Can Stepping out of the Traffic lead to Idolatry?

The new blog CHURCH AND THE SIDELINING OF JESUS reveals that:

Wanting to draw more people to the Mark Center, Steve Klassen has started a new program called “Step out of the Traffic”. If you want a REALLY CLEAR PICTURE of what the Mark Centre does the video posted below is a MUST WATCH. It is an instructional video featuring Steve Klassen. Don’t take my word for it. WATCH FOR YOURSELVES…

Online Spiritual Retreat Demo | Step Out of the Traffic


Read more about this here:


To see why the practice demonstrated on this video may lead to idolatry, please read this:


Incidentally, the same Elijah who Klassen uses as an example in the above video to support the use of short repeated breath prayers, was vehemently opposed to such idolatry. For example:

In their contest with Elijah the prophets of Baal prayed a “breath prayer” until they were out of breath. “O Baal, answer us,” they prayed over and over from from early morning until high noon (1 Kings 18:26). But Jesus directly instructed his disciples not to pray like that. He warned, “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them” (Matthew 6:7-8a). The direct command of Jesus our Spiritual Director is enough for me to avoid any resemblance to pagan praying. As a pastor and in submission to the Lord’s and the apostles’ teaching on prayer, I cannot in good conscience recommend the practice of praying breath prayers.

Breath Prayers, Pastor Larry Debruyn

***NOTE: If you cannot play the above video, use this youtube URL to watch:


Richard Rohr Impacts the Mark Centre, the Mennonites, and Maybe Millions

What Will Ears Hear in The Mark Centre’s New Book?

The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions

The Mark Centre and Lectio Divina

St. Ignatius of Loyola & St. Teresa of Avila and Agnes Sanford at a Mennonite Retreat Centre?

Examining the Examen of the Mennonite Brethren’s Retreat Centre

MB Herald Promotes Contemplative Centre, Again

Mennonite Missions TREK to the Labyrinth and the Silence

Lectio Divina vs. Context

Why are Mennonite pastors, students and missionaries being taught to sit comfortably repeating a word quietly for 20 minutes?


2 thoughts on “Can Stepping out of the Traffic lead to Idolatry?

  1. Wow.

    Anytime someone goes to 1 Kings 19 to support that Christians should hear the voice of God, you know that they simply are shallow thinkers that are incompetent at exegesis. That “still small voice” happened once in history…so we should DEFINITELY make it the normative rule (like the sun standing still, right?). Beyond that, ever notice how the other times God speaks in scripture, unbelievers who hear it confuse it with thunder? Also, the point of the passage is that Baal (the nonexistent one) is the one who “speaks ” by natural phenomena where as Yahweh is the one who speaks with actual words. The story is a contrast between Baal and Yahweh, not a didactic passage on prayer or hearing the voice of God.

    That is NOT to infer that Klassen actually is hearing Baal (since Baal is nonexistent), but rather that the scriptures would suggest that he is confusing his imagination (or possibly demons) with the voice of God.

    It’s sadly poetic how he suggests that one could reflect on the words of Eugene Peterson for a few decades but considers the words of God worthy of only a few minutes of reflection. Hmmmm…

    One day, he will have to give account for how he has deceived the flock, and I pray that Luke 12:45-47 may NOT be the one piece of scripture Steve Klassen will understand with experiential clarity. May the Lord grant him a return to his senses.

    • Thank you for your comments. Your observations about experience over exegesis and the Eugene Peterson quote are very sobering. To carry those points further, Peterson is also one who promotes contemplative spirituality. When he wrote his paraphrase of the Bible (The Message), this is how he changed Psalm 46:10…

      Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.”

      By calling this 20 minute teaching ‘Step out of the Traffic’, it appears Klassen is quoting (again) from Peterson.

      Psalm 46:10 in the KJV reads as follows.

      Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.

      This is the verse that is constantly used to back the practice of lectio divina and breath prayers by all those who are involved in contemplative prayer, even though from its context, it is clearly about the futility of the efforts of those who are striving against God. Once again, it’s an issue of exegesis vs. experience.

      Thank you for pointing to the only solution – the mercy of our Lord.

      * For anyone who is confused about the meaning of Psalm 46:10, this link offers a simple explanation:


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