Labyrinths

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Tom Butler, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our local paper carried a story in Friday morning's edition about an Episcopal Church which is preparing to dedicate a labyrinth. The priest said it was "created as an act of prayer and service to all who will use it." (Paducah Sun, 6/24/11)

    I've read in more than one place that the labryinth is a no-no for Christians.

    So, what do you think? What's wrong with the labyrinth as a religious symbol? What benefit is it?
     
  2. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,198
    Likes Received:
    376
    From doing some reading on them, they are used for our self-spiritualization and not at all focused on God. I don't believe that they are for believers.
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    It all sounds New-Agey and occultish to me. Will anybody here defend it?
     
  4. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is meant by the term 'labyrinth' in this context? I would answer that it depends on the context and, as such, I'll attempt a qualified defence. Labyrinths have historically been used for both pagan and Christian purposes through the centuries. As far as the latter goes, they were meant to entrap evil spirits, symbolised of course most famously by the Knossos labyrinth imprisoning the Minotaur, and are still used today by neo-pagans and other New Agers with that basic object in mind; clearly in that context they are verboten for Christians. However, they also have a long-established usage in churches as well dating back to medieval times, where they were and are used to represent the hard road ( cf: "enter ye by the Narrow Gate"; Bunyan's Pilgrims' Progress) of the Christian towards God, with the latter often symbolised by having the New Jerusalem (the Holy City) at the centre. You can find many in ancient (and not so ancient) cathedrals and churches; an example is here. The believer is encouraged to reflect on the struggle to live a holy life and draw closer to go; I do not see any problem with this usage of it.
     
    #4 Matt Black, Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2011
  5. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tend to get lost in labyrinths. Thus I don't feel at peace in them depending on how complex they are. However, I wonder if they are used much like Angkor Wat was used by budhist where you start out at the bottom of the structure meditate on stone carvings until you get to the top which helped them acheive "enlightenment". In this sence is seems just like a particular devotion whereby you physically seperate yourself from distractions and focus yourself on specific consepts or related spiritual stories. In which case I don't understand that eventhough this method may have been used by pagans why it can't be redeemed for Christian purposes. I don't see what would be wrong in looking at a pictoral dipiction of a bible story reading and meditating on the contextual scriptural passage and then moving on to the next section as you felt lead. However, I've never seen a "christian labyrinth" so I don't know how the devotion works. Is it a way to get away from other people so that you have time alone with God at the center bring your bible and pray with out fear of interuption? I don't see how that is bad. I think sometimes we take a perfectly useful object and because it is used for some pagan purposes we feel there is a "demon attached" to it. When that is for the most part ridiculous. For instance when it was first suggested that organs be used in services people were beside themselves because that was just secular! Then it was the electric guitar because that was used for Rock and Roll which supports Illicit Sex and drug use. Yet we've seen how both these instruments can be redeemed for the glory of God. Now I'm not suggesting all things can be redeemed in such a way for instance I still don't get how a toy company can still sell Quji boards as a game. It has no other purpose than to contact spirits. There is nothing about that which is nuetral. Certainly we can take the board aspect of it. Change the content and make it shoots and ladders but we can't keep it as it was because it has no other purpose. From my understanding Labyrinths don't work like that. Many people have them because they look nice. As long as its not in the shape of a pentegram but even then we as americans have the 5 pointed star on our flag. So the shape really means nothing if all you think of it as a star. My basic point is I don't see how this thing can be negative if its purpose is to assist in a devotion.
     
  6. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page

Loading...