Remembering the enticing appeal of Richard Foster and Beth Moore’s Be Still film

Lighthouse Trails does not want us to forget how certain esteemed Christian leaders introduced the evangelical community to contemplative prayer (CP), also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation and listening prayer.  Why is this important to remember?  For the reason that CP is steeped in Roman Catholic mysticism and is highly unbiblical. Yet Christian celebs such as Richard Foster and Beth Moore urge their followers to adopt a dangerous practice that takes the practitioner into an altered state of consciousness. In this piece, Lighthouse Trails reveals the names of several other wolves in sheep’s clothing and provides reasons we must flee from these people:

be-still-dvdIn 2006, a DVD film was released by Fox Entertainment called Be Still. Lighthouse Trails wrote extensively about it at the time, warning our readers that the DVD was an infomercial for contemplative prayer. Recently, a caller who very much understood the deceptive dynamics of the contemplative prayer (i.e., Spiritual Formation) movement, reminded us about the film, and we e-mailed her a copy of all the transcripts (we had transcribed the entire film in 2006). The film includes Richard Foster, Buddhist-sympathizer Catholic convert Peter Kreeft, Dallas Willard, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Michelle McKinney Hammon, Max Lucado, and Calvin Miller. You can read some of our previous coverage here.

You can be sure that in the last 10 years since Be Still was released, the contemplative prayer movement has grown by leaps and bounds, and we have no doubt that this film has had a lot to do with this spread.

Below we have posted portions of the transcript from three of the segments (there were six altogether) of the Be Still film. You may need to read between the lines to understand the message that is being promoted because the film was  a seductive and enticing infomercial to draw people into the practice of contemplative prayer without coming right out and saying what contemplative prayer really entails. (After all, viewers could get specific instructions later by reading the writings of these people in the film). For those not familiar with the contemplative prayer movement, it may be a good idea to read this article by Lynn Pratt, “So You Want to Practice Contemplative Prayer? What’s Wrong With That?”

Within these quotes, the italicized words are added by LT for emphasis.

“Contemplative Prayer: The Divine Romance Between God and Man”

Narrator:

We live in  frenzied chaotic world under a constant siege of business and noise. The weapons of mass distraction are everywhere. We are bombarded by millions of advertisements daily. The Christian community is not exempt. We were designed to experience fullness of joy, yet many only experience fullness of schedule. Where can we go to find rest and peace?

Be still and know that I am God. We find peace in God’s presence. We get to know God better through prayer. Prayer is relationship and two-way communication with God. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. But how can we experience abundance if we don’t learn to slow down? We need to stop and quiet ourselves to spend time in real relationship with God.

Contemplation is different from other types of Christian prayer. Contemplative prayer involves less telling God what we want to happen in our lives and more listening for God’s call to us in our heart through Scripture. As we develop the inward attentiveness to God’s divine whisper, we begin to experience His presence more throughout the day.

“What is Contemplative Prayer?”

 Richard Foster, author “Prayer”:

Contemplative prayer is listening prayer. It is attentiveness. You know how our children will talk with us and sometimes we wish that they would just listen to us. Now, that’s what contemplative prayer is. It’s being all ears to what the Father has to say to us.

[French Catholic mystic] Nicholas Grou said, “O Divine Master, teach me this mute language which says so much.” That’s the idea. It’s very simple, isn’t it? That we become attentive to God. God’s interested in us, what we have to say. We learn to become interested  in what God has to say to us.

Priscilla Shirer, author of “He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear the Voice of Go”:

Most of my prayer time is filled up with what I’m saying to Him, as opposed to just being quiet and actually giving him an opportunity to speak to me. And of course I’ve thought about hearing the voice of God all my life, and I’ve thought about wanting to hear Him, but it never occurred to me that I needed to consciously go into His presence with my mouth closed, giving Him an opportunity to get a word in edgewise.  And so I’ve just begun in my prayer life over the past year of my life to make a conscious effort to be in a time of prayer, and yes, to speak to Him, but to consciously say, okay, I’m done talking now, because I’m just gonna sit here in the stillness and wait to see what it is that you want to say to me.

Continue reading

See our White Papers on Contemplative PrayerSpiritual Formation and Roman Catholicism, plus there are many other topics of interest on the right side of the page.

 

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9 Responses to Remembering the enticing appeal of Richard Foster and Beth Moore’s Be Still film

  1. Barbara wilhelm November 22, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Cannot access remainder of article and this topic is highly critical to me at the moment. Can you send entire article to me please.

  2. Manny1962 November 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Centering, contemplative prayer, formation, the void………. Anyone familiar with Eastern religions will know these terms. Pagan. As for Roman Catholic Mysticism it’s origins were Eastern influenced, and mystics like Merton further disseminated the practice into the ever pagan RCC.

    Read Isaiah 2:6………. Though it applies to Jews originally, it’s applicable today. How many practice Kabbalah, and pass it as acceptable?

    Isaiah 2:6…….

    “You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs.”

  3. A.L. November 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    I suppose if we are not satisfied with scripture and do not believe it is enough we will do this. I am praying for love of the word like David. Unbelief is very sneaky and creeps in without notice often

  4. David November 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    You will not hear these warnings within the church system, and those who have warned have been ostracized and accused of causing division. Further, they mock those of us who research and study apologetics/discernment via the internet. They believe the internet is more dangerous than their own church system. Yes, there are dangers and much discernment is necessary which is why we need to be led by the Holy Spirit and NOT by the traditions of men. It is getting very difficult to reach many of these brothers and sisters in the Lord. Example, they will share what they are currently reading not even realizing that it is complete false teaching and apostasy. When you point it out to them, they no longer want to have anything to do with you. And when you kindly suggest that they do their homework (to see for themselves) given all the information that is at our fingertips, they refuse to take the time to search the truth out. Even when I print out the info substantiating the false teaching, they still reject it. There have been times that I have had to remind myself that it is not me they are rejecting BUT it is truth that is being rejected. There are many with itching ears waiting to be tickled.

    • Manny1962 November 22, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

      All you can do is warn, at the end of the day there’s so much deception and so many itching ears that nothing short of The Lord’s intervention will change the hearts of many. Remember, there will be great deception that even the elect will not stand with out The Lord. Look at Churchianity today, it is plagued by all the things the Bible says will happen before the end. Truly great is the apostasy.

    • Maggie November 23, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

      David, I could have written your words. When the church leadership has already approved of these practices because of validation by prominent celebrity Christians like Beth Moore, Max Lucado, etc., it’s very hard to point out what is wrong to individuals in the congregation. I have had the conviction and passion to speak out (and been vilified for it), but it was disheartening when no one would stand with me, even if that person agreed with me. I see a lot of reasons for people to look the other way and allow this leaven to come into the church.

      • Kelly December 1, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

        Take heart, you are not alone. There are thousands of us who are speaking out like you are. Quite frankly, it is easy to be discouraged and “pull an Elijah” as I like to call it. “Pulling an Elijah” is being discouraged and feeling very isolated. One of the greatest gifts God gives at those times is the knowledge that there is a remnant that we don’t even know exists. God always keeps, loves and fosters His remnant.

  5. noel rochford November 23, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    To Maggie.My sentiments exactly. From an AUSSIE bro who has been trying to speak out about CHISMS / DIVISIONS in the CHURCH for 3 decades+ . You are bought into a fellowship with great JOY and ZEAL by the congregation after REPENTANCE in WATER BAPTISM expected to recieve the HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM of FIRE / POWER which starts a journey of personal GROWTH with CHRISTthe risenYESOUAH hebrew JESUS greek. now a ???? or 2. Who is the MESSIAH written and prophesised that would come according to PROPHECY.. I read EMMANUEL in old test / which means GOD IS WITH US. Even JHON said I AM NOT THE ONE he that comes after me he is the ONE who will BAPTIZE YOU. With FIRE / POWER. I believe many young converts endeavour to walk on in his POWER that IS CHRIST IN YOU being the WITTNESS. acts stating YE SHALL BE WITTNESSES NOW untill>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>OUR TIME or disspensation of the GOSPEL given to us to minister to this AGE. In 1cor11/1 anplified vsn. PATTERN YOURSELVES after me\ follow my example / as i immitate and follow CHRIST THE MESSIAH., No wonder SAUL/ now PAUL said this after all it was CHRIST that visited him on the ROAD there. May be the others with PAUL should of got a personal TOUCH too so that when he ended up in a ROMAN PRISON he would of had some companyTHERE. The scripture says that only ! man came to him to see and minester to him FOR ALL OF ASIA HAD LEFT HIM. Why did this happen to him ? is this likened to mt 24 EVEN THE VERY ELECT COULD BE DECIEVED unless he CHRIST shortens it cuts it short by AMPUTATION in concordance .We the BELIEVER must endure for he CHRIST is coming back for the OVERCOMER not the OVERCOMED a big difference. Please check out 1cor11 and see how SHORT we fall in not discerning THE LORDS BODY . The point i make here as a was stated in this blog jesus/ jesus fixes it all in a word. NO its the example CHRIST / MESSIAH rose to sit with his FATHER to take back his position as a SON. To make many HEIRS. SONS / DAUGHTERS. read 2 cor6 it may be a comfort to you and others it tells and shows us how to seperate from contaminating errors and stand in and with the FATHER in HEAVEN not the father of this world / which is passing away as we WATCH, SELAH. IN this world but not of IT. p .t . l.

  6. Kelly December 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    Imagine my surprise as a woman who was a heavy New Age practitioner before being saved! Surprise would be an understatement. I was shocked to see professing Christians eating up very basic New Age beliefs and practices in the guise of the contemplated prayer movement. The heresy is so prevalent it doesn’t have to be subtle any more. The only thing that doesn’t drive me into despair is the knowledge of how many women with similar backgrounds as myself are now Christians with a hair trigger warning system concerning heresy invading the Church. It’s not an easy task to stand against the tidal waves of thoroughly heretical teaching, but perhaps we were made for a time such as this. 🙂

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