'NAM - 'Concept Therapy'

2.  Dan Patterson (cont.)

3rd May, 2004

(Continued from page 308)

How do 'Concept Therapy' proponents react when its methods are also shown to be built on sand?

Norman Vincent Peale's positive thinking and Robert Schuller's possibility thinking are two more forms of positive confession's false 'faith' that will not save. Sadly, the teachings of the
mind-science cults (spin-offs of Hinduism through Christian Science etc.) and other Gnostic cults which ground their experience in metaphysical pantheism and physical healing have entered the church in many guises. Yet Christian leaders such as Jack Hayford, and Christian TV networks such as TBN, defend Oral Roberts, Schuller, Copeland, et al. and even the former evangelical Christian, Billy Graham, have encouraged Schuller to get his message on TV and commended him for his teachings!

The February 1989 TBN
Praise The Lord newsletter declared that Paul and Jan Crouch had interviewed Schuller and cleared him of the 'false' charge that he promotes the New Age concepts 'that God is everything [and] that Christ 'consciousness' is already inherently resident in each man [and woman]....'. These heretics would be perfectly at home with the Concept Therapy philosophy! Yet Schuller's Possibilities magazine, Summer 1986, promoted those very lies: '...nothing exists except God. There is no other reality....The Christ spirit dwells in every human being whether the person knows it or not.' Unity, a totally New Age mind-science cult ('God is everything,'Christ consciousness in everyone,' reincarnation, yoga, etc.) benefits from Schuller's repeated appearances at its churches, headquarters, and functions. He commends and encourages Unity to keep up its good work and grow larger.

New Agers themselves usually define 'God' as an impersonal force pervading all creation. This view naturally flows from the New Age movement's most foundational belief - monism. Monism, which literally means 'one-ism,' teaches that all is one and one is all. It asserts that 'all reality may be reduced to a single, unifying principle partaking of the same essence and reality.'
Every true New Ager believes there is ultimately only one substance and that the diversity we perceive is actually unreal. It is all an illusion. 'Oneness is the only reality and diversity is its apparent manifestation.' In other words, people only think that a rock lying in a field is something entirely separate from the field in which it is lying. Reality is that the rock is the field, and the field is the rock. Similarly, people only think that they are individual entities. Reality is that there is no 'you'/'me' distinction. There is only one big 'I.'

This 'I' includes not only every
person, but also every thing (e.g., soil, wooden boards, raindrops). Everyone is everything, and everything is everyone. All are part of the one substance that is usually referred to by New Agers as the Reality, Power, All, Mind, Force, Absolute, Principle, One, or Universal Energy. This is the same view held by 'Concept Therapy' which teaches that 'If it is true that God is everywhere, then He must have been in each sub-atomic particle' and shares the same view that the ultimate state of consciousness is one in which 'all individuality dissolves into universal, undifferentiated oneness.'

Often accompanying monism is pantheism, which asserts that everything is God. This concept, too, is embraced by every New Ager and 'Concept Therapy'. After all, if everything that exists is one, then 'God' must also be one with everything and everything is ultimately God. As New Age personality Benjamin Creme puts it:

In a sense there is no such thing as God, God does not exist. And in another sense, there is nothing else but God - only God exists. …… This microphone is God. This table is God. All is God. And because all is God, there is no God. …… God is everything that you have ever known or could ever know - and everything beyond your level of knowing.'

This 'all is God/God is all' doctrine coupled with monism's 'all is one' concept forms the substructure of the New Age movement (and 'Concept Therapy') but was gleaned from Hinduism. Hindu literature is literally saturated with both pantheism and monism. The concluding portion of the
Vedas, or the Upanishads, read:

This whole world is Brahma. Tranquil, let one worship. It as that from which he came forth, as that into which he will be dissolved, as that in which he breathes.

Contrary to the Hinduistic philosophy of the New Age movement, God is not all and all is not God.
Genesis 1:1 clearly establishes that God is separate and distinct from the universe. The entire first chapter of Genesis systematically shows that God, rather than being a part of all that exists, is the Creator of all that exists. Other passages supporting this are Psalm 33:13 - 14; Isaiah 42:5; 44:24; Acts 17:24 - 25. Paul the apostle further demonstrates that God and creation are not one when he mentions those who exchange the truth of God for a lie so they can worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18--25). Eldon Winker points out in The New Age Is Lying to You that worship of the creature is possible only if the creature is distinct and separate from the Creator. Also, God is not an impersonal substance or a cosmic force. In Exodus 3:14 - 15, the Lord applies to himself the divine name 'I [first person singular] am [the verb to be].' Only a reflective cognizant ego (mind) can say 'I am.' Consequently, God must be a person.

Additionally, God performs acts that are only possible for a personal being. In
Jeremiah 29:11, for example, He declares that He knows the thoughts He thinks toward His people. How can an impersonal force know or think? God hears (Exodus 2:24), sees (Hebrews 4:13), speaks (Leviticus 19:1), knows everything (1 John 3:20), judges (Psalm 50:6), loves (Proverbs 3:12; Jeremiah 31:3) and has a will (1 John 2:17).

In sharp contrast to the impersonal God of the deceivers of the New Age movement, the God of Christianity is an intelligent, compassionate, and personal being. He is the
living God (Daniel 6:26; 1 Timothy 3:15; 4:10; Hebrews 10:31), and He is the true God (2 Chronicles 15:3; Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9). As such, He is also the quintessential enemy of New Agers whose most cherished belief is that they are God.

The ideas promoted by the New Age and such deceptions as 'Concept Therapy' appear in many other guises which have infiltrated the Christian church and, in
The Unity Way of Life, Marcus Bach writes, 'You can walk with the Shintoist through his sacred groves, or chant an affirmation with the Hindu on the banks of the Ganges...and still be a student of Unity....As the Christ becomes greater to you in Unity, the Buddha also becomes greater, and the greater the Buddha becomes, the greater the Christ becomes' (pp 88-89). Peale (who claims to have found peace in a Shinto shrine) and Schuller promote such 'openness.' In spite of his denials, Schuller persistently promotes New Agers and their concepts, the deadliest of which is shamanism, the visualization of spirit guides. This occult technique (learned from demons posing as 'Masters' of a 'Temple of Wisdom' on the 'astral plane') was first brought into the business world by Napoleon Hill, whose teachings Schuller promotes (ref. Sep./Oct. 1988 Possibilities).

Agnes Sanford took this kind of occultism into the church as part of 'inner healing' - a bed-fellow of Concept Therapy. Subtle and dangerous witchcraft is more than ever being promoted and defended by church leaders and 'Christian psychologists.' It is also being used to contact 'God' or 'Jesus' in 'dialogue with God,' or 'two-way prayer.' Only a demon posing as 'God' or 'Christ,' appears to those who follow these kind of
relaxation/visualization formulae. Sanford is the charismatics' Mary Baker Eddy. In The Healing Light, she presents a false 'God' who is the 'life-force' in everyone and in everything. It is a form of 'energy' like electricity: 'the original force that we call God (p 30)....we are part of God (p 34)....He's in nature, and He is nature (p 35)....I was conscious of oneness with God, and therefore with the snake which God had made' (p 69). 'Concept Therapy' shares pantheism with her and many other deceivers in the contemporary church.

From Emmet Fox, who calls himself 'one of [Unity founder] Charles Fillmore's spiritual children,' Agnes picked up many of her ideas, such as 'God's love was blacked out from man by
negative thought-vibrations...[Jesus] lowered his thought vibrations to the thought vibrations of humanity' to accomplish 'the at-one-ment' - a Unity term that Fillmore called the 'reconciliation of man's mind with divine Mind through the superconsciousness of Christ Mind.' Sanford commends the 'prayers of Unity and other modern schools of prayer' (p 143) which 'project the power of God' for healing. On pages 21-22 she gives four steps for tapping into this 'God-force,' the second being '...to turn it on...we can simply say, 'Whoever you are - whatever you are - come into me now!'' To support her Science of Mind, she quotes a scientist: 'a vibration of very, very high intensity and an extremely fine wavelength, with tremendous healing power, caused by spiritual forces operating through the mind of man, is the next thing science expects to discover' (p 32). She goes on: 'The love-vibrations and the faith vibrations of God and His saints [she includes dead 'saints' - 'there is no death' (p143)] enter through our thoughts of life and love. In the same way, the destructive thought-vibrations of mankind, and of 'Satan' [whoever or whatever 'Satan' may be; her metaphysical system requires no personal devil] enter through our thoughts of illness, hate and death' (p 43-44). She taught that everything is a matter of thought-vibrations. We can be made ill by negative vibrations, can heal ourselves and others through positive vibrations and can even forgive the sins of others and turn them into Christians in this way. She writes, '...project into the burglar's mind the love of God, by seeing him as a child of God and asking God to bless him [p60]. A new age is being born...when love-power, [projected] at the command of ministers and surveyors and children and everyone, is sufficient to change hearts....This is the beginning of a new order...the dawning of a new day!...As our prayers, our mental training and our acts of forgiveness fuse into a high consciousness of God's indwelling, we become more and more aware of an inner source of power that can be tapped at will' (p 75). This kind of 'theology' purveys 'Concept Therapy' and is equally at home with Mary Baker Eddy (of Christian Science) and the infiltrator of Christian churches - Agnes Sanford. Agnes was involved in Unity, spiritualism, occultism and was not even a born again Christian - and probably demon possessed - at the time she wrote The Healing Light and founded the Schools of Pastoral Care.

Many such links with such occult therapies have infiltrated the church.
The Church Divided (1986), edited by Jungian psychologist and pastor Robert Wise, tells of learning 'healing of the memories' from Rosalind Rinker, who learned it from Agnes Sanford, whom Wise praises and defends. Among contributors to The Church Divided were David (Paul) Yonggi Cho, Dennis Bennett, Mark Virkler (whose book Dialogue With God seduces Christians into contact with demons masquerading as 'God' and 'Christ'), and William de Arteaga. Incredibly, the latter considers Sanford's The Healing Light to be 'among the first rank of Christian literature, along with Pilgrim's Progress and Saint Teresa's Life.' In Past Life Visions (1983) de Arteaga defends Sanford's visualization and her belief in a pre-earth human existence. He suggests that Christianity accommodate Hinduism's 'karma/reincarnation,' which he foolishly seems to accept as a result of having induced 'past-life regressions' in counselees.

In Christian Meditation: Doorway to the Spirit (1988), author Burton W. Seavey (foreword by Paul Yonggi Cho) defends Schuller, Cho's occult 'fourth dimension,' the idea that God uses 'faith,' that we're little gods, and Hill's/Sanford's visualization. He says the kingdom of God is 'man's spirit - a part of God placed within every infant birthed into this world.' Compare this with the usual Hindu false use of Christ's quote from Luke 17:21 ('the kingdom of God is within you') by 'Concept Therapy' in the text above. Seavey dismisses fears of Eastern mysticism, and claims that Christianity is itself an Eastern mystical religion. He teaches that unbelievers have access to the same God-powers as Christians - through meditation. This involves entering the alpha level of altered consciousness, moving from 'left- into right-brain', deprogramming the subconscious, and visualization.

There are many important contradictions between the Bible and New Age sources, such as 'Concept Therapy'. Jesus, as the unique Son of God, gave no credence to other scriptures, writings, or distorted views of God. One example of Jesus distinguishing between truth and error is the account of the Samaritan woman (
John 4). The Samaritans are closely related to Judaism, yet he told the Samaritan woman, in John 4:22, that Samaritans do not know whom they worship. If Jesus differentiated between the Samaritan god and the Jewish God, then we should also distinguish between any attempts to harmonize the world's religions and Christianity. Jesus also challenged world teachers in John 10:8: 'All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers.' Since the Vedas, Confucius, Lao-tzu (Taoism), the Buddha, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead all came before Christ, He openly renounces them as 'thieves and robbers.' Rather than attempting homogenization, as these deceivers do, Jesus isolated His teachings from all others. Jesus singled himself out as man's only hope (Matthew 7:22-23; John 8:24; 14:6).

Truth, for the individual in these metaphysical New Age ramblings, is often subjective and existential. 'Concept Therapy' follows the lead of many other 'New Age' deceivers who misuse the Bible when they quote 'Know thyself'. Others, such as Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, offer a fuller 'quote': 'Know thyself …… and the truth shall set you free.' In contrast, Jesus said:
'If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free' (John 8:31-32). Jesus gave an objective standard for truth: Himself (John 14:6) and the Word of God (John 17:17). Never is man called 'truth' in the Bible, nor is man's 'inner self'. God is called truth (Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 65:16), as are Jesus (John 14:6), the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6), the Word of God (John 17:17), and the gospel (Galatians 2:5, 14). But never is man or knowledge of 'thyself' called truth.

Do not allow yourself to be deceived by the veneer of the intellectual and metaphysical jargon 'Concept Therapy' presents, nor retreat before any attempts to belittle the Christian gospel. We pay no heed to any claims of 'higher revelation,' or claims that such theosophical manoeuvrings are a higher form of revelation for our age. We are informed in Scripture repeatedly that
'the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God' (1 Corinthians 1:18). 'Concept Therapy' and its bedfellows are just attempts to supplant the authority of Christ and Scripture with 'the philosophy and empty deceit' of the world (Colossians 2:8). They offer, in common with the other non-Christian religions of the world, no living redeemer, no freedom from the power of sin, and in the end no hope for the world to come. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, offers promises by the mouths of prophets and the God who cannot lie that those who trust in and serve Him shall 'receive [for their faith] an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life' (Matthew 19:29).

We have no doubts that there are ignorant Christians embracing 'Concept Therapy' - but this is just a small part of the growing apostasy. Such false teachers and unbiblical doctrines are being staunchly defended and promoted in the church today and should cause all Christians to examine their hearts before the Lord as we pray that He will help us to stand firm for His Truth. Remember - He is coming soon!

In His Name



(Continued on page 310)

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