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INFORMATION ABOUT THEOPHOSTIC “MINISTRY”
LINKS TO RESOURCE WEBSITES AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
IMPORTANT ALERT: THEOPHOSTIC HERESY GAINING POPULARITY
Please note founder Ed Smith’s original claims:
“Theophostic Prayer Ministry is not new in concept only in intention. God has been operating on these same principles though out history.”“ – Ed Smith; Healing Life’s Hurts Through TheoPhostic Prayer (Newly Revised Edition, 2005) p. 10.
TheoPhostic counseling “is not a spin-off of any other traditional approach to counseling.“ – Ed M. Smith; Breakthroughs in Biblical Counseling and Genuine Inner Healing. (FAX regarding TheoPhostic Training Seminars Campbellsville, KY) p. 4.
Now, PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING: Ed Smith (founder) himself, who originally came out saying boldly that his teaching was directly from the Holy Spirit and did not contain any secular inner-healing methods, has since amended his own training materials admitting the former error/untruth (proving that those mindsets have in fact influenced his doctrine – note the following quote):
This is VERY important: Even though Ed claims to have now amended his former errors (yet again), which we would hope is a good thing, it should be pointed out that these “former errors” were once touted by the very same man as being the instruction of the Holy Spirit and not the product of any New Age inner healing method or outside influence. He proclaimed this in live seminars and in written teaching materials! I repeat, this man once proclaimed to thousands of people that the entire TheoPhostic principle and practice came by DIVINE INSTRUCTION – and now he claims that several elements of that very instruction are “out of date” and were influenced by practices that he now rejects and acknowledges as false!!!
Ask yourself, what really is the credibility of a man who, only a short time ago, claimed emphatically that God directly gave him instruction, but who turns around in a moment (especially after he has been hit with a ton of scrutiny) and then says some of that very instruction was NOT from God after all and was inspired by false practices? Do you honestly believe you could trust a man like this? How would you really know if perhaps some of things he is still saying are “from God” are perhaps really from ungodly influences? Would you be able to still accept that he operates with any qualifiable, proven discernment of Truth at all? The evidence would lead most people to an obvious conclusion; Most likely not! This man clearly propagated error in the name of God! Facts are facts.
Let me just reiterate this another way… This man literally led thousands to open themselves up to techniques that were inspired by New Age and humanistic philosophy but told them these were from God and not from any other source!!! Regardless of whether or not you believe his intentions were good and maybe he made an honest mistake, you must at least acknowledge the fact that he did not speak the truth. He led people into error, claiming to be convinced of a certainty that God was leading him and that God directly gave him these practices! He persuaded people to trust his report and, inadvertently, accept false teaching.
Remember his original proclamation:“it was as though a spigot had been turned on and the insight of this process began to flow through my mind.“ But if he now admits there were errors in the original teachings that were not from God, then where was this “spigot of insight” actually flowing from? This is a vital question that every believer who has considered using these principles ought to strongly contemplate!
To further illustrate and emphasize how concerning this issue is, it is interesting how Ed has changed some of the other former accounts in his writings to distance himself from his prior claims of divine revelation. As you read earlier, he clearly said that God gave him the TheoPhostic method. The section from the book where this quote was taken has since been amended in Smith’s newly revised book, Healing Life’s Hurts Through TheoPhostic Prayer. Ed now claims, “I am not saying that I had a divine revelation, because I did not.” (p. 18)
So, you decide… Is he lying or did he just forget?
The problem remains that details of the ministry’s doctrine continue to be amended and there are large amounts of unbiblical and false teaching contained in the teaching materials still! Christians please beware! When asked who needs Theophostic prayer, Ed Smith’s website boldly answered the question saying, “The answer is, all of us. Not one of us is exempt.“ #15 – Miscellaneous Questions (theophostic.com)
As if these facts alone weren’t cause enough for concern, the ministry also has published specialized training guides for Roman Catholics, claiming that Theophostic ministry works just as well with the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicsm – not even dealing with the fact that Roman Catholic doctrine and practice does NOT align with pure biblical doctrine or first century historical Christianity and, in fact, teaches a different Gospel entirely!
“Theophostic® Counseling (TPM; a.k.a. TheoPhostic Counseling, Theophostic Ministry) shares most of its fundamental beliefs with Recovered Memory Therapy (a.k.a. RMT)… During the 1980s and 1990s, RMT seriously harmed many tens of thousands of its victims, drove some to suicide, and disrupted tens of thousands of families of origin. Many of its victims were counseled in a conservative Christian religious setting. Since TPM and RMT are so closely related, we urge the reader avoid becoming involved in TPM or in any other similar experimental therapy. We suspect that TPM has the same potential for evil, if it becomes widely used.” – B.A. Robinson of Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Jan Fletcher, Christian journalist and founder of LyingSpirits.com (who has also written an extensive book on the subject of theophostics – see links below), remarked: “Theophostic is the most dangerous of all the inner healing methods seen until now. I say this because it’s cloaked so well, in such biblical terminology, and its mystical methods are so streamlined and simple, it will undoubtedly fool even mature Christians.” Simply said, there is great cause for Christians to crank up their discernment and not be duped by false teachers and false doctrines. Jesus warned us:
On top of the unbiblical teachings and controversy is the fact that materials for the program are not cheap – many items costing hundreds of dollars, not to mention the price of conferences and training seminars! One ought to wonder how a group that claims to have the answer from God to spiritually heal lives (an answer that was supposedly given freely to the ministry’s founder, Ed Smith) gets away with prostituting the so-called “gift of God”? Of course the answer to that question is obvious; the program is designed to make money and it never came from God to begin with.
The ministry’s website has tried to respond to the massive criticism of the program by offering a detailed list of guidelines to observe when encountering other groups that espouse a theophostic approach to deliverance (oddly enough, there is no warning to beware of Ed Smith’s frequently changing elements of his doctrine, which makes even the headquarters’s ministry an untrustworthy source). The ministry’s own website even gives a bold warning to be wary of people that teach theophostics because of the great potential for error involved and even recommends the purchase of other books by the ministry for dealing with these kinds of potential problems!
One ought to ask the simple question, “since when did the doctrine of Christ become insufficient to deal with our sin, our problems and our weaknesses?” Are we really healed by His stripes as the Scripture claims, or is it His stripes and TheoPhostics. It seems Ed Smith would have people believe the latter.
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The good news is that, though Ed Smith’s organization continues to amend its teaching because of critics, this proves that the criticism and wise discernment of believers is having a bold effect – making it harder and harder for groups like this to exist without tripping all over their propagated deceptions. The organization’s website now offers a checklist for how to gauge which critics you can trust! Excuse me a moment… hahahahaha! It should come as no surprise that one of the checkpoints for gauging a “positive critic” is to see if the critic has first submitted himself to the doctrine and participated in TheoPhostic ministry! Strange requirement isn’t it? After all, if we were investigating some other cult practice, I’m sure they would rather us join and submit our lives to it too first before we critique it too wouldn’t they? Amazing! Watch out my brothers and sisters!
Elijah House Prayer Ministry
– being sued
Editorial Comment: Some time back CWM issued a warning about Theophostic Counseling which had been adopted by “DUNAMIS” (Brisbane, pastors Shawn Hanson and Trevor Chandler) and by others. We believe that the following report justifies our warning:
Go to: www.lyingspirits.com/news2006.html — for an interesting summary of law suits originating in British Columbia, Canada, involving the so-called “Christian prayer counseling” ministry of Elijah House, founded by U.S. residents John and Paula Sandford.
They use “inner healing” techniques drawn from occultism, especially the “recovery” of repressed memories in order to heal those memories (as they say). This is sometimes called “Theophostic Prayer Counseling” (TPC). Elijah House counselors are, among other things, taught to help people recover emotional wounds and hidden memories in order to “apply the healing power of Jesus” through prayer. In my book True to His Ways6 I compared this practice with kundalini yoga (which is actually orthodox Hinduism). In yoga, practitioners uncover repressed memories and then apply the healing power of kundalini (i.e., the serpent).
Eastern thought, not the Bible, is the source of such practice.
In the early 1990s a Canadian lawyer, under the tutelage of John Sandford, left her law practice to head up Canadian operations for Elijah House. However, they closed down the Canadian offices in the early 2000s. Around that time a man sued for divorce, saying his marriage was torn apart as a result of counseling that caused his wife to have false memories of sexual and satanic abuse. Recently, the wife apparently realized that she had been deluded and she sued Elijah House. More information is in linked statement.
In 2005 one of the leaders of Elijah House personally told me they were planning to send representatives to carry their teaching into individual churches, especially in the USA, having decided that they need to take their practices directly into church congregations.
Source article posted on www.christian-witness.org from an Australian newsletter called True To His Ways. (Original document is in PDF format)
Below are some links to websites containing detailed examination about the errors this organization propagates. Be wary of the smooth talk this group uses to claim its methods are in line with Scripture. They are not and should be avoided. The links below will open in a new webpage:
More information will be posted as we become aware of it. May the Lord increase your discernment and enable you to find His will in your seeking and your ministry to other members of the Body of Christ. Please feel free to share this page and information with friends and family. This page is provided courtesy of TruthForFree.com. Introductory comments were authored by David Yeubanks (of TruthForFree.com) with excerpts from actual TheoPhostic training resources and other related publications.