W.B. Howard...Editor of Despatch
RICHARD J. FOSTER, “christian” psychologist
of international fame will be spreading his brand of “christianity” and
Zen Buddhism throughout Australia in June and July, 1995. Foster's intinerary
Blackburn Baptist Church, Melbourne, Victoria,
June 27-30, 1995. (The Images seminar.)
Clayfield College, Brisbane, Queensland, June 23, 1995.
Key Queensland leaders will hold a seminar, June 24th.
Richard Foster will also hold seminars in
Adelaide and Canberra in June-July.
Foster’s “Spiritual Formation and Christian Community” seminars are SMALL GROUPS CONFERENCES on spiritual “renewal”.
On the information brochures sent
out to advertise these conferences, the names of those involved in
Australia are given. Amongst these are:
SERENDIPITY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES.
This organisation is associated with WORLD VISION, both have same New Age doctrines and aims.
SCRIPTURE UNION, which is also involved with New Age indoctrination.
AUSTRALIAN SMALL GROUP NETWORK? (A.S.G.N.)
JOHN MARK MINISTRIES and ALBATROSS BOOKS.
THE OPEN BOOK, LUTHERAN, in Melbourne is mentioned on the brochures, but we have heard that they have disassociated themselves with Foster since the writing of the ad. material.
One name which is listed as a seminar leader at Blackburn Baptist is HARRY PROUT, a member of the Catholic Marist Brothers community, he heads a Marist retreat centre at Mt Macedon, Victoria. Prout is a JESUIT, who also is a facilitator for the young. He runs retreats for “christian” schools!
The implications of this visit by Foster are far more serious than it would seem to the casual observer. Foster is the founder of an organization called RENOVARE, which has powerful, influential support from Christian world leaders. The co-director is William I. Vaswig, a former Lutheran Pastor. RENOVARE, from the Latin meaning “to make new spiritually” is promoting the revival of MEDITATIVE and CONTEMPLATIVE traditions of the Catholic mystics, ZEN BUDDHISM and PSYCHO THERAPY.
Albert James Dager, of “Media Spotlight” writes of the mystical practices Foster teaches and indulges himself in:
“Unfortunately, all these exercises serve to do is open the person up to demonic influences that assuage his or her conscience with a feeling of euphoria and even “love” emanating from the presence that has invaded their consciousness. This euphoria is then believed to validate that the person is on the right spiritual path. It may result in visions, out-of body experiences, stigmata, levitation, even healings and other apparent miracles.”
“Like John Wimber of Vineyard International Ministries, it is out of the religious traditions of Quakerism that Foster has come with the message that today’s Church is missing out on some wonderful spiritual experiences that can only be found by studying and practicing the meditative and contemplative lifestyle.”
RENOVARE, which Foster heads in the USA, IS A PART OF AN EXPANSION BY PAGAN/CATHOLIC PSYCHO MYSTICS. LEADERS BEING TRAINED IN WASHINGTON. IT seems that an organization in Washington, D.C., THE SHALEM INSTITUTE FOR SPIRITUAL FORMATION is training leaders in these “disciplines” of paganism. The Shalem Institute is merely one such centre which are to be found around the world. They are ecumenical, strong New Age spirituality dominates, Roman Catholic mysticism is indulged in and an acceptance of all religions overshadows these centres of training. Rose Mary Dougherty, a Roman Catholic nun is the Director for Spiritual Guidance at Shalem, Washington.
the seminars in Brisbane are called “SPIRITUAL FORMATION and Christian Community”. What we have now in Australia is a internationally super powerful, ecumenical SMALL GROUP initiative which could mushroom beyond imagination! As if we have not suffered enough with Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Tony Campolo, John Dawson, Cindy Jacobs (and Marilyn Hicks to arrive soon) bringing their spiritual poison here. WHO IS SPREADING THIS PAGAN, DANGEROUS, NEW AGE CATHOLIC DEMON-POSSESSION? WHO ARE INVOLVED WITH FOSTER’S RENOVARE? Included in the extensive list are Lloyd John Ogilvie, Jack Hayford, G. Raymond Carlson (General Superintendent of the Assembly of God, USA), David Hubbard (President of Fuller Theological College), Jamie Buckingham, TONY CAMPOLO, I. J. Packer, JOHN WIMBER, C. PETER WAGNER - to mention just a few!
(A full list at the end of this article).
WHAT DOES RICHARD FOSTER TEACH?
Author of best-selling books which are best known by Images-stream Churches, such as Baptist, Uniting Church and Anglican, Foster wrote “Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth.” It is a book which calls for deeper spirituality than that which the Bible teaches! Foster’s teachings are filled with Buddhism, Yoga, T. M., the exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, Eastern religion, and extremely spiritually destructive practices.
These techniques and teachings will be foisted upon a naive Church-going public here, who will imagine they are being helped to grow in God. I do not want to be an alarmist, but this visit by Foster will, no doubt, lead countless gullible “christians” into demon possession, bondage to evil spirits and eventual black despair. Pray for those in these churches, the outlook is very grim.
FOLLOWING, SOME QUOTES FROM RICHARD
Foster uses imagination in a New Age manner, as he teaches about the occult psychiatrist C. G. Jung, and the Jesuit, Ignatius of Loyola.
“The inner world of meditation is most easily
entered through the door of the IMAGINATION. We fail to today to appreciate
its tremendous power. The IMAGINATION is stronger that the conceptual thought
and stronger than the will. In the West, our tendency to deify the merits
of rationalism - and it does have merit- has caused us to ignore the value
of the imagination.
Some rare individuals may be able to contemplate in an imageless void, but most of us need to be more deeply rooted in the senses. Jesus taught this way, making constant appeal to the imagination and the senses....
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.”
Richard Foster goes on:
“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 and tremendous impact for good upon the sixteenth century.”
(“Celebration of Discipline” page 22.) (Emphasis added.)
Comment from Albert James Dager:
“I’ll say Ignatius of Loyola’s meditation exercises had a tremendous impact upon the sixteenth century, but it wasn’t for good. Ignatius of Loyola’s JESUIT ORDER under his personal direction was responsible for the MARTYRDOM OF COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF GOD’S SAINTS who would not bow the knee to the papal demand for unconditional obedience.” (Emphasis added.)
NEW AGE MYSTICISM AND A FORM OF PANTHEISM:
“After you have gained some proficiency in centering down, add a five-to-ten-minute MEDITATION on some aspect of creation. Choose something in the created order: tree, plant, bird, leaf, cloud, and each day ponder it carefully and prayerfully. ...’The simplest and oldest way...in which God manifests Himself is...through and in THE EARTH ITSELF. And He still speaks to us through THE EARTH and the sea...”
(Emphasis added. Ibid., page 25.) On the same page Foster quotes from the apostate “christian” mystics, Agnes Sandford and Evelyn Underhill.)
Richard Foster teaches that
we can bring Jesus into our presence by the use of the imagination:
“As you enter the story, not as 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, Jesus Christ will actually COME TO YOU.”
(Emphasis added, but * “actually” was emphasised by Foster. Ibid., p.26.)
Albert James Dager makes an interesting comment
on this amazingly occult quote:
“One can no more actually bring Jesus into his presence through such figments of one’s imagination than a Catholic priest can change wine into the actual blood of Jesus. The Lord cannot be manipulated by our whims of fancy. And contrary to Foster’s mystical ruminations, Jesus exists at the right hand of the Father during this present time. Those who think of eternity as “timeless” do not understand the reality of God’s nature or of His doImages. Time does exist in eternity, and I would challenge Foster to show us from Scripture where this is not true.”
Interesting too that Tony Campolo, when he spoke in Brisbane, made much of the lie that time is “relative”, and that Jesus Christ was still hanging on the Cross, because past, present, future, eternity are all the same to God. This is a fearful deception, on the same pathway as “no absolutes” of morality or righteousness. If there is no “real” time, then there is no absolute reality either. The doorway is wide open to a supernaturally given false “Jesus”, do not go through and gain a evil spirit guide!
There is so much more that could be written about
Foster. His book “Celebration of Discipline” originally had the words “NEW
AGE” on page 170, but this was changed to avoid criticism:
“We of the New Age can risk going against the tide.” became changed to, “We who follow Christ can risk going against the tide.”
For those who still may have doubts about
the New Age philosophy of Foster, read how he encourages ASTRAL TRAVEL:
“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. In your imagination, PICTURE YOURSELF walking along a lovely forest path. Take your time, allowing the blaring noise of our modern megalopolis to be overtaken by the sound of rustling leaves and cool forest streams..."
etc ...(a guided meditation continues for some length here, Despatch comment).
“After awhile there is a deep yearning within to go into the upper regions beyond the 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....listen carefully...Note any instruction given....return to the meadow. Walk joyfully back along the path until you return home full of new life and ENERGY.”
(Emphasis added. Ibid., p.27.)
RENOVARE seminars teach practices
which are authentic Christianity and dangerous paganism intermingled.
A full expose on Foster can be obtained from:
MEDIA SPOTLIGHT, P.O. Box 290, Redmond Wa 98073-0290.
QUOTES FROM MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
SPECIAL REPORT ON RENOVARE.
“Renovare’s spiritual formation groups are patterned after those found at spiritual renewal centers which blend the philosophies of the world with Christianity to produce a hybrid form of spiritual enlightenment.” (p.11)
“Foster, being a psychologist, integrates psychotherapy into Renovare’s methodologies.” (p.11)
“A large part of Renovare’s spiritual disciplines involve meditation on the writings of selected spiritual masters associated with the “Christian” contemplative tradition. Most, of course, are Roman Catholic, particularly those mystics from the fourth through the fifteenth century.”
Media Spotlight gives a long list here including:
Thomas Merton; Julian of Norwich; Teresa of Avila
and Francis of Assisi (all important in the New Age).
Believers, one can get exactly the same guided meditation trip from any New Age witch. When God told us to come to Him in prayer, He surely didn’t mean that we should take up the ancient evil practice of ASTRAL PROJECTION to do so.
WHO ARE THOSE INVOLVED WITH “RENOVARE”, the NEW AGE CENTRE RICHARD FOSTER HEADS? Take a look at the list following, and then ring and tell me that we are NOT in the last of the Last Days, and that this is NOT the great “Falling Away” predicted in 11 Thess. 2:3, if you still think you have a leg to stand on!
RENOVARE’S STEERING COMMITTEE
*Sister Thomas Bernard, Director.
The Spirituality Center, CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE of Los Angeles.
*Isaac Canales, Ass. Dir. Hispanic Ministries, FTS*
*T. Eugene Coffin, Counselor, Memorial Gardens, CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL.
*Richard Felix, President, AZUSA Pacific University.
*David Allan Hubbard, President of FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.
*Anne Huffman. ‘Harbor Community PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES.
*Jerry Johnson, Ex. Pastor, Lake Avenue CONGREGATIONAL.
[It has come to our attention that this man is not now associated with Richard Foster]
*H. B. London Sen. Pastor First Church of the Nazarene. California.
*Robert Munger, Prof. Emeritus evangelism and Church Strategy. FTS*
*William E. Pannell, Dir. Black Ministries. FTS*
*Robert A. Seiple, Pres. WORLD VISION, Inc.
*Slang-Yang-Tan, Direc. Dr. of Psychology Program. FTS*
*”REV. MSGR. ROYALE M. VADAKIN.
Direc. COMMISSION ON ECUMENICAL & INTER-RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE of Los Angeles.
(*FTS: Fuller Theological Seminary). (...List Shortened)
RENOVARE’S BOARD OF REFERENCE
G. Raymond Carlson,
Ted W. Engstrom,
William C. Frey,
Jerry R. Kirk,
Clarence A Kopp, Sr.,
Carl H. Lundquist,
DAVID & KAREN ImagesS,
AMONGST MANY WHO ARE OF
RENOVARE’S SPEAKING PLATFORM ARE:
Sister Thomas Bernard, Catholic.
Isaac Canales, Fuller Theo. Seminary.
(Fuller has many speakers for Renovare).
Eugene Coffin, Crystal Cathedral (Robert Schuller’s “cathedral”). Richard Foster, President of Renovare.
Jack Hayford, Sen. Pastor, The Church on the Way, California. Bob Seiple, World Vision, Inc.
William Vaswig, of Renovare.
Jane Willard. Professional therapist (offered for prayer and counseling during seminars)...(list shortened)
MORE ABOUT THE SHALEM INSTITUTE
Writes Albert James Dager:
“It is unbiblical exercises that opens one up to demonic entities, as do all spiritual exercises not specifically taught in Scripture....
All this stuff is superfluous at best, and certainly demonic in origin.”
Rose Mary Dougherty,
Director for Spiritual Guidance is a Roman Catholic nun.
Carole Crumley, Canon pastor, Washington Nat. Cath..
Carolyn Tanner Irish, Episcopal priest, Shalem Assoc. staff. Barbara Osborne, psychotherapist.
Shalem Director for Research & Program Development (professor of William Vaswig).
Lindsley Ludy, UCC minister, graduate of Shalem Spiritual Guidance Program..."
"Shalem is merely one of MANY SUCH CENTRES NOW TO BE FOUND AROUND THE WORLD! Shalem offers a session taught by Carole Crumley which is called “Presence Through Sacred Image: Icon Prayer Group.” This group meets once a week. They “pray” and meditate around the sacred icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church, using them as “WINDOWS INTO THE SPIRITUAL REALM.” People in “stress” often are drawn to these centres as they seek an escape from an unbearably materialistic world. Instead of finding God, they become entangled in a christianised spiritualism!"
The SPIRITUAL RETREAT concept is not confined
to New Age and Catholic religious devotees in the 1990s. New Age demonically
orientated, Catholic mystic, Buddhist meditation style retreat centres
and home prayer groups are now ecumenical. Throughout Christendom, these
are emerging and growing in popularity. RENOVARE and SHALEM INSTITUTE are
in Australia, watch out for “SPIRITUAL FORMATION & CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY”
home groups and seminars in your area.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN AUSTRALIA?
It would be obvious to anyone that RENOVARE/SHALEM INSTITUTE centres and “SMALL GROUP” “ministries” are envisioned for our country. A JOHN ALLISON, who is a “Small Groups Staff Person for REDCLIFFE PENINSULA”, Uniting Church Parish in Brisbane, is a leader at the seminar at Blackburn Baptist.
WILLOW CONNECTIONS is mentioned on the brochure advertising Foster. On at the same time as Foster’s seminar, at Gateway Baptist Church in Brisbane, on the 21-22 of June WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY is holding a workshop. Connected?
WHAT IS THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL GROUP NETWORK?
The ASGN is an organization which forms local church groups, using facilitators who are spreading the SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY beliefs, techniques and doctrines etc. The ASGN operates across ALL DENOMINATIONS. They distribute a Discipleship Journal. ASGN will be a New Age/Christian mixture of confusion which will lead many astray! Imagesline church people are indeed jaded and needy, they want something more vital and comforting than a large meeting once a week, and then impersonal dealings with a formal church. RENOVARE will seem to meet this need of close, small, intimate relationship.
There is an AUSTRALIAN SMALL GROUP NETWORK, address is in Carlingford, NSW. National Chairman, Rev. John Mallison, Chatswood, NSW. They have state chairpersons in NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS.
QUEENSLAND has a ASGN newsletter. Some of the names and groups involved are: John Allison (recruiter for small group leaders); Brian Mulheran, C.O.C Mansfield. There are networks moving in Caboolture, Kenmore, Mansfield, Mt Gravatt, Redcliffe, Toowoomba and Townsville.
THESE GROUPS WILL BE DYNAMITE!
We have a fuller expose on the whole Foster, Renovare, Spiritual Formation, Shalem , Zen Buddhist, Catholic Mystic, “Force of the Universe” connection. We will contact MEDIA SPOTLIGHT in the USA to request the right to copy this for distribution here. Copies could be sent by you to those who are heading up this MAJOR DECEPTION!!! Will any of them listen anyway? Pray that they will! Lives of precious people are in the balance.
A LAST WORD OF WARNING.
William Vaswig, co-director with Richard Foster of Renovare, was trained in the religious disciplines of these small group “ministries” by THE SHALEM INSTITUTE FOR SPIRITUAL FORMATION, WASHINGTON, D.C. His professor there was GERALD MAY.......
“The objective is to move from conscious communication with God to being “in the Presence,” as Bill Vaswig puts it. The Buddhist equivalent of being in the Presence would be to reach total enlightenment and eventually Nirvana or assimilation with the ‘divine’ where one loses his identity entirely and is melded into the all-knowing Mind or FORCE of the Universe....
It is noteworthy that Foster and Vaswig outwardly express disapproval of the New Age movement when asked about it, and disavow any New Age leanings. Yet Vaswig’s association with the Shalem Institute belies any such claim. When they speak of “practicing the presence of God,” which is a major facet of Renovare’s spiritual exercises we find that what they mean is ZEN MEDITATION.”
Shalem’s work also involves the chant, the “body
prayer” practice, the reflection and journaling of REIKI and
QUAKERISM. THE FORCE of the NEW AGE:
“...a Traditional Reiki Master, which will align and tune in the ENERGY CENTERS of the student. After this process is completed, the UNIVERSAL LIFE FORCE becomes AMPLIFIED when drawn through the hands.”
(New Age publication, Common Ground, quote.)