A week ago I brought to your attention part one of Frank Gillespie’s series on his experience at one of the South East District’s seminars on Contemplative Prayer and Spiritual Formation. Frank has now posted the second in the series that’s pretty scary reading .. the fact that this is happening within the LCMS. Frank is transcribing the audio from the presentation so that he correctly quotes the presenter.
A few low points:
When the issue of translations came up someone asked what the presenter’s preference was he responded that the NIV is his preferred translation but that he also likes to have his copy of the Message close by. The presenter said “the Word has power so whatever translation you can understand” is the one you should use.
I don’t know about you, but I would not have “The Message” in my list of bibles to use
The presenter then said “the appointed text then goes on to verse sixteen, I don’t mean to skip over the Lord’s Prayer, but we’ll try to pick it up at verse sixteen
The fact that a discussion on how to pray the presenter skips right past the Lord’s Prayer …. ?
One of the more unusual statements was when one of the participants said that singing helped her focus a bit and helped her to deal with her distractions. The presenter responded [18:03] with “yes, singing. Sometimes we will have musicians and they bring their guitars and we’ll be singing together, and that really helps and moves us. I don’t know what you do at your contemporary service but I love when they have a time of prayer and praise at the beginning, about twenty minutes of singing, it really does move you into worship and prayer, it’s powerful. Ours, (his congregation) we sing, in the beginning of our normal service, it’s a traditional service, and somehow, the old German Lutheran Hymns just don’t do it for me in getting me into worship. I’m not against them by the way but I need more.”
“The old German Lutheran Hymns just don’t do it for me” …… ?
When questioned [1:16:45] on if we can trust what comes from our minds and how we hold what we think might be right up to the doctrines of the church the presenter said this:
“That’s a hazard in our church body because we do place high value on correct interpretation and, and I’m not putting that down, I think that the truth of doctrine of our church and understanding of texts is kind of a foundation upon which we build on. But when go into prayer on a text we’re not sitting there studying our notes first so we get it right. This is not about getting it right. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is in charge here, I think the Holy Spirit the one getting it right for us. He’s uses all our knowledge and background and Scripture and all that but that can be (correct interpretation and doctrines) a tremendous distraction to “am I really understanding it correctly here?”
Some things just are beyond comment … so anything that jumps out at us while reading scripture is from the Holy Spirit? Does the devil have no power in our world?
When one of the participants said [2:38:30] that she would never teach her child to confess his sins to a pastor but rather she would tell him to go talk with her spouse a certain slack jawed yokel was heard defending both corporate and private confession and absolution when those with a masters of divinity failed to do so. The presenter ended up saying:
“I wouldn’t want to debate right and wrong because both are right. I would respect where ever each person is at in the room around this issue because it’s not right or wrong, God’s forgiveness is valid what ever way. I would just say that if this is something that might be helpful and if you’d like to experience it. I have found the experience, I don’t do this all the time, but the experience of private confession for me there is a power and I can’t explain it other than I know that the Holy Spirit is there.”
Head on over to Putting Out the Fire to read more.