New Age


Doug Hardy

Dr. Douglas Hardy, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Nazarene Theological Seminary.

Please take time to listen to the audio at the end of this article. The audio will be one of Mr. Hardy teaching at Oxford Church of the Nazarene. “Spiritual Formation”

Ge 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die Ge 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Does “Spiritual Formation” Line up with God’s Word?

Spiritual Formation is common in our churches now. What exactly is it? The definition can vary from church to church. From research, I believe it is meant to push people to have a deeper spiritual life while emphasizing holiness. This in itself is not a bad goal. The problem is that it takes its direction from unholy roots. Some would claim that the roots lie in Wesleyan theology, but I could not find this. Holiness, yes.  Labyrinths, prayer beads, breathing exercises, cannot be found with Wesley, but rather in Catholicism and eastern religions. Spiritual formation contains many good attributes, such as self-examination and encouraging the practice of prayer and holiness. But where it strays and becomes a snare is when it entangles ancient heathen practices and ritualism in its teachings. In Jeremiah 10:2, Israel is commanded,” Learn not the way of the heathen…”and v.3 says, “For the customs of the people are vain…” By adding traditions that are used primarily in unholy religions, the will and work of the Holy Ghost is not aided. The Holy Spirit will always lead you plainly and clearly to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fruits of the teaching of “Spiritual Formation” in our churches are many. I would address a few here. First, I believe it has resulted in spiritual relationships with people who are not saved. We are not to bond with unsaved people, religious or not. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 clearly tells us to “Come out and be separate.” We cannot study with the Catholics, who believe Mary is superior to Jesus and pray to idols, and be right with God. We cannot, in good faith. practice prayer meditation in the same manner the Buddhists do, and expect to please the God of Israel. Remember in the Old Testament how God got very angry when his people did not tear down the groves that the heathen had used for prayer. Surely, they could have prayed there, but God wanted them to have no part in even the appearance of evil. In I Kings 14:22-24, the Lord deals with this. In 2 Chon.19: 3, God blesses them for removing the groves.

This brings me to my second point; we are engaging in practices that we have learned from the ancient Easter religions. Such as meditations, centering prayer, lectio divina practices, among others. Christianity has always stood apart from such mystical practices. Now we are teaching it in our Sunday School curriculum!! Another result from this emphasis on “Spiritual Formation” is our inclusion of those who do not worship Christ. “Spiritual Formation” always leads people to ultimately define God for themselves. In other words, I could pray to the God of Isaac, while you might pray to a “higher power”, or “Allah.” Follow the writings of those who are leading us in this movement. They start out pretty ordinary, but as they progress in the movement it always leads to the joining of saved people with those who may not even acknowledge His blood sacrifice for salvation. I believe this is an abomination in the sight of God.

2 Tim. 2:15,16,17a  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker:”

One last fruit of this movement, which I would like to draw your attention to is this: Watered down preaching. This movement encourages a therapy couch type preaching. Where we read and you tell me how it makes you feel and I tell you how it makes me feel. The pastor asks, “What do you think it means?” Instead of the Bible, the pastor reads from manmade lesson plans that incorporate, at best, the opinion and quotes of saved and unsaved alike!! What are you being fed at the house of God? Is it similar to watching a Dr. Phil show??? Pastors are to preach the WORD! They are to exhort us to live holy, God fearing lives. Not by teaching us how to walk a labyrinth, but by teaching the unblemished Bible!

In conclusion, I say we do not need to go to the heathen to learn how to worship or become holier. We just need to go to the Bible. It will teach you the difference between the holy and profane. And, if you are sitting under a pastor who does not preach the Word and you feel like you are starving to death, please, pray for wisdom. Ask God to lead you to the right pastor who can instruct you in righteousness, not in only a “form of godliness.”

2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” V.7 “Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Oxford Nazarene Church.
Speaker: Dr. Douglas Hardy, Professor of Spiritual Formation, Nazarene Theological Seminary.

You can hear this in entirety at : Practicing Holiness: Spiritual Formation in every day life.

Ourmedia click— Doug Hardy“Spiritual Formation in Everyday Life”

God Bless

To our shock, extreme sorrow and disbelief, We have found that the heretical and dangerous spiritually Taught in Spiritual Formation has infiltrated every denomination. Brothers and Sisters this includes the Nazarene Denomination. Thousands of hours have I and others invested in searching out this pertinent information. We have put together this site as to make ease for the Nazarene who will for the love of our Saviour check out these claims. In our culture where both Dad and Mom work we know physically they don’t have the time or the energy to search for the facts. Times are hard on the family that’s exactly why God provides a way for the average folk and He sends some to sound the alarm, GOD cares for his sheep and His sheep hear His voice! Its times like this, we need to ask questions. Start asking your Pastor the definitions of words that are being used, such as Spiritual Formation or Missional. Do these words mean what you like they mean? What about Lectio Divina or labyrinths? …what would the LORD JESUS CHRIST have me do?”…God commands us to study.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do in your study of these claims.
All we want is the truth.

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Doug S. Hardy

Nazarene Theological Seminary and Northwest Nazarene University have announced a collaborative spiritual formation retreat that will precede the 2009 Nazarene General Assembly in Orlando, Florida. This event begins with dinner at 5pm on Tuesday, June 23, 2009, at the San Pedro Center, a Franciscan retreat center that is located about a dozen miles from the Orlando International Airport. The retreat concludes with dinner at 5pm on Wednesday evening, prior to the initial worship service that marks the opening of the 2009 Nazarene General Assembly.

Please click on this link to view the invitation given for this event:  http://www.nts.edu/general-assembly-spiritual-formation-retreat

IS THIS EVENT OF GOD?

DOES THIS EVENT REFLECT THE BELIEFS OF NAZARENE CONGREGATIONS AT LARGE?

Here is a list of the people who will be leading the retreat:

The retreat is being held at the San Pedro Center, a Catholic Franciscan retreat center.     http://www.sanpedrocenter.org/index.php

Examining the Speakers at this event:

DOUG STEVE HARDY

NTS inducts Dr. Doug Hardy as Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation
Dr. Douglas S. Hardy, Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation, was inducted into the faculty of Nazarene Theological Seminary on November 8, 2002 by the faculty and President Ron Benefiel.

Born near Boston and raised in Eastern Canada, Hardy is a graduate of Eastern Nazarene College (B.A.), Northeastern University (M.Ed.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.A.), and Boston University (Ph.D.). He most recently served as Associate Professor of Psychology at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. Hardy’s ministry includes pastorates in Berkeley and Glendale, California, and service as a spiritual director in the Boston area since1994. His professional activities and accomplishments reflect a wide range of interests in spiritual formation. An ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, Hardy has written extensively in such professional journals as Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology, and Religious Studies Review.
–NTS

Dr. Hardy is one of several leading the Spiritual Formation Movement in our denomination. When you click on his link at the NTS directory and look at his vitae this is included under

Spiritual Formation/Direction Training

Participate in Ignatian Spirituality Book Discussion Group, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO (2003 – present)

Participate in Kansas City area Group-in-Formation for Transformative Spirituality (2004 – present)

Participated in a Peer Supervision Group of Boston-area Spiritual Directors that met monthly for case study review and support (February, 1995 – June, 2002)

Participated in a 24-week Ignatian Spirituality in Everyday Life Prayer Retreat at Boston College (November, 1999 – May, 2000)

Workshop for spiritual directors: Supervision, Ignatian Spiritual Ministries Professional Day, Jesuit Urban Center, Boston (March 22, 2000)

Graduate-level, year-long course: Supervised Practicum in Spiritual Direction, Weston Jesuit School of Theology (September, 1993 – May, 1994)

Graduate-level class: Spiritual Formation & Discipleship, Nazarene Theological Seminary (January, 1993)

Please notice that as early as 1999 he became involved in the spiritual practices of St.Ignatius. This is a Catholic saint. Dr. Hardy has only become more and more involved with the Catholic teachings and teachers. WE ARE NOT CATHOLICS!

Today he regularly takes Nazarene students to a monastery and encourages fellowship with the sisters there. He was quoted on a Catholic website: http://www.mountosb.org/publications/thresholdw04/ministers.html

The Nazarene Theological Seminary discovered the Mount through their professor of spiritual formation. When Dr. Doug Hardy moved to Kansas City from Boston, he intentionally searched for a monastic community and retreat center for his own spiritual renewal. He speaks highly of Sophia Center and the whole Mount community, saying “You provide the hospitable space I need for regular time of prayer and renewal.”

He continues, “Sophia Center has become a helpful place for our students to actualize their intentions to pray. In addition to assisting them with their personal devotion, the Sophia Center staff helps educate them about contemplative spirituality.” The students he brings learn about and practice centering prayer, meditation, silence and lectio. Spiritual direction with one of the sisters is also available. These are ways that help “build constructive bridges between Protestant and Catholic Christians.”

In addition, Dr. Hardy applauds the Mount for its “witness as a community of women committed to Christian vocation.” This is especially helpful for the Nazarene female students, a third of the seminary population, who find partnership encouraging and inspiring.

The problem with his background in Spiritual Formation is that it stems from associations with people who do not believe as we Nazarenes do concerning many things. Such as salvation through the Blood of Christ, not by works. Ephesians 2:8,9

Remember that we belong to the Protestant group because the Roman Catholic Church worships idols and took the Bible out of the hands of the laypeople.

We find that Dr. Hardy is replacing the Word of God with methods that in his own words are, “from all of the centuries of the Christian Church. And across all different cultures of Christians. So we want to draw broadly and widely. Doug goes on to say. “It’s not a matter of if you are using the Bible, but how; there are many different ways.”

You can hear this in entirety at : Practicing Holiness: Spiritual Formation in every day life.Doug Hardy“Spiritual Formation in Everyday Life”Ourmedia  click

Please check out -  Naznet.com - Contemplative Spirituality / Lectio Divina = Transcendantal Meditation?

What is Contemplative Prayer and Why Should Nazarenes Care?

Taken from “My Denomination does not promote new age spirituality through Spiritual Formation!

Seminary students and graduates, of every doctrinal persuasion, are being trained in ever increasing numbers to introduce certain spiritual disciplines into the lives and prayer habits of those within their spheres of influence. When the term “spiritual discipline” is used, it is almost always referring to the incorporating of “contemplative prayer” into the lives of church members. Many churches are even introducing contemplative prayer into their children’s programs.Contemplative prayer is, by far, the main practice promoted by the Spiritual Directors who lead church members onto the slippery slopes of spiritual formation. It is also called soaking or centering prayer. The terms spiritual formation and contemplative prayer are practically synonymous.The most widely accepted and pervasive of the two movements within the evangelical church is the Spiritual Formation movement. Pentecostals, Charismatics, and non-Pentecostals alike are being influenced, through almost identical Spiritual Formation programs that promote this unbiblical form of prayer. Contemplative prayer is actually not prayer at all, but rather a “Christianized” form of unbiblical, eastern meditation. Most of us know it by the name, transcendental meditation (TM). It is rightly associated with Hinduism and New Age Spirituality. Webster’s dictionary defines a contemplative as one who practices contemplation. To contemplate means to ponder, to meditate upon. So what’s wrong with that?Well, nothing is wrong with pondering or meditating upon things—as long as they are the right things, and as long as the pondering and meditating does not become obsessive. The only thing upon which we can appropriately meditate on obsessively is the Written Word of God. Psalm one instructs us to do that. So how do we apply Webster’s definition of contemplate to what is known today as contemplative prayer? Can we apply it at all? No, we cannot. The term “contemplative prayer,” is an oxymoron. The two words, contemplate and prayer, are contradictory, and mutually exclusive one from the other. How does one ponder and meditate upon something while at the same time communicate with God about it? It cannot be done. The two may be closely related but are definitely separate activities.Add to that, the contemplative’s practice of eastern meditation (transcendental meditation [TM]), which is “clear your mind of all thought,” and we have yet another contradiction. How does anyone meditate on something with a blank mind? The answer to that is—they don’t. They can’t. It is simply not possible.Eastern meditation and contemplative prayer both mandate clearing all thoughts from the mind, and opening the spirit to receive the thoughts of someone or something else. New Agers are not ashamed to admit that when they are in that thoughtless state, they are essentially at the mercy of any number of spirit beings. The goal is reaching a place of no thought whatsoever. That state is called, among other things, entering into the silence—also referred to by Christians as, “The Secret Place.” The term contemplative prayer is not only oxymoronic, as the one automatically cancels out the other, but it is also a very deceptive and erroneous term. Contemplative prayer traces its roots to a group of monks called, The Desert Fathers. The Desert Fathers taught that it didn’t matter what method you used to seek God—all were good, and they unashamedly sought and implemented non-Christian, eastern, methods of meditation into their spiritual practices.  Scripture commands us not only to meditate upon something—the Written Word of God (Psalm 1:2), but also to refrain from learning the way of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2). Without going any deeper into the subject of contemplative prayer, we see that it is derived from Hinduism (Christian contemplatives do not even try to deny this) and is diabolically opposed to the scriptural form of meditation prescribed in Psalms chapter one verse two.  There is little argument that spiritual formation programs and contemplative prayer go hand in hand. In addition to contemplative prayer, the spiritual disciplines include, but are not limited to, yoga and labyrinth walking. The latter are widely promoted within more liberal evangelical congregations. Just because your local congregation may not, as yet, be familiar with any of these things is no reason for assuming that your denomination has not already jumped on the contemplative bandwagon. Take a look at the list of denominations which have instituted these programs in their theological seminaries and key churches:

Andover Newton Theological School

Assemblies of God (AG Theological Seminary)

Baptist (Baylor University & Dallas Theological Seminary)

Church of God (Mount Paran)

Methodist (Dubuque Theological Seminary)

Moody Bible Institute

Nazarene Theological Seminaries

Presbyterian Theological Seminaries

Wheaton College

Dear Nazarene Christians

My name is Sue Butler and for the last 13 years I have been a member, along with my husband at Albany Grace Church of the Nazarene. I as a young child was bussed to a Nazarene Church in Valdosta, GA. Over the years, we have been very active in our local church.
Recently, we came across some terrible information when we researched some of the teachings that were showing up in our literature, as well as terms that were cropping up, that were similar to Catholic terms. Then, we discovered the “Emergent Church” folks and were alarmed at how our schools and seminaries have opened the doors to them and their heresies, especially in programs such as Youth Specialties, Youth front, etc., which have wholeheartedly gone the way of this “new conversation”.
Of particular interest, is the influence of Brian McLaren. After careful research, we were deeply appalled at his foundational beliefs.
Another alarming influence in our denomination is that of Jon Middendorf. He has adopted the “emergent” viewpoint from all the indications we have found. I spoke with Jon Middendorf about some of the teachings, which are not found in the Bible. Jon was very polite and kind, but we were not able to come to any agreement on Biblical Authority. Please check out the dialogue between him and Greg Horton.
Other things being taught such as, Lectio Divina, Contemplative Prayer, Icons, Labyrinths, and the uplifting of Catholics such as Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, St. John of the Cross and “St. Ignatius of Loyola” which our own Nazarene Publishing House puts out a book for our youth promoting him as a great Christian! This man was part of the Counter Reformation. This literature is unacceptable.
The biggest heresy, in our opinion, is the praying method being called Contemplative Prayer / Centering Prayer (known as mysticism). Where is the scripture for such New Age stuff? When you research this type of prayer the alarm starts to go off.
Dr. Daniel Boone.” Says, in the Alumni spotlight. “I find myself deepening in the practices of spiritual formation that have shaped the saints of the ages, Lectio Divina, fasting, Sabbath observance, care for the poor, journaling, and contemplative prayer.” What exactly is contemplative prayer? If we go to Richard Foster, he will point us to Thomas Merton, which was known to be one of the greatest leaders in contemplative prayer/centering prayer (mysticism). Henri Nouwen is one of Dr. Daniel Boone’s spiritual guides; if we find out who Henri Nouwen looked to we will find Thomas Merton. In an interview with Christianbook.com Dr. Daniel Boone states Henri Nouwen has served as a spiritual guide. Eugene Peterson has been a distant mentor through his writings and Bill Hybels is mentioned, along with Barbara Brown Taylor. The material we have included will help you to see their unbiblical practices. Concerned Nazarene’s have spoken with Dr. Daniel Boone; we would like him to openly help us understand these practices.
When we went to our pastor with these concerns, they were dismissed at first. Then, it was admitted that he was already aware of these teachings in Seminary and seen nothing wrong with these teachings. We are truly brokenhearted over the danger facing our denomination. We want all to be awakened and join us as we fight to alert our brothers and sisters in Christ of the dangers of engaging in these mystical practices.
To that end, we are asking you, as people who love the LORD JESUS CHRIST to please examine what the claims that are being presented. If you also find it troubling, pray about what God would have you do. I hope that the solid people in leadership positions will take note and purge out the leaders who are taking us down the road to destruction. We are building a website to house information pertinent to this cause. Will you stand in the gap and be counted for the LORD?? If you disagree with us, I welcome your comments.

Please take the time to examine these claims. The Bible exhorts us to study for ourselves and also to examine ourselves, repeatedly. Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayers are that our denomination might once again glorify Jesus Christ in all we say and do.

Sincerely,
Sue Butler

1.    Re: Dr. Daniel Boone-

http://www.nts/edu/alumni-spotlight–dr-dan-boone-winter-2007/

Concerned Nazarenes.net

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