Friday, June 21, 2013

Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder

Early, I read a post about how contemplative prayer is wrong. Through discussion, it was also hinted that sitting in a room surrounded by candles is evil. I've also been informed in the past that some of my trinkets are evil (see Adornment - Of Trinkets and Medallions and Such).

Now first, I need to put a few things out there...

1 - Just because something is not found in the Bible, does not mean God forbids it.
2 - Just because something is found in the Bible, does not mean God commands it of us
3 - Do NOT interpret the Bible how YOU think it should be interpreted. Example: "abstain from all appearance of evil" does not mean to stay away from something you think looks evil.
4 - You are not God. Do not judge people just because they do something you don't do, or because they believe something you don't believe.
5 - Just because you think something, doesn't make it true.

That said...

Contemplative Prayer - many of us like to clear our minds to bring us closer to God. And, by closer, I mean to have a stronger relationship with him. But anyway, with so much chaos and noise in our worlds, we need to take time to be still and speak with God. To do this, I will focus on something to clear my mind. I will sit in complete silence and let me thoughts dissipate. In my opinion, this is what these contemplative prayers are - they aren't to take the place of real prayer. They really aren't even prayers (in my case anyway). It's preparing myself to feel God's presence, in a way I cannot feel it when I am running from one "urgent" worldly task to the next. While it doesn't work for me, I do know there are many who will sit and repeat one world over and over again to clear their mind... it's their way of focusing, of clearing their heart and mind to prepare it to focus on God. This isn't evil. It could, perhaps, be used in an evil way if one so chose, but in and of itself, it is not evil.

Candles - If sitting in a room with candles lit is evil, then almost every church goer is evil. Every church is welcoming in Satan. And has been since Biblical times, although, in Biblical times they used oil lamps rather than candles. These lamps were a symbol of understanding, guidance, and life; and burning of incense was a way of offering prayers.

Trinkets/Medallions - I'll let you read the post I already wrote on this topic.

So basically what I'm getting at - don't let your own thoughts of good and evil cloud you from the truth. I celebrate Halloween - in the sense that I take my children trick-or-treating and decorate my yard with tombstones and cobwebs. This doesn't make me evil. I don't worship Satan or anything/anyone other than the one and only God. I surround myself with candles as a way of relaxing. This doesn't mean I'm evil. It means I enjoy the smell and ambiance of candles. I burn incense because I like the smell. I take pictures of the full moon because I think it is beautiful. I watch the stars because I marvel at what God has created. I listen to music which is hard rock because I like listening to music. I dance because I enjoy dancing. None of what I do is evil or done with evil intention.

To place a label of evil on something is to give that thing power over you. Anyone who follows the crowd and believes a candle is evil is weak minded and/or weak in faith. A candle cannot on its own be evil.

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