After reading your web page on theophostic, it has bothered m to the point of writing you. This is not to change your mind, (I can't do that) but to share what has been laid on my heart. I have read Dr Smiths book on this matter and have used it on myself. I would say I would be the chiefest sinners of all and have tried everything in the way of counseling there is. Only to find that when I let the Holy Spirit do His work It was then that I found freedom from sins that held me bound. I realize that you have not experience this in your own life our you would not have written what you did. I would have to agree with you as far as not being ignorant but would say you lack wisdom. There are two verses that came to mind that I would like to share with you.
The first is found in Luke 9:49-50 John answered and said, Master we saw some one casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us. But Jesus said to him Do not hinder him for he who is not against you is for you. The other verse is found in Philippians 1:14-18 I will not quote all of the verses but would hope that you will read them to understand the verse that I will quote. Phil.1:18 What then? Only that in every way whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes I rejoice. Both verses are self explanatory I hope. Ask yourself is Dr Smith teaching or preaching heresy? No.
It seems to me Ralph that the sword that you carry is to cut and devour the body of Christ which Dr. Smith is a part of. I do not find any where, where we are cut and devour our brothers and sisters in Christ but rather to encourage, uplift, and exhort daily while there is light to work in. It seems to me the wisdom you lack is, you do not know how to pick your battles. And are more worried about what you think is right or not. Cannot our Father use what ever means possible to bring people into a closer relationship with Him?
My suggestion to you would be go after those who are teaching heresy and false teachings and let the Holy Spirit do His work that He is more than capable of doing. One last verse and this is for those and you who supposedly were hurt by this type of ministry 1Corinthians 13:5b LOVE DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT A WRONG SUFFERED. (NASB)Please do not feel threatened or offended this not my intent. It is that we have enough members in the church who are more concerned in bringing strife and contention than healing. Lets work on healing our brothers and sisters than destroy we have a advasary who is doing that and we don't need to help him for he is "THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN"
My response is in Green:
Thank you for writing me. I hope it is not a surprise to you that I don't agree with you. I am always a little bothered by letters like yours. See people often write me the same kind of messages and tell me not to speak out against other Christians, but of course by doing so they speak out against me. I guess that is okay, but it is wrong for me to speak out against someone who is making money and teaching what I believe is false teaching. That's right I believe what Smith is doing is teaching New Age thought, visualization and meditation. Is that heresy? Well I guess it depends on your definition.
I don't mind you claiming I am without wisdom, you might even be right, but what does bother me are two things. First the idea that I should keep quiet and let the Holy Spirit do His work. Let me ask you, how do you know that the Holy Spirit is not speaking through me? Do you know what my spiritual gift is? Not my talent, but the gift given to me as a believer by the Holy Spirit? It is prophecy. No I can't tell you what I will have to eat for supper, but I have the gift of speaking out boldly from God's word to rebuke, draw back to God and encourage the church. I prayerfully use that gift and resent the idea that I should just shut up and let the Holy Spirit do His job. You should read the book of Ezekiel, maybe it would give you some insight. That is my first problem. I admit that I am human and even with a spiritual gift I might be wrong, but as I said I have and will continue to pray about this issue and search the Scriptures daily for confirmation.
That brings me to my second problem with your letter to me. Your use of 1 Corinthians 13:5 is appalling to me. We are not talking about people who had their feelings hurt. We are talking about people who were victimized by secular psychological babel. They had their marriages and their relationships ruined. This passage does not cover what happened to them. In fact where is the love for these poor people who were victimized?
Much of the problem is with Theophostic itself, because it looks for memories and you run the risk of what the secular world calls repressed memories. The problem is that it is impossible to tell if these so called repressed memories are true or false memories. Many false memories can be even more clear and complete than real memories. The secular world has come to understand this, but the church, unfortunately hasn't.
You started out your message to me by telling me how you were freed from sin through Theophostic. Then you tell me that I haven't been freed from sin or I would not have written what I did. At least that is how I took what you wrote. You are wrong. The only difference is that I did not need to go back into my past memories to find what was causing me to sin. I laid my burdens at Jesus' feet and gave Him complete control of my life.
(Romans 6:16-18 NIV)  Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I became a slave to righteousness by giving myself completely to God, not by finding out what memories or lies in the past had control of me. I don't mean to demean your experience, but I don't hold personal experiences in very high reguard. If you read some of the letters I get you will find that people have claimed to have gotten a closer relationship with God through things like smoking marijuana. Should I not speak out against that either?
I have had people tell me how AA worked for them, even though in AA your higher being can be a tuna fish sandwich if you wish. Should I not speak out about that either, just because someone thinks it helped them?
I can only tell you what I see as wrong with Theophostic and show what I think the more biblical way to freedom is and that is what I have done and will continue to do. But back to my second point, I want to make sure you understand the dangers of this teaching. Below are portions of three letters I have received from people who have been the victims of this teaching. I will not tell these people that according to 1 Corinthians 13 they should just let this go and not speak out.
During the year of 2000 my wife started theophostic counseling. (Theophostic and Al-Anon overlapped each other.) For the most part, theophostic took over where EMDR left off.
Theophostic counseling requires that a person go back in time to relive the trauma. Any uncovered 'memories' are relived in theophostic. Theophostic's founder, Dr. Ed Smith, claims "Theophostics" was a direct revelation given from God, to him, in 1996. Dr. Smith had 17 prior years of experience in psychological counseling. Did God allow hurting people to stay in their emotional pain, for thousands of years, waiting for Ed Smith's breakthrough in psychotherapy? Surely not. Dr. Ed Smith had no right adding his "revelation" to the Christian church.
After being banished from home I tried "Christian" marriage counseling. This is when my wife blurted something at me that traumatized me in ways you can't imagine. During the course of her theophostic counseling, she "discovered" that I had raped her, holding her down with "two hands," each hand holding down one of her arms. I was born with one arm. The Freudian Christian marriage counselor didn't know how to handle such an accusation. He allowed it to continue, trying to get me to admit that it is possible that it may have happened. Later, in a private visit, he admitted to me that it was "kind of strange" that she accused me of that. He said that the problem with theophostic and any regressive memory therapies is that they cannot be proven. This accusation could be proven to be false, I was born with one arm. I still wonder why he didn't share the unreliability of regressive therapy in our marriage counseling session. I also wonder why he never pointed out the impossibility of the accusation being true.
As my wife relived her traumas in theophostic, Jesus held her as an infant being molested by her father. Jesus told her how important she was. Jesus was there as I was raping her, consoling her in the crisis. Jesus appearing to the client is the same as the New Age practice of channeling. To this day she still accuses me of raping her, holding her down with two hands. As I sat there, watching the extreme pain she was in as she retold the "event," I thought I understood why she suddenly threw me out of my home. It all made sense at the time, in a perverted sort of way. In her shoes, I may have done the same thing.
That's how theophostic works. There is nothing scientifically proven. Proof is not required. The very definition of science requires hard evidence. Thus, theophostic is not a science. Unlike theophostic, Christianity has hard evidence in the creation. (Romans 1:19,20) Theophostic's evidence is the imagination of its clients.
My wife's theophostic counselor instantly became her good friend. She went to court with her during our divorce. Her theophostic counselor was very active in my banishment from my house. She counseled her in ways to get more out of me in the divorce. Having no place to live, she told me to move into a rooming house in a bad part of the city. I went to that rooming house. There, I had to give the name of someone to contact for when they found me dead.
And another letter:
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.
And yet another:
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.
There you have it. Three people who have been directly adversely affected by Theophostic ministry. I will continue to ask God to speak through me and to correct me if I am wrong so that I don't mislead anyone, but when I get confirmation as I have on this subject I will boldly proclaim the truth no matter who calls me names, or attacks me or preaches to me about shutting up and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His job.
Thank you for writing me, I hope you never have a bad experience like these people did. I hope that you will come to realize that God is all powerful and doesn't need you to do anything, including going back into your memories in order to heal you. All He requires is your willingness and your faith.
For more information on Theophostic go here.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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