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Dr. Ed Smith
01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 0    Categories: news      Tags:

 

You asked:
 

I have a friend who has started having panic attacks, who according to her belief, has been brought on due to her bad situation at work.  She and her husband come from a theological persuasion that says that when a person becomes a Christian that he or she is a new creature and therefore there is no need for any further "healing" such as what is described in Theophostic Prayer.  I do not know what to say to them since they are so convinced of their theological position.  However, my friend has stopped going to work and the husband is taking matters into his own hands and going to her workplace and creating a problem.  I do not know what to do.

 

 

Dr. Ed's response:

 

It has been my experience that people are not easily convinced or persuaded by logic and reason when it comes to their own personal theology.  It seems that people usually move in a new direction when the Holy Spirit is allowed to enter into the picture.  Sometimes God has to bring a crisis into our lives in order to get us to move in one direction or another.  I recall 23 years ago when my child died of the brain aneurism, how during that period of time, there was a major shift and sifting of many things in my belief system.  I moved in a new direction only because of the extrinsic motivation that came through that crisis.  Nevertheless, today I am in a much better theological place. However, it was the life crisis that motivated me to make the move.  Had she not died I would have not been challenged to question and re-evaluate things.   During that time, had you come and tried to talk me out of my theological position, I would have defended it to the death.  However, my faith was challenged to the core during those very dark and sad days and I became open to new thought.

 

Let me first specifically respond to the issue you surfaced in your question about what occurs at salvation. 

 

Salvation is an act of regeneration of the inner man that indeed results in a "new creation."  I am crucified with Christ and raised with him so that I may "walk in a newness of life" (Rom. 6).  There is a metamorphosis that occurs in me in that moment that goes far beyond just a legal agreement between God and me.  Yes, I am made right with God through the death of Christ that paid the price of my sin (legal exchange).  He has declared me clean because of Jesus.  However, I also become a partaker of His nature (2 Peter 1:4) and I am given a new heart that replaces my old one (Ezek. 11:19).  This is why I am motivated toward holiness and righteousness and no longer am happy in sin since I now have His Spirit and nature within me.  However, I am not without a need of a further work.  This is the beginning of a long road of sanctification where I begin to put to death the deeds of the flesh and put on the works of righteousness and begin the process of having my faith refined.  Mind renewal is a primary part of this process (Eph. 4:23, Rom. 12:2, James 1:2-8, 1 Peter 3:12-13).  The main distinction here between "Old Covenant" theology (pre-Calvary) and "New Covenant" (post-resurrection) theology is that before Christ people strived to do good in order to BECOME something (keepers of the law, more holy, good.)  After Christ we are motivated to good works because we ARE something (complete in Christ, His Beloved, children of God, Saints/holy ones, His righteousness, etc.).

 

As far as the Bible addressing the principles found in the TPM model  there are many passages listed in the training materials that I believe are convincing and supportive.  However, if I hold these up to a "non-believer" in TPM they have no problem "correcting" me and offering their own personal views.  Today I make no attempt to try to convince people one way or the other.  However, I am amazed at the numbers of people who are continually coming into the "camp" and finding resolution to their life-long lie-based emotional pain.  However, for the most part this appears to be people who have come to a place (crisis point) in their lives where they are seeking something more.

 

The fruit of the ministry is evident; God is touching lives.  This dear woman is not the first person to have panic/anxiety attacks during a crisis.  There are many who have reported finding truth and freedom through this prayer model.  However, she will have to take ownership for her own emotional response to her life situation.  The Scriptures tell us to be "anxious for nothing" (James 1).  This removes all biblical excuse for my anxious thoughts.  I cannot rightfully blame my anxiety on others, the crisis or the devil and stand on biblical ground.  However, if I choose to own what I feel as mine, and realize that no one or thing can dictate what I feel, and thus seek the Lord for His truth, God will meet me there.  However, God will also let me to live in my anxiety if I choose to make it someone else's doing.

 

I believe that if a person is having a panic attack because of his or her work situation then he or she is in violation of the Word of God.  Anxiety is not the biblical response to life crisis even if it is the one often chosen by people.  We can make excuse for it and blame-shift all we want but the issue and the root cause is still present.  However, once the crisis passes (people stop doing things toward us, the crisis ends, etc.) then we can usually suppress the emotion back under control.  This is why many people simply make the goal to get rid of or get out of the circumstance.  We ask for prayer to have the strength to "get through it" as opposed to being refined by it.  However, here is no biblical support for the "just get through it" approach to dealing with trials.  (continued in CONT EDUC in the You Asked section...

 
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