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Thread: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

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    Senior Member greatblue's Avatar
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    Default Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    I came across this LINK today and I wanted to run for the alarm bell. Mark Batterson has a new book titled The Circle Maker that is a marketed as prayer-focused, but seemingly built on a Talmudic story of Honi. Obviously, the first thought that should jump out is...I don't remember Honi from the bible. He is reported as a 1BCE scholar/mystic/prayer man, depending where you source the info from.

    What I can tell you is this. If you click on the trailer, you first see Batterson drawing a circle, standing in it and praying. I cringed and thought, "Uh, Jesus didn't circle himself in Gethsemane." In fact, apart of the walls of Jericho, I can't think of anything circle-related with God or prayer. Anyway, I do recall that praying in circles is a pagan practice that witch-types use even to this day. So, the next video clip on the link tells the story of Honi. The third clip shows the Book of Legends, where Batterson got the Honi story from. And by the end of this I've started to view a few reviews, like a USA today that makes me double cringe.

    One from USA today and another from a site run by a GeorgePWood (proclaimed contrarian pastor)
    The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson: Book Review - USATODAY.com
    Review of “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson GeorgePWood.com

    So, I've prayed for guidance here because I could easily be casting judgement I have no right to make, but something about it makes me shake. I trust God in all things and hope He will instruct me if I have misread, or misled myself.

    If you do have a few minutes, I would greatly appreciate other faithfuls who would ask for discernment and view. Am I seeing this wrong?

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    Senior Member CanadaNZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by greatblue View Post
    I came across this LINK today and I wanted to run for the alarm bell. Mark Batterson has a new book titled The Circle Maker that is a marketed as prayer-focused, but seemingly built on a Talmudic story of Honi. Obviously, the first thought that should jump out is...I don't remember Honi from the bible. He is reported as a 1BCE scholar/mystic/prayer man, depending where you source the info from.

    What I can tell you is this. If you click on the trailer, you first see Batterson drawing a circle, standing in it and praying. I cringed and thought, "Uh, Jesus didn't circle himself in Gethsemane." In fact, apart of the walls of Jericho, I can't think of anything circle-related with God or prayer. Anyway, I do recall that praying in circles is a pagan practice that witch-types use even to this day. So, the next video clip on the link tells the story of Honi. The third clip shows the Book of Legends, where Batterson got the Honi story from. And by the end of this I've started to view a few reviews, like a USA today that makes me double cringe.

    One from USA today and another from a site run by a GeorgePWood (proclaimed contrarian pastor)
    The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson: Book Review - USATODAY.com
    Review of “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson GeorgePWood.com

    So, I've prayed for guidance here because I could easily be casting judgement I have no right to make, but something about it makes me shake. I trust God in all things and hope He will instruct me if I have misread, or misled myself.

    If you do have a few minutes, I would greatly appreciate other faithfuls who would ask for discernment and view. Am I seeing this wrong?
    I would suggest that if you are cringing at the thought of this, that is probably the Holy Spirit telling you to avoid this. I can tell you that there is nothing in the bible about praying in circles and yes it does sound like a pagan ritual.

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    Senior Member wwjd_kilden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Does indeed sound spooky

    the bible warns us of both false prophets and false diciples, so we better keep our eyes open
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    GOD is in the details!

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    noahsmama
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    In the exact same boat as you. My pastor whom I respect highly recommended this book. it didn't take me very long to get an odd feeling. After bringing up my concerns to my pastor I have treated like I am the one with the problem. christians are bring deceived and it is super scary.
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    If he is drawing a circle and standing in it praying,and the Bible does not teach us to do that,and Jesus did not teach us to do that,then there is no basis for him to do that,which shows you he is not a fundamentalist Christian.

    He is part of the seeker church movement.

    The seeker church movement seems to have made a church that appeals to everyone,from what I have read,and ignore the things in the Bible that are offensive.

    The movement in reality has become a clearinghouse for all who believe in the basic goodness of man,for those who think all paths lead to God,for those who hold a theology that does not take the prophetic scriptures in any real literal sense,for those who do not know the scriptures,for those who pick and choose words of scripture out of context to make them say what they want them to say,and for those who think sins of the flesh are really just sickness and addictions.

    Any visible differences between the Church and the world must be reduced to a minimum,and they try to appeal to all denominations to win them,so they kind of adapt to the world in a way to win them over,like what music they like,short prayers because they might get bored,etc.

    They are using Market strategy methods to reach the lost,by surveying the lost to find out what makes them happy to go to Church.It is like they are allowing the lost to determine how the Church should be operated,and are growing fast,so what is the future of the Church if they cater to the world,and they have an input on how the Church should operate.

    Mega-churches across the country have added bowling alleys, NBA regulation basketball courts with bleachers, exercise gyms and spas, locker rooms, auditoriums for concerts and dramatic productions, and Starbucks and McDonald’s franchises—all for the furtherance of the gospel. Or so it is claimed.

    A large part of the evangelical church has developed a pleasure-laden, cruise ship mentality, but it will result in a spiritual Titanic. Seeker-friendly church pastors (and those tempted to climb aboard) need to get on their knees and read the words of Jesus to the church of the Laodiceans (Rev:3:14-21). They were “rich, and increased with goods,” yet failed to recognize that in God’s eyes, they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Jesus, standing outside their church, where they had unwittingly displaced Him, offers them His counsel , the truth of His Word, which alone will enable them to live their lives for His pleasure . There can be nothing better here on earth, and for all eternity.

    People of other denominations will be drawn to that kind of Church,who will have this attitude to hear the word,how they want to hear the word,which reminds me of this scripture.

    2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables(2 Timothy 4:2-4).


    In a nation like America,that allows many worldly things,it is bound to happen,and if Israel was influenced to follow falsehood as a nation,America will too in the long run.


    It is inevitable.
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    Senior Member greatblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpaper345 View Post

    2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables(2 Timothy 4:2-4).
    I think you've posted a very "telling" admonition here, thank you. So we have reason to be concerned, but is there something necessary on our part? I initially wanted to write a letter to Batterson, entirely con confrontational, but as an exploratory looking for his rationale for using a "legend" to write a book on prayer. Again, I keep going to Gethsemane and the Lord's prayer...Jesus taught us well. We need nothing else.

    I've heard many sound teachers publicly rebuke others in the seeker movement and prosperity movement and I am hopeful we will like see an issuance of reproof with Batterson's book as well.

  7. #7
    See_KING_Truth
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Circles are symbols used in satanism and in satanic rituals...I recommend everybody avoid this book. Praying within a cirlcle is most definately of the occult.

  8. #8
    excelmechanical
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by See_KING_Truth View Post
    Circles are symbols used in satanism and in satanic rituals...I recommend everybody avoid this book. Praying within a cirlcle is most definately of the occult.
    Dear brothers and sisters, I'm afraid that this will fall on deaf ears but I really want you all to understand how I feel about this matter. See today I bought this book for our youth group to read and talk about together as we draw near to God, the only true God that there really is, and as we were reading this story of course none of the kids or myself knew about Honi but that made no difference because we were truly there to communicate and draw near to God. As we read through the first two chapters I truly think that it is the moral of the story that is what the Spirit of God is trying to direct to us not the simple thought of a mysterious circle that clearly was not where the power came from. Was it? No it was not. Let me ask you all a quick question and no one is around to know what you are thinking or to judge you you can judge and discern for yourself if I'm right or not. Do you find yourself feeling like most people are being fake or don't really know God and his true power. Cause it is true but it is not always the case the devil cannot attack you by reading a book that is inspiringbut had some "mysterious"circle in it. If it draws you closer to God them it is of God plain and simple. What did Jesus say about Beelzebub? That a house divided against itself cannot stand. Jesus did miracles by the power of B.C.D not by Beelzebub because S.W.. well you can see my point. Open minded, please. You are going to do more damage by allowing satan to scare you because there is the mention of a circle. Praise God that he is moving in more ways than what you all grew up with. Don't try and put God in a box cause he will never allow it to happen, even if you do love Him.

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    Senior Member Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Symbols only have as much power as you give them. That said, the circle sounds silly and unnecessary.

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    Senior Member francina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Ok, from what I've heard in a sermon Honi is a part of Jewish history. There is a drought that is causing death in the nation. Everyone respects him as a man of prayer. He goes out in public & draws a circle, steps in & begins to pray. 'God I will not come out of this circle until You hear me & send rain'. Or something to that effect, anyway, the circle was not some act of sorcery just him making a statement like, I will not let you go until you bless me. I think you are misjudging it due to not reading it.
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Yes it is...


    Honi is at best a Jewish fable.

    Titus 1:13-14

    New King James Version (NKJV)


    13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
    No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

    -- Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa


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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    I have heard Mark Batterson speak. He tells the story of Honi but doesn't make it sound like a ritual circle. I felt like it was more of Honi placing himself inside a circle as a way to say he believes the answer to his prayer will come to the point that he will stay inside the circle until it happens. He also talks about the wall of Jericho and the circling done in that story as well. He doesn't draw circles to pray and doesn't tell his listeners to draw circles. He tells stories of circling property while praying. I got the impression it was more of a focus thing. I picture my entire church family circling the church grounds praying for God's grace on our church or circling a hospital with focused prayer for all those inside hurting. I didn't get anything from his talk to get a bad impression. I have not watched the videos you speak of though so I can only speak of hearing him personally speak to us at a youth leader conference.

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    Senior Member crossnote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Honi, circles, whatever there is no such thing as drawing near to God apart from the sacrificial blood of Jesus which I doubt this book mentions.
    Last edited by crossnote; April 19th, 2013 at 11:39 PM.
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    jinx
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    i can doodle circles on scrap paper, but I don't sit on that scrap paper to pray to GOD. that's just stupid. next thing you know they will create trinkets and charms to wear for protection or prayer...............
    wait. that already happens.
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    It is very simple: If it is not found in scripture and does not line up with God's Word, TRASH IT, because it IS trash...deceptive trash.

    #4....you might want to find a different church seeing as your pastor obviously does not know the Word, let alone, have it imprinted upon his heart.
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    As a Christian, I would be reluctant to take anything doctrinal out of the Talmud.

    When Jesus was here, he preached against the "traditions of men"... this was essentially the laws of the pharisees which were called the Oral Law or the Oral Torah. These traditions were later written down (after the Jewish dispersion because of the destruction of Jerusalem) and this written record of the Oral Law (called the Mishnah) became the first part of the Talmud.

    In a nutshell, the Talmud is the modern version of the exact things Jesus had preached against.


    I would be polite and respectful to Rabbis, but as a Christian, I would not be taking any doctrine from the Talmud.
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    Senior Member RedTent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    I have heard lots of don’ts since I joined cc.

    Don’t have anything to do with circles.

    Be careful of law for that is legalism

    There are many people and groups who are of the devil. Find out all you can about them so anything they believe in you must stay away from. Joyce Meyers, Catholics, Hebrew Roots, Rick Warren, and lots of isms that I can’t pronounce.

    My grandson in law says I must never have a candle in the house because witchcraft uses candles. I haven’t found out where he learned about witchcraft.

    Check everything given in the OT, if it isn’t repeated in the NT it isn’t valid.

    Don’t step on a crack, it will break your mother’s back---no come to think of it, I heard that as a child not on cc.

    There are so many don't's there isn't room for the do's and somewhere there is something against whatever you learn of God. Let's see, grace and forgiveness are accepted by all, but law, OT, Jews, Catholics, Judism, circles, Hebrew Roots, ---I've lost count of all that is evil.


    I think I'll forget all this and just go back to learning all I can about the wonders of God, and how to live in His Kingdom.
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Why do people publicize error, you never know who might get caught up in it.

    Leave well alone.
    "Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election,
    because if you do these things you will never stumble.
    " (2 Peter 1:10)

    The apostles could have rejected the call by Jesus to follow him but their acceptance ensured their election according to God's foreknowledge. Notice the possibility of "stumbling" and the need to make an effort including repentance, belief, and confession. These are the things WE need to do. (Lk 13:5; Jn 3:16; Jn 1:11-12; Ro 10:9; Ro 10:13)

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    Senior Member maxwel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Redtent,

    That was a very clever and funny post.
    : )

    Just let me point out 2 quick things.

    1. You say you want to get away from all the crazy focus on DON'TS,
    and that basically you're tired of people trying to make crazy rules about every little thing.
    Well... that's exactly what Jesus said.
    Jesus was always yelling at the Pharisees for that.
    Then the Pharisees wrote that stuff down, and it became the TALMUD!
    Jesus didn't like all those stupid rules; you don't like all those stupid rules;
    and I'm just pointing out that all that stuff is now in the TALMUD.

    2. You say you want to focus on learning "how to live in His Kingdom".
    Well, that's exactly what this thread is about.
    This thread is about whether or not the Talmud can teach us "how to live in His Kingdom."
    Jesus was always yelling at the pharisees because they didn't know
    "how to live in his kingdom."
    The pharisees wrote down all their crazy laws about "how to live in His Kingdom",
    and all that stuff became the TALMUD.

    Jesus wanted us to have liberty to serve him,
    instead of being weighed down with millions of ridiculous don'ts.
    You agree, and I agree.
    I was just pointing out that the Pharisees were the "keepers of the don'ts",
    and all those don'ts became the TALMUD.

    I hate to tell you this, but I think we're actually in agreement.
    : )
    Last edited by maxwel; April 20th, 2013 at 02:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Is This False Teaching and Dangerous Ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwel View Post
    Redtent,

    That was a very clever and funny post.
    : )

    Just let me point out 2 quick things.

    1. You say you want to get away from all the crazy focus on DON'TS,
    and that basically you're tired of people trying to make crazy rules about every little thing.
    Well... that's exactly what Jesus said.
    Jesus was always yelling at the Pharisees for that.
    Then the Pharisees wrote that stuff down, and it became the TALMUD!
    Jesus didn't like all those stupid rules; you don't like all those stupid rules;
    and I'm just pointing out that all that stuff is now in the TALMUD.

    2. You say you want to focus on learning "how to live in His Kingdom".
    Well, that's exactly what this thread is about.
    This thread is about whether or not the Talmud can teach us "how to live in His Kingdom."
    Jesus was always yelling at the pharisees because they didn't know
    "how to live in his kingdom."
    The pharisees wrote down all their crazy laws about "how to live in His Kingdom",
    and all that stuff became the TALMUD.

    Jesus wanted us to have liberty to serve him,
    instead of being weighed down with millions of ridiculous don'ts.
    You agree, and I agree.
    I was just pointing out that the Pharisees were the "keepers of the don'ts",
    and all those don'ts became the TALMUD.

    I hate to tell you this, but I think we're actually in agreement.
    : )
    Romans 7:9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

    Romans 7:10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

    Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.
    "Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election,
    because if you do these things you will never stumble.
    " (2 Peter 1:10)

    The apostles could have rejected the call by Jesus to follow him but their acceptance ensured their election according to God's foreknowledge. Notice the possibility of "stumbling" and the need to make an effort including repentance, belief, and confession. These are the things WE need to do. (Lk 13:5; Jn 3:16; Jn 1:11-12; Ro 10:9; Ro 10:13)

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