Q. My question is about the verses where Peter and Paul were said to fall into a trance. I believe contemplative meditation is wrong, and I want to know what your take is on these verses: Acts 10:10 and Acts 22:17. I’m doing a study on prayer. Thanks ahead of time for you answer.
A. In Acts 10:10 it was Peter and in Acts 22:17 it was Paul, but both fell into a trance and experienced a vision from God in which they received instruction. A Greek lexicon explains the event this way. “The person’s mind is drawn off from all surrounding objects and wholly fixed on things divine so that he sees nothing but the forms and images lying within.” In other words, for a moment the external world ceases to exist and all the person can see and hear is the vision he’s experiencing.”
In both cases these were spontaneous events orchestrated by God for the purpose of instruction. Contemplative meditation on the other hand is a self initiated mental exercise designed to empty the mind, in an effort to make it receptive to such an event. Opponents say this is dangerous because it can leave practitioners vulnerable to the influence of unwanted spiritual forces and should be avoided.