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As Christians should we be engaged in hypnosis as a part of Cognitive Therapy?

As Adventist Christians I would like to hear the views of others, particularly those of you who may be professionals in the area of Counselling,  or comments from Pastorswith your standpoint on this matter.

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ANN Feature: Church, Congregations Increase Focus on "Spiritual Formation"

Spiritual formation is a topic being raised by many pastors and church leaders in a growing number of Christian denominations. It's no longer enough to just know doctrine and facts--in today's hectic society people are searching for something deeper and more meaningful, something that makes sense in their whirlwind lives.

For the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a "wake-up call" was sounded after a 2002 survey showed that though doctrinal understanding was high, there were several "areas of concern," including low involvement in daily prayer and Bible study, active Christian witness to the community, and participation in community service (see ANN October 9, 2002).

These concerns can be linked to how the church rates in the area of spiritual formation, which has been defined by one Adventist Church pastor as "the process of becoming a mature Christian disciple of God." Another person describes it as "whatever you do to specifically nourish your relationship with God."

Today this subject is receiving serious emphasis in Adventist institutions, as well as in local congregations. Though the church doesn't have an accredited educational program dealing with spiritual formation at any of its theological schools, it's seeing this subject become more common in today's modern, seeking world.

Spiritual formation is not a new idea or concept, and "a lot of Protestants are in the same boat--we are rediscovering it," says Dr. Jon Dybdahl, president of Walla Walla College, an Adventist institution in Washington State. And, he adds, the Adventist Church has some work to do.

"Traditionally the Adventist Church has emphasized intellectual truth and accepting certain facts and ideas about God," Dybdahl says. "At least in many places it has not talked so much about the importance of directly experiencing God. The difference is between knowing about God and knowing God. Sometimes what we teach people is knowing about God ... That's part of the nature of things. It's much easier to communicate a fact than it is to wield people to experience."

Pastor Martin Feldbush, associate director for Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries whose work brings him in contact with leaders of several other denominations, says that the Adventist Church is not alone in its quest for deeper spiritual formation among members. "A lot of churches out there are struggling with the same issues as we are. We're not in isolation as though there's something wrong with us. I think churches particularly that are conservative in their orientation and take their mission very seriously, and I believe we should do all of that, may have a tendency to stress the 'doing' as opposed to the 'being' and the formation."

But why is there a need for spiritual formation? If people are part of a religious organization, shouldn't they already be at a certain level of spiritual formation?

John Jenson, pastor of the 150-member South Bay Adventist Church in Torrance, California, says, "There's a need for spiritual formation with the [Adventist] Church because we have been so doctrinally oriented that people might be able to quote some or all of the 27 fundamental beliefs [of the church], and may have neglected having daily devotions that day or week or month." He explains that there's an overload of knowledge and information, but how to translate that into meaningful instruction and "marching orders" for daily living is key.

Jenson says that without spiritual formation, a person would be "spiritually uncivilized." It "is the process by which they can go from being a spiritual infant to spiritual maturity ... developing the potential that God's put within you."

Dybdahl adds that people need to "Begin to recognize that knowledge without life experience can be dead. [They need to] recognize how crucial it is to people's lives [and] how much the younger generation values experience."

Dr. Jane Thayer, assistant professor of Religious Education and coordinator of the Religious Education Program at Andrews University, adds, "We have a big blank when it comes to taking care of people once they have accepted the Lord ... I think what people need to know is 'how do you live the life.' Spiritual formation or discipleship needs to show how you live like Christ."

Nikolaus Satelmajer, from the church's Ministerial Association responsible for continuing education for Adventist clergy, believes there's now a shift from emphasis on doctrine to more emphasis on spiritual formation within the Adventist Church. He also says that, "We're finding a serious lack of knowledge of our people [church founders], our doctrines ... I think we have de-emphasized them." Satelmajer says this is true particularly with the younger generation, and the cause of any spiritual formation growth stunt is not because of a focus on doctrine.

Though it's not a concept that's easy to grasp for an organization as a whole, spiritual formation is something each individual member can work on, Feldbush says. "When you think about it as an individual, we're so used to gearing our spiritual experience on the 'wow' moments--the ones [in which] we can see the great things happening, whether it's personally or organizationally. It's easy to see God's movement in those times. Real spiritual formation is a process of growing more and more in tune to discernment of God's voice as well as more and more tuned to discernment of God's moving in my life, in the ordinary of life, as well as even in the difficult times of life. That's where real spiritual formation, or at least the value of spiritual formation, is seen."

Spiritual formation is not about what one does, but what the motivations behind one's actions are. Dr. Roger Dudley, professor emeritus of Christian Ministry and director of the Institute of Church Ministry at Andrews University Theological Seminary, and the 2002 survey coordinator, says there are stages of moral development. "A person who studies the Bible every day because he'll be lost if he doesn't has a low level of moral development; or a person who pays tithes and offerings because he expects an extra blessing. Higher levels would be a different level of motivation."

"That overemphasis on doing to the detriment of being and particularly the detriment of being in the spirit and being in Christ as the very formational and foundational experience of the individual member and the church itself, I think that's one of the big challenges," says Feldbush. He adds that the three strategic values of the church--unity, growth and quality of life--adopted in 2002, demonstrate personal spiritual growth.

Spiritual formation takes on several forms: "There are disciplines of devotion, meditation, prayer, listening and so on," Feldbush explains. "It's a discipline which can be heeded through the assistance of a person who is trained in helping people grow in these ways." But, he says, it's mostly "growing more and more tuned to God's movement in my life here and now." And, he says, spiritual formation is not something that happens overnight.

"We [as a church] think that spiritual formation comes through socialization. But we need to be intentional about it," says Thayer. "The culture we live in is so pervasive that the models there are more persistent and prevalent than the little models we have just in terms of the time we've spent." Thayer refers to a need for showing others how to live like Christ in the real world.

Dudley adds that if more members are encouraged to study and pray more and are able and willing to share their faith, there may be spiritual development for the church as a whole. "Spiritual development is something that happens with individuals."

Satelmajer adds, "And within congregations as well. Spiritual formation is the implementation of spiritual principles in my life and in my actions," he says. "I think we're missing something. It's not just learning how to 'meditate'--spiritual formation is learning how to implement spiritual things that I know or am learning or experiencing into my life and then into my everyday life..."

The Adventist world church created the International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education (IBMTE) in September 2001, designed to provide overall guidance and standards to the professional training of pastors, evangelists, theologians, teachers, chaplains and other denominational employees involved in ministerial and religious formation, or spiritual formation, in each of the church's 13 regions around the world.
Silver Spring, Maryland United States,
Wendi Rogers/ANN
emphasis mine

From Adventist News Network
Quiet Church A Newbold First---> November 28th 2006

Nobody spoke an audible word at a silent worship service at Newbold College this week.
No-one sang a hymn, or preached a sermon. There was no music and no collection of an offering. This was a first for Newbold.

Quiet Church was the beginning of a monthly series offering to students, staff, and the wider community an opportunity to take time out with God and each other in a quiet space. Salisbury Hall, one of the College's assembly halls, was open and dimly lit for two and a half hours during the evening. Staff, students and community members came and left quietly in their own time, praying, reflecting, meditating or reading Bibles or other devotional materials on offer.

‘The aim of Quiet Church is to provide a peaceful space where people can be with God,' said Dean of Students, Pastor Henrik Jorgensen, one of the organizers of Quiet Church. ‘In silence we may hear the voice of God which is so often drowned out by the noise of other activities and other people, even in worship. In Quiet Church we want to give people an opportunity just to be with God and really to listen to what God might be saying to them. Our motto for this activity is, "Let God be God".

Between twenty and thirty people came and went during the service. One person, initially dubious about the idea, reflected:

After a busy, noisy day ... I wanted peace not company. But ...something in a home is always begging to be cleaned, folded, ironed, cooked, watched, or answered....Peace can be hard to find - even in a quiet place.... Somewhat reluctantly, I walked into Salisbury Hall.

Immediately, a peaceful ambience pervading the foyer relaxed some of my defences. An intro paper gave me something to focus on as I entered the big room .... Only a few here. Even better, I'm expected to not interact....

Subdued lighting and candles gentled distractions. ... Throughout my time there - in silence - I talked, sang, questioned, listened, shouted, listened, laughed, cried, and, finally, rested. Others came and went. Smiles were exchanged but no intrusion was felt. I left with a quietness and confidence I've not felt for a long time.

The next Quiet Church will be 6th December from 8:00-10:30 pm in the Newbold Church Centre. Everyone is welcome.



For more pictures go to:


Emphasis supplied

My question is this: Is this a monastic exercise? I find no example of this in the Word of God.

This is reminiscent of a Quaker meeting

"In a Quaker meeting for worship a group of people sits in a room in silence for an hour. From time to time someone may speak briefly, but sometimes the entire hour may pass without a word being spoken." source

Did you know that Richard Foster one of the main proponents of Spiritaul Formation is a Quaker?


North American Division of SDA Church - Education Department

Spiritual Resources for Teachers for Adventist Teachers

"Hearing God Beyond the Noise"

-->CLICK<---in the query box type "powerpoint noise"

Is this priming our children for Spiritual Formation?

Look at the Powerpoint presentation

slide 21

"Make yourself comfortable in your chair and begin breathing slowly"

slide 41

"And He is waiting to speak to you in the silence"

I know that it is not happen at the SDA Schools in South Central Conference of the Southern Union.
Lynell LaMountain, Shayna Bailey, A. Allan Martin
-Pacific Press

Learn more about GODencounters at also find the spiritual movement on Facebook.

"Living recklessly for God's renown.
GODencounters is a movement of young adults wholeheartedly pursuing a 24/7 experience with Jesus Christ. These pages form a tapestry of our lives so far, where we have found GOD and where we've been found by GOD. Each thread unique, frayed, and honest. We dare you to weave your journey in with ours as we go after a GOD that has come after us.

The voices are diverse, eclectic, and may at times sound disjointed, but they echo the heart of a GOD who is very present. We invite you into the fray."

“I’ve been part of GODencounters since its inception, including participating in the first five GODencounters conferences. In my own life this movement presided over a necessary and timely shift away from an obsessive dogma of correctness, defensibility, and explain-ability as points of arrival, and towards the celebration of mystery and the appreciation of silence—towards listening, towards searching, towards the margins, towards the smaller things, the weaker things, the whisper that’s always behind the disorderly noise. These aspects of the GODencounters movement continue to create movement in my life, and have led me into a community that shares in this passionate pursuit of the living GOD.” – Aaron Beaumont
emphasis mine

---->Pacific press
Trojan Horses: The New Spirituality Movements-Samuel Koranteng-Pipim: excerpt from Adventists Affirm

More recently, the book God Encounters: Pursuing A 24-7 Experience of Jesus (Pacific Press, 2009) was published, supposedly to enable young adults to explore the spiritual disciplines that will enable them to satisfy their hunger for God. The contributors to the volume share their “journeys”—“where we have found GOD and where we’ve been found by GOD.” A few excerpts from one of the entries in the book will show the extent to which the new spirituality is making its way into the church:

“GEc [GodEncounters] seek to stretch young adults to experience GOD in ways that might at first feel uncomfortable, but will hopefully bring blessing and deeper intimacy with Jesus…

“Prayer room coordinator [Name Given] believes that introducing people to corporate contemplative practices such as lectio divina and centering prayer, and also to experimental prayer rooms like the ones set up to allow visitors to pray through the different stations of the Cross and the Old Testament sanctuary, helps to stretch them out of their comfort zones. . . .

“The climax of the prayer experience at GEc was the Boiler Room, a prayer room that stayed open for twenty-four hours straight, through all the watches of the night. The individuals who faithfully kept up the continuous prayer did so privately and in groups; quietly and loudly; mournfully and joyfully; written, spoken, sung, or drawn. . .

“When I had finished pouring out my heart, I felt free to turn up the celebratory music and dance before GOD, and my time closed with my fiancé and I taking Communion together. I was surprised that I easily spent two hours there.

“Others shared Boiler Room stories with me of finding healing and freedom from destructive thoughts of the past; of attending an anointing workshop and then almost immediately having the chance to anoint someone in the prayer room.”34
It's not 'Nuff sed...Enough said!
hey Guys i have seen your comments about the danger about hipnosis but i have something that i want to understand, some other day in my life i watched a Dvd video about a pastor but not an adventist pastor there was a Guy(an x satanist) that said that the devil was able to take someone's mind and give it to him to write an exam with his mind so i want to know how did the devil do that?
once you give over your mind to the devil it is near impossible to get it back. that is why sister white said such persons should not be an evangilist but should spend night and day meditating upon the word of God. So in that man's case his mind is still under the power of satan so he may have gotten vision or anything from the devil making him to beleive that he has a persons mind.
No person should submit their minds to be controlled by another person. Hypnosis is from the devil that is why I am upset that SDA pastors are been trained to use neuro linguistic programming on the congregation. When it should not be found among SDA.
the same to me is from lucifer in a way that when a person prepare for an exam the devil is able to take away what u have study before it get's in our mind(for devil can't read mind) hence he give it to his servent for he have seen what he read

a question for clarification please-?


Can anyone hypnotise you without your permission?

Is it possible by this training some members(true) are already being hypnotised without their knowledge?

How can they get out of it if  and when they realise it?

seriously asking for enlightenment



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