For those who are following the sad saga of this Living Spiritual Teachers Project I now share what I have currently from my personal dialogue with Lynda Graybeal who is “Personal Assistant to Richard Foster” at Renovare.

I have made her aware that from the April 8, 2006 newsletter from Lighthouse Trails Research, as well as from personal contact with Deborah Dombrowski, I have been informed “you personally are aware that Foster’s name may be removed if he so desires. My question to you is: Why is it still there on the LSTP website? If I were to know that mine was there for instance I would immediately demand that they remove it post haste.”

I then let her know that “I write as one who has been called by Christ as a pastor-teacher in His Church and therefore I must politely remind you that right now Richard, who also claims to be one sent by Christ to teach is currently in violation of the Bible. As you know the Scriptures clearly tells the Christian in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 that they are not to be yoked to unbelievers by religious association with them. Whether Richard wanted to be or not would not even be an issue, the fact that he is now publicly associated with this LSTP places him in violation of God’s Word and thereby sets a bad example before the Church if he remains listed there.”

In my letter I also told her I was working on a followup post hopefully for later in the day (4/25/2006) and made the point that while we might not see eye to eye on exactly who would be classified as unbelievers or heretics among those on that list who profess to be Christian, “undoubtedly evangelical Christians must consider Ram Dass and Thich Nhat Hanh as unbelievers.” I also made the following offer in good faith before the Lord:

I will be glad to make public whatever statement may be forthcoming from you on this matter, but the evangelical community does have the right to know where Richard Foster, who ministers to that community, stands regarding this unfortunate worldwide listing among enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ on the LSTP website. I thank you for your time and consideration in this extremely important matter.

For Christ’s Honor,

Pastor Ken Silva
Apprising Ministries

Lynda Graybeal’s reply informed me that she didn’t feel she could answer me on such short notice because she would have to consult with Richard himself who was unavailable yesterday. Unfortunately from Greybeal’s response she seemed confused by what she perceived on my part as very short notice in wanting an answer to the question about why Foster’s name is still on the website for the Living Spiritual Teachers Project here even today.

It struck me rather odd when she said that I should have contacted Richard Foster within a longer time frame than a couple of hours before I would have been writing on this issue. But the information I have currently from both Mary Ann Brussat of the LSTP and Deborah Dombrowski of Lighthouse Trails clearly indicates Graybeal was informed of Foster’s name being listed on that Site at least as early as March 28, 2006. While I have no reason to doubt that Graybeal could not reach Foster yesterday it would seem that since nearly a month has gone by surely a “Personal Assistant to Richard Foster” could have spoken with him about such an important issue by now.

I have tried reaching her again but as of this post I have yet to receive any statement from Foster, Graybeal or Renovare. So for now I am waiting for an official response to the following two questions that the evangelical community has a right to have answers to:

1) Did Richard Foster contact the Living Spiritual Teachers Project to become one of them? And 2) Now that Richard knows he is “yoked” with them in violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is he going to have his name removed?

Emergent Church Guru Brian Mclaren who is friends with Richard Foster brings out an important fact in his earlier statement in Christianity Today where he says Foster, along with his friend Dallas Willard, “with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines,” are also “key mentors for the emerging church” along with Guru McLaren. This means that Foster does minister to the evangelical community as a “key” mentor in the Emergent Church, so he needs to be called to account as to what he plans to do about being unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).

As a matter of fact in The Purpose Driven Church (PDC) none other than Rick Warren himself names Richard Foster among the people he considers as important leaders in what Warren called “Five Major Parachurch Movements” within the evangelical church. Under The Discipleship/Spiritual Formations Movement in PDC we read:

A reemphasis on developing believers to full maturity has been the focus of this movement. Organizations such as Navigators, Worldwide Discipleship, and Campus Crucade for Christ, and authors such as Waylon Moore, Gary Kuhne, Gene Getz, Richard Foster, and Dallas Willard have underscored the importance of building up Christians and establishing personal spiritual disciplines (126, emphasis mine).

And what the reader needs to understand is whether being included in the LSTP was intentional on Foster’s part of not, whether Graybeal made him aware of this when Deborah Dombrowski informed her or not, isn’t the issue. I cast no aspersions concerning either Foster or Graybeal in this regard; whatever they did or didn’t do is between them and Christ. However clearly something must now be done about Foster’s inclusion among spiritual teachers who overtly and out rightly deny the Lord Jesus Christ that Foster claims he serves.