Question: I was literally stunned by a passage a friend read to me from a book by Karen Mains, the wife of David Mains, who hosts the Chapel of the Air radio broadcast. She is a highly influential evangelical (the book cover states that she is “chairperson of the trustee board for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA”) and a very popular speaker at Christian women’s conferences. So I couldn’t believe my ears, and then my eyes, when I read what seemed to be her communication with a personal spirit guide. Am I reading too much into her writing?
Response: We’re afraid not. The book Lonely No More has many serious problems which we plan to address in a future article dealing with spiritually dangerous trends taking place in the Christian community. But for now, here is our perspective on Mrs. Mains’ spirit guide.
She tells of a young man who has been appearing in her dreams. Her descriptions of him are vivid: “He was tall…well formed and trim, somewhere in his early thirties….His fine, dark hair fell in a thick lock across his forehead…his blue-gray eyes looking earnestly into mine.” The details of his communication are specific: “’You are everything I have ever wanted spiritually,’ he said before I [in the dream] started to drive away. ‘You are everything I ever wanted spiritually.’” The experience, which has taken place “six or eight times a year for the last four or five years,” and which has had a “positively profound effect” on her, compelled her to seek psychospiritual counsel.
Her “spiritual director,” a Catholic nun and Jungian psychotherapist, confirms what her evangelical, inner-healing therapist friend and “unofficial spiritual mentor” told her: “Your male-self is certainly wooing you.” Mains explains, “…this indeed is my male-self, the animus that I need to complement my female being, the anima. This psychological concept of the male-within-the-female and the female-within-the-male was developed by Carl Jung, but it has always seemed exceptionally scriptural to me.”
Mrs. Mains’ sessions with her spiritual director focus on her dialogue and relationship with her dream entity, revealing his name (“Eddie Bishop”) and details of their past experiences together. She notes Jung’s perspective “that for spiritual and psychological health a person must have a harmonious and friendly relationship with his or her unconscious” and adds, “Through the insistent initiation of the Holy Spirit, I am being forcefully guided to make rapprochement with my inner, deepest self.”
What incredible self-delusion! The Holy Spirit’s work and Jung’s antibiblical concepts couldn’t be more contrary to each other. Much of what Jung taught was derived from his own personal spirit guide, a demon named Philemon (see America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice for Jung’s heavily demonized background). And Mains is on very insidious turf here.
In a later Jungian session with her spiritual director at Cenacle, a Catholic contemplative retreat center, Karen tells of a drastic change in the entity which has been appearing in her mind. In graphic detail she describes an “idiot-child sitting at a table with other people…totally bald head lolled to one side…drooling…six, seven or eight years of age…emaciated and malnourished…sad, huge eyes….This is my idiot-child, the idiot self of my self.” Her spiritual director has her close her eyes and “see the child again.” She does so and begins to communicate with the image who surprises them both by revealing that it is the “Christ child.” Her director, apparently tuned into the same imagery, responds excitedly, “Yes, that is what I heard also.” Mrs. Mains ponders the thought that the young man and the idiot-child are both Jesus Christ who has “been attempting to woo me because an essential part of my identity in Him has been expelled from my adult development.” We find that this “Christ child,” whom she is instructed to always take with her, is her “spiritual authority” which she is “afraid of having” and has “rejected not only [as] a part of myself, but a part of myself that is Christ.”
There are three possibilities concerning the above. One, what she has written is the promotion of her own agenda through a vehicle which she self-characterizes: “Mains, you have a whacko creative imagination.” Two, her penchant for introspection and symbolism have swept her into the delusionary world of the experiential and hopelessly subjective. This is pure Jungian hokum, nothing more. Or three, one and two have led her down the path to New Age shamanism, where, under the guise of psychological concepts and symbolism and through the occult practice of guided imagery, she has been in communication with a spirit guide—in fact, a demon appearing as an angel of light.
Even if she has thus far escaped the dangerous spiritual reality of the third possibility, though what she writes seems to indicate otherwise, she has certainly decorated a spiritual primrose path for evangelicals, particularly the thousands of Christian women for whom her book is tailored.