Proclaiming the Gospel and Encouraging Biblical Discernment
IS YOUR CHURCH DOING SPIRITUAL FORMATION? (Important Reasons Why It Shouldn’t)
Booklet by Ray Yungen
Is your church involved in a Spiritual Formation program? If so, you might want to ask the question, what exactly is Spiritual Formation? It’s a fair question, and one that, if not asked, could end up surprising you when your church changes in ways you never imagined.
A Christianity Today article states: “Spiritual Formation is in.” The article defines Spiritual Formation in this way:
Formation, like the forming of a pot from clay, brings to mind shaping and molding, helping something potential become something actual. Spiritual formation speaks of a shaping process with reference to the spiritual dimension of a person’s life. Christian spiritual formation thus refers to the process by which believers become more fully conformed and united to Christ.1
Such a definition would hardly send up red flags. But what this definition excludes is how this “process” of conforming and uniting to Christ takes place and who is eligible to participate in such a process.
The “how” is done through spiritual disciplines, primarily through the discipline of the silence. The silence is an altered state that is reached through a mantra-like meditation, breath prayers, or some other meditative practice. The idea behind it is that if you go into this silent state, you will eliminate distractions (thoughts) and be able to hear God’s voice. He in turn will transform you to be like Christ. The “who” (who can practice these disciplines and become like Christ) is anyone (according to Spiritual Formation pioneer Richard Foster and other proponents of Spiritual Formation). A Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, even an atheist—anyone at all can benefit from the spiritual disciplines and become like Christ (the question is which Christ?).
The Spiritual Research Network store has been created to share some resources that have helped us through the years. We hope our ministry will help equip you and that our purpose in Proclaiming the Gospel and Encouraging Biblical Discernment will inspire you to rely more on the Lord, speak His truth in love, and be gracious toward all.
Don't hesitate to contact us via the Contact Page (for spam prevention) on our Spiritual Research Network website. You may also use that contact page to inquire about donations, our bookstore, or any questions. Thank you!
The products on our site provide excellent research documentation, and they speak the truth about issues confronting the Church today. They also encourage believers in Jesus Christ to uphold the Word of God and remain steadfast in the truth of the Gospel. Our good friend and colleague Ray Yungen—now in Heaven—would've done about anything to get the truth of the Gospel into your hands. May you enjoy his books and the other resources we have.
"Ray was a man who loved life, loved people, and loved God. His tenderhearted manner touched all who came to know him. In addition to his researching and writing, he enjoyed spending time over a good cup of coffee with friends, listening to music, and being in nature. Ray had a zeal for truth and was passionate in his desire to help others find and know truth as well. He loved God’s Word and used it as a measuring rod in all he did and believed. Ray’s research and writing ministry impacted tens of thousands of people throughout the world, and he will be sorely missed by many. He has left an indelible imprint on the Christian church that will be remembered for years to come. Ray’s writings and lectures will continue to be distributed through his publisher, Lighthouse Trails Publishing"