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Buddhist Prayer @ Lifeway's M-fuge

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by crazylegs, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    I think it is equally dangerous to suggest that rationally studying the bible with good hermeneutics will also always lead to the truth. Many honest Christians are convinced that falsehoods are true in this way too.
    </font>[/QUOTE]It is much more likely that one will encounter Christ through reading God's word than that one will encounter the true God without Christ through a manmade mystical technique that approximates self-hypnosis. God's word is alive and active -- it is not just a book. It is far superior and not even in the same category as manmade mystical techniques.

    The one thing I encourage nonbelievers who come to my site is to read the Bible if they are even a little open to that.

    Discernment is based on God's word and the HS, but nonchristians won't use the Bible as God's word and they don't have the HS.

    When one gets into the mystical frame of mind, whether believer or nonbeliever, discenrment does not seem important because it takes a back seat to the experience. The experience becomes the thing that is desired because it is so powerful.
     
  2. go2church

    go2church Active Member
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    Jesus must have thought so ... see John 5:39-40.
     
  3. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    Yes, it is. That is from a Lecto Divini sight. You are to ask yourself questions after a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible, the Word of God, to become a means of union with God.

    Jesus said

    John 6:63
    The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.



    Amen! In Lecto Divini you read a portion of Scripture over and over again. The Bible is the very breath of God. The Easter Fathers though they did not practice Lecto Divini as the Benedictines were probably the source of this type of Meditation.

    When you read the Gospels, Christ speaks to you; when you pray, you are speaking to Him.... The Bible should be read not just for analysis, but as an immediate dialogue with the living Word Himself-to feed our love for Christ, to kindle our hearts with prayer and to provide us with guidance in our personal life. (St. Tikhon of Zodonsk)

    When one reads the Holy Scriptures, one should apply everything to oneself and not to someone else. As a Book uniquely inspired by God and addressed to each of the faithful personally, the Bible possesses sacramental power, transmitting Grace to the reader, bringing him to a point of meeting and decisive encounter with God. (St. Mark the Monk)

    Keep on studying the Gospels until the end of your life. Never stop. Do not think you know it enough, even if you know it all by heart. (Bp. Ignatius Brianchaninov)



    What is wrong with that statement?

    Protestant Evangelicals too often view the Bible as a Text book and not as the Spiritual Book and it is and that it is the very Word of God you are feeding on.

    So I have no problem with those statements.
     
  4. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    I am most familiar with Eastern Orthodox contemplative prayer. (I am not Eastern Orthodox....I am a 5 point Calvinist in theology [​IMG] ) I have never read any teaching of letting your thoughts go. They warn against TM and Buddhist, Hindu practices.

    I have read where liberal theologians have perverted the "Jesus Prayer" into imagining Jesus is in the Room. Eastern Church fathers reject such teaching since there is no need to Imagine Jesus is in the Room SINCE HE already is in the Room.

    Centering prayer is Christian meditation. Over and Over in the Psalms we are told to meditate on God and his works.

     
  5. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    I don't go by what the Eastern Fathers (I guess you mean Eastern Orthodox?) say. The Bible is not a tool for mystical union with God; we are one with God through faith in Christ.

    The problem with the "underlying spiritual rhythm" is what is meant by that? The Christians I know do see the Bible as a spiritual book -- good heavens, I was saved reading the Bible! It is the most profound and spiritual book in existence. But there is no basis for seeking out "an underlying spiritual rhythm" through the methods advocated by Lectio Divina.

    The proponents of these mystical practices always make the mistake of assuming critics of these practices are hung up on logic and rationality. Well, it just so happens I am an incredibly illogical person. Poetry was my bag. Just because one opposes the unbiblical practices of mysticism does not make one some kind of stifled rationalist.

    For those interested, I wrote on all this here:
    http://cana.userworld.com/cana_ContemplativePrayer1.html
     
  6. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    Martin Luther on Christian Meditation

    Let me say this very clearly and openly for all to hear. Whoever meditates on Christ’s sufferings the right way for a day, an hour, even for fifteen minutes, is doing something far better than fasting for a whole year, praying all the Psalms every day, or listening to one hundred masses. The right kind of meditation on Christ’s suffering changes a person’s character...

    Take your sins and throw them on Christ. Believe with a joyful spirit that your sins are His wounds and sufferings. He carries them and makes satisfaction for them, as Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Peter says in 1 Peter2:24, “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree.” In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says, “For our sake, He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God....When your heart is set on Christ, you are an enemy of sin, because of love, andnot because you are afraid of being punished. Christ's sufferings should be an examplefor your whole life.”



    More from the Fathers on the Jesus prayer,

    John Chrysostom
    "I implore you, brethren, never to break or despise the rule of this prayer... A monk when he eats, drinks, sits, officiates, travels or does any other thing must continually cry: 'Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy upon me!' so that the name of the Lord Jesus, descending into the depths of the heart, should subdue the serpent ruling over the inner pastures and bring life and salvation to the soul. He should always live with the name of the Lord Jesus, so that the heart absorbs the Lord and the Lord the heart, and the two become one...


    Barsanuphius the Great
    "Unceasing calling upon the name of God cures one not only of passions, but also of actions; and as a medicine affects a sick man without his comprehension, similarly the invocation of the name of God destroys passions in a manner beyond our comprehension"
     
  7. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    It is not a denial that we are spiritually one with Christ but we all live in unredeemed flesh that rebels against the Spiritual. The Bible and meditating upon God and His works is a way to draw us closer to Him.

    I am not sure what they mean by "underlying spiritual rhythm" though I would quess the Benedictines are referring to the constant reading of Scripture.

    There is nothing wrong with Lectio Divina. I think it is more an assumption of what it means and the fear of such terms as mysticism and meditation. This form of Meditation has nothing in common with that practiced in Eastern Religions for Christology is at the heart of Christian Meditation.
     
  8. Kiffen

    Kiffen Member

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    It is not a denial that we are spiritually one with Christ but we all live in unredeemed flesh that rebels against the Spiritual. The Bible and meditating upon God and His works is a way to draw us closer to Him.

    I am not sure what they mean by "underlying spiritual rhythm" though I would quess the Benedictines are referring to the constant reading of Scripture.

    There is nothing wrong with Lectio Divina. I think it is more an assumption of what it means and the fear of such terms as mysticism and meditation. This form of Meditation has nothing in common with that practiced in Eastern Religions for Christology is at the heart of Christian Meditation.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Marcia I appreciate the Link and article. The problem is I too reject contemplative prayer as taught by Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating.

    The other problem is that contemplative prayer as taught by the Desert Fathers, Eastern Church Fathers, Benedictines, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila is completely different from Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating who introduced Buddhism and Hinduism into this type of prayer. There is no connection between the Ancient Christian practice and Buddhism and Hinduism.
     
  9. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    Kiffen, I appreciate your thoughts.

    I do not agree with much of what is taught as "Ancient Christian practice" because I do not find it supported in scripture. I've been reading a collection of writings (not the essays I referred to earlier) ed. by Richard Foster that is full of writings from the Catholic mystics and others (this is not the first such work I've read either), but I just do not have the time to copy things here and post why I find problems, but I do. I've read a whole book on Julian of Norwich, often cited by supporters of mystical meditation, and her theology is full of holes. I quote some of her views in my online article on New Age views of sin and salvation (Called "God in the Mirror" if you want to look it up).

    But thanks for your thoughts and I am very glad to know that you reject the CP teachings of Merton and Keating.
     
  10. crazylegs

    crazylegs New Member

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    GO2Church,

    You said,

    "quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by crazylegs:
    enslaved....?

    enslaved to Scripture? Is that possible?

    You can't apply it across the board.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jesus must have thought so ... see John 5:39-40." Jesus is here speaking of the Jews who simply thought they would inherit eternal life due to the privledge of being given God's Word, being God's people, and hearing this Word continually... but, they were trusting in the Scriptures for eternal life... instead of the author of the Scriptures...

    How exactly does this apply to this conversation?

    Are you saying that by me seeking to do what the Bible says, that I am enslaved by Scripture?

    I don't see how this applies, for Jesus was telling the Jews to do what the Word said (and, this is exactly what I'm doing), not to put their faith in It, for in reality, when they did, they were actually putting faith in their own abiblity to keep it.

    Doing what the Bible says doesn't enslave you to it, nor does not doing what it doesn't say... it's simply the application of God's Word. The argument for centering prayer is a pragmatic argument. "Well, if I feel like it brings me closer to God, then it must be doing that"... on what authority can we make such a statement? If our sinfulness was completely gone, then I could understand... but, our thinking is still tainted with sin... so, apart from the Word, how do you know whether you're doing something good or detestible in God's eyes?
     
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