This is a bit of a controversial topic. I won’t get into details as to why this is prevalent, or what prompted me to start research on it but the topic of Sozo Ministry recently entered my life. I was compelled to do extensive research and it somewhat consumed my life for the following two weeks. (and who knows, maybe one day I will share the details.)
In short, this is what has halted my baptism for the time being, which I am upset about but trust that God has led me to this and I’m glad that He did. I am working on a post about that too.
A quick Google search on the topic will bring up a wide variety of differing opinions. Many who are involved in the churches that are practicing Sozo, see no concern whatsoever, but from someone who has been saved from the new age and found Christ, It’s really rather alarming. The different stages of a sozo session are new age practices, with different names, and I don’t feel that this is a biblical practice.
When this was brought up I really feel like Jesus was compelling me to look into it. I began research and was really shook up about the whole thing. Now, because of my high-strung anxiety, I know that I sometimes tend to overreact to things so I wanted to be sure that this wasn’t the case and I turned to as many believers as I could. This included friends writing their pastors, and me chatting with a few pastors as well. I even turned to my two favourite groups on Facebook, Reasons for Jesus and From New Age to Christianity Recovery Group for their opinions.
Out of the many people I spoke too (over 100 easily) I think I had 2 positive opinions about the matter. The rest were worried, or confused, or both. I had people pleading with me to stay away, I had pastors telling me to flee. Some responses were frantic, telling me the horror that they endured during or after a Sozo session. There’s an entire page online for the victims of Sozo Ministry. I started to become very afraid for the church families that are subject to this practice.
Much of what I read online had stated that there was more damage being done than help. That people were unlocking these “memories” where a traumatic event they had suppressed as a child had surfaced. I read that the method used is actually “time editing” and implanting a false memory because of the trance-like state they put you under. Now, of course they don’t call it that, they call it the 4 doors, but it’s very much the same as what the new age would call a past life regression or other hypnotherapy. Stories included people committing suicide because they couldn’t handle these new “truths”. Father’s fearing prison for things they would never in a million years commit. And all the while, the Sozo team is telling you that this is GOD directing you to these things. (Jesus knows the truth.) From one of the victim accounts: ” I contacted two attorneys with ‘false recovered memory’ experience. Both were shocked that regressive therapy was being practiced at all. Both attorneys told me that the whole recovered memory issue died out in the 1990s when it was exposed for the hoax that it is. After a few therapists were sued for big dollars the practice stopped—until Theophostic and Sozo started it up again. Both Theophostic and Sozo therapy includes regressive therapy techniques.”
I’ve seen videos online after Sozo sessions where they are falling on their faces and acting drunk. And the churches are viewing this as biblical? I cannot understand the logic behind this one.
I always try to give the benefit of the doubt in every situation. Maybe these churches don’t realize how closely this is tied to new age mysticism? Maybe they’re just doing it because another church says it’s great and they really haven’t taken the time to look into it… I don’t know.
On the other hand, all of the churches that practice Sozo present it in very vague ways, even if they have extensive videos about it, it’s always just a bunch of people telling you how great it is. I requested precise information about exactly what happens during a session and was evaded with the response that I can find all the info on the website. Luckily google has access to nearly everything in existence (Thank you Jesus) and I was able to find the script and outline of what happens during a session. Of course, this is why my concern and research ran so deep during all of this.
I won’t call anyone out, but if you do some googling yourself you can find the founding information, the controversy and how more than one of the therapists that launched a version of one of the tools used during Sozo was sued for fraud.
Apparently the purpose is supposed to be to go in and alleviate anything that may be hindering your connection to God. Here’s what they say it’s all about: “Sozo ministry is a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to get to the root of things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a healed connection, you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called.”
There are 6 tools which the Sozo team uses:
- Father Ladder
- Four Doors
- Presenting Jesus
- The Wall
- Trigger Mechanisms
- Diving Editing
Bible Healing goes into detail of each of these steps in a great post called What Are The Sozo’ Tools And What Do They Mean?
Why I feel like Sozo isn’t lining up with scripture;
The bible tells us that the work is already done when we find Jesus, repent our sins, ask for forgiveness and start a new life through Him. Sozo seems to be creating alternatives to Biblical Christianity. It focuses on a healing journey through the subconscious rather than through prayer and reading God’s word.
Jesus can do all of this work on his own, pray about it, these extra practices aren’t required.
A typical Sozo session start at $50+ IF it is of God and the work is being done by God, than why should man receive monetary gain from God’s work?
“If our deliverance was bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, why then do Churches require payment for that which Christ has already provided?” – source
Mark 16:16 says; “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” That’s it. There’s no special requirements for following Jesus.
Jesus is capable of anything. He is the power above all else. I will share my testimony soon, and you will see, if I can be saved and my life changed completely around, simply from asking Jesus into my life, then He can help anyone.
Does it line up with scripture? Can we find it in the bible? Maybe I like to ask too many questions, but God gave us the gift of discernment for a reason.
What scares me most is that Sozo is present in some children’s ministry, and there are classes being delivered around the world for churches that want to learn.
Resources and RECOMMENDed Reading:
- What is Sozo ministry / Sozo prayer? – Got Questions
- Sozo Ministry – Closing Stages (a pastor who has had first-hand experience with the Sozo ministry)
- 2 Peter 2:1-3
- Victim’s of Sozo Ministry Speak Out
- Inner Healing – Christian or Occult? m’kayla’s korner – (trained as a SOZO minister)
- Is Sozo prayer biblical? Compelling Truth
- False teachings/heresy series – A minute to midnight
- Sozo – a dangerous “inner healing and deliverance ministry” – Berean Research
- Stay Away from Sozo Prayer! – Women of Grace
- Christian Chat Forum on Sozo
There’s so many more. I have googled many terms but the main one that I search is “what do Christians say about sozo”
Have you researched or experienced Sozo Ministry? I would love for you to share your thoughts on it with me in the comments below.
I could be totally wrong in my research but these are simply my thoughts and concerns on the subject. I’m open to hear what you think.
Do you have a link that would be of benefit in this post? Please let me know.