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「道成了肉身,住在我們中間,充充滿滿的有恩典(Charis)有真理(Alethia)。我們也見過他的榮光,正是父獨生子的榮光。」(約翰福音1:14)

「我覺得係咁就係咁」的屬靈經歷

littleho 那邊窗討論到分享屬靈經歷的主觀性,尤其是講到聖靈感召、見異象、機緣巧合的上天安排等,感到有時候人一句「我覺得…」,便立刻堵塞了跟其他人繼續有理性交流和討論的空間,別人也只有無奈地接受那擁有無上權威的「我覺得係咁就係咁」的詮釋。他也說在我們分享文化過盛的教會當中,若要分享,便很容易淪為這種主觀性的分享;若不分享,只將屬靈經歷存在心裏,又會跟主流文化對衝,被標籤成「不肯分享」的怪人。那怎麼辦呢?

我上個學期上了一個 Spiritual Discernment 的課程 (由 Dr. Gordon T. Smith 教)。從教會歷史的傳統裡面,尤其是天主教的靈修傳統,有很多先賢,例如 Ignatius of Loyola, Theresa of Ávila, St. John of the Cross,還有 evangelicals 如 John WesleyJonathan Edwards 等,都提供了大量的方法和傳統,讓我們談論屬靈經歷時,能夠用準確的詞彙及文法 (“grammar”) 描述,以至於我們能夠彼此分享那些經歷,並且正確地印證那是否從神而來的。

“A discussion about discernment is a reflection on the nature of religious experience. Experience is inherently pliable and intangible and thus hard to define. We affirm that the Spirit of God communicates inwardly to the consciousness of those who are prepared to listen. Fine and good. But what form does this take? And how is it recognized? How can we talk about it meaningfully? ……

Therefore, we need a language to be able to speak about this experience, not only to make sense of our own encounters with Jesus but also as a way to be in conversation with others about our experience…… that we have a common understanding, with terms of reference, and a grammar that authenticates and strengthens that experience. To find this, we must turn to the Christian spiritual heritage so that our experience and our conversation are informed by the Christian tradition.”

Gordon T. Smith, The Voice of Jesus: Discernment, Prayer, and the Witness of the Spirit, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 34-35.

今日信徒不能夠有建設性地彼此分享屬靈經歷,部份原因是因為我們跟歷史、傳統脫節了,以至我們喪失了很多先賢所聚得的屬靈智慧,幫助我們理解我們的屬靈經歷。正如一間沒有圖書館的大學一樣,那般悲哀。

唯有我們珍重教會歷史,向先賢汲取經驗,齊齊學習怎樣談及和印証屬靈經歷,我們的團契小組聚會才不至於淪為那種「我覺得係咁就係咁」的情況。

讀上面介紹 Gordon Smith 的 The Voice of Jesus,也許是一個好的開始。


Posted in Christian Education, Church, Posts in Chinese, Spirituality.

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3 Responses

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  1. 豪仔 says

    thank you for your quote.
    Smith以靈修傳統作為辨別和言說靈性經驗的guide,聖賢的經驗很值得考,但要求每位信徒先浸淫在他們的屬靈傳統中才能分享自己的經歷,會有精英化傾向。我相信每間教會都有自己的屬靈傳統,而建立這傳統的領袖有負任把自己的傳統接駁到先聖賢的傳統,或作參照,或作批判,但總不能人云亦云,或是由自己來一套「我覺得係咁就係咁」的convention。

  2. bigcoin says

    但又會不會出現一個現象,就是大家仍然不斷地「我覺得」,只不過在學多了一點傳統和歷史後,就令這些「我覺得」更有「信服力」?情況又會不會好像如今常見某些信徒愛用熟練的「屬靈詞匯」(如「肢體」、「相交」、「主內合一」等等)去講述他的見證?

  3. Anson says

    對,每間教會的牧者都應該盡量教育信徒認識該宗派的傳統,並在容許的情況下,參考其他宗派傳統值得學習的地方。就算沒有宗派的教會,我認為也可以謙卑地從大公教會的歷史裡學到很多東西。不過,謙不謙卑,卻是另外一回事。

    至於會不會導致精英化,我卻認為其實很多 Spiritual discernment 的原則都是一般信徒耳熟能詳的,只在乎我們是否能夠放諸於實踐而已。

    Gordon Smith 列出四個 Spiritual discernment 的大原則 (讓我嘗試 summarize 一下):
    1. Jesus’ first word to you is always a benevolent word, a love that humbles us, and not a condemning word that shames us.
    2. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and nudges us into a life informed and governed by truth, which will liberate us and lead us into healing, empowerment, life, and most importantly, freedom.
    3. The Spirit illumines us in and through the truth, and that requires us to engage with and receive it with both the heart and the mind, not either/or. God’s truth informs, forms, and reforms our lives. Truth is not only for understanding, but for the sake of transformation.
    4. The Spirit guides us in times of choice, calling us to step forward in faith and surrender our false idols and mixed motives inside of us. The purpose is to call us towards spiritual maturity. Yet, this calling is given in consolation and motivated by love, not by fear and guilt.

    (This is what he meant by “grammar” to speak about religious experiences.)

    我相信只要我們能用這幾個簡單的原則去驗證一下我們的特殊屬靈經歷,已經幫助不少了。這些原則都沒有用甚麼深奧的詞彙或是甚麼高深的理論。我相信一般信徒有心的話,是不難掌握的。而掌握了,便能夠幫助我們更加落實地驗證某些屬靈經歷,例如某某說在禱告中感受到神應允一定會賜某份理想的工作給他,結果真的得到了,便讚美主感謝主,四周講見證,但做不了兩個月便非常不滿,不滿老細同事,怨天尤人,認為自己搵錯工入錯行…… 這種情況似曾相識吧?若有些 spiritual discernment 的原則,我們至少可以在小組入面,在一個彼此能夠信任的環境下,有條理地彼此察問這個屬靈經歷為當時人所帶來造就性、他的內心有否混雜著其他隱而未見的動機、聖靈在他身上正在做甚麼等。當然不是照肺咁照啦,不過在技巧上如何能營造一個有建設性、能夠彼此造就的屬靈分享環境,卻真的需要有某程度上的智慧和 sensitivity。

    你們有何想法?