Saturday, September 27, 2008

Truth vs Lies, the essence of Spiritual Warfare

When I first felt the call to become an EFT practitioner, I thought or maybe decided that I'd offer it more as a secular or 'generic' EFT. So I took the EFT-CC and ADV exams, got the certificate(s) of completion; and figured if I just had myself listed as a practitioner then I'd be set. (The old 'if you build it they will come' scenario.) It turns out that Gary Craig's listings required that you have at least 50 (now 100 I think?) individual sessions before you could be listed. Apparently some of the people listed there weren't really even offering EFT, which is why the whole scheme was recently changed. So, I haven't been listed there. (Which goes to show that honesty doesn't always pay, but I'll stick with it anyway...)

So my practice, as it were, was going nowhere fast. Through prayer, I was led to research and write the EFT for SW booklet. I'd been researching SW for a few years anyway, but I hadn't thought to really tie the two together for public consumption. Near the end of the booklet I have a list from Clint Byar's book Devil Walk , of various lies the devil uses, along with God's truth as found in His Word. When I started the blog, and even somewhat since then, I keep having this thought of 'the truth vs the lie'. While I know that's important, from an EFT practitioner perspective, I wasn't quite sure how to reveal or discover the lie. I felt like I was floundering around and not really 'getting it'. [For those who don't understand the 'floundering around' reference -- Flounder is a type of fish, so imagine a newly caught fish on a deck or boat flopping around.]

In addition, I'd put forth my idea that there's a link between one's emotions and the spiritual realm, and felt like I'd really crawled out on a limb with that idea. But, I found nothing in scripture or elsewhere that convinced me that wasn't true. Since EFT is a great tool for emotional issues, I saw it as sort of a method of 'deliverance lite'. Now that I'm studying Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM), it's clearing up a lot of the questions or issues that had me floundering around. Essentially the premise is that a lot of our emotional turmoil is rooted in lie-based beliefs, and sometimes conflicting beliefs. This fits in perfectly with what I found in Dr. M. Scott Peck's Glimpses of the Devil , on pg 52 he writes: Some instinct told me that the attack [on the demonic spirits] would fail unless it could discern the roots of Jersey's nihilism and demonstrate each of them to be fallacious. And on pg 74 he writes: Each of the four demons we encountered ... represented a lie of sorts or a false pattern of thinking.

To tie that into TPM and the topic of spiritual warfare; I found the following in the TPM Basic Seminar Manual 2007 to be very helpful:
The cure-all for a person’s emotional distress is not exorcising demons. Demon oppression is rooted in the lie-based pain in the person’s mind. When the lies are removed and truth replaces the pain with His peace there is no basis for further oppression. ... If we deal with the reason the demons are there in the first place, they can be permanently removed without a battle. ... I am convinced that demonic oppression is nothing more than demons punching our lie-based “buttons” and triggering the pain that is already there. If this is so, then they are actually providing a helpful service if we will attend to what they have exposed. ... Truth resides in a spiritual realm. However, we live in a physical world, and it is more natural to see with our physical eyes and to evaluate things from this perspective. As life happens around us, we are prone to draw conclusions based on lie-based interpretations, and as a result suffer emotional distress. (pg 45)

Apparently, in earlier training for TPM, there was some focus on more of the 'traditional' spiritual warfare practices, i.e. binding demons and the like. Now the focus is on uncovering the lie-based beliefs, and resting in the finished work of Christ. Page 44 of the Manual says: Satan is no longer in the same place he was 2000 years ago before the cross. Hebrews 2:14 says he was “rendered powerless” through the death of Christ. Either he is powerless or he is not. We cannot have it both ways. If he is powerless, but yet expresses power in our ministry sessions then something is wrong. I suggest we look at what we believe. It makes no logical sense for us to celebrate the victory of Christ and yet continue in the fight. To which I say, amen!

Does that mean that I'm abandoning EFT in favor of TPM? No. They're both excellent tools. I mention an instance in my e-book, about pondering some frustration I was having, and how I had a sudden thought that 'I can't make it on my own' and a childhood memory came up; that I ended up tapping on. In relation to what I've learned with TPM, it was a spontaneous exposure of a lie-based belief and the memory-container where the lie originated. Ed Smith has made it clear that if you're using something else in addition to TPM, then he doesn't want you to call it 'Theophostic', which is certainly fair. My inclination right now is to use EFT for the emotions or areas where there is a high level of pain -- say a SUDS level of 8+; and then when the pain is reduced, move on to Theophostic. Also, EFT is often helpful for things that I wouldn't use TPM for, such as some knee pain I had a couple of months ago. I also haven't yet completed the requirements for being able to officially call myself a TPM facilitator -- so for now I'll just say that I will most likely include prayer in any ministry or coaching sessions, but still follow the TPM Guidelines.

Using Theophostic Prayer

I wrote a few weeks ago about discovering Theophostic Prayer Ministry (not to be confused with Theosophy, which is a new-age philosophy), and after reading 'Healing Life's Hurts' I ordered the 2007 Basic Training, since the concepts are very much in line with what I've discovered through EFT and related spiritual warfare / discernment and Biblical studies. On one of the DVD's, Ed Smith says to take responsibility for your own painful emotions, as opposed to making it about other people or events. Just a few days before that, I'd asked a woman at church to pray for my ministry and I could tell from her response that she didn't believe I'd actually been called to this ministry. When she asked, I said things have been a little slow, as far as customers, but that I've only recently begun to feel more self-confident about it. (Doing web site support or other things at my current part-time job isn't quite as big a responsibility as putting myself out as a coach, but I've finally begun to trust that it's Jesus who is my / our Savior, and I can lean on Him, so I don't have to try and do it all under my own power... it had felt like it was more responsibility than I wanted to take on. After all, this is people's lives we're talking about! And of course the devil does his best to make me feel discouraged, etc.)

So I asked and she confirmed that no, she didn't believe it. That didn't feel good! It was sort of bugging me for a few days, since she's someone whose opinion I'd like to be favorable. So taking Ed Smith's advice, I decided to see if there were some memories with similar feelings attached to them, and I came up with 2 memories. The strongest and earliest one was where I'd been maybe 11 or 12 years old, and I was sitting at the dining room table writing a poem. My step-mother asked what I was doing and I told her, and though I hadn't finished the poem she wanted to see it. She decided immediately that I couldn't have written it, because it was too good. (!?) She was convinced I had to have copied it from a magazine -- though there was no magazine in sight; and started yelling at me to tell her where I'd copied it from. I kept saying I didn't copy it, I wrote it and then she showed it to one of my step-sisters and she also agreed I had to have copied it. That basically ended my poetry writing career, short as it was.

When I was thinking of that memory, I recalled an earlier memory from when I was in grade school (age 8 or so?), and our local library had a drawing contest -- and I won first prize! I had spent days on that drawing, after a couple of false starts. It's not like I'd hidden in a closet to do the drawing either, but I guess no one paid attention while I was drawing it. Because again, my step-mother didn't believe I'd drawn it and thought I copied it. So I was thrilled to have won (the prize was a copy of the book Charlotte's Web ), but there was this cloud of disapproval around it too. I was a little surprised that there was still a 'sting' left in these memories, because I'd already used EFT and tapped on them. So I discovered that the lie-based belief was that it's not o.k. to be who I am . When I asked the Lord for His truth about that belief, what He said was "I made you in my image." and the remaining sting of those memories is now gone. And my feelings about whether people believe me about this ministry are not great, but it doesn't feel so personal.

In fact, a couple of days ago I realized that the Lord had addressed the issue for me through scripture a couple of weeks before. I usually watch In Touch with Charles Stanley on Sunday mornings from 8-9am and then go to the 11am service at my church. On July 27, both Charles Stanley and my pastor had the same verse of scripture as part of their sermon, which is unusual -- so it really 'spoke to me'. That scripture was: Is 41:9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.

Is 41:10 'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' (NASB) He really does know what we need before we ask!

I'm going to post another message about how all of this relates to spiritual warfare.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Occultic Mindset of Spiritual Warfare

Thought I'd share this article I just read on another blog. I'm going to put a very few comments [in brackets] in the article -- see below:

By Keith

Paul and Drew have both graciously shared a part of their spiritual journey with us. For myself, the area of the fringe that I became most involved with was spiritual warfare. For a season in my ministry I became deeply immersed in this teaching. I declared things in the heavenlies, attempted to discern the demons over my city, drove around my city claiming it for Jesus, anointed the chairs in our sanctuary on a regular basis, and bound Satan daily. I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that really got in to this whole experience. I felt very important and very powerful. Even today, when discussing some of the things that I used to do, I have a strong feeling of power rise up in my body. It was very exciting. Until one day a very simple question refused to let go of me. “When did anyone in the Bible do this?”

That was the question that started me on an investigation of this teaching. Today I am confident that not only is this teaching not Biblical, it is actually occultic in nature. I don’t make that statement lightly. I have studied and written on the subjects of the New Age, Wicca and even tribal religion. The modern teaching on spiritual warfare has more in common with these practices than anything that can be found in the pages of the New Testament (that book that is supposed to teach us, among other things, how the church is to operate).

I should hasten to say that this is not an exclusively Charismatic issue. Evangelical writers like Neal Anderson and Mark Bubeck (incidentally one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to talk to) have done much damage to the body of Christ in this area. Bubeck’s books even include prayers for the Holy Spirit to search your blood stream, gastro-intestinal organs and other body systems for demons. (i.e. the demon of cholitis and I am not joking.)

Space will only allow for a small number of examples but perhaps these will cause readers to dig even further to determine if these teachings are truly from the Lord.

1. Manipulation of spiritual forces: One of the underlying assumptions of the occultic worldview is that all of life is connected by a spiritual force. The practice of magick is based on attempts to manipulate this force in order for the practitioner to create their own reality. Modern Word Faith teachers and spiritual warfare teachers unknowlingly have bought into the same mindset. For Word Faith teachers the monistic force is faith itself. Kenneth Copeland has frequently stated that faith is a force that even God uses to accomplish His purposes. David Yonggi Cho has stated that this force can even be used by non-believers which is why Buddhist monks sometimes get results. Many of the modern prophets have stated the same thing about the New Age. For many in the spiritual warfare community the force is more personal in the form of angels, demons and the Holy Spirit. While this may seem more biblical the fact remains that much of their efforts are aimed at manipulating these beings to their own ends. [A couple of the practices in New Age circles in 'keeping away dark spiritual forces' that I heard about is sprinkling salt outside windows and doors -- apparently they don't like salt? and also 'smudging' ; burning sage.]

It is out of this foundational belief that many other ancillary beliefs and practices arise. For instance words are seen as extremely powerful. Once again, in Word Faith circles, words are the containers of the force. What I confess I possess. If I say that I am going bald I will get more baldness. But if I confess that I have a full head of hair then that is what I will receive. This is what leads teachers like Marylin Hickey to teach us to, “Say to your wallet. Why you big fat wallet. You’re so full of money.” Of course, apparently it doesn’t work for her because she has to keep asking for donations. Similarly prophetic teachers like Victoria Boyson and Mike Bickle teach that when we criticize someone we are releasing and activating Satanic activity upon them and if we bless them we are releasing Holy Spirit activity. [I think there is some merit to the idea that words are powerful, but it's more along the lines of whether we build up or tear down ourselves or others, some of these ideas are 'over the top' and in the same vein as the 'law of attraction' ideas.]

This authority that is supposedly in words then leads to the increasingly popular binding and loosing and warfare in the heavenlies teachings. In this practice Satan and his forces are actually addressed and commanded in prayer. Their “strongholds” over cities are pulled down. Their strategies are foiled. They must leave the region. Authority is claimed by the Church and the Spirit is loosed.

Now, I hate to spoil the party. But is this really what Jesus was teaching in Matt. 16 when He said that whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven? The answer is a decided “no”. Before discussing what binding and loosing really means, the evidence that modern spiritual warfare teachers cannot be correct in what they are teaching is easy to detect from the New Testament. The fact is simply this, NOWHERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS SATAN EVER ADDRESSED IN PRAYER. Prayer is made to God. We do not have one single example of anyone in the New Testament ever engaging in this type of prayer. The only time that Satan or a demon is ever addressed by a believer is when they are being cast out of an individual. The historical fact is that binding and loosing were rabbinical terms that the apostles would have been familiar with that had to do with forbidding and permitting certain practices and which speaks to the apostle’s authority in laying the foundation for the practices of the church.

Christians are spending too much time shouting at the devil. And can someone please tell me, “What is the statute of limitations on binding the devil?” He seems to continually get loose! How long does it take to bind a demon and clear the heavenlies? This stuff has been going on over KC for over twenty years and yet 2005 was one of the worst years in our history for murder.

2. Ritual Magick. In the occult worldview, rituals can be performed in the physical that have ramifications in the spiritual. So a pin stuck in a voodoo doll can cause spiritual forces to work against an individual that can result in bodily injury. One of the most disturbing segments of the film, “Jesus Camp” was to see a teacher hand a hammer to children and tell them to go to the front and smash cups labelled “abortion”, “homosexuality” etc. etc. and by commanding the heavenlies and smashing the cups things would be broken in the spirit realm. Much of the same thing can be seen in many of the practices of anointing. Rebecca Brown teaches people to anoint the doors and windows of their homes so that demons don’t have any points of access to their homes.

3. Power Centers. In the occultic mindset, certain grounds are sacred. They may be possessed by either good or evil spirits. Some of these power centers may be taboo to all but the most highly initiated or they may be places to gather for worship because the power is strong. We have seen over the last two decades a number of these power centers emerge and diminish, Toronto, Pensacola, Smithton, etc. etc. Additionally, the modern teaching of spiritual portals by prophets like John Paul Jackson, Kathie Walters, Paul Keith Davis and many more has more in common with the occult than the bible despite the way they butcher the story of Jacob’s Ladder to try and make it fit.

4. The Devil Made Me Do It. The occultic world is all about spirits. Animism is all about spirits. Spirits are responsible for everything. Spirits must be placated. While it is certainly true that the Western mind tends to ignore the spiritual dimension and tends almost toward Deism, the modern spiritual warfare teachings are certainly an over-correction. If it rains on a church picnic it is the devil’s fault. Every sin is evidence of a “stronghold” that must be pulled down. The problem is that this silver bullet approach to holiness keeps the individual from dealing with what is often the true source of the problem, a carnal, rebellious heart. [That would tie into the emotions, wouldn't it?]

5. Shamanism. In the occult the shaman is the expert in the things of the spirit. He has visions of the spirit world and brings back information to the followers. Many of today’s so-called prophets are nothing more than shamen. People flock to them to hear of their visits to the otherworld and to act on the information that they bring back. This has opened a literal pandora’s box of new practices. What is particularly disturbing in the spiritual warfare scenario is that many of these practices were supposedly learned by interviewing demons!!!! Bubeck says that when we interview a demon we should ask, “Will this information stand as truth before the throne of God?” For some reason Bubeck believes that a demon can’t lie if you ask him in that way. But why would we ever seek to learn about the things of the Spirit from a liar and the father of lies?

Remember the question that I said started it all for me. “When did anyone in the Bible ever do this?” It’s a good question. It’s worth pondering the next time you are thinking about jumping into a new thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Emotions and evil spirits

Here's a short but interesting article on Spirit Daily, and I wanted to share a couple of sentences because they tie demonic attacks to our emotions -- confirming some of what I've written. And of course, EFT can be a good tool to help calm the situation, along with prayer, of course!
"The evil spirits might attempt to afflict you with spirits of agitation and aggravation," explains the author, John LaBriola, in explaining methods of detection. "He will either try to excite, exaggerate, or deaden your emotions. All at once you get to the point where you become irritable and angry for seemingly no reason. Or you may find yourself flat, devoid of feeling."

"He'll play with your emotions and push your buttons to the point of distress and distraction, agitation, or apathy," writes the author. "He'll use either end of the spectrum to try and lure you into the sins of despair or presumption."