In a recent posting over at the Christian Research Network the Editor points out that Willowcreek and Focus on the Family are promoting a book and study and ministry on contemplative prayer.

Examples are given that, I can only assume, are suppose to provide evidence/examples of something nefarious.  I say “I can only assume” because the examples are offered without argument as to what about them is objectionable.

Willowcreek is promoting Emotionally Healthy Spirituality co-founded by Pete and Geri Scazzero.  Now, I have no idea who they are – whether they be orthodox or heretics – and the post at CRN does not help either.  The post does offer one example of the content

Tenet 4 of the 12 Foundational Tenets on the website states, “the church today parallels that of the Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th century. Following the example of Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus, the desert fathers fled to the desert to seek God, we too must find our deserts in the midst of our activity for Christ. We can learn a great deal from the contemplative, monastic tradition as we seek to remain rooted as we engage the world with the gospel.”

To this I must respond with – “So?”  All the people listed – Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus, the desert fathers – I believ it is safe to say, used time alone, whether in a real desert or a metaphorical one – to be alone with the Father.

And even if it is found out that they did not all do this – that Jesus found it necessary is enough for me.

So,  from this post at CRN I cannot tell what it is about Emotionally Healthy Spirituality that is unbiblical.  Then again, rereading the post, maybe their intent was to promote the course since they make no argument, or show no proof, of why it should be avoided.

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 7:32 pm and is filed under Christian Living, Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

271 Comments(+Add)

1   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 6th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

It really has gotten to the point that people like Mr. Silva pretty much assume that anyone who sees almost anything different than them are just heretics in their eyes. They don’t even mince words anymore, which honestly is better in my eyes. It makes it all the easier to dismiss them.

I was reading a post at the Pyromaniacs site today, and I would generally consider slightly less crazy that CR?N, but even there, they had a post where they were totally ripping Rob Bell based on all these secondary issues.

I just find it odd that folks who look back at the Reformation with such fondness – a time full of iconoclasts questioning everything, are now the ones who are hunkered down, defending the status quo, or at least what they think is the status quo. I actually think that the tide has significantly turned against that brand of Christianity that what they’re defending will eventually be a historical footnote.

2   Neil    
October 6th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

They don’t even mince words anymore…

The funny thing is, Phil, the post I linked to does not say what is wrong with either the specific ministry nor contemplative prayer.

If fact, if you did not know their a fortiori position – you might think it was simply an announcement.

3   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 6th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

that Jesus found it necessary is enough for me.

Was it really necessary for Jesus to pray? To go into the desert to speak to God?

Was the fact that Jesus went into a desert descriptive or prescriptive?

The desert fathers were mystics, seeking I am sure a close relationship with God. The modern mystics for the most part are simply seeking to manufacture some sort of super spiritual experience that may or may not include the God of the Bible.

When did the present power of the Holy Spirit become geographical or require some sort of method other than dying to self and allowing the Spirit to glorify Christ in us? When did we have to buy the newest emergent study guide so we could experience a mystical union? Why not just be sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit by dying to self daily, and approaching God as a humble needy person in need of His grace?

4   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:06 am

Was it really necessary for Jesus to pray? To go into the desert to speak to God?

That’s a good question. Not sure if it is relevant, but it is interesting. My guy response is to say no, since I do not like to place necessities on Jesus.

yet, he placed them on himself from time to time…

5   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:08 am

Was the fact that Jesus went into a desert descriptive or prescriptive?

I can think of no command, so it’s probably descriptive. But, since he did it, since the Psalmist suggested it – seems like a good description to model if you are so inclined.

6   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:10 am

The desert fathers were mystics, seeking I am sure a close relationship with God. The modern mystics for the most part are simply seeking to manufacture some sort of super spiritual experience that may or may not include the God of the Bible.

I find it amazing how you can determine the motives of others and assume them nefarious.

Even if some… even if many… are trying to manufacture some sort of spiritual experience – how does that make them all wrong?

I know people who pray to be rich – should we therefore not pray?

7   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:17 am

When did the present power of the Holy Spirit become geographical or require some sort of method…When did we have to buy the newest emergent study guide…Why not just be sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit by dying to self daily…

- AGAIN, you add to what was said.

Show me someone who says it is a requirement and I will join your chorus of condemnation.

Show me someone who said geography was required and I will join you in your rebuff.

You ask:

Why not just be sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit by dying to self daily, and approaching God as a humble needy person in need of His grace?

And I ask: Why must you deny a person the right to do so in a manner that best suites their personality?

If I choose to go off to a cave to be still and listen for God – why do you deny me that?

If sitting in silence and centering my thoughts on the Lord helps me die to self – why must you deny me that?

8   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:22 am

See the common thread between this thread and the bullhorn thread? – your confusion of subjective method and the core absolute.

In that thread you call the attacking of a method (bullhorns) the attack of the absolute (preaching the Gospel) – to deny the former is to deny the latter.

In this thread you attack a method of prayer – so should I assume you then deny all prayer, since you attack one particular method of it?

9   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 6:20 am

In some ways I am a mystic. Unless you attempt to emulate a practice from another religion, or become quite in order to invite the “Universal Mind”, I see nothing wrong with silence, seeking, tears, groaning, crying, and all sorts of positions. (prostate, kneeling, standing, walking, etc.) I have done all of that and never in any other context than seeking the face of Jesus.

I see some problems when people combine religious practices, but I know why reformed people do not appreciate the things I listed above because their view of prayer is perfunctory rather than purposeful.

10   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 7:47 am

#9
Yes Rick, we reformed types believe you must close your eyes and fold your hands to pray. :)

There is nothing wrong with praying or where you pray. There is nothing wrong, because, as Paul encourages us, pray in the Spirit, Pray without ceasing, etc. Those who worship must do so in Spirit and in truth, as Jesus stated.

But it is nothing that needs to be manufactured if you are a follower of Christ. You don’t need to manufacture a spiritual experience by geography or method if the Holy Spirit dwells in you.

AW Tozer never went into the desert, neither did Ravenhill, Spurgeon, Whitfield, Wesley, Edwards, (a field or two).. but they all had an incredible prayer life. It was manifested in their work by the power of the Holy Spirit.

11   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 8:09 am

“I am convinced that the dearth of great saints in this day is due at least in part to our unwillingness to give sufficient time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God. Our religious activities should be ordered in such a way as to leave plenty of time for the cultivation of the fruits of solitude and silence.”
A.W. Tozer

Tozer’s hunger for God led him to study the Christian mystics. Their knowledge of God and absorbing love for Him profoundly attracted Tozer. They were spirits kindred to his own. “These people know God,” he would say, “and I want to know what they know about God and how they came to know it.” He so identified with their struggles and triumphs that people began referring to him, also, as a mystic, a designation to which he never objected.

Tozer’s list of these “friends of God” grew with the years, and nothing delighted him more than to uncover a long forgotten devotional writer. He eagerly introduced these newly discovered mystics to his friends, bringing many of them into public awareness.
…from http://www.theboc.com/freestuff/awtozer/index.html

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 8:11 am

When I lived in New Jersey, 10 minutes from New York City, I would regularly climg the face of Garret Mountain and spend hours in prayer up there. It seemed to seperate me from the world. And if geography is never relevant, then why do we gather in certain buildings on Sunday? Why do we go on retreats?

If the practices of other religions are copied then that is a big problem. But when I light candles in my prayer room, turn on praise music, and light incense, does that make me a pagan? Like I said, in some ways I am a mystic since I believe the faith of Jesus has a significant mystical essence.

It’s not just a “do this – don’t do that” kind of relationship. And I actually believe that seeking the face of Jesus in the Spirit through prayer and fasting has largely been discarded in evangelicalism.

In the old days, I would have been an orthodox Essene. :cool:

13   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 8:14 am

[Prayer from Tozer]
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune god, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.

In Jesus’ name, Amen…….

[Sounds like he's seeking mystical experiences with God...]

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 8:18 am

I invite and love mystical experiences from Jesus Christ. I hate dry and mundane religion that depends massively upon a “I know theology” spirit rather than a “I am discontent with my own spiritual experience” spirit.

Being a follower of Jesus is a continuing and deepening experience built upon truth but energizing that truth through obedience, humility, prayer, fasting, and learning the Word with special emphasis on the mirror quality.

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 8:28 am

BTW – years ago as Independent Baptists we were premier soul winners and evangelism and seperation were our tradmarks. However we were dry and refused any of the “mystical” adventures. Being a follower of Jesus is not an either/or journey.

Having said that, though, I cannot find comfort in any movement that does not regularly preach the gospel, as if the saved didn’t need to hear that gospel anymore.

16   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 8:35 am

Rick, why would you want to find comfort in a movement?

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 8:39 am

Figure of speech.

18   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 8:44 am

Rick and Corey,

My prayer life is deeply personal, I have prayed in all sorts of places and all sorts of ways.

What drives me nuts is this prescriptive nonsense that says you should do it this way….three steps to a mystical experience…blah blah blah

Why not just allow the Spirit to lead?

Why try to make your way or method superior?

Why try to make money off of prayer practices?

19   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 8:51 am

Who is doing that? I understand your angst toward postmodernism and even the bashing of your style of evangelism, but I don’t understand why you get upset about contemplative prayer and things like it. Nobody is trying to make their way or method superior. If you read the books (most notably Foster’s prayer and spiritual disciplines books) you’ll note that they consistently tell people to allow the Spirit to lead and use the methods that connect you to God while urging you to try different methods as a way to simply broaden or possibly deepen your prayer life. They’re not trying to make money off of prayer practices any more than Ray Comfort is trying to make money off of evangelism. They’re attempting to share ancient wisdom with people who may not be familiar with these methods of seeking God.

20   kenn    
October 7th, 2009 at 9:39 am

Rick,
What does your prostate (#9) have to do with prayer? Unless your praying for a healthy prostate. (definately prayer-worthy)

I think you meant postrate. Common mistake, but its always amusing when the words are mixed up.

21   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 9:45 am

#19
Master the ancient wisdom of the Bible, we don’t need no stinkin how-to books that point to methods other than those described and prescribed in the Bible.

22   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 9:50 am

Then stop reading Ray Comfort’s books

23   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 9:51 am

I’ve not really read any Richard Foster books, but I have read a few Dallas Willard books, and nowhere does he write anything that could be construed as “three easy steps” or anything. He really talks about being intentional in setting aside time more than anything.

Master the ancient wisdom of the Bible, we don’t need no stinkin how-to books that point to methods other than those described and prescribed in the Bible.

Yes, why bother learning from our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone before us, or why try to learn from the things previous generations have passed down to us. We can figure it all out on our own… That’s the height of arrogance to me.

24   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 9:54 am

Anything can be overdone, and all “camps” merchandise their “stuff”. But there are times where certain things enhance and aid in attracting the spirit toward spiritual things. As usual, these things can be overdone like everything else.

Jesus went up inot a mountain sometimes. That doesn’t mean that is the only way, hoever it does indicate there are times where location can get you away from the usual and place you in an unusual setting.

If you want a classic “how-to” methods, just read some books and attend some conferences on evangelism. That is fertile “this is the way” prescriptions.

25   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 9:56 am

I just don’t understand how a book (take Scot McKnight’s book on fasting for instance) that describes why fasting is important, the role it played in religious practice during the time of Jesus, how it was done in church history and some practical advice on how to incorporate it into your own life is such an evil thing!

26   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 9:59 am

American fasting = going through the McDonald’s drive through and having to pull over and wait for your order.

27   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:02 am

I once gave Big Macs for an entire week!

(Actually, I don’t remember when the last time I had a Big Mac was…)

28   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:02 am

Yes, why bother learning from our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone before us, or why try to learn from the things previous generations have passed down to us.

If you have wisdom to share about your experiences, I recommend giving this wisdom to you brothers and sisters. Public Domain don’t you know….or simple iron sharpening iron in the local body of Christ

#25 it is only a bad thing if it extra-biblical or, like Shane Claibourne, stating that his way of life is the only way to be spiritual.

What does the Bible say?

Check Galatians

29   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 10:04 am

Theology aside, Shane Clairborne’s lifestyle is light years closer to the dictates of Scripture than the average American evangelical.

30   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:04 am

Well, A.W. Tozer sold his books (as did the others you mentioned). In fact, he wrote a book called “How To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit” – four steps to being filled. Why don’t you try some equal-opportunity bashing instead of just the people that you disagree with.

31   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:05 am

And Claibourne doesn’t even come close to saying that his way of life is the only way to be spiritual.

32   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:06 am

#25 it is only a bad thing if it extra-biblical or, like Shane Claibourne, stating that his way of life is the only way to be spiritual.

Do you never tire of creating such pitiful strawmen? Claiborne has never stated such a thing. Seriously, if you’re just going to out-and-out lie about folks, there’s no point in even discussing anything with you.

Either you know the truth and purposely misrepresent it, or you are just ignorant. In either case, your best course of action would be to quit spreading things that aren’t true.

33   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:07 am

#29 Other than the fact that he preaches a different Gospel.

#30 Did he? Or did he publish and edit the Alliance World and the publishing house assemble his messages and his writings? These are still being distributed free of charge through http://www.cmalliance.org

34   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:09 am

I’ve got the book on my shelf published in the ’60s with a price listing on it…

35   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:10 am

Along with about 7 others…

36   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:11 am

#31 and 32

He is pointed to by others, and he is SOOOO HUMBLE that he would never suggest in his speeches and his podcasts that people should join him in this communal lifestyle to serve the world and bring God’s kingdom to earth….

He never bashes the North American Evangelical and their wealth….

Never does he champion social justice (steal from the rich so the poor can have equal) communism/socialism…

Yep… no one is blinder than he who will not see….

37   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:11 am

Will you here and now publicly decry Ray Comfort for charging $15 for The Way of the Master (a step by step method for evangelism that he’s charging money for)?

38   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:12 am

#35 and all of them you can print off free of charge.

39   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:12 am

Inviting people to experience the Christian faith the way he does is a far cry from saying it’s the only way.

40   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:14 am

Wow…so they’ll give away his materials after he’s dead. That doesn’t change the fact that he wrote the books, sold the books, and that at least one of them was a step by step guide to being filled with the spirit. That says more about the generosity of the denomination that values his teaching than it does about the way he actually sold his materials.

41   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:15 am

He is pointed to by others, and he is SOOOO HUMBLE that he would never suggest in his speeches and his podcasts that people should join him in this communal lifestyle to serve the world and bring God’s kingdom to earth….

I think you would have called Jesus a socialist or nutjob based on this. After all, He asked the disciples to leave their jobs and families to live with Him in a communal lifestyle.

Anyway, Shane just tells people they should reconsider their lifestyles in light of Scripture. He never says his way is the only way a Christian can live.

He never bashes the North American Evangelical and their wealth….

It seems to me that Jesus had quite a bit to say about the misuse of wealth… I’m sorry that’s so offensive to you.

Yep… no one is blinder than he who will not see….

Ain’t that the truth…

42   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:15 am

Here if you want more, I will get them for you….

43   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:16 am

What, so now PB is saying that actually selling books is somehow wrong? Somebody better tell John MacArthur and Ray Comfort.

PB, you’re a parody of yourself anymore. Please come back when you can form a coherent argument.

44   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:18 am

PB – Please interact on the fact that Comfort and Tozer both sell/sold their books and that they are both step by step guides to something related to Christian faith.

45   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:24 am

#44
Ray Comfort sells books, most of which are extended gospel tracts full of scripture and for the purpose of winning people to Christ. Most of his ministry is focussed on equipping the saints with tools to reach the lost, only about 20 % of his works are for those who are already saved, and the rest are for them to use to guide others into the truth.

John MacArthur sells books that are about Jesus, focussed on Jesus and the Christian life. Many of his books are commentaries on specific books of the Bible. In these books he exegetes SCRIPTURE. There is nothing mushy or unclear in these books about salvation, reconciliation, sanctification, the Christian life.

None of these authors tell us how we must live to be Christian. They both uplift scripture as sufficient, and exegete it for us, and invite us to crack it open and filter everything through scripture.

AW Tozer…same thing.

46   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:27 am

PS
Simply go to his website, and note how these books are RADICALLY reduced (cost of publishing) for those doing outreach.

I bought several hundred DVDs this summer….some were .50 each (sold at a loss) and some were $2.00 a piece (breaking even)

47   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:28 am

Dallas Willard…same thing
Scot McKnight…same thing
Shane Claibourne…same thing
Richard Foster…same thing


48   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:29 am

And all of them make money on selling those materials…and none of them are giving them away. So why don’t you just drop that silly argument…

49   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 10:32 am

And by the way, I like how you mock someone for being humble…I think that says a lot.

50   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 10:42 am

None of these authors tell us how we must live to be Christian. They both uplift scripture as sufficient, and exegete it for us, and invite us to crack it open and filter everything through scripture.

What the hell are you even talking about? Virtually all of Johnnie Mac’s books are telling people how to live, with maybe the exception of his commentaries, but I imagine even those are preachy.

Hers’s some of the titles:

Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong: A Biblical Response to Today’s Most Controversial Issues

The Jesus You Can’t Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ

The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?

Fundamentals of the Faith: 13 Lessons to Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus Christ

I’m not saying he’s wrong for it or anything. I’d say every author writes with the intention of changing the thoughts and behaviors of his readers. You’re just living in la-la land.

51   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 11:01 am

How much do the Shepherd’s Conferences cost? How much do the MacArthur “Christian” cruises cost?

“He never bashes the North American Evangelical and their wealth….”

More of that is needed. Many evangelicals are wide eyed to the sin of homosexuality but blind to the sin of greed and hedonism. Here is a challenge:

You provide me with every single New Yestament verse that deals with homosexuality, and I will provide all the verses that deal with avarice and greed.

ready…set…GO!

52   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 11:03 am

PB, do you buy Christian music? Those greedy artists who write lyrics that seem to glorify God but since they don’t give it away they must actually be doing it just to make money.

53   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 7th, 2009 at 11:10 am

#52, no he gets his music for free from Limewire or by downloading Pastor/Teacher Silva’s music from youtube.

54   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Here we go again.

In Biblical meditation the mind is engaged.

In pagan meditation the mind is emptied and awaits to be filled by “something”.

Any system that advocates the latter is not biblically based.

Foster’s imagining techniques are not biblically based IMO. Anytime you visualize Jesus (as Foster teaches) you are visualizing a false construction of your own imagination, or worse. Jesus is (obviously) a real person. He has an actual appearance. He exists in real time (although as God, He of course exists outside of time). Anytime one conjurs up an image of Him in their imagination and interacts with this image they are creating a literal idol as Jesus operates in this Age primarily via the Holy Spirit (or in some cases as Paul’s conversion with visions of Him seen in Heaven) and not through physical appearances (Ref. Acts 3:20-21).

Any time one experiences real time communication from this idol **they have created** they are either experiencing self delusion or a visitation from another spiritual entity.

When addressing Foster’s World View of visualization only one of three scenarios is possible:

(1) The apparition encountered is the actual Jesus who appears to individuals in bodily form during heightened states of spiritual awareness and literally converses with and gives instructions in real time, or

(2) The apparition is a self delusion, or

(3) The apparition is a deceiving spirit (i.e., demonic) and not Jesus Christ.

Many of Foster’s techniques (not necessarily all) are sorcery and not supported by Biblical Christianity and there is great potential danger in exposing oneself to such practices.

Many of Foster’s teachings are NOT benign.

55   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

But it is nothing that needs to be manufactured if you are a follower of Christ. You don’t need to manufacture a spiritual experience by geography or method if the Holy Spirit dwells in you. – pastorboy

I have never seen anyone say they were manufacturing an experience.

And I believe Edwards did go off into the woods to meditate alone.

56   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Foster’s imagining techniques are not biblically based IMO. Anytime you visualize Jesus (as Foster teaches) you are visualizing a false construction of your own imagination, or worse.

This is why we prohibit all images of Jesus… including cartoons, illustrated Bibles, and children curriculum. We do not allow anyone to “play” Jesus in a drama… it may cause people to visualize an improper Jesus… if the scene calls for Jesus to be present, a reader reads the lines as a voice-over.

57   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Or (4) The imagination, as part of the renewed mind created by God and given to us to use for his glory, is used to meditate on the person of Christ (much as icons are not themselves objects of worship but are instead objects which engage people to more deeply worship the object which those icons represent.

58   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

When addressing Foster’s World View of visualization only one of three scenarios is possible:

Nay! There is a fourth.

The simple use of one’s imagination… who itroduced actual apparitions to the subject?

59   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

None of these authors tell us how we must live to be Christian.

I often use the qupte by MacArthur about why people should wear suites to church as an example of cultural ethno-centrism…

60   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Never does he champion social justice (steal from the rich so the poor can have equal) communism/socialism…

At the point a secular economic system is held as more biblical… or the opposing secular economic system is held up as less biblical – at the moment you have proven you are not differentiating between actual biblical issues and issues of method, style and preference.

61   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

The bottom line of the issue was solved by Rick. If it is wrong to use a setting as a tool to assist in a spiritual pursuit. We should prohibit all retreats, art, visuals of any kind, posture etc..

62   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

And after 60 comments back and forth – only person objections have been offered.

No one has afforded any Scripture that prohibits the use of tools to assist us in worship or prayer.

63   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Corey: Or (4) The imagination, as part of the renewed mind created by God and given to us to use for his glory, is used to meditate on the person of Christ (much as icons are not themselves objects of worship but are instead objects which engage people to more deeply worship the object which those icons represent.

This is not what Foster is advocating:

As you enter the story [Biblical event], not as a passive observer but as an active participant, remember that since Jesus lives in the Eternal Now and is not bound by time, this event in the past is a living present-tense experience for Him. Hence, you can actually encounter the living Chris in the event, be addressed by His voice and touched by his healing power. It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation, Jesus Christ will actually come to you. (Celebration of Discipline, p. 26)

This is not meditation on Christ it is an actual real time confrontation that Foster is advocating. These concepts are world apart.

64   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Corey: Or (4) The imagination, as part of the renewed mind created by God and given to us to use for his glory, is used to meditate on the person of Christ (much as icons are not themselves objects of worship but are instead objects which engage people to more deeply worship the object which those icons represent.

This is not what Foster is advocating:

As you enter the story [Biblical event], not as a passive observer but as an active participant, remember that since Jesus lives in the Eternal Now and is not bound by time, this event in the past is a living present-tense experience for Him. Hence, you can actually encounter the living Chris in the event, be addressed by His voice and touched by his healing power. It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation, Jesus Christ will actually come to you. (Celebration of Discipline, p. 26)

This is not meditation on Christ it is an actual real time confrontation that Foster is advocating. These concepts are world apart.

65   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I still fail to see what’s wrong with that, John. I’ve had encounters where I’ve felt as if Christ was really in the room with me. Jesus is real and living, so I don’t see what the issue is. I think anyone who reads the gospels will get an image of Jesus in their minds.

66   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

How different is that from Calvin’s perspective that Jesus is somehow spiritually present when the church takes the Lord’s supper together? This doesn’t seem to be outside of orthodoxy for me.

67   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

#66 – Great point. But Foster walks a dangerous line, especially if you can imagine Jesus saying something to you. That scenario has played itself out in many eveangelical circles.

We all hae a subjective image of Jesus, but we should no conjur up such images as a way to get closer to God.

BTW – My image is the guy in The Passion. I have proof. :cool:

68   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Corey’s point is profound. You cannot pick and choose which material things Christ inhabits in a spiritual way. If you say Christ is MYSTICALLY present in the elements of communion or the waters of baptism, you are a MYSTIC!

69   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Phil: I’ve had encounters where I’ve felt as if Christ was really in the room with me.

Phil, “felt Christ’s presence” is a far cry from a real time verbal/physical exchange with “Jesus” as Foster promotes.

The image one get’s of Jesus when reading a Gospel narrative is not necessarily nefarious, but in the final analysis it is a false image by definition since it is a product of one’s own imagination. I can imagine what you look like having not seen any picture of you through our interactions here, but that image is a false image and in the end this false image of you of my imagination has nothing to add to the conversation.

Your example is world’s apart from Foster’s teaching.

BTW, I envision you as a cross between George Cluny and Samuel Jackson. Close?

70   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

We all hae a subjective image of Jesus, but we should no conjur up such images as a way to get closer to God.

Well, I can understand some fear of this, I suppose. I think using the word “conjure” is probably at the root of it. But I think it’s actually helpful for people to have some actual human image of Jesus in their minds when they pray, or at least imagine Him with some form.

The reason the Israelites were told not to make graven images has less to do with God being represented by an object than it does with the underlying mandate in Israel’s election. Being chosen by God, Israel was to serve as the image of God on earth. So, in essence, when the other nations looked at Israel, they saw God. By making a graven image of God, Israel is in essence misunderstanding their calling.

71   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Cory, I’ve never Jesus in the communion waffer talk to me in real time, although there was the time the juice was a little funky and I got a reaction :-)

Again, apples and oranges.

BTW who is Calvin? Hobbes?

72   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

But I think it’s actually helpful for people to have some actual human image of Jesus in their minds when they pray, or at least imagine Him with some form

.

I don’t understand how maintaining a false image (by definition) is helpful. That is where faith comes in.

73   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

I can imagine what you look like having not seen any picture of you through our interactions here, but that image is a false image and in the end this false image of you of my imagination has nothing to add to the conversation.

Sure it does, actually. If you have an image of me in your head that I’m something that is totally opposite of the way I am, than it makes a difference in how you interact with me. That doesn’t mean you won’t have some image of me, though.

I actually think it’s near impossible to pray the Jesus and not have some conception of what He looked like. Whether or not Christ can speak through that, I don’t know. I would suppose He could. I’ve heard all sorts of stories where Jesus has appeared to people in dreams as a human and spoken to them. I doubt He looked the same to all these people.

Yes, there was a real, historical Jesus who looked a certain way, and we weren’t given a description of that appearance, other than he was pretty average looking. I will give you this, though, there will probably be a lot of Americans who are surprised that Jesus isn’t white when they see Him face to face.

74   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

In Boyd’s book on imaginative prayer, he talks about holding everything that happens in the imagined conversation with Jesus up to Scripture and if it doesn’t align with the character of Jesus as revealed in Scripture, it needs to be discarded. I think there are ways to use this method of prayer in a balanced and thoughtful way.

75   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I think this may come down somewhat to a left brain/right brain sort of thing. I’m an architectural engineer in real life, and I design lighting and other systems for building while they are still very conceptual. So I have to imagine things in that abstract as being real, if that makes sense. So I can’t really imagine Jesus being real without having an image of Him in my mind.

76   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

John,

You are correct, I stand corrected – what Foster is advocating is more than use of one’s imagination.

Now, what about that is unbiblical, wrong, etc…? Can it be abused? – sure – but so can lots of Christian practices.

I guess I’m looking for a biblical prohibition, something more than “It can produce a false image.”

77   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Phil, “felt Christ’s presence” is a far cry from a real time verbal/physical exchange with “Jesus” as Foster promotes.

Rereading your Foster quote leads me to say you have inserted “physical exchange” and thus poured your own meaning into it.

78   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I don’t understand how maintaining a false image (by definition) is helpful. That is where faith comes in.

By this logic ALL images of Jesus would be false. And you would be required to impose what I sarcastically referred to in #56.

79   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

As is often teh case, we’ve gotten off topic somewhat. The OP addressed a method that is condmened – without any reasons for condemning it.

Does anyone know enough about that particular course to show why it is wrong.

Or why helping people with methods is wrong?

80   Neil    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I will give you this, though, there will probably be a lot of Americans who are surprised that Jesus isn’t white when they see Him face to face.

But he is a Republican.

81   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Neil: #77

I don’t see have this quote from Foster can be misinterpreted:

It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation, Jesus Christ will actually come to you.

Confrontation (n) – The act of confronting or the state of being confronted, especially a meeting face to face.

82   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Neil #78. Representations of the Historical Jesus in Plays, Books or Film are different from actual encounters with the living Christ. The former can be abused (or not), but the latter is problematic, just as it is one thing to portray demons on film, but quite another to have a direct confrontation in real time.

83   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I don’t know about the course, but I’ve read both the book (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) and their previous book (The Emotionally Healthy Church). They are outstanding books that I think any pastor should read. They focus on boundaries, causing harm to people by bringing your own wounds and baggage into ministry with you, forgiveness, conflict resolution, and other heretical stuff like that. :) The first book is geared more to any person in the church while the second is for pastors and leaders.

84   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Corey – #74 –

Corey, it all comes down if you believe that Jesus communicates verbally, directly, person-to-person in real time with people today ON EARTH.

I do not. Can you name ONE Biblical example of an appearance by Jesus, post ascension, where He appears on Earth vs. a vision of Him IN HEAVEN by humans on earth? (e.g., Stephen, Saul of Tarsus, John, etc.?)

85   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Neil #78. Representations of the Historical Jesus in Plays, Books or Film are different from actual encounters with the living Christ. The former can be abused (or not), but the latter is problematic, just as it is one thing to portray demons on film, but quite another to have a direct confrontation in real time.

I guess I just don’t see what difference makes whether a person sees themselves somehow interacting with the imagined Jesus and that figure tells them to do something contrary to Scripture or they just say they heard an abstract voice telling them to do that thing. It seems to me that the issue isn’t the medium of communication, but rather the message itself.

I would say that anytime a person think he has received a message from God, it needs to be evaluated in light of Scripture. The actual mode that said message was communicated seems secondary to me.

86   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

John (84),
I guess I don’t see why it’s okay to have people on earth having a vision of Jesus exalted in heaven (or simply in a bright light in the case of Paul) but it’s not okay to have a vision/imagine Jesus on earth. This seems to be splitting hairs to me.

87   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I do not. Can you name ONE Biblical example of an appearance by Jesus, post ascension, where He appears on Earth vs. a vision of Him IN HEAVEN by humans on earth? (e.g., Stephen, Saul of Tarsus, John, etc.?)

Actually, N.T. Wright talks about this in The Resurrection of the Son of God, and when you look Paul’s descriptions of this event later in the Book of Acts, he certainly seems to think that he was interacting with physically resurrected Christ. I don’t remember the entire explanation offhand, but I believe it has to do with Paul’s use of the word “appeared” in chapter 26 while describing the encounter to Agrippa. The word that is used is not a word that would describe some sort of supernatural or purely spiritual encounter. It’s a word that describe a face to face encounter with another person.

I don’t remember all the details, but I know that Wright comes down on the side that Paul was interacting with the embodied Christ here, not just a spiritual vision of him. One thing to remember is that in the Jewish worldview the distinction between heaven and earth is not so much spatial, as much as it describes a veil between the two spheres. So even if one has a vision of heaven, that isn’t denying there’s some physicality to it.

88   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Phil 87 – Speculation.

I know you are recounting from memory but In Acts 26 Paul is recounting the Damascus Road encounter where he uses the word “appearance” – Again a view of Christ in Heaven, not interaction with a physical Christ on earth.

Perhaps Wright was refering to Gal 1:11-12 –

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Again, there is no reference from where (on earth or viewed from into Heaven) so this would be speculation.

Paul was also caught up to heaven in a vision where he received further revelations he could not share.

I think Wright is on weak ground.

89   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Well, I’ll have to look later at this passage in the book, but all I can say is that Wright is pretty thorough in his arguments. He devotes a good amount of ink to this specifically because there are theologians who try to use Paul’s encounter with Christ as some sort of proof that Christ’s resurrection was not physical, but somehow purely spiritual.

It seems like almost a meaningless point to me to argue whether the resurrected Christ was in heaven or on earth actually. The main thing is that He was and is embodied.

90   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

#86 – Corey having a true vision (an encounter initiated by Jesus) either in a vision from heaven or by a visit by Christ to Earth (which I will accept for the sake of the argument) vs an encounter of the imagination – dreamed up (literally) by an individual (as Foster promotes) are two vastly disparant events. If you can’t see the difference there is probably little more I could offer to convince you otherwise.

Peace. :-)

91   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

John, switching gears a little bit…how do you feel about “hearing” the Holy Spirit, perhaps as you’re reading the Bible or having the Holy Spirit impress a thought into your mind as you go through the day. Is this kind of communication validly from God?

92   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Phil: It seems like almost a meaningless point to me to argue whether the resurrected Christ was in heaven or on earth actually.

Not meaningless in Foster’s world view at all, but a seminal point when one’s imagination becomes real.

The person who accept’s Foster’s encounter as real is in reality saying: “Christ appeared in my bedroom, Christ appeared in my Garden”, He told me this”.

However, Scriptures warn us:

Matt 24:23-26
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
“Behold, I have told you in advance.
“So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.

So I’m sorry, I have a hard time buying someone encountered the physical Jesus in a real time event during their meditation time as Foster promotes is possible.

93   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Corey #91 – I certainly think it could be and is a thoroughly Biblical concept.

94   Brendt Waters    http://www.csaproductions.com/blog/
October 7th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

I say “I can only assume” because the examples are offered without argument…

Neil, if you had “discernment”, it all would be so obvious.

(Hit your knees and thank God that you don’t have “discernment”.)

95   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Not meaningless in Foster’s world view at all, but a seminal point when one’s imagination becomes real.

The person who accept’s Foster’s encounter as real is in reality saying: “Christ appeared in my bedroom, Christ appeared in my Garden”, He told me this”.

However, Scriptures warn us:

Matt 24:23-26
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
“Behold, I have told you in advance.
“So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.

So I’m sorry, I have a hard time buying someone encountered the physical Jesus in a real time event during their meditation time as Foster promotes is possible.

I guess I don’t really have a problem with someone claiming to have some sort of physical or quasi-physical encounter with Christ if that encounter doesn’t lead to some sort of weirdness. Again, people claim to hear from God all the time. The nature of the encounter seems secondary to me.

It seems like an extra-Biblical limitation to me to say Christ can’t encounter someone in a certain way. I guess I just don’t get why you would consider it questionable, but then again, I still am Pentecostal, so I might be a bit “out there” too…

I guess I just learned a while ago that just because my initial reaction to something is to think that it’s weird or that it makes me uncomfortable, that doesn’t mean I can just discount it as not being real. Certainly the Bible is full of people who encountered God and were freaked out and uncomfortable. I’d say overall, we’ve probably become too comfortable.

96   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

John #93 – Then is visualizing an encounter with God really that much different? In “listening” to the voice of the Spirit we have the same degree of subjectivity and the same potential for error (the God told me THIS kind of thing) and the same need to hold what we ‘hear’ up to Scripture.

97   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

There are many extramystic experiences with Christ that are completely conruent with Scripture.

* Luther threw an ink well at the devil.
* Finney was almost slain in the Spirit
* Muslims are being visited by God in dreams
* Wesley, Moody, Torry, and many others have claimed a spiritual experience that could be described as mystical. Three times in the book of Acts men fell into a trance.

See here.

If we are claiming that we can commune and seek God while doing the everyday tasks at hom (work, children, bills, etc.) just as well as we can if we climb a mountain, fast for three days, and seek the face of Christ than you are nuts mistaken.

98   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

* Finney was almost slain in the Spirit

Just almost? Did he fall halfway then catch himself? :-)

99   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Brendt,

We are having a civilized, reasoned discussion. I am certainly not infering I have discernment and others do not. I have basically made my case and there is little more I can add. If my argument is not sufficient to change someone’s mind then that is all I can offer. Again, no intent to infer that I have discernment and others don’t. It just means we are at an impass.

100   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

John,
I think Brendt was referring to the author of post Neil linked to, not you…

101   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I am claiming total and unabridged discernment, although I struggle between telling that truth and humility. I sometimes purposely make a mistake in order to fit in. :cool:

102   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Rick,

Trances, visions and dreams are congruent with Scripture and when judged by Scripture can be accepted as possible and/or legitimate. Foster’s encounters are a different animal entirely and at the risk of being accused of having a lock on discernment — my arguments above are about all I’ve got.

103   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

# 100 – Proof I **Don’t** have a lock on discernment. :-)

104   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Sorry Brendt.

105   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I am not familiar with Foster, John. List for me the specific and most grevious errors that you see.

106   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Rick, Foster:

Foster promotes New Age imaging techniques. See # 64 above.

A forth form of meditation has as its objective to bring you into a deep inner communion with the Father where you look at Him and He looks at you. In your imagination, picture yourself walking along a lovely forest path. Take your time, allowing the blaring noise of our modern megalopolis to be overtaken by the sound of rustling leaves and cool forest streams. After observing yourself for a bit, take the perspective of the one walking, rather than the one observed. Try to feel the breeze upon your face as if it were gently blowing away all anxiety. Stop along the way to ponder the beauty of flower and birds. When you are able to experience the scene with all your sense, the path breaks out onto a lovely grassy knoll. Walk out into the lush large meadow encircled by stately pines. After exploring the meadow for a time, lie down on your back looking up at blue sky and white clouds. Enjoy the sights and smells. Thank the Lord for the beauty.

107   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

After awhile there is a deep yearning within to go into the upper regions beyond the clouds. In your imagination allow your spiritual body, shining with light, to rise out of your physical body. Look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily. Imagine your spiritual self, alive and vibrant, rising up through the clouds and into the stratosphere. Observe your physical body, the knoll and the forest shrink as you leave the earth. Go deeper and deeper into outer space until there is nothing except the warm presence of the eternal Creator. Rest in His presence. Listen quietly, anticipating the unanticipated. Note carefully any instruction given. With time and experience you will be able to distinguish readily between mere human thoughts that may bubble up to the conscious mind and the True Spirit which inwardly moves upon the heart. Do not be surprised if the instruction is terribly practical and not in the least what you though of as “spiritual”. Do not be disappointed if no words come; like good friend, you are silently enjoying the company of each other. When it is time for you to leave, audibly thank the Lord for His goodness and return to the meadow. Walk joyfully back along the path until you return home full of new life and energy. Foster – Page 27-28 Celebration of Discipline.

108   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Imagination opens the door to faith. If we can “see” in our mind’s eye a shattered marriage whole or a sick person well, it is only a short step to believing that it will be so. (I have been greatly helped in my understanding of the value of the imagination in praying for others by Agnes Sanford) Children instantly understand these things and respond well to praying with the imagination. I was once called to a home to pray for a seriously ill baby girl. Her four-year-old brother was in the room and so I told him I needed his help to pray for his baby sister. He was delighted and so was I, since I know that children can often pray with unusual effectiveness. He climbed up into the chair beside me. “Let’s play a little game,” I said. “Since we know that Jesus is always with us, let’s imagine that He is sitting over in the chair across from us. He is waiting patiently for us to center our attention on Him. When we see Him we start thinking more about His love than how sick Julie is. He smiles, gets up, and comes over to us. Then let’s both put our hands on Julie and when we do, Jesus will put His hands on top of ours. We’ll watch and imagine that the light from Jesus is flowing right into your little sister and making her well. Let’s pretend that the light of Christ fights with the bad germs until they are all gone. Okay!” Seriously the little one nodded. Together we prayed in this childlike way and then thanked the Lord that what we ‘saw” was the way it was going to be. Now, I do not know whether it was divine fiat, but I do know that the next morning Julie was perfectly well. (Foster, page 36-37 – Celebration of Discipline.)

109   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

John,
I honestly still don’t see anything inherent wrong in those passages. I wouldn’t necessarily use them myself, but I still don’t see them as wrong. Actually, I think the last paragraph you posted with the little kid is actually quite good. I think it’s good to teach children that Jesus is really here with us, not just some distant guy they can’t really experience akin to Santa Claus.

I guess we just have different ideas of what’s dangerous and what’s not. I find the other extreme that would deny the supernatural far more dangerous than anything Foster is talking about here.

110   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

“And on the basis of visualizing Jesus lay His hands on faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the use of visualization techniques faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:16)

111   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Phil,

The Child Prayer passage is the blatant puppet-like manipulation by a human of Jesus Christ which totally and unapologitically takes human control of the Divine when there was absolutely no direction by Christ or the Apostles that such actions are acceptable, for one.

112   corey    
October 7th, 2009 at 6:06 pm

John #111

But don’t we do a lot of things in our worship of God that are not explicitly prescribed in Scripture? I’m not going to make a list, but I’m sure we could all come up with a few. What makes this one somehow worse than the others? Or I guess back to Neil’s question a while ago, where in Scripture is this kind of prayer forbidden?

113   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 6:06 pm

How many countless children have lost parents and siblings who have made fervent prayers with their childlike faith. Are we to assume they are just uneducated in the proper techniques?

Where have we heard if you just have **enough** faith all will be healed and if a healing doesn’t happen it’s the fault of the one who prayed for not having enough faith?

Thank God this story had a happy ending due to God’s sovereign grace and not to some New Age visualization technique.

114   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

“And on the basis of visualizing Jesus lay His hands on faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the use of visualization techniques faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:16)

Based on the sections you posted, I just don’t see how you’re making the jump from Foster suggesting that people get an image in their mind of Christ and interacting with Him, to the point where you’re saying this image is an imposter.

It seems that at the most basic level, every image we have in our mind is an abstraction. Even when we visualize something that is really in front of us, that image is still being processed as a series of electric impulses in our brain. Every time you have a memory, your brain is constructing a model of that experience. In some sense, the image we see only exists in our mind. I don’t see how visualization techniques are just a new age thing.

115   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Corey,

A valid point, but I think the conjuring up and manipulation of the Godhead by humans might be in the “no-no” category, just say’n.

116   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 7th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

The Child Prayer passage is the blatant puppet-like manipulation by a human of Jesus Christ which totally and unapologitically takes human control of the Divine when there was absolutely no direction by Christ or the Apostles that such actions are acceptable, for one.

Are you serious? I’m sorry, but I don’t get that at all.

I totally think we have the authority to ask Jesus to intercede for us and with us. I do think that Christians are largely uneducated on how to pray, but I don’t think that the people aren’t healed because of the lack of proper technique. But I do think that our prayers do influence God to move for His children. I believe prayer touches the heart of God.

117   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Phil,

A memory is not the same as a new creation of our imagination outside of reality. And even memories are fleeting things not necessarily grounded in reality.

Foster’s images are imposters by definition because they are self-conjured up.

But you know, go for it. Practice Foster’s techniques for a few months and get back with me on how that worked out for you. I would sincerely be interested.

Hey, gotta run. Thanks for the discussion. :-)

118   John Hughes    
October 7th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

But I do think that our prayers do influence God to move for His children. I believe prayer touches the heart of God.

I agree 100%, but Foster goes waaaaay beyond this.

119   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 7th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Walking through a meadow in your mind as some kind of meditation device is a bit much.

120   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:35 am

“The Meadow In Your Mind” – hmmm great song title. Dibs!

121   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 9:42 am

When I attempt to make contact with God I imagine myself “Riding through the Woods on a Snowy Afternoon”. :cool:

122   Joe    
October 8th, 2009 at 11:07 am

#121.
Are you sure you don’t imagine yourself coming to the garden alone

while the dew is still on the roses. And the voice you hear falling on your ear the Son of God discloses.

Maybe you could sing…

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Sounds a little mystical to me

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 11:12 am

Joe – I am a committed mystic. As a matter of fact, I allow for a little “unsafe” myticism rather than the dry wood of algebraic theology.

And when we have clear and unambiguous gospel doctrine, let the mysticim fly!!

124   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 11:24 am

Rick

And when we have clear and unambiguous gospel doctrine, let the mysticim fly!!

Amen, there is the problem with Bell, Rollins, et.al

Mysticism is fine as long as it is guided and directed towards Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

It is when it becomes basterdised by the removal of the Gospel and therefore the truth that it is the tool of Satan.

125   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 11:28 am

John – I believe I could have an all night prayer meeting, complete with incense!

(I guess none of my saved gay friends can come, right?)

126   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 11:46 am

Neil: #77

I don’t see have this quote from Foster can be misinterpreted:

It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation, Jesus Christ will actually come to you.

Confrontation (n) – The act of confronting or the state of being confronted, especially a meeting face to face.

You implied he was promoting a physical exchange with Jesus – But that is not necessarily what he is saying in the quote you provided. You inserted that meaning. Saying he meant a physical encounter because he uses the word “confrontation” is reading too much into it.

Even the definition you offer gives “face to face” as but one way of confronting. And even then, face to face when it comes to spiritual things can be figurative.

Maybe that is exactly what Foster means – but getting there form that quote is reading too much into it.

127   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 11:48 am

I guess none of my saved gay friends can come, right?

How can a practicing gay person be saved anymore than a practicing liar, adulterer, fornicator?

and such as some of you were but you have been washed, sanctified…CHANGED

Thats another place where mysticism goes awry; people who are unsaved use it to manufacture an experience with a Jesus to their liking….

128   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 11:55 am

Corey, it all comes down if you believe that Jesus communicates verbally, directly, person-to-person in real time with people today ON EARTH.

I do not.

So I’m sorry, I have a hard time buying someone encountered the physical Jesus in a real time event during their meditation time as Foster promotes is possible.

I guess all those thousands and thousands of Muslim background believers who have come to faith because of an encountered with the risen Lord – are just delusional then.

Got this in an e-mail last week from a friend working in an Arab land:

Just today I heard the testimony ______ from _____. He was a Muslim Sheik who prayed asking for the truth. He had a dream where Jesus rescued him from a well

129   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 11:55 am

OK, class, pay attention. Every man, every day, and most times more than once a day, commits these sisn.

* A lustful though
* A prideful thought
* A judgmental thought
* An angry thought
* A worry thought
* Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc..

If a practicing sinner cannot be saved then only Jesus was saved. And if you exegete I John literally as saying no one who is saved can sin, then Jesus again is a one man club.

130   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 11:58 am

Good point, Neil.

131   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 11:59 am

Difference rick is this:

Do you dive in, knowing it is a sin, and confess and forsake that sin OR

Do you deny that it is sin, and therefore refuse to repent, confess, and forsake?

1 John 1:4-2:3

132   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Trances, visions and dreams are congruent with Scripture and when judged by Scripture can be accepted as possible and/or legitimate. Foster’s encounters are a different animal entirely and at the risk of being accused of having a lock on discernment — my arguments above are about all I’ve got. John Hughs

Then I have yet to grasp what difference you see in this and Foster’s stance.

133   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

RE 106 – I guess Happy Gilmore was as well when he went to his happy place.

Who knew using your imagination, which is what Foster said (…in your imagination) was New Age.

Of course, I also heard someone claim Foster was advocating out of body experiences when he said – “Imagine you are looking down on creation…”

I think too much of this comes from an a fortiori decision that if Person X uses the word it is nefarious…

134   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

John – Which is worse, knowing something is sin and committing it (like us), or not knowing something is sin and committing it?

* Also, please outline for me the parameters through which grace cannot go.

135   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

So far I have yet to see anyone show anything wrong with the courses being offered at Willowcreek (remember the OP?).

So far I have yet to see anyone offer anything wrong with contemplative meditation as outlined in a Christian manner.

So far I have yet to see anyone offer a biblical prohibition against using your imagination to calm you mind and allow the Lord to speak. In fact, “Be still and…”

So far I have yet to see any biblical prohibition against human encounters with the risen Lord.

So far I have yet to see any biblical prohibition against using techniques, methods, settings. etc, as a help in the study of the word or the encountering of the Spirit. (again, I have seen lots of objections to requirements and conjuring – things no one is advocating)…

So far I have yet to see any examples where Foster or other evangelical writer says certain methods will conjure the Spirit or Jesus or that these things are REQUIRED.

136   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I know nothing of Foster, however if any “methodology” in spirituality is unchristian, then there is a long list.

* Any Jesus movie.
* Any books with Biblical pictures.
* Any congregational prayer time with background music
* Any children’s flannelgraph
* Any portraits that depict Biblical characters or events.
* Any stain glass windows
* And systematic “read through the Bible” outline.
* Any object lessons that require imagination
* Any song that describes a Biblical event that would require a mental image.

Foster may be over the top, I do not know, however all of us practice some types of practical methodology to achieve spiritual steps.

137   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Rick, Foster’s only methodology is understanding the different streams of tradition in the Christian faith. He has a great book called Streams of Living Water where he talks about six streams (evangelical, charismatic, contemplative, and three others that I can’t recall offhand). He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of each stream, examines notable biblical and historical figures who would fit into each stream, and encourages Christians to explore other streams than the one that they most find themselves at home in. There is no mandatory methodology for him, simply a desire to explore how the saints through the centuries have practiced their faith.

138   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

And as you can see I do not look for a demon under every bush. Which, I have contended, should amplify the times where I do have significant issues, especially when it concerns the truths of redemption.

139   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

126, Neal read Foster again:

It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation, Jesus Christ will actually come to you.

How much more explicit can Foster get? Jesus will “actually come to you” and interact with in on a real time basis just like we are communicating. How can you get any other meaning from that quote?

140   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

How much more explicit can Foster get? Jesus will “actually come to you” and interact with in on a real time basis just like we are communicating. How can you get any other meaning from that quote?

I still don’t understand what the issue is. What is wrong with thinking Jesus is actually present when we pray, or that He is actually interacting with us? Isn’t that really what prayer is? Actually interacting with God?

By the way, this thread has inspired to read Greg Boyd’s book Seeing is Believing. I’ve had on my shelf for over a year, and I just never got around to reading it. I’m about halfway through (it’s not that long, just about 200 pages), and so far it’s pretty good. I noticed at the end he has a section dedicated to responding to common objections, and the issue of one’s image of Christ potentially being false is one he talks about. He basically straight out says that if you feel you are told to do something counter to Scripture to reject it, as Corey already mentioned.

141   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

126, Neal read Foster again:

It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation, Jesus Christ will actually come to you.

How much more explicit can Foster get? Jesus will “actually come to you” and interact with in on a real time basis just like we are communicating. How can you get any other meaning from that quote?

John,

My only argument is that you are reading too much into it to say that Foster is teaching Jesus can be physically conjured.

It is even too much to say that Foster is teaching Jesus will/may physically appear.

Maybe Foster believes this – I don’t know. And as Phil asked “So what?”

But the point is, Foster says we can encounter Jesus. You said he meant physically. Yet Foster said the confrontation would be “genuine” – nothing in that statement requires or even implies (as far as I am concerned) physicality.

142   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

How much more explicit can Foster get? Jesus will “actually come to you” and interact with in on a real time basis just like we are communicating. How can you get any other meaning from that quote?

We are interacting/communicating in a real time basis without being physically together… what’s the problem then?

Or is it just that you deny Jesus even appearingto/interacting with people at all?

143   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I guess all those thousands and thousands of Muslim background believers who have come to faith because of an encountered with the risen Lord – are just delusional then.

Thousands and thousands? Is that evangelistically speaking?

But, I have already said that visions and dreams are legitimate Biblical avenues for the post-ascension appearances of Christ. Show me where I said otherwise. But again, Foster goes way beyond this.

And I provide the Foster’s Astral projection discourse in its full context (#106 and 107). Argue with the words, I just transcribed them.

When in an alternate state of consciousness you leave your physical body, float above it, look back on it then encounter a spiritual entity and converse with it. If that is not classic astral projection what do you call it?

Free invitation to all, get Foster’s books, learn to “center down”, walk through the meadow, smell the roses, get in your altered state of consciousness and interact freely with all the entities of light in which you come in contact with.

Book reports are due by December 31.

144   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

When in an alternate state of consciousness you leave your physical body, float above it, look back on it then encounter a spiritual entity and converse with it. If that is not classic astral projection what do you call it?

I would call that astral projection, yes.

I would also deny that is what Foster is advocating (particularly in the quotes you offered) since he no where talks of an alternate state of consciousness and he clearly speaks of this being an exercise of the imagination not a literal leaving the body.

In fact, how much more explicit does he have to be… “In your imagination…”

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I do not believe in conjuring up images of Jesus and supposing they are actually Him. Those experiences may happen but they are rare, and they do not happen as a result of some technique or practice.

I have never had a vision of the genuine Jesus in my life, but I have had numerous spiritual experiences that were mystical and way beyond the norm.

146   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

John,

At the point you interpret those quotes of Foster as advocating an altered state of consciousness I think it futile to reason with you. Clearly you are unwilling or incapably of just reading the words and letting them speak for themselves.

Too bad, since I’m not that big a fan of that kind of imagining – discussing it rationally could have been fun. But to think he means we literally leave our body, to think he is advocating some kind of trance -literally (unless you have words of Foster you have yet to show) is – well that’s just bad language interpretation.

147   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Rick,

re 145. –

I agree fully.

148   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Argue with the words, I just transcribed them.

I wish we could… as of yet we are arguing over the meaning you insist on pouring into them.

Show me his advocation of an altered state.
Show me his advocation of us leaving our bodies

I will agree if you do.

149   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I don’t understand why people keep on using the word “conjuring” to describe this. I don’t see what Foster is describing as conjuring, at least not in the way it’s most commonly used. When a sorcerer conjures a spirit, it’s through a spell or magical technique. All Foster is advising people to do is to use their imaginations. It seems to be a fundamental difference to me.

The imagination is very powerful. We model conversations in our mind with other people all the time. I think about what I will say to my wife when I get home, and I imagine what she will say. Now, this isn’t real, but to the neurons in my brain, it doesn’t make much of a difference. If you put people in an MRI and scan their brains, the same neurons are firing during an imagined conversation and a real one.

So, if we have this ability to imagine conversations, it doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility that the Holy Spirit could speak to us through this process when imagine ourselves talking to Christ in this way.

150   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Since reading Boyd’s book, I have practiced this prayer technique regularly. It has revolutionized my prayer life. I can’t tell you the number of insights about myself, God, and how God views me I have gained through this. Since it is a pretty subjective approach, I’m certainly not willing to declare with certainty that it was Jesus actually talking to me, but whether it was Jesus the Holy Spirit, or the voices in my head, truth and beauty and goodness and transformation were the result.

151   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

OK Neil, lets stick with “imagine” and give Foster the benefit of the doubt. If **you** are imagining the encounter with God, then anything that “God” says is just YOUR imagination and NOT God speaking to you. So fail again.

However, Foster, posits that at some point in this imaginary encounter the real God shows up and interacts independent of the imagination. So fail again in my book, but if you believe that then have at it.

152   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

The imagination is very powerful. We model conversations in our mind with other people all the time. I think about what I will say to my wife when I get home, and I imagine what she will say. Now, this isn’t real, but to the neurons in my brain, it doesn’t make much of a difference.

If I understand what Foster means he’d take this the next step, that Jesus… or in illustration your wife, would actually interact with you so it’s more than just your neurons involved.

That would be an interesting discussion.

But first we need to get past the issue of conjuring and alternative states of consciousness.

153   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Since reading Boyd’s book, I have practiced this prayer technique regularly.

What is Boyd’s technique?

154   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

OK Neil, lets stick with “imagine” and give Foster the benefit of the doubt. If **you** are imagining the encounter with God, then anything that “God” says is just YOUR imagination and NOT God speaking to you. So fail again.

As I said above, Foster would allow that Jesus can/may enter – therefore – no fail.

However, Foster, posits that at some point in this imaginary encounter the real God shows up and interacts independent of the imagination. So fail again in my book, but if you believe that then have at it.

I am not sure what you mean “independent of the imagination” – unless by that you mean what I said above. So assuming that to be the case, on what basis do you deny the possibility?

155   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

If I understand what Foster means he’d take this the next step, that Jesus… or in illustration your wife, would actually interact with you so it’s more than just your neurons involved.

That would be an interesting discussion.

Well, and I just don’t see why it would be impossible for Christ to interact with our neurons in this way. Certainly, if God can speak through a donkey, which is, at the most basic level, a collection of living cells, He could speak through the collection of living cells which reside in our brains. The question of “realness” or “physicality” seems to become sort of moot at that point.

My point is that whenever we hear anyone speak whether or not it’s real or imagined, it is being processed by our neurons. I’m not trying get Matrix-y on you or anything, but the whole field of neurology gets very weird very quickly.

But first we need to get past the issue of conjuring and alternative states of consciousness.

Understood, although, if John the Revelator wasn’t in an altered state of consciousness, I don’t know what else you would call it…

156   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Phil,

Way to muddy the water… I doubt anyone would deny that Jesus could not… as in it is impossible. I think what is being denied is that he might/does.

But even then John has allowed for it on evangelistic encounters. So the burden then must be why it is only such.

157   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Way to muddy the water…

Yeah, well, you know, I thought things needed stirred up a bit…

I’ll try to stay on track…

I guess getting back to John’s objection, I could understand a concern if there were a bunch of people reading Foster’s books and getting messages from these encounters encouraging them to do all sorts of weird things. But as far as I know, that’s simply not the case. These books have been on the market for quite a long time, and I certainly have not heard of people getting that whacky after reading them.

I have certainly heard many Christians say things like, “God told me to…”, and it’s something obviously wrong. And as far as I know most of these aren’t Foster disciples. They’re just claiming to hear from God in some way. Whether or not a message that isn’t from God comes from this method or from some other way seems like a moot point. We are to test all prophetic messages, words of knowledge, etc. against Scripture anyway.

158   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Neil,
Boyd’s book is about imaginative prayer, and it’s essentially a fleshing out of the same practice that Foster talks about (though Foster only gives it a couple of pages and Boyd gives about 100 pages with a theological defense of the idea and a q&a section as Phil already talked about). In a nutshell, you imagine a place, imagine yourself there, imagine Jesus entering that place, and imagine a conversation with him while holding everything up to what we know to be true from Scripture about God and ourselves and the nature and character of Jesus. Alternately, you can imagine/remember painful moments of your life and ask Jesus to come into that wounded place and heal/restore/reveal the truth about those events.

159   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Show me his advocation of an altered state.
Show me his advocation of us leaving our bodies

I have. In Foster’s teaching at some point in the imaginative process the “real” Jesus shows up and begins interacting in real time and in a back and forth conversation.

This is NOT the Biblical norm. And if you practice these techniques and the Living God is speaking to you directly and in person then you had better do exactly what this being of light says as it is God speaking with new revelation, and if you are not lying prostrate in holy awe while this conversation with the ascended, glorified Christ is going on then you are a better man than St. Paul or St. John. And if you can look over at Jesus sitting in a chair like Mr. Foster did, just patiently waiting for YOU to call him over just like one of your homeboys, then I salute you. And I guess Foster must have worn his sunblock because Moses and Stephen’s face shown like an angels’ when they saw the glorified Lord and Saul was blinded and knocked to the ground when he saw the risen Lord, and John (who laid on the Jesus of Nazarus’ breast) fainted when he saw the risen Lord. But no, The Lord of Foster waits patiently in a chair for Foster to call him over. The nail pierced hands of the ascended, glorified Christ touches Fosters’ and it’s just another day in the neighborhood (well to be fair there was a healing, but I guess Jesus was just dismissed afterwards).

No, the risen, ascended risen Christ was restored to the Glory He shared with the Father from eternity past and assumed all His divine attributes upon his ascension to His throne in Heaven. Foster and anyone else can have their imaginary Jesus. I am content to wait for the real deal when I will see Him as He is, not as my feeble mind imagines Him.

Pardon my emotion but the vast majority of us (myself the foremost) have NO CLUE in regards to the terrible holiness, glory and splender of our Risen Savior, but instead still see him as the carpenter’s son subservant to our will.

160   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

#158
That explains a LOT.

161   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

No, the risen, ascended risen Christ was restored to the Glory He shared with the Father from eternity past and assumed all His divine attributes upon his ascension to His throne in Heaven. Foster and anyone else can have their imaginary Jesus. I am content to wait for the real deal when I will see Him as He is, not as my feeble mind imagines Him.

If it is so wrong for us to imagine Jesus in human form, why did He come in that form?

Was is wrong for the disciples who actually saw Jesus as a human both before and after the resurrection to imagine Him in that state after the ascension?

Also, what Biblical basis is there to assume Jesus’ state changed as you are describing after Hid ascension? What you are advocating is almost a form of docetism – saying that Jesus’ human body was really an illusion or cloak that hid His divine nature. But that’s not what Scripture teaches. Jesus said that anyone who saw Him actually saw the Father, and that was prior to the crucifixion.

At no time in Scripture does it say Jesus gave up his post-Resurrection body for some other form.

162   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:21 pm
Show me his advocation of an altered state.
Show me his advocation of us leaving our bodies

I have. In Foster’s teaching at some point in the imaginative process the “real” Jesus shows up and begins interacting in real time and in a back and forth conversation.

We can go on to the other topics… the real topics as far as I am concerned.

But first this ditty.

No where have you shown that Foster teaches or advocates alternative states of consciousness… nor actually leaving your body for a trip around the universe.

163   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Do you want to flesh that out a little?

164   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Bah…I hate html…that was directed to PB 160…

165   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

#164
Forget about Boyd; how are we instructed to worship in the scripture. Many different ways; none of which include manufacturing in our minds a little room in which a Jesus enters and talks with you about your life.

God the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of communicating to us in any way He sees fit without us working through our imagination to conjure up a spiritual experience.

The problem is that this wicked and perverse generation is looking for a sign, they do not have Christ, therefore they have to manufacture a spiritual experience.

Boyd and his theology are clearly formed by some familiar spirit which is not the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God of the Universe, revealed in His Son Jesus Christ. This ‘prayer method‘ overactive imagination of Boyds has created a theology which is of an entirely different god.

166   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Wow…so just to make sure I’ve got it…Am I part of this wicked and perverse generation that is looking for a sign, does not have Christ, is manufacturing a spiritual experience, and is worshiping a familiar spirit?

167   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

You know nothing about Boyd, PB, so quit slandering him. Do yourself and us a favor and quit trying to talk about stuff which you know nothing about. I’m serious. I won’t stand by and let you accuse a brother in Christ of what is essentially sorcery.

If you took the time to read even a small portion of Boyd has written, you would see that he loves and knows Christ. You are the one consumed with hatred toward someone you should call a brother in Christ.

I disagree mightily with many Christians and their theology, but I will not accuse them of receiving it from demons. You have crossed the line, and frankly, it’s probably not worth any of our time interacting with you.

168   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

#166, 167

Interact with me through scripture.

Where did ANYONE in scripture experience or instruct us to construct in our imagination a place where Christ was.

Any appearance of Christ pre or post resurrection was started by and completed by Christ. It was not something that our vain imaginations worked up.

I think that if we want to know how to love and worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, we should look to scripture.

Phil, I will not let you stand by and receive a doctrine of demons without warning you. I love you too much. Boyd is a heretic, and this prayer macination confirms it for me. I can see where he gets open theism, it certainly is not from the Bible, it must be from the false Christ he constructs in his imaginary prayer time.

169   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

#167 and BTW, I do have a Boyd book in my library. Only one. Letters to a Skeptic.

170   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

I believe Jesus says something about judging people based on their fruit. If Boyd worships a false Christ, how are so many people healed, restored, redeemed, and made whole through his ministry? And that’s not a question about numbers, it’s a question about the fruit that results from Boyd’s teaching (which centers almost exclusively on the person of Jesus).

171   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Whatever, PB, feel free to stay trapped in your own willful ignorance. I will not waste my time trying to have a conversation with you on a subject which have done no research on. Until you can interact with what Boyd has actually written, I won’t even try to respond to you.

Your posts make it clear you are not interacting with the facts, but rather your own ignorant misrepresentation of them. Sorry I have to be so blunt, but you are believing lies if you believe the things you say about Boyd.

172   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

#170
Well, Matthew 24 speaks about the last days where many will come in His name.

The Jesus Boyd teaches has no omniscience, omnipotence, or sovereignty, so he is not the Jesus of the Bible.

The healings and other stuff? That can be mimicked by those who want to imitate Christ.

So I say again, which Jesus is boyd teaching? Sounds like the one in his imagination that he meets with at a coffee table..Beacuse it sure is not the one clearly presented in the Bible.

#171
Boyd teaches open theism, which is a teaching that misrepresents the true God of the Bible. I know what he says, please interact with what he says and ask ‘is it scriptural?’

Show me where creating a happy place to envision Christ and pray to that Christ is scriptural.

173   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

…instructed to worship in the scripture. Many different ways; none of which include manufacturing in our minds a little room in which a Jesus enters and talks with you about your life.

Condescension aside, Pastorboy, all Scriptural references that I can think of relate to issues of the heart NOT to issues of method.

174   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

God the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of communicating to us in any way He sees fit without us working through our imagination to conjure up a spiritual experience.

AGAIN, and AGAIN – no one is conjuring and your insistence on using this word proves you do not care to have a real conversation. Also, AGAIN – no on is denying the Lord’s ability to do anything, so your insistence on saying he is capable show you do not care to have a conversation… just spout your…

The problem is that this wicked and perverse generation is looking for a sign, they do not have Christ, therefore they have to manufacture a spiritual experience.

Pastorboy – if it were up to me you’d be back on moderation for claiming that a brother on Christ, does “not have Christ.”

This is wickedness!

175   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

#171
Boyd teaches open theism, which is a teaching that misrepresents the true God of the Bible. I know what he says, please interact with what he says and ask ‘is it scriptural?’

You don’t know what he says… it’s obvious. I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it you either. Your mind is already made up. Boyd gives plenty of Scriptural support for his positions in his books. I find it very convincing, personally. If someone else does not, then fine, but that is something completely different than disagreeing based on what you think he says.

Anyway, this thread is not about Boyd. It’s about Richard Foster. At least John Hughes has given examples of what he disagrees with. I can respect that even though I don’t agree with his conclusions.

Calling someone a heretic based on hearsay and innuendo is totally indefensible.

176   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Where did ANYONE in scripture experience or instruct us to construct in our imagination a place where Christ was.

So – if we do not see it in Scripture it is prohibited and you are w/o Christ if you promote it? Does that include bullhorns?

177   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I think that if we want to know how to love and worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, we should look to scripture.

I agree… and I see no do’s and don’t’s related to methods, as long as they do not break other prohibitions.

178   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Phil: What you are advocating is almost a form of docetism – saying that Jesus’ human body was really an illusion or cloak that hid His divine nature. But that’s not what Scripture teaches.

Not at all:

Matt 17:1-6 - Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

Rev 1:12-17 - Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Jesus’ glory was veiled.

Pil 2: 6-8 – who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

No one is advocating Jesus did not come in the flesh or any from of docetism.

Jesus’ body was real, not imaginary, but it DID cloak His glory as the transfiguration attests and as all post ascension references attest. Please do not equate post-resurrection with post-ascension. Jesus was not gloried until his ascension where He is presently reveiled in His glory.

179   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

“He who has seen Me has seen the Father” = His communative attributes, not His physical appearance as no one has physically seen the Father as He is pure spirit who dwells in inaccessible light. Apples and oranges.

180   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Question: is the baby Jesus, seen the arms of numerous Marian apparations the real Jesus? Is the Infanta millions pray to the real Jesus? If not, how do you argue so?

181   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

PB, Greg Boyd would be able to sign the Christian and Missionary Alliance statement of faith (with the possible exception of premillenialism – I don’t know where he stands on that). In other words, the doctrinal essentials that our denomination holds to be mandatory he is completely in accord with. Can you please make a list for me of the other doctrinal fundamentals that are necessary in order to be in fellowship with you?

182   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

And PB, you didn’t ever clarify the personal swipe that you made at me (#160).

Do you believe that because I practice imaginative prayer I am worshiping a different Jesus (demonic) and am outside of Christ?

183   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Jesus’ body was real

Not “was” – “is.” I know that’s picky, but to this discussion it’s relevant.

184   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Question: is the baby Jesus, seen the arms of numerous Marian apparations the real Jesus? Is the Infanta millions pray to the real Jesus? If not, how do you argue so?

I do not understand the question, nor its relevance.

185   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Show me where creating a happy place to envision Christ and pray to that Christ is scriptural.

I asked you first – show me where it is not.

Are all things permissible unless specifically prohibited, or all thing are prohibited unless specifically permissible?

186   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

As I see it, once we dismiss with the silliness (e.g. conjuring, must do this, astral projection, altered states, etc.) and offensiveness (e.g. you have not Christ, etc…) the issues are two:

Is there a biblical prohibition against using your imagination as a tool to assist in prayer?

Is there a biblical argument whether or not Jesus may appear to someone?

So for I have seen lots of smoke – but not flame.

187   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Pastorboy – if it were up to me you’d be back on moderation for claiming that a brother on Christ, does “not have Christ.”

For about a week…

188   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Jesus’ body was real, not imaginary, but it DID cloak His glory as the transfiguration attests and as all post ascension references attest. Please do not equate post-resurrection with post-ascension. Jesus was not gloried until his ascension where He is presently reveiled in His glory.

What post-ascension references are you referring to exactly? As I mentioned before, I think there is reason to believe that when Paul saw Christ, it was more than just a spiritual vision. Here’s a small portion of what N.T. Wright says in The Resurrection of the Son of God:

The word heoraka, ‘I have seen’, is a normal word for ordinary sight. It does not imply that this was a subjective ‘vision’ or a private revelation; part of the point of it, as Newman stresses, is that it was a real seeing, not a ‘vision’ such as anyone in the church might have. The same is emphatically true of the other text from 1 Corinthians.

The two texts he is talking about are:

1Corinthians 9:1-2

1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:7-11

Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

Paul is comparing his experience of seeing the Lord with the other apostles, and they clearly saw Jesus in bodily form. Also further on in chapter 15, Paul uses this discussion of the bodily resurrection of Christ to springboard into a discussion about the bodily resurrection of all believers. He calls Christ the “firstfruits” in verse 20. So it follows that if Christ is the firstfruits, those that follow him in the general resurrection will be like Him – resurrected to a physical body.

So as I said before I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where we are told that Christ’s form changes post-ascension. Even in Revelation, He is described in human terms to a big extent (with a lot of poetic imagery added in). He’s described as a warrior riding a horse – definitely a human image.

So my point is, I don’t see anything wrong with envisioning Christ in human form still. As Neil has noted, Christ still appears to people in dreams today, and from what I’ve heard, it’s always in human form. I’ve heard of people waking up thinking a man was in the room, and it turned out to be Christ. I don’t see how this is un-Scriptural.

189   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Who said someone did not have Christ?

190   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Who said someone did not have Christ?

You in #168!!

The problem is that this wicked and perverse generation is looking for a sign, they do not have Christ, therefore they have to manufacture a spiritual experience.

191   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:39 pm
Who said someone did not have Christ?

You in #168!!

Actually, #165, Phil.

192   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

These visions you speak of, Phil and Corey, are not conjured up in our imagination. Now, do I think Jesus can appear to Paul post-resurrection and reveal Himself to Him and teach Him? absolutely.

That is entirely different than a Happy Gilmore-like vision of a happy place. In Jesus’ post-resurrection and post-ascension appearances, he determined when, where, and what was said. In Boyd’s world, he is imagining a room, Jesus comes in, and has a little chit chat with him based upon Boyd’s understanding of scripture, which includes an impotent God who does not know what will happen tomorrow. That, to me, indicates that is not the God of the Bible He is speaking with. It is manufacturing an experience, which is what I see with contemplative prayer, lectio divina, etc.

193   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

PB – Please answer my question in 182.

194   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Actually, #165, Phil.

Oops…scrolled too quickly.

Anyway, are we to assume an imposter hacked in under your name PB?

195   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

192

Wait – you oppose contemplation prayer too!?

196   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

#190

The problem is that this wicked and perverse generation is looking for a sign, they do not have Christ, therefore they have to manufacture a spiritual experience.

again, I say, who did I say did not have Christ? The wicked and perverse generation looking for a sign. I did not include anybody specific. I can only judge fruit, which includes writings, messages, theologies. Foster and Boyd are clearly off base in terms of these mystical, out of body, imagining Jesus and creating conversations with him ideas. Do I think Boyd is a Christian? I don’t know. But his theology, as well as some of his praxis is way off orthodox faith. I believe open theism is a heresy, simply because it gives a wrong perspective of God’s sovereignty. Do I think Boyd is a heretic? I don’t know. I think he has a wrong view of God so far as open theism and imaginative prayer.

I still have seen NO SCRIPTURE that directs this. Supposedly there is 100 pages of commentary filled with scripture. I have not seen one.

197   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

PB – Can you please explain “That explains a LOT” – directed at me, # 160

198   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I still have seen NO SCRIPTURE that directs this. Supposedly there is 100 pages of commentary filled with scripture. I have not seen one.

And nothing is stopping you from doing your own research. I’m not playing the “guilty until proven innocent” game any longer.

199   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 8th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Do you believe that because I practice imaginative prayer I am worshiping a different Jesus (demonic) and am outside of Christ?

I don’t know, Corey. I still have not seen any scriptural evidence or instruction that says we ought to imagine Christ as we understand sitting in a room with us.

If it is a Jesus who is not sovereign, not omnipresent and omniscient, in my opinion it is a different Jesus. It is bordering on idolatry, and it is idolatry if it a Jesus we are comfortable with instead of the Jesus in the Bible.

I do not think we should imagine a Jesus. We should pray and ask God to reveal Himself to us in His Word, by His Spirit, on His terms, not on ours. Otherwise the false Jesus of the Shack might show up in the room instead of the Jesus of the Bible.

200   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I believe that Jesus is sovereign (he can do whatever he wants) that Jesus is omnipresent (”I will be with you always, even to the end of the age”) and that he is omniscient (that he has all possible knowledge). So does Boyd. What’s the problem?

201   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Having a Jesus we are comfortable with is not the Jesus of the Bible? I find this a very sad statement. If we are being conformed to the image of Christ, does that mean we become increasingly uncomfortable with ourselves? Does this mean that Jesus cannot be our friend, our comforter, our rest, our peace, our hope, our joy? He must be the feared and powerful, unknowable bringer of God’s wrath and judgment? I’m really sorry that this has been your experience of God and I pray that he will continue to shower you with mercy and grace and will heal the wounds that have led you to this place.

202   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Foster and Boyd are clearly off base in terms of these mystical, out of body, imagining Jesus and creating conversations with him ideas.

Out of body? Not you too? Show me oh accusatory one, where either advocates such unbiblical teaching.

203   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 9:27 pm
I still have seen NO SCRIPTURE that directs this. Supposedly there is 100 pages of commentary filled with scripture. I have not seen one.

And nothing is stopping you from doing your own research. I’m not playing the “guilty until proven innocent” game any longer.

Apparently something is stpping him from showing us any Scriptural prohibitions… or Foster advocating out of body experiences, or conjuring, etc, etc, etc…

Smoke

Any fire?

204   Neil    
October 8th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

As I see it, once we dismiss with the silliness (e.g. conjuring, must do this, astral projection, altered states, etc.) and offensiveness (e.g. you have not Christ, etc…) the issues are two:

Is there a biblical prohibition against using your imagination as a tool to assist in prayer?

Is there a biblical argument whether or not Jesus may appear to someone?

So for I have seen lots of smoke – but not flame.

205   corey    
October 8th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Ps 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

This certainly sounds like people seeking out the Lord, somehow “gazing upon” his beauty. Maybe it’s a stretch to call that imaginative prayer, but it’s an example of people initiated worship that results in some kind of mystical appearance of God.

206   John Hughes    
October 8th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Is there a biblical prohibition against using your imagination as a tool to assist in prayer?

Yes:

Col 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
Col 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

Deu 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.

Further, visualization is a specific subset of the use of imagination, which has a rich history of occultic usage. Visualization techniques are not taught anywhere in the Scriptures by Jesus or any of the apostles

If the Jesus of the visualization is just a product of the imagination then that Jesus is a false Jesus, at best a placebo of self induced sementality, at worst idolotry or visitation by the demonic.

If the Jesus of the visualzation is the real Lord of Creation then any revelations provided by this Jesus have the full force of Scripture and revelation (vs. illumination) is ongoing and the canon is not closed.

So the person who conjurs up their own personal Jesus in their imagination via visualzation techniques is seen as spiritual, but anyone who calls this practice out is called “silly”.

Compare this description of Astral Projection from Wikipedia to Foster’s exercise:

Astral projection (or astral travel) is an esoteric interpretation of any form of out-of-body experience (OOBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body”

separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside it.

[1] Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the astral plane.

The idea of astral travel is rooted in common worldwide religious accounts of the afterlife [2] in which the consciousness’ or soul’s journey or “ascent” is described in such terms as “an…out-of body experience, wherein the spiritual traveller leaves the physical body and travels in his/her subtle body (or dreambody or astral body) into ‘higher’ realms.”[3] It is therefore associated with near death experiences and is also frequently reported as spontaneously experienced in association with sleep and dreams, illness[4], surgical operations, drug experiences, sleep paralysis and forms of meditation.[5]

It is also sometimes cultivated for its own sake[6] or may be believed to be a faculty derived from or necessary to some forms of spiritual practice.[7] It may involve “travel to higher realms” called astral planes but is commonly used of any sensation of being “out of the body”[8] in the everyday world, ev

en seeing ones body from outside or above

. It may be reported in the form of an apparitional experience, a supposed encounter with a doppelganger, some living person also seen somewhere else at the same time.[9]

Honestly, Foster could be accused of plagarism.

207   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 8th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Instruction to “imagine” Jesus doing or saying thias or that is indeed “conjuring”. It is a technique and not Biblical. I assume that many who teach such believe anyone can “see” Jesus , but I suggest such visions are rare and cannot be orchestrated, and in fact, would surprise and shock the person being “visited”.

There are mystical experiences, however they cannot be planned for or manifested as a result of mind energy.

208   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 8:04 am

#206, 207
finally, voices of reason.

209   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 8:33 am

Visualization techniques are not taught anywhere in the Scriptures by Jesus or any of the apostles.

Well, they may have not taught “techniques” per se, but I believe use of the imagination in this type of way was not unheard. Especially when you consider that people like Origen describe this type of experience within a century after the apostles were gone. Also, the lack of direct endorsement or description of something isn’t the same as a prohibition. Jesus never taught about the Four Spiritual Laws or the Romans Road to Salvation, either.

The fact that this type of thing has been co-opted by the occult really doesn’t prove anything either. All occult and pagan rituals are perversion and parodies of the real thing, not the other way around. The Egyptian magicians were able to change a rod into a snake as well, remember.

In 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, Paul says:

12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The word that’s translated “reflect” in verse 18 has a footnote that says “contemplate”, which makes more sense, especially when you see that Paul is talking about the Israelites not being able to gaze upon Moses. So it seems that in order to “contemplate” something in your mind, you have to visualize something. Elsewhere, Paul says Christ is the “image of the invisible God”, so it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to say that we should focus on the image of Christ.

210   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 8:49 am

The funny thing about this whole thing is that this one technique is such a small (minuscule, tiny) part of Foster’s book. Most of what he writes is so uncontroversial that it doesn’t even get mentioned by the watchdogs of the world. Even if you disagree with this particular method (and John and Rick, I completely understand if this method seems uncomfortable for you) everything he teaches is about drawing closer to God. Even if you decide that this method is outside of normal Christianity, don’t throw Foster out as a heretic, rebel, anti-Christ, pagan, satanist, etc. He is clearly a brother in Christ who has contributed much to the spiritual development of many.

211   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 8:52 am

#210 vomit.

Corey, your ‘brothers’ in Christ are treating me well!

Will you visit me in jail?

212   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 8:54 am

At the point where the Johns are still arguing that using your imagination (even is granted that imagining Jesus is wrong) is tantamount to actually leaving your body… I say I am officially wasting my time on such ridiculousness.

213   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 8:58 am

PB, how are you treating them? You’ve boasted about how you contacted the church where they were going to be meeting and convinced them to kick the conference out. You’ve threatened them, you’ve harassed them, you’ve publicly declared them to be heretics, false teachers, demonic, etc. Now you want them to welcome you into their gathering with open arms for you to do the same thing to people who have traveled from all across the country to be there? What are you smoking?

214   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 8:59 am

Pastorboy,

Your ability to switch topics wildly, or inability to discuss one topic fully – is truly amaizing.

How you get from Corey’s comment about Foster to your weekend plans with Paggit in one response is truly gear stripping.

215   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 9:00 am

Yes, the Golden Rule eludes, PB…

Why would people he regularly calls heretics and slanders not want him on the property harassing the attendees during their conference? It’s inconceivable!

Let me get my tiny violin…

216   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 9:00 am

1 Cor. 6:7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

Maybe try not calling your lawyer if you want to follow what the Bible actually teaches.

217   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 9:02 am

Your ability to switch topics wildly, or inability to discuss one topic fully – is truly amaizing.

When you can’t argue your case from Scripture, facts, or reason, change subjects…

218   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 9:11 am

I will fully admit that the whole imagining Jesus thing makes me a bit uncomfortable. That is why I wanted to discuss it.

And just about the time some Scriptures are actually presented, just when we may actually talk about that subject…

Why can’t we, as Corey said, just talk about this in the context of the great ministry Foster has otherwise? Why can we not talk about in reasonable and measured terms… Why must it become – he is a man w/o Christ promoting demonic astral projection?

Geesh!

219   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 9:17 am

I will fully admit that the whole imagining Jesus thing makes me a bit uncomfortable. That is why I wanted to discuss it.

And just about the time some Scriptures are actually presented, just when we may actually talk about that subject…

Why can’t we, as Corey said, just talk about this in the context of the great ministry Foster has otherwise? Why must it become – he is a man w/o Christ promoting demonic astral projection?

The funny thing is that this is one of those instances where the fact that people have brought the issue up and pointed to it as some sort of heresy has inspired me to do more research on my own. Like I said, I’d had Boyd’s book for a while and hadn’t read it, and I kind of forgot about it. Well I decided to read it the other day, and I’ve got to say, reading it he makes some good points. Nothing he’s describing comes close to astral projection. He makes it clear that anything we imagine is within our mind. And from the Foster quotes, I don’t see that as astral projection either.

220   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 9:36 am

I guess I react to a scorched earth policy just like the students on the beach…

…if you reason with me, lay out an argument, and care to convince me – I’m giggy with it. I may or may not be convinced… but we can talk.

Start injecting all sorts of hyperbole, and other silliness and just like the college girl who has just been called a slut – I tune you out.

221   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 9:36 am

Let us all agree that there have been and continue to be rare, but glorious, experiences with Christ that are mystical. They are rare and fall completely within the sovereign category.

The problem with imaging is not only that it is a technique, it subconsciously and surreptitiously allows one’s mind to infiltrate and sometimes dictate the entire scenario. Yes, we can talk to the Lord as we walk along without the formal trappings generally associated with prayer. However to formulate mental movies that treat Jesus like a marrionette can be dangerous.

Jesus does speak to us, most times through His Word, sometimes by strong impressions, and even sometimes by words strongly impressed upon our hearts. But constructing a imaginary movie has many pitfalls. It can lead one into error (I have known people like this), it can lead to a dependence on the visual and not the sightless faith, and in some cases it can lead to pride. (I have known these as well)

Seeking Jesus in the Spirit – yes and amen, but using an imaging technique to make such contact is not only shallow, but it is dangerous and many times counter productive to genuine spiritual growth.

If it wasn’t so perilous, it would just be goofy.

222   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Seeking Jesus in the Spirit – yes and amen, but using an imaging technique to make such contact is not only shallow, but it is dangerous and many times counter productive to genuine spiritual growth.

If it wasn’t so perilous, it would just be goofy.

Well, for one thing, this isn’t what Boyd suggest in his book. I can’t speak for Foster as much, but I know Boy references him. Boyd is not suggesting that people by their own will simply conjure up an image and tell that image what to do.

Boyd is suggesting that you imagine yourself in different scenes, and be sensitive to what you believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to you at those times. If we are in Christ, and are thoughts and mind are guided by the Holy Spirit, I don’t find much of a stretch that the Holy Spirit can speak to us in this way.

The main thing he says is that most people simply cannot interact with an abstraction in a real way. Our minds were designed to interact with images of real things, so we shouldn’t be afraid to interact with a Holy Spirit guided imagination.

I must confess that I have had this type of experience prior to even reading about it. Specifically, when my wife was in the hospital this past summer, I had a few experiences when I was in the waiting room by myself where I had envisioned certain things. I really felt the Holy Spirit was prompting me to pray for specific things in this way, and I felt as if I had received specific images as promises during this time. I wasn’t simply conjuring thing up. I really feel that they Spirit-led images.

223   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 10:40 am

Neil, I get the sense of discomfort. To me, however, this is not any different from sitting quietly and listening to the voice of the Spirit. It simply adds a visual element. It’s not simply imagining what Jesus would say if he were there. It’s listening to what God is saying through his Spirit.

Also, it should be noted that in the first edition, Foster included a footnote about this not being astral projection. He also dropped that section out of later editions of the book. He didn’t say why, but I assume that either he didn’t want the criticism of those few pages to take away from the rest of the message in the book or because he himself became uncomfortable with the language he had used. (I would guess the former, but to my knowledge Foster has never made a public statement about this).

224   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 10:43 am

Those are experiences that have nothing to do with a technique. Was someone there telling you to close your eyes, and imagine etc.? That’s the problem, people will beign to seek those things and manipulation enters in.

If you find nothing wrong about it, so be it. But when CRN objects to almost anything, the lines of perspective are drawn. Even a bling squirell finds an…never mind.

225   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 10:47 am

Rick, I’m certainly okay with people having a different opinion than me on this. I have used it and found it to be helpful and to draw me closer to Jesus. If others think it’s problematic, that’s fine. I just don’t want to see Foster demonized over one little thing when so much of what he teaches is profoundly good.

226   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 10:49 am

Hey, John, are you really going to be at the Christianity 21 conference?

227   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 11:28 am

Neil: I will fully admit that the whole imagining Jesus thing makes me a bit uncomfortable. That is why I wanted to discuss it.

Rick: Seeking Jesus in the Spirit – yes and amen, but using an imaging technique to make such contact is not only shallow, but it is dangerous and many times counter productive to genuine spiritual growth.

I haven’t read Boyd nor Foster apart from what was posted within this OP. What I’m going to say is not to say that is what is happening with Foster.

I’ve been on the receiving end and experienced, some times to the extreme, the abuses of what Foster speaks about. So I am often VERY suspect of these terminologies and of the folks that espouse them.

I seen people use their “visualizations” of Jesus and turn them into visions. Sometimes used to assert power, for lack of a better word, over others. Not necessarily in an evil way but with sincerity on the part of the person with the visualizations. They thinking that they were actually speaking the mind of God. Only to find they were not and the damages were often times beyond repair, or so it seemed.

Having been raised, spiritually, within the confines of Pentecostalism and watching the mistakes that charismatics have made and are making, that the Pentecostals had already made. I see it raising it’s ugly head again, or, it’s probably more true, has never left. A spin of the dial on the TV validates that.

When I read those few snippets of what Foster has said it only conjures(I just HAD to use the conjure word ;) , in my mind, the abuses I seen.

I’ve seen churches divided, families ruined, marriages destroyed over “visualizations” Certainly Foster isn’t offering anything new nor is it an epiphany. It’s older than dirt.

228   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Well, can’t virtually any theology or spiritual practice be abused or misused?

I too grew up in a Pentecostal church, and I seen my fair share of fruits and nuts, but those things don’t discount the genuine article. In one respect, perhaps we need more people who teach how to use these things properly. I liken spiritual gifts to a power tool. They can be used for great good in when used correctly, but if they’re just used haphazardly or without instruction, people can get hurt.

In 1 Corinthians 12, when Paul is instructing the members of the church there about spiritual gifts, who it’s safe to assume had been pretty messed up with their use of them, he didn’t tell them to quit completely. He told how they could be used in an orderly manner.

So if there is merit in what Foster teaches, and these are genuine experiences, isn’t it better to put some parameters on them, rather than just let people run freely with them? The most dangerous things I’ve seen in Charismatic / Pentecostal circles has been when people feel they are free to do whatever they want, and they don’t have anyone really giving them good instruction.

229   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

#228 – Nothing we have discussed has anything to do with spiritual gifts. That is a totally different subject.

230   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

The imaging techniques are taught no where in Scripture, and some suggest, in thisthread, to show them where it is forbidden, then that opens up a complete can of worms. If we are allowed to do anything unless specifically forbidden in the New Testament then a lot of things are fair game.

I just cannot understand why there is hardly any passion when it comes to errors like this, but much white heat passion as it pertains to all sorts of other things. As usual, the charitable understandings are a one way street.

Teaching people to conjure up Jesus in their imagination, not just to “I can only imagine” type of future worship, but to create a marrionette Jesus who walks and talks and tells you things. Does Jesus look the same in everyone’s imaging? It’s just another “I’m bored” type of western creation.

If you have ever been on the mission field you will never see teachings like this because only Americans can buy the books, attend the conferences, and create the ambiance. The Darfur believers do not have time to create Jesus head movies since they have to find food and water and they have to run for their lives.

Only westerners could have come up with a packaging of mental Jesus movies. Rollins says go feed the poor and Foster says lean back and make Jesus talk to you. What a farce.

231   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Is there any error creeping into the church, or is the only error meanness and judgment? And if there is some error, is it just moderately diconcerting or is it serious? Is it just the health and wealth doctrines, or are their more camouflaged and insidious errors entering?

And as long as one says he cares for the needy and is a proponent of humanitarian efforts, does that mean everything else he teaches is kosher? And does humbleness and sincerity always translate into Biblical soundness?

Is redemptive truth so wide and so unspecific and so inclusive that we need not be concerned today? Have we become very adept of interpreting teachings to fit into what we believe they should mean while ignoring the very real possibility that error is in them?

Benny Hinn once observed (I heard him personally say this), “When you become so well known and have such a large following, many if not most of your followers believe almost anything you say.”

Every evangelical camp has their prophets who hear from God and tell the masses what God said.

232   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

That Foster has removed those techniques from subsequent editions of the book, that he had a footnote about astral projection in the first edition – and these were not mentioned by the detractors is also troubling.

233   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Rick, I’ve tried (I think successfully) to be very respectful in my disagreement with you and John. But when you say things like you do in 230 and 231, here’s how it sounds to me. It comes across as you invalidating my experiences with God that I take as genuine and meaningful and have directly resulted in significant life change for me. To assert that an attempt to listen to reflect and listen to God’s voice is likened to God being a puppet or creating a movie or that real Christians like those who are being persecuted would never do something like this makes me feel like you view my pursuit of Jesus as unacceptable, harmful, blind, unthinking, and deceived.

I’m willing to agree to disagree on this. I can certainly see the potential danger that can come from this kind of prayer. I can agree that it could be abused and even look like the stereotype you lay out. But please, will you at least attempt to tone down some of the rhetoric?

234   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

That’s the reason I continued to press PB to elaborate on his “that explains a LOT” comment about me. It’s easy to throw grenades at public figures or abstract ideas. It’s easy to forget that there are real people involved and that ideas and words have power. When confronted with a real person, PB (and all of us) seems a lot more reticent to make the kinds of accusations that he (we) is willing to lob at faceless authors and pastors. I think it is essential to talk about these things not as abstractions, but as people who are in process and flawed, but are hopefully seeking truth in Jesus Christ for the redemption of their own souls and the world.

235   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

If we are allowed to do anything unless specifically forbidden in the New Testament then a lot of things are fair game.

Well, there is not a “New Testament law” per se. That’s what Paul is getting at in 1 Corinthians 10:23.

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.

The “law” we are to follow is love God with all of our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Certainly there is room for discussion of what this looks like. And the law is descriptive, not prescriptive. If a Christian is in right relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit will guide his heart and change His motivations. It seems to me that big portions of the American Church simply don’t believe this. They believe that we can will ourselves into following the law, and they really have reduced following Christ to a new legalism.

I just cannot understand why there is hardly any passion when it comes to errors like this, but much white heat passion as it pertains to all sorts of other things. As usual, the charitable understandings are a one way street.

The first part of my response is related to this. I see plenty of people being passionate about these side issues, but I see few people being passionate about a lack of love for our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we don’t have that right, all the other issues in the world matter not.

236   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

#226
I am here waiting. I have to be outside because the love of God constrains Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, et.al to not really have conversations, but one way diatribes with those who agree with their opinions. Their opinions are indefensible with scripture so they cannot have me anywhere near the presenters.

It is okay. There are several public streets where I can park and preach. Tonight will be on justification by faith, reconciliation, and holiness.

237   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

PB, why would you expect to be simply invited in to an event that costs money to put on and where everybody else pays to get in? If you want conversations, pay the admission fee and go in and have as many conversations as you want.

238   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I offered. I am not welcome because though they advertise that there would be conversations between presenters and participants, and I said I would avail myself of that opportunity. However, they did not want the Bible introduced. They just want to interact with their books, not the Bible.

239   Bo Diaz    
October 9th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

They just want to interact with their books, not the Bible.

This is the kind of thing that makes me think “Pastor” Boy is a character produced by Matt Stone and Trey Parker considering 90% of said character’s theology comes from the writings of various 16th century writers.

240   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Yeah, I heard there’s a sign out front that says, “No Bibles Allowed”… :roll:

241   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I was told over the phone in no uncertain terms that if I enter the property I will be arrested.

This is true Christian love, and true emergent ‘conversation’

#239 At least I am not a dead baseball player, Bo

#240 No sign, but the communication was clear. See Tony Jones’ facebook page about it.

242   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

When did you offer to pay? After you got their original site changed? After you promised to be there protesting? After you repeatedly bashed the presenters and hosts online? What do you expect to happen?

243   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

I NEVER said it was a protest. I said it was an alternative conference that would be held outside. I stated if I would be allowed to truly interact with the presenters, I would be happy to pay.

I did say that no church that believes the Bible should hold this conference, and I did suggest to Colonial’s elders that they would not allow this to take place there because of the topics discussed. It is not surprise that the ‘church’ they are in is a gay affirming church, which is no church at all, unless you consider a building a church.

I refer you again to Tony’s C21 facebook site, where I was called one of his greatest fans.

244   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

#214
Actually, this is related.

The Jesus that Pagitt and Jones imagines is a gay affirming, yoga practicing, universalist god that will accept everybody, whether they are muslim, hindu, athiest, etc.

This is indeed a Jesus of their imagination.

245   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

#244
And I might add that their Jesus does not stand behind the scripture, leaving it open to every man’s own interpretation that suits them.

246   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

This is what I proposed:

So, an idea hatched in my head, something I announced as I initially responded to this when I first heard of this. I announced this idea to Tony Jones when he was on the One One Radio Show. And I want all you listeners to participate.

I am going to be there. Outside the Church. At the hotel. I am going to engage these hyphen christians where they are face to face. I am going to try to engage these speakers as to what real Christianity is.

I propose this: Are there 21 Open-air preachers out there in Minneapolis/St. Paul who would be willing to hold a shadow conference outside of the Church? Are there 21 Open- Air Preachers that would be willing to stay at the hotel and engage these folks in conversationdialogue about their need of being born again? Are there 21 who would be willing to stand outside the 21 churches where the false gospel is being preached by these 21 women and preach the Biblical Gospel outside of these churches?

Are there those who would be willing to come and hear these preachers outside of the conference? 21 Preachers with 21 minutes each who will talk about the Biblical doctrines of salvation, sanctification, reconciliation, holiness, fear of God, sovereignty of God, Biblical marriage, church discipline, repentance? Who would be willing, in the likely cold, to hear the Biblical doctrines and then be moved to share with the participants in the conference as they leave and go to the hotel and at the hotel and in the places they eat?

We will not charge $195 for registration, and what you hear and do as a result will last for eternity.

Will you join me to contend for the faith that was delivered to us? Is there 21 Pastors, Evangelists, Christians who would be willing to join me? Are there a couple hundred who would be willing to join us outside the church where it is being held? at the hotel where they are staying?

I invite you to join me. Register here by commenting below. I will be there. I hope you will be there also for one or all three of the days. I know there are real believers in the Minneapolis St. Paul area. Join me and make a stand for the Gospel!

247   M.G.    
October 9th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

#239 At least I am not a dead baseball player, Bo

I am here waiting. I have to be outside because the love of God constrains Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, et.al to not really have conversations, but one way diatribes with those who agree with their opinions.

Your hypocrisy is stunning.

248   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I like Tony’s comment on that Facebook thread…

Here’s an idea: Go slam your head against a brick wall. It will be more enjoyable than “dialoguing” with John.

By the way, PB, I know it’s scandalous and all, but Jesus already did accept everyone…even me! I’m glad the Father’s acceptance of me doesn’t depend on me having everything right.

The question is whether God accepts us – that question was answered at the cross. The question is whether or not we will accept the Father’s love.

249   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Hmmm…People outside the door of the gathering shouting into a bullhorn, police needing to be notified to keep people in line, an opposing viewpoint being presented, working to subvert/counteract the events happening inside…

If it looks like a protest, and sounds like a protest…

250   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

A score of gay people protested on Sunday morning outside our church. It was a hot Flrida summer day, and we allowed them to protest right on the front sidewalk.

We gave them cold drinks and snacks, and let them use the restrooms. We spoke with them lovingly and avoided arguments. That is the Christian response to “enemies”.

251   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

But you didn’t invite them a voice and allow them to present their viewpoint within the service

252   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

sorry…invite them in and give them a voice…

253   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

No. I would not imagine that would be appropriate at all. But threatening police action is over the top.

254   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I am here waiting. I have to be outside because the love of God constrains Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, et.al to not really have conversations, but one way diatribes with those who agree with their opinions. Their opinions are indefensible with scripture so they cannot have me anywhere near the presenters.

I’m really struggling here, PB, with trying to find out why Christian charity would require that Believer A must give a public platform to Believer B, when Believer A has a time-limited event with a specific purpose and intent to which Believer B a) has not been invited or registered; b) has nothing of interest to Believer A to add; c) has no permission to intrude on private property; and d) has been specifically requested to stay away.

So, when Believer B asserts a “right” to be an “a$$hole for Christ”, how is it any fault of Believer A?

255   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Did they really say no Bible discussion? Or is that you interpretation – akin to Foster promoting astral projection?

256   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 9th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Did they really say no Bible discussion? Or is that you interpretation – akin to Foster promoting astral projection?

Does the Pope poop in the woods?

Do you even have to ask?

257   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Your assessment of the tone may be somewhat accurate, I do not know. However that conference is a study in heresy. Besides the women preacher aspect, what is being taught is absurd.

But I would advise John to make better use of his time and go to the red light district of Minneapolis and minister to the prostitutes and drug addicts and not tell anyone you did it.

258   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

No. I would not imagine that would be appropriate at all. But threatening police action is over the top.

Maybe… but we have only heard one side of the story. Given Pastorboy’s history, hysterics, and You Tube submissions – I can see why Paggit may be cautious.

259   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Rick (#253) – The threat of police action may be over the top, but sticking with your protesters, if it seemed that they might bust in and disrupt things, would you consider it?

260   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I believe that yelling outside a conference is counter productive, confusing to the world, generates hatred, and may be somewhat self righteously drawing attention to one’s selves.

The latter, already trumpeted around the blogosphere, has been stripped of any reward. The doctrinal testosterone will be flowing, except humility, grace, and love.

261   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

This kind of unpleasantness, combined with a misguided sense of defending truth, makes me sad. On one side there will be screaming and yelling, on the other side there is threats of police action, and regardless of the doctrinal issues Christ’s name suffers.

262   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I was told over the phone in no uncertain terms that if I enter the property I will be arrested.

That is generally the proscribed action for trespassing – particularly when the individual in question has been told not to trespass on the property in question.

Action – reaction.

I would expect the same thing would happen if you assaulted someone, as well…

So, an idea hatched in my head, something I announced as I initially responded to this when I first heard of this….
[blah, blah, blah ... a number of ignorant observations, silly ideas, and arrogant product placement ads ... blah, blah, blah]
…I know there are real believers[TM] in the Minneapolis St. Paul area. Join me and make a stand for the Gospel!

I don’t see that you’re making anything other an an ass of yourself. There is a time for everything, and it’s readily apparent that you have no clue when/where such times or, nor the discernment to know what the message would be when the time is “right”.

corey: But you didn’t invite them in and give them a voice and allow them to present their viewpoint within the service

Rick: No. I would not imagine that would be appropriate at all. But threatening police action is over the top.

I suspect that, had they requested to come in and do so (and been denied, as you note), and then – after being denied – stated an intention to trespass, anyway, someone at your church would have (justifiably) notified the authorities to be on hand should an illegal disturbance take place…

263   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Having checked out the conference website I tend to agree with Pastorboy on the basics…

That said, the hysteria, the threats… I gotta agree with Rick – counter-productive, confusing to the world, self-inflating…

(insert bull-horn guy video here)

264   corey    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I’m by no means defending the conference. I know a lot of people there, like a lot of people there, but there’s a lot that I disagree with as well. That’s why I stayed home even though I was offered a discounted rate and it’s only 30 minutes away from my house. That being said, I also agree with Rick (take note Rick!!!) :)

265   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I continue to ask God to give me a love for the people with whom I disagree. It is supremely difficult to confront and rebuke and still exhibit genuine love for people. And just telling people the truth is a porr excuse for love.

Jesus told people the truth, and then He died for them. In the light of that, what I have is an embarrasing excuse for love.

266   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

I’m by no means defending the conference…

and 263…

I also disagree with college kids getting drunk on the beaches of Florida, but that does not mean I think it wise to yell at ‘em.

267   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 9th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Prayer is infinitely superior to protests.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2009

268   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
October 9th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Listen to my radio show and see how much yelling was done. None whatsoever. Just Bible preaching as promised.

269   Bo Diaz    
October 9th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

None whatsoever. Just Bible preaching as promised.

That’s what David Koresh said.

270   Neil    
October 9th, 2009 at 9:33 pm
None whatsoever. Just Bible preaching as promised.

That’s what David Koresh said.

Uh – Bo, that is not helpful… is it?

271   Bo Diaz    
October 9th, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Just making the point that everyone claims to be teaching from the Bible. “Pastor” boy’s smug, self-satisfied response was matched by Koresh and every other nut-job cult leader out there.