Apprising Ministries is doing all that can be done to try and alert the Body of Christ to growing apostasy within the Southern Baptist Convention. Unfortunately it’s also the nature of the “game” that most will not listen, and especially not the postliberal leadership and the vipers in the Emerging Church who have been busy slithering back in after their divisive predecessors in the original Cult of Liberal Theology were once moved out years ago.

This morning I noticed in my reports a piece from the blog Said at New Orleans Seminary: Thought and Ongoings at New Orleans Seminary (SaNO). What initially caught my attention was the condescending title Is the SBC under the influence of new-age mysticism? This piece at SaNO concerns a current series I am doing exposing the proliferation of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) now crippling the Slowly Becoming Catholic. SaNO’s post specifically references my articles Contemplative Mysticism in the Southern Baptist Convention?, Something Not Right with Southern Baptist Convention Crossover ’08, and Something Not Right with Southern Baptist Convention Crossover ’08 (Part Two).

Perhaps the idea was to brand me some kind of kook with the use of the rather hyperbolic descriptor “New Age” in front of mysticism. Maybe in this way the average reader might now likely be predisposed to just ignore anything I might say in the pieces linked within the SaNO post. However, you’ll search high and low within my pieces above but you’ll not find me refer to the CSM I speak of in relation to the SBC as New Age theology.

This is because I know that the actual roots of this reimagined Gnostic neo-paganism of CEM actually goes all the way back to Satan’s boast in Isaiah 14:14 — “I will make myself like the Most High.” And this would be just a couple of years prior to the theology of the New Age now wouldn’t it. In the About Me section at SaNO we’re told it’s written by “Joshua Stewart and Matt Flummer.” The piece in question just says, “Posted by Said at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary” so until he responded to a comment I left I didn’t know who the “I” was below that finds “the accusations of CSM infecting SBC life are out of line.”

It turns out in was Matt who tells SaNo readers that over at AM I have been writing “about the dangerous affect of contemplative spirituality/mysticism (CSM) in the SBC.” Matt also accurately quotes me informing my own readers that Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary—an SBC seminary—used the book Celebration of Discipline (CoD) by Quaker Guru Richard Foster in at least one of their spiritual formation courses:

And I have good reason to wonder because for a couple of years now I have been trying to alert the slumbering Slowly Becoming Catholic to the growing hiss of CSM spreading as a spiritual cancer within it under the umbrella of “spiritual formation.” Space only allows just a couple of quick examples. From my piece “SBC Embraces Emergent Church and Contemplative Spirituality” I showed you that the SBC’s Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, “today considered a vital growing force in Southern Baptist missionary and ministry efforts,” featured the course “P1115 Spiritual Formation” taught by Dr. Faith Kim. Checking the syllabus we saw that one of the primary textbooks used by Dr. Kim was Celebration of Discipline by “Living Spiritual Teacher” Richard Foster.

By the way, I discuss this a bit more in Living Spiritual Teachers And Richard Foster but the title Living Spiritual Teacher is not one which I bestowed upon Yogi Foster. This mystic moniker actually comes from Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat and their Living Spiritual Teachers Project where Foster is listed among such spurious spiritual luminaries as e.g. Deepak Chopra, Dali Lama, Ram Dass, Matthew Fox and Marianne Williamson. Yes, quite the Christian message Foster must have to have made peace with this wacked world of myopic mystics.

Then Matt goes on to make the following rather candid admission, albeit a bit sardonically:

I guess I’m not able to judge though because I’m infected with CSM personally because we [at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary] used Foster’s book as our textbook in the first Spiritual Formation class that I took. (Online source, emphasis mine)

First of all, I very much appreciate Matt telling us that New Orleans Seminary is also promulgating The Cult of Guru Richard Foster. You see, it’s quite helpful to know that this seminary has also used the Quaker Swami’s CoD in one of their own courses on so-called “spiritual formation.” The reason for this being that New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

was founded in 1917 by an act of the Southern Baptist Convention at their annual meeting that year in New Orleans. Originally named “Baptist Bible Institute,” New Orleans Seminary was the first theological institution to be created by direct action of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was originally created as an undergraduate institution modeled after Moody Bible Institute. Gradually, the school began to move toward graduate level training, and in 1946 the Convention renamed the institution “New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.” (Online source)

This means that now we have even further corroboration of Roshi Richard Foster—perhaps the most notorious transmitter of the corrupt CSM so hostile to the teachings of the Protestant Reformers—being used at yet another SBC seminary within this evangelical, but apparently non-Protesting, “Protestant” denomination. Next Matt shares more enlightening information with us:

For those of you who don’t know, Spiritual Formation is a required course in everyone’s first two semesters of seminary. It is a proven fact that many students in seminary get so wrapped up in their coursework and ministries that their personal spiritual lives suffer. In order to help students overcome this situation, seminaries offer these types of classes in order to teach the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life, such as prayer, fasting and Bible study.

It is also a great time to meet with a group of people for discipleship and personal accountibility. After going through two spiritual formation classes in my first year of seminary, I find that the accusations of CSM infecting SBC life are out of line. I guess I’m not able to judge though because I’m infected with CSM personally because we used Foster’s book as our textbook in the first Spiritual Formation class that I took. Any of you other seminary students infected? Check out the rest of the blog and let me know if they have any grounds for concern over the CSM in the SBC. (ibid)

As a former high school head football coach I can vouch for how busy students can be with their course loads as well as the subsequent affect it has on their concentration; and as in the case above, on “their personal spiritual lives.” I would also certainly encourage teaching students about critically important—and oft-neglected—aspects of the historic orthodox Christian faith “such as prayer, fasting and Bible study.” But as I asked in my comment at SaNO: Why do we need to turn to a Quaker mystic for spiritual formation which is in direct counterpoint to the Reformation?

And the following answer from Matt Flummer, a student at the SBC’s New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, reveals much concerning the egregious effects of CSM in the Soiled By Compromise:

I think we turn to a Quaker mystic because the SBC has forgotten what the spiritual disciplines are all about. The Bible mentions fasting and meditation. Do you know how many times I’ve heard someone teach about either one of these disciplines? Zero. There are many reasons for this. I don’t think that we hear much about fasting because we have made an idol out of food. I think that we’re afraid to even mention meditation (even though the Psalms are full of references to meditation) because it brings to mind pictures of Hindus and Buddhists. (ibid.)

This isn’t the place to unpack all of this because the point I am making is that under no circumstances should an evangelical Protestant Southern Baptist seminary ever turn to a teacher of counterfeit Christianity and attempt to pass it off as orthodox theology—period. Especially not one like Guru Richard Foster and his celebration of dubious disciplines, which are nothing more than the return to the religious bondage of apostate Roman Catholicism. Have they not read — Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? (Galatians 3:3)

And as far as Foster’s travesty of a book, Celebration of Discipline, Dr. Gary Gilley is dead on target when he informs us:

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).
(Online source)

Really; this is the best that SBC seminaries can do to teach your young about prayer, fasting and Bible study? Richard Foster; a man whose discernment is so far out there that we can’t gt a radar fix while he teaches that the mystic monk Thomas Merton “tried to awaken God’s people.” The question we need to ask Sensei Foster is: Awaken them to what? Men and women, for more on who Merton was I refer you to Do You Know Where Your Mystic Teaching Comes From: Thomas Merton.

But you should know that by the time Merton was killed he had virtually become a Buddhist himself and you can read his blasphemy for yourself in Thomas Merton and the Buddhas. And the type of meditation taught by fools like Foster was unknown to orthodox Judaism, there is zero evidence that Jesus Himself ever practiced it, and we have no record of this kind of mystic meditation in the teachings of the Apostles in the New Testament.

So I say we do seminary students like Matt Flummer a favor; if their course loads are already heavy, then let’s not waste anymore of their precious time with Foster’s fictitious flights of fancy. In my article Tozer and Spurgeon: Men of God Toll On Rob Bell I said Charles Spurgeon was a man of God who stood so tall against that original cult of liberal theology in the Downgrade Controversy in stark contrast to the gelatinous jokers passing for leadership within evanjellyfish during this New Downgrade No-Controversy. But alas it appears that the Southern Baptist Convention, although paying lip service to desiring proper doctrine, has nary a Spurgeon on its increasingly hazy horizon.