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Discernment Column (4) on Shabar Ministry

Theological Thoughts

 

Shabar Mantras: defined as “instruments” or “tools” of thought; used during occult meditation, along with “positive confessions” in order to identify with “Christ-consciousness” and transcend every obstacle

Shabar Ministry: an advanced form of Sozo (last month’s topic) that uses inner healing “tools” that have parallel implications within the occult. Yet, it is secretly slipping into many mainline churches and organizations such as Crisis Pregnancy Centers; promoted as “Christian counseling” under the Hebrew guise Shabar, which means broken. For those being targeted are the broken-hearted.

In Shabar Ministry, theological thoughts are distorted by “instruments of thought,” where contrived confessions and strange “tools” such as metaphorical doors, walls, and Father Ladders are used to supposedly help the broken-hearted realize their “identity in Christ.”  However, the hidden theology behind the Shabar “identity in Christ” cliché is not as innocent as it sounds, for it is the heretical doctrine of Identification rooted in Gnosticism, which claims one can transcend all obstacles by realizing they are an actual incarnation of Christ.  S

So by being deceived into thinking they can literally “be Jesus” to people, Shabar leaders assume God’s role in the lives of the broken by promoting a system filled with occult concepts, where a team of mediators or “seers” are set over those perceived to be lower on the spiritual ladder.  As a result, vulnerable people who originally come for help, end up feeding into the team’s desperate need to feel superior by subjecting themselves to a humiliating process of sharing every private detail of their life, while the spiritually elite interprets them.

Consequently, fear and spiritual dependency keeps many bound to this group.  And like basic Sozo and all other occult practices, Shabar sessions require mental passivity in order to seek truth experientially through guided imagery, visualization and mystic mediators who facilitate “Jesus encounters,” as participants are supposedly led into a regressive, subconscious journey to the past.

Yet, in reality this is where an altered state of consciousness is subtly induced and many become inoculated with an unbiblical view of Jesus, so that they become totally resistant to truth.  This is due to the subtle form of divination that takes place while participating in an unbiblical process involving human mediators and the spiritual realm, which is an abomination to God (Deut.18:9-14, 1Tim. 2:5).

Also parallel to secular psychology, Shabar leaders insinuate that those who don’t realize their identity in Christ have “Dissociative Identity Disorder,” for any problems or sins a person has in the present are blamed on past “generational curses,” or traumas that allegedly caused “double-mindedness” (split personality) or so-called “parts,” which are said to be “unconverted areas of the mind.”  The Shabar team supposedly “converts” them by integrating the parts.

But ironically, Hebrew anthropology views mankind as being holistic: spirit, soul and body (1Thess. 5:23) and in need of redemption, rather than the gnostic view of man being merely a sum of “parts” in need of “integration.” In fact, this psycho-mystical process for becoming converted and whole is completely foreign to Scripture, for it teaches one can only be made whole in Christ by being regenerated, not integrated.  

Furthermore, Strong’s Concordance rightly defines double-mindedness as having no fixed beliefs, which ironically describes the inner healing childishness of being carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14) devoid of any absolutes.  Strikingly comparable to Jeremiah 2:13, the inner healing movement is forsaking the fountain of living waters for broken (shabar) cisterns that can hold no water.

So remember dear friend, the “good fruits” that the Pharisees thought they had were not  “fruits worthy of repentance,” for they came from a bad tree that was not made good by God, reminiscent of the bad tree in the Garden with the fruit that was “pleasant to the eyes,” but just a superficial illusion.  So it is today with the many cults that claim to have proof of their validity because of the supposed good fruits they produce.

 Therefore, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) for if Jesus is portrayed as an inner healing tool or if His unique nature and Deity is downplayed, denied or usurped by those who exalt themselves— Run!!— And warn others, for this is the work of the spirit of antichrist warned about in1John 4:1-6.  But know too, that by being born-again (regenerated) by the Holy Spirit you really can be “integrated” into God’s kingdom, where Jesus forever heals the broken-hearted (Luke 4:18).

Sis Lee Anne

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Discernment Column (article 3) on Sozo

THEOLOGICAL THOUGHTS

Theophostic Prayer:  founded in 1996 by Ed Smith, a Southern Baptist pastor in Campbellsville, KY, who had to adjust his inner healing ideas and pull his suspect training manuals off the market (although he formerly claimed they were revealed by God). This was due to the theological and legal challenges he faced when False Memory Syndrome (FMS) was occurring with clients. Yet, the original hypnotically suggestive approach used in Theophostics is now resurfacing in many evangelical churches and organizations disguised as “Sozo Prayer.”

 

Sozo:  the Greek word for save, heal or deliver

 

     It’s a crucial time for God’s people when theological thoughts are being distorted by Theophostic thoughts, where a victim mentality is fostered by emphasizing a need for inner healing of memories and self-esteem boosting rather than the need to be humbled under the mighty hand of God, leave the past behind, take up one’s cross and follow Jesus. But in an attempt to Christianize a man-made system based on false psycho-therapeutic theories of memory, Theophostic thought is invading Christendom under the guise of “Sozo Prayer.” Like all other occult practices, sozo sessions require mental passivity in order to seek truth experientially through guided imagery, visualization and spirit encounters, which is why “Soaking Prayer” (last month’s topic) is commonly used in preparation for sozo sessions. Human mediators are also required, who facilitate “visions of Jesus” so He can supposedly “speak into the pain” to help people forgive the past. But in reality this is where “experiential truth” subtly begins to replace gospel truth and the authority of Scripture.

     Ironically, by trying to put God in a Theophostic box, many are going “off the map,” for Scripture never gives us a pattern for a sozo session and when it comes to forgiving and overcoming the past it only gives us reminders of the gospel (e.g. Col 3:13). For by remembering that although we have sinned against God and deserve hell, He loves us so much, He made a way for reconciliation by sending His Son to shed His blood on our behalf, which is sufficient to humble us into forgiving others. But instead of explaining this simple truth and our need to be granted faith and repentance, sozo sessions put emotional needs above spiritual needs with the help of a different spirit, a different Jesus and a psycho-mystical gospel. For by trying to manipulate Jesus in falsely assuming He will cooperate with an unbiblical process outside of God’s sanction and protection, puts sozo participants into direct contact with occult “spirit guides,” demonic imposters who often pose as Jesus in order to confirm lies that have been implanted through the hypnotically suggestive approach used in sozo sessions.

     This is where discernment is crucial for recognizing the difference between man-initiated encounters and the biblical pattern that confirms; true encounters with God are always initiated and facilitated by Him alone. In fact, the only scriptural references for man-initiated encounters are instances of divination, which is a severe offence and abomination to the Lord, (Lev.20:6, Deut.18:9-14, Jer.14:14, Acts 16:16, etc.). And Ezekiel 13:6-8 perfectly describes sozo sessions, where God condemns conjuring up vain visions of lying divinations while claiming they are from Him and causing people to hope in false confirmation. Colossians 2:18 also speaks against intruding into things not seen and being vainly puffed up by the fleshly mind. For although our God-given imagination can be used to express worship and petition to God, it is never to be used as a way to hear from God, which leads to rank superstition and creates an idol in the mind.

     Jesus, the only mediator between God and man (1Ti.2:5), has not left us to occult devices in times of suffering, for He ever lives to intercede for all who come to God by Him and saves them to the uttermost (Heb.7:25), which exposes the inner healing lie that suggests there are still parts of us that need to be saved by a sozo encounter. For God’s people already have access to pure rivers of living water that flow unto salvation so that they need not drown in a polluted river of “recovered memories,” where undercurrents of spiritual bondage lead to FMS, broken families, fear, depression and a shipwrecked faith. Sadly, damages are so severe that many sozo advocates are now having participants to sign a disclaimer so they will not be held legally liable. So dear friend, due to the fact that Sozo Prayer has made its way to our local area, pray God will grant you a love for the truth (2Thess.2:10), so you will not be deceived and may He grant you the grace, discernment, wisdom and courage needed to walk in Jesus’ steps in becoming an advocate for those who are spiritually abused. 

Sis. Lee Anne 

 

 

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Charismania, discernment column, Newspaper Articles

Discernment Column (article 2)

“as we have received mercy……..

we faint not, but have renounced ….

 the hidden things of                                       dishonesty”    2Cor.4:1,2                                               

Theological Thoughts 

Biblical theology: anhonest understanding of God based upon His Word, revealed by the Holy Spirit to those who are His

Occult means hidden; dishonest views of God, based on metaphysics, revealed by “spirit guides” to those who are “enlightened”

Yoga: defined as a “yoking” or “union;” an occult catalyst for unequally yoking and uniting with Christianity

     Today theological thoughts are being distorted by “New Thought,” a movement that mixes occult concepts with Christian terminology, to try to infiltrate and corrupt Christianity from within, rather than direct opposition. We see this with yoga meditation slipping into many evangelical churches under the guise of “Soaking Prayer,” where the subconscious mind is “soaked” in repetitive music or “Word” mantras in order to “connect” to God.  Like yoga, this practice induces a mild trance that subtly dulls reasoning abilities so “new thoughts” can be implanted.  Perhaps this is one reason Jesus commands in Matt.6:7 not to use vain repetitions in prayer as the heathen do.  For “tapping into God” subconsciously, undermines actually knowing God thru His Word and consciously communing with Him in worship and biblical prayer (humble, sincere appeals and requests, with thanksgiving) Phil.4:6. In fact, these mystical man-mediated “connections” to God shipwrecks faith in Christ-mediated reconciliation with God.  

     A move away from the moral to the mystical always presents another way to God that dilutes the fact that only Jesus’ blood can make us near Eph.2:13, and that God is near all who call upon Him in truth Ps.145:18.  For the “connection” mystics seek is not in truth, but in error, seeking to be “as God,” as an actual possessor of His divine nature, despite the fact that God says He will not give His glory to another Isa.42:8. Yet, those who are saved reflect His glory and are partakers of the divine nature by His gift of grace thru faith in Jesus 2Pet.1:4. For His grace is sufficient to draw us to Him without occult techniques that cause altered states of consciousness and spiritual bondage, or else Christ died in vain Gal.2:21.

     The same old lie in the Garden of Eden that seemed good with the promise to “be as gods” is still alive today disguised as a new thought, for in this regard “there is no new thing under the sun” Eccl.1:9. We still reap what we sow, despite good intentions and its still forbidden fruit to mix mercy with merit, grace with works, or truth with error.  So dear friend, ask God to grant you love for the truth, so that you may be saved 2Thess.2:10 and given the grace needed to renounce the hidden things of dishonesty.                      Sister Lee Anne —–

Charismania, discernment column, Newspaper Articles

Discernment Column (article 1)

Theological Thoughts

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God”—–. “rightly dividing the word of truth”  2 Tim. 2:15

Theology: the study of God that recognizes all His works as being systematic and orderly, revealing that theology is to the Bible what science is to nature, proving God’s word to be a consistent, harmonious system of Christian belief and practice

We live in a day where theological thoughts are subtly being distracted by a worldly system of non-thought. Our vocabulary is even being dumbed down for the sake of “texting,” or other forms of empty chatter, when God says our conversation is only worthy of the gospel, Phil 1:27. Yet, desensitized by media, opinions, doctrines of men, and legalistic do’s and don’ts, our mind may become passive to the point of just believing whatever we are told, rather than going to God’s word ourselves. In fact, lack of reasoning is why so many are ending up in cults today. “The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Prov. 14:15

Acts 17: 11-12 tells us of Apostle Paul’s encounter with noble minded Bereans. These men and women were not only ready to receive God’s word, but they also searched the Scriptures daily for themselves, to see if all they were being told was true. Not only does this scenario show us that women are to be involved in theological matters too, but that we all need to “test the spirits” with sound doctrine and discernment to keep from being deceived by “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils,” which are sadly shipwrecking the faith of many today, 1 Tim. 4:1.

The Bereans applied themselves to know the truth, as God was drawing them thru His word and by His grace granting them belief in Jesus, with the Holy Spirit enabling them to respond in faith.

 So dear friend, by God’s grace search the Scriptures daily and ask Him for firm belief in Jesus, so that you too may respond in true faith and repentance. For now is the day of salvation! 

 

Newspaper Articles

Occult Invasion

Due to inquiries regarding the concerns addressed in my last article, it seems necessary to first elaborate on what constitutes spiritually dangerous occult practices infiltrating many ministries today, and how these are occurring within prayer and counseling techniques that are subtly invading the local Christian arena.
Naturally, when religions outside of biblical Christianity become integrated into the fold, these occult practices will gradually begin to invade the Church and the local outreach ministries that are funded by compromised churches. Some of these practices include Catholic mysticism, contemplative/soaking prayer, healing rooms, Theophostics, SOZO, transcendental meditation, “Christianized” yoga, Reiki, etc.
Interestingly, the common link within all mystical occult practices is that they all involve techniques that require mental passivity in order to seek “truth,” healing, etc., through sensations, guided imagery, visualization, spirit “encounters,” and other subjective experiences. Some of these practices require human mediators or “seers” that help clients summons “a vision of Jesus” that brings temporary healing, guidance or a “prophetic word.” However, this mystical practice w/ the help of a “mediator,” (medium) is never mentioned in Gods Word as a way to Him or as a way that He draws us near. The Bible makes it clear that we are made near by the blood of Jesus, not by subjective experiences and that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man. Eternal salvation and deliverance can only be granted by God’s gift of grace, thru faith in the TRUE Jesus, not by works, techniques, legalistic lies, or formulaic, positive confessions.
When mystical experiences are portrayed as having eminence over the revealed Word of God, or are given a “Christian” label w/ twisted Bible verses to provide proof texts for heretical doctrines, it subtly suspends God-given reasoning abilities and removes the tools necessary to “test the spirits.” Such is the case when it is presumptuously assumed that the biblical Jesus as revealed in Scripture, will automatically cooperate with an unbiblical process. Therefore, many “spirit guides” that are summonsed, pose as “Jesus,” which shipwrecks faith in the sufficiency of God’s Word, makes the gospel obsolete and leads clients to such a deep level of deception and delusion that only God can reach them and grant repentance.
Biblical practices, involve sober, mentally active and alert consciousness. According to Gods Word, Christians are to test all things, study His Word in context, be discerning, watchful, prayerful, sober, and vigilant. Even our natural God-given imagination, when used biblically, can be a way to actively express worship and petition to God, NOT as a way to passively hear from God, leading to superstition and creating an idol in the mind or what pagan circles call seeing w/ the “minds eye” or connecting to the “god within.” Therefore, its no surprise that these unbiblical practices require altered states of consciousness, which leaves one open to dangerous supernatural experiences that are assumed to be of God (Col. 2: 8, 18).
Jesus never mentioned Him following us into a regressive, subconscious, trance-like state, thru an “inner healing of memories,” SOZO journey to our past. No, Jesus said to put the hand to the plow and not look back and to go directly to “Our Father who is IN HEAVEN,” through Him, NOT to empty our mind or go within ourselves. Believers are to follow Him, all the way to the Father, not the other way around. He is the Truth, the Way and the Life; no one comes to the Father except thru Him. Imposters climb up another way, (John 10:1) claiming to know the truth, but have no love of the truth, (2 Thess. 2:10) false teachers producing false conversions by using Christian terms w/ an appearance of godliness but denying the power of the gospel by gradually marginalizing, perverting, diluting, negating, contradicting, undermining and undoing any proclamation of it, resulting in Satan snatching the Word from peoples hearts (Luke 8:12).
Some of the damaging results include False Memory Syndrome, which has led to many unnecessary court cases involving “recovered memories.” Ironically, most victims of abuse admit to the fact that “not remembering” isn’t the real issue; the real problem is not being able to forget. Entire families are at serious risk due to the psychological manipulation embedded within these practices. Other devastating results include severe mental and physical illness due to “kundalini” effects that can last months, even years. Locally, this has opened the door for opportunists to “make merchandise” of those whose mental, physical and spiritual health has been damaged by such (2 Pet. 2: 1-3 KJV). The fact that this has come to our area without much resistance shows that local churches haven’t been fully prepared to deal with the spiritual abuse that’s beginning to surface and Gods impending judgment, which His Word says comes to the Church first. Sadly, those in alliance w/ those involved, who ignore the warnings, may be future victims.
In many “Christian” organizations today the gospel is just added to a spiritual smorgasbord as a lukewarm attempt to appease both sides of the fence, a futile effort. When ecumenism portrays all religions as having a “portion of the truth,” it’s like saying they all have a little bit of Jesus (whoever “Jesus” is to them). The pagan Greeks in Acts 17 had this kind of mentality, also described in Rev. 22:15 as those who love and practice a lie. While lying convincingly w/ appeals for love and unity, w/ flattering speech, Jesus’ name is blasphemed by imposters who promise “liberty” but lead into bondage (2Pet. 2:19). Yet the true Shepherd leads those who are His out of darkness (John 10:3). Faithful followers of Jesus are to have no other gods, to have no fellowship w/ their works of darkness, to expose them and those who promote them (Eph. 5:11,1Tim.5: 20), to come out from among them, bear witness to the truth and warn others (2 Tim.4).
Lee Anne——(Former Volunteer counselor at a pregnancy crisis center that was slipping in SOZO)

Newspaper Articles

Heres the article I wrote for the local newspaper

When the pro-choice writer came up against the

pregnancy center, the director began to persistently

induce paranoia in all of us over the minor threat of Planned

Parenthood, rather than the major threat of God’s

impending judgment upon the heresy that was being promoted.

She used it all as an excuse to totally try to make the

gospel obsolete, hinting that it was too offensive, that we needed to

“honor others paradigm” and adhere to more secular ways of

dealing w/ clients, etc. etc.   My way of getting people to

question was obviously so elusive, that the publisher thought

it was on behalf of the center, and it could be taken that way.  I

just basically laid it out on the line about what a pregnancy

ministry should really look like and what hinders that.  I could go

on and on, but I’ll just say that the one thing that finally

gave me the courage to go thru w/ this article, was that

God gave me peace about leaving and confirmed to me the day

that I left that my discernment had been right all along.  They

came right out and told me that day that they were ecumenical

and heavily into the “River,” etc.—even the board member I met

w/ that day.  Enough said for now—heres the article.  Thanks

Mkayla for encouraging me to post it.

This is an overdue response in connection to the pro-choice write up (in the April 28, 2011 issue) against Crossroads Pregnancy Center and its “agenda.”  For purposes of clarification it must be made clear that the secular “Earn While You Learn” program is what is highly promoted at most pregnancy centers.   Clients signed up for EWYL must go through an hour of parenting classes every other week for a month and a half before they begin to redeem any “mommy bucks”, unless they just come once every six months to receive a small material assistance package.   The Christian counseling and Bible study are optional and only lasts thirty minutes each visit.  Therefore, the concern shouldn’t be whether or not clients are “forced” to receive Christian counseling before getting material assistance or whether the counselors are college educated (most are), but the real concern should be whether or not the Christian counseling and Bible study is doctrinally sound according to true biblical Christianity, even after such worldly attacks.

It is because of such pressure from the world and advocates of tolerance (who are ironically intolerant of Bible-based Christianity) that many “religious” organizations today compromise their stance on truth.  They feel backed into a corner to conform to a progressively morally declining society in order to “serve” the public without offending.  However, if the worst accusation that an organization gets from the world is that they are “religious” with a political agenda, many question whether they have a Christian agenda at all.

Therefore, the concern of many Christians is that some politically controversial organizations have only a Christian front with a fully political agenda.  Many give lip service to the gospel today, striving endlessly to maintain the public image of their “ministry” so they can get financial support from local churches in order to build their own kingdoms.  Some are even experts at using Christian terminology but in practice its something else altogether.  This is where godly discernment is needed.  It’s true that although the pro-life stance is Christian based, not all of its supporters and outreaches are.  Therefore, many Christian churches may be unknowingly financially funding a political and possibly interfaith/ecumenical agenda, thinking they are donating their time and money to a purely Christian cause.

Interfaith agendas involve the ecumenical idea that those of different faiths can sacrifice truth on the altar of “unity”, in order to come together for a common cause, the first steps to forming a one-world religion.  However, biblical Christianity is based on the narrow way, upheld by those who are faithful to the teaching of the first apostles, “contending for THE faith once delivered to the saints,” not a different gospel, a different Jesus or a different faith.   According to Gods Word,  (2 Cor.13: 5 for instance), one is disqualified if believing and practicing within the broad way of a false faith apart from the truth.

Jesus is the Rock of offense, the Truth, the only Way.   Naturally, there will be those who are offended because of this exclusive claim in such an inclusive world.

So in response to the secular worldview, true Christians do have an “agenda” and its not centered around political correctness.  It’s to share and defend the gospel, out of love for God and those who are perishing.  It’s to boldly proclaim the truth despite the world’s hostility.  Some of us may have a mission field where the secular seeks to dominate but that doesn’t mean we personally feel we have to use worldly tactics to lure people.  The gospel is sufficient enough in itself to attract those in need of Gods grace and mercy, the power to change lives and help clients become the parents God means for them to be.

Out of deep concern, Christian churches need to not only ask but also thoroughly investigate whether or not the clients who are opting for Bible study and Christian guidance in these types of ministries, are receiving the true gospel.  Is it an “all love,” or works gospel, watered down and distorted to the point of being indistinguishable from New Age philosophy?  Are the Christian volunteers there pressured to use flattery or altar the gospel message, or are they encouraged to give the full counsel of God, to “speak the truth in love?” Are some counselors being subtly indoctrinated to employ spiritually dangerous counseling and prayer techniques similar to occult practices?  Do Christian counselors feel pressured to appease counselors of other “faiths” or those who have already compromised and pretend that they are in agreement?  And if not yet, is the organization being directed toward the broad way to destruction, while the true laborers suffer in silence as they become increasingly manipulated and marginalized?

We all need to at least be reminded of the subtle signs of deception, the invisible war that threatens biblical Christianity from having free reign within its own ranks.  It’s not a Christian duty to judge character, but to warn of Gods judgment and to discern between good and evil according to His standards, not the worlds.  It’s expected that secular organizations fall in with the world, but organizations that bear the title “Christian” have a stewardship to uphold and “it’s required in stewards that one be found faithful,” not to a political or secular worldview, but to a biblical worldview.  True stewards don’t fall away when persecuted or get offended when biblically corrected.  This will be the real test.  Who will exhort these Christian organizations to be accountable to God so His truth will not be blasphemed?  Surely, it must begin with the Christians who are donating their time and money —–

Sincerely,

Lee Anne Ferguson B.S.W. —–Crossroads (volunteer Christian counselor)