I think this article by Ingrid presents some good definitions of biblical mediation.  I would only have two things to say

  1. I don’t know of too many people who would say that as a Christian, our goal is to empty our mind in meditation.  Even most of the big bad emergents that she has criticizes for their meditative technique, including youth specialties, would say that the goal is not to remove everything from our minds.  In fact, the opposite would be true… to fill our minds with the scriptures and the person of Christ.
  2. Having that said, how do the meditation practices of those she criticizes err from her definition?  Repeating the Word of God, thinking about the attributes of God, praying while meditating are all included in the meditation of those written about.  I don’t see too many people calling for us to chant to the spirit-beings, emptying our souls to find nirvana.  No one is asking us to channel our chi and focus our chakra.
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120 Comments(+Add)

1   Ingrid    http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com
March 13th, 2008 at 10:53 am

Nathan,
By eastern meditation I am talking about mantra meditation, where Christians are told to repeat a phrase, verse, term over and over again to get their brain waves down to Alpha. It’s described multiple places. Here are just a few:

http://www.wccm.org/faqslist.asp?pagestyle=faqlist

One site for Christian meditation describes it this way:

“Just imagine for a moment a vast, dark, empty hall. Each time you say your mantra it is like lighting a small weak candle. And I think so often it seems to us that just as we light one, a previous one gets blown out. But very gradually the dawn comes and you begin to realize that the whole hall is flooded with light. The wonder of meditation is that this revelation that the light has conquered the darkness and that Jesus is the light becomes universal in your experience. Everything and everyone is now flooded, illuminated with this light.”

Source: http://www.swamij.com/maranatha.htm

The use of mantras, guided imagery and use of the imagination, out of body type experiences and experiencing lights, etc. are part of eastern meditation from the Buddhist, Hindu, Suffi traditions.

Actively using our minds to think about God and His holiness, verses of Scripture, etc. is a different thing altogether. That’s what I was talking about.

2   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 10:58 am

And the God of the Bible is too small/small-minded, apparently, to connect with people through something “Eastern.”

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 11:02 am

Ingrid is correct on this one. There are movements afoot that do more than just meditate on Scripture, etc.. There are curious meldings of different religions through these “techniques”. Doing what you say, Nathan, would be acceptable, but you must admit that some are much more nebulous in their teachings.

We who still hold to a future one world religion see this as part of the process.

4   nc    
March 13th, 2008 at 11:04 am

Has anyone ever had such a close relationship with someone that they could sit in silence together and not say anything, but just enjoy that they know and experience a deep, profound intimacy that doesn’t require talking all the time?

Is silence with God like that so bad?

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Has anyone ever had such a close relationship with someone that they could sit in silence together and not say anything, but just enjoy that they know and experience a deep, profound intimacy that doesn’t require talking all the time?

Not if you’ve been married for 30 years!

===)))

6   anonymousjane    http://anonymousjane.wordpress.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 11:16 am

nc, “be still and know I Am God,” anyone?

7   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 11:21 am

i just find it hard to believe that a person doing yoga, or meditating, or whatever else, is somehow unreachable by God.

like He would reach out to that person, but He can’t find a way in or something…

8   Ingrid    http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com
March 13th, 2008 at 11:36 am

The issue is not that God is not “big” enough, it’s that over and over in his Word you see His commands that His people come out and be separate from the pagans and their practices. We see His anger at His people who went and borrowed from other pagan religions around them. The penalties for Israel were severe when they tried to combine Christian and heathen practices. God commanded that the “high places” or groves of trees where the pagan worshiped be totally torn down, not modified for Israel’s worship. We also see the same commands about syncretism in the New Testament from Paul in II Corinthians 6 where he writes, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

We aren’t allowed Scripturally to go and borrow ways of the pagan religions, baptize the practices as Christian, and then carry on. In other words, if the Hindus are encountering the “divine” (i.e. demons) through their yoga (which is Sanskrit for “to yoke”), then how can we use that Hindu practice to encounter the God of the Bible? That’s my point.

9   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Ingrid,

Would you agree with this quote?

“We rightly criticize those who engage in transcendental meditation and other mindrelaxing exercises because these practices are connected with false religions, such asBuddhism and Hinduism, and have nothing to do with Scripture. Such forms of meditation focus on emptying the mind to become detached from the world and to merge with the so-called Cosmic Mind, not to attach to, listen to, and to be active for a living,personal God. Yet, we can learn from such people the importance of quiet reflection and prolonged meditation.”

First let’s play who said this…

Then let’s play who promoted the article this quote came from…

be blessed,
iggy

10   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 13th, 2008 at 11:39 am

In other words, if the Hindus are encountering the “divine” (i.e. demons) through their yoga (which is Sanskrit for “to yoke”), then how can we use that Hindu practice to encounter the God of the Bible? That’s my point.

But maybe they borrowed it originally from us? In other words maybe we were already using it and it was perverted. As you said in your post Ingrid, Satan always has counterfeit. Why do we assume that the Hindu’s had stretching and meditation first?

11   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 13th, 2008 at 11:57 am

Joe,

Let me preface tis by saying I can’t stay right now, I’ll try and come to follow up later.

Maybe you’re right. However, aside from meditation (defined and “used” quite differently by each religion), I am not remembering any references to stretches and so on mentioned from Genesis from Revelation.

It seems that if indeed yoga or the like is counterfeit, then we would see a distinct relation. And there isn’t one.

Think on that for a moment.

And anonymousjane, I think the “be still and know that I am God reference is taken out of context.

Later

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

I would love for some to just admit that there are some teachings that are over the line and mesh unscriptural practices with Christian teachings. And to take anything from pagan religions and Christianize them may be well intentioned, but it runs the Trojan Horse risk.

13   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

I just find it hard to believe that a person doing yoga, or meditating, or whatever else, is somehow unreachable by God.

Evan, it is not that God cannot reach someone through unscriptural means (witch of Endor?), especially when it comes to salvation. It is a case has God given us Scriptural commands for us to follow. I find it difficult to understand that we have been somehow deficient in means to draw close to Christ and the church needed to borrow from the idol worshiper.

How did the great revivals ever take plece without these new/old techniques.

14   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Amen Rick.

15   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I think we need to be careful about taking Paul’s admonitions in Corinthians to an extreme. Corinth was a hotbeb of idol worship. People did crazy things in that worship, much of it involving weird sexaul stuff. People became Christians in that environment, and Paul is basically telling them to run away from their old life.

Elsewhere, though, Paul says that it’s OK for people to eat meat sacrificed to the same idols people were worshipping. So doesn’t it seem like sort of mixed message. Basically, Paul seems to be saying that Christians need to know themselves well enough to set limits for themselves. If there is some draw back to idol worship for them, then stay away. If they can eat the meat and absolutely know it won’t affect their walk, then go ahead. It’s a matter of personal accountability.

As far a yoga and breathing exercises. I would say the same type of thing. I would think that a person needs to judge their own heart and motivations. We can’t just make a universal law, even though it would be easier.

16   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

i love that yoga’s unarguable physical benefits NEVER come up in these conversations.

i do yoga almost daily, and you want to talk about results you can see?

wow.

17   Neil    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

The penalties for Israel were severe when they tried to combine Christian and heathen practices. God commanded that the “high places” or groves of trees where the pagan worshiped be totally torn down, not modified for Israel’s worship. – Ingrid

Israel tried to combine “Christian” practices? – … but I think I know what ya meant to say.

Israel was a theocracy in which the place, manner, times, and even procedures of worship where dictated in extreme detail. We do not live/worship under those conditions.

We also see the same commands about syncretism in the New Testament from Paul in II Corinthians 6 where he writes, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

Syncretism is an interesting word choice… I would never have thought to employ it with techniques that otherwise have no prohibition in Scripture. Syncretism implies an attempt to meld two into one, which is different than borrowing ways of the pagan religions, baptize the practices as Christian, and then carry on..

I agree that repetitive use of a mantra for the purpose of altering the state of mind should not be done. I would not, however, appeal to the Old Testament law and the Theocratic state of Israel to argue that what “they” do we dare not – based solely on the fact that “they” do it. If there are other biblical reason – fine.

I guess, Ingrid, I’ve seen too many posts saying that anything labeled spiritual development, or spiritual disciplines, or use of our imaginations – is GBA.

I agree with your basic premise, I just disagree with your use of the Scriptures to apply you premise farther than it needs to be applied.

Neil

18   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Evan, it is not that God cannot reach someone through unscriptural means (witch of Endor?), especially when it comes to salvation. It is a case has God given us Scriptural commands for us to follow. I find it difficult to understand that we have been somehow deficient in means to draw close to Christ and the church needed to borrow from the idol worshiper.

i just happen to think God meets you where you are, and that He’s big enough to see past cultural mores/practices.

if you’re honestly seeking God, i can’t imagine that he’d say “no, your seeking isn’t good enough. call me back when you’re not in that funny pose.”

19   Neil    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

I would love for some to just admit that there are some teachings that are over the line and mesh unscriptural practices with Christian teachings. – Rick

I believe there are some teachings that are over the line and mesh unscriptural practices with Chirstianity.

Neil

20   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I’m back sooner than I thought.

While I would agree *somewhat* with what Phil said, it does not change the fact that regardless of whether this is an issue like eating that meat or something, it is clear also that while for some they do not mean to mimic the pagans, and for some things there may be some latitude, we are still instructed to move away *away*, from many of those things. We certainly are not condoned to move toward them and make them our own.

And the meat issue doesn’t quite parallel to me. Paul was talking about eating things that were offered to fake gods. He was not talking about “cooking” their other food in the same way as the pagan sacrifices.

I might use a former yoga mat as a foot cushion in my shop, but I won’t use it to do the same physical activities it once was used for.

I’m sure many here will poke holes in this, but I really do see a difference.

21   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Also, if my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, why would I even want to, let alone permit, make it look like a temple to a pagan god?

Christian yoga.
Christian jihad.

Don’t adopt a practice and say it is for God. Be adopted by God and He will impute HIS practices on you.

22   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

I might use a former yoga mat as a foot cushion in my shop, but I won’t use it to do the same physical activities it once was used for.

oh, but using it as a foot cushion will not give you THESE ABS.

*grin*

23   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Though born depraved of mind, I was born almost flawless in fleshly appearance. Sorry you have to work for yours :)

I jest. But my former point still stands.

24   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

HAHA

love it.

25   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

that’s a great slogan for a new Christian modeling agency that i’m going to quit my job to start…

26   S.J. Walker    http://alionhasroared.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I thought I was ADHD.

27   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 13th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

I guess my point was more to the fact that if someone is genuinely seeking Christ, I don’t think they will accidently start worshipping Buddha or some evil spirit. It seems to me that much of the reasoning is based on a slippery-slope type of argument that says if we aren’t 100% correct in our worship method, we’ll eventually wind up lost. I think that God has given us a lot more grace than that.

Ultimately, it’s this fascination with the “regulative principle” that the detractors seems to be basing their argument on. The thing is, for Christians, we aren’t bound by any such thing. We worship in spirit and in truth, and that doesn’t always look the same for everyone.

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Neil – you are a true way-shower. That is all some of us want, a little balance in the discussion. I realize that on the conservative” side there are voices that are not seasoned with grace, but I reject that as well. If we ever desire to sharpen each other there must be enough vunerable trust to admit things that don’t seem to add to our side of the “argument”.

BTW Neil, did you write your comment in the lotus position? +)

29   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

my dog seems to frequently be in the “downward-facing dog” position.

does that mean she’s a Hindu?

30   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

No Ingrid yet?

maybe a clue… ?

It was NOT an emergent who stated it… but from and article someone who is very actively anti emergent…

She promoted the PDF very positively though the quote could have come from McLaren or Paggit…

http://www.hnrc.org/files/PuritanMeditation.pdf

Any takers?

iggy

31   Neil    
March 13th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Rick,

Thanks, I did omit the senence that followed though…

Neil

32   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 13th, 2008 at 8:16 pm

seemed paul had an out of body experience. seems peter had a rather strange experience on a rooftop.

just when we say god can’t………..

read thomas merton on eastern religion. very informative.

33   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
March 13th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I love how ethnocentric we are. I mean we are white, so all the paintings of Jesus are white. We are Americans and our enemy is the middle east, so the end times prophesy points to an Arabic anti-christ. We are western, so Christianity must be a western religion and any eastern practices are inherently evil.

34   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

touche.

and when white people hear a black pastor suggest that Jesus had dark skin, out the window goes any knowledge about that part of the world.

um…THEY’RE DARK.

big deal!

my grandmother used to have one of those “white Jesus” pictures, and i always asked why she had a picture of Ted Nugent on the wall…

she did not like that.

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:08 pm

That is not the point. This pastor portrays Jesus as a black man being oppressed by rich white men just as they are today. He wasn’t making skin the major issue, he was saying Jesus was like “we” are and suffered at the hands of those horrible “white” men.

I am sure Wright is anti-semetic as well. Jesus had olive skin and that issue is irrelevant. To claim this pastor is fair and Scriptural is to ignore his body of work.

He is a divider and a racist.

36   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

whatever. he’s ministering to his (very large) congregation, which is in inner-city Chicago. as a caucasian man who comes from an upper-middle class family, i don’t find it offensive at all.

i really think to believe that is to be ignorant of what it takes to minister to the black church, the unique perspective involved. and i think it’s white people seizing on an opportunity to absolve themselves of guilt over what the black community has had to deal with in this country.

we don’t really know just how dark Jesus’s skin was, do we?

to say “olive” makes it a little bit, um, whitey, doesn’t it? Italians have olive skin. Greeks have olive skin. my dad has olive skin. he’s totally white.

to assume that Rev. Wright is anti-Semitic is kind of strange.

as i said, if he’s such a “racist divider,” why do white people feel so welcome at his church? i mean, really.

37   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

He is a good friend of Louis Farakahn. Evan, you lose credibility when you make excuses for such a man. There are many black preachers who are aggressive, but this man is racist. He travels overseas sometimes with Farakahn.

It issn’t about the color of Jesus’ skin, even if it was ebony, his point is that Jesus sides with the balck man. He even has to mention that people get uncomfortable with his rhetoric about “white people”. He should not preach as a black man, he should preach as a follower of Christ.

38   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

also, as to whether one believes Wright’s preaching is “scriptural”:

it’s irrelevant. the candidates’ religious beliefs, contrary to some peoples’ opinions, are absolutely irrelevant.

can they lead? do they have a decent grasp of the challenges facing the world? will they exacerbate our problems or work to ameliorate them?

absolutely irrelevant whether or not they pray, to whom, and about what.

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

it’s irrelevant. the candidates’ religious beliefs, contrary to some peoples’ opinions, are absolutely irrelevant.

So if you dislike white people that is irrelevant? Politics, what a waste.

40   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

actually, he makes very clear that it’s not about anyone’s superiority. it’s all over the church’s website.

and i didn’t get “Jesus sides with the black man” at all from that.

i got “Jesus sides with the downtrodden.”

he was just CONTEXTUALIZING it for his congregation.

as to Farrakhan, Wright has said he doesn’t agree with everything Farrakhan believes.

i just don’t see it. the pastor of my UCC church (white) has dealt with Wright before, and she unequivocably rejects the idea that Wright is a racist.

41   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

the pastor of my UCC church (white) has dealt with Wright before, and she unequivocably rejects the idea that Wright is a racist.

She is entitled to her opinion as am I. Watch as these clips get more notoriety.

42   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

and i agree that Obama’s very campaign debunks the myth that Obama is in any way racist. his is the campaign of the young, old, black, white, rich, poor, etc.

43   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 13th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

maybe we should be anti-semitic (at least in how the word is being used)

who says the people taking up the space currently called isreal are the “isreal” of the bible? the palestinians have just as much claim as those on the other side of the bank.

is it anti-semitic to reject the jew worship that goes on in so many western churches? count me as one who tires of being threatened with god’s judgment every time I question american policy towards isreal. scriptures are twisted and misappropriated to prop up the current israeli state. no one questions whether or not they are legitimately god’s chosen people (of bible fame)

i wonder how many of the jews in isreal would be so friendly to evangelicals is they knew evangelical theology includes teaching the annihilation of the jewish people during the tribulation?

who IS a jew according to the scripture?

44   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

the clips have been around for months.

they’re only going to gain traction among uncomfortable white people, who tend to be Republicans anyway.

45   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

i wouldn’t say we should be anti-semitic, but i definitely agree that the US gives Israel a free pass where none is warranted.

Israel speaks out of both sides of its mouth. they want to be recognized as a nation-state just like any other, unless somebody disagrees with them, in which case they want carte blanche to play the “God’s people” card and bomb the hell out of anybody they like for whatever, all while they continue to stock their (undeclared) nuclear arsenal.

Iran thinking about one day scraping together a nuclear weapon? bomb them!

but Israel? nope, we give them a free ride…

Israel has a right to exist, but i’d suggest the Palestinians actually have a little bit more right to the land, the way things have gone down.

and yeah, it’s gross watching Christian churches sidle up to Israel for their own self-serving reasons.

46   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Anti-sematism goes much deeper than a different theological view as to Israel, many anti-semites hate the Jewish people with a vengeance and it has nothing to do with replacement theology.

When one doesn’t believe that the Jews have a future place in eschatology is doesn’t make him an anti-semite. When one say that Judaism is a “gutter religion” that man is an anti-semite.

47   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 13th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

How in the world did this become about Barak Obama?

Evan, you have a serious man-crush on the guy, don’t you?

48   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:30 pm

it started in another thread and moved over here.

Rick posted something about people being deceived by Barack Obama.

so, no, i didn’t bring Obama up.

:)

49   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

FARRAKHAN said that.

not Wright.

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

“The white man was put here to rule! It says so in the Bible!”

Byron De La Beckwith

Just a friend of mine.

51   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

i would point out, though, that it’s interesting that it’s vehemently condemned when it’s about Jews, but it is so completely open season on Muslims in this country…

it’s disgusting.

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:36 pm

I agree, Evan, that is JUST AS disgusting. I am against all kinds of prejudice and race division whether it comes from Beckwith or Wright or Farakahn. Even the silent racist who would be against his white daughter ever marrying a black man.

It’s all unchristian!

53   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 13th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

but it is so completely open season on Muslims in this country…

I’ve got to go to bed, but I don’t know you live in the same country as me. We practically bend over backwards for people here. Sure, there are a few nutters, but, come on it’s not like Muslims have to be scared to walk around. Christians in Muslim countries are killed. That’s not propaganda – it’s a fact.

America isn’t near perfect, and there are some pretty backwards people, but you are spewing complete leftist propaganda, now.

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:39 pm

and there are some pretty backwards people

Ya think, Phil. You as well as I probably have some relatives who meet that description!

55   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

perhaps you haven’t heard ANY of the stories from regular muslims in this country and what they’ve had to deal with since the day that goes without mentioning.

yes, it’s open season on Muslims.

the “Obama is a Muslim” e-mails wouldn’t be thriving if they didn’t have a phenomenally racist audience to keep them going.

56   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 13th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

racism is much more subtle here.

in mississippi 90% of blacks voted for obama, 20% of whites.

if obama was a dark, big lipped black man he would be judged very differently by white america. racism runs deep.

to say that muslims are loved and welcomed in this country is not true. tolerated? yes. loved and embraced as fellow flag waving americans of earl pitts variety? i think not.

hispanics/mexicans/latinos have been here for generations and we still “barely” tolerate them. try living in az for awhile if you don’t think so.

in my neck of the woods mexicans are tolerated because they pick our crops and do the jobs we won’t .

while progress has been made on the race front we are far far far from a color free society.

57   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

and i hate to say it, but if that’s “leftist propaganda,” i’d merely point out that facts have a liberal bias.

no. i don’t hate to say it. it’s totally true.

58   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

i was about to point out that it’s open season Mexicans lately, but you did it for me.

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

He IS a muslim, didn’t you see the picture?

OK, a little humor. I have said nothing about Obama’s beliefes, just that his pastor doesn’t reflect Christ.

60   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 13th, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Wow, this whole “political thing” has even got my head hurting…

You know a wise man said that two things people should not discuss… politics and….. ummm I forgot the other thing…

I think though that the person who is so against meditation” stated it this way….

The Puritan’s taught the importance of meditation on God’s Word. Today the term “meditation” has a number of New Age implications that have nothing to do with how the biblical term is used. If you want to understand the difference, here is a wonderful article (pdf file) on the kind of meditation the Psalmist referred to. This is the kind of meditation we should not do without!

Yet, she overlooked that even her precious “puritan” wrote in the very article she quotes.

“We rightly criticize those who engage in transcendental meditation and other mindrelaxing exercises because these practices are connected with false religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, and have nothing to do with Scripture. Such forms of meditation focus on emptying the mind to become detached from the world and to merge with the so-called Cosmic Mind, not to attach to, listen to, and to be active for a living,personal God. Yet, we can learn from such people the importance of quiet reflection and prolonged meditation.”

Even the quote in the article seems to contradict… yet, at least he was honest that we CAN learn from other world religions while this lady, seems to think we can not and never should!

I am just wondering which is it…

Meditation the Biblical Way!

Or is it just whatever she feels like at the time ‘feels’ right to her in her own eyes!

I agree with the article and know of not one single person who advocates worship of “other gods” yet, it seems that even Lecto Divino, or reading the scripture slowly and prayerfully meditating on it… realizing it is a living document and is God’s written word which speaks to us today… is also wrong?

I am not sure how to not read the word that way… in fact if not read that way i might as well read Mark Twain… or whatever else is popular… or just read the Bible as a lifeless breathless book that is equal to popular science magazine.

I prefer to revere and worship God as I read… study and prayerfully let God speak to me through the Holy Spirit teaching of His Holy Word.

be blessed,
iggy

61   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 13th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

emptying one’s mind. bad thing?

my mind is so filled with the cares and garbage of the world it takes extended emptying to be abl to allow anything of spiritual value in.

i am so spiritual that when i pray i can think of everything but the subject at hand

We can learn from eastern practices without embracing all the baggage. puritans we are not

62   Evan Hurst    
March 13th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

and if we get amazing abs in the process, then yes, sir!

63   anonymousjane    http://anonymousjane.wordpress.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 12:48 am

I have little to add, but I’ve enjoyed this thread thoroughly.

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

America isn’t near perfect, and there are some pretty backwards people, but you are spewing complete leftist propaganda, now.

Phil – just so you know, in one of Wright’s sermonsw he sadi we shouldn’t say God bless America, we should say God Damn America. I don’t believe God deals with nations like that, but you guys should know he hates America and its white founders.

Some gospel, huh?

65   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

rick,

i am white and I don’t say god bless america.

why should god bless america?

while i would not pray for god to damn america (just the yankees) i certainly would not call for america’s blessing. we have done little or nothing to merit the blessing of god.

we continue to abort millions of babies. we continue to slaughter iraqi men/women/children. we continue to abuse the stranger in our land. we continue to turn a deaf ear and closed hand to the poor. we continue to elect government leaders who have no regard for the people they serve. we continue to incarcerate more people per capita than any other country in the world. and most of all american idol is the most popular program on tv.

just exactly what we are doing to merit the blessing of god (based on god’s righteous standard of blessing and curse?

what is needed for america to be under the curse of god? god simply lets us do what we want……….pretty good picture of america.

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Brutus – I totally agree. I do not believe we as Christ followers should be embroiled in nationalistic issues, God doesn’t deal with nations wholesale anymore, He deals with the church and reaches out to the lost.

My entire point is that politics is a dirty and fleshly business, so different than what the church is called to. I think you and I see the nationalsitic picture the same. I don’t hate America, I just view the world as different countries.

67   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

That should read “I don’t view the world as different countries.”

68   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

rick,

certainly i agree concerning your point about politics. the very nature of politics is based on compromise. every politician goes into office with high ideals, even lofty goals. time brings compromise and pragmatism.

we want “christian” leaders when, in fact, it is impossible to remain “truly christian” and get reelected.

we are all complicit. everyone of us who pay taxes are complicit in what government does in our name. i have no love for george bush. i consider him a war-monger and he has proven to play pretty loose with the truth.(he is clintonian liar) yet, my money pays for his war. my money pays for his continued giveaways to his rich, fat cat friends. i am guilty for paying for that which I despise.

purity and holiness are the purview of god. the rest of us, on our best day, are unprofitable servants. on our worst day? read the news headlines.

69   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Brutus – You read my book!

70   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

and most of all american idol is the most popular program on tv.

bwahaha.

and that, my friend, contributes to Americans’ collective ignorance about all the other stuff you mentioned.

and yeah, you won’t hear me saying “God Bless America” either, but that’s just because i’m not a nationalist, and i don’t think God really is either. “God Bless Humanity” is okay, but then again, all those things are kind of empty gestures, sort of like “support the troops” ribbons on the SUV’s of people who vote for leaders who keep our troops in unnecessary, unwarranted, and illegal wars, who use our troops as bait to start new unnecessary, unwarranted, and illegal wars, and who look for every reason to abandon those troops when they come back with PTSD and a whole other laundry list of problems.

play pretty loose with the truth [re: Bush]

that’s a nice way of saying it. all politicians lies, but at least no one died when Clinton lied. wait, that’s a bumper sticker…that i have…on my car…

:)

71   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 6:48 pm

but at least no one died when Clinton lied.

While he was distracted, Al Queda planned 9/11 under his watch. Some died.

72   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

while he was distracted by a moralistic witch-hunt, and let’s remember – he caught the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks they carried out during his presidency.

he also tried to brief the new cowboy president on the growing threat, tried to make the new administration understand that terrorism was going to be one of the most important concerns of the new administration, and then Bush went to sleep on the issue.

then again, Bush wins in a world where 9/11 happens.

73   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 14th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Hey, maybe I owe you somewhat of an aoplogy. I guess Rod Parsley has declared war on Islam. What a maroon…

As far as saying “God bless America” goes, I don’t have a problem praying that, but I also pray that God blesses Iraq, Iran, North Korea, etc. America certainly isn’t God’s chosen nation as some seem to think. Christians should be blessing our enemies according to Jesus, so I don’t anything wrong with praying a blessing on people whom we identify as sinners. God wants to reveal Himself to abortion doctors and politicians.

Ultimately, this is why I don’t have hope in change through the political process. Both parties are more interested in wielding power over people to make others see things their way. The way Jesus influences change is by dying for people. I don’t see a lot of politicians lining up to serve their enemies. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of Christians doing it either.

74   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 14th, 2008 at 7:08 pm

he caught the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks they carried out during his presidency.

Plus, he only bombed one aspirin factory in the process!

Sorry, couldn’t resist…

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

When a man realizes a “moralistic witch hunt” exists, and he still provides ample targets for that hunt, his judgment must come into question as well as his fidelity to his family. I happen to believe fidelity, integrity, discipline, and judgment are components of leadership, especially if you claim to lead an entire country.

76   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 7:57 pm

who among us is without sexual skeletons in the closet? are they business of others? if i commit fornication does it make me a bad leader? (since some of our so called greatest leaders were quite the sexual animals)

america is a secular state. always has been. sex is what people do. so, i am in no way surprised, knowing my own nature and sin, to read that a leader has transgressed sexually.

jesus set the standard………look, with lust=adultery in the heart. who among us has not committed adultery?

the governor of new york…….caught with his pants down. does this make him a bad leader? does it undo what good he did? yes he hurt his family. yes he embarrassed himself. but……..is is really anyone’s business that he frequents a prostitute?

bill clinton, imo, was a much better president than george bush. neither make my top ten list but clinton’s sexual peccadillo’s are not even worth an honorable mention in my book.

think for a moment……………if you were married to hillary, what would you do?

77   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 14th, 2008 at 8:03 pm

think for a moment……………if you were married to hillary, what would you do?

Sorry, dude…there’s no way to justify adultery, no matter how bad the person’s spouse is.

Obviously, God works through sinful people, but it seems that those people were willing to repent. Also, if you look at someone like King David, he still paid dearly for his sin. I’m not saying that how Clinton was treated was correct, but to act like he was completely innocent isn’t right either.

78   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I happen to believe fidelity, integrity, discipline, and judgment are components of leadership, especially if you claim to lead an entire country.

a man’s (or a woman’s) consensual sexual practices have no bearing on his ability to be a good leader (or a bad leader).

that’s part of why this whole Eliot Spitzer thing is such a joke. sad, yes. our business? no.

but they’ve been gunning for him for ages. sorta like they gunned for Clinton, with baseless attack after baseless attack…and then finally something stuck. something irrelevant stuck. but they wasted years of this country’s time trying to take the man down.

79   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

i am not suggesting clinton is innocent. i am arguing mitigating circumstances.

i knew a man who committed adultery. everyone was shocked. he married the woman he committed adultery with. later we found out his first wife was a lesbian and had not had sex with him in years. his adultery was wrong but what man among us can not “understand” his sin.

80   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 14th, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Evan,
You are joking about Spitzer, aren’t you? You do realize that he’s looking at a felony charge, based on laws he helped get on the books.

Would you say the same thing if GWB was caught with a prostitute?

81   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

doesn’t matter who. someone’s sexual activity is not our business. tho i have heard republicans never commit sexual sin. :)

82   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I’m not saying that how Clinton was treated was correct, but to act like he was completely innocent isn’t right either.

the point is that our opinion on the matter is absolutely irrelevant.

nobody had any business investigating the president’s sex life.

not only the countless investigations into scandals that didn’t exist, but the investigations into the Lewinsky “scandal” were a waste of the country’s time and resources and of the president’s ability to lead.

83   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Would you say the same thing if GWB was caught with a prostitute?

if W visited a whore every now and then, he might lighten up on the constant need to prove his male endowment in the face of the world.

84   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

tho i have heard republicans never commit sexual sin.

now Brutus…you’re not suggesting that over ninety percent of the sex scandals of the past decade involved Republicans, are you?

of course not.

we could write a “We Didn’t Start The Fire” song with their names and we’d still have extras.

85   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

You are joking about Spitzer, aren’t you?

no, i’m absolutely not joking. Spitzer had a hard run as governor, but as AG he was one of the most effective leaders this country has had in ages.

86   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 14th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

doesn’t matter who. someone’s sexual activity is not our business.

You two are too much. You are blinded by your love of the Donkeys. I don’t care who has sex with whom, but once money is transferred, it’s illegal. The governer is sworn to uphold the law, even the ones that he doesn’t like.

I used to be like you are with the Dems with the Pubbies. I could defend them against anything. I then came to the realization that it’s all a big game to them all, and when it comes down to it there’s not much difference in the outcomes no matter who gets elected. To trust in either side to do anything is idolatry.

Forget about politics. Think about God’s Kingdom. Are we advancing on the gates of Hell, or are we content building our own kingdoms? I think more and more Christians are coming to the realization that politics won’t ever change anything.

87   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

money for sex? happens within marriage all the time.

i never said i was a democrat. but you have correctly labeled me. good detective work. i am a progressive democrat.

i am for legalizing prostitution. (as sanctioned in the ot)

we tend to be pretty self-righteous when it comes to sex. how easy is it to forget our own sexual missteps. while frequenting prostitutes is probably not good, it is really not an issue of cosmic proportions.

using the standard of jesus i have had sex with quite a few women. how about you?

does that make me a bad father, husband, human?

88   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

i’m not a Democrat. they’re too much like the Republicans to garner my allegiance.

i also believe prostitution should be legal.

not because it’s “good,” but just because it “is” and always will be. at least that way, the women (and men) who decide to take up the “world’s oldest profession” will be subject to taxation, as well as other protections.

so yeah. Spitzer thing still a joke. i’m unhappy with him for being stupid. but it’s a joke.

89   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

All I can say is WOW!! Lets think about this one a bit. Spitzer is an adulterer Clinton the same BUT it’s not our business! I view an elected official no different than I would an employee that worked for me. Would I hire someone that I knew was an adulterer? I would think very hard on this and more than likely come up with a resounding no.

Sounds hard eh? Lets look at what a person like this is. Unable to keep commitments(I want a reliable employee) how can I possibly believe that this person would keep his commitments to me! Important in the business world! Would you hire an employee like that?

When they married, they entered into a contract. Any of you that are married know most the words if not at least a few of the important ones. They didn’t honor that contract. Pretty poor business dealings.

Could I trust these people around my female staff?

In the past I’ve employed a lot of people and I don’t think it was a burden to expect a certain amount of loyalty as their employer. These peoples lack of loyalty astounds me and even more the moral relativism that I see here astounds me even more. The damage that people like this do, goes way beyond themselves and families.

90   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

When you discuss morality without any standard the conversation is moot. Sexual fidelity within marriage is not a side issue with God, it is exteremly important. But we should not attempt to place Biblical morality on the American politic system because it is not of Christ anyway.

Would you guys be OK with an immoral pastor?

91   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

All I can say is WOW!! Lets think about this one a bit. Spitzer is an adulterer Clinton the same BUT it’s not our business! I view an elected official no different than I would an employee that worked for me. Would I hire someone that I knew was an adulterer? I would think very hard on this and more than likely come up with a resounding no.

Sounds hard eh? Lets look at what a person like this is. Unable to keep commitments(I want a reliable employee) how can I possibly believe that this person would keep his commitments to me! Important in the business world! Would you hire an employee like that?

When they married, they entered into a contract. Any of you that are married know most the words if not at least a few of the important ones. They didn’t honor that contract. Pretty poor business dealings.

Could I trust these people around my female staff?

you must be kidding.

moralistic crap.

marital performance has less than zero to do with job performance.

and your female staff?

they’re big girls. they don’t need “Daddy” making sure Mister Wandering Eyes doesn’t try to ask them out. if they do, i’m sure they’ll let ya know.

i can’t believe you said “pretty poor business dealings” about the “contract” of marriage.

didn’t know we were still in Christian Chattel days.

half your neighbors are adulterers, and you don’t know it. these men just happened to have gotten caught.

92   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

I guess the broken pasts of some these girls who sell themselves is not important either. Many have been abused, come from broken homes, have drug habits, feel worthless, and now it is alright for rcih men to use them for their sexual fantasies and discard them until next time?

This is not a victimless crime, this reinforces the self destruction within some of these girls and aqmant take their own life or deteriorate into severe depression, and that is none of our business? How bourgousie that view is about sin.

93   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

As a disclaimer I wish to reveal that I am speaking in the abstract because I do not vote and I leave all that in God’s hands, but just this little conversation reveals in no uncertain terms the abject uselessness of the political theatre, especially as it pertains to the follower of Jesus Christ.

Politics aside, there are only two kinds of people, sinners saved by grace and sinners who need to be saved by grace. Both of these segments have no party affiliation in God’s eyes.

94   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

and now it is alright for rcih men to use them for their sexual fantasies and discard them until next time?

didn’t say it was “all right.” i just don’t believe it’s a legal issue.

and it is true that prostitution happens all the time within the marriage bed.

it’s just that spouses work for VERY LOW RATES.

if you…take the trash out…then we’ll do it tonight.

95   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 14th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

it’s just that spouses work for VERY LOW RATES.
if you…take the trash out…then we’ll do it tonight.

You have no clue to what a loving and committed marriage is all about with statements like that. Your experience is very different than mine.

96   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

first, it is illegal to use sexual activity as a job requirement

second, every man I know has committed adultery (using the standard of jesus) many men commit it daily, or every time they watch an R movie, or see a victoria’s secret ad, etc, etc, etc.

since sexual sin is pervasive…………to use it as a job qualification seems useless. sex is a private matter. (unless you are doing it in the front yard)

someone mentioned pastoral immorality. using the standard of jesus………what pastor has not committed adultery? i, for one, am tired of self righteous christians who see the sexual sins of everyone but themselves. once we understand the pervasiveness of the problem we can then deal with it.

i do not think sexual sin disqualifies a man or woman from the pastorate. it depends. what, when, where, why and how must be answered.

i assume every pastor i have ever had has, at one time or another, committed sexual sin. (along with a large list of other sins)

97   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

there are all kinds of marriages.

if your experience is better than that, be thankful.

98   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

while we’re on the “legal” subject, it’s interesting – 20/20 is on, and John Stossel (who is about three-quarters crazy) is doing one of his rare good reports about the incidence of teenagers having consensual sex, but due to obscure and archaic age of consent laws, being labeled as sex offenders for life.

he was 17, she was 14. both in high school…

he was 18, she was 15. still, both in high school…

etc.

once religion is truly separated from politics forever, maybe we’ll be on the right path, away from this kind of intrusive moral legislation.

99   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 14th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

rick said “You have no clue to what a loving and committed marriage is all about with statements like that. Your experience is very different than mine.”

so your experience is the standard?

i have observed more than a few marriages over the years. sexual bartering does go on. even in good marriages. oh to live in a world where all motives and desires are pure.

how do you know evan doesn’t have a clue?

100   Evan Hurst    
March 14th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

he doesn’t.

that’s the thing about being a pragmatic realist. i have my own ideals for what i want out of a marriage, but i recognize that we have a 50% divorce rate in this country for a reason.

it would be higher if so many couples didn’t stay married for the children, or stay married because it’s easy, or stay married to keep the big house, blah blah blah.

101   kenn    
March 15th, 2008 at 1:57 am

Brutus- you’re right. Sexual bartering goes on all the time. Always has, always will. that’s the Quid Pro Quo reality of married life.

I don’t buy the idea that adultery is committed by merely looking at an R rated movie or glancing at a Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

If you apply that logic, then every time I drive by a billboard for a Burger King Whopper, and think about how good it might taste, thinking about it is the same as consuming it, and thousands of grams of fat and wasted calories are flooding my system. I’m not ready to accept the idea that thinking about something is quite the same as indulging in it.

“Doc, you can take me off the Lipator, my cholesterol is down because I’ve stopped thinking about cheeseburgers”

102   Evan Hurst    
March 15th, 2008 at 10:21 am

If you apply that logic, then every time I drive by a billboard for a Burger King Whopper, and think about how good it might taste, thinking about it is the same as consuming it, and thousands of grams of fat and wasted calories are flooding my system. I’m not ready to accept the idea that thinking about something is quite the same as indulging in it.

whatever. you know your lusty heart ate that cheeseburger, and so does God.

*grin*

103   Evan Hurst    
March 15th, 2008 at 10:23 am

i don’t buy the “if you thought it, you did it” thing either.

104   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 15th, 2008 at 10:33 am

kenn,

i was only quoting jesus :)

my bigger point is that we all commit/have committed/will commit some form of sexual sin.

in religious circles improper sexual activity tends to get elevated to a special kind of sin. i call sexual sin the unforgivable sin, at least in many circles.

this attitude is reflected in the comment about allowing such a man around your female staff. the thinking behind it seems to be if a man commits a sexual sin from then on he should be considered a sexual predator. can’t trust an immoral man around women. we don’t apply this ethic with any other sin.

those who protest the loudest often have forgotten their own sexual sin. every year the paper will have stories of such men. arrogant men preaching the law of god all the while breaking it.

i am in no way dismissing what the bible says about sexuality. i am challenging how we interpret and how we apply such teaching.

the world thinks we are prudish people obsessed with the sexuality and practice of others. on what basis would we say they are wrong?

105   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 15th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Jesus wasn’t equating the act of adultery with the thought, per se. You have to look at that statement in the larger context of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was contrasting the righteousness of the Pharisees, which was based on keeping up appearances, with the righteuosness of the Kingdom of God, which is based on an inner change in the heart. Jesus was referring to adultery in the context of divorce. Basically, some Pharisees had taken the provision in the law that allowed divorce to an absurd extreme. They were saying things like a man could divorce a woman if she didn’t prepare dinner the way he liked it.

Jesus says in so many words, “don’t give me your stupid excuses and loopholes. You want to come up with reasons for divorce because your hearts are wicked and you don’t even realize it. Let me show how wicked you really are.”

Now in the case of prostitution and politicians, this is kind of moot point. I do agree that no one should be pointing to a politician’s sin as if it’s somehow greater than their own. But in the case of a governer, it’s purely a legal matter. He took an oath to uphold the laws, and if he breaks them, he faces the penalty. To make it about anything other than that is just putting up a smokescreen.

106   Evan Hurst    
March 15th, 2008 at 11:31 am

that being said, though, Spitzer’s “law breaking” has no bearing on the general population’s welfare, national security, or the health of the country.

meanwhile, people roll their eyes and decide not to understand the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson issue because it doesn’t involve lusty ladies.

107   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 15th, 2008 at 12:09 pm

phil,

sorry friend but jesus said:

Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

there is no way to explain this except to take it for what it says

jesus quotes the law and then explains the true intent and implication of the law.

james reinforces that by telling us that sin begins with the thought. the resulting act is just the culmination.

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 15th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

The first explanation is closer to the truth. Jesus was removing the facade that the Pharisees had wrapped themselves in and exposed us all for the sinners we are. Much deeper than just physical acts.

109   Evan Hurst    
March 15th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

i agree with Rick!

(ha ha. see? it’s possible.)

i see it as Jesus’s way of saying “you all need to just get over yourselves before i start pointing out your faults.”

110   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 15th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Brutus,
I’m not denying what you are saying. I just don’t think Jesus ever says that commiting and act and thinking about bear the same legal consequences. Thinking about going to a prostitute will not get you arrested. Doing it will. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not claiming I’m holier than anyone. I’m just saying that Jesus doesn’t negate the physical consequences of our wrong actions.

111   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 15th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

You are correct, Phil. Thinking about robbing a bank and doing it have different consequences (I know personally). But Jesus still pulls the self righteous rug out from under the thinker!

112   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 15th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

phil,

and neither am i.

there is a difference between god’s legal standard and man’s.

113   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 15th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

god says as a man thinks in his heart do is he

all sin begins with a thought. it is at that level we must resist and defeat sin.

114   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 15th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

so is he

sorry

115   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 15th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Ja.1:14-15 – But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (mental), and enticed, Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin (deed) when it is finished, brings forth death.

Spurgeon says, “The delivery room of sin is the mind, and when a it is born and nourshed it eventually births a living deed. Many such siblings will kill their parents”.

116   Brutus    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry
March 15th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

let me be personal.

i am a married heterosexual male. i see an attractive woman. god made me a sexual being. god made the woman a sexual being. god made women to be attractive. as i look at the attractive woman i have several options. i can say “nice” and move on or i can say “nice” and dwell on “nice” til it becomes ‘really, really nice”……….

the initial thought is not the sin. lots of nice looking women in the world. most men have an eye for detail. :) it is when i dwell on that thought that the potential for sin is put into motion. this is what jesus was talking about when we commit adultery in our heart.

the battle over sin is in the mind. that’s why legislating morality does not work. we try and legislate the end result instead of getting to the source. of course we can’t legislate the source (unless we believe in pre-crime ala tom cruise) because it is impossible to do.

the greatest thing a parent can do is teach their children how to think. how to deal with the battle of the mind. instead we often try and deal with the results with moral rules. then we wonder why our youth often wilt when confronted with peer pressure to do a certain sinful behaviour. defeating peer pressure begins in the mind.

take porn. most adults have viewed porn. i sit in front of my computer. i get an email advertising hot photos of babes. is my sin clicking on the link? no. my sin is the mental choice i make to click on the link. the temptation is never the sin. it is when we give feet to the temptation by making a mental choice that sin is put into action.

think of the sins you and i have committed in the last week. did any of them not have a mental component where a choice was made? even in a moment of anger………a mental choice is made.

117   Evan Hurst    
March 16th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Yeah, I’m resurrecting this for a minute. There was flak in this thread condemning Jeremiah Wright. I’ve found someone who says it better than I possibly could. Jeff Sharlet, author of the forthcoming book [i]The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power[/i].

I ganked this from http://www.crooksandliars.com instead of linking it because I can’t rely on you people to click things. :)

[i]In contextualizing Jeremiah Wright’s “God damn America,” it might be worth remembering another Jeremiah who expressed similar sentiments: namely, Jeremiah. As in, the prophet of the Hebrew Bible, or the “Old Testament,” if you prefer.

Why does that matter? Because it reminds us that a core function of one who attempts to speak in a prophetic voice is to remind us that we are in this together and that we’ll both prosper and suffer together. Many evangelical Christians speak of a “gift of discernment,” not unlike the “gift of tongues.” Us democratically-minded folk might do well to remember that that core concept of a democracy is that we all have some gift of discernment. So let’s use ours and consider the prophetic statements on offer:

1. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said America is damned — cursed by God, though not permanently — because we tolerate feminists and queer people.

2. John Hagee says America is damned — cursed by God, though not permanently — because we tolerate Muslims.

3. Jeremiah Wright says America is damned — cursed by God, though not permanently, suffering from hate and division, from bitterness and envy — because we succumb to hating one another.

For my money, my Bible, and my democracy, that last sentiment has the ring of truth, and I’m not even a religious man.

That doesn’t mean it’s a sentiment for a campaign trail. But it does mean that in framing this, we might want to turn our anger toward Fox and the NY Post and all those denouncing Jeremiah Wright rather than the man who says we suffer because of racism. Here is a pastor trying, perhaps not successfully, to preach accountability for hate, not for tolerance. And here is a media that is demanding that we NOT be held accountable for hate.

That is, mainstream media is telling us we must tolerate hate — Hagee — but not those who don’t believe we should tolerate hate — Wright.

Jeremiah Wright’s words were harsh, as were Jeremiah’s. As were Martin Luther King’s — “I have a dream” wasn’t his only speech, and he died holding America accountable for the war in Vietnam and the war against the poor at home. That’s not left, that’s not right, that’s not “racial,” that’s not “post-racial.” It’s prophetic. The Right’s screeching, meanwhile, is simply pathetic.[/i]

118   Adam    
March 16th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

I am against all kinds of prejudice and race division whether it comes from Beckwith or Wright or Farakahn. Even the silent racist who would be against his white daughter ever marrying a black man.

or when my mom takes off her rings once she gets out of the suburbs and into the city limits?

so sad i have to laugh.

119   Adam    
March 16th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

just exactly what we are doing to merit the blessing of god (based on god’s righteous standard of blessing and curse?

you obviously haven’t seen The Wire. that show is SWEET.

meanwhile, people roll their eyes and decide not to understand the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson issue because it doesn’t involve lusty ladies.

agreed.
she is quite lusty – HIGH FIVE!

alright, got all that out of my system (it’s 0545 where i am and i’m a bit loopy). thanks for bearing with me. tip your waitress.

but on a serious note,

it would be higher if so many couples didn’t stay married for the children, or stay married because it’s easy, or stay married to keep the big house, blah blah blah.

…or for the money/benefits/support, etc.. the divorce rate in the navy is around 75%, but the divorces i’ve seen are usually preceded by several months (or years) or infidelity & deception because one would feel the squeeze losing all the benefits of being a military spouse – health care, family services, long periods of time away from their spouse to do whatever one pleases (in those types of relationships, of course). but i have also seen some serious strength and committment in the relationships that last.

120   Evan Hurst    
March 16th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

in case anyone is interested in actually hearing a FULL sermon from Jeremiah Wright, instead of the snippets provided by the lazy media…

http://mp3.christianity.com/mp3/mp3repos32/MMYSEES/317_60682_JeremiahWright__TheAudacitytoHope82A.32.mp3

yeah, i can’t possibly IMAGINE why Barack Obama stayed at that church for 20 years.