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Is It OK for Christians to Be Involved with Hypnosis?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 5, 2024 4:30 pm

Is It OK for Christians to Be Involved with Hypnosis?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 5, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1438 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

    1. Is using anointing oil for healing something Christians should do today?   2. How can I avoid bitterness toward a person who won't apologize?   3. Is undergoing hypnosis for medical reasons ok for Christians?   4. Can Christians be memmbers of secular clubs?   5. Does God's grace come before being baptized or with baptism?   6. Is the practice of "pronouncing victory" over sin biblical?       Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Is it okay for Christians to be involved with hypnosis?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you and our phone lines are open right now. You can call us with your question for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, Adriel, here's a question from one of our listeners about anointing oil. She says, Hey, I mean, yeah, are we using vegetable oil here? Olive oil?

Great question. And I know different Christian traditions. You know, there's some... When I first became a believer, started walking with the Lord, going to church, the church that I was a part of, this was just a thing. But I don't know if the churches you've been a part of where, you know, they, you know, have oil and, you know, if somebody, if somebody wants prayer, they'll anoint them with oil. But that was certainly something that I experienced as a newer Christian. The first thing I want to say is you do see this in the New Testament. So for example, in the Gospels, in Mark 6, Jesus is healing ministry, setting out the apostles. And it says in Mark 6, verse 12, So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent, and they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them. Now, right there, it seems like this is something that the apostles are doing, those who are going out preaching the gospel. Now, you know, who essentially is doing that apostolic ministry today?

Well, I think it's pastors and elders in the church called to be ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ. And you do have an interesting note in James, chapter 5, where James said in James, chapter 5, verse 13, Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.

Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick. Now, this is something that we do at the church that I pastor. If there's a member of our church who is sick or, you know, about to have a medical procedure or something like that, and they call the elders of the church, like James 5 says here, and they say, hey, we'd really like, I'd really like some prayer. After the service, we'll get together and we'll lay hands on the individual, anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

We'll pray that the Lord would bring healing. We've seen God work in powerful ways. So this is something it seems like the church is called to do. Is it something that we as individual Christians should be doing? Should I have, you know, a bottle of olive oil in the backseat of my car just ready for when somebody asks for prayer? I don't think so. I think that we can get superstitious about this and feel like, you know, this has this sort of magical power, and especially if it's been prayed for by a priest or a pastor.

No. In Scripture, it's the imagery of the Holy Spirit anointing with the grace of God. That's what's happening in those texts, I think, in Mark 6 or in James 5. Oftentimes, anointing signified, being set apart for something or for a special purpose. You saw this especially in the Old Testament with the kings and priests.

But I would say two things to watch out for. One, we don't want to be superstitious and feel like I got this magic oil that will help people heal people. No, it's the prayer of faith, like James says in James 5.

So don't feel like if you don't have oil, your prayers are not going to be powerful or efficacious. And two, it does seem to me like in those New Testament passages, at least, it's a part of the apostolic ministry. It's the pastors and teachers who are doing this. And that's something that just every Christian was called to do. Now, that's, again, not to discourage you, but it's just to say in this situation, I think it's best to call for the elders of the church and have them anoint you and pray. And that's what I would say. Bill, now, I've had a lot of experiences throughout my Christian life where I've been in churches that have done this.

How about you? Is this something that you're familiar with or you've seen? You know, being in the Presbyterian Church, we don't often use anointing oil in my particular church, but I must say we have considered here Core Christianity marketing some little bottles of Pastor Adriel oil to our listeners just to see if it might be extra effective. What do you think? I think it would actually make you sicker, to be honest.

I think you'd probably end up in a worse condition, so let's not do that, Bill. In that question, does it have to be a special kind of oil? Does it have to be frankincense-infused oil from Jerusalem?

And I've seen these kinds of things at the Christian bookstore and whatnot. No, it doesn't. It doesn't. So there's your answer to that.

Could be regular old canola oil or extra virgin olive oil. That's right. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, if you're a regular listener to our program and you believe in what we do here at the Core, we'd love to ask you to join our inner Core. That's a special group of people who actually make a monthly donation to help us stay on the air because we don't play commercials here.

We don't get money from a church or denomination. We actually count on our listeners to keep us on the radio. And we actually received, Adriel, a nice letter from one of our inner Core members this week.

Yeah, I just want to read a short part of it. He said, Thank you for having a program like this where we can call and ask questions that we all have and some which we didn't know we had. It's good to get solid information when you have a world full of opinion. And thanks to this program, I now as well can answer some of these tough questions. Thank you and God bless. Hey, thank you for joining the inner Core. And as Bill was saying, if you've been blessed by the broadcast, if you feel like you're encouraged by the work that we're doing, would you consider joining the inner Core?

It's a monthly gift, you know, every month of twenty five dollars or more. And it's one of the ways we can partner together to continue to encourage many people with the word of God. And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, written by Dr. Michael Horton, which is, I often say, this is just one of the one of the best introductions to the core doctrines of the Christian faith. And so thank you for your support. And that was really just encouraging message to get. By the way, that particular book, Core Christianity by Dr. Horton, was the book that really kicked off this program several years ago. So we'd highly encourage you to read the book. And again, we'd love to have you join the inner Core. You can learn more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core.

You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail message. Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Anitra. Is it possible for reconciliation after so many years of pain to a person that never says, I'm sorry, or never is at a more of a repentant stage? How does a Christian get past that and not be bitter? Anitra, thank you for that question.

I'm so sorry to hear that you're in this situation. Is it possible? The answer is yes. I mean, with the Lord, all things are possible. Now, of course, you can't really have reconciliation unless this other person is willing to confess their sin, unless they recognize what they've done. You can forgive, and we oftentimes will distinguish between those two things. We'll say, okay, look, we're called as Christians to forgive everyone. Jesus says this in the Sermon on the Mount, when people sin against you, we're called to have an attitude, a heart of forgiveness, to seek to do good to them rather than to retaliate and to respond in kind. And I think that's at the heart of what forgiveness says and does. It's, okay, I'm not going to try to respond in kind.

I'm not going to attack you back. Instead, I am through the forgiveness that God has given to me, because I've been forgiven by the Lord. I'm going to seek to forgive you and to have a heart of love towards you. But if we're going to reconcile, if our relationship is going to be restored, and we're going to have that freedom and fellowship and communion and just friendship, if that's possible, well, that's going to require this other person to confess their sin.

And I get it. In some situations, you know, people are just not willing to do that, and that does create a rift in the relationship. You might, from your heart, forgive and be seeking to forgive, but if they're not willing to take responsibility for their sin and how it's affected you, then there can be reconciliation. And what I would say is back to the, you know, is it possible? I would say yes, through the Lord, and so pray. Pray. And keep that door open, I think, for you.

Excuse me. For you, I think you can make it known that you want there to be reconciliation, that you recognize that there's still something wrong, that they've not, you know, they've not taken responsibility for their actions. And so you want to keep the door open, but you also, I think, pray and make sure that it is, you know, something that you're depending upon the Lord for.

You can't force it. And so I need to appreciate you calling in, and let's just pray for our sister in this situation, and ask the Lord to intervene and to bring peace. Father, we do know how difficult it is, Lord, when we're in situations like this, where there's been a rift in a friendship or a relationship with a family member, and we've been sinned against, we've been hurt, but the other person is unwilling to take responsibility, to confess their sin.

And Lord, we know the pain and the damage that that causes. Pray for our sister in this situation. God, we know that with you, all things are possible, that you are the one who can soften hard hearts. And so I do pray for peace and for reconciliation in this situation.

It's been years, Lord God. Would you intervene by the power of your Holy Spirit? Would you give our sister grace, Lord, and fill her, that she might forgive from the heart and be with this other person, Lord, softening their heart as well, that they might own, take responsibility for their sin and confess it, and that there might be restoration.

In Jesus' name, amen. Tough situation, and we've heard from a lot of listeners who really wonder about the whole reconciliation, restoration issue, and you've addressed that many times in the past, and I think there's a lot of confusion about that, right? Yeah, there is a ton of confusion, and that's why it's, again, important for us to stick to what the Scripture says, because, especially with the relational conflicts that we see, it's easy for us to want to go our own way. And so letting the Word of God inform how to address those situations is so important. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Our phone lines are open. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we're also open to questions from people who might have doubts about the Christian faith. We know every once in a while we have an atheist or an agnostic listening to this program. They kind of stumbled across it, and they're not agreeing with what we say.

Hey, Pastor Adriel would be more than happy to talk to you about your doubts about the whole Christianity thing, so give us a call at 833-THECORE. You can also email us anytime with your questions. Here's our email address. It's questions at corechristianity.com. And Adriel, here's an email from one of our listeners named Janet. She says, I've been wanting to know if it is explicitly or implicitly indicated in the Bible that it's wrong to undergo hypnosis even for medical reasons.

Can you please advise me? This is one of those times, Bill, where I'm so glad that I have you as a co-host because I'm really interested to hear what you think about this given your professional background as a hypnotist. No, just joking. Not a hypnotist, but... And pulling the rabbits out of hats as well. Yeah, that's right.

That's right. I do know that it's oftentimes used in therapy, and Bill, maybe you can speak to that a little bit and some of the background there, and I just want to start by asking you as the professional here what your thoughts are. You know, a lot of Christian therapists would tend to say that when hypnosis is used ethically and responsibly, it can actually be very helpful because basically what it does, it helps relax a patient enough to gain access to their subconscious thoughts, and that can often open the door to a lot deeper personal insight, especially when it comes to something like treating PTSD, you know, people who have been through a very traumatic experience and they've repressed that, but now they're having nightmares and anxiety symptoms, and they just can't figure out where this is coming from. Hypnosis can often be helpful.

I would add a word of caution also. Before anybody submits to hypnosis, the person needs to be very familiar with the therapist's credentials, with their background, with their worldview, their value system. You don't want to be submitting to hypnosis with a therapist, let's say, who has new age beliefs, because then you can have an overlap with some occultish stuff, and you just want to be very, very careful with that. You know, Bill, I think that that's, I appreciate you saying that, because I think there's a lot of wisdom there, so it seems like, it seems like it's not something that we would want to rule out, and I mean the question here that Janet is asking is, is it something that's explicitly or implicitly, you know, were we told in the scripture that this is wrong? We are called always to be discerning, right? So I don't think there's going to be like a, you know, it's not like there's a verse that says, no, you just can't do that, but we do have to exercise discernment. We also have to realize that, you know, anytime we go to someone looking for help, maybe a therapist, we are being vulnerable, we're opening ourselves up, and so that's where I appreciate what you said there about knowing who it is that you're working with specifically, because that's one of the ways I think that we exercise discernment, and so it seems that it's not something where you have to rule it out altogether, but you do need to exercise wisdom, and especially when you're opening yourself up to someone, you're in kind of a more relaxed state, more susceptible. Boy, you want to be very, very careful there, I would say, and so I appreciate again the wisdom. My only experience with the hypnotist is at the fair where, you know, you got a guy who's, I don't know if it's real or if it's just a show, but, you know, people are barking like dogs and dancing around, and they're under some sort of hypnotic spell, and I just think, no, don't do that, don't do that.

But it sounds to me like, and I guess this is what some of the research is showing, there really are some benefits, some medical benefits, which I think is a wonderful thing. And Adriel, when I count to three and snap my fingers, you will become a golden retriever. Let's not do it. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We're still taking your calls at 833-THE-CORE.

Let's go to Matt in Wisconsin. Matt, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, my question is simply, as a born-again Christian, I also belong to a service organization, Rotary International, and I'm getting more involved, and it's a good organization that does wonderful things around the world. But I'm questioning, the question really is, is it appropriate as a Christian to, it's a non-political, non-religious organization, and what's being done isn't necessarily being done in the name of Jesus.

Is that appropriate for a believer in Christ? Hey, great question. And, you know, we get this question sometimes. I've not gotten it before with regard to the Rotary Club, but we've gotten it before with, you know, I think, what is it, like Masonic, some of those Masonic clubs. So I guess my question would be, you know, what actually is being done? And I think more in terms of, you know, what is this club doing? What is the club teaching?

What would be the benefit? Is it a social thing, which, you know, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It'd be like, you know, joining a tennis club or a yacht club. I've got Christian friends who are in yacht clubs and that sort of a thing, and they enjoy it. It's more of a social fellowship opportunity, a way to get to know other people, and sometimes a way to get to do good things in the community. I would say, first and foremost, though, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we want to be invested in pouring our energy into the local church. And so my only thing with some of these clubs where it's not, you know, it's not getting into some weird theology or doctrine, and it's not compromising your Christian faith in any way.

I would just say, in terms of exercising wisdom, is saying, okay, where am I devoting my energy? What am I investing in as a Christian? And a lot of times, I think, if we can get wrapped up in some of these clubs or some of these associations, it can take away from our being invested in the local body of Christ.

We're giving time and resources to these other things. And just as a pastor, I want to see people invest in the local body of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so I would say, if you're doing that, Matt, and you have a clear conscience about that, you're plugged into a good church, you're loving the Lord, you're growing in your faith under the ministry of the word, but this is just another way to be involved in your community. You're getting to know people, and hey, maybe you're even getting to share Jesus with the people there, too. Awesome.

I don't think you need to feel bad. It's when these clubs, if ever this happens, become a source of temptation or, you know, invite us to do things that would cause us to compromise our Christian faith or water down the message, that's where I think we need to be careful and say, okay, I don't want to have anything to do with that. And so, appreciate the question, God bless you, and thanks for giving us a call. I love what you said to Matt about the fact that he could use this opportunity to share Christ with some of his fellow Rotary members or even the people that they are serving through their good works that they do. What a great opportunity wherever we are, right? We should use that opportunity to spread the gospel appropriately, of course, but God would want us to do that.

That's true. And one of the things he said was, they do a lot of good things, but it's not really focused on the gospel and the advancement of the gospel. And so I think we could say, hey, that's wonderful that they're doing good things, but we have to ask ourselves as Christians, where do I want to invest my resources primarily?

That's not to say that we can't come alongside some of these other organizations, but I would say, ultimately, in the kingdom of God, in the advancement of that kingdom, and so when it comes to giving to things and pouring time and energy into things, let's focus on and prioritize those clubs, if you will, really the local church, which isn't a club, but let's prioritize those things that are going to advance the gospel in our community. Matt, thanks so much for your call. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. We do appreciate you. Let's go to Joe in Indiana. Joe, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, guys. Thanks for taking my call. So I'm having a really good Bible discussion with another gentleman, and he's got tons of scripture. I feel like I have tons of scripture, but we're on different wavelengths. He believes that we have to believe and be baptized to be welcomed into the kingdom, and I believe that we are just given grace, and baptism is a requirement, but not of being saved, and I just wondered what your thoughts were based off of your Bible knowledge.

Hey, Joe, appreciate that question. Love that you're having these conversations about theology, and what an important one this is with regard to the significance of baptism. The first thing I'll say is, you know, I believe that baptism is a means of grace. That is to say that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, really does communicate and convey his grace to us through the ordinances or the sacramences of grace, baptism and the Lord's Supper, just like with the preaching of the word.

The preached word is a vehicle, we might say, for the grace of God in our lives, but it's never separate from faith. We lay hold of that grace by faith, and so I think there's a problem when people try to treat baptism as this kind of magic ritual. You know, it's like, oh, you know, a person can be baptized, and it doesn't matter. You know, they can come to the waters just like Simon the Sorcerer came in the Book of Acts, and it just has this sort of magical effect.

No, that's not how it works. It's the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and I would say, by and large in the church today, Joe, I think a lot of Christians have minimized the importance of baptism, because they'll say, well, it's really all about grace and the work of the Holy Spirit. That's just kind of an empty ritual, and so, you know, whether you're baptized or not, no big deal.

But that doesn't seem to me to be what the New Testament teaches. You do have these calls to be baptized, this close association with baptism and the forgiveness of sins, not because baptism conveys or gives the forgiveness of sins in a magical way, but because it's, one, the work of the Holy Spirit, and two, there's this close relationship between the sign, baptism, and the reality that it signifies. Having said that, does that mean that a person who dies and, you know, they accepted Christ and they believed in Him, but they just didn't get baptized, are they condemned forever?

No, I don't think so. And so if you tie the grace of God to baptism so strongly that that's what you're saying, I think that you have another problem. Certainly, you know, there are instances in the Scriptures where it's clear that individuals had not undergone water baptism, but they're still saved. I think of the thief on the cross, and I know that's the example that's oftentimes given. And so I guess I would want to maybe push back a little bit in both directions and say, well, baptism is really important and it is a means of grace, but if we're tying the grace of God to it so much so that we're saying, oh, well, if you didn't get water baptized, then there's no way it's possible for you to be saved, I think there's also a problem.

God bless and thanks for calling in. Well said. Well, this is Core Christianity. Before we go, here's a YouTube question from one of our listeners named Keith. He says, what do you think about preachers who encourage their congregation to pronounce victory over a sin or renounce the chains that are on you?

Interesting way of putting it. Well, look, one of the implications of our justification, and what is justification? It's an act of God's free grace whereby he pardons all of our sins and accepts us as righteous in his sight only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone. And one of the implications of that is there has been a definitive break with sin in the life of the believer. Not that we're not going to continue to struggle with sin, but we're no longer under its condemnation. We're no longer under sin and under the law in the sense of it condemning us. And this is something that Paul makes very clear in Romans chapters 6 through 8, chapter 6 and 7 in particular. And so I think it's okay for us to talk about us being set free from sin through the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't know what you're thinking of specifically, proclaiming victory over it, if that's what you're talking about, through Jesus, that I'm dead to sin and alive to God. Amen. We'll be right back as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-05 22:52:51 / 2024-03-05 23:03:41 / 11

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