monks ... would sit with that sentence or phrase ... just listening, repeating slowly the same short text over and over again. This receptive disposition enabled the Holy Spirit to expand their capacity to listen" ("The Classical Monastic Practice of Lectio Divina"). 

The danger of the lectio divina method is illustrated by the fact that its practitioners are taught heresy by this means. This is evident in that Catholic mystic saints have been confirmed in their heresies by this practice for the space of more than a millennium.

Consider a revelation that Basil Pennington said he received through lectio divina. He said that he chose Christ's words "I am the way" from John 14:6 and repeated them during his meditation and throughout the day. At the end of the day when he was tired and wasn't looking forward to singing evening prayers at the monastery he says the Lord spoke to him and said, "Oh yes, you are the way," so he "went and sang Vespers and had a great time" (interview with Mary NurrieStearns published on the Personal Transformation website,, - [mentioned page no longer exists]). 

Note that "the Lord" allegedly took the declaration that Christ is the way and applied it to Pennington, instructing him that he, too, is the way, which is rank heresy. 

We believe strongly in studying Scripture and seeking God's illumination of it, but this is done through a process of interpretive Bible study and active contemplation (e.g., Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:15), rather than through a mystical process that seeks to go beyond the Bible's words and is intimately associated with heresy. 

 Former psychic Brian Flynn warns:

"By taking passages of Scripture, which have an intended meaning, and breaking them down into smaller, separate segments, often for the purpose of chanting over and over, the true meaning of the passages is lost. Rather a form of occult mysticism is practiced--with the hope and intention of gaining a mystical experience that God never intended when He gave the inspired words to His servants" (Running against the Wind, p. 136).

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