Charismania, discernment column

Sozo Renamed “Theotherapy”

The topic of “theotherapy” caught my attention recently on the local Christian television station. The speaker said “good theology makes good psychology,” which sounded good at first. But the more I listened, the more I realized they were promoting Sozo, which is the exact same thing I wrote and warned about over two years ago. They’ve just renamed it (again) to try to make it sound more theologically sound.

Yet, the “inner healing” movement is still founded upon the lie that one can use their imagination to hear from God. And the counseling techniques used to conjure up these experiences are the same used in the occult, mainly “guided imagery” and “visualization.” The mediators who assist these experiences are called “theotherapists,” in order to gain access within Christian circles. 

Just another fulfillment of prophecy the Bible warns about (e.g. Acts 20:28-30, Gal.2:4, 2Pet.2:1). But the mission of every born-again believer is to warn others and keep proclaiming the solid theological foundation of the true gospel, so that those who love the truth will be able to discern a counterfeit gospel a mile away, which is all “theotherapy” really is (2Thess.2:9-10).

Ironically, the bad theology behind bad psychology is a major cause of mental and spiritual damage. And sadly, many never come out of the deception once they’ve been fooled by the placebo effects it produces. But by the grace and mercy of God, He’s been leading many of the captives out, who’ve been contacting me ever since I first wrote about it (2Tim.2:24-26). Because “the sheep hear His voice; and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out” (Jn.10:3).  

When the Holy Spirit truly convicts us of sin, we’re led to go to God for mercy and to humbly ask Him for all we need to be saved (repentance and faith).  So that we can truly comprehend by faith that Jesus’s blood was shed to cover our sins and reconcile us to God. It’s that simple, which is why the complicated methods and techniques of man don’t work, but leading people to go to God for mercy thru Jesus Christ does (2Cor.11:3). Because the true gospel and those who proclaim it are the means God has chosen to set His people free.

True Christianity is the ONLY religion in the world that’s based solely on salvation by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Jesus Christ ALONE. All others are centered upon outward performance rather than inward change, which causes them to be enemies of the cross of Christ (Gal.6:14, Phil.3:18). In fact, every false religion in the world is built upon that same legalistic foundation. The only difference is that they all just build upon it differently; depending on what each sect thinks are the most important outward performances for obtaining full salvation (remember this).

For instance, some think its snake handling, some think its water baptism, and others think it’s wearing certain clothes or choosing certain types of transportation.  Then again, some think it’s “deliverance” techniques such as those used in Sozo, which ironically means “to save” in Greek —– (did you catch that)?

So friend, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col.2:8). “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1Cor.1:18). Because salvation is of the Lord and He finishes the good work He begins in His people, so that they don’t have to be made complete and whole by their own efforts or the works of a “theotherapist” (Psa. 37:39-40, Phil.1:6). Because those who are born again by His Spirit “are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Col.2:10).

Sis. Lee Anne

freewill vs. Sovereignty of God, Newspaper Articles

God’s Sovereignty

Many think that if they’re seeking what only God can provide, they must be seeking God. But Jesus told a multitude that they were only seeking Him for His earthly benefits, not for the heavenly miracles that proved His Deity.  In other words, they weren’t really seeking God. And Jesus explained why by saying, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” (John 6:26, 44, 66).

 Jesus’ words were so offensive, many walked away.  Because like today, many admit God is sovereign over nations and temporal life, but they can’t handle the fact that God is sovereign over all things, including eternal life.  They’d rather make up a god they’re more comfortable with, because “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” which is why “it’s not in man that walketh to direct his own steps” (Jer.10:23, 17:9).

So why does God command us to seek Him and proclaim the gospel? Since only God changes hearts and draws sinners to Jesus to be saved, why should we take action at all?  Obviously, the answer is simple. He commands us to.  For He already knows that although some won’t obey in spirit and truth, some will.  Just as God commanded light to shine out of darkness (Gen.1), everything didn’t become light, but what God ordained to be light, obeyed His command. That’s why there’s a universal call of the gospel but not a universal redemption, “for many be called, but few chosen” (Matt.20:16, Acts 13:48).

Although fallen humanity has the “light of conscience” and the “light of creation” to prompt them to an outward performance of God’s commands, they can’t seek Jesus from a pure heart unless God commands the “light of the gospel” to shine into their hearts.  A mere outward response isn’t the deciding factor, God is. In fact, God’s sovereignty in salvation is so obvious that Jesus recaps this point in John 6:65 by saying “No man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of the Father.”

Yet many are believing what’s called “decisional regeneration,” where trust is placed in a “decision for Christ” rather than Holy Spirit regeneration, where the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we’re His (Tit.3:5, Rom.8:16). For believers “have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2Cor.4:3-7), because those who receive God’s free gift aren’t those with more “willpower” but those whom God has given the power to become His (John 1:12, 13).  “For it is not of man who wills or runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Rom.9:16). 

“For who maketh thee to differ from another” (1Cor.4:7)? Are Christians different because they’re better than others?  Are they able to receive, repent, believe and obey the gospel due to having more common grace of character, conviction, morality, or ability to choose the things of God? Absolutely not! Or else they wouldn’t need a Savior and could do without God’s sovereign saving grace.

So dear friend, although many turn away from such a sovereign God, you don’t have to become a statistic. And you don’t have to try to be better than others.  Just cry out to God for mercy, confessing your desperate need of a Savior.  He never turns away those who are truly brokenhearted over sin (Ps.51:17), for He sent Jesus to seek and save an endless multitude of people who are poor in spirit.  So be encouraged, no one is closer to God’s free grace than when they finally realize the poverty of their own sinfulness and powerlessness compared to God’s sovereign, majestic holiness.

Sis Lee Anne—-Readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at gospel4life@live.com

discernment column, Newspaper Articles

Truth Shines Brightest Against Backdrop of Error (Last of Discernment Series)

Theological Thoughts

    Philippians 4:8 says our thoughts are to be upon that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. These are all a perfect description of the gospel, which represents the hope of believers, the exaltation of Christ and ultimately the glory of God. However, mixing the gospel with worldly views only shows a lack of belief and esteem for the authority and sufficiency of God’s word. Truth mixed with error is no longer truth at all (1John2:21) but becomes false, dishonest, unjust, impure, ugly and a bad report, which in turn brings false hope, the exaltation of mankind and blasphemy toward God.  So, just as it was forbidden to sow with mingled seed under the old covenant, (Lev. 19:19) it is still forbidden for Christians to sow seeds of the gospel mixed with worldly philosophies and opinions of man.

    But sadly, many today are deceived into believing one can “chew up the meat and spit out the bones,” when it comes to bad theology.  But this philosophy for promoting false doctrine or allowing it to go unchecked is found nowhere in Scripture.  In fact, we see just the opposite with warnings such as “teach no other doctrine” (1Tim.1:3), for “a little leaven, leavens the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6) “we cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils, or be partakers of the Lords table and of the devils table (1Cor.10:21).  We are to “avoid those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to doctrine” (Rom.16:17) for there can be no unity between God’s people apart from the truth.  Even common sense tells us not to even attempt to eat meat mixed with bones to avoid chipping teeth or choking to death.  But more importantly God’s word warns us to abstain from all appearance of evil to avoid being destroyed by it (2Thess.5:22). 

     So dear friend, commit yourself to “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor.10:4) and “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph.5:11).  For exposing darkness and proclaiming the gospel are actually two aspects of the same task, which may be one reason this discernment series has proven the old adage true, that truth shines brightest against the backdrop of error.

Sis Lee Anne

 

Charismania, discernment column, Newspaper Articles

Discernment Column #5 on Kundalini

Theological Thoughts

Kundalini:  defined as a universal “life force” that lies dormant until charged with “energy” thru occult practices such as yoga, purification rituals, meditation, or the touch of a guru, supposedly removing “defense mechanisms” that hinder “serpent power.”

Kundalini Syndrome:  unexplained illnesses, mental collapse, psychosis, neuromuscular damage, uncontrollable laughter and body movements, wild emotionalism, trances, inner visions, sounds, and psychic perceptions. It also mimics fibromyalgia and Schizophrenia. And though it lacks biblical resources for dealing with it, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) even recognizes it as a “Spiritual Emergency.” Yet, it is entering American churches thru “Christianized” yoga, soaking prayer, contemplative meditation, third-wave Pentecostalism, inner healing and deliverance ministries.

It’s a spiritual emergency when theological thoughts are being replaced by serpent “power thoughts,” where mind-numbing indoctrination is hammered home repeatedly until the “defense mechanism” of truth is removed.  Just as Sozo/Shabar counseling (last month’s topic) claims to peel away “protective mechanisms” or “parts” of a person’s personality that “hinder deliverance,” the signs and wonders movement as a whole is dismantling personalities at an alarming rate.  Christians are being pressured to worship God in a pagan way with universal appeal, which is an abomination to God (Deut. 12: 30-31).  Perhaps this is why we are seeing glimpses of God’s judgment upon counterfeit Christianity where He is allowing the rise of Kundalini with all of its wild manifestations to enter compromised churches. This would explain why these Kundalini outbreaks resemble the same delusions sent by God throughout His word (e.g. Isaiah 29:9-10).  Even in Isaiah 66:4 God says when people choose to worship Him their own way or the way pagans worship their gods, He will then choose their delusions. Also 2 Thess. 2:9- 12 confirms that power, signs and lying wonders will deceive many in the last days because God Himself sends strong delusion upon those who don’t receive a love of the truth. This also explains the increase of those who follow signs and wonders instead of Jesus.

Many believe these signs are proof they’re ushering in God’s kingdom, when they may actually be ushering in the kingdom of Antichrist. If so, Rev.17:17 say’s God will put it into their hearts to give their kingdom over to the beast. But until then, many antichrists are going out into the world as substitute “anointed ones.” In Hinduism, the impartation of this anointing is called Shaktipat, where a guru lays hands on someone until Kundalini occurs. The same happens in churches where leaders impart “anointing’s” in Jesus’ name by channeling “power” or “energy” thru mind/body experiences. That’s why the signs and wonders movement highly endorses the New Age friendly “Message Bible,” which adds the word “energy” 40 times. For example, in Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:28 it changes the word “pray” to “the energies of prayer” insinuating it’s no longer God who answers prayer or anoints with the Holy Spirit, but prayer itself or the one praying supposedly generates “the energy” or “the anointing.”

Other verses false teachers use to condone kundalini outbreaks are taken from Acts chapter two, where they claim the disciples were accused of drunkenness because they were “drunk in the spirit,” which is blasphemous. For by reading the chapter in context one can see the disciples were mocked due to “speaking the wonderful works of God” in different languages to all the different tribes present that day.  Peter, also of sound, sober mind, delivered one of the most powerful gospel proclamations ever!  In fact, the whole scenario shows that all of God’s gifts are a demonstration of the power of the gospel initiated by Him alone thru the Holy Spirit, not manifestations of “serpent power” initiated by man thru a “bartender” spirit.

Sadly, when Christians in this movement become convicted and begin to question, leaders twist verses such as Matt. 7:8-11 to discourage their discernment. If that doesn’t work they’re spiritually abused and even accused of demon possession, when it’s actually unbiblical practices that are attracting demonic activity. Scripture is clear, the Holy Spirit cannot co-habit with a demon (e.g. 1Cor. 6:19, Col. 1:13, 2:10). There’s no biblical account of demons being cast out of believers! Yet, Christians involved in this movement are becoming demonically oppressed.  So friend, remember that a universal “life force” is the broad way available even to vessels of destruction, but life in Jesus is the narrow way available only to vessels of mercy. So pray God will grant you mercy, discernment and the “protective mechanism” of truth, so you may be counted worthy to escape this devastating deception.

Sis Lee Anne Ferguson—–Readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at gospel4life@live.com

Charismania, discernment column, Newspaper Articles

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 actualincarnation of Christ.  So in believing 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