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3 Card Monty Over at Slice of Laodicea

Scott on March 13, 2008 at 11:34 am

3 Card Monte is one of those games that street hustlers play in which they tell a person to keep his/her eye on the “money card” while moving it around on a table with two other cards. Basically, the trick is to misdirect the attention of the audience (the mark) so that while they are focused in one direction the money card is moving in the other direction. In the field of rhetoric, this is sometimes called a “verbal sleight of hand.”

Welcome to today’s 3 Card Monty over at Slice of Laodicea.

Slice decides to tackle a favorite topic of the watchbloggies, meditation. Ingrid Schlueter actually begins with a nice summary of thoughts by 17th Century Thomas Watson on the premise of Biblical meditation. I would have to agree with everything Watson had to say on the topic. Where Ingrid goes wrong is that she doesn’t seem to care if a Christian today is practicing meditation in the Watson-mode unless she ALSO approves of the church they attend and/or their Christian classification. If she has doubts about your church or pastor and/or if she believes you are “Evangelical” or “emergent,” then your meditation MUST be of the devil.

Enter the misdirection

“Just as there is biblical meditation upon God, there is a pagan, idolatrous, dangerous form of meditation that connects our minds to the spirit world without the Word of God as our guide and standard. This meditation originates in the pagan eastern religions of the world that reject the true God of the Bible. This is the contemplative meditation that is sweeping into evangelical churches today. It’s a counterfeit, and it is dangerous.”

Did you catch it?

Pagan, idolatrous eastern meditation = evangelical contemplative meditation.

What do these two things have in common? Nothing except the word “meditation.” That is all. Nowhere does Ingrid actually establish some sort of definitive link/relationship between the two. We are just supposed to take her word for it that they are one in the same. Coming from my background growing up, I am fully aware of the dangers to be found in eastern mysticism and meditation, which makes it all the more ridiculous to me that Ingrid thinks that Christian contemplative meditation and eastern mystic meditation are the same thing.

Why would that be? Why would Ingrid be upset if a Christian reads their Bible and finds a passage that contains deep spiritual truths, and then takes the time to think deeply on those truths and how they apply to their walk with Christ? Why would Ingrid become angry if a Christian spends time, in peace and quiet, pondering the love and grace and mercy of God and how it plays out in their life and in the lives of others around them?

I’m guessing that she is so angry at everyone whose faith and traditions don’t line up completely with hers that her knee-jerk reaction is always the same – if it is coming from someone I don’t like, it MUST be bad. No need to actually investigate. It seems to be the continuation of the mode of thinking that has, time and again, lead Ingrid down the rabbit hole into a land of make-believe – namely that if she trusts her gut and her personal preferences, she’ll never go wrong because her preferences must be God’s preferences. Any other preferences and other models of the Christian faith must be wrong and must be extinguished.

It must be nice to be the arbiter of truth and proper godly behavior. I wonder what it is like to be Ingrid Schlueter, Grand Inquisitor of the Watchbloggie Inquisition.

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Category: Religion & Faith |

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