Tom: Thanks, Gary. If you’re new to our program, in this segment we’re currently going through Dave Hunt’s out-of-print book, Beyond Seduction, which he wrote as a follow-up to The Seduction of Christianity, with which I had the privilege of helping him. We’ve been discussing what happens when we turn from the Scriptures to other ways and means in an attempt to draw near to God. And, in particular, we’ve been talking about the use of imagination, visualization, and the uses of imagery. The church is increasingly being led to “see God” and “hear from God” through such devices—techniques, by the way, which have long been used by shamans and medicine men and various other practitioners of magic and witchcraft.
Now, Dave, these occult practices have been somewhat sanitized, or attempted to clean them up a little bit, and they’ve been brought into the church through psychological counseling, and I’m thinking mostly of Carl Jung—the concepts taught by Jung and Jungian Therapy.
Dave: Yeah, Tom, before we get to that, we try to be not only biblical but rational in this program. And any technique, whether it’s lighting candles or gazing into an icon, or trying to visualize Jesus, whatever it may be, any technique like that assumes that God is going to be impressed by it, assumes that somehow God will knuckle down and go along with this.
Tom: Yeah, He has to respond.
Dave: Yeah, it’s ridiculous. God does not respond to man’s imagination, or what he conjures up, or the things that he tries to propose, but what do these things do? Well, they bring the people who follow these medicine men, or priests, or whoever they are, they bring them into bondage to these people who now have the handle on these techniques, and who can supposedly make contact with God in these ways. And it just rationally doesn’t work. It lowers God. Who is this God? You’re going to ask Him to do some great miracle, and yet He’s subject to your whims. It’s like the magic genie, you rub the lamp and here it comes at your service, or the genie in the bottle or whatever it is. That is not God, and when he tells us there is only one way to come to Him, and that is through faith in Christ, then He’s not going to go along with anything else.
So now, when you are talking about Carl Jung—how do people get into this sort of thing? Carl Jung was raised in a home—his grandfather was a master Mason and a spirit medium. He was also a protestant minister, and the demonic activity in Carl Jung’s home—I’m not making this up, you can read the books that will tell you, some of them written by his secretary, and so forth, books about his childhood, Memories, Dreams, Reflections would be one—the demonic activity was so bad in that home, he said [that] during the daytime his mother was a sweet lady; at night she was like a wild beast. She, as a teen-ager had to keep the demons at bay while her father, Jung’s grandfather, wrote out his Sunday morning sermon. Jung, as a boy growing up, would gaze at a picture of his grandfather on the wall, meditate upon it, until his grandfather—this is what he said—stepped out of the frame, and they would walk off into the woods together to have their initiation. Now, that was the beginning of something, because later on in life he had a spirit guide. In fact, he would try to say it was a projection from his unconscious, and so forth, but he called it, Philemon the demon.
Tom: You added that.
Tom: But it was Philemon, the entity that he had communication with.
Dave: That’s right, and he said, “He was so real to me. We walked together in the garden. It was like a real person.” Now, he also had a chorus of screeching ghosts that came from Jerusalem, he says, filled his home—I’ve been there, near Zurich, and looked in his library, by the way, full of occult books. His doctoral dissertation was about the occult, as a medical doctor even, and he said it was under their inspiration that he wrote his major work, Septem Sermoned ad Mortuos, the Seven Sermons to the Dead. He experienced being what he called the parson to the dead. He traveled with dead spirits and ministered to them. And Philemon the demon, and these demonic entities, that was the source of much of his teaching that Christian psychologists, so-called, follow today. It was from them that he learned the value of visualization.
Tom: So, Dave, what Jung was really all about, taking these experiences, which he needed then to explain away concepts with regard to archetypes or concepts with regard to the subconscious, and so on, certainly not the reality of demons.
Dave: Well, he would deny that’s what this was. He thought there was some power, some power of the mind. But he does tell us the experiences and he tells us that for six years he teetered on the brink of total psychotic breakdown, and the only way he could keep his sanity was to say, “I am Carl Gustaf Jung, I am a psychiatrist,” you know, keep repeating it to himself…
Tom: Positive affirmations…
Dave: …and somehow maintain his sanity, because these experiences were so real. But it was out of them that came many of the major psychological theories that are propounded today, and still followed today by professionals in that field, and many Christian psychologists. In fact, Carl Jung probably has the greatest influence upon so-called Christian psychologists of anyone from the past.
Tom: Dave, I’ve got a quote here—this is Nick Cavnar, executive editor of New Covenant. He explains the Jungian concepts that he feels have been helpful: “Jung identified certain unconscious images or forces, which he called archetypes, such as the anima and animus. Jung believed that the unconscious mind was the realm of the spiritual and the mystical. Those who felt that the modern church had become too rationalistic found in Jung’s support for a more mystical, experiential religion.” And Dave, I think in the last twenty years we have seen mysticism grow and develop in the evangelical church. It’s unbelievably so. He goes on: “The charismatic renewal, with its emphasis on spiritual experience and inner healing, has been a natural field for interest in Jung. Truth is truth wherever it is found. Whatever is true in Jungian psychology can be adapted and used by Christians.”
Dave: Well, Tom, it’s just full of errors. “True is true.” Well, sure, ten times ten is always a hundred no matter what. Mathematical truth, we’ve talked about this, scientific truth E=MC2. “The attraction of two bodies is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.” These are true as far as we can verify scientifically. But that’s not what Jesus talked about when He said, “You continue in my Word.” You don’t get scientific truth out of the Word of God. “You continue in my Word, then are you my disciples, indeed; you will know THE truth, THE truth will set you free.” THE truth isn’t standing in front of a judge and saying, “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me, God.” Telling that truth put some people in prison, it’s not going to set anyone free. Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth.”
So, this idea that’s very popular with Christian psychologists to justify taking from Freud and Jung and whoever out there, “Well, all truth is God’s truth.” Well, all truth is God’s true, if it’s true, you know. God put this universe together, and the acceleration of a body of protein on this earth, thirty-two feet per second, per second. You’ve just accelerated that rate, it’s a fact. But God put all those laws together. We’re talking about facts now, facts of science. That is not THE truth that Christ is talking about that sets us free. He said, “I am THE truth.” We went through this before, maybe we can do it again very quickly.
In John:14:17, He says, “I am not going to leave you comfortless” (I won’t leave you orphans), “I will send the Spirit of truth,” and He says, “Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him,” all right? In John:16:13, He says: “When he the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.” Now, you can’t escape this. Christ said, “The Spirit of truth is unknown to the world,” and yet the Spirit of truth has a total monopoly on THE truth that Jesus is talking about, and if you don’t know the Spirit of truth, you do not know THE truth. So, don’t tell me that Carl Jung or Freud or Rogers or Maslow, or any of these guys, knew anything about THE truth, because they were all anti-Christians, they rejected the Word of God. But they came up with some things that they learned from another source, from the spirit world, from demonic entities, and then, oh it seems to work! Well, I guess this is part of God’s truth.
For example, let me quote Bruce Narramore, nephew of Clyde Narramore, he said: “It was humanistic psychologists Carl Jung and Abraham Maslow, who first made us aware of the need of self-love, self-esteem,” and all this, and he says, “We found that that was a very good emphasis.” So they go back to the Bible and try to massage the Bible around and make it seem that that must be what the Bible is always saying, but nobody knew it until these occultists, until these anti-Christians, came up with this idea, which they got from the demonic realm. So, “well, I guess all truth is God’s truth—Maslow had some, Rogers had some, and so forth, why can’t we adapt it?” That’s what this gentleman is saying that you just quoted. Because it is not God’s truth, it is not THE truth, which is found only in God’s Word, and which is embodied only in Jesus Christ.
Tom: In past programs where we’ve talked about clinical psychology, psychological counseling, psychotherapy, etc., one of the points we tried to make is that these have given to the church a pseudo-science. They’ve taken spirituality, put it in mythological terms, really, whether it be Freud turning to Greek mythology, or whatever it might be. In this particular case, Carl Jung, we’re seeing reality, which are these demonic apparitions, now translated into a mythology, but it’s under the guise of science because Carl Jung was a psychiatrist, you know, he must know what he’s talking about. But, in fact, he’s moved us to the imagination, that’s what I’m trying to get at with regard to what we’ve been talking about. So, now the imagination and these concepts coming from Jung, they’re the law of the day in terms of how we deal with our spiritual lives.
Dave: Yeah, Tom, imagination, of course, is an important part of what we’ve talked a little bit about it. We quoted Jeremiah:13:10, where God says. “This evil people, they won’t obey my word, but they follow the imagination of their own heart.” Now, imagination—is that sanctified? “Well, just imagine you’re with God.” “Just imagine Jesus is sitting there. Try to visualize it.” This is being taught in the evangelical church. Imagination? Is God going to bend Himself to my imagination? If I visualize Jesus sitting here?
I mean, some of these guys crawl upon on Jesus’ lap, call him “Daddy,” you know. You’re creating a fictitious realm. It doesn’t exist. And God is not going to bow to this, and Jesus, because you visualize Him, is not going to come as your private guru. It’s not rational, Tom, as well as not being biblical. So, they’re playing a game now. Why do they play this game? Because they can charge you for it. Now they can pose as “scientists.” And, now they can have a license. They get licensed by the state to do this sort of thing. That’s incredible. And, you know that we’ve done tests, scientific tests, where we have matched witch doctors against Western psychiatrists. And, the witch doctors do a better job, and they charge less and release their patients sooner.
Tom: And, Dave, one of the reasons they do a better job is that they have a longer history because this is occultism. This is a methodology; these are spiritual means that have been practiced in pagan religions for centuries.
Dave: Let me explain what a placebo is, if anybody out there doesn’t know. Placebo is some little sugar pill they give you, and they tell you that maybe it’s a pain-killer or whatever, and in a high percentage of the cases, it does what you think it will do. Now, Solomon said, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” There’s a connection between our emotions and our health. If you’re very morose and always going around complaining, it’ll probably ruin your health. It’ll ruin your appetite, it’ll ruin your sleep. But, if you’re very happy, happy-go-lucky, it doesn’t really matter whether you ought to be—that’s what a placebo is. Placebo creates something. Where does it come from? It comes from inside— the natural functions of the body, or whatever. Now, they work better.
Now, what these people are doing is they’re creating placebos. And, ultimately they’re turning God into a placebo. We read an article in Christianity Today. A number of Christian doctors are saying, “Wow, it seems that prayer works! It really doesn’t matter whether you pray to Buddha or who you pray to.” No, so now, prayer has some power in itself. So, it doesn’t matter whether God really exists. We’ve turned Him into a placebo. So long as we believe in this higher power, then it’s going to do something. They call this faith. Maybe it will heal me, even, you know, and so forth.
So, Tom, I’m trying to explain what is happening. That is not God. That is not the true God. God does miracles, but He does them His own time, and His own way, and He doesn’t do them in response to certain techniques that men have created out of their imagination.
Tom: Dave, I want to take this to something that is going on in the church—maybe people have heard the name, maybe they haven’t. But, it’s called the “Emerging Church,” and actually what it is, it’s an attempt to go back to what the individuals involved in this call “authentic, or vintage, Christianity.” To go back to the experiential with regard to images, with regard to statues, with regard to candles, with regard incense. All of these things being very sensual, sense-oriented kinds of things. Now the idea here is that’s going to put us in an attitude, maybe a frame of mind, in which we now can experience the sacred, and experience spirituality where we couldn’t before.
Dave: Let me interrupt, Tom. “Authentic Christianity”—I begin to get just a little bit angry at this point. I begin to lose my patience. If you want “authentic Christianity,” let’s go back to the Bible! This is where it comes from. “Oh, well, no, we’re going to go back to the early centuries, the early fathers.” Many young men, some pastors, women, have become Roman Catholics, because they start reading the “church fathers.” Oh, wow, seems like some of them sounded like the Catholic Church. They did have candles and this and that, etc. But I’m not impressed by these so-called early church fathers. I have the Bible. The Scripture says, “to the law and to the testimony,” Isaiah 8, I think it is, verse 20 or 21. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according this word, there is no light in them.” Okay?
So, matter of fact it talks about demons that matter, etc., why do you try and get in touch with the spirit world? Let’s go to the Bible. This is where God has spoken. And He’s done it very objectively in clear language. So, now we’re calling this “authentic Christianity,” because we’re getting back to the early church where they lit some candles, had icons, etc. I do not call that “authentic Christianity” at all. It is contrary to the Word of God. Authentic Christianity is found and taught and it’s modeled in the book of Acts in the Word of God. Okay?
Tom: Dave, the early church fathers—that’s a mixed bag at best. Some of them were really extreme heretics. Some of them were right on and had something to say, but again, these were men, maybe many of them trying to follow the Lord, but in many cases doing their own thing. And, as I said, the heresies involved in many of these people—boy, people can read it for themselves. Yet, when the Roman Catholic Church points to the early church fathers, supposedly they’re all on the same page. You know, I’ve been there, I’ve read these guys, and it’s simply not the case.
Now, as the “emerging church,” or as this movement toward mysticism, has been developing, one of the items that many evangelicals are going back to is the use of icons. Now, for those who are not familiar with icons, they’re basically paintings from the Byzantine era of Greece, really the Eastern Orthodox Church developed these initially, and then certainly the Russian Orthodox Church got on board with them big time. But, the whole idea with icons, these are paintings of either Jesus or of saints, supposedly. The first images came from—this is tradition, and I think mostly mythology—but it came from St. Veronica, a Catholic saint who was supposedly the woman who, when Jesus was carrying His cross to Calvary’s hill, she gave Him her veil; He blotted His face, you know His blood-drenched face, and there was an image on this cloth that supposedly then became the initial image of Jesus out of which the icons were developed.
Now, I have a book here and it’s called, Behold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying with Icons, and the author of this book is a man named Henri Nouwen. Now, Dave, you know who he is. You know, he’s dead now. He died a couple of years ago. He was a Catholic priest and a mystic. And, the reason I’m bringing this book to everybody’s attention, is that you will find his name among the writings of many evangelicals upholding this man as a, you know, a great Christian. For example, he’s quoted twice in the Purpose Driven Life. Many of the para-church organizations—they, you know, this is mandatory reading right now among young Christians. Now, let me read a couple things from this book. In the opening he says, “Finally I want to say ‘thank you’ to all who have opened my eyes to the icons as gateways to the divine. They are the many women and men in the East and West who have come to behold the beauty of the Lord by praying with icons. May this book be an encouragement to join them in prayer.”
Dave: Now, Tom, you don’t have to be too bright. If this is a gateway—but Jesus said, “I am the door.” Why isn’t this in the Bible? If this is so wonderful, why is there is not some instruction in it from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, whoever? No, we have left the Bible, because the Bible isn’t quite enough. You know, as you talked about the old church fathers, and so forth, the desert fathers, the monks—they began to afflict their bodies. Really the purpose was to put themselves into an altered state of consciousness where they would then see visions. Well, any non-Christian can do that. In fact, witch doctors, shamans, this is one of their techniques. They go in their mind, they visualize themselves going into either the upper world or to the lower world, into the past or into the future, and that is where they make contact with these entities that then become their guides.
Tom: Dave, one last quote from this book by Henri Nouwen. “As you read these meditations be sure to keep the icons themselves always before you. They were painted for both the glory of God and our salvation. I pray that these four icons will imprint themselves upon your heart and strengthen the awareness of God’s magnificent and loving presence in your life. May they become faithful guides on your journey and vital sources of lasting joy and peace.” These are items of divination, Dave, and to see evangelicals promoting this is just tragic.
Dave: Well, Tom, it’s a violation of the second commandment, as you know. And you know that the Catholic Church took the second commandment out, which is, “You will make any physical images.” They took that out and they divided the tenth one into two so they would still have ten. Why are we not to make any physical representation of God? That’s what the point is, not that something is wrong with the physical, and then these people say, “Well, we’ve got to get away from the physical, move into the spiritual,” because God is not a physical being. This is leading people into error. Tom, I know there are people out there that are going to accuse us of being iconoclast.
Tom: Which we are, Dave. People look up the definition of that word: it means we are against icons for spiritual purposes.