WHEN MEMBERS GET CAUGHT IN THE OCCULT

Pastors find themselves with the touchy ministry of warning.

A former church member called and asked me to perform his wedding. When I got together with him and his fianc‚e, he began talking with deep conviction about an occult teaching-the progenitors of which received it through clairvoyant "automatic writing"-that sin is not real and that human beings can themselves work miracles of healing and prosperity.

On another occasion, a pastor asked me to join him in counseling an elderly parishioner who had invested considerable time and money in occult books, from Edgar Cayce to Shirley MacLaine. "I just don't understand why everyone is so concerned about my private spiritual life," the member complained. "I'm not hurting anyone else. You make me out to be as bad as a criminal."

In still another situation, a fellow minister asked me to pray with him for his head usher, who had been attending s‚ances and reading a variety of spiritualist literature. When we met with him and expressed our concern, he demanded, "Why is everyone condemning me just because ...

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