The Two Opposing "Kingdoms"
From Chapter 3
A Twist of Faith
Pat was little, Jesus seemed so near. But that feeling of closeness faded when
she reached high school. It wasn't that she lacked interest; she just had so
many other things to explore: Egyptian and Mayan mythology, ancient mystery
religions, Greek and Roman goddesses....
She read books about mysterious people like Edgar Cayce, the "sleeping
prophet" who could "see" and heal the sick from miles away.
Miracles like that never happened in her church! But out there, in those mystical
realms, there seemed to be something more -- a dimension of spiritual power and
knowledge beyond what the Bible taught. The possibilities fascinated her.
entrance opened new doors to spiritual discoveries. Each of the world's religions seemed
to have something to offer, and the options were endless. How could she pick and choose
what fit her needs -- and what could be mixed with her Christian faith? Each new path
deepened her curiosity.
her mother died. The ache and loneliness that followed the funeral stirred a longing for
the loving comfort Pat had known long ago with Jesus. That longing drew her home to her
widowed father -- and back to church.
magical forces Pat had studied in her college days still tugged at her heart. She
couldn't forget Edgar Caycee. His form of spiritism and re-incarnation seemed so
compassionate and Christ-like. So did Buddhism. Perhaps her old biblical boundaries were
too narrow. After all, Caycee really did
receive supernatural insights from the spirit world. Maybe she could try to make the
same kind of contacts--even talk with her mother. Or -- perhaps her mother would return
in some other body? Either way, they would find each other.
she heard an audible voice speak her name. "Pat", it said. She was standing
outside near a street lamp waiting for a bus. "Pat!" It said it again, and
again. Something compelled her to turn her head toward the north, and suddenly she saw a
ball of bright light flash along the high wires above the sidewalk. It shot across the
street and shattered into many small lights.
of "sign and wonder" was this? Could it have been Jesus? Pat felt more
frightened than thrilled. But the spirit that had spoken to her stayed. It kept
affirming her, told her she was special, and did nothing else that was scary -- at least
not for a while.
months later, Pat found a sick cat. She knelt down to pet it and felt a large lump on
his chest. Urged by her new spirit, she put her hands over the lump. "Heal!"
she commanded several times. The next day the cat walked into her yard. She felt its
chest. The lump was gone. This
a miracle! Wow!
She did it! The healing had come through
her hands. She felt wonderful, powerful... as if she could cure anyone,
anytime. She named the cat
inside and tried her healing power on her own cancer-ridden little cat, Toby. But it
didn't work. Toby died. Pat felt sad and confused.
began to direct her spiritual training. It prompted her to pick up a New Age magazine,
to focus on a name that "shone out" from one of its pages, and to contact one
of several people who would help "enlighten" her. Soon her spiritual teachers
were opening doors into that vast twilight world of hypnotic visions and occult dreams.
She began to "see" fairies, witch covens, pyramids and the glories of the
In one of
her visions, she was part of a mystical ceremony. Someone in a long robe gave her grain
to eat and wine to drink, a cloak to wear, and a crown of flowers for her head. People
from all kinds of cultures were "praying to some deity and placing their gifts on a
table illumined by a bright light." Angels, "handsome creatures with
wings," flew in and out.
was an initiation to something," explained her spiritual guide later.
her from what her guide called her "traumatic past lives", he taught her to
alter her consciousness through meditation and self-hypnosis. One such meditation opened
her "eyes" to a spiritual being seated on a crystal throne atop a mountain.
During another vision, a beautiful woman came toward her with arms wide open.
Frightened, Pat pulled back, and the spirit woman turned away from her.
her fear have angered the spirit woman? Pat wondered -- and worried.
people introduced her to the powers of crystals and Native American shamanism. She let
her hair grow long and became a vegetarian. Meditating with a group of friends inside a
circle of stones one night, she saw signs in the sky: some star-shaped clouds and a
cross. What did it mean? She felt confused.
The intense sense of peace with the universe -- a feeling she so often enjoyed in the
beginning -- became rare and fleeting.
inside Pat seemed increasingly possessive. Friendly and affirming at first, it now
governed her every move. The initial voice was joined by other voices that talked to her
day and night. They told her when to
her house, when to cross the street, where to stand on the subway, and what to read. She
would call out to God for help, but reading the Scriptures was not an option. The voices
refused to let her go near her Bible. She obeyed. What else could she do? Disobedience
always intensified the oppression.
no longer hold a job, nor sleep peacefully through the night. Her new life of therapy
sessions, hypnotic exercises, confusing visions and harassing voices were taking their
toll. Things might go well for a few weeks, then... "crash. I guess I would need a
hypnosis fix," she explained.
Pat knew she needed help -- but not from her spirits or New Age friends. She prayed
again to the Shepherd she had known as a child. She asked for peace from the voices that
oppressed her. And God, who had never stopped loving her, answered her prayer.
Christian friends -- one was with the Christian Research Institute -- invited her to a
seminar on the New Age Movement. The speaker, Constance Cumbey, seemed to understand
Pat's pain. For two hours, the well-known
author explained the truth about Jesus Christ and the terrors of the occult.
cried," said Pat, remembering the demons' hatred for the Bible. "I went into
shock, and feared for my life."
A few days
later a pastor prayed for her deliverance, and she was freed from the demonic spirits
that had controlled her life. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and received the
Holy Spirit. Everything became new and
different. For the first time in her life, she could understand the Bible.[iv]
Now God was speaking to her!
"You are precious to me and I love you,"[v]
He told her. She knew it was true.
to the promise in John 8:31: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you
The Truth had turned out to be a wonderful Friend who not only loved her and
gave her a wonderful Christian husband. He would also keep her safe through the battles
ahead. She would need that protection, for the demonic realm doesn't release its victims
Pat's transformation is
described in Colossians 1:13-14.
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness
and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of
Two powers, two rulers... The greater belongs to God, the King who
loves His people more than any earthly king ever could. The lesser is ruled by Satan --
but only as long as God permits. Both promise peace, love, unity, and power, but only
one can satisfy. The other keeps its victims on a tantalizing string: always searching,
Feminist faith in the powers of
darkness is based on a person's feelings and experience. In her book
at the Well, Kathleen Fischer summarizes the feminist view,
to a person's experience is, of course, central.... What a feminist perspective adds to
this emphasis is belief in the authority of women's experience, confidence that we are
engaged in a new encounter with the divine through that experience, and the conviction
that it is a norm for the truthfulness of the tradition."
words, a woman's experience, not God's own revelation, determines the truthfulness of a
belief. If something
good, sounds loving, and seems empowering,
it must be right. Wrong!
Few seekers heed the warning in Jeremiah 17:9:
"The heart is
deceitful above all things.... Who can
doesn't matter to those who put their faith in feelings. A leader at the Minnesota
Re-imaging conference described the new faith well: "This is not about making sense at all. It is about honoring a process, an
imaginative process, a new way of thinking."
Then she led the 2200 participants in a "scribbling" exercise designed to free
them from their old rational ways of thinking, which blocks their freedom to re-imagine
God. It also trained them to resist their conscience and inner warnings.
Just picking up their crayons and scribbling on the paper tablecloths would start
the process. "Make a mark, any mark
you want on the paper," urged the leader. "Try again..."
nothing wrong with having fun scribbling on tablecloths. But the instructions reached
far beyond the simple scribbling time and prepared the women for the pagan suggestions
and occult rituals ahead:
of you have this tiny voice inside that says, 'This is silly. You can't do this.' Well,
welcome! That's the inner critic. And we have to deal with that inner critic.... So in
big letters... write down secretly all those words that would keep you from enjoying
this. Do it now. . . tear it [the words]
out and throw it on the floor. . .. Or take a crayon and scrub them out. Banish them!"
the story about the Emperor's new clothes?
sneaky tailor talked the emperor into buying a phony suit of clothes by telling everyone
that the Emperor's elegant new outfit would be invisible to fools.
Afraid to be called a fool, no one dared admit to seeing nothing but their
bare-skinned ruler. On the day of the
parade, they all applauded the imaginary suit -- all, that is, except one little boy. He
hadn't heard the rules (and probably wouldn't have cared), so he shouted to the crowd,
"He is wearing nothing at all!"
tailor, Satan makes good use of our imagination. He doesn't hesitate to stir our minds
to "see" imagined gods or bright beams of light or ourselves as goddess. He
delights in focusing our hearts and prayers on sweet images of angels or a new Jesus
rather than on the One who made us. Nothing helps him separate us from God more than
today's smorgasbord of spiritual images and forces that promise wisdom and power without
are ready to listen. Though most of the women at the Re-imagining conference belonged to
mainline churches, they had little resistance to the kinds of occult suggestions that
beckoned them. Told to ignore the "inner voice" of their Bible-trained
conscience, they imagined "new" realities and embraced new mystical
experiences. They left the conference with distorted Scriptures, old truths
re-interpreted to affirm feminist visions.
chosen by Pat and others headed for the Kingdom of God usually lead in the opposite
direction. Notice the difference:
Basis for Faith
In God's Kingdom
In the Feminist Vision
insights into truth
that affirm Scriptures
|Selected Bible verses that affirm the