Religion Magazine

Meditation: The Devil Made Me Do It

By Ldsapologetics
So as a part of the Community of Christ congregation I was invited to attend the 5 day event of The Parliament of the World's Religions.
The best part, aside from awesome workshops and panel discussions and sessions, was one on one conversations with Buddhits, Muslims(I exchanged numbers with one guy and he's going to help me study the Quran), but the Sikhs I got to know well.
They were more than delighted to give me a free turban and even wrapped it for me. They feed thousands of people for free, asking for nothing more than their company. There were an estimated 10,000 people in attendance.
During my free meal, which was kosher and halaal as well as vegetarian so that anyone could eat without fear of violating their faith, I sat next to an evangelical who was very knowledgeable about various faiths. We had an awesome conversation about the Old and New Testaments and then gay rights.
When she disagreed she would say "I disagree because for me..." Rather than condemning ideas or beliefs simply because they were not her own, so I must give credit where credit is due.
She attended because she wants to share Christ's love with everyone and as she could disagree without being disagreeable, I think she may have done well with that. That is, until she got to the subject of meditation with me.
Her first point was that the Bible doesn't teach meditation, which by the way is false, for example:
  "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are  noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever  things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is  any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these  things." (Php 4:8)
    Paul clearly teaches us to "meditate on these things", and
   "meditation" is certainly a Biblical subject:
   Isaac meditated in the field at eventide - Gen 24:63
   Joshua was charged by God to mediate "day and night" - Josh 1:8
   The "blessed man" in Psalms 1 is one who meditates - Ps 1:1-2
   David became wiser than his teachers through meditation - Ps 119:99
   Paul commanded Timothy to "meditate on these things" - 1Ti 4:15
Meditation was practiced along with prayer by the Patriarchs, Apostles and the first Disciples of Christ.  Meditation has Biblical roots not simply a practice eastern in origin.  It is simply a practice that fell away along with many of the original teachings of Christ and many Jewish foundational teachings and practices. Teachings and practices that have been rediscovered in recent memory and specifically many were rediscovered because of the restoration.So meditation is a biblical practice but because biblical societies were not eastern in origin their form of meditation took a different form but it is still meditation none the less.I wrote a post called "I am a fan of meditation." It is my most popular post of all time so it can be found under that heading on the right tool bar. It details the effects of meditation on the brain. The physical effects of meditation and prayer are exactly the same on the brain, body and emotional state. I told this evangelical lady that and she responded with the idea that when you quiet the mind you open yourself up to evil spirits. Now the Bible most definitely does not teach that!I always thought that only when you quiet the mind can you hear the soul, only then can you hear the breath of God, only then can you feel the rush of the universes' blood flowing through you, but only then can you specifically feel your sense of ego diminish as your sense of connection or oneness with everyone and everything surge.According to this evangelical woman, a sense of oneness is Satanic because we are all separate and meant to be so. Oneness violates God's plan for us and it violates Biblical teachings.Oneness with God seems like a beautiful idea to me. But apparently that's because I am a servant of the Devil..."So the Bible doesn't teach meditation?" I asked, she said "No, it does not." I thought to myself "Well, it doesn't teach particle physics either but that doesn't mean it's bad, Satanic or dangerous to study."Perhaps I should've said that. Maybe not.My experience with meditation has been calming and centering. I have schizophrenia AND bipolar disorder at the same time. So meditating is the only time my mind is silent. My mind is going in a million different directions at a time.It's like having 2,567 tabs open on your internet browser at a time, all the time, forever. Until I meditate. Then I find peace and solitude. And it allows my over active mind much needed rest.But we could all use that sense of rest, solitude and peace.The Bible teaches meditation. It does not teach against it or a sense of oneness. It does not teach that a quiet mind invites evil spirits.She also told me the Bible teaches that bad people don't go to hell rather they will be destroyed by God. The soul is not eternal according to her.Again this is not accurate but the last half of our conversation that I have detailed here was like a fact checkers Valhalla. A target right environment of boldfaced falsehoods.What saddens me is that she preaches the evils of a healthy and helpful practice like meditation even though scientists and therapists now recommend meditation because of its health benefits that one will still receive even when the religious aspects of meditation have been removed.She does not believe the soul is eternal. She does not believe that the soul is a part of God. She believes that only the best people receive eternal life. Even though she spoke of grace and the Atonement as if all have the chance at eternal life. She still believes if you sin or believe wrongly enough then you will suffer utter destruction which is called the second death in scripture.With the exception of the conversation I just related, every discussion I had made me feel inspired. My faith and understanding was deepened and strengthened.I had the time of my life. I really did. This Parliment lasted 5 days and not once did violence raised its head. Not once did someone confront compassion with hate.The man who wrapped my turban on Saturday said that if we can do it here in SLC, UT then we can make this peace everywhere.But if we disagree we would do well to avoid referring to spiritual practices, especially when found to be scientifically healing, healthy and beneficial meantally, physically and emotionally, as coming from the Devil.We would do better to seek out the truth in every faith, seek out the truth wherever it is to be found because God is the author of all truth. And God, His word and His wisdom can not be contained in full in any book, church or spiritual discipline.Joseph Smith said this about truth; “Mormonism is Truth… One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may. (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 199)Later, Joseph bolstered this sentiment with this statement, “We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true Mormons.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith page 316.)Meditation: The Devil Made Me Do It

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