Can you tell me about the validity and biblical soundness of Theophostic ministry?
Well, my exposure to it has been very positive. I haven't heard or seen anything non-biblical about this kind of counseling, but, like other types of counseling, you'd be hard pressed to find any biblical foundation for the specific techniques they use.
In Ps. 51, David writes, "I know that You desire truth in my inmost parts," and theophostic is geared at cooperating with the Holy Spirit to bring to light things hidden in the dark of our inmost parts so that He can bring healing to them.
I work with people coming out of homosexuality, which is one of the hardest conditions to overcome because of the often lifelong set of lies and misconceptions that shapes people's responses to rejection and pain. The amazing healings I have seen happen usually involve some form of theophostic counseling, even if not in counseling sessions per se but, for instance, in parts of the Living Waters program, which many churches offer.
As I understand it, theophostic is completely dependent on the Lord's leading and empowering. Simply relying on technique as a formula doesn't accomplish anything because this is about supernatural works of grace and power, not works of human flesh.
You might check the website www.theophostic.com for more information.
I came across your response to an email inquiring about Theophostic Counseling in which you responded that it relies on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I know of several individuals who have been under Theophostic Counseling and have practiced Theophostic Counseling. It is definitely a technique that they implement and has a high resemblence to repressive memory syndrome or the recovered-memory movement. As I am sure you know that movement practiced the "recovery" of distant memories of childhood sexual abuse or other horrific details that the patient had "repressed" in the subconscious. It turned out that the "recovered" memories were nothing more than the planting of "false" memories in patients by well-meaning but irresponsible therapists. Theophostic Counseling is very similiar but under the guise of Christian Counseling. It "finds" the repressed memories of ritual satanic abuse along with the more common repressed memories.
I am not a specialist in that field (but neither are the well-meaning therapists in theophostic counseling), but I felt you ought to hear a different opinion. I have also heard Hank Hanegraaff report the same about Theophostic counseling on his radio show.
I am familiar with this counseling and agree that it can certainly be used by those who have an agenda for recovering memories whether true or not. However, to dismiss a type of counseling because it is similar to a fraud is like dismissing the spiritual gifts because they can be counterfeited by Satan, I believe.
Those who want to find Satanic Ritual Abuse memories in their patients (whether they happened or not) will use any number of techniques to hit the jackpot they seek, but I don't think this is a good basis for discounting the work of the Holy Spirit to bring healing to wounded souls. And this type of counseling, in so many many cases, IS doing a marvelous supernatural work of healing in people for whom talk therapy didn't address the deep heart-issues.
I am familiar with the critics of theophostic counseling. In my opinion, they often have the mindset that if something is not limited to the cognitive, head-only realm, it cannot be biblical or right. Some people have called this "Christianity from the neck up." No emotions, no heart involvement, just knowledge-based intellectualism. (Granted, there are also MAJOR problems with "Christianity from the neck down," which is so experiential and emotional that right thinking and orthodox doctrine are left out. This perspective is just as dangerous an extreme.)
This is not to say there isn't a great deal of controversy over theophostic counseling, and certainly opportunity for abuse and manipulation, just as there is in ANY type of counseling. I believe the Lord holds those in counseling positions to a higher standard, as He does teachers, and for the same reasons. But to dismiss this entire type of counseling because there are some individuals who do things like dredge up false memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse is like refusing to go to any church because of what Jimmy Swaggart and Robert Tilton have done. In my humble opinion. :)
Thanks for sharing your concerns! I believe that those who seek this type of counseling need to be very discerning and pray for God's guidance in choosing a counselor, just as anyone should be when entrusting their heart to another person.
The Lord bless you.