Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bible Journaling: Biblical or Occultish?

My friend Craig Fulford sent me a few links regarding the trend for Bible journaling. The essays are covering a topic distinct from the fad where women decorate their journals by using crayons or paints to actually obscure the Word with doodles and picture. The essays' topic is also distinct from coloring in coloring books or in Hindu-style mandalas.

In this first essay, the author warns about the dangers of journaling, which are present and more intense if one is inattentive to them. Sometimes during the journaling process we begin depending on an ephemeral inner life to emerge to give us scriptural meaning or even expectations begin to creep in thinking the process will sanctify us, this is the same activity with the same intentions that occultists use when attempting to contact the other side.

Journaling
Biblical or Occultic?
"Journal-keeping" is becoming popular among Christians as a new genre of books emphasizes the "inner life" and presents various methodologies for "hearing from God." This is not to say that meditating on the Word of God and seeking closer communication with Him and deeper insights into His will ought not to be an important part of every Christian's life, and even writing down for future reference insights or guidance that one believes to be derived from this would be very helpful. However, this same technique is used by occultists to make contact with the spirit world, and by psychologists to contact deep levels of the psyche, and thereby, tap into the "ancient wisdom" allegedly contained in the "collective unconscious."
"Christian" books on journaling, however, seldom warn of the dangers of mistaking one's imagination for communication with God, and of spending more time upon one's own inward thoughts than upon God's Word. Whether through a "proper" use of journaling or journal-keeping, or other forms of meditation, one's focus must always be upon the Scriptures and must never deviate from that Guide.
Go to the link for more

In this article the question is asked What value is there in Christian journaling?. This essay gives a balanced view of how, if used correctly, Bible journaling can be a help in our process of meditating on scripture.

As with everything, test it, be wise and use discernment. Even "good" Christian activities can become an idol or be used by satan to his advantage, and not to Jesus' glory.

On the other hand, if one is wise and with Jesus in proper focus, some activities can be used safely and for the good of the person, or the church, or to bring glory to Jesus.

What value is there in Christian journaling?
“Journaling” can mean different things to different people. For some, journaling is written prayer. For others, journaling is keeping a record of prayer requests and answers. Some keep a journal of especially poignant spiritual truths, perhaps insights from a sermon or quotes from spiritual books or a collection of Scripture. Some may write accounts of particularly meaningful encounters with God. For some a journal is a form of diary, a place to record the events of their day and a few thoughts or insights about it; these entries may be as brief as one or two phrases or a long narrative. Some might keep a “gratitude” or “joy” journal that lists one or more things each day—small or large—for which they are thankful. Still others journal in the sense that they write out their thoughts or respond to a particular prompt; it is not so much a prayer or specifically God-directed as it is a written exploration on a topic. Journals can come in a variety of forms—written in a notebook, typed on the computer, in an online forum, shared with friends or private, including art work or pictures or solely visual art without words, etc. The Bible does not mention journaling, so is there value in any of these activities?

Go to the link for more.

I wrote the following in 2013.

Is Christian Journaling Good or Bad?
Journaling has always been popular, for many different reasons, as we see above. Over the last few years, journaling for Christian reasons has made a comeback. Christians are told to keep track of thoughts in a journal. This activity is now variously called spiritual discipline, spiritual formation, or Christian journaling. 
Is journaling good? Is journaling bad? Must I do journaling to "partner" with God in order to advance my sanctification? Does journaling aid the Holy Spirit? Let's take a look at the pluses and minuses of Christian journaling.


I hope these ideas contained in the essays offered here clarify or aid you in you walk in some way.


Further Reading:

The End Time Meditating on God's Word

The End Time Bible Art Journaling: No, No, No

Housewife Theologian Aimee Byrd: New Trends in Bible Journaling


1 comment :

  1. I don't worry about whether or not to journalize. That's one of those things that are like my promise to myself not to eat doughnuts at morning break. I'm going to forget the promise anyway, so why even start with it.

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