Is it Okay for a Christian to be Hypnotized?

I hear this question frequently and I cannot answer for you. It depends on your own beliefs and the teachings of the church you belong to. My best advice is for you to talk it over with your spiritual advisor.

I know of no prohibition against hypnosis in the Bible. Deuteronomy is commonly cited, but it refers to sorcery, witchcraft, and spells, none of which have anything to do with hypnosis. I do know that there are many examples of trances being described in the Bible and they always seem to involve greater spiritual awareness.

Here’s a version of the Deuteronomy passage:

Deuteronomy 18:9-13 ESV

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God”

I will state with no ambiguity that there are no dark forces at work in anything I do. Hypnosis is a force for good. Hypnosis has no burnt offerings, is not divination, fortune telling, interpretation of omens, sorcery or charming. Hypnotists are not psychic and don’t commune with or raise the dead.

This passage seems to encourage exploring your mind:

Romans 12:2 ESV

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The best summary I have found, by someone far, far, more qualified to speak on this subject is from Dr. Roger Barrier of “Preach It, Teach It” fame. It is quoted below and you can find the article in its entirety HERE.


Is it Okay for a Christian to be Hypnotized? by Dr. Roger Barrier – Preach It, Teach It

In many ways hypnosis is simply deeply-focused meditation where good things can take place. The Bible is filled with injunctions for Christians to meditate upon the word of God. Twice Peter entered into meditative states and the Bible approved his “trances” both times. Isaiah, Daniel, Paul and Jeremiah all experienced times of hypnotic trance and heightened awareness inspired by God to give them deep insights into his person and character.

Is there any passage in the Bible that forbids hypnosis?
No. Opponents of hypnosis turn to Deuteronomy 18:9-13. As the Israelites are entering into the Promised Land God gives them a warning not to enter into the practices in the pagan lands ahead. God said: “let there be found no wanted sacrifices his child in the fire; stay away from those who practice divination and sorcery, engaging witchcraft; cast spells…

Opponents focus on the Hebrew term “cast spells” as being the same as hypnosis. Their interpretation is really a stretch.

What Christian groups approve the use of hypnosis? Are there any Christians groups that expressly forbid it?
Roman Catholics, the Anglican Church and Lutherans actively support and utilize hypnosis in helping people. On the other hand, the Church of Christ, the Seventh-day Adventists, the evangelical church, fundamentalists and charismatics tend to preach and teach against it. Most churches and groups are in the middle where hypnosis is really not an issue.

What are the benefits of hypnosis?
Since hypnosis is all about intense focus which removes peripheral distractions, we may use it as a tool for Christian meditation which is helpful in allowing us to experience the person and character of Christ. I suppose that this state is best produced through the process of self-hypnosis as opposed to the other kinds.

Let me recommend to you the book “Experiencing The Depths Of Jesus Christ,” by a 15th century, fourteen-year-old French girl named Madam Guyon. Catholic Leaders of her time demanded that she recant the teachings of the book because her basic premise was that anyone, at any time, could come into contact with the living God– without having to go through a Catholic priest. She teaches us how to quiet our minds and move into deep meditation focusing on a Bible story, event, person, verse or phrase. What she’s really doing is teaching us how we can experience Christ through the art of deep meditation, or what might be described as self-hypnosis.

Can hypnosis open the door of my mind to a satanic attack?
In spiritual warfare it’s important to remember that every area of our lives not under the direct care and influence of the Holy Spirit is open to control by a demonic spirit. Notice the difference between control and influence. God intends for us to be free to make our own decisions. He will never take control of our minds. However he influences us by the Spirit who lives within us.

On the other hand, Satan desires to take control of our minds. That’s why Paul warns us to take every thought captive: “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 Corinthians 10:5). Paul says that we must be careful to guard what goes into our minds lest we open up an unprotected area where Satan can gain control.

So the question is, “Can hypnosis open my mind in any way that might allow Satan to get control of my thinking?”

Unexpectedly for many of us, the truth is that during hypnosis, we often have more control over our minds than ever before. Just because we may be more susceptible to suggestions in no way means that we lose control of our minds and do things that we never intended to do.

— Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care.


Additionally,

In 1847, the Roman Catholic Church recognized hypnosis as a natural part of our own ability, and NOT the work of the devil! The decree from the Sacred Congregation of The Holy Office states;

“Having removed all misconceptions, foretelling of the future, explicit or implicit invocation of the devil, the use hypnosis is indeed merely an act of making use of physical media that are otherwise licit and hence it is not morally forbidden provided it does not tend toward an illicit end or toward anything depraved.”

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