Labyrinth Walking

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, May 9, 2016.

  1. Jerome

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    Anyone do this?

    http://conversationsjournal.com/2011/04/labyrinth-walking/

    "Labyrinth walking, also known as 'prayer in motion,' is a physical discipline that reflects the spiritual yearning to get at the heart of God. Unlike a maze, which is a puzzle riddled with dead ends and turnarounds, a labyrinth is a continuous path leading into and away from the center. Though it is unfamiliar to many Protestants living in a linear, Western world, labyrinth walking is a whole body experience that has much to teach us about centering ourselves on Christ." —Christian George
     
  2. JonC

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    Interesting. I have not heard of "labyrinth walking", but it reminds me of circumambulation.
     
  3. annsni

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  4. Baptist Believer

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    I never have and I'm not interested in doing it. I tend to do contemplation with manual labor, but the labyrinth works quite well for the discipline of contemplation for lots of folks.

    Now folks get upset about the word "contemplation," but all it is (in a Christian context) is meditation on scripture, a biblical concept, or working through a situation in prayer.

    For those who are very purpose driven, a labyrinth can break the habit of busyness. For some of us who are more laid back and work at a desk, manual labor gets us out of our routines and chances perspectives as we used our muscles and bring order out of disorder.

    Yes, it is a tool that may work for some. The disciplines are wisdom for putting the body in a position where we can more easily receive God's grace for transformation.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    The link points out that pagans have used labyrinths and that somehow apparently means that Chriatians cannot use them in an appropriate way.

    Pagans pray, so I guess that Christian prayer is bad. New Agers eat breakfast, so breakfast must be bad. Lost people know how to study, so Christians should not study, they should have the mind of Christ.

    The Got Questions folks don't want people getting mixed up with bad teaching, so they condemn many good things for bad reasons without actually taking on the harder task of training people how to grow in grace.
     
  6. Jerome

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    Huh?

    Christian George, quoted in the OP, is a well regarded SBC theologian:

    http://www.mbts.edu/news/midwestern...an-george-curator-spurgeon-library-professor/
     
  7. annsni

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    Yep - and there are Christians who are into all sorts of New Age stuff.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    Labyrinths can be used with New Age ideas. However, they are neutral in and of themselves. Just like fasting or any other spiritual discipline.
     
  9. JonC

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    Sometimes it's hard to draw the line. I know Christians who are cautious of meditation when mentioned in a Christian context as they think of paganism, or mysticism. That's a bit different, I know, because meditation is in the Bible whereas labyrinths are not. But like those brethern think negatively of meditation, so also does circumambulation come to my mind (and circumambulation has a "Christian" history in terms of the Catholic Church and moving around sacred objects).

    I think it similar to "Christian" yoga. It is adopting a common pagan (or maybe secular?) practice and using that for a Christian purpose. My concern is that the practice would become ritualistic and overshadow the benefit this "prayer in motion". What about "prayer walking" (going through neighborhoods praying for those living there as you go? It is an unnecessary component of prayer, but it also facilitates the one praying in terms of focusing on those people). I can see positives and dangers.

    Personally, most of my best times of prayer and intimacy with God has been prayerfully walking trails. For me, there's something about walking that helps me concentrate. I think is doing something without having to think about doing it. Maybe it's that I tend to be able not to hurry or feel like I need to be doing something else because both my body and mind are engaged. I'm just not sure that labyrinth walking does not place too much emphasis on the walking (the symbolism of the path).
     
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  10. annsni

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    I agree Jon. Walking and praying is a great thing to do - and I do it often. I pray when I run as well but it tends to be more "Oh God - Help me finish this without dying!" LOL But my question would be this: What would people associate you with when you are walking the labrynth? Since the majority of the people doing it are NOT Christians and do it for some connection to spiritual unity or whatever, would they associate YOU walking it with the Holy God who sits in heaven? I don't think so. It's more about nature, the god within and that sort of thing. Walking in your neighborhood does not have that kind of connotation nor does walking trails.
     
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  11. JonC

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    You made my morning with that comment. :)
     
  12. annsni

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    LOL - I'm glad to make your morning. It is SOOOO true. I run by the minute - I will not quit before a minute is up (right now I'm running 3 or 4 minutes and then walking/recovering one minute then back to running again). Let me tell you, always that last minute of the set when I'm about 20 minutes into the run is HORRIBLE!!! I go between begging God to speed up time and getting angry at the lady who reads my time in the app for delaying her return. LOL
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    We ought not to mix into the worship of the Lord the practices of the pagans. This seems to be a plain teaching of Scripture. Do not do as the pagans do. It is written, "Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise." Deut. 12:30

    In this verse the Lord highlights the horrible practice of child sacrifice (which shamefully and wickedly those Christians have practiced who have committed murder by abortion). And then moving on to verse 32 we read, "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish it."

    And so you have from Scripture two great principles. The first being to NOT serve and worship our Lord in the manner that the unbelievers worship and serve their gods. Naturally then the question would follow, "How then should we serve and worship the Lord." And the answer is, "By what thing soever the Lord has commanded."

    Brethren, has the Lord commanded a Labyrinth to be used as a vehicle to enhance your meditation upon Christ and His word? If you rationalize and say, "but we will use such things in service of our God." What? Do you realize what flood of iniquity can be brought in under such reasoning? Have you not seen how the papists and religionists have piled up idols and have bowed themselves before them, as the pagans do to their gods, in the worship of the "Lord."? Have you not seen a papist praying a rosary who is praying to the Lord in the same manner as those who use prayer beads to their gods? Have you not seen them repeating prayers like the unbeliever thinking they will be heard for their many words? Matt. 6:7
     
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  14. agedman

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    It has been my past contention that MUCH of the current worship and the traditional worship is not worship but human generated froth.

    Contemplation, Meditation, ... should be done, in a peaceful, quiet place were one can actually hear.
     
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  15. Crabtownboy

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    A most curious statement. What worship, that we humans engage in is not human generated.

    What is non-froth worship?

    Labyrinth walking, at least that which I have experienced is quiet and deeply personal. I have found it as quiet and useful as sitting and listening for God on a stony mountaintop or deep in a quiet woods.
     
  16. agedman

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    A very tiny and small glimpse of true worship was given by the statement of John. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,..."

    Most people would have been startled at the sound and even run off. But John merely turned to see, and having saw, fell at his feet. No doubt John trembled, for the immediate words were those that he had heard before, and he no doubt recognized that voice, "Do not be afraid..."

    Worship is not human generated, but that in which the Holy Spirit is in the lead and the Scriptures are being used to instruct, cleans, and heal.

    True worship doesn't need the mountain top, the sandy beach, the sunset, the forest. These things may certainly bring a period of reflected thankfulness, and the grand displays of the power of God can illustrate that if He cares to make such a statement in nature, what more is His understanding and care expressed to and through our lives - manifested, abundantly.

    As you state, it is that place of quiet, a place were one can actually listen for and to God.

    Elijah did not hear God in the world (wind, the earth quake, or the fire) but in a gentleness of voice that he had heard before. That quiet, peace filled voice.

    Now we have the Scriptures, God speaks. He doesn't shout over the worldly confusion, nor does he strive to be recognized among the cacophony of distractions. He demands solitude with Him, singular devotion to His Sovereignty, and honesty with His precepts. For if one harbors that which is against God, how can they expect to have fellowship with God?

    The Scriptures state, "Be still, and know..." The "be still" is not just the outward (though that is certainly important) but the inner peace that passes human understanding and gives the assurance that God is in control. The knowing, is experiential as well as intellectual, it is a learning and also that which is already learned. One must "be still." Not making any display or actions that are puffed up or of self importance or a distraction from the focus of God. One must "know." Not assuming or presuming, but the learned learner.

    I am not opposed to walking and fellow-shipping with God. That was done by our ancestor, Adam. It was done away from the distractions of the world and obligations of the world and such pleased God.

    However, fellowship is not bound to a worldly and the worldly can serve as a distraction from the fellowship.
     
  17. agedman

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    So no one is confused,

    There is a great difference in the corporate worship of the assembly and the individual worship such as this thread is to be according to the OP.

    :)
     
  18. Aaron

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    Anyone surprised at this? Pagan rites and [edited]: recipe for banship.



    [Post was edited as it attributed to another member a position contrary to his stated beliefs. JonC]
     
    #18 Aaron, May 11, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2016
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  19. Rolfe

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    No mention of abortion. You are stretching.
     
    #19 Rolfe, May 11, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2016
  20. Aaron

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    You haven't read many of CBT's posts, have you.
     

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