In other blogs, I have written about Spiritual Formation pioneer Richard Foster and his background in the EFCI (Evangelical Friends Church International) denomination.
Discernment writer Ken Silva provides this additional info, regarding Richard Foster and Quaker founder George Fox. (Click here for the entire text of Silva’s expose.) Note: I have inserted some comments in [brackets].
… now that the Devil has established his “deep ecumenical” beachhead of CMS through his ECoD within our Lord’s Church they just needed to find themselves a leader who also happens to be an ecumenical contemplative. Ah, this brings us to the Guru of Contemplative Spirituality Richard Foster. Foster, who is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, aka the Quakers, [actually Foster belonged to the Evangelical Friends denomination as I mentioned above; why Foster did not join with “Inner Light-based” Hicksite Friends or the liberal Friends General Conference is puzzling – unless Foster purposely remained among evangelicals to lead evangelicals astray] is even touted by the Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren as a leader within the evangelical church itself as I showed you in Rick Warren Guilty For Endorsing The Cult Of Guru Richard Foster And His Reimagined Gnostic Mysticism.
You may recall one of my previous articles on Foster called Who Is Richard Foster? In it I clearly show that the Quakers are as ecumenical a bunch as can possibly be found, and I further point out that mysticism is a key component of their worship. I’d add apostate as well, but I for one, am not so sure that the Quakers were ever actually in the faith to begin with. [Perhaps Ken Silva is not aware that Ohio Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite), which eventually joined the EFCI, was biblically sound between approx. 1854-1965; in fact, in 1877 and 1879 they condemned George Fox’s Inner Light teaching.] So for our purposes here let me just share a couple of interesting highlights from an entry of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience (HEMPE).
I also happen to find it interesting that this particular book is published by HarperSanfrancisco who just happens to publish Richard Foster. HEMPE informs us that the Quakers were “founded about 1650 in England by George Fox.” And that the:
Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, as it is commonly called, stresses a personal, almost mystical knowledge of God and the workings of the Lord’s “inner light” within all people… At about age twenty, George Fox,…began suffering religious misgivings and spiritual longings. He consulted with various Anglican and Puritan ministers and priests, but they dismissed him as slightly deranged. Fox felt entirely alone until 1647, when at the age of twenty-three he heard a voice saying, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition” (556, emphasis mine).
This is exactly where George Fox and the Quakers who would follow him jumped track because HEMPE goes on to inform us that “[i]mmediately after, Fox received the first of four insights.” It is so-called insight number four that most concerns this work as we are told:
Fox’s fourth insight was that faith is based solely on firsthand knowledge of Christ as living, personal reality, not on logic, reasoning, historical reporting, or even Scripture. This empirical proof came to be called the Quaker Way: the idea that worshippers need not consult preachers or the Bible to receive knowledge of the Holy Spirit – the so-called “inner light of Christ” present in every human heart (ibid., emphasis added).
Here we have the agreement in Fox’s theology with classic Gnostic mysticism. Gnostics also taught that there was an inner light in man which they referred to as “a divine spark within” every human being. I cover this fallacy further in Understanding the New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind. If this isn’t bad enough it now gets worse as HEMPE points out that in 1652 Fox “prayed at a place called Pendle Hill” and then “he received a vision explaining his mission to show Christ in the Present Tense as a personal Being.” Following this vision “Fox met with a group of Seekers who, overcome with his message, converted” (ibid.). And yikes, based on all the negative response at the original Slice of Laodicea website to one of my previous—and quite Biblically sound missives—Take Off The Gloves, I would shudder to think what might have happened to Fox if he had been around today.
Enter The Ecumenical Quaker Swami Richard Foster
Seriously however, this previous information is critical for you to understand the highly ecumenical theological background from which Richard Foster himself comes emerging…