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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual disciplines’

The difference between the Spiritual Formation and sanctification is where you go for it. In Spiritual Formation a person goes inward…and supposedly listens. In sanctification, a person goes into God’s word…and the focus is on God. Though both are a process, one is about the Glory of God and the other is about “making my life better now.”

I would love any insight on sanctification vs. spiritual formation…I am not as studied as I should be on this for sure.

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I found this interview to be somewhat revealing.
http://www.renovare.org/invitation_christian_disciplines_and_grace.htm

I see the thought is that we can do something to grow in grace, that we can get somewhere to grace in spiritual disciplines. The claim is “the Christian disciplines as avenues to grace…” I thought Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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I have the opportunity, through a local newspaper blog, to get the word out about the youth camps in our area that are involved in teaching spiritual disciplines/spiritual formation and contemplative prayer to our youth.  Actually, anyone could do it…but I am a local and have investigated enough to write it up.  So, the question is, should I?  The audience is the general population of moms in our area.  It would be read by whoever happens upon it.  It would also not be anonymous.  It might spark debate, and may get ME noticed with all this…and possibly in a bad way.  It’s a place I can speak up for truth based on what I see online, and in the blog of the man leading this set of camps (as well as training youth leaders around the country in spiritual disciplines, spiritual formation, and contemplative prayer…and more).  Huh.  Hadn’t thought to do this before, but it just occured to me (or if I thought of it I forgot).  The deal is, I wouldn’t say anything about the camp that’s not out there in print already.  The lead man proudly proclaims he teaches this stuff to kids and that the experiences are life changing and wonderful.  Therefore, all I would be doing is highlighting what he’s said, and what’s been on the camp web page and his personal blog, and posting it on a newpaper blog.  Dangerous stuff?

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Read any Dallas Willard?  Spirit of Disciplines?  Renovation of the Heart?  What do you know, what do you think?

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My recent experience with a church focusing on Emergent youth with adult leadership reading Dallas Willard and others has taught me a great deal about this current movement toward meditation in the church.  It is not the same thing as meditation mentioned in the Bible.  First of all, the Bible outright says to meditate on scripture with no lead up or revelation.  In our recent church, we were seeing no outright and open sermons on meditation.  The pastors have not openly discussed the practice.  They have been slowly presenting silence into prayer at church, and have a sign outside the sanctuary requesting silence as people come into the service. The children have been asked to sit silently and think what God has done for them for a period of five minutes or more. Nothing wrong with silence.   Nothing wrong with thinking on God.  However, this is modeled and it’s not explained where it’s leading.   Funny thing too, I’ve noticed pastors saying words like contemplate in ordinary speaking, for example, “as I began to contemplate” so that it’s a word already being used but not in the way it will be in the future.  Of course, mantra meditative prayer is not just walking in alone.  It’s hidden in “spiritual formation” or “spiritual disciplines.”  It’s just one part of a list of disciplines including solitude, silence, frugality, and others.  Each of these are being slowly introduced too.  I really have little problem with people chosing to live a life of frugality, or to be celebate.  If that’s someone’s choice and sacrifice to God, I cannot argue.  However, even these things are being presented slowly and if quotes from the authors are representative, these disciplines are seen as a way to become closer to God and from what I’ve read…they are required for growth.  Eventually, meditation and lectio divina fit into this requirement. 

 Because of the authors promoted by our pastors, like Willard, Miller, Warren, Frost, Steven Smith, etc, it’s evident the church is headed toward contemplative prayer.  Some of these authors have referenced or acknowledged other authors who are into mysticism.  Those acknowledgements can send people reading other books, which eventually lead to people who promote New Age meditation or Buddist/Hindu meditation.  Follow the fruit to the root, and you will see that this current use of meditation has no place in Christian life.  Go ahead, spend time with God and read your Bible, go for a walk and talk to God or think on the scriptures you read in the morning.  But don’t buy into the idea you should basically “do nothing” and empty your thoughts.   If you find yourself repeating a small snatch of a phrase many times in prayer, consider that there are people from other religions doing the exact thing, and they believe in many gods…or even claim to believe in no god.

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For the Time Being I pulled the link..

 

If you do not think Focus on the Family is getting contemplative, don’t be fooled.  Here’s a link to a blog about the disciplines of silence and solitude.  Note the comment about New Age at the end.  I find no comfort knowing the quote on disciplines comes from Focus on the Family. 

The link had a quote from J. P. Moreland, and then a description of being contemplative and silent.  The final quote from this man was as follows:

“If you are reading this and plan to make a comment about how New Age these thoughts are, just know that I got the J.P. Moreland quote from a Focus on the Family website.  Instead of fighting it just Be Still and Know that God is God.” 

Huh.  This is sort of “Borg” like to me.  Assimilate or die.

 

 

 

 

 

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