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Written by: Johnson, Jerry    Posted on: 05/02/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN


By Jerry Johnson, of MorningStar Magazine (Reprinted from the May 1992 issue) =========================================

A number of years ago my wife and I attended a Deception and Discernment seminar in Berkeley, California put on by the Spiritual Counterfeits Project. It was an excellent seminar with classes on numerous topics.

The seminar was punctuated by Christians coming together out of common concern and a desire to emphasize the truth.

But then there was THE class ....the one that ended with people upset at each other and some people crying and a great deal of dissension.

No, it wasn't a church board meeting.

It was the class that dealt with visualization.

Now, for those who may not be sure what visualization is: It isn't a new type of 3-D movie. It isn't those sunglasses that let you see behind you. And it isn't an eye exam done by computer.

If you talk to either New Agers or Christians who have bought into it, visualization is an aid to faith, a way to help God to make that which you desire to become reality. It is done by repeatedly and consistently creating a very clear mental image of an object or goal desired. It is taught that if you create the image with enough fervor and mental clarity, it will help the thing to occur in reality. Christians may also create a mental image of Christ and converse with this Jesus and get advice. They love the method and are often adamant in its defense.

You probably have already had some exposure to the teaching of visualization. If you've seen athletes mentally go through their race or dive or course while leaning and jumping and swaying with their eyes closed, you've seen a form of visualization in action. Many sales or business seminars now teach people to visualize the sale or completed project in order to help it to happen. If you are into the evolution of language you may have noticed that somewhere in the last seven years or so people are now telling you to visualize something rather than to imagine it.

"So what's wrong with visualization?"

Two things:

1) It has been, is, and always will be an occultic method. For a reference please (do not) see the first published account of how to visualize. You will find it in an article in a book published in the 1920's by Alice A. Bailey, a prominent member of the occult group, the Theosophical Society. The article was entitled "Treatise on White Magic".

2) It works.

"Wait a minute here! First you're setting up to trash visualization ...and then you say it works?!"

That's one of the main reasons that I'm trashing it.

Remember, a lot of things that are not appropriate work. Drugs make you feel good for a while, despite what objective reality is; same thing with alcohol, illicit sexual activity, and a lot of the pleasures of the world that work for a season. They are effective, seductive and destructive.

Now, I don't mean that if you imagine a Porsche in your front yard it will show up, but visualization has been used to "help" physical illness and it has improved performances by those using it.

"Then what's wrong with it?"

It's a lot like asking what's wrong with killing people in order to get served more quickly at a restaurant. The goal in itself is O.K., but the method leaves something to be desired.

You can find visualization taught throughout the history of published occult, arcane and esoteric literature, including the book "Real Magic" by Phillip Bonewits, the only person to graduate from Cal State Berkeley with a degree in Magic and I don't mean pulling rabbits out of a hat. At the end of the book he explains how to "launch" a magic spell. A primary part of that process is visualization.

By contrast, a group of Christians was given the challenge of finding anything in the Bible that even smacked of visualization. One man came up with the story of Babel and Genesis 11:6, "And the Lord said, 'Behold, the people is one and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.' " That's as close as scripture EVER gets to even inferring this method and the word "imagine" in the Hebrew is "zamam" which means to plan or plot for evil intent.

Not exactly a glowing recommendation.

Years ago I was taught how to visualize by a well intentioned, but underinformed, Christian psychologist in a Christian college. I became good at it ... very good. I was able to stop a friend's asthma attack quicker than her medication. I was able to control my stress level. I was able to stop my colds within two days. I, I, I, I.

Notice a trend?

If you suddenly, evidently possess the power to get what you want ..who needs God, or more accurately, who will stop to seek God's will if you can get your own will?

After all, if God wants something into your life and you yield to His leading, does He really need your help to create the reality? And if He doesn't want you to have it, isn't rebellion to go after it anyway?

Visualization isn't just an occult method and it isn't just a distraction to a life of faith IN GOD (not yourself or your ability to imagine). It creates pride and begins to warp your doctrine and view of God.

"Now, you're really blowing wind!"

I wish that were true.

In a recent book a VERY prominent and repeatedly published Christian author had a chapter that extolled the virtues of using your imagination to develop intimacy with God. What he taught was visualization. In this chapter the author made the following statement which, by the way, is wholly in the context and intent of the chapter: "We cannot commune with a Savior whose form and shape elude us".

That is really interesting when lined up to John 4:24 "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth".

The author loses.

And so do those who follow his lead.

Exodus 20:4 instructs us to not worship any created images. I believe that probably includes mentally created images. After all, if I commune with a God whose form and shape have not eluded me I have two problems.

1) I am communing with a god that I have defined by my imagination. MY imagination, formed by MY mind, which is neither perfect nor capable of recreating a complete and accurate picture of God. My desires and prejudices will color both the image I create and the advice that image gives.

2) If I can figure God out well enough to imagine a Biblically accurate and complete image with my brain, that God's pretty small and probably doesn't warrant my worship.

After all, my brain can't even imagine or understand how a TV set I plug into a wall can produce accurate replications of actors that did their thing weeks or years ago. If I can't figure how a TV works, how in the world am I supposedly capable of accurately imagining God?

It just don't make sense.

Let me be blunt: I HATE visualization. At one point it seduced me and I hate to see others get sucked in. It is an occult method that has NO place in the life of a believer. It is not a neutral tool. It's a satanic one.

No, I won't win any diplomacy awards for this article.

Now on to a briefer look at the second occultic method. And, yes, you can breath a sigh of relief.

"Lizard tongue and wing of bat, Tooth of hen and leg of gnat, Grant the wish I wish to hold, Give me lots and lots of gold"

Most of us would recognize that poem as a farcical version of a magic spell ... it's also not all that different from a teaching that has made MAJOR inroads into the lives of many believers.

I quote a book that is extremely popular with the people that hold to this second type of error: "Those that say they can and those that say they can't are both right. Words are the most powerful thing in the universe." "God never did do anything that He didn't say first. He said it then He did it. The power to do it was in the Word." "You must watch what you say. You have to believe that those things that you say - everything you say - will come to pass."

I could go on ... ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

This error is known as positive confession. Historically it's known as casting a spell.

It is the idea that whatever you say, because you said it, creates reality. Therefore, you can only verbalize things that you want to happen.

I had a friend that believed in positive confession. She had a book of verses, taken out of context, of course, that were to be said in order to create a positive reality.

Included in this book was a verse that talked about God holding back the flood waters. It was to be stated to overcome a woman's water retention.

I am NOT making that up. I still chuckle about that.

That friend died while positively confessing she had been healed of cancer.

To me, this particular belief (spelled h-e-r-e-s-y) has two ridiculously obvious doctrinal problems:

1) It holds that the spoken word is "the most powerful thing in the universe". That concept is easily trashed in Exodus 20 where it is declared that we are to have no other gods ...most powerful things, if you will ...before him. Also, if what they say is true, when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and said how he would gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers its' chicks, he should have spouted feathers.

Just joking!

2) Man's spoken will then becomes sovereign. Not God's will ... man's. Besides, since this teaching has no basis in reality, as my dead friend can now attest, it just sets people up to deny reality and live, and die, in a world of fantasy, wishful thinking and self-delusion.

Both visualization and positive confession are gaining converts in the church today. Both deceive and delude those who end up following their own desires rather than seeking God's will. Both are simply witchcraft ... supposedly done in Jesus' name.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° °°                                                                          °° °°  This file passed through Abba II - Where Christians find Information,    °° °°  Resources and Fellowship, and where non-christians find honest answers  °° °°  to their questions about what (and why) Christians believe.              °° °°                                                                          °° °°              Call us today: (619) 487-7746.  And remember:                °° °°                          Jesus Still Loves You!                          °° °°                                                                          °° °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

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