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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Practicing the Presence of God

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 Re:

Quote:
sermonindex wrote: Brother, I was not promoting Catholicism in anyway but simply stating that as evangelicals we need to learn balance on not throwing out all of church history as Catholic. Most evangelicals do not read early christian leader writings because they think its the Catholic church and that is false. So I was just trying to encourage us not to just throw out the baby with the bathwater.

The 1600's reformation was not perfect by any means and we still have much to learn of true Church history and the ways of God.



I agree with Greg 100% here. I read this quote recently, which sums it up nicely:

Quote:
In the course of their efforts to rid the church of what they saw as the great clerical cheat, perpetuated by late medieval Catholicism, Protestants had destroyed the institutions which had cherished contemplation and they had no idea how to replace them.

Silence: A Christian History by Diarmaid MacCullock.



There is no denying the corruption and errors of the RCC, but in amongst it all, there have been true believers of great spiritual wisdom, including *some* of the church fathers.This matches the fact that amidst the corruption and errors in Protestantism, there have been those of great spiritual wisdom, but to a much lesser extent I have found.

These believers experienced and taught infused contemplation which is not navel gazing, but the imparted righteousness of God or in other words, holiness. Sadly they are not producing writings today.

But apart from these people, there is no man who is unable to contribute some words of wisdom, including the person quoted who is a self confessed homosexual liberal Christian, and we are most foolish to discount anyone, as Tozer has been done, as being beyond the pale insofar as having something to teach us, and all we need is discernment to benefit. It has been an eye opener for me to read church history from a Catholic perspective and I recommend it.

For spirituality, I have not found anything in the Protestant church which comes near to the deep spirituality found during the 'Golden Years' of Spanish mysticism of the 15th C, which is when John of the Cross and Theresa of Avilla lived, although I confess I have not studied early church history in depth.

They used for their inspiration apart from their own experiences of 'the presence of God' a Francisco de Osuna who wrote 'The Third Spiritual Alphabet' which I am reading and which is a veritable storehouse of spiritual wisdom.

For example, he says that we must use the storehouse we have in our memory to aid us daily in our spiritual health, by recalling to mind the time when we first came to know the Lord, and the joy we felt at that time (Remember the day when you left Egypt and the house of slavery. Ex. 13.1)

What I have witnessed amongst Catholics in general, is a respect for humans which seems to be sadly missing amongst Protestants. I have recently become aquainted with a group called lay Carmelites (non charismatic) who are devoted to the writings of John of the Cross, and have been deeply impressed by their love for others, their openness and honesty. I did not think for once that they were not true believers as they love the Lord and depend on Christ for their salvation not works. They also dislike a lot about their church and their pope.

 2014/7/19 1:30









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Have you found this Secret way, does it come through quiet meditation, until it forms a habit of inwardly gazing upon God. Have you been ushered onto a new level of spiritual life, have you found yourself out of adjustment to the ways of the world, with an awareness of nothingness as you went through interior purification? But then a new power arose in you with its upsurgings and outgoings as you connected to the divine essence the light that lives within all men?



Colin, traditional mysticism does not teach that we achieve union through inwardly gazing upon God. It is about creating a space for him to act: placing out attention on heavenly things and not earthly. It is about turning from the ways of the world, to help us to empty ourselves so that God can fill us. Preparation but definitely not emptying the mind - that is dangerous..it is an emptying of our self efforts.

It is not necessary to cloister ourselves to enable this, even in the midst of chaos and noise we can set our minds apart to show Him that we are serious about getting closer to Him just as we would with another human.

What the eastern religions say is the kundelini spirit is just a fake of the real thing. They become filled with another spirit. Satan has twisted the truth to sound like the real thing, that is, Christian mysticism, to create bondage for those who have that longing for God within, and for holiness. You can be sure that where the truth is, there is counterfeit.

The big difference is that there is no talk of holiness with the fake.


The pathway to becoming Holy, following the principles of the purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways?


Yes this is the framework of the process. We are granted repentance, followed by revelation and then oneness with God. We are granted a taste of it when we first come to Him but as we go on, we see that the same method is used overall in the longer process of sanctification.

The divine light does not live in all men, only those who have been baptised in the Spirit.

 2014/7/19 1:46









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The seriousness of saying that the mind is the instrument by which a man "gazes" on Christ is to miss the reality that the Holy Spirit does not dwell in the mind. Paul speaks of being renewed in our thinking, but he also speaks of being renewed in the spirit of the mind. Paul also tells us that we have the mind of Christ. It is clear that unless God Himself brings about this deeper and fully intimate experience of Christ within, we are at risk of inducing a counterfeit effect and therein lays the opportunity for demonic spirits who operate in and through the natural mind.



I agree with this. First of all we are to have the Holy Spirit joined to our spirits. It is through our spirit that we know truth and indeed if we do not have Him dwelling within, we are open to demonic spirits to take up their dwelling in us instead.

We are however, to discipline our minds and it is up to us what we choose to dwell upon, whether it is the things in life which occupy and distract us, or the things of God. 'Seek ye first the 'kingdom'.

 2014/7/19 2:11
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: traditional mysticism does not teach that we achieve union through inwardly gazing upon God.

So why is it said in the Pursuit of God?

Pursuit of God Chapter 7: Many have found the secret of which I speak and, without giving much thought to what is going on within them, constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God

Quote: It is about creating a space for him to act: placing out attention on heavenly things and not earthly.

That’s not what the Pursuit of God says: you’ll find yourself out of adjustment and it will increase as you make progress.

Purist of God Chapter 8: We shall find ourselves out of adjustment to the ways of the world, and increasingly so as we make progress in the holy way. We shall acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.

Quote: It is about turning from the ways of the world, to help us to empty ourselves so that God can fill us. Preparation but definitely not emptying the mind - that is dangerous. It is an emptying of our self efforts.

This “habit of inwardly gazing upon God” it is said; will give you a new view point, a new and different psychology. As quoted above….

Quote: The big difference is that there is no talk of holiness with the fake.

Nonsense – Every religion in this world seeks holiness through ritual practices, just look at the RCC, or the Dali Lama (named His Holiness), in Hinduism they even have Holy cows.

The thought that jumps to mind is Nirvana meaning: to extinguish, to obliterate oneself, which is said to be more like a state of existence called enlightenment.

Quote: The divine light does not live in all men, only those who have been baptised in the Spirit.

So you have turned away from the teaching of the society of friends that would say “there is a measure of Christ is in every man”


_________________
Colin Murray

 2014/7/19 3:07Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Colin wrote: So why is it said in the Pursuit of God?
Pursuit of God Chapter 7: Many have found the secret of which I speak and, without giving much thought to what is going on within them, constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God



Tozer says earlier:

Quote:
Now, if faith is the gaze of the heart at God, and if this gaze is but the raising of the inward eyes
to meet the all-seeing eyes of God, then it follows that it is one of the easiest things possible to do. It
would be like God to make the most vital thing easy and place it within the range of possibility for
the weakest and poorest of us.



I think that he is talking about the gaze of the heart here. I think that means keeping one's affection on the Lord. Tozer, I believe, had read the Christian mystics like me, but I think he might have been clearer on some points. I certainly don't see the counterfeit mysticism in his writings that we are to stop using our minds. But also I don't think that he was speaking from his own experience of contemplation or ES if you like, he seems to be repeating what he read. I may be wrong but I don't think that he was renowned for teaching ES.

Quote:
Nonsense – Every religion in this world seeks holiness through ritual practices, just look at the RCC, or the Dali Lama (named His Holiness), in Hinduism they even have Holy cows.



Yes but they were not talking about biblical holiness ie a pure heart. Theirs was all about behaviour and the mind.

Quote:
The thought that jumps to mind is Nirvana meaning: to extinguish, to obliterate oneself, which is said to be more like a state of existence called enlightenment.



Yes that is why it is wrong, to have self destroyed but this is not what is called Illumination. Illumination is when we have the light of God within us.

Quote:
So you have turned away from the teaching of the society of friends that would say “there is a measure of Christ is in every man”



I never accepted that part of their teaching in the way most of todays Quakers understand. I think that what is in all men is a gap - a longing for God rather than something positive.

Colin, it is good that you are being cautious. When one is seeking ES it pays to be cautious as there are a lot of pitfalls. But as I said, there is the truth mixed in with the error. Tozer is not a holiness teacher but he is a good teacher for those who are not yet on that path to encourage them to seek.

 2014/7/19 4:24









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I agree with this. First of all we are to have the Holy Spirit joined to our spirits. It is through our spirit that we know truth and indeed if we do not have Him dwelling within, we are open to demonic spirits to take up their dwelling in us instead. Krautfrau



Brenda precisely how do we "have the Holy Spirit joined to our spirits?" Do we have a say in this process? If not then it scarcely matters to say it. Being born again is an activity of God and not an activity of men. I cannot imagine that the Holy Spirit needs instruction nor less that we need to disseminate the meaning of being born from on high as though to do so would find fault with its benefit. Of course if what we are about is another thing entirely we may find that others will be less than influenced by our flattery and more concerned with our ambitions.



 2014/7/19 6:58
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: Tozer is not a holiness teacher but he is a good teacher for those who are not yet on that path to encourage them to seek.

He was classed a higher life teacher.

Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God

We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One.

The author of the quaint old English classic, The Cloud of Unknowing, teaches us how to do this. "Lift up thine heart unto Gel with a meek stirring of love; and mean Himself, and none of His goods. And thereto, look thee loath to think on aught but God Himself. So that nought work in thy wit, nor in thy will, but only God Himself. This is the work of the soul that most pleaseth God.

Again, he recommends that in prayer we practice a further stripping down of everything, even of our theology. `For it sufficeth enough, a naked intent direct unto God without any other cause than Himself.

And he is all for simplicity: If we would have religion lapped and folden in one word, for that thou shouldst have better hold thereupon, take thee but a little word of one syllable: for so it is better than of two, for even the shorter it is the better it accordeth with the work of the Spirit. And such a word is this word God or this word love.

------

Read carefully, read what he says a few times, what is he asking us to do in prayer? That we should practice a stripping down of everything, even of our theology, while in prayer.

But he leads you further, take you one word, he is encouraging you to pray but one word while in prayer..

Good grief it's shocking...

The Cloud of Unknowing is a spiritual guidebook thought to have been written in the latter half of the 14th century by an anonymous English monk, who counsels a young student as to how to seek God.

The Cloud of Unknowing has been described as Christianity with a Zen outlook. The practical prayer advice contained in The Cloud of Unknowing forms a primary basis for the contemporary practice of centering prayer.

What does that centring prayer advise, to use one word while in prayer.


_________________
Colin Murray

 2014/7/19 8:09Profile









 Re:

Oracio writes........

"Brother Greg, sincerely I ask, do you mean to say that the charismatic catholic movement is a legitimate movement within Christianity? For example, if there were such a group nearby would you be willing to fellowship with them as brothers and sisters without warning them to come out of the RCC? From what I understand the charismatic catholic movement still holds firmly to all the teachings of the official RCC Catechism. As such I would not deem that movement to be truly Christian in any sense."

Amen Oracio, I would concur. In it's simplest of terms, Jesus tells us we cannot serve two masters we will love the one and hate the other, or a better translation, prefer the other. This has been my experience with Catholic Charsimatics. Speak a single word against the doctrines of the Catholic Church and you will be dis-felowshipped. You see, Catholic doctrine is not optional for a Catholic. The Pope, in their minds, is infallible in matters of faith and morals. He is the ultimate authority on earth, he is Christ on earth. We were warned that Satan can appear as an angel of light and if anyone comes with a different doctrine from that which we have been taught through the Sciptures, they are to be rejected. Catholicism is so far removed from Biblical doctrine it would be hard to know where to begin. .............bro Frank

 2014/7/19 8:15









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Surly in all this talk about Roman Catholicism we are missing a simple reality.

It is the easiest thing to condemn that which is self evidently wrong. Even a little child can do that. But the little child also knows that in people can be found both good and evil. The good the child clings to, and the evil the child shrinks back from. If a child can manage it how come such wise men as we are cannot?

I just love the way we play with words to avoid saying what we must say if our inferences are to be taken seriously. Go on someone have the courage to say it if you can.

Rome has no true believers. It's impossible because Rome is of the devil. There you go ye wise men. Now go and say it from the roof top and from St Peter's Square and from your neighbours house. If any man comes to you and says "I believe in Jesus" you can in your great wisdom declare to the heavens and all the earth "NO YOU DO NOT" because you are a Roman Catholic and we all know that Roman Catholics are of the DEVIL.

You mad men!

 2014/7/19 8:46
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings

I am finding more and more evangelicals who are now saying they do believe there is common ground among RCC and that fellowship with them is not an issue. This is a dangerous area to be entering into. Once we try to find common ground, compromise usually follows. There is as Frank said so much about the Catholic teachings and traditions that are not BIBLICAL...We need to be in prayer for those lost in the teaching of the RCC.

God bless
maryjane

 2014/7/19 8:56Profile





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