Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why Do They Hate Christmas?

An increasing number of grinches are trying to steal Christmas.  This post is to open the discussion of explanations of why people would

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Debating with My Friend Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries

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.

 

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

St. John of the Cross on Praise

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.”

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

INTRODUCTION TO DOING PRAXIS AS A PSYCHOTHERAPIST

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.

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PRAXIS OF SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 2

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.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE PRAXIS OF CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY CONTINUES CHAPTER 3

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.



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HOW I INTRODUCED CHRISTIAN THEORIES INTO MY CLASSES

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.

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HOW THE THEORIST DESCRIBES THE STRUCTURE OF PERSONALITY

FIRST QUESTION: HOW DOES PRACTITIONER DESCRIBE THE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN PERSONALITY? CHAPTER 5

The Faith Teachers
The 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 CONSTRUCTS

The 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”

Spirit
Hagin 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.”

Soul
Kenyon (1966) departed from the popular use of the word “soul,” the one my denomination used in the seminary at the time I attended, in describing this second structure of personality. In those days, I was just taught we had a soul and a body. Kenyon and Hagin’s use of the word “soul” is similar to Paul’s use of “understanding” in the Scripture above. For Kenyon, the soul is that which is derived through the senses: this then includes the cognitions, the will and the emotions. The term he preferred was “sense knowledge” which he used interchangeably with the term “soul.” Just as Paul taught in 1 Cor. 2, sense knowledge is incapable of knowing God.

The clearest teaching of this inability for sense knowledge to access God is found in the mediaeval mystic St. John of the Cross. In his classic “Dark Night of the Soul,” he describes how the sense knowledge, or soul, panics and goes dark (flat lines) when it suspects there is another part of the personality “the spirit” carrying out actions which cannot be accessed by its mental activity.

Kenyon points out that a central problem of sense knowledge is that it produces a form of faith in information obtained through the senses, which then claims hegemony over the entire system. He paraphrases Romans 8:5-7 “For they that are after the senses have the mind of the senses, but they that are after the spirit, have the mind of the spirit. . . . The mind of the flesh (that is, the thinking that derives its evidence from the senses) is enmity against God.”

Body
Hagin equates the body with the senses. The body is the source of the information which is creating the soul’s experiences. It is also the outward man that is perishing, in contrast to the inward man, or spirit. The spirt is being renewed day by day. The body has to be brought under the control of the spirit eventually (not soul or mind control such as in Christian Science).

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

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.

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FAITH TEACHING THEORY OF ILLNESS CHAPTER 6

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.

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FAITH TEACHING THEORY OF CURE CHAPTER 7

THEORY OF CURE CHAPTER 7

When sick, how do we get well?

THEORY OF CURE
The theory of illness sets up the theory of cure. Rychlak’s sixth question is “How is cure effected.” If you accept that your problem is that your body and mind have fallen under the curse, and that your sense knowledge has taken control of your whole psychological system, and if you add that faith can break that hold and make you eligible for your cure, then the answer to cure becomes self-evident.

To begin with, the problem is that when sense knowledge has a dominance over the system, the God type of faith becomes impossible. As Kenyon points out, sense knowledge gives us aa type of faith built upon our experience that is hard to break. Faith reveals to us that we can be healed. At the same time, sense knowledge built on information coming from within and without can tell us that we cannot.

So, Paul talks of the necessity of renewing of the mind. Even if we are in pain, there is access to higher knowing that co-opts the lower sense knowledge. Faith teachers found that the best way to renew the mind was with the Scriptures–God’s Revelation.

Renewing of the mind can go on in two ways. One is a natural way much like the teaching of modern cognitive theorists with their teaching on “cognitive restructuring”: The other renewing of the mind is more supernatural.

Hagin (1978) explains the cognitive way like this: “When the mind has been renewed with the Word of God, the soul can take sides with the spirit because it now knows what God says.” (p.11). In other words, even though you are in a situation that seems impossible and your body, part of your mind, and the medical people are confirming it, there is a part of you that knows a higher truth. Thus, the sense type faith can’t totally dominate. Then God’s Spirit through man’s spirit can get control.

A similar insight into cure was discovered by Freud when he wrote something to the effect that “Where id was, there must ego illuminate.” In Freud’s case ego (soul) must become aware of the id and id must relinquish its grip. In the Faith Teaching, if the soul can entertain the possibility of a higher power due to its saturation in the written revelation, it will loosen its grip on the psychological system and let the spirit do its faith work.

Besides this cognitive function of the Word’ ability to break the hold of sense knowledge type of faith, Faith teachers also discovered in the Word, a form of life force in and of itself. There is mind renewing power in the Word. St. John teaches us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In John 17:17 “Make them holy--consecrated--with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth.” Kenyon (1966) writes: “Just as Sense Knowledge is developed by reading Sense Knowledge literature, so the spirit grows by reading and meditating in the Revelation that was designed to be its food.” (p. 16)
Building on Paul’s statement in Romans 10:17–“faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” Capps explains how the process works. “Take the Word which is filled with Spirit power, the power of God, and speak that Word. Then that Spirit life in that Word gets inside of you because your voice is picked up by your inner ear and fed directly into the human spirit.

Faith that breaks the curse is now possible.

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FAITH TEACHERS THE TECHNIQUES OF CURE CHAPTER 8

FINALLY WE COME TO THE TECHNIQUES OF CURE CHAPTER 8

The theorist then has the idea of what causes illness followed by what can cure. So the next question is how do you do it? Rychlak’s (1981) final question is “What unique procedures are followed by the theorist in readjusting the disordered personality?”

For the Faith Teachers, we cure people the same way Jesus did. Jesus cured by speaking to the illness. Kenyon (1970 explained the technique as follows:

The Word in your lips becomes a living thing, just as the Word in Jesus’ lips could rule the sea, the winds and the waves. . . . so His Word now in your lips will take the place of Christ on earth. There is a sick one. If Jesus were here, He would say, ‘Son, you are healed.’ You are using His Word. That is your confession, that His Word, now has become the healer in your lips–the pulpit of Jesus Christ. (pps. 96-97)

When you affirm that the Word of God cannot be broken, you affirm that the Word and God are one, that when you trust in the Word, you are trusting in God the Father. You affirm to your own heart that behind the Word is the throne of God, that the integrity of God is interwoven into the pattern of His Word. (P. 106)

Another writer Norvelle Hayes (1984) has a track record of successes. He says: “The Holy Spirit lives within you, He manifests Himself according to what he hears. If He hears any Scripture (He will do what He hears).” Hayes is noted for persistency. In his talks, he tells believers to speak the Words of God to their mountains, i.e., their problems “every day, every day, every day.” He loves to tell the story of his daughter who was covered with ugly warts. Every day, he spoke to those warts telling them to go. His daughter would exclaim, “Daddy, you are driving me nuts!” Then one day she began screaming, “They are gone! They are gone!” In one moment they had completely disappeared!

In a sort of worldwide Zeitgeist, a Korean was picking up similar ideas and those in the know do not believe he had contact with the Americans or the other worldwide Christians in forming those ideas. Cho (1983) taught what he called “incubation.” Taking the verses in Hebrews 11:1 concerning faith: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” He has four points in his system summarized as follows: First you must have a clear goal. That goal must be in line with the promises of God in the Scriptures. Often God gives this goal to you as a desire of your heart. Secondly, you must be able to visualize the end result of that goal. He illustrates this with how God anchored Abraham’s faith in a figure for his imagination by having him count the stars. From then on, Abraham could visualize those children that he would father that, like the stars, could not be numbered. The image then becomes the “substance” the actual evidence of things hoped for, to hold on to even though the reality seemed impossible. Third, you pray that God will give you assurance thus giving real substance to your faith. Fourth, then you must confess with your mouth, the outcome.

The Scripture that launched Hagen, the most influential of the Faith Teachers was Mark 11 23 “verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” That Scripture inspired thousands of teachers to go out and heal the sick all over the world.

REFERENCES:
Capps. C. (1976). The tongue a creative force. Tulsa, OK. Harrison House
Cho, P.Y. (1979). The fourth dimension. Plainfield, NJ. Logos.
Copeland, K. (1976). Our covenant with God. Forth Worth, TX. Kenneth Copeland Publications
Hagin, K.E. (1979). Man on three dimensions. Tulsa, OK: Faith Library
Kenyon, E. W. (1970). The hidden man. Lynnwood, WA: Kenyon Gospel
Osborn, T. (1981) Faith speaks. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House
Osteen, J. (1984) Reigning in life as a king. Houston: John Osteen
Price, F.K. (1976) How to obtain strong faith. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House
Rychlak, J.F. (1981) Introduction to personality and psychotherapy (2nd ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Savelle, J. (1981) Godly wisdom for prosperity. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House
Sumrall, L. (1984) Faith to change the world. Tulsa, OK. Harrison House.

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THE INNER HEALERS INTRODUCTION

This is a continuation of some previously published articles on the praxis of psychotherapy. The first series was on the Faith Teachers. This series is on the Inner Healers.

The name Inner Healers, comes from their emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal and to heal, inner psychological traumas. In this as well as the prior series of articles, I am taking the approach historical psychology has used, by applying a set of questions that a psychotherapist theorist must ask. In my case I use Joseph Rychlak’s (1981) model as my guide.

A number of prominent spiritual healers doing praxis are the Sandfords (1985) the MacNutts (1974) and Stapleton (1978), who have acknowledged their debt to the early healing work of Agnes Sanford and her School of Pastoral Care.

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 do I describe the essential structure of personality (Freud’s id, ego, and superego are examples.) 2) How do I 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?

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INTRODUCTION TO THE PRAXIS OF INNER HEALING CHAPTER 2

The two Sandfords, John and Paula, (1982, 1985) have continued to develop Agnes Sanford’s approach in their theory of the praxis of inner healing. In developing Sanford’s work, the Sandfords have put their emphasis on the effects of sin in the personality structure. Before developing their ideas of what they call ‘the sinful self,’ one more theorizing concept from Rhychlak needs to be introduced.

Responding versus teleosponding
Personality theorists are divided into those who believe the personality is constructed in response to its environment and those who believe personality is inherent, inborn. The best examples are the Behaviorists who believe we are born a blank tablet and the environment writes upon that tablet to create our personality.

In contrast are those theorists who postulate a pre-existing person, a sort of ghost in the machine, even before we start. God says to Jeremiah .for example, ”Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee.” For this second group, Rhychlak proposes a new term to be used in psychology.. In direct contrast to the Behaviorists word “response,” he proposes the concept of the word “telosponse.” To telospond is to perform a mental act prior to an environmental stimulus. Telosponsive behavior proactively frames human purposes in relation to stimuli rather than merely responding reactively to stimuli. Telosponses thus change stimuli to fit human purposes apriori, that is, before we even respond.
In the following quote you hear the proactive telosponse of what the Sandford calls the “sinful self.”
“As Christians, we believe that what is already in us, by inheritance from Adam, colors our interpretation of all that happens to us, and influences drastically our choices in responding. Further, Adamic sin often initiates many wrongs done by us before events happen to form us wrongly. It is not merely that life does things to us; we first do some things to life.” (p 7, italic emphases added by this writer.)

Thus, prior to development of any characteristic of the personality, sin actively telosponds, distorting all inputs to the personality. Therefore, there is no such thing as a neutral stimulus in that every stimulus is fouled by “the deceitfulness of sin” from the start. This proactive distortion of experience at every point, guarantees malformation of every human personality on the planet from the beginning. (The proactive consequences of sin will be further discussed under theory of illness.)

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THE STRUCTURE OF PERSONALITY FOR THE INNER HEALERS CHAPTER III

THE STRUCTURE OF PERSONALITY FOR THE INNER HEALERS CHAPTER III

The first question someone doing praxis as a psychotherapist or spiritual healer must answer is the question “what is the essential structure of personality?” As discussed in the previous chapter, a personality theorists tend to divide approaches into two models: In his discussion of personality, Rychlak divided personality theories into reactive and proactive models. Reactive models are represented by the laboratory theorists, such as the Behaviorist. They try to capture the structure of personalty as an effect. The personality structure is something built up from environmental inputs. On the other hand, proactive models tend to come from those who do praxis. The phenomenologists, for example, who see the personality as cause. The personality is a proactive, a priori entity that acts upon the environmental inputs.

The spirit
Sanford (1958), has taken a strong proactive stance in her structural constructs especially the spirit. The spirit is that part of us a priori from our beginning. Our spirit is that which was originally breathed by God into every human (Gen. 2:7)–the light that is in the world by which the world was created (John 1:9-10). The spirit, enfolds the other two parts of the personality structure, the conscious and the subconscious.

The conscious mind
The second structure is the conscious mind which she equates with the cognitive processes–the reasoning capacities of the individual. She describes the conscious mind as that which allows us to cooperate with God in a reasonable manner.

The subconscious
Her third structure, the subconscious, is a more complicated construction which Sanford does not always use in a consistent manner. For that reason it will be discussed in the next chapter. Sometimes subconscious merely means anything which is not conscious. At other times, she uses the term to indicate the process of storing memories. At still other times, she uses the term to indicate something similar to Cannon’s “wisdom of the body,” that is, an inherent bodily knowledge of what is good for the organism.

For example, in speaking of the subconscious as a process of memory storage, Sanford writes: Now let us come to the most important point concerning the action of the subconscious, that faithful servant stores away all the memories in neat files, permits the conscious mind to forget many of them, and produces them as needed. . . . all of the memories except those of fear, anger, pain, and guilt. (concerning these latter memories) the subconscious mind is like a careful housekeeper who will not put away dirty clothes or dishes, but insists in keeping them in plain sight until they are cleaned. (p. 66)

When she used the term subconscious to mean an inherent bodily wisdom, she wrote: “(There is ) a hidden engineer within our bodies, placed there by God to see that we. . . .(get through life). The subconscious engineer acts under a blanket order from God. . . .There is also a captain in our heads: the conscious mind, which enables us to cooperate with God in a reasonable way.

The engineer within the body cannot read the captain’s mind. The subconscious mind does not respond to reason, but only to suggestion. Every time we think, “Oh dear, I’m afraid I’m catching cold,” the subconscious mind picks up the suggestion, “Catch a cold,” (and we catch one) (Sanford, 1972, p. 31)

To summarize her meaning of the subconscious, first the subconscious functions to store memories, filing them away in a special type of psychic filling system that sorts and files the positive and the neutral experiences. The subconscious resists storing negative experiences. Second, there is a process which works correctly if not interfered with, but which concretely follows suggestions from both the spirit and from the conscious mind.

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INNER HEALERS THEORY OF ILLNESS CHAPTER 4

Rychlak’s (1981) next question for a personality theorist is: How does a personality become sick? The response to this question, along with the complementary question–How does a personality get healed? needs to proceed logically from the theory of personality.

In regard to personality dysfunction, Sanford (1958) believes the subconscious will not peaceably store memories which are contradictory to the nature of God. Attention is constantly drawn back to these unstored memories. If unattended, these memories become problematic. She describes the dysfunctional personality as follows:
The spirit cannot endure to abide therein and cries aloud to be set free. Therefore, the subconscious loses its grip on life, obeying the order of the spirit toward the dissolution of the body, so that the spirit can escape to its own place. Inherent in this cry of the spirit is the unshakable principle of justice, as much a part of God’s nature as is the principle of mercy. The spirit, being made in the holiness of God, demands that wickedness shall be destroyed so that His holiness may remain unsullied. (p. 105)

The Sandfords, continuing Sanford’s theme on the disintegration of personality, emphasized how the teleosponsivity of sin, exacerbates the person’s problem. Sin distorts a particular experience negatively. Each ensuing experience is then viewed through the lens of the original experience so that the effects become cumulative.

Sanford and the Sandfords have described how the decomposition of the personality occurs. The subconscious accepts concretely what both the spirit and the conscious mind commands and then acts upon that. The Sandfords called these orders to ourselves “inner vows.” For example, a hurt child may bow with the conscious mind “I will never love again.” This act is received by the subconscious as a direct order to be carried out. At the same time, the spirit being in direct contact with God, will not accept anything so foreign to God’s nature as the refusal to love. The unity of the personality is disrupted.

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INNER HEALING WELLNESS CHAPTER 5

HOW DO PEOPLE GET WELL WITH INNER HEALING?

Rhylak’s (1981) next question was: How is cure effected? The following is a brief review of the entire system as described by Sanford (1958)
1. “First, (is) the soul of the infant–tat is, the total personality–as it comes from God into this world; small, complete, the conscious and the subconscious mind in embryo, inactive, but still enfolded in the light of the spirit.” (p. 163).
2. There begins “the partial withdrawal of the spirit and the darkening of the subconscious mind as it comes into contact with the sin of the world.” (p. 164).
3. Through “the rite of baptism, through the faith of parents, minister and loving congregation, and though the sanctified water charged with God’s creativity, the spirit of the infant is regenerated and endued with a new power, so that it can now make a connection with the subconscious mind” (p. 164).
4. The subconscious is troubled “with certain sins and hurts (holding them down) by an act of will” (p. 165).
5. “The forgiveness of Christ. . . . opens a door into the subconscious mind, heals the memories and redeems the whole personality” (p. 165). “The marks–the wounds–the little prickly arrows of old guilty memories–can be washed away as though they had never been!” (p. 122).
6. The reborn Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit. “The spiritual centers are then activated to the fullest extent. ,. . . The spirt of man being quickened by the Holy Spirit, becomes integrated with both the conscious and the subconscious mind of man” (P. 165).
The Sandfords (1982), rather than emphasizing the obliteration of the memories, choose to concentrate on the effects of the “transformation” of those memories. They wrote: “Healing of memories as taught by some seems to say that we should erase the old. . . . Transformation (on the other hand) holds implicit that nothing in our lives is ever wasted. . . . For this reason, we have lived and sinned and have been redeemed that out of the ashes of what we have been and have done has grown the ministry we are” (p. 19).

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INNER HEALING TECHNIQUES OF CURE

TECHNIQUES OF CURE INNER HEALING (PRAXIS OF CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY CONTINUED)

Rychlak’s (1981) final question asked: What unique procedures are followed by the theorist in readjusting the disordered personality?

Agnes Sanford (1972) had great success in spiritual healing. She discovered that she could use the same approach in the healing of the psyche as she had found successful in healing the body. She describes her method as follows:
“The first step in seeking to produce results by any power is to contact that power. . . . The second step is to turn it on. . . .The third step is to believe that the power is coming into use and to accept it by faith ( p. ix.)”

Building on Agnes Sanford’s work, the Sandfords (1985) described their steps as following: They pray for the little child inside the person and they conceptualize Jesus as being outside time and space, able to identify with the wounded spirit all the way back to the time of conception. When they sense that the Lord is identifying with that child or that prenatal being, they speak his words of comfort, reassurance and affirmation directly to the inner spirit of the person.

They state that they are placing “the cross of Christ (the stopping place for all sin)” between the child and all those who have hurt him or her even “back through his generations declaring that all of his inheritance be filtered through that cross.”

As they are praying, they are watching for the imagery and the impressions which the Holy Spirit produces in them as well as in the client. They then describe the images or impressions, encouraging the counselee to do the same. They especially watch for health-affirming images.

John Sandford (Sandford & Sandford 1982), for example, gives an illustration of how the process works by describing a vision God gave him for the healing of one homosexual. God showed him two poles like anode and cathode poles, radiating to balance each other. Then he saw the homosexual as having the poles crossed. The Lord said, “John, when you have done all else for a homosexual, by vision, see the poles reversed as I have shown you, and then stand and see as I reach in to disentangle those poles and set them in order.” (Pp. 314-315). Sandford “saw” the poles reversed and the man reported his homosexual desire was replaced by the desire for a woman. This change in personality persisted for more than 10 years at the time they wrote.

Other healers acknowledging the teachings of Sandford include the Linns, the MacNutts and the Pytches. Like the Sandfords, they are extending Agnes Sanford’s work. The Linns (1978) take the one being healed through Kubler-Ross’s five stages of bereavement. They call their technique the five stages of forgiveness. MacNutt (1974) developed a team to do what he called “soaking prayer,” believing from experience that if the team would pray long enough, the person would either be healed or vastly improved. Influenced by Wimber’s (1987) success in working with large gatherings, the Pytches (1985) adapt the inner healing techniques to mass audiences. Their technique, like Wimber’s is to invite the Holy Spirit to come upon the people and to reveal childhood traumas to individuals. Helpers pray with the person with whom the Holy Spirit is sealing. The helpers are instructed to keep asking the person seeking healing to “describe what the Holy Spirit is doing” during the process.

Linn, D. & Linn, M. (1978). Healing life’s hurts. New York: Paulist (a more recent edition is 2004)
MacNutt, F. (1974). Healing. New York: Bantam (a more recent edition is 1999)
Pytches, D. (1985) Come Holy Spirit. London: Hodder and Stoughton
Rychlak. J. (1981). Introduction to personality and psychotherapy: A theory-construction approach (2nd ed). New York: Harper and Row
Sandford, J. & Sandford, P. (1982) The transformation of the inner man. South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge (a more recent edition is 2007)
Sandford, J. & Sandford, P. (1985) Healing the wounded spirit. South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge
Sanford, A. (1958). The healing touch of God. New York: Ballentine (a more recent edition is 1987)
Sanford, A. (1972). The healing light (rev. ed.) New York: Ballentine (a more recent edition is 1983)
Stapleton, R. C. (1978) The experience of inner healing. New York: Bantam
Wimber, J. (1987). Power healing. San Francisco: Harper and Row

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

FAITH TEACHING THEORY OF CURE CHAPTER 9

THEORY OF CURE CHAPTER 9 (This belongs at the end of the Faith Teachers)

When sick, how do we get well?

THEORY OF CURE
The theory of illness sets up the theory of cure. Rychlak’s sixth question is “How is cure effected.” If you accept that your problem is that your body and mind have fallen under the curse, and that your sense knowledge has taken control of your whole psychological system, and if you add that faith can break that hold and make you eligible for your cure, then the answer to cure becomes self-evident.

To begin with, the problem is that when sense knowledge has a dominance over the system, the God type of faith becomes impossible. As Kenyon points out, sense knowledge gives us aa type of faith built upon our experience that is hard to break. Faith reveals to us that we can be healed. At the same time, sense knowledge built on information coming from within and without can tell us that we cannot.

So, Paul talks of the necessity of renewing of the mind. Even if we are in pain, there is access to higher knowing that co-opts the lower sense knowledge. Faith teachers found that the best way to renew the mind was with the Scriptures–God’s Revelation.

Renewing of the mind can go on in two ways. One is a natural way much like the teaching of modern cognitive theorists with their teaching on “cognitive restructuring”: The other renewing of the mind is more supernatural.

Hagin (1978) explains the cognitive way like this: “When the mind has been renewed with the Word of God, the soul can take sides with the spirit because it now knows what God says.” (p.11). In other words, even though you are in a situation that seems impossible and your body, part of your mind, and the medical people are confirming it, there is a part of you that knows a higher truth. Thus, the sense type faith can’t totally dominate. Then God’s Spirit through man’s spirit can get control.

A similar insight into cure was discovered by Freud when he wrote something to the effect that “Where id was, there must ego illuminate.” In Freud’s case ego (soul) must become aware of the id and id must relinquish its grip. In the Faith Teaching, if the soul can entertain the possibility of a higher power due to its saturation in the written revelation, it will loosen its grip on the psychological system and let the spirit do its faith work.

Besides this cognitive function of the Word’ ability to break the hold of sense knowledge type of faith, Faith teachers also discovered in the Word, a form of life force in and of itself. There is mind renewing power in the Word. St. John teaches us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In John 17:17 “Make them holy--consecrated--with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth.” Kenyon (1966) writes: “Just as Sense Knowledge is developed by reading Sense Knowledge literature, so the spirit grows by reading and meditating in the Revelation that was designed to be its food.” (p. 16)
Building on Paul’s statement in Romans 10:17–“faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” Capps explains how the process works. “Take the Word which is filled with Spirit power, the power of God, and speak that Word. Then that Spirit life in that Word gets inside of you because your voice is picked up by your inner ear and fed directly into the human spirit.

Faith that breaks the curse is now possible.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Note to that christian fellow

I got really excited about your interest in growing in the Lord–actually a little too excited.  Last night, my wife and I were walking along and talking about your desire to have all God has to offer.  Suddenly, I hooked my toe on a rock, fell

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recent Comments on Speaking in Tongues

On June 6, 2011, someone using the moniker of dwbunch2011 posted the following comment: “I am 74 and have been around all sorts of things.Speaking in Tongues The tongue thing could be

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sand Creek Massacre

Sand Creek Massacre
Monument

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