Monday, July 09, 2007

Jesus Willies, Yoga Villies

I don't know that I'm going to have time to get very deeply into our new topic this morning. I have an extremely long day both today and tomorrow, and the baby's already stirring. Plus I want to try to exercise before I leave, since I won't have time at the end of the day.

Some readers expressed misgivings about the idea of "Christian yoga," and while I suppose that's understandable, the fact of the matter is that Christianity has never existed in a vacuum, and has always been influenced by (and in turn influenced) its surroundings. For example, the early fathers clearly attempted to integrate (or at least reconcile) their new ideas with the best of Greek thought, especially Plato, as did Aquinas with Aristotle. The Roman Church obviously took on many of the characteristics of hierarchical Roman government, whereas democratic "American Christianity" tends to be much more horizontally organized, sometimes consisting of a single church.

So unless you believe that Christianity must maintain itself in exactly the culture in which it first appeared, it is possible to imagine it arising and developing in a different cultural matrix. In fact, irrespective of your nation or culture, we all still have to reconcile revelation with everything else we know to be true of the world. Plus we have to integrate it into a culture that preceeds us, just as we must talk and write about it in a language we did not invent but which precedes our entry into it. (Speaking of which, one reason why I'm an advocate of English as the national language is that if it was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for the rest of us.)

Speaking of the impact of culture on belief, to say that Christianity may be reduced to merely having a personal relationship with Jesus is to say something that no Christian ever believed until quite recently. In short, this is an ultra-modern view, no doubt influenced by our western culture that so values individualism. Likewise, the idea that the Bible speaks for itself and requires no interpretation is a very new idea. The fact of the matter is that living tradition preceded the Bible, not vice versa. It is not as if people read the Bible and became Christians. Rather, there were early communities of Christians, out of which the Bible was written and assembled.

So it is always possible to imagine divine revelation being inflected though a different cultural lens. In fact, it's unavoidable, just as it must be inflected through this or that individual brain. It is thoroughly interactive, the interaction being between eternity and time, or whole and part, or vertical and horizontal.

I myself do not come to yoga via Christianity, but rather, the reverse. I began practicing yoga many years ago. Like most everyone else, I had a spiritual impulse, but I encountered no form of Christianity that satisfied that impulse. It was only much later that I stumbled upon a strand of Christianity that I found entirely compatible with yoga. Which, I should emphasize quite clearly, is not to reduce Christianity to yoga. Rather, it is only to say that I discovered a form of Christianity that spoke to my particular "culture," as it were. And I suppose my culture is a rather small one, consisting essentially of me. But what is so interesting is that the strand of Christianity I found most compatible is the earliest Christianity of the desert fathers, which is in turn most adequately preserved in Orthodoxy, which we didn't hear much about in America until relatively recently.

When most westerners speak of yoga, they are usually referring to hatha yoga, which is only a peripheral part of a complex and sophisticated approach to spirit. Hatha yoga is the yoga of the body and breath. Unlike western exercise, it is never regarded as a thing in itself, but as a means to silence the mind, to dislodge vital energy that becomes "trapped" or blocked in our bodies, to open ourselves to divine energies, and also just to create a fit and supple body for the purposes of living long enough to harvest some of the spiritual seeds we have planted along the way. There is simply nothing about this "psychosomatic technology" that cannot be immediately transferred to a Christian context. I mean, please. If baseball players can make the sign of the cross before every at bat, or football players can engage in group prayers before trying to injure and maim one another, I don't see how anyone can object to yogic exercise in a Christian context.

In the past, I have spoken of the uniqueness of Christianity, with it's emphasis on the human body. It's one thing to say that God dwells in the human body, but exactly what is the human body, and how does it work? Lisa will be the first to tell you that most people don't know how the body works, and as a result, develop all kinds of bad habits that not only affect physical health, but also mood, and by extension, spiritual receptivity. Again, this is not to reduce spirituality to physical fitness, but to always understand fitness as having a telos, or an end, which is in spirit.

For me, I am never more receptive to the influx of divine energies than after a session of hatha yoga. It is a perfect time for prayer and meditation, because to a certain exent, it places you in the relaxed, centered, and open state of mind that you want prayer to accomplish. In other words, it just makes prayer that much more effective (and when I speak of prayer, I am not referring to petitionary prayer, but more simply to sitting before God and opening the heart).

Now, as I said, hatha yoga is just a peripheral aspect of yoga. There is bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion to God; raja yoga, the yoga of meditation; jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge; karma yoga, the yoga of selfless action; and subdivisions such as mantra yoga, which involves repetition of a divine word or phrase -- which is not dissimilar to the repetition of the "Jesus prayer."

Again, I probably sound defensive, but I don't see any conflict here with Christianity, and in a way, this breakdown into the different forms of yoga provides one with a way to discuss certain aspects of Christianity that are present but often underemphasized, which in turn causes people to look to the east for spiritual nourishment.

One important point is that people tend to have a personality style that is more fitting for one particular form of yoga -- a Mother Teresa comes to mind, who practiced a very rigorous form of what might be called "Christian karma yoga," involving selfless devotion of one's actions to the Divine -- including the divine who is present in everyone. This kind of selfless action leads to ego transcendence, for the simple reason that you are constantly ignoring the promptings of the ego.

Some people are more pure jnanis (the yoga of knowledge and wisdom). Frithjof Schuon or Unknown Friend come to mind. True, spending one's life thinking and writing about God might seem like a small thing compared to feeding the poor and sheltering the homeless. And yet, without preserving and honoring the kind of wisdom taught by Schuon, the world is hardly fit for human beings. It's no longer a human world, so what's the point of living in it?

Well, I better sign off for now. I encourage you to avoid making any sharp judgments just yet, as I've barely gotten started, and that was a rather disjointed preramble. At least wait until my ideas are fully half-baked. I should have more time to lay out my case by Wednesday. I should also add that I myself don't know where I'm going with this, so we'll just have to wait and see what comes out.

*****

I am again reminded of what happened some 1500 years ago, when the revealed religion of Christianity reached western China and met up with what is probably the greatest natural religion, Taoism. The following is adapted from a wonderful ode to the mystery of the primordial light and logos, written by someone named Jingjing in 8th century China, who spontaneously merged Taoism and Christianity, undoubtedly because, like me, he was a multi-undisciplinarian who didn't know any better:

"In the beginning was the natural constant, the true stillness of the Origin, and the primordial void of the Most High. The Spirit of the void emerged as the Most High Lord, moving in mysterious ways to enlighten the holy ones. He is Ye Su, my True Lord of the Void, who embodies the three subtle and wondrous bodies, and who was condemned to the cross so that the people of the four directions might be saved.

"My Lord Ye Su, the one emanating in three subtle bodies, hid His true power, became a human, and came on behalf of the Lord of Heaven to preach the good teachings. These teachings can restore goodness to sincere believers, deliver those living within the boundaries of the eight territories, refine the dust and transform it into truth, reveal the gate of the three constants, lead us to life, and destroy death.

"The Lord set afloat a raft of salvation and compassion so we might use it to ascend to the palace of light and be united with Spirit. He revealed the workings of the Origin, and he gave us the method of purification by water. Thus we purify our hearts and return to the simple and natural Way of the truth. This truth cannot be named, but its power surpasses all expectations. When forced to give it a name, we call it the Religion of Light. The teachings of the Religion of Light are like the resplendent sun: they have the power to dissolve the dark realm and destroy evil forever."

39 Comments:

Blogger River Cocytus said...

Jingjing - there's a standup raccoon. Give that fellow a hand! Wow.

7/09/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Give/Receive
palm the empty form
haiku is triangular
tai plus chi is three

7/09/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I can dig it.

7/09/2007 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I think I'm starting to get the 'Willies' Willies.

7/09/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Van: always had them. But 'Willie' was always followed by 'Jefferson Clinton.'

7/09/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

For me, its pretty simple. Yoga is a physical as well as philosophical way of life that emphasizes harmony of body and mind (a good thing). The philosophy is based in eastern metaphysical beliefs, many of which would necessarily be set aside by the Christian practitioner as incompatible with Christian beliefs. "Christian yoga", then, is physically yoga and philosophically Christian.

Jingjing is one in millions - if you know what I mean.

7/09/2007 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"In fact, irrespective of your nation or culture, we all still have to reconcile revelation with everything else we know to be true of the world.

Plus we have to integrate it into a culture that preceeds us, just as we must talk and write about it in a language we did not invent but which precedes our entry into it."


To do less would be to follow the pattern of the leftie logic choppers, who exclude the wider context whenever it seems uncomfortable to the conclusions they seek, and anything else that might lead to that most dreaded situation: Change!
Note to the Gloh!bol Warmers out there:Greenland really was green seems that Global Warming is nothing new.

As our buddy Jing Ling might say, Moral: Chop wood, not logic. Be here, now.

"Speaking of which, one reason why I'm an advocate of English as the national language is that if it was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for the rest of us."

There you go. Could give a new meaning to the happy/sad face stickers on spelling tests.

7/09/2007 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

And gosh darn it! If a 5th century chinese monk went through all that trouble blend two religions into a language that didn't even know existed - we just gotta honor that kind of dedication, and stick to the Kings English!
(Thank yyeuu - Thank Yyeuu verry muhch!)

7/09/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous dloye said...

My first thought when reading the previous post was, "my how easy it would be in these times to make instructional videos to post on the web"... a new sort of weblog. But just as I got out of the education game, I was trying to rethink lectures and dive into some of the newer media. This may not be the way you're headed at all. But I could sure use some Christian yoga, perhaps as a pathway to increasing the experience of O.

Now to copy and past this and try to paste it in explorer... ya, right as if my crazed mind meanders are worth the effort! Oh well.

WV: gmvlumx

7/09/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob F. said...

Speaking of which, check out "Christ the Divine Tao" by Hieromonk Damascene; came across this while looking at some of the Orthodox references youve made.
Good stuff.

Bob F.

7/09/2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"So unless you believe that Christianity must maintain itself in exactly the culture in which it first appeared, it is possible to imagine it arising and developing in a different cultural matrix."

The matrix...will this slow down bullets and stuff?

You know, after Bob makes his presentation, I'm thinkin' about combining it with Chinn-Fu Dough, the martial art I created.

This would, undoubtably, make for a cool movie!
The Chinn-futrix: Yogeye of the Conquerer of Hell.

Of course, it would be a trilogy.

7/09/2007 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"to say that Christianity may be reduced to merely having a personal relationship with Jesus is to say something that no Christian ever believed until quite recently"

Thanks Bob, for reminding us how important historical context is in trying to grasp spritual things. Humans seem to have some kind of built-in blinders: things have ALWAYS been the way I see them now & must stay that way, or are not True.

I, for one, am interested in following the Logos & love the way you point out that it's everywhere, not just contained in One personage, or One book. No doubt the Jesus-only & Inerrent Word of God crowd will go bananas, but I always want to shake them & say:

Open up will ya! Stop being so afraid!

Ya got the Big Guy watching over you, or so ya say over & over. Do you really believe it?

Ya think he's gonna fall off his throne because you expand your horizons a bit?

Get over YOURSELF! Stop spending soooooo much energy trying to restrict everything around yourself & everyone you come across.

Be NOT afraid, as Scripture says.

Bob, the "I probably sound defensive" likely comes in response to some of the comments yesterday: dripping ignorance & fear. Not all of your audience is bent on making sure to cram spirituality into a box, to make it a do-do-this & don't-do-that, look over your shoulder in fear kind of thing.

7/09/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "The Chinn-futrix: Yogeye of the Conquerer of Hell. "

Don't worry Boo-boo... I'll get dee pick-a-nick baskeet!

7/09/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

dloye said...
"My first thought when reading the previous post was, "my how easy it would be in these times to make instructional videos to post on the web"... a new sort of weblog. But just as I got out of the education game, I was trying to rethink lectures and dive into some of the newer media..."

I've long been interested in creating a web education app that would create a virtual classroom geared not only to home schoolers, but to Teachers who wanted to Teach (and Earn) outside the standard institutional classroom format, to not only handle the by-rote activities of teaching (memorization of 1,2,3's and a,b,c's, handwriting legibility, pure fact checking, etc), but also enable lecturing with personalized help & feedback for teacher and student both - not to mention parents.

Up until now, this has been hampered by the state of technology... but... with the new UMPC's (check out the coming Raon Digital EVERUN), and pocket pc phones like Sprint's coming out (HTC's 'Mogul' and 'Kaiser')with the new MS Mobile 6.0 , and of course spurred on with Apple's iPhone (Jobs again manages to come out looking like a God with a product that does what PocketPC's have been doing for a couple years now - Microsoft so sucks at projecting Cool) - but they're spurring on the market... anyway, a big digression to say that something webable/portable & activity friendly may be coming soon... maybe some of us here could/should be looking at market oportunities....

7/09/2007 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van:

Are you familiar with what was done in places like the Outback & the Velt using Ham Radio? The visual transmission component was missing, but all else was in place.

Went to high-school with kids educated that way & a fine education it was too. Out in the middle of nowhere, with a generator for power & a handcrank system for backup (one of my shortwave radios is like that - self-contained battery charger) they rarely missed their lessons. Talked back & forth too.

7/09/2007 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said-
Don't worry Boo-boo... I'll get dee pick-a-nick baskeet!

The Ranger ain't gonna like that,
Yogeye!

7/09/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze,
No I hadn't heard of the Ham radio schooling, but it doesn't surprise me.

Where we are at now, with blogging, podcasting, video-podcasting, video streaming, and the touchscreen based features coming available - it's all about ready to come together... at some point here soon, a Teacher, a REAL TEACHER is going to find themselves in a position to provide their skills to Thousands of students, in a practical and two way fashion - Good teachers will be able to earn Large amounts of money doing what they love, without having to go through an institutional Bureaucracy.

That's going to be something to see. Next sight to see after that? The 'M' word (Marxism) being tossed unceremoniously into boothill.

7/09/2007 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Not exactly on subject, but then what is...if you want to take a little break from all the heavy lifting and awkward poses for a scenic side trip through Truth and Beauty, take a Compass reading here. I stumbled across this magical corner of the universe quite by accident.

It's worth flipping back through the Handbook for Explorers to pick up Sonnets 1-10 first.

I want to grab my walking stick and ramble...

7/09/2007 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous karma yogin said...

An effective spiritual practice is to offer your work for the day to God.

The type of work, the results of the work, and yourself the worker, no matter who you are or what you do, are offered up as a sacrifice.

Then go about your day with no judgment as to what happens or doesn't happen. It has been taken from your shoulders.

I think Bob does this with this writing. I strive to do it in my work as a registered nurse.

The offering does not change your work, nor does it affect the outcome; yet, the gains you make internally are marvelous.

These gains eventually do translate into the work, and a positive feedback loop is created between yourself and God.

7/09/2007 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Web teaching. That is an amazing idea. I would do it in a heartbeat. Where do I sign up?

7/09/2007 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Christian Yoga. An integrated workout for body mind and spirit. I have been working. The school district hired me on to help the maintenance crew with some summer projects. It's generic Work brand work. shovel+dirt=hole. truck+furniture=move. paint+brush= you get the idea. I am frequently reminded of my own private revelation about work and the sacredness thereof. Oddly enough a shovel full of mud doesn't seem to dim the vision, although it does remind me that the body at fifty five is not the well oiled machine that it was at twenty five. Working alongside a twenty three year old provides further contrast.
Two thoughts on exercise. One: I still like to hike the hills, even in the heat. I find when I am pushing hard my mind falls into that exertion trance, and I reflexively enter into prayer. It's a time when my spiritual ears seem to open. But that's hiking up a hill, which is the same as running, or biking, or swimming... Yoga isn't that kind of workout, is it?
The second point on exercise. As I said I'm doing a lot of work. I hurt in a lot of places. (Actually, the only places that don't hurt are too stiff to hurt.) If yoga could help there I'll take a shot at it.


Ben: the Chinn Futrix sounds pretty cool, but for a trilogy like that, you'd need at least four movies.

Van: I followed the Greenland link. Interesting stuff! But I loved the last sentence where the writer refers to "man-made global warming" as though it's an axiom. Talk about (un)fundamentalism.

JWM

7/09/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Actually, here is an oportunity to watch the PC police fine tune the language to suit their agenda. First it was simply "Global warming". But Global Warming alone is open to the argument that it is a natural phenomenon, and there is nothing that we can do about it. So now we must insert "Man Made" as the adjective in charge of this disaster. Soon you will hear the illuminati refer to "manmadeglobalwarming"* fusing all the syllables into a single guilt producing concept. Someday it will become a full fledged epithet and join the ranks of corporategreed, whiteracist, and malechauvanist.

JWM

7/09/2007 07:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ye Su"

Derived from "Yeshu"? Iesus?

7/09/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Anony: sometimes his name is rendered 'Jesu' or 'Yesu', so 'Ye Su' doesn't seem so surprising. Anyway, one doesn't need to know the 'name' to know the Name, if you know what I'm tryin' to mean.

7/09/2007 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Web teaching. That is an amazing idea. I would do it in a heartbeat. Where do I sign up?"

I think it's a cool idea too. :)

7/09/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I'm down with web teachin', but most videos are out of reach for us dial-up backward folk. :^(

7/09/2007 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

JWM-
I feel for you pal. That's hard work!
But the spiritual aspect makes the mundane special. :^)

7/09/2007 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

JWM-
I believe now they call global warming man-made climate change.
Or, weather, for sensible folks.

They changed it to cover virtually any kind of weather that can possibly cause any kind of problems.

That way, the left can attribute anything to western man.
Of course, any weather is going to be "bad" and "good", depending on how we look at it.

It's really quite cunning and diabolical, when one looks past the surface of what the left is really trying to do.

Useful idiots don't see it, but they create the conditions to make a commie power grab.
That's what virtually every aspect of their "religion" strives for, be it global warming, universal healthcare, or government run "education".

7/09/2007 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I suspect the whole "Christian Yoga" thing is why Bob will never be popular. Most people, once they have made up their opinion,would rather not be confused by facts. So a Christian would be afraid of reading Dhammapada or Tao Te Ching or the Bhagavadgita, or even the Quran or the Book of Mormon. Conversely, of course, adherents of the other faiths would only read select parts of Christian writing, including verses from the Bible, handpicked by their own leaders, usually for the purpose of illustrating the evil of Christianity.

It is like this with almost everything. Conservatives avoid leftist papers and blogs whenever possible, although some media are hard to avoid completely. Socialists only read carefully picked examples of conservative writing for the express purpose of mocking them. Americans eat sushi for lunch, but when visiting Japan they eat beef steak or hamburgers. Must be afraid of alien cultures or they could eat our soul!

Unfortunately, for the most common size of soul, this is an entirely reasonable precaution.

7/10/2007 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

While Bob bas been musing on Christian yoga (an intriguing idea if you ask me--like Bob I am no respecter of hard and fast categories when it comes to the spiritual) I chanced to wander over to that bastion of American left-wing though, Salon.com.

When you hang out at One Cosmos for a while something begins to change. You imperceptibly develop a deep sensitivity to the indecenency of the Left. I'm not taking simple "porno" indecency, but rather something more elusive, like that first faint odor that eventually morphs into a full-blown awareness that there is something seriously rotting away at the bottom of your kitchen trash container.

Anyhow, 10 years ago the following passage would have struck me as colorful, but otherwise unremarkable. This is from Salon's advice column. See if you understand what I mean by the subtle--yet soul-deep--air of indecency that wafts around the very being of such godless materialists:

Dear Cary,

I find myself in a bit of a strange, disheartening situation.

My husband works part time, and one of his co-workers is a 19-year-old girl (I am 31, my husband is 36). To say that she's developed a bit of a crush on him would be a gross understatement. She knows that we're poly, and she knows that he's into BDSM, which she apparently has a bit of a leaning toward (their boss, a woman, is also into BDSM and has been talking to her about it).


I won't bore you with more detail, but it goes downhill from there.

Coming back here and reading a dash of River and a dollop of Magnus has the effect of opening a window in that slightly musty kitchen.

7/10/2007 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Let me hasten to add that the size of a soul and its quality are different things. I have met people with very narrow souls and not all that deep either, but very beautiful and pure. Like a small, walled in garden, carefully cultivated. Certainly a small, fragrant garden is better than a large, stinking swamp.

But I have notice that often those who never leave the monastery garden, insist that all of the world outside is a swamp of sin and depravity. For the visitor, it is all too clear that much of that sin and depravity is their own, which they have thrown over the wall (projected, as psychologists say).

7/10/2007 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Smoov,
I think subtle stopped at "She knows that we're poly".
o_O

wv:hmous

7/10/2007 03:57:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

OK, I really don't mean to hijack the blog, but I don't want to leave my comments in a unnecessarily insulting state.

Y'all are familiar with the generational theory of revivals, right? In its simplest form, it goes about like this:
The first generation lives for God.
The second generation lives for the church.
The third generation lives for itself.
A good revival can carry on for longer before it collapses, but this is the general trend. Once the prophets are gone, with their instant messaging from O, things quickly get institutional. And then the shell remains while the life inside is gone, like those pretty snailhouses you may find near the beach after a storm.

When the first generation beholds the purity of God, they rightly declare the world apart from God as a cesspool of sin and depravity.

Their children and adoring fans keep their words and although they don't understand, they try to believe. So the next generation, which sees only the reflected glory of God in the teachnings and in the church, still believe that the world is a cesspool. But they compare it to their own standards.

By the time the new church has become completely human, they STILL believe that the world is a cesspool compared to them. Instead of upgrading their lives, they downgrade their view of everyone else. That's what I mean by throwing their garbage over the monastery wall.

wv:rssik

7/10/2007 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

My new computer ate my comment- it must have been not what it had in mind.

magnus- it might be more accurate to look at each generation as a spiritual bell curve, though the waxing and waning model has some truth as well.

The idea that one can't have direct contact with O within an institution is nonsense, though.
Reading the book of Acts, two things strike you: the swiftness with which an organization sprang up and that even in that 'direct contact' generation, problems abounded.
Given human nature, I'm afraid there were no 'good old days' in the Church.

7/10/2007 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Sal,
sorry for the confuscation. Of course you can (and should) have contact with O within an institution. In fact, to stick with the familiar Christianity, Jesus explicitly planned for a church that would stand the test of time. Although he seemed rather vague on the topic in the gospels, it is clear from the early church history that there was an intentional structure that was the seed of preserving the faith through the dark ages that were to come.

Modern revivals, especially in the splinter churches that have utterly condemned the Orthodox and Catholic heritages, tend to undervalue structure and blithely assume that The Revival will last forever. These splinter churches are generally the easiest victims to the generational decline.

Agreed about the bell curve too. It would be a sad church indeed that was entirely run out of prophets in three generations. But the risk is there that it could happen that fast. It is more like a worst case scenarion.

7/10/2007 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

My opinion is that there are actually three churches; One appealing to each of Schuon's categories. The Intellectual (Orthodox) the Passional (Roman Catholic) and the Emotional (The Real Form of Protestantism)

When I listen to the old American Spirituals I can sort of intuit the real or destined form of the third church, but I wonder when it will finally arise? Or does its emotional nature keep it always in flux?

As for the splintering, I think the only way you'll have 'unity' with the protestant churches is when all of their possessions are stripped away and they must be Christians without their buildings, finance committees, and so forth. It is a grim thing, but it must be so. Also, it is my belief that the third church was 'born' - it had its 'Pentecost' with the Asuza 'Revival'.

The content and worship of this third church appeal entirely to the emotional man, he has an emotional experience of a 'born again' conversion, and so on.

This has been a struggle. In the church that I have attended, people were giving their testimonies about their baptism. About their being born again. I was never 'born again' per se, but rather the process has been gradual and not particularly 'emotional' - really more intellectual.

My mom thinks I was annointed in the womb. That's going a little bit far, but y'know.

I think this fusion of the spiritual and physical is fine, just as long as the doctrine is solid and we don't let the physical (or emotional) begin to dictate our doctrines. But I think we already covered that ;)

7/10/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I've tried to read the Koran (and, once, also the Book of Mormon), but I got bored. I guess we do prefer the familiar. I don't have translations of Chinese writings on my shelves.

I do believe that, regardless of my unavoidable immersion in my own culture: "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire."

So what's good (God-like) about my culture, I embrace. What's corrupt, Christ has already granted me the power to transcend. I don't have to dig through other cultures, eat unfamiliar foods, necessarily, to find completeness, since the completeness I seek is found in God Himself.

OTOH, that doesn't mean that other cultures are to be shunned. It just means I yam what I yam.

7/10/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Smoov said "When you hang out at One Cosmos for a while something begins to change. You imperceptibly develop a deep sensitivity to the indecenency of the Left."

I find the same, though I wouldn't limit it to the Left - its influence sure, but Left only... sadly no.

Though as Magnus said, they had me at 'Poly'.

7/10/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a 5:44 minute video entitled
"Can a Christian Practice Yoga?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQXAYioSQ9I

9/07/2007 11:39:00 PM  

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