Carol Balizet : Born in Zion : Home in Zion
Home in Zion / Born in Zion
Carol Balizet, a former emergency room nurse, advocates natural home births, claiming only prayer is needed to bring life into the world. She heads ''Home in Zion Ministries.'' Her book, ''Born in Zion,'' heavily influenced the Attleboro Cult - the religious group currently under investigation for the death of two of its children:
According to former member Dennis Mingo, the sect's beliefs are rooted in denouncing ''seven systems'' of mainstream society, including education, government, banking, religion, medicine, science and entertainment. They were heavily influenced by the book, ''Born in Zion,'' by Carol Balizet, who heads a Florida ministry. Balizet, a former emergency room nurse, advocates natural home births, claiming only prayer is needed to bring life into the world. ''The book had a profound effect on the group,'' Mingo says. ''Every week, they made little changes and became more and more radical. They were basically pulling themselves out of society and I just couldn't live that way.''
Cultists convinced only God will provide, Boston Herald, Sep. 3, 2000
Balizet's web site, Home in Zion Ministries, says:
After 30 years experience in the field of Surgical Assistant, Labor/Delivery Room nurse, Emergency Room Supervisor, ICU/CCU specialist and instructor and House Supervisor, God led Carol out of the medical system. Now, over a nineteen-year period, Carol has been involved in more then eight hundred "Zion Births," which are births with no input, assistance or backup from the medical system. She currently speaks to various Christian groups, testifying about her experiences in ministry to couples involved in Zion Birth. As a result of these experiences, Carol shares new insights about God's perfect plan for natural childbirth. She also speaks on divine healing.
Who we are (Last accessed, Feb. 21, 2004)
Ms. Balizet's teachings are not based on sound principles of Bible interpretation. They are both heretical and dangerous.
Overview of teachings
*Born in Zion* is a book by Christian ''childbirth minister'' Carol Balizet, who ''ministers'' to women during their home births. Balizet calls herself a midwife as well as a childbirth minister.
(...) There is hardly a page in *Born in Zion* which does not strike me, and many other Christian home birth advocates, as blasphemous, heretical, or ludicrous in one way or another. Therefore, I will just ''hit the high spots''--the contents of the book which I found most offensive and patently false from an orthodox Christian perspective.
NAME IT AND CLAIM IT
The Bible teacher who seems to have most influenced Balizet's theology is Kenneth Copeland (79). If you take Copeland's heretical word-of-faith, name-it-and-claim-it teachings, and apply them to childbirth, you have Balizet's thinking in a nutshell. Like Copeland, she teaches that our words have inherent spiritual power. Not only everything in heaven and on earth, but even God Himself is a slave to our words.
(...) DEMONS, DEMONS EVERYWHERE
Since Satan is so much more powerful than ''God'' in Balizet's theology, it stands to reason that she would be obsessed with demon activity. Balizet sees demons around every corner: demons who have not only the ability but the Christian-given right to steal, kill, and destroy.
(...) GOD TOLD ME. . .
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of *Born in Zion* is the subjective revelation--what Balizet calls a ''word from the Lord,'' a prophecy, or a Rhema. I counted 34 claims in Born in Zion that people heard directly from God. Virtually none of these claims are verified except by another ''Spirit-baptized'' person agreeing with them.
(...) However, it is clear in the Bible that all prophets and teachers are to have their messages examined and tested *by Scripture.* If someone claims to speak for God, and his messages contradict the revealed Law-Word of God, he must be rejected as a false prophet, *even if he works miracles* (Deut. 13). Now that the canon of Scripture is closed, God is not giving new, special revelation.
(...) REALITY IS WHAT I MAKE IT
If it is dangerous to have a so-called midwife attending you in childbirth who believes that Satan is controlling your birth unless she takes control, and who believes that at any moment God could tell her to walk out on you, it is more dangerous still to have a birth attendant who believes that reality is whatever she decides it is. If Balizet is your ''childbirth minister'' and you suffer a complication of childbirth, she will deny it and rebuke Satan, whom she thinks is trying to manipulate her senses into believing that you are having a problem (80). She will also ''rebuke the spirit of child-death'' (93) if your baby is born not breathing--she has waited nearly half an hour for a newborn to begin breathing (153). Since Balizet worships a god who never wants anything unpleasant to happen to Christians, nothing bad *does* happen to Christians as long as they remain in the ''spirit realm.''
(...) MEDICINE IS EVIL
As if all this weren't bad enough, Balizet believes that to receive any medical care whatsoever is a sin. It is yielding to the ''world system'' (167) and to the ''arm of flesh.'' (84). Furthermore, taking any drug for any reason is sorcery according to Balizet (171). She refers to people who have never ingested drugs of any kind as ''undefiled'' and ''virgins'' (174), and incredibly, even denounces medicinal wine (170), which Paul recommended to Timothy! (1 Tim. 5:23).
(...) Balizet believes that getting a Caesarean Section is a particularly abominable sin. All women who have had Caesareans have ''the same spirit,'' the ''spirit of Caesar,'' who is one and the same with ''the Strong Man, the Satanic high prince over the organization and sphere of humanism'' because they have ''rendered their babies unto Caesar'' rather than to God (48). In other words, women with Caesarean scars are idol-worshipers who are demon possessed.
(...) It will be regrettable if Zion Birth becomes everyone's idea of Christian midwifery. It isn't Christian, and it isn't midwifery.
The Zion Birth Heresy, by Jill Barrett
Note: Oddly, the article quoted above is part of the ''Unassisted Homebirth'' site, which itself advocates homebirth without any medical assistance:
This site is devoted to promoting a wonderful way to birth a baby, that being, with no medical assistance. We are Christians, and God has blessed us with 8 beautiful children. The last 6 were unassisted home births. Each of them were caught by their daddy. He is the head of our home, and it is only appropriate that he be the first person to touch his child. An unassisted birth is any birth that takes place without the supervision of a medical-type professional (i.e. a doctor, nurse, or midwife). An Unassisted Childbirth (UC) can be planned or unplanned. All of our UCs have been planned and well-prepared for.
Unassisted Homebirth, introduction
Also, the ''Unassisted Homebirth'' site is hosted on server operated by a church that promotes the ''King James only'' position. Nevertheless, the article does a good job pointing out the manifold errors in Carol Balizet's teachings.
My first encounter with the concept of Zion Birth came through a Christian midwives email list, which I joined as a fledgling childbirth educator, eager to learn and find support with fellow believers. I was shocked and dismayed to find that many of these women practiced or supported the philosophy of Zion Birth, based on the book Born in Zion by Carol Balizet. The basic idea behind the concept is that Christians are not to put their faith in anything besides God. Of course that sounds good to begin with, but in birth practice this means not seeking medical care even if things don't go well. Now I am all in favor of natural birth, and home birth. But to stand by and watch one's baby die, all in the name of faith...that goes against every fiber in my being. And yet this is exactly what Carol Balizet and other Zion Birth "midwives" would have you do. It directly violates all the biblical teachings about the sanctity of life and I'm certain it grieves the Lord deeply.
Cross-Cultural Issues Not an article, but a collection messages as posted to www.gentlebirth.org
The Zion Birth Heresy, by Jill Barrett. This article is quoted above, along with some remarks regarding the source. The article is accompanied by two testimonials.
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Home In Zion Ministries (Official site) Caution: this is a heretical ministry, with dangerous teachings that have already led to the death of children (see: Attleboro Cult)
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