Taizé Community - An international, ecumenical monastic community
in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France.
Written and compiled by Chris Lawson, 5/17/2017
(Updated June 16, 2017)
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately,
saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming,
and of the end of the world?
And Jesus answered and said unto them,
Take heed that no man deceive you."
- Jesus (Matthew 24:3-4)
The Taizé Community is an international, ecumenical monastic order located in a Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. The ecumenical vision of Taizé’s founder—Brother Roger (Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, 1915-2005), has for many years been influencing millions of people around the world. Many of these young people, with ages ranging from 18 to 35 years old, have no biblical discernment whatsoever.
As a result of the "disarming" effect (as Brother Emil says) that the Taizé songs/chants, meditations, and ecumenical atmosphere provide, many of these young people have simply become missionaries for Taizé through their own travels and zealous promotion of the Taizé Community and the contemplative/emergent style of worship it provides.
Furthermore, in ecumenical Taizé meetings one never really knows just exactly which version of the gospel one will hear, being that "Today, the Taizé Community is made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations" (Source: http://www.taize.fr/en_article6525.html). As such, the promotion of Taizé oriented "ecumenical reconciliation" is primary, while sound biblical doctrine is downplayed.
Due to the exponential influence of the international Taizé Community in recent years, and the fact that the Taizé Community brothers are engaged in missionary efforts in numerous countries and regions throughout the world, Chris Lawson has written his new book, Taizé - A Community and Worship: Ecumenical Reconciliation or an Interfaith Delusion?. This book was written in order to provide the essential research that is needed in order to inform and warn people about the true nature and consequences of Taizé ecumenism and its unbiblical doctrines, New Age/pagan interfaith sympathies, and Roman Catholic leanings.
Taizé - A Community and Worship:
Ecumenical Reconciliation or an Interfaith Delusion?
by Chris Lawson
NEW BOOK RELEASE - ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!
During World War II in France, a Swiss Reformed Protestant named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche began reaching out to suffering people, in particular refugees from the war. Through his efforts, Taizé Community, located in the village of Taizé, Burgundy, France, was birthed. The community website describes Taizé’s founder:
Everything began in 1940 when, at the age of twenty-five, Brother Roger left Switzerland, the country where he was born, to go and live in France, the country his mother came from. For years he had been ill with tuberculosis, and during that long convalescence he had matured within him the call to create a community.
The community that Brother Roger began has since become an internationally recognized ecumenical monastic brotherhood receiving a hundred thousand visitors each year. (Excerpt from, Taizé - A Community and Worship: Ecumenical reconciliation or an interfaith delusion?)
Sample material from book:
Taizé Community And How it Affected My life
By David Dombrowski
Chief Editor of Lighthouse Trails Publishing
As one of the editors of Chris Lawson’s new book, Taizé—A Community and Worship: An Ecumenical Reconciliation or an Interfaith Delusion?, I was asked if I would write the foreword because I have a very curious history with Taizé in France. No, I have never been there, and what little I knew of it had nearly been forgotten when Chris Lawson’s book came across my desk. And yet, in an indirect way, Taizé has had a major impact on my life.
Before I explain all this, let me use an analogy of what transpired. In some ways, my life as a Christian has been like a battleground, but in my younger years, I was never too anxious to fight. Often, I was one of many who stood on the sidelines and just observed. But I’ve learned that this is not really a safe place to be; and when it comes to Taizé, I got caught in the crossfire.
Yes, I am a casualty to Taizé, but at the time, I did not realize from whence that flaming missile came. After reading this book by Chris, I now understand.
Let me share some memories of what happened. Having been raised Roman Catholic and entering my twenties, I was very familiar with what I would later realize as the bondage of Roman Catholicism—bondage to guilt, bondage to sinful habits and attitudes, but most especially, bondage to a false gospel of salvation (i.e., through participation of sacraments and good works).
When I was drafted into the U.S. Army at twenty years old, I experienced a spiritual crisis, and through meeting a born-again Christian fellow soldier and reading the Bible, I came to understand justification by grace through faith and of being born of God’s Spirit. I surrendered my life to the Lord as He captivated my heart and my life.
After this, I had a burning desire to serve the Lord for the rest of my life—in no matter what capacity God called me to. After my time in the service ended, an opportunity arose for me to join a Christian community composed of a group of Christians who served the Lord together. I wanted this because I felt I could serve the Lord better by working with other Christians rather than trying to serve the Lord alone.
I became an integral part of this community after getting to know the elder (second only to the senior elder) and meeting one of the members who had just returned from spending a year in France at a place called Taizé. He was very excited about his experience; but when he shared with me some of the “insights” he gained at Taizé (notably that doctrine was not important as long as there was unity), I expressed my concern that doctrine should be very important. He seemed offended with this and henceforth always distanced himself from me, but he and the elder I mentioned spent much time together in private discussions.
Fast-forward six years, for I had been with this Christian community for that length of time. The senior elder (who was also the founder) of the community had just been booted out. The other elder called it “discipline,” but as it turned out, he was never to come back. The elder, who largely headed up the disciplinary action, told the expelled senior elder he could return after he “repented,” but the fact is, our senior elder had nothing to repent of. You see, most of the leadership of the community had secretly conspired that all of us should become Catholic. Since the senior elder would not endorse such a move, they removed him. Eventually, they got rid of me too because I could not in good conscience go back to the Catholic Church.
During this time, a lot of upheaval took place whereby two of the married men were also kicked out of the community; in each case the wife and children stayed behind, the husbands never to see their wives again. The senior pastor (who had been expelled) had a married daughter with children, whom he never saw again; he died with a broken heart because of the estrangement from his daughter and grandchildren. Basically, this community had become a cult that had deceptively transformed itself from a loving Christian ministry into a Roman Catholic cloister.
Not long before I left the community, the elder, who had been conferring with the member who had been to Taizé, confided in me that becoming Catholic had been discussed privately years earlier. But the elder had told him and other members, “it’s not time yet!” As I read and helped edit this book on Taizé, I realized for the first time that Taizé had been perhaps the biggest catalyst in propelling the community I had once so dearly loved into Catholicism. When I learned that tens of thousands of young people go to Taizé every year, I knew we had no choice but to publish this warning.
Sample Definitions of Taize' and Taize Prayer
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:
for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
- Jesus (Matthew 6:7)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world. It was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant. Guidelines for the community’s life are contained in The Rule of Taizé written by Brother Roger and first published in French in 1954.
The community has become one of the world's most important sites of Christian pilgrimage, with a focus on youth. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work. Through the community's ecumenical outlook, they are encouraged to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation.”
The quieting, mystical experience of Taizé prayer
by Margery Eagan (12/3/2014)
“Taizé prayer is the creation of a monastic community in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940s by a Swiss man known as Brother Roger. The brothers there are celibates who emphasize service and ecumenicalism, particularly reconciliation between divided peoples and divided Christians. Brother Roger was especially interested in bringing Catholics and Protestants together.
Surprisingly, the Taizé community has also brought together young people - teens to 30-somethings - not the age that typically flocks to church, any church. But flock they do to the Taizé community, which claims 100,000 young pilgrims every year. They work, farm, cook, and pray together three times per day in the Taizé style.
‘The simplicity of life seems to offer a refreshing change to young people who come from societies that are drowning in excess, where nothing ever stops, where there is no time to just be, and be together,’ says Brother John.
The silence of Taizé prayer may not seem like a big hurdle to mature contemplatives, he says. But to the average churchgoer and especially younger pilgrims, the idea of prolonged silence can seem daunting. “When does the noise ever stop in our society? What pastor would dare to include eight minutes of silence at Sunday Mass?” the brother asks. Yet when 5,000 young visitors pack the church of Taizé, he says, ‘you can hear a pin drop.’”
Divine Conversations - Taizé Prayer
Archdiocese of Brisbane Conversations Divine
“Taizé began, as a form of prayer, in the little village of Taizé in northern France during the Second World War. More precisely this prayer came from the ecumenical community of Brothers founded by Br Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche; it has been growing in popularity and spreading around the world ever since. Taizé is a fairly simple and straight forward meditative form of prayer.
Through the use of repetitive phrases, music, silence, scripture, set and intercessory prayers, participants are invited to stillness and to listen for and to the voice of God. One of the rules of Taizé as stated by Br Roger is to keep inner silence always, and you will dwell in Christ for it is throughinner silence that makes possible our conversation with God. (Br Roger of Taizé)
Taizé prayer is usually conducted in a church, chapel or a room and commences in darkness. As the prayer session proceeds candles or lamps are lit. Candles are usually given to all present as a symbol of the presence of the risen Lord. Christ is the centre of Taize reflection and the light signifies that Jesus Christ has conquered the darkness of death and sin. It is through Christ’s sacrifice that an offer of new life is given.
There is hope for humankind; there exists the real possibility for change, and there is a life we never dared hope for. (Br Roger of Taizé)....
Centring [sic] Exercise
- Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing
- Begin to take slow deep breaths
- With every breath say ’come spirit of God’
- Become aware of God’s presence in you – God is truly present
- When you are ready, open your eyes and return to being present with the group. God is here now”
Source: http://bne.catholic.net.au/faithlife/assets/downloads/products/1137.pdf , Emphasis in original.
Quotes from the Taize Community website (accessed 5/17/2017)
“Since my youth, I think that I have never lost the intuition that community life could be a sign that God is love, and love alone. Gradually the conviction took shape in me that it was essential to create a community with men determined to give their whole life and who would always try to understand one another and be reconciled, a community where kindness of heart and simplicity would be at the centre of everything.” (Emphasis added)
—Brother Roger: “God is love alone”, http://www.taize.fr/en_rubrique8.html
The Community Today
Today, the Taizé Community is made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. By its very existence, the community is a “parable of community” that wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples….
Over the years, young adults have been coming to Taizé in ever greater numbers; they come from every continent to take part in weekly meetings. Sisters of Saint Andrew, an international Catholic community founded seven centuries ago, Polish Ursuline Sisters and Sisters of St Vincent de Paul take on some of the tasks involved in welcoming the young people.
Church leaders also come to Taizé. The community has thus welcomed Pope John Paul II, four Archbishops of Canterbury, Orthodox metropolitans, the fourteen Lutheran bishops of Sweden, and countless pastors from all over the world.
Brother Roger died on 16 August 2005, at the age of 90, killed by a deranged person during the evening prayer. Since then, Brother Alois, whom Brother Roger chose as his successor many years ago, has been the prior of the Community. (Emphasis added)
—ABOUT TAIZÉ (Last updated: 8 March 2008), http://www.taize.fr/en_article6525.html
Letter From Kolkata
“As we continue the “pilgrimage of trust on earth” that brings together young people from many countries, we understand more and more deeply this reality: all humanity forms a single family and God lives within every human being without exception.” (Emphasis added)
—Brother Alois, Letter from Kolkata (Calcutta), 2007, http://www.taize.fr/en_article4202.html
Around the World
“As we continue the pilgrimage of trust on earth that brings together young people from many countries, we understand more and more deeply this reality: all humanity forms a single family and God lives within every human being without exception.” (Emphasis added)
—Brother Alois, Letter from Kolkata, http://www.taize.fr/en_rubrique10.html
At the Wellspring of Faith
“The exchange with God becomes real for us in prayer: by his Holy Spirit, God comes to dwell within us. By his word and by the sacraments, Christ gives himself to us. In return, we can surrender everything to him.” (Emphasis added)
—Brother Alois, Letter from Cochabamba, http://www.taize.fr/en_rubrique12.html
One passes through Taizé as one passes close to a spring of water
Brother Roger met Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, in 1962, during the Vatican Council, when he was still the young auxiliary Bishop of Krakow.
As Archbishop of Krakow, Mgr Wojtyla visited Taizé twice, in 1964 and 1968. After he became pope in 1978, he received Brother Roger every year in private audience. He welcomed in Rome the thousands of young adults of three of the end-of the-year European meetings. During one of his journeys, the Pope visited Taizé in 1986....
“John Paul II received me every year in private audience and sometimes I thought of the trials he had experienced in his life. In his childhood, he had lost his mother; in his youth, his father and his only brother. And I said to myself: try to find a word that brings joy and even consolation to his heart, in telling him about the hope we found among the young people, and in assuring him of the trust our community had in him.” (Brother Roger)....
....The Church needs your enthusiasm
“(…) Like you, pilgrims and friends of the community, the pope is only passing through. But one passes through Taizé as one passes close to a spring of water. The traveller stops, quenches his thirst and continues on his way. (John Paul II) (Emphasis added)
—Article about POPE JOHN PAUL II, http://www.taize.fr/en_article6718.html
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