In Christianity Today Promoting The Cult of Richard Foster at Apprising Ministries we point out that the current September 2008 issue of CT features an interview embracing Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster as a teacher of proper Christian spirituality. As you’ll also see in Spiritual Formation: Just Say No, with an able assist from Foster’s spiritual twin Dallas Willard and the postliberal cult of the Emergent Church, under that guise neopagan so-called “spiritual disciplines” have now slithered into the heart of evangelicalism.
But the the truth is that the core practice of this Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which is Contemplative/Centering Prayer, is actually a type of meditation that’s virtually identical to that practiced in Eastern religions such as Zen Buddhism and the transcendental meditation of Hinduism. And yet this kind of spurious spiritual formation, so-called “Christian” mysticism, which really developed in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism is now showing up in more and more evangelical youth groups.
Below we show you from Martin Luther, one the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, what he thought about what’s been revived by Richard Foster in these so-called spiritual disciplines of Spiritual Formation, which is really simply a reimagined form of semi-pelagian pietism:
Idolatry is all manner of seeming holiness and worshipping, let these counterfeit spiritualities shine outwardly as glorious and fair as they may; in a word, all manner of devotion in those that we would serve God without Christ the Mediator, his Word and command. In popedom it was held a work of the greatest sanctity for the monks to sit in their cells and meditate of God, [solitude] and of his wonderful works; to be kindled with zeal, kneeling on their knees, praying, and having their imaginary contemplations of celestial objects, with such supposed devotion, that they wept for joy. In these their conceits, they banished all desires and thoughts of women, and what else is temporal and evanescent. They seemed to meditate only of God, and of his wonderful works.
Yet all these seeming holy actions of devotion, which the wit and wisdom of man holds to be angelical sanctity, are nothing else but works of the flesh. All manner of religion, where people serve God without his Word and command, is simply idolatry, and the more holy and spiritual such a religion seems, the more hurtful and venomous it is; for it leads people away from the faith of Christ, and makes them rely and depend upon their own strength, works, and righteousness. In like manner, all kinds of orders of monks, fasts, prayers, hairy shirts, the austerities of the Capuchins, who in popedome are held to be the most holy of all, are mere works of the flesh; for the monks hold they are holy, and shall be saved, not through Christ, whom they view as a severe and angry judge, but through the rules of their order. (Tabletalk, 1626 AD)