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Confessions of a Reluctant Charismatic

By  the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

I will never forget how I fell in love with my future wife Janice, disagreeing with her about the Holy Spirit.  Both of us were attending the University of British Columbia and took the same bus home each day.  Janice told me that she had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and received her prayer language the summer of 1974 at a Christian Ashram retreat.  I could see a real difference in her.  Her eyes sparkled and her face lit up.  I was attracted by what I saw, but was determined to improve her theology.  In short, I had the books and she had the experience.  In my approach/avoidance relationship to the Holy Spirit, I had read dozens of books on charismatic renewal: pro, against, and muddle-of-the-road.  My attempts to solve the Holy Spirit ‘problem’ from the ‘neck up’ had ended up in a ‘paralysis of analysis’.

 

Anything to do with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as I saw it, was covered by one’s personal conversion.  Tongues, of course, were only intended for a few Christians.  Part of the reason that I was convinced that tongues were only for a few, was because I had asked for the baptism of the Spirit & tongues many times and nothing ever seemed to happen.  So, like the fable of the fox and the sour grapes, I constructed my theology to fit my own experience.

 

During the historic Jesus movement, I was powerfully converted to Jesus Christ in February 1972, the same year that the Rev. Dennis Bennett’s landmark book ‘Nine O’Clock in the Morning’ was published.  Being a good confirmed Anglican, I didn’t have the faintest idea who the Holy Spirit was.  One of the fruits of conversion was that I started to read the bible voraciously.  This formerly unintelligible book suddenly felt like reading the latest news from the morning paper.  My younger sister Wendy who came to Christ a week later than myself, read ahead of me and stumbled upon the books of Acts and 1 Corinthians.  ‘What is the world is all this stuff about tongues and the Holy Spirit?’, Wendy asked me.  Being the older mature Christian by a week, I responded by saying: ‘No idea.  I haven’t read that far yet’.

 

That week I ran into a new friend, Christina Violini, who offered to pray with me on the girl’s field at our High School for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and tongues.  She prayed up a storm for me on two occasions but nothing seemed to happen.  I then checked with my youth minister who told me that tongues were of the devil.  I momentarily felt glad then that the prayers hadn’t worked!  After my youth pastor was fired, the next youth minister told me that tongues weren’t of the devil after all.  They were just for a few.

 

Having reconnected with my original home parish St. Matthias & St Luke’s Vancouver, I became good friends with the rector (Rev Ernie Eldridge) who had a real hunger for spiritual renewal.  Everybody but everybody in our parish was reading Dennis Bennett’s ‘Nine O’Clock in the Morning’.  We were all very excited about the book but none of us knew how to break through.  We soon concluded that it just wasn’t our gift.  We were still so interested though in the Holy Spirit that we had the Rev. Jim Gunn lead us in a ‘Life in the Spirit’ Seminar.  As the evening came for people to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and their prayer languages, I worked behind the scenes to ensure that the evening was watered down to offend no one.  As a result, no one broke through.

 

After marrying Janice, I used to love to listen to her praying in tongues as we said our bedtime prayers.  When Colin Urqhuart came to St. Margaret’s of Scotland in Burnaby, I fully expressed my approach/avoidance to renewal.  Without realizing it, I had arranged it so that I would arrive at the meetings just as everyone was leaving.  Janice said: ‘Let’s go home’.  I said: ‘No, we’ve come all this way. I want to meet the speaker.’  So I walked into St. Margaret’s, shook Colin Urqhuart’s hand , and promptly went home!

 

Unable to forget about the Holy Spirit, I received a scholarship to attend the Billy Graham School of Evangelism in Seattle, Washington.  I thought to myself: ‘Here is the perfect chance to settle the Holy Spirit issue once and for all.  I can go anonymously to Dennis Bennett’s St. Luke Church in Seattle.  That way if nothing works, I don’t have to tell anyone and I can forget about it.”  Despite being deeply impressed with all that I saw at St Luke’s, I still had no breakthrough and promptly put the issue back on the shelf.

 

In the summer of 1979, our Rector the Rev. Ernie Eldridge became involved with the ‘Festival of Faith’ involving the late Rev. David Watson from St Michael’s Le-Belfrey in York.  I very reluctantly attended one meeting, out of respect for Ernie Eldridge.  Greatly to my surprise, David Watson wasn’t ‘swinging from the chandeliers’.  Instead he was very down-to-earth and even a bit boring.  This made me feel comfortable enough to come back for the rest of the meetings!  Each evening, David became more and more interesting.  By the end of the week, I said to myself: ‘I might as well give it another try’.  So I went up and received prayer for the baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit.  Once again, nothing seemed to happen.  As I went home that night however, I started to hear a few words in my head.  As Janice my wife prayed for me at home, I spoke out those words and began to speak in tongues.

 

Still suffering from paralysis of analysis, I didn’t decide for three weeks whether I would accept this new language.  In the meantime, I was praying so much in tongues and receiving such a blessing that my wife the charismatic started to complain that I was ignoring her by praying too much.  I soon got over that!  After three weeks, through the discernment of a fellow social worker Penny Hicks, I accepted God’s gift and never looked back.

 

Through the release of the Holy Spirit in my life, God has been teaching me for the past 31 years that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

Past Chair, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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The Prayer Book: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Three addresses were given at St. Paul’s Church, Bloor Street, Toronto, on May 1, 1999 at a special event organized by
the Prayer Book Society of Canada, Toronto Branch, in celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer

by

The (late) Revd. Dr. Robert Crouse, retired Professor of Classics at King’s College, Halifax;

The Revd. Dr. James Packer, Professor of Systematic Theology at Regent College, Vancouver

The Revd. Dr. Ed Hird, rector of St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver (1987-2018)

“FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL”  (Col. 1:1-14)

    The Revd. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

The Revd. Ed Hird was ordained in 1980.  He served in the parishes of St. Philip’s, Vancouver, and St. Matthew’s, Abbotsford, before becoming the rector of St. Simon’s Church in North Vancouver in 1987.   Ed is the past National Chair of Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada, and has spoken at Renewal, Essentials and Prayer Book Society conferences in Honduras and in various locations across Canada.  Inspired by the Essentials movement, he re-introduced the Prayer Book as one of the two main Sunday services in his congregation.

   We live in an age in which the knowledge of God’s will is deemed by many to be either unknowable or irrelevant.  Our society reminds me of the story of the roving TV reporter who was sent out to the shopping malls on Saturday morning to investigate the problem of teenage apathy and ignorance.  Every teenager had the same response: “I don’t know and I don’t care”!   And to be fair, teenagers are not the only Canadians suffering from spiritual ignorance and apathy.  I remember an adult coming up to me after a sermon I preached in a previous parish.  This person said, “I’m totally shocked.  I have never made it before to the end of a sermon.  I would always just doze off and wake up at the end of the message.  But this time I actually heard it through to the end.”

This problem of apathy and ignorance can be traced back to the ancient disease of Pyrrhonism.  Pyrrhonism is a system of skeptical philosophy, expounded in 300 BC by the Greek thinker, Pyrrho of Elis.1  The heart of Pyrrhonism is the denial of all possibility of attaining certainty in knowledge.  All one is left with is the classic west-coast phrase: “Well, whatever works for you”.   With the collapse of confidence in objective truth, our Canadian culture is sinking in intellectual subjectivism and moral anarchy.  We have seen a Canadian judge strike down child pornography laws while claiming that our Canadian Constitution and our Charter of Rights somehow protect the possession of child pornography.  We live in an age where there “is no king and everyone does as they see fit.” (Judg. 21:25).  We live in an age of leadership crisis.  It is not just our politicians, our police officers, our school teachers, our military leaders.  Even in the Church, yes, in the Anglican Church, there is a profound leadership crisis that is crippling our corporate ability to get on with the task of making disciples of all nations.  Perhaps the never-ending “sexual politics” in the Anglican Church of Canada is really a symptom of a deeper leadership crisis.

More than ever, we need to discover afresh what it means to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will and given the power to carry out that will.  As J. John at the Canterbury ‘98 Conference put it, “We only have enough time to do the will of God”.  So many of us in the Church are like Martha whom Jesus said was distracted by many things, but missing the main one of sitting at Jesus’ feet.

One of the many things I appreciate about the Prayer Book Society is the clarion call to prayer.  The Prayer Book Society is not a Colonel Blimp English Memorial Society.2  Rather it constitutes a mobilization of God’s troops to the sacred calling of spiritual warfare through sustained and intensive prayer.  If there is anything that we know about God’s will, it is that God wills that we “pray without ceasing”.  Let’s be honest.  How many of us need to cut back on our prayer life, because it is getting in the way of doing God’s will?  Despite any fears that prayer will make us so heavenly-minded that we are no earthly good, the truth of the matter is that only the prayerful and heavenly-minded are ultimately any earthly good.  The late Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a living testimony to the intimate relationship between prayer and resulting action.

It is not without reason that the Apostle Paul calls us again and again to “devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col. 4:2).  Prayer is the backbone of all lasting renewal.  As Dr. E. Stanley Jones, the famous Methodist missionary to India put it, “there can be no great spiritual awakening either in the individual or in the group unless and until the individual or the group give themselves to prayer.”3  Dr. Jones goes on to say: “When we feel that there is something wrong and that it is all ending in futility, instead of giving ourselves to prayer, we appoint a committee!  If a monument”, says Dr. Jones, “were erected over the dead situations in Christendom, we might inscribe on it ‘Committeed to Death’.  We call a committee instead of calling to prayer.”  It has been said that the 16th century Reformation began in Luther’s prayer closet.  The truth is that all reformation, all renewal, all restoration begins in someone’s prayer closet.  Quoting Dr. Jones again, “we find sooner or later that in prayer we either abandon ourselves or we abandon prayer.  Prayer will keep us from self-withholding or self-withholding will keep us from prayer.”4

I would encourage you, if you have your Bibles with you, to turn in the book of Colossians to Chapter One, which deals with one of the greatest prayers in the New Testament.  I believe that it would be presumptuous to try to improve on the New Testament prayers.  Rather, our goal as 21st Century Anglicans should be to model all of our prayers on the biblical pattern of prayer shown especially by Jesus and the Apostle Paul.  I remember my rector, Ernie Eldridge,  telling me that one of the great strengths of the Book of Common Prayer is that something like 80% of it is straight from the Bible.  The prayers in the BCP were written by people who were steeped in the biblical thought forms, and so produced biblically sound and lasting prayers.

Paul is writing here to a formerly great and flourishing city that had been in a recession for the last three to four hundred years.  Colossae, whose name means “Monstrosity”, had become a backwater no-name town that had been left behind in the busy pace of 1st century Greek life.  Its neighbouring towns, Laodicea and Hierapolis were well-known respectively for their financial and administrative prowess, and for their burgeoning tourist and hot springs industry.  They, like Colossae, were located on the River Lycus, a river famous for overlaying its surrounding river banks with thick deposits of chalk.  As Bishop J.B. Lightfoot put it, “Ancient monuments are buried; fertile land is overlaid; river beds choked up and streams diverted; fantastic grottoes and cascades and archways of stone are formed, by this strange, capricious power, at once destructive and creative, working silently throughout the ages.  Fatal to vegetation, these incrustations spread like a stony shroud over the ground.  Gleaming like glaciers on the hillside, they attract the eye of the traveller at a distance of twenty miles, and form a singularly striking feature in scenery of more than common beauty and impressiveness.”5  In some ways, Bishop Lightfoot’s description seems like a parable of the Canadian Church … beautiful, impressive, but calcified and choked up by double-mindedness and fear.

Paul had never personally visited Colossae.  Rather, he preached extensively in the coastal city of Ephesus, with the result that his new converts spread the gospel extensively to many lesser-known cities and towns that were further inland.  There is a remarkable similarity between the books of Ephesians and Colossians, especially in the structure of Paul’s prayers in both epistles.  In both Colossians and Ephesians, Paul centres his prayer in thanksgiving.  You will notice in verse 3 how Paul says: “We always thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you …”.  In a structure similar to that of the Lord’s Prayer, Paul pays the debt of gratitude before he moves into his personal requests.  “Thy kingdom come” needs to come before “Give us this day our daily bread.”  In the Alpha Course, Nicky Gumbel says that the three key prayers that we can pray are “thank you”, “please”, and “sorry”.   Back in 1931, Bishop Lewis Radford of Goulbourn, Australia commented regarding this passage that “a survey of the grounds for thanksgiving revives the spirit of hope, and provides fresh material for petition.”6  The Christian life is not a life of Pollyanna-style positive thinking, but rather that of eucharistic thanksgiving in all circumstances, trusting that God can turn everything that is against us to our advantage, that all things work to the good for those who love him.

Why was Paul so thankful?  Verses 4 and 5 tells us that Paul was thankful because of the great triad of Christian graces: faith, hope, and love.  So often when Paul prays, he prays according to the three-fold pattern of the only things that will remain in the end.  Faith: their faith in Christ Jesus; Hope: hope stored up for us in heaven; and Love: love for all the saints.  As Bishop J.B. Lightfoot put it, “faith rests on the past; love works in the present; hope looks to the future”.7  Does the Prayer Book Society, indeed does the Anglican Church have a future as we celebrate the 450th Anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer?   I believe that the answer to both questions is yes, if we will ground our Christian life more and more on the three-fold graces of faith, hope and love.

I will always remember Dr. Robert Crouse’s presentation at the Montreal Essentials ‘94 Conference when he spoke of “despair, that most dangerous of all sins.”8  Satan, the ultimate deceiver and seducer of God’s people, is a past master at the use of discouragement and despair in crippling the saints.  He would love us to believe that Anglicanism is beyond hope, that there is no point in praying and working for the restoration of biblical orthodoxy.   We can thank our Lord Jesus Christ that he will always have a faithful Anglican witness in Canada, even if someday it may require missionaries from Africa and Asia to come and re-establish the gospel in our own homeland.

The good news found in verse 6 of Chapter 1 of Colossians is that “all over the world the gospel is producing fruit and growing”.  Lambeth ‘98 was a powerful reminder of that truth with the hundreds of Asian, African, and South American bishops making their presence felt in unforgettable ways.  The gospel, as Bishop Lewis Radford put it, is both a transforming force and a travelling fire.9  It is a fire that cannot be stamped out no matter how hard secularists and revisionists may try.  Verse 7 tells us about Epaphras, the founder of the Church at Colossae.  Some early church traditions make him the first bishop of Colossae.10  Verse 7 describes him as “our dearly loved fellow servant”, as a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf.  Both Paul and Epaphras were passionate that the Colossians should be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.  Epaphras was so passionate about this that Paul commented in Colossians chapter 4, verse 2 that Epaphras was “always wrestling in prayer for you that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”  The Greek word for wrestling is agonizomenos which means to agonize.  It is God’s will that each of us agonize in prayer for the restoration of faithful Anglicanism in Canada.  Wrestling in prayer is the key to being filled with the knowledge of God’s will.

That is why the Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, the Anglican priest who wrote the “12 Steps” and helped to found Alcoholics Anonymous, quoted Colossians Chapter 1 in writing step 11.  What does Step 11 encourage us to pray for: “… the knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.”

What is the use of knowing what to do, if we haven’t the power to do it?  What is the use of studying the Bible if we never do the Bible?  What is the use of praying the Prayer Book if we never live out the Prayer Book?  The key to doing the Bible and living the Prayer Book is Colossians chapter 1, verse 8: “love in the Spirit”.  It is not the love of power that will set the Anglican Church free, but rather the power of love.  Dr. Gordon Fee, the well known New Testament Scholar from Regent College, notes that virtually everywhere that the word “power” is used in the New Testament, it is referring to the power of the Holy Spirit.11  Only the Holy Spirit can give us the power to change.  Only the Holy Spirit can give us the power to love.  Only the Holy Spirit can give us the power to forgive.  Verse 8 tells us the secret of lasting renewal: “love in the Spirit”.

In the early days of Anglican renewal, a bishop in northern B.C. fired his dean because some of his parishioners had had the nerve to pray that the bishop be filled with the Holy Spirit.  If only they had just prayed forthe bishop to be filled afresh or anew, the Dean might have kept his job.  Why do all of us need to be filled with the Spirit again and again? (Eph. 5:18).  The reason, as D.L. Moody put it, is that we leak.  It is always touchy to pray for one’s bishop without sounding like one is trying to give his bishop advice.  It is so easy for us to dump all our unmet dreams and frustrations on the back of our bishops.  Yet God calls us to bless and not curse.  God calls us in verse 9 to never give up praying for each other, and that certainly includes our bishops.  Verse 9 is a wonderful way to pray for your bishop, your rector, and your wardens in a way that none of them could possibly object to.  Just pray that God will fill them with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  All of us need to be filled up, to be more full of God’s grace, peace, joy, hope, and faith so that we will be more full, more grace-full, more peace-full, more joy-full, more faith-full.  The point of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) is to fill us up inside with more of the character of Jesus Christ.

What will being filled with the knowledge of God’s will really do for us?  Paul tells us in verse 10 that such filling will result in our walking worthy of God, in our pleasing the Lord in every way, in our bearing fruit in every good work, in our growing in the knowledge of God.  Being filled with the knowledge of His will is the key not only to living in the Spirit but also to walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).  As our AA friends remind us, it is not enough to talk the talk; we also need to walk the walk.

Yet all of us are powerless in ourselves to change our lives.  In fact, no change is possible until we admit in the words of Step 1 that “We are powerless over our (addictions and sins) and our lives have become unmanageable”.  The reason why “12 Step” people talk so much about a Higher Power is that our own power, our own resources, are never enough to make a lasting difference.  We need, in the words of Luke 24:49, to be clothed with power from on high, the very power of the Holy Spirit.  That is why Acts 1:8 says that “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.”.  That is why Colossians chapter 1 verse 11 talks about our being strengthened with all power: in the Greek, “being powered with all power”, with all dunamis, all dynamite.  There are logjams in Anglicanism that nothing but the power, the dynamite, of the Holy Spirit can possibly remove.  All of us know many faithful Anglicans who have given up in despair and left our church, perhaps returning occasionally for their Communion “fixes”.  When we think of the mother/father God/Goddess apostasy that the new ACC “Common Praise” hymn book is leading us into, only the power of the Holy Spirit will be able to lead us out of that syncretistic swamp.  Yet with God, nothing is impossible!  Would anyone like to become the founders of a Blue Hymn Book Society of Canada?

Dr. E. Stanley Jones holds that “the difference between a river and a swamp is that one has banks and the other has none.  The swamp is very gracious and kindly, it spreads over everything, hence it is a swamp.  Some of us are moral and spiritual swamps.  We are so broad and liberal that we take in everything from the shady to the sacred.  Hence we are swamps.  A river has banks – it confines itself to its central purpose.  The civilizations of the world organize themselves not around swamps, but around rivers.”12

To me, the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible are rivers.  The new Common Praise hymn book in contrast is a gracious and kindly swamp.  The river that is the Holy Spirit confines Himself to His central purpose, which is to fill us with the knowledge of the Father’s will and to give us the power to carry that out.  The Colossian Christians were a tiny, faithful minority living in a “new-age” spiritual scene.  As with the original Colossian church, one of the greatest challenges facing our Anglican Church is well-meaning interfaith syncretism.  In our worship of newness and inclusiveness, we are rushing to replace the riverbanks of our BCP with the neo-gnostic swamp of centering prayer/mantra yoga, enneagram workshops, labyrinths, Jungian-based MBTI personality tests, and invocations of “God our Father and our Mother”.13  Lord, forgive us for our naïve worship of the seemingly new and trendy, and for our disrespect for the wisdom of our Anglican forebears.  Genuine renewal is actually about renewing the riches of our inheritance in Christ Jesus, not about uncovering secret “new revelations”. (Eph. 1:18)

Most renewal movements in the past few centuries, including the various holiness, pentecostal, charismatic, and third-wave expressions, can be traced back to the influence of two Anglican priests, John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism.  Canadian Methodism was the largest of the bodies which came together to form the United Church of Canada in 1925.  Few people realize what a high view the Wesleys had of the Anglican prayer book and of the Anglican Church in general.  Even on the verge of being forced to ordain his own preachers, John Wesley commended the Church of England to his leaders as “the best constituted national church in the world”.14  John Wesley also taught his followers that “there is no LITURGY in the World, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational Piety, than the COMMON PRAYER of the CHURCH of ENGLAND”.15  John Wesley did not just appreciate the Prayer Book theology.  He even loved its language, language which he described as “not only pure, but strong and elegant in the highest degree.”16  John and Charles Wesley experienced manifestations of the Holy Spirit that would make the Toronto Airport Fellowship look tame, yet the Wesleys still held up the Prayer Book as a vital tool for orthodoxy and renewal.  And John Wesley was even radical enough that he advised all his clergy to administer the Lord’s Supper every Sunday at the main service.17

As Dr. Bard Thompson put it, “It was the way of John Wesley to espouse extempore prayer, yet esteem the prayer book; to give free expression to evangelical power, yet prize the structures of the church …”18  Yet sadly Wesley’s wisdom was largely ignored.  His followers decided that they could pray better and with more devotion when their eyes were shut, than they could with their eyes open, praying from a book.19  So they cast aside the Prayer Book and produced the United Church of Canada instead.  Wesley drew the balance between the stability of tradition and the dynamism of the Spirit.  His followers, however, became progressively less rooted generation after generation.  It is so easy to cast aside “the riches of our inheritance”.  It is much harder to humble ourselves enough to go back home and start afresh.  I remember how hard I tried to convince my Grandma Allen to “get with it” and give up on the Book of Common Prayer.  But she was so “stubborn and inflexible” that she died with the Bible and the Prayer Book by her bedside.

Our parish of St. Simon’s had not used the Book of Common Prayer at its main service for over 25 years.  When I came back from the Montreal ‘94 Essentials Conference and suggested that we might try doing the Prayer Book on fifth Sundays, some of my leadership secretly wondered if I might have lost my mind.  But eventually they came to see in unity what I was talking about.

Reintroducing the Prayer Book as one of our two main services has brought 30% growth in average Sunday attendance over the next two years.  I am not saying that it was easy to reintroduce the Book of Common Prayer.  Many Anglicans don’t like change, even if it means restoring the riches of their inheritance.  There are many well-meaning Anglican clergy out there who would rather die than admit they may have made a mistake in abandoning the classic Book of Common Prayer.  Many clergy have battle scars from liturgy wars in the 1970’s and early 80’s.  They have finally achieved relative liturgical calm in their parishes and they are reluctant to “open up old wounds”, and disturb the relative truce.

But God’s will for us as clergy is not merely for us to preserve the peace or to be keepers of ecclesiastical aquariums, but rather to be fishers of men and women.  Our greatest desire as Anglican leaders must be our desire to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will and to have the power of the Holy Spirit to carry it out.  Why else do we pray every day “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”.  What is God’s will?  The Bible is clear that God’s will, among other things, is that we go into all the world, preaching the gospel to all creation, and that we make disciples of all nations (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19).  1 Timothy chapter 2, verses 4 and 5 tells us clearly that God’s will is that all people be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, and that there is only one mediator, one bridge between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.

The leadership crisis in Anglicanism is directly linked to a growing fuzziness of vision regarding God’s will that the lost be found.  Many church leaders are beginning to publicly question whether the lost are really lost after all, and whether God really wants to find them.  Unless we are convinced that the man Christ Jesus is the only mediator between God and humanity, and that he really gave himself as a ransom for all, not just for those raised in the church or in the west, we will not have the power to carry out this great and lasting commission.  As Dr. John Stott put it at an Vancouver Anglican Essentials gathering, we claim uniqueness and finality in Christ alone.

If all we do is squabble about liturgical preferences and do not reach the lost, we are a people most to be pitied.  The Book of Common Prayer is not an ingrown book.  It is a book with a passion that the lost might be found.  In contrast to the BAS, the BCP is clear that God wants us to win the world for Christ.  The BAS, if you read it carefully, is written in a way that it can either encourage you to do evangelistic mission work for Christ or merely to affirm God in all cultures.  The BCP, however, is uncompromising in its biblical stance that “God is not willing that any should perish but that all may come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  As the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, said at Kanuga, “Evangelism is not a matter to be debated but a command to be obeyed.”  God’s will, as expressed in Colossians 1 verse 13, is that he might rescue (many) from the dominion of darkness and bring (them) into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we might have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  We say each Sunday in the Creed that we believe in the forgiveness of sins.  Are you sharing that forgiveness with your lost neighbour, family member, co-worker?

I pray in conclusion that God may fill each of us with the knowledge of His will, that none should perish, that all may come to repentance, and that God may give us the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out his will to the very ends of the earth, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Past Chair, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

 Endnotes:

  1. The Oxford Dictionary of the Church, F.L. Cross, ed. (Oxford University Press, 1957), p. 1128.

  2. Colonel Blimp was a humorous anachronistic figure in the British WW2-based television series “Dad’s Army”.

  3. Dr. E. Stanley Jones, Pentecost: the Christ of Every Road, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1930), p. 247.

  4. Ibid., p. 248.

  5. The Rt. Revd. Dr. J.B. Lightfoot, as quoted in Dr. William Barclay’s The Daily Study Bible: the Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (Toronto: G.R. Welch Co. Ltd.), p. 91.

  6. The Rt. Revd. Dr. Lewis B. Radford, Colossians (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1931), p. 3.

  7. Ibid., p. 151.

  8. Anglican Essentials, George Egerton, ed. (Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 1995), p. 289.

  9. Radford, op. cit., p. 153.

  10. Ibid., p. 154.

  11. Dr. Gordon Fee, God’s Empowering Presence (Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994), p. 35.

  12. Dr E. Stanley Jones, op. cit., p. 227.

  13. As done in the Canadian Anglican “Common Praise” hymn book (1999), which tragically alters the much-loved “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” hymn from “God our Father, Christ our Brother” to “God our Father and our Mother”.

  14. Liturgies of the Western Church, “The Sunday Service”, ed. Bard Thompson, (Cleveland and New York, Meridan Books, The World Publishing Company, 1961), p. 416.

  15. Ibid., p. 416.

  16. Ibid., p. 416.

  17. Ibid., p. 416.

  18. Ibid., p. 416.

  19. Ibid., p. 410.

This booklet is published by the Toronto Branch of the Prayer Book Society of Canada.  Additional copies can be ordered at a cost of $2 each from Dr. Diana Verseghy, 16 Capilano Court, Concord, Ontario, L4K 1L2.
E-mail: Diana.Verseghy@ec.gc.ca


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Taekwondo and the Martial Arts: Mere Exercise or Trojan Horse??

By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

I was personally involved in Martial Arts, Karate in particular, for a number of years between the period of 1971 to 1991.  My enthusiasm for martial arts even led me to successfully recruit other Christians to join me.  Through the prayer ministry of the group Wholeness Through Christ, I chose to renounce my previous involvement in the martial arts.  Previously, I was opposed to some of my friends dabbling in community centre yoga, but had rationalized my involvement in the martial arts as something innocuous.

In the spring of 1999, my sons discussed with me the expectation that they would take part in Taekwondo as part of their Christian school gym class.  In discussing our concerns with their principal, it was agreed that my sons would be exempted from this expectation.  It was also agreed that I would do some research regarding our concerns about Taekwondo, and present my findings in a paper to the principal and the school board.

As a renewal-oriented Anglican, I believe that it is vital that the charismatic gift of discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10) not be neglected in this neo-gnostic, confused age.  As part of the discernment process, I carefully researched dozens of pro-martial arts books, with a special emphasis on taekwondo books.  I also consulted extensively with a good number of taekwondo and Martial Arts instructors from North America and around the world.  My research led me to believe that taekwondo and the Martial Arts (MA) are far more than just physical gym exercises.  Rather Taekwondo and MA are Zen Buddhist meditational techniques designed to bring a person into the experience of satori or Buddhist enlightenment.[1]  As Buddhism essentially is reformed Hinduism, so too the Martial Arts are essentially Martial Yoga.  Few westerners have enough experience with Zen Buddhism to initially notice the hidden religious nature of martial arts.  Chuck Norris, famous for his role as Walker on the TV show Texas Ranger, holds unreservedly that ‘the ancient system of Zen (is) the core philosophy behind the martial arts.’[2]  It is no coincidence that the occult circular symbol of Ying-Yang constantly appears on even many innocuous-looking Taekwondo websites and brochures.[3] One of the goals of Taekwondo and other martial arts is to enter a zazen meditational state so that ‘the everyday experience of the dualism of subject and object vanishes.’[4]

In the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs , John Ankerberg and John Weldon state that “Because most (martial arts) methods incorporate eastern teaching and techniques, the martial arts are easy doorways into Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and other non-Christian religions.”[5]  They went on to comment that “Traditionally, martial arts are forms of spiritual education that function as means towards self-realization or self-enlightenment.  It is true that the spiritual dimension of martial arts can be downplayed or ignored, but that is not consistent with their ultimate purpose historically.”[6]

Taekwondo and other martial arts can be traced to a 6th century Buddhist monk Bodhidharma who travelled from India to China and established Zen Buddhism at the Shaolin temple of Ko San So Rim.  There he taught them both sitting meditation and the martial arts (moving meditation) to enable his disciples to free themselves from all conscious control in order to attain enlightenment.[7]

Since Taekwondo’s Olympic debut in 1988, its popularity has spread like wildfire across the world.[8] Taekwondo means ‘ Hand (Tae) and Foot (kwon) Way (do).  According to the official WTF Taekwondo book, Taekwondo ‘is now the national sport of Korea.’[9]  Eddie Ferrie holds that ‘every child in (Korean) school is compelled to practise Taekwondo…’[10]  David Mitchell notes that Taekwondo ‘is taught to all members of the Korean armed forces’.[11]  It is estimated that 20 –30 million people worldwide now have been initiated into Taekwondo.[12]

One of the major concerns by Christian researchers is the sitting meditation commonly done in Taekwondo and most Martial Arts.  The Fighting Back Taekwondo book describes the Chung Shin Tomil or sitting meditation as ‘another essential part of your taekwondo training’.[13] “Before and after any taekwondo class, the students meditate…first, you may be asked to clear your mind of all thought and to relax completely…The 2nd method of meditation is related to visualization.”[14]  Mitchell claims that ‘…the empty mind (is) needed to master taekwondo.’[15]  Key to both Buddhist and Hindu occult meditation is manipulation of one’s breathing, which is described as Hohup chojul and Jiptung (synchronized breathing) in Taekwondo.  In contrast, biblical meditation is meditating on God’s written Word the Bible, rather than meditating on the empty mind by using occult breathing and visualization techniques.

Another area of concern relates to the ritual forms or poomse used in Taekwondo.  The karate equivalent to the poomse is the kata patterns.  As the Taekwondo author and instructor Eddie Ferrie puts it, “Many of the patterns of taekwondo are rooted in semi-mystical Taoist philosophy and their deeper meaning is said to be far more important than the mere performance of a gymnastics series of exercises.  This is not immediately obvious, either when performing or watching the poomse being performed…”[16] The eight Taegeuk poomses performed in taekwondo are derived from the eight triagrams of the occult I’Ching.[17] Richard Chun holds that ‘the forms of Taekwondo…are more than physical exercises: they are vehicles for active meditation.’[18]

One of the most questionable poomse patterns is the Ilyo or Ilyeo poomse.  Ferrie teaches that the “Ilyo is a pattern which has a spiritual orientation containing 24 movements.  The title of the pattern refers to the development of a state of spiritual enlightenment which is one of the ultimate aims of the disciple of taekwondo.  The student who has attained Ilyo is capable of completely spontaneous reaction without any interference from the conscious mind.”[19] I was surprised to find out that the Ilyo poomse is done in the shape of an actual swastika.  Hitler stole this ancient occult symbol from the Buddhists and Hindus who had used it for centuries as a symbol of monism (all is one, and all is God).[20]  The Taekwondo Textbook teaches that ‘The line of poomse symbolizes the Buddhist mark (swastika) in commemoration of Saint Wonho (or Won Hyo), which means a state of perfect selflessness in Buddhism where origin, substance, and service come into congruity.’[21] The Buddhist swastika in Taekwondo ‘teaches that a point, a line, or a circle ends up after all in one.  Therefore the poomse Ilyeo represents the harmonization of spirit and body which is the essence of martial arts.’[22] The swastika in Taekwondo has the occult (i.e. Hidden) purpose of teaching the higher-level students that all is one and all is God.

In conclusion, my research and personal experience has led me to the conviction that Taekwondo and the Martial Arts are not merely physical exercise, but in fact are Zen Buddhist meditational practices, both in their sitting and moving forms.  Taekwondo and MA are a Trojan Horse in the House of the Lord, eroding the spiritual barriers between Zen Buddhism and the Christian Gospel, and potentially leading vulnerable children and teens into the early stages of eastern occultism.  As a result of this research, our Christian School Board decided to no longer offer Taekwondo or other Martial Arts.  The good news about religious syncretism is that it is never too late to repent and start afresh, serving one Master and one Master alone, Jesus Christ our Lord (Matthew 6:24)

 p.s. To explore more about the Yoga connection, click on my article Yoga: more than meets the Eyes?

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Past Chair, Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada

   -previously published in the February 2,000 Anglicans for Renewal Canada Magazine

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

[2] Chuck Norris, The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems, Top Kick Productions, 1996, inside cover; ‘…Zen is integral to the Oriental martial arts…(p. 23)’

[3] Taekwondo Textbook, Oh Sung Publishing Company, Kukkiwon Edition, p. 235; The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Taekwondo, Karen Eden & Keith Yates, Alpha Books, New York, 1998, p. 22

[4] Encyclopedia Brittanica, 15th Edition, ‘Martial Arts’, p. 886

[5] John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, 1996, Oregon, p. 351

[6] Ankerberg and Weldon, Op. Cit., p. 356

[7] Richard Chun, Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art, Toronto, 1976, p. 2

[8] Fighting Back: Taekwondo for Women, YH Park Publications, 1993, p. 8

[9] David Mitchell, Official WTF Taekwondo, Antler Books, London, 1986, back cover

[10] Eddie Ferrie, , Taekwondo: Traditional Art and Modern Sport, The Crowford Press, UK, 1989, p. 101

[11] Mitchell, Op. Cit., p. 9

[12] J.S. Eldon, Essential Taekwondo Patterns, Paul Crompton Ltd, London, 1994, p. 5; The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Taekwondo, Op. Cit., p. 18

[13] Fighting Back, Op. Cit., p. 150

[14] Op. Cit., p. 150

[15] Mitchell, Op. Cit., p. 12

[16] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 99

[17] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 99, p. 100

[18] Chun, Op. Cit., p. 34

[19] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 100

[20] Taekwondo Textbook, Op. Cit., p. 235, p. 506

[21] Taekwondo Textbook, Op. Cit., p. 506 “Won Hyo is a 28 movement form or poomse which is named after the 7th century monk who purportedly introduced Zen Buddhism to Korea. (Ferrie, p. 101)”

[22] Ferrie, Op. Cit., p. 506


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Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagram

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Note: The following article emerged out of a footnote to a larger investigation into the relationship between Dr. Carl Jung, neo-gnosticism, and the MBTI.

     Who is George Gurdjieff, and why is he having such a massive indirect impact on our churches today?  Why in particular are ‘post-charismatic’ Roman Catholics, especially well-meaning nuns, becoming caught up in his practices?[1]  The Rev. Dr. Robert Innes, Lecturer in Systematic Theology at St. John’s College: Durham, England, tells us that the man credited with bringing the Enneagram to the West is George Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian from what is now the Republic of Georgia. While still a teen, Gurdjieff became immersed in occultic practices such as astrology, mental telepathy, spiritism, table turning, fortune telling and demon possession. Gurdjieff claimed that  while he was in Afghanistan in 1897, he visited a monastery of the esoteric Sarmouni sect where he learned their mystical Sufi dancing, psychic powers and the Enneagram.[2]

     The massive popularity of the Enneagram in Christian circles, the 2nd most popular personality test after the MBTI[3], makes it well worth assessing what we are actually opening ourselves to.  Advocates like Barbara Metz and John Burchill describe the Enneagram as “a sleeping giant, awakened in our times…”[4]  Fr. Mitchell Pacwa SJ, Professor of Scripture and Hebrew at Loyola University, Chicago, has written a brilliant critique of Gurdjieff and the Enneagram, entitled “Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram”.[5]  Fr. Pacwa’s studies of ancient literature and archeology show that there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Enneagram in any form before Gurdjieff.  Rumours of the Enneagram’s antiquity(e.g.  pre-Muslim Christian influence of Persia, or Pythagorean or Platonic mathematics)[6] serve to give it an air of authority but have no proper historical basis.  Perhaps most incredible is the unsubstantiated claim by Ted Dobson & Kathleen Hurley that there “are indications that several of the New Testament writers were familiar with and used the Enneagram.”[7]

     The heart of Gurdjieff’s Enneagram teaching, which he described as esoteric

Christianity, is numerological divination.  Dividing one by three yields the decimals .3333, .6666, .9999 – the points joined by the triangle in the figure.  Dividing one by seven yields the decimal .142857: a recurring number which contains no multiples of three and the digits of which correspond to the oddly-shaped six pointed figure.  It seems that the Enneagram’s relation to these mystical numbers (three and seven) was held to give it a truly cosmic significance.[8]  Gurdjieff taught that “all things in life work on two laws –3 and 7”.  All psychological laws fall within the law of three — as within Gurdjieff’s three alleged personality centres (path, oth, & kath), and all material things fall within the law of seven.[9] Each human being on earth is claimed to have one, and only one, of the nine Enneagram numbers.[10]

Enneagram teaching holds that God has nine different faces, corresponding to the nine patterns of the Enneagram.[11]  Robert J. Nogosek, C.S.C., wrote a book along this line entitled “Nine Portraits of Jesus: Discovering Jesus Through the Enneagram” (Dimension Books), claiming that Jesus, being sinless, had all nine Enneagram personality types.[12]  Beesing, Nogosek, and O’Leary also teach that each of us has one of nine different totems [Enneagramic animals].  In the ‘christianized’ version of the Enneagram, a #2 “helper” personality can be redeemed from being a cat into becoming an Irish setter, and then receives the Enneagramic colour of Red.[13]

     Gurdjieff’s work led to the formation of the New-Age cult, Arica, founded by his disciple Oscar Ichazo.  It was Ichazo and his colleague Claudio Naranjo (an instructor at the Esalen Institute) who together developed the Enneagram in the 1960’s as an indicator of personality in its current form.[14]  Naranjo merged the Enneagram with 9 of Freud’s 10 personality defense mechanisms.  Fr. Pacwa notes that Ichazo claims to receive instructions from a higher entity called ‘Metatron, the prince of the archangels’.  Ichazo’s students are guided by an interior Master, the Green Qu’Tub.[15]

Ichazo and Naranjo taught the Enneagram in the 1970’s to Fr. Bob Ochs SJ who then taught this ‘secret wisdom’[16] at the Loyola Seminary, from which it spread heavily within the Roman Catholic and Anglican communities.  Gurdjieff’s role in the Enneagram was covered up by Ichazo, saying that he had “been ordered by his source not to reveal the name of the person or being who gave him the Enneagram.”[17]  Moral Theologian, Msgr. William B. Smith commented that “the more you read about it, the more it begins to resemble a college-educated horoscope…As a tool for spiritual direction, it seems to me most deficient, even dangerous.”[18]

     Barbara Metz, SND, and John Burchill, OP, recommend the Enneagram as a way of engaging in “kything prayer”.  Kything Prayer can be done with any other person, present or absent, dead or alive, whose Enneagramic reading ‘moves against your numerical arrows’. The key is to “let your center find itself within the person with whom you are kything” and to “Picture yourself within the [other] person.” An alternative form of Enneagramic kything is to “invite the other person’s spirit into themselves.”[19]

One may very well ask how appropriate it is for Christians to be inviting the spirits of the dead into themselves.  Does this not slide into occultic channeling/mediumistic practices that are clearly forbidden by Holy Scripture?[20]  Is it enough for Enneagram advocates like Jim Scully of Pecos Abbey to say “that ‘occult’ and ‘satanic’ are not synonyms?  God told me back in 1979 that the greatest issue facing the Church would be the deception of inter-faith syncretism.

Maybe it is time for us as Anglicans and Christians to truly wake up and repent of our syncretistic mixing of Christ and the occult, of good and evil, of truth and deception, of light and darkness.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

[1] (1) Theodore E. Dobson, who was a R.C. charismatic priest well-known for his inner healing books, has co-written an Enneagram book with Kathleen V. Hurley entitled “What’s My Type?”  Dennis, Sheila, & Matt Linn, also well known in the Roman Catholic charismatic sphere for inner healing, strongly endorsed Ted Dobson’s book, saying “This is an encyclopedia of information about the Enneagram. We are a One, a Six, and a Seven.” (Front Inside Cover).  David Geraets, OSB, Abbot of the Pecos R.C. Benedictine Abbey and self-described post-charismatic, comments that Hurley and Dobson “give us fresh and invigorating insight into the Enneagram.” (Front Inside Cover).

[2] Robert Innes, Personality Indicators & the Spiritual Life, Grove Spirituality Series, Cambridge, p. 12; “Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram”, Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J; Christian Research Journal, Fall 1991, p. 14ff;  Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele (The Enneagram Made Easy, Harper Collins,1994, p. 1) say that “The Russian mystical teacher G.I. Gurdjieff introduced it to Europe in the 1920’s …”

[3] Robert Innes describes Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram as “the two indicators most widely used by Christian groups…”(p.3)  Baron & Wagele hold that “Many of the variations within the nine [Enneagram] types can be explained by relating the highly respected Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to the Enneagram.  This will increase accuracy, give greater breadth to the system, and lead to a more finely tuned understanding of ourselves and others. (p. 7, 136-149)  Suzanne Zuercher, author of “Enneagram Spirituality” (Notre Dame:Ave Maria Press, 1992, p. 157) “places the whole of the Enneagram within a basically Jungian framework.” (Robert Innes, op. cit., p. 14)

[4] Barbara Metz, SND, & John Burchill, OP, The Enneagram & Prayer, Dimension Books, p. 11

[5] Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, op. cit., p. 14ff

[6] Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele, The Enneagram Made Easy, Harper Collins, San Francisco,1974, p. 1:   Baron & Wagele claim that “The roots of the Enneagram go back many centuries.  Its exact origins are not known but it is believed to have been taught orally in secret Sufi brotherhood in the Middle East.”  Dobson & Hurley hint that the Magi (Wise Men) who visited the baby Jesus brought the Enneagram, teaching that the Magi were “Wisdom seekers from ancient Persia who were probably the originating or at least the first organized caretakers of the Enneagram.” (p.182)  Dobson & Hurley also allege that Pythagoras, the 6th century B.C. mathematician, “learned the Enneagram in Persia before founding his school…” (p. 183)

[7] Dobson & Hurley, p.3

[8] Robert Innes, Personality Indicators and the Spiritual Life, Grove Spirituality Series, Grove Books Ltd., Cambridge, p. 13

[9] Margaret Anderson, The Unknown Gurdjieff, London: Routledge, p.71-72.

[10] Dobson & Hurley, p. 15: “It is important to remember that each person has one, and only one, Enneagram number.”

[11] op.cit., p. 151.

[12] Robert Nogosek, Nine Portraits of Jesus, p. v

[13] Maria Beesing OP, Robert Nogosek CSC, & Patrick O’Leary SJ, p. 120.

[14] Innes, op.cit, p. 13

[15] Lilly & Hart, Transpersonal Psychologies,‘The Arica Training’, p. 341

[16] Hurley & Dobson: Again and again they refer to the Enneagram as “secret wisdom” (p. 1, 9, 14, 136, &167).  Claudio Naranjo claims that Fr. Bob Ochs and others promised not to teach others the Enneagram, but that they broke their promise of secrecy. “The Enneagram– Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone”, Audio Tape recorded at the Association of Christian Therapists, Feb. 1990, San Diego;  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the occult as: kept secret, esoteric…from the Latin word celare: to hide.

[17] “The Enneagram: a Critique”, St. Clair McEvenue, Catholic Insight, July/August

1996, p. 10  Beesing, Nogosek, & O’Leary, authors of “The Enneagram: a Journey of

Self-Discovery” (Dimension Books), claim that Oschar Ichazo was taught “the Enneagram in La Paz, Bolivia, by a man whose name he pledged not to reveal” (p. 1) See also “Psychology Today”, Sam Keen, Vol. 7, No. 2, July 1973, p. 64″.

[18] Msgr. W.B. Smith, The Homiletic & Pastoral Review, March 1993

[19] Metz & Burchill, op. cit., p. 107; p. 109: “The person does not need to be physically present (Barbara was in Kenya when I kythed with her), nor need the person be living.”

[20] See Lev. 19:31, Lev 20:6, Deut 18:10-11, 1 Chron 10:13, Jer 27:9-10, Acts 16:16-24, & Rev 22:15



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Dr Jean Houston and the Labyrinth Movement

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

 It was fascinating for me to visit the birthplace of the original Labyrinth movement, the Cretan palace of Knossos.  In North America, due to the influence of new-age leader Dr Jean Houston and Lauren Artress from San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, labyrinths have been appearing everywhere, including at my old alma mater and the church where my grandmother had her funeral.[1]   Ironically, the emphasis in the actual written documentation about Labyrinth usage was not how to enter the labyrinth but how to escape the labyrinth.

The labryinth story starts with King Minos, the legendary founder of the Cretan Minoan civilization.  Minos rejected a beautiful bull offered him by a Greek deity.  Because of this rejection, the Greek deity had Minos’ wife have physical intimacy with another bull, giving birth to a troublesome son, the Minotaur, half bull/half human.  To contain this difficult ‘teenager’, Daedalus built the labryinth, which essentially functioned as a prison for King Minos’ awkward step-child.[2]

You all understand how hungry ‘teens’ can be. So King Minos demanded six young Athenian men and six young Athenian women to be sacrificed at the Labryinth where they would be eaten by his Minotaur step-son.

The book Heritage Walks in Athens comments that “in myth again, Athens’ most important King was Theseus, son of Aigeus, who defeated the Minotaur and released the city from the vassal’s tax paid to Crete.”[3]  Theseus escaped from the labyrinth after his girlfriend Princess Ariadne gave him the thread to follow out of the Labyrinth back to freedom.[4]

The term Labyrinth comes from the Lydian term Labyrs which means “double-headed ax”, an object of cult worship among the Minoan Cretans.[5]  While at the National Museum of Crete, I took a picture of an actual historic “Labyrs/Double-Edged Ax”, an object of worship used in the labyrinth to devoFile:Theseus Minotaur Mosaic.jpgur the young.[6]  The Labyrinth is the place of the sacred ax used ritually to decapitate victims while offering them to the sacred Minotaur bull.  Similarly to the Canaanite/Philistine bull god Baal, the Cretan sacred bull was worshipped for its male sexuality and power.[7]

 

 A ex-new-ager who attended our congregation participated a while ago in the Labyrinth. Upon walking to the centre of the circle, she immediately sensed a dark spiritual vortex sucking her down. [8] Fortunately, being a Spirit-filled Christian, she later renounced her involvement in the Labyrinth and through prayer was cut free from the bondage that she was sensing.

 

Being westerners, we often fail to realize that seemingly harmless ‘physical’ techniques can have significant questionable spiritual impact on our lives. An example of this might be how many people innocently get hooked into Hatha yoga through the guise of a community centre yoga course.  Because Hatha yoga appears to westerners to be merely physical in nature, we fail to see the religious syncretism that we are involving ourselves in.  Nothing from a Hindu perspective is merely physical, because for Hinduism, the physical is merely an illusion.  So-called physical yoga asanas are designed to open the psychic door to the Hindu deities through ritual reenactment of specific Hindu deities.  Community-Centre Yoga is in reality the ‘marijuana’ entry-level drug of the new age world.[9]

 

One of the patterns with the dozens of new-age fads sweeping North America and the West Coast in particular is that they all pop up out of the blue but claim to have rediscovered an ancient secret technique that we all need.  Many of them, including the fast-growing Labyrinth fad, even reconstruct a plausible but misleading Christian history used to persuade well-meaning Christians.[10] The Labyrinth, as currently practiced, has very little to do with the Chartres Cathedral, and very much to do with Dr. Jean Houston’s impact on the new-age-friendly Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.[12]  The alleged Chartres connection is somewhat like a post-modern sound bite, a recently invented media-driven ‘history’. There is no written history of labyrinth walking at Chartres. All we have is the fact of an unused labyrinth on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral. It is like an empty crab shell into which anything can crawl. Nature hates a vacuum. Is the Chartres situation being used as a legitimization for introducing new age practices into unsuspecting churches? There are also astrological symbols in the stained glass window at Chartres, but no one yet is recommending taking part in ‘christian’ astrology classes because of Chartres.

 

Dr. Jean Houston, who is ground zero for the labyrinth movement, is listed on the Internet as one of the 10 top New Age speakers in North America[13]  The inside cover of Jean Houston’s 1997 book A Passion for the Possible describes herself as ‘considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest teachers…’  Of concern to renewal-oriented Christians is that Houston teaches her students on the ‘Mystery School’ how to speak in occult glossolalia.  She encourages her participants to ‘begin describing your impressions in glossolalia’ and even to ‘…write a poem in glossolalia.’[14]  This counterfeit phenomenon, of course, does not discredit the genuine Christian gift of tongues/glossolalia that is available after renouncing the occult, receiving Jesus as Lord, and asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit.

 

As a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, Jean makes use of her doctorate in ‘Philosophy of Religion’[15] to gain access to areas where most new-agers and occultists can’t go.  For example, as noted widely in media a number of years ago[16], she became a consultant to Hillary Clinton, helping her to ‘channel’ the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt.

 

The Labyrinth, also called the Dromenon[17], is the official symbol of Dr. Jean Houston’s new-age ‘Mystery School’ which one paid $3,775 to be initiated into over a series of 9 weekends.[18]    Houston describes her Mystery School students as ‘…the dancers of the Dromenon…’.[19]

 

In Houston’s book The Mythic Life, she credits H.F. Heard’s novel Dromenon with its ‘psychophysical state of ecstasy and spiritual awakening’ as the inspiration to adopting the image of the Dromenon/Labyrinth as the symbol of her work.[20]

 

Heard, a Vedanta Yoga devotee of Swami Prabhavananda, was an early pioneer of the New Age and even the Hippy movements with his recommendation of LSD and fire walking as spiritual initiation exercises.[21]  Jean Houston notes:

Again I owe a considerable debt to Gerald Heard, for it was under the name of H.F. Heard that he published a remarkable fictional story ‘Dromenon’, the inspiration of which provided me with the naming of my own first center. In the story, an archeologist encounters a therapy in stone, a mystical transformation of body, mind and spirit…An example of the Dromenon can be found on page 1 (of Heard’s book The Great Fog).  This is the famous dromenon found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral.  I often use this in my seminars by inscribing it on the floor and having the participants walk its pathways, always to great effect.[22]

 

Heard’s novel tells the story of an architectural student who, with the help of an Orphic/hermetic soul-guide, gains gnostic enlightenment after dancing through a labyrinth concealed beneath a British church building.[23]  The labyrinth dance, according to Heard, is meant to be a reenactment of the dancing Hindu deity Shiva, the definitive symbol of yoga.[24]  Canon Lauren Artress from Grace Cathedral brought the Labyrinth back to her Cathedral after experiencing the Labyrinth at Jean Houston’s Mystery School.[25] Artress notes that she was

hardly prepared for the force of my own reaction. As soon as I set foot into the labyrinth I was overcome with an almost violent anxiety. Some part of me seemed to know that in this ancient and mysterious archetype, I was encountering something that would change the course of my life.[26]

It is interesting that Artress, with her Cathedral connection, became far more prominent in her labyrinth promotion than her new age mentor.  Artress notes:

I worked with Jean Houston in her Mystery School in 1985. In 1986, I was asked to serve as Canon Pastor at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco…These programs eventually led me to the rediscovery of the labyrinth in 1991 when I returned to the Mystery School for one weekend.[27]

 

Jean Houston wrote in her book The Possible Human about ‘…the growth of Dromenon (Labyrinth) communities.[28]  As acknowledged in labyrinth websites, the labyrinth is a mandala[29], which is actually a Hindu ‘occult’ meditation process brought to the Western world by the grandfather of the New Age, Dr. Carl Jung.[30]

 

Is it a mere coincidence that the labyrinth resembles the coiling of the yogic kundalini snake? Is the Labyrinth actually a form of walking yoga?  Might the labyrinth be a thinly disguised yogic initiation rite into new age oneness, into the gnostic reconciliation of gender opposites?[31]  It is unthinkable for many westerners to imagine that walking the labyrinth might yogically kill the mind and remove one’s sense of self.

 

The Labyrinth has since spread to thousands of towns and cities, and is making a measurable impact in Canada.  Artress claimed that “over a million people have walked the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral alone…”[32]  Even the infamous Starhawk, the self-declared practicing witch and colleague of Matthew Fox, is walking the labyrinth nowadays [33].  One of the stated purposes of the Labyrinth is to connect us to the mother goddess, of which the labyrinth is a symbol.  In her book ‘Walking A Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool’, Canon Artress states that “The labyrinth is a large, complex spiral circle which is an ancient symbol for the divine mother, the God within, the goddess, the holy in all creation.”[34]  Artress says that “You walk to the center of the labyrinth and there at the center, you meet the Divine.”[35] Jean Houston claims that “As we encounter the archetypal world within us, a partnership is formed whereby we grow as do the gods and goddesses within us.”[36]  To Jean Houston, it seems that all of life is made up of polytheistic labyrinths.

 

In her book The Hero & the Goddess, she recommended: ‘Now, taking a favorite god or goddess by the hand, a Greek one this time, explore the labyrinthian winding of your left hemisphere…Take the deity by the hand and begin to explore the labyrinth winding of your right hemisphere, the place of intuition.’[37]  My prayer, as Jean Houston’s new-age Labyrinth fad impacts the Church, is that we may be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


 [1] Dr Jean Houston & the Labyrinth Fad”, By Rev Ed Hird, Anglicans for Renewal Canada magazine,  May 2,000 http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/arm08.htm

[2] Barry Unsworth, Crete, National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, 2004  p. 48 In Chania, Crete,  is found “the  Ikarus Street, named for was the son of the great artificer Daedalus, who built the labyrinth.  Father and son were kept imprisoned in this same labyrinth by King Minos.  Daedalus made wings for them both out of wax and feathers (but the son flew too close to the sun and the wax melted).”

[3] Heritage Walks in Athens, Municipality of Athens Cultural Organization,  Athens, Greece, p. 8

[4] Hans  George Wunderlich, The Secret of Crete, (Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc., New York, NY, 1974), p. 44

[5] Unsworth, p. 116.

[6] During the Nazi takeover of Greece (1936-1941), the Greek Fascist Youth EON (Ethniki Organosi Neolaias) adopted the labyrs as their main symbol. Black Metal fans in Greece still use the labrys as a symbol of Greek Neopaganism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrys (Accessed Nov 26th 2013)

[7]Nicholas Platon, Crete, Frederick Muller Limited, London, Nagel Publishers, 1966, p. 183 “…the important part played by the worship of the bull, suggests that the bull symbolized the male creative force and that the bull was worshipped in this form.” Some scholars say that the bull was a symbol of Zeus.

[8] One Grace Cathedral Labyrinth advocate said that “Labyrinths predate Christianity by over a millennium.  The most famous labyrinth from ancient times was the Cretan one, the supposed lair of the mythological Minotaur, which Theseus slew with the aid of Ariadne and her spool of thread. rituals…” 597 Peter Corbett, “Pathfinders: Walking medieval labyrinths in a modern world,” p. 2, http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment/features/fea_19981120_txt.shtml,  (Accessed April 1st 2,000) ;  Jean Houston, Life Force: The Psycho-Historical Recovery of the Self (Delacorte Press, a division of the Theosophical Publishing House, New York, 1980), p. 263-64 “Now looking at the labyrinth on the floor of Chartres, we remember the searching language of physicists who…describe the structure of our universe as a vortex ring.”

[9] My ‘Yoga: More than Meets the Eyes’ article has already been read by more than 75,000 people since April 2013. http://tiny.cc/wg856w

[10]Lee Penn, Fall 1999 issue of the Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project www.scp-inc.org  http://fatima.freehosting.net/Articles/Art7.htm

[11] The Chartres labyrinth dates from sometime between 1194 and 1220. These dates are determined by the great fire of 1194, which destroyed most of the cathedral and the city of Chartres. By 1220 the section of the nave housing the labyrinth had been rebuilt by Bishop Fulbert.  Lee Penn LeePenn@aol.com has done careful research showing that the Labyrinth-based relationship between Chartres Cathedral to Grace Cathedral, San Francisco is a clear example of ‘the tail wagging the dog’, of ‘life imitating art’.  Grace Cathedral have been giving strong leadership in Chartres’ ‘reintroduction’ of the Labyrinth, even to the point of making Chartres’ Dean Legaux an honorary Grace Cathedral Canon.

[13] Voices of a New Age Video (1999), Penny Price Productions, E! Online Fact Sheet, “Ten different New Age luminaries voice their view about the possibilities of the human spirit for healing the body, the mind, and the earth.”; http://talkcity.com/transcripts/970313.Houston.html (Accessed April 1st 2,000)

[14]  Jean Houston, GodSeed: the Journey of Christ, Quest Books, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, USA, 1992, p. 50, p. 51.

[15] http://skepdic.com/houston.html  1998 Robert Todd Carroll (Accessed May 1998)

[16] Bob Woodward in ‘The Choice’; The Providence Journal Bulletin, Tuesday, 6/25/96, P. A3

[17] http://www.jeanhouston.org/labyrinth/dromenon.html

“drom-e-non. – n. Ancient Gk: a ritual pattern of dynamic expression, a therapeutic dance rhythm in which participants experience second birth into a higher order of consciousness and community;…” (accessed April 1st 2,000)

[18] http://www.jeanhouston.org/ms.physical1999/ms1999f.html  (Accessed April 1st 2,000); Houston, Life Force,“In 1975, I founded the Dromenon Center, which was named after ancient Greek rites of growth and transformation, in Pomona New York.” http://tiny.cc/2tr3fx (accessed May 18th 2014)

[19]  Jean Houston, The Possible Human (Torcher: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 1982), p. ix; Jean Houston, The Mythic Life (Harper San Francisco, 1996), p. 186.; “Mystery School 1997”, http://www.motley-focus.com/mysteryschool97.html (accessed May 18th 2014)

[20] http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/nca/spiritual-

perspectives/sacred.html (National Episcopal Cathedral Website) “Keynote speaker, the Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress, Canon for Special Ministries at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, first encountered a labyrinth in a workshop at psychologist Jean Houston’s Mystery School.” (accessed April 1st 2000)

 [21] Houston, Life Force, pp. xxv, xviii, xix. http://tiny.cc/2tr3fx (accessed May 18th 2014), “The psycho-technology that Heard advised as providing an initiation of movement from one stage of life to the next was sometimes outrageous and often surreal (LSD, electrical stimulation, walking on fire.)”; http://www.geraldheard.com ; Note: Houston herself was a pioneering LSD researcher ‘working with hundreds of research subjects since 1965’.

[22] Houston, Life Force, p. xxv. http://tiny.cc/2tr3fx (accessed May 18th 2014)

[23] H.F. Heard, The Great Fog:Weird Tales of Terror and Detection (Vanguard Press, New York, NY, 1944); Houston,  Life Force, p. 279.http://tiny.cc/2tr3fx (accessed May 18th 2014)

[24] Houston, Life Force, quoting Heard “Waiting for the Third Act”, London Times Literary Supplement, June 6th 1960, p. 355ff. “Beyond tragedy lies metacomedy.  The central figure of that comedy is known in Asiatic drama… The central figure who dances out of the cosmos, Shiva, consummates laughter and tears in an ecstasis that goes beyond pleasure and pain.”; Note: The definitive symbol of yoga is the Nataraj asana, known as the dancing Shiva who ‘dances’ destruction upon any distinctions (avidya) between the Creator and creation, good and evil, male and female. http://www.theyogatutor.com/natarajasana The Yoga Teacher Tirusula Yoga, “Nata= Dancer. Raja = King / Lord” http://bit.ly/TNFTRV  (Accessed Dec 23rd 2012).

[25] Kristen Fairchild, “A Passion for the Possible: An Interview with Jean Houston,” The Spire, Textures 11/04/97 www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment (accessed April 1st 2,000) , p. 4, “Jean Houston, Ph.D. is the best-selling author of many books…She has been mentor and teacher of Dr.  Lauren Artress, Founder of Veriditas, at Grace Cathedral.”; Jean Houston, The Possible Human, 1982, p. 51

[26]  Lauren Artress, Walking a Sacred Path (Penguin Group, New York, NY, 1995) p. 2.

[27] “Collective Wisdom Initiative: Self-Portrait”, Reverend Lauren Artress “The work of symbolic fields has a Jungian base, since I am working with archetypes, symbol, shadow and encounters with collective unconscious.”  http://www.collectivewisdominitiative.org/files_people/Artress_Lauren.htm  (accessed May 18th 2014) Note: Is Artress’ Jungian connection merely coincidental or foundational to the Labyrinth fad?

[28]  Jean Houston, The Possible Human, 1982, p. 51

[29] Peter Corbett, “Pathfinders: Walking medieval labyrinths in a modern world,” http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment/features/fea_19981120_txt.shtml  “True meditation occurs when the physical brain has been pacified, kept busy with a mantra or a mandala, so the  spiritual mind is then free to wander on its own, and discover new truths.  “The walking back and forth seems very pendulous,” states Squires. “It’s a very slow frequency, a very long wavelength from one turn to the next.  You slowly walk along and slowly walk back, then slowly walk on again.  It’s hard to have your mind in a fretful kind of pace when you’re doing such a slow, pendulous, rhythmic walking like that.”  (accessed April 1st 2,000)

[30]  Occult, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, means ‘kept secret, esoteric…from the Latin culere: hide’  It is not a synonym for Satanism.; “…the labyrinth, a sacred tool that has been used as a mandala in many spiritual traditions for thousands of years…” http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/nca/spiritual- perspectives/sacred.html;  “The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing…”  Labyrinth Project, “What Is A Labyrinth,” http://www.gracecom.org/veriditas/press/whatlab.shtml, 1996 (Accessed April 1st 2,000);  http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/st_simons/arm03.htm  , “Jung was also a strong promoter of the mandala, a circular picture with a sun or star usually at the centre. Sun worship, as personified in the mandala, is perhaps the key to fully understanding Jung.(ft.103)

[31]  Houston, Life Force, p. 244 “The knower, the knowledge, and the known become part of an undifferentiated unity that is the unus mundus, the eternal dance between the One and the Many, the Dromenon.”; p. 264 “But in the Dromenon the boundaries between body and soul, other and earth, are effaced.”  http://tiny.cc/2tr3fx (accessed May 18th 2014); For more on this, you can read my online article “Carl Jung and the Gnostic Reconciliation of Gender Opposites” http://tiny.cc/5uy3fx .

[32] http://www.gracecathedral.org/enrichment (Accessed April 1st 2,000)

[33] http://www.sfgate.com Starhawk, as a Wiccan/Witch leader of two covens, celebrated New Year 2,000 by walking the Labyrinth on her San Francisco area Ranch. (Accessed April 1st 2,000)

[34] Lauren Artress, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Sacred Tool, Riverhead Books/G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995; sentence quoted by Pamela Sullivan, “Book Review,” Pacific Church News, June/July 1995, p. 8

[35]  Lauren Artress, “Q and A with Lauren,” Veriditas, Vol. 1, no. 2, Summer 1996, p. 18

[36] http://skepdic.com/houston.html  (Accessed Nov. 27th 2013)

[37] Jean Houston, The Hero & the Goddess, Aquarian/Thorsons (Harper Collins Publisher), 1992, p. 134


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Only Five Problems in any Marriage

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Marriage can often be overwhelming for many.  That is why I so much appreciate the initiative being taken by Dr. Gil Stieglitz in bringing new hope to marriages.  Through his years of study and practical interaction with many couples, Gil has discovered that there are only five problems in any marriage.  This insight is helpful, especially for men.  It helps us get a handle on the challenges that we face in developing intimacy, that there are only five problems in any marriage.

 

 Dr. Gil summarizes the five problems of marriage as

1) Needs or Roles

2) SSSAAADDD Behaviours (when our needs are not being met)

3) Temperament Differences

4) Relational Drainage

5) Past Baggage

 He has seen phenomenal breakthroughs when couples begin to address and work on these five key areas.  To assist marriages, he has developed a six-part DVD series  , with accompanying books, which walk couples through each of these five areas.

Dr. Gil, who pastored a congregation for many years, believes that churches can make a big difference in helping strengthen marriages.  After all, God both invented and is deeply committed to the ‘institution’ of marriage.  During the twenty-three years that I have been pastoring St. Simon’s North Vancouver, I have seen many outwardly successful people on the North Shore whose inner lives were crumbling because of relational challenges.  Sometimes it takes a major crisis, like a marriage struggle, before we are willing to cry out to God and admit how much we need him.  Many men that I have known are totally baffled when their wife finally packs up and leaves.

Dr. Gil believes in being very practical in the help that he offers to men and women.  So he has developed two acrostics that assist us to build marriages of great joy.  For men, he has developed the acrostic: H.U.S.B.A.N.D. which identifies the fourteen top needs of our wives. (Honour, Understanding, Security, Building Unity, Agreement, Nurture, Defender).  Love, says Dr. Gil, is meeting needs.  The first letter “H” (Honour) has been most helpful for me personally.  Dr. Gil teaches that women do something every day that many men don’t.  They give an informal ‘computer test’ to their spouse to see where they are in the structure of his priorities: “Are they above his work or below his work, above the children or below his children, above his hobbies or below his hobbies?”  If the wife does not win that computer test, guess who loses.  The husband does, because the wife cannot blossom and respond to him from the depth of her being.  Every day, the husband needs to honour or add value to his wife in practical, specific ways.

Many men know how to be men, but not husbands.  The word ‘Husband’ actually comes from the term ‘Husbandman’, which means ‘gardener’.  We as husbands are called to ‘garden’ our wife, to nurture her, care for her, and put her first under God.  You can find out more about the ‘H.U.S.B.A.N.D.’ acrostic by checking out Dr. Gil’s book ‘How to Be a Godly Husband’ .

For Wives, Dr. Gil and Dana Stieglitz have developed the acrostic ‘R.A.D.I.C.A.L.’ which identify the top fourteen needs of one’s husband (Respect, Adaptability, Domestic Leadership, Intimacy, Companionship, Attractiveness, and Listening).  Along with the Marriage DVDs, Gil and Dana Stieglitz have co-written a book “Building a Marriage of Great Joy” which explains how to be a ‘RADICAL’ wife

Gil and Dana teach that respecting or acknowledging the strengths of one’s husband meets a deep need, but is not always easy for women to do.  In the same way that wives want their husbands to give them unconditional love, husbands need their wives to give them unconditional respect.  As the Good Book puts it in Ephesians 5:23, “Husbands, love your wives and, Wives, respect your husband.”

 

I am so pleased about Dr Gil’s  book Marital Intelligence that brings together all of this material into one helpful book.  My prayer is that those hearing about these resources will not just be hearers of the word but doers of the word who put this into practice in their own marriages.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Fanny Crosby: The World’s Most Prolific Songbird

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Fanny Crosby was blinded, while only six weeks old, by a quack unlicensed doctor.  He permanently scarred her corneas by applying hot mustard poultices to her mildly infected eyes. When her father died while Fanny was only 12 months old, her mother had to become a maid to support little Fanny.

Despite these tragedies, Fanny never fell into self-pity. “Don’t waste any sympathy on me”, she said. “I’m the happiest person alive.”  Fanny went on to become one of the best known women in North America.  She taught for 23 years at the New York Institute for the Blind, becoming the personal friend and confidante of every sitting American President during her lifetime. As the first woman to ever address the U.S. Congress, Fanny left a lasting impact wherever she went.

One of the keys to her becoming so well-known was her partnering with the famous ‘DL Moody/Ira Sankey’ team.  Sankey (who was also blind for his last five years) would often provide the tune, and Fanny Crosby would write the words.  After the infamous Chicago fire that burned down Moody’s premises, Moody and Sankey went to England, speaking and singing their way into the hearts of the British people.  Even Queen Victoria and the Princess of Wales came to hear Moody preach and Sankey sing Fanny Crosby’s songs.  As one writer commented, Fanny Crosby ‘set more hearts and voices to praising God than any other women who ever lived.  Fanny’s approach to life and music was “Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”

Fanny Crosby had a photographic memory, memorizing five chapters of the Bible every week.  She knew by heart the first five books of the Old Testament, the four Gospels, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms.  Some of her most well-known songs were “To God be the Glory, Great Things He hath Done”, “Draw Me Nearer, Precious Lord”, “Blessed Assurance”, and “Praise Him! Praise Him!”.

Fanny lived until age 95.  When she was 83, she said: “I believe myself to still really be in the prime of my life.”  When asked about her longevity, she said that her secret was that she guarded her taste, her temper, and her tongue.

Fanny actively supported the Water StreetMission in New York, the first Rescue Mission in North America.  It had been founded by Jerry McAuley who himself had recovered from alcohol and prison.  She did not focus on pointing out other people’s faults. “You can’t save a man by telling him of his sins. He knows them already. Tell him there is pardon and love waiting for him. Win his confidence and make him understand that you believe in him, and never give him up!”  One of her best known songs “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour” was written specifically for a prisoner who cried out at her meeting: “O Lord, Do not pass me by!”

Fanny was married for 44 years to Alexander Van Alistine, her former student and fellow instructor at the New York Institute for the Blind.  With Alexander being a top organist and Fanny an accomplished harpist, they must have been quite a duo.  Sadly their only child, Frances, died as a baby.  It was this tragedy that inspired the writing of one of Fanny’s most famous songs: “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”.

Her song “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” even reached Uganda in 1885.  The Anglican Bishop James Hannington was captured by King Mwanga and put for a week in a filthy rat-infested hut. Bishop Hannington’s last words in his diary were: “Go tell Mwanga that I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood.” As they speared him to death, Hannington was joyfully singing “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”.  His courageous death inspired 32 servants of King Mwanga to accept being burnt alive rather than renounce their faith and moral convictions.  Such sacrifices have produced the second largest Anglican Church in the world, with over eight million Ugandan Anglicans attending church each Sunday.

I thank God for Fanny Crosby, the world’s most prolific songbird, who has shown tens of millions in every continent how to be ‘safe in the arms of Jesus’.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca