Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Discerning Christians need to beware of two new books that are hitting the bookshelves this summer – one written about angels by a certified “Angel Therapy Practitioner” and another about a young boy who alleges to be a reincarnated fighter pilot from World War II.
Living in the Rear View Mirror: From Substance Abuse to a Life of Substance, written by Kim Vazquez, tells the story of her a destructive lifestyle of drug addiction and bad relationships who was ‘ sobered up” by a healing angel. Although it is possible for God to heal someone through an angel, such as when He used the Angel Raphael to heal the lives of Sarah and Tobiah in the book of Tobit, Vazquez’s book is about a much different kind of angel.
Calling herself an “intuitive spiritual reader” and certified Angel Therapy Practitioner, she claims to have had her first visit from an angel as a child but waited 24 years to embrace her spiritual gift of being able to contact angels. Through “angel sessions,” she now helps clients learn how to contact angels for the purpose of helping them – not to discern and accomplish God’s will – but to achieve a happy and harmonious life.
Vazquez’s website reveals a woman who is heavily involved in the New Age, including offering clients readings from Akashic Records, which are an alleged energy source that contains information about every life that was ever lived. For a mere $100 per hour, Vazquez offers to read these Akashic Records to help clients discern the future or to didscover past life experiences.
Vazquez’s book is also infused with the New Age belief that the human being is in complete control of their destiny. As the press kit for her book outlines, readers are told that “Your body has all the answers. Give up all thinking and rationalizing and let your gut instinct and intuition lead to your life of dreams.”
Suffering is a habit, she says, “a mentality that must be challenged until it’s released. Then you can enter a glorious existence.” She goes on to tell readers that “no one in the world can give you self-worth or happiness. The only path there is in your own hands.”
Another book released this month is Sole Survivor by Bruce and Andrea Leininger which tells the story of their son, James, who began having nightmares at the age of two about dying in a plane crash.
As the child grew older, he was able to provide more details about the plane which they discovered to be a World War II Corsair. He began to describe his life as a fighter pilot with amazing detail, telling how he died when he was unable to get out of the cockpit after being hit by enemy aircraft fire in the battle for Iwo Jima. James developed a vast knowledge of airplanes, crew members and recollection of actual events that supposedly took place during the life of a man named James M. Huston, Jr. By the age of 4, James could name crew members who had died before Huston, saying he met them in Heaven before his birth as James Leininger.
His father, Bruce Leininger, began to investigate the details of his son’s dreams and found them to be accurate. This led him and his wife, Andrea, to Carol Bowman, a so-called pioneer in reincarnation studies who specializes in the past life experiences of children. Naturally, with Bowman’s help, the Leiningers became convinced that their son is a reincarnated WWII fighter pilot.
Both of these books represent a basic lack of understanding of even the most fundamental facts about angelic beings. First, that good angels are at the beck and call of God and exist only to do His will, not the bidding of humans, and; second, that fallen angels, who are possessed of superhuman power and intelligence are more than capable of inspiring dreams in the mind of a child in order to convince the unwary that reincarnation is real and heaven and hell are not. After all, without a heaven or hell, what need is there to worry about sin?
In addition, there is no Scriptural basis for the concept of reincarnation, nor is there any proof that it even exists. In fact, all of the most celebrated “proofs” of reincarnation, such as the famous Bridey Murphy case that started the contemporary reincarnation craze, were later discovered to have been faked.
Many New Agers, such as Shirley MacLaine, incorrectly claim that the Church once believed in reincarnation because of statements made by an early apologist named Origen about souls existing in heaven before being born on earth. However, this belief was condemned at the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553 and Origen was actually one of the most prolific early writers against reincarnation.
The bottom line is that Christians in search of a good read this summer are best advised to look elsewhere.
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