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感觉良好,别动大脑(麦克阿瑟)2018-10-31 陈鸽翻译

(译者附加小标题)

精神鸦片

 欣喜若狂的经历,是会叫人上瘾的。这世界充满了寻找刺激和惊险的人,他们迫不及待地要迎接下一波的恐惧和挑战来兴奋一阵子。那些沉迷于宗教狂热、情绪高涨的善男信女们,往往也是如此。没多久,他们就厌倦了平淡的老套,总想追求更高的属灵快感,这就导致了他们进入越来越荒诞离奇的情感体验中。

 圣笑运动

 这一趋势的一个典型例子,就是1994年初爆发的、众所周知的“大笑复兴”(laughing revival)。这是一个世俗和基督教媒体都共同关注的热点话题。“时代杂志”描绘了《英国圣公会》一座从前死气沉沉的教堂里的情景:

 鬼哭狼嚎

 这群年轻人,犹如参加了摇滚音乐会或橄榄球比赛一般,他们热火朝天,蜂拥而至。在履行的读经、祷告、唱诗、赞美之后,座椅就被清空了。然后,助理牧师祝祷:圣灵降临会场,马上一个女人开始大笑,别人也纷纷加入,一个个尽情地狂笑,笑破了肚皮。突然有一青年敬拜者摔倒在地,双手抽搐,另一个又倒下,然后一个接一个地扑倒。半个钟头之内,到处都躺卧着人,有的哀求,有的哭泣、有的颤抖、有的像狮子般地咆哮,还有最奇怪的是,有的情不自禁地大笑不止。[1]

 神秘相遇

 这是纯粹的神秘主义,一点没有理性的成分,完全植根于情感之中,敬拜者认为这就是“与神相遇”(an encounter with God),这是一种脱离任何客观真理、神秘的“感情事件”(emotive event)。

 1994年一月,“大笑复兴”在多伦多(Toronto)机场葡萄园教会(Vineyard church)诞生了。这一团契很快就变成了寻求神秘经历之人的麦加(译者注:回教徒的朝圣地),成千上万的人,万里跋涉来亲眼目睹这些现象。每天晚上,都有超越千人,汇聚一堂,会场爆发出一阵阵的狂笑,这成了例行的敬拜程序。

 走火入魔

 在“灵恩”杂志(Charisma)中有一篇文章是这么报导的:“在一个典型的夜晚,你会发现数十人躺卧在地,或在地板上翻滚,其中还有许多人笑得失态,无法控制。[2] 一位与这场运动有关的牧师,将之描述为“与主一起的派对”,因他必须常对那些在地上打滚和狂笑不止的人讲道。这些聚会通常会延续到午夜三点才结束。[3]

 “圣笑”运动从多伦多(Toronto)发源,已经传遍到世界各地。

 “偏路”历程

 “灵恩”杂志的这一篇文章中提到了一则故事,贴切地说明了参与此运动者的鲁莽信念。它论及一位名叫克拉克(Randy Clark)的《葡萄园教会》牧师的属灵历程。他的家在圣路易斯州(St. Louis),他是这场运动的主要发起人之一。

 饥不择食

先前,克拉克(Clark)曾做过浸信会的牧师,但六个月前成了“复兴”的追求者,因为他灰心至极,他告诉“灵恩”杂志说:“我感到空虚、无力、缺乏恩膏,无论情感、灵性、肉体上,我知道我都已精疲力竭、到达绝境。”

 撒旦送礼

 然而,去年夏天,他与一位刚从南非传教回来的罗德尼(Rodney Howard-Browne)的同事交谈之后,他的希望又重新点燃了。克拉克的同事与他聊了好几个钟头,告诉他在罗德尼主领的大会上,是如何灵里复苏的。

 “宝贝”经验

 克拉克说:“我的朋友所描绘的颤抖、扑倒、大笑等等,都是多年前我在葡萄园复兴中所看到的。我知道,这些正是我所需要的。”

 理性障碍

 但令克拉克大失所望的是,他得知罗德尼(Rodney)的下一次大会将在小甘坚信(Kenneth Hagin, Jr.)俄州塔尔萨的《活道教会》举行(Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa, Okla.)。因为神学观点不同,克拉克曾经反对他们,这时他感到神在责备他自以为义的心态。

 克拉克说:“上帝立刻对我说:‘你有一个宗派的灵,到底你有多迫切再次被我触摸呢?”

 奇特经历

 于是,克拉克参加了《活道教会》大会,并且领受了按手祝福,以为得到了圣灵新鲜的充满。当他回到老家圣路易斯州,他的教会中就开始发生不寻常的事了。

 他说:一个人,被圣灵的同在镇住,就扑倒在地。他又补充:“这样的事在我的教会中从没发生过。”

 认贼为友

 随着类似的现象不断的发生,克拉克开始渴望与《活道教会》和他从前所反对的其它教会的领袖们和解。他说:“我仍然不同意他们的一些教导,但我看见他们在学院中所付出的代价,又看见他们的牺牲和爱心,上帝就对我说:看看他们有多爱我。”


“爱心”宽容

重要的是要知道:塔尔萨的《活道教会》(Rhema Bible Churchin Tulsa)是“信心之道运动”(Word Faith movement)的大本营,甘坚信(Kenneth Hagin, Sr.)就是它属灵的创始人。这个运动严重的错谬不是用“宗派差异”可以掩盖的;这些错误腐蚀了福音的核心,扭曲了基督的教义,并且都是有凭有据的,连许多灵恩运动的领袖也承认:这些都是露骨的异端邪说。因此,克拉克为了他所追求的经历,所愿意忽视的“神学观点差异”,不只是琐事而已。

 出卖真理

 注意,说服克拉克“这是他(克拉克)所需要的”,不是他对真理理性上的认识,而是人们“颤抖、扑倒、大笑”的现象。克拉克自己的见证表明,为了领受他所追求的“祝福”,他故意封闭了他对真理理性上的认知。因他如此渴望得到神秘的经验,以至他愿意放弃合理的、基要的、神学上的关注,甚至他确信:是上帝要求他,对这些教义上的反对意见关闭心门、置之脑后,好叫他可以得到神“新鲜的触摸”。

 另一“耶稣”

 克拉克甚至说:他依然不同意“信心之道”运动的教义,但显然他最后决定:这些教义的偏差都无关紧要。对他而言,共有的经历、积极的感觉、超然的现象比真道的合一更加重要。所以,通过“信心之道”的师傅们所付出的劳苦、牺牲,还有似乎很“爱耶稣”,克拉克把他的新观点合理化了。其实,许多远比“信心之道”教义更离谱的异端也很劳苦、牺牲,并且都自称爱耶稣。但如果一个人的基督论严重偏差了,那么他的“爱耶稣”就毫无意义了。这正是“信心之道”教义的问题所在。

 感情至上

 然而,“大笑复兴”根本就不关心教义问题。这个运动超越了一切宗派的界线,从最正式的英国圣公会,到最离奇的灵恩小教派,它全都横扫了。正因为它对客观真理漠不关心,所以才能如此,因它只注重情感和经验,只要感觉良好就行!千万人全都不约而同地总结:感觉如此美好的东西不可能是错的!

 其实,纯粹神秘主义能够产生的、最深刻的宗教经验,也许就是这种完全脱离理性的、歇斯底里的狂笑。

 定罪分辨

质疑一个运动,其最显著的果效只有充满狂笑的聚会以及贬低纯正教义的倾向,这似乎是合乎情理的。然而“大笑复兴”的倡导者,却常谴责这样的慎思明辨,并定其罪为法利赛人的论断。

 新西兰的一家基督教报社,登载一则“圣笑”运动的头条新闻之后,几位读者回应报社,表示这些现象听来很可疑。在下一期报纸上,至少三分之二给编辑的回信都是有关“大笑复兴”的回应,每一封信都是在指责那些敢于怀疑“上帝作为”的人。以下是一些摘录:

 不要论断!

 “那些写信……对多伦多和英格兰所发生的事件记录,表达负面的评论的基督徒,需要提高警惕,因为他们可能叫圣灵忧伤。”

 “在新西兰,我们未曾经历过如此大规模的复兴运动,因此(评论者)需要谨慎,免得我们拦阻神要做是事。”

 “请小心,不要论断,这是危险地带。坦诚地说,用我们属血气的理性去明白神圣灵的事可能吗?”

 “太多人不根据个人的见证,只根据写下的话来判断是非……愿神软化读者的心,可以回应神不拘任何形式的复兴。”[5]

 混淆黑白

 想必,这个抱怨太多“只根据写下的话判断是非”的人,指的是根据报社写下的报导,而不是他们个人亲眼的见证来判断事物。我们只希望他不是说:人依赖圣经而不是个人经历。

 危险?安全?

 但注意这些信件不约而同的主旨:他们都因着害怕,呼吁读者不要去仔细分辨:“请小心,不要论断!这是危险地带!”保罗嘱咐帖撒罗尼迦人:“但要凡事察验,善美的要持守”(帖前5:21),这正是使徒吩咐他们需要施行的分辨。这种洞察力非但不是“危险地带”,反倒是真基督徒唯一的安全之地。 

 如履薄冰

 谨小慎微地分辨是非,是否真的会使圣灵忧伤呢?圣经从来没有明说:圣灵要我们向客观的真理封闭住我们的心,然后盲目地接受耸人听闻的现象来证明他的作为。事实恰恰相反,他嘱咐我们要对这一类事情十分警惕,凡事察验。不这样做,就是鲁莽信心的本质。


(改编自“鲁莽的信心”)

—————–

 Feeling Good, Thinking Nothing

 by John MacArthur

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

 Ecstatic experiences can be addictive. The world is fullof thrill-seekers and daredevils hunting for that next rush of fear andadrenaline. The same is true for men and women who get hooked on the emotionalhighs of religious fervor. Soon the same old routines aren’t enough; theirsearch for a greater spiritual high leads them to increasingly outlandishemotional experiences.

 A classic example of this trend was the much-publicized“laughing revival” that broke out in early 1994. It was the subject of widespreadattention in both the secular and Christian press. Time magazine described thescene in a formerly staid Anglican church:

 The youthful throng buzzes with anticipation more commonat a rock concert or rugby match. After the usual Scripture readings, prayersand singing, the chairs are cleared away. [The curate] prays that the HolySpirit will come upon the congregation. Soon a woman begins laughing. Othersgradually join her with hearty belly laughs. A young worshiper falls to thefloor, hands twitching. Another falls, then another and another. Within half anhour there are bodies everywhere as supplicants sob, shake, roar like lionsand, strangest of all, laugh uncontrollably. [1]

 This is pure mysticism, rooted in feeling but devoid ofany cognitive element. The worshiper sees the mystical “emotive event” divorcedfrom any objective truth as an encounter with God.

 The “laughing revival” was birthed at Toronto’s AirportVineyard church in January of 1994. That fellowship quickly became a Mecca forseekers of mystical experiences, with thousands making pilgrimages to witnessthe phenomenon firsthand. Crowds in excess of a thousand people gatherednightly for meetings where paroxysms of laughter constituted the order ofservice.

 An article in Charisma reported, “On a typical evening,dozens of people can be found lying or rolling around on the floor, many ofthem laughing uncontrollably.” [2] One pastorassociated with the movement “described it as a ‘party with the Lord’ becausehe often has to preach to people who are rolling on the floor and laughinghysterically. The meetings often extend until 3 A.M.” [3]

From Toronto the “holy laughter” has been carried aroundthe world.

 The Charisma article included an account that perfectlyillustrates reckless faith at work. It describes the spiritual journey of RandyClark, a Vineyard pastor from St. Louis, who was one of the men instrumental instarting the movement:

 Clark, a former Baptist minister, was a candidate forrenewal six months ago because he was so discouraged. “I felt empty, powerlessand so little anointed,” he told Charisma. “Emotionally, spiritually andphysically I knew I was burning out.”

 Last summer, however, hope was rekindled after he talkedwith an associate who had just returned from a conference led by South Africanevangelist Rodney Howard-Browne. Clark’s friend talked to him for hours abouthow he had been spiritually revived during the meeting.

 “What my friend was describing—people shaking, falling,laughing—was what I’d seen many years earlier in the Vineyard revivals,” Clarksaid. “I knew this was what I needed.”

 To Clark’s disappointment, he learned thatHoward-Browne’s next meetings were to be held at Kenneth Hagin, Jr.’s RhemaBible Church in Tulsa, Okla.—a church Clark opposed because of theologicaldifferences. Then Clark sensed the Lord was reproving him for his smugattitude.

 Said Clark: “The Lord spoke to me immediately, and said,‘You have a denominational spirit. How badly do you want to be touchedafresh?’”

 Clark attended the meetings at Rhema Church and receivedprayer for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. When he returned to St. Louis,unusual things began to happen in his church services.

 One person, he said, fell on the floor after beingoverwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. “That had never happened in mychurch,” he noted.

 As similar manifestations continued, Clark began todesire reconciliation with Rhema Church leaders and leaders of other churcheshe had opposed. “I still didn’t agree with some of what they taught, but I sawhow sacrificially they worked at their college, and I saw their love forJesus,” he said. “The Lord said to me, ‘Look how much they love me.’” [4]

 It is important to understand that Rhema Bible Church inTulsa is the flagship church of the Word Faith movement, and Kenneth Hagin, Sr.was its spiritual father. The errors of this movement are far more serious thandenominational preferences; they are fallacies that corrupt the very heart ofthe gospel and mangle the doctrine of Christ. These errors are welldocumented—and even many charismatic leaders regard them as serious heresy. Sothe “theological differences” Randy Clark was willing to overlook for the sakeof the experience he sought are no mere trifles.

 Note that it was not a rational understanding of anytruth, but the phenomena—“people shaking, falling, laughing”—that convincedClark “this was what [he] needed.” Clark’s own testimony indicates that hepurposefully closed his mind to rational truth in order to receive the“blessing” he sought. So hungry was he for the mystical experience that hebecame willing to lay aside legitimate, fundamental, theological concerns. Infact, he was actually convinced that the Lord was requiring him to close hismind to these doctrinal objections before He would touch him afresh.

 Clark even stated that he still did not agree with WordFaith doctrine, but evidently concluded that such doctrinal differences were unimportant.Shared experiences, positive feelings, and spectacular phenomena became moreimportant to him than unity in truth. He rationalized his new perspective by noting that Word Faith teachers labor sacrificially and seem to love Jesus. Ofcourse, many cults whose doctrine is far worse than the Word Faith movementalso work sacrificially and profess to love Christ. “Loving Jesus” meansnothing if one’s Christology is seriously perverted—and that is precisely theissue with Word Faith doctrine.

 But the laughing revival simply wasn’t concerned withdoctrinal issues. It crossed all denominational boundaries from the most formalhigh-church Anglicanism to the most outlandish charismatic sects. And it did soprecisely because it had nothing whatever to do with objective truth. It wasall about sensation, emotion, and feeling good. Thousands have concluded that something that feels so good cannot possibly be wrong.

 Hysterical laughter totally divorced from any rational thinking may, in fact, be the most profound religious experience pure mysticism can produce.

 It would seem fair to question the validity of a movementwhose most visible fruits were meetings marked by hysterical laughter, and atendency to downplay sound doctrine. But advocates of the laughing revival usually condemned any such attempts at discernment as censorious and pharisaical.

 A Christian newspaper in New Zealand ran a front-pagepiece on the “holy laughter,” and a couple of readers wrote into the paper tosuggest that the phenomena sounded suspicious. In the next issue, at leasttwo-thirds of the letters to the editor were about the laughing revival. Everyone of them chided readers who dared question whether the laughter was a workof God. Here are some excerpts:

 Christians who have written . . . expressing adversecomments about the record of the happenings in Toronto and England need to takewarning as they may be grieving the Holy Spirit.

 In New Zealand we have not known revival on any greatscale; therefore [critics] need to take warning unless we stop what God wishesto do. 

 Be careful please of judging. It’s dangerous ground towalk on. Is it honestly possible to use our carnal minds to try and understandthings of the Spirit of God?

 Too many judge from the written word rather than from personal witnessing. . . . May God soften the readers’ hearts to respond to Hisreviving in whatever form it comes. [5]

 Presumably the reader who complained that too many people“judge from the written word” was referring to people who evaluate things onthe basis of newspaper accounts instead of what they have personally witnessed.We can only hope she was not suggesting that people rely too much on Scripture rather than personal experience.

 But notice the thrust of all of those letters. They appeal to readers not to be discerning on the basis of fear: “Be careful . . .of judging. It’s dangerous ground to walk on.” When Paul commanded theThessalonians to “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:21), this is precisely the kind of judgment he was ordering them to exercise. Far from being “dangerous ground,” such discernmentis the only safe ground for true Christians.

 Is there really a risk that being overly discerning mightgrieve the Holy Spirit? Scripture never indicates that the Holy Spirit wants usto close our minds to objective truth and blindly accept sensational phenomenaas proof that He is at work. Quite the opposite is true—we’re commanded to examine such things with extreme care. Failure to do so is the essence of a reckless faith.


(Adapted from Reckless Faith)

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