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Spirit Filled Life



My blog is to share what I have learned after nearly 50 years as a psychologist and a minister. To leave comments, click on the capitalized heading of the post and at the end, click on "Post a Comment" or you can also click on the word "comments" below e



Last Build Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2018 18:21:15 +0000

 



NO DARK NIGHT FOR TODD BENTLEY

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000

Recently we all witnessed the crashing and burning of the powerful evangelist, Todd Bentley. In reaching for an explanation of what happened to himself, he claimed he was “passing through the Dark Night of the Soul.” Then person in charge of his rehabilitation, Rick Joyner, of Morningstar Ministries, trying to help people understand what was happening, picked up the same term: “the Dark Night of the Soul.”. All of which prompted me to write the following letter: to Joyner, Dear Rick, You wrote in your newsletter, that Todd Bentley is suffering the Dark Night of the Soul. The reason I am writing this to you is to say that we in the medical profession, know that wrong diagnoses result in wrong treatments. Our friend is the least likely person I know to suffer what St. John of the Cross means in his classic “Dark Night of the Soul.” If you read on, I will explain. (At the same time, included in my reason for writing this, is to protect St. John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul from being misunderstood and dummied down. Both Christians and New Agers alike are casually tossing the term around, emptying it of its profundity.) One of the best ways to approach St. John is to come at him first from other systems of mysticism. What mystics of all faiths have discovered is that, before you can enter the mystic realm, the cognitive system must shut down. In Zen for example, an unsolvable Koan (sound of one hand clapping, etc.) brings the discursive mind (the intellect) to its knees, causing it to flat line. With the discursive mind out of the way, the psyche can enter the mystic realm. In Hinduism, some meditation systems accomplish this state by overloading the discursive processes. Others under load them. Islamic Sufi’s dance and twirl. The outcome is the same. The cognitive processes flat line and the person breaks through into direct encounters of the mystical experience.St John has given us the Christian way of accomplishing this entrance into the mystic realm. True to our belief system, it is God Himself (not our meditation efforts)Who does the work. He achieves this by challenging the discursive system to the point it accepts that reaching the mystic realm is above its pay grade. St John includes in the discursive system, the “understanding,” the will,” and “the memory”–all our mental processes except “the intuitive”. He uses the words “soul” and “sense. (I translated “soul” as “psyche”*) St. John writes: “. . . .it is God Who is now working in the psuche; He binds its interior faculties, and allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason with the memory. For anything that the psuche can do of its own accord at this time serves only, . . . .to hinder inward peace and the work which God is accomplishing . . . . p. 67Thus, the Dark Night is actually a negative experience only from the point of view of one’s intellect. This darkness is not a pleasant experience for the intellect which believed itself capable understanding everything. St. John explains: . . . .the Divine wisdom is not only night and darkness for the psuche, but is likewise, affliction and torment . . . because of the height of Divine Wisdom, which transcends the talent of the soul and in this way is darkness to it. p. 100Most of us have had the experience of our mind hurting when it works on an unsolvable math problem. Most of us are also aware of how our mind annoyingly intrudes into our quiet times with God which it can’t understand. St. John was describing the mental anguish that comes as the mind is being forced to surrender. His fellow monks were straining with every technique they had been taught to reach God. He was teaching them to let go and let God take the mind into darkness. Those who rely on their intellects would never make such a journey.On the other hand, from the point of view of the entire psychological system, The Dark Night is a positive experience and has a h[...]



Thank You Lord For Giving Us Trump

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:45:00 +0000

 
This election year has been unimaginable stressful.  From the day that Donald Trump came down that escalator and announced his candidacy for president, I felt he was God’s choice for our time.  However, holding that faith all year was exacting.  

In my lifetime I had never known such irrational rage against a public figure.  Of course, such
madness could only best be understood as Satanic.  Therefore, the entire year had to be given over to intercessory prayer.

Following is the way I prayed.  Praying what I believe to be the Lord’s will, I daily ran past Him what I believed  that will was, asking Him to correct me if wrong.  First, I said I believed He would want a Supreme Court which would support His church.  Secondly, I believed He would not want a political party who would make it illegal to mention His name even in public.  

We are taught that when we do intercessory prayer, we are to put Him in remembrance of what is written in His Word.  So, I reminded Him of  Moses telling Him that if He let His people be destroyed, the Egyptians would say that their God had led them out to the desert in order to slaughter them.   My understanding of this event was that Moses was saying Yahweh  would not only be humiliating him, Moses, but He would be humiliating Himself.

How does that idea apply? Well, during this election year, God had revealed to some of His best prophets that Trump is to be our next president.  And, among them were two that I partner with–Sid Roth of It’s Supernatural and Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries.  God revealed His choice to Sid from the beginning.  He revealed a lot of hints to Rick until finally, it became clear to Rick that it was to be Trump.

Therefore, my daily prayer was “Father do not let your prophets be humiliated.”  I have to admit that when all Hell was breaking out, my faith was sorely tested.  So, Praise His Holy Name, I can now exhale.




Most Important Book I Ever Read

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 22:56:00 +0000

   In Dr. Heiser’s new book, he has revealed the Bible as one coherent story. It has changed the way I look at everything. This post will be a simple outline. Hopefully, many of you will read the book available on Kindle.                                        THE PASTFIRST REBELLION--HUMANS  The story of the Bible opens with the rebellion of the first humans, resulting in the entire human race being banished from YHWH’s intimate fellowship in Eden.SECOND REBELLION--THE WATCHERS   Next, though YHWH did not reestablish the relationship with humanity, He did appoint a group of gods called the Watchers to watch over them. But, the Watchers too rebelled, mating with humans (creating the Nephilim) and teaching them things destructive to them.  The Watchers were punished by dying not as the gods they were, but as humans.  Therefore, as human spirits with no place to go, they seem to still be among us.THE THIRD REBELLION--THE SONS OF GOD   After destroying the Watchers, YHWH  restarted the human race with Noah and his family.  But, at the tower of Babel, they too rebelled. Again, YHWH did not restore fellowship. Rather, he divided the people  into 70 territories with a Son of God over each.  Many of the 70 have rebelled, convincing their subjects that they are their true god.THE FOURTH REBELLION--THE HEBREWS  Next, YHWH rescued the tribe of Abraham  from the gods of Egypt. He then led them in violent bloody battles against the gods of the Middle East and their followers along the way, finally getting them to the one little patch of land that He would call His. During the next few millenniums YHWH communicated to them only through special people, the prophets.But again there was rebellion, with Abraham's offspring worshipping the other gods. YHWH then banished them throughout the world until 1948.                                                        THE PRESENTFinally, "in the fullness of time" YHWH carried out the archetype that He had been placing in humans’ spiritual DNA from the beginning of time. One human destroyed the relationship. One human sacrificed would be accepted to reestablish the relationship.It worked! How do we know? Because at Pentecost, the  human race once again experiences direct fellowship  with their Creator. Eden is being restored.   Under YHWH, they then went out to rescue one by one, all who were in captivity.   But, just as the other gods fought the Israelites (and still are), this new species, find themselves also in a battle with  the gods. (Whether they want to or not.)                                                        THE FUTURE  The last chapter  of the story,  YHWH finally has had enough of his 70 sons, and the spirits of the Watchers as well as the other elohims which  He banished from Heaven for rebelling.   With His loyal followers, both human and elohims, He rounds them up, and  imprisons them. But they will not go quietly and the war will be savage.But, for the next thousand years, He has His family back  together  with H[...]



Answering a Question From a New Christian

Wed, 23 Dec 2015 00:37:00 +0000

A new Christian calling herself "Confused in Montana,"   Confused in Montana   asks "how can I know what God wants me to do for him in my life?" Well first of all, congratulations! You are now where life starts becoming exhilarating?" 

You should soon discover that one of the greatest benefits that comes with having invited the Holy Spirit to set up His throne in the core of your personality, is that He can now communicate directly with you. First of all I suggest you click on  the following link:      hearing from God

Some, who are fortunate, begin to learn to hear Him quickly. For others it takes time.

As the speaker in the second link teaches, we have three voices inside vying for our attention. First, is the voice of the enemy. Second, is our own voice. Third is our Lord’s voice. Our work is to learn to discern.

The enemy’s voice often has a discomforting sound about it. Your own voice often just ruminates over many trivial things and mine is very boring to me. Our Lord’s voice "is so sweet the birds hush their singing (as the old hymn goes).

As to psychics, my experience with them is they are being used to channel the enemy but don’t know it. Some of the early things said to you are like the shining bait on a fisherman’s hook. Then zap! You are hooked in and you discover that too late.

My final advice is to pray every day, that God will send a Christian prophet into your life. You will know if he or she is the real thing, first by their good track record and secondly the Holy Spirit will find a direct way to confirm it. Secondly, get in a good Spirit Filled church, and as you grow in your ability to hear the Spirit you will begin to determine if your minister is for real. Also, ask God to send you a good prayer partner. Mine is my wife who gets more awesome every day in her ability to know when I am hearing from God or just listening to the voice of my own ego. 50 years we have been married, and she has now grown so much spiritually, that she has a 100% track record.

Be patient. I have been on this walk for almost 90 years. God has lead me at every turn including several times that I thought it was Him and it wasn’t and I almost really messed up. But bless Him, He grabbed me back at the last minute.



Brief History of God's Communication Programs

Thu, 22 Oct 2015 00:03:00 +0000



  God’s Communication Program 1.0 Creating a special place, He fellowshipped with us. We blew it. "So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden" (Gen 3:23) Communication severed.

God’s Communication Program 2.0  Selecting a few exceptional people "the Sovereign LORD never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) Israel  blew that.

God’s Communication Program 3.0 (Pentecost)  "In the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy." (Acts 2:17) "you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, (1 John 2:27) so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true."

So far, so good with 3.0. (It busted out of Israel and circled the globe.) The only glitch in this program is in receiving messages. Some receive better than others but there is a lot of noise. Messages gets corrupted. Then there are charlatans who pretend they hear. Then there is hacking by the enemy.

4.0 Maybe after God hits the delete button He then fellowships with us in Heaven




Letting Him Know We Believe

Tue, 04 Aug 2015 20:12:00 +0000

(image)
Me at March on Washington
   This morning I heard a preacher quoting John 3:16 "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who believes in him might not be lost but have eternal life." It was the word "believes" that caught my attention. Searching it out I found this or similar phrases used 35 or 40 times or more. 

I began to ask the Lord how might someone let Jesus know he or she believed in Him. At least four ways popped into my head.

1. If I spend time in fellow shipping with Him. You don’t use up your valuable time talking back and forth with your imagination. That gets quickly weird.

2. If I spend my time worshiping Him when I have so much else to do.

3. If I spend my valuable time trying to learn as much about Him as possible from the Book and listening to people who know Him.

4. If I go around quoting Him.

(I am certain He also knows when I tell Him I do)




PSYCHOLOGIST SAYS SPEAKING IN TONGUES IS FOR REAL

Sun, 08 Jun 2014 00:54:00 +0000

The following is a rewrite of an earlier post of how, in 1980, I began to speak in tongues. Since writing that, I have looked at many blogs on the subject. Some are distressing because they ridicule this fastest growing group of Christians in the world. Because I am a Board Certified psychologist I feel it is important for people to know that Christians who speak in tongues are not nuts. Actually, research indicates that in many cases those speaking in tongues are more emotionally healthy than the general public.

Here is my story followed
by three other posts in elaboration

I am laying on the floor of a little store front church proclaiming “I love you Jesus!!!” and laughing uproariously. My life was changing forever.

What was a psychology professor doing on the floor in the first place?
In August 1980, my son dragged me to a storefront church. Although reluctant, what can you do when all four of your children challenge you with “What are you afraid of, Mr. Psychologist?”

I needed to know what they were getting in to.

Surprised, I was impressed when the young preacher spoke with authority.

The following Wednesday night, I showed up, startled to find only the pastor, the piano player and me. Catching me off guard, the minister inquired, “Have you ever received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?”

As a seeker after spiritual experiences, I was interested. Earlier, as a Baptist minister, I had led the singing at revivals that had gone wild. I once gave an invitation to which an entire church responded by rededicating themselves. Scared the fool out of me.

I had seen some amazing things, but the only thing I knew about what they called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was that it had something to do with speaking in tongues. As kids, we had peeked through the windows at the crazy goings on in the local Pentecostal churches. But they were on the other side of the tracks.

Still, I had always been a high risk person when it came to spiritual things and that night I said to myself, O.K. you’ve danced with the Sufis, chanted with the Yogis, beat drums with the Baktis, so what the heck? I blurted out: “Well I want everything God has to give. I don’t want to miss anything.”

Then the young man said “O.K.., do what I do.” He began saying words of praise to God. I did what he did. All at once he said, “Now, no more words in English.” Pointing to my chest, he said, “Praise Him from there.” He began to make strange sounds.

One of the many meditations I had tried in the past, involved hours listening to various sounds deep within me. The Hindus teach that these are the sounds of the Chakras, energy centers of the body. Following his instructions, I focused on the region he pointed to. There were sounds! Not like his, but sounds. So I spoke the sounds I was hearing.

Along with the sounds bubbling up, came the most joyous sensations. They gushed up like I had tapped an oil well. (See next four threads as the story continues.)





A PSYCHOLOGIST DISCUSSES SPEAKING IN TONGUES

Sat, 07 Jun 2014 00:28:00 +0000

Right after my experiences of tongues began, I wrote down some ideas as a psychologist on the subject. The following is what I wrote at the time.

I wonder how surprised my printer would be if it could be aware that it is not creating these words on this page by itself. Perhaps it would be no more surprised than I was when words from an unexplained source came out of me.

As to my printer, if it could reflect on its own inner workings self-consciously as I can, it might try to explain to itself this unexpected discovery of words already formed somewhere in its circuitry. The words were there for a few moments before in some inner labyrinth. Deeper still, and even more impatient to get on with matters, are the ideas which I am now placing into the printer’s circuits. My printer would be quite humbled to learn that it is not creating these words. Rather, it has become an outlet for phrases and ideas already present.

Now, back to me. As I reflect inwardly, like the printer, I find a similar situation. As I focus, I soon discover words and phrases, already existing within me. To my fascination, language and thoughts are right there, waiting for my typing fingers, or for my vocal cords to give them an outlet. I sense that I possess a great deal more words and ideas than I can express. In addition, any problem of expression I have, lies merely in bringing to the surface already existing sounds, words, and phrases within me.

The whole process of speaking and writing, actually seems to be more an act of focusing awareness and then giving vent to what is already there. It is less of an act of self-consciously creating the thoughts I speak. The process is much like Plato’s metaphor of the bird cage full of birds. We reach in and release them. Thus the word “educe,” meaning to “pull out.” From educe, comes the word “education.”

One day, I discovered an entirely new language system within me that I did not know was there. That was the day, I spoke in tongues.

Pentecostals then informed me that what I was hearing within, was the Holy Spirit forming those words. The mind-blowing thought was that He had probably been carrying on that praying in me from the time, as 12-year-old youth, I had invited him to indwell me. HE HAD BEEN THERE ALL THE TIME JUST WAITING FOR ME TO DISCOVER HIM! When I finally did, He erupted like I had hit an oil well. He has been erupting ever since. (continued on next three threads)



PSYCHOLOGIST SPEAKING IN TONGUES CONTINUES

Fri, 06 Jun 2014 00:34:00 +0000

Days followed my first experience of speaking in tongues with many thrilling events. We laid hands on a woman who had congenital heart disease from birth, and she was healed. A few sundays later, a group of us laid hands on a man with prostate cancer. He was healed and the healing was certified by his Urologist.

I began to notice changes in me. I could not get enough of reading the Bible. I would lock myself in my office and read for hours.

Like many people, I had suffered from what I called the Paranoia of

the Father. I just did not trust Him. Either He was going to get mad at me and hurt me, or if I was enjoying something, He would take it away to keep me from having any fun, or on the other hand, He would love me and send me off to die in Africa just to prove myself. Whatever, God was scary.

I woke up one morning and the Paranoia was gone. Shortly thereafter I was riding down Poplar Grove Rd. in Boone, NC, right past the Winn Dixie. Suddenly I was lifted into another level of consciousness. There was this incredible sense that God had stopped taking care of the Universe and was now focused only on me. I was all that existed in His attention. No one else. Nothing else. Now words begin to fail. But Love was communicating, “ Donald has come home. All of Heaven stopped to listen. “Donald I love you. Nothing that you have ever done, are doing, or ever will do, will make any difference to Me.” From that day on, I have never been without that sense of His love and His presence.

Over the years, I have discovered in the writings of the great mystics, that others had this experience of a moment of God’s total focus. Mystics are defined as people who have a direct tangible experience of God.

In Living Flame of Love, the great Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross wrote: “For the soul now feels God to be so solicitous in granting it favors and to be magnifying with such precious and delicate words, and granting it favor upon favor, that it believes that there is no other soul in the world whom He thus favors, nor ought else wherewith He occupies Himself, but that He is wholly for itself alone” p81

The great English mystic, Julian of Norwich in Revelation of Love wrote: “It is God’s will that I see myself so bound to him by love as if he had done all his deeds just for me.” p145

One of the phrases God implanted in her heart went as follows: “All shall be well, All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. This was said so tenderly, without blame of any kind toward me.” p55

Julian understood her experience in much the same way as I do. Also, like me /
over these past 27 years, her experience remained with her throughout her life. AND ALL OF THIS FOLLOWED BABBLING IN UNKNOWN TONGUES! AMAZING!!  (Continued on next 2 threads)



Southern Baptist Can't Pray in Tongues RePosted

Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:30:00 +0000

I notice that at a recent convention, Southern Baptists are still fighting over speaking in tongues. Originally, I was ordained a Baptist minister. Though I am now a liturgical/sacramental priest, I do like to look in on my Baptist friends from time to time.Two Christian writers can help shed light on Southern Baptists’ problem with tongues–the Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, and St. Paul. Both of these men recognized that we possess two mental systems. Discerning his two minds, Paul declares “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also...I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also”(1 Cor 14:15).St. John of the Cross describes one of the mental systems like this: (Bk. 1 IX 4) “....The sensual part of a man has no capacity for that which is pure spirit. He uses the words sensual” and“soul” indicating “understanding, will, and memory He describes the other mental system like this.(Ch. 4-2 Bk.1) “The spirit (on the other hand) is moved to pleasure and delight in God,”St. Paul describes one system like this: 1Co 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.” St. Paul also liked to use the word “understanding” which in Greek is “the intellect.”He describes the other mental system like this: 1 Co. 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (Both writers use the Greek word “wind” for spirit, a good analogy for a power whose effects can be seen, but whose substance cannot.)The two writers are aware that the two minds get in each other’s way.For St John, (Bk. 1 IX) “For anything that the soul (read intellect) can do of its own accord at this time, serves only, to hinder inward peace and the work which God is accomplishing in the spirit.” For St. John, Bk. (1 IX 4) God communicates directly with the spirit mind, outside the intellect’s ability. He “binds (the intellect's) inner faculties and allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason with the memory. When once the soul (intellect) begins to enter therein, its inability to reflect with the faculties grows ever greater.” At this point, the soul can go dark (flat lines). Thus, the title of St John’s book is: "Dark Night of the Soul”The intellect’s flat lineing is a good thing spiritually, but painful to the intellect.Each man, St. John and St. Paul has his own way of working with this contest between the two minds. For St. John, As God infuses Himself into the spirit, (Bk. 1 IX 8) ...”the soul (mind) can no longer meditate (think discursively) or reflect in the imaginative sphere of sense as it was wont, however much it may of itself endeavor to do so....For God now begins to communicate Himself ... no longer thorough sense, but by pure spirit.”.. The intellect is temporarily sidelined by God Himself.St Paul recognizes the struggle for dominance between the two minds like this: (Rom. 8:7) “...the carnal mind is enmity against God.”The contest between the two minds is resolved in the following manner for St. Paul (1Co 14:4) “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself (Greek: “is a house builder,”, i.e. a beautiful metaphor–“building up his house”). Further, (1Co 14:14) “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding (intellect) is unfruitful (Greek: “barren,” not producing intellectual fruit”, the state of consciousness he is trying to produce). (For the record, he adds: 1 Co 14:5 “would that ye all spake with tongues” and, 1Co 14:18) I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all)In our present age [...]



SPEAKING IN TONGUES, BAPTISTS, AND OTHERS

Sun, 04 May 2014 21:30:00 +0000

Originally, I was ordained a Baptist minister. Though I am now a liturgical/sacramental priest, I do like to look in on my Baptist friends. I wrote a post on the Baptists’ problem with speaking in tongues. It became my most read post. Meanwhile, the issue became hotter, so I decided to revise the article and print it again with some of the good comments added. Basically, the problem involves the intellect vs the spirit.Two Christian writers can help shed light on Southern Baptists’ (as well as others’) problem with “tongues”. One is the Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross, and the other, St. Paul. Both of these men recognize they possess two mental systems. Paul uses the word “understanding” (in Greek, the intellect) to describe one of the systems. He uses the word translated as “spirit” for the other system. We hear him describing how he works with his two systems in 1 Cor 14:15 “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also...I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also”. In other words, he is fully aware that he is using two distinct “mental” systems in his spirituality..St. John of the Cross, similarly describes two systems. He uses the word “sensual” (the understanding, will, and memory) for one system and “spirit” for the other. Both men were conscious that the two systems had real problems with one another. For more on this. St. Paul describes the problem as follows: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him.”1Co 2:14) St. John of the Cross describes this same problem as follows: "The sensual part of a man has no capacity for that which is pure spirit.” (Bk. 1 IX 4). . St John goes further: “For anything that the soul (the intellect) can do of its own accord at this time (i.e. when God has infused Himself), serves only, to hinder inward peace and the work which God is accomplishing in the spirit.” (Bk. 1 IX) The intellect is getting in God’s way.For St. John, God communicates directly with the spirit mind, outside the intellect’s capabilities. God even deliberately “binds (the intellect's) inner faculties and allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason with the memory. When once the soul (intellect) begins to enter therein (arrive at that state), its inability to reflect with the faculties grows ever greater.”Bk. (1 IX 4) At some point, the soul can go dark ( flat line). Thus, the title of St John’s book is: "Dark Night of the Soul”. Flat lining is a positive thing spiritually, but intolerable to the intellect.St. Paul also wants to flatline the intellect, but unlike St. John of the Cross who lets God do it, St. Paul works on the experience himself: He tells us how he does it. 1Co 14:4 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself (in Greek: “is a house builder,”, i.e. “building up his house”). He describes then how this gets his intellect to “go dark.”. “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding (intellect) is unfruitful (Greek: “barren,” not producing intellectual fruit”).(1 Co 14:14).Today, if you read the attacks on “speaking in tongues”, you will quickly discern the resistance of the intellect to “go dark”, “to be unfruitful”, to enter “The Dark Night of the Soul”. Some attackers are appalled by an intellect becoming unfruitful. Others, only mock what they see or hear. In our present age of reason, most intellects struggle furiously to maintain domination over the consciousness. The word hegemony is useful. Hegemony is used to describe the dominance of one state over another. It is mostly used about [...]



My Epiphany in 2013!

Fri, 31 Jan 2014 18:57:00 +0000

    Following is a letter I sent to Dr. Michael Heiser after listening to his lectures on You Tube.Dr. Heiser, I am a big believer in letting people know when they have blessed their life. So this note is to express my sincere gratitude for your work. I am 87 years old and have studied the Bible all my life, informally and formally in a Southern Baptist seminary and later under tutelage as an Anglican priest. I am also a retired Professor of Psychology. Last Fall, God took me to your You Tube lectures and I had an Epiphany. Two important areas of my life were kicked up many notches. The first is my deeper understanding when I am ministering the Eucharist. The second is a totally new approach to the Old Testament. On your web page you said that you had little time to read e-mails, so I will just cut to the chase. With a little chagrin I have to confess that each time I elevated the Body and Blood for consecration, I was always privately pondering "What sins are these sins for which we are atoning?" Unfortunately as a psychologist, I knew we could psychologize away any human failing. Then listening to you, the aha moment came. We are not atoning for sins (plural) but for the sin (singular). In the Garden, our progenitors, as Elohims, joined the human race up on the rebel side of the War of the Elohims. And, this is really what the entire Bible is about! Thus, in the Eucharist, while asking "for the forgiveness sins," I could surreptitiously be thinking "for the forgiveness of the sin." After listening to you, I also think the puzzlement of why it took a human sacrifice to propitiate the sin became obvious. Dr. Heiser naturally this is just the skinny of what you have pulled together for me. I do think you have helped me synthesize a life-of-study beyond anything I could have imagined. As a bonus, I can now read the Old Testament with new eyes. It has become for me the story of Yahweh’s attempt to keep His little chosen tribe away from the rebel Elohims. I see now where over thousands of years, He tried everything from Divine Mercy to Divine Wrath--but to no avail. (The one success perhaps was to get the archetype of the Passover into their collective unconscious.) As God has blessed me throughout my life by leading me in chapters, at the same time He was preparing me by taking me to you, he took me to St Faustina and, soon to be, Saint John Paul II. The Lord then asked me to join these two in daily praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. You probably are aware, but just in case, it goes: On the large bead before each decade: Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins (I think sin) and those of the whole world. On the ten small beads of each decade, say: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Dr. Heiser, I hope you can see how my Epiphany with you prepared me for a whole new calling. My wife and I live in a beautiful log cabin on a ridge surrounded by an acre of wood land. Thus we have our own little private monastery in which to carry on this new work. Again, you have my deepest gratitude, Donald L. Clark Ed.D FAACoP Anglican Priest, retired Professor Emeritus of Psychology    [...]






The earth is the Lord's dejure. The earth is the evil one's defacto

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 22:51:00 +0000

We are told I John 5:19 that “the whole earth lies in the power of the evil one.” Then again, we are told in Psalm 24:1 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and all that it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” So the earth is presently in the power of the evil one, but it belongs to the Lord.   The earth is the Lord's dejure.  The earth is the evil one's defacto



Why Do They Hate Christmas?

Thu, 27 Dec 2012 23:36:00 +0000

An increasing number of grinches are trying to steal Christmas.  This post is to open the discussion of explanations of why people would want to rain on others’ parades.

Example--on his TV program Huckabee opined that maybe these spoilsports worry “What if Christians are right?  Then where does that leave me?”

Another, but more serious explanation for the hostility toward
Christmas is the one given from the beginning–that there really is an anti-Christ spirit -- still being channeled today.

Then there is the “let’s give them the benefit of the doubt approach.”  What if they have a legitimate position of wanting Christianity “out of my face!”  After all, in the beginning it was all about a supernatural God sending his supernatural son to train and equip us with supernatural weapons against a supernatural enemy.  So what’s this knockoff of the original–obsessed over morality and guilting people to be charitable?  Scolds.  Sharia lights.  If this is what the grinches want out of their face and behind church walls, could they be on to something?






Debating with My Friend Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 16:33:00 +0000

When I was a child, there was a sign on the wall of a doughnut shop which read,  “Remember, brother, As you ramble on through life, Whatever be your goal, Keep your eye upon the doughnut, And not upon the hole.” Obviously, I could not have known that this saying would become the guiding motto for my life.  Later in adulthood, I found the similar saying in Stephen Covey's books "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." It was that principle that led me into a debate with one of my favorite people, Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries.  It happened as follows.  During the offering at one of his meetings, they asked for money for a well-digging project in Africa.  Because I loved giving to Morningstar, I was bewildered when I got a check in my spirit.  I even left the meeting to ask the Lord what was going on with me.  My motto came to mind.At lunch that day with Rick, I told him about the block I had at the offering and how my motto surfaced in my mind.  Naturally, he was somewhat put off.  So, I went on. I quoted my guiding motto: I said, Rick “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus healed the sick and cast out devils, demonstrating the Sovereignty of God.  He then instructed his disciples to go do the same (Mat 10:8)”. Regarding works like well digging, I began to share my experiences in Kennedy’s Peace Corps and Johnson’s Vista in the War on Poverty.    I added that many groups do such works of compassion, including other religions.  But only one organization on the earth is commissioned to cast our demons, demonstrating the sovereignty of God over the sovereignty of Satan.Rick retorted that he could walk and chew gum, meaning that he could do more than one thing at a time.I came back, “Yes, and that is exactly what the mainline churches and much of the Roman Church turned to doing.   I have always believed that when the church lost the power to do what Jesus told them to do, they just began to do something they could do–Parkinson’s Law-- fill up the available time.”I then swung into overdrive.  “There came a time when my fellow liberal ministers only seemed to know one Scripture,  “Love your neighbor.”  To which one man asked of Jesus: “And who is my neighbor?” My question exactly.Jesus’ answer is convoluted.  The man needing help obviously was not the Samaritan.  That man in the ditch is most likely a Jew.  Jews were supposed to help one another, but in this case they didn’t.   So, a foreigner had to.  Jesus asked them then, who was doing the neighborly thing.  You can’t build a totally new religion calling for charity to the whole world on this one confusing parable. “How do you know the one being neighbored was a  Jew?” Rick challenged me.Coming back, I said:  “I can give you several observations.  First of all, many scholars say he was.  More importantly read between the lines.  Jews were not obligated to help outsiders unless the person worshiped their God.  Don’t you think if the people heard Jesus guilting them for not helping a nonbeliever in need, they would have had a different reaction then they did?” “Furthermore, the early Christians gave no evidence that they had heard they were to help people apart from the brethren.  John even laid down an interesting twist on the Great Commandment.  1 Jn 3:23 ‘And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another (the [...]



St. John of the Cross on Praise

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 21:26:00 +0000

Something I found in Living Flame of Love by St.  John of the Cross guides my praise life:

He writes: “And with respect to the praise which the soul offers to God in union, there are three kinds of brightness here:

 First, the soul praises God as a duty, for it sees that He created it to offer Him praise, as He says through Isaiah: ‘I have formed this people for Myself, it shall sing my praises.  (Is 43:21)’

The second kind of brightness of this praise comes from the blessings which the soul receives and the delight that it has in offering praise.

The third is that it praises God for that which He is in Himself; even if to do so caused the soul no delight at all, it would still praise Him for Who He is.”



INTRODUCTION TO DOING PRAXIS AS A PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:22:00 +0000

INTRODUCTION TO DOING PRAXIS AS A PSYCHOTHERAPIST

“We need to turn the field of psychology upside down.” That was the rallying cry of the young revolutionary professors in my doctoral program. “We have studied the abnormal. Now is the time in psychology’s history to study the supernormal. Enough of what makes people sick. Let’s study those who function at high levels.”

I have always been grateful that God led me to that doctoral program. It was a good fit. From then on, I was searching for the vein of gold called the super-well. When I had the Charismatic experience, I knew I had hit the mother load!

Before that however, I went down many side shafts. In some there was gold. In others, rock. I will speak of this later.

I have already mentioned the experience that empowers my life, but now I have a specific purpose. First, I want to establish my credentials for writing this.

My psychological career has been dedicated to the study of the praxis of psychology. In psychology’s case, to do praxis is to practice the art of healing the psyche while simultaneously theorizing about what one is doing. Our great-grandfather Freud, started us in that direction from the beginning.

I was able to demonstrate my mastery of praxis to my colleagues and was granted Board Certification, a level only one other person in my department achieved. Later, my national professional organization awarded me the Life Time Contribution Award. Some of that award was based on how many students credited me with inspiring them, not only to pursue doctorates, but later to achieve Board status as well as positions of leadership in the profession.

Two audiences in particularly which I hope will find this part of my blog useful, include Christian psychology college professors who teach about their faith while avoiding proselytizing in the academy. The second group I hope will read this, are college students, especially psychology students, who don’t realize what a gold mine their Christian faith is. Some times their faith is damaged by the secularists who themselves, cheat on the “no proselytizing” convention.



PRAXIS OF SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 2

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:20:00 +0000

PRAXIS OF SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 2

I promised I would describe some of the shafts I explored searching for super-wellness. Even before I entered my doctorate program, I was already on a search for super-health but did not know it. My first job out of undergraduate school was with the Dale Carnegie Schools in Washington, D.C. In our classes we had governors, congressmen, business men, etc., all working on improving themselves beyond where they were.

Another fortunate break before graduate school was that I had my first clinical training in a Freudian school. One of the beliefs of Freud was that before you psychoanalyzed others, you should be psychoanalyzed yourself. I had several years then of personal psychoanalysis. My analyst actually could say he had Apostolic succession to Freud himself, having had his own analysis from a direct early disciple of the master. I still believe that Freud was right and anyone who delves into another’s psyche should go into his or her own first. For me, that was a profitable vein in the mine of the psyche and many of my dreams revealed psychological empowerment.

During graduate school, I encountered the stories out of the East of people with exceptional abilities. So the search led Eastward and for a number of years, I assiduously practiced a form of Yoga–Kriya.Yoga. Again, that was a profitable mine as I learned that when you alter your consciousness, you live at higher levels of spiritual insights and abilities.

Then I had the Charismatic experience which I have discussed earlier in this blog. As I have told the readers, the Charismatic experience is the absolute most empowering experience I have had to date. Nothing before it, even compares. That does not mean I don’t want anything else if God has any more surprises up His sleeve.



INTRODUCTION TO THE PRAXIS OF CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY CONTINUES CHAPTER 3

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:15:00 +0000

INTRODUCTION TO THE PRAXIS OF CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY CONTINUES CHAPTER 3

Because my expertise was the praxis of psychology, the task became, how to introduce a Christian health-giving theoretical model into the curriculum without violating rules against proselytizing in the university. How I answered that dilemma, I will now share.

My intellectual mentor was Joseph Rhylak PhD of Loyola University. To me his textbooks on personality were always the best in the field. Rhylak had taught me that those doing praxis needed to be able to answer the following seven questions: 1) How to describe the essential structure of personality (Freud’s id, ego, and superego are examples.) 2) How to describe what moves that structure? (Motivation). 3) Does the personality change over time, and if so, in what way? (Growth and Development.) 4) How does one account for the variety of differences among individuals? 5) What does it mean to be ill, and how does illness happen? 6) How does the personality get cured? 7) What unique procedures does the theorist utilize to create cures?

Praxis was my work.

Having taught Rhylak’s approach all my academic life, I immediately saw that Pentecostal/Charismatic healers were doing psychological praxis. They were healing the sick while simultaneously theorizing as they went along. So, all I had to do was to apply Rychlak’s seven requirements to the writings of the prominent schools of healing in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movements and the personality theory of praxis would be evident.

Three of these Charismatic/Pentecostal movements that had most satisfactorily addressed at least most of these seven essentials, were the Word of Faith movement, the Inner Healing movement and Jessie Penn Lewis of the great Welch revival. In extracting the praxis from these movements and then publishing the results in scholarly journals, I could then introduce these models legitimately into my classes. That is what I did.

That I did an acceptable job of describing the systems can be seen in the following: Kenneth Hagin the leading proponent of the Word of Faith Movement, after reading my manuscript, wrote giving me permission to use his material and called my work “interesting.” The Sandford’s of the Inner Healing Movement, wrote me a personal note that my work was one of the best analyses of their writings to date. The present minister who carries on the work of Jessie Penn-Lewis invited me to come to Wales where I stayed in his home for several days. Topping it off, after showing my work to his classes, my mentor Joseph Rychlak, came from Chicago to speak at my university in North Carolina. The day was one of those Carolina blue autumn days and we strolled about the campus. To my surprised joy, our conversation was mostly about the Lord.






HOW I INTRODUCED CHRISTIAN THEORIES INTO MY CLASSES

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:13:00 +0000

PRAXIS CLASS METHOD CHAPTER 4

I go back for a minute and describe how I successfully introduced Christian psychotherapeutic praxis into my classes. I had always taught my class entitled Theories of Personality by allowing students to form groups and choose which theorist they wanted to study. Because I knew that some would go on to graduate school, in order to start them toward excellence, I actually used the format of the exam for psychotherapist excellence of the American Board of Professional Psychology. I hoped that some day they might all go for that highest standard in our field.

The Board exam was given in the following way. While being taped and watched through a one way mirror, the candidate conducted a session with a patient using his or her chosen theoretical approach. Afterwards, the psychologist met with four board certified psychologists, and explained what was done and why. Being able to do praxis, that is applying and explaining at an exceptional level, was the criteria of excellence.

In my classes, the students repeated the above format, role playing a simulated session before the class, then following with the class members grilling them on what they did and why. Just as in the Board exam, grades were given for their ability to articulate the theoretical position they had chosen.

Because my articles on Christian theorists followed the model of what makes a good theory, each term, there was always a group of Christian students who chose one or the other of the two Christian theorists I had written about. The only rule for them was that they were to follow the same model as the others in class, with no proselytizing allowed. The approach worked like a charm and over the years, many Christian psychology students were able to feel their Christian theory held its own with the other more well known theories of psychotherapy. Thus, their faith was not undermined by exposure to competing theories.



HOW THE THEORIST DESCRIBES THE STRUCTURE OF PERSONALITY

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:13:00 +0000

FIRST QUESTION: HOW DOES PRACTITIONER DESCRIBE THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN PERSONALITY? CHAPTER 5The Faith TeachersThe first article covers the Word of Faith Teachers who do praxis in much the same way as practitioners such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, and the like. That is, they heal personality dysfunction while self-consciously explaining their work. For those readers not familiar with the Word of Faith teaching, the best known is Kenneth E. Hagin (now deceased). Some of his ideas appear to come from the earlier works of E. W. Kenyon who wrote in the early part of this century. In a personal conversation with the James Buckingham, former Editor-at Large of Charisma magazine, he suggests that E.W. Kenyon was the grandfather and Kenneth E. Hagin Sr. the father of the Faith movement who popularized the teachings and then spawned others such as Charles Capps, Kenneth Copeland, Norvell Hayes, Fred Price, Jerry Savelle, John Osteen and others. Other famous names who, around the same time, arrived at similar conclusions about faith, but from different traditions were P. Cho, T. L. Osborne and Lester Sumrall. Today, there are many others all over the world who have their original roots in this school of thought, not to mention how much of these teachings have permeated throughout Christian practice. In order to make the writings of the Faith Teachers parallel the major psychologist’s theories of personality, all I had to do was to answer Rychlak’s questions of a theory of personality. FAITH TEACHING STRUCTURAL CONSTRUCTSThe first question required of a personality theory is to describe the structure of personality, i.e., “What theoretical analogies and metaphors are used in creating the outline of consistent behavior enabling us to speak of personality?” (Rychlak, 1981 p.31) Again, most people know of Freud’s id, ego and superego. Just as Freud had his id, ego and superego, Kenyon (1970) describes a three part division. There are the spirit, the soul and the body. “Man is a spirit being. He has a soul, and he lives in a physical body.” The three different structures of the personality are further amplified by Hagin (1979) as serving three different functions: “With the body I contact the physical realm. With my spirit I contact the spiritual realm. (and) with my soul I contact the intellectual realm” SpiritHagin apparently became aware of this tri-partite division of his personality after an “out-of-body” experience in his youth. The experience left him with the distinct impression of these three structures to his personality. Later Hagin and others were influenced by Kenyon’s writings as they developed the concept of the spirt as a distinct structure. Kenyon (1966) taught that God is a spirit, angels and demons are spirits and humans are spirits. When the Holy Spirit infuses the human spirit, then the personality is returned to God’s class of Spirit. Now the individual’s spirit can make direct contact and communicate spirit to Spirit.Although St. Paul was not careful in systematically using words for his own personality, in 1 Cor. Chapt 14:15 he reveals clearly that he was aware of two distinct structures to his personality, each with its own function. “ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” SoulKenyon (1966) departed from the popular use of the word[...]



FAITH TEACHING MOTIVATIONAL CONSTRUCTS, TIME CONSTRUCTS AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES CHAPTER 5

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:11:00 +0000

MOTIVATIONAL CONSTRUCTS, TIME CONSTRUCTS AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES CHAPTER 5

Rychlak’s (1981) second, third and fourth questions ask: On what basis does the personality structure act or behave? How does the personality change over time? And, how does one account for the individual differences of people? The questions boil down to understanding what motivates people to grow and change and to answer the question of why we are all different from one another.

Kenyon and Hagin discuss motivation in a way similar to the discussion of the struggle between the id, ego, and superego in Freud’s theory. There is an ongoing striving for dominance (hegemony) among the three different parts of the personality. Just as in Freud, the id, ego, and superego struggle for primacy, in the Faith teaching, the physical, the sense knowledge, and the spirit struggle for hegemony. Just as in Freud, the process of this struggle and the outcome, explain how one’s personality comes to be, in a similar manner, so it is with the Faith Teachers.

The Process of the struggle to grow as mature Christian personalities

Kenyon (1971) writes: “When the spirit receives Eternal Life, it begins a war against the senses that rule the mind that has received all of its impulses from the human body. It demands ascendancy over the mind.” (p. 6)

Hagin (1978) adds: Even though your spirit is born again, even though your spirit has the Holy Spirit abiding within: if the mind isn’t renewed (or as James says, the soul saved) with the Word, then the mind, which has been educated through the body and through the physical senses, will side in with the body and the two will frame up on your spirit to keep you a baby Christian.(p 69)

Bottom line is that the personality is being formed as its different parts struggle with each other. We can reveal a fleshly dominated personality, a mentally dominated personality, or a spiritually dominated personality, as the different parts assume control.



FAITH TEACHING THEORY OF ILLNESS CHAPTER 6

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:09:00 +0000

THEORY OF ILLNESS CHAPTER 6

How do we get sick?

According to Rychlak (1981), a personality theory must answer the question: “How does a personality get sick?” The answer to this question, together with the complementary question“How does a personality get well?”–issues seamlessly from each specific theory of personality. Faith teachers have a cohesive relationship between their personality theory and their theory of illness and cure.

Of course, like most Christians, Faith teachers believe that sickness came to the human race when Adam fell under “the curse.” The curse’s effects are outlined in Deuteronomy 28. Hagin (1981) gives his interpretation of these Deuteronomy passages of how sickness comes about as follows:
“The King James’ translation of these Scriptures would lead us to believe that God Himself puts sickness and afflictions upon His people, for it reads, ‘The Lord will smite thee’ . . . In the original Hebrew, the verb is in the permissive rather than the causative sense. Actually it should have been translated something like this: ‘The Lord will allow you to be smitten. . . .’” (p. 15)

For the Christian thinker, sin is what makes us eligible for the curse. Faith on the other hand is what breaks the curse. From the Faith teachers point of view, to know how much faith one has, faith can be revealed by what we say. In relationship to sickness for example, if our words reveal a total confidence in God, then one demonstrates eligibility for the breaking of the curse. If on the other hand, one’s words expose lack of confidence in God, the person remains under the curse with all its pain and suffering.

How do we stay sick?

Kenyon (1971) expressed the situation like this:

“Every time you confess your doubts and fears, you confess your faith in Satan and deny the ability and grace of God. When you confess your weakness and your disease, you are openly confessing that the Word of God is not true and that God has failed to make it good.” ((God) declares that: ‘With his stripes you were healed’; and: ‘Surely He hath borne our sicknesses and carried our diseases.’

Instead of confessing that He has borne my diseases and put them away, I confess that I still have them. I take the testimony of my senses instead of the testimony of the Word of God. . . . The believer who is always confessing his sins and his weaknesses is building weakness, failure, and sin into his consciousness.” (p. 60) Broadcasting words that reveal panic rather than trust in God during a crisis, is a dead giveaway as to one’s level of faith. We have to be especially careful what we say to our own self.

As Paul said over an over, we are made righteous through faith. God’s revelation to us informs us that a righteous person is not subject to the curse, therefore, does not qualify for sickness and disease. Such is the theory of illness as explained by the Faith teachers.