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April 17, 2006 
 Coming From the Lighthouse Newsletter
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The Be Still DVD, just released by Fox Home Entertainment, and featuring Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Calvin Miller and Beth Moore has one main message: You cannot know God if you do not practice the art of going into the silence. That silence the DVD refers to is a special state of mind, different than normal prayer, and the DVD introduces an array of meditators, from a number of religious persuasions, to tell viewers about this state of silence. From those who promote guided imagery (Katherine-Brown Sultzman) to those who promote interspirituality, the DVD should not be classified as Christian. Jesus Christ is rarely mentioned, nor is the gospel presented. What is presented is a deceptive collection of dangerous commentaries, and there should be a warning label on the cover - NSFA - Not Safe For Anyone. I think Richard Foster spelled it out clearly when in the DVD he said, "The wonderful thing about contemplative prayer is that it can be found everywhere, anywhere, anytime for anyone." In other words, you can practice this meditative tool and reach divinity, have peace and know God ... regardless of where you are with Jesus Christ. It is this very deep-rooted heresy that Ray Yungen has been trying to warn against - contemplative spirituality negates the Cross, demeans the sacrifice of Jesus, and nullifies the only way for man to be saved.

To see Charles Stanley's name at the end of the DVD under the acknowledgements and then be told by the director of the project (Amy Reinhold) that Dr. Stanley was very supportive of the project is not very comforting to know. In fact, it is downright heartbreaking.

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2

Should We Wait in Silence?
by Pastor Larry Debruyn

 Contemplative prayer and Psalm 62:1.

Supporters of contemplative prayer cite such Scriptures as 1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 62:1 to encourage the practice. Regarding the last mentioned verse, Richard Foster writes, "Contemplative Prayer is the one discipline that can free us from our addiction to words. Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence. 'For God alone my soul waits in silence,' declares the Psalmist (Ps. 62:1)."[1] But does David's description of waiting in silence qualify as a proof text for practicing listening prayer? Psalm 62 was written amidst a personal crisis--evil men were out to "murder" David (Ps. 62:3b). The situation in David's life that gave rise to this psalm is unknown. Absalom's rebellion and attempted overthrow of David may provide the historical background for the psalm's composition (2 Sam. 15:14; 17:1-4). But whatever the life situation, having exhausted his human defenses and resources in the crisis, David said two times, "My soul waits in silence for God only . . ." and again, "My soul, wait in silence for God only" (Ps. 62:1, 5, NASB). While verse 1 is a self- declaration, verse 5 is an self-admonition. David enjoins himself to wait silently for God. But as Richard Foster employs the statement to mean, does David's mention of "silence" indicate that he practiced silent or contemplative prayer?

Read the Entire Article by Pastor Larry Debruyn 

Global P.E.A.C.E.
 Rick Warren: "This is why God made me ...[for] the P.E.A.C.E. Plan."

The following is an excerpt from the promotional description on Rick Warren's website about the upcoming global P.E.A.C.E. Plan Seminar:
"Rick Warren has said repeatedly, 'This is why God made me. Everything else I have done was simply preparation for the P.E.A.C.E. Plan.' If you choose to lead your church to participate in the P.E.A.C.E. Plan it will be a wild ride and an amazing spiritual adventure for your members as they get God's heart for the world, as God uses them to change lives, and together we bring global glory to God!" Read entire description.


Read, "Is Rick Warren Promoting Contemplative Prayer?" 

"Massive Effort" to Unite a Billion People
 Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan to Begin Next Stage at upcoming Purpose Driven Conference

Rick Warren's Peace Plan:
"The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is a massive effort to mobilize one billion Christians around the world into a 'church to church' outreach effort."


To understand more about the global P.E.A.C.E. peace plan, see our research on this topic.

Read more about this "massive effort" on Rick Warren's Website 

The Altered State of Silence - Promoted by Both New Agers and Christian Leaders
 Different than finding a quiet place away from noise and distractions, the silence is referring to a stillness of the mind.

Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, says it is like putting the mind in neutral. Contemplatives say it is like tuning into another frequency. New Agers call it different things like a thin place, sacred space, ecstasy; whatever it is called, both New Agers and Christian leaders are telling us we must practice silence and stillness if we really want to know God. Here is a sampling:

"What you need is stillness and silence so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear." —Ruth Haley Barton, "Beyond Words"

"The basic method promoted in The Cloud is to move beyond thinking into a place of utter stillness with the Lord ... the believer must first achieve a state of silence and contemplation, and then God works in the believer’s heart."—Tony Jones, ATOD, p. 174

"Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence.... It is this recreating silence to which we are called in Contemplative Prayer.—Richard Foster, RAW, pp. 169, 173, Be Still DVD participant

"It is through silence that you find your inner being."—Vijay Eswaran, In the Sphere of Silence, RAW, p. 198

"This book [In the Sphere of Silence] is a wonderful guide on how to enter the realm of silence and draw closer to God."—New Age sympathizer, Ken Blanchard, RAW, p. 198

"[G]o into the silence for guidance" —New Ager, Wayne Dyer, ATOD p. 18

"While we are all equally precious in the eyes of God, we are not all equally ready to listen to 'God's speech in his wondrous, terrible, gentle, loving, all embracing silence.'"—Richard Foster, RAW, p. 145

"When one enters the deeper layers of contemplative prayer one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness ... the profound mystical silence ... an absence of thought." —Thomas Merton biographer, William Johnston, ATOD, p. 33

"In the silence is a dynamic presence. And that’s God, and we become attuned to that."—Interspiritualist, Wayne Teasdale, ATOD, p. 55

"I do not believe anyone can ever become a deep person [intimate with God] without stillness and silence.” —Charles Swindoll, ATOD, p. 190

"The most important human activity in the life of any believer is spending time with God in meditation," referring to his 3 part series, Meditation: The Power of Silence.—Dr. Charles Stanley, 4/11/06 radio broadcast, Be Still DVD supporter

From the Be Still DVD:

"One of the great things silence does, it gives us a new concept of God."—Calvin Miller, Be Still DVD participant

"[I]f we are not still before Him [God], we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There's got to be a stillness."—Beth Moore, Be Still DVD participant

Contemplative Terms
 Recognize these "inside" terms used by contemplatives:

 

  • Labyrinths
  • Enneagrams
  • Prayer Stations
  • Breath Prayers
  • Jesus Candles
  • The Jesus Prayer
  • Lectio Divina
  • Taize
  • Palms Up, Palms Down
  • Yoga
  • The Silence
  • Sacred Space
  • Ancient Prayer Practices
  • A Thin Place
  • Divine Mystery
  • Spiritual Direction

 

 

  • Ignation Contemplation
  • Contemplative
  • Centering
  • Centering prayer
  • Prayer of the Heart
  • Dark night of the soul
  • Practicing the Presence
  • Divine Center
  • Inner light
  • Mantra
  • Awareness of Being
  • Slow Prayer
  • Being in the Present Moment
  • Beyond Words
  • Spiritual Disciplines
  • Spiritual Formation

Many of these terms are considered "inside" terms according to many contemplatives, such as Youth Specialties writer, Michael Perschon. On April 16th, 2006, Youth Specialties issued a new article by Perschon that coincidentally illustrates the very thing we are saying here.

"Fitness buffs have an inside language. The really serious ones like to use proper anatomy terms, like gluteus maximus instead of bum. They still mean bum but, like most experts, enjoy having some special knowledge others don't have. People who practice contemplative prayer are often no different. Like any other practice, contemplative prayer has its own inside language, which is clear to the initiated but means little to outsiders. Much of the writing on contemplative prayer uses this inside language."Michael Perschon, Contemplative Prayer Practices

See Perschon's other articles on contemplative prayer.

New York Times: Evangelicals Debate the Meaning of 'Evangelical'
 Article discusses Purpose Driven, emerging church and the Evangelical church.

"Evangelical leaders have clashed recently over a range of issues, including whether the movement should get involved in the debates over global warming and immigration. A tug of war is also unfolding behind the scenes over theology — should evangelicalism be a big tent, open to more divergent views, or a smaller, purer theology?"

Read this story:
Evangelicals Debate the Meaning of 'Evangelical'
 

 

 

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