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You ask a difficult question: Why didn't God stop the abuse? I wish I knew what to tell you. Perhaps that can be your first question to God when you reach heaven.

I honestly think when you are with God in eternity, you'll understand what happened and you won't blame him anymore. But I want to be very honest with you, I'm not sure anyone but God can answer your very important question.

My hope and prayer for you is that you will continue to get help and that you won't turn away from God. Even though you and I don't have all the answers, this life is a snap of the fingers compared to eternity. I believe God never breaks his promises. God didn't promise us lives without pain here on earth, but he did promise us an eternal life with no tears or sorrow.

I hope that in the midst of your pain, you'll see glimpses of God's love for you now and in the glorious life to come.

Is Hypnotism OK?

A hypnotist came to our school for an assembly. He said hypnotism was the ability to open your mind in order to use it to full capacity. He was very convincing. But when I told my pastor about it, he said hypnotism is satanic and that it clears your mind to let demons in. Now I don't know what to think. Does the Bible say anything about hypnotism? Is it really satanic?

I must admit right up front I am not an expert in this field. However, as usual, I do have a few thoughts.

Hypnotism can be very frightening when used to go against what the Lord wants in our lives. I believe, like your pastor, that many use hypnotism in an un-Christian manner. Often when people use hypnotism, it's probably not for the reason of glorifying Jesus Christ.

Some Christian leaders in the field of counseling would say that hypnotism from a Christian therapist can be helpful in some cases. I know of a woman who had been abused, and her Christian therapist used hypnotism to help in her healing process.

I also know people who've quit smoking with the help of hypnotism. However, I would caution you and anyone reading this column to refrain from playing around with hypnotism.

I'm not sure about the connection between "demons" and hypnotism, but many who practice the occult also practice hypnotism. Unfortunately, Satan is very active, and there's nothing he would like better than to keep our focus off our relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of an unseen spiritual realm with both evil and good and I believe we should never dabble in this spirit world when we don't know what we're doing.

You were wise to seek the wisdom of your pastor. You can also ask yourself a few questions to clear up any confusion you might still have: Does this experience glorify Jesus Christ? Do I have any doubts that this experience many not be from God? Have I prayed about this? If you're still confused and concerned about this subject, ask your pastor to help you find another Christian who's studied it in depth who you could talk to.

Questions you would like considered for this column should be sent to: Let's Talk, Campus Life,
465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188. You can also reach Let's Talk via fax (630-260-0114).

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