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I once read of a bishop who did exorcisms by telephone! It came to mind recently when I saw what Ellel Ministries http://www.ellelministries.org/ (with a main base in Lancashire, UK: founded 1986) is doing now. They are offering an ‘Exciting new online School of Healing and Discipleship’, called Ellel 365! Maybe the bishop should join them.
How can a ministry suggest it can ‘train’ people to heal via internet, when God’s gifts are given on an individual basis, as He decides, not as we wish, and healing cannot be ‘taught’ because God allows healing on an ad hoc basis? To offer it is to make healing one product out of many, something to be marketed by successful communication gurus. It is not genuinely of God.
An advertisement on the infamous Elijah List website says it all – people from over 90 countries signed up for the seven day free trial! What does this tell us? It says that many people are spiritually and biblically ignorant. If this group offers a free trial it means that those who wish to do the ‘course’ have no idea what God wishes them to do, and that Ellel itself does not understand the principles of spiritual life and gifts.
It also implies that God can give a gift to anyone who wishes to apply for it via email! And, just like the corrupt Alpha Course, it uses its own name as a marketing tool. Did Peter walk past people in the street wearing a cloak with ‘Peter’s Miracles’ on the back, so those healed could subscribe to his ministry? Of course not! But, cultic ministries always refer to themselves rather than to God. It is just plain marketing.
Of course, one unfortunate ministry will support another of the same ilk. Thus, Ellel’s newest venture is supported by… yes, Elijah Ministries. It says that Ellel will give a “troubled, broken and confused world all the help you can give in the Lord.”
Nowhere does God tell us that we have ministry to help the ‘world’ come to terms with the results of its own sin. It is not the Gospel, nor does the Gospel have a mandate to do this. The Gospel is meant to save souls, not give them social restructuring!
As you can discover, this commendation by Elijah house is a done-deal, because Ellel bases its counselling techniques on those of Elijah’s founders! (See later notes on inner healing).
Dr Kraft of Fuller Theological Seminary, a college rooted in Dispensationalism, also gives a commendation, saying that Ellel has a “real understanding of what is happening in the spiritual realm.” Well, if having a peculiar and unbiblical view is acceptable, maybe he is right. Or, does he mean by ‘spiritual realm’, that realm occupied only by demons? If so, I concur, because Ellel activities are not biblical!
And David Foster of Mastering Life Ministries (MLM), thinks “Their material and approach is Biblically thorough and faithful.” Well, this is the kind of comment made by what this ministry is: “interdenominational” (from website). When you see this ‘quality’ always be suspicious, because literally anything can be incorporated into something that is ‘interdenominational’ (or, the slightly-variant ‘non-denominational’), and it often is.
Am I critical of this ministry (MLM) because of this one word? No. I am critical because it supports a fellow charismatic group, when charismaticism is ungodly and unbiblical. Even Ellel’s advertisement cannot get it right, by ‘offering’ something only God can give on an individual basis!
Ellel also adds a short precise of its beliefs in the advertisement, which includes the idea that “God loves all people”. This is untrue and is part of Arminianism. God Himself says He ‘hates’ some. He also says He sends many to hell. Also, salvation is only for those who are elect and predestinated. To say God loves ‘all people’ is, then, very misleading apart from being unbiblical. But, it does allow absolutely anyone to attend its courses, and for Ellel to claim that it seeks to help the whole world.
In a testimony, another Ellel problem arises: that of forgiveness. The person talks of forgiving those who hurt her (him?), and forgiving her/himself. It is a fundamental fact that one cannot forgive another unless the other person asks for forgiveness. This is a God-given rule. Therefore, if this person feels free by ‘forgiving’ even though no-one has asked for that forgiveness, it is psychological and not spiritual. This will work for a while but will not provide a spiritual answer.
Sadly, many Christians think that all you need to do is tell yourself and the offender that you forgive them, even when they do not seek it. This is unbiblical and accomplishes nothing, apart from psychological convincing… until it will resurface at a future time, probably with double force.
It is very easy to manipulate people in a group, because that is how group dynamics works. So, a person who says they forgive in a session might believe it at the time. But, the original problem will remain in the mind and will later come back again, because the result was psychological and not spiritual.
I could go on, but the real point is that, as a charismatic group, Ellel is not in a position to truly help anyone, or to provide spiritual answers, even if they can talk about them. The undue charismatic influence is found in terms such as ‘generational effects’ of past sins in the family. Each of us is judged by his or her own sins, not those of the family. However, all the testimonies are of little use because they are not in context… anyone can say anything, but if it cannot be checked against reality and the person’s actual character and life, testimonies are not of much use.
Peter Horrobin: Founder of Ellel
Sometimes it is not that easy to assess ministries fully, and we have to accept a partial view. In the case of Ellel, they are careful not to reveal too much about their methods or contents of their talks. In this section we will see what a reviewer of Peter Horrobin’s book, ‘Healing Through Deliverance: the Biblical Basis’ says. The reviewer is Robert Bradshaw, and his review is found at theologicalstudies.org.uk
The Alpha Course, too, superficially appears to be good material, until you look very closely at the words and statements. Most of the Course appears to be sound, and this is the problem. It is a fact that grave errors can be contained in a system that is mainly sound! They are grave because the errors are sufficient to destroy true Christian beliefs and doctrine. The same goes for this Ellel book. As Bradshaw says “There are many statements in this book with which it is difficult to find fault.” It is because, like the wooden horse in Troy, what appears to be at first a gift, is, rather, a deadly snare.
“There is… much in this book that should be of great concern to Bible-believing Christians. Far from being a ‘Biblical basis’ (the) book is really a polemic against those who oppose what I shall refer to as ‘Ellel Grange Theology’ (EGT).” (Bradshaw).
“EGT has all the characteristics of a ‘framework interpretation’; that is, a system of interpretation that takes as its foundation a selection of texts that appear to support the writer’s presuppositions. From these scriptures a conceptual framework is constructed through which all other passages of scripture are viewed.” This is typically how cults and sects work.
Such an approach has two flaws: firstly, it is unbiblical, because it does not deal with the whole of scripture but ‘cherry-picks’ only what supports the point of view. Secondly, such material is only as strong as the scriptures chosen. I have shown this when dealing with many other sects. Very often even the chosen texts are vague or are not even related to the matter being discussed!
Bradshaw highlights certain of Horrobin’s beliefs:
- That Christians can be demonised. This is central to Ellel’s ministry.
- Those who do not accept this are accused of having a “distorted and unbalanced theology.”
- They are called ‘Pharisaical’.
- If they do not accept what Horrobin teaches, he says they are themselves demonised.
- Christians cannot be ‘demonised’. I assume from this word that Horrobin means possessed. This is impossible, for every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Who will not share the elect with anyone! Scripture also tells us that if the root is good, then so will be the branch; the lump taken from the firstfruit will share the same holiness.
- In which way is it distorted and unbalanced to believe what scripture says?
- How is it Pharisaical to demand obedience not to man, but to God’s word?
- Horrobin is trying to use a circular argument by saying critics are themselves demonised! And he does not recognise that what he does is demonic!
Horrobin teaches that every Jew is a believer, just because he or she is a Jew. This is also contradicted by scripture. Not everyone who calls himself ‘of Israel’ is of Israel! Only a few, a remnant, will be believers, justified before God. This is what Paul says in Romans. For Horrobin to state that all Jews are ‘children of Abraham’ in the sense of being believers, is a direct lie.
As for possession… a Christian can certainly fall under the influence of Satan (that is, demons), but he cannot ever be possessed, because he has been cut away from the bad root (Satan), and grafted into the true tree (Christ: Romans 11). But, Horrobin assumes that Satan is behind Christian illnesses and afflictions, without proof or warrant.
Because of his peculiar and unbiblical attitude, Horrobin claims that all of Jesus’ casting out of demons were performed on believers! He uses every example in the book to teach this, even though there is no proof whatever in the Biblical texts.
Eisogesis is the act of reading a theology into a text, rather than allowing the text to interpret itself. Horrobin does this admirably! Though he says in part that Christians cannot be possessed, his very argument suggests otherwise.
Unfortunately, charismatics tend to see a demon under every bed and around every corner. Perhaps they are there… but they can effect nothing unless the Christian temporarily turns his back on God and gives in to sin. Only the spiritually ignorant will think otherwise, because they are badly taught.
Horrobin and Todd Bentley, et al
When asked if he thought Todd Bentley and similar ‘ministries’ are really about revival, or “a subtle variation of new age or even occult practices”, Horrobin gave a strange answer. (endtimepropheticwords.wordpress.com).
Every true minister of God must speak plainly, so as to produce a single, clear sound. Horrobin, however, like any church politician, chose to say that he would not answer the question directly. He follows this by boasting about how experienced he is “pioneering and teaching… discipleship, healing and deliverance, as the work of Ellel Ministries International has been established at many different centres across the world.”! Instead of giving a straight answer, then, he waffled and came out with a quick advertisement for himself and his ministry!
He then went on to say that some believe the Bentley and similar movements are a mix of ‘Christian’, ‘flesh’ and the ‘enemy’. He rightly says the leaders did not discern properly and so allowed things to happen that should not have happened. All well and good. But then, he reverts to ordinary charismatic, Arminian beliefs: “many potential members of the Body of Christ will be robbed of the opportunity to decide for themselves and choose salvation.”
In itself, this is sufficient reason to be very wary of Ellel Ministries, because it advocates free will and free choice of salvation, against scriptural teaching. Then he quotes the dubious Derek Prince!
Horrobin goes on to mention a number of facts that are acceptable; but, as we have already noted in the case of the iniquitous Alpha Course, this is a sect at its most dangerous, when it teaches mainly truth and mixes it with error. He even quotes Jesus: “Watch that no-one deceives you.” But, he fails to recognise this need in himself. In what is quite a long article, Horrobin fails to answer the question, when it is plain that Todd and the others are Satan’s envoys, full of deceit and wickedness. How, then, can anyone attend Horrobin’s courses?
Ellel and Inner Healing
I approach this section with a background in psychiatry. To quote Orrel Steinkamp: “Ellel is another version of the inner-healing phenomena based on Freud’s deep unconscious teaching, and the need to regress people into the hidden inner regions of the so-called unconscious mind, and heal current seemingly unexplainable habits and hurts.” (deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel121.html)
Steinkamp is spot-on! I can testify that Freud was worse than those he pretended to treat! His values and theories do not hold water, which is why many psychiatric consultants I knew turned from Freudian therapy to others. In my own four decades of counselling, I have avoided formal therapies (including so-called Christian ones), especially those of Freudian background.
The counsel of a Christian demands not on secular means and long periods of discussion, but to-the-point directive instructions, as found in scripture. Freudian techniques, even those seemingly sanitised by a Christian veneer, are dangerous, even fraudulent, and far from useful. (My MA compared secular and ‘Christian’ therapies… there is almost no difference!).
The idea that we have an unconscious mind, etc., is unproved, and gives us nothing to work on. It is hypothesis, not testable fact. Very often those undergoing therapy are induced into their thoughts by suggestion, and may not actually exist beforehand. Thus, such techniques are very misleading and possibly dangerous, taking Christians along a path they were not meant to travel. For those who are unaware, ‘inner healing’ is not acceptable, but is occult and New Age. (See later notes).
Steinkamp says “Some in the ministries of inner healing attempt to disguise their dependence on the Freudian/Jungian template of the human psyche… and (found that) the threefold breakdown of the human psyche into the ego, superego and id was too difficult to explain.” I am not surprised. Many in psychiatry do not understand it either! The unconscious is often called the ‘inner child’, a term used in inner healing.
“Christian inner healers accepted without question the central thesis of Freud regarding the hidden memory and effect healing. Rather than using the techniques of a clinical psychoanalyst, they chose to introduce the idea of Jesus regressing people, and Jesus effecting the healing in the past time of the person.”
This is what Ellel is based on. I can tell you that in my working experience Freudianism did a lot of harm, and is of no use to anyone, let alone Christians. The idea that something is hidden deep in our psyche is obtuse and cannot be scrutinized by proper means, any more than any function of the brain can be properly plotted and identified as ‘cause’ and ‘effect’. In fact, it is this ‘secret’ nature of the so-called unconscious that enables therapists to say and do whatever they like – because no-one can deny or confirm what happens!
Brooks Alexander said “A new and interesting thing happens, however, when Freud’s view of human behaviour
(Ed. which was, many times, rather bizarre) is woven together with humanistic perfectionism and a cross-less Christianity. The result is a system of therapy with a built-in tendency to bypass and depreciate rational consciousness.”
This is exactly what happens, and it is very possible to convince the person in therapy-counselling that this or that happened or is the cause of a problem, when it is not. Or, the person will convince himself that it is so. I can assure you that it is very easy to manipulate susceptible people into this way of thinking.
Alexander continues: “If the ‘root cause’ of behaviour is lodged in the unconscious, perhaps it can be purged by the techniques of psychological manipulation to reach the unconscious mind directly… once a ‘policy decision’ has been made that the rational mind should be bypassed for effective inner healing, a new problem presents itself.” As I said, once we think a problem is secret and hidden, requiring some magical searching by an ‘expert’ to identify it, we forget that God gave us a rational mind with which to do the search in quite ordinary ways! And, once we forget rationality any suggestion, no matter how foolish, will gain access to our minds.
What is this “new problem”? It is this: “ The rational mind, after all, is an active and integral part of the human personality and, from a Biblical point of view, a legitimate and necessary one… Techniques for bypassing the rational mind only work until the rational mind gets wise to what is happening…” (Brooks Alexander, SCP Journal, April 1980, Vol.4/I).
This is all true. And it can get very much worse, for any person who cries out with joy that inner healing has ‘healed’ him or her, will not last long in the euphoria. This is why I doubt the effectiveness of the testimonials offered by Ellel. How do these same people fare, say, several years later? Especially if they have no support around them? I can tell you exactly what happens: the only way they can remain convinced they have been ‘healed’ is if they are constantly with others of the same mind. If they do not have this cocoon, they will fail psychologically.
This is the only way JW’s and similar can manage to ignore their consciences and reality. It is why cults and sects insist on adherents constantly meeting with others who believe the same. It is rather like mainlining on heroin… once you start you may not be able to stop and survive on your own.
One way of maintaining the delusion is to “empty the conscious mind by concentration on Jesus and ‘centering down’. It is more-or-less a technique of Transcendental Meditation, the ‘cult of the empty mind’, a very foolish thing to do, because it opens the mind to real demonic influence. Therefore, it is not demonic influence that fills a Christian and thus requires deliverance – it is that the inner healing itself that invites demonic interference!
Guided imagery techniques are used, in which Jesus supposedly travels back in time to search out bad memories. This, of course, is occult in principle. It is also heretical to suppose that Jesus will act as someone’s bell-boy to travel backwards in memory-time!! ‘Jesus’ is visualised… visualising is something done by occultists to contact the dead in the spirit world. The psychoanalyst, Jung, also did this and experienced occult knowledge from ‘spirit guides’ (sometimes referred to as ‘familiars’, who accompany people wherever they go). I have had direct experience dealing with people thus affected, but some were ‘too far gone’.
Because of this power, “many inner healers also become exorcists.” (Alexander). Note how Ellel offers release from spirits. Beware! Inevitably, Ellel will encounter demons at some time in the inner travel of the mind. So, of course, they ‘must’ deal with them. I have found that demons can have a great time deluding people… they pretend to cast out their own kind, fellow demons, so that those who are demonised believe the healer! Easy really. In this way, inner healers actually introduce demons where none were before.
Usually, inner healers give names to supposed demons who ‘caused’ past traumas (even those that did not exist). Once named, the supposed demons are commanded to leave. Sadly, all this is very familiar territory to me, from past observation and experience with similar ‘healers’.
Inner healers like to trace back through a person’s alleged history, to find relatives who did this or that sinfully. This process is more likely to be fiction, because few know the details of anyone past their grandparents! ‘Generational sins’ are mentioned by Ellel. Some call this tracing and exorcising, ‘cutting the bloodlines’.
The supposed exultation experienced by adherents of Ellel is just psychological release of emotions. I have witnessed this many times, both in psychiatry and in the churches, particularly if they claim to be ‘filled with the Spirit’. It is a fleeting emotion, and that is why people must continually seek out similar people to maintain their ‘fix’. Because it is only psychological and not spiritual, these people will one day experience a severe downturn in well-being, especially if they have given demons opportunity to intervene in their live by indulging in inner-healing.
In an effort to discredit Ellel, someone who tried to trace the origin of the name ‘Ellel’ only found a Canaanite deity with the same name. He suggested that possibly Ellel got its name by a humanly conjured play on a name of God, ‘El’. But, this is a dead-end line of enquiry – ‘Ellel’ is the name of an old town and area in Lancashire, near which is Ellel Grange, the HQ of Ellel, so there is nothing sinister about it. However, like so many rich ‘ministries’ this one has luxury estates all over the place! Well, well!
Ellel offers the usual occult and cultic activities, including God ‘healing through drama’ (?), which is yet another form of psychological role-play. It is, then, the “same old same old”! ‘Healing through deliverance’ gives a big clue. I have personally received communications from people who have attended Ellel courses and ended up worse than before. They are unequivocal in their condemnation of Ellel and its methods/course contents.
Healing & Health Care
(This section is based on an article by Dr Ken Curry, of ‘Health Care in Christ’). ‘Health Care in Christ’, to me, as a retired health worker, is an odd group. It says it sends out health workers “into the harvest to seek and proclaim the kingdom of God in health care, and to bring healing and deliverance…”. And so the group gravitated towards Ellel. They said they “saw God healing and delivering people” and thus saw “the kingdom of God in action”.
From the stance of psychiatry, psychology and ordinary Christian thought, I always take a step back when I hear that kind of statement. Why? Do I not believe that God heals and delivers? Yes, I do. But not in the charismatic fold, which is cultic and, often, occult. How did this group know it was God working, and not Satan (relying on good feelings is not the answer)? How did they know the healings really took place? Did they not know that Satan, too, can heal and even ‘deliver’ a person from his subservient demons? Indeed, Satan must have a sense of humour in doing this!
Another clue is that the health group spoke of “the process of healing in the spiritual realm”. This is typical charismatic-speke; so “process” is probably used correctly! Members of this group attended an Ellel training school in Australia, saying “Some had physical healing… but the majority of healing was in the deep areas of the soul and the spirit. So much pain and bitterness healed and forgiven. It seemed significant that some of the most powerful testimonies were from doctors who received great healing from past pain and brokenness. It is wonderfully exciting that God is doing a deep work among doctors.” Sounds good? Just wait a moment…
Doctors are just as susceptible to false teaching as anyone else. The very fact that they attended an Ellel session tells us that they had no answers of their own to whatever they perceived to be the problem. They were drawn to what may be called the ‘halo effect’ of those who announced they had all the answers and who boast that others had been healed by their intervention. Thus, they were psychologically primed to expect something in return for their attendance. This is how charismatic ‘healings’ work and the same ‘process’ can be found in any campaign meeting.
Also, talk of “deep areas of the soul and the spirit” is something to be very wary of. What deep areas? The implication is that God has given us areas within that cannot be discovered without ‘professional’ help, whether from psychiatry or inner healers! This is bunkum. God is transparent with His children! What you see is what you get. Inner healers are similar to Romanist priests, who claim to be the only ones able to contact God on our behalf. The whole point of being a Christian is that we have immediate and direct contact with God, needing no priests (or therapists/inner healers), who are not counted in this position of privilege.
The term ‘deep areas’ aligns more with psychiatry than with Christian counsel. Christian counsel can be summed up as: Someone is sinning. God says stop immediately. Then, repent and carry on along a holy path. No deep areas to search for, even though certain problems may take a short while to identify and deal with.
But even these remaining problems are straightforward, because, despite all this talk of ‘deep’ areas, almost ALL ‘sufferers’ of inward problems KNOW what the cause is, but choose not to discuss it. This health care group are deluding themselves with what they THINK they saw and experienced. That is, what they saw and heard can have a very different scriptural meaning… it depends on one’s presuppositions.
Ellel for example, believes that all the ‘exorcisms’ conducted by Jesus were on believers, which is nonsense. From this they assume that believers can be possessed or so strongly influenced by demons, they are incapable of freeing themselves; another false presupposition.
As for it being wonderful that doctors are being ‘healed’. This can have another interpretation, too… that Satan has deluded them with a false healing, so that they will, as figures of authority, advise others to attend similar healing sessions, thus spreading a sinful system.
Another problem with the ‘process’ of Ellel is that it takes its outline from psychiatry, which, as I know, is itself based on often weird and wonderful schemes and hypotheses, some of them being founded on eastern mysticism and ordinary atheism. Some incorporate shades of the occult. And, certain therapies even have an ‘acceptable death rate’ caused by suicides: Gestalt, for example, has a suicide rate of about 10%! I well remember the shock felt by a Gestalt therapist I worked with, when four of his clients committed copy-cat suicides, drowning in the sea!
My proposition, that expectation of healing brings its own rewards, and a preconceived acceptance of whatever happens in sessions, is found in the health-group’s own words: “Faith is being raised to see God’s healing both in those working in a church setting and those in professional health care settings”. Expect it so strongly and you will see it. This is the placebo effect! Ellel and this group evidently think God will heal and deliver in every case. This is false. God heals and delivers whom He will, when He wishes to do so. He is not at our beck and call and cannot be ‘offered’ in a man-made course.
During a particular University of Wales post-graduate health course I completed, the tutor decided to slip-in a session on ‘inner healing’, under the name of ‘Touch Therapy’ (in fact, there was no touch: it resembled voodoo or shamanism rather than touch). I was the only student who refused to take part, because I knew what was coming. But, I asked to be an observer.
Sure enough, what he did was sheer occultism! Yet, he went on to offer a complete course in this form of occult healing to health professionals. It is now a standard practice in British NHS hospitals and practices! So, making the occult popular amongst health professionals is nothing new.
This kind of evil is made popular and normal by using ordinary words to describe them. People expect the professional health worker, whether doctor, nurse or therapist, to be just that, and not to link them up to demonic forces!
The group describes the Ellel ‘process’ as: ‘Repentance, Commitment and lordship, being filled with the Holy Spirit, then working through issues of resentment, unforgiveness, generational issues, soul ties, and so on.’ This is typical charismatic mumbo-jumbo, particularly from ‘being filled with the Holy Spirit’ onwards.
Firstly, yes, one must repent of one’s own sin before seeking help with issues. Yes, one must be committed to God, show faith and accept God’s lordship. However, even this is suspect, because God is Lord whether or not we accept it! Then we come to the part that starts to change perceptions and spiritual life – being ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’. It is the same term used in Alpha Courses, and all charismatic schemes… and it is false. The Holy Spirit is already residing in every Christian. There is no need to ‘call Him down’ to ‘fill’ the person.
When a genuine Christian reaches the point of realising that his own sins are stopping him from functioning properly, and he repents, the sudden release from those inward desires to sin creates a kind of psychological ‘explosion’. Because it is so dramatic, it is perceived to be the Holy Spirit coming in from the outside. But, it is an error. It is just a psychological release.
A similar release can be experienced during psychiatric therapy sessions, especially if others are around the person. It is more a product of group dynamics and belief in the group leader than anything else. Sadly, though, this sudden freedom from pent-up emotions is only that. It never lasts, and so the person later has to find some other way to hide and deal with the continuing problem. If not, he will probably experience one of the many phobias available to people who will not deal properly with their anxieties. Thus, the inner healing is just a Band-Aid.
The problems remain because they are not dealt with properly. God expects us to tell Him about our sins. He then expects us to repent and stop them immediately, whether or not we fully accept the reason to do so. We must, then, as part of repentance, turn totally away from our sin and live holy lives.
This open, frontal approach to our sin is vital, otherwise we simply repress them. Sadly, many Christians think that repression is the way to go, but, all it does, is cause us to hide the sin until it jumps out and bites us. Repression is NOT an option. The only option is open identification of the sin and getting rid of it.
Ellel, on the other hand, tells adherents that their past lives (including sins of their forefathers) are the cause, and that demons are in control. In other words, they deal in so-called repressed memories. This is fantasy, but it allows Ellel-ers to delve ‘deep’ into the supposed subconscious, to ‘find’ the supposed cause of the person’s problems. It is fantasy because no-one can ever prove these things exist, or that they are real. And, they are not biblical anyway.
Often, ‘resentment’ in a person is a fabrication created by this ‘deep’ search into the soul. The human mind, when hampered by spiritual shallowness and mere ignorance of Biblical principles and truth, will attach itself to whatever an ‘expert’ tells it. Once it jumps over the ‘taboo’ hurdle, everything is straightforward! Besides, resentment or bitterness as an excuse, is not acceptable to God. He does not care what the root is; He just demands that we get rid of it, because it is sin.
‘Unforgiveness’? Is this towards yourself or towards others, who you perceive to require forgiveness? Many Christians do not know the importance or relevance of forgiving one’s self, but, what does it mean? In biblical terms, it means recognising your sin for what it is, repenting, and then getting on with life! If you have truly repented, God has forgiven you. Therefore, to not forgive yourself is a form of blasphemy, undermining God’s work and person. The answer is NOT ‘therapy’, but ordinary learning from scripture.
But, forgiveness of others is something else. Too many modern Christians think they can pronounce forgiveness to those who have harmed them. This will make them feel better, but it is false theology. A person who has harmed you can only be forgiven if they ask for it, following an admission that they harmed you, with an apology. This is what scripture counsels.
Merely saying you forgive someone is not the answer, because it is inadmissible. It is also a form of repression of hatred or bitterness. The real answer is to come to terms with the plain fact that there are nasty folks out there who will never admit to their evil against you, and so never think they need forgiveness! You just have to get on with it. That’s life! Of course, if you harbour resentment and bitterness towards them, you are yourself committing sin. So, come to terms with it and start your life afresh. And, be open with yourself, others and God – if you still have bitterness, admit it; do not repress it. Then deal with it through prayer and humility.
Ellel actually teaches that not dealing with these issues leads to anxiety and problems. Yes, but the way they deal with it is wrong. Ellel also teaches about ‘blessing and cursing’ as though we can have a hand in doling them out as we wish! ‘Generational issues, iniquities, curses, soul ties’ are all typical charismatic errors.
Look at ‘soul ties’. What are they? They are defined as “ties from one person’s soul to (or into) another person’s soul” (freeinchrist.truepath.com). It is being as-one with another person in all ways. But why make such a fuss about it? All this says is that we can enjoy the company of another person with an emotional and even a mental reliance, when such is sinful. It causes us to think and act in ways that are not godly. This is simply sin! So, deal with it. If you do not, the answer is that you prefer sin to holiness, and God will let you know it is sin! No need to give it a special name or a special process. Just repent and get on with your life.
The approach advocated by these health professionals to Ellel processes is not tolerated by Britain’s authorities. If any professional dares to mention God, even remotely, he is liable not just to rebuke but loss of job! Yet, such occult practices as ‘Touch Therapy’ are officially condoned!
The group speaks fondly of ‘healing ministries’ in local churches. In reality, these ‘ministries’ are fake, being the zealous application of therapies by amateurs! God does not heal on human demand, or with a regularity leading to a whole ministry! There is much more spiritual truth to it than that.
Nevertheless, the group now thinks that healing centres should be dotted everywhere to ‘heal the land’. This is another typical charismatic error. God is not about healing ‘the land’ but individuals whom He chooses for healing. The group wrongly assumes that if healings take place they can be assessed ‘objectively’ by medical means. They do not seem to understand that the fact of healing does not objectively prove that God did it, or how it occurred! It is not possible even of God did heal someone, because human methods are unable to plot and deduce things that have a spiritual base.
During the group’s sessions they were somehow ‘empowered’. But, by what, or by whom? It seems the answer is in the next phrase, ‘taking cities’! This is yet another charismatic nonsense, and a dangerous one, where people literally go to areas of a city and pray-away Satan and demons. At least that is what they think they are doing.
God is greater than Satan, it is true. But, to naively think we can barn-storm areas and ‘do battle’ with Satan is very foolish indeed. As with healing, battling against Satan is on an individual basis, and when prompted by God. The work is His, not ours. Not even the Archangel Michael could do battle with Satan on his own! We cannot simply travel to a city place and dare to fight Satan. It is a challenge he will not lose! We have no mandate to ‘take cities’.
(Note: ‘Health Care in Christ’, as one would expect, is ‘interdenominational’ and so crosses doctrinal barriers when they should not. The group hopes to bring influence to the UK, but be warned – use these methods in your practice and you will likely lose your job. Yes, God should be central in the work of any Christian, but we must also obey the law. There are other ways to tackle a spiritual problem in our work, and the Lord will show it to you, without you using these Ellel techniques. It is possible to use a spiritual approach but, again, this is only acceptable to God in the way He indicates: on an individual basis, one-to-one).
Ellel is part of ‘Christians Together’, which is an ecumenical movement. It is charismatic in character and methods, with all that this implies, including cultism and occultism. By ignoring the individual, one-to-one nature of God’s involvement with mankind, Ellel makes so-called ‘spiritual’ means available to all and sundry. This is most convenient, as it also means such ministries can make a lot of money from spin-offs and courses. Cynical? Yes, but true.
When you hear Horrobin speak (albeit on a selected batch of edited videos), he will sound convincing. But, you have to attend a course before you are introduced to the spiritual deceptions. Though a para-church organisation, one can see in Ellel a new church movement. Charismaticism does not claim to be a new ‘church’ but that is what it really is. We should not concentrate on anything ‘good’ in the Ellel ministry, but on those parts that are not good, because it is those parts that can send you off on a tangent, missing the truth of God.
This form of ‘Christian’ counselling was the brainchild of Dr Ed Smith, a therapist from Kentucky. Theos – God, phostic – light. Thus, ‘light from God’. It is when Jesus is ‘invited into’ a situation, to light up the problem area. This is “essentially Agnes Sanford’s inner healing” (John and Paul Sandford founded Elijah House - apologeticsindex.org). And this is what Ellel teaches. Thus Ellel equals theophostic counselling. It uses guided imagery and visualisation, an occult technique that opens a person up to demonic influence, even though Ellel says it gets rid of demons perceived to be in the person. As I have already said, no Christian can have a demon living within.
Theophosticism claims to recover hidden memories and reconstruct them so that proper interpretation of events is given. This is very vague ground and can allow all kinds of practices and beliefs to enter a person. Who is to say that the proper interpretation is what Ellel says it is? How can it be checked against a ‘secret’ memory? And how does Ellel know it is not a demonic interpretation?
Theophostic Ministries claims to be highly effective in cases of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). But, “SRA is a highly controversial subject kept alive with fantasies, hoaxes and conspiracy theories. Thus, Theosphostic Counselling opens up the prospect of False Memory Syndrome.” Ellel = theophosticism! One counsellor, Dr Paul Simpson, says that theophosticism “is pretty dangerous stuff.” He says that Ed Smith’s theophostic methods are just “a dressed-up version of recovered memory therapy.” (Central Kentucky News Journal, 2nd July, 2003).
One counsellor says: “What I call inner healing – Listening Prayer Therapy, Christian Prayer Counselling, John Regier’s Biblical concepts, and Theophostics – are forms of biblical cognitive therapy.” And “The new Christian inner healing is a form of core belief therapy…” Thus, Ellel changes our basic beliefs. That is really the central theme of what Ellel does. But, what does it change those central beliefs to? To charismatic mysticism.
This same counsellor (re healmylife.com), features another counsellor, Art Zielstra, who performs the same inner healing therapy, and he says that the inner healing method he uses has been gleaned from the Sandford’s… and Ellel Ministries. Thus we see that the circle of inner healing and theophosticism includes Ellel. Also linked to Ellel is the Sozo Ministry. Both are hardened in the charismatic fire. You will find the Ellel techniques featured on the impressive New Age Chart (erwm.com).
Well, I could write a great deal more, but I think I have shown more than enough evidence that Ellel is to be shunned and avoided. It uses New Age/occult techniques in the guise of Biblical counselling and is ‘very dangerous’ as one counsellor advises.
That Ellel also preaches some of the truth is irrelevant, because the ‘bad bits’ overshadow everything else, opening people up to the occult through charismatic error. We are all susceptible to error, but when we know what we say or do is not scriptural, we must take notice, repent and get back on the true path. Ellel also says this… but ignores any such wisdom in its own ministry.
Comment from a Reader
We get emails saying we have got it all wrong. We also get emails saying we have got it all right! Here is an email from someone from Canada who read this article after being involved with Ellel:
“Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ. Just wanted to drop a line to thank you for your website, and your perseverance in speaking out against the many deceptions that occur within the Church today. I was searching for information on Ellel Ministries and read your article and some of the comments there. I had been involved, briefly, with Ellel and other Charismatic- type "ministries" over ten years ago. Thankfully, God revealed the truth of them to me and led me out. So many today are deceived by this type of thing. I know of a ministry called "Sozo" that uses similar inner healing techniques that is gaining popularity in my area. So sad to see the advancement of this type of thing. Anyhow, just wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work. It was through websites like yours that God showed me my error years ago. Many call what you do "unloving" and "divisive", but I know you are being more than loving, in wanting to lead people to the truth of God's Word.”
So, who is right? I can only present information and let the Holy Spirit persuade.
© August 2009
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