Tom: Thanks, Gary. You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him. In this segment of our program we are using Dave Hunt’s out-of-print book, Beyond Seduction, as our resource, and we are discussing another significant doctrine that has undergone tremendous abuse due to the widespread false teachings primarily found on so-called Christian television and radio, and that is the doctrine of faith.
As we mentioned last week, faith as it is taught in the Bible, has been twisted into a form of mind power. In fact, television evangelists who promote what’s called, “the faith teaching” have gleaned most of their ideas from mind science cults, Christian Science, Science of Mind, Unity School of Christianity, and so forth.
Dave, let me quote someone who probably did more to introduce the beliefs of mind science cults into mainstream Christianity than anyone else, and of course, I’m referring to Norman Vincent Peale. He writes: “When a negative thought comes, practice canceling it with a positive thought and affirmation. Practice great affirmations like, ‘Life is good,’ ‘I believe,’ ‘People are wonderful,’ ‘God loves me.”’ Such affirmations lift you into the area of infinite power.” Wow!
Dave: Well, on the one hand, Tom, it’s good to be positive. You could probably testify— my wife would say that I’m the incurable optimist.
Tom: Really? The Mr. Negative Dave Hunt is the incurable optimist? Well, I can testify to that. I’ve been working with you for 26 years, and you are an incurable optimist, Dave, so praise God for that.
Dave: So it’s better to think, you know, positively, but the implication that he gives you, and of course what he teaches very plainly in his books, is that there is a “power” of the mind. Now, Solomon did say, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” So, Solomon was saying, way back, to them before they knew it that there is a connection between our emotions and our health. You hate someone, they are going to destroy your appetite, destroy your sleep, so there is a connection.
But Norman Vincent Peale says it puts you into the realm of infinite power. Just to give you a few other quotes from Norman Vincent Peale. He says, “You don’t know what power you have within you. You can have anything that you want, you know, if you speak it forth.”
It’s like the positive confession people—they go to Genesis:1:3, I think it is, and then verse 6 and so forth, where it says: “God said, let there be light.” They say, “See, you can have what you say, now speak it forth.”
Well, I mean, Tom, if we turned out the lights in this studio we could sit here and say, “Let there be light, Let there be light, Let there be light,” and there wouldn’t be any light. It’s not because God said it, but because it was God who said it. Now, the problem here is, they are leading us into the power of the mind. And when it gets into religion, becomes Christianity, you see it’s all right, let these guys out there, positive mental attitude seminars, let them teach that, success motivation. They even have high school kids stick on a little piece of paper under their pillow what they want to be.
Now, you’ve got a lot of problems, Tom. Let’s say you’ve got a big company, a thousand people in it, and let’s say we’ve got about a hundred of them who want to be president. One of them is the janitor, and so forth, but they are all determined to be president, and they all affirm that they are going to be president. Now, who’s going to be president? Is it an affirmation that does it, or is it a little hard work and diligence and knowledge in applying yourself, and so forth.
So, what it does finally, in the religious realm it reduces God to a placebo. It really isn’t God who is doing anything—it’s the power of the mind. So, if you believe, if you can talk yourself into thinking God will do something—you pray, and you talk yourself into believing that it will be answered, then it will happen. But it’s not because God is going to do it—it’s because God is like a sugar pill, a placebo. If you think that that will stop your pain, it will stop your pain. So, we have reduced God to a placebo. It has nothing to do with God’s will, He’s kind of a non-entity.
So, you mentioned science of mind. You get into science of mind it’s based upon the idea that there’s this universal mind out there. Amazingly, the universal mind doesn’t have a mind of its own; it just exists to give you whatever you want. So, you live in an area like Bend, where we have a beautiful ski resort about 30 minutes away, Mount Bachelor, well then you find bumper stickers and it says: “Think Snow” or you see other bumper stickers “Visualize World Peace.” Well, these people think that the mind creates the universe. The human mind does not create the universe. The human mind has been struggling to discover what God has put into this universe. And that’s what scientific discoveries are all about. The scientist doesn’t make it up. He doesn’t cause it to happen. He discovers what is actually there, okay?.
Tom: Dave, some of these individuals, televangelists, would consider themselves to be evangelicals or at least Bible-oriented. So we’ve gone from the Bible back to the cults, religious science, mind science—as I said, Norman Vincent Peale, this is where he drew from in many of his ideas and teachings. But we could go back to New Thought, go back to Mary Baker Eddy, go back to, really, back to Hinduism, and this is what Hinduism is all about, that you create reality with your mind, that there is no personal God out there—it’s a force, and you control that force with your mind.
Dave: Yeah, it’s a great temptation, Tom. Let me quote Norman Vincent Peale again. He said: “Who is God? Some theological being? No, God is a force! Visualize him. Visualize God. Breathe him in.” Now, we have depersonalized the personal God. We are supposed to pray to Him, “Not my will, but thine be done.”
Pat Robertson, for example, says, and I’m paraphrasing him now, I am not giving you an exact quote: “You think the Bible is a theological book? No, it’s a success manual. It teaches success principles.” And then he goes on and he says, “These are metaphysical principles, and even New Agers can use them if they just know how to apply these principles.” Now, Kenneth Hagin said…
Tom: Dave, excuse me. Is that from The Secret Kingdom? I want people to know that you are not just picking up some little item here—that this is a book that was very successful.
Dave: That would be from The Secret Kingdom, right. Yonggi Cho said the same thing, visualization. He said that God created the universe by visualizing it into existence and that man can do the same, and that you cannot have an answer to your prayer unless you visualize exactly what you want. Now this is the primary—in fact, it’s the number one occult technique that has always been in use down through the ages.
So, exactly as you said, Tom, man is in charge now. God—who is God? Some theological being? Peale says, “No, He’s a force.” And then he goes on and he says, “Prayer is a scientific technique for releasing spiritual power.” He said, “Just as there are scientific techniques for releasing power in the atom, so prayer is a scientific, religious technique,” so, we are into religious science. Tom, they think that that is helpful if we could just make Christianity scientific. That was what Mary Baker Eddy wanted to do, Jesus Christ the scientist. On the contrary, there are no miracles in science, and you don’t have to be a Christian to be a scientist and to apply the principles and tap into the power in this universe. So, I don’t know if we are getting the point across to our listeners out there, but you have stepped over into the occult when you think that by your visualization, or your confession, you know, your speaking, that you can bring things into existence. No, I can’t do that, God is the Creator, but I can come to Him in Jesus’ name and ask Him but I must always want His will.
Tom: I think it might be helpful for our listeners, I’m looking at Beyond Seduction. As we mentioned, this is an out-of-print book, but sometime in the future, the Lord willing, we’re going to bring it back in terms of smaller books dealing with particular issues as we said last month. We dealt with self, now we are looking at faith, and there are other, I think, terrific apologetics in here. But anyway, you list six points of faith—how faith is twisted from the Bible and worked into a mind science, positive confession mode. Let me just read some of these; some of them we have gone over so you can just address it briefly, or go on to the next one. But you begin with—this is what they teach: 1) Faith is a force that both God and man can use (you list some quotes), “You have the same ability as God has dwelling and residing on the inside of you. We all have the capabilities of God; we have His faith.”
Dave: That would be Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, they teach that.
Tom: Right. 2) Faith’s force is released by speaking words—you mentioned that earlier, but here’s some quotes: “God had faith in His faith because He spoke words of faith and they came to pass.” Now, you’ve got to adjust that—faith in His faith?
Dave: Well, Tom, in fact, that’s what they teach: “Have faith in your faith.” In other words, really believe that what you believe will happen. Have faith that your believing something will cause it to happen. That is just a rebellion against God; that is pretending to be God, and we do not have the ability of God dwelling within us.
The Bible says, “Have faith in God.” Well, who does God have faith in? In fact, Kenneth Hagin was very adamant on that: God is a faith God. So is Copeland, he speaks words of faith. There is this power called “faith” out there somewhere that causes things to happen. God uses it, God knew how, God learned the techniques, and now you can do this too. You can take this power and use it to your own ends. Well then, God is not in charge of this universe anymore. Something called “faith” is causing things to happen, and if I can just do that, become more adept at that than anybody else, then I’m going to be the head honcho over this world.
Tom: Dave, before I get to the next point, a little side bar here. I’ve seen books that say, “God believes in you, God trusts you.”
Dave: That’s Robert Schuller…I think!
Tom: Not just Robert Schuller—others we could name.
Dave: “Believe in the God who believes in you.” Well, Paul said, “I have no confidence in the flesh,” not at all. Let me just mention Michael Harner. Michael Harner, not a Christian by any means, one of the world’s leading anthropologists; he’s traveled around the world studying occult powers.
Dave: Yes, he is a shaman. Shaman is a word that comes from Siberia. It’s what the Tongass tribe in Siberia call their witch doctors, medicine men, and so forth—“shaman.” And anthropologists have adopted that pretty much. It rolls off the tongue very nicely, it doesn’t sound like there could be any witchcraft or anything involved in shamanism.
And Michael Harner, in his book, The Way of the Shaman, he just lays it out. He says, “What we are involved in today,” whether it’s psychology (and the Christian psychology comes from that), or the New Age, or success motivation training and so forth, he says, “That’s shamanism!” And he says it involves five basics, okay, very interesting, because they are all in the church. They are all being taught by the people that we are talking about now. Number One, visualization, that is the most powerful occult technique—you can visualize a spirit guide. This is what Silva Mind Control, now called Silva Method, is based on. We have medical doctors teaching people to visualize. You remember Bernie Segal, from Yale Medical School, who learned this and visualized this inner guide that now begins to work through him. That’s a basic method of the occultist.
Tom: Dave, but wait a minute, I visualize. I have a background in art, design, architecture, screen writing, what’s the deal?
Dave: Yeah, that’s fine. I mean, if you are a basketball player and you want to go practice your shots in your mind, I have no problem with that. But if you think you can create reality with your mind, then you’ve got real problems. In other words, you’re a basketball player, and you think by concentrating, making positive thoughts and so forth, that you can make the ball go through the hoop—you might that from Phil Jackson’s book, Sacred Hoops, who was into North American Indian witchcraft, and so forth. But I don’t know how much more clearly we can explain it.
Okay, so Michael Harner says there are five basic principles. By the way, he says, “Witchcraft, shamanism, is the same everywhere—I’ve verified this is a few places—South Pacific Islands or whatever. I can tell them what they are into before they tell me.” He says they are all involved in these five basic things without ever having any contact with one another. They have been isolated for thousands of years by hundreds of miles of ocean, or whatever, you know, and yet you will find it everywhere. They all use it, South America, up in Siberia, go to Alaska, go to Africa, go to the South Pacific—visualization is number 1—“I will create in my mind something that is then going to become a reality in the physical world,” visualization number 1.
Number 2— Positive speaking, positive thinking—exactly what we have been talking about. You think these thoughts, and it will happen. Speak it forth—that’s even more powerful. This is what Hagin and Copeland and these people all teach. Yonggi Cho, pastor of the largest church in the world, says, ”You can create the presence of Jesus with your words—call him down here, they are created you know,” and so forth. Then, hypnosis—well, we don’t have to talk about that, but hypnosis is an occult technique, you put someone into a trance and it loosens the connection between their brain and their spirit, and that allows another spirit to interpose itself. Now you can recreate under hypnosis You can put somebody in a deep hypnotic trance, tell them they are being approached by an UFO—they’ll go through the whole thing, they’ll describe it, being taken aboard, physical examination of their body. Or you tell them you are dying—they will go through the whole thing. They are going through this dark tunnel, they come out, there is this light, and so forth. Hypnosis, we can create—well in fact, the Russians, materialists, were into reincarnation therapy. Reincarnation therapy—hey are going to regress you under hypnotic trance back into the past. Tom, as you know, we have hundreds and hundreds of Christian psychologists using hypnosis in their practice.
Tom: Or at the very least, Dave, they are implanting ideas and thoughts, impressions, you know, the whole false memory syndrome is based on that.
Dave: Exactly. Then you have psychotherapy. That’s just an occult technique. We’ve done tests where we’ve matched Western psychiatrists against witchdoctors and it comes out a dead heat. The only difference is that the witchdoctors charge less and release their patients sooner. In fact, Tom, they have done tests, I think in Haiti, for example, where the witchdoctors do a better job in other places of healing people through the power of the mind, straightening out their psyche, or whatever it is.
Here is—the man is not a Christian, he’s not a critic like we are—he’s one of the world’s leading anthropologists; he’s traveled all over the world; he has verified this. He simply says, “This is witchcraft, this is shamanism, it is in our society, the church has adapted it from psychology, and here it is in our modern society.” Now, he says, “They give different labels to it, but underneath it’s the same thing.”
Dave: I think that ought to alarm a few people.
Tom: It should. Dave. The other point that you make, earlier you mentioned that, you know, that they believe God works with faith, He uses faith, and so on. If He can do it, we can do it. Now, of course that’s been elevated to man being a little god in God’s class. Some quotes here: “We were created to be gods over the earth, but remember to spell it with a little ‘g.’
Dave: That’s Charles Capps.
Tom: Yeah. “God Himself spawned us from His innermost being. We are in God so that makes us part of God.” Wow, that’s Hinduism!
Dave: Well, you have on TBN here is Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn sitting with him, and in fact Paul Crouch put it in writing in his newsletter that went out. He said: “If we are not little gods, I will apologize before ten thousand times ten thousand in front of the Crystal Sea.” Well, if he, or anyone else is a little god, they will not be before the crystal sea in heaven. It’s that simple. You can go to Jeremiah:10:10,11, where God says, “Look, I am the true God who created this universe—You say to the gods who have not created this universe they will perish from under this heaven and from this earth.” So, I can say, on the authority of the Word of God, God is saying: “Look, you claim to be a little god—Paul Crouch, Kenneth Copeland, anyone,—you claim to be a little god, but you didn’t create this universe, you will perish.” This is not my word, but God’s Word. Because that was a rebellion against God.
Satan said, “I will be like the most high. Then he told Eve, “You can be one of the gods too.” And now we have this teaching in the church, Tom. I think words mean something, doctrines mean something, and it is a very serious matter. If anyone out there has been following these lies, you had better think about it very carefully. Go back to the Bible, don’t listen to me! Check it out from the Bible.
Tom: Dave, as you alluded to earlier, as they are presenting this, they are saying, Well, this isn’t just for Christians, if the pagans can do it and so on, Christians are missing out, we’ve got to get aboard on this. So, anyone, occultist or Christian, can use the faith force. Wow! What does this have to do with the faith of the Bible, the faith once and for all delivered unto the saints?
Dave: It has nothing to do with it. Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller both said, “Positive thinking, possibility thinking, they are just another word for faith.” Well, you can be an atheist and you can teach positive thinking, possibility thinking seminars. Jesus said, Mark 11, “Have faith in God.” We are going to look to God, the true God, and we’re going to have faith in Him, and if He doesn’t want to do it, if He doesn’t want to answer our prayers, then we submit to His will. But we are not going to try to get some power by which we can cause what we want to happen. That is rebellion against God! It’s the opposite of what the Bible teaches. But Kenneth Copeland says if you say what Jesus said, what Paul said, “Not my will, but thine be done, you are destroying your faith.”
Tom: Dave, last two points—I’ll combine them: “You get what you confess; and never make a negative confession.
Dave: Right, well, if I feel like I am getting a cold, I shouldn’t say I am getting a cold because that would cause you to get a cold. But if you get a cold, just say, I don’t have a cold, I don’t have a cold, and just keep saying it, and pretty soon you’ll be cured, probably no faster than you would otherwise, but again, we’re back to mind power. There’s not a reality out there, we create it with our minds, and Tom, that is so far fetched. You’ve got two scientists looking in an electron microscope halfway around the world from one another—they don’t even talk to one another—they both come up with the same discovery inside the atom somewhere that nobody knew before. Did they make it up and cause it to happen? It’s absurd! Now, we live in a universe, and our bodies are physical, and so forth. There are certain physical laws that we are subject to. Now these people are trying to say, “Oh yeah, but there are spiritual laws that will release you from the physical laws, and you just follow them and then you can do miracles.” That’s what Pat Robertson taught in his book, The Secret Kingdom. No, if it’s a miracle, it’s not subject to laws. Miracles override the laws of the universe.