Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)
Evangelical Rip Van Winkles Call A Quaker Mystic For Their Bedtime Stories
An encyclopedia of theological error…um, but other than that it’s pretty good. By now it’s become quite obvious that evangelicalism is deep into her lust affair with the repackaged “Christian” mysticism of Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster who is hands down the leading proponent of spiritually corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism. This neo-Gnosticism with its Contemplative/Centering Prayer actually flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism and has now slithered its way deep into evangelicalism from its den in the Emerging Church.
For example recently we’ve seen Christianity Today Promoting the Cult of Richard Foster and his so-called “spiritual disciplines” of the spurious Spiritual Formation he teaches along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard. Foster, who is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, aka the Quakers, is even touted by the Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren as a leader within the evangelical church itself as I showed you in Rick Warren Guilty For Endorsing The Cult Of Guru Richard Foster And His Reimagined Gnostic Mysticism. CT is now out of the mystic closet as well which is quite obvious in Christianity Today Promoting The Roman Catholic Mystic Catherine Of Siena.
This cult rapidly growing up around a Quaker mystic who’s “gospel” message is so diluted he can even be listed right along with unbelieving pagan religious leaders like the Dali Lama, Ram Dass and Marianne Williamson as a great “spiritual teacher” at the Living Spiritual Teachers Project is now even entrenched deeply within the the allegedly “Protestant” and increasingly apostatizing Slowly Becoming Catholic as evidenced in Spiritual Formation Survey And Contemplative Prayer In The Baptist State Convention Of North Carolina (SBC).
And now we see the State Convention of the Southern Baptist Convention for the state of Georgia (Online source), has followed the egregious decision of Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) of the Southern Baptist Convention and in Georgia Baptist Convention (SBC) Now Promoting The Cult Of Richard Foster you’ll see it’s not even attempting to hide its open embrace of the dubious doctrines of the spurious Spiritual Formation promulgated by Foster and Willard et al as a viable approach to Protestant spirituality.
So with all of this in mind Apprising Ministries is very pleased to bring together in one source a couple of the very insightful things Dr. Gary Gilley has written concerning Celebration of Discipline (CoD) by “Roshi” Richard Foster. First, this is what he had to say about CoD in his excellent series called Mysticism:
Celebration of Discipline alone, not even referencing Foster’s other writings and teachings and ministries, is a virtual encyclopedia of theological error. We would be hard pressed to find in one so-called evangelical volume such a composite of false teaching. These include faulty views on the subjective leading of God (pp. 10, 16-17, 18, 50, 95, 98, 108-109, 128, 139-140, 149-150, 162, 167, 182); approval of New Age teachers (see Thomas Merton below); occultic use of imagination (pp. 25-26, 40-43, 163, 198); open theism (p. 35); misunderstanding of the will of God in prayer (p. 37); promotion of visions, revelations and charismatic gifts (pp. 108, 165, 168-169, 171, 193); endorsement of rosary and prayer wheel use (p. 64); misunderstanding of the Old Testament Law for today (pp. 82, 87); mystical journaling (p. 108); embracing pop-psychology (pp. 113-120); promoting Roman Catholic practices such as use of “spiritual directors,” confession and penance (pp. 146-150, 156, 185); and affirming of aberrant charismatic practices (pp. 158-174, 198). (Online source)
And now Gilley’s concise but dead on target review of the classic book, which would spawn The Cult of Guru Richard Foster. Gilley informs us:
Written over twenty-five hears ago, and proclaimed by Christianity Today as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century, the influence of Celebration of Discipline is all but incalculable. Foster is a Quaker, so his spiritual life is grounded in the subjective “inner light” presupposition of the Friends. He is highly steeped in the Roman Catholic mystics, drawing from dozens of them for his theology. More than that, Eugene Peterson informs us that Foster has “‘found’ the spiritual disciplines [in the mystics] that the modern world stored away and forgot” (p. 206). Foster’s views are also formed by Quaker mystics and even secular thinking, most surprisingly Carl Jung, self-confessed demon-possessed psychologist.
Without question these extra-biblical sources are behind Foster’s understanding of the Christian life. That is not to say that he does not refer to Scripture and occasionally interpret it correctly. However, it is astounding to see how often he mutilates the Word of God (e.g. pp. 16, 17, 55, 83, 114, 156, 170, and 177).
As a result of his unbiblical routes and disregard for the meaning of Scripture, it should not surprise us that Foster has become a Pied Piper leading multitudes away from biblical Christianity. From the vantage point of twenty-six years since the publication of Celebration of Discipline we see just how far astray Foster has taken his followers. These include:
•Subjective leading of God as being the norm.
•Journaling and prayer as ways that God speaks to us.
•The contemplative prayer movement which has taken many to the foothills of Eastern mysticism.
•Centering prayer in which one moves to the center of God or self—an Eastern mystical practice.
•An unbiblical use of imagination which leads to occultic visualization.
•Receptivity to all the charismatic gifts including tongues, visions, revelations and prophecy.
•Use of rosaries and prayer wheels.
•Embracing of psychological views such as self-fulfillment, self-actualization, loving ourselves, mutual submission, and healing of inner wounds.
•Propagation of the Roman Catholic view of confession, penitence and spiritual directives.
•Promoting charismatic patterns of worship, including calling for the presence of God and holy laughter.
Overall Foster’s book is an encyclopedia of unbiblical teaching, which leads the unsuspecting reader away from Christ and into mysticism or worse. It is a telltale sign of the state of the church to find how accepted Foster’s teachings are. (Online source)
Reprinted by permission. The original appears in its original format here.