Recently, I was in a hospital waiting room and reluctantly picked up an issue of Guidepost Magazine. I very seldom read Guidepost because the long time publisher, Norman Vincent Peale, promotes heresy and diabolical religions. He has also denied the virgin birth and the necessity to be born again.
As I perused the magazine I landed on an article by Anna Gentile, a hospital chaplain. The article was about Guideposts and Gentile’s work with sick children. In the first paragraph she wrote:
“Put your hand on your chest,” I tell the young patients in the hospital where I work. “Can you feel your heartbeat?” They nod. “Now, with each beat, you can say, ‘I am, I am, I am.’” That prayer, addressed to the great “I Am,” is at the beginning of the journal in each Guideposts for Kids Comfort Kit I give out, and I can’t begin to tell you how much comfort it gives.” – Happy Birthday, Sparkle, Anna Gentile, Guideposts, July 2016
I believe that Christ is pleased when we care for and minister to little children whether they are sick or not. However, giving toys to sick children and teaching them to say “I am, I am, I am,” to God is spiritually equivalent to handing them poisoned candy. The practice smacks of Contemplative Prayer. During Contemplative Prayer the individual may count his or her breaths and chant a word or phrase.
Gentile, who helped put together Guideposts Kid’s Comfort Kit, is a chaplain certified by The Council of Churches of The City of New York. On her LinkedIn profile she states that she is “a poet, and spiritual director who uses creative forms of compassionate care for healing in the crisis culture of hospitals.” A spiritual director is in essence a New Age guru who teaches Spiritual Formation, especially contemplative Prayer. Contemplative Prayer is not prayer but very similar to the Yoga practice of Transcendental Meditation. Because it involves an altered state of consciousness, it is an open door for demon possession.
Additionally, one of the New Age practices that has invaded Christianity through spiritual directors is called, “entering the Christ consciousness”. Christ declared that He is I AM (John 8:58). By instructing children to declare “I am”, spiritual director Gentile is introducing sick children to a dangerous New Age fallacy that one can attain equality with God. That is also what “entering Christ Consciousness” purports to achieve. Sick and vulnerable children should not be subjected to this type of spiritual deception.
Christ also had a warning for people who would take advantage of little children.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6
That verse always puzzled me. I wondered how a little child could be taught to sin. Christ stated that it was possible. In my opinion Gentile is teaching sick children to sin. It is a grievous sin for anyone to declare him or herself to be the “I AM”. There is only one “I Am” and that is Almighty God. Teaching little children to declare, “I am” to the beat of their hearts is teaching them to declare that they are as God. It is not a prayer by any stretch, but a proclamation.
I believe Gentile, the editors and publisher of Guideposts, will be judged by that verse. They are luring sick children with toys to participate in a practice guided by a spiritual director that teaches them to sin. Further, it subjects them to demonic activity. I believe that God’s love and mercy is applied liberally for those children. Conversely, great judgement awaits the ones who perpetrate the sin described by Christ in Matthew 18:6.
Christian parents need to be informed that there is an invisible price tag attached to a Guideposts for Kids Comfort Kit and the spiritual director that may arrive with it. That price may be their child’s participation in a New Age ritual that deceptively encourages them to declare equality with God. I am not surprised that Guideposts Magazine would foist such a heretical practice on sick children. I am surprised that they got away with it for 10 years without detection.