In August it will be four years since the publication of The Seduction of Christianity. Through that book, thousands of people have had their eyes opened and have been set free from false teachings. Sadly, those we named in Seduction have refused to discuss the issues with me publicly so that a wider segment of the church could hear both sides. Moreover, I have been banned from many radio and TV programs, stations and networks in a planned censorship of my ministry. Instead of repenting, those who have been leading millions astray have actually hardened their position.
About eight books have been written to "refute" Seduction, and the false teachers have rallied together in a new emphasis upon "unity" to defend one another. For example, Oral Roberts formed Charismatic Bible Ministries a few months after Seduction was published. CBM leadership includes Buckingham, Capps, Cerullo, Cho, Copeland, Crouch, Dortch, Giminez, the Hickeys, Roy Hicks, Sr., Hinn, the Hunters, Lea, MacNutt, Paulk, Price, Savelle, Strang, Lester Sumrall, Synan, Tilton, Treat, Tommy Tyson, Weiner and Ralph Wilkerson. Pledged not to correct one another's doctrine, their motto is Love and Unity Through Signs and Wonders. Their "4th Annual Conference" was held June 20-22, 1989 at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.
Seduction did not engage in hair-splitting. The issues raised are vital and affect the eternal destiny of souls. We warned that a false "God," a false "Christ," a false "faith," and a false "redemption" were being promoted. The Hagin/Copeland positive-confession movement is only one example. For them, "faith" is a "force" like electricity that "God" used to create the worlds. We, as little gods, can create with our words and get whatever we want by using the same "laws of faith" their false "God" obeys. "Redemption" is not through the blood of Jesus shed upon the cross, but through Satan's torture of Christ three days and three nights in hell. If Satan did not torture Jesus enough then are we not saved? And if he did, shall we thank Satan as our co-redeemer? Copeland even tells us how to get our animals "saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost"—and the "Jesus" who speaks through Copeland in "prophecy" denies that he ever claimed to be God.
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. The teachings of the mind-science cults have entered the church. Yet Christian leaders such as Jack Hayford, and Christian TV networks such as TBN, defend Oral Roberts, Schuller, Copeland, et al. Billy Graham encouraged Schuller to get his message on TV and commends him for his teachings! Write to ask Billy why he endorses men such as Schuller and Peale, who undermine the very gospel that he preaches!
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]...." 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.
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 found peace in a Shinto shrine) and Schuller promote such "openness." The above issue of Possibilities lauded John Marks Templeton (his picture is on the cover) for giving "the world's largest annual prize" to the person making the greatest contribution to "progress in religion." Winners have "a wide variety" of religious beliefs and are chosen by "a board of judges [who]...represent five major religions." Talk about an ecumenical/New Age rejection of the fundamentals of the Christian faith!
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 (Sep./Oct. 1988 Possibilities, for example).
While Hill was bringing visualization communication with spirit guides into the secular world, Agnes Sanford took it into the church as part of "inner healing." Despite Seduction's warnings and documentation, this most subtle and dangerous witchcraft practice 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," like the genie that appears in the bottle when the lamp is rubbed, appears to those who follow the relaxation/visualization formula.
Sanford, founder of "inner healing," is the charismatics' Mary Baker Eddy. Critics complained that Seduction misquoted Sanford. They had the 1972 edition of The Healing Light. We quoted from the 1947 edition, because the new publisher in 1972 made numerous cosmetic changes to give the book a wider appeal. Yet Agnes herself had not changed. She was also one of the early popularizers of the Manifest Sons heresy. She taught that the Great Tribulation is in the past; we are now in the Millennium and Christians must, through Science of Mind techniques, take dominion over this earth, even removing the effects of the Fall—without the return of Christ. (See Creation Waits, Logos, 1978, etc.)
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). Her pantheism is clear.
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" (p 143)] 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 [p 60]. 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). Mary Baker Eddy was no worse!
Incredibly, Agnes Sanford is defended by church leaders. Her books sell well in Christian bookstores and at churches such as John Wimber's Vineyard fellowships. "Inner healers" John and Paula Sandford, who were associated with Agnes for years, angrily denounce me for misunderstanding and misquoting her. Yet the Sandfords admit that Agnes was involved in Unity, spiritualism, occultism. John even declared that she had been unsaved and demon possessed at the time she wrote The Healing Light and founded the Schools of Pastoral Care (where he taught with her), and that he led her to Christ and cast the demon out in 1964. Yet he credits this woman, while unsaved and demon-possessed, with healing him of a back injury and leading the church into "the healing of memories."
One of the early books "refuting" Seduction was The Church Divided (1986), edited by Jungian psychologist and pastor Robert Wise. He tells of learning "healing of the memories" from Rosalind Rinker, who learned it from Agnes Sanford, whom Wise praises and defends. The "Jesus" he visualized suddenly began to act on its own. Says Wise, "I no longer was creating the scene." He had made contact with a spirit being, but not with the Jesus of the Bible. Among contributors to The Church Divided were 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. 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 seems to accept as a result of having induced "past-life regressions" in counselees. Such are those who stand together against Seduction ! Sadly, Jimmy Swaggart seems to have joined their ranks.
In Christian Meditation: Doorway to the Spirit (1988), the latest book to "refute" Seduction, author Burton W. Seavey (foreword by Paul Yonggi Cho) does a clever job of isolating my quotes from their context and twisting meanings. He's very convincing. Seavey 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." He 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. The book is strongly endorsed by Harold N. Englund, C.E. director at Schuller's "Crystal Cathedral," who commends Seavey for "unravel[ling] some of the gross distortions in the work of Mr. Hunt."
The above is only a small fraction of the growing apostasy. That such false teachers and unbiblical doctrines are being staunchly defended and promoted in the church today should put us all on our faces before Almighty God! May the Lord examine our hearts and help us to stand firm for His Truth. He is coming soon! TBC