Matthew Fox insists that “Christianity has been out of touch with its ‘core,’ its center, its sense of mystical practice and cosmic awareness.” David and Karen Mains have done their part to correct that alleged deficiency. In her eighteenth book, Lonely No More, Karen advocates acquiring a personal spirit guide and other occult practices which Fox promotes. A bestselling author and popular speaker at women’s conferences, at the time that book was published Karen was “chairperson of the trustee board for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.”
Karen Mains approvingly quotes and takes the advice of modern mystic Thomas Merton, who was as much Buddhist as Roman Catholic monk. She equates tremors and violent shaking of her body with a mysterious power from God that rushes through her hands (common occult manifestations), which she calls a “charism of healing.” She feels the oneness of her self with the molecules of her body and the universe of things and creatures, seemingly experiencing and commending the cosmic or unity consciousness of an Edgar Mitchell or yogi. She is convinced that at “the insistent initiation of the Holy Spirit” she is “being forcefully guided to make rapprochement” with Jung’s unconscious. This book is an incredibly self-centered and self-absorbed account by a Christian leader who has been led inadvertently into occult bondage.
Karen Mains goes into great detail about her dream life, to which she attaches a Jungian interpretation, seemingly unaware that Jung’s theories came from demonic inspiration. She says that a tall, dark, and handsome man “in his early thirties” had been appearing to her in dreams “six or eight times a year for the last four or five years.” Looking earnestly into her eyes, he has told her, “You are everything I have ever wanted spiritually.” He has clung to her, head on her breast, and wept. Karen’s “spiritual director,” a Catholic nun and Jungian psychotherapist, explained that her “male-self” (Jung’s animus) has been “wooing” her. Karen accepts that “this is indeed my male-self, the animus that I need to complement my female being, the anima.” She considers this theory which Jung learned from the demonic world to be “exceptionally scriptural.”
Submitting to a “spiritual director” opens the door to the occult, especially in view of the methods which those trained in this growing profession employ. According to Spiritual Directors International, “about 350 Christian-based spiritual-director training programs exist in the United States,” most of which are Roman Catholic and ecumenical. One network based in San Francisco listed “2600 members who are trained spiritual directors.” A typical training program “mixes psychology, sociology, theology and spirituality in classes, lectures, discussions and hands-on exercises.”
At Cenacle, a Catholic contemplative center, Karen’s alleged “male-self” from her dreams, through the occult technique of visualization, turns into an “idiot-child sitting at a table.” She sees its “totally bald” head “lolled to one side…drooling…emaciated and malnourished…a little skeleton of a ragamuffin…[with] sad, huge eyes….” Under the guidance of her Catholic/Jungian “spiritual director,” Karen is convinced that this visualized “idiot-child” which has now come alive to her is, in fact, the “Christ child” within, that part of herself “that is Christ” and has been attempting to woo her!
Secular psychology’s delusion of the “inner child” invaded the church through “Christian psychology” and is now taught in seminaries and promoted by leading pastors. This author watched in distress on Sunday morning, June 8, 1997, as Charles Stanley, a solid evangelical pastor, spent much of his sermon advising listeners concerning “the child within.” Karen Mains has gone more deeply into this delusion. Hers is no ordinary child, but Christ Himself!
“The Christ child within me,” she calls it. Was Christ not a mature man in His thirties when He died on the cross for our sins, and is He not now at the Father’s right hand in a resurrected, glorified body? Does He not come to live within us by His Spirit as the Lord of life and glory who conquered death? How then can He still be a child—and such a child as He never was, “emaciated and malnourished…a little skeleton of a ragamuffin…[with] sad, huge eyes…”? What delusion is this, and from what source?
In a valiant effort to hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, Christianity Today (CT) defended the heresies of Karen Mains in an article which castigated those whom it labeled as “self-appointed heresy hunters…arbiters of legalism sitting in judgment…[in a]modern-day witch hunt.” The article was an illogical and unbiblical attack against anyone who would bring correction in the church, and a denial of the responsibility of each Christian to be a Berean (Acts:17:10,11). The scolding complaint that David and Karen Mains were misunderstood and harshly judged contained no documentation either of their teachings which had been questioned or of the supposedly unfair criticism lodged against them. Instead, readers were expected to believe whatever Christianity Today said.