Saturday, July 19, 2008

In Defense of Theophostic

To add to the article I just posted about Theophostic, I wanted to point to another article I just found, with the same title as this post. It sounds to me like some of the underpinnings of this are very similar to what EFT does. Here's one part in particular I wanted to note:
Some Christians are suspicious of Theophostic® because it uses some truth that psychologists have discovered. For example, it acknowledges that we are complex human beings, and our present way of experiencing life is heavily predicated on our early childhood experiences.

And this ties into what many EFT practitioners have found, and in the arena of spiritual warfare, in at least a few books I've read, it is noted that it is frequently through significant traumatic or emotional events that the demonic gains access.

Overall I really enjoyed the article, and will be spending more time exploring this topic.

New to me - Theophostic Prayer

I exchanged some messages from someone on a discussion group for Christian EFT Practitioners (on Yahoo), and she mentioned Theophostic prayer ministry (TPM). I had heard of it, but hadn't really looked into it. So I did a search and found an article titled A Biblical Evaluation of Theophostic Ministry that I want to comment on.

Some of the quotes taken from the founder of TPM, Dr. Smith, I very much agree with. I suspect most EFT practitioners, regardless of faith, would also agree. Here's a sample:

"Recovery is not building strong defenses against the lies or controlling undesirable behavior. Genuine recovery is freedom from the lies that control and dictate such behavior" (Genuine Recovery, p.10).

"If a person is truly recovered, then relapse should not be a concern…" (Genuine Recovery, p.12).

The article goes on to say:
That Theophostic offers new "methods" is indisputable. But that it offers new "applications" (presumably of Scripture) would be hard to establish. The proposal that Jesus Christ must directly reveal to a struggler the specific lie he is believing (not through Scripture or through bringing Scripture to mind, but directly) — that He does this only as painful memories are re-visited — and that Jesus himself must then personally refute that lie in that person’s heart, not merely in general but while the person is recalling the life context in which he began embracing that lie — these are not notions derived from a study of Scripture. They are new revelation.
I say it is not a new revelation, it is entirely scriptural if you take into account the spiritual side of the equation. And EFT has a similar approach, though EFT helps relieve the emotional 'hold' that keeps the lie in place, from my perspective. I'll probably expand on that in another article, but it's basically my premise behind using EFT as a tool in spiritual warfare. I think that would be in agreement with

Luk 8:35 ESV
(35) Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. (emphasis added)

I think, from some of what's in the article, that it's written from a Reformed / Calvinist theology, which I don't hold. It appears to me that TPM is predicated on the Holy Spirit speaking directly to a believer, and that it's a form of deliverance (though they may not call it that, it'll be a bit before I have a better grasp of that.) However, in this article the author appears not to believe that the Holy Spirit speaks directly to believers, even though that belief is unscriptural. I think they believe that the following passages only applied to the Apostles at pentacost and now they don't apply.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (Joh 14:16 KJV)

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
(Joh 14:26 KJV)

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
(Joh 16:7 KJV)

Here's the part of the article that talks of the Holy Spirit:
So what do people need? "They need an experience." People need Jesus Christ to talk directly to their souls. This is not the secret work of the Holy Spirit, blowing like the wind, regenerating a person or strengthening him with power in his inner being (Ephesians 3:16).
This is the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, directly speaking extra-biblical (although not anti-biblical) content into the person’s heart."
So to the author's way of thinking, the Holy Spirit does a 'secret work' and not according to the following verse of scripture: (13) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (14) He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (Joh 16:13-14 ESV) However, the author at least says it isn't anti-biblical. It's a long article, but there's just one more part of it that I want to comment on, which also reveals the Reformed point of view, and ties in with a previous blog article I wrote. Here's a quote from the latter part of the Theophostic article:

Then why does it work?

We might ask, "Suppose Theophostic is shown to be in error — how do
we explain that it often seems to help people?" God alone can answer this. But two suggestions follow. [...]

Do any of these cases prove that the supplicants’ methods were justified? Not at all. They prove only that God sometimes responds generously to our misguided — or even sinful — approaches toward him. Many people no doubt pray sincerely during Theophostic sessions. God is at liberty to answer any of them with mercy, even while his Word demonstrates the error of their approach.

Second,in many cases people may merely be imagining that Christ speaks to them or that they receive divine help. The power of suggestion is very strong. [He then goes on to quote from a book titled Abnormal Psychology about the power of suggestion. Which begs the question of whether the field of psychology even acknowledges the spiritual realm -- but that's another topic I won't address here.]

What I do want to address is the statement: "God sometimes responds generously to our misguided — or even sinful — approaches toward him." and "God is at liberty to answer any of them with mercy, even while his Word demonstrates the error of their approach."

The above statements seem to imply, at least to me, that there is a 'right way' to approach God, outside of being a believer in the finished work of Jesus Christ. I think that idea borders on witchcraft, where you have to say the 'right words' and perform the 'right actions' to (allegedly) get results. I wanted to respond with the following verses of scripture that came to mind when I read that, which to me are in direct opposition to the premise:

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16 KJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6 KJV)

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:12-13 KJV)

That's my response to this article, though I'll probably have more on TPM.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More on Todd Bentley

Here is an excellent article about TB and the 'Florida outpouring'. It's a pretty long article, so I'm just going to give the link (above) -- it has some information that I hadn't seen before and it's well worth reading.

Time to 'Get Real'

This is from an article titled Authentic Spirituality The whole article is worth reading , it's a bit long - here's a few paragraphs:

I think we do this because deep in our hearts we're trying to sell Jesus to the public. We attempt to make Him out to be more than He is in an effort to spark interest. We present "life with Jesus" as though it's a continuous mountain-top experience that comes with batteries included and a life-time guarantee. If this isn't your personal experience with Him, something is wrong with your spirituality. Sadly, the result of this pattern of exaggeration is that people chase a carrot that is always just out of reach and then become depressed and disillusioned.

Let me be the first to say that the reason you can't find the peace and joy and freedom that you've heard about is because it doesn't exist. At least not in the way it's been presented. The Christian life as advertised to you is a lie! The promises and claims that were made to you about Jesus were nothing but a list of sales tactics to close the deal. After all, who would reject eternal happiness and contentment? Who in their right mind would walk away from a Jesus who could make all their problems go away overnight? Who would say no to instantaneous freedom and victory? Especially when it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Rattle off a quick sinner's prayer and you're on your way to a life of constant adventure and roller-coaster spirituality.

I think there is something to be said for the way Jesus presented Himself 2000 years ago. He rode into the city on the back of an ass. Now that resonates with my life! I get this real and raw picture in my mind, "Life on an Ass," and it rings true. Maybe it's not a popular concept with the Christian world, but the fact is, life is humdrum. There are "up" days and there are "down." There are times of purpose and times of purposelessness. There are extended times when there is clear direction and you know where you're going and then there are times when you just sit and stare at the walls and go nowhere. Life with Jesus is not filled with a continuous vibration of exhilaration and adventure. Scripture never promised that to us.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Faith of a Mustard Seed


One, mustard seed grows every place in the cold climates as well as hot ones. It can grow in any type of soil. It is disease-resistant and hardy. It comes in four different kinds of color: yellow, white, brown and black. And it is described as a TROUBLESOME seed. That word TROUBLESOME caught my immediate attention! Something clicked! For then I remembered the story of the unjust judge:

"There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man, and there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying. Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for awhile but afterward he said within himself, though I fear not God nor regard man, yet because this widow TROUBLETH me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find FAITH on the earth?"

Here was a revelation! The mustard seed certainly caused that farmer a lot of trouble...because it kept on multiplying and multiplying, just as that woman kept nagging that judge night and day about her case! And Jesus had linked her act of being persistent with FAITH!! The word "weary me" in this scripture is described as a "pugilist" (prize fighter) constantly pounding somebody in the eye! What does a prize fighter get in the ring to do? To keeping up the blows until the opponent goes down and he wins the bout!

Mustard seed, when crushed, sets off a pungent also stings and hurts! It definitely gets your attention! And Jesus had used an unjust judge in this illustration to tell us that we have a JUST judge...our God! And would He not avenge us of our adversaries, our problems, our situations if we too could have this same kind of persistence? I had now discovered why Jesus had linked mustard seed to was hidden in that story of the unjust judge! He even closed out the discourse by saying, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Mustard-seed faith?

See the rest of the article here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Florida 'revival' - using discernment

Here's a good video that offers some sound advice (imho). It's about 10 minutes long. Also, given something he says near the beginning of the video, I wanted to share an experience I had before I posted the 1st post about this so-called revival in Florida. I'd been praying for discernment, and I was getting something in the kitchen prior to reading an article on the Apostasy Watch web site-- and I clearly heard a threatening voice behind me warning me to 'stop researching this'.
Prior to that, I wasn't particularly planning to post anything here about the 'revival' or 'outpouring', whatever they're calling it this week; since no one had actually asked for my opinion. BUT, since some demonic voice was trying to get me to stop researching I decided after I read the article to post about it, too.

Also, here's a link to the video I'd just watched when I saw the video above on the sidebar, and watched it. Pray for protection before watching it, if you watch it. I haven't watched many of these, but for some reason I did this one, and one thing I noticed was TB giving what I call the 'devil's hi sign' or it's also called devil's horns, at 2:14 into the video (total time for this one is about 6 minutes). And, he gives the sign with his left hand, and the church of satan calls itself 'the left hand way'. The implications are not good, to put it mildly.