The New Age Movement and the Church – Program 5
|By: Brooks Alexander, Dave Hunt, Tal Brooke; ©1988|
|The panel responds to questions from the studio audience.|
Questions from the Audience
Tonight, John Ankerberg will conduct an open forum with three influential guests on the question: is the American church accepting new age ideas and techniques and presenting them as part of the gospel? John’s first guest is Dave Hunt, a Christian author who has awakened the church to the consequences of the ideas of the new age movement through his best-selling books, the seduction of Christianity and beyond seduction. John’s second guest has come out of the new age movement and is well aware of its power and practices. Mystical experiences led Tal Brooke to India where he became a disciple of Sai Baba, one of India’s most powerful miracle-working gurus. But after two years, Jesus Christ demonstrated he was more powerful than anything Tal had previ¬ously experienced in the occult, whereupon he gave his life totally to the Lord. He has recently graduated from Princeton University with his masters degree and is the author of two best-selling books. John’s third guest is Brooks Alexander, co-founder and senior researcher for the nationally-known spiritual counterfeits project of Berkeley, California. Before becoming a christian, Brooks embraced the religious world view of the new age movement and participated in mystical out-of-body experiences. John will ask these three men to freely share their views with you on the controversial question, “Has the new age movement influenced the church?” They will answer questions frankly about many well-known people, both christian and non-Christian alike. Many of the people mentioned in tonight’s program were extended an invitation to join our guests for this taping. Our invitation remains open to them and to other responsible spokesmen to participate and present their views in future programs. The John Ankerberg show has already arranged a future forum where well-known christian psychologists will meet face-to-face with tonight’s guests. With this in mind, we invite you to join us for this edition of John Ankerberg.
- John Ankerberg: in this new series, we refer to information concerning Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud that was talked about in a program several months ago. I have decided tonight to begin with that segment and add it to this series so you’ll have a basis to understand the information that will be presented. Many university students wrote to us at that time, and said they had never heard the information concerning Jung’s involvement with the spirit world and how these experiences shaped his psychological view of man. We consider this information important to the discussion, so we invite you to listen.
- Ankerberg Question.
- Audience Dave, you’ve spoken against and decried visualization and positive confession, and yet Proverbs says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Isn’t God saying that if you positively confess it and visualize it you can have it?
- Hunt As a matter of fact, Proverbs doesn’t say, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” That’s Proverbs 23, and Solomon is talking to his son, and basically he’s saying to his son, you know, “One day you’re going to be king when I’m dead and gone. And you’re out there hobnobbing with heads of state…” Go back and read that Scripture. “And one of these rulers invites you to a feast and he says, `Eat up! We’ll be buddies, you know. We’ll make a pact and so forth.’ If you are a man given to an appetite,” says Solomon, “put a knife to your throat. You’re going to vomit up your sweet words. For as,” he says, “He’s speaking nicely with his mouth, but his heart is not with thee, for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” So, far from telling us that we can change ourselves by changing our thinking, he’s warning us, “You can’t just go by what a person says, but by what they really are in their hearts.”
- Ankerberg Okay. We’ve talked a lot about the fact that we’re to try positive confession, making statements, and claiming certain things — wealth, health. We aren’t supposed to go to the demonic. We’re not supposed to go to spirit guides. We’re not going to have all…What are we supposed to do that’s the answer as far as God is concerned? How do we change that which we are, and what can we expect that is better than all of this stuff?
- Hunt Let me give you an example from my own life, okay? I can still remember, to this day. I won’t tell you how old I am — I’m at least over 39 — but this was when I was about 10. I grew up in Riverside, California. It was probably about 110 one July day, when as a young boy, raised in a Christian home, I prayed for snow. I mean, the Bible says, “Whatever you ask, believe, and you can have it.” Well, why can’t I have snow! And I’d never heard this. It comes to the fallen human heart. I tried to see, in my mind, I tried to see the snow coming down. I thought that was faith. If I can just see it and really believe it’s going to happen. And I can remember to this day, groping my way to the window, with my eyes closed, and then opening [them]. And thank God, it wasn’t snowing.
- Brooke There would be serious problems if it were!
- Hunt Yeah. Thank God that He has not turned His universe over to us to shuffle around with our mind power. But this is exactly what Paul Yonggi Cho was taught. He was praying for a bicycle, a chair, a desk and a chair. And God said to him, so he tells us, “Well, you’ve got hundreds of bicycles out there! I don’t know what bicycle you want. How am I going to answer your prayer. You’ve got to visualize very clearly exactly the bicycle you want.” And so Dr. Cho in fact in a recent interview in Eternity magazine, he was asked, “Well, how do you respond to Dave Hunt’s charges against you.” He says, “Well, visualization is not occultic. In fact,” he said, “You can’t have what you pray for unless you visualize what you’re praying for.” No! Jesus said, “Your Heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask.” I would a whole lot rather leave it up to His wisdom to give me what He believes is right, and to do what’s right in my life, rather than me learning some technique of visualization to get Him to do it for me.
- Ankerberg But let’s say I have a problem. I’m an alcoholic. I’m on drugs. I’ve got problems in my marriage. How do I pray? What is the answer? What can I ask God to do for me in my life?
- Hunt Well, your big problem is self. You are your worst enemy. You got yourself into these problems. First of all, you’ve got to admit that. Not blame it on somebody else. Get some psychologist to massage your ego and build up your self esteem and have you go back and find out it was your parents’ problem because they did something to you and so forth. You’ve got to take responsibility for this, and you’ve got to surrender your evil heart and change your heart. “Rend your heart, not your garments” the Scripture says. Admit your sin and guilt. You’ve rebelled against God. And say, “Lord, I can’t do it. Please, I want to be delivered from this.” And turn yourself over to Him and trust Him and He will do it for you.
- Ankerberg What kinds of things will come into his life? You had the most fantastic out-of-body experiences. You had Sai Baba showing you miracles. You had the inner experiences. You had all of this. But you came to Christ and Christ was more powerful. Compare the two.
- Brooke It was a very powerful experience. I think Dave has said it very well. I had reached a point of absolute spiritual checkmate and bankruptcy. I had to finally admit the fact that I was not God. That everything that I had believed for years was a brilliant and elaborate lie. And it was a kind of denuding process. And you think, “Gee, I’m just me. I’m not God. I’m really a wretched soul and a broken human being.” And what happened is that at that point, someone said, “Well, if Sai Baba isn’t the real Avatar of Christ, who is?” And I said, “Jesus Christ.” He’s always been. You know. And what happened with me was that in tears, I asked Him to be my Lord and Savior and come into my heart. It was a very powerful moment. And I’ll tell you, a really joyous one. Because I felt, for the first time in years, it felt like a million-pound weight was taken off of me! It was very powerful. This is hard to put into words, but I knew I was connected to eternity. I knew God had foreordained my life, that He had a plan for it; and there was a reason I went through that hell in India, and that I would — and I think I knew even then that one day in my own way maybe have some revenge on the devil. So, it was an extremely powerful thing. I had a honeymoon with the Lord after that.
- Ankerberg Are you meaning to say then that when you were having these encounters with the demonic and off of Sai Baba, that even when you were having ecstatic experiences, joyful experiences, mind-blowing experiences there was something wrong?
- Brooke Let me give you an analogy. Perfect! It’s like you’re not all the way there. We’ve talked about losing your mind. It’s like there’s a part of you that’s in a box that says, “Don’t look. Don’t look. There’s a pit underneath that white platform.” Another analogy is that when, you know, there are a lot of teenagers in Europe who are shooting up with heroin. They’ll all tell you, at the first shot it’s the most euphoric thing they’ve ever experienced. All of us know that down the line they’re going to have yellow teeth and their bodies are going to fall apart. And the biggest dose of it won’t make any difference by the time they’re hardened addicts. So there is a counterfeit for ecstasy and joy. I knew that, at that point. When I came to Christ I connected absolutely with reality.
- Ankerberg And there was no box on the side that was threatening you.
- Brooke No box on the side.
- Hunt Let me say this, John. I don’t want to sound harsh, but I’m not any harsher than Jesus, who said, “Except you deny self, take up the cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” You know, if I’m a medical doctor and you come to me with a ruptured appendix, and I know if you’re not on that operating table in 30 minutes you’re dead. But I wouldn’t want to upset you by telling you the truth….
- Brooke It’s negative. Remember that.
- Hunt I wouldn’t want to shatter your fragile self image, you know, so I suggest that the glow of a 105 degree fever in your cheeks is just the glow of health. And if you feel a little pain you might try an aspirin. That’s not love. I’m going to kill you. Now, what’s happened today is that there are people who are not willing to go the way of the cross. They’re going to salvage something for self. And the psychologist says, “Well, now, prayer, repentance, you know, all these promises in the Bible” — these are Christian psychologists — “They don’t really work.” Dennis Bennett, for example says, “When I became a Christian, that took care of a lot of my problems, but that left some hangups. So when I was baptized in the Spirit, that took care of a lot of deeper things. But it still left some deep psychological problems buried in my unconscious mind that nothing that the Bible teaches could reach. And what I needed was soul healing, psychological healing, and I needed some additional techniques.” I believe the Bible is telling the truth. And I believe that it presents in the Word of God, in his testimony — and Brooks’ and so forth — that if we are willing to come as helpless, hopeless, unworthy sinners, and we will renounce everything and we’ll turn to Him for salvation, He will save us. So the turning point in Job’s life, for example, was — what was it? He says, “I’ve heard of thee with the hearing of the ear; now my eye seeth thee. Wherefore…” What? “I hate myself, and I repent in dust and ashes.” That was a turning point in Moses’ life. “God, I can’t do it.” And God says, “I will be with you, Moses.” You’re going to find out something else. I think we’ve got to get back to the Word of God and believe the promises of God instead of looking to the broken cisterns that cannot satisfy.
- Brooke That’s right.
- Ankerberg Question.
- Audience Yes. This is for any of the men that care to respond. Does the spiritual gift “Word of Knowledge” have a biblical basis as it relates to the Christian television shows? Or does it come from a spirit other than God?
- Alexander: Well, at least for some of them that have been uncovered so far, it comes directly out of the airwaves. Doesn’t have anything to do with the spirits at all. We know of some cases where people have been on the shortwave set connected to the…..
- Brooke Mention the name. Who…do you remember who that was?
- Hunt Peter Popoff, 17.5 megahertz.
- Brooke That’s it!
- Alexander: That’s it. There’s that word of knowledge.
- Brooke That’s exactly right.
- Hunt But I personally…I believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today. I believe that God is the same. But I think that most of what’s going on out there is not of God. We’re hyping it. We’re trying to manipulate God. We’re trying to learn techniques for doing this. You’ve got to be a man or a woman of God. The name of Jesus isn’t some “open sesame,” you know, a magic formula, but it has to be engraved on my heart. It’s got to be stamped on my character. I’ve got to know Him as Lord and Master, then He will do what He wants to do, not what I learn in some seminar to be able to manipulate Him. See, it’s a very serious thing to say, “Thus saith the Lord!” But we’ve got kind of a pop “prophesying,” and a pop “gifts of the Spirit” and miracles, and everybody’s going to get in the act and try it out. It’s a very, very serious thing. So we had recently Oral Roberts. Didn’t he apologize, sort of, on the Larry King Show for…”Maybe he was a bit wrong.” We’ve got to have people laying their hands on Jim and Tammy and prophesying what a marvelous ministry they had,” and so forth and “so, maybe we’re wrong.” Well, you can imagine Jeremiah saying, “Well, I guess I was wrong, you know.” They stoned them in those days! It’s a very serious thing to say, “Thus saith the Lord.” And I don’t think we take it seriously enough today.
- Audience Gentlemen, I do praise the Lord for you. I believe that God has raised you up to unmask this New Age so that we can see that it is evil and we can see men such as Schuller who have watered down the Gospel to where it’s no longer the Gospel. And Dave Hunt, you’ve said that Christian psychologists have their roots in people such as Maslow. We can’t deny that Christians do have problems, psychological scars. Could you please address men such as Minirth and Meier who teach at Dallas Theological Seminary? Is their methodology correct? Or if not, how would you suggest counseling…Christian counseling?
- Brooke Say that name one more time.
- Audience Minirth and Meier. Are you familiar with them?
- Hunt Yeah. Well, I think Minirth and Meier are genuine, sincere Christians who love the Lord, who want to do what’s right. But at the same time I believe that they have bought some of the lies of psychology. I have had a letter recently from Frank Minirth saying that they have gotten rid of anybody who teaches hypnosis. They’re trying to be biblical about self esteem. They’ve gotten rid of the Gestalt therapy and so forth. And so I think that they’re moving in this direction. But I’ll tell you one of the things that concerns me. Some months ago when I was to be on Moody “Open Line” in Chicago — and I have very high respect for Dwight L. Moody and for the Moody Bible Institute and so forth — but nevertheless, I was called by the host of the talk show that I was going to be on, and he said, “Dave, I am getting very heavy pressure from the top not to let you on this program unless you promise not to say anything derogatory about psychology, and particularly about Minirth and Meier who have a daily one-hour show.” Now, since when was the church the defender of psychology? We ought to be the defender of the truth! I met with Minirth and Meier in their office and they were quite gracious. And Frank Minirth, in fact, said, “You know, we agree with you that psychology is really not scientific.” And I said, “It really would be helpful if someone of your stature would say it, not just to me in a private meeting, but publicly.” “Well, we do try to say that.” I said, “Tell me then, how is it that your textbook that you wrote, which is being used in seminaries and Christian colleges and universities around the country begins with these words, the opening sentence: `Pyschology is the scientific study of the behavior of organisms.'” Well, they didn’t know how that got in there. I mean, this is the first sentence that sets the tone for the book. And then they move on to mind. Mind is not an organism. So we’re back to this “scientific explanation” for the behavior of man, that goes beyond what the Bible says. And so I have very serious concern about the inroads of psychology dressed up now in Christian terminology and I don’t believe that we need that. The Bible claims that it — as John said earlier — the soul and the spirit of man is Its sole province, and we need to get back to the Word of God. But here’s the thing. I’m talking too long.
- Ankerberg Go head. Finish it up.
- Brooke Keep going, brother.
- Hunt Where’s my Bible? If you are — here’s the situation today. If you are a pastor, and you’ve got an “M.Div.” Okay?…
- Ankerberg From Princeton.
- Hunt …You’ve got a degree in theology, you’re competent to preach or teach from this Book, you are “not competent to counsel” — unless you have a degree in psychology.
- Brooke Right.
- Hunt And that’s why thousands of our pastors across America are going back to Fuller Graduate School of Psychology or whatever to get a degree in psychology so that they can counsel out of this Book! So, you have Clyde Narramore on the 700 Club being interviewed by Pat Robertson, and Pat says, “Clyde, what do you think of somebody like Jay Adams?” Well, Jay Adams basically says, “If you know the Word of God, you’re a mature Christian, you’re walking with the Lord, you’re filled with the Spirit, you’re competent to counsel from this book.” And he says, “Well, you understand, of course, that he doesn’t have a degree.” Now, we just threw out Jesus and Peter and James and John and Murray and Calvin and Luther and Spurgeon. What in the world did we do until Freud and Jung with their godless theories came along so we could get degrees in this lie so that we would be competent to counsel from this Book? It just is not biblical! But this has come into the church of Jesus Christ and I believe it’s one of the major vehicles of the seduction.
- Brooke Very good.
- Ankerberg Now tell us what you really think, Dave! Okay. All right.