What is this? Well - it boils down to people seeking a direct, unmediated, subjective experience of ecstatic oneness with God in which they might get a message from God. They practice ascetic deprivation and then "meditate" to empty their minds and free themselves of this world so they can be united with God on some new level.
So what are the issues?
- God has revealed Himself in the Scriptures. (2Tim. 3:15-17) People who want to know God need to find out objective truth about Him from the Scriptures.
- The Holy Spirit of God instructs believers through the illumination of the Scriptures. (1Cor. 2:14-16) He revealed it originally and He illumines it to the mind of the regenerate person.
- The meditation the Bible talks about is not like that of Eastern Mystics (Hindu, Buddhist, Yoga, TM, etc.). In biblical meditation people are to think about the revelation of God and it's objective meaning. (e.g., Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2) Then they are supposed to apply that meaning (including directions for living) into their lives.
- The practices of the new mystics and monastics are UNBIBLICAL!
- Much of what is called Christianity has shallowed out into a religious themed party and/or celebration of a can-do attitude. But many people want something "deeper."
- We live in an age where autonomy is the highest value. People are much more interested in a subjective experience and a private message than they are in the objective propositions of the Bible.
- We are in a post-modern age where truth is thought to be relative and truth statements are viewed with suspicion. Many people will not submit themselves to the authority of the Bible or the preaching of it.
(2Timothy 4:1-4) I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.