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April 8, 2006 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter

 

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The big news this week is that on April 4th Fox Home Entertainment released a DVD called BE STILL. They did a major advertising campaign, so chances are you have already heard about it. The DVD features contemplative authors Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Calvin Miller and Jan Johnson. It also includes Christian authors such as Beth Moore and Max Lucado. In this week's issue, we are focusing on the DVD, and the notion itself of "Be Still" which is taken from Psalm 46:10. That is the verse that contemplatives use to "prove" contemplative prayer is a Bible-supported practice. But it has been grossly taken out of context as we will try to show.

There has been a lot of stirring going on this week since the DVD's release. In a nutshell, this is what happened: In a statement issued by Moore, she said she does not promote mystical type/Eastern meditation. While it seems to be a good thing that Moore issued such a retraction, unfortunately most people will never read that, and tens of thousands of people will purchase the DVD simply because her name is on the label.

This DVD is a trojan horse - thousands and thousands of people will now be introduced to contemplative prayer and will think it is a safe and godly method to reach God.

Coincidentally, the 2nd edition of A Time of Departing, which exposes contemplative prayer for what it really is, was released the day after the DVD was released. You can imagine, it's been quite a week for us. And after four years of working with many of you day and night to warn the body of Christ of what is coming into the church, let me say this ... our work isn't over, and we stand with you in your efforts to defend the Gospel in a day and age when most Christian leaders seem to be caving in and Christianity is being redefined.
Richard Foster and the BE STILL DVD
 

By Ray Yungen

Richard Foster, one of the speakers in the new Fox Home Entertainment Be Still DVD, is highly regarded and well respected in much of the evangelical community. His book, Celebration of Discipline, has had a massive influence on Christendom for many years. And yet, Foster has a long history of drawing from spiritual wells that reflect eastern mystical beliefs. But with names such as Beth Moore (see Beth Moore statement) and Max Lucado on the Be Still DVD label, most people will automatically trust the content of this program. This means that tens of thousands of people will be introduced to Richard Foster's spirituality with a sense of security that what they are watching is biblically sound, relevant for their lives and accepted by those whom they have long trusted and looked up to.

In order to understand the magnitude of this, we need to examine what Richard Foster does indeed teach and promote. In 1994, I had been alerted to Foster by a youth pastor friend who had read Celebration of Discipline and began to practice its contemplative methods. The youth pastor became alarmed when while repeating a phrase over and over, he began to drift into an altered state of consciousness and realized such a mystical practice was more of an eastern style method than one endorsed in Scripture. It was after this that I attended a local seminar where Richard Foster was speaking. At the end of the meeting, I approached him. Wanting to know more about Foster's beliefs, I asked, "What do you think about the current contemplative prayer movement?" Foster emphatically told me, "Thomas Merton tried to awaken God's people!" It was then I knew my concerns about Foster were right—for you see, I had been researching and studying Thomas Merton and knew Merton believed the Christian church was missing what he considered one essential element, something the Buddhists had but we didn't—contemplative prayer (i.e., mantra meditation). It was this mystical element Merton had hoped to "awaken" God's people to.



Read the whole article .... Richard Foster and the BE STILL DVD 

Psalm 46:10, A Scripture Misused for the sake of
New Age/Contemplative

 Some thoughts on Psalm 46:10 as it relates to contemplative prayer

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn

"Be still, and know that I am God . . ." (Ps. 46:10). Those promoting contemplative or "listening" prayer point to this Scripture for endorsement. Generally, contemplatives advocate quiet meditation as a means to experience soul to soul communication with God. Influential Christian leaders now encourage contemplation as a way to obtain "God's guidance in everyday life." At face value, Psalm 46 verse 10 appears to endorse this mystical way to pray. In the current issue of a major Christian magazine a full page advertisement promotes a soon to be released DVD entitled "Be Still". The DVD case bears the inscription of Psalm 46:10. A blurb on the cover also reads, "In Today's Fast-Paced, Hectic Life, Be Still Is an Important Tool that Keeps You in Touch with Yourself, Your Family and God." Looking then at the full page advertisement, promotions read: "BE STILL . . . demonstrates how contemplative, or 'listening,' prayer can be be a vital way to find peace in the midst of a frenzied, fast- paced, modern world. BE STILL examines the importance of silence and reflective prayer as a way to receive God's guidance in everyday life. BE STILL . . . features a useful 'how to' section that shows how contemplative prayer can be used to return to a more simple life and reaffirm that which is truly important."[1] As advocated by some of today's most notable Christian communicators, what should Bible believers think about this soon-to-be-released DVD on contemplative prayer?


Click Here for the entire article. 

The Message "Bible" Omits "Lord Jesus"
 

The King James Bible refers to Jesus as "Lord Jesus" about 115 times. The New King James Bible uses this term about the same amount of times and the New American Standard about 100 times. How many times does Eugene Peterson's The Message use the phrase "Lord Jesus"? None! Not once. Never! (Check it out at (www.biblegateway.com)

What The Message does refer to Jesus 77 times is the title "Master Jesus." This is a New Age term.


For more information on The Message. 

 Rick Warren Recommends Contemplative Book
 Book tells readers to repeat a word over and over for twenty minutes.

Excerpt from A Time of Departing:

"Rick Warren refers favorably to a book titled Sacred Pathways by his 'friend' Gary Thomas. Of the book, Warren says:
'Gary has spoken at Saddleback, and I think highly of his work ... he tells them [readers] how they can make the most of their spiritual journeys. He places an emphasis on practical spiritual exercises.'

"What are these 'practical spiritual exercises' Warren is speaking of from Thomas' book? In Sacred Pathways, Thomas lists different ways people can draw near to God incorporating contemplative prayer. In a section titled 'Centering Prayer,' he explains:

'It is particularly difficult to describe this type of prayer in writing, as it is best taught in person. In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing.'

"Does this sound familiar? There's no difference between it and Eastern-style meditation or the experience Thomas Merton taught. In essence, Sacred Pathways is a manual for mantra meditation, yet Warren believes we can find ways to 'draw near to God' through this book. How many thousands of pastors who read Warren's newsletters might see his avid promotion of Sacred Pathways and buy a copy of it? If they do, they will also find that Thomas has an affinity for the works of Annie Dillard, who openly promotes and espouses Buddhism and New Ageism as well as contemplative spirituality" (from A Time of Departing, 2nd Ed., pp. 151, 152).

Dr. Peter Kreeft on Be Still DVD--Meeting Buddha in Heaven?
 

From a book review of Peter Kreeft's book, Ecumenical Jihad:

"Mr. Kreeft claims to have had an out of body experience while surfing in Hawaii. During this experience, he 'soul-surfed' and landed on a 'Heavenly beach.' [p. 86] There, he met and spoke with Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, and Moses. In the afterlife, all have become pious Roman Catholics. Nonetheless, Mohammed still teaches (and Kreeft appears to agree) that the Koran is 'divine revelation.' See rest of review and more information about this book.

UPDATE: SHORTLY AFTER MOORE "APOLOGIZED" FOR BEING ON THE BE STILL DVD, SHE RETRACTED THE APOLOGY AND EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR THE PROJECT. See our special report.

Beth Moore Apologizes for Being on BE STILL DVD
 Christian author is sorry, but most people will never know that.

Regarding Fox Home Entertainment's new release, the DVD called Be Still, featuring Richard Foster and a line up of other contemplatives, Beth Moore, who is also part of the project, has issued a statement saying she didn't realize the DVD was about mystical prayer practices when she signed on. While Moore should be commended for her comments, most people will never read those comments. What they will read is her name on the DVD label and will rush out to buy the DVD because her name is there. We believe the only way to really rectify this situation would be for Fox Entertainment to pull the DVD off the market and replace it with a product that does not bear her name.

If what Beth Moore says is true (and there is no reason to believe it isn't) that she did not know the nature of the project when she agreed to be on it, then we hope she will contact Fox and tell them to have this DVD pulled. Some may feel that her statement should be enough and further mention of her involvement should be avoided. But serious concern must be expressed for the tens or hundreds of thousands of people who are going to be introduced to Richard Foster's contemplative silence. People who might not normally purchase such a product will do so now because of Moore's name on the label.

Apparently Fox has done a huge advertising campaign for this DVD. The damage that this is going to cause to countless people is irreversible, but perhaps, with Beth Moore's action, it can be lessened.

Also see: Beth Moore and the Be Still DVD

Living Spiritual Teachers Project
 The "Who's Who" List of the New Age
Adds Richard Foster


Up until recently, a list called the Living Spiritual Teachers Project contained the names of about 22 people. Names included Buddhists, Zen masters, New Agers, and was a kind of Who's Who of the New Spirituality/New Age.

A few weeks ago, the list increased to about 80 names. One of those new names added was Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline.

We contacted the owner of the Living Spiritual Teachers Project, Mary Ann Broussat. We learned that Richard Foster may not have known that he was added to the list. An email to Richard Foster's assistant, Lynda Graybeal confirmed this. Ms. Graybeal felt that there was nothing they could do about his name being there. We contacted Ms. Broussat again and asked if she would remove a name should the person not wish it to be there. She affirmed that she would remove such a name. We re- contacted Ms. Graybeal and told her that Richard Foster's name could be removed from the list if he so desired. We did not hear back from her again, and as of this writing, Richard Foster's name remains on the list.

Some may say that just having your name on a list, doesn't necessarily make you an advocate of the list, especially if you didn't even ask to be on the list. Fair enough. But when the emphasis of the Living Spiritual Teachers Project is interspirituality, it is very telling indeed that the list owners find Richard Foster compatible enough to fit their vision. Having read his books, perhaps they see what Foster is really trying to promote.


For more information on the Living Spiritual Teacher's Project 

David Jeremiah and Contemplative Prayer
 Pastor, author and speaker tells readers they can learn from New Agers, Purpose Driven, and contemplatives.

In David Jeremiah's 2003 book, Life Wide Open (released again in 2005), Jeremiah tells readers that there are a hand full of people who have the secret to knowing how to live a passionate life. He names some of these people in his book and they include: Rick Warren of The Purpose Driven Life, New Ager Sue Monk Kidd, Buddhist sympathizer Peter Senge, emerging church leader Erwin McManus and contemplatives Brother Lawrence and Calvin Miller.

This information is documented and discussed in more depth in the second edition of A Time of Departing.


For more information on Life Wide Open 

 Quotes by Those on the BE STILL DVD
 

Quotes listed are not on Be Still DVD but in various writings of these authors.

"[W]e began experiencing that 'sweet sinking into Deity' Madame Guyon speaks of. It, very honestly, had much the same 'feel' and 'smell' as the experiences I had been reading about in the Devotional Masters"—Richard Foster, from Renovare Perspective, 01/ 1998

"What an inviting picture of movement and work in harmony with the divine Center of the universe"—Richard Foster, Inward Simplicity: The Divine Center"Can we live in virtually constant communion with the divine Center of the universe?"—Richard Foster, Inward Simplicity: The Divine Center"Simplicity, then, is getting in touch with the divine center"—Richard Foster, Simplicity"Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is a prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God's voice, correcting, guiding, and directing you.... In the beginning, it is usual to feel nothing but a cloud of unknowing.... If you're a person who has relied on yourself a great deal to know what's going on, this unknowing will be unnerving.—Jan Johnson, When the Soul Listens, taken from A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 82"A form of contemplative prayer that has brought deep and lasting transformation to parishes and individuals that have initiated it is Eucharistic adoration.... Contemplative prayer is not an 'elitist' form of prayer for monks and mystics. Everyone can do it, and everyone should." —Peter Kreeft, Catholic Christianity, pp. 386-388Also see Dallas Willard's Recommended Reading List on Contemplative Prayer and Spiritual DisciplinesPriscilla Shirer's Recommended List of Contemplative Authors



For More Quotes by Contemplatives 

 

 

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