1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What is Contemplative Christianity?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Yoshua, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    27,905
    Ratings:
    +9,441
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian
    My position remains that any person who wants to lead should show it by good actions instead of talk. Talk is relative. Actions are absolute truth.

    Because they did not adhere to the core doctrine, nor did the Roman Catholics; and they all went to war! You approve of their actions!

    Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:13-18)

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

    But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8)

    How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7)
     
  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    27,905
    Ratings:
    +9,441
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian
    Better a cult church that does good works than a church that believes in absolute truth that does nothing.
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    35,272
    Ratings:
    +4,887
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    No, I'm saying that none of us is big enough to know the whole truth. We may know part of it -- and that part lies deep inside us.
    It's summer on the other side of the world... that's what I'm saying.
    The objective reality is that the world is big; we can't be everywhere at once, and seasons differ across the breadth of it. The subjective truth is that "it's winter."
    Here's your fallacy. I do believe it's winter. But I do not know it's summer somewhere else. Further, I don't know the truth of the cold when I'm sitting in a warm house. the cold doesn't impact me until I experience it by standing naked in my front yard. This is what meditation does -- causes us to stand naked before God and be impacted by that truth.
    Of course you can! The Mormons do it all the time. So did the reformers. Did you know that? Did you know that the reformers changed what was scripture? Did you know that there are several authorized canons of scripture? Did you know that several lists were suggested by different people before there even was a canon? And, reading any canon will yield several valid interpretations. Sorry: the scripture is not absolute.
    The reality is that the atheists and Hindus don't think so.
    God is reality and truth. The scriptures aren't God. They only reflect God -- and then only inasmuch as the perspective of the writers and readers will allow, and, as such, are not, themselves, whole truth.
    There are no enemies. There are only fellow human beings. To live in Christ is to live in that reality.
    It is mature behavior -- but it is "normal" behavior.
    That power is gained by the spiritual work of embracing the whole human condition -- stepping outside oneself, so to speak, in order to perceive the truth of unity and the truth of disunity within humanity. Meditation helps to achieve that.
    Unity is an especially spiritual attribute.
    People don't have the power to do that unless they, themselves are willing to accept that Jesus is their version of truth, and that other avatars are truth for other people, and that truth is greater than any one system of belief.
    God is bigger than just Christianity. Just as the world is bigger than just this hemisphere, where it is winter. In another hemisphere, let's call it "Hindu Land," it's summer, and the world (God) is bigger than either, even though each one points to the larger world.
    Perhaps we should spend more time letting them share their word, and listening to them, instead of trying to "save" them.
    The Great Commission commands us to go to the nations and make disciples of them. The Greek terms ethne ("nations" = "them") and laos ("disciples" = "us") are the determining factors in coming to a reasonable interpretation. The biblical truth is that division isn't the way its supposed to be. We are to make "us" out of "them." IOW: all people need to be one -- not under the specific system of religious belief, but under the unifying love principle that Jesus displayed for us when he 1) included the Samaritan and 2) spoke to the woman at the well.
    Trot them out so we can all ask for ourselves.
    And the One they consider to be their deity is the same One we believe is our deity. Deity is Deity. We only see partially. It's when we are enable to see wholly (as in meditation) that we come to know that differences are more smoke and mirrors than reality.
     
    #643 sojourner, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Yoshua

    Yoshua Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,307
    Ratings:
    +176
    Religion:
    Evangelical Christian
    I have no right to approve their actions, since in the Old Testament, there are a lot of war transpired. I don't need to name it all. I believed you know it well. God is still in control and know what is happening.

    Yes, I know that. The Lord search the heart and mind, but without the Word of God in our heart, how can you know Him?
    Heb. 4:12
    12. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    There is no hypocrisy in truth but love; the truth will set us free.

    Thanks
     
  5. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    9,381
    Ratings:
    +5,234
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    I'll give you credit for doubting her paranoid accusation of me based on your own previous experience. This is a small start in a wider world of learning to trust in our own experiences over the misunderstandings of others speaking paranoid things as though they are facts.

    Well, the fear of her message which expresses paranoia, does not keep her from participating here. But I do believe you are paranoid. On what credible source do you base your beliefs people become demon possessed through the practice of meditation where one quites the mind, or practices breathing techniques, etc.? Where is your source of authority for this claim?

    This not an answer to my direct question. It's like the response of a politician that avoids the answer. 5th request: Please provide the names of the people who are your sources of authority you cite for this claim of yours that meditation practices, East or West, open people to demonic possession. Names of actual researchers. You say you need things fact-checked with sources of authority, and since the Bible has nothing to say on it, you have to have someone who is an authority. Names. No other response will be accepted. Names.

    I know you will not offer any because when I asked before your response was something to the effect of, 'various people, it doesn't matter.' Yes, it does matter. Your next response needs to have sources to back this claim up, otherwise it is apparent it is nothing but simply paranoia in action, like asking a conspiracy theorist who these mysterious "they" are who are plotting the takeover of the world. Their responses go like yours, "You know, 'they' The ones doing this.". I want a rational response instead. Actual names. Links to your sources. Then we can examine their credibility as authorities on this subject over those who do the actual practices and actual research surrounding them. Names.

    From Wiki, "Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion." I personally think imagining demons are waiting to jump into you if you practice meditation is pretty anxiety and fear ridden to the point of irrationality and delusion. Yes, that is paranoid thinking. It has no basis in fact. It is imaginary forces seeking to control your mind, quite comparable to those who put on tinfoil hats to protect the signals from the alien mothership from beaming into the heads and taking control of them. Instead of tinfoil, it's "pleading the blood of Jesus" to protect them from possession. It's a symptom of paranoid, delusional thought. Mysterious dark forces outside your control who plan to take over you if your are not adequately protected from them.

    If you can offer credible sources of authority to back up this fearful claim that meditating opens you to Satan, that might offer some evidence of rationality behind the claim. What credible sources have demonstrated this happening through meditation practices.

    We must shield ourselves from the dark Satanic forces that seek to take over our minds? Wear the Bible on our heads like a tin-foil hat? ;) I hope my point is coming through here. It's not meant to insult, but to make you question following an approach which is at its heart, paranoia. I know people from church like this who think in these terms, and it is a form of paranoid delusions. How they interpret the "armour of God'" is within that light. I understand that verses outside the paranoid delusional mode of thinking. The mode of thinking determines the interpretation of the Bible.

    And carried to its extremes in literal thought becomes understood like being watchful for the hidden government lurking behind everything from natural disasters to your pencil getting lost.

    I know your response will be something to the effect of all or none, black or white, "so you're saying just trust anyone who says anything???", sort of complete opposite assumption. I believe in being mindful of things which hinder us on our path, such as giving into paranoid thought, as one example. "Gird up the loins of your mind", I take quite seriously, which is why in fact I practice meditation versus sinking into paranoid fears about dark and evil influences I must guard against through magic prayers and practices. I learn to keep my own mind in focus rather than go off into wild and fearful imaginings like you are teaching.

    We do have something to fear, and it is our own minds falling victim to itself. That is why we need to exercise it with things like meditation practices. And it leads through that clarity of mind to see and to know that Infinite Love. And when the mind is actually, literally filled with that Love, guess what happens? "Perfected Love casts out all fear". All those devils that are yourself, are vanquished through the Realization of Love. "Girding up the loins of your mind" is best realized through meditation practice. This is 100% opposite of your bogus claims you have no support for.
     
  6. Yoshua

    Yoshua Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,307
    Ratings:
    +176
    Religion:
    Evangelical Christian
    The word "does nothing" is a very general term. When it say that he does nothing for God and His people, God will be the one who judged.

    Thanks
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    35,272
    Ratings:
    +4,887
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    The Holy Spirit isn't encountered through reading a book. It's encountered within oneself.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    9,381
    Ratings:
    +5,234
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    Imagine as it were you were to meet the Christ and ask him this question, "What religion are you?" I can say the answer would not be Buddhist It would not be Hindu. It would also not be Christian. The answer would be, "I am all religions. I am none". Ask oneself, "What religion is God"? That is the religion I seek to call the true religion. The same religion that God is.

    This is wonderful! I hadn't thought of this verse to say this, but it is quite consistent and flowing with the entire understanding of the message of what Christianity was about. "There is neither Greek nor Jew, but all are one in Christ". It destroys divisions, rather than creates new ones by establishing themselves as now the "true religion" and all others false. That is exactly what Christ hoped to destroy. Unity exists in the Heart, not in sameness of doctrinal beliefs.

    There is a difference between uniformity and Unity.

    I love when my thoughts get inspired from other's insights like this. Thank you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    27,905
    Ratings:
    +9,441
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian
    None of which applies to your concept of 'Absolute Truth', because the word is living not written in ink. By the way it discerns the thoughts of your own heart not that of others, so how can you tell others that their contemplative prayer is wrong?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    27,905
    Ratings:
    +9,441
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian
    I merely point out that doing is better than talking, and you focus on talking when you condemn some churches as cults merely because they disagree with you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. bnabernard

    bnabernard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    134
    Ratings:
    +8
    Where are the fruits of Noah, and even the fruits of Melechizedeck.
    Such closeness to God, is it no wonder that there is so much confusion in the wake of the son of God?

    bernard (hug)
     
  12. Yoshua

    Yoshua Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,307
    Ratings:
    +176
    Religion:
    Evangelical Christian
    Hi Windwalker,

    If you are telling me that I'm a paranoid, then all different faiths here in the RF can be called a paranoid. Did you know what I mean? Could a Buddhist embraced Christianity as his faith? how about Muslims? Do they fear the same as they will not adhere to Christianity?

    John Mcarthur of Grace to you website; www.qty.org
    Spiritual Formation & Biblical Santification/video, this is a short message from him. I don't know how to paste it here.
    Other soiurces:
    http://christianresearchnetwork.org/topic/contemplative-prayer/

    Research: Contemplative Prayer
    Contemplative prayer (also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation or listening prayer) is one of the most esteemed spiritual disciplines taught in spiritual formation. In both practice and purpose, contemplative prayer stands in contrast with what Scripture teaches about prayer. Practitioners believe that one must clear the mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may more easily be heard and that one may be united with the “divine spark” within.

    Advocates of contemplative prayer believe and teach that it is a necessary practice if one desires to become more like Christ. In claiming this, however, they often appeal to the practices of ancient Roman Catholic mystic monks rather than the Word of God.

    Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence as the ground in which our being is rooted, the Source from whom our life emerges at every moment…. Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. We open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing – closer than consciousness itself.1

    Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God’s voice correcting, guiding, and directing you…. The fundamental idea is simply to enjoy the companionship of God, stilling your own thoughts so you can listen should God choose to speak. For this reason, contemplative prayer is sometimes referred to as ‘the prayer of silence.’2

    Effects of Contemplative Prayer
    As noted in the Spiritual Formation research article, the spiritual disciplines are rooted in unbiblical origins. In his book The Sacred Way, Emergent theologian Tony Jones acknowledges that “Centering Prayer grew out of the reflections and writings of the Desert Fathers.”14 These Desert Fathers, however, did not appear until the third century AD, long after the time of Jesus and His Apostles.

    Contemplative prayer presupposes that the Christian must seek outside of Scripture to hear all that God is saying, thus Scripture loses its position as the final, authoritative Word from God. The following quotes are from Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, respectively, who are both leading teachers of contemplative prayer:

    Many discussions about hearing God’s voice speak of three points of reference, also called ‘three lights’ that we can consult in determining what God wants us to do. These are circumstances, impressions of the Spirit and passages from the Bible. When these three things point in the same direction, it is suggested that we be sure the direction they point is the one God intends for us.15

    Only the Bible as a whole can be treated as the written Word of God…. In any case we must certainly go beyond, though never around, the words of the Bible to find out what God is speaking to us.16

    Yet, Scripture itself informs us of its sufficiency (2 Tim. 3:16–17), and of God’s final word and revelation to us in Christ (Heb. 1:1–2).

    While one may indeed “hear” from an entity in the spiritual realm, the voices heard, or impressions received, may not always be from God:

    There are other ‘spiritual voices,’ too…. Satan … too will speak in our heart once he sees he no longer holds us in his hand. Only if we learn to recognize this voice as well can we … correctly identify and firmly resist him and make him flee from us (1 Pet. 5:9; Eph. 6:11).17

    I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.18

    The Christian, however, is told to resist the devil (Jas. 4:7). This would necessarily include rejecting any practice which may engage one in direct communication with the Enemy and his servants.

    I just posted the important introductory message. There's a lot of topics that you can read here about Lectio Divina, contemplative teachings, mystics, centering prayer etc...You may check the site to continue your reading. Thanks

    Christian Meditation: What’s Biblical and What’s Not

    In Joshua 1:8 God said: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” So, what exactly did God have in mind when He told Joshua to meditate on His word? Well we can be certain of one thing. The Lord was not suggesting that Joshua sit in the lotus position and repeat a mantra until he attained altered states of consciousness. “These help bring one into states other than normal waking consciousness, in which a person becomes open to mystical experience, the spirit realm, or cosmic consciousness,” warns Bill Muehlenberg.

    The sort of meditation God had in mind was not Eastern meditation. He has made it clear that His people are not to adopt pagan practices and those who do are out of His will. The purpose of eastern-style meditation is to “seek the God within.” That’s pantheism, brethren. People who hold this view believe that God is all and all is God. “A tree is God, a rock is God, an animal is God, the sky is God, the sun is God, you are God, etc.” The biblical view is that God is separate from His creation. Genesis 1:1-30

    More on biblical meditation in a moment, but first…
    Sit Still!
    Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” There’s been a huge misunderstanding in the Christian community as to what this verse means. Let’s take a look at noted Bible teacher Kay Arthur’s Precept Ministries International (PMI) website to see if she has it right:

    Can you remember the last time you sat in total silence except for the sounds of nature – listening intently to hear the voice of God. It is time to:
    Be still and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
    Be still (cease striving)
    Rest, relax, chill out, stop fighting, drop your weapons

    Know that I am God
    Learn that I am God, or “see that I am God”, “Get to know me better”

    God is telling His children who are living in a busy world to stop, get quiet so that they can listen and get to know Him. It is only in stillness, the quiet, that we can hear the voice of God. (Bold PMI’s – Source)

    Ken Silva penned a piece Kay Arthur With Erroneous Contemplative Interpretation of Psalm 46:10, which is where I came across the above quote. It could be a coincidence that right after Silva wrote his blog post and upbraided Kay for her erroneous teaching on Psalm 46:10, PMI’s webmaster changed the paragraph that begins with God is telling His children to As children of God, who are living in a busy world, we need to stop, get quiet and listen for His voice as we read His Word. God most often speaks in that small still voice.(Bold mine)

    So, was Kay Arthur correct in explaining what be still means in context? Not according to Ken Silva:
    This passage isn’t about any kind of meditation; and it has absolutely nothing to do with sitting in some lotus position and subjectively trying to “hear” God’s voice in creeping crickets or inner burblings of bellies. Rather, this is a firm admonition and warning for all nations—particularly His people Israel—to stop worrying and to recognize God’s sovereignty. (Source)

    What do Bible scholars say the meaning is? One source, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, states, among other things, that be still is “the idea of leaving matters with God, or of being without anxiety about the issue.” (Source – follow this link to discover what several Bible scholars say the meaning of be still is)


    http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/09/christian-meditation-whats-biblical-whats/


    Thanks
     
  13. Yoshua

    Yoshua Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,307
    Ratings:
    +176
    Religion:
    Evangelical Christian
    Hi Brick,

    I just posted the links and information regarding the Contemplative prayers/teachings. Hope this may enlighten for those who practicing it.

    Thanks
     
  14. Yoshua

    Yoshua Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,307
    Ratings:
    +176
    Religion:
    Evangelical Christian
    Hi Brick,

    I'm not condemning them. Our parents used to remind us, discipline us, and teach us the right things to do because they cared for us. Isn't it? The same thing as I would share the practices in contemplative and its dangers. It's not personal, but just informing them.

    Thanks
     
  15. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    27,905
    Ratings:
    +9,441
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian
    I'm not jumping on your case. You're jumping on Windtalker's case, remember?
    'Cult' isn't a word in the Bible. The words that Jesus uses are "I have sheep in another pasture." He also says "He who is not against us is for us."
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Yoshua

    Yoshua Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,307
    Ratings:
    +176
    Religion:
    Evangelical Christian
    Yes, you are right there. God is not asking you what is your religion because he did not say that. Jesus taught us to believe, obey, repent, trust, forgive, submission and commit our life to Him. I believed this is what Jesus would ask. We may take away the word "Christian,"and replaced it as "follower of Christ."
    The "what religion is God" question is the Truth that Christ is proclaiming--the Absolute Truth. It is so easy to unify all religion in one by utterance, but to adhere to the truth--to what Jesus Christ is teaching is to deny yourself, follow Him and carry your own cross.
    The intimate relationship with Christ is the total surrendering of life committed to Him with total obedience and trust. Without this, how can Jesus will know who followed Him?

    Thanks
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. bnabernard

    bnabernard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    134
    Ratings:
    +8
    When clearing the mind what happens to the subconscious, the danger of enlightenment is that it is influenced by embedded knowledge.

    bernard (hug)
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    35,272
    Ratings:
    +4,887
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    Except that you don't know what you're talking about. Therefore, the angst is misplaced and the danger is nonexistent.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    35,272
    Ratings:
    +4,887
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    Fundie claptrap. It starts out with John McArthur (who's bad enough) and just goes downhill from there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    35,272
    Ratings:
    +4,887
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    We asked for authoritative proof, and you hand us the Larry, Moe, and Curly of the theological realm.
     
Loading...