NOVEMBER 27, 2012
Vassula Ryden: A Critique
It was very interesting to read your materials. I think the Dialogcenter’s attitude to people like these is not to criticize them straight away, but to keep an eye on them. If they go too far, they must be reigned in.
Another organization in Denmark called IKON, who is a splinter group from the Dialogcenter, has evolved into the same kind of syncretism and semi-New Age as you mention, so it is a problem that we have in our country too. Very liberal and intellectual Catholics tend to “drift”. Before it was socialism and “liberation theology”, now perhaps they gravitate towards spirituality and “oneness” religion.
Right now I can’t really think of any source materials that might support your work. At least not in English. It is not an area we have studied intensely. But you must have gathered some materials yourself.
Med venlig hilsen, Birger Langkjer, Dialogcentret
Kritisk information om Vassula Rydén (English)
Who is Vassula Rydén?
Vassula Rydén is a Greek Orthodox woman, born in 1942. Through a period of more than 17 years she has in writing and speaking communicated what she calls “messages from Jesus” to large parts of the world.
By all accounts she was doing fine living a very down-to-earth life as a wife of a diplomat with all the social obligations and changing circumstances that it involved. But in 1986 she had a shocking experience. She was making a shopping list when suddenly her hand began writing in a strange handwriting, very different from her own. The words on the paper said: “I am your guardian angel and my name is Daniel”.
This event marked the beginning of a radically changed life. Since then everything in her life has been centered on her daily communication with the divine world. At first she communicated with her angel Daniel, later on with Jesus, Maria, Yahweh and the Holy Ghost. Most of her conversations though are with Jesus, and since 1990 Vassula has published 12 books – all named “True life in God” – containing extracts from these conversations. The books have been translated into 40 different languages.
Who is moving her hand?
Representatives from the Greek Orthodox Church very early pointed out that the strange handwriting was very similar to occult automatic writing, and the Church did not want to support her activities.
Within the Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, she has found strong and learned defenders who claim that this handwriting is certainly not automatic writing, but a so-called hieratic writing coming from a divine source. They consistently refer to her as “one of the most prominent living prophets”.
Her writings and her person have been officially examined by the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and
Vassula herself as well as her followers tend to give the impression that the Vatican has fully accepted her as a true prophet receiving divine revelations. This is certainly not true. On the contrary, as early as in 1995 a Vatican notification stated and announced to Catholic leaders and laity that her writings and messages were not to be considered supernatural but should be taken only as private meditations. This judgement is still valid.
When someone claims to receive divine revelations the Church considers three possibilities: they may be from God, they may be from demons, or they may be human thoughts, developing in a sensitive mind.
Apparently the Catholic Church officially considers Vassula’s messages human thoughts.
But to a great extent Catholic clergymen as well as laymen consider them to be of divine origin without question. Jesus is moving her hand, Jesus is sending messages and guidance to all of us through her. She is the Lord’s mouthpiece.
There are others within the Catholic Church – also learned theologians in high offices – who are considering her messages to be occult writings and who are pointing out clear deviations from classic Christian teachings. This fact is conveniently covered up by the people who support her and present her as a true prophet.
Messages for everyone
Of course you can ask “why not let the Catholics deal with this matter, since they are the ones proclaiming her as a prophet?” The answer is simple: because in the writings it is made very clear that these messages are for everyone. And because Vassula’s followers increasingly proclaim and recommend her in any Christian group or community where the door is opened.
In October 2004 she was warmly received in The Copenhagen Christian Culture Centre. Leaders from Danish Pentecostal communities welcomed her from the platform, and a big crowd of people from different denominations listened to her with open minds and great enthusiasm. Before her arrival she was eagerly and positively announced on Copenhagen Christian TV, and Christian newspapers carried large interviews with her.
Well-known Danes like Niels Christian Hvidt and Iben Thranholm frequently speak and write about her and recommend her work.
But in all this not a single person has questioned the authenticity of the Jesus who is moving her hand. No one asks if he is the Jesus we know from the Bible.
As Christians, however, it is our right as well as our duty to ask that question. And the best way to find the answer must be to examine the messages and see whether they are in agreement with what we read in the Bible.
An overall impression is that the messages contain lots of biblical words and true statements: Jesus loves us with an unquenchable love. But the end is near, and if we want to be saved we must return to – or enter into – a righteous and pious Christian life. We must attend church and receive the Holy Communion, we must pray, love one another and in every way concentrate our lives on worshipping Him, the Lord Jesus.
The problem with these biblical appeals is that everything has to be founded on daily and repeated readings of the messages he sends us through Vassula, and founded also on dedicating our lives to spreading them and making them known. We must believe them as truths beyond question and we must believe that he, who moves her hand, is the true Jesus. Anyone who questions his identity is branded as rebellious and hard-hearted. They are obdurate Cains who do not know and love God. They are mocking and sinning against the Holy Spirit pure and simple, and, as is well known, for this kind of sin there is no mercy. Vassula’s Jesus says: “I shall not spare anyone who mocks the Holy Spirit, blaspheming Him outright …” (by questioning his identity) “Justice will send them down to the underworld.” (September 11th, 1991)
The biblical principle of trying the spirits seems to be an abomination to the source of the writings – we just have to believe his assurances and trust his honest face. “Or else!!”
The central message, spoken by the biblical Jesus, is that “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life”.
The central message spoken by Vassula’s Jesus is that whosoever does not believe him, who writes through her hand, to be the true and biblical Jesus shall perish.
In short, Vassula’s messages set a distinction between saved souls and lost souls in a quite different place than it is found in the gospels.
Messages for the Church
The messages address the Church with hard reproaches for her widespread divisions and her many ungodly priests and shepherds. Their strong appeal is: unity, peace and love, which of course is not in itself unbiblical. But the call for unity seems to be mostly about these two things:
1) The Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church must deal with the problem of Easter. The Easter weeks must be synchronized so Easter will no longer be celebrated in two different weeks.
2) The churches must stop quarrelling and start moving towards each other in harmony and loving unity. Several messages insinuate that all denominations ought to accept the Pope as head of all Christians. The messages define unity of the Christians as a united walk in outward moral and superficial issues. They do not mention the kind of naturally felt unity between Christians who confess and love Jesus as their Saviour. They do not speak of the kind of unity where Christians can have different theological views and interpretations and yet consider themselves to be one in Christ and equally loved by Him.
Is this the Jesus we know from the Bible… …
who tells us that if we refuse to accept Vassula as a true prophet of God, we refuse and reject Him and our own salvation? …who needs to speak to us with so incredibly many words, repeating the same things over and over again? …who asks us to let our relationship with God be founded on reading Vassula’s books and not on reading the Bible? …who strongly appeals to us that we build this relationship on our feelings and let go of our common sense, our will and our individual judgement? …who describes his sufferings on the cross with a flood of whimpering, complaining and self-pitying words: “Oh I was so alone, oh, no one was there to comfort me, everybody deserted me!” etc.? …who uses words like “seduce” – he has seduced Vassula, “entice” – he wants to entice others through her and “consume” – he wants to consume the ones he entices? …who later on allows these words to be translated into much less controversial words in the Danish translation? …who shows signs of irritation, impatience, virtuous indignation, resentment and pathetic self-pity?
…who treats his obedient servant Vassula – for she is certainly obedient – in such an unpredictable way. One moment he tears her apart and calls her the worst of the bad ones, and the next she is raised high and praised as one of the most holy and god-fearing angels of our times?
It is very difficult to reach any other conclusion than this: the Jesus Vassula knows and the Jesus we know from the Bible are two different persons. Their words as well as their nature differ at such decisive and conspicuous moments that often they even appear to be direct opposites.
Vassula – a fraud?
No, Vassula Rydén is not a fraud. She is working whole-heartedly and persistently as a servant of what she firmly believes is a divine calling. There are no signs in her mission of her wanting to deceive people for personal gain. But there are certainly signs of her being a spiritually deceived person. Maybe, as suggested in the official Notification, deceived by her own sensitive heart and a well-developed philosophical and religious mind. Maybe by a false spirit pretending to be Jesus.
But the fruits!
People are converted through Vassula’s activities and the TLIG books. They are brought to a close relationship with Jesus, they feel embraced and loved by God, they start attending Mass, they pray and become good, pious Christians. That could certainly not be anything but the work of the Holy Spirit, could it?
A testimony from a Swiss woman, Maria Laura Pio, who in 1994 began reading the books, shows that sadly it seems it could. On her English website she describes how over a very short period of time her personality and behaviour changed as a result of the readings. She stopped reading the Bible, she cut down on volunteer work in her local parish, she distanced herself from ordinary daily things like reading novels and watching TV, and she only went out with friends if she thought she would have the opportunity to spread Vassula’s messages. The slightest criticism of Vassula made her react with aggression, her whole life was centered around promoting and defending her. If one day she didn’t feel like reading the messages, she was weighed down with a heavy burden of guilt.
Maria Pio became free of her addiction to read the TLIG-books. Through deep spiritual abstinence-symptoms and mental suffering she found her way back to her former simple faith in Jesus as her Saviour and true Shepherd. But for quite some time she felt it difficult to pray to Him, because as she says: “When I thought of ‘Jesus’, the image that came to my mind was that of the TLIG-Jesus who condemns those who do not believe in the authenticity of the messages…”
True life in God?
The messages coming through Vassula’s hand seem to be able to ignite a sudden and very intense feeling of being embraced and loved by God.
Still, if reading the messages will lead you into an intimate relationship with a Jesus who is in fact a false Jesus, we must conclude that regardless of all seemingly good fruits this relationship can never lead you to a “true life in God”.
VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA
VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION
VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA
VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX
Categories: False Mystics