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  • 8/12/2019 Omega Spiritual Formation


    Seeking Higher SpiritualityDocumentation showing inroads of Spiritual Formation

    into the Seventh-day Adventist Church

    Compilers thoughts are in italics.

    All other text is related to its associated link found at the end of each section.

    Each year about this time, the Faculty of Religion full-time faculty meets in a cabinoverlooking Lake Arrowhead for their annual fall colloquium. he morning is s!ent

    in retreat fashion thinking of ways to dee!en !ersonal s!irituality, in !re!aration forhel!ing students who come to Loma Linda "niversity to dee!en theirs.

    his year the sharing discussion centered around two articles, one by #ark $. %urrows, !rofessor of the history of&hristianity at Andover 'ewton heological $chool titled (o aste )ith he *eart,( on the dee! reading of$cri!ture+ the second article is one written by Robert #ulholland, !rofessor of 'ew estament at Asbury $eminary,on ways of reading $cri!ture.

    %oth articles are concerned with how we listen for (ods word( as found in the %ible. #ark %urrows a!!eals for alistening beyond reading for information to a more transformational reading as the reader listens with the heart, withall that is within us s!iritual, as well as intellectual. Robert #ulholland offers a way to do this by harkening back to a

    method used early in &hristian tradition, namelyLectio divina, s!iritual reading./htt!011www.llu.edu1news1today1oct23341other.html56

    (Reading 7lectio8 - $lowly begin reading a biblical !assage as if it were a long awaited love letter addressed to you.A!!roach it reverentially and e9!ectantly, in a way that savors each word and !hrase. Read the !assage until youhear a word or !hrase that touches you, resonates, attracts or even disturbs you.htt!011www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com1lectiodivina.htm

    he (e9ercises of :gnatius Loyola( are based on a !ractice called Lectio divina, in which certain words from$cri!ture are re!eated slowly in a meditative fashion. According to former 'ew Age medium %rian Flynn, lectiodivina 7es!ecially the way it is taught and !racticed by many contem!latives today8 is occult based0

    %y taking !assages of $cri!ture, which have an intended meaning, and breaking them down into smaller, se!aratesegments, often for the !ur!ose of chanting over and over, the true meaning of the !assages are lost. Rather a form ofoccult mysticism is !racticed--with the ho!e and intention of gaining a mystical e9!erience that od never intendedwhen *e gave the ins!ired words to *is servants 7Running Against the Wind,!!. 2;;- 2;?: stated0 (:f it is effectively !romoted, this !ractice 7Lectio divina8 will bringto the &hurch - : am convinced of it - a new s!iritual s!ringtime.( [email protected]

    An Ancient )ay of =raying with $cri!ture [email protected]

    #ike =erschon of Bouth $!ecialties com!ares the four ste!s of Lectio ivina to Cfour levels of consciousnessDwhich introduces you at each new level into a whole new world of reality that occurs through the four levels ofre!etitious reading0

    2- L:ERAL LE?EL &'$&:"$'E$$4- #oral level of consciousness;- the Allegorical level which requires a $!iritual level of listeningG- )e sim!ly rest in the !resence of the one who has used *is word as a means of inviting us to acce!t *istransforming embrace. )e call this level, "nion of Life or the unitive level of consciousness.An E9!erience of Lectio ivina [email protected]

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    :t is no secret that chanting a mantra indeed em!ties the mind of thought and o!ens one u! to a different state ofconsciousness. #antras are used in yoga, Hen, *indu, and ranscendental #editation. *ere is what some of thesewebsites say about mantras0

    From a Boga website0 C#odern science has reaffirmed what yogis have known for thousands of years - that $"'is able to affect the chemistry of the body and mind, and alter thought !atterns. 7D8 #antra #editation is a ?ERB=owerful techniqueI Bou will discover that the re!etition of #antra allows your mind to focus and concentrate morecom!letely on sound, and clear away other thoughts, emotions and distractions which divert our energies. ur senses

    become more acute and our mind become shar!er and more !erce!tive as the mind clears away the Jumble ofunnecessary inner dialogue. [email protected]

    From a #editation website0 Che re!etition of a mantraDis meant as a method of !ractice which brings about a!ower 7siddhi8 to reach the su!reme state of consciousness. :n this state there is silence within the mind whichbecomes still 7shaant8 and eventually you will merge the mind or individual awareness with the whole, which is =ure&onsciousness and Knowingness. Every time you !ractice you obtain the result, as this fourth state of consciousnessis always with you. htt!011meditateGlife.com1four-stages.htm

    :n s!ite of the well known !ur!ose of mantra re!etition to clear the mind and achieve this state of alteredconsciousness, many &hristians today are mistakenly teaching that this is how to meditate on the )ord of od. %utis this how we fill our minds with od/s )ord - by em!tying our minds


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    :#=LE#E'A:'0 evelo! and use seminars for local training on the use of s!iritual disci!lines0 :nwardly7meditation, !rayer, fasting, study8, utwardly 7sim!licity, solitude, submission, service8 and &or!orately7confession, worshi!, guidance, celebration8.

    RE$"R&E$0 Literature such as0 he Equi!!ing &hurch 7$ue #allory8+ =rayer0 Finding the *eart/s rue *ome7!ichard Foster8+ &elebration of isci!line 7!ichard Foster8 >""".second">5p)()

    %othing in all creation is so like 0od as silence.B 7#eister Eckhart, 2Gthcentury &hristian mystic8 #editation isthe art of silencing the mind. )hen the mind is silent, concentration is increased and we e9!erience inner !eace inthe midst of worldly turmoil. =ur!ose0 unclutter the mind, increase concentration, take control of thoughts,e9!erience com!lete !eace and inner stillness, mind-body rela9ation and alignment.&oncentrate on a candle flame. 'arrow your gae to the small ti! and block out all other thoughts. )hen you getdistracted, go back to focusing on the candle flame. he im!ortant thing is that you concentrate only on one thing ata time. L$ FR *E $"L, =art 20 =rayer and #editation

    ore contemplative teachings of 0reg %elson#

    =RA&:&:' B"R $=:R:"AL:B, =art ;0 ee! ListeningL$ FR *E $"L, =art 40 Lectio ivina 7sacred reading8


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    )hile reigs book and ministry may, at first glance, a!!ear to be a movement of !rayer, research shows that boththe book and the movement are heavily influenced by contem!lative s!irituality and 'ew Age thought. And whileyouth around the world are taking shifts 7to !ray8 in reigs boiler rooms 7!rayer rooms8, they may be getting intosomething entirely different than biblical !rayer. :f your youth grou! is considering incor!orating Red oon Risingand 4G-< =rayer into their agenda, a second look may be worthwhile.

    reig tells his readers to look to %rennan #annings book, A$$a6s Child, for further reading. :t is inA$$a6s Childthat #anning says r. %eatrice %ruteau is a (trustworthy guide to contem!lative consciousness.( %ruteau is the

    founder of he $chool for &ontem!lation and believes od is within every human being. $he wrote the book, WhatWe Can Learn from the 3astand says0 ()e have realied ourselves as the $elf that says only : A#, with no!redicate following, not (: am a this( or (: have that quality.( nly unlimited, absolute : A#(

    Also in #annings book, he says0 (Y:Zf : find &hrist, : will find my true self and if : find my true self, : will find&hrist.( homas #erton believed what %ruteau and #anning have stated, that od is already within every humanbeing, we Just need to become aware of this. )hen reig tells readers to turn toA$$a6s Child, he is !ointing themtowards the mystical, !anentheistic views of homas #erton.

    Red oon Risinginstructs readers on lectio divina, but warns readers that their (inner fundamentalist( voice may betelling them this isnt biblical - in actuality that may be the voice of the *oly $!irit. he book cites contem!lative!ro!onents like Leonard $weet, %rian #cLaren and *enri 'ouwen and talks about a !aradigm and cultural shift that

    is taking !lace in the world.htt!011www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com1newsletter24243T.htm

    $!iritual Formation is to be !romoted worldwide in our church as revealed in thisAdventist %e"s %et"ork @eature

    C$!iritual formation is a to!ic being raised by many !astors and church leaders in a growing number of&hristian denominations. :ts no longer enough to Just know doctrine and factsUin todays hectic society!eo!le are searching for something dee!er and more meaningful, something that makes sense in theirwhirlwind lives.

    C$!iritual formation is not a new idea or conce!t, and (a lot of =rotestants are in the same boatUwe are

    rediscovering it,( says r. Oon ybdahl, !resident of )alla )alla &ollege, an Adventist institution in)ashington $tate. And, he adds, the Adventist &hurch has some work to do.

    (raditionally the Adventist &hurch has em!hasied intellectual truth and acce!ting certain facts and ideasabout od,( ybdahl says. (At least in many !laces it has not talked so much about the im!ortance ofdirectly e9!eriencing od.

    he Adventist world church created the :nternational %oard of #inisterial and heological Education 7:%#E8in $e!tember 4332, designed to !rovide overall guidance and standards to the !rofessional training of !astors,evangelists, theologians, teachers, cha!lains and other denominational em!loyees involved in ministerial andreligious formation, or s!iritual formation, in each of the churchs 2; regions around the world. Adventist %e"s%et"ork @eature0 &hurch, &ongregations :ncrease Focus on ($!iritual Formation( February ;, 433G,$ilver

    $!ring, #aryland, "nited $tates.htt!011news.adventist.org1data1433G132123

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    C:n his 7r. Kellogg/s8 !resentation he cloaked the matter somewhat, but in reality he was !resenting scientifictheories which are akin to !antheism. %&L 23Q

    $!iritual Formation, A =astoral Letter by Richard Foster0 C%y now enough water has gone under the &hristian$!iritual Formation bridge that we can give some assessment of where we have come and what yet needs to be done.)hen : first began writing in the field in the late

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    #any 'ew Age gurus, as well as eresa of Avila who was a 2T thcentury &atholic mystic, distinguish betweenmeditation and contem!lation. According to them, meditation is the !rocess for arriving at the state ofcontem!lation. otal mental silence and !hysical quietness is achieved through meditation, which leads intocontem!lation, the non-verbal communication by (od.( For &atholic mystics, 'ew Agers, and non-&hristianmeditators, one of the !rimary !ur!oses of meditation1contem!lation is to e9!erience od and be infused with *islove. :n cha!ter 46 of her (he )ay o =erfection,( eresa of Avila describes the love she e9!erienced duringcontem!lation0 (:n case you should think there is little gain to be derived from !racticing vocal !rayer !erfectly, :must tell you that, while you are re!eating the =aternoster Yur FatherZ or some other vocal !rayer, it is quite!ossible for the Lord to grant you !erfect contem!lation. :n this way *is #aJesty shows that *e is listening to the

    !erson who is addressing *im, and that, in *is greatness, *e is addressing her, by sus!ending the understanding,!utting a sto! to all thought, and, as we say, taking the words out of her mouth, so that even if she wishes to s!eakshe cannot do so, or at any rate not without great difficulty.

    ($uch a !erson understands that, without any sound of words, she is being taught by this ivine #aster, )ho issus!ending her faculties, which, if they were to work, would be causing her harm rather than !rofit. he facultiesreJoice without knowing how they reJoice+ the soul is enkindled in love without understanding how it loves+ it knowsthat it is reJoicing in the obJect of its love, yet it does not know how it is reJoicing in it. :t is well aware that this is nota Joy which can be attained by the understanding+ the will embraces it, without understanding how+ but, in so far as itcan understand anything, it !erceives that this is a blessing which could not be gained by the merits of all the trialssuffered on earth !ut together. :t is a gift of the Lord of earth and *eaven, )ho gives it like the od *e is. his,daughters, is !erfect contem!lation.(

    Although eresa of Avila wrote0 (she is being taught by this ivine #aster, )ho is sus!ending her faculties,( it isnot by the sus!ension of our faculties that we come into the fullness of ods love or by which *e teaches us.

    :t is by reading and understanding ods word that we learn to walk in *is word, fulfilling the command of Oesus. *esaid that whoever loves *im kee!s *is commands, which results in the !erfection of *is love0 2 Oohn 406 %ut whosokee!eth his word, in him verily is the love of od !erfected0 hereby know we that we are in him.

    he first ste! in any mystical meditation is always to rela9 the body. A !erson is encouraged to find a !lace where hewill not be disturbed, so the meditative !rocess will not be broken. Boga is often used as a way of bringing the bodyto a rela9ed state. :ts not necessary, but what is em!hasied is that the body be comfortable in order to avoid

    distraction. here is a form of yoga where one concentrates on the various !arts of the body 7arms, legs, etc.8 tobring them to a !oint of rela9ation. he adherent is told to concentrate on each !art of the body and release tension ineach !art one by one. :f !ursuing healing, he visualies flowing water or rushing air washing away the tensions andan9ieties or the im!urity of the !art of the body that is sick, then visualies healing coming to that !art.

    )hether a !erson is !ursuing healing or a dee!er s!iritual e9!erience, the !oint throughout the meditative !rocess isto never allow the mind to be distracted. :f it does become distracted, re!etition of the mantra holds the mind focuseduntil the other thoughts or distractions subside. $ometimes a symbol is !ictured in the mind and used instead of, oralong with, the verbal mantra. ther !ractitioners use a !hrase from $cri!ture or even the name of Oesus.

    he re!etition of $cri!tural !hrases to attain an altered state of consciousness is not why od gave us $cri!ture.$cri!ture was given so that we could understand od and *is ways, and our need for *im, by knowing *is !lan of

    salvation. $cri!ture is to be read and studied and understood with a fully alert mind, not used as a technique to bringa !erson to a state of silence in which he does not or cannot think at all.

    According to eresa, meditation is the focusing on and reflection on some religious theme, often the life of Oesuswhile on earth. r it could be the sim!le !rocess of re!eating a !rayer, such as the ur Father. #ystical meditatorsoften use a breathing technique to bring the body into a rela9ed state, and in some cases the breathing itself is anactual !art of the mantra. A !erson concentrates on his breath and does not try to control it. ften a two syllablemantra is used, focusing on the first syllable when breathing out, and then on the other when breathing in.$ometimes, the !erson counts each breath.


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    ften the consciousness is altered through the meditators visualiation of himself as a symbol, such as a candle or abird. hrough such visualiation, he (becomes( the symbolic obJect, and at this !oint enters a dee!er realm of theoccult. his is the !oint at which he is (detached( from his thoughts and bodily senses and enters the state ofcontem!lation, where he can do nothing but wait for (od( to mystically invade him.htt!011users.stargate.net1]eJt1'ews?;'26.htm

    *piritual formation or contemplative spiritualit/ is Catholic pagan>occultic m/sticism. !his is "hat Richard @oster

    has $een $ringing to Christianit/.

    Richard Foster s!eaks on !ersonal renewal by meditative !rayer where one centers down becoming quiet and !assiveand then uses guided imagery and visualiation of &hrist. *is book &elebration of isci!line was on the &hristianbestseller list for many months. :n his cha!ter on meditation he stresses discovering (the inner reality of the s!iritualworld which is available to all who are willing to search for it.( )hile Foster does say one should distinguishbetween Eastern meditation and &hristian forms, and that they are, (worlds a!art( Foster also encourages (centering(e9ercises and concentrating on ones breath, also a common Eastern technique0 unfortunately, his methods offeredhave similarities to new age or Eastern techniques that are used in meditation. Foster/s meditation aimed at centeringoneself begins by concentrating on breathing. :nhale dee!ly, slowly tilting your head back as far as it will go. hene9hale, allowing your head slowly to come forward until your chin nearly rests on your chest. o this for severalmoments, !raying inwardly something like this0 (Lord, : e9hale my fear over my geometry e9am, : inhale Bour!eace. : e9hale my s!iritual a!athy, : inhale Bour light and life. hen, as before, become silent outwardly andinwardly. %e attentive to the inward living &hrist.(

    his clearly is combining eastern ways with &hrist and it has a &hristian veneer but is decidedly unbiblical. he%ible forbids this0 CFor thou hast forsaken thy !eo!le the house of Oacob, because they are filled with customs fromthe east, and are soothsayers like the =hilistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners. :saiah40T.he %ible tells us to kee! our minds on guard and !rotected. o bring oneself into a !assive mental state, thisty!e of consciousness is a ste!!ingstone to the occult. For when the mind is not !rotected anything can enter in.Em!tying thoughts means falsehood can be sent in without any resistance. 4 &or. 2306 states Ccasting downarguments and every high thing that e9alts itself against the knowledge of od, bringing every thought into ca!tivityto the obedience of &hrist. %iblical meditation is having our minds actively engaged on contem!lating ods word.Oames G0< says to submit to od resist the devil and he will flee from you. Resistance is key to staying sober inmind. o do this one must be aware of their surroundings, thinking. "nlike 'ew Age meditation, biblical meditation

    doesnt involve mysticism or em!tying the mind. Rather, biblical meditation involves obJective contem!lation anddee! reflection on ods )ord as well as *is works, not on images or dreams. &hristian meditation calls us to lookto od, not inward. he !ur!ose is that our minds may be filled with godly wisdom and insight so that our heartsmay be filled with comfort, ha!!iness, and Joy. o echo the o!ening words of the !salmist, (%lessed is the man ...YwhoseZ delight is in the law of the LR, and on his law he meditates day and night( 7=salm 202, 48. )e think anduse our mind to gras! what is being e9!ressed by his word and allow it to affect our heart.htt!011www.letusreason.org1'A#4

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    labyrinth facilitator( and author of such books as Christian ra/er and La$/rinthsandra/ing the La$/rinth,writes0

    ()e are currently in a !eriod of historic labyrinth revival. &hurches, retreat centers and &hristian cam!s are !lacingthese !rayer tools inside and outside. &hristians all over the world are installing labyrinths in their yards and gardens#any are using the labyrinths as a ministry tool, bringing !ortable versions to !risons, national denominationalconferences and church grou! meetings. :t is conservatively estimated that there are over 6,333 labyrinths in the"nited $tates alone. od is blessing the use of the labyrinth+ many are being drawn closer to Oesus, e9!eriencinghealing and gaining s!iritual clarity as they !ray on its !ath.(

    (he Labyrinth is an archety!e, a divine im!rint, found in all religious traditions in various forms around the world.%y walking a re!lica of the &hartres labyrinth, laid in the floor of &hartres &athedral in France around 2443, we arerediscovering a long-forgotten mystical tradition that is insisting to be reborn. he labyrinth is a shared esoterictradition+ in 'ative American culture it is called the #edicine )heel and #an in the #ae. he &elts described it asthe 'ever Ending &ircle. :t is also called the Kabala in mystical Oudaism. ne feature they all share is that they haveone !ath which winds in a circuitous way to the center.(htt!011www.crossroad.to1articles41361teichrib1labyrinth.htm

    %eing westerners, we often fail to realie that seemingly harmless !hysical techniques can have significantquestionable s!iritual im!act on our lives. ne of the !atterns with the doens of new-age fads swee!ing 'orthAmerica and the )est &oast in !articular is that they all !o! u! out of the blue but claim to have rediscovered an

    ancient secret technique that we all need. #any of them, including the fast-growing Labyrinth fad, even reconstruct a!lausible but misleading &hristian history used to !ersuade well-meaning &hristians.htt!011www;[email protected]

    he Rev. Oill eoffrion states that (od is blessing the use of the labyrinth+ many are being drawn closer to Oesus,e9!eriencing healing and gaining s!iritual clarity as they !ray on its !ath.(

    n the surface this sounds great. %ut is od really blessing this (new thing( &an od bless something that has itsorigins in esoteric doctrine and ancient !agan mythologies Adding to its historical !agan significance is the fact thatthe labyrinth has never lost its occult meaning. Labyrinths are still being used, and will continue to be used, as aninstrument of !agan s!irituality.

    :f od is going to bless labyrinth !rayer Journeys, how is *e going to deal with euteronomy 2402-2G, 2Q0P-2; andE9odus ;G023-2

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    the foundation of this practice. inds indeed are $eing h/pnoti+ed. Centering ra/er is identical to "hat the

    , #A*E)0 Former ominican !riest and author of (he &oming of the &osmic &hrist(+ develo!ed &reation $!irituality+ believes that od and &hrist are inall things. KEA:', *#A$0 &atholic monk, &o-father of the modern day &ontem!lative =rayer #ovement. K:#%ALL, A'0 Author of (he Emerging &hurch( and a leader in the Emerging &hurch #ovement. =romotes labyrinths and lectio divina. #A'':', %RE''A'0 Former &atholic !riest, author of (Ragamuffin os!el(, and (Abba/s &hild(. #AR> *"%%AR, %AR%ARA0 :nfluential 'ew Ager who says of &hristians0 ("naware of our evolutionary !otential, they Y&hristiansZ !revent the action andres!onse needed to transcend the terrestrial !hase of our e9istence. hey would annihilate the !ossibility of "niversal *umanity by claiming we have no right toachieve it.( #&LARE', %R:A'0 &onsidered the main leader of the Emerging &hurch #ovement, 'ew Age =romoter, =astor #ER', *#A$0 'ow deceased &atholic monk who wanted (to become as good a %uddhist as : can.( 7$teindl-Rast, 2PTP8+ quoted often by Richard Foster.

    '")E', *E'R:0 eceased &atholic theologian, &ontem!lative "niversalist, author of (:n the 'ame of Oesus( and (he )ay of the *eart(. =E&K, #. $&0 =sychiatrist, Author of (he Road Less raveled(. $&*"LLER, R%ER0 =astor of &rystal &athedral and the (*our of =ower( television !rogram. =romotes =sychology $A'FR, A'E$0 Author of (*ealing Light(, taught that the (Kingdom of od is within you(. $*A''', ):LL:A#0 'ew Age biogra!her of homas #erton. EA$ALE, )AB'E0 &oined the term (inters!irituality(.

    ERE$A F A?:LA0 &atholic nun, author of (%ook of Foundations(, Nuoted by Foster, =eterson. "'ER*:LL, E?ELB'0 Roman &atholic, author of (#ysticism(, wrote ;P books and over ;63 articles. )AL$&*, 'EAL 'AL0 Author of (&onversations with od( and 'ew Age leader who said, (he era of the $ingle $avior is over. )hat is needed now is Jointaction, combined effort, collective co-creation.( !. 26< )ARRE', R:&K0 =astor and author of the (=ur!ose-riven Life(. \=romotes his lobal =.E.A.&.E. !lan involving G33,333 churches. ):LLAR, ALLA$0 Author of CRenovation of the *eart ):LL:A#$', #AR:A''E0 &ontributed to making (A &ourse in #iracles( well known+ currently involved with the e!artment of =eace. BA&'ELL:, #:KE0 he late founder and owner of Bouth $!ecialties+ !romoted &ontem!lative $!irituality. Y#ike !assed away in 433;Z. BA&'ELL:, #ARK0 $on of the late #ike Baconelli - very active in the &ontem!lative =rayer #ovement. %LA&KA%B, *E'RB0 Author of (E9!eriencing od( workbook and seminars. aught among $%& and Roman &atholics. =romoted by Rick )arren. *B%EL$, %:LL0 =astor of )illowcreek &ommunity &hurch, *osts conferences with &ontem!lative $!eakers such as Larry &rabb and %rian #cLaren. *osted(Lead Like Oesus( 433G &onference with Ken %lanchard. OERE#:A*, A?:0 =astor of (urning =oint #inistries(, Author of (Life )ide !en(, $!eaker at Ken %lanchard/s (Lead Like Oesus $eminars( and AmericaAssociation of &hristian &ounselors. L"&A, #A>0 Author and Founder of "!)ords. $!eaker on an instructional ? on &ontem!lative =rayer, titled C%e $till which includes Richard Foster. #'K K:, $"E0 #ystic Author of (ods Ooyful $ur!rise( a s!iritual memoir describing her advent into contem!lative &hristian s!irituality and ()hen the *eart)aits(. #RE, %E*0 Founder of Living =roof #inistries for women. $!eaker on an instructional ? on &ontem!lative =rayer, titled C%e $till which includesRichard Foster 'EE, )A&*#A'0 #ystic Author of (he $!iritual #an(. R%ER, O*'0 Author of (&loser han Bou hink(, 4336 favorably quotes contem!latives. =EER$', E"E'E0 Author of (he #essage( bible translation and the book (he &ontem!lative =astor(. Endorses Foster. $E'E, =EER0 %uddhist, Author and Founder of $ociety for rganiational Learning. 'ew Age. $#:*, #:&*AEL ).0 &hristian #usician. =romoter of %rennan #anning/s book (Above All(. $A'LEB, &*ARLE$0 $%& Evangelical =astor, Author (*ow to Listen to od(. Es!ouses the belief that od continues to s!eak to man today outside of *is)ord. :n the P1P; :n ouch magaine, $tanley quotes favorably from mystic Richard Fosters book (he &elebration of isci!line( 7P1448. $A'LEB, A'B0 =astor, $!oke at Ken %lanchard/s (Lead Like Oesus( &onference in ctober, 4336. $):'LL, &*"&K0 Evangelical =astor of (:nsight for Living(, author of ($o, Bou )ant to %e Like &hrist Eight Essentials to et Bou here.( 7A book on thesolitude and silence of &ontem!lative =rayer.8


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    #antras are tools for focusing the mind, and also for filling the mind with the grace of the deity. A mantra is theword form of the deity, and is filled with the !ower of the deity. &onstant re!etition of a mantra not only hel!s inconcentration, but also creates the energy of the deity. A mantra need not be always connected with a deity. ne canalso use a !ositive affirmation as a mantra. Re!eating the mantra along with each breath using a !articular countfocuses the mind on the entire !rocess of breathing, and at the same time infusing the body with the energy of themantra. Easy yet !owerful mantras are0 (m 'amah $hivaya(, (m 'amo 'arayanaya(, (m anesh(htt!011www.rainbowray.com1%reathing^43and^43mantras.htm

    %reathing and concentrating on !hrase can be also be soothing, !eace finding or s!iritual. E9am!les : use0

    \7E>8 : am $afe D 7:'8 : Feel free\7:'8 uning in D 7E>8 Lettin go.: often switch the words : use from the :nhale and E9hale to relieve the !erce!tual duality of breathing.htt!011echo!en.word!ress.com1my-breathing-e91

    :t seems remarkable that yoga mantras and rosary !rayer, two culturally distinct !ractices, are similar in rate 7Tbreaths !er minute8, duration 7mantras are usually re!eated more than 233 times and the rosary, 263 times8 andcardiovascular effects. %ernardi and colleagues suggest that ibetan monks ada!ted the mantras from yoga mastersin :ndia and from there it !assed thorough the #iddle East to the crusaders, who introduced the !ractice to Euro!e.hey !ro!ose that in the &hristian culture of the #iddle Ages where body consciousness was not encouraged, therosary !rayer may have taken hold because it was a method of slowing breathing, increasing concentration and, bysynchroniing cardiovascular rhythms with breathing, inducing a sense of calm and well-being without actively

    focusing on breath and the body.htt!011altmedicine.about.com1cs1illnesswellness1a1Boga=rayer.htm

    he actual !ractice of lectio divina begins with a time of rela9ation, making oneself comfortable and clearing themind of mundane thoughts and cares. $ome lectio !racticers find it hel!ful to concentrate by beginning with dee!,cleansing breaths and reciting a chosen !hrase or word over and over to hel! free the mind. hen they begin with thefour ste!s0

    Lectio - Reading the %ible !assage gently and slowly several times. he !assage itself is not as im!ortant as thesavoring of each !ortion of the reading, constantly listening for the (still, small voice( of a word or !hrase thatsomehow s!eaks to the !racticer.

    #editatio - Reflecting on the te9t of the !assage and thinking about how it a!!lies to ones own life. his isconsidered to be a very !ersonal reading of the $cri!ture and very !ersonal a!!lication.

    ratio X Res!onding to the !assage by o!ening the heart to od. his is not !rimarily an intellectual e9ercise, but isthought to be more of the beginning of a conversation with od.

    &ontem!latio - Listening to od. his is a freeing of oneself from ones own thoughts, both mundane and holy, andhearing od talk to us. !ening the mind, heart, and soul to the influence of od.

    'aturally the connection between %ible reading and !rayer is one to be encouraged+ they should always go together.*owever, the dangers inherent in this kind of !ractice, and its astonishing similarity to transcendental meditation and

    other dangerous rituals, should be carefully considered.htt!011www.gotquestions.org1lectio-divina.html

    Richard Foster/s books are arrayed with quotes and instructions from 'ew Age teachers who are well versed in thebeliefs and agenda of the occultists. Although many of his musings and enthusiastic devotions are C!leasant to read,indeed quite ins!iring to those who are unaware of the tra!s, they either directly contradict the %ible, or lead intodemonic !ossession. )hen : read C&elebration of isci!line for the first time, many years ago now, : was strangelymoved by it, until my eyes were o!ened by the *oly $!irit. :t seemed Cs!iritual and seemed to !romise a new wayof living. Foster seems to !resent dee! love of &hrist in his teaching. $ome of the book is Just common sense, such

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    as the teaching about living a sim!ler life-style, being less concerned about material !ossessions. %ut, the Cgood isvastly out-weighed by the questionable sources and lead-in to the s!irituality of the 'ew Age.

    Albert Oames ager, of (#edia $!otlight( writes of the mystical !ractices Foster teaches and indulges himself in0("nfortunately, all these e9ercises serve to do is o!en the !erson u! to demonic influences that assuage his or herconscience with a feeling of eu!horia and even (love( emanating from the !resence that has invaded theirconsciousness. his eu!horia is then believed to validate that the !erson is on the right s!iritual !ath. :t may result invisions, out-of body e9!eriences, stigmata, levitation, even healings and other a!!arent miracles.(

    )rites ager0 (Like Oohn )imber of ?ineyard :nternational #inistries, it is out of the religious traditions ofNuakerism that Foster has come with the message that todays &hurch is missing out on some wonderful s!irituale9!eriences that can only be found by studying and !racticing the meditative and contem!lative lifestyle.(

    Foster/s book (&elebration of isci!line0 he =ath to $!iritual rowth( is a book which calls for dee!er s!iritualitythan that which the %ible teachesI Fosters teachings are filled with %uddhism, Boga, . #., the e9ercises of :gnatiusof Loyola, Eastern religion, and e9tremely s!iritually destructive [email protected]!ose.htm

    hings are changing. he goal is honorable, but what/s being done to get there is, quite frankly, a!ostasy. )e can!ut many labels on these !eo!le who are !ushing for change in the !ostmodern church0 !ost-conservatives, !ost-fundamentalists, !ost-foundationalists, !ost-!ro!ositionalists, !ost-evangelicals, !ost-everything, reformistsDor the

    more !o!ularly known Cemerging church. )hatever the label, they all have some common characteristics abouthow to re-do church and become a new kind of &hristian. &hristianity is being seen as more a narrative rather thandoctrines1!rinci!les or !ro!ositions of truth+ tradition, culture and the contem!orary e9!erience is being seen as thesource of theology rather than Just the %ible itself. he shift is towards a s!irituality-based e9!erience of od,instead of a creed-based one+ and how this s!iritual formation should be done is to look to Richard Foster and allas)illard for methods that stem from Roman &atholicism and eastern mysticism.htt!011www.si9ste!s.org1category1emergent1

    : have s!ent hundreds of hours and several years studying Richard Foster and other s!iritual formation mysticismteachers and !sychology which has virtually taken over Evangelical &hristianity and the &hurch. %ut : mainly havestudied the %ible for much of the 63 years : have been a &hristian. :t has not been difficult to s!ot error, with this

    foundation, because : sim!ly immediately see a red flag every time : read a statement or conce!t which does not lineu! with the !lumb line of $cri!ture. )ell all : can say is that : ho!e that you are now convinced that it is RichardFoster who !ossesses and !romotes hollow and dece!tive !hiloso!hies contrary to $cri!ture.htt!011www.abrahamic-faith.com1Oames1Richard-Foster.html

    an/ of the people implicated in this paper certainl/ mean "ell and "ould not intentionall/ engage in spiritualistic

    activities. / point is not to condemn an/one $ut rather to "arn a"a/ from an/ involvement "ith %e" Age ideas. It"ould $e $etter to not even use spiritual formation terminolog/ to express Christian gro"th concepts $ecause of its

    association "ith the emergent spiritual formation movement "hich is decidedl/ spiritualistic. And certainl/ "eshould not use their $ooks in our endeavors to help our people gro" in their Christian "alk.

    'nterspiritualitymeans a blending together of all religions. he very term itself contradicts biblical &hristianity, for

    Oesus &hrist said there was only one !ath to od, only one door, and *e is that door. nce we start to understandinters!irituality, we will be able to see how it is racing into the world at an alarming s!eed. :n this issue, we aretalking about inters!irituality, ho!ing to show the vehicle through which it enters. hat vehicle #ysticism. r inother words contem!lative s!irituality. )hether it is called #, yoga, centering, or contem!lative !rayer, themethod is the same and most definitely the results are the same. he method #antra meditation. he results reats!iritual dece!tion. htt!011www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com1newslettermarch.htm

    Contemplative Spirituality0 A belief system that uses ancient mystical !ractices to induce altered states ofconsciousness 7the silence8 and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but is often wra!!ed in &hristian terminology.he !remise of contem!lative s!irituality is !antheistic 7od is all8 and !anentheistic 7od is in all8.

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    C)e need not the mysticismthat is in this book 7Living em!le8. hose who entertain these so!histries will soonfind themselves in a !osition where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from od. 2$# !. 434

    If /ou "ish to understand more a$out these issues& read the $ooks Hidden AgendaB $/ ;an ?oerman 8*1A author:&A !ime of 1epartingB $/ Ra/ 2ungen and @aith 4ndoneB $/ Roger Faklandhtt!011www.amaon.com1*idden-Agenda-Oan-?oerman1d!126