Your site is interesting. On the books reviews, did you read all of the books yourself? It appears that you did, or least started all of them.
I get concerned when we criticize things being done in the name of "Christianity". That is to say, I started reading about TheoPhostic counseling and the like, and it reminds me of arguments about certain versions of the Bible.
I started out reading the King James and later moved to the NIV. I have read several versions of the Bible and if you do some reading you will find lots of criticism regarding some of the versions. My question to you is this: is it possible that God can use any book, ministry, counseling technique, Bible version, or anything else in order to accomplish His purpose?
Mind you, I am not being critical of your site, your reviews or anything else you have stated. However, I am concerned when we (myself included) spend too much time judging things against the Bible, when God can still move in someone's life. Isaiah 55:11 says "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, but is shall accomplish that which I please, and is shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it".
I say these things because I have started going through the TheoPhostic counseling. I went because of a recommendation of my sister who loves the Lord greatly. She knows of several friends that have gone through it and came out very well pleased. Now I am reading some negative things on the web about this type of counseling and some of the books that are recommended. I want you to know, that I am seeking my Creator on healing first and foremost, but it is very discouraging for me and others when they believe that they are being directed in a certain area by God, only to start questioning it.
I am going through a very tough time in my life now and the last thing I need is to have to evaluate everything I read and listen to. I can honestly say that after being a Christian for over 22 years, that my walk with Him has never been stronger than the past several months (with the possible exception of my salvation).
If our motives are pure and our desire is to serve God and to know what he wants of us in certain circumstances, can we not trust Him to show us the people and methods that would be beneficial to us?
I think that your testimony is very good and like what I heard. I only say these things to make you think. After all, the most important attribute of a Christian is Love. I think the apostle Paul was very clear about that in I Corinthians 13.
It just so happens that 1 of the books you reviewed and did Not recommend was "The Search for Significance", which is a book that I am now reading. I am trusting God to show me what I should know at this point and how He chooses to heal me. Chances are, just about any type of ministry, book, counseling, or whatever, someone is going to find fault with. Nevertheless, if Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith, I am going to trust in Him and how he decides to direct me. After all, he directs each of us at our own level.
If I am reading the Bible to find out what God says about my life and how I should live, does it really matter what version I read? Not everyone will give the KJV a chance and you can most likely find error in any version. What is our motive when we read the Word or a book designed to help us in our Christian walk? Only God can look at our hearts and if our motive is pure to Him, I am certain He is able to direct us and also to keep us from harmful information. If this in not the case, then all of us who profess to be Christians could be in danger of judgement and missing it.
I thank God for people like you who are willing to share your testimony and reach out to others for the Salvation of Jesus Christ. Is it more important to be right, even in our interpretation of the Bible and other Bible teachings, or to share and exemplify Christ's love? This is a question all Christians should be asking ourselves.
Thank you for your thoughts and I would be interested in hearing more about your testimony and what God has done in your life.
My response is in Green:
Thanks for writing. Yes I have read all of those books which are reviewed on my site. Let me put one thing to rest, I read all the different versions of the Bible and I believe they are all God's word. I would also agree that God can reach and teach you using any version or for that matter any counseling that you go to if your heart is right and you are seeking Him. God says that the person who is truly seeking Him will find Him. Now get ready for this, I believe that a person can even find Christ in a Jehovah's Witness service if they are searching for Him with all their heart.
Let me explain. I believe that the Jehovah's Witness are a cult and that they do not serve the same Christ that we do, but that is not the point, the point is God, God says that the person who is seeking Him with all their heart will find Him. So He is able to lead that person to Himself even if they are surrounded by error, yet I would never recommend the Jehovah's Witness to anyone. I hope I am making sense to you. I would also stress that a person who did find Christ in such circumstances would be lead by the Holy Spirit rapidly away from such error and into all truth. I would go even further and say that God would probably keep the person from going there to begin with, but my basic point remains; God is able to use anything to help those who are truly seeking Him.
Now let me explain some of my problems with Theophostic. Let me quote a couple things directly from their official website:
Thousands of Pastors, Professional Counselors, and Lay Counselors world-wide have found our training program to be highly effective with:
Sexual Abuse Issues
Substance Abuse and other addictive behaviors
Post traumatic stress syndrome
Grief and Loss
Dissociative Disorders (DID)
Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA)
All lie-based issues
You might wonder what I could possibly have as a problem with that statement. My problem is that about several of the things listed are sin. How are we to deal with sin? We are to confess it and ask for forgiveness and turn from it. Here is a further quote:
Theophostic Ministry recognizes that we can only "act as far as we can think." Our behavior is limited to the data stored in the mind. Therefore, in order to act differently we must be "renewed in our minds." This renewal must go beyond the cognitive passing of information from counselor to counseled as seen in most Christian counseling. Only the Spirit of the Living Lord Jesus can set us free of the lies we experientially believe.
Notice that we can only "act as far as we can think." That would imply that our sinful behavior is not our fault. Now you as a solid Christian might read that and understand it differently, but my point is that how many people will read that and then believe that their sins are caused by something outside of their control? They sin because of a lie they have believed! That is exactly opposite of what the Bible teaches. We sin because our nature is evil, it is something we must confess and then deny ourselves and allow God to control us.
Theophostic principles understand present behavior to be drawn from "experiential knowledge" (that which we have actually experienced) and not from logical truth (data believed as truth but never realized through experience.) Theophostic Ministry is about renewing the mind at the experiential level of consciousness.
Again notice that behavior is not he person's fault it is 'drawn from experiential knowledge." What about the chronic liar, or the person involved in pronography? Are those sins do to our sinful behavior or are they no fault of ours because we are victims of the lies and experiences we have experienced?
If I try to resolve my present conflict without finding healing for my past wounds (memories with embedded lies), I will only find temporary relief. However, if I heal my past, I will redeem my present.
Notice the wording of this; "if I heal my past." Are you trying to heal your past or are you trusting God to make you a new creation;(2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Do we trust God to make us new and make the past go away, or must we go do it for Him?
If I choose to look through the window I can confront my wound, and feel its pain again. However, if I refuse to feel, I cannot heal. The emotions must be felt in order to rightly identify the lies I believe. The emotions I feel will match the lies I believe.
Again this statement goes against what the Bible teaches. We don't have to go back and face something that the Bible says is gone when we become a new creation in Christ. Yes some pain is still there but God will help us deal with it without making us go back and experience it again. One other problem I have with this issue is that Ed Smith, claims that God gave this idea directly to him. Not through the Bible, but through direct revelation. My problem with that is this, why did God allow His children to suffer for almost 2,000 years before revealing this "biblical' way of healing them from the pain and suffering caused by the lies they believe? Also why did God only give it to Ed Smith? Would God give something this important to one person so that person can become rich through it?
Please read this next quote very carefully. I have no problem with a person earning money while serving God, but how can you do this with something you claim God gave to you to help all of His children?
Disclaimer for use of the materials, training and the name Theophostic.
This is the official Theophostic ministry web site. Theophostic Ministries does not endorse, nor are we affiliated with other websites using the Theophostic name.
It is required that those who wish to use the name Theophostic on their web site will have obtained written permission from Theophostic Ministries to do so. Those who have not obtained such permission for the use of this name are violating copyright and trademark laws. Any person training others in the Theophostic principles apart from the use of the Video Basic Training Series is in violation of Copyright law. NO PERSON MAY COPY SEMINAR MATERIALS, TEACH THEOPHOSTIC APART FROM THE SEMINAR GUIDELINES OR SELL OR DISTRIBUTE RECORDED TRAINING SESSIONS WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PUBLISHER. THOSE DOING SO ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW AND ARE WILLFULLY OR UNKNOWINGLY COMMITTING A CRIME. Those who are using Theophostic Materials as part of their own Seminar training and calling what they do by another name (such as: Prayer Counseling, Mind Renewal Counseling etc.) are in violation of Copyright Law. It is our intention that every new person exposed to the Theophostic Ministry principles enter in through the same door and learn the same information so as to avoid misinterpretation and second generation information. Please be honest in all you do. God blesses integrity.
Well those are just some of the reasons I have a problem with Theophostic Ministries. As for Search for Significance, I am afraid you will find the same principles in it as in Theophostic Ministries. There is some very good information in both, but both also teach that your actions are due to the lies you have believed from the past. Jesus never once told anyone that, He dealt with where they were then and how they should live from then on. He never made one of them go back and deal with the past to be saved or healed.
I would ask you to do just one thing and that is to judge all of these things with one standard and that is the Bible. Is it consistent with the Bible or not? If it is not then it is worthless in and of itself. That is not to say, however, that God still could not use it to help one of His children.
(All items in black are quoted from the Official Theophostic Ministries website.)
The statement below was sent to me by a reader:
I read this article. Theophostic destroyed my marriage of 15 years. She was lead to believe that her father did things to her, then she later believed I did things to her that I did not do. No one should be in theophostic counselling!!! It is a bunch of hocus pocus with the Lord's name on it. Christians should be protesting outside of places that use this method on people.
The statement below was sent to me by another reader:
Thank you for writing against Theophostic ministries. I entered this type of ministry at the request and recommendation of my pastor over three years ago. At the time, I was trying to overcome some difficult memories and pains from childhood sexual abuse. After three years of theophostic counseling, I not only had not gotten better, I had developed a deep depression and became suicidal. There had been periods of peace and relief as I felt that I was "Conquering" some of the pain I wanted to leave behind. At the climax of my therapy, however, I almost succeeded in ending my life. I felt that Jesus had left me and didn't love me because I was not seeing/hearing him in the horrible memories that were being uncovered.
Dozens of memories had been "remembered" and "uncovered" by "Jesus" that even I had difficulty believing were true. But, over time, I was encouraged by the different Theophostic facilitators to accept them and let Jesus heal me. Not so easy... Among the previously un-recalled traumas were Satanic Ritual Abuse, Sexual abuse by my father, and Masonic ritual abuse. The way that the counseling works actually leads people into believing a lie before you allow Jesus to come in and heal you. Well, what happens when "Jesus" starts to "say" ludicrous things? And what if you never get the special word-of-knowledge the facilitator encourages you to wait for? The reality of it all was that I was hearing myself think, not Jesus talking to me. I don't believe any of the previously un-remembered memories were true at all.
I have left the city where all of this took place, my hometown of over 20 years. The emotional pain and devestation I inflicted on those around me is almost too unbearable to think about. I have since moved on and started a new life for myself. However, I can't help but remember all of the other Theophostic victims I left behind. I call them victims because they THINK this will help them, it sounds good. But, this movement was sweeping my church and, no doubt, ruining other lives in it's path.
Theophostic is a mockery of all that is sane, reasonable, and Biblical. I am glad I escaped it and I hope that others will do the same, before they get sucked in as deeply as I did. It may seem to help for a little while and bring a sense of peace, but the end result will most likely be utter devestation. It certainly was for me.
Thanks for speaking out about this.
For more information on Theophostic go here.
Or visit this website: Lying Spirits
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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