Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
The so-called "Christian Psychology" movement is by far the most popular movement among professing Christians today. Just check out your local "Christian" bookstore to see how much space is given to it. This heresy is being embraced by tens of thousands of professing Christians who claim to believe in the inerrancy, validity, and sufficiency of Scripture. "Christian" psychologists are enjoying a papal-like authority. Instead of analyzing what these men say according to Scripture (Acts 17:11), professing Christians come in droves to witness the next great insight -- how to overcome addictions, co-dependency, depression, or neurosis; how to deal with your children, spouse, or parents; or how to heal your "wounded inner child" ... and the list of buzzwords goes on and on. The Promise Keepers movement is, at its heart, a "Christian Psychology" movement.
Just the fact that the prominent psychologists and counselors in this movement are Arminians should be enough for the true Christian to discern that they are wicked and are to be avoided. But there are some who call themselves Reformed who are involved in and advocate "Christian Psychology" and who integrate the theories of pagan psychologists into their philosophies and approaches.
I can hear it now: "But isn't all truth God's truth?"
What this questioner fails to realize is that the issue is not about the origin of truth. Instead, the issue is this:
What truth about the human condition and the remedies for the soul can an ungodly man comprehend?
It takes only a brief perusal through the works of the fathers of psychology to see the following facts:
(a) The concept of sin (as the Bible portrays sin) is nonexistent.
(b) The concept of God (as the Bible portrays God) is nonexistent; thus, the concept of the biblical relationship of man to God is nonexistent.
(c) The concept of law, or absolutes, is nonexistent; thus morality becomes relative.
(d) The true gospel of salvation conditioned on the blood and imputed righteousness of Christ is nonexistent.
If secular psychologists start from ungodly premises, how then can a "Christian" psychologist use this tainted insight in finding the causes and cures for any of the ills of the soul such as rebellion in teenagers or interpersonal problems or worry?
The examples of "Christian" psychologists' using secular theory are innumerable; because of space limitations, I will offer only a few examples. Just take a look at the books in the "Psychology" or "Men's/Women's Issues" or "Family Issues" sections in your local "Christian" bookstore (and be prepared with one of those air-sickness bags).
Freud: Sexual Perversion. For those of you who are not familiar with the "big daddy" of psychoanalysis, here's an extremely condensed primer on Sigmund Freud: Freud was obsessed with sex. He described human development in terms of how the individual received sexual pleasure. He interpreted dreams as attempts to resolve underlying sexual conflicts. He saw the phallus, or phallic symbol, in everything. Freud admittedly lusted after his own mother, and he concluded that the first sexual attraction in all humans was for the parent of the opposite sex. He said that the young child's unconscious sexual longings for the parent of the opposite sex (in the "Oedipal Stage") explained the later outward hostility toward the same-sex parent during the teen years because of jealousy (called the "Oedipal Conflict").
What do the perverted sexual theories of Freud have to do with Christian Psychology?
To answer this question, I will simply provide the reader with direct quotes from several leaders in the movement. To let you know that these are not from the fringes of the movement, I will introduce the first quote: it is from Always Daddy's Girl by H. Norman Wright, a best-seller when it was released because of the large amount of publicity given it by James Dobson.
The book also quotes as authorities on father-daughter relationships various humanistic and overtly wicked sources such as the Freudian book Modern Woman: Her Psychology and Sexuality that includes a section written by Dr. Leon Hamner, who says that fathers give daughters sexual pleasure. Other sources used by Wright include Suzanne Fields' Like Father Like Daughter and Linda Leonard's The Wounded Woman that also put forth the incestuous sexual attraction view. The reader will see that Wright and others such as the ones quoted below promote the view that a quasi-incestuous relationship between fathers and daughters is a normal, non-sinful part of human existence. Here is Wright:
"It is true that a woman's sexuality develops over her entire lifetime, but it is definitely encouraged -- or retarded -- by her early interactions with her father. ... Your father was the first man you flirted with, the first man to cuddle you and kiss you ... Her femininity is encouraged by his smile or wink when she bats her eyelashes at him ... [There exists] an initial courtship experience with her father ... A woman's sexual self-image is partially molded by her father's response to her. ... Fathers are sometimes bothered by the sexual effect their daughters have on them or the effect they may have on their daughters. ... Unfortunately, some fathers are ... uncomfortable ... [and thus] tend to be absent when she displays her charms ... The results of these rejections will be seen in a young woman's insecurity and doubt about her ability to attract a man."
[The reader should note that many professing Christians think that there is nothing wrong with "flirting" with someone of the opposite sex. In fact, they even jokingly attribute the sin of flirting to little babies when they tell another adult of the opposite sex, "he's flirting with you" or "shame on you for flirting with a married man," as if this were not utterly sinful. So, too, many professing Christians imbibe the so-called "Christian romance novels" and the worldly dating scene in which flirting and lust are condoned.]
"Christian" psychologist David Stoop, in Making Peace With Your Father, says this:
"The beginning of adolescence is marked by what is called the Oedipal conflict. ... [It] is often used to describe the emerging adolescent who, as his or her sexuality begins to emerge, falls in love with the parent of the opposite sex and competes with the same-sex parent in an effort to 'win over' the object of his or her love. In its strong form, the incestuous overtones of this psychological model may seem repulsive. Yet it is generally accepted that all of us go through at least a mild form of this experience as we arrive on the doorstep of adolescence."
The February 16, 1993 edition of the "Minirth-Meier Clinic" radio program affirmed these twisted views by saying that every child goes through an Oedipal Stage where the child becomes attached to the parent of the opposite sex and has a resulting conflict with the same-sex parent. If you listen to that program, you will find more of the same twisted thinking. They rationalize sin as those awful "co-dependencies" or "addictions," and they encourage callers to "work it out" with "professionals."
In a book entitled The Masculine Journey, which is endorsed by Promise Keepers and was handed out to all Promise Keepers attendees, Robert Hicks uses his "stages of manhood" theory to condone sin and even to blaspheme. One of the stages he puts forth is the Zakar stage, which is a phallic stage. He says, "The phallus has always been the symbol of religious devotion and dedication" [referring to pagan sexual rites] and that every man has "the deep compulsion to worship with our phallus." He says that a teenager's first sexual sin should be thought of as a "rite of passage" and says that "we usually give the teenagers in our churches such a massive dose of condemnation regarding their first experiences with sin that I sometimes wonder how any of them ever recover." He then says this about Jesus Christ:
"I believe Jesus was phallic with all the inherent phallic passions we experience as men. But it was never recorded that Jesus had sexual relations with a woman. He may have thought about it as the movie The Last Temptation of Christ portrays, but even in this movie He did not give in to temptation and remained true to His messianic course."
This is blasphemy. Yet it is not beyond the thinking of most professing Christians, who think that mere "attractions" and "passions" outside the marriage bond are not sinful, as long as they are not consummated.
How many times have you heard a professedly Christian person comment on how "good-looking" or "sexy" a person of the opposite sex is?
This is wickedness. To demonstrate this, here is a quote from another "Christian" counselor, Michael R. Saia (from Counseling the Homosexual), who says that a homosexual attraction is not sin:
"The dilemma here is that many people may assume that a man is sinning just because he is attracted to another man. ... [The attraction] is not something for which the person is morally culpable. As one gay man told me, 'Nobody in his right mind would choose to be homosexually oriented if he had a choice in the matter.' Before a counselor has comprehended and accepted the involuntary nature of the homosexual sexual preference, he may speak tremendous condemnation into the life of a counselee. Constant, subtle insinuation that a person is responsible for his sexual attractions can be a terrible psychological pressure."
I hope the reader sees that if one believes that a heterosexual attraction outside of marriage is not sin, then it follows that a homosexual attraction is not sin.
Me Me Me: Self-Esteem. The other principle part of the "Christian" psychology movement is the focus on self-esteem and self-worth. The secular psychologists most famous for this approach were Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Their view was that psychological ills stem from a self-evaluation that is too low and that counselors should work at improving people's evaluations of themselves.
There are two prominent leaders of the self-esteem movement in Christendom. One is the pastor of a professedly Reformed congregation in a professedly Reformed denomination, and the other is a semi-Pelagian. Both are wicked. They are Robert Schuller and James Dobson.
The following are some quotes from Schuller: "Prayer, worship, and well-thought-out sermons will not produce morally strong and spiritually exciting Christians if they fail to produce self-confident, inwardly secure, nondefensive, integrated persons. What we need is a theology of salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every person's hunger for glory. ... Why would love-needing persons resist, rebel against, and reject beautiful love? ... Deep down we feel we are not good enough to approach a holy God. ... It is precisely at this point that classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be 'God-centered,' not 'man-centered.' ... [Original sin] could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a 'negative self-image,' but do not say that the central core of the soul is wickedness. If this were so, then truly, the human being is totally depraved" (in Self-Esteem: The New Reformation).
He went on to say the following in Christianity Today (8/10/84): "I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition."
Does James Dobson, the leading "Christian" psychologist and darling of the evangelicals, oppose Schuller's heretical teaching?
Here are some quotes:
"Feelings of self-worth and acceptance ... provide the cornerstone of a healthy personality. ... What is the primary motive that would cause a husband or wife to 'cheat' -- to even risk destroying their homes and families for an illicit affair? ... I have observed the most powerful influence to emanate from ego needs"
(from Dr Dobson Answers Your Questions).
"If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, I would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth … I have no doubt that this is their greatest need"
(from What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women).
Paul warned Timothy that "in the last days ... men will be lovers of self" (2 Timothy 3:1-2). Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who are poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). Look up "pride" in your concordance or topical Bible to see what the entirety of the Word says.
Would you conclude that the problems of the world stem from too little self-esteem or too much of it?!
A common rationalization takes the form of the following: "If Jesus came down to earth to shed His blood for us, then there must be some inherent worth in us." However, Scripture clearly tells us that God saved His elect not because of anything that was worth saving in us, but purely by His grace (Romans 5:6,8; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Instead of reacting to God's grace by looking to ourselves as worthy, we must react by glorifying the sovereign God who loved the unlovable and who came for the sin-sick and not for the "self-esteemed" healthy (Matthew 9:12-13).
Paul said, "For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)
The story of the tax gatherer and the Pharisee illustrates the point perfectly: "The tax gatherer ... was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified" (Luke 18:13-14).
Which one had the high self-esteem - the Pharisee or the tax gatherer?
We have a good idea of what Dobson would say to the tax gatherer. In his book Hide or Seek, he responded to a woman who felt worthless in this way: "Jesus did not leave his throne in heaven to die for the 'worms' of the world."
Dobson's "jesus" didn't die for the worms of the world. But my Jesus died for the worms and wretches -- those who know they have no worth and who are saved by the worthiness of their substitute.
Is the reader still not convinced that Dobson is wicked?
If the following quote won't do it, nothing will:
"There is only one cure for the cancer of bitterness, that is to forgive the perceived offender. Once and for all, with God's help, as strange as it seems, I am suggesting that some of us need to forgive God for those heartaches that are charged to His account. You've carried resentment against Him for years. Now it's time to let go of it. Please don't misunderstand me at this point. God is in the business of forgiving us, and it almost sounds blasphemous to suggest that the relationship could be reversed. He has done no wrong and does not need our approbation. But the source of bitterness must be admitted before it can be cleared. There is no better way to get rid of it than to absolve the Lord of whatever we have harbored. … It is the only way you will ever be entirely free. … Corrie ten Boom forgave an SS guard who shared responsibility for the deaths of her family member. Surely we can forgive the King of the Universe Who sent His only Son to die as an atonement for our sin" (from When God Doesn't Make Sense).
This is blasphemy. And this book was endorsed by R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer, leaders of the "Reformed" bandwagon. Let us who are Christians have nothing to do with the blasphemy, perversion, and self-worth-ship of the so-called "Christian Psychology" movement.
By Marc D. Carpenter
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
It is important to note that the bulk of the theology of the Faith Movement can be traced directly to the cultic teachings of New Thought metaphysics. Thus, much of the theology of the Faith Movement can also be found in such clearly pseudo-Christian cults as Religious Science, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity. Over a century before the Faith Movement became a powerful force within the Christian church, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866), the father of New Thought, was popularising the notion that sickness and suffering ultimately have their origin in incorrect thinking.
Quimby’s followers believe that man can create his own reality through the power of positive affirmation (confession). Metaphysical practitioners have long taught adherents to visualise health and wealth, and then to affirm or confess them with their mouths so that the intangible images may be transformed into tangible realities.
Some of the teachings and practices of the movement can be traced to certain post-World War II faith healers and revivalists operating within Pentecostal circles. Both Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin point to T. L. Osborn and William Branham as true men of God who greatly influenced their lives and ministries. Of course, Osborn himself has consistently followed E. W. Kenyon’s Scripture-twisting antics, and Branham has denounced the doctrine of the Trinity as coming directly from the devil. Twisted texts, make-believe miracles, and a counterfeit Christ are all common denominators of the Faith Movement’s leading teachers. And, as all who look into the matter will clearly see, it all began with the metaphysical teachings of Essek William Kenyon.
Essek William Kenyon
Essek William Kenyon, whose life and ministry were enormously impacted by such cults as Science of Mind, the Unity School of Christianity, Christian Science, and New Thought metaphysics, is the true father of the modern-day Faith Movement. Many of the phrases popularised by present-day prosperity preachers, such as, “What I confess, I possess,” were originally coined by Kenyon. Kenneth Hagin, to whom we next turn our attention, plagiarised much of Kenyon’s work, including the statement, “Every man who has been ‘born again’ is an Incarnation ... The believer is as much an Incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.”
Kenneth E. Hagin
Kenneth Hagin takes Kenyon’s theology from bad to worse. Not only does he boast of alleged visits to heaven and hell, he recounts numerous out-of-body experiences (OBEs) on the earth as well. On one occasion, Hagin claims he was in the middle of a sermon when, suddenly, he was transported back in time. He ended up in the back seat of a car and watched as a young woman from his church committed adultery with the driver. The entire experience lasted about fifteen minutes, after which Hagin abruptly found himself back in church, summoning his parishioners to prayer. Despite his propensity for telling tall tales and describing false visions, virtually every major faith-movement teacher has been impacted by Hagin, including Frederick K. C. Price and Kenneth Copeland.
Kenneth Copeland started his ministry as a direct result of memorising Hagin’s messages. It wasn’t long before he had learned enough from Hagin to establish his own following. To say his teachings are heretical would be an understatement—blasphemous is more like it. Copeland brashly pronounces God to be the greatest failure of all time, boldly proclaims that “Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross” and describes Christ in hell as an “emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit.” Yet, despite such statements, Benny Hinn ominously warned that “those who attack Kenneth Copeland are attacking the very presence of God!”
Benny Hinn is one of the stars on the Faith movement circuit. While claiming to be “under the anointing,” Hinn has uttered some of the most unbelievable statements imaginable, including the claim that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that women were originally designed to give birth out of their sides. Hinn also admits to frequenting the graves of both Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee Semple McPherson to get the “anointing” from their bones. For Hinn fantasy is often passed on as fact, as with the thousands of “documented” healings claimed by Hinn. One of the cases involved a man who was supposedly healed of colon cancer. A medically naïve person reading the pathology report may read “no evidence of malignancy” and be duped into thinking that a healing had indeed taken place. However, medical consultant, Dr. Preston Simpson’s investigation revealed that the tumour was surgically removed rather than miraculously healed.
Frederick K. C. Price
Fred Price is the most notable of a growing number of black prosperity preachers. His church in Los Angeles now claims some 16,000 members. He is seen nationally on television and has referred to himself as the “chief exponent of ‘Name It and Claim It.’” Price has added is own unique twists to Faith Theology by asserting that Jesus took on the nature of Satan prior to the crucifixion and by claiming that the Lord’s Prayer is not for Christians today. Despite telling his followers that he doesn’t allow sickness in his home, Price’s wife has been treated for cancer in her pelvic area. Referring to his wealth, Price says the reason he drives a Rolls Royce is that he is following in Jesus’ steps.
John Avanzini is billed by his Faith peers as a recognised authority on biblical economics. The truth, however, is that Avanzini is an authority on perverting Scripture as a means to picking the pockets of the poor. He has honed his craft into such an art form that when Faith teachers need money, they inevitably call on “Brother John.” Armed with a bag full of Bible-twisting tricks, he tells the unsuspecting that “a greater than a lottery has come. His name is Jesus!” According to Avanzini, if Jesus was rich, we should be rich as well. Thus, he recasts Christ into a mirror image of himself—complete with designer clothes, a big house, and a wealthy, well-financed advance team. Thinking otherwise, Avanzini claims, will prevent Christians from reaping the prosperity God has laid out for them.
Robert Tilton hit the big time as a fisher of funds by developing a religious info-mercial called Success-N-Life. It all began when he travelled to Hawaii to hear from the Lord. Says Tilton, “If I’m going to go to the cross, I’m going to go in a pretty place. Not some dusty place like Jerusalem. That’s gravel is all that place is.” While languishing in his exotic wilderness, Tilton “realised his mission was to persuade the poor to give what they could to him—as God’s surrogate—so they too could be blessed.” Then, one day, Tilton tuned in to television and turned on to Dave Del Dotto’s real estate info-mercials. The rest is history. Tilton used what he saw as a prototype for building an empire that takes in as much as $65 million per year. It now appears that Tilton’s wealth may dwindle rapidly amid reports of scandal and a variety of lawsuits.
Marilyn Hickey, much like Tilton, employs a broad range of tactics to manipulate followers into sending her money. Among her many ploys are anointed prayer cloths, ceremonial breastplates, and ropes that can be used as points of contact. In one of her appeal letters, Hickey promises she will slip into a ceremonial breastplate, “press your prayer request to my heart,” and “place your requests on my shoulders”—all for a suggested donation. Her message is peppered with such Faith jargon as “the God-kind of faith,” “confession brings possession,” and “receiving follows giving.”
Paul Yonggi Cho (David Cho)
Paul Yonggi Cho—pastor of the world’s largest church, located in Seoul, South Korea—claims to have received his call to preach from Jesus Christ Himself, who supposedly appeared to him dressed like a fireman. Cho has packaged his faith formulas under the label of “fourth dimensional power.” He is well aware of his link to occultism, arguing that if Buddhists and Yoga practitioners can accomplish their objectives through fourth dimensional powers, then Christians should be able to accomplish much more by using the same means. He recently made the news by changing his name from Paul to David. As Cho tells the story, God showed him that Paul Cho had to die and David Cho was to be resurrected in his place. According to Cho, God Himself came up with his new name.”
Charles Capps was ordained as a minister in the International Convention of Faith Churches and Ministers by Kenneth Copeland and derived his teachings directly from Kenneth Hagin. This combination has led Capps to make some blasphemous statements. Capps has gone so far as to teach that Jesus was the product of God’s positive confession: “This is the key to understanding the virgin birth. God’s Word is full of faith and spirit power. God spoke it. God transmitted that image to Mary. She received the image inside of her … the embryo that was in Mary’s womb was nothing more than the Word of God … She conceived the Word of God.” Capps not only preaches the blasphemous, he also preaches the ridiculous. For example, he claims that if someone says, “I’m just dying to do that” or “That just tickled me to death,” their statements may literally come true (i.e., they may die). According to Capps, this is precisely why the human race now lives only about 70 years instead of 900 years, as was the case with Adam.
Jerry Savelle has made his fortune by mimicking virtually all of the Faith teachers. His greatest claim to fame, however, may well be his ability to mimic Kenneth Copeland. In fact, Savelle appears to be an exact duplicate of Copeland. Savelle demonstrates a total lack of biblical acumen, as he blindly regurgitates virtually every heresy in the Faith Movement. With regard to health, Savelle boasts that sickness and disease cannot enter his world. As for wealth, he says that words can speak your world into existence.
Morris Cerullo claims that he gave up a driving ambition to be the governor of New Jersey in order to become a minister of the gospel. He purports to have first met God at the tender age of eight. Since then his life has been one mind-blowing experience after another. He claims he was transported to heaven for a face-to-face meeting with God and told he would be capable of revealing the future. On one occasion, Cerullo informed his audience, “You’re not looking at Morris Cerullo; you’re looking at God; you’re looking at Jesus.” Not only is Cerullo a master of make-believe, he is also a master of manipulation. On one occasion he claimed that God was directly speaking through him, to tell people to surrender their wallets and purses to God through him.
Paul Crouch and his wife, Jan, are the founders of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which today has an estimated net worth of half a billion dollars. As Crouch himself puts it, “God has, indeed, given us the MOST POWERFUL VOICE in the history of the WORLD.” To those who would speak out against the false teachings on his network, Crouch has this to say: “I think they’re damned and on their way to hell; and I don’t think there’s any redemption for them.” When one leader met with him to prove that the Faith Movement compromises essential Christian doctrine, Crouch declared, “If you want to criticise Ken Copeland for his preaching on faith, or Dad Hagin, get out of my life! I don’t even want to talk to you or hear you. I don’t want to see your ugly face. Get out of my face, in Jesus’ name.” Sadly, Crouch refers to the Faith message as a “revival of truth … restored by a few precious men.”
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
To listen to this audio message please click the blue speaker.
Christ preached a sermon on a mountain, not in a church building. He preached the righteousness of Christ not a works doctrine, not a doctrine of mariolatry, idol worship and an 'all paths lead to god religion.'