Wednesday, December 1, 2010
My previous blog post was about a silent retreat where one can meditate and pray. However, Christian meditation is different from the Eastern way of emptying one's mind as practise in Yoga meditation.
Christian concept of emptying of the mind is not emptying it to a blank space. R. Albert Mohler Jr. Southern Baptist Seminary explains:
"The biblical concept of meditation on the Word of God does involve an emptying, of course. We must empty our minds of ungodly and unbiblical thoughts, of desires for sin and resistance to the reign of God in our lives. But that emptying never involves an empty mind. Instead, it involves a mind in which unbiblical thoughts are replaced by the truth of Scripture -- not a blank slate of meditation that revolves around the self."
Professor Don Whitney, Southern Seminary explain further:
"The idea of emptying the mind is not biblically based," says Don Whitney, associate professor of biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. "There can be a danger."
Referring to meditation's long association with Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions, Whitney says, "Some of the yoga stuff, where you're given a mantra, that is rooted in false religions." He sees no problem with stretching, but once you start chanting, you're treading on treacherous ground, he says.
His beef is that some people are seeking tools to help them live and de-stress. "That's very selfish," he says. "Our lives should be lived to the glory of God."
Now the question is should Christian meditate? Yes, we should but we should meditate on the Word of God and not empty our minds like in the Eastern religions. We should empty our mind and fill it with Scriptural and Biblical wisdom and teachings - nothing else.