firstname.lastname@example.org ... http://www.cth.com.au/corp/despatch/
A CRITIQUE ON THE MINISTRY OF RICHARD FOSTER.
Wendy Howard, editor of Despatch magazine, Queensland, Australia.
Richard Foster’s books are in many churches today. His speaking tours have influenced a number of countries, including Australia. As Christians who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and obey God’s Word, we must speak out against the false and spiritually dangerous teaching propagated by this man. Many New Age teachings are present within the seemingly innocuous context of Foster’s preaching and writing. We shall consider, prayerfully, these matters together, before a Holy God.
Richard Foster’s books, including “Celebration of Discipline,” have
had wide distribution for perhaps 20 years. Constance Cumbey, author of
“A Planned Deception” and “The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow” (both books
dealing with the delusions of the New Age) tells us this:
“I have found Richard Foster’s books for sale in interesting locations. They are, of course, in nearly every Christian book store. ...I have found the book (C of C) at the Theosophical Society headquarters in Wheaton, Illinois, Chinook Learning Community Warm Winds Bookstore on South Whidbey Island (near Seattle), and in most secular bookstores. Just who is Richard J. Foster, and exactly what is he teaching. Why are his books ones that OCCULTISTS feel comfortable reading and selling? Do they belong in Evangelical and fundamentalist churches?”
(p.105 “A Planned Deception. pub. Point Pub. Inc. Emphasis added.)
It is indeed an alarming matter when a “Christian” book is highly lauded
by occult, New Age groups! This immediately should send off alarms bells,
for no New Age Luciferian, or Goddess worshipper, would sell or delight
in a true, Scripturally sound publication about the Lord Jesus Christ of
our Faith. What is there about Richard Foster that appeals to them? He
is a New Age orientated teacher himself. He has accepted and promotes New
Age teachers and their false premises, and quotes from them in his books
and lectures. He may be sincere, but if so he is deceived. Should we who
love the Lord and Truth allow Foster to deceive and confuse others?
Surely not, as responsible believers we must carefully evaluate this man’s deceptions, and lead others away from the lies and errors of the New Age. Many of these teachings lead into the spiritually dark and murky world of interaction with deceiving demonic spirits - dare we just ignore the dangers? I think not.
DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY.
Foster brings the New Age delusion which has been labelled “Christian mysticism” by the unwary and gullible. His book, “Celebration of Discipline” has far too many New Age teachings in it to attempt to deal with in this short critique. We can attempt only a brief dallying in the seductive pages. In his original printing of the above book (I have a copy lest any should doubt my comments) he plainly expressed his source of inspiration, and his New Age thinking. Later, he changed the text as Bible-based Christians uncovered his errors. This is what he originally wrote:
“We of the New Age can risk going against the tide. Let us with abandon relish the fantasy games of children. Let’s see visions and dream dreams. Let’s play, sing, laugh. The imagination can release a flood of ideas, and exercising our imagination can be lots of fun. Only those who are insecure about their own maturity will fear such a delightful form of celebration.” (p. 170).
You will note, apart from the obvious unwise slip of using the “New
Age” title, that these teachings are a direct assault against God’s instructions
in Scripture, and I quote:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. “ (II Corinthians 10:5).
Richard Foster’s books are arrayed with quotes and instructions from New Age teachers who are well versed in the beliefs and agenda of the occultists. Although many of his musings and enthusiastic devotions are “pleasant” to read, indeed quite inspiring to those who are unaware of the traps, they either directly contradict the Bible, or lead into demonic possession. When I read “Celebration of Discipline” for the first time, many years ago now, I was strangely moved by it, until my eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit. It seemed “spiritual” and seemed to promise a new way of living. Foster seems to present deep love of Christ in his teaching. Some of the book is just common sense, such as the teaching about living a simpler life-style, being less concerned about material possessions. But, the “good” is vastly out-weighed by the questionable sources and lead-in to the spirituality of the New Age.
THESE NEW AGE TEACHERS ARE QUOTED OFTEN BY FOSTER, and many others as well:
This man was a Trappist monk who became a Hindu/Buddist. Basically his beliefs and orientation was not Christian. He was a co-worker with the New Age leader of global power, Barbara Marx Hubbard, who formed the global New Age organisation “Committee for the Future.”
Her books include praise of the original candidate for the post of Lord Maitreya of the New Age, Jidda Krishnamurti. He remained an occultist until his death, although he refused the position of world teacher and leader. O’Connor praised New Age centres of “spiritual” learning!
Seen by some churches as being “spiritual” Sandford taught a form of Catholic/Hindu mysticism. Her books are used by the Luciferian theosophical society, as her mysticism is ancient occult practice.
She authored Practical Mysticism. Another expression of Hindu/Catholic “spiritual” exercises.
A Catholic New Ager who was denounced because of his heretical and pantheistic teachings. These included that man is God, that nature itself is Divine, and that evolution and reincarnation are pantheistic realities. Meister Eckhart, along with the apostate ex-priest of the Catholic Church, Matthew Fox and David Spangler ( New Age teacher of nightmare beliefs ) are lauded darlings of the Catholic/ New Age syncretism in the 1990s! Their beliefs, like Foster himself, are nothing less than ‘refined” versions of witchcraft and shamanism, very old and very demonic.
A Jewish mystic who has succumbed to the New Age delusions.
This man studied at Harvard to become a theologian. He teaches and is an activist for the syncretism of all religions (Catholic, Protestant and the world’s indigenous and occultic religions.)
SOUND BIBLICAL DOCTRINE?
Richard Foster does not deal in Biblical doctrine, sound exegesis, Biblical instruction in regard to walking with the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, he does quote the Bible, but never does he proceed in plain, unadorned teaching as to: sanctification by Grace through faith; the cleansing of the Blood of Christ for our daily walk (I John chapter 1); the solid instructions in Scripture for “doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” as per the commands of II Timothy 3:16 - and other sound exhortations. Yet, Foster’s teachings often seem a “breathe of fresh air” to stale and staid church goers. The Foster writings are alive with a seductive sort of humanism and mystical promise of closer relationship with God. Let us beware, for spiritual darkness comes often in a pleasing dress of light and beauty. Is Richard Foster sincere? I should imagine so, but he is deluded and confused - far from the true Life of Christ as revealed to the believer by the Indwelling Holy Spirit.
Despatch magazine, back in 1996, had the following article on Richard Foster. It was composed by myself in response to the book by Foster, “Celebration of Discipline” which I had found in my son’s Anglican church. The book eventually alarmed and disturbed me, as I examined it in depth, and so the critique was published:
RICHARD J. FOSTER, "Christian" psychologist of international fame will
be spreading his brand of "Christianity" and Zen Buddhism throughout Australia
in June and July, 1995. Foster's itinerary is:
Blackburn Baptist Church, Melbourne, Victoria,
June 27-30, 1995. (The main seminar.)
Clayfield College, Brisbane, Queensland, June 23, 1995.
Key Queensland leaders will hold a seminar, June 24th.
Richard Foster will also hold seminars in
Adelaide and Canberra in June-July.
Foster's "Spiritual Formation and Christian Community" seminars are SMALL GROUPS CONFERENCES on spiritual "renewal".
On the information brochures sent out to advertise these
conferences, the names of those involved in Australia are given.
Amongst these are:
SERENDIPITY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES.
This organisation is associated with WORLD VISION, both have same New Age doctrines and aims.
SCRIPTURE UNION, which is also involved with New Age indoctrination.
AUSTRALIAN SMALL GROUP NETWORK? (A.S.G.N.)
JOHN MARK MINISTRIES and ALBATROSS BOOKS.
THE OPEN BOOK, LUTHERAN, in Melbourne is mentioned on the brochures, but we have heard that they have disassociated themselves with Foster since the writing of the ad. material.
One name which is listed as a seminar leader at Blackburn Baptist is HARRY PROUT, a member of the Catholic Marist Brothers community, he heads a Marist retreat centre at Mt Macedon, Victoria. Prout is a JESUIT, who also is a facilitator for the young. He runs retreats for "Christian" schools!
The implications of this visit by Foster are far more serious than it would seem to the casual observer. Foster is the founder of an organisation called RENOVARE, which has powerful, influential support from Christian world leaders. The co-director is William I. Vaswig, a former Lutheran Pastor. RENOVARE, from the Latin meaning "to make new spiritually" is promoting the revival of MEDITATIVE and CONTEMPLATIVE traditions of the Catholic mystics, ZEN BUDDHISM and PSYCHO THERAPY.
Albert James Dager, of "Media Spotlight" writes of the mystical practices Foster teaches and indulges himself in:
"Unfortunately, all these exercises serve to do is open the person up to demonic influences that assuage his or her conscience with a feeling of euphoria and even "love" emanating from the presence that has invaded their consciousness. This euphoria is then believed to validate that the person is on the right spiritual path. It may result in visions, out-of body experiences, stigmata, levitation, even healings and other apparent miracles."
"Like John Wimber of Vineyard International Ministries, it is out of the religious traditions of Quakerism that Foster has come with the message that today's Church is missing out on some wonderful spiritual experiences that can only be found by studying and practising the meditative and contemplative lifestyle."
RENOVARE, which Foster heads in the USA, IS A PART OF AN EXPANSION BY PAGAN/CATHOLIC PSYCHO MYSTICS. LEADERS BEING TRAINED IN WASHINGTON. IT seems that an organisation in Washington, D.C., THE SHALEM INSTITUTE FOR SPIRITUAL FORMATION is training leaders in these "disciplines" of paganism. The Shalem Institute is merely one such centre which are to be found around the world. They are ecumenical, strong New Age spirituality dominates, Roman Catholic mysticism is indulged in and an acceptance of all religions overshadows these centres of training. Rose Mary Dougherty, a Roman Catholic nun is the Director for Spiritual Guidance at Shalem, Washington.
The seminars in Brisbane are called "SPIRITUAL FORMATION and Christian Community". What we have now in Australia is a internationally super powerful, ecumenical SMALL GROUP initiative which could mushroom beyond imagination! As if we have not suffered enough with Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Tony Campolo, John Dawson, Cindy Jacobs (and Marilyn Hicks to arrive soon) bringing their spiritual poison here. WHO IS SPREADING THIS PAGAN, DANGEROUS, NEW AGE CATHOLIC DEMON-POSSESSION? WHO ARE INVOLVED WITH FOSTER'S RENOVARE? Included in the extensive list are Lloyd John Ogilvie, Jack Hayford, G. Raymond Carlson (General Superintendent of the Assembly of God, USA), David Hubbard (President of Fuller Theological College), Jamie Buckingham, TONY CAMPOLO, I. J. Packer, JOHN WIMBER, C. PETER WAGNER - to mention just a few!
WHAT DOES RICHARD FOSTER TEACH?
Author of best-selling books which are best known by main-stream Churches, such as Baptist, Uniting Church and Anglican, Foster wrote "Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth." It is a book which calls for deeper spirituality than that which the Bible teaches! Foster's teachings are filled with Buddhism, Yoga, T. M., the exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, Eastern religion, and extremely spiritually destructive practices.
These techniques and teachings will be foisted upon a naive Church-going public here, who will imagine they are being helped to grow in God. I do not want to be an alarmist, but this visit by Foster will, no doubt, lead countless gullible "Christians" into demon possession, bondage to evil spirits and eventual black despair. Pray for those in these churches, the outlook is grim.
FOLLOWING, SOME QUOTES FROM RICHARD FOSTER:
Foster uses imagination in a New Age manner, as he teaches about the occult psychiatrist C. G. Jung, and the Jesuit, Ignatius of Loyola.
"The inner world of meditation is most easily entered through the door
of the IMAGINATION. We fail to today to appreciate its tremendous power.
The IMAGINATION is stronger that the conceptual thought and stronger than
the will. In the West, our tendency to deify the merits of rationalism
- and it does have merit- has caused us to ignore the value of the imagination.
Some rare individuals may be able to contemplate in an image less void, but most of us need to be more deeply rooted in the senses. Jesus taught this way, making constant appeal to the imagination and the senses....
In his autobiography C. G. JUNG describes how difficult it was for him to humble himself and once again play IMAGINATION games of a child, and the value of that experience. Just as children need to learn to think logically, adults need to REDISCOVER THE MAGICAL REALITY of the IMAGINATION."
Richard Foster goes on:
"IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA in his SPIRITUAL EXERCISES constantly encouraged his readers to VISUALISE THE GOSPEL STORIES. Every CONTEMPLATION he gave was designed to open the imagination. He even included a meditation entitled "application of the senses," which is an attempt to help us utilise all five senses as we picture the Gospel events. His thin volume of meditation exercises with its stress on the imagination and tremendous impact for good upon the sixteenth century."
("Celebration of Discipline" page 22.) (Emphasis added.)
Comment from Albert James Dager:
"I'll say Ignatius of Loyola's meditation exercises had a tremendous impact upon the sixteenth century, but it wasn't for good. Ignatius of Loyola's JESUIT ORDER under his personal direction was responsible for the MARTYRDOM OF COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF GOD'S SAINTS who would not bow the knee to the papal demand for unconditional obedience." (Emphasis added.)
NEW AGE MYSTICISM AND A FORM OF PANTHEISM:
"After you have gained some proficiency in centering down, add a five-to-ten-minute MEDITATION on some aspect of creation. Choose something in the created order: tree, plant, bird, leaf, cloud, and each day ponder it carefully and prayerfully. ...'The simplest and oldest way...in which God manifests Himself is...through and in THE EARTH ITSELF. And He still speaks to us through THE EARTH and the sea..."
(Emphasis added. Ibid., page 25.) On the same page Foster quotes from the apostate "Christian" mystics, Agnes Sandford and Evelyn Underhill.)
Richard Foster teaches that we can bring
Jesus into our presence by the use of the imagination:
"As you enter the story, not as passive observer but as an active participant, remember that since Jesus lives in the Eternal Now and is not bound by time, this event in the past is a LIVING PRESENT-TENSE EXPERIENCE for Him. Hence, you can "ACTUALLY"* ENCOUNTER THE LIVING CHRIST in the event, be ADDRESSED BY HIS VOICE and BE TOUCHED BY HIS healing power. It can be MORE THAN AN EXERCISE OF THE IMAGINATION it can be a GENUINE CONFRONTATION, Jesus Christ will actually COME TO YOU."
(Emphasis added, but * "actually" was emphasised by Foster. Ibid., p.26.)
Albert James Dager makes an interesting comment on this amazingly occult
"One can no more actually bring Jesus into his presence through such figments of one's imagination than a Catholic priest can change wine into the actual blood of Jesus. The Lord cannot be manipulated by our whims of fancy. And contrary to Foster's mystical ruminations, Jesus exists at the right hand of the Father during this present time. Those who think of eternity as "timeless" do not understand the reality of God's nature or of His domain. Time does exist in eternity, and I would challenge Foster to show us from Scripture where this is not true."
Interesting too that Tony Campolo, when he spoke in Brisbane, made much of the lie that time is "relative", and that Jesus Christ was still hanging on the Cross, because past, present, future, eternity are all the same to God. This is a fearful deception, on the same pathway as "no absolutes" of morality or righteousness. If there is no "real" time, then there is no absolute reality either. The doorway is wide open to a supernaturally given false "Jesus", do not go through and gain a evil spirit guide!
There is so much more that could be written about Foster. His book "Celebration
of Discipline" originally had the words "NEW AGE" on page 170, but this
was changed to avoid criticism:
"We of the New Age can risk going against the tide." became changed to, "We who follow Christ can risk going against the tide."
For those who still may have doubts about the New Age philosophy
of Foster, read how he encourages ASTRAL TRAVEL:
"A fourth form of meditation has as its objective to bring you into a deep inner communion with the Father where you look at Him and He looks at you. In your imagination, PICTURE YOURSELF walking along a lovely forest path. Take your time, allowing the blaring noise of our modern megalopolis to be overtaken by the sound of rustling leaves and cool forest streams..."
etc ...(a guided meditation continues for some length here, Despatch comment).
"After awhile there is a deep yearning within to go into the upper regions beyond the clouds. In your imagination ALLOW YOUR SPIRITUAL BODY, shining with light, TO RISE OUT OF YOUR PHYSICAL BODY. Look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily. Imagine your spiritual self, alive and vibrant, rising up through the clouds and into the stratosphere. Observe your physical body, the knoll, and the forest shrink as you leave the earth. Go deeper and deeper into outer space until there is nothing except the warm presence of the eternal Creator....listen carefully...Note any instruction given....return to the meadow. Walk joyfully back along the path until you return home full of new life and ENERGY."
(Emphasis added. Ibid., p.27.)
RENOVARE seminars teach practices which are authentic Christianity
and dangerous paganism intermingled. A full expose on Foster can be obtained
MEDIA SPOTLIGHT, P.O. Box 290, Redmond Wa 98073-0290.
QUOTES FROM MEDIA SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL REPORT ON RENOVARE.
"Renovare's spiritual formation groups are patterned after those found at spiritual renewal centres which blend the philosophies of the world with Christianity to produce a hybrid form of spiritual enlightenment." (p.11)
"Foster, being a psychologist, integrates psychotherapy into Renovare's methodologies." (p.11)
"A large part of Renovare's spiritual disciplines involve meditation on the writings of selected spiritual masters associated with the "Christian" contemplative tradition. Most, of course, are Roman Catholic, particularly those mystics from the fourth through the fifteenth century."
Media Spotlight gives a long list here including:
Thomas Merton; Julian of Norwich; Teresa of Avila and Francis of Assisi
(all important in the New Age).
Believers, one can get exactly the same guided meditation trip from any New Age witch. When God told us to come to Him in prayer, He surely didn't mean that we should take up the ancient evil practice of ASTRAL PROJECTION to do so.
WHO ARE THOSE INVOLVED WITH "RENOVARE", the NEW AGE CENTRE RICHARD FOSTER HEADS? Take a look at the list following, and then ring and tell me that we are NOT in the last of the Last Days, and that this is NOT the great "Falling Away" predicted in 11 Thess. 2:3, if you still think you have a leg to stand on!
RENOVARE'S STEERING COMMITTEE
*Sister Thomas Bernard, Director.
The Spirituality Centre, CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE of Los Angeles.
*Isaac Canales, Ass. Dir. Hispanic Ministries, FTS*
*T. Eugene Coffin, Counsellor, Memorial Gardens, CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL.
*Richard Felix, President, AZUSA Pacific University.
*David Allan Hubbard, President of FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.
*Anne Huffman. 'Harbour Community PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES.
*Jerry Johnson, Ex. Pastor, Lake Avenue CONGREGATIONAL. *H. B. London Sen. Pastor First Church of the Nazarene. California.
*Robert Munger, Prof. Emeritus evangelism and Church Strategy. FTS*
*William E. Pannell, Dir. Black Ministries. FTS*
*Robert A. Seiple, Pres. WORLD VISION, Inc.
*Slang-Yang-Tan, Direc. Dr. of Psychology Program. FTS*
*"REV. MSGR. ROYALE M. VADAKIN.
Direc. COMMISSION ON ECUMENICAL & INTER-RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE of Los Angeles.
(*FTS: Fuller Theological Seminary). (...List Shortened)
RENOVARE'S BOARD OF REFERENCE
JAMIE BUCKINGHAM, G. Raymond Carlson, Ted W. Engstrom, Gary Fawver,
TONY CAMPOLO, Richard Felix, Faith Forster, Roger Forster, William C. Frey,
Millard Fuller, Henry Gariepy, MICHAEL HARPER, Roberts Hestenes,
Jerry R. Kirk, Clarence A Kopp, Sr., David LeShana, Peter Lord, Carl H. Lundquist,
DAVID & KAREN MAINS, Martin Marty,
AMONGST MANY WHO ARE OF
RENOVARE'S SPEAKING PLATFORM ARE:
Sister Thomas Bernard, Catholic.
Isaac Canales, Fuller Theo. Seminary.
(Fuller has many speakers for Renovare).
Eugene Coffin, Crystal Cathedral (Robert Schuller's "cathedral").
Richard Foster, President of Renovare.
Jack Hayford, Sen. Pastor, The Church on the Way, California. Bob Seiple, World Vision, Inc.
William Vaswig, of Renovare.
Jane Willard. Professional therapist (offered for prayer and counselling during seminars)...(list shortened)
MORE ABOUT THE SHALEM INSTITUTE
Writes Albert James Dager:
"It is unbiblical exercises that opens one up to demonic entities, as do all spiritual exercises not specifically taught in Scripture....
All this stuff is superfluous at best, and certainly demonic in origin."
Rose Mary Dougherty,
Director for Spiritual Guidance is a Roman Catholic nun.
Carole Crumley, Canon pastor, Washington Nat. Cath..
Carolyn Tanner Irish, Episcopal priest, Shalem Assoc. staff.
Barbara Osborne, psychotherapist.
Gerald May, Shalem Director for Research & Program Development (professor of William Vaswig).
Lindsley Ludy, UCC minister, graduate of Shalem Spiritual Guidance Program..."
"Shalem is merely one of MANY SUCH CENTRES NOW TO BE FOUND AROUND THE WORLD! Shalem offers a session taught by Carole Crumley which is called "Presence Through Sacred Image: Icon Prayer Group." This group meets once a week. They "pray" and meditate around the sacred icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, using them as "WINDOWS INTO THE SPIRITUAL REALM." People in "stress" often are drawn to these centres as they seek an escape from an unbearably materialistic world. Instead of finding God, they become entangled in a Christianised spiritualism!"
The SPIRITUAL RETREAT concept is not confined to New Age and Catholic
religious devotees in the 1990s. New Age demonically orientated, Catholic
mystic, Buddhist meditation style retreat centres and home prayer groups
are now ecumenical. Throughout Christendom, these are emerging and growing
in popularity. RENOVARE and SHALEM INSTITUTE are in Australia, watch out
for "SPIRITUAL FORMATION & CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY" home groups and seminars
in your area.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN AUSTRALIA?
It would be obvious to anyone that RENOVARE/SHALEM INSTITUTE centres and "SMALL GROUP" "ministries" are envisioned for our country.
WILLOW CONNECTIONS is mentioned on the brochure advertising Foster. On at the same time as Foster's seminar, at Gateway Baptist Church in Brisbane, on the 21-22 of June WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY is holding a workshop. Connected?
WHAT IS THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL GROUP NETWORK?
The ASGN is an organisation which forms local church groups, using facilitators who are spreading the SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY beliefs, techniques and doctrines etc. The ASGN operates across ALL DENOMINATIONS. They distribute a Discipleship Journal. ASGN will be a New Age/Christian mixture of confusion which will lead many astray! Mainline church people are indeed jaded and needy, they want something more vital and comforting than a large meeting once a week, and then impersonal dealings with a formal church. RENOVARE will seem to meet this need of close, small, intimate relationship.
There is an AUSTRALIAN SMALL GROUP NETWORK, address is in Carlingford, NSW. They have state chairpersons in NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS.
THESE GROUPS WILL BE DYNAMITE!
We have a fuller expose on the whole Foster, Renovare, Spiritual Formation, Shalem , Zen Buddhist, Catholic Mystic, "Force of the Universe" connection. We will contact MEDIA SPOTLIGHT in the USA to request the right to copy this for distribution here. Copies could be sent by you to those who are heading up this MAJOR DECEPTION!!! Will any of them listen anyway? Pray that they will! Lives of precious people are in the balance.
A LAST WORD OF WARNING.
William Vaswig, co-director with Richard Foster of Renovare, was trained in the religious disciplines of these small group "ministries" by THE SHALEM INSTITUTE FOR SPIRITUAL FORMATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. His professor there was GERALD MAY.......
"The objective is to move from conscious communication with God to being "in the Presence," as Bill Vaswig puts it. The Buddhist equivalent of being in the Presence would be to reach total enlightenment and eventually Nirvana or assimilation with the 'divine' where one loses his identity entirely and is melded into the all-knowing Mind or FORCE of the Universe....
It is noteworthy that Foster and Vaswig outwardly express disapproval
of the New Age movement when asked about it, and disavow any New Age leanings.
Yet Vaswig's association with the Shalem Institute belies any such claim.
When they speak of "practicing the presence of God," which is a major facet
of Renovare's spiritual exercises we find that what they mean is ZEN MEDITATION."
Shalem's work also involves the chant, the "body prayer" practice,
the reflection and journaling of REIKI and QUAKERISM. THE FORCE of
the NEW AGE:
"...a Traditional Reiki Master, which will align and tune in the ENERGY CENTERS of the student. After this process is completed, the UNIVERSAL LIFE FORCE becomes AMPLIFIED when drawn through the hands."
(New Age publication, Common Ground, quote.)
FROM ANOTHER CRITIQUE BY MYSELF,
drawing upon various sources: Richard Foster from Rick Warren.htm
.... Rick Warren even uses a recommendation by Schuller at the startof his book, “The Purpose Driven Church.” Success, popularity, prosperity,worldliness are the aims and purposes of both Schuller and Warren. Richard Foster.This teacher has entered into the shadowy world of pantheistic occultism! His book “Celebration of Discipline” has many, many New Age teachings in it. If Rick Warren was more Bible study orientated he would realise that this man Foster is NOT of our Biblical God at all. In the original edition of Foster’s book p. 170 said this,
“We of the New Age can risk going against the tide.” Later editions have had this slip removed, it showed Foster’s true colours. Foster is a mystic, who teaches of the dark night of the soul, and extreme passivity in meditation techniques of the New Age.
From Dave Hunt’s “The
Seduction of Christianity” p.p. 126,127: “Richard Foster, who is one of Agnes Sanford’s many admirers and was heavily influenced by her, states: “I have been greatly helped in my understanding of the value of the imagination
in praying for others by Agnes Sanford and my dear friend, Pastor Bill Vaswig.” Foster says that he took “the idea for some of the ... visualizations” he presents from Vaswig’s book; (1) and Vaswig got them from Sanford. (2)
The arousal of the power of the imagination through fantasy and visualization is one of the major themes of Foster’s best-selling book Celebration of Discipline, (3) which, nevertheless, is to be commended for encouraging
devotion to the Lord and greater discipline in the Christian life. Later Foster says again: “This advice ... [of] prayer through the imagination ... picture the healing ... and much more, was given to me by Agnes Sanford. I have discovered her to be an extremely wise and skillful counsellor... Her book The Healing Gifts of the Spirit is an excellent resource.” (4) Whatever Sanford said as a "skillful counsellor” concerning her favourite topic, “prayer through the imagination,” was rooted in her basically pagan beliefs onto which she merely superimposed Christian and psychological terminology, especially Jungian. This ought to be clear to anyone reading her writings. For example: Wise men of India for many centuries have trod the lofty peaks of meditation developing their psycho-spiritual powers
and giving birth to their oversouls.
Spirits of those [dead] for whom we have prayed on earth are working through us.....One conveys that healing force to the inner being [of the sick] through the law of suggestion ...He [the person doing the healing] has made a thought-track between his spirit, subconscious mind and body; the body, the subconscious mind and the spirit of the patient ... (5)” These following quotes from Richard Foster will show where this man is coming from, New Age/Christianity and shamanism: “Imagination opens the door to faith. If we can’see’ in our mind’s eye (the third eye of the Hindus) a shattered marriage whole or a sick person well, it is only a short step to believing it will be so.” (insert added, p.36, “Celebration of Discipline.”) “‘Let’s play a little game,’ I said. ‘Since we know Jesus is always with us. let’s imagine that He is sitting over in the chair across from us. He is waiting for to centre our attention on Him.’” (p .37. ibid)
From ‘Simplicity in Christ”by W.B. Howard:
“In our churches lie the hidden agendas of the New World Church, with the adoration of the Force, or energy-worship of nature. The Source, the pantheistic idea that God is an impersonal energy, is in "Christian" books
by people like John and Paula Sanford, Agnes Sanford and Richard Foster - only to mention four amongst many, many. People today are engaged in drawing up the Force from the earth, through the soles of their feet, until
it tingles and vibrates in their finger-tips! Organisations, which counsel the needy and searching , encourage the unwary into such practices. Schools, colleges, medical centres, gymnasiums, business seminars, pre-schools,
Religious Education - you name it! - are all into New Age "idol worship" evil. Rather an extreme statement, you may think, but it is only a statement of fact.”
Inner Healing , from Despatch vol.9:4:
“ We must reject inner healing because of its roots. The problem is exacerbated when we discover the source of inner healing teaching. Carl Gustav Jung the famous Swiss psychologist taught that there is within each of us ‘a collective unconsciousness’. Jung had a spirit guide called 'Phi lemon' and he claimed that he was bringing up images from the ‘collective unconscious’. Agnes Sanford was much influenced by Jung’s ideas (which came from evil spirits) and ‘Christianized’ them, introducing visualisation and inner healing to an unsuspecting church. Her son Jack
studied at the C.J. Jung Institute in Zurich with Morton Kelsey, a charismatic.
Dave Hunt and McMahon gave detailed proof of the occult practices and strange
teaching of people such as Agnes Sanford, Morton Kelsey, John and Paula
Sandford, Richard Foster, and other teachers of inner healing and visualisation.”
MAY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST grant to us all the discernment that grasps
the spiritual dangers of these perilous times, and refuses to be deceived
and drawn away into Satanic practices and beliefs. May the Lord give us
courage to expose and oppose the New Age, with its mysticism, syncretism
and psycho-spiritual angels of light.
“Help us Lord to keep the false teachers from making a prey of the young Christians in our churches, and help us to give them a proper grounding in sound Bible study, prayer and Godly living. In Christ Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.”
SOME PERSONAL DETAILS OF RICHARD FOSTER. - gleaned from Internet.
20 years of Celebrating Spiritual Disciplines
Richard Foster has served as minister of youth, associate pastor, and pastor in a
variety of church settings. He and his wife Carolyn have two grown children and reside in Colorado. He has served as a professor of theology at George Fox University, Friends University, and currently at Azusa Pacific University. Foster originally authored, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, 20 years ago, revising it in 1988.
RICHARD FOSTER COMMENTS ON UNITY AND ECUMENISM.
From an Internet interview:
Amazon.com: Throughout Streams of Living Water:
“ Your enthusiasm for the people you profile--from Billy Graham to the Desert Fathers--is palpable. Were any of these historical figures new discoveries for you?”
Richard Foster: “I was aware of all of them and knew the outlines
of the stories, but some people I'd never known about in much detail. For
example, William Seymour [the founder of modern Pentecostalism and the
leader of the Azusa Street revival]--I had only had glimpses and glimmers.
And Dag Hammarskjold, even Susannah Wesley. They're people that God captured.
They weren't perfect in any way, but there was incredible focus in their
lives. There was a God-blindedness about their
lives.... To write each of the profiles, I would read an average of a dozen books. For some, there was more; for others, there was less. And there were some major research challenges. In William Seymour's case, we wrote, e-mailed, and faxed the University of Birmingham in England for about five months, to get a photocopy of a rare dissertation about his life. “
Amazon.com: Your introduction to Streams of Living Water says that:
"God is drawing many streams [of spiritual experience--such as Orthodoxy and charismatic Christianity] together that heretofore have been separated from one another. It is a little like the Mississippi River, which gains strength and
volume as the Ohio and the Missouri and many other rivers flow into it. So in our day God is bringing together a mighty 'Mississippi of the Spirit.'" Where and how, specifically, do you see this convergence taking place? “
Foster: “That is more a statement of faith than it is an empirical,
identifiable phenomenon.... But what you see are two things happening culturally.
One is a kind of spiritual centrifuge forming. A centrifuge is a machine
that whirls materials around and breaks up their densities. Right now,
we're seeing many densities breaking up. They're falling apart. People
are getting their theology across the horizontal bars
of interdenominational connections, not from the vertical bars of denominational loyalty. And this is a great sadness to many people. But the second thing you see is the coming together of new ways of doing church, of doing life. You're finding this more aggressively in two-thirds of the world settings--in Asia, in Central America, and in Africa particularly. You see it in home-study group movements, "cell
group" movements, and the meta-church movements. All of these things are happening, but we must not say too much. Because there are a lot of forces that could stop us. ...”
Amazon.com: “Are any current debates in the church threatening to disrupt this convergence? “
Foster: “The forces that can move us away from the convergence I try to describe in Streams are the tendencies of various groups to come along and say, "We've got it all. We have the truth. And therefore we are it." It is a kind of arrogant spirit. Pride can hinder this convergence more than any other thing....”
Question: “Many people have rejected institutional religion but moved into or other forms of spirituality. Is that the antitheses of what you believe should be happening or are they on a common course?”
“It isn't too hard to see why people have left institutional structures.
What it shows really is this massive hunger for God and a disillusionment with the traditional ways of finding that. A hunger doesn't mean that people will really be satisfied, they can go in all kinds of strange directions, but often it is the first healthy sign that people are at least searching.
We don't have to feel that to do Church the way they did it 100 years ago is the way it has to be done today....”
Question: “How does the `Toronto Blessing' and similar kinds of expressions of spiritual life sit alongside the more sustained, the more effort-driven disciplines that you are talking about?”
“I must say that I have not been to the Toronto Vineyard Church. But my basic feeling is that God is no too worried about his own reputation.”
“Wonderful experiences of the presence of God - I mean in general, not talking about the specific thing in Toronto - are good, and are not to be thought of as antithetical to a striving in the life of the spirit. These things work together.”
“We train in the spiritual life, and we receive from God anything that God is pleased to give us by means of special experiences, or ecstatic experiences, I've known some of those things myself personally, and that is a great blessing.”
Question: “Could you just quickly outline your five strands and indicate how they come together.”
“The contemplative stream, a depth of spirituality, a life of intimacy
with God, a life of prayer. A holiness tradition or stream, what the old
writers called `holy habits' - a development of the virtuous life.” (Comment.
Here he refers to mysticism).
“The third stream is the charismatic stream. I use that word in the largest sense of a Spirit-empowered life, and historically we can see that over and over again where God has given his life, and his power and his grace and mercy.”
“St Francis said (Catholic mystic): "Always preach Christ and if necessary use words."