Pt.2 Friends of the Inner Healing Teaching of Agnes Sanford
The spirit teachings of the New Age are in the church via Sanford’s hybrid teaching of bible words synthesized with the concepts New Age metaphysics.
As shown in the first part Agnes Sanford does not adhere to Biblical Christianity but one of her own making, mixing other spiritual/ religious concepts that are the actual basis of her teachings.
This is seen by her belief in healing,
“It is something as evanescent and indefinable as the air we breathe. For want of a better word I shall call it the "climate" necessary for healing.” (p. 3 Healing light)
Is healing a climate or needs a climate as she portrays its functioning?
The introduction of her book the Healing light states, " The first step in seeking to produce results by any power is to contact that power. . . . "The second step is to turn it on. . . . "The third step is to believe that this power is coming into use and to accept it by faith. No matter how much we ask for something it becomes ours only as we accept it and give thanks for it."
Do we contact power? Or God? Do we turn this on ourselves? The rest of the healing reception (3rd step) uses biblical words with no biblical basis. For there is no guarantee of being healed in the pages of Scripture in our lifetime, there is no technique or methodology as Sanford presents. God chooses whom He will heal and when or if He will heal, we cannot manipulate his will for healing or anything else.
Healing Light says of Agnes Sanford, “But something besides understanding is required if one desires real healing and that "something besides" is what this book proceeds to give. That "something besides" which Agnes Sanford possesses more than anyone I have met is hard to catch and put into words; it is something as evanescent and indefinable as the air we breathe. For want of a better word I shall call it the "climate" necessary for healing.”
“Never have I met one who combined the metaphysical and the sacramental approach as she does. I have never met anyone more Christ-centered nor anyone more church-centered and yet more utterly unconcerned about the creed or lack of creed of those that she administers to.
"I explained to the suffering soldier boy that there was a healing energy in him that the doctors called 'nature,' that this same healing life was in the world outside of him too, and that he could receive more of it by asking for it. " (p.4)
“I have learned to combine the sacramental with the metaphysical approach . . . the metaphysical methods." (Healing Light p.135)
“Most people think that one cannot be both a metaphysician and a sacramentalist…. I have found that one can." (p.169)
Let us examine and understand the metaphysical and the sacramental approach Agnes Sanford presents in her teachings and practice.
Sanford taught that the principles of prayer and healing are universal--that is, they are included in all religions, yet transcend all religions.
Sanford commended the " prayers of Unity and other modern schools of prayer" (p. 155) which "project the power of God" for healing (Healing Light p.156).
Sanford cited Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as one of her authorities. Who even by the Roman Catholic Church was considered a heretic (pantheist), Chardin was known as the father of the New Age movement. On pages 21-22 she gives four steps for tapping into this "God-force," Sanford taught that the "God-force" can be initiated in one's life by saying to it, "whoever you are-whatever you are come into me now!"
This is not an innocuous invitation as God has identified Himself in Scripture as Lord and must be known and acknowledged for who He is. God does not answer this call, it is Satan and his accompanying deceptive angels accept the invitation immediately.
Sanford called God " the very life-force existing in a radiation of an energy . . . from which all things evolved. " Which means the very opposite of a personal creator that created each
She declares that " God . . . made everything out of Himself and somehow He put a part of Himself into everything." (Agnes Sanford, The Healing Gifts of the Spirit (Fleming H. Revell, 1966), p. 22, 27.)
This is what is called pantheism, which we find as the underlying basis of the New age Movement. If God is in everything then he is everything made- all is God.
She Said of Jesus “Having received our sins into Himself… He turned them into holiness, and sent them forth into the air again cleansed and purified.” ( p.134, 135, Healing light)
Teaching that everything is a matter of thought-vibrations, she assumed we can be made ill by negative vibrations, can heal ourselves and others through positive vibrations and can even forgive the sins of others and turn them into Christians in this way.
She writes, "... project into the burglar's mind the love of God, by seeing him as a child of God and asking God to bless him” (p. 60).
This idea of though transference is part of the mind sciences that came before her time. She explained her praying as releasing the light which is God’s energy to specific places on the earth and to people.
Quoting a scientist: " a vibration of very, very high intensity and an extremely fine wavelength, with tremendous healing power, caused by spiritual forces operating through the mind of man, is the next thing science expects to discover" (p. 32 the Healing Light).
Yet she is saying she discovered it before they did and is manipulating it for healing.
She insinuates that God is the very breath if life … “ as we tune in our thought-vibrations to the thought-vibrations of God, we expose ourselves, as it were, to His eternal shining and so receive His image upon ourselves ." (p.33 Healing Light)
This kind of teaching is associated with the new age movement, in fact she says.
“ A new age is being born...when love-power, [projected] at the command of ministers and surveyors and children and everyone, is sufficient to change hearts....This is the beginning of a new order...the dawning of a new day!...As our prayers, our mental training and our acts of forgiveness fuse into a high consciousness of God's indwelling, we become more and more aware of an inner source of power that can be tapped at will " (p. 75).
Influence by Sanford Richard Foster also spoke of the new age.
This is the metaphysical basis of the New Age movement.
Prayer and visualization
Calling this the prayer of faith she explains, “ First we make in our minds a picture of the nation as we would have her be, so that she may best further the establishment of peace. We see an aggressor nation, for example, shrinking back in her borders and sending out into the world little golden arrows of trade and commerce and financial cooperation. We do this in the same way that we see a sick body well, making the picture clear, concrete, vivid and simple. It is a child-like method, the method of happy visioning. ” (p. 164)
Apparently holding a picture in one’s mind is powerful enough for a nation and for an individual. Where does Jesus or the apostles or anywhere in the bible speak of seeing a picture accompanying prayer.
Her influence on many are deep, for example Bill Vaswig (of Renovaré) wrote: “ Perhaps the most important thing Agnes Sanford taught me about prayer is that it has to do with the imagination .”
Here is where we see ideas of Yonggi Cho tell one to imagine what they want not just use words. Cho states “we can incubate that which we want God to do for us.... We should always try to visualize the end result as we pray. If you have not visualized clearly in your heart exactly what you hope for, it cannot become a reality to you.... (Yonggi Cho, The Fourth Dimension, Volume One (1979), 9-35; vol. 2, 18-33) “Through visualizing and dreaming, you can incubate your future and hatch the results.” (P. Yonggi Cho 4th Dimension p.44, vol.2, pp.25-28, 68)
She said another cliché what word faith teachers echo today “ A prayer ending in 'If this be Thy will' simply does not release the spiritual power of a prayer that ends 'Let it be so .'” (Agnes Sanford, Behold Your God, 40).
Sanford's gives an account of injuring her finger badly and how she held it up and spoke a positive affirmation: “I am a spiritual being, a child of God. My spiritual body has a finger, and that finger doesn't hurt” (The Healing Light p. 74)
This Word Faith speaking into existence is not the Scripture but a distortion of the words from Scripture, this is metaphysics.
The Metaphysical influence of Agnes Sanford
Sanford's (1947- 1972) writings influenced pastors and the church across denominational boundaries. Karen Mains of Chapel of the Air was trained in inner healing at the School of Pastoral Care founded by Agnes and her husband. Others involved in inner healing prior were Charles Fillmore, co-founder with his wife of the New Thought church Unity, one of the early pioneers of Inner Healing.
John Wimber liked her Inner Healing teachings and used them. Books by Agnes Sanford had also been recommended by groups within the Vineyard Fellowship.
Ministers such as Francis MacNutt (1977-1999), Ruth Carter Stapleton (1976), and John and Paula Sandford (1982) who were associated with and taught her "Inner healing."
Sanford stated of Jesus, "that most profound of psychiatrists." (p.54 Healing Light). Psycholgy had an influence on her interpretations, as well as mysticism.
Disciple John Sandford said, " I knew by my psychological training that Agnes was praying for the inner boy [his inner child] " (The Transformation of the Inner Man p. 4).
The "child within" is found throughout Sandford's teaching, and is traced to the teachings of Agnes Sanford and Carl Jung, who was not a believer but had ties to the occult.
The Sandford’s admit that Agnes was involved in Unity, spiritualism and occultism. He credited Sanford for leading the church into “the healing of memories.”
John even declared that she had been unsaved and demon possessed at the time she wrote The Healing Light and founded the Schools of Pastoral Care (where he taught with her). John Sandford later claimed that he had cast a demon out of Sanford and led her to Christ (1964) after she had mentored him and other inner healers. And that while she was unsaved and demon-possessed, she healed him of a back injury.
Sandford said, " Memories need to be healed in animals as well as in people." (p. 235 Healing the Wounded Spirit) " The same principles hold true for the deliverance and healing of animals as for people. We can meet an animals spirit and read its character as we can with humans ." (Deliverance and Inner Healing by John Loren Sandford, Mark Sandford 2008)
This is all Metaphysics not from the Bible. A mixture of secular with another spiritual system.
Speaking of someone whose repressed memories failed unaware they were buried in them Sanford taught we can repent for others.
" So I thought, 'I will repent of them in her name' I will say to Jesus Christ, 'Let the grown woman free, for I will take the responsibility for her sins of fear and hate. Since she cannot see them herself to repent of them herself, I will repent of them in her name and so open the door for the forgiveness of Jesus Christ " (Agnes Sanford, Healing Light p. 120.)
We cannot repent for another otherwise we can save people without their knowledge or will.
John Sandford similarly said "I go into the Garden (Gethsemane) as often as I need to. There I identify with the pain in the other, with my part in that pain, my part in tempting someone to wound me. I experience the other's pain, and God's pain, and am devastated - because their pain becomes my own. Feeling such anguish, I can forgive, or deeply repent, either for myself or on behalf of the other ." (Elijah House, Workbook. p. 1-67.)
Like Agnes Sanford who spoke of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “… He literally lowered His thought-vibrations to the thought-vibrations of humanity and received into Himself man's thoughts of sin and sickness, pain and death. … He took into Himself all of the sinful thought-vibrations of all humanity, past, present and future .” (p.134 The Healing Light)
Is that what took place? Not at all.
Peter and Doris Wagner said "John and Paula Sandford are true pioneers in the fields of inner healing and deliverance ," John Paul Jackson, founder of Streams Ministries, and James Goll, founder of Encounters Network, give credit to the Sandford's with influencing and shaping their ministries.
Morton T. Kelsey studied at the C. G. Jung Institute near Zurich, Switzerland, and became a Jungian psychologist. Kelsey equated shamanistic psychic powers with the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Supernatural, pp. 120-43), and said "Jesus was a man of power. He was greater than all shamans."
Morton Kelsey, her Pastor, equated shamanistic psychic powers with the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Supernatural, pp. 120-43), and said “ Jesus was a man of power. He was greater than all shamans.”
One cannot define Sanford’s inner healing without Kelsey who was an influential Episcopalian priest who had communication with and guidance from the dead (Kelsey, Christo, p. 39, 148-49; see also Kelsey, Afterlife: The Other Side of Dying.)
Sanford stated, The love-vibrations and the faith vibrations of God and His saints [she includes dead] "saints"—"there is no death" (p. 143). “Spirits of those [dead] for whom we have prayed on earth are working through us.....One conveys that healing force to the inner being [of the sick] through the law of suggestion ...He [the person doing the healing] has made a thought-track between his spirit, subconscious mind and body; the body, the subconscious mind and the spirit of the patient ...” (Sanford, The Healing Light pp.98-113,142-43.)
If you think the dead are working through you to give healing you are deceived and being used by Gods enemy to deceive others. Spirits of the dead (believers) are in heaven not on earth, they do not communicate with us. This is none other than communication with spirit guides.
Agnes Sanford was also a mentor to Richard Foster. Foster, a former Quaker who relied on the “inner light.”
Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon in Occult Invasion quotes Richard Foster who wrote, " I have been greatly helped in my understanding of the value of the imagination in praying for others by Agnes Sanford .... This advice. [of] prayer through the imagination . . . pictur[ing] the healing ... and much more, was given to me by Agnes Sanford . (Foster, Celebration, pp. 36.136.)
Foster endorsed Sanford and her books and wrote I have discovered her to be an extremely wise and skillful counselor in these matters” and calls her book The Healing Gifts of the Spirit “an excellent resource ” (Celebration of Discipline, 1978, p. 136, footnote 1).
An entire chapter by Sanford is found in his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home and another chapter by her in Spiritual Disciplines. Sanford delved deeply into New Thought, Jungian psychology, and other dangerous fields. She said that she got her doctrine of a “spiritual body” within the physical body from New Thought teacher Emmet Fox (Sealed Orders, p. 115; quoted by Berean Call).
Foster said of imaginative visualization, “ you can actually encounter the living Christ in the event, be addressed by His voice and be touched by His healing power. It can be more than an exercise of the imagination; it can be a genuine confrontation. Jesus Christ will actually come to you. ' (Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, p/27, 1978)
Spiritual manipulation as described is what the Bible calls sorcery.
In the healing of the memories one must firmly hold in the imagination the picture . . . of this person . . . [though evil, as] a saint of God, and turn in the imagination the dark and awful shadows of his nature into shining virtues and sources of power. Indeed, they can be thus turned. This is redemption !67
Bill Vaswig (of Renovaré) wrote: " Perhaps the most important thing Agnes Sanford taught me about prayer is that it has to do with the imagination."
Vaswig first learned meditation from Agnes Sanford, a pantheist and adherent to eastern mystical concepts [Media Spotlight special report, “Inner Healing: A Biblical Analysis”]
In Past Life Visions (1983) de Arteaga defends Sanford's visualization and her belief in a pre-earth human existence. He suggests that Christianity accommodate Hinduism's "karma/reincarnation," which he seems to accept as a result of having induced "past-life regressions" in counselees.
Orrel Steinkamp, former Assembly of God pastor says,
William DeArteaga in a book he authored in 1983 entitled, PAST LIFE VISIONS. In this book he states; "The Holy Spirit will flow into occult groups if it blocked out by Orthodox Christians" (p. 17). It is good we have this previous book for in this book his heresies are not as cleverly disguised as in the present volume. In VISIONS (p. 132), he lauds Agnes Sanford’s incredibly heretical THE HEALING LIGHT and defends her belief in a pre-earth human existence (pp. 145-6); seems to embrace evolution of man from a lower species (p 126); declares that "ghosts" are "earthbound souls" (p. 187) who may legitimately communicate with the living (p 182) and that the dead should be ministered to by the church (p. 183). He argues that reincarnation is Biblical and was even "validated by Jesus" (pp. 197-209) and that such a gospel is helpful for India because it allows "the Hindu to maintain... the concept of Karma-reincarnation" (p. 215); and he recommends regression into past lives as a standard method of spiritual healing for the Church to adopt (pp. 151-163). (The Berean Call, Nov '92)