Contemplative Prayer immerses us into the silence of God. How desperately we in the modern world need this wordless baptism… Contemplative Prayer is the one discipline that can free us from our addiction to words. Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence… It is recreating silence to which we are called in Contemplative Prayer…
A Warning And A Precaution
At the outset I need to give a word of warning,… Contemplative Prayer is not for the novice. I do not say this about any other form of prayer… Contemplative prayer is for those who have exercised their spiritual muscles a bit and know something about the landscape of the spirit. In fact, those who work in the area of spiritual direction always look for signs of a maturing faith before encouraging individuals into Contemplative Prayer…
I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.
Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding The Heart’s True Home (155,156,157)
But what does this have to do with Saddleback Church and Rick Warren? What an excellent question “grasshopper.” So let me do some ‘splainin’. In Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) in Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) you’ll see that the advance of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which flowered within the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism, into the “Protestant” Southern Baptist Convention under the guise of Spiritual Formation really isn’t any secret.
Nor is the fact that Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren is a promoter of The Cult of Guru Richard Foster. In Rick Warren Guilty for Endorsing Richard Foster and His Reimagined Gnostic Mysticism I showed you that in Warren’s modern Church Growth Movement classic The Purpose Driven Church he says that from “time to time God has raised up a parachurch movement to reemphasize a neglected purpose of the church.”
Did you catch that? Here now Warren has just said that, “God has raised up” these movements up for “a neglected purpose of the church.” This is very important as we then analyze what is to follow from Warren. Church Growth Guru Warren then pronounces his blessing upon these movements as being “valid, and even helpful” in that these organizations can “focus on a single purpose.”
As I’ve said before we don’t necessarily have a problem with the premise itself, but Warren then goes on to inform us that among these parachurch movements he’s discussing is what he calls The Discipleship/Spiritual Formation Movement. Warren tells us that:
A reemphasis on developing believers to full maturity has been the focus of this movement. Organizations such as the Navigators, Worldwide Discipleship, and Campus Crusade for Christ, and authors such as Waylon Moore, Gary Kuhne, Gene Getz, Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard have underscored the importance of building up Christians and establishing personal spiritual disciplines. (126, emphasis added)
And Warren even shows us how much he believes what he says here because if you were to walk into Saddleback Resources bookstore at Saddleback Church today you will be able to purchase Prayer: Finding The Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. And as Apprising Ministries shows you in Spiritual Formation: Just Say No you can look long and hard throughout the history of the on-going Protestant Reformation and you will not see “spiritual formation” until Richard Foster arrives with his book Celebration of Discipline in 1978.
And by the way, you can also purchase Celebration of Discipline at Saddleback Church along with Spirit of the Disciplines by Foster’s partner Dallas Willard, Life of the Beloved by Roman Catholic priest Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) and Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, “pastor of spiritual formation at Christ Church in Oakbrook, IL,” all found in the bookstore of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in their Spiritual Disciplines section right next to the section of Spiritual Formation.
So, the all-important question now becomes: Why is Rick Warren—arguably the most influential Southern Baptist pastor in the world—pointing us to a teacher of corrupt Quaker mysticism and anti-Reformation ecumenicism like Richard Foster?