Showing posts with label marcia montenegro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marcia montenegro. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The LORD bless you and keep you.....

Posted by Sola Sisters (Originally published March 2015)

Effective today, the Sola Sisters website and Facebook wall will no longer be active. While we will no longer be publishing articles, we are still available via private message through our Facebook wall if anyone has questions or is seeking counsel. To reach us, please feel free to message either Christine Pack or Cathy Mathews there.

Even though our Facebook wall will no longer be active, we will be leaving it up as a resource, as we have covered many, many topics in the past few years. To access the resources on the Facebook wall, or to search for a subject, use a Google search engine, type "sola sisters" with quote marks, and then put in the topic you are searching for (I've attached an example of this below). The Google search engine will often pull up articles we've written on the website here, as well as Facebook posts we've made where we have had more in-depth discussions.

Please also note that Marcia Montenegro, who has graciously and generously served as an administrator on the Sola Sisters Facebook wall, will still be active on her own Facebook page and website (both entitled "Christian Answers For The New Age"). We encourage you to avail yourself of the resources there. Marcia's Facebook wall is here and her website is here.

Our time here has been such a rich blessing to us. So many of our sisters (and brothers) who have interacted with us have sharpened and encouraged us. Thank you.
"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Does the Root Word of "Pharmaceutical" (Pharmakeia/φαρμακεία) Mean That Pharmaceutical Drugs Are Rooted In the Occult/Sorcery?

Posted by Christine Pack

One claim I am seeing more and more among Christians is that pharmaceutical drugs have their roots in the occult, because of the root word (φαρμακεία) from which the words pharmaceutical/pharmacy are derived.

With this in mind, I would like to exhort my brothers and sisters in Christ to think on this prayerfully, with Bible in hand, and with a clear mind. The word pharmakeia (φαρμακεία) in the Bible has to do with practices that God detests in which divination and contact with evil spirits are used (sorcery). That is not how pharmaceutical drugs of today are created. Drugs today are created using the scientific process of formulating an hypothesis, using double-blind randomized tests, engaging in long-term human trials, and mindfully studying the results in order to isolate a healing mechanism. Once a healing mechanism is located, the product is then categorized as a drug of some kind. Please note: this is all done with the brain, and not through the mystical means of obtaining data from the spirit world whereby the brain is bypassed (the biblical understanding of "sorcery").

Source: Bible Hub

Also, the gospel writer Luke was a doctor ("the beloved physician") who practiced medicine. Scripture does not give us any hint that doctors should be avoided, or that medicine is sinful.

Therefore, we know that our pharmaceutical drugs of today are not bad or evil or associated with witchcraft/sorcery. However, with all substances that are taken for physical healing, there is a risk/reward associated with the substance. Because of the scientific testing done on pharmaceuticals, their risks/benefits are more clearly defined. Alternative treatments, on the other hand, including herbs, don't have as much scientific testing/support. They are also unregulated, which means that virtually any claim can be made about them by the seller, without these claims having to have been scientifically evaluated or substantiated.

Because of that, herb manufacturers make all sorts of claims about the miraculous cures their products supposedly produce, and they rake in lots of money, too. Big Pharma is demonized for being a "for profit" industry. Well, guess what? The Alternative Treatments field is also a "for profit" industry (raking in $34 BILLION per year), only they have no oversight or regulatory committees keeping them in check, like the pharmaceutical industry does.

It is true that there have been some drugs that have been through testing and the approval process that ended up being recalled. But on the whole, the pharmaceutical industry is a blessing, not a curse.

Having said all that, I'm not entirely against herbs; I simply think Christians should approach them knowing first that they lack oversight, regulation and scientific evaluation. The biggest problem I see with herbs is that most people think (wrongly) that herbs, because they are "natural" (if you can even say that about a product that has been dried, condensed, and processed into supplement form), can ONLY help and NEVER do harm. This is not true. There are many accounts of herbal supplements being taken in dosages that are harmful to the body in some way and/or interact in a dangerous way with pharmaceutical drugs someone is already taking. Herbs are not automatically 100% benign just because they once had roots and grew in the ground.

A few articles to consider:
Should Christians go to doctors? (Got Questions?) 
Alternative Medicine Is a $34 Billion Industry, But Only One-Third of the Treatments Have Been Tested (Smithsonian Magazine) 
The Truth About Nutritional Supplements (Fitness Magazine, 10-01-2009) 
Safety and Regulation of Dietary Supplements (NPR radio interview, 7-16-2014) 
Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem (The New York Times) 
Alternative Medicine Fraud Warnings: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
Beware the Impurities in ‘Natural’ Supplements (Wall Street Journal) 
Dietary and Herbal Supplements Could Interfere With Prescription Drugs (Medical News Today) 
5 Risky Herbal Supplements: Even though they're natural, some herbal supplements can be dangerous (WebMD) 
Severe liver damage from certain dietary aid supplements (The Examiner) 
Safety and Regulation of Dietary Supplements (The Diane Rehm Show) 
Alternative medicines are popular, but do any of them really work? (The Washington Post) 
Apple founder Steve Jobs 'regretted trying to beat cancer with alternative medicine for so long' (The Telegraph, 10-21-11) 
Free online book examining the history of Alternative Treatments (Steve Ransom)
Also, please note that I am not completely against a measured, prayerful, mindful use of some herbs. My husband has a chronic, long-term illness, and we use a protocol of meds + herbs. I am against Christians uncritically taking in any and all claims made about herbs (and other alternative treatments) without looking for science based evidence that supports these claims. And I'm talking long-term clinical trials on humans, not just claims made by pseudoscience websites that base their recommendations on limited petri dish trials. Lots of substances kill cancer cells and germs in a petri dish (gasoline, turpentine, acid, etc.) but that doesn't mean we should ingest them. Herbs and oils are not automatically benign: they can be dangerous if misused and/or used in large dosages.


 The Value and Importance of Scientific Studies 

The Biblical Worldview Is The Foundation of Modern Science

The Scientific Method and Why It Matters

 Cautions About "Natural" and Alternative Treatments 

Alternative Medicine: A Mind Blowing Magical Mystery Tour (This is a free, online e-book exposing the unsubstantiated claims [both currently and historically] made about many "natural" remedies)

Herbal Supplements May Not Mix With Heart Medicines (Mayo Clinic)

5 Risky Herbal Supplements: Even Though They're Natural, Some Herbal Supplements Can Be Dangerous (Web MD)

Apple founder Steve Jobs 'regretted trying to beat cancer with alternative medicine for so long' (The Telegraph, 10-21-11)

 Radio Programs Warning About Alternative Supplements 

 Warnings About Essential Oils 

The Christian and Essential Oils: A Few Thoughts [UPDATED] (Sola Sisters)

Essential Oils Revisited (Sola Sisters)

Aromatherapy: Biblical Path to Healing or Demonic Deception? (Chuck and Julie Cohen)

A Critique of David Stewart's Healing Oils of the Bible (Marcia Montenegro)

The FDA Warns Young Living, doTERRA Essential Oils Companies To Stop Making Unsubstantiated Claims That The Oils Cure Cancer, Protect Against Ebola (Food and Drug Administration, 9-22-2014)

How To Use Essential Oils: A Step-By-Step Guide (satire, warning: some mild language)

 Warnings About Homeopathy 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Enneagram and Christianity, Like Oil and Water

Article by Marcia Montenegro (Christians Answers For The New Age)
"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority." Colossians 2:8-10
An article by Laura Turner, “What Kind of Sinful Are You?” on the Christianity Today website promotes the use of a device called the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a chart of numbers one through nine, usually depicted with arrows from each number pointing to two other numbers. My article on the Enneagram, written in 2011, can be found here: The Enneagram GPS: The Gnostic Path To Self

Below are selected quotes in italics from the Christianity Today article, followed by my comments.

"…..The book was Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert’s The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. (It’s pronounced any-a-gram.) I had been flipping through it, but quickly realized this wasn’t a book to flip through."

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan friar who runs the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At his conferences, Rohr promotes not only the Enneagram, but panentheism (God is in everything, i.e., the earth as God's "body"), Buddhism, and New Ager Marianne Williamson.

In the last 8 minutes of this lecture at Texas Lutheran University (from the YouTube video titled "Falling Upward," which can be viewed here), in response to a question re John 14:16 (the question is at 1:25:35), Rohr expresses a Jesus-Christ distinction. He first says that Jesus’ statement that He is “the way, the truth and the life,” is that John’s Gospel is written so much later than the other gospels, and that “this is not Jesus of Nazareth; this is the eternal Christ speaking” in John’s Gospel. The following are other quotes from his reply:
"Jesus became the Christ." 
"Jesus came in a moment of time to reveal what was eternally true." 
"The Christ was born at the moment of the big bang when God decided to materialize” and “to become visible." 
"Strictly speaking, it is not correct to say Jesus is God. Jesus is the combination of God and human." 
“We all have to put matter and spirit together.” 
Jesus is telling us that "Your deepest identity is divine."
In this interview (from the YouTube video titled "Cosmic Christ," which can be viewed here), Rohr says:
"Jesus became the Christ." 
“The Big Bang is the birth of the Christ.” 
The Big Bang was the materialization of the Cosmic Christ, who is later revealed in a human person (Jesus).” The mystics "got this." 
We’ve been concerned with the historical Jesus but missed out on the Cosmic Christ. 
The height of "Christian seeing" is "to see God in everything." 
“The world was the first body of Christ.”
Rohr goes beyond talking about the incarnation because his statements indicate a distinction between the historical Jesus and “the cosmic Christ.” He also states that Christ or “the Cosmic Christ” had a beginning in the Big Bang.


"The Enneagram is an ancient personality typology, understanding people through the lens of their passions and their temptations…."

*Wrong! It was never an “ancient personality typology.”


"At the recommendation of a friend, I took the Enneagram online assessment, which categorizes each person as a number, one through nine. I was a three…."

*This is arbitrary. Why 9? Who decides it should 9 numbers and what each number represents? Read further to see the real reason it’s 9 numbers.


"….Its exact origins are contested, but by many accounts, the idea of having nine types ('Enneagram' means 'nine-pointed shape')* derives from Evagrius Ponticus’s eight deadly thoughts and the central thought he called “love of self.” Ponticus was a Christian monk and ascetic, a Roman citizen in the late 4th century who lived in a monastic community outside of Alexandria many years of his life."

Origins of the Enneagram are disputed but it is possibly from Sufi origins. Nine is seen as a divine number in Sufism, and, according to the Enneagram Institute, support “for the nine types is a Gnostic idea of the "nine divine forms," and a presumption that man's natural essence is perfect and in union with Divinity. Advocates of the Enneagram point to the geometric proportions in the diagram that illustrate the relationship of the numbers to each other as support for their view that there is a special meaning and purpose to the diagram. This is sacred geometry, an occult belief that shapes, patterns, or certain proportions have special inner meaning”) (quoted material from my Enneagram article).

The Enneagram was promoted by mystic George Gurdjieff (1866?-1949) and by his followers, P. D. Ouspensky (1878-1947) and Oscar Ichazo (b. 1931). Gurdjieff claimed to have learned the Enneagram from the Sufis (a mystical spin-off sect of Islam), though many dispute this.

Psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo (b. 1932), a pioneer of New Age related psychological theories, breathed new life into the Enneagram by refining it as a tool of psychological assessment in which a person discovers his number in the chart, and then studies the best and worst traits of that number via the diagram. Each number represents a particular personality type, and is connected to two other numbers, one which supposedly highlights the worst traits, and the other representing the best.

Gurdjieff was an Armenian teacher of esoteric spiritual philosophies based on knowledge he allegedly garnered during travels and contacts with secret groups, which are recounted in his book, Meetings with Remarkable Men (in the beginning years of her New Age journey, the writer of this article saw a movie based on this book and was strongly influenced by it). However, these accounts were never verified. Gurdjieff held that man is not aware of true reality and needs an awakening of consciousness. He is widely credited as the first person to make the Enneagram publicly known.

Ouspensky, Gurdjieff's pupil, presented Gurdjieff's ideas as the Fourth Way. Ouspensky's teachings on the Enneagram appear in his books, In Search of the Miraculous and The Fourth Way. Like Gurdjieff, Ouspensky wrote about the Enneagram in terms of the "law of seven" and the "law of three," based on Gurdjieff's view of the esoteric laws by which the cosmos operated.

Oscar Ichazo, heavily involved in psychedelic drugs and shamanism,* asserted that he had "received instructions from a higher entity called Metatron" and that his group "was guided by an interior master."

Naranjo, the psychiatrist who studied with Ichazo in Chile, passed on the Enneagram teachings to Jesuit Bob Ochs, who then brought it into Roman Catholic circles at the New Age Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where Naranjo taught (entire comment from my Enneagram article).

The so-called "Christian monk," Evagrius Ponticus, was influenced and inspired by the esoteric philosophy of Neo-Platonism, a deadly mixture of Gnosticism and Christianity. Ponticus was also a student of the heretical teachings of Origen of Alexandria. Ponticus himself was later condemned for his teachings in 400 and 533.

Ponticus held that Jesus was not the incarnated Son of God, but rather a sinless "intellect" who assumed a body to show humanity the way back to its "original union" with God. This is a Gnostic teaching. Through Ponticus, these false teachings spread to monastic leaders and theologians (comment quoted from my Enneagram article).


"During his tenure in Alexandria, Ponticus developed a list of deadly thoughts: vainglory, anger, greed, gluttony, sloth, sorrow, pride, and lust, to which he added 'love of self' as the first thought of all. This list provided the blueprint for what were to become the Seven Deadly Sins of the Catholic Church, which Pope Gregory I would assemble from this list some 200 years later."

These sins can be found listed in the Bible but this list is not directly from the Bible. However, Proverbs 6 does list seven “things which the Lord hates”
"There are six things which the Lord hates,  Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,  And hands that shed innocent blood,A heart that devises wicked plans,  Feet that run rapidly to evil,A false witness who utters lies,  And one who spreads strife among brothers."

"…..The fact that it [the Enneagram] is rooted in a fundamentally dark view of humanity—that we are sinning people who are inclined to sin in specific ways*—isn’t exactly a cheerful view."

Not true – the Enneagram is not rooted in concept of sin, either from its mystical Gnostic origins nor its New Age psychology origins.


"…..But the real power in the Enneagram lies in its ability to expose the dark underbelly of every person—their sin pattern.*…."

This is not true. This was never the purpose of the Enneagram nor can it do this.


"….Other people will have other issues, but in knowing mine, I can be better equipped to pray, to confide in trusted friends, to read the truths of Scripture."

We only can know our sins through the Enneagram? The truth is that we discover and know what sin is from the Bible. There is no need for the use of the Enneagram to “reveal” sins. Furthermore, the Enneagram cannot reveal anything about a person. One might as well classify him/herself using astrology.


"Every night at 9:40 p.m. I get an email from the Enneagram Institute."

The website for The Enneagram Institute openly refers to concepts from Gurdjieff and company, such as "the Work" and "inner work," to refer to mystical work on the inner self. This "Work," as expressed by Ichazo, involves transcending one's ego in order to find one's "Essence." This is fundamental in Gnostic-based, Eastern, and New Age views.

The Enneagram Institute itself admits that "the philosophy behind the Enneagram contains components from mystical Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, and ancient Greek philosophy (particularly Socrates, Plato, and the Neo-Platonists)." (online source)

The reference to Christianity undoubtedly refers to what is sometimes called "mystical" or "esoteric Christianity." This type of Christianity was often claimed by Gurdjieff and other forerunners of the New Age, and in actuality is a Gnostic (neo-Platonic) distortion of Christianity, not authentic historic Christianity (from my article).


■ The origins of the Enneagram, though disputed, are spiritually based, not as a tool for personality assessment, which came later.

■ Nine numbers is arbitrary: why 9? There is no objective basis for this. It could just as well be 5 or 12 or 15, etc.

■ The categories are arbitrary with no objective basis.

■ While some things may be true about your “number,” it is likely that the traits described would fit most people as we all have common sin issues, especially from pride, which we all share and which is the source of other sins/problems.

■ The goal of the Enneagram originally (and still used this way today in New Age practice) is awakening to true “Self” and “The philosophy for this is directly derived from the esoteric values of Sacred Geometry and from Gnostic views of the self as sacred and pure in essence” (from my article).

■ A Christian should strive to view himself through God's word; man-based categories detract from and may blur or negate that perspective.

■ Focusing on the self easily leads to self-absorption.

■ Christians are being made whole and complete in Christ (Philippians 1:6; Colossians 2:10; 2 Timothy 3:17) through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

photo credit: Grace Commons (Wicker Park Grace) via photopin cc


Interview with Janet Mefferd about the Enneagram  - 10/3/2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Warning To Christians About the Enneagram

Posted by Christine Pack

A defense of the Enneagram
by a professing Christian
My good friend Marcia Montenegro, who graciously co-moderates our Sola Sisters Facebook wall, recently did a show with Janet Mefferd in response to an article in the latest issue of Christianity Today in which a psychological profiling tool known as the Enneagram was promoted as something beneficial for Christians to use.  The article, entitled What Kind Of Sinful Are You? encourages the use of the Enneagram, even though, as Marcia discusses with Janet, the Enneagram has its roots in unbiblical mysticism.

Before becoming a born again believer, Marcia was a professional astrologer in Atlanta. And yes, there are actually "professional" astrologers who take serious studies (and have to pass actual exams) based on the occult practice of astrology! Marcia took what she did in the New Age seriously, as I did. Well, we have both repented and turned from our New Age/occultic practices, have become born again believers in Christ, and now we take Christianity seriously, and we both seek to study diligently to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15). Part of that is a desire to help our fellow Christians understand how and why some of the new trends coming into the church aren't always biblical, especially this latest one to become popular, the Enneagram, which was developed about a hundred years ago by a mystic, and is based on occult principles.

We also would do well to remember that ALL that we need to know about how to navigate through our lives we find in God's word, which gives us all that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). We don't need to turn to personality profiles based on occultic teaching and/or worldly wisdom (1 Cor 1:18-20, 1 Cor 3:18-21).

A friend commented on my Facebook wall that she had briefly dabbled in the Enneagram, years ago, but that she found it very confusing, and also had a sense from the teachers pushing it that there was an acceptance of sin. That is the danger in these kinds of profiles: a minimizing of sin. For example, let's say someone is profiled as a "Challenger" or "Achiever" type in the Enneagram profile, in the same way that in years past they might have been profiled as a "Type A." Well, the problem with such profiling is the tendency for some to then minimize or even excuse certain sinful behaviors perceived to be part of that personality "type" (i.e., an "Achiever" who is excused for being pushy, driven, aggressive, etc., rather than being called to repent).

 Additional Resources 

Marcia Montenegro's Interview About the Enneagram (The Janet Mefferd Show)

An In-Depth Look at The Enneagram (Christian Answers For The New Age)

The Enneagram and Christianity, Like Oil and Water (Christian Answers For The New Age)

Christian Answers For The New Age (Marcia Montenegro's website)

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Christian and Essential Oils: A Few Thoughts [UPDATED]

Posted by Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews

photo credit: Plume Natural Perfumery via photopin cc
[NOTE and UPDATE: As of 9-22-14, Gary Young, president of Young Living Essential Oils, has been warned by the FDA that he must stop his distributors from diagnosing illness and prescribing essential oils as medicine for treating cancer and preventing Ebola contamination, among many other things, without being medically licensed to do so. The FDA letter, which falls under the category of "Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations" can be read in its entirety here. ]

For those Christians who haven't heard, essential oils are big business. Big, big business. Make no mistake: essential oils are the hottest thing going since yoga invaded the church a decade ago. One of the largest and most well known of these essential oils companies is Young Living. Young Living sells its products through Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), a pyramid form of selling that works through networking. (Other MLM companies that might be familiar to some readers are Amway, Juice Plus, Pampered Chef, Herbalife and Mary Kay.)

If you happen to be one of the few that hasn't yet heard about essential oils, just wait. One day soon your Facebook inbox will blow up with invitations to this or that essential oils home party. If you choose to attend one of these parties, you might learn some useful tips for making nice-smelling homemade cleaning products or cosmetics with essential oils, but you might also be exposed to some very unbiblical concepts about sin, sanctification and illness.

Before I go any further, let me first state clearly that we are not concerned with the use of essential oils in foods, cosmetics and cleansers, because those uses do not generally have spiritual implications.* We also view essential oils to be, in and of themselves, spiritually neutral. By that, we mean that we believe Christians can use them with a clean conscience and a right understanding of man, nature, God, physical vs. spiritual healing, etc. BUT, we do also want to warn that some EO companies and distributors (Young Living, in particular, which was founded by a professing Christian named Gary Young) use, sell, promote, and teach about EOs using New Age/New Thought concepts and spirituality, specifically in the areas of sin, sanctification and illness, and concepts that are clearly counter to what the Bible teaches on these things.

The area of alternative treatments, in general, is a tricky one to navigate, as we don't have any desire to throw out all alternative treatments as being bad or unbiblical. What we do want to do is give clear warnings about the dangers that we do see about how some alternative products are marketed, since many of our readers will probably come into contact with some of this thinking, given that alternative treatments, on the whole, have become mainstreamed not only in the culture at large, but also, within the Christian community (and particularly the Christian homeschooling community).

Having said all that, our primary concerns are as follows:
(1) We are concerned when essential oils (or other alternative treatments) are marketed as having spiritual benefits that should only be ascribed to God;
(2) We desire to warn about Young Living essential oils being marketed with unbiblical concepts; 
(3) We desire to give clear warnings that the alternative treatment industry, on the whole, is almost entirely unregulated, and to educate others about what the implications of this are; and 
(4) We are concerned when Christians choose to partner with, promote and sell products in tandem with companies that are undergirded with New Age/New Thought beliefs (i.e., being "unequally yoked").
* Although our primary concerns, as noted, are spiritual in nature and not physical, at the same time I suspect that runaway allergies and sensitives among heavy essential oil users will start showing up over the next decade, and this is why: just because the oils are "natural," and come from oranges, lavender, roses, etc. (and not out of a lab) doesn't mean that they are in their natural state as God made them. Essential oils are highly concentrated. I used lots of essential oils while in the New Age, for almost a decade, and guess what? I am sensitive and/or allergic to most of them now, at least the ones I used on a regular basis. Also, today's EO users use the oils far more than I ever did as a New Ager: diffusers running all day, homemade counter spray, homemade laundry detergent, homemade dishwashing soap, homemade cosmetics, and more, all scented with EOs. Allergies develop through repeated exposure to something. Well, that's a lot of exposure right there.


Below are some Young Living essential oils product descriptions which reveal the usage of New Age/New Thought concepts and statements for the marketing of the YL Oils:
White Angelica: Promotes feelings of protection and security, and can be used to guard against negative energy.  
Balsam Fir: may be used to balance moods, promote a sense of well being and increase spirituality. 
Douglas Fir: Used by Native Americans to enhance spirituality. 
Juniper: promotes spirituality and encourages self esteem. Traditionally taken internally for purification and cleansing. 
Ylang Ylang: traditionally used to balance the mind and emotions, this oil may also help control negative feelings such as frustration and anger.  
Abundance: Was used by the ancients to attract prosperity and magnify joy and peace. 
Aroma Life: used to energize your life force and promote heart vitality. 
Australian Blue: will uplift the spirit and purify the body. This oil is taken from a plant that is revered in aboriginal culture. 
Dream Catcher: is designed to harness the power of positive dreams and guard against clouded vision, helping you realize your desires and stay on the path to fulfillment.
(You can view all Young Living essential oil product descriptions by going to this link)
The quotes below come directly from the CEO of Young Living, Gary Young, and have direct bearing on his views and marketing strategies for his essential oils. (HT: Chuck and Julie Cohen) My commentary and notes are in blue following the comments by Young.

Blog entries by Gary Young:
Surrender Negativity and Unconscious Manipulation – 10-18-12
“Disease is nothing more than manipulation, because disease creates control and gives you power over everyone around you. So then surrender, create the energy of giving it up, surrender that attachment; surrender that control.” 
MY NOTE: this is not the biblical view of disease, which is that disease is a result of the Fall. Young's view is more in keeping with Taoism.
The Transforming Power of Frankincense – 4-26-12 
“As you are diffusing Transformation, it will stimulate the receptors in the limbic system and will open up the pineal gland. You will start to have feelings and thoughts, and maybe you will even see in a dream state ideas or visions of what can happen in your life.” 
MY NOTE: We're not taught anywhere in scripture to attempt to manipulate energy centers ["energy centers" AKA "chakras" occult Hindu concept] in the body [whether that's through yoga, meditation, acupuncture, application of essential oils, etc., etc.] in order to have dreams or visions about the future for our lives. In fact, this goes directly against what God says in Deut 29:29 "The hidden things belong to the Lord." All that God wants us to know, He reveals plainly to us.......chasing after hidden knowledge is akin to witchcraft, and God detests it.
Five Secrets to Having More Energy and Vitality, Part III - 12-12-11 
“As we continue through the Five Secrets for More Energy series, we come to the third chakra, otherwise known as the fire chakra. This energy center is located at the solar plexus and corresponds to our passion for life and our will, drive, and ability to express anger. When our fire chakra energy is low, blocked, or depleted, we may experience depression or boredom and lose touch with our purpose and passion. 
In our culture, expressing anger is a touchy subject. Performing polarity yoga combined with Young Living essential oils may help you unleash anger and help you reconnect to your passion. Remember: According to energy medicine principles, if your energy is not moving, it gets stuck and stagnant—which leads to imbalances and possible illness. The secret to having more energy is to keep the energy you do have moving!” 
MY NOTE: So many problems here.......First of all, these are blatant teachings of the Hindu/occult concept of the chakra system. Also, this is not the biblical model for how someone is to deal with anger/sin. Anger doesn't just get fixed by someone's "energy" being manipulated or "balanced." For the Christian, besetting sins should be acknowledged, repented of, and prayed over, while making conscious efforts to put off the deeds of the flesh and put on the deeds of the Spirit. And finally, his teaching that having imbalances of energy can lead to illness is a Taoist concept, not a Christian one. Christians don't see all of creation living in a perfect and whole harmony, with occasional energy imbalances that need to be righted through various means (yoga, acupuncture, reiki, meditation, oils, etc., etc.). That is the Taoist view. The Christian view on the other hand, is that when Adam and Eve fell, ALL of the earth was cursed. "For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now." (Rom 8:22)
In addition to these quotes from Young Living founder Gary Young, Young also cites a book called Healing Oils in the Bible. The author of this book, David Stewart, seems to equate all biblical references to "oil" with essential oils. But this idea that oils used during biblical times were essential oils is not accurate. In fact, there is no documented historical evidence for usage of essential oils during biblical times. This is because the procedure for making essential oils had not yet been invented, and would not be created for another 800 years or so. Oils and oil usage are referenced a number of times in the Bible, but these are references to regular, pressed oils (like olive oil) or infused oils, not essential oils. For an excellent analysis of the problems with Stewart's book, please see our recently published article, A Critique of David Stewart's "Healing Oils of the Bible." This article was written by Sola Sisters contributing writer Marcia Montenegro. Marcia, a former professional astrologer, is the creator of the Christian Answers For the New Age website, is seminary trained, and is also a contributing writer to Rose Publishing, a resource very familiar to many homeschooling Christians. (Please also note that Stewart has written an article [Are Chakras New Age?] affirming an eastern [and unbiblical] view of the body known as the chakra system.)

For a more in-depth analysis of the unbiblical concepts used in the marketing of Young Living essential oils, please see Chuck and Julie Cohen's excellent article, Aromatherapy: Biblical Path to Healing or Demonic Deception?


Abundance essential oil blend, from theYoung Living website
Here is just one example of Young Living essential oils being marketed with unbiblical concepts. This is a Young Living essential oil blend called "Abundance," which is marketed with the idea that with this oil, the user can activate what is known as the "Law of Attraction." This is not a biblical concept. It is more in alignment with New Thought, which is what Oprah Winfrey believes. Professing Christians who are Word of Faith also believe this concept, but it is still an unbiblical concept. (You can read more about the "Law of Attraction" here, and why it is unbiblical.)

The way in which the above oil blend is marketed with unbiblical concepts is only one of many examples from the Young Living website. To see this for yourself, please visit the Young Living website - Young Living Essential Oil Singles can be viewed hereYoung Living Essential Oil Blends can be viewed here. Below are a few more screenshots of products with product descriptions.

Aroma Life essential oil blend, from the Young Living website

Dream Catcher essential oil blend, from the Young Living website
Forgiveness essential oil blend, from the Young Living website

Release essential oil blend, from the Young Living website
White Angelica essential oil blend, from the Young Living website

"You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons." (1 Cor 10:21) 


From the article entitled The Truth About Nutrition Supplements (Fitness Magazine, Oct 2009):
"According to a 2002 Harris Poll, more than half of us believe that a government agency like the Food and Drug Administration is keeping a watchful eye on the $20 billion supplement industry......It's not. The federal regulators who would normally be all over poor-quality supplements had their hands tied by a piece of legislation signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). The bill was intended to make dietary supplements -- including vitamins, minerals, and herbs -- more widely available by classifying them not as drugs, like aspirin or ibuprofen, but as foods. In practice, that means supplements not only don't have to do what they promise (such as protect against disease) but don't even have to be safe.........The results have been predictable: In 2004 alone, more than 24,000 "toxic exposures" to supplements were reported, while other research showed that some supplements contain potentially dangerous contaminants such as lead, mercury, pesticides, mold, and bacteria.........No wonder some consumer advocates say that this regulatory loophole has helped create a marketplace that fails to protect consumers from contaminated, adulterated and, in some cases, deadly supplements."
photo credit: veo_ via photopin cc
A recent program (Safety and Regulation of Dietary Supplements) on the secular radio station NPR (National Public Radio) also highlighted the growing concern among even the lost that the alternative treatment industry (which includes essential oils) is a largely unregulated arena. I highly recommend for anyone wanting to use, or already using, natural supplements to listen to this program. It was mentioned during the show that testing done by a group called Consumer Labs found that, on many occasions, what was on the outside label of bottles of natural/herbal supplements did NOT accurately portray what was contained within. The reason for this is because there are very few regulatory practices put into place for ensuring quality/accuracy in alternative/"natural"/herbal supplements. What this means is that a person can buy a bottle of an herbal supplement, and be getting something other than what is labeled on the front of the bottle. It could be 100% of the herb, could be 90/10 - herb/filler, or 10/90 - herb/filler, or could be all filler. Same thing with essential oils: a bottle labeled "100% Essential Oil" could be 100% of the oil you are expecting, OR, it could be comprised of 90% carrier oil (like linseed oil, almond oil or olive oil) with only 10% of the essential oil.'s an unregulated industry.

Just like there are sinful men involved in the FDA, sinful men who act selfishly and make wrong decisions, there are also sinful men involved in the alternative treatment industry. But the sinful men involved in the alternative treatment industry are entirely unregulated, meaning they do not have to meet any scientific or federal standards for the claims they make about their supplements. Both sides are flawed, but at least the FDA has some measure of accountability due to regulatory requirements.

I literally spent thousands on supplements during my decade as a New Ager without knowing that these herbal/natural supplements were (and still are) unregulated. And not only can the substance within not match up with the label, distributors of natural/herbal supplements are not held to the same standards that those in the pharmaceutical industry are held to, in terms of claiming benefits for a supplement that haven't been scientifically verified. And while the common belief is that herbals are only benign, and can only help (and never harm), this is not necessarily true. There is a reason why your doctor often asks you to list not only all medications you are taking, but also all over-the-counter vitamins, mineral and herbal supplements you are taking as well: some supplements can interfere with your prescribed medicines, and some can even work in tandem with your prescribed medicines to cause harm. For more on this, please see the following articles:
Dietary And Herbal Supplements Could Interfere With Prescription Drugs (Medical News Today) 
Herbal Supplements May Not Mix With Heart Medicines (Mayo Clinic) 
- 5 Risky Herbal Supplements: Even Though They're Natural, Some Herbal Supplements Can Be Dangerous (Web MD)
- Warning: Herbal Supplements Don't Always Go Well With Heart Drugs (U.S. News and World Report)
Those selling oils and herbs and other supplements shouldn't automatically get a pass because they are selling "natural" items. Herbs and oils are not somehow more holy than pharmaceuticals (and even though I get that there are problems with the pharmaceutical industry, including over-diagnosis of many medications, that's another topic for another day). The alternative treatment realm is an industry that makes profits in the billions. And yes, that's right up there with Big Pharma.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Cor 6:14)
Why would a Christian knowingly sell a product that is marketed with New Age/New Thought/panentheistic concepts, and which could introduce a Christian purchaser to spiritual beliefs that are unbiblical? The obvious answer is that, a true, Bible-believing Christian probably wouldn't, IF, that is, they knew the product they were selling was marketed in that way. Obviously, we are not calling into question anyone's salvation here. Our purpose in writing this article is to give warnings to our brothers and sisters about the unbiblical concepts YL oils are marketed with, and a warning for other believers who may be innocent in this area, and do not have an understanding of what New Age/New Thought concepts are, and how they present themselves. The fact is, demonic deceptions (which New Age/New Thought beliefs are) don't announce themselves boldly or waltz in waving a flag, or wearing a label. They are subtle. Hence the warning to our brothers and sisters.

In the first section, we demonstrated the unbiblical concepts with which Young Living oils are marketed. One of our most pressing concerns about essential oils in general, and Young Living essential oils in particular, is when Christians choose to join with, promote and sell products in partnership with companies that are undergirded with New Age/New Thought beliefs (i.e., being "unequally yoked"). We would therefore strongly urge all Christians to think long and hard before yoking with a company that markets its products with promises of spiritual benefit that should only be ascribed to our Lord.

With this in mind, we've heard the counter-argument to this position that goes something like this: 
I am not going to Young Living for my theology, only for essential oils. I don't go to them for theology. How is this not a Romans 14 issue? Or a meat sacrificed to idols issue? Also, I spend money at Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and all these companies support evil and give their money to things like Planned Parenthood and Gay Pride rallies. But my disagreement with the spiritual views of the CEOs of Target, Amazon and Starbucks doesn't stop me from purchasing from them, so why does it matter what the spiritual views of the owner of Young Living are?
Our response to this counter-argument is this: Young Living markets its oils with spiritual concepts (theology), that's the problem. So you're getting theology from them, whether you want it from them or not. Buying gardening tools or books or coffee from secular, gay-affirming corporations like Target, Amazon and Starbucks is not at all the same as buying essential oils from Young Living, or even beyond that, partnering with them to sell products that promise specific spiritual benefits that come only from God. Gardening tools and books and coffee are neutral products, as oils are, and if it stopped there, we could all pack up and go home. But it doesn't stop there. The EOs at Young Living are marketed as providing spiritual benefits, spiritual benefits that should come ONLY from God, and those who partner with Young Living to sell the EOs are responsible for bringing these unbiblical spiritual views to their clients.

One more note: while Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, does occasionally use scripture and reference the Bible, this does not mean that he is a true believer. We should remember that Oprah and Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland and others use Scripture and claim to be Christian, but are far from it. Young's views on sin, sanctification and illness do NOT line up with the Biblical views of sin, sanctification and illness, and in fact, are far more in alignment with eastern and New Thought views. (For more on what New Thought is, please see the article - New Thought: A Warning To Christians)


We have made a number of posts about essential oils (and alternative treatments, in general) to our Sola Sisters Facebook page, and it has not escaped our notice that these threads have been among the friskiest of the posts we've made to date, in terms of Christians taking exception to some of our statements. Please understand that our intent in writing about this topic is not to incite our brothers or sisters, nor is it to cause division, nor is it to cause others to stumble. Our reasons for contending so earnestly on the topic of essential oils for the last few months now is that this kind of deception, I am convinced, is spiritual at the core. We need to remember that "Satan is a hungry lion, prowling the earth seeking whom he may devour," (1 Peter 5:8) and that his desire is to "steal, kill and destroy," (John 10:10). I don't think Satan is particularly finicky about the deceptions he chooses: if they work to deceive people and shorten their lives, well then, he's all for them and will continue to use them. Remember, Satan hates all human beings because we are made in the image of God.....that's why he wants to destroy us.

Spiritual deceptions are real, and they're not just the Word of Faith kind that are often more easily discerned. The mind not only can be easily deceived, once it is deceived, that deception can have a very, very strong hold on the deceived person. As noted above, I (Christine) literally spent thousands on bogus natural/alternatives "cures" while in the New Age, including aromatherapy, reiki, homeopathy, eating green/organic/sustainable, etc.  I had an entire lifestyle built around eating and living in a certain way. Looking back, of course, I can see why (as a New Ager) I bought into all that I did and lived that way, and I can see how strong the deception was. But now, I am seeing many, many, many Christians getting caught up in the same kind of beliefs and mindset that I had as a New Ager. It's almost surreal to see it happening. I'm not saying we should all just be gluttonous and foolish and not try to make wise decisions about our health and eating and lifestyle, but I am seeing the same sort of "lifestyle righteousness" that gripped me and so many of my New Age friends, and amongst believers, of all people. Believers, for whom this world is not a final resting place, and for whom this world is just a present age passing away.

We are commanded in Scripture to "take EVERY thought captive in obedience to Christ," and to "test ALL things" (my emphasis). So I hope that my sisters (and brothers) who enjoy essential oils aren't taking offense at my desire to "test all things".... chiefly, in holding up some of the unbiblical concepts and ideas conveyed through some of these essential oils websites.

In summary, we pray that our fellow Christians will be on alert for unbiblical concepts being introduced in the alternative treatment realm, specifically in the area of essential oils. Most alternative treatment products are unregulated, and some can even cause harm when used. We also think that it is important for Christians to do their due diligence and biblically think through all partnerships they enter into, being on alert for unbiblical concepts that they might unwittingly be a partner to transmitting to others.
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor 10:3-5)
 "Examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil." (1 Thess 5:21-22)

 Additional Resources 

Essential Oils Revisited (Sola Sisters)

Aromatherapy: Biblical Path to Healing or Demonic Deception? (Chuck and Julie Cohen)

A Critique of David Stewart's Healing Oils of the Bible (Marcia Montenegro)

The FDA Warns Young Living, doTERRA Essential Oils Companies To Stop Making Unsubstantiated Claims That The Oils Can Treat Cancer, Protect Against Ebola (Food and Drug Administration, 9-22-2014)

How To Use Essential Oils: A Step-By-Step Guide (satire, warning: some mild language)

A Warning for Christians About New Thought (Marcia Montenegro)

Natural = Better? (Sola Sisters)

Alternative Medicine: A Mind Blowing Magical Mystery Tour  (Free, online e-book exposing the unsubstantiated claims [both currently and historically] made about many "natural" remedies)

Wellness: The New Age Trojan Horse In Healthcare (Sola Sisters/Marcia Montenegro)

Update: Ingrid Schlueter Interviews Marcia Montenegro and Christine Pack (Crosstalk at VCY America 4/26/11) to Discuss The Wellness Article - you may listen here

Are We All Syncretists Now? A Conversation About Evangelical Christianity and Alternative Medicine with Historian Candy Gunther Brown (Dr. Al Mohler) (Please note that there is an MP3 download as well as a transcript available of this interview)

True Spirituality, Health and Science: Where Do We Draw The Lines? (Marcia Montenegro)

Hospitals: A New Dark Age? (CANA)

No Scientific Evidence For "Chi" or "Qi"
 (NYU Langone Medical Center)

 Warnings About Alternative Treatments 

Alternative Medicine: A Mind Blowing Magical Mystery Tour  (Online e-book exposing the unsubstantiated claims [both currently and historically] made about many "natural" remedies.....I highly recommend this eye-opening, FREE ebook)

The Unregulated Nature of the Alternative Treatment Industry: Does the Label On The Outside Tell The Truth About What's Inside? (Sola Sisters)

The Truth About Nutritional Supplements (Fitness Magazine, 10-01-2009)

Safety and Regulation of Dietary Supplements (NPR radio interview, 7-16-2014)

Dietary And Herbal Supplements Could Interfere With Prescription Drugs (Medical News Today)

Herbal Supplements May Not Mix With Heart Medicines (Mayo Clinic)

5 Risky Herbal Supplements: Even Though They're Natural, Some Herbal Supplements Can Be Dangerous (Web MD)

Warning: Herbal Supplements Don't Always Go Well With Heart Drugs (U.S. News and World Report)

 The Value and Importance of Scientific Studies 

The Biblical Worldview Is The Foundation of Modern Science

The Scientific Method and Why It Matters

 Warnings About Homeopathy 

 Warnings About Essential Oil Toxicity 

Essential Oil Safety: Documented Side Effects, Injuries, and Deaths from Essential Oil Ingestion (Hub Pages)

Eucalyptus Oil and Essential Oils Poisoning (The Royal Children's Hospital - Melbourne, AU)

Can Aromatherapy Oils Poison You? How Tiny Particles 'May Damage Liver and Kidneys' (Daily Mail, UK)

Hidden Dangers of Essential Oils: The Frightening Truth About Natural Remedies Such as Olbas Oil Which Can Cause Heart Problems, Convulsions and Eye Ulcers (Daily Mail, UK)

Danger for Cats: Essential Oils (Articulate Animals Blog)

Warning About Peppermint Oil Overdose (New York Times)

Shannon: Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed.

Toxic Effects of Essential Oils - Addresses Oils Taken Orally and Externally (The Research Pedia)

 Sola Sisters Facebook Wall Threads - Essential Oils 

Sola Sisters Facebook wall - February 23, 2014
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - April 24, 2014
Sola Sisters Facebook wall -April 26, 2014
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - June 28, 2014 (general warning about essential oils) 
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - June 30, 2014 (critique of essential oils/YL by Chuck and Julie Cohen)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - July 11, 2014 (should Christians partner with companies who market their products with unbiblical spiritual concepts?)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - July 28, 2014 (discussion re: Sola Sisters' concerns about YL/alternative)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Sep 26, 2014 (FDA writes a warning letter to Young Living, doTerra essential oils companies)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Sep 27, 2014 (essential oils not so "natural")
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Sep 28, 2014 (documented cases, and warnings about essential oil toxicity)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Sep 28, 2014 (discussion re: claims by essential oils distributors that essential oils cannot cause allergies)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Sep 28, 2014 (discussion re: the dangers of essential oil ingestion)
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Sep 29, 2014 (challenging claims by essential oils distributors that adverse reactions are simply the body "detoxifying")
Sola Sisters Facebook wall - Jan 2, 2015 (warning about essential oil induced seizures in children)

 John Ankerberg Resources and Articles