Guru Woo Woo
Church Babel/With My Mind
Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church, modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, New Worship, Evangelical Church, charismatic, renewing of your mind, Faith Mind, Third Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Chien-chih Seng-ts'an, 19 Sermons on Praise Charles Spurgeon, Tommy Walker, Let's Think About Our God, new age, draw near unto God
My first introduction to this repetitive dogma came early in my Christian music career. Though a Christian and churchgoer I had been playing in a so-called secular band for years. After attending a number of Christian concerts I looked into joining a Christian band. After a while a music group approached me to ask if I would like to join their entourage. It all sounded good to me so I packed up my piano to rehearse with them in one of their band practices. I came from a pretty conservative background so what I was about to witness in this charismatic gathering came as a bit of a shocker.
Now I was used to getting together to pray with people in a manner that one person prayed at a time in some intelligible fashion. This would not be the case here. Even during the first rehearsal with this charismatic band I found that prayer had taken on quite an unfamiliar ring to it. As soon as we entered into prayer the whole group started babbling some phrase or another. Everyone did this at the same time.
Some would say, Praise You, Praise You, Praise You over and over and over again. Others would be chanting Hallelujah, We worship you, Jesus, Jesus, and so on. It seemed weird to me. But I got used to it soon enough. In fact, I eventually got pretty good at chanting mantras. Its not all that difficult, which is the point.
Later I learned that people do this in tongues as well. A certain pastor in a charismatic church that I was ministering in would always speak in his prayer language throughout the entire prayer time. This would occur even when one person was praying an intelligible prayer aloud. His chant was: Roah, roah, roah, roah. . . . That was with a trilled R. And as the prayer became more intense the trill lengthened and dramatically increased in volume. Though the speaking of tongues is encouraged in the Bible, (I Cor ) this didnt seem to be it.
After years of that I finally landed in
I stuck it out though. But after a while I heard this repetitive quick knocking as if someone was at the door impatiently trying to get in. After a while I looked up to the platform and saw a man standing erect while knocking the back of his head against the wall over and over again. A new mantra I suppose.
But God wants us to do more with our heads than bang them against a wall.
Jesus commanded us to love God with our mind. (Matt 27: 37) When speaking of Christian worship Paul followed up that we are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Rom 12: 2b NIV) He also added to the Corinthian church, I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. (I Cor 12: 15b NIV)
The Poem Verses on the Faith Mind supposedly written by the Third Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Chien-chih Seng-ts'an (in Japanese, Kanchi Sosan), who lived in the late 500's AD, demonstrates what little value the mystic places on the mind: "The mind does not have a shape, it does not have a form, it is not a thing, it is a no-thing."
But to the Christian, the mind is everything. Therefore in his 19 Sermons on Praise Charles Spurgeon disagreed with the pagan mindless worship contention when he wrote, "Instead of cavilling at the Lord because of certain stern truths which we read concerning Him, we are enabled in these to worship Him by bowing our reason to His revelation. The mind of reason is not an inhibition to worship. It is the very thing that inspires it as we acknowledge God as He is revealed in His Word.
The One who gave it all, He gave up everything.
Lets think about the Man who shed His precious blood,
So we could be His friends, His friends until the end.
And give our love and praise to Him,
He is our Savior and our Friend.
Notice that when Paul said, I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind, He spoke of prayer and singing in the same breath. Praying and singing have a lot in common with each other. They are times of emotion and of quietness. They are times to be still and know He is God. (Ps 46:10) We live in a very fast-paced, hectic world and need to spend quiet time with God just as Jesus needed to go off by Himself and pray. (Matt ) There is a special way that God reveals Himself when we pray or sing songs to Him. It is a very special personal and intimate place that we go to when we turn away from the cares and distractions of the world to fellowship with Him.
Though it is a spiritual activity to pray and sing unto the Lord, where our emotions rise, as they should, Paul is telling us here that we need to remember to keep our minds involved. Intimacy is about knowing someone else and knowing is based upon communication that reveals what that other person is all about. How many of us would believe that it is becoming intimate with another person by getting together and chanting repetitive statements to each other? Rather, intimacy is about learning who that other person is through the use of intelligible dialogue.
The pagans believe that God is an undefined force. To them God does not have a personality, nor does He have attributes. To them He does not have a nature nor does He have intelligence. To the pagan, God is just some spiritual feeling in the air. Therefore the New Age folk seek to find God through means other than what we know as communication. That is why they need to transcend into another state of mind that circumvents the natural state.
But in reality God is a Person. He has specific attributes that can be recognized. We can talk to Him and He will answer. We can sing to Him and He will receive our praise and bless us in a way that we can understand with our minds. We can communicate with Him through natural means. We can get close to Him in the same manner that we draw near to each other. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (Jas 8:8b KJV 2000) God has a mind brimming with intelligence and knowledge. Thus we can only communicate with Him intelligently.
Consequently, though God is supernatural and communicating with Him is a spiritual event, He is a Person and we worship Him with our mind. The difference here between paganism and Christianity does not have to do with the fact that people desire to see and experience God. To know God is a basic human desire that cannot be ignored. The difference lies in the manner in which this communication is accomplished. The pagan worships in order to find God. The Christian has been found by God and therefore worships and fellowships with Him in everything he does. It is only the Christian who can know God.
Stay Tuned for More!!!!
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