(451) EMERGING TRENDS IN THE CHURCH TODAY: DR. DAVID JEREMIAH – CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE PROMOTES NEW AGE
DR. DAVID JEREMIAH ADMITS CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE PROMOTES NEW AGE
For years now, Lighthouse Trails (Research Project) has done extensive research and has provided articles and books on these topics for Christians to learn about these issues. One author in particular, RICHARD FOSTER, and his bestselling book from 1978, CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE (COD) has been instrumental in introducing Evangelical and Protestant Christianity to contemplative practices that follow similar practices found in Eastern Mysticism and also associated with what was commonly called New Age practices.
For years, they have also attempted to warn the body of Christ and to discuss these issues with leading Christians in ministries ranging from authors, pastors, television and radio programs. One example is DAVID JEREMIAH. Years ago, Jeremiah authored a book on the New Age – so it was ironic that he would continually refer to contemplative authors, books, resources commonly associated with the New Age. Before you cringe, keep in mind, many or these resources fall under the description of “Christian” or “Roman Catholic” and they include people ranging from early church saints and monks to popular contemporary authors.
In Foster’s first edition of COD, he stated that “we should ALL without shame enroll in the school of CONTEMPLATIVE prayer.” Lighthosue Trails Research Journal (Volume 5-No.1 January/February 2017) states:
Since then, and largely because of the influence of that book, contemplative spirituality has saturated the church in no small way, and many Christians have truly “enroll[ed] in the school of contemplative prayer.” Through our research, we have determined that over ninety percent of the Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities (the places our future pastors are trained at) have, to one degree or always used textbooks either by Foster or ones that point to him).
They go on to say that a copy of COD sits on the bookshelves of most Christian pastors and leaders today.
Many Christian leaders acknowledge that there are issues to be concerned about, many have stopped short of agreeing that this is a problem. This is despite the fact that many reputable apologetic groups have written about these concerns and problems associated with combining biblical practices with practices from other religions.
=> Fortunately, today we can finally say that DAVID JEREMIAH has now stated (in print) that Richard Foster’s COD promotes New Age spirituality.
From the same LHT Newsletter, Here are Jeremiah’s own words from his book, The New Spirituality in the chapter titled “New Age Influence in the Church” (subtitled: In this lesson we see how the New Age movement is changing the church):
Sometimes false doctrine—and in the case of this present study, New Age ideology—gets into the church from within, and sometimes from without the body. Once it infects the church it can spread like an infection. . . .
DR. NORMAN GEISLER, Christian apologist, was attending one of the most respected, and largest Baptist churches in the country. He was astounded to hear the huge choir singing a song whose lyrics included:
“I [meaning God] am the grass you walk in, I am the air you breathe, I am the water you swim in.” That is pure PANTHEISM. God is not the grass, nor the air, nor the water.
Those are all elements He created, and He is totally distinct from them. It is shocking that someone in the leadership either didn’t have the discernment to recognize what the lyrics were saying [or] was too busy with musical things to notice. llBut that’s how New Age influence enters the church—when no one is watching.
Dr. Geisler has also made some notes on the contents of one of the best-selling Christian books of our day, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Geisler noted some 15 different places in the book where NEW AGE and MIDDLE EASTERN New Age and Eastern practices were recommended for Christians—things such as Transcendental Meditation, turning from “manyness” to “oneness,” meditating on the void (nothing), and others.
David Jeremiah acknowledges that once New Age ideology “infects the church it can spread like an infection.” And surely, we have seen this take place.
LHT states that – perhaps not too many pastors and leaders read David Jeremiah’s book, The New Spirituality. Perhaps they have no idea what David Jeremiah (and Norm Geisler) think about Richard Foster’s book. If you have a pastor, and you think he might have a copy of Celebration of Discipline in his pastor’s library (and he might even be quoting from it from the pulpit), you might consider printing this article and giving him a copy. Tell him, this time it isn’t Lighthouse Trails saying it but rather is a leader whom they most likely respect saying it.
This is GOOD NEWS! Even though it has been a long time coming, hopefully this is another step in influencing Christians based on biblical discernment and discipleship and not on what is popular or what someone’s friend is reading. False teaching coming into the church from within and through the back door can be the most subtle, least noticed but most dangerous. Criticism of these teachings can make one look overly critical but the real issue has to do with understanding God’s view – and the best way to do this is to open up your Bible.