Grace and Truth

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Labyrinths of Emerging Paganism – This Weekend

15 Comments

Co-Creation Conference 2014” begins this weekend, May 1-3.  This is an event promoted and attended by Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle and other Emergent Church leaders. If you’ve read my post The Emergent Church/New Age Connection you will be aware that “co-creation” is a New Age term that has been adopted by the Emergent Church.  The Emergents seem to be rather keen on using pagan labyrinths in their “ancient wisdom” mysticism.  And thus “Co-Creation Conference 2014” features a very special one:

“You are invited on a modern-day pilgrimage at Holy Trinity’s outdoor labyrinth located adjacent to the sanctuary.  There you will find a beautifully labyrinth-fillercrafted eleven-circuit Chartres-style stone labyrinth with a fountain of flowing water in the center. Nearby, a replica of the Muiredach Celtic high cross bears witness to this sacred place. By walking the labyrinth alone or in a guided group, you may experience a kind of body prayer or walking meditation that quiets your mind, allowing your spirit to become more receptive to the still small voice of God. The Holy Trinity labyrinth, located in a cloistered and well-lighted outdoor space, is available any time of day for individual walkers. Opportunities also abound for you to experience labyrinth walks facilitated by the Holy Trinity Labyrinth Keepers.” http://servleader.org/the_labyrinth

Not only is the Emergent “Co-creation Conference” being held this weekend – this Saturday, the 3rd of May, is also “World Labyrinth Day”. This is where you can “Celebrate the sixth annual World Labyrinth Day (WLD) on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014! The Labyrinth Society invites you to ‘Walk as One at 1″ in the afternoon, joining others around the globe to create a wave of peaceful energy washing across the time zones. (https://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day)

But….not only is it “World Labyrinth Day” and the “Co-Creation Conference 2014” this weekend!  Amazingly both events coincide with the season of the pagan festival of Beltane (May Day). Is this a coincidence…? Hmmm…me-thinks not.  It is of note that Celtic neo-pagans and Wiccans observe Beltane as a religious holiday. It is interesting to consider that during a pagan religious festival many people will be ritualistically walking labyrinths at a pre-determined time.  And still more interesting that the Emergent Church’s “Co-Creation Conference”, featuring a sacred labyrinth, will be proceeding simultaneously.

labyrinthThe Co-Creation Conference’s website states the labyrinth as having this purpose:

Three stages of the (labyrinth) walk:

  • Purgation (Releasing) ~ A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
  • Illumination (Receiving) ~ When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
  • Union (Returning) ~ As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work for which you feel your soul is reaching.”

I ask you – is THIS Christianity?

 

“Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst.  But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images   (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),  lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods…” Exodus 34:10-15

 

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Author: GraceandTruth

bringing the gospel to life

15 thoughts on “Labyrinths of Emerging Paganism – This Weekend

  1. I affirm that your warning is wise, for anyone in a weak and vulnerable state can be deceived and misled by anything. While not an expert on labyrinth I do know this: the claim that it is based on the Cretan maze of Greek mythology is not correct, at all; the claim of supporters that it creates a “sacred space” is not true, at all; that it is a tool used by various religious groups (just as tongues, ritual, music and the Bible are) yet it is not an idol (unless it is deliberately built as such by someone). I look at it this way, people who carry unforgiven sin, unresolved trauma, hypocrisy etc really do tend to walk the same pace and prefer to turn in the same way. In my counselling I have had to provide a way for people to weaken the self-defense mechanisms they build up, and when that happens God works in miraculous ways. The labyrinth forces people to turn both left and right, and change the pace of their walking while focussing on the narrow path instead of putting on a mask for other people. Personally I have used it very little, but when I have nothing needing “fixing” the walk was nothing more than a recess from my busy life. When there was something needing to be released it was useful because I did not need a coach to expose it. We are more than thought, and certainly more than fleshy matter, and doing something that puts all we are into the process can be a useful tool. So because the devil uses movies to destroy people doesn’t mean Christians shouldn’t make movies that tell Good News. The same applies here.
    If the spot “feels” “sacred” where the labyrinth is, or the leader claims it to be so, I am skeptical, highly skeptical, because God is sacred everywhere. (The same applies for congregational buildings, as well). And one should not use any tool with people who oppose God!!
    But using a tool as a tool, the tool remains a tool. Getting excited about the tool makes it an idol. And using the principle Paul taught, if it makes another Christian fall, do not use it in that way (though he was talking about food regulations I think it applies to other things).
    I speak from the perspective of mature Christians, and not to young Christians or those still feeding on spiritual milk instead of meat.
    I am always comforted by your wide knowledge and passion to warn people away from trouble. We are on the same side.
    Peace

  2. Wow! Thanks for the teaching. This was very informative. I had never heard about this before.

  3. Seems to end up as a diabolical, underhanded, attack against mainline Christianity. Give it a rest… no one really knows who is right. Perhaps you should think about bringing down the paranoid quotient.

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to express your opinion. Mainline Christianity does not involve labyrinths or other occult practices. I am not planning to give it a rest anytime soon 🙂

  4. I think you need to explore a bit more into the history of your faith. Here is just one example in San Francisco set in the middle of a cathedral. I believe they are, as you say, “Mainline Christianity.” http://www.gracecathedral.org/visit/labyrinth/

    • Actually Grace Cathedral is not considered “Mainline” Christianity at all. They have become a syncretistic interfaith, New Age melting pot and have done away with the basic, foundational doctrines of Christianity. As to the history of my faith, labyrinths have been used in Catholicism since medieval times, but that comes as no surprise as that is simply a pagan religion with a Christianized facade – and is not my faith at all. I have answered this more fully in Of Labyrinths and Christianity.

      • Audacity marks your comments. After all, you have become the arbiter of religious purity and integrity. Foundational doctrines are just that, foundational. Could be they are no longer relevant as they, along with many other theological detours, have been found to be irrelevant for the masses. If one disputes that the church must change as the culture changes then the attitude of the church toward women, slaves and gays must be ignored.

      • You, sir, may be looking for a fight, but I am not. If I write with conviction it’s because “I know whom I have believed”, and I am not about to apologise for that. Truth is not some abstract notion nor philosophy, Truth is a person – the Lord Jesus Christ, One full of grace and truth, love and holiness. You can come to know Him too if you turn from bitter rebellion and instead turn to God. All the best to you

  5. “…then the attitude of the church toward women, slaves and gays must be ignored.” Should have been, “then the attitude of the church toward women, slaves and gays can’t be ignored.”

  6. There is nothing to be in rebellion about… I am satisfied with my spiritual stance. I find the glib and unsupported position that you take an escape into fantasy.

  7. Since you appear to have the opinion that I am looking for a fight, I will respond by taking my thoughts elsewhere.

  8. Pingback: End Times Prophecy Headlines: May 5, 2014 | End Times Prophecy Report

  9. @Ed Anderson,

    What a tired line of reasoning–as in, a very old line of reasoning.

    Your argument is not against what was written here, but what was written in God’s Word.

    Basically, you’re saying “Hath God Said?”

    Very old, very tired.

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