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Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Close Encounter---Agnes Sanford and ?

Some years ago( 1974 I think) when I had only been a new Christian for a few months the well known Author Agnes Sanford was coming to town.
Our Ministers in our Church at the time recommended we go to hear Agnes speak as they said she was unique type of Christian with much experience in prayer and healing.

My wife and I and my mother and some other Christian friends went to hear her.

The Church where she spoke was packed and the beginning of her talk I will never forget.

I don't remember too much else what she said that night but I have read her books and listened to taped addresses since.

Agnes came out on to the platform looking like a little old grandmother and certainly not trying to impress us with her appearance.

The first thing I remember her saying was "I sense the presence of evil in this place."

A great way to grab the attention of a Church full of Christians.

She then proceeded to pray a prayer of protection for all of us present and herself.

The amazing thing was that as she was praying I heard a muttering voiced coming from the row of pews behind me.

I looked to where the voice was coming from and there was a man there with a half smile on his lips but they were not moving.

The voice was mocking Agnes and what she said and in a chuckling mocking tone.

I asked my wife and my mother and her friend if they heard the voice and they all said "no, what was I talking about?

Then the voice stopped and it had only been a few sentences and was heard no more for the rest of the meeting.

I did not understand about  things such as demons but from that time on I was in no doubt of their reality.

Funnily while I have been writing this the radio announcer on the ABC Radio in Australia was interviewing  an Author who debunks the para normal and lots of other things when the station went off the air except for some weird whistling and crackling noises and the call dropped out.

The host of course was a bit "spooked".

Of course when they got him back the author reminded us that that is  actually how we can jump to wrong conclusions.
They have now announced that the problem  was caused by maintenance happening upstairs.

Now concerning Agnes Sanford, I am full aware that many evangelical Christians believe Agnes Sanford( she is now deceased) was a "new ager" with her ideas of visualisation and "healing of the memories" and believe that she was virtually deceiving Christians with her teaching .

Well there are many things that Agnes taught that I don't and didn't agree with and I knew my Pastor Frank Hunting who was one who sometimes quoted her in sermons, I wondered  how he reconciled some of her teaching with what I knew he believed.

His approach was "Agnes is very good on somethings but not so good on others." or something to that effect.
He had a similar observation for Corrie Ten Boom.

Frank was at times a person who also practiced things like healing of the memories( see the post on "Inner Peace" on this blog).

I also learnt from Frank about Hearing God's Word.( a title of one of his sermons).

He taught that we are limiting ourselves from ever hearing God's Word from through His Christian  people if we Judge them.
He says that the minute we put a label on someone we will never be able to hear God speak to us through that person who may be very gifted.

We block our minds from Hearing God because of our Prejudice

So if we call me  a Fundamentalist or someone else a Liberal or someone else a New Ager or someone else a Charismatic we are not only disobeying God's injunction to us to "Judge Not!" but limiting our ability to grow as Christians.

Not withstanding the above God also gives discernment as one of His gifts which we should also exercise.

Why I started this post was because each day I meet of hear of Christians who don't even seem to believe there is a devil or demons.

We ignore the evil supernatural ruler of this world at our peril.

The thief seeks to destroy our faith and families.

John 10:10 "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."

The following passage is really talking a lot about what I have said above .

See what you can make of it.

John 10

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
   “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.” 6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me[a] were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.[b] They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

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