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This report is excerpted from our book Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond, which is available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature, http://www.wayoflife.org.  

Richard Foster’s writings have been at the forefront of the contemplative movement since the 1970s. No one has done more than this man to spread contemplative mysticism throughout Protestant and Baptist churches. 

Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline, which has sold more than two and a half million copies, was selected by Christianity Today as one of the top ten books of the 20th century. (For this review I obtained multiple editions of Celebration of Discipline, plus three other books by Foster.)

The Quaker Connection

He grew up among the Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends), was trained at George Fox College, has pastored Quaker churches, and has taught theology at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and at George Fox. One website calls him “perhaps the best known Quaker in the world today.”

The Quaker connection is important, because one of their peculiar doctrines is direct revelation via an “inner light.” This is defined in a variety of ways, since Quakerism is very individualistic and non-creedal, but it refers to a divine presence and guidance in every man. There is an emphasis on being still and silent and passive in order to receive guidance from the inner light. Other terms for it are “light of God,” “light of Christ,” “inward light,” “the light,” “light within,” “Christ within,” and “spirit of Christ.” 

George Fox used the expression “that of God in everyone.” In his journal Fox said, “I was glad that I was commanded to turn people to that inward light, spirit, and grace, by which all might know their salvation, and their way to God; even that divine Spirit which would lead them into all Truth, and which I infallibly knew would never deceive any” (The Journal of George Fox, revised by John Nickalls, 1952, p. 35).

Another prominent Quaker, Robert Barclay, called this “the light of the heart” and said “there is an evangelical and saving Light and grace in all.” 

Isaac Pennington said, “There is that near you which will guide you; Oh wait for it, and be sure ye keep to it.”

The inner light teaching is said to be based on John 1:9 — “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Yet this verse does not say that there is a divine light in every man. It merely says that Christ gives light to every man. The epistle of Romans tells us more about this. There is the light of creation (Romans 1:20), the light of conscience (Romans 2:14-16), and the light of Scripture (Romans 3:2). When men respond to the light that they have, they are given more light (Acts 17:26-27). 

Because of the fall, man’s heart is darkened and foolish (Rom. 1:21; Eph. 4:18). 

The inner light teaching was exalted above reliance on the Bible. Martin Meeker says, “… the early Quakers’ reliance on the Bible as a source of spiritual knowledge and inspiration was secondary to their belief in the Inner Light as the primary path to salvation and communication with God” (The Doctrine of the Inner Light).

George Fox would say to his listeners:

“You will say, Christ saith this and the Apostles say this, but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of Light and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?”

Fox claimed that he received the doctrine of the inner light without help from the Scriptures (The Journal of George Fox, revised by John Nickalls, 1952, pp. 33-35).

In a bold rejection of the principle of the Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice, influential Quaker teacher William Barclay said,

“Nevertheless, because they [the Scripture] are only a declaration of the fountain, and not the fountain itself, therefore THEY ARE NOT TO BE ESTEEMED THE PRINCIPAL GROUND OF ALL TRUTH AND KNOWLEDGE, NOR YET THE ADEQUATE PRIMARY RULE OF FAITH AND MANNERS. Yet because they give a true and faithful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a SECONDARY RULE, subordinate to the Spirit, from which they have all their excellency and certainty” (Barclay, An Apology for the True Christian Divinity, “The Third Proposition: Concerning the Scriptures”).

This is an unscriptural and very dangerous position that opens the door for every sort of heresy. It is a recipe for spiritual delusion. The Scripture is able to make the man of God perfect; obviously, then, nothing more is needed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Spirit never leads contrary to the Scripture. The Bereans were commended for testing every teaching by the Scripture (Acts 17:11), not by their “inner light.” 

The early Quakers misinterpreted 2 Corinthians 3:6, claiming that the “letter” referred to the Scripture in general.

“Along these lines, we might note that early Quakers tended to give an expansive reading of 2 Cor. 3:6, which states that God has made us ‘ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’ This verse, if ‘letter’ is taken to mean ‘Scripture,’ obviously places strong limits on the use of Scripture while extending preference to Spirit, at the very least. One thus is not surprised that it is a favorite of early Quakers, appearing as an allusion in the postscript of the Letter from the Elders of Balby, cherished by many contemporary Friends” (Stephen Angell, “Opening the Scriptures, Then and Now,” QUEST, Fall-Winter 2007-2008). 

If the “letter” of 2 Corinthians 3:6 refers to the Scripture in general, it would mean that Paul was exalting “the Spirit” above the Scripture. It would mean that the Scripture is not the sole authority for faith and practice, but it is only one authority and that men are free to follow their inner lights. 

This is a gross misinterpretation of the passage. In truth, 2 Corinthians 3 contrasts the Law of Moses with the Gospel of Grace, the Old Covenant with the New. 

2 Corinthians 3:7 leaves no doubt about this, which tells us that the “letter” that killeth is “the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones.” That refers, of course, to the Law of Moses given on Mt. Sinai. It was a covenant of death because it requires of fallen sinners what they cannot perform, which is perfect holiness. It was not given to provide a way of salvation but to show men their sinful, lost condition (Romans 3:19-20). 

To interpret the “letter” of 2 Corinthians 3:6 as a reference to the Scripture in general also contradicts the fact that verse 11 says the “letter” has been “done away.” Obviously the Scripture has not been done away with, but the Law of Moses has. Its purpose was to act as a “schoolmaster” to lead men to Christ and once it performs that glorious function its work is finished (Galatians 3:24-25). 

It is easy to see how the Quaker philosophy paved the way for Foster to accept Catholic mysticism. It did this by its emphasis on an “inner light” and its emphasis on seeking revelation directly from God and having direct experiences of God and its tendency not to judge things in an exacting manner by the Bible.

Other Quakers have followed the same path, and some, like Mary Conrow Coelho, have followed it all the way to the New Age. Conrow believes in evolution, the oneness of the universe, and the unity of man with God, and she traces her New Age mysticism to deep third generation Quaker roots and its inner light teaching:

“The adults in our Quaker community spoke often of the Inner Light, the seed of God, the indwelling Christ. [Thomas Kelly] said, ‘It is a Light within, a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us'” (“Of Leadings and the Inner Light: Quakerism and the New Cosmology,” http://www.thegreatstory.org/QuakerMetarelig.html). 

(Richard Foster quotes Thomas Kelly favorably and frequently in his books, and the Renovaré  Spiritual Formation Bible quotes Kelly as saying: “Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center.”)

From its inception Quakerism was a heretical movement that downplayed the Bible and exalted personal revelation, and Richard Foster is a product of that heresy even though he is on the “evangelical” side of Quakerism. 

In this context, it is not surprising to find him promoting Roman Catholic mystics who exalted Catholic tradition and mystical revelations above Scripture. 

Salvation Not Clear

One thing that is glaring in its absence from Foster’s books on spiritual living is a clear biblical testimony of salvation and a clear exhortation for his readers to be born again. 

When he does mention salvation, he speaks of it in a confused manner. 

He says, for example, that reconciliation has already been achieved in Christ.

“In some mysterious way, through shedding his blood Jesus took into himself all the evil and all the hostility of all the ages and redeemed it. He reconciled us to God, restoring the infinitely valuable personal relationship that had been shattered by sin” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 42).

This fits with universalism of Quakerism, but it is a heresy. Though the redemption price has been paid by Christ, sinners are not reconciled until they individually put their faith in the gospel and are born again (John 3:16, 18, 36). Jesus taught that most men will not be saved (Mat. 7:14).

Foster also speaks of salvation as a process.

“One more thing is needed, namely, our response of repentance–not just once but again and again. Martin Luther declares that the life of the Christian should be one of daily repentance” (Prayer, p. 42). 

We must understand that the previous statement is made in the context of a discussion of salvation. Foster makes no clear distinction between the one repentance for salvation (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9) and continual repentance for sanctification (2 Cor. 12:21). Foster’s statement describes either universalism or sacramentalism, but it is not the once-for-all new birth doctrine of the New Testament. 

Further, Foster describes salvation in terms of an emotional experience and in association with baptism. In Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Foster tells of a non-Christian who attended one of his contemplative seminars. Part way through the course the following event transpired.

“Throughout the weekend the Spirit of God rested tenderly upon the entire group, so much so that on Sunday afternoon this same gentleman asked quietly, ‘Would you pray for me that I might know Jesus the way you know Jesus?’ What were we to do? None of the normal responses seemed appropriate. We waited in silence. Finally one young man stood up and gently placed his hands on the man’s shoulders. I have never forgotten his prayer. I felt like taking off my shoes–we were on holy ground. Strange as it may seem, he prayed a commercial. He described a popular advertisement of the day for NesTea in which different people, sweltering from the summer sun, would fall into a swimming pool with a thirst-quenching sense of ‘ahhh!’ on their faces. He then invited this man to fall into the arms of Jesus in the same way. The gentleman suddenly began to weep, heaving deep sighs of sorrow and grief. We watched in reverent wonder as he received the gift of saving faith. It was a tender, grace-filled moment. Later he shared with us how the prayer touched a deep center in his past relating to his baptism as a child” (pp. 48, 49). 

While it is true that the Bible describes salvation in terms of drinking and eating of Jesus, the scene described by Foster is confusing at best. What was this man trusting? What was he receiving? He mentions his infant baptism. Had he come to believe that his baptism had brought him into a saving relationship with God that he was only now learning to enjoy? What Jesus was he trusting? What gospel? What was the nature of his faith? The Bible warns that the devils believe in God. Only a certain kind of faith is saving faith. Foster doesn’t clarify any of this. His doctrine of salvation is exceedingly murky at best. When the unbeliever asked the group to pray for him, why didn’t they share with him the gospel? They didn’t need to pray about what to say. They didn’t need to hesitate. Jesus has already commanded us to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Why did they preach a NesTea commercial rather than the gospel? 

And while we are talking about Richard Foster and the gospel, if he believes the true gospel of the grace of Christ without works, why does he constantly and uninhibitedly promote Catholic mystics who hold to a sacramental gospel? If he doesn’t believe Rome’s gospel of process salvation, why does he never warn about it plainly? 

Personal salvation is foundational to prayer and Christian living. It is criminal to write books on these subjects for broad public consumption and not make salvation absolutely clear. 

Roman Catholic Mysticism

Foster advocates Roman Catholic mysticism with absolutely no qualms, building his contemplative practices unequivocally upon this heretical foundation. 

He recommends Ignatius of Loyola, Francis of Assisi, Benedict of Nursia, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Genoa, Julian of Norwich, Brother Lawrence, Dominic, Catherine of Siena, John of the Cross, the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Madame Guyon, Thomas à Kempis, Catherine Doherty, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis de Sales, Alphonsus de Liguori, Bernard of Clairvaux, John Henry Newman, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, G.K. Chesterton, André Louf, Henri Nouwen, Dorothy Day, Karl Rahner, John Main, Mother Teresa, Thomas Merton, Brennan Manning, John Michael Talbot, and many others. 

Foster’s recommendation of these Roman Catholic mystics is not half-hearted. In the introduction to the 1998 edition of Celebration of Discipline, he says that they taught him spiritual depth and substance (pp. xiii, xiv), and he calls them “Devotional Masters of the Christian faith.” Of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, Foster says, “… it is a school of prayer for all of us” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 59). 

There is no warning of the fact that these mystics trusted in a works gospel, venerated Mary, worshipped Christ as a piece of consecrated bread, believed in purgatory, and scores of other heresies. (For extensive documentation of this see the chapters “A Description of Catholic Monastic Asceticism” and “A Biographical Catalog of Contemplative Mystics.”)

Bible Not Sole Authority

Like his Roman Catholic friends, Foster’s foundational error is in not exalting the Bible as the sole authority for faith and practice. Nowhere in Celebration of Discipline or Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home does he instruct his readers that the Bible alone is God’s infallible revelation and that everything must be carefully tested by it. This should be the very starting point for books on Christian spirituality and worship, but it is glaring in its absence. Foster encourages his readers to find revelation beyond Scripture through meditation, dreams, and personal prophecies. 

Foster describes how Francis of Assisi found spiritual guidance. When he was puzzled as to whether he should devote himself exclusively to contemplative practices or also to engage in preaching missions (which is plainly answered in Scripture), he sent word to two “trusted friends” and accepted their replies as the very will of God. Foster says that Francis “was seeking a method that would open the gates of heaven to reveal the mind of Christ, and he took it as such” (Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 1978, pp. 154, 155). Nowhere does Foster chide Francis of Assisi for depending on the word of man rather than the Scripture. 

Neo-Orthodox Approach to Scripture

Foster’s approach to Scripture is a neo-orthodox, existentialist one. It is not by accident that he quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer frequently and non-critically. (He also quotes the other two fathers of neo-orthodoxy, Karl Barth and Emil Brunner.)

“This is not a time for technical word studies, or analysis, or even the gathering of material to share with others. … Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, ‘… just as you do not analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the Word of Scripture and ponder it in your heart, as Mary did. That is all. That is meditation'” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 26). 

Yet the Bible is not merely a love letter. It is much more. It is the infallible Word of God, and we are commanded to “analyze” it. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries exposes the error of Foster’s approach:

The idea expressed above by Bonhoeffer of accepting Scripture subjectively as spoken to you is completely in line with the flawed view of the text of the Holy Scripture spread by neo-orthodox theologian Karl Barth. In neo-orthodoxy the Scripture only becomes the Word of God when the Holy Spirit illuminates it. We can sum up this wrong idea this way: ‘The Bible is a divine mailbox in which we receive letters from Heaven.’ But no, it isn’t. The Bible itself–in full–is the letter, the message, from God.

In his book Reckless Faith Dr. John MacArthur hits the target dead on as he shows why neo-orthodoxy is a perfect fit for contemplative mysticism as well as why it’s a necessity for it to flourish:

‘Neo-orthodoxy is the term used to identify an existentialist variety of Christianity. Because it denies the essential objective basis of truth–the absolute truth and authority of Scripture–neo-orthodoxy must be understood as pseudo-Christianity. … Neo-orthodoxy’s attitude toward Scripture is a microcosm of the entire existentialist philosophy: the Bible itself is not objectively the Word of God, but it becomes the Word of God when it speaks to me individually. …

‘Thus while neo-orthodox theologians often sound as if they are affirming traditional beliefs, … they relegate all theology to the realm of subjective relativism. … Mysticism is perfectly suited for religious existentialism; indeed, it is the inevitable consequence. The mystic disdains rational understanding and seeks truth instead through the feelings, the imagination, personal visions, inner voices, private illumination, or other purely subjective means’ (MacArthur, Reckless Faith) (Ken Silva, “Contemplative Mysticism in the Southern Baptist Convention,” April 30, 2008, http://www.apprising.org/archives/2008/04
/contemplative_m.html). 

Instead of seeing the Scripture as divinely inspired and profitable in every part as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, and therefore studying it diligently in order to rightly divide it as 2 Timothy 2:15 commands, neo-orthodoxy sees the Scripture as inspired only as it speaks to me experientially through a mystical approach. 

Foster’s School of Contemplative Mysticism

Foster invites his readers to “enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 13), promoting thoughtless centering prayer, visualization, guided imagery, the repetition of mantras, silence, walking the labyrinth, even out of body experiences. 

Foster says, “Christian meditation is an attempt to empty the mind in order to fill it” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 15). 

Apparently Foster got some criticism for this statement, because in the next edition of Celebration of Discipline he omitted it and tried to contrast Eastern meditation with Christian meditation with the following words:

“Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind; Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind. The two ideas are quite different” (Celebration of Discipline, 1988, p. 20). 

This sounds nice and tidy, but it contradicts the practice of Catholic contemplation. In reality, both Eastern meditation and Catholic meditation are an attempt to empty the mind in order to arrive at a transcendental experience. Consider the following quotes from the mystics that Foster heartily recommends:

Thomas Merton: “… the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. IT IS WORDLESS. IT IS BEYOND WORDS, AND IT IS BEYOND SPEECH, and it is BEYOND CONCEPT” (The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, 1975 edition, p. 308).

The Cloud of Unknowing: “I URGE YOU TO DISMISS EVERY CLEVER OR SUBTLE THOUGHT no matter how holy or valuable. Cover it with a thick cloud of forgetting because in this life only love can touch God as He is in Himself, never knowledge” (chapter 8).

John Main: “Recite your prayer-phrase [mantra] and gently listen to it as you say it. DO NOT THINK ABOUT ANYTHING. As thoughts come, simply keep returning to your prayer-phrase. In this way, one places everything aside” (The Teaching of Dom John Main: How to Meditate, Meditation Group of Saint Patrick’s Basilica, Ottawa, Canada).

Teresa of Avila: “All that the soul has to do at these times of quiet is merely to be calm and MAKE NO NOISE. BY NOISE I MEAN WORKING WITH THE INTELLECT to find great numbers of words and reflections with which to thank God. … in these periods of quiet, the soul should repose in its calm, and learning should be put on one side” (The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself, chap. 15, pp. 106, 107, 108).

Foster’s attempt to set Catholic contemplation apart from pagan mysticism cannot be sustained.

Foster encourages his readers to go deep into their inner world of silence and explore it:

“[W]e must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation. In their writings, all of the masters of meditation strive to awaken us to the fact that the universe is much larger than we know, that there are vast unexplored inner regions that are just as real as the physical world we know so well. They tell us of exciting possibilities for new life and freedom. They call us to the adventure, to be pioneers in this frontier of the Spirit” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 13).

Amazingly, he says that these practices are not only for believers but also for unbelievers.

“We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practice the Disciplines. Recent converts–for that matter people who have yet to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ–can and should practice them” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 2).

Since the contemplative practices are supposed to enable the practitioner to commune with Christ within himself, how could an unsaved person “practice them”? This is evidence of Foster’s Quaker belief in an “inner light” in every man. 

Some might protest that I have only focused on the more controversial parts of Foster’s teaching and have ignored the truth contained therein. I will admit that Foster’s books contain some true insights about traditional biblical prayer that in another context could be helpful, but this is ruined by his promotion of Catholic mysticism, Jungian dream interpretation, healing of memories, and other heresies. Anyone that uses his writings is in imminent danger of being snared by error.

And though he does give many lessons about traditional biblical prayer, he considers this a shallow level of Christian living. To reach the truly “deep” levels, he urges believers to aspire to move beyond normal conversational prayer. He quotes C.S. Lewis: 

“I still think the prayer without words is the best–if one can really achieve it. … [But to] pray successfully without words one needs to be ‘at the top of one’s form'” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 156).

In reality, contemplative practices are beyond the bounds of Scripture and are completely “off the deep end.”

Visualization

Foster encourages the exceedingly dangerous practice of guided imagery and visualization:

“The inner world of meditation is most easily entered through the door of the imagination. We fail today to appreciate its tremendous power. The imagination is stronger that the conceptual thought and stronger than the will. … In his autobiography C.G. Jung describes how difficult it was for him to humble himself and once again play imagination games of a child, and the value of that experience. Just as children need to learn to think logically, adults need to REDISCOVER THE MAGICAL REALITY OF THE IMAGINATION. … 

“Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises constantly  encouraged his readers to VISUALIZE THE GOSPEL STORIES. Every contemplation he gave was designed to open the imagination. He even included a meditation entitled ‘application of the senses,’ which is an attempt to help us utilize all five senses as we picture the Gospel events. His thin volume of meditation exercises with its stress on the imagination had tremendous impact for good upon the sixteenth century.’ …

“Take a single event like the resurrection, or a parable, or a few verses, or even a single word and allow it to take root in you. Seek to live the experience, remembering the encouragement of Ignatius of Loyola to apply all our senses to our task. … As you enter the story, not as a passive observer but as an active participant, remember that since Jesus lives in the Eternal Now and is not bound by time, this event in the past is a living present-tense experience for Him. Hence, YOU CAN ACTUALLY ENCOUNTER THE LIVING CHRIST IN THE EVENT, BE ADDRESSED BY HIS VOICE AND BE TOUCHED BY HIS HEALING POWER. It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; IT CAN BE A GENUINE CONFRONTATION” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, pp. 22, 23, 26).

Note that Foster recommends Carl Jung, who followed a demonic spirit guide, as well as Ignatius of Loyola, who founded an organization dedicated to blind obedience to the pope at the very height of the murderous Inquisition. The “spirit realm” to which these men connected through meditative practices was the realm of darkness. 

Foster recommends Loyola’s practice of visualizing a personal encounter with Jesus, which is presumptuous foolishness. We don’t even know what Jesus looks like and we are not supposed to. Faith is simply believing God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Faith is not putting oneself into the biblical account and letting one’s imagination run wild. 

(For more about visualization and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises see “Ignatius of Loyola” in the chapter “A Biographical Catalog of Contemplative Mystics.”)

Interpretation of Dreams

Foster promotes the interpretation of dreams, which is not surprising in light of his recommendation of Carl Jung.

“In learning to meditate, one good place to begin is with our dreams, since it involves little more than paying attention to something we are already doing. … If we are convinced that DREAMS CAN BE A KEY TO UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO THE INNER WORLD, we can do three practical things. First, we can specifically pray, inviting God to inform us through our dreams. … Second, we should begin to record our dreams. … That leads to the third consideration–how to interpret dreams. The best way to discover the meaning of dreams is to ask. ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (Jas. 4:2). … Benedict Pererius, a sixteenth-century Jesuit, suggested that the best interpreter of dreams is the ‘…person with plenty of experience in the world and the affairs of humanity, with a wide interest in everything human, and who is open to the voice of God'” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, pp. 23, 24). 

Though God did speak from time to time to the prophets of old in dreams, the New Testament does not encourage God’s people to seek revelation in dreams nor does it instruct us in how to interpret dreams. Foster takes James 4:2 out of context applying it to the interpretation of dreams, though it has nothing to do with such a thing. He quotes a Jesuit heretic who held a false gospel of sacramentalism. The fact is that we do not need dream revelations for we have the perfect and sufficient “voice of God” in the Scriptures. It is “a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter 1:19).

Dream interpretation is one of the things that led Sue Monk Kidd astray as she pursued the contemplative path. She came to believe that God was speaking to her through weird dreams, and those dreams led to self-deification and goddess worship! (See “Sue Monk Kid” in the chapter “Biographical Catalog of Contemplative Mystics.”)

Communing Face to Face with God in Outer Space

Foster even urges the contemplative practitioner to commune face to face with God the Father. 

“A fourth form of meditation has as its objective to bring you into a deep inner communion with the Father where you look at Him and He looks at you” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 27).

Foster says that this amazing feat can be accomplished via visualized out of body experiences.

“In your imagination, picture yourself walking along a lovely forest path. … When you are able to experience the scene with all your senses, the path breaks out onto a lovely grassy knoll. Walk out into the lush large meadow encircled by stately pines. After exploring the meadow for a time, lie down on your back looking up at blue sky and white clouds. IN YOUR IMAGINATION ALLOW YOUR SPIRITUAL BODY, SHINING WITH LIGHT, TO RISE OUT OF YOUR PHYSICAL BODY. Look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily. IMAGINE YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF, ALIVE AND VIBRANT, RISING UP THROUGH THE CLOUDS AND INTO THE STRATOSPHERE. Observe your physical body, the knoll, and the forest shrink as you leave the earth. Go deeper and deeper into outer space until there is nothing except the warm presence of the eternal Creator. Rest in His presence. Listen quietly, anticipating the unanticipated. NOTE CAREFULLY ANY INSTRUCTION GIVEN … Do not be disappointed if no words come; like good friends, you are silently enjoying the company of each other. When it is time for you to leave, audibly thank the Lord for His goodness and return to the meadow. Walk joyfully back along the path until you return home FULL OF NEW LIFE AND ENERGY” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, pp. 27, 28).

Foster thus claims that the believer can go into outer space and receive direct revelation from Almighty God! Who needs the Bible and who needs faith when we can actually meet Christ in the center of our being, talk face to face with God the Father, and have personal revelations from Almighty God?

(The previous passage was dropped out of subsequent editions of Celebration of Discipline, but to my knowledge Foster has never renounced the practice. My e-mail to him about this was not answered.)

This technique is occultic. It is exactly what I was taught by Hindu gurus in the early 1970s. 

In Out on a Limb New Ager Shirley MacLaine describes an out of body journey to the moon that follows the same playbook! 

Consider the following description of what Brian Flynn was taught when he was training to be a psychic before his conversion to Jesus Christ:

“Carolyn then instructed us to lie on the floor, close our eyes and imagine we were lying in a field of wildflowers on a beautiful summer’s day. The wind was calm, and the smell of flowers awakened our senses. As we were lying in the field, she asked us to now leave our bodies and look down upon ourselves. Carolyn then guided us to raise our souls to the heavens and to leave our earthly bodies behind. When we reached what we believed to be the outer edges of the universe she told us to ask for a message from the universe and what we needed to know at this time. ‘Listen to the voice inside you. Ask what it is you need to know to help you release the burdens you carry,’ she said softly” (Flynn, Running against the Wind, 2005, p. 50).

There is no significant difference between the psychic practice and Foster’s so-called contemplative practice. When we go outside the realm of the Bible we put ourselves in the way of spiritual harm and deception.

Other Occultic Practices

Foster recommends other occultic practices. 

One is channeling the light of Christ through visualization. Consider his description of how he taught visualizing prayer to a little boy:

“Imagination opens the door to faith. If we can ‘see’ in our mind’s eye a shattered marriage whole or a sick person well, it is only a short step to believing that it will be so. … I was once called to a home to pray for a seriously ill baby girl. Her four-year-old brother was in the room and so I told him I needed his help to pray for his baby sister. … He climbed up into the chair beside me. ‘Let’s play a little game,’ I said. ‘Since we know that Jesus is always with us, let’s imagine that He is sitting over in the chair across from us. He is waiting patiently for us to center our attention on Him. When we see Him, we start thinking more about His love than how sick Julie is. He smiles, gets up, and comes over to us. Then let’s both put our hands on Julie and when we do, Jesus will put His hands on top of ours. WE’LL WATCH AND IMAGINE THAT THE LIGHT FROM JESUS IS FLOWING RIGHT INTO YOUR LITTLE SISTER AND MAKING HER WELL. Let’s pretend that the light of Christ fights with the bad germs until they are all gone. Okay!’ Seriously the little one nodded. Together we prayed in this childlike way and then thanked the Lord that what we ‘saw’ was the way it was going to be” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 37).

This is not biblical prayer; it is occultism. Mind Science practitioners and New Agers have promoted this type of thing for a century. 

Biblical prayer is not the attempt to accomplish something through the power of our minds. It is talking to God and asking Him to accomplish things. There is a vast difference between these two practices, as vast as the difference between God and the Devil.

Foster recommends that parents pray for their sleeping children after this fashion:

“Imagine the light of Christ flowing through your hands and healing every emotional trauma and hurt feeling your child experienced that day. Fill him or her with the peace and joy of the Lord. In sleep the child is very receptive to prayer since the conscious mind which tends to erect barriers to God’s gentle influence is relaxed” (Celebration of Discipline, p. 39). 

There is not the hint of support in Scripture for this practice. To attempt to bypass “the conscious mind” is occultism. 

Foster’s descent into occultism is further evident by his recommendation of “flash prayers” and “swish prayers“:

“Flashing hard and straight prayers at people is a great thrill and can bring interesting results. I have tried it, inwardly asking the joy of the Lord and a deeper awareness of His presence to rise up within every person I meet. Sometimes people reveal no response, but other times they turn and smile as if addressed. In a bus or plane we can fancy Jesus walking down the aisles touching people on the shoulder and saying, ‘I love you…’ Frank Laubach has suggested that if thousands of us would experiment with ‘swishing prayers’ at everyone we meet and would share the results, we could learn a great deal about how to pray for others. … ‘Units of prayer combined, like drops of water, make an ocean which defies resistance'” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 39). 

This depicts prayer as an occultic entity rather than a simple communication addressed to God. 

Foster also recommends a practice called “palms up, palms down.” The practitioner is instructed first to hold his palms down in order to “release” his worries and concerns, such as anger, lack of finances, or fear of an upcoming event. 

“Whatever it is that weighs on your mind or is a concern to you, just say, ‘palms down.’ Release it. YOU MAY EVEN FEEL A CERTAIN SENSE OF RELEASE IN YOUR HANDS” (Celebration of Discipline, 1998, p. 31).

Then the practitioner is to turn his palms up in order to “receive from the Lord.” 

“Perhaps you will pray silently: ‘Lord, I would like to receive your divine love for John, your peace about the dentist appointment, your patience, your joy.’ Whatever you need, you say, ‘palms up.'”

There is not a hint of support for such a thing in Scripture, but this practice is found in New Age and pagan religions. 

Palms up, palms down is used in walking the labyrinth (http://www.lessons4living.com/three_fold_path.htm). 

It is used in Nia Technique to channel energy fields (http://www.nianow.com/teachers/continuingedu/
sharingthejoy/0606/t_tip.html).

It is used in Tai Chi to manipulate the flow of the occultic chi energy (http://groups.ku.edu/~kungfu
/instructions/instructions.htm). 

Sufi dervishes hold one palm up and one palm down while whirling in order to channel their mystical experiences. I have observed this in Turkey.


Union with God

Foster has adopted the contemplative doctrine of union with God. To the question, “What is the goal of Contemplative Prayer?” Foster answers: 

“To this question the old writers answer with one voice: UNION WITH GOD. … Bonaventure, a follower of Saint Francis, says that our final goal is ‘union with God,’ which is A PURE RELATIONSHIP WHERE WE SEE ‘NOTHING'” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, 1992, p. 159). 

The “old writers” are old Catholic writers, but the Bible nowhere describes or encourages such a practice. The believer’s complete relationship with God is an accomplished fact in Christ. 

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:6-10).

We receive Christ by faith in the gospel, and Paul says that we are to walk in Him in the same way. It is a walk of faith. We walk “from faith to faith” (Romans 1:17). God gives the believer many wonderful “experiences” along the way, but we are not to seek after experiences; we are to be content with knowing Christ by faith. 

The believer is complete in Christ and his “union” with Christ, is an accomplished fact. It is not something we have to pursue through mysticism. 

Further, the believer’s relationship with Christ in this world is not an experience of “seeing nothing.” It is, rather, an experience of knowing the Saviour through faith in His written Word and through the power of the indwelling Spirit. It is an objective, mindful experience. As former Catholic priest Richard Bennett says, “Seeing ‘nothing’ [is] just an Evangelical rehashing of Catholic irrational superstitious myth.” 

Promoting Heretics

God’s Word commands us to mark and avoid those who cause divisions contrary to the apostolic faith (Romans 16:17), but Foster ignores this and draws his material from a bewildering assortment of heretics. 

The following are just a few of the many examples we could give of the man’s disturbing, dangerous, and unbiblical habit of quoting heretics in the most recommending manner. 

For a starter, as we have noted, he asks his readers to join hands with Catholic “saints” and mystics (all of whom are committed to a gospel of works and many of whom are pantheists, panentheists, and universalists). (See the chapter “A Biographical Catalog of Contemplative Mystics” for studies on Francis of Assisi, Benedict of Nursia, Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, Catherine of Genoa, Julian of Norwich, Brother Lawrence, Dominic, Catherine of Siena, John of the Cross, Madame Guyon, Thomas à Kempis, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Karl Rahner, John Main, Mother Teresa, Thomas Merton, Brennan Manning, John Michael Talbot, and others cited by Foster.)

Foster quotes ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI (he spells his name Luguori) at least three times in Celebration of Discipline (1978, pp. 132-134). Liguori was one of the greatest worshippers of Mary the Roman Catholic Church has ever produced. His book The Glories of Mary (1750) is simply blasphemous. Note the following quotations:

“… though the sinner does not himself merit the graces which he asks, yet he receives them, because this Blessed Virgin asks and obtains them from God, ON ACCOUNT OF HER OWN MERITS” (The Glories of Mary, edited by Eugene Grimm, Brooklyn: Redemptorist Fathers, 1931, p. 73).

“IT WAS THEN BY THIS GREAT OFFERING OF MARY THAT WE WERE BORN TO THE LIFE OF GRACE; WE ARE THEREFORE HER VERY DEAR CHILDREN, SINCE WE COST HER SO GREAT SUFFERING” (p. 59). 

“This was revealed by our Blessed Lady herself to St. Bridget, saying, ‘I am the Queen of heaven and the Mother of Mercy; I AM THE JOY OF THE JUST, AND THE DOOR THROUGH WHICH SINNERS ARE BROUGHT TO GOD” (p. 43).

“Let us, then, have recourse, and always have recourse, to this most sweet Queen, IF WE WOULD BE CERTAIN OF SALVATION … LET US REMEMBER THAT IT IS IN ORDER TO SAVE THE GREATEST AND MOST ABANDONED SINNERS, who recommend themselves to her, that Mary is made the Queen of Mercy” (pp. 43,44).

Foster heavily promotes the Catholic Trappist monk THOMAS MERTON, recommending many of his books and quoting from him frequently, at least 15 times in Celebration of Discipline, not giving the slightest warning about the man. Foster says that Merton “has done more than any other twentieth century figure to make the life of prayer widely known and understood” (Spiritual Classics, pp. 17, 21). He calls Merton’s Contemplative Prayer “a must book” and What Is Contemplation “an excellent introduction to contemplative prayer for everyone.” In Meditative Prayer, Foster gushes that “Merton continues to inspire countless men and women.” Foster includes an entire chapter by Merton in his book Spiritual Classics. 

Foster does not tell his readers that Merton was at the forefront of interfaith dialogue, that he claimed to be both a Buddhist and a Catholic, that he had powerful mystical experiences while meditating before Buddha idols, and that he was a universalist. Nowhere did Merton say that Buddhists and Hindus and Sufis worship false gods or that they are hell-bound because they do not believe in Jesus. When writing about Zen Buddhists, Merton always assumed that they were communing with the same “ground of Being” that he had found through Catholic monasticism.

Foster recommends the universalist mystic MEISTER ECKHART, quoting him at least two times in various editions of Celebration of Discipline and saying, “Today Eckhart is widely read and appreciated, not so much for his theological opinions as for his vision of God” (Spiritual Classics, p. 206). How can Eckhart have had a proper vision of God when he believed that God is everything and that man is divinity? 

Foster recommends the universalist DOROTHY DAY. He has an entire chapter by and about her in his book Spiritual Classics. Day wrote:

“Going to the people is the purest and best act in Christian tradition and revolutionary tradition [she is referring to Marxism] and is the beginning of world brotherhood. Never to be severed from the people, to set out always from the point of view of serving the people, not serving the interests of a small group or oneself. … It is almost another way of saying that we must and will FIND CHRIST IN EACH AND EVERY MAN, when we look on them as brothers” (Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness). 

Foster promotes KARL RAHNER. There is a chapter by him in Spiritual Classics. Yet he believed in evolution and in salvation apart from faith in Christ. He spoke of the “anonymous Christian,” referring to an individual who unconsciously responds to God’s grace operating in the world, though he might even reject the gospel.

Foster promotes Benedictine priest JOHN MAIN, saying that he “understood well the value of both silence and solitude” and he “rediscovered meditation while living in the Far East” (Spiritual Classics, p. 155). Indeed, he did. Main learned meditation from a Hindu guru! Main combined Catholic contemplative practices with yoga and in 1975 began founding meditation groups in Catholic monasteries based on this syncretism.

Foster recommends HILDEGARD OF BINGEN. There is an entire chapter by her in Spiritual Classics. She had wild-eyed visions and wrote as the direct mouthpiece of God, yet her prophecies taught Catholic heresies, including the veneration of Mary. One of her songs was entitled “Praise for the Mother.” 

Foster recommends AGNES SANFORD, saying, “I have discovered her to be an extremely wise and skillful counselor in these matters” and calls her book The Healing Gifts of the Spirit “an excellent resource” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 136, footnote 1). Foster includes an entire chapter by Sanford in his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home and another chapter by her in Spiritual Disciplines. Sanford delved deeply into New Thought, Jungian psychology, and other dangerous fields. She said that she got her doctrine that there is a “spiritual body” within the physical body from New Thought teacher Emmet Fox (Sealed Orders, p. 115), who also believed that man is God. Sanford was a universalist and the founder of the dangerous field of healing of memories. She taught healing through meditation, visualization, and positive confession. She said that if she spilled hot oil on her hand in the kitchen, she would confess: “I’m boss inside of me. And what I say goes. I say that my skin shall not be affected by that boiling fat, and that’s all there is to it. I see my skin well, perfect and whole, and I say it’s to be so” (The Healing Light, p. 65). (For more about Sanford see the report “Agnes Sanford” at the Way of Life web site.)

Foster recommends MARTIN MARTY, who wrote the foreword to Streams of Living Water. Yet Marty is a relativist and a modernist who denies the divine inspiration of the Bible and eternal judgment in hell. Marty supports abortion and the ordination of homosexuals, and in an interview with Playboy in 1974 he recommended adultery in some situations. 

Foster quotes HARVEY COX, who repudiates the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith and has described himself as a fellow traveler of the Hare Krishna movement. 

Foster also quotes sympathetically and non-critically from the psychoanalyst CARL JUNG who rejected the Bible as mythical and communicated intimately throughout his life with a spirit guide. 

Foster even recommends New Age mystics. He quotes MARTIN BUBER, who rejected the God of the Bible and the fall of man and believed that God is found through interaction with human society and non-doctrinal mysticism. Buber believed that the Bible is largely mythical. 

Foster quotes ELIZABETH O’CONNOR, who was a universalist and praised the Hindu guru Krishnamurti. O’Connor believed that Christ has saved all of mankind and is creating a new world through social-justice action. There is no need for individuals to be saved; they are already children of God and merely need to find God’s will for their lives and see “the divine life throbbing in the whole of the world” (O’Connor, “Each of Us Has Something Grand to Do,” Faith At Work magazine, Nov.-Dec. 1979). 

Foster recommends the writings of DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 62; Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 33; Spiritual Classics, p. 156, 251-260). He was a universalist who built the UN Chapel in 1952 as a New Age meditation center. There is a six-and-a-half ton block of iron ore in the center of the room, the polished top of which is lit by a single beam of light from the ceiling. The light depicts “divine wisdom,” and the block depicts an empty altar representing “God worshipped in many forms” (http://www.aquaac.org/un/sprtatun.html). The iron ore also represents the metal from which weapons are made and the New Age hope that through the power of meditation world peace can be achieved. Hammarskjöld said, “… we thought we could bless by our thoughts the very material out of which arms are made.”  

Foster recommends PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN. He includes a chapter by him in Spiritual Disciplines. Teilhard taught that God is the consciousness of the universe, that everything is one, and that everything is evolving in greater and greater enlightenment toward an ultimate point of perfection. He called this perfection CHRIST and THE OMEGA POINT. Teilhard spoke much of Christ, but his christ is not the Christ of the Bible. For this reason, Teilhard is a favorite with New Agers. 

Foster also recommends the writings of pagan mystics LAO-TSE of China (founder of Taoism) and ZARATHUSTRA of Persia (founder of Zoroastrianism) (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 62).  

These are only some of the heretics that Foster quotes and recommends in his books! 

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

Renovaré: Foster’s ecumenical program

In 1988 Foster founded RENOVARÉ (pronounced ren-o-var-ay), which is Latin, meaning “to make new spiritually.” This is an ecumenical organization that promotes spiritual renewal through contemplative exercises, charismatic practices, and other things. 

Renovaré’s ecumenical thrust is radical. Its objective is “to work for the renewal of the Church of Jesus Christ in all her multifaceted expressions.” Its slogan is “Christian in commitment, international in scope, ecumenical in breadth.” Renovaré’s ministry team represents men and women “from Mennonite to Methodist, Roman Catholic to Church of God in Christ, Assembly of God to American Baptist.” 

Foster describes the breadth of his ecumenical vision in these words:

“God is gathering his people once again, creating of them an all-inclusive community of loving persons with Jesus Christ as the community’s prime sustainer and most glorious inhabitant. This community is breaking forth in multiplied ways and varied forms. …

“I see a Catholic monk from the hills of Kentucky standing alongside a Baptist evangelist from the streets of Los Angeles and together offering up a sacrifice of praise. I see a people” (Streams of Living Water, 2001, p. 274).

In his book Streams of Living Water Foster “celebrates the great traditions of the Christian faith.” These are contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and incarnational, claiming that all are “true streams flowing from the fountain of Jesus Christ.” In emerging church fashion, he believes that these “traditions,” which represent diverse and contradictory doctrines and practices, are “complementary” and needed.  

At the October 1991 Renovaré meeting in Pasadena, California, Foster praised Pope John Paul II and called for unity in the Body of Christ” (CIB Bulletin, December 1991).

In Renovaré Foster works closely with Dallas Willard. Willard attended Foster’s Quaker church in the 1970s, and today he is one of Renovaré’s Ministry Team members. The Renovaré web site in March 2008 advertised an upcoming “conversation” between Willard and Foster. 

Willard says that “it is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved” (“Apologetics in Action,” Cutting Edge magazine, winter 2001, vol. 5 no. 1, Vineyard USA, http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=14).

Anti-Dispensationalism/Kingdom Gospel

Foster calls Dispensationalism a “heresy” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 46, footnote). Thus, he believes that Christians are building the kingdom of God today and that Christ’s coming is not imminent. 

Dallas Willard believes the same thing. In his book The Divine Conspiracy he preaches a “kingdom gospel” that downplays the centrality of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. (He calls it a “theory.”) The apostle Paul said that if anyone preaches a different gospel than the one given to him by God he is accursed (Galatians 1:6-9). Paul’s gospel is plainly stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and it is not a kingdom gospel. It is the gospel of personal salvation through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

We have refuted the kingdom gospel error in What Is the Emerging Church, which is available from Way of Life Literature.

Accepting the Catholic Mass

Foster allows for Rome’s abominable doctrine that the consecrated wafer of the Mass is actually the body of Christ. He says it doesn’t matter to him what one believes about the “eucharist”:

“Christian people of honest heart have long differed over how the life of Christ is mediated to us through the Communion feast. Complicated words are used to make important distinctions: transubstantiation, consubstantiation, memorial, and the like. … I have no desire to unsettle the convictions of any person, irrespective of the tradition by which he or she is able to enter fully into the Communion service” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 112).

Foster’s position sounds sympathetic and kind, but it is blatant disobedience to God’s Word, which commands us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The apostle Paul received directly from the Lord the teaching that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial (1 Cor. 11:23-25). Christ is not “mediated” through the Lord’s Supper in any sense, and we are not authorized to allow heresies and private doctrines not supported by Scripture. Foster refuses to exercise this obligation. He is willing to allow his Catholic readers to believe that a piece of bread becomes Christ through priestly hocus pocus and that it is perfectly acceptable to pray to this piece of bread and to venerate it as Jesus, which is what all of his Catholic mystic friends do.

The Pentecostal-Charismatic Connection

Foster is closely associated with the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. He believes this movement has wonderful and important things to offer to the “body of Christ” and he accepts some of the most radical charismatic practices, including spirit slaying, holy laughter, and spiritual drunkenness. He calls these things the “prayer of the heart” but they are actually doctrines of devils.

“Another expression of the Prayer of the Heart is what is sometimes referred to as ‘resting in the Spirit.’ It is the experience of being taken up by the Spirit’s power in such a way that the individual loses consciousness for a time. Some enter a trancelike state; others lie quietly on the ground or floor. …

“‘Holy laughter’ is still another expression of the Prayer of the Heart. The joy of the Spirit seems to simply well up within a person until there is a bursting forth into high, holy, hilarious laughter. It sometimes is given to the individual in personal prayer, but more frequently it comes upon the gathered community. That is as it should be, for laughter is, after all, a communal experience. To the uninitiated it might appear that these people are drunk, and so they are–with the Spirit” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, pp. 138, 139). 

See the book The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements: History and Error for a biblical refutation of these practices. This is available from Way of Life Literature.

Healing of Memories

Foster believes in the heresy of the “healing of memories,” which he doubtless learned from the aforementioned Agnes Sanford.

“My first experience was with a man who had lived in constant fear and bitterness for twenty-eight years. He would wake up at night, screaming and in a cold sweat. He lived in constant depression, so much so that his wife said that he had not laughed for many years. 

“He told me the story of what had happened those many years before that had caused such a deep sadness to hang over him. He was in Italy during the Second World War and was in charge of a mission of thirty-three men. They became trapped by enemy gunfire. With deep sorrow in his eyes, this man related how he had prayed desperately that God would get them out of that mess. It was not to be. He had to send his men out two by two and watch them get killed. Finally in the early hours of the morning he was able to escape with six men–four seriously wounded. He had only a flesh wound. He told me that the experience turned him into an atheist. Certainly, his heart was filled with rage, bitterness, and guilt. 

“I said, ‘Don’t you know that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who lives in the eternal now, can enter that old painful memory and heal it so that it will no longer control you?’ He did not know this was possible. I asked if he would mind if I prayed for him–NEVER MIND THAT HE WAS AN ATHEIST; I would have faith for him. He nodded his consent. Sitting beside him with my hand on his shoulder, I invited the Lord Jesus to go back those twenty-eight years and walk through that day with THIS GOOD MAN. ‘Please, Lord,’ I asked, ‘draw out the hurt and the hate and the sorrow and set him free.’ Almost as an afterthought I asked for peaceful sleep to be one of the evidences of this healing work, for he had not slept well for all those years. ‘Amen.’

“The next week he came up to me with a sparkle in his eyes and a brightness on his face I had never seen before. ‘Every night I have slept soundly, and each morning I have awakened with a hymn on my mind. And I am happy … happy for the first time in twenty-eight years.’ His wife concurred that it was so. That was many years ago, and the wonderful thing is that although this man has had the normal ups and downs of life since then, the old sorrows have never returned. He was totally and instantaneously healed” (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p. 205). 

The bottom line is that this experience is strictly and profoundly unscriptural. There is not a hint of such a thing taught in the Bible. 

Some are impressed with the results of such practices, but if the only standard for the truth of a practice is its effectiveness, then we are left with no certain standard, because the devil can imitate many “spiritual” things. Psychics and psychoanalysists have produced the same results that Foster achieved with his “healing of memory prayer.” Note that he does not say that the man was scripturally born again through this experience. He just became happy, and the manipulation of the emotions is easily within the realm of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Foster’s Interfaith Activities

Foster is involved in the LIVING SPIRITUAL TEACHERS PROJECT, a group that associates together Roman Catholics, liberal Protestants, Zen Buddhist monks and nuns, universalists, occultists, and New Agers. Members include the Dalai Lama, who claims to be the reincarnation of an advanced spiritual entity; Marianne Williamson, promoter of the occultic A Course in Miracles; Marcus Borg, who believes that Jesus was not virgin born and did not rise from the grave; Catholic nun Joan Chittister, who says we must become “in tune with the cosmic voice of God”; Andrew Harvey, who says that men need to “claim their divine humanity”; Matthew Fox, who believes there are many paths to God; Alan Jones, who calls the gospel of the cross a vile doctrine and says there is no absolute authority; and Desmond Tutu, who says, “… because everybody is a God-carrier, all are brothers and sisters.”  

God’s Word unequivocally reproves Foster’s activity with the commandment, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

Conclusion

Richard Foster believes he is promoting a true spiritual revival within Christianity, but he is the blind leading the blind. His writings are an exceedingly dangerous mixture of truth and error. Pastors and teachers need to warn their people to stay away from him, for “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).

 

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Final Preparations to Receive the New Age Christ

by Prof. Johan Malan, Middelburg, South Africa

Christianity experiences unprecedented attacks on its foundational truths. These attacks are motivated and coordinated by evil forces that are intent on deceiving all people as a prelude to revealing the Antichrist and physically establishing Satan’s kingdom on earth. Their main obstacle is biblical beliefs in the deity, atoning death, resurrection and second coming of Jesus Christ. As a result, attacks against evangelical Christianity are on the increase, being aimed at discrediting the canonical books of the Bible, and thus also the God and Saviour of the Bible.

When the Lord Jesus was asked about the signs indicating the nearness of His second coming He first and foremost mentioned the widespread occurrence of spiritual deception: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5). The many people who will be deceived by many false teachers refers to the general occurrence of a changed mindset, or new paradigm, in terms of which people will perceive Christ in the end-time. That accounts for the disturbing phenomenon why the entire world will marvel and follow Satan’s false Christ (Rev. 13:3). The Amplified Bible says: “…and the whole earth went after the [Antichrist] in amazement and admiration.” That will be a united, multireligious form of worship.

The ultimate form of deception will be reached with the appearing of the Christ (the Antichrist) who will pretend to be the universal Christ of all religions. He will be empowered by Satan to perform great signs and wonders (2 Thess. 2:7-10; Rev. 13:2) and will also introduce a false peace and unity on earth (1 Thess. 5:3; Rev. 13:3). Halfway through his reign of seven years he will enter the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and in utter arrogance declare himself to be God (2 Thess. 2:4).

There are clearly different forms and stages of deception by which Satan attempts to draw people away from believing in, worshipping and following the true God of the Bible. Once they have rejected the truth they become spiritually so blinded that the ability to discern good from evil rapidly decreases to a dangerously low level. Such people entertain distorted and completely unbiblical views on Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the gospel. Among them are also former believers in Christ. Paul says:

“I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you put up with it well” (2 Cor. 11:2-4).

Much more than only perverting the image of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit with a view to depriving people of a biblical basis of faith, spiritual deception is now specifically aimed at deconstructing the biblical image and attributes of Jesus Christ to make Him conformable to the image of the Antichrist. This other Jesus will arise from the kingdom of darkness but present himself as the true Jesus who has come to save, bless and empower humanity. Preparations are in an advanced stage to receive him as the global messiah of all faiths. The mounting evidence on the nature and extent of this movement is very compelling, as indicated below:

Another Jesus

There are various independent initiatives, driven by the same spirit of error, to distort the biblical image of Jesus. The following initiatives clearly set the scene:

Liberal interpretation of Scripture. Liberal, humanistic-inclined theologians do not respect the root meaning of God’s Word – particularly those sections which describe God’s supernatural intervention in the affairs of humanity – and decide for themselves which other meaning(s) to attach to these scriptures. Many of them take literal concepts such as heaven, hell, the devil, the Antichrist, Israel, the millennial reign of Christ, as well as the end-time judgements of God, and offer explanations which differ radically from those which the Bible gives. Their agnostic mindset eventually leads them to question and attack the very foundations of the doctrine of salvation by denying clearly stated biblical concepts on the virgin birth of Christ, the spiritual significance of His atoning death, as well as His bodily resurrection. The starting-point for this serious delusion is the denial of the virgin birth of Christ. If He was not miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit He could not be the only begotten Son of God who was destined to be the Saviour of mankind and the King who will rule the world in righteousness from the throne of David (cf. Matt. 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-35; Acts 15:16-17). Consequently, these theologians and their followers end up with anotherJesus who is satanically-inspired and humanly conceived. This counterfeit Christ is endued with various unbiblical attributes and presented as one of many divine figures in the deceived family of world religions. To them, He is not the unique Son of God who defies the sinful conventions of human existence and denounces non-Christian religions as false institutions aimed at worshipping the Father of Lies (cf. 1 Cor. 10:20; 2 Cor. 6:14-18). These misguided people are paving the way for the coming of the Antichrist (1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:3).

The Jesus Seminar. On the extreme end of this rapidly expanding movement aimed at rejecting the Jesus of the Bible by utterly perverting His divine image is the US based Jesus Seminar which was established in 1985. They discredit more than 80% of the testimony of Jesus in the four Gospels as historically inaccurate. This is evident from their publication, The Five Gospels, to which the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas was added. In their efforts to portray the historical Jesus they strip the true, biblical Jesus of all His divine characteristics and render Him a mortal man who was no more than a human prophet. They do not hesitate to make grossly blasphemous statements about Jesus. During his visit to theological faculties at two universities in Pretoria, South Africa, John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar called the crucifixion of Jesus an act of transcendental child abuse and said that we should hate a God who surrendered His Son to such a cruel death. He also postulated that Jesus was never buried and did not rise from the dead. Another member of the Jesus Seminar, Prof. Marcus Borg, said during his visit to SA that there was never a full tomb, let alone an empty one, and added: “I think it is quite possible that his body was eaten by dogs.”

These ideas were eagerly accepted by prominent South African theologians who are members of the New Reformation. One of them, Prof. Andries van Aarde, wrote a book, Fatherless in Galilee, in which he describes Mary as a prostitute and Jesus as an illegitimate child who was begat by a Roman soldier. Being ‘fatherless’ in Galilee allegedly induced Him to fantasize about a heavenly Father. Despite its heretical premise this book was well received by fellow theologians. Those members of the Jesus Seminar and the New Reformation who do somehow agree that Jesus was a divine incarnation are quick to indicate that He was not the only incarnation of God. Religious leaders such as Buddha are also described as incarnations of the divine. The time for the revelation of the false Christ must surely be at hand.

Resurgence of the Gnostic Gospels. In keeping with the modern trend to relegate Jesus to the level of a mortal man and human prophet there is a new interest in the Gnostic Gospels. Since the time of the early Christian church theological development was strongly influenced by philosophy. Initially, it was the heathen Greek philosophy of Plato that had the greatest impact on religious thinking. Since the first century, Gnosticism developed concurrently with evangelical beliefs on the deity and incarnation of the Lord Jesus. This philosophy was derived from the concept “gnosis” (knowledge of spiritual mysteries) and teaches that knowledge, rather than faith, is the key to salvation. This philosophy enjoyed great support until the sixth century and during that time perverted the truth of various theological concepts. It was developed with the purpose of making the Christian religion more acceptable to Greek-speaking intelligentsia, but in the process the biblical concept of God was fundamentally changed. The Gnostic love for knowledge was shaped by the mystic beliefs of Plato, as well as his concept of God as the “Absolute,” which is not compatible with the biblical concept of the Holy Trinity. After these views were mixed with Christian concepts it was argued that there is a singular Creator-God, the Father, and that He created Jesus as a lower order God, or even as an angel. That was a vicious attack against the deity and incarnation of the Lord Jesus. Profs. Walvoord & Zuck (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, 1983:677) say: “Both Christ’s deity and humanity were challenged by this early Gnostic-like heresy. Those heretics diminished Christ to an angel whose ‘body’ was only apparent, not real.” But Paul defended the deity of the Lord Jesus, as well as His complete incarnation: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). He was fully God and fully man.

The large public acclaim enjoyed by false, apocryphal Gospels such as The Gospel of Judas, and other unauthentic accounts on the life of Jesus are indicative of this time of great deception prior to the dawning of the new dispensation of the Antichrist’s reign on earth. Just before Easter 2006, the National Geographic Society announced that they discovered the lost Gospel of Judas which contradicts the canonical gospels about Judas and his betrayal of Jesus. There were even claims in the press that this was the greatest discovery of the century and that it would result in a re-evaluation of Christians’ beliefs as we know it. The front-page headline of USA Today read, “Long-lost gospel of Judas casts ‘traitor’ in new light.” The Gospel of Judas presents Judas in a positive light as the only disciple who truly understood Jesus and who betrayed Him only because he was asked to do so. Jesus allegedly wanted to be released from the constraints imposed upon Him by His human body. The Gnostic Jesus described in the Gospel of Judas is not almighty God or the Creator of the world; He did not die for man’s sin, and did not rise bodily from the dead. It is no Gospel at all.

The Davinci Code. One of the modern platforms used to raise public awareness for the false Gnostic Gospels is Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, as well as a film with the same title. This book is based upon evidence derived from the Gnostic Gospels, which is presented as a true account of Jesus and His works. Many questions are raised concerning the deity of Christ and the trustworthiness of the canonical Gospels. Jesus is described as a mortal man who was married to Mary Magdalene, and these assertions cast doubt on the authenticity of the New Testament. The world has been looking for convincing proof that the Bible is not the Word of God. Scientists and researchers have been searching for credible reasons to reject the claims of Scripture. The public is hungry for such information. If the Bible is not the Word of God people are free to choose their lifestyles and behaviours without fear of punishment in this life or the next.

The Da Vinci Code has been on nationwide bestseller lists for extended periods since it was first published in 2003, including 87 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. As one reads this novel one finds that Brown blurs the lines between history and fiction, thereby suggesting that Christianity is based on a lie. What is the proof? A Gnostic Gospel and Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper where he contends that the person sitting next to Jesus was a woman, namely Mary Magdalene. The central claim that Brown’s novel makes about the Christian faith is that almost everything we learned about Jesus is false, thereby reinforcing the claims of heretics and apostates. In May 2006, a film with the same title was released. In the first four days it grossed $224 million at box offices world-wide.

The novel opens with the murder of an elderly curator at the Louvre, the world famous museum in Paris. The curator was harbouring a secret that, if revealed, would destroy the very foundations of Christianity. In his dying moments the curator left a series of numeric and cryptographic clues that would decode the fatal secret. The investigation of the murder produced clues that lead to the Holy Grail. As it turns out, the Grail isn’t the cup that Christ drank out of at the Last Supper, but Mary Magdalene, the true Grail who held the blood of Jesus in her womb while bearing His children. Furthermore, it is claimed that Mary’s reputation as a prostitute was fabricated by church leaders to undercut her influence, and that of women in general, in the early church. The real story was kept by a secret society called The Priory of Sion, to which many famous Europeans, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, belonged.

The Da Vinci Code is one of a series of blasphemous Hollywood films aimed at destroying the biblical image of Jesus. The ball was set rolling by films in which Jesus is portrayed as sinner, e.g. Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus of Montreal and The Last Temptation of Christ. By these films the scene has been set of the revelation of “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3) who will soon make his appearance in the name of the true Jesus.

The New Age Christ. The highest ranking deities in the New Age Movement are (1) the universal god of all faiths, (2) the cosmic Christ, and (3) Lucifer. In his book Reflections on the Christ the head of Planetary Citizens, David Spangler, included a chapter titled: Lucifer, Christ and God. In it, an important role in the development of a Christ consciousness in humans is assigned to Lucifer: “When man entered upon the pathway of self, he entered into a great creative adventure… There he can say, ‘I have fully and absolutely accepted the responsibility of who and what I am. In so doing I am free…’ The being that helps man to reach this point is Lucifer. That is his role. He is the angel of man’s evolution. He is the angel of man’s inner light. Lucifer is the spirit of light in the microcosmic world. God is the spirit of light in the macrocosm, and Christ is the bridge between the two that spells freedom in manifestation… Lucifer works within each of us to bring us to wholeness, and as we move into a new age, which is the age of man’s wholeness, each of us is brought to the point of a Luciferic initiation, the doorway through which the individual must pass if he is to come fully into the presence of his light and wholeness.” Through the spirit of the cosmic Christ of the kingdom of darkness (the Antichrist), people are introduced to the false light and peace of Lucifer, who is the father of lies. Full luciferic revelations are at present still confined to the inner circles of the New Age Movement, as members must pass through various stages of spiritual illumination before the real identity of the movement’s leader is revealed to them. Ordinary members of the movement are not aware that they actually open themselves up to Lucifer when they strive to attain spiritual illumination through the Christ consciousness.

The coming interfaith Christ will be the highest incarnation of the god of this world and be enthusiastically accepted by the deceived masses as the common Messiah of all faiths. Nominal Christians and orthodox Jews won’t have any problem when, after his revelation as the cosmic Christ, he also reaches out to the other religions to gather them under his banner. Muslims expect the prophet Jesus, who is not God, to appear soon and act in unison with the Imam Mahdi, who is a descendant of Muhammad. Hindus await a Jesus who, according to them, will be and end-time incarnation of Vishnu and Krishna. Buddhists equate the coming Christ with the fifth Buddha. According to the New Age Movement, Lucifer will work in the hearts of people to accept the universal Christ, while motivating them to become christs (or little gods) themselves.

Satan’s spirit of error (cf. 1 John 4:6) is actively working in the world to blind people’s minds to the truths of the gospel, while guiding them on how to have mystical experiences and empowering them to perform signs and wonders with occult powers. The many demons which Satan has at his disposal are evil spirits who are sent out to deceive people, thereby advancing the interests of the kingdom of darkness. The following actions of these spirits are very evident in the time in which we live:

Strange phenomena. The New Age Movement and its associated false religions is at present focusing attention on the discovery and use of the miracle-working psychic powers of healing, as well as the promotion of various supernatural manifestations. Even at many Christian meetings strange phenomena are now common, e.g. falling (or slaying) in the spirit.

Other phenomena, such as laughing in the spirit, prophesying in the spirit and dancing in the spirit, which result from this experience, are also attributed to the Holy Spirit. Many believers blindly accept these phenomena without testing the spirits, despite the danger of spurious satanic imitation in such manifestations.

Most of the Word of Faith preachers create strong expectations of powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit. However, there is no scriptural basis for the signs that allegedly occur at their meetings. There is also the phenomenon of gold-dust falling on the hands, arms or hair of those at the meetings, while some claimed that fillings in their teeth turned into gold!

Another modern fad in this movement is the so-called “New Wine” meetings where people experience typical symptoms of drunkenness. This is accompanied by falling, dancing and laughing in the spirit, also pogo stick jumping and making a wide range of animal noises, such as barking like a dog, crowing like a rooster and roaring like a lion! Are not the claims that such highly dubious phenomena and extraordinary behaviour are attributable to the activity of the Holy Spirit quite blasphemous, grossly insulting to Him and detrimental to the Christian witness to the world? It is not difficult to see how ideally this suits Satan’s purpose to discredit the Christian faith and deceive as many as he can. The express purpose of deceiving spirits is to destroy the faith of believers and to mislead, confuse, corrupt, overshadow and control them with the power of deception.

A new spirituality. The deceiving spirit of Satan imitates the Holy Spirit and instils a new kind of spirituality in people. It is a spirit of self-exaltation, pride and arrogance which makes you very important and powerful in your own eyes because of the gifts you have received, the recognition you enjoy, the strong influence you have over people, and also because of your material wealth. The presence, power and gifts of this spirit become the dominating reality in your life, while Jesus is subtly moved to the background. This spirit instills nice and relaxed feelings in you so that you forget all your problems and sins. He does not convict of sin, always condones it, and has no problems to live with lies, deceit, distorted versions of the truth, and moral laxity. He gives people the false hope that they are saved and will go to heaven. He uses so-called ‘prophets’ as human mediators to convey messages to you about what God wants you to do. He also majors on extra-biblical revelations from God through dreams and visions. He removes guilt complexes on his own authority, without specific reference to the cross, and surrounds you with light and joy. You are ever dependent upon him. He guides you through a process of inner healing to a spiritual reprogramming of your life in which the scars of the past, and even from before your birth, are put right by self-healing, positive confession, hypnotic regression and the breaking of generation curses.

This new spirituality is contemplative. People are taught to switch over to their ‘right-brain’ through meditation, walking labyrinths and practising mystical techniques such as yoga. They empty their minds by the using of mantras (the repetition of a single word or short phrase) which helps them descend to the deeper levels of their subconscious mind where they experience an altered state of consciousness. In this spiritual state some people meet spirit guides who teach or inform them, while others even hear voices speaking to them. There are also those who receive supernatural gifts such as prophesying, healing, tongues, astral travel, clairvoyance, and the performing of miracles.

This spirit also tells you that you are a king already, who has dominion on earth, and can claim and demand anything you like. You do not have to suffer poverty, disease or any other afflictions, and you can change anything through positive confession. You are in command of your life. He motivates people to organise transformation rallies as a means to usher in the kingdom of God on earth. He also makes his victims believe they can pull down demonic strongholds in any society by making use of strategic spiritual warfare. Any notable success is evading them as Satan will only be incarcerated when Christ comes (Rev. 20:1-3). In this dispensation, only individuals can be set free from the power of Satan – not entire cities or countries!

Berit Kjos posted a very helpful chart in which she indicates the transition from evangelical beliefs to the new spirituality: http://www.crossroad.to/charts/new-spirituality.htm From this chart it is evident that a spiritually blinded humanity explores mystical powers in its quest to become divine, united and in full control of its own destiny. People end up discovering a mystical christ in their own hearts (the god within) who guides them into gaining a position of dominion on earth.

The Secret. Modern times are characterised by a strong resurgence of the secrets of ancient mysteries. In her book, The Secret, Rhonda Byrne says that when Christianity started spreading the forbidden forces behind magical arts went underground. They were hidden in secret societies and occult orders until the late 20th century when interest in the mystical powers of the past was revived by the biblically illiterate members of postmodern society. This new thought enables people to do miracles. The author says that if you begin to understand the hidden, untapped powers that are within you, this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life, including you financial interests, your relationships and your health. In her article, A New Mask for an Ancient Secret, Berit Kjos (Feb. 2007) says: “Now as [in ancient times] those dark Luciferian teachings have become shining lights to post-Christian cultures inspired by ‘false apostles and deceitful workers’ – servants of Satan, the evil one who masquerades as an angel of light. After all, The Secret offers gullible seekers everything under the sun: There isn’t a single thing that you cannot do with this knowledge. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, The Secret can give you whatever you want. The law of attraction is the law of creation… You create your life through your thoughts. With this powerful knowledge, you can completely change every circumstance and event in your entire life…”

In his article The Secret Seduction (June 2007) Dave Hunt says: “The latest occult scam to capture the imagination of the West is called The Secret. The book by that name, a top New York Times bestseller, has quickly sold more than 6 million copies and the DVD over 2 million copies… The numerous misrepresentations [in the book] begin with the title itself. The Secret is not a secret at all, but recycled Hinduism, shamanism, and New Age folly. One of many huge lies is its claim: ‘You create your own reality with your mind.’ This was the serpent’s false promise to Eve – the promise of godhood (Gen. 3:5). Embracing that delusion cost Eve and her descendants Eden’s paradise – and would have barred mankind from heaven had not Christ died for the sins of the world. In the 6,000 years since Eden, the serpent’s promise has not been fulfilled in even one person’s life.”

The spiritual message of this book clearly implies that God is obsolete and that real spiritual empowerment is not to be found in the Bible but in The Secret. The popularity of this book throughout the world is staggering. This is indicative of the widespread interest in occult ideologies and practices which elevate fallen man to a position where he becomes the master of his own destiny. When he is his own god, everything is permissible, including any imaginable sin. In this frame of mind people will be willing followers of “the man of sin… whose coming is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:3-12).

A Course in Miracles. In keeping with the rising interest in magical, occult powers that are often marketed in a ‘Christian’ package to deceive more people in Western societies, a course in miracles is offered on internet websites, in books and by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey. On her daily radio program Oprah will offer a year-long course on the New Age Christ from the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset – a New Age worldview that includes the beliefs that there is no sin, no evil, no devil and that Jesus did not die to pay the penalty for your sins. It is emphasized in the course that in Jesus we are not under the law, so everything is lawful. A perverted kind of forgiveness is propagated, which is the world’s way of promoting unity and healing apart from the cross. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book, A Course in Miracles, was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. A Course in Miracles was originally dictated to channeller Helen Schucman in 1977 by her spirit guide who claimed to be Jesus.

The Miracle Times (www.themiracletimes.com) say on their website: “A course in miracles is a message to you from… the whole resurrected mind of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It is an experiential guide to help bring about the illumination of your mind and body through the practical application of love, healing and forgiveness.” They define inspiration as follows: “Inspiration means: a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation. What is your qualification? You are the Holy Son of God Himself! You need only remember who you are. It is your purpose to inspire.” The real author of A Course in Miracles is described as “Master Jesus, who is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit… He became completely identified with the Christ, the Son of God.” People are influenced to see themselves as sinless: “See then the light that is all about you… You are as perfect as God created you.” Through positive thinking, forgiveness, love and positive confession people are to creatively change their lives by miracles.

The Moses Code. The global campaign of deception which is driven by Satan’s spirit of error, popularised by the media and promoted by celebrities, is taken one step further with the publishing of James Twyman’s book, The Moses Code. This book, as well as the film based upon it, elevates fallen mankind to the position occupied by Lucifer when he openly deified himself in heaven. He said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). The author offers people a secret code which will dramatically change their lives from indigence and mediocrity to prosperity, royalty and abundance. That will happen when they can say to themselves, “I AM.” This code was revealed to Moses at the burning bush in the wilderness and enabled him to perform unprecedented miracles.

The book is promoted as follows by the publishers: “Twyman describes the most powerful manifestation technique ever known to humanity, hidden or ignored for almost 3,500 years. And yet, this powerful tool was responsible for some of the most amazing and famous miracles in the history of the world. Why, then, has the Code been held in such secrecy when it changed the world the few times it was applied? Is it possible that this technology is so powerful that our ancient forefathers decided that humanity wasn’t ready to wield such a mighty sword? When properly applied the Moses Code gives you everything you need to easily attract your Heart’s Desire. When used by large groups of people the Code also has the power to initiate a world based upon the laws of compassion and peace. In the first chapter you will learn what the Moses Code is and why it is so important today. In chapters two and three you will learn the beginning techniques for applying the Code in your life, and in the world. In short, chapters two and three will give you the necessary tools for changing your life and the lives of those around you.”

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1: “You’ve likely heard the story before, all about Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt, an astounding accomplishment that began with him standing before a burning bush listening to the voice of God. But have we ever really heard the deeper message being communicated, not only to Moses but to each one of us? Is it possible that there is a code hidden somewhere in this story, a secret that gives us the power to attract everything we desire into our lives? Could this secret be the most powerful gift God has ever given the world? What are some of the things you most want to receive? Abundance, your soul mate, the perfect house, or your dream car? Did Moses receive from God the secret of how to achieve all your dreams, easily and automatically, attracting into your life everything you have ever desired? If so, is it possible for you to use this same secret today and for the rest of your life, achieving what the rest of the world would call miraculous?”

It is further explained that God called Moses from the bush and he responded by saying, “Here I am.” He was standing on holy ground when he said, “Here I AM.” The author then continues: “It’s almost as if God smiles at him and says: ‘Ah, well said, Moses. Indeed, Here I AM. This ground is holy because it is the spot where you have known yourself to be who you are.’ You may be thinking: ‘Wait a minute! Are you saying that God was pleased because Moses seemed to recognize himself as one with his Creator?’ The answer is YES!!! For thousands of years we have been sold a lie, and this lie has led to the suppression and dismissal of The Moses Code all through the world. We have been told that we are weak and vulnerable, unable to do more than eke out a meagre existence on earth. If we’re lucky we’ll be able to accumulate a relative degree of comfort, maybe a few houses and a big bank account, but none of that ever really satisfies us. We are here but to live then die, hopefully with a few moments of joy in-between. We have imagined ourselves to be in a prison that we can never escape, and we have convinced ourselves that the prison yard is our real home. What if the door to that prison cell was never locked? What if the world we live in is nothing more than a projection of our thoughts about ourselves, and that God has never shared that vision at all? If God is all-powerful, all-knowing and fully present in every moment and form, is it possible that God would rejoice when we realize the TRUTH? … Hold on before you answer. Your response will determine your entire experience of life, and how willing you are to accept everything God intends for you. Your answer will determine how open you are to receiving miracles and ultimately crack the Moses Code.” The author further says that God told Moses He would lead the Hebrews out of the bondage of Egypt into the Promised Land where they would live in abundance. He says that the same promise applies to us, also in a material sense.

In their e-newsletter of March 4, 2008, Lighthouse Trails says: “The Moses Code – taking the next step toward a world-wide awakening (“Awakening” is a dominant New Age term, now being used by most, if not all, current so-called Christian leaders; every conference is an Awakening event): On April 5th, The Moses Code film will be released in a unique synchronized worldwide opening, just a few weeks after this week’s release of the book with the same title. The book and film will most likely become best sellers with expected promotion by Oprah Winfrey and others of influence. The book/film is following the release of last year’s The Secret, which has remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for over 59 weeks. The Secret, also a book/film, was highly promoted by Oprah and carries a similar-type message. In essence, both projects focus on humanity being divine and having the ability to alter our personal lives and ultimately alter the world in which we live through hidden mysteries that the projects supposedly reveal.”

The Moses Code represents self-deification and prosperity in its most extreme form. But it goes beyond this and also offers this secret code as the solution to all the world’s problems of division, hostility and suffering. The assurance is given that if thousands of people gather at the same time, assume their position as gods and co-creators, and focus their positive thoughts on problem areas such as the Middle East, everything will change for the better.

Another gospel

The arrogant and unrestrained proclaiming of another Jesus under the instigation of another spirit has become a world-wide phenomenon. Preachers, politicians and celebrities with very large constituencies are joining hands to celebrate the divine nature of humanity, raise the level of people’s consciousness, promote global unity and peace, and ensure prosperity and good health to all. The following are popular themes for preaching:

Ecumenism. It is generally believed that religious globalism holds the key to the revelation of God’s kingdom on earth and a future of unity, prosperity and peace to divided humanity. Within this approach the fragmentation of Christianity into many denominations (referred to as vintage Christianity) should be countered by establishing mega-churches without strict and very explicit creeds, and without standing strong on the inerrancy of the Bible. Mega-churches should merge into post-denominational city churches that function under the guidance of prophets and apostles. Regional, national and international ties should then be forged among the various local branches of the church. Collective actions such as transformation rallies or meditation meetings are believed to wield the spiritual power needed to overcome evil and change the destiny of societies. This is New Age philosophy. They believe that when a critical mass (a representative group of people who believe they are divine) comes together to meditate, the scale will swing away from evil and divisiveness, draw humanity into this oneness, and heal the world.

The uniting of the Christian church is only an interim objective which paves the way towards multireligious ecumenical ties – an alliance of world religions in which the members of all faiths join hands on the premise that they worship the same God. It stands to reason that if they believe they worship the same God, they are also awaiting the same, universal Christ to finally unite them. When he has come, no insubordination will be tolerated and all people will be obliged to worship him (cf. Rev. 13:3-4,8,15).

Ecumenically-minded preachers of deceived mega-churches are preparing the way for the coming universal Christ of the New Age Movement. The vagueness of their creeds, the ignorance of their members, and the strong impact of postmodern thinking allows them to present another Jesus who, in many respects, differs from the biblical Jesus. Without much resistance they unwittingly make Jesus conformable to the New Age Jesus, simply by denying His uniqueness, the redemptive significance of His cross, and His insistence on repentance. They only emphasise His mission to bless and unite all people, to inspire them to realise their full potential so as to prosper in everything they do, and to empower them to establish and extend the kingdom of God on earth.

However, where there are still significant numbers of evangelical Christians, like in the US and South Africa, ecumenically-minded theologians first engage in a relentless campaign to slander and discredit the biblical Jesus by reducing Him to a historical Jesus who was just one of many human prophets. After that, their spiritually uprooted and disillusioned followers will be introduced to the cosmic Jesus of the emerging New World Order, thereby drawing them into the multireligious structures of the ecumenical movement.

Dominionism. The message proclaimed by the emerging church is that they are called upon to take control over the world, thereby physically establishing the kingdom of God to the good of all people. A wealth of concise and well written articles have been produced on his subject by the Discernment Research Group: see http://herescope.blogspot.com See also Sarah Leslie’s excellent article, Dominionism and the rise of Christian imperialism on http://www.discernment-ministries.org/

Herescope offers interesting excerpts from an article by C. Peter Wagner, in which he says: “We need to take a new look at one of our most quoted Bible verses: ‘The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost’ (Luke 19:10). In the past, most of us thought that Jesus was saying ‘to seek and to save those who were lost.’ Consequently, we applied it to saving souls. But now we realize that we should have taken Jesus’ statement at face value, namely ‘that which was lost.’ What is it then, that was lost and that Jesus came to seek and to save? The answer is in the first chapter of Genesis. God’s original design was that Adam and Eve should have dominion over all of God’s creation (see Gen. 1:28). But they disobeyed God, they lost their authority, Satan usurped it and he became the god of this age. Satan’s kingdom encompassed all of the human kingdoms of the earth (see Luke 4:5-6). Why did Jesus come? He came with His kingdom, namely the kingdom of God, to invade the kingdom of Satan for the purpose of taking back dominion of God’s creation which was lost in the Garden of Eden. The Holy Spirit is now speaking to the churches and saying that God’s people must do what it takes to transform society, segment by segment, until God’s kingdom is seen on earth as it is in heaven” (C. Peter Wagner, Transform Society! Global Prayer News, Vol. 6, No. 3, Jul-Sep 2005).

Herescope also reviews an article by Rick Joyner, The true soldiers of the cross are mobilizing, in which he says that coercive measures will be used to usher in the kingdom of God before increased liberty will be allowed: “At first it may seem like totalitarianism as the Lord will destroy the antichrist spirit now dominating the world… and will shatter many nations like pottery.” In support of this vision, various dominionists have devised a strategy of defeating the so-called giants of unbelief, poverty, disease, illiteracy and self-centred leadership. The forces of marketplace transformation are the main method which dominionists intend using to overcome the negative factors which deprive societies of the prosperity and abundance of the kingdom.

The deceived church tries to do now what only Christ can do at His second coming! Their heavy reliance on human resources and methods renders their efforts unbiblical and dispensationally out of place. Instead of preaching salvation to lost sinners they endeavour to restore paradise conditions on earth during this dispensation, thereby pre-empting the coming of Christ as King to reveal His kingdom on earth. The counterfeit kingdom of dominionists differs substantially from the true kingdom of Christ, and actually paves the way for a false king, the Antichrist, who will arise from the ranks of fallen humanity before Christ comes.

Positive thinking. This ideology, which is also promoted by liberal theologians, represents a clever mix of humanitarian and biblical objectives. It appeals to governments, businessmen, churches and communities at large, whether secular or religiously oriented, to uplift society, eradicate poverty, treat the sick, educate the illiterate, and promote peace and reconciliation among all factions of society. This approach was refined and used very successfully by Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), Robert Schuller (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation) and Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life). The ideology of positive thinking, by its very nature, excludes all negative thoughts, e.g. sin, judgement, deception, false prophets, false religions, the Antichrist, the false prophet, Satan, suffering, tribulation, etc. It refrains from giving offence to anybody – not even to the sinner in his natural (sinful) state. All people must be made to feel welcome just as they are, and to accept Christianity for the sake of the advantages and blessings that are in store for them. No warnings are issued to any people on the basis of God’s impending judgments upon the wicked.

Positive thinking is contrary to the gospel message and leads to the perversion of the gospel in churches where it is taught. That is the reason why Rick Warren does not dwell on God’s judgements upon sin, which include the crucifixion of Christ. His poor doctrinal foundation also renders him ecumenical in his outreaches to pastors of various denominations, not even excluding the Mormons. A Jesus without the cross is not the true Jesus, however much people might think that he preaches the biblical Jesus. Furthermore, Warren’s approach leads him to support transformation initiatives towards changing the world through joint efforts to establish God’s kingdom. No warnings are given on the coming Antichrist and the great tribulation. What will his supporters do when the cosmic Christ appears on the scene as a peacemaker? Won’t they think he is the true Christ?

A marriage between religion and politics (NAR & Dominionism). There is a very conspicuous movement in the world to ally religion and politics. This was common practice in the ancient world empires, where the emperors deified themselves and were not satisfied only with political allegiance but also demanded religious worship. The Antichrist will do the same. (Rev. 13:4,7,15). Modern political leaders increasingly mobilise their followers by means of a religious ideology to help change and improve the word. They either collaborate with religious leaders in the ecumenical movement or they pose as religious leaders themselves. This is all part of kingdom theology, in which political, business and religious leaders work closely together.

Rick Warren says that stability in any nation is dependent upon a strong and healthy government, a strong and healthy business sector, and strong and healthy churches. He likened it with a three-legged stool. With a view to promoting this view he travels to various countries to address government leaders, business leaders and church leaders to make them aware of their responsibility to work together in realising the objectives of stable, prosperous, and purpose driven nations. According to dominionists, that is the way in which the kingdom of God will be ushered in. Little do they realise that the next world empire will be that of the cosmic Christ. He will have a three-legged throne – as political leader, universal messiah, and head of the global economy.

In this other gospel which is preached by leaders of the emerging church, promoted by political leaders, supported by global business, and popularised by celebrities, there is no reference whatsoever to the coming of the true Jesus for His bridal congregation, the subsequent revelation of the Antichrist and the judgements of God upon a self-centred, sinful, materialistic and utterly wicked world. “When they say, Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them” (1 Thess. 5:3).

The unlocking of occult powers

The paradigm shift towards the emerging new world order of the cosmic Christ has been underway for quite a number of years. Although it has been implemented as unobtrusive as possible, the changes are far-reaching and constitute a radical break from the truth of God’s Word to the alternative spirituality of the ‘angel of light.’ It is only in an advanced stage of change that people are actively exposed to the hidden sources of power which are offered to them. Special formulas, codes, or actions are needed to unlock these powers and use them for whatever purpose they are offered. In her article, Mysticism and Global Mind Change (Sept. 2007), Berit Kjos says: “Do you wonder why yoga, labyrinths and other meditational practices have suddenly emerged in churches across America? Or why ‘Christians’ now use the old occult formulas (a combination of concentration, meditation, visualization and mental projection) practiced by sorcerers, alchemists and ‘enlightened’ yogis to invoke the presence of ‘God’? This East-West synthesis didn’t happen by chance. For several decades, influential church leaders have been promoting a new way of thinking, an end to ‘separatism,’ and an inclusive oneness that would fulfil their vision of an earthly kingdom of God.”

A specific code, key-word, mantra, ritual initiation, mindset, symbol, belief system, or action is needed to invoke the occult powers or spirits which Lucifer offers in a disguised form to his unsuspecting victims. In The Da Vinci Code, a series of numeric and cryptographic clues were given to decode the secret. The breaking of the code in Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper represents a major deviation from the truth of God’s Word. It introduces a false teaching that Jesus was not divine but an ordinary, mortal man who had a wife and children. The implications of these assumptions are that Jesus is not God, the Bible is not true, the rejected Gnostic gospels reflect a more credible account of Jesus’ life, and somewhere among his unknown descendants a person may emerge in the end-time to claim the office of the Christ.

The Secret is also based upon the idea that hidden powers can be unlocked to fulfil all your dreams and needs. A new thought pattern enables people to do miracles as they create their own reality with their mind. Visualisation becomes a method of focussing the mind on an occult source of energy, thereby attracting and activating it.

The Moses Code is presented as a powerful method of declaring yourself to be God, thereby tapping creative powers in the universe to realise your dreams and changing your circumstances for the good. In saying, “I AM…” and adding to it whatever divine attribute you wish, e.g. “I AM the way and the truth,” you will share in Lucifer’s rebellious deed of self-exaltation and deification. The condition for promoting yourself to the level of co-creator is to despise and disobey God’s clear commandments to you, thereby becoming your own god. If you are prepared to do that, Lucifer will immediately empower you to become his co-worker and also allow you to enjoy certain short-lived benefits in his kingdom. The serpent achieved great success with this lie, which was first used to deceive our first parents in the Garden of Eden. He said to Eve that if she ignored God’s commandments she would not die, as God said, but that she would, instead, “be like God” (Gen. 3:5). She never became a god, only a deceived rebel who turned against the true God at her own peril. If it wasn’t for God’s grace to restore repentant sinners she would have died in her sins.

The Antichrist’s rise to power

The coming Antichrist will follow exactly the same course while rising to a position of absolute power as a self-declared God. He will oppose and exalt himself “above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4). When he openly states that he is the great I AM, Satan will strongly empower him do even more signs and wonders. He will be the lawless one, who breaks and despises all the laws of God, while acting “according to the working of Satan, will all power, signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). The devil will give him “his power, his throne and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). His co-ruler, the false prophet, will wield the same powers: “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Rev. 13:13).

The Antichrist, who will call himself the Christ or God, will deceive the whole world to worship him in order to share in his great power. He will also use a code which will give people access to his dark powers. No one will be able to buy or sell, “except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of man: His number is 666” (Rev. 13:17-18). The numeric symbol of the beast and the mark of his name will be used to physically mark all his followers. They will have to sign an oath of allegiance to him whereby they commit themselves to worshipping him and his image, to utterly reject the God of heaven, and to also denounce the true Christ who will still, during that time, be worshipped by a minority of people.

Be warned that the use of hidden codes to access supernatural powers will make you an enemy of God because you will arrogantly call yourself God or the Son of God, thereby exalting yourself to His position, and thus sharing in the rebellion of Lucifer. Eternal condemnation awaits people who do that: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:9-11 KJV).

We are on the threshold of the revelation of the Antichrist. The large-scale deceiving of millions of people during recent years has prepared the spiritual climate for the appearance of the self-deified, universal Christ. It is obvious that secrets which are unlocked by codes are playing a major role in the satanic brainwashing of the masses: TheDa Vinci Code popularised the lie that Jesus is not God. The Moses Code proclaims the lie that human beings can equate themselves with God and use their power to do astounding miracles. Through the coded number of the coming universal Christ the lie will be embraced that he is the God of humanity, and that he is the one who gives his followers the powers to be prosperous and to do miracles.

According to the Bible, the judgements of God rest upon the Antichrist and his deceived followers. These judgements will be poured out upon them during the great tribulation and also during the second coming of Christ (Rev. 6 to 19). The Lord Jesus will deliver His true disciples from the coming wrath of God, and expects of them to prepare themselves for this appointment: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

Source:

http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Preparations.htm

.

“A Course in Miracles” was written by a spirit entity channeled through a Jewish woman, Helen Schucman.  A voice told her that there were mistakes in the Bible that needed to be corrected.

Helen was having strange dreams and was encouraged by a man William Thetford to record them. She was surprised when she wrote the words, “This is a course in miracles.” A voice gave her inner dictation, while Thetford typed out her written words.

This collaboration became what many believe is a way to transform their lives, but truly it is the doctrine of demons which denies sin, elevates self, and promotes many ways to God. It is not biblical even though it uses spiritual sounding phrases.

Bible believing Christians…..hear me! You are going to have to defend your faith by using scripture. Many will be deceived by this movie because it tells them what they want to hear.

Excerpts from http://acourseinmiraclesunleashed.com/

What Is A Course In Miracles?

A Course In Miracles: Mind-Training to Enlightenment

We have eagerly awaited an opportunity to reveal to the world that there is available, right here and now, a mind-training that is A Course in Miracles. It directs us to continuing moments of giving and forgiving of each other, and leads, through a very real physical, mental, and emotional transformation of ourselves, to a recognition that each of us are a Whole part of the Creative Reality of Eternal Life. –Master Teacher

Drawn from the deep recesses of the mind through the wisdom of a moment of inner listening to the Voice for God, is an experience A Course In Miracles calls a “Holy Instant”. It lies past the doctrinal debates of established religion, beyond the conceptual controversy, at the core of every scientific discovery, at the heart of every theology. It is simply a purity of spiritual experience that is the essence of all religion.

What heresy!

Here is a movie trailer “A Course of Miracles Unleashed – A Direct Encounter with Jesus Christ in the Evolution and Enlightenment of the Human Species”

Comments you will hear:

“The vistas…The universe that opens up in front of you.”

“I wake up to myself. It is an amazing thing. We are perfect as an awakened mind. I am perfect and so are you.”

“There isn’t any way to make a mistake…it is impossible.”

The lies in Genesis 3 are ever present today.

 

That the name of our precious Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ is associated with this trash disgusts me.

 

1Ti 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

 

Other articles:

 

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/women-of-theosophy-a-course-in-miracles/

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/12/10/a-biblical-response-to-a-course-in-miracles/

Discovering the New Age Movement / New World Order, Part Two

 

Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer

 

This is the second part of this series which takes the bulk of its information from a video of the 2006 Radio Liberty Conference in Aptos, California by attorney, author and speaker Constance Cumbey titled “Discovering the New Age Movement.”  You can view the video here.[1]

 

You may want to first read Part One of this series located Here.

 

Connection to Nazism

 

According to Foster Bailey’s book Running God’s Plan, Cumbey states, “One of the goals of their hierarchy was to have a unified Europe… ‘We tried this before working through a disciple using the Rhine River valley and the inhabitants of that valley as a binding factor.  That attempt was unsuccessful; but, now another attempt is in full swing namely the six nation European Common Market.’”[1]  Quite obviously Bailey, husband to Alice A. Bailey, was referring to Adolph Hitler.  Hitler’s Fascism was an attempt at creating a New World Order.

 

It is well known that Hitler was dabbling in the occult before he came to power.  At the height of his regime many have noted his strange magnetism.  People were drawn to him.  Some have suggested he was under demonic power, even possessed.  Hitler was inspired by the occultic/esoteric writings of Madame Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy in 1875[2], and kept a copy of her book The Secret Doctrine at his bedside.[3]  

 

For a pop music connection: Joy Division, a Manchester, England based punk/post-punk band from 1977 to 1980, got their name from a term used in a novel by Karol Cetinskys titled House of Dolls.  According to the novel, Joy Division was the term used for the brothels of WWII era Nazis who used concentration camp victims as prostitutes.  The band name had been changed from their previous moniker of Warsaw.  By 1979, Joy Division had become an underground success.[4]

 

Lead vocalist/lyricist Ian Curtis was a frenetic performer energizing their live shows.[4]  His lyrics were very dark as evidenced in the opening track “Disorder” from their first full length album Unknown Pleasures:

 

            I’ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand

            Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man

            These sensations barely interest me for another day

            I got the spirit, lose the feeling, take the shock away

            …Until the spirit – new sensation – takes hold, then you know

I got the spirit, don’t lose the feeling

I got the spirit, don’t lose the feeling[5] [Emphasis mine]

 

According to Jon Savage, pop music critic, who was in audience at an October 27, 1979 gig:

 

Joy Division walk out and launch into “Dead Souls”. The peculiarity of this song is that it has a long, rolling introduction that allows the group to orient themselves in their environment for the night

 

… building up to the moment when, transported by the music, he [Curtis] launches himself into the void – arms flailing and legs pumping.

 

Then he begins to sing… The lyric to “Dead Souls” is an unsettling evocation of psychic possession and the presence of past lives. The chorus is an anguished chant: “They keep calling me”.[6] [Emphasis mine]

 

Here are some of the lyrics for “Dead Souls” from their posthumously released Still:

           

            Someone take these dreams away

            And point me to another day

            Back to the personalities

            That stretch our true realities

            …they keep calling me

They keep calling me…[7] [Emphasis mine]

 

Bernard Sumner, guitarist for the band: “Ian [Curtis] said to me that doing this album [Closer, their second full length release] felt very strange because he felt that all his words were writing themselves…”[6]  [Emphasis mine]

 

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms [Ephesians 6:12 NIV]

 

After Curtis’ suicide on the eve of their first North American tour, the remaining members of the band found a replacement for Curtis, renamed themselves New Order – an obvious reference to Nazism if their previous name wasn’t – and became one of the more successful bands of the 1980s releasing the best selling 12” release of all time in “Blue Monday” in 1983.  They continued to record into the 21st century.[8]   There are many other references to occultism, neo-Nazism and the New Age permeating the pop music industry.

 

A New Age Christ

 

Cumbey again, “…Reflections on the Christ by David Spangler, who you could carry into any Christian service and not attract a lot of attention except they might think you were really pious.  But, inside that book – a chapter titled ‘Lucifer, Christ and God’ – and he [Spangler] said ‘Lucifer came to give us the final gift of wholeness if we accept it we are free and he is free. …the Luciferic initiation is a required entry point into the New Age.’”[1]

 

Not wanting to rely on just one source, Cumbey eventually found the Alice A. Bailey books from Lucis Trust – which originally went by the name ‘Lucifer Publishing’ which they denied for a time although Cumbey now has 3 books in her personal library with this designation.[1]  It is now plainly stated on their website:

 

…However, for a brief time period of two or three years in the early 1920’s, when Alice and Foster Bailey were beginning to publish the books published under her name, they named their fledgling publishing company “Lucifer Publishing Company”. [sic]  By 1925 the name was changed to Lucis Publishing Company and has remained so ever since.[9] [Emphasis mine]

 

Lucis Trust is one of the United Nations’ non-governmental organizations (NGO).  Their “Main Activity” according the Department of Public Information section of the UN is listed as “Humanitarian Affairs.”[10]  One has to wonder why the UN would endorse an openly Luciferic organization.

 

According to Cumbey’s book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, on April 24, 1982, there appeared a full page advertisement proclaiming “The Christ is Now Here!” in major newspapers across the world.  This ran in more than twenty major cities; and, the advertisement itself listed four different addresses at the bottom as “information centers” in Amsterdam, London, New York City and North Hollywood, California.[11]  Here are some quotes from the ad:

 

            He comes not to judge but to aid and inspire.

 

…At the center of this “Spiritual Hierarchy” stands the World Teacher, LORD MAITREYA, known by Christians as the CHRIST.  And as Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews await the MESSIAH, the Buddhists the FIFTH BUDDHA, the Moslems the IMAM MAHDI, and the Hindus await KRISHNA.  These are all names for one individual.  His presence in the world guarantees there will be no third World War.[11]  [All quotes and caps in original; underlining and bolding mine][11]

 

After coming across a book by Benjamin Crème titled The Reappearance of the Christ, she found a section titled ‘How The Plan is Working Out’ which spoke of the political developments going on at the time.  She knew she had to see him in person.[1]

 

She picked up a flyer sponsored by the local Unity church which detailed a local appearance and she attended along with eight other Christians.  It was standing room only.  Cumbey recognized many prominent people in the audience.  She asked one individual she knew what he was doing there and he replied, “Because, I’m taking A Course in Miracles…” It was a “requirement” in a “spiritual growth” class he was taking.[1]

 

When Crème walked in, he made a ‘wave’ with his hand and the crowd immediately went into a deep trance save for Cumbey and her eight associates.  She made noises in attempts to get the other attendees out of their trance but to no avail.[1]  The whole account is rather unsettling.

 

After taking a break, Crème was to lead the audience into a “mass recitation of ‘The Great Invocation’”[12] which is a prayer by Alice Bailey for “the Antichrist to come and take the world for Lucifer.[1]  From the Lucis Trust site regarding “The Use and Significance of the Great Invocation:”

 

The Great Invocation if given widespread distribution, can be to the new world religion what the Lord’s Prayer has been to Christianity and the 23rd Psalm has been to the spiritually minded Jew.[13 ]

 

Crème declared there would be a ‘transmission’ from Maitreya the Christ as soon as the prayer was finished.  “…His literature said that he had been ‘overshadowed’ by Maitreya the Christ” in previous meetings.  As the people began their prayer, Cumbey instead loudly prayed the first four stanzas of the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’  During the last two lines of their prayer she said instead, “May Jesus Christ return to earth and end the evil present in this room tonight.”[1]

 

Then, according to Cumbey the “spookiest thing of the evening happened” – actually it didn’t happen.  Crème “waited and waited;” but, the ‘overshadowing’ never occurred.  He finally “dismissed the crowd and said, ‘That will be all.’”[1]   The sword of the Spirit – the Word of God [Ephesians 6:17] – prevailed!  You have to admire the courage of Constance Cumbey to take a stand amidst the foes.

 

12For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  [Hebrews 4:12 NIV]

 

Commenting to negative remarks after the event, Cumbey said, “Well, if your new Maitreya the Christ, Betray-a the Christ, or whatever his name’s supposed to be, were everything he’s cracked up to be, one lousy Christian in the room reciting the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ shouldn’t have stopped him.”[1]

 

A Syncretism of the New Age and Christendom 

 

Unfortunately, Cumbey met with opposition within the Evangelical community.[1]  I suppose it should not have been a surprise given that she’d seen these New Age infused books at an evangelical bookstore initially.

 

In Cumbey’s second book A Planned Deception, she recounts, “…One Seattle Evangelical bookstore sells The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow under the counter in a plain brown paper bag, stapled shut and enclosed with a critical review from Christianity Today.”[14] However, the heretical books of Matthew Fox were taking up an increasing amount of space.[14]

 

As recently as 1999, Christianity Today has inferred that the NAM was no longer a threat stating “the New Age Movement has been replaced by Neopaganism”[15] – as if Neopaganism wasn’t a part of the movement to begin with!  To continue to deny the existence of the New Age Movement by a major Christian magazine is downright disgraceful to the body of Christ.  All one has to do is look at Oprah’s TV show to find out about the latest New Age guru.  Yet the magazine has no trouble referencing New Ager[16] Ken Blanchard.[17, 18]

 

Going back to Cumbey’s first book, in the chapter titled Deluded… or Deceivers? she writes:

 

“The New Age Movement is pushing for, among other things: global agencies to handle distribution of global resources, redistribution of the world’s wealth, a new world religion, experiential religion (as opposed to religion based on scriptural authority and tradition), a universal tax… …a teaching that all things are part of one whole, an emphasis on universal interdependence

 

“All these concepts are beginning to rear their ugly heads in evangelical Christian books and publications…”[19] [Emphasis mine]

 

Further in this same chapter she speaks of “a trend today toward a social exegesis of the Gospel.”[20]  This has only grown worse in the past 25 years as evidenced by the examples of Rick Warren[21] and Joel Osteen[22] among others.

 

In Year of Jubilee or Age of Aquarius Disguised? from her A Secret Kingdom? chapter in Cumbey’s second book she relates some research on then associate pastor of a Unity church in Kansas City.  In his “Research Report #2,” Reverend Ernest Ramsey “tells of something he was led to by a spirit guide…”  He was referring to ‘Manifest Sons of God’ teaching of ‘Neo-Pentecostalism.’  “Ramsey concludes based on even less evidence than I have personally collected that this is part of the New Age Movement.”[23]

 

On March 14, 1999, Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor of Columbus Vineyard Church, began delivering a sermon series sounding an alarm regarding the New Age Movement.  He begins by quoting a brief account of Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, who witnessed a man with the Playboy Bunny emblem on the bumper of his vehicle and the Virgin Mary dangling from his dash thinking that to be quite a dichotomy.[24]  Nathan then launches into the meat of his sermon:

 

Churches that use both Eastern and Western scriptures are growing; one example is the Unity Church. Fifteen years ago, there were 400 Unity Churches, and now there are a thousand catering to people who “don’t feel comfortable using one particular label for a Higher Being.” There is an Episcopalian Church in San Francisco called St. Gregory of Nyssan, where the two senior ministers have created a service that includes the worship of Jesus Christ and the ringing of Buddhist symbols. This church was built to the two ministers specifications four years ago. The Wall Street Journal reports, “St. Gregory’s has an interior decorated to Eastern Orthodox icons, a Shinto shrine and Tibetan gongs. The ministers wear tie-dyed African vestments. The congregation sings the Shema, which is an ancient Jewish prayer. People dance forward to partake of the Eucharist, which is open to believers in every religion, not just Christians. And the Episcopalian priests and the congregations invoke many different deities, not just Jesus, because as the pastor says, “In the end, they are all the same.”

 

The last common denominator that I would say is a mark of much New Age belief and much New Age spirituality is the tendency to create your own biblical interpretation. The bible is viewed by many people today in America as being like a Rorschach Ink Blot test. Many people who are into New Age spirituality will find in the Bible some really unusual and esoteric interpretation of a verse. The perspective is that everyone’s interpretation of the Bible is equally legitimate.[24] [All emphasis mine]

 

While this sort of thing is encouraging, these warnings to the flock are few and far between.  This minor victory, however, was to be short-lived as Nathan would later openly endorse false ecumenism[25] while Mouw’s Fuller Theological Seminary would openly endorse religious pluralism.[26]  This will be covered in part three.

 

 

 

[1] <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8937919448007045479>

 

[2] <http://www.blavatsky.net/>

 

[3] <http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/thenewage.html>

 

[4] Joy Division; biography. All Music Guide < http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gbfuxql5ldje~T1>

 

[5] Curtis, Ian/Joy Division. “Disorder.” Unknown Pleasures; Factory Records, Manchester, England; FACT 10; 1979.

 

[6] <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/dark-star-the-final-days-of-ian-curtis-by-his-joy-division-bandmates-394281.html>

 

[7] Curtis, Ian/Joy Division. “Dead Souls.” Still. Factory Records, Manchester, England; FACD 07/08; 1981.

 

[8]  New Order; biography. All Music Guide < http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0ifqxqr5ld6e~T1>

 

[9] <http://www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/talks_and_articles/the_esoteric_meaning_of_lucifer>

 

[10] <http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/asp/form.asp?RegID=all&CnID=CH&AcID=-1&kw=&NGOID=3902>

 

[11] Cumbey, Constance E. “Preface.” The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow. Huntington House. Shreveport, LA. 1983, revised

edition. pp 13-15

 

[12] < http://www.uriel.org/Invocation/index.htm>

 

[13] <http://www.lucistrust.org/en/service_activities/the_great_invocation__1/the_use_and_significance_of_the_great_invocation>

 

[14]  Cumbey, Constance E. “The Incredible Heresies of Matthew Fox.” A Planned Deception: the Staging of a New Age “Messiah.” Pointe Publishers, Inc, East Detroit, MI. 1985. p 131

 

[15] <http://www.christianresearchservice.com/KenBlanchard7.htm>

 

[16] <http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1999/decemberweb-only/22.0a.html>

 

[17] <http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/february/27.24.html>

 

[18] http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/mayweb-only/24.0c.html

 

[19] Ibid. Cumbey “Deluded… or Deceivers?” The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow.  p 145

 

[20] Ibid. Cumbey p. 156

 

[21] <http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/12/cfr-and-social-gospel-part-1.html>

 

[22] Van Biema, David & Jeff Chu. “Does God Want You to be Rich?” Time. 09/10/2006  <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1533448,00.html>

 

[23] Ibid. Cumbey. “Year of Jubilee? or Age of Aquarius?” A Planned Deception. pp 171-172

 

[24] Nathan, Rich. “Christ Confronts the New Age” sermon.  March 14, 1999.  Online version Copyright 2008. <http://www.vineyardcolumbus.org/resources/sermons/sermon_detail.asp?id=309>

 

[25] <http://www.acommonword.com/lib/downloads/fullpageadbold18..pdf>

 

[26] <http://www.fullerseminary.net/news/html/religiousplurality.asp>   

 oprah-banner.gifxm_mwilliamson_120x120.jpgoprah-banner.gif

“Oprah and Friends” To Teach Course on New Age Christ
By Warren Smith

Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles .1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.” For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.” 3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4

book-a-course-in-miracles.gif

By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset — a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”6

Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter Marianne Williamson, who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance . This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.”7 They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles, which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?

A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus” — who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ — began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman. One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”8 For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.

As a former New Age follower and devoted student of A Course in Miracles , I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was, in reality, the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was “a gift form God” to help everyone understand the “real” meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age “Christ” and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false “Christs” who would pretend to be Him.

When I left the New Age “Christ” to follow the Bible’s Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was a false “Christ,” and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive. Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:
 
“There is no sin. . . “9
A “slain Christ has no meaning.” 10
“The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.'”11
“Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.'”12
“The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. . . . It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.” 13
“God is in everything I see.”14
“The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”15
“The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.” 16
“The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”17

Most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross of Calvary was hardly a “useless journey.” His triumph on the cross provides salvation to all those who confess their sin, accept Him and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. His victory on the cross rings throughout the New Testament. It has been gloriously sung about in beloved hymns through the ages and is at the heart of our Christian testimony. I found the Jesus of the Bible to be wholly believable as He taught God’s truth and warned about the spiritual deception that would come in His name. The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles reveals himself to be an imposter when he blasphemes the true Jesus Christ by saying that a “slain Christ has no meaning” and that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.” It was by reading the Bible’s true teachings of Jesus Christ that I came to understand how deceived I had been by A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings.

I was introduced to A Course in Miracles by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear. Jampolsky declared in his easy-to-read book how the teachings of A Course in Miracles had changed his life. As an ambassador for A Course in Miracles over the years, Jampolsky has been featured not only in New Age circles but at least twice on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. While Schuller introduced Jampolsky and his “fabulous” 18 Course in Miracles-based books to his worldwide television audience, it was Marianne Williamson’s appearance on a 1992 Oprah Winfrey Show that really shook the rafters.

On that program, Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Ironically, all of this was happening after I had left the Course and the New Age. In fact, I was doing the final editing on my book The Light That Was Dark that warned about the dangers of the New Age, and in particular A Course in Miracles.

After being introduced to the world on Oprah, Marianne Williamson has continued to grow in popularity and, as previously mentioned, has become one of today’s foremost New Age leaders. Williamson credits Winfrey for bringing her book about A Course in Miracles before the world: “For that, my deepest thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Her enthusiasm and generosity have given the book, and me, an audience we would never otherwise have had.”19 In her 2004 book, The Gift of Change, Williamson wrote: “Twenty years ago, I saw the guidance of the Course as key to changing one’s personal life; today, I see its guidance as key to changing the world. More than anything else, I see how deeply the two are connected.”20Thus the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles are about to be taught by Marianne Williamson to millions of listeners on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio program. Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course. An audio version of A Course in Miracles recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas is also available on compact disc. Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the “brilliant writing” of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.21 Williamson’s New Age colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, said his “God” stated that “the era of the Single Saviour is over”22 and that he (“God”) was responsible for authoring the teachings of A Course in Miracles.23 Meanwhile, Gerald Jampolsky’s Course in Miracles-based book, Forgiveness, continues to be sold in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral bookstore as Schuller prepares to host a January 17-19, 2008, “Rethink Conference” at his Crystal Cathedral.24

At this critical time in the history of the world, the New Gospel/New Spirituality is coming right at the world and the church with its New Age teachings and its New Age Peace Plan. But this New Age Peace Plan has at its deceptive core the bottom-line teaching from A Course in Miracles that “we are all one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. But the Bible is clear that we are not God (Ezekiel 28:2; Hosea 11:9). And per Galatians 3:26-28, our only oneness is in Jesus Christ, not in ourselves as “God” and “Christ.” What Oprah and Marianne Williamson and the world will learn one day is that humanity’s only real and lasting peace is with the true Jesus Christ who is described and quoted in the Holy Bible (Romans 5:1).

Oprah Winfrey’s misplaced faith in Marianne Williamson and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles is a sure sign of the times. But an even surer sign of the times is that most Christians are not taking heed to what is happening in the world and in the church. We are not contending for the faith as the Bible admonishes us to do (Jude 3). It is time for all of our Purpose-Driven and Emerging church pastors to address the real issue of the day. Our true Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed right in front of our eyes and hardly anyone seems to notice or care. If we want the world to know who Jesus Christ is, we need to also warn them about who He is not. There is a false New Age “Christ” making huge inroads into the world and into the church. The Apostle Paul said that “it is a shame” we have to even talk about these things, but talk about them we must (Ephesians 5:12-16).

If people want to follow Oprah Winfrey and the New Age “Christ” of A Course in Miracles they certainly have that right. But let them be warned that the New Age “Christ” they are following is not the same Jesus Christ who is so clearly and authoritatively presented in the pages of the Bible.

Warren Smith is a former New Age follower who at one time was deeply involved in the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. He is the author of The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace and Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church. His book Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel is available free online at www.reinventingjesuschrist.com

Endnotes:
1. http://marianne.com/book/index/htm
2. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), (Workbook), p. 45.
3. Ibid., p. 102.
4. Ibid., p. 119.
5. Ibid., (Text), p. 16.
6. Ibid., (Preface), p. ix.
7. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 262-263.
8. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
9. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Workbook), p. 183.
10. Ibid., (Text), p. 425.
11. Ibid., p. 52.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid., (Teachers Manual), p. 58.
14. Ibid., (Workbook), p. 45.
15. Ibid., (Text), p. 147.
16. Ibid., p. 125.
17. Ibid., p. 237.
18. http://www.hourofpower.org/interviews/interviews_detail.cfm?ArticleID=3079
19. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. ix.
20. Marianne Williamson, The Gift Of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), p. 5.
21. Wayne Dyer, “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem,” Public Broadcasting System broadcast in 2001.
22. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
23. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York: G.P . Putnam’s Sons, 1996), p. 90.
24. http://www.rethinkconference.com (See also WorldNetDaily.com 10/30/07 “What is Robert Schuller ‘rethinking’?” by Joseph Farah and “Rethinking Robert Schuller” by Warren Smith. See also Herescope: “Rethinking Culture” and “Rethinking and Reinventing

WILLIAMSON HAS EARNED A SPOT ON THIS APOLOGECTICS SITE: READ ABOUT HER HERE!

 http://www.apologeticsindex.org/362-marianne-williamson

 AND ON HERESCOPE:

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/marianne-williamson-moonbeams-miracles.html

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