Monday, September 15, 2014

A Potential Solution Misidentified as a Problem

I found Stage Managed Ecumenism interesting, because this is a guy who knows something is seriously wrong with evangelical/charismatic Christianity, but he appears to be coming at it from a sola scriptora and anti-clerical point of view, so he misses someone's attempt at a solution to the great big slobbering mess:
“Spiritual Formation" has been taking evangelicals by storm for some years now. Richard Foster and his seminal book Celebration of Discipline has been an attempt to fashion a Catholic Contemplative prayer experience for Protestants. The often used term Spiritual Formation is simply a code word for Contemplative Prayer, and Contemplative Prayer is a revived form of early Catholic meditation going back to the early third and fourth centuries of Catholic Monastics called the Desert Fathers, who borrowed a form of meditation from interaction with Eastern mystics in Egypt. The source of Contemplative Prayer is Catholicism. But ironically there are probably more evangelicals pursuing this prayer method than Catholics.

This is actually has its source in heychastic prayer, which is demonstrably different from non-Christain forms of Eastern meditation. Basically, before the modern age of nonsense, the Church was a hospital, and the monastery was where you put your particularly dangerous people. Now, you could let them out again, and be bishops and stuff, if they survived and got along into old age. Heychastic prayer is therapy, and could actually help, but they aren't going in that direction.

I know this because it is a similar line of research that I took, at the time being mainly among Charismatic Catholics and counting myself as one, I began to search for answers because my friends had no answers. They only have modernity, and relative prosperity to shield themselves from consequences.

I think it was around five years ago I found out my little group was going to do modified Jesuit meditations. You basically take a biblical passage and imagine yourself there at the time and everything. Well, I am doing this for the first or second time and I have a really clear strong thought, which was something like:

Imagining a thing to be true is one step away from believing it to be true.

Mysteriously, this sort of thing is never recognized by these pro-prophecy super-Charismaticky people as a word of God. No, a word of God is usually some maudlin thing emoted by some woman which has no apparent bearing on anything excepting that God really loves us and wants us to be super happy, unless of course you are doing the sort of naughty things that might make a woman cross.

No, my dear friends, all I had to rely on was this statement that I receive while I was honestly trying to A:) Pray to God and B:) do what my friends were doing was that this message was imminently logical. Secondarily, since we had a post-meditation discussion I could easily see people were adversely affected- if one can be adversely affect by obviously imagining error into bibilical passages. The most weak-minded and intellectually ill-equipped were arguably the most harmed. I have since seen that this relationship between imagination and error has been mention previously in the Church.

I think I have, once or twice, snorted and said that doctrine doesn't matter, but it is a sarcastic statement. Doctrine does matter, but, as Vox Day says, most people are idiots. You go looking for real answers and try to bring back one or two you to your friends you will hear from them that it doesn't matter. Well, it probably doesn't for the vast majority of mid to low IQ people.

Sola Scriptora leads to all sorts of nonsense, because not everyone can understand the translated page, much less the context of what it was like in the ancient Middle East.
It should be something like Sola Deus (there was a lack of Latin teaching in my youth). We claim to worship this being, which surpasses being because it is both one being and three divine persons, one of whom is both God and man, which-as far as we know are two different classes of being. This is why I have begun to believe we should teach our God is perfection (noun) and not merely perfect (adjective). One may have a perfect chicken, and he may be better than all the other chickens, but he's still just a chicken. Similarly, either your god really is the Alpha and Omega, really is perfection, or he is just another god.

Rather than contributing to the general disorder, heychastic prayer would help bring about order, but they won't do it. It is uncomfortable to modern minds. At best they will mostly avoid, at worst they will grab something that is actually new age/pagan and use it instead. The evangelical/charismatic crowd are highly socialble and seek emotional validation. The first tiny step into the great dark void will send them reeling back into seeking any sort of sensory input they can find- and most of them still have televisions.

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