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Should we be more ‘in the moment’?
This article (and the following ones) is all about giving Glory to God, or rather, how we ought to be giving Glory to God, or rather, how Satan has done his utmost to take Glory away from God. He does this by means of counterfeiting, through finding suggestible minds to create alternatives to the things of God, that are convincing but, in reality, a pale imitation of the real thing.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
We are going to see examples of this and, by doing so, will either create controversy or possibly encounter a revelation. There will be much food for thought, in fact a whole banquet for hearty discussion, so sit back and enjoy …
Let’s start by considering one of the more prominent fads that has infiltrated the Christian world, mindfulness. Our pragmatic, results-orientated society has embraced this relaxation method in businesses, the health service, even now in schools. And now the Church itself, with books such as Mindfulness and Christian spirituality, Soulfulness and Cultivating Christian Mindfulness. In its purest form this is basically Transcendental Meditation ‘lite’, its goals reached without a personal instructor and an expensive 15 hour course. Instead it can be learnt from a book or a short YouTube video. This can make it dangerous because, despite all the bright shiny trinkets and ecclesiastic pretensions, Christian mindfulness is surely Buddhism’s Trojan horse in the Church’s courtyard. Or is it?
Firstly, let us find out more about it. In its Buddhist form it is a relaxation technique where you meditate in order to lose yourself, as is also the case in Transcendental Meditation. So why would I want to do that? Well, apparently the concept of our ‘self’ is an illusion, which is a handy way of denying all the problems that our ‘selves’ get themselves into as a result of our sin nature. Deny yourself, deny your sins and deny responsibilities. It’s fairyland, where we can skip through the tulips without a care in the world because we are not really we! Apparently this produces a calm mind and a control over emotions, a detachment from the world.
If mindfulness is a counterfeit, then what is the real thing? Or, in other words, are we missing out and losing blessings because of ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’? Is there value in the breathing techniques?
In its basic form mindfulness means "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality". (https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk//mindfulness.htm)
Perhaps we can look at it in a different way. Rather than losing self perhaps it can allow us to be more aware in the here and now. You could argue it was what Jesus was getting at when he said stop worrying about tomorrow. It is known that certain breathing techniques are beneficial in the treatment of anxiety and stress conditions and have even been used in training programmes in the armed services. It is becoming mindful in the here and now, and it can therefore be a good thing. The key seems to be in the techniques used.
So we repeat, baby and bathwater. There is much that has been hijacked by the New Age and eastern religions. They have taken fundamental principles and used them for other purposes, purposes that do not give God any glory at all. Hebraic understandings are holistic in nature, encompassing mind, body and spirit. Yet holistic medicines are frowned upon by many Christians, because of connotations with New Age practices. We need to be bold enough to look at origins and redeem the original purposes. Why should the devil have all the good therapies?
This is an extract from the book, Livin’ the Life, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/livin-the-life-151-p.asp