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Posts Tagged ‘Evangelical mystics’

Click below for the various parts of this series on New Ager Roma Downey (and husband Mark Burnett):

Like Oprah, New Agers Roma Downey and hubby Mark Burnett now falsely claiming they’re Christians – why?

Roma Downey’s comments about “Touched by an Angel” show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her ties with New Thought/New Ager Della Reese  show Downey is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her “Little Angels” series show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her New Age “Spiritual Psychology” degree show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

NEW: Roma Downey’s comments and connections with psychic medium John Edward show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her theology show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her “biographical trivia” show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

NEW: New blogs I’m working on, showing in Downey and Burnett’s own words that they are not Christians as they claim, but New Agers

Note – all above blogs © 2012-2014 Dave Mosher, all rights reserved. Excerpts may be quoted up to 300 words, as long as credit is given to my original blogs and links are provided to my original blogs. Thank you.
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Now on to the current post:

Roma Downey’s comments about her “Little Angels” series show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Below I discuss how Downey’s “Little Angels” children’s videos, books, etc. – which she is still touting as of “The Bible” premiere 03/03/13 – have various New Age teachings.

Now Roma Downey is showing her New Age side again, in a big way. She has come out with a new series for preschoolers; publication date is 02/14/12. There is a whole series of “Little Angels” books and DVDs. (Roma Downey appeared  02/14/12 on ABC’s “The View” talk show and mentioned her publications coming out that day.)

Following is the official trailer for the “Little Angels” series. Note that the Little Angels literally “hang around’ preschool children. And they don’t just lurk unseen – they actually communicate with preschool children. This reminds me of demonic New Age-ish “spirit guides” – the same concept as the PBS series Dragon Tales which I wrote about years ago. And remember, the “Little Angels” follow the same theme as “Touched by an Angel” – only this time it is “child angels” communicating with children:

Following are insightful excerpts from an interview with Roma Downey regarding “Little Angels.” Click here for the entire interview. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Interview: Roma Downey Teaches God’s Love to Preschoolers in Faith-Based DVD Series

For almost 10 years, Roma Downey shared the message of God’s love as the star of “Touched by an Angel.” Now, the mother of three and devoted Christian wants to introduce that same message to preschoolers through her faith-based [but what faith?] animated DVD series “Little Angels,” which hit stores shelves on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Downey, who is the creator and executive producer of “Little Angels” series, visited the New York office of The Christian Post on Tuesday [02/14/12] to speak about the launch of the series.

In the interview, Downey said her role as Monica on “Touched by an Angel” inspired the “Little Angels.”

“I’ve played an angel on ‘Touched by an Angel,’ bringing the message of God’s love. It was such a privilege for me as a person of faith to deliver the message,” Downey told CP.

“And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we had a faith-based series for very young children?’ They are such sponges at this age and there is such an opportunity here to sow seeds of faith in our little children.”

“Little Angels” follows two four-year-old twins Alex and Zoe who have eight little angels watching over them from the ceiling of their nursery. When the parents aren’t around [what kind of teaching is this – angels appearing to children when they parents aren’t around?], the little angels come to life to help the young tots overcome daily life challenges by drawing upon Christian principles and values found in the Bible. [But, does the “Little Angels” series tell us how our Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary to save us from our sins? I’ve heard no mention of that.] The series is also designed to teach children the practical life stills [sic] as well including their ABCs and 123s.

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On Tuesday, the first three DVDs in the series were launched: Little Angels ABCs, Little Angels 123s and Little Angels Animals. The DVDs from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are now available in Walmart, Target and on Amazon. [Interesting – the “Little Angels” is not being targeted to a Christian market – yet. Not that I recommend the series in any way – it is an abomination in my opinion.]

It’s not difficult to find the message of God’s love in the episodes. At the beginning of every adventure, little kids watching are reminded that God loves them in catchy melody that says, “Always remember whatever, whenever, God loves you forever, forever and ever.”

Downey, who has been working on the series for the past 18 months, hopes the series be a catalyst for parents to start having the faith talk with their preschooler.

“I think that ‘Little Angel’s provides the gateway into that conversation about faith and about the Lord and about God’s love for us. Remembering that the angels are just the messengers and the message is the message of love,” said Downey. [I would like to ask Roma Downey, “Why do you say that angels are the messengers? Parents, Sunday School teachers, the pastor, and most of all the Bible itself are to tell us about God and His love – not angels. “Faith cometh by hearing [from people], and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17, KJV).

“Quite deliberately, I placed the little angels on a mural on a ceiling in the nursery so it’s the first thing they see in the morning when they get up and it’s the last thing they see in the evening before they go to sleep.”

There are eight angels in all, each with their own distinctive personality:

[Some of these remind me of the patron saints, whom Roman Catholics pray to – this lengthy list is ridiculous.]

• Dina the Angel of Learning
 • Charmy the Angel of Harmony
 • Uriel the Angel of Creativity
 • Michael the Archangel (i.e. The Boss Angel)
 • Ariel the Guardian Angel
 • Hammy the Angel of Logic
 • Gabriel the Messenger Angel
 • Hayley the Angel of Animals

Downey said she was intentional in making “Little Angels” of the “highest quality,” from the “nostalgic” animated feel to the compelling stories told to the tune of upbeat music . She enlisted the help of great animators and teamed with writer Phil Lollar, who wrote Focus on the Family’s Bible-based children series Adventures in Odyssey. [Adventures in Odyssey, hmmm, there’s another series I wonder about.]

Mothers of Preschoolers has even awarded the series a Seal of Approval.

The veteran actress and executive producer promises that she is not simply “slapping” her face to this product. To Downey, “Little Angels” is very personal. She even does the voiceover for the mother of the Alex and Zoe herself.

At the end of every episode, the twins’ mother comes into the nursery to pray over them, saying:

God in heaven, my Savior dear,
Watch over my children and draw them near,
Send your little angels to be at their side,
To light and to guard,
To love and to guide.

“This was a little prayer that my parents shared with me when I was a child so it also has particular meaning that I added that little prayer in here. It also served as one of the inspiration for the series,” Downey shared with CP.

In addition, her daughter Riley sings the songs on the accompany “Little Angels” CD and her oldest son plays the guitar.

And the series not only speaks to children. The series can also rekindle Christian roots in those who may no longer attend church, according to Downey.

“I’ve already had such response from parents but particular from grandparents who said it’s such a great resource to share with their families. Maybe they have young families who have fallen away from the church and it’s an opportunity to, you know, in an entertaining way to remind and re-introduce the stories of the Bible,” said Downey….

Read below for the full transcript of The Christian Post interview with Roma Downey on February 14, 2012:

CP: Well, we’re here with Roma Downey, who is launching a new faith-based series for children called” Little Angels.” There are three DVDs being launched today, Little Angels ABCs, Little Angels 123s and Little Angels Animals. We have here Roma herself to tell us about this launch. Can you tell us what the message is for each of these DVDs?

Roma: I’m so thrilled to finally roll out Little Angels, the animated series for preschool children. It features eight little angels who live on the ceiling of the children’s nursery. The children in this case are four-year old twins, Alex and Zoe, and when the mum and dad aren’t around, the little angels fly down and they come to life and they engage with the kids [angels communicating with the kids and vice versa – to me this seems demonic – the Bible FORBIDS this] to teach them practical life skills, on the one hand, ABCs, 123s but they teach them so much more than that. They share with them beloved Bible stories and support the teaching of good old-fashioned, family values. So we’re teaching the children the importance of kindness and of sharing and of cooperation, of being honest. [Again, no mention of the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ dying on the cross to save us.]

One of our stories, for example, has the little boy Alex and he can’t tie his shoelace. He wants to put on his velcro shoes – he thinks that would be so much easier. And the little angels come to life and say , “Alex, you can’t just quit. If every time something got too difficult and you just quit then nothing would ever happen. Would you consider for a moment Noah in the Bible?” Little Alex scratches his head and says, “Who’s Noah?”

One of our little angels is a painter and he paints a picture of the ark. It gives us this device in our animation where our children can time travel back into the Bible. They take Alex and his sister Zoe by the hand and they fly into the picture of the ark and lo and behold, they are back with Noah himself who is building the ark. Noah says to them, “If I had just quit if there was no sign of rain then nothing would have happened. And when the rain comes then I wouldn’t have been able to save the animals. And anyway, I couldn’t quit because God told me to do it. I had to do it. God told me.”

And we see the rain come in and we see Noah save the animals and the flood waters rise and wash the children back into the nursery and the little boy says, “I get it. I get the importance of not quitting and now I’m going to tie my shoelace.” And with the help of his sister, he ties his shoelace and all of that happens in seven minutes.

CP: Oh, I see. A lot of people may know you from “Touched by an Angel. “

Does the inspiration for Little Angels come from that series or how did the inspiration for this Bible-based series come about?

Roma: Well, you know, for almost 10 years I’ve played an angel on Touched by an Angel, bringing the message of God’s love. It was such a privilege for me as a person of faith to deliver the message.

 And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we had a faith-based series for very young children.” They are such sponges at this age and there is such an opportunity here to sow seeds of faith in our little children. So the idea was born and I’ve been working on it and developing it now for almost 18 months. I got a fabulous team of animators. The animation has a lovely, nostalgic feel to it but yet it’s fresh and funny. The characters are really well designed. We’ve found a great writer in Phil Lollar….Phil wrote Adventures in Odyssey and has really brought the stories to life.

CP: From Focus on the Family?

Roma: Yes, and the music component is a very important one. It’s lively, upbeat and engaging because I could have all the best intentions in the world of bringing a faith-based product into the market space but if it’s not compelling and they are not drawn in and it’s not exciting then they are not going to watch it.

So, I’m super excited on how it’s turned out.

And the message here is really, you know, straight forward I guess. We’re teaching them practical life skills, we’re teaching them Christian values, and we’re introducing them to age-appropriate stories from our Bible, both Old and New Testament. [But is it age-appropriate – or appropriate at ANY age – to give children the thought that angels can communicate with them? NO!]

CP: Well, I’m looking at the series and it looks very well done. A lot of times when people are trying to make Christian-based series, the quality or the budgeting is not on par with what you see in secular children entertainment.

When I’m looking at this, it looks like something you would see on ABC Family on TV. Was that intentional?

Roma: That was the absolute goal: to make sure it was the highest quality.

I think the proof is in the product. The books are lovely. They are hardcover books. The DVDs each have 40 minutes of content. And there are musical videos along with it and I also have musical CDs which we had a great time doing it. We have very musical children. I, myself, am the only Irish person I know who can’t sing a note. But my daughter Riley is a great singer and she sings many of the tracks on the albums for me. My oldest boy James is fine musician and he plays guitar so it was very meaningful for us to all be involved in the project.

  • little angels app

CP: There is also an app (for Little Angels) you have that has a daily prayer that parents can use with their kids. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Roma: Yeah, it’s available on iTunes under “Roma’s Little Angels.” It’s a really fabulous and interactive app. It has many features, games, puzzles and coloring. I recorded 365 prayers and I think it’s really good opportunity to go in there with your little preschooler and maybe find a moment each day to spend a moment in prayer.

I know that particularly in the car or emergency moments in your life, I don’t how my children were raised with all the particular features we have today.

One of my hope is that it’s an opportunity to start that discussion with your preschooler. I think that Little Angels provides the gateway into that conversation about faith and about the Lord and about God’s love for us. Remembering that the angels are just the messengers and the message is the message of love. Quite deliberately, I placed the little angels on a mural on a ceiling in the nursery so it’s the first thing they see in the morning when they get up and it’s the last thing they see in the evening before they go to sleep.

The mother doesn’t have a very big part in the DVD because of course, the angels come to life when the parents aren’t around. But when the mother does have a voice, I’ve voiced it myself. There is one scene that will appear on every episode and that’s the final moment that the mother comes into the moonlit room and the little four-year-old twins Zoe and Alex are fast asleep in their bunk beds and the moon is streaming into the room. And their mom just pops her head into the room to check on them and she says a little prayer:

God in heaven, my Savior dear,
Watch over my children and draw them near,
Send your little angels to be at their side,
To light and to guard,
To love and to guide.

And this was a little prayer that my parents shared with me when I was a child so it also has particular meaning that I added that little prayer in here. It also served as one of the inspiration [sic] for the series…

At the end of the summer, I have a Little Angels Storybook Bible coming out. I have other DVDs on colors and shapes in the pipeline that should be out by the end of the year. I’m just thrilled that I’ve got a line of dolls that will be out by the beginning of the new year.

CP: Now, your husband in Mark Burnett. Both you and your husband are Christians.

Roma: Yes.

CP: How has faith played a role in your career choices and also in raising your family?

It’s central to everything we do. Our children go to a wonderful Christian school in Westlake, California, where we live.

For me, I felt so fortunate that I was able to combine what I believe with what I do for so many years on Touched by an Angel. You know, the year that I was cast to play that part, I was an actress looking for a job. I wasn’t on any kind of a mission especially. But I was so grateful that I was selected to play that part. The central theme of every episode was that there is a God and God has a plan for your life and that God wanted to be part of your life and that God loves you. [And yet, the series never mentioned the NAME OF JESUS – why does Roma Downey believe she could present a  Christian message without mentioning the name of Christ?] And over the years, I can’t tell you the kinds of feedback that I’ve had where people said it was the exact message they needed at the exact moment they received it. At the height of that show’s success, we had over 20 million people tuned in every week.

One of the lasting things for me from that show is my relationship with my co-star Della Reese. [Della Reese has been very New Age-ish.] She has really become a mom and mentor in my life. When we were filming together, her only daughter tragically passed away. And when I was a little girl, my mother had tragically passed away. She took me in her arms not long after and she said, “Baby, God is just so amazing because I always knew that He brought you into my life because He knew you needed a mother. I just hadn’t realized that He brought you into my life because I was going to need a daughter. Will you be my baby girl?” And I said, “Yes.” And she said, “Then I am your mama.” And she has been from that day forward. She also godmother to my daughter Riley. She’s been such a wonderful part of our lives…

In terms of Bible stories….

CP: Which one do you tell your kids or they like hearing from you?

Roma: Well, I guess, we love the story of David and Goliath for our children when they feel they have insurmountable problems in their life and there is something so empowering in how David was able to bring down Goliath and he was a young lad doing so…

CP: A lot of what you do seems to be linked with faith education, from the apps that you mentioned to the docudrama The Bible and also the series, Little Angels. Why do you think it’s important to educate kids early on about faith and what are some of the challenges that you think parents face today?

There are studies that show children that grow up in Christian households leave the faith as they grow older. How is the work that you’re doing with Little Angels to the work that you do with your husband in the entertainment industry help build faith in Christian homes and help children keep faith as they grow older?

Roma: I think that certainly with “Little Angels” and aiming for this preschool market that we’ve just launched, I’ve already had such response from parents but particular from grandparents who said it’s such a great resource to share with their families. Maybe they have young families who have fallen away from the church and it’s an opportunity to, you know, in an entertaining way to remind and re-introduce the stories of the Bible. [Through angels? Give me a break.]

We have an opportunity to make the stories seem very relevant as well. You know, our little girl in the story Zoe, is very particular. She experiences certain fears from the storm that goes off in one of the scenes to being afraid to climb the top bunk to get her little dolly that is up there. The little angels take her back to meet with Jonah and Jonah shares with her that he, too, experienced fear so much so that when God called him he ended up in the belly of a big fish. One of the things that he has done to calm his own fears is to pray and he encourages little Zoe to do that. So when the children are now back in the nursery and she’s looking up on the top bunk and she puts her hand on her heart and says, “I know that God loves me. I know that he does.” And through the power of prayer [or perhaps Roma Downey should say “through communication and encouragement from angels”] in that moment, she climbs to the top bunk.

So I think that even though it’s designed in an age-appropriate way to reach someone, I think there is a way to bring the stories very much alive and to find the relevance that will teach them and make the stories very current in their lives today.

CP: You are involved in a lot of things. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind in your work. Do you want to be known as the actress, the executive producer, the mother of 3, the wife of Mark Burnett? How would you like to be remembered and what kind of legacy would you like to leave?

Roma: I think, perhaps, the virtue that I hold dear is one of kindness.

I try to live my life with my faith in loving actions. Perhaps, it would be that…

One of my favorite stories is the story of the Starfish that we hear at church all the time about the girl and the starfish. [So Roma Downey and her husband do attend church somewhere – but where? Why keep it secret – would she not want to share her church’s biblically sound Christian beliefs with the world? If it truly is a biblically sound church, that is…]

CP: For the “Little Angels” enterprise, what can we expect for the future? Will you continue with preschoolers or other ages?

Roma: No, for preschoolers. But thank you for asking because this is just the beginning, these three DVDs and these two books.

At the end of the summer, I have a Little Angels Storybook Bible coming out. I have other DVDs on colors and shapes in the pipeline that should be out by the end of the year. I’m just thrilled that I’ve got a line of dolls that will be out by the beginning of the new year.

CP: Based on each of the little angels?

Roma: Based on the little angels because there are eight little angels and each little angel is very sweet and has a loving, unique personality and varied perhaps as the children who are watching.

We have Dina whose a little angel who carries an iPad, Gabriel who is this little… and he announces, and Ariel, and Uriel and Haley, she’s got an Australian accent, she teaches the kids about angels. So, it really lends itself to all kinds of storylines that are fun and engaging.

Anyway, I’m really just full of it. Sometimes you hear of celebrities or actresses who have just slapped the name on a product and who have just endorsed it. This is not that. You know, from the moment this was an idea, I’ve been nurturing it and bringing a great team to bring it to life. I’m really excited today as we roll out Little Angels.

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Click below for the various parts of this series on New Ager Roma Downey (and husband Mark Burnett):

Like Oprah, New Agers Roma Downey and hubby Mark Burnett now falsely claiming they’re Christians – why?

Roma Downey’s comments about “Touched by an Angel” show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her ties with New Thought/New Ager Della Reese  show Downey is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her “Little Angels” series show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her New Age “Spiritual Psychology” degree show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

NEW: Roma Downey’s comments and connections with psychic medium John Edward show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her theology show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

Roma Downey’s comments about her “biographical trivia” show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

NEW: New blogs I’m working on, showing in Downey and Burnett’s own words that they are not Christians as they claim, but New Agers

Note – all above blogs © 2012-2014 Dave Mosher, all rights reserved. Excerpts may be quoted up to 300 words, as long as credit is given to my original blogs and links provided to my original blogs. Thank you.
————————————————————————————————————————

Now on to the current blog:

(revised 03/07/13)

Roma Downey’s comments about “Touched by an Angel” show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager

I have always felt very uncomfortable with the TV series “Touched by an Angel.” Why? Because I never, ever heard the characters mention the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The closest they came (in the episodes I saw): I heard the tune (not the words) of  the Christmas carol “Silent Night.”

Also, I couldn’t help but notice that “Touched by an Angel” Roma Downey’s co-star, Della Reese, is a New Age-ish woman “preacher” in real life. (Click here for Della Reese’ Wikipedia bio. She teaches New Thought heresies.)

Christian discernment ministries have been writing exposés of  “Touched by an Angel” for years. With so much having been written already, there’s probably not much new info I can add here. I will, however, attempt to locate and repost Downey’s New Age comments regarding “Touched by an Angel” – comments which show she is not a Christian as she claims, but a New Ager.

For example, in this quote (found here) Downey describes what attracted her to try out for the part of Monica:

Chet Cooper: You are most recognized for playing Monica on Touched By An Angel. How did you come across the role and what did you first think of the character?

Roma Downey: It was pilot season of ‘94, and I was reading through endless junk scripts that were being sent my way. Typically the roles were to play his wife or his girlfriend—leading roles for women were few and far between. Suddenly a very unusual script turned up. “Now this is curious,” I remember thinking. Because I’m a person of faith [in other Internet articles, she uses phrases such as “on a spiritual journey” – a New Age phrase], the spiritual aspects got my attention. Also, the actress in me was delighted to read a show that had not one but two strong female roles—female angels. I was to audition for Monica, and I very much liked Della Reese, who of course ended up playing Tess. [Just a couple clues that Downey was New Age prior to “Touched by an Angel”. See also my “trivia” blog mentioning biographical info prior to “Touched by an Angel”. I’m not sure when Della Reese first got interested in New Age teachings.]

[Note – I’ve repeated much of the following info in this blog about Downey’s theology.]

Closely study reruns of “Touched by an Angel” and I’m sure you’ll find many heretical New Age views held by both Roma Downey and New Thought/New Age co-star Della Reese.

Check out the following quotes from Downey, found here. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

“It’s fantastic that [the Touched by an Angel reruns are] on GMC,” says Downey. “It’s reaching a whole new generation of people with its beautiful message of faith. I loved being on that show. I loved it. I loved playing Monica. I loved being the messenger, the believer. I loved being part of a message that went out weekly reminding people there is a God and this is God’s purpose for you and God will be part of your life and most importantly that God loves you.

“I got to deliver that message every week for almost 10 years to millions of people a week.”

“Still to this day, wherever I am in airports or shopping malls people tell me, ‘Oh, that show has changed my life.’ or ‘That show helped my family heal’ or ‘You’ll never know what that show did for us’ and so I’m thrilled that it’s back at a regular spot in the television and has a chance to heal and touch people’s lives all over again. [I don’t see any wording here about bringing people to salvation through the Father’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ, do you? I guess that would be rather difficult for “Touched by an Angel” to do, considering the 212-episode series  has never – that I know of – mentioned the name of Jesus Christ.]

“I’ve been there, too, needing an angel — I can tell you. Over the years I’ve found myself wishing sometimes my angel would show up. [So Downey would want to communicate with angels? I’m not surprised. By the way, the Bible forbids communication with angels – this insightful pdf article mentions this.] I could use a little uplift, a little reminder.

“And then you know, and it’s available to everybody at all times. You’ve just got to turn your attention into your own loving heart where God exists inside of all of us.” [This reminds me of the heretical Inner Light teaching of George Fox and the Quakers, “that of Christ in all men” – supposedly.]

“There’s a timeless quality to the story,” she says. “It was always stories of people at certain crossroads in their lives when a decision was to be made. The spirit [notice Downey doesn’t say “the Holy Spirit” but rather uses the liberal/New Age term “the spirit”] would show up and help you make that good decision. You know, there’s no magic wand. Somebody didn’t come down and fix it for you. All we did as the angels was to come down and to remind you that you were a child of God [only a born again Christian is a child of God – nonchristians are offspring of Adam and “children of the devil” – see John 8:44 and I John 3:10] and God loves you and God wants the best for you, that God has a purpose for you and that you have to reach into your own heart to see it and believe it and then out of that place, make a good choice for yourself. [Again, “reach into your own heart” and “out of that place” are heretical New Age phrases.]

“It was very empowering in that way. It wasn’t some easy fix, because life isn’t filled with easy fixes. But when you pray and really trust and hand yourself over to God [notice she doesn’t mention repenting of your sins and accepting Christ as your Saviour], you know that God has you and holds you in his heart and in his hands.

“You know there’s no better feeling.

“If I were to look back at my career, I think my greatest achievement is very simple.

“I’ve been able to make choices where I could glorify God.”

So there we have it – a bit of Downey’s theology in her own words. As we will see in my various blogs about Downey, she is extremely New Age. Several questions: would she say in the previous paragraph her New Age beliefs “glorify God”? And how does she define “God”? For that matter, how does she define the label “Christian” which she applies to herself? Like I said, she is not a Christian like she claims, but a New Ager.

By the way, I perused this devotional book about “The Bible” as it was premiering. It is supposedly written by Downey and hubby Mark Burkett. But don’t be deceived by the biblically sound lingo found throughout the book. It sounds very different from Downey’s New Age statements in her quotes above. I’m going to take a wild guess here and speculate that portions of the book were written by ghost writers (perhaps some of the heretical “Christians” on “The Bible” Board of Advisors who have a better grasp on Christian lingo.)

FOR FURTHER READING

Discernment articles by Christians

Don Closson, Is Being Touched by an Angel Enough?

Berit Kjos, Touched By An Angel – But Which Kind?

Let Us Reason Ministries, Touched by an Angel or…

Program Reviews: Touched by an Angel – includes some viewer comments favoring TBAA, but also some excellent Christian critiques

Warning – a number of the following links are nonchristian; I can recommend them for research only.

Click here for CBN’s article about “Touched by an Angel” executive producer Martha Williamson and her Interfaith Movement connections. CBN, which has become heretical – actually recommends Martha Williamson and “Touched by an Angel.”

Click here for the official “Touched by an Angel” episode guide, including detailed plots of each episode.

And check out the Wikipedia articles on Roma Downey and on her husband Mark Burnett.

Searching Amazon.com re: “Roma Downey” brings up a number of angel-oriented publications by Roma Downey. Also, click here for books, videos, etc. related to the “Touched by an Angel” TV series.

I am currently in the process of adding more info to this blog – keep  checking back. And thank you for your patience. New info on Roma Downey and hubby Mark Burnett is coming out almost daily – it’s hard to keep up with!

© 2012-2014 Dave Mosher, all rights reserved. Excerpts may be quoted up to 300 words, as long as credit is given to my original blogs and links provided to my original blogs. Thank you.

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(revised 11/16/13)

Malone University Spiritual Formation Department recently posted the following Chapel schedule – showing its increasing promotion of Evangelical Friend  Richard Foster’s Spiritual Formation/ Contemplative Spirituality heresies.

Click here [broken link – article no longer online] for the original site of this chapel schedule. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Home / Office of Spiritual Formation / Chapel Information / Chapel Schedule

Chapel Schedule

alkfdj Click here for a printable list of chapels, so that you can plan for those you’d like to attend or check off those you’ve already gone to.

The Spring semester traditionally features several Signpost Series chapels. The purpose of the Signpost Series is to invite guests to speak about how they integrate their faith with their specific area of expertise or academic discipline. This gives us a wider perspective on how the Christian faith is woven into all areas of life – academics, relationships, politics, media, sport, etc.

Chapels have different emphases, based on the day of the week. Tuesday chapels are “Community Worship,” featuring worship of God through prayer, Scripture, sermon and song. Wednesday chapels are “Convocation,” which includes a variety of topics, artistic presentations, lectures and guest interviews. Friday chapels are “Spiritual Formation,” featuring teaching on Christian spiritual disciplines and practice of those disciplines together in the Sanctuary.  See the Friday dates below to find out which disciplines will be addressed and what they encompass — work cited: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. [Click here to read Amazon info, and click here to view many pages online. This book is extremely heretical and extremely dangerous theologically. I can’t believe Malone University – which once held to a staunchly fundamentalist Wesleyan Holiness theology ala its predecessor Cleveland Bible College – is allowing this book to be endorsed and cited. Click here, here and here for discernment ministry exposes of the book and its author/compiler.]  Evening chapels include a variety of speakers and topics in a workshop format.

Malone Chapels are held Tuesdays (10:30-11:10 a.m.), Wednesdays (10:05-10:45 a.m.) and most Fridays (10:05-10:45 a.m.) in the Sanctuary of the Johnson Center for Worship and the Fine Arts. Evening chapels vary in time and location.

Chapels will begin Tuesday, January 15.

Tuesday, January 15, 10:30 a.m.: University Chaplain Randy Heckertsue nicholson

Wednesday, January 16, 10:05 a.m.:  Suzanne Nicholson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, “Who is Jesus?”

Friday, January 18, 10:05 a.m.: Pastor Stan Hinshaw, Lead Pastor of Canton First Friends Church, “Why do spiritual disciplines matter?” www.firstfriends.org/leadership/pastoral-team [With all due respect, many pastors in the Evangelical Friends denomination have been warned about the heresies and dangers of  Spiritual Formation/Contemplative Spirituality – yet they continue to spread these occultish practices. I believe God will someday judge them accordingly, if they do not repent. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (see Luke 12:47-48).]

Tuesday, January 22, 10:30 a.m.: Jeff Leon, Malone Life Coach, sharing the Gospel and kicking off the Signpost Series

Wednesday, January 23, 10:05 a.m.: Jeff Leon, Signpost Series

Friday, January 25, 10:05 a.m.: Celia King, Director of Service Learning; Discipline: TBA.

Tuesday, January 29, 10:30 a.m.: University Chaplain Randy Heckert

terry thomas Tuesday, January 29, 7-9 p.m. in Silk Auditorium (MH): Terry Thomas, Ph.D., Professor of Biblical Studies at Geneva College, “How to Read the Bible” workshop. Students should attend from 7-9 p.m. www.geneva.edu/object/faculty_terry_thomas

Wednesday, January 30, 10:05 a.m.: The Quaker Testimonies – understanding peace-making, simplicity, integrity and equality. www.esr.earlham.edu/support/comprehensive-case/the-vine/the-quaker-testimonies [Earlham is a school administered by the Friends United Meeting denomination. FUM is non-evangelical i.e. not born again. A close reading of this and other pages on their website will make this obvious.]

Friday, February 1, 10:05 a.m.: Director of Spiritual Formation Linda Leon; Discipline: Slowing – a spiritual discipline which helps us to savor the moment and curbs our addiction to busyness, hurry and workaholism.

Tuesday, February 5, 10:30 a.m.: Rev. Saleem Ghubril, Exec. Dir. of The Pittsburgh Promise,saleem ghubril “Loving and Serving Our Neighbor,” Signpost Series.   www.pittsburghpromise.org/about_staff.php

Wednesday, February 6, 10:05 a.m.: Rev. Saleem Ghubril, Signpost Series

Friday, February 8, 10:05 a.m.: Resident Directors Stacy Utecht and Mike Hansen; Discipline: Pilgrimage – walking while keenly aware of God’s presence.

Tuesday, February 12, 10:30 a.m.: University Chaplain Randy Heckert

Wednesday, February 13, 10:05 a.m.: Ash Wednesday Service (understand Ash Wednesday via www.christianity.about.com/od/holidaytips/qt/whatisashwednes.htm)

Friday, February 15, 10:05 a.m.: University Chaplain Randy Heckert; Discipline: Silence and Solitude – freeing oneself from addiction to noise and entering into time alone with God.

diana swoopeTuesday, February 19, 10:30 a.m.: Rev. Diana Swoope, Ph.D., Arlington Church of God, “Faith and Civility in Culture,” Signpost Series www.arlingtonchurch.org/content_about_us/swoope.htm

Wednesday, February 20, 10:05 a.m.: Singer and speaker Justin McRoberts, www.justinmcroberts.com

Friday, February 22, 10:05 a.m. Student Director of Spiritual Formation Avery Linn; Discipline: Fasting – to let go of an appetite in order to seek God on matters of deep concern for ourselves and others.bob book

Tuesday, February 26, 10:30 a.m.: Annual Senior Preacher chapel featuring Bob Book and James Talbert

Tuesday, February 26, 7-8 p.m. in JC Memorial Chapel: Tom Willett, musician, author and entertainment industry executive speaking on “Faith and Creativity,” Signpost Series. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Willett james talbert

Wednesday, February 27, 10:05 a.m.: Departmental Convocation (students attend convocation at various campus locations TBA)

Friday, March 1, 10:05 a.m.: Chapel Worship Coordinator Tim Longbrake; Discipline: Music – understanding music as a way to worship God.

No chapels this week – Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 12, 10:30 a.m.: University Chaplain Randy Heckert

Wednesday, March 13, 10:05 a.m.: Theological panel with guests Steve Moroney, Ph.D.,   Bryan Hollon, Ph.D.,  and Woolman Lecturer Eleanore Stump, Ph.D.

celia king Friday, March 15, 10:05 a.m.: Celia King, Director of Service Learning: Discipline: Writing as Soul Care – writing and reflecting on God’s presence and activity in, around and through me.

Tuesday, March 19, 10:30 a.m.: Annual Excellence Chapel, including staff/faculty awards

Tuesday, March 19, 7-8 p.m., JC Memorial Chapel: evening chapel with Spiritual Formation staff Tim Longbrake and Linda Leon

Wednesday, March 20, 10:05 a.m.: Faith and Expression – panel of guests representing literature, music, theatre and the visual arts; featuring poet and author Julia Kasdorf, Signpost Series. www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/362

No Friday chapel this week due to the Air Band setup in the JC Sanctuary.

Tuesday, March 26, 10:30 a.m.: Exploring Worship chapels focused on Passion Week. Student may choose from three JC locations (same options will be given today and tomorrow). Watch for more information to come.  (What is Passion Week?
See http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2007/03/FAQ-Christian-Holidays-During-Holy-Week.aspx).

Wednesday, March 27, 10:05 a.m.: Choose a different option from yesterday.

No Friday chapel this week due to Easter Break.eric hehman

Tuesday, April 2, 10:30 a.m.: Football head coach Eric Hehman, “Faith and Sport,” Signpost Series

Wednesday, April 3, 10:05 a.m.: Rev. Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor of Parkside Church, www.truthforlife.org

Friday, April 5, 10:05 a.m.: Director of Spiritual Formation Linda Leon; Discipline: Meditating on the Names of God – contemplating names and titles for God which express His character, presence and authority.

Tuesday, April 9, 10:30 a.m.: University Chaplain Randy Heckert

Wednesday, April 10, 10:05 a.m.: Alumni Career Chapel (students attend chapel at various campus locations TBA)

Friday, April 12, 10:05 a.m.: Resident Director Kat Gritter; Discipline: Prayer of Examen – to notice both God and our God-given desires throughout the day.

This will be the final Friday chapel of the semester.

jj heller Tuesday, April 16, 10:30 a.m.: Musician JJ Heller, www.jjheller.com

Tuesday, April 16, 7-8 p.m., Stewart Room (BCC): evening chapel with Spiritual Formation staff Tim Longbrake and Linda Leon

Final Chapel: Wednesday, April 17, 10:05 a.m.: Senior Chapel, an annual tradition organized by the senior class representatives

FOR FURTHER RESEARCH (Correspondence, etc.)

Clips of various Spring 2013 chapel sessions

Following is a list of contacts in Malone’s Spiritual Formation Dept.; click here for the original list.

Pastor Randy Heckert

University Chaplain
330.471.8280
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Randy

Pastor Randy Heckert

University Chaplain
330.471.8280
eurpxreg+znybar+rqh

linda

Linda Leon

Director of Spiritual Formation
330.471.8442
yyrba2+znybar+rqh

 Celia

Celia King

Director of Service-Learning
330.471.8632
pxvat+znybar+rqh

   Edee

Edee Putnam

Support Person
330.471.8441
rchganz+znybar+rqh

Jessica

Tim Longbrake

Graduate Assistant/Chapel Worship Coordinator                                       330.471.8493
tlongbrake@malone.edu

Jeff

Jeff Leon

Spiritual Formation Volunteer
330.327.5565
woyrba+znybar+rqh

tanya

Tanya Hershberger

Spiritual Formation Volunteer
330.588.8828
oygurefuoretre+znybar+rqh

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I came cross this excellent blog by Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries. Click here for the original source of this blog, which I am reposting below:

RICHARD FOSTER SAYS BIBLE RELIABLE GUIDE DESPITE “INCONSISTENCIES”

By on Apr 18, 2012 in AM Missives, Current Issues, Features, Richard Foster

Apprising Ministries has long been warning you about the danger of listening to neo-Gnostics like Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster.

For years now Foster, along with his his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, has been teaching corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) under the guise of so-called Spiritual Formation.

But what we’re actually dealing with is really a romanticized version of Roman Catholic Counter Reformation spirituality, which is itself essentially a neo-Gnosticism.

What it’s not, is evangelical Protestant Christianity; and worse, this highly subjective CSM is truly hostile to the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura. I’ll explain what I mean; first, in her piece Jesus The illuminated Illuminator today Christian Research Network contributor Marsha West is right when she says:

Contemporary Christianity is following “every wind of doctrine” in spite of the fact that Scripture warns about taking this route. Self-professed Christ followers no longer “endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Tim. 4:3). Regrettably, many believers have embraced neo-Gnosticism. (Online source)

No, that’s not pleasant to hear; unfortunately, the truth often isn’t easy to listen to. Is this the kind of thing a woman ought to say? It is at this critical time when men are apparently too busy going from conference to conference speaking to each other about nothing to notice the living room of the visible church is on fire.

Then via GotQuestions.org West correctly informs us:

Christian Gnosticism is the belief that one must have a “gnosis” (from Greek “Gnosko,” to know) or inner knowledge which is mystical knowledge obtained only after one has been properly initiated. Only a few can possess this mystical knowledge, limiting the number of those “in the know”. … As such it is as false and heretical as the Gnosticism of the first century and needs to be roundly condemned for the heresy that it is. (Online source)

We have a vivid example of this as more and more bow before the silly superstitions of Foster-Willardism. Prior to the promotion of this dubious duo through the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church this neo-Gnosticism was confined to the mainline denominations, which it helped to mortally wound.

Sadly, now we have a plethora of neo-Gnostic fools who, through their practice of CSM, have now convinced themselves they are the truly enlightened ones. So deluded, they truly do believe that they’re receiving special revelation from God while they use a form of meditation in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP).

Here’s a couple of examples of the fetid fruit of this CSM and CCP from Richard Foster himself. The first is from a 2005 piece in Quaker Life called The With God Life: An Interview with Richard Foster.  While hawking The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, which had just come out, the Quaker mystic tells us how the experience-oriented Quakers subjectively approach God “in the gathered silence.”

That’s CSM-speak for the practice of CCP. And while explaining this to us Foster also reveals that apparently he personally does not hold to the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture:

“The Immanuel Principle is ultimately cosmic,” according to Foster. “We are to reign with God and be with God forever and forever. In the past God worked first directly, then indirectly with his people. Since Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, God works both directly and indirectly. Quakers in the gathered silence experience God both directly and indirectly.”

I noticed that the focus on the with-God life circumnavigates inconsistencies found in Scripture and differing opinions about theology. By looking at how God revealed himself to people throughout Biblical history negates all those arguments. “You bypass it all,” stated Foster.

You put your focus on how God has been with a person and what does that say to me, now? What are their strengths and weaknesses and how does that apply to me? It’s all about developing charact — character [sic] that goes on into the future where we will reign with God and be with God eternally. (Online source, emphasis mine)

Did you catch that; you focus on how you subjectively think particular passages/verses of the Bible apply to you. However, the Bible isn’t about you. Then, according to Richard Foster, the infallible and inerrant Bible seems to have “inconsistencies” that his “with-God life” helps him to “circumnavigate.” Foster’s practice of CSM supposedly allows him to negate and then ”bypass” all the “differing opinions about theology.”

Why can they say that? Well, because he and his fellow neo-Gnostics like Dallas Willard would appear to have convinced themselves that they have gleaned superior direct gnosis (means knowledge) from God Himself through their practice of the so-called “spiritual disciplines” of CSM—most specifically the TM-lite of CCP.

Foster also informs us that:

Dallas Willard understands Quaker thinking about as well as anybody,” Foster acknowledged. “I had him do a study once on George Fox and his insights just blew me away.” (Online source)

If you didn’t know, George Fox is the heretical mystic who founded the original Quaker sect. Right in lock-step with classic mysticism, which believes God indwells all of mankind, Fox taught his myth as “the Inner Light.” I covered this foundational fable in great depth previously in Contemplating The Inner Light Of The Quakers.

Now we can consider Richard Foster’s teaching in the video below, which is a segment from GET A LIFE!: The With-God Life. In this clip Foster is talking about the “zoe-life [aka the supposed with-God life] that we receive from God” which “will accomplish its work; sustaining us, and moving us inevitably forward into Christlikeness.”

However, the “we” Foster is talking about here is not restricted to Christians; as a practicing Quaker, Foster is speaking of “the Inner Light”—which they teach is Christ—within all of mankind as he says:

This is a life! Powerful; irrepressible, self-sustaining, life—a with-God life. You see, this zoe is built into the very DNA of who we are as beings created in the image of God. It is an inward principle, and it will do its work. (:41-1:13)

Quite obviously, this would have to include all of mankind because each of us is created in the image of God. So what you’ll hear Foster teaching below ends up as classic Quaker doctrine, which is itself, right in line with Gnostic mysticism with its fantasy of “the divine spark” of God they believe is already within all of mankind.[1]

Since this isn’t the subject of this piece, here I’ll simply tell you that in John 14:6 Jesus explains to us that He is zoe. And the Bible teaches one receives the gift of zoe [aka eternal life] only by God’s grace alone; through faith alone, in Christ’s finished work on the Cross alone. In other words, by believing the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name.

Concerning our topic of Foster’s low view of Scripture, he spends some time talking about how supposedly this with-God life “flows from God through scripture and into the thirsty wasteland of the human soul.” Then at 7:09 into the video the Quaker mystic tells us “very specifically about the role of the Bible in all of this.”

First Foster sets up, and then knocks down, a couple of straw men; i.e. things those of us who adhere to sola Scriptura do not actually teach. Afterward Foster says:

Let me share with you what the Bible is. The Bible is a most reliable guide into this zoe life. You see, the Bible is God’s book; no one owns it, but God. And God has so superintended the writing of Scripture that it serves as a most reliable guide for our own spiritual formation. So you see, the purpose of the Bible is, as a most reliable guide into the zoe life that God intends for you and for me. (8:20-9:10)

Right in line with classic Quakerism, and in what he said above in the aforementioned interview, Quaker mystic Richard Foster has essentially told us that his experience in CSM will trump what the Bible says because it’s merely ”a most reliable guide.” You see, for these supposedly “enlightened” [read: deluded] neo-Gnostics, the Bible is merely a, and not the, most reliable guide in Christian spirituality, which is counter to sola Scriptura.

Today I sound the warning again: Those following people like Richard Foster had better wake up soon…

________________________________________________________________________________
End notes:

1. I refute this idea biblically in Understanding The New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind.

See also:

“CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE” BY RICHARD FOSTER AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THEOLOGICAL ERROR

IS DALLAS WILLARD A CHRISTIAN?

9 MARKS: INTERVARSITY PRESS SEEMS ADRIFT

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(revised 11/24/12)

I came across this excellent blog exposing the heresies of Quaker founder George Fox and contemplative Evangelical Friend Richard Foster.

Note – I have attempted to comply with the author’s copyright guidelines (listed at the bottom of this repost). I have gone through the repost and trimmed it down to excerpts, rather than reposting the entire blog. I found it  difficult to trim down – so much of the blog verifies what I have been writing about the Quakers, George Fox and Richard Foster in my other blogs. (In this repost I am hoping to add links to my pertinent blogs.) Thank you so much for your blog, Churchmouse Campanologist!

Following is my repost. Click here for the original site of this blog, in its entirety. I am emphasizing certain points in this repost by bolding in orange, and inserting comments [in orange with brackets].

Fuller Theological Seminary alums: Richard Foster

November 30, 2010

  Richard Foster is one of today’s leaders of spiritual formation.  Much has been written about the various forms of ‘Christian’ meditation, which have been sweeping America over the past several years.

From small acorns do mighty oaks grow.  Who would have imagined that a small non-profit started in 1988 and called Renovaré would have shaken so many Protestant denominations to their foundations?

Richard Foster is a Quaker — a member of the Religious Society of Friends [actually Foster was a member of the Evangelical Friends Church International denomination. Yet, he feels very comfortable associating with all nonchristian Quaker groups] — who put Renovaré and spiritual formation into play.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, and his Doctorate of Pastoral Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

George Fox’s spirituality

First, a word about George Fox and the Quakers.  If Fox were a young man today, he no doubt would have been a follower of Foster’s and an adherent of spiritual formation.  Fox lived between 1624 and 1691 — a tumultuous time in England.  When Fox came of age, Oliver Cromwell had beheaded Charles I,  then the Interregnum took place, the English Civil War followed and Charles II ushered in the Restoration in 1660.  To say that tensions were running high during Fox’s life would be an understatement.

Fox grew up with Puritan preachers.  As such, he was well versed in the King James Bible. But, like many Calvinist renegades throughout the past few centuries (e.g. Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) the absolute doctrines of Calvinism upset him, particularly predestination.

Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries took a closer look at Fox’s mindset.  He read A History of Christianity and discovered (quote below is from the book, emphases are Silva’s):

For four years he suffered severe spiritual depression induced by the spectacle of human suffering,…and by the doctrine of predestination which he heard expounded from Puritan pulpits. By temperament a mystic, he was eager for direct and unhindered access to God

Eventually (1647) the light broke. He came to feel Christ could speak to “his condition,”… He believed that God is love and truth and that it is possible for all men so to open their lives to Him… [Fox] would follow and have others follow the Inner Light” (Vol. II, p. 822, emphasis mine).

What this meant was that Fox ended up rejecting sola Scriptura.  Sound familiar?  And so it goes today in the emergent church and in an increasing number of evangelical churches.

Quaker belief

Quakers believe that this Inner Light is present in everyone.  You can even see that reflected in the comments on the forum on QuakerInfo.com.  They don’t quote a lot of Scripture verses but rely on more secular or generically spiritual sayings or poems.  Some meetinghouses are more politically than religiously oriented.  There also appear to be three strands of Quaker practice — including an evangelical one. [Actually there are more “strands” – following are three of the larger ones.] Forum participant John writes:

Some examples:

Liberal Quaker – non-Christ centered … generally politically liberal, theologically liberal. [They “believe” in Christ as Lord and Teacher.]

Evangelical Quaker – Christ centered … generally politically mixed, running from liberal to conservative, theologically conservative. [This has changed since Richard Foster came on the scene in the 1970s. Today I would describe the Evangelical Friends aka EFCI as theologically “progressive evangelical”/Emerging/Emergent, since the leadership refuses to stop promoting Foster and other contemplatives/Emergings/Emergents. Granted, Evangelical Quakers/Evangelical Friends still refer to Christ as Lord and Saviour – although I wonder how many Evangelical Friends today are truly born again.]

Conservative Quaker – Christ centered … politically liberal on some issues (i.e. peace and non-violence), and politically conservative on others (limited government), theologically very conservative. [Theologically conservative perhaps in their manner of dress, but they don’t profess to be born again. They – like the Liberal Quakers above –  “believe” in Christ as Lord and Teacher.]

‘Are Quakers Protestant?’

QuakerInfo.com tells us (emphases mine below):

It is quite clear from reading the works of early Friends that they did not identify with the Protestant movement. They considered the Protestant churches of their day, as well as the Roman Catholics, to be apostate. They felt that Protestants had lopped off some of the false branches of Catholicism, but did not challenge the root of apostasy. Insofar as Catholicism and Protestantism were different, early Friends would often in discourse on a topic point out what they felt were the incorrect views of Catholics and the separate incorrect views of the Protestants on the issue.

The early Friends considered themselves “primitive Christianity revived” – restoring true Christianity from the apostasy which started very early. They were not interested in reforming an existing church, but rather freshly expressing the truth of a Christianity before any institutional church took strong hold.

There were a number of differences early Friends had with Protestants of their day. Some of the key differences were:

    • The Protestants replaced the authority of the church with the authority of the Bible. Friends, while accepting the validity of the scriptures and believing in the importance of the faith community, gave first place to the Spirit of Christ. Pointing to the prologue of the Gospel of John, they viewed Christ, not the Bible, as the Word of God. The scripture was secondary, a declaration of the fountain rather than the fountain itself. (See also Friends (Quakers) and the Bible.)
    • The Protestants replaced liturgy with a sermon as the center of worship. Friends center worship in the divine presence. Even though Friends disdain outward liturgy, in some sense Quaker worship may be closer to Catholic than Protestant in nature. Both Catholics and Quakers believe in the actual presence of Christ in worship, for Catholics centered in the host and for Quakers spiritually. (See also Friends (Quaker) Worship.)
    • The Protestants were continually disturbed by an inner sense of guilt and original sin, and often felt they were choosing between sins. Quakers balanced the concept of original sin with the idea that redemption and regeneration could actually free humans from sin.

Today:

much of Society of Friends has become more mainstream and tends to identify with some of the movements among Protestants. At the same time, some of the key Quaker understandings have become increasingly accepted among many Protestants in the last century. The pentecostal and charismatic movements, which have become a very large part of the Protestantism and have also impacted Catholicism, have some similarities with the early Quaker movement.

Shades of universalism

Ken Silva read more about George Fox’s experience in ‘the well-respected Handbook Of Denominations In The United States (HoD) from Mead and Hill’ (emphases below are Silva’s):

After failing to find satisfactory truth and peace in the churches of his time, Fox discovered what he sought in a direct personal relationship with Christ:

“When all my hopes in [churches] were gone… I heard a voice which said, ‘That is the Inner Voice, or Inner Light, based upon the description of John 1:9: ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (KJV)’ ”

“This voice,” Fox maintained, “is available to all and has nothing to do with the ceremonies, rituals, or creeds over which Christians have fought. Every heart is God’s altar and shrine.” (140,141, emphasis mine).

Let’s be honest.  If you were to ask any number of people about a) having a direct personal relationship with Christ or b) if everyone is part divine or can come equally to God, you’d receive a surprisingly positive response to both.  The question then is — are these in accordance with the Bible?  No, they are not.

Silva warns us (emphases mine):

this false idea of an inner light, or a “divine spark,” is a very key issue to grasp before one can come to understand the root of the flawed semi-pelagian “gospel” preached by much of mainstream evangelicalism within which Foster has now become a major player. I cover this spiritually fatal idea of “a spark of the divine” allegedly inside all of mankind further in The Emergent “One” and Understanding the New Spirituality: God Indwells Mankind.

So in closing this for now I tell you in the Lord that this musing is actually classic Gnostic mysticism, which itself has already been condemned within the pages of the New Testament. Particularly in the Book of Colossians as well as in 1 John we find the Apostles dealing with Gnosticism. And again concerning all of this messed mysticism the Lord warns us through His chosen vessel Peter — In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up (2 Peter 2:3).

Foster’s Celebration of Discipline

Foster’s most notable work is his 1978 book, Celebration of Discipline, wherein he explores mystical and Quaker practices. Christianity Today named it as one of the top 10 of the 20th century.  Pastor Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel observes (emphases mine):

Celebration of Discipline alone, not even referencing Foster’s other writings and teachings and ministries, is a virtual encyclopedia of theological error. We would be hard pressed to find in one so-called evangelical volume such a composite of false teaching. These include faulty views on the subjective leading of God (pp. 10, 16-17, 18, 50, 95, 98, 108-109, 128, 139-140, 149-150, 162, 167, 182); approval of New Age teachers (see Thomas Merton below); occultic use of imagination (pp. 25-26, 40-43, 163, 198); open theism (p. 35); misunderstanding of the will of God in prayer (p. 37); promotion of visions, revelations and charismatic gifts (pp. 108, 165, 168-169, 171, 193); endorsement of rosary and prayer wheel use (p. 64); misunderstanding of the Old Testament Law for today (pp. 82, 87); mystical journaling (p. 108); embracing pop-psychology (pp. 113-120); promoting Roman Catholic practices such as use of “spiritual directors,” confession and penance (pp. 146-150, 156, 185); and affirming of aberrant charismatic practices (pp. 158-174, 198).

Gilley adds:

… the dust jacket of this edition assures us “that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found” … If spiritual growth is dependent upon the spiritual disciplines described in Foster’s book, should not we have expected to find this truth in the Scriptures? Why did God reveal them, not to the apostles but to apostate Roman Catholic mystics, and then to Richard Foster as he studied the mystics and used occultic techniques of meditation? We need to tread very carefully through this spiritual minefield. If this is in fact one of the ten best books of the twentieth century, I am not too anxious to read the other nine.

He concludes:

No one is calling for a purely intellectualized faith devoid of practice and experience. What those who draw their cue from Scripture and not mystics are calling for is a Christian faith, experience and practice that is rational, intellectual, makes sense, and most importantly is solidly grounded on the Word of God. Foster and company have taken many far afield in pursuit of mystical experiences that lead to a pseudo-Christianity that has the appearance of spirituality but not the substance.

Renovaré

The verb is Latin for ‘to renew’.  Since Foster founded this organisation in 1988, it has expanded around the world.

After the success of Celebration of Discipline, Foster received many public speaking invitations.  Audiences, particularly in the evangelical world, were highly receptive to the book’s subject matter and wished to know more.  In 1986, Foster withdrew from active ministry to pursue a means for teaching people how to live the disciplines the book explores.  He launched Renovaré two years later.

The non-profit organisation has taken on an ecumenical membership from a variety of Protestant denominations as well as from the Roman Catholic Church.  In fact, it is now headed by an Anglican Franciscan, Christopher Webb.  Foster remains a member of Renovaré’s board and its ministry team.

Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs and John MacArthur’s Grace to You Ministries shared his own impressions of Foster with Ken Silva (emphases mine):

I met Foster almost 25 years ago when we were both slated to teach seminars at a couple of writers’ conferences. At the time, he was teaching at Friends University in Wichita, which is a small college founded by Quakers and happens to be where my Mom got her degree in the early 1960s. So we had some things in common and spent quite a bit of time talking. He is a capable writer and a very likable person.

But in my opinion, he is not an evangelical. He does not seem to have any clear understanding of the gospel or the atonement. That’s why his emphasis is all about “spirituality” and “spiritual disciplines” and various things the worshiper must do, with virtually no emphasis on what Christ has done for sinners. I’ve read several of Foster’s books and have never even seen him mention the cross as a propitiation for sins.

Moreover, he blends all kinds of works-based approaches to spirituality, which he borrows from diverse “Christian” traditions and even from other religions’ mystical and superstitious practices. In my estimation, all of that puts him far outside the pale of orthodoxy. Although he occasionally makes quotable remarks and valid observations, he is by no means a trustworthy teacher.

Nonetheless, Foster’s disciplines are pervasive.

From Calvinists to the Nazarenes

Silva researched Foster’s effect on various churches and found that a new generation of Calvinists were on board.

In 2009, John Piper interviewed Matt Chandler of The Village Church, who gave Piper his impressions of being ‘a pastor, a Calvinist and a Complementarian’.  Silva found it ‘odd’ that

in a search for Richard Foster in the Recommended Books of The Village Church, “that have challenged and helped us as a staff in our faith and in our ministry work”, we find his books Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, and The Challenge of the Disciplined Life

And so I have to wonder: Why would a Calvinist pastor and his staff be recommending to anyone these books by a highly ecumenical Quaker mystic whose whole sorry shtick is reintroducing the unsuspecting to the apostate Sola Scriptura-denying and spurious spirituality of the Counter Reformation within the medieval Roman Catholic Church?

Mark Driscoll, controversial pastor of the Mars Hill Fellowship in Seattle, also advocates spiritual disciplines and contemplative practices.  Lighthouse Trails Research discovered (emphases mine):

In an article written by Driscoll himself, ironically titled Obedience, Driscoll tells readers to turn to Richard Foster and contemplative Gary Thomas. Driscoll states:

If you would like to study the spiritual disciplines in greater detail … helpful are Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster, and Sacred Pathways, by Gary Thomas.

And:

Presently, on Driscoll’s website, The Resurgence … is an article titled “How to Practice Meditative Prayer.” The article is written by an Acts 29 (Driscoll’s network of churches) pastor, Winfield Bevins. A nearly identical article on Driscoll’s site, also by Bevins, is titled Meditative Prayer: Filling the Mind. Both articles show a drawing of a human brain. In this latter article, Bevins recognizes contemplative mystic pioneer Richard Foster:

What do we mean by meditative prayer? Is there such a thing as Christian meditation? Isn’t meditation non-Christian? According to Richard Foster, “Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind. Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind” (Celebration of Discipline). Rather than emptying the mind we fill it with God’s word. [Foster is misleading here – his form of meditation is indeed emptying the mind since it’s derived from Eastern meditation, albeit using “Christian” methods. I’m sure neurological studies would show that Foster’s meditation produces altered states of consciousness with Alpha brain waves – as does occult Eastern meditation.] We must not neglect a vital part of our Judeo-Christian heritage simply because other traditions use a form of meditation.

Meanwhile, Manny Silva at Reformed Nazarene does an excellent job in exposing false teachers to members of the Church of the Nazarene.

On November 14, 2010, he blogged about the possibility of Nazarene youth groups being influenced by Renovaré.  He writes about two Christian youth ministries already working with young adult Nazarene members — Barefoot and YouthFront — which wish to partner with Renovaré (emphases mine)…

… the third part of this alliance is Renovare, an organization founded by Richard Foster, perhaps the most influential person today in leading many evangelicals directly to and over the cliffs, right into the abyss of spiritual formation (certainly a more palatable and innocent-sounding phrase than contemplative spirituality, or “Christianized transcendental meditation”, or maybe “occultic prayer practices.”  I have also documented much of Richard Foster’s unbiblical practices and ideology, and it is maddening that he has such an influence in a denomination that preaches holiness and faithfulness to God’s written word, and long ago ironically moved away from experiential-based spirituality in rejecting the hyper-charismatic movement.

[The last sentence above from my personal friend Manny best describes the denomination (particularly Ohio Yearly Meeting aka EFC-ER) prior to the 1970s. Foster started gaining an Evangelical Friends foothold in the early 1970s in Northwest Yearly Meeting, then got a deathgrip on the entire denomination in 1978 with his bestselling Celebration of Discipline. From 1978 on, the Evangelical Friends have gone downhill into contemplative and Emerging/Emergent teachings. Amazing, and tragic, how times have changed for the Evangelical Friends and other Evangelical denominations.

 Just a comment on Manny’s statement that the EFCI “long ago ironically moved away from experiential-based spirituality in rejecting the hyper-charismatic movement.” I don’t know about the other Regions/Yearly Meetings of the EFCI, but EFC-ER put out a statement in 1970 forbidding the open speaking of tongues during services. Ironically, today EFC-ER’s Malone University is becoming increasingly open to IHOP teachings. Again, a huge change from yesteryear. Interestingly, IHOP and other Third Wave Pentecostal groups incorporate Foster’s contemplative practices – as well as overlap with the Emerging/Emergent movements.]

Why Christians are unhappy

Manny Silva reminds Nazarenes what experimentation in religious practices can do not only to individuals but to a denomination as a whole (same link as above):

… we seem to be continuing down this road, making more and more alliances with organizations that have a veneer of truth. And so I ask again, since there is some truth there, does that make it okay to join with them?  Is there any more doubt as to where our denomination is heading, my friends?  Are we fooling ourselves and thinking that these are just minor aberrations in the whole scheme of things?

What does it say to you, then, that NTS, our main seminary for training pastors for the future, is clearly holding hands with these groups, and promoting them? Remember NTS’s promotion of the Spiritual Formation Retreat just before General Assembly?  Remember the Prayer Room at General Assembly with the Richard Foster book?  Or the Richard Foster/Renovare event at Point Loma Nazarene University? Or Trevecca Nazarene University’s prayer labyrinth? Remember the promotion of contemplative practices on the NTS website, for pre-teens?  …  Either our leadership is totally in the dark about these (and many more that I have not mentioned), or they know of it, and are saying nothing specific to the questions many have put to them.

Michael Horton is the J. Gresham Machen professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California (Escondido, California), host of the White Horse Inn, national radio broadcast, and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine.  In ‘What’s Wrong and Right about the Imitation of Christ’, he offers these observations of contemplative Christianity (emphases mine):

It would be a travesty simply to lump together medieval mysticism, the Anabaptist tradition, Quakers, Pietism, and Protestant liberalism. Nevertheless, there is a common thread running through these diverse movements-a theology of works-righteousness that emphasizes:

    • Christ’s example over his unique and sufficient achievement;
    • The inner experience and piety of believers [and nonbelievers] over the external work and Word of Christ;
    • Our moral transformation over the Spirit’s application of redemption;
    • Private soul formation over the public ministry of the means of grace.

… Let’s leave the final word to Martin Luther, as recorded in Tabletalk (emphases mine):

Yet all these seeming holy actions of devotion, which the wit and wisdom of man holds to be angelical sanctity, are nothing else but works of the flesh… 

Is the same true of our contemplative friends among the laity?  Please exercise caution in your Christian practices.  Is what you are doing in the Bible, particularly the New Testament? If not, avoid it. Rely not on Christian bookstores, errant pastors or sensation-seeking friends.  Instead, be Berean.

End of series

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Why is it that so many Christians today are turning to heretical Emerging/ Emergent teachings? And why is it that when they are confronted, they refuse to heed the Truth, instead hardening their hearts?

Years ago, I heard a pastor condemning occultish habits (such as watching movies like “Ghost” and “Field of Dreams”). Although I am a born again Christian, at that time I considered such movies as “entertainment” and “containing Christian themes.” I had watched “Ghost” recently, and “Field of Dreams” several nights before. After hearing the pastor, my eyes were opened, my heart was softened, I repented and immediately quit watching these New Ageish movies.

Yet, when Emerging/Emerging people are confronted concerning similar occultish practices (such as Spiritual Formation’s contemplative spirituality) they harden their hearts. I think this hardness results from a combination of deluding spirits, one’s sinful nature, etc. – and the fact that most Emerging/Emergents don’t really know the Lord as their Saviour.

I believe we are approaching the  Apostasy/Falling Away of the End Times. Consider this verse:

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (II Thess. 2:3)

Could this “falling away” be the postmodern (Emerging/Emergent/Emergence) movement? Apparently many think so – Googling [“apostasy” “falling away” “Emergent”] brought up many hits.

My Facebook Friend John Henderson provides some insights on these issues in an article which I have reposted below. Click here for the original source of John’s article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

When God Sends Deluding Spirits—The Mystery of Iniquity
by John Henderson on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 8:54am

I was asked why it is that so many people are fooled so easily in politics and religion.  Is there an answer as to why the man-on-the-street interviews by TV comedians reveal an amazing disconnect with reality?  I know they edit out sensible responses for effect, but they still have enough stupid stuff to produce a segment.

A traditional Wesleyan holiness Christian recently asked on Facebook for material to share with pastors who claim to be evangelical but are still toying with teachings of those who promote the emergent error.  This Christian man said they were “Emerging pastors who say things like: ‘We hold to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Yes, we quote McLaren, Sweet, etc. but there is a lot they say that we don’t agree with doctrinally.’”  His bewilderment is justifiable and my response was: “You might keep in mind that they are playing with semantics [they had claimed to be emerging rather than emergent]. There is no difference. They have learned to blend the lingo of biblical thought with their error so it sounds more gospel. They are just as much into it as anything. I think it is Proverbs that talks about taking fire into the bosom, etc. You still get burned.”

That reference is Proverbs 6:27-28.  It refers to committing adultery with a prostitute but is certainly applicable in this context.  After all, following anti-biblical error is spiritual adultery with the whore of heresy.

“Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”

It is not possible to believe some truth and some error and there still be truth.  Truth is not truth if it is diluted with false doctrine.  I would be more successful finding a good tomato sandwich in a garbage can than I would in finding truth slathered with error’s doctrines.

There is no doubt in my mind that we in the church, as well as in the entire world, have turned a sharp corner towards massive delusion.  It has always been in our midst but the winds of delusional aberrations have fanned the flames of error into an uncontrollable fire that is spreading faster than Hurricane Sandy spread flames that destroyed more than 100 homes on Staten Island in a matter of mere moments.

2 Timothy 3:13 – “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

1 Timothy 4:1-3 – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron….”

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 – “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

It is bad enough in politics when it is merely “secular” but far worse when people who should know better follow blindly after this delusion. It is a delusion that once was chosen under the influences of satanic allurements.  Now it is being sent by the hand of God to damn those who have chosen to be damned.  Their sin of delusion has spun out of their control and God now directs it to its ultimate destination.  In a real sense, they asked for it and they are now getting what they asked for but they are unable to control its consequences.  Thy made the choices and He delivers the results.

Hurricane Sandy provides other examples of this.  I think of two.  One woman who rode out the storm was almost taken away but barely survived.  She told a reporter that the reason she remained behind was that it wasn’t this bad last year.  Another woman tragically lost her two young sons, ripped right out her arms, because she waited too long to try to escape the storm.

Hurricane Katina had a tragic story as well.  A group decided to ride out the storm in some sort of club or bar on the beach in a partying spirit.  Searchers never found them and assumed they had been washed out to sea.

The “hurricane” of God’s judgment is on its way.  The Bible’s “meteorologists” (prophets) tell us plainly of its path and conditions.  As in Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” we are plainly told to flee from the City of Destruction—from the wrath soon to come.  A few pay attention and flee to the Cross but most ignore it, blindly presuming that somehow they will be alright in the end.  That may be the doctrine of a Rob Bell Universalist, but it is not the message of the Scriptures.  While the false teachers of emergent heresy smoothly lull souls into waiting for Hell, the storm stays on his track and gets closer by the moment.  It cannot be stopped, diverted, delayed, or explained away.  It can only be ignored to fatal peril.

The title of this article indicates that God is sending this delusion.  It has arrived at the point that God no longer just allows deception to present itself.  He pushes it along because He has been so completely ignored, misrepresented, and outright denied that He is turning His back on rebellious mankind and is turning loose of the restraints that have held it back.  False teachers wade about in the blowing gales and floods of demonic onslaughts saying that everything will be okay, that it is not as bad as it seems and has been reported.  And people believe them in astounding numbers.

The same Christian I mentioned above [at the beginning of this article] sent me a reply that should be shared here in part:

“I’m starting to view all Emerging/Emergents ‘through a new lense.’ Specifically, they ALL oppose Fundamentalism and the Fundamentals of 1910-1915. The new Nazarene book that [a discernment ministry] mentioned – Square Peg – seems representative of their almost violent opposition to Fundamentalism.”  He may have been referencing another comment about a student at a Nazarene university who had been disciplined for objecting to a professor’s orders to exclude references to “emergent” on the school’s website announcing an upcoming guest emergent/missional speaker at the university.  The student had objected on the grounds of its being disingenuous.

Proverbs 6:15 – “Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.”

Proverbs 29:1 – “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

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 PAGAN PRAYER BEADS AND PAGAN ROSARY BEADS
In recent years, a prayer tool called the “Pearls of Life” has become more common, particularly in the Emerging/Emergent Church movements. The Pearls of Life are an ecumenical Lutheran prayer beads/rosary. Unfortunately, the Pearls of Life (like every kind of prayer beads/rosaries) has occultic pagan origins and is used in an occultic contemplative way.

Before looking at prayer beads/rosaries in general, let’s look at the Pearls of Life. My first thoughts upon hearing about this were:

1) The Pearls of Life seem to be a Protestant version of the Catholic rosary (which is occultic and idolatrous). Many of the heresies of the Rosary will also be heresies of the Pearls of Life.

2) Both the Pearls of Life and the Catholic rosary involve ritual (which is occultic).

3) I assume the Pearls of Life, like the Catholic rosary, are viewed as a “means of grace.” They both involve salvation by works (people falsely believe they can get to Heaven by doing works).

Let’s look at the invention of the Pearls of Life. I found the following excerpt here. Note – throughout this blog, I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and inserting comments in [brackets].

“This site is about Pearls of Life – an ecumenical rosary from Sweden. For better description there is a basic book of Pearls of Life by Martin Lönnebo [if he is heretical, his invention the Pearls of Life will be heretical], which you can order from a Swedish Publishing company VERBUM.

Martin Lönnebo, Lutheran emeritus bishop in Sweden, was considering what could help us in praying, what a person needs when he/she is distressed, how the church could support young parents to pray with their children… And he made a conclusion that a rosary could be a practical device for these purposes, and also a help in spiritual training [perhaps he was thinking of Richard Foster’s occultic Spiritual Formation], which he finds even more important than physical or mental training.

He named the rosary “Frälsarkransen”, which means “The Wreath of Christ” (the name is in Norway and in Denmark “Kristuskransen”). He wanted to emphasise the meaning of silence in prayer. Praying is not only speaking in words, it is being in front of God, with empty hands, listening. Just being. Seeing and touching the beads ease to concentrate and remember the most important things in life…”

And following are excerpts providing more details, found here:

The “Pearls of Life” (in Swedish, they are known as frälsarkransen, which means “the lifebuoy”) were invented by Bishop Martin Lönnebo of the Church of Sweden [in 1996]… Bishop Martin had long been interested in the spirituality of the Eastern Church and fascinated by the mixture of formality and informality in Orthodox worship, with its candles and icons and prayer beads, and he set about designing what became a “prayer bracelet”. After trial and error, he finally decided on a set of eighteen beads in which he summarised the message of the Christian faith.

Bishop Martin wanted a tangible means of communicating that faith, and from his studies of eastern spirituality he knew something of the ways in which beads are used as aids to prayer in world religions. In Islam, a rope of 33 beads enables Muslims to focus their prayers on the 99 Beautiful Names of God. there are similar aids to Hindu and Buddhist devotion. In Western Christianity the Rosary holds pride of place. It has a whole literature devoted to it, mostly by Roman Catholic writers, but with significant contributions from Anglican writers such as Austin Farrer and from the Methodist Neville Ward. In the Eastern Church ropes of “prayer knots” are an aid for those who wish to fulfil St Paul’s injunction to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), running through the rhythms of the Jesus Prayer.

Martin Lönnebo’s “Pearls of Life” are very different from the Rosary. There is no single prescribed way of using them as there is for the Rosary. They are, Bishop Martin insists, “a lifebelt not fetters”. Those who have sufficient leisure can work their way in prayer round the bracelet. In other circumstances it may be more appropriate to focus on a single bead or group of beads. They aren’t only a way of praying. They can also be used as a framework for teaching. The beads can be linked to stages in the life of Jesus, as well as opening up Christian experience. In the Church of Sweden, and in North Germany, they are widely used as an aid to catechesis. Our partner diocese of Växjö (which is, incidentally, immediately south of Bishop Martin’s former diocese of Linköping) has used it for some years now as a basis for preparing young people for their confirmation. Their great advantage is that they are discreet, and they are portable. They can be carried in a handbag or a pocket or they can be worn, like any bracelet, on the wrist.

The “Pearls of Life” are a means of developing prayer, deepening faith and broadening understanding. Some who use them do so at the beginning or end of the day. Some find them a helpful framework for a prayerful reflection on the events of the day that has just passed. Others like to focus on particular beads on particular days (for example, the Resurrection pearl on a Sunday)…

So what is the problem with prayer beads/rosaries? The problem is, they are a contemplative aid. Thus all Christian-based prayer bead/rosaries are occultic. It doesn’t matter whether they are Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican or whatever – they all work the same way.

I found additional excerpts here, which describe the specific dangers of all prayer beads/rosaries.  (Although this article mainly discusses Tony Campolo, it also includes some very insightful info about prayer beads/rosaries):

To enter this “spiritual realm” [of Richard Foster’s contemplative prayer/contemplative spirituality] it is essential for the participant to empty the mind of all thoughts, as well as lay aside Biblical notions on sin, Jesus Christ, grace and salvation. There are a host of web sites aimed at Christians [there are more than 78,000 such sites on the topic]. Advocates suggest that instead of a “sacred word” you could use the Stations of the Cross as a labyrinth tool for prayer, or Anglican Prayer Beads. These prayer methods are closely akin to the Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Wheel [which can be purchased on line for $25 ~ free shipping]. Just think of it: For only $25 you can contact God!

All of these “methods” to be employed in our prayer lives are intended to make us feel good about God ~ any God. And if we feel good about him, he obviously feels good about us. An ELCA web site tells us: “When most people think of prayer beads the Roman Catholic Rosary is most likely to come to mind – or perhaps Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu Prayer beads. Eastern Orthodox prayer ropes or beads are also very popular. But, the use of prayer beads is increasing among people of many faith traditions,…”
 
Through contemplative prayer in its various forms and practices we readily find the connection between Catholics, Buddhists, Lutherans, Moslems, Episcopals, Hindus and Evangelicals.
 
The ELCA [Evangelical Lutheran Church of America] site goes on to say that the “use of prayer beads creates a rhythm that discourages distractions and focuses attention so that the one who prays can more readily move into God’s presence.”
 
The Bible-believer wants to know: Where is the God of the Bible in all this? Is He equally present in all religions, able to be contacted by Moslems and Buddhists in the same way that a Christian comes to know Him through Jesus Christ? And what about Jesus? Did He need to die? Why, if God can be contacted using a method, what did Jesus’ death do for us?…

See also this detailed Wikipedia article, describing the occultic, contemplative use of prayer beads/rosaries in a number of world religions.

The book Praying with Beads by Nan Lewis Doerr and Virginia Stem Owens (pp. vii-ix) also discuss the pagan history of prayer beads/rosaries. Click here to read online.

FOR FURTHER READING

Heresies of the Catholic rosary

Detailed Catholic article explaining and endorsing the Catholic rosary

Wikipedia article on the Catholic rosary

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