CRI Answers Critics of TheophosticDecember 20, 2007
The pattern is about the same every time. A church member finds great relief and restoration through the Theophostic process. They desire that other believers find the same thing. But they don’t want to do anything that their church will have problems with. So they go to the pastor or the elders and ask that they look into Theophostic before advocating it for their church. People who do this are trying to be helpful to their churches by submitting everything to leadership. But they also want to be helpful to everyone by bringing in a ministry that has shown to bear fruit.
The leaders of the church often do the same thing. They will do a Google search on the word Theophostic. If you do that, you will find a whole host of links that essentially go back to the same five or six websites that criticize this ministry. Most, if not all, the criticism is formed on four foundations:
1. TPM sounds like other therapeutic techniques that have been shown to be heretical. Often this is a result of doing an incomplete reading of the materials by people who have never been part of the training. Most often, TPM is associated with the Inner Healing, Healing of Memories and Memory Regression camps. It has nothing to do with any of those teachings.
2. Ed Smith has changed the way he words the description of the TPM process over the years in answer to legitimate criticism. Most of this criticism came from those of us within the training circle and was directed in how the training sounded more than how it was enacted. The criticism here is that if something is legitimate and from God it will never change. Not only is that unbiblical (for the Bible tells us that we need to grow in our understanding of the Truth) but it doesn’t even make sense. All techniques of ministry have a man-made element and a Godly element. It cannot be any other way if you involve mankind. The man-made element must improve over time.
3. The use of any terms in common with Psychology. Because Ed doesn’t use a Scripture verse every two paragraphs in his training manual, there are people who see him as relying too heavily on modern psychology. As a psychologist, I can tell you that there is little of modern Behaviorism in the model, and what is there is fairly accurate in its biblical understanding. The Bible knows more about the psyche of man than we do. Anything that accurately addresses our psychological profile is right.
4. The technique relies on God speaking to individuals. This goes against the majority of those in the so-called “Watchman” or “Heresy Hunter” camps. Since almost all of them are cessationist in viewpoint, they reject any revelation that comes from God to individuals. They have to do a song-and-dance routine in explaining how the Bible was written. It would be good to read Dr. Jack Deere’s book “Surprised by the Voice of God” to get a historical perspective on how the Cessationist movement walked away from the voice of God. Dr. Jack used to be a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary until he started to hear God’s voice. They wouldn’t let him stay after that.
One of the best-known organizations dedicated to hunting down heretics and cults is the Christian Research Institute (CRI). They have done a very extensive amount of research into TPM and have concluded that the basic core beliefs of Theophostic are biblical. Here is the study if you would like to read it. Hopefully that counterbalances some of the heresy hunters and their criticisms. If you are one of those pastors or elders directed here to do research on behalf of your church, then I encourage you also to read the many thousands of blog entries and testimonies online concerning how much help TPM has given Christians.