"It is astonishing that so many of today’s staunchest evangelical leaders,Ã‚ in order to be " ˜relevant’ are preaching a form of Science of Mind without even recognizing it. Psychology now wields such a powerful and all-pervasive influence upon Christianity" ”in seminaries, Bible schools and college, mission organizations, radio, television, denominational leadership and all other Christian institutions as well as churches" ”that to call it Christian psychology is an attack upon Christianity itself. This is all the more astonishing in view of the fact that " ˜Christian’ psychology doesn’t exist. This fact can be proved very simply: go to any library or bookstoreand look in the index of any psychology textbook. No listing for " ˜Christian Psychology’ will be found."
Consequences of Corrupt Counsel
What does the Bible have to say about counseling? There are examples of bad counsel and equally bad results. The children of Israel listened to the counsel of Balaam and suffered dire consequences (Numbers 31). David trusted Ahithophel, who had the reputation of being led by God, but betrayed David and aided his enemies. (2nd Samuel 15) King Saul sought counsel from the Witch of Endor, a familiar spirit and lost his life because of it (1st Chronicles 10). Apparently it does make a difference from whom one seeks counsel. The only safe counsel is that which comes from the Lord, His Word and His Holy Spirit. Those who trust in corrupt counsel invite their own ruin which will come sooner or later.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.Psalm 1:1
The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. Proverbs 12:5
The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. Psalm 233:10
There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Prov. 19:21
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Jeremiah 7:24
Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: Acts 5:38
Blind Leading the Blind
Only God Himself can judge the hearts of those who portray themselves as Christian counselors complete with impressive credentials when in fact they espouse man-made philosophies. Most are probably very kind and compassionate people who truly want to help others and sincerely believe they are following the Lord. But we have to use God’s truth as the standard, the only standard. No matter how renowned an organization is or how highly respected an individual, what really matters is if what they stand for measures up to God’s standard. Someone is sure to point out the element of truth that exists, but medicine laced with arsenic is more deadly than no medicine at all. As Bereans, we are to take a closer look. Examination shows that truth is compromised by leaven cleverly mixed in. God has made it very clear " “ His Word is the authority and there is no place for anything that conflicts with His Word. He commands us to come out and be separate. We are to be in the world but not to be corrupted by it. The Word cautions us not to draw water from broken cisterns.
"God alone knows every thought, every action, every variable, how they interact, and what good or evil they will produce. The Spirit of Christ is our personal counselor. God's Word is our only true counseling manual, containing His insights, His corrections, His tender mercies, and His healing balm for whatever afflicts our heart and soul." -- T.A. McMahon
Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Journey, Soul Care, Spiritual Disciplines
What do they mean?
Much of so-called Christian counseling is replete with buzzwords such as spiritual formation, spiritual journey, soul care, spiritual disciplines, etc., as several discernment ministries have documented.
Spiritual Formation: "A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement."
Contemplative roots lead back to Roman Catholicism and is part of the greater plan to bring the undiscerning into the Roman fold.
Richard Foster (we’ll have more on him later) has his own list of Spiritual Formation programs. The list includes several Christian colleges and seminaries, including Bethel, Fuller, George Fox and Biola as well as many Christian organizations and ministries. (See the list from Lighthouse Trails.)
According to the website of the Spiritual Formation Forum, the following activities are carried out at forums held nationwide
" ¢Spiritual Direction " “ "Qualified Spiritual Directors will " ¦" ¦ provide a safe environment" ¦.. will discuss elements of your spiritual journey and provide guidance in your formation process."
" ¢Journeying with Jesus: Experiencing the Rhythm of His Life. "" ¦. key area leaders whose personal and ministry experiences demonstrate the rhythms of Christ essential to the formation process. " ¦.they will add depth, dimension, understanding and energy to this dance of faith" ¦" ¦."
" ¢ Prayer Labyrinth Experience - Keeping with contemplative Christian
tradition, a guided prayer time will literally walk you through a
labyrinth-style path, offering opportunities to receive from God on your
Labyrinths, Prayer Paths That Promote the Occult
According to the international Labyrinth Society it is "a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation."
Soul Care " “ What does it mean? In the late nineties, contemplative and New Age promoter, David Benner, wrote a book called The Care of Souls, and more recently wrote one called Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls, and there are books with similar titles " (Recommended by the American Association of Christian Counselors " “ more on them later.)
Soul Care " “ Exactly what is it? "According to an article on the Natural Care
College site, " ˜soul care is the artistry of helping a person to find their personal and relational path to the sacred, where they are able to open to and live from their deeper self, reaching a higher level of living and loving through their own unique soul-nurturing spirituality and way of being in the world.’ In other words, soul care is finding the divinity that is within each person. Interestingly, that is what spiritual direction means too. As Thomas Merton put it, it is coming to the realization of what is already there - God in every human being. (See "Thomas Merton: The Contemplative Dark Thread" by Jackie Alnor.)
Soul Care " “"Just another term for the same ol' New Age spirituality. The New Age started in the Garden of Eden when the serpent told Eve she could be like God. Satan still tries to convince man of this today, just as he did many thousands of years ago. Nothing has changed. And the same goes for contemplative spirituality, which has a New Age premise. Terms may be exchanged for new ones, but this is just a disguised effort to conceal a terrible and damaging belief system. http://www.lighthousetrails.com/atimeofdeparting.htm
The list of ministries involved in some form of spiritual formation is an interesting read - some have a semblance of it while others are actively promoting it. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/spiritualformationlist.htm
American Association of Christian Counselors
A Coveted Endorsement
AACC Leader Endorses Roman Catholic Mystics, Heretical Teachings
Dr. Robert W. Kelleman, Consultant and Training Director
Dr. Kelleman works as a consultant for the 50,000-member AACC. He is the Director of the AACC's Religious Leaders' Division and also the AACC's Theology and Pastoral Counseling Director. Dr. Kelleman has a long list of distinguished credentials and an influential role in the AACC to 50,000 counselors so his belief system is extremely relevant. What a person reads and recommends speaks volumes about them. Dr. Kelleman, a voracious reader with eclectic taste in literature, reviewed a wide variety of spiritual formation, ecumenical, mystical, psychological, contemplative rubbish with asprinkling of solid Christian books. This is a sign of a double-minded man.
James 1:8 says "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. "
Universalist Henri J.M. Nouwen Endorsed Kelleman is an admirer of the late Catholic theologian, Henri J.M. Nouwen, a universalist with Buddhist sympathies. He praises Nouwen’s writing as valuable for everyone regardless of their religious background, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant.
Mystical Contemplative Feminism Endorsed
Kelleman seems to have a peculiar interest in feminine mystics and their role in the church history. Swan’s The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Her insights into contemplative practices seem to intrigue him. He praisesÃ‚ feminist Patricia Ranft’s A Woman’s Way: The Forgotten History of Women Spiritual Directors as an excellent resource for women. He lauds Her Story:
Women in Christian Tradition (2nd Ed.) by Barbara J. MacHaffie " “as the best classroom text. The agenda of this book is clearly to promote feminism in religion.
Modern Mystic/Contemplative Richard J. Foster Praised
The RenovarÃƒ © Spiritual Formation Bible
"The RenovarÃƒ © Bible is edited by a veritable who's who of spiritual formation experts. Richard Foster and Dallas Willard serve as the primary general editors. " ¦Eugene Peterson edits the New Testament. Over fifty other spiritual formation scholars contribute their expertise to various biblical books." Kelleman anticipates criticism from Bereans who he regards as narrow-minded spiritual pygmies. He puts down those who believe that spiritual disciplines are unbiblical, but says that those, like him, who want to enhance their "spiritual practices" will "love this bible". Apparently Kelleman is among those who love this counterfeit bible.
Edited and compiled by universalists, Catholics and contemplatives, this bible will be read by thousands of evangelical Christians. For more
Brennan Manning’s Cheap Grace Praised
The Ragamuffin Gospel What a pathetic and undiscerning assessment. Kelleman has the audacity to compare the stir that Manning’s controversial ideas have caused to that of Christ. Manning’s concept of grace is so far removed from that of Christ and the Bible it is ridiculous. Jackie Alnor has an accurate assessment of this book at http://www.cultlink.com/sentinel/ragmuffin.html
Promotes Roman Catholic Mystical Experience
Dark Night of the Soul: A Masterpiece in the Literature of Mysticism by St.Ã‚ John of the Cross by Allison Peers
It is no surprise that Kelleman is comfortable with this Roman Catholic mystic’s instructions on how the Christian can purify himself to get into a contemplative state to have communion with God.
(Go to link for additional information on St. John of the Cross.)
Spiritual Mentoring: A guide for Seeking and Giving Direction by Reese and Anderson
This book is about "mentors" such as St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa, and Madame Guyon. Kelleman praises the author’s efforts as commendable. Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila were Roman Catholic mystics whose writings are based upon paranormal ecstatic experiences.
"Put in contemporary terms, the teachings of Madame Guyon, a Roman Catholic mystic who lived during the 17th and 18th centuries, are like an amalgam of the teachings of Shirley MacLaine, Rebecca Brown, Joyce Meyer and Mother Angelica. Nevertheless, some see her life and teachings as an example for Christians to follow. Moody Press appears to be among that group. It continues to publish her autobiography and says in its Introduction: " ˜We offer no word of apology for publishing the autobiography of Madame Guyon, those expressions of devotion to her church, that found vent in her writings. She was a true Catholic when Protestantism was in its infancy.’ What found vent in the writings of Guyon (Jeanne Marie Bouvier De La Motte, 1648-1717) was full blown mysticism. Elgin Moyer writes of her spiritual development, "her life began to be a series of visions, revelations, and spiritual experiences." (See entire article on PFO’s website)
Invitation to Solitude and Silence: experiencing God’s transforming Presence
by Ruth Haley Barton
Once again, Kelleman considers those who don’t accept the "spiritual disciplines" as unfortunate. He speaks of testing against Scripture, but
includes Church tradition and he certainly did not test the teachings of Ruth Haley Barton against the Word of God. He criticizes evangelicals who reject extra biblical spiritual disciplines. Dr. Kelleman’s condescending remarks make his ignorance stick out like a sore thumb. Ruth Haley Barton trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation founded by Tilden Edwards, an Episcopal priest who is quoted as saying, "Jesus and Buddha must be good friends."
Endorses Tilden Edwards - "Jesus & Buddha Must Be Good Friends"
Spiritual Friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction by Tilden Edwards
Kelleman states that his copy of this book is a staple in his library. He
believes that one of Edwards’ greatest accomplishments was how he explained the dynamics of psychology’s use in the church.
Madeleine L’Engle a Spiritual Director?
A Prayerbook for Spiritual Friends: Partners in Prayer by Madeleine L’EngleKelleman refers to Madeleine L’Engle as a spiritual director. This is quite astonishing depending upon what qualities he believes a spiritual director possesses. Newsweek did an interview with L’engle last year in which she spoke of God in vulgar terms, stated she was against fundamental Christians and that she doesn’t take the Bibleliterally. She went on to say that she enjoyed reading The DaVinci Code, especially the part about Jesus and Mary Magdelene beinglovers and having a child.
Endorses Dallas Willard " “ Contemplative Cohort of Richard Foster " “ Makes it Required Reading
"The Spirit of the Disciplines Kelleman, a professor of theology and psychology, says Willard’s book is rock solid and he makes it required
reading for his students."
Endorses Psychologist Contemplative Larry Crabb - Board Member of the Spiritual Formation Forum
Kelleman compares Crabb to other "greats" from church history such as Martin
Luther and St. Teresa. "Reading Crabb reminds me of reading other great " ˜minds’ and " ˜hearts’ from Church history, like Martin Luther and St.
Teresa." He gushes that there is too little of their type of faith today. What utter nonsense at least as far as St. Teresa is concerned!! Going into a trance and having delusions is a level of faith to which we should attain?
And being grouped with Martin Luther? Somehow I think Luther would find that offensive.
The Papa Prayer: The Prayer You’ve Never Prayed Kelleman praises Crabb and his book as "user-friendly". This all sounds so harmless, but according to this report from Lighthouse Trails Research, it is another example of truth mixed with error. "The book, The Papa Prayer boasts that this new kind of prayer will: " ˜Shatter your view of prayer as it used to be" (back cover). The author, a board member of the Spiritual Formation Forum, does not hesitate to let readers know that, while his Papa Prayer is something new and different, he also currently practices both contemplative prayer and centering prayer (which are really one and the same) " ˜I’ve practiced centering prayer, I’ve contemplatively prayed. I’ve prayed liturgically" ¦I’ve benefited from each, and I still do" ¦.. (The Papa Prayer, p.9). For Lanny Crabb’s version of the Gospel go to:
Kelleman Redefines "Berean"
In referring to Paul Meier’s Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspective and Application, Kelleman casts aspersions on those who don’t believe psychology has any place in Christian counseling. He goes on to say that he views this as unfortunate because hebelieves that to be a Berean and discern correctly, we need to understand secular concepts. This categorically opposes what the Word ofGod says when it warns us to stay away from the ideas of man.
Kelleman " “ A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
God says His Word is all we need! It should be evident that Dr. Kelleman, while claiming to be a Christian counselor, endears himself to those who clearly are blatantly unbiblical. He is a distinguished mentor to multitudesin the field of counseling and it is alarming that he is propagating his views to others. (Go here for a listing of all Dr. Kelleman’s book reviews.)
Kelleman the Author
Spiritual Friends: A Methodology Of Soul Care And Spiritual Direction (The
Soul Physician's Library) The title speaks for itself.
AACC 2007 World Conference Speakers
The Lineup for the AACC 2007 World Conference includes some familiar names:Ã‚ Dallas Willard, Larry Crabb and oddly enough, Joyce Meyer. What a motley crew! There are other speakers such as Kay Arthur, Gary Smalley, Max Lucado, and others who should be highlighted, but not in the scope of this article. Their appearance there constitutes an endorsement of the organization.
AACC Endorses Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps
Concerns Formed from Ignorance?
The AACC, 55,000 strong, proudly endorses AA and belittles those who don’t share their view: "" ¦pastors and church leaders view this spiritually-based commitment to "outside" programs as suspect, heretical or a threat to ones’ spiritual development. However, most of the concerns of the church are formed from ignorance and embraced without sincere investigation."
AA - Christian Organization?
They state that AA is not a secular organization, but based on Christian principles: "Mention of the " ˜higher Power’ in the Big Book of AA has
reference to total surrender of one’s life ONLY to a Judeo-Christian God. A personal daily dependency of divine mercy and grace, the constant exercise of gratitude and worship, healing and a "daily reprieve" from the sentence of death." They are saying that there is forgiveness and healing outside of Christ! They go on to say, "AA’s elimination of the person of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and other specific religious leaders was a calculated decision on the part of the early Christian leaders of AA. They declared their mission was "to stop short of becoming a theologically-based program so as to attract the greatest company of those desiring recovery."
Conversion Now, Christ Later?
Pull in the crowds, instruct them to conceive a "god" of their own conception and then throw them to the wolves who are ready to devour them before they reach the door of a Bible-teaching church. To say Christ and Christ alone is the answer would be too offensive and wouldattract too narrow a following. There’s that lie of Satan again, the pragmatic axiom "the end justifies the means." The AACC contends that the AA "conversion becomes one of repentance (turning around) toward a specific direction rather than an immediate one-time decision," according to Tom Thompson. Think about what they are saying here! Of course repentance is necessary, a change of direction, but it is brought about by that all important one-time decision to ask Christ into one’s life and posses the power of the Holy Spirit! Until that moment of decision, the soul is unregenerate and powerless! What a perversion of the Gospel of Christ! They are in essence saying - Clean up your life through AA; your "salvation" and deliverance from alcohol is through AA and the 12 Steps.
Alcoholism: An Illness, Not a Disease " “ What’s the Difference? Can We Say Double-Speak?
In 1960 Bill Wilson gave a speech to the National Catholic Clergy Conference on Alcoholism. During the ensuing question and answer discussion Wilson was asked why he did not use the term disease when he spoke of alcoholism in that speech. He replied, "We AA's have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking it is not a disease entity. For example there is no such thing as heart disease. Instead there are many separate heart ailments, or combinations of them. It is something like that with alcoholism. Therefore we do not wish to get in wrong with the medical profession by pronouncing alcoholism a disease entity. Therefore we always call it an illness, or a malady, -- a far safer term for us to use." (A Conversation with Bill W. (2003). Retrieved on 2006-10-20.)
Jungian Influence " “ 12 Steps and Familiar Spirits
T.A. McMahon points out that the AACC claims that AA was founded by a Christian. A.A.’s official biography indicates that the founder Bill Wilson received the details of the 12 Steps through spiritual dictation. Scripture condemns communication with familiar spirits. But what about evangelicals just using the methodology the familiar spirit gave to Bill Wilson? Simple again: God condemns the source, and theapproach is contrary to the way He wants to transform our lives. Wilson had been influenced by the opinion of psychiatrist Dr. Carl G.Jung that alcoholism could be cured by a genuine conversion. This tends to make Carl Jung look good " “ BUT " “ as McMahon noted:
Carl Jung & The Occult
"The life and works of psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung clearly reveal that his psychological theories came directly from "seducing spirits." Jung is far more popular today among professing Christians than Freud (the atheist) because of his perceived affinity for religion and things spiritual. However, though his father was a Protestant pastor (who seriously doubted his professed faith!), Jung was anti-biblical andresentful of organized Christianity from his youth. His early symbolic visions revealed Jesus as a Dark Lord and God defecating on a cathedral" ¦. His grandfather, pastor Samuel Preiswerk, conducted ongoing sÃƒ ©ances to commune with his deceased first wife, with his secondwife and daughter (Jung’s mother) participating. The latter, who had bouts of insanity, reserved two beds in the Jung home for visiting ghosts. Jung’s doctoral thesis (published in 1902) was based upon sÃƒ ©ances conducted by his 13-year-old cousin, whom he placed in an altered state of consciousness through hypnosis in order to contact his and her dead ancestors. " ¦" ¦
Jung’s teachings are doctrines of demons, gleaned directly from seducing spirits: Jung promoted all things occult, including astrology, alchemy, the I-Ching, mysticism, necromancy, visualization, dream interpretation, the active imagination, yoga, meditation, etc. Incredibly, his theories and recommended practices are endorsed in the teachings of some of the most influential people in evangelical Christianity. In many cases, ignorance is the principle reason, yet the demonic lies are nevertheless readily promoted and accepted among the sheep.. Rick Warren’s 30 million copies of The Purpose-Driven Life include Jungian concepts, such as psychological "types." Saddleback Church’s "Celebrate Recovery" program (see TBC Oct ’05), which has been exported to 4,500 churches and Prison Fellowship Ministries, is based on A.A.’s 12-Step principles. A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson received the 12 Steps during the time he was in contact with spirit entities. He later wrote a personal letter to Carl Jung thanking him for his influence:
(T.A. McMahon http://www.thebereancall.org/Newsletter/html/2006/oct06.php)
AA Founder Sad End of Life
Quoting from My Name is Bill: His Life and the Creation of A.A. by Susan Cheever
"Wilson himself placed his faith not in God but in his own mind, yet he experienced what" ¦’a genuine conversion’ moment in 1934" ”a bottoming out, a dark night of the soul. From this experience came Wilson’s " ˜gospel of surrender and recovery’ " ¦.. Wilson’s penchant for Ouija boards and sÃƒ ©ances, and his sexual charisma" ¦ led to dalliances, jealousies and broken friendships. He corresponded with Carl Jung, made friends with Aldous Huxley," ¦" ¦and sought understanding through LSD. Sober for 37 years, this complex man died begging for a drink." A heavy smoker, he died of emphysema.
Get Your M.A. in Soul Care Talbot School of Theology
Division of Biola University
Biola University, the traditional virtual bedrock of conservative Christian higher education, has opened itself to influences that would have its founders turning over in their graves.
" Last fall at Biola's Christian Spirituality Soul Care series, contemporary
Protestant mystic Ruth Haley Barton was a featured speaker. Ms. Barton is a graduate of the Shalem Institute, founded by Tilden Edwards who believes Buddhist mysticism can enliven the spiritual life of the Christian. The Shalem Institute is the embodiment of all the heresies that Lighthouse Trails has been warning about since its inception. For Ms. Barton to successfully have completed the course in Spiritual Formation without any type of discomfort or protest indicates that she sees nothing wrong with Shalem's bent towards Buddhist/Hindu spirituality. This is apparent in her method of reaching God and is the classic modality that all world mystics use to reach their respective divinities. Ms. Barton repeats the words "Here
I am" over and over again for a period of time to induce a thoughtless state. To have Ruth Haley Barton speak with authority at an institution of Biola's background and history would be in essence no different than having Tilden Edwards himself speak there, a man whosaid that contemplative prayer was the bridge between Christianity and Far Eastern spirituality. If this
Soul Care series is the shape of things to come at Biola, it would not be beyond the realm of possibilities that one day Biola would resemble the Shalem Institute!
Note: After her training at Shalem, Ms. Barton became the Associate Director
for Spiritual Formation at Willow Creek and helped to develop their Spiritual Formation curriculum. Since then she has started the Transforming Center, where pastors and leaders are trained in the art of contemplative spirituality.
Biola's Soul Care series included other speakers who heartily promote contemplative prayer, including Dallas Willard.
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. Colossians 2:8
Ted Haggard’s Double Tragedy
Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family are icons in the evangelical community. Dr. Dobson’s psychology was of little help in reading the signs that his close friend and colleague Ted Haggard was teetering on the brink of disaster. Then when he crashed and burned he determined it was too big a commitment to dedicate himself to Haggard’s "restoration". As things are coming to light, the leadership at New Life, Haggard’s former pastorate, is beginning to acknowledge that there were warning signs that should have been recognized, such as inappropriate behavior patterns that in hindsight were clues to Haggard’s dark side. After just three weeks of secular counseling, Haggard announced he was on the straight and narrow. Reportedly he is still under heavy accountability, but this misguided man now sees his mission in life to drink from the poisonous well of Freudian and Jungian psychology and impart this knowledge to others. Apparently his beleaguered wife concurs. It is hard to imagine that Haggard would have any takers for his services. I would suppose out of compassion for his family, his former church is paying his salary through 2007 to give him an opportunity to relocate, the condition being that he does not speak with the media. It appears that Haggard has gone from living one set of lies to another and apparently thinks that psychology holds the answers for those who have fallen in their walk. Tragedy upon tragedy.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather
reprove them. Ephesians 5:11
Darkness gathering, turmoil, doubt,
Satan’s inroads all about,
Men’s hearts failing,
Battles sore, within, without" ”
But peace! " “ Because HE IS!
Calvary’s darkness, a cross, a cry!
A risen Saviour gone on high,
The sinner freed, redeemed, brought nigh
And Peace! " “ Because HE WAS!!
Darkness preceding this flush of dawn,
Pregnant with hope of the Coming One,
Whose own, preparing,
His sufferings sharing,
Await the light of a new day begun" ”
So Peace!" ”Because HE IS TO COME!
----Elsie K. Wells---
The Daily Sacrifice " “ H.A. Ironside