A Historical Analysis of Mysticism

Are you wondering why so many Mennonites are turning to the Catholic mystics?

“Many people in the church today, in an attempt to live the victorious Christian life, are turning to the Catholic mystics for guidance and revival. Who are these people, and in what direction do their lives point? This paper will take a look at the lives and teachings of seven mystics, aka contemplatives of the past five centuries: Ignatius of Loyola (AD 1491-1556), Teresa of Avila (AD 1515-1582), John of the Cross (AD 1542-1591), “Brother” Lawrence (AD ca. 1614-1691), Madame Jeanne Guyon (AD 1648-1717), Thérèse of Lisieux (AD 1873-1897), and “Mother” Teresa of Calcutta (AD 1910-1997), as well as three recent popes, and a few events in Asia related to Buddhism.”

Read the rest of this analysis by Scott Noble here:

A Historical Analysis of Mysticism: Part II
Catholic and Buddhist Spirituality in the Context of the 16th through 21st Centuries
http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/discernment/a-historical-analysis-of-mysticism-part-ii

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Can Stepping out of the Traffic lead to Idolatry?

The new blog CHURCH AND THE SIDELINING OF JESUS reveals that:

Wanting to draw more people to the Mark Center, Steve Klassen has started a new program called “Step out of the Traffic”. If you want a REALLY CLEAR PICTURE of what the Mark Centre does the video posted below is a MUST WATCH. It is an instructional video featuring Steve Klassen. Don’t take my word for it. WATCH FOR YOURSELVES…

Online Spiritual Retreat Demo | Step Out of the Traffic

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Read more about this here:

MARK CENTRE – PROFITING FROM GOSPEL OF MARK
http://winnowmethis.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/mark-centre-the-profitable-not-for-profit/

To see why the practice demonstrated on this video may lead to idolatry, please read this:

RENT IN TWO
http://winnowmethis.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/he-declared-it-lets-believe-it/

Incidentally, the same Elijah who Klassen uses as an example in the above video to support the use of short repeated breath prayers, was vehemently opposed to such idolatry. For example:

In their contest with Elijah the prophets of Baal prayed a “breath prayer” until they were out of breath. “O Baal, answer us,” they prayed over and over from from early morning until high noon (1 Kings 18:26). But Jesus directly instructed his disciples not to pray like that. He warned, “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them” (Matthew 6:7-8a). The direct command of Jesus our Spiritual Director is enough for me to avoid any resemblance to pagan praying. As a pastor and in submission to the Lord’s and the apostles’ teaching on prayer, I cannot in good conscience recommend the practice of praying breath prayers.

Breath Prayers, Pastor Larry Debruyn
http://guardinghisflock.com/2010/05/04/breath-prayers/

***NOTE: If you cannot play the above video, use this youtube URL to watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjHBKO5Q5kw

RELATED CONCERNS:

Richard Rohr Impacts the Mark Centre, the Mennonites, and Maybe Millions
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/richard-rohr-impacts-the-mark-centre/

What Will Ears Hear in The Mark Centre’s New Book?
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/the-mark-centres-new-book/

The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-mark-centre-and-silent-prayer/

The Mark Centre and Lectio Divina
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/the-mark-centre-and-lectio-divina/

St. Ignatius of Loyola & St. Teresa of Avila and Agnes Sanford at a Mennonite Retreat Centre?
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/st-ignatius-of-loyola-st-teresa-of-avila-and-agnes-sanford-at-a-mennonite-retreat-centre/

Examining the Examen of the Mennonite Brethren’s Retreat Centre
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/examing-the-examen-of-the-mennonite-brethrens-retreat-centre/

MB Herald Promotes Contemplative Centre, Again
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/08/03/mb-herald-promotes-contemplative-centre-again/

Mennonite Missions TREK to the Labyrinth and the Silence
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/mb-trek-to-the-labyrinth-and-the-silence/

Lectio Divina vs. Context
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/lectio-divina-vs-context/

Why are Mennonite pastors, students and missionaries being taught to sit comfortably repeating a word quietly for 20 minutes?
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/why-are-mennonite-pastors-students-and-missionaries-being-taught-to-sit-comfortably-repeating-a-word-quietly-for-20-minutes/

A Little Christmas Leaven

“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”. Galatians 5:9

How does leaven enter the lump? It only takes a small amount.

Tucked into this December’s issue of the MB Herald[1] is a short piece of Christmas poetry entitled Bow down or Stand tall[2]. Under the poem, the MB Herald tells readers it is written by Ruth Naylor, a retired pastor, ordained in Mennonite Church USA, who works as a spiritual director and has published numerous poems and articles. What the Herald does not tell us is where these other pieces appear, like in the Quaker’s Friends Journal[3] or in a book of poems called A Family Affair[4], where Naylor’s bio mentions she completed a two-year training program with Shalem Institute for Spiritual Guidance[5]. Not only is Naylor a spiritual director[6] but also a member of Spiritual Directors International[7].

SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR
Naylor, who was raised in the Quaker faith, also remained active in an ecumenical peer group of northwest Ohio spiritual directors that she formed in 1990. A member of Spiritual Directors International, she continues to provide one-on-one direction to five pastors of northwest Ohio churches in three denominations—Mennonite, Lutheran and Methodist.
“They just want a listening ear,” she explains. And, she adds, “It’s a gift to me; it keeps me more attuned to God’s presence and to praying without ceasing.”
– RUTH NAYLOR: KEEPING THE FAITH http://www.bluffton.edu/blufftonalumni/magazine/spring2012/alumni/ruth.html

So what? It’s just a little poem in the MB Herald with only a light sprinkling of mixed spirituality. What effect can such a small compromise possibly have? Maybe nothing. Or maybe it’s just evidence that leaven has already spread through the Mennonite lump.

Endnotes:

[1] http://mbherald.com/december-issue/
[2] http://mbherald.com/bow-down-or-stand-tall/
[3] See: November 1, 2013 http://www.friendsjournal.org/day-thanksgiving/
[4] https://finishinglinepress.com/product_reviews_info.php?products_id=1825&reviews_id=489
Friends Journal is published by Friends Publishing Corporation. Their goal is “to serve the Quaker community and the wider community of spiritual seekers through the publication of articles, poetry, letters, art, and news that convey the contemporary experience of Friends.”
Also see: Who are the Quakers, and what does the Friends Church believe?http://www.gotquestions.org/Quakers-Friends.html
[5] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/shalem.htm
[6] See: Spiritual Direction http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/spiritualdirection.htm
[7] See: Request for Help: Our Church is Becoming Involved with “Spiritual Direction” and Spiritual Director Internationalhttp://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?tag=spiritual-directors-international