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Mar 18 2010

Inner Healing Anyone?

"Christian" New Age

Many years ago, a Christian group that I belonged to was advocating inner healing.  Everybody was having it done so I agreed to be inner healed.  This woman came to my home, had me sit on my couch and close my eyes.  It felt more like she was trying to hypnotize me for she led me back in time and asked me to imagine myself with God before I was born.  Immediately I knew that this was bogus.  In fact, I told her that I did not exist until the moment of my conception.  She then told me to pretend that I existed.  This was so many years ago that I don’t recall everything except that I went through the motions so as not to be rude.

In the years following that embarrassing incident, I have read or heard different things about this movement.  What I did not know was the origins of inner healing.  I recently read a bit of history of this movement and it rivals the New Age Movement.  Actually, it pretty much is the same thing with a different name.  And it is a very new movement.

It started in the 1940’s by Agnes Sanford.  She claimed that she had an out-of-body experience and went back to the time of her “pre-existent soul.”  Yes, you read that right (which explains why this inner healing person tried to get me to thing about my pre-existence with God before I was born).  In any event, Agnes Sanford goes on to reveal that Jesus told her pre-existing soul that He would like to send her into the world to relieve suffering here on earth through inner healing.

Dr. Jane Gumprecht wrote a book about Agnes Sanford’s life called  Abusing Memory: The Healing Theology of Agnes Sanford.  In it, she writes:

  • Most inner healing advocates acknowledge their debt to her, and her “theology” is evident in their ministries. John Loren Sandford (no relation to her) dedicated his books to her as his beloved mentor. Morton Kelsey learned healing of memories from her as well. Karen Mains of Chapel of the Air was trained in inner healing at the School of Pastoral Care founded by Agnes and her husband. Similarly, spiritual therapist Leanne Payne is a disciple of Agnes, as was the late Ruth Carter Stapleton. Glen Clark, who established Camps Furthest Out, published Agnes’s first book, The Healing Light. . . also endorsed by Theosophy, the first of the modern New Age cults.

Agnes Sanford obtained much of her knowledge from sources such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, New Age, and even Theosophy.

With the advent of the health and wealth prosperity movement, people have an expectation of a life without suffering if only they have sufficient faith.  Inner healing fits right into this movement.  Inner healing is based on bringing up hidden memories so as to cure emotional pain.  Unfortunately, not only does the bible not make the promise that a Christian’s life is to be free from emotional pain, it in fact does the opposite.  The bible is replete with scripture that discusses the benefits of sorrow such as sorrow leads to repentance

  • For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV)

Agnes Sanford used Carl Jung’s occultist’s methods or ideas for inner healing.  She references him many times and even uses his terminology.  In fact, her son and pastor are Jungian counselors and use Jungian dream therapy.

Inner healing is not biblical.  No where in all of scripture can we find examples of inner healing.  It is nothing more than occultic, new age practices wrapped up in “Christian” wrapping paper in order to deceive millions of Christians. It is no different than getting a voodoo doll and start poking with a pin those that have hurt us in the past.

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  1. Margaret


    People on this earth go through all sorts of experiences….. But, in spite of what they come across in this life, God knows those who are His own — those who really want to know and obey God as He is — not those who just want to tickle their own fancy….. And, God knows how to lead His own sheep…. His sheep know Him and follow Him….. Those who are not His sheep do not follow Him….. It’s pretty awesome.

    I’m glad you’re in the herd. :) We have a Good Shepherd.


    1. Tishrei

      Hi Margaret,

      Yes, I agree — we go through all sorts of experiences — all of us.

      I am glad I’m one of the herd members too :) – hey, does that make us fellow herd members? I think I like that.

      1. Margaret


        I goofed on the terminology above…. Was rather tired…. A shepherd does herd his sheep, but his group of sheep is a flock…. So we are in the Good Shepherd’s flock…. Do you mind being a member of the flock?

        If we were cattle, we would be part of a herd….. Oh well…. I’ve been off the ranch too long.


        1. Tishrei

          I would like being a flock member. It does sound better than being a herd member.

          I never realized that the difference between a herd and a flock had to do with cattle.

  2. Liz

    Here to comment, fancy that..

    I know this kind of stuff is no good. I babysat for a family who was into New Age stuff, very wrong.

    Thanks for this post.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Liz,

      I read a book a while ago on new age stuff. It’s really bizarre. And what I just posted about is the same exact stuff you find in new age teachings with the only difference is that a “Cristian” name is attached. It’s actually very sad that it’s become so mainstream in Christianity.

  3. reverent1

    A great subject that should be read into more for sure. There is a lot of dis-info out there and it’s good you brought this up. It has me thinking as well and maybe I’ll cover this from my perspective so as to give this subject more depth again from my life-journey / perspective.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Reverent1,

      I agree with you totally — Christians really, really, really, really (did I emphasize that enough?) should learn and read about the origins of the practices that they incorporate.

      I look forward to reading your post on this subject. I did not go in depth but just kind of scratched the surface on this topic.

  4. Loren

    You’re absolutely right, this is actually a repackaging of the New Age practice of “Hypnotic Regression”, which attempts to assist a person in recalling past lives while in a hypnotic trance. While most of these pseudo-Christian groups reject the idea of reincarnation (even worse, some of them do believe in reincarnation!), they accept the idea of conscious “pre-incarnation”, the memories of which are purported to be “repressed” the same way as the New Age movement teaches that “past lives” are. Same thing, slightly different terminology.

    Aside from the very real spiritual danger of forming a bridge between Christianity and the occult, there are also other insidious dangers in these types of practice. One group which engaged in this type of thing years ago somehow became fixated on the idea of children being sexually abused by their parents whom they asserted were devil worshipers. It seemed that eventually EVERY person who underwent their hypnotic regression would “unbury” memories of being sexually abused by Satanic parents in their early childhood.

    The persons performing the “inner healing” would make subtle suggestions that the “patients” would eagerly buy into. Criminal charges were made and lawsuits filed for these alleged abuses against the innocent parents and former guardians of these adults with “repressed memories” of being abused. Many decent people’s reputations were forever tarnished by such nonsense.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Loren,

      I had heard about those incidents where reputations were utterly destroyed by these false accusations. Even lives were destroyed for when someone’s child that was lovingly raised comes up with this, it’s just got to be unbelievably painful. Whenever anyone deals in the occult like inner healing, nothing good can come of it — literally nothing. That one time that I agreed to be inner healed, all she had to say to me was imagine myself before I was born. Even way back then, I knew enough to realize that it was bogus. I praise God that He kept me from getting too involved in that stuff. You wouldn’t believe the many things that I fell for during my early years on my Christian faith. If someone in “authority” said something, I believed it because I came to faith with no knowledge of Christianity whatsoever. Boy was God protecting me — I can only see that now looking back.

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