Friday, July 22, 2005

For the fear of using labels that mostly inadequately describe certain actions and movements I'm going to try to keep them out of this post...well the one's I don't like.

Careful?: I am currently reading The Sacred Way by Tony Jones. It is a neat book for me to read because with the new trend in youth worship and even in adult worship services it is good to read about the stuff that I see others doing. What I particularly like about these new trends in worship is the interaction that the methods provide. I am careful to note that this style of worship is a trend, this is not a comment on the Emergent Church or on Emergent Thought, I believe that is different. BUT there is a shift going to more liturgical things and a swing to the practices of the Desert fathers.

I believe that this movement is relatively harmless. I believe that it is an excellent way to rediscover ways to connect with our Savior on a regular basis. I also believe that these ancient models can be used in corporate worship very effectively.

You'll notice I said relatively harmless. Up to this point in time I have led several Lectio Divina sessions with groups as large as 400. I have also let times of interaction with a scripture text that one might label a HIGHLY modified Ignatian Examen, where on interacts with the text but placing themselves in the scripture using their imagination and five senses.

Relatively Harmless: I admit to not reading much on the subject but from reading this book, the Sacred Way, I think there is a word of caution that needs to be said. Both the disciplines of Centering Prayer and Meditation find their roots in Buddhism. The ideas come from spiritual sojourners that had ventured to the east and taken part in buddhist mediation and "centering". They then adapted these practices and rather than "emptying" self and mind for the sake of being empty they empty them through Christ and for Christ. All of this is done for a deeper "sense" or "experience" of Christ's filling.

Sounds dangerous to me, especially considering the roots.

So this begs the question: Is there a set way God desires us to worship him? there certainly were regulations for the Israelites. How far are we allowed to go in our freedom? Is adapting other religions methods a dangerous practice? I think so

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