Southern Baptists & the Occult
The author, Dr. Pam Highfill, instructs the reader to find a "quiet place (your sanctuary) for this exercise." To begin with, the person must block out his thoughts to be ready to focus on the visualization process. Then begins her instructions for visualization:
See yourself approaching the great gates that are lined with pearls. . . . Walk straight ahead until you see two great big doors.
She encourages the person to see the streets of gold and jasper walls. As the person enters through the doors, he is to "notice the room and the activity in it." Since all of this is in the mind, the person must create the scene through visualization. Not only is the person to visualize the details of the room, but he is to see "the King of Kings, God, your Heavenly Father, your Daddy."
This is exactly the process of occult visualization used to contact a "spirit guide." After visualizing the scene, there is the contact, the conversation, and the request for wisdom. To stimulate as many of the senses as possible, Highfill suggests that the person sit on God’s lap. She says:
While you’re sitting with Him, tell Him about your struggles as a parent, your fears, and your hopes for your teen.
When you’re ready, ask Him for wisdom in one particular area that concerns you.
Sit quietly with Him in case He wants to speak to you now.
At the end Highfill instructs the person to "say good-bye to your Dad," which here refers to "your Heavenly Father," and leads the person back through the visualized doors and "back home." This activity is designed to restore ordinary consciousness after participants have entered a hypnotic or other state of consciousness.
Highfill’s article presents a well-known technique for entering an altered state of consciousness in which one is open to demonic suggestion. Shamans use this kind of visualization technique to contact and utilize a so-called hidden reality in order to acquire knowledge and power to help other persons. Shamans will tell you that the quickest way to get a spirit guide is to visualize. Through occult visualization Shamans frequently see and consult with their "guardian spirits" (read demons).
It is very possible that those who innocently follow Highfill’s practice of visualization may contact a "guardian spirit" or "spirit guide" (read demon again) posing as God. After all, isn’t that what Satan wants? To be treated as God and worshiped?
A person may wonder how such an occult practice is connected with psychological therapy. One polluted stream of psychotherapy embraces the spiritual. Referred to as Transpersonal Psychotherapy, this stream taps into Eastern religions and various forms of the occult, such as visualization. A "Christian marriage and family counselor" who draws from a variety of psychotherapeutic theories and techniques can easily end up with this popular technique.
Highfill’s article is one example of how psychotherapy distorts biblical doctrine and turns prayer into an occult exercise. Since this article was in an SBC publication, we must ask, don’t those in leadership at SBC know the difference between prayer and occult visualization? Or, is this just the natural consequence of buying into psychological explanations of the human condition and psychological techniques for solving problems?
(From PAL V3N4)
PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, 4137 Primavera Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110