SDA Pastor Derek Morris

Sees Spiritual Formation as Dangerous

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----- Original Message -----

From: Christine Guardo

To: undisclosed recipients

Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 3:43 PM

Subject: [1888messagestudygroup] Spiritual Formation taught by Voice of Prophecy




Passing this along:


The Voice of Prophecy has announced that Elizabeth Talbot, the senior pastor at Grace Place, a Seventh-day Adventist church in Alhambra CA, (Near Los Angeles), will be teaching Spiritual Formation for the Voice of Prophecy on Hope Channel soon. They are apparently calling it "Jesus 101". Mike Tucker and Elizabeth Talbot have described the program in a VOP newsletter.

For those who are not familiar with the history of Spiritual Formation, it is a program to develop "spirituality."  Spiritual Formation is considered by many Bible believing Christians both Adventists and those in other denominations to include techniques such as meditation, contemplative prayer, and other methods that are found in new age and eastern mysticism that are a subtle form of spiritualism. Spiritual Formation was originated by Ignatious Loyola the founder of the Jesuits as a method of preparing Jesuit novices for their mission and work.

The modern versions of it apparently came directly from the Roman Catholic Church in training centers, one popular one in NYC run by Roman Catholic nuns, where pastors from many denominations (including ours) have gone to be trained in teaching it. It is couched in Christian terminology and claims as its goal to bring people closer to Christ. There are apparently a number of books including books by ministers of various denominations as well as those by eastern mystics that are used.

Pastor Derek Morris, newly appointed editor of Ministry Magazine, that is sent out to all Adventist pastors world wide, was at one time a strong promoter and teacher of Spiritual Formation. I contacted him recently about this. He told me that his attitude has drastically changed, and that he sees in it a dangerous mixture of truth and error. A friend of mine spent an hour on the phone with pastor Morris and is convinced that he has truly rejected Spiritual Formation, and repents of having been involved in it. 

My question is, are we prepared to counter this when attempts are made to bring this into our churches? Do we have the knowledge and courage to be able to speak against it if our pastor or the conference wants to bring it in as is happening in some places?