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神秘主义之诱惑(麦克阿瑟)2018-10-29 陈鸽翻译

(译者附加小标题)

 一个人根据个人的感觉和经历来建立他的神学理念是极其危险的。人类败坏理性主观的印象,很少反映出坚实的真理。我们最迫切的需要是在神无误的话语中找到稳固、永恒、客观、不可摇动的真理根基。

 神秘主义泛滥

 然而,即便在教会中,神秘经历的诱惑力也往往超过详细查考圣经的分量。今天自封“先知”的广受欢迎、荒诞的天堂之旅的宣称、离奇的灵恩显现等等,都表明神秘主义在现代福音派中不仅存在而已,更是极其活跃。

 正如一神秘主义权威所写的:“神秘主义的经历主要是一个情感事件,而不是认知事件[1]。对许多基督徒而言,一个排除认知功能的情感事件(情绪高涨,理性被动)已经成了基督徒终极的属灵经验。成千上万的人因此总结,神在我们生命中最有能力的工作,不是在真理的领域中,乃是在感觉的领域里。这一想法正在迅速地改变福音派的整体面貌。

 真理胜于经验

 历史上,为了捍卫真道和纯正的教义,也为了反对过分强调情感和经历,福音派曾打过些最重要的战役。早期的《基要主义运动》是一个广泛的福音派联盟,他们明白纯正教义是真实信仰的试金石,并以基督教的基本教义来界定真正的基督教。他们所标榜的基要信仰不是什么新奇的发现,乃是宗教改革之前,所有基督徒都一直共同持定的真理。

 与自由派战争

 但基要主义者在回应《自由派》的威胁。《自由派》攻击了正统信仰的核心教义,辩称基督教应该以经历,而不是以教义为本,妄想抛弃基督教义的核心,但继续根据他们的生活方式仍称自己为基督徒。起初的《基要派》毫不犹豫地宣告,基督教必须先有正确的教义,才能有正当的经历,从而将福音的信仰从《自由派》的威胁中解救出来。《基要派》坚持:基督教植根于真理。任何经历,若非源于基督教基要的真理,就不是真实信仰的一部分,所以他们才如此强调教义。

 信仰开了倒车

 今天的福音派已经失去了持守真道的斗志。连福音派阵营内部都有人发声说:到头来也许经验比教义更重要。过去三十年间,福音派的共识发生了决定性的变化。如今我们总体的信息是经验多于教义,我们看重感觉超过思想。具有讽刺意味的是:早期基要派竭力坚守的阵地,我们现在全都弃守了。我们已经吸收了他们当年努力想要推翻的存在主义影响。

 教内防线崩溃

 现代福音派不能再用他们一致持定的教义来定义自己的身份了,因为这场运动已经在教义上四分五裂。当然,明显的解决办法是回到我们共有的教义基础上来。但不幸的是,他们通常提供的灵丹妙药却是呼吁我们放松教义的立场,并在共同经验的基础上联合起来。这也许是有史以来,福音派所面对的最严重的威胁,因这个对真理的攻击是来自于福音派的内部,并且几乎没有遇到任何阻力。

 教义先于情感

 恐怕有人误解我,我要声明:我不是在提倡唯独教义,不要经历;也不是在主张只要真理,不要爱心。若是这样,就一文不值了。使徒雅各是这么说的:“身体没有灵魂是死的,信心没有行为也是死的。”(雅2:26)真诚相信的真理也必然付诸于实践之中。真正的信仰也必然导致活泼的经历,而这经历也往往涉及深刻的情感,我完全赞成这些事儿。然而,不论真正的经历或正当的情感,总是出于对真理(译者注:正确的教义)的回应;真理绝对不能成为纯粹情感的附庸、或无法理解之经历的奴隶。至少这是福音派一贯持守的立场,难道现在我们要放弃这一信念吗? 我们要以牺牲纯正教义为代价来换取“宝贵的”经历吗?我们要容忍情感凌驾于真理之上吗?福音派岂不要被澎湃的激情冲走了吗?

 老战役,新战场。

 很不幸的是,这些事情已经成为事实了。今天福音派的讲台上,圣经的真理和纯正的教义几乎完全听不见了。取而代之的是流行的心理学、文艺表演、党派政治、励志演讲、甚至滑稽戏剧。许多牧者和教会领袖,在教导圣经和教义这一方面,装备欠缺,能力甚差。虽热爱纯正教义一直以来是福音派的长项,但如今却几乎消失无影了。

 灵性破产之路

 在此大杂烩中再加入一剂神秘主义,你就得到灵性彻底崩溃的配方了。人们开始在圣经客观的真理之外寻求额外的属灵经验,纯粹的情感开始取代按着正意分解真理的道,任何人敢表达对教义的关切,就可能被定为律法主义者,或贴上更糟糕的标签。这无形中鼓励了越来越多的人通过情感来体验上帝,但这些经历却基本上脱离了真理。最后,这些人陷入了一种没完没了的恶性循环当中。为了保持情绪的激昂亢奋,他们每次的经历都必须比上一次的更过瘾、更刺激。

 神的百姓需要事先提高警惕,免得被不受控制的情感淹没了。以后的日子里,我们将要探讨神秘主义如何侵蚀教会的不同层面,并且考察历史上和当前的一些实例。请加入我们,与我们一同学习如何发掘并抵制神秘主义潜移默化地渗透了我们当地的教会。


 (改编自“鲁莽的信心”)

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 Seduced by Mysticism

 by John MacArthur

Monday, October 29, 2018

 Personal experiences and feelings are dangerous sourcesfrom which to derive one’s theology. The subjective impressions of reprobateminds rarely reflect concrete truth. Our most pressing need is for the fixed,external, objective, and unshakable truth found in God’s inerrant Word.

But even in the church, the allure of mystical experienceregularly trumps the heavy lifting Bible study requires. The popularity ofself-appointed prophets, outlandish claims of trips to heaven, and bizarrecharismatic manifestations show that mysticism is alive and well in modernevangelicalism.

 As one authority on mysticism has written, “A mysticalexperience is primarily an emotive event, rather than a cognitive one.” [1] Theemotive event apart from cognitive functioning (an emotional high while theintellect is passive) has become for many Christians the ultimate spiritualexperience. Multitudes have concluded that God’s most powerful work in ourlives is not in the realm of truth but in the realm of emotion. This idea israpidly changing the face of evangelicalism.

 The Battle for Truth over Experience

 Evangelicals have historically waged their most importantbattles in defense of truth and sound doctrine—and against an undue emphasis onemotion and experience. The early fundamentalist movement was a broad-basedcoalition of evangelicals who understood that sound doctrine is the litmus testof authentic faith. They defined true Christianity in terms of its essentialdoctrines. The doctrines they labeled fundamental were nothing new; these weretruths all Christians had held in common since before the ProtestantReformation. But the fundamentalists were responding to the threat ofliberalism, which was attacking doctrines at the very core of the historicChristian faith.

Liberals argued that Christianity is supposed to be anexperience, not a doctrine. They wanted to discard the core of Christiandoctrine but continue to call themselves Christians on the basis of theirlifestyle. The original fundamentalists rescued evangelicalism from the liberalthreat by unashamedly declaring that Christianity must be doctrine before itcan be legitimate experience. Christianity is grounded in truth, theymaintained, and no experience can be part of authentic Christianity if itsorigin is not in essential Christian truth. That is why they put such an emphasison doctrine.

 Today’s evangelicals are losing the will to hold thatline. Voices within the camp are now suggesting that experience may be moreimportant than doctrine after all. The evangelical consensus has shifteddecidedly in the past three decades. Our collective message is now short ondoctrine and long on experience. Thinking is deemed less important than feeling.Ironically, we have succumbed to the very ideas that the early fundamentalistsargued so fiercely against. We have absorbed the same existential influencesthey fought so hard to overthrow.

 Modern evangelicals can no longer define their identityin terms of doctrines they hold in common because the movement has becomefragmented doctrinally. The obvious solution would be to return to our commondoctrinal roots. Unfortunately, the panacea usually offered instead is anappeal to soften our doctrinal stance and unite on the basis of common experiences.This may be the most serious assault on truth evangelicalism has ever faced,because it comes from within the movement and has met little resistance.

 Lest anyone misunderstand, I am by no means appealing fordoctrine divorced from experience, or truth apart from love. That would beworthless. The apostle James said it this way: “Just as the body without thespirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).Truth genuinely believed is truth acted upon. Real faith always results inlively experience, and this frequently involves deep emotion. I am wholly infavor of those things. But genuine experience and legitimate emotions alwayscome in response to truth; truth must never become the slave of sheer emotionor unintelligible experiences.

At least that is the position evangelicalism has alwaystaken. Are we prepared to abandon that conviction? Shall we now exaltexperience at the expense of sound doctrine? Will we allow emotion to runroughshod over truth? Will evangelicalism be swept away with unbridled passion?

Old Battle, New Battlefield

 Unfortunately, those things are already happening bydefault. Sound doctrine and biblical truth are practically missing fromevangelical pulpits. They have been replaced by show business, pop psychology,partisan politics, motivational talks, and even comedy. Many pastors and churchleaders are woefully ill-equipped to teach doctrine and Scripture. The love ofsound doctrine that has always been a distinctive of evangelicalism has all butdisappeared.

 Add a dose of mysticism to this mix, and you have therecipe for unmitigated spiritual disaster. People begin seeking spiritualexperiences in everything except the objective truth of Scripture. Sheeremotion begins to replace any sensible understanding of truth and anyone whodares voice doctrinal concerns is likely to be labeled legalistic (or worse).More and more people are therefore encouraged to seek God via emotionalexperiences that are essentially divorced from truth. They eventually getcaught in an endless cycle where, in order to maintain the emotional high, eachexperience must be more spectacular than the preceding one.

 God’s people need to recognize danger before gettingswept up in unrestrained emotion. In the days ahead we’ll examine the variousfronts where mysticism is invading the church, considering both historic andcurrent examples. Join us as we learn to detect and resist the insidiousincursion of mysticism into our local churches.


  (Adapted from Reckless Faith)

关于作者: 陈鸽

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