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« The Fourth Wave? | Main | Will New Prophetic Expressions Emerge? »

January 08, 2004

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church can be therapeutic without being centered on therapy.

what i mean is this:

church should be a place where people can be healed, and where they are safe. church should not focus on the needs that people have which they also bring to a typical therapy environment. church should focus on god. but in being a safe and therapeutic place, church can bring healing to people, much like they would experience in typical therapy. but with the added punch of the holy spirit, which can make all the difference in the world.

So...therapy naturally occurs as a "result" of worshiping God within a community of faith? The Holy Spirit "works" the therapy in/for us?

And this is different that "our" trying to "do" therapeutic things?

Just questions. But this is helpful, especially in light of your vocation.

Maybe I came in a little late, I didn't get the "in response to Daniel" phrase.

Anyway, I would hesitate to agree with your first line. Surely God created us, and worship is a part of what God wants and had in mind. But isn't it a leap to say we were created for worship?

Benjy, I would answer your concern over whether or not it's a "leap" to say we were created for worship by asking a double-question: what IS worship? And what role will it play in eternity? I can probably answer you more accurately once I know how you perceive these two things.

Well there are some Orthodox writings on theosis which speak about "theosis" developing in ones Christlikeness, holiness etc. And there can be a therapeutic aspect to this. Things like "holy tears", weeping that comes as a kind of a spiritual gift during worship, repenentance of sine etc. which is suppose to "purify the soul"etc.

I'm a little leary of getting to far into this kind of paradigm. I remember when I was in undergrad and grad school in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Jungian therapy was making a come back. There were all kinds of Baby boomers back then that were getting into therapy, art, and yes even going back to religious observances. And it was all aimed at "psychic integration", "Self acutalization" etc. Basically seeing what takes place in myth, religous tales and teachings as being allegorical to what is taking place in the persons psyche. Anyway, if anyone knows anything about early church history. You will find that this is very much a Gnostic type way of looking at spirituality. And infact, present day contemporary gnostics actually do see Jung as a one of their own, or at least an intellectual forerunenr of the current Gnostic movement.

QUOTE
I'm a little leary of getting to far into this kind of paradigm. I remember when I was in undergrad and grad school in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
QUOTE

(clarification - my schooling was psychology. And I'm talking about some of my fellow students I knew)

A couple of good book ideas relating to this post about "theraphy", worship etc:

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b02.en.orthodox_psychotherapy.00.htm

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b05.en.the_illness_and_cure_of_the_soul.00.htm

~~But isn't it a leap to say we were created for worship?

Benjy -

doesn't one of the historic confessions say that our purpose here on earth is to glorify god and enjoy him forever?

i probably have the words wrong - i didn't grow up with that stuff ---

but isn't that just another way to say that our purpose is to worship god?

Well we were created to have a relationship with God. As in Adam and Eve. We know that in heaven we will be worshipping God and that seems to be the thing we primarily will be doing. So I think worship is the way we have a relationship with God in mass,as a group.

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