At first glance you wouldn't think that Hannah Hurnard belongs among those who deny the faith. How many times have we come across her books in Christian bookstores? She was the author of the semi-autobiographical allegory "Hind's Feet on High Places". Since it came out in 1955 it has been high on the best-seller list. Allegory, by very definition, is hard to assign meaning to. It is this that has kept the work in the charitable affections of many Christians, who see in the piece a devotional plea for spiritual and Christlikeness.
But which Jesus are we describing here? Over the years the identity of Hurnard's Christ has come into sharper focus. This is actually the New Age Christ and not the Son of God of Christianity. Looking at all of the books that Hurnard wrote after her first work helps us to understand much more about her Christianity and also what her intentions were from the very first book. All of her later full-blown heresies are clearer seen, though perhaps just hinted at, in her first offering.
She never believed that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. Rather, her belief is that we save ourselves by suffering and affliction. It is this suffering that brings us into unity with Christ, not anything that God did. Every human passion (affections of any kind) must be killed. This is our sacrifice to God. Christ's sacrifice to the Father was apparently not sufficient. Not having faith in the completeness of the Lamb's acceptability with the Father, Hurnard believes we too must sacrifice for our own salvation. Her "Christlikeness" is the means of salvation, instead of, as true Christianity teaches, the result and outworking of it.
Hurnard insists, also, that it is through her kind of "Christlikeness" that we are one with Christ. Once we achieve this "unity with Christ" (akin to Hindu Sadhu teachings), we are then ready for the advanced experiences: revelations, astral projection, necromancy, etc.
Some of her lesser known works are:
"Mountains of Spices", "Eagles’ Wings to the Higher Places", (1981 - Harper & Row) and "The Inner Man" (her final book).
These works all espouse universalism (all will be saved), pantheism, reincarnation, extreme vegetarianism (the life of God is in all animals), necromancy (allowed by by an angelic "Jesus" in a personal contact with Hurnard) and an outright denial of the Gospel of Christ. Many who have "Hind's Feet" on their shelves, and maybe even have enjoyed the book, have no idea of this hidden side of Hannah Hurnard. Her last book, "The Inner Man" is so utterly without Christian doctrine that it can only be bought from a New Age publishing firm (Sun Books).
Here is an excerpt from "Eagles' Wings", in which we are assured of universal salvation for all. The character, Aletheia ("truth") makes these discoveries:
"All her [Aletheia's] unacknowledged doubts and questions arose again concerning a God who called Himself Love and who brought myriads of souls into existence without being able to prevent them from condemning themselves to an eternity of hopeless darkness and suffering, lost to Him forever. How could He possibly love them, if He let this happen to them? How could He possibly be good, if He brought them into an existence where it was possible for them to separate themselves from His love and joy and goodness forever?”
"Oh, how terrible and hopeless to be a God who loves goodness and cannot save His own creatures from preferring evil. If he did not call Himself a God of Love it would be different. A devil might create living souls capable of tormenting themselves forever. Oh, what agony to love the souls brought into existence enough to go to the cross in a last supreme effort to save them and not be able to do so. To proclaim, ‘I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Myself,’ and to be unable to do it! To find that the Devil is stronger than Goodness and could gloatingly and triumphantly succeed in damning at least ninety percent of God’s creatures, leaving only a pitiful ten or even smaller percent to respond to His love — a handful of souls for Him to rejoice over for ever and ever, while all the others were tormented in hell. Oh, what hopelessly bitter Bad News this was. How could she ever believe in and trust such a God again?”
But then a "Good Shepherd" comes to enlighten Aletheia, assuring her:
“ ‘God is an infinite ocean of Love and Goodness. In Him there is no wrath at all. What men call His wrath and judgment is the inexorable determination of the love of the skilled surgeon to heal the sickness and suffering of a beloved son....'"
Aletheia comes to her epiphany at last:
“‘He is the Saviour of all men!’ (1 Tim. 4:10). The words burst forth in passionate triumph from the lips of Aletheia. ‘Oh, how blind I have been! He is lifted up and nailed to the cross with us. As Jesus revealed when He hung between the two thieves and murderers, He will “draw all men unto Him.”
Her last allegory book is far worse than her first, but the seeds of Hurnard's heresy were present from the very beginning. How important it is for us to examine everything we read with critical Berean discernment!
What kind of Jesus did Hurnard believe in?
An angelic Jesus who ascended from “angelic level of God consciousness” to “Son of God consciousness” .
A Jesus who personally authorized necromancy.
A Jesus who is the Saviour of all men ... and of all animals too!
A Jesus that shows us how to save ourselves -- by suffering. It is by this suffering that we atone for our sins. As she herself said, " All suffering is atoning". We are our own saviours.
Hannah Hurnard died in 1990 but her work and "ministry" carries on through, of all people, David Wilkerson, as well as others.
Hurnard, Essayist and Poet
Here are a few more odds and ends about Hannah Hurnard: A few quotes of hers. Actually, one is a poem.
She wrote this in her work "Creative Powers":
"In case of need we should be able, at will, to stimulate and control the winged cells in our body which would enable us to fly; or the fish cells which would cause the body to pass through the water like a fish. There is no lower creation. Every living creature is a part of the 'One Created Being.'"
In doing my research I came across a whole spectrum of people, from those who think she can do no wrong to those who call her the devil himself. A helpful site I ran into was Elizabeth Fabiani's Christian Woman's Page. She wrote a very good page on her sudden disenchantment that she had with Hurnard. She had devoted a large portion of her site to devotionals geared to "Hind's Feet". When searching for other materials from Hannah, she found out the truth about her apostasy. I believe she did the right thing by posting the disclaimer below:
This is the poem from Hannah Hurnard. Draw your own conclusions.
THE POWER OF POSITIVES ONLY
AND NO NEGATIVES
Though tribulations great are here
We need not know a moments fear!
There is a power for us to use
If God's own Highest Will we choose.
Jesus gives a wonderous key,
So that our hearts at peace may be.
Goodness is positive and charms.
Evil is negative and harms.
All positives protect and bless,
But negatives cause great distress.
Good positives will make us glad;
Wrong negatives bring all that's bad.
So why be negative and dwell
In some dark, dreadful, lonely hell?
Be always positive and live
In the bright heaven God will give.
This is from a universal salvation site:
"Welcome to the Savior of the World website! It was created by God's grace in hope that the Truth may be known. The Truth is that everyone will be saved through Christ! As Jesus realized, Christ is our true nature given by God."
In other words: We will all be saved. At the bottom is this advertisement:
"Hannah Hurnard's writings are available! Hannah's most famous work is Hinds Feet on High Places but she has many other wonderful expressions of God's love for all of humanity. She was shown the great Truth that God is the Savior of ALL mankind that has been created in His Image. Her inspirational writings express this Truth and God's love."
Updated: June 4, 2007.
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