How Dependent Should the Church Be on Psychological Theories?
|By: Dave Hunt; ©1991|
|Why would a past president of the Association of Humanistic Psychology say, “Psychotherapy will probably be known as the hoax of the twentieth century?” Could psychotherapy actually do more harm than good? What can psychotherapy offer someone that they cannot find in Christ?|
How Dependent Should the Church Be on Current-Day Psychological Theories?
How Scientific is Psychotherapy?
The information in this program was taped live at the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute’s Apologetics Conference in Orlando, Florida. Our instructor for this session is Mr. Dave Hunt. Dave is an internationally known researcher, author and lecturer. His books include the bestselling titles The Seduction of Christianity, America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, and Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist. Dave Hunt has been a guest a number of times on our program, The John Ankerberg Show.
Dave’s topic for this session is “How Dependent Should the Church Be on Current Day Psychological Theories?” As you listen to this information, it would be my prayer that God would increase your faith and draw you closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dave Hunt: This topic has gotten me in as much trouble as anything. My wife says that she didn’t realize she was going to be married to the most hated man in Christendom. Of course there are a lot of people in the positive confession that don’t like me, but I would say the Christian psychologists have just as great a dislike. So our topic is psychology and how much the church should depend upon it. It’s a big topic and I could take about the next ten hours to really deal with it so we’ll try to do our best in a brief time.
Let me make it clear, first of all, we’re not speaking about all psychology in general. That’s too big a topic to get into. I’m not talking about educational psychology, for example: learning problems children may have and how you can best teach them and so forth. We’re not talking about industrial psychology: what kind of sound or light would be best for the work environment, etc. We’re talking about psychotherapy which is the kind of psychology that impacts most people and that most people have contact with anyway. Let me just be blunt, because I guess we don’t have time to beat around the bush.
Psychology, psychotherapy is the biggest rip off ever foisted on the world. It’s misrepresented. It’s not scientific. It doesn’t work. It’s a confusion of contradictory theories. It was Lawrence LeShan, not Dave Hunt, past president of the Association of Humanistic Psychology, who said, “Psychotherapy will probably be known as the hoax of the twentieth century.”
Lawrence LeShan, of course, was the man who also said—and not because he’s an opponent of it—that the basic model that brought about Western psychology and psychiatry is the same model that brought about Eastern mysticism, yoga and so forth. It comes from the occult. We’ll document that a little bit. It’s harmful. Most people don’t know that. It’s astonishing to me that at the same time that increasing numbers of secular psychologists and psychiatrists are writing books to expose the bankruptcy of their field and the dangers and the errors, that the Christians are jumping on this sinking ship while the rest of the world is abandoning it, even claiming the Freudian theories when Freud has been largely discredited in our society. So, there’s a great need for information, for truth, because the public has been largely led astray. You’ve been misinformed, you’ve been deceived and that’s the purpose of today’s seminar and you can draw your own conclusions from the facts.
Psychotherapy is basically a science of mind. Our last hour, some of you were there, most of you were not, we talked about Science of Mind, Religious Science. It’s a religion. Psychotherapy is a rival to Christianity. It’s a substitute salvation. And it’s an attempt to explain and adjust human behavior by humanistic methods apart from God and His Word. It’s an attempt to find a science of human behavior.
Well, that’s impossible. If you can explain human behavior scientifically, then for me to say to my wife “I love you,” would be no more significant than to say “I have a gastro-intestinal pain. I have an itch,” because love would have to be a natural process explainable in scientific terms and it would be no more meaningful than a reaction of chemicals in a test tube. I hope you understand that. You cannot explain human behavior scientifically. If you could, you could predict what I’m going to do next and I defy you to try. Because whatever you say, I’ll do something else.
We do have the power of choice. We do have a free will and you can’t predict, you can’t make a science when the subject of your experiment is hopping about capriciously with an independent will. You know, you just can’t make a science out of human behavior. But it [psychology] is an attempt to explain human behavior in scientific terms. Even secular psychiatrists and psychologists recognize the bankruptcy of this thing and that you can’t possibly do it and it leaves strewn in its wake failed theories and ruined lives.
You may, might find it interesting, probably most of you, maybe none of you, would be aware that there was a mental illness that was cured by the Civil War. Are you aware of that? It was called drapetomania, that was the technical term for it. It was scientifically diagnosed by the psychiatrists of the day as inflicting slaves with the desire to escape the plantation. Can you believe it? It was a mental illness, and the Civil War cured that one fast. Isn’t that amazing. The Civil War could cure a mental illness.
Just the very thought of a mental illness, there’s no such thing as a mental illness. You can have, you know, a foul-up in your brain, you can have a chemical deficiency or some of the wires get crossed or whatever or damage to the brain which is a physical organ, but you cannot have a mental illness because the mind is not physical. It doesn’t get sick. But it’s a good out, you know, the reason I haul off and slug my wife every now and then is it’s a mental illness. It’s not my fault you see. And you don’t hold someone responsible if they get sick, if they catch some virus and so why would you hold me responsible for aberrant behavior, simple behavior, when it really isn’t my fault. It’s an illness, folks. I mean, I need a doctor of the mind to deal with it. So, it really provides an unbiblical diagnosis of sin and excuse unfortunately.
I’ll just give you a few quotes that I think might be of interest because I deal with it quite a bit in Beyond Seduction. And you often hear this statement, “What you need is professional help.” Have you heard that one? Professional help. Jerry Falwell has fallen for this, unfortunately, and so his LUSLL, Liberty University School of Life Long Learning. And now, under Gary Collins’ direction, so-called Christian psychologist, is offering degrees so that you can become a professional curer of the spirit. Isn’t that wonderful? That’s supposed to be a notch above biblical methods because now we’ve added science to this.
By the way, you should know that those of us who are writing in this area, let’s say John Ankerberg, and you can check it out with John, he has tried for I don’t know how many years, ever since Seduction of Christianity was written in 1985, he has tried to get anybody that I name in that book to come on his program with me and discuss the issues. You know how many have agreed? Zero. Nobody. And that includes the Christian psychologists, okay? From Gary Collins, James Dobson, Larry Crabb, you name them, not one, not one! And if they watch this video, it’s a renewal of a challenge, brothers, would you please, why not discuss this, the issues with an open Bible before the church and let them come to their own conclusions. You’re going to have to ask yourself, “Why won’t they do it?” Because they can’t defend it from the Bible. It’s not possible.
I often talk to young people who come up to me and they want to take psychology, want to major in psychology in university. And, well, because they want to help people. They want to become counselors. So you’ve got a basic problem in the church. The church is really not taking care, there are a lot of hurting people. We do need counseling but we need biblical counseling not psychological counseling. We’ve got a lot of hurting people and they’re not getting the help because we’re not fulfilling the law of Christ which is to bear one another’s burdens. There should be mature couples who will take under their wing younger couples who are struggling just with the problems of living, financial difficulties, difficulties between themselves and so forth who will take them under their wing and will pour their lives into them. There are people in our churches that don’t have a friend.
You know, I travel around the world and I can tell you that my wife, she’s a very friendly person, and if people don’t know who she is and, in fact, just last week I had her stand up and still nobody talks to her. That’s not everywhere but almost most places. They’re too involved in themselves—their own little clique of friends. Why, she could be a lady who’s come in from the neighborhood with spiritual needs. She’s hurting, she’s searching and nobody wants to find out. So because of that the church is, in fact, the largest referral agency to secular psychologists and psychiatrists. That’s tragic.
And you hear this statement is “Oh, what you need is professional help.” I mean, Paul wasn’t a professional, was he? The disciples were fishermen. You know, what did the church do for 18 centuries before Freud and Jung and Rogers and Maslow and all these godless theorists came along to help us out? Well, I’m quoting Bernie Zilbergeld. He’s a clinical psychologist who spent 15 years investigating his own profession, clinical psychology.
By the way, Larry Crabb was a clinical psychologist for 10 years, a practicing clinical psychologist. And when I sat down with Larry and discussed his books, I said, “Larry, when I read your books, I don’t see you exegeting the Bible. You don’t get it out of the Bible. You get it from your training and practice as a clinical psychologist. That’s where it comes from. And then you try to impose a biblical interpretation on it only you don’t even try to do that very often.”
Bernie Zilbergeld wrote, “One of the most consistent and important effects of counseling is a desire for more counseling.” Well, I used to see that when I was in the business world. My secretaries and bookkeepers and so forth, when they got involved in psychotherapy, it was an endless process. It made them worse and they became dependent upon these people.
Well, Bernie Zilbergeld says, “It’s no longer unusual to meet people who are looking for a therapist to resolve problems caused in a previous therapy.” But this is the pertinent quote that I wanted to give to you. He says, quote—this is not Dave Hunt the critic, this is Bernie Zilbergeld, clinical psychologist, spent 15 years investigating his own profession, and he says—“There is absolutely no evidence that professional therapists have any special knowledge of how to change behavior or that they obtain better results with any type of client or problem than those with little or no formal training.” Okay. He goes on and he says, “Most people can probably get the same kind of help from friends, relatives or others that they get from therapists if their friends and relatives would have enough love and compassion to sit down and talk them through their problems” and show some concern and help them to understand the situation. You don’t need professional help.
In America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice I have just a couple of chapters on it in here and I’m quoting Thomas Szasy, professor of psychiatry. Very well known, Thomas Szasy; some of his books, The Myth of Psychotherapy, The Myth of Mental Illness, and so forth. Thomas Szasy who says, you want to know what we’ve done? He’s a non-practicing Jew, he says, you want to know what we’ve done? We have turned the salvation of sinful souls into the cure of sick minds. You see what’s happened. Take it from a secular Jewish non-Christian psychiatrist who looks at his profession and says, it used to be the cure of sinful souls, and the church took care of it. Now we’ve turned it into the cure of sick minds. And, in fact, he says, you ought to take it back into the church because we’ve got no answers.
Well, then, why is the church turning to this? Why is it such a big deal for them to get a degree? I think I began saying back there that I talk to young people who want to get a degree because the church will support a pastor, youth minister, choir director, CE or you know, Christian education director or whatever, but they won’t pay for counselors to deal with people. So you have to charge to support yourself. The church won’t support you. You want to help people, you’ve got to charge, but in order to charge you have to have a license. You have to be licensed by the state; that means you got to meet their criteria. And I often say to these young people that want to major in psychology and they want to become Christian psychologists—well, I say, “Now what kind of a psychologist are you going to be?” You’re going to be behavioristic, humanistic, transpersonal, Freudian, Jungian, Rogerian, now what kind are you going to be? You’ve got about 250 psychologies and about 10,000 therapies. Now which one are you going to embrace and call it Christian? I don’t care which one you embrace. You’ve got thousands of both Christian and non-Christian psychologists and psychiatrists who disagree with you.
I say it with James Dobson—and he’s a very sincere man who wants to help people—and he pointed to an open Bible and he said, “If I felt I was doing,…” and he was very sincere and earnest, “If I felt I was doing anything contrary to this book, I would stop it right now.”
I said, “Dr. Dobson, with all due respect, you are.” I said, “You know you built your whole, your whole, ministry upon self-esteem.” We’ll come back and quote him a bit later. Everything is dependent on self-esteem. That’s the cause of all our problems, lack of self-esteem.
I said, “Dr. Dobson, you don’t even have a solid foundation psychologically, because that happens to be one, only one, of hundreds of conflicting theories and there are literally thousands of well qualified psychologists and psychiatrists both Christian and non-Christian who disagree with that theory, so you don’t have a solid foundation scientifically if it were a science.”
Furthermore, biblically, Philippians 2:3 says “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” And Romans 12 warns us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Nowhere does the Bible warn us not to think more lowly, because we don’t have that problem.
Well, Professor Szasy says, “The popular image of Freud,”—now listen to this—it’s not only not scientific, it’s not only bankrupt, but it’s anti-Christian. He says, and he’s Jewish, Freud was Jewish. Okay, here’s a Jewish psychiatrist and he’s telling you, you want to know what Freud was really up to? I’ll tell you. He says, “The popular image of Freud as an enlightened, emancipated, irreligious person who with the aid of psychoanalysis discovered ‘that religion is a mental illness’ is pure fiction.” One of Freud’s most powerful motives in life was the desire to inflict vengeance on Christianity. Okay. Now you begin to get an idea of the roots of this thing. It is the enemy of Christianity. It is a rival religion.
Bernie Zilbergeld that I just quoted says, “Those whose ancestors took comfort from the words of God and worshipped at the altars of Christ and Yahweh now take solace from and worship at the altars of Freud, Jung, Carl Rogers and a host of similar authorities.”
Rogers himself turned sharply against his Christian upbringing. He was, in fact, in seminary at the time he turned to psychology—became an atheist. He said, “Yes it is true. Psychotherapy is subversive. Therapy, theories and techniques promote a new model of man contrary to that which has been traditionally acceptable.” What he’s talking about is the biblical view of man.
Psychology today from the very first took its religious responsibilities seriously. In its second year, 1969, Psychology Today was already observing that psychology must “help man face his own inner experiences without the guidance of traditional foundation stones of Judeo-Christian experience.” Okay. Psychology Today went on to say “Left without collectively sanctioned God values and moral absolutes we’re compelled to erect our own morality, arrive at our own faith and belief and discover the meaning of our own existence.”
In the same year May declared, “We have bid goodbye to the theologians at the wake of our dead God.” Okay.
Viennese journalist Carl Kraus called psychoanalysis “the faith of a generation incapable of any other.” Thomas Szasy again quoting him says, “Psychotherapy is not merely a religion that pretends to be a science. It is a fake religion that seeks to destroy true religion.”
Okay, I could go on and on and give you quotes to show you the nature of this thing. Well, you say, but well, I’ve got to get you another, just refer to something else here as I see in my notes which I usually abandon and forget about. I think it was 1984, no 1985, I think it was, they had the largest gathering of psychologists and psychiatrists in history, 7,000 of them gathered in Phoenix. This was the Woodstock of the world of psychology, and all of the heroes were there, all of the living masters and I think they turned 3,000 away. They just couldn’t get them all in. And their images were on huge TV screens and so forth. Well, so that you know that I’m not making it up, let’s dig out from the LA Times. It was 1985, British psychiatrist, R. D. Laing was there known for his work on schizophrenia. He said, “Now again, see, why go around and I try to say psychotherapy is bankrupt! It’s a lie! It’s a fraud! It’s been foisted on humanity! It’s not true! It’s harmful!” People think I stepped off of another planet somewhere and I’ve been out of touch because they’ve been raised to believe in this thing, alright.
So now forget Dave Hunt the critic for a moment and let’s listen to R. D. Laing, the British psychiatrist. He says he “couldn’t think of any fundamental insight into relations between human beings that has resulted from a century of psychotherapy.” Okay. He says I don’t think we’ve gone beyond Socrates, Euripides, Shakespeare or Tolstoy.
Dr. Joseph Volpe, a pioneering behaviorist therapist, said, viewing this scene there in Phoenix, “An outside observer would be surprised to learn that this is what the evolution of psychotherapy has come to, a babble of conflicting voices.” That’s what it is. They couldn’t agree on anything. The only thing they could agree on is that it’s not scientific.
Carl Rogers received a standing ovation before he said a word. This was Carl Rogers who got in touch with the spirit of his dead wife Helen through a Ouija board because, true to his selfist theories, he had developed another relationship while she lay dying of a terminal illness—because you can’t be pouring yourself into somebody who’s dying; you got to look out for number 1. That’s selfist psychology. Well, he got a little bit of guilt about this and so after her death he got in touch with Helen through a Ouija board, and what do you know, Helen came through and she said,… you know I forget, what did she say exactly? Anyway she comforted him. It’s okay, Carl. It’s alright. What you did was okay and so forth, and he wipes his hand across his brow and says, “By gosh, what a relief that was to me.”
You know, this is the guy who gets a standing ovation before he even says a word before these psychiatrists and psychologists. It was Carl Rogers who said that we must learn to worship the deity within, not this God without. And we must learn to worship at the altar of self, okay. Well, he was one of the biggies there. He since knows better, he’s gone on to the next life.
R. D. Laing said at this conference, this is, boy, you would find this most interesting, he said, “I have discovered something more beneficial than anything psychotherapy has to offer.” This is a psychiatrist now, you want to know what this is. You’re sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering, wow what’s he going to say, more beneficial than anything psychotherapy has to offer. “You hum a favorite tune,” said R. D. Laing. And he says, my favorite one is “Keep Right On to the End of the Road,” “Keep Right On to the End of the Road.” End of what road? The Bible says, “There’s a way that seemeth right unto a man and the end thereof are the ways of death.” And these people don’t know where they’re going and they are leading the blind, leading the blind and they’re all going to fall into the ditch.
Now, you know, what I’m saying. I don’t know how many of you can even take it in because you’ve been brainwashed to believe that this stuff works. Well, somebody says, now wait a minute, what about Christian psychology? There’s no such thing. There ain’t no such animal. Let me make sure everything doesn’t fall off here. And let me give you another little quote here. I’m quoting two Christian psychologists at a large symposium of their fellow Christian psychologists in Santa Barbara, and listen to what they say: “We’re often asked if we’re Christian psychologists and we find it difficult to answer since we don’t know what the question implies. We are Christians who are psychologists, but at the present time there is no acceptable Christian psychology that is markedly different from non-Christian psychology. There is not an acceptable theory, mode of research or treatment methodology in psychology that is distinctly Christian.”
Well, you know that that’s true. Go to any library, go to any university, look in any textbook, psychology textbook, look up in the index and try to find a listing for Christian psychology. It does not exist. Why doesn’t it exist? Because there is no Christian who is the Freud, or the Jung or the Rogers or the whatever who is the inventor of a theory of psychology called Christian psychology. Then what is Christian psychology? It’s an attempt to take what the humanists, the godless atheists have as their theories and somehow integrate it with the Word of God and it doesn’t work.
Again, I’m quoting Bruce Narramore the nephew of Clyde Narramore, the granddaddy, one of the granddaddies of Christian psychology, so-called, in the United States and listen to what he says. This is not Dave Hunt the critic, this is a Christian psychologist. He says, “Under the influence of humanistic psychologists like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, many of us Christians have begun to see our need for self-love and self-esteem.” Did you hear what the man said? He said nobody in 1900 years of reading this Book on their knees ever got that idea out of there. Where did it come from? He himself says, the humanists. That’s where the idea came from and then we went back to the Bible. We tried to massage a few key verses around to make it appear that, well, what do you know, that’s what holy writ has always been talking about but nobody ever knew it! You wouldn’t find it in the writings of Spurgeon, Moody, Wesley, Whitfield, Calvin, Luther, anybody down through history but it was the “godless” —oops, my wife said, “Don’t keep saying godless.” —That’s who they are. It was the humanists, the atheists, the anti-Christians who came up with a new theory which we now impose upon the Bible to come out with a new understanding of how to counsel people that the church never had for 1800 years.
You’re going to have to ask yourself, either so-called Christian psychology is not true or something’s been wrong. The church was left without the tools to deal with the problems of human beings. And this book, although it claims to have given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, somehow or other it didn’t. Now you’re going to have to take the words of Jesus in John 8, about verse 31 or thereabouts. You remember, he says, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed.” Remember what Jesus said? He said you will know part of the truth and you will be made partially free but I can’t set you wholly free because all of the truth is not yet known because the Holy Spirit through ignorance or oversight somehow is not able to put it all in the New Testament but one of these days new prophets will arise inspired of God with His truth, men like Freud and Rogers and Jung—Carl Jung who was heavily involved in the occult and so forth—they will give us that part of the truth that the Holy Spirit has not been able to put into the Word and then we will at last have the wherewith to deal with people who have problems.
No! Jesus said you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. One of the biggest lies that these people use is all truth is God’s truth. Well, that sounds good. But what do you mean by truth? Do you mean 2 + 2 = 4? Do you mean E=MC2, godless person can come up with polio vaccine like Jonas Salk, a New Ager came up with, that’s not truth, those are the facts of science. And even if psychology were scientific, all we’d have is the facts of science that is not the truth.
When Jesus stood before Pilate and he said, “This is the purpose that I came here to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” He’s talking about something very special. He’s not talking about something that’s available to any godless humanist out there. He’s not talking about something that comes from science.
Let me give you just a couple of verses that would settle I think thoroughly. John 14:17, Jesus said, “I’m not going to leave you orphans. I’m going to send another comforter to you. The Spirit of truth whom,” what? “The world can not receive because it seeth him not neither knoweth him.”
Alright? John 16:13, Jesus said, “When he the Spirit of truth has come, he will lead you into some of the truths but of course he can’t lead you into all the truths,” No! When he the Spirit of truth has come, he will lead you into all truth,” okay.
Now if the Spirit of truth leads into all truth and the world can’t receive the Spirit of truth who leads into all truth, don’t you tell me that the carnal mind of an Einstein or a Freud or anybody else has truth? No. They’ve learned some of the facts of nature, some of the facts of science but not the truth that sets free! The Bible says the fruit of therapy is love. No! The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. The Spirit of truth will lead us into all truth. The problem is it’s the way of the cross and people are not willing to take the way of the cross, to deny self and to take up the cross and follow me. So it’s an attempt to reach out and take the theories of these humanists and somehow incorporate them into the Word of God.
Let’s just see what the Bible says just very briefly. The words that have become so popular today, that are used constantly, you’ll hear it from pulpits and church leaders, pastors, counselors, in sermons and books, some of these words emotional, unconscious, subconscious, mental, complex, personality, they are not used once in the Bible. This is a new terminology, a new diagnosis of new diseases and new cures. The concepts of self-image, self-worth, self-acceptance are not even hinted at in the Bible but instead we’re taught the denial of self. No terminology—and you can check it out for yourself; just look on your computer—there is no terminology that can be reconciled with modern psychology or that suggest a psychology basis for diagnosis or cure of wrong behavior, attitudes or anything that can be found in the entire Bible. Not anywhere.
Some people have written to James Dobson and asked him, “Why don’t you use the Bible to support?” He had, for example, I don’t know if you heard the message he was talking about with me. You know these guys are running around the country and saying there’s no such thing as low self-esteem and so forth and people do hate themselves, you know somebody says, see there’s a basic misunderstanding there again and somebody says, “I hate myself. I’m so fat. I’m so skinny. I’ve got such bad acne. I just hate myself.”
And he gives the example over and over. This girl he counseled in junior high or somewhere that was covered with acne, teeth going in all directions and so forth and she just hated herself. She said “I hate myself.’” I say you don’t hate yourself. I do hate myself. Were you ever upset because somebody you hated was ugly?
If you hated yourself, you’d be glad you’re ugly, right? Don’t give me this nonsense about hating yourself. What you hate is the way you look. You hate the way people act towards you. You hate your job, you hate your circumstances in life and that only proves that you love yourself. Or you wouldn’t be concerned about it. Don’t give me this nonsense about hating yourself. You don’t hate self; you love yourself and you hate some of the problems that you’ve been confronted with.
I was counseling with a man who had done some things that might, I mean he only hinted at it, might send him to prison and he told me he was going to commit suicide. He said, “I hate myself. I’m going to kill myself.”
I said, “Come on. Get off of that. You don’t hate yourself.” You look upon suicide as an escape. Now look, if you really hated yourself, you’d only be too happy to stand in front of a judge and confess all your crimes and see yourself exposed to the world and suffer in prison if you hated yourself! You’re doing everything you can to avoid that. Don’t tell me you hate yourself. You love yourself. But you hate your circumstances and you hate your problems. James Dobson doesn’t seem to understand that.
Of course, a person hates. They say, “I hate myself,” but they don’t really hate themselves. They’re hating the things seemingly life has inflicted upon them and they don’t know how to deal with them and the way to deal with them is not to develop a good self-image.
The Bible says we’re made in the image of God, Genesis 1:26. And when you think of an image you think of a mirror. And a mirror has one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to reflect a reality other than itself, right? What would you think of a mirror that tried to develop a good self-image? It doesn’t fit. If there is something wrong with the image in the mirror, what the mirror needs to do to get it back in a right relationship with the one whose image it was designed to reflect, right? But instead of that, we’re being turned from Christ to ourselves. Develop a good self-concept, sense of self-worth and a positive self-image in this life.
I like the way I think it was in the four laws C. S. Lewis said, “We are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright at all, depends entirely upon the Son who shines upon us.” We need to get to know him. But today the idea is get to know yourself. Get into your feelings. You know, find out who you really are. No. Get to know him and forget yourself. I think they even have a little chorus, “Forget about yourself and concentrate on him and worship him.” Isn’t that what it says?
So people have written to Dobson and this is standard response that comes back from his ministry that they say, why aren’t you biblical? And the answer comes back that Dr. Dobson has deliberately directed the attention of his ministry away from matters of biblical interpretation and theology choosing instead to concentrate our efforts exclusively on family related topics. Well, then, what’s your source of authority if you’ve deliberately turned from the Bible? And in this talk that he gives or that I heard him give on the radio about these critics of his self-esteem and so forth. He said I don’t mean pride and he went down the list and he gave a good talk about pride, about what God says against pride from the Bible and he used some Bible verses. But when he then talked about self-esteem, he couldn’t come up with one Bible verse. He didn’t give one.
Psychological theories have impacted the church, have changed the way people think. I say it comes out of the occult. I’ve got documentation here, the Shaman’s Drum, for example, a journal of experiential shamanism. One of the advertisements in the Shaman’s Drum this particular time was they were advertising the 24th annual meeting of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, an unforgettable opportunity to learn from some of the most important healers and spiritual leaders in West Africa and Brazil. Who are they talking about? Witchdoctors. Journey into altered states of consciousness where one can meet one’s higher spirit teachers and the gods themselves and so forth. This is humanistic psychology.
This was the schedule at another conference of the Association of Humanistic Psychology—visualization and healing, education is alchemy, the art of transformational teaching, we will present a practical model for educating the whole student, mind, body, spirit using mythology, guided imagery and so forth. We’re going to change your children’s minds, we’re going to turn them into shamans in the public schools because as psychologists we have the right to go in there and do this.
Another one was called “Being the Wizard We Are.” Another one about altered states of consciousness again and so forth. It comes out of the occult. And they’re very heavily involved in the occult.
Well, Larry Crabb has a saying, you know a clever little saying, “We’re spoiling the Egyptians.” If you haven’t heard that one, that’s one he uses quite a bit. Just as the Israelites when they left Egypt, they spoiled the Egyptians. Hey, wait a minute, they took their gold and silver and jewelry; they didn’t take their philosophy and their religion. And even then they made a golden calf out of it. So to say well we’re just taking from the wisdom of the world, why are we taking the wisdom of the world?
I thought we had the mind of Christ. I thought it was no longer I, but Christ living in me. Christ doesn’t need psychotherapy. What I need to do is let Christ have his way in my life and express himself through me in the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the solution, not these…well, I started to say godless theories again, but you know, it’s astonishing, but James Dobson, I was amazed. He was interviewing Gary Collins. This is Dr. Dobson who answers your questions. He says, “Dr. Gary Collins sees modern psychology based on five suppositions that are humanistic and atheistic in substance. They are empiricism, reductionism, relativism, determinism and naturalism. And I agree. That’s the way it is. But a Christian psychologist must reject a certain portion of the training he receives in university programs. But after all there are some psychological theories that are proven to be consistent with biblical teaching.” Wait. He just told that the whole foundation is atheistic humanism.
Well, why must I dredge through the muck and mire to find something that’s compatible with the Bible? Why don’t I go to the Bible and take it from this? If it’s compatible with the Bible why not just take it from the Bible?
Gary Collins or Larry Crabb first writes in Understanding People, page 129, he says, “Unless we understand sin is rooted in unconscious beliefs and motives and figure out how to expose and deal with these deep forces within the personality the church will continue to promote superficial adjustment while psychotherapists with or without biblical foundations will do a better job than the church of restoring troubled people to more effective functioning.”
Did you hear what the man said? He said the Bible doesn’t have the answers! That there are deep-rooted sources. That’s Freud’s theory, an unscientific theory of the unconscious and psychic determinism, his two major theories that most psychology—Christian and non-Christian—is based upon today. The idea that there are, you know, these unconscious urges buried in my deep psyche that have arisen from traumatic experiences that I’ve had in my childhood and they are causing me to do things I don’t even know why and I have no control over this. You can pray and they give examples. Oh, they pray. They memorize the Bible and it just didn’t work. Then I guess the Bible doesn’t work and the church has been left without the means of changing sinful behavior all of these years.
No, it’s not true. And Larry Crabb, until we get the psychological techniques for going into the unconscious and coming out with these traumas and re-experiencing them and deal with them, you can’t change your behavior, it’s beyond your control. It’s a mental illness. That simply is not true and in his book Inside Out, Larry Crabb, oh, he tried to exegete the Bible. For example, very few times does he try to exegete the Bible and I’m not trying to criticize Larry Crabb, but let’s be honest about this. And I’ve said the same thing to Larry himself. And I would love to say it on TV discussing it before the church. He goes to Jeremiah. Is it chapter one or chapter two where God speaking through Jeremiah says, “My people have committed two evils. They’ve forsaken me the fountain of living waters.” (Jer. 2:13).
And Larry says, “You see, we are thirsty.” That’s what we learn from this. We’re thirsty and then the second thing he says we are thirsty for what? Interpersonal relationships. No! We’re thirsty for God! Augustine said it, “Thou hast made us for thyself, Oh, God, and we are restless till we find our rest in thee.”
Pascal said the God-shaped vacuum in the human heart and, in fact, he goes on and he says my people committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and they dug themselves out cisterns, broken cisterns, that won’t hold water. So everything that Larry talks about in that book—he says we are all suffering from broken relationships. And you want to know the worst cases? Those people who don’t think they’re suffering from them.
He tells about a young man in there who was just as happy as could be praising the Lord and everything was fine. Ah, he’s guilty of denial. You’ve got problems, folks. You just don’t know it. But get yourself in the hands of a psychiatrist, a Christian psychologist, get into a group therapy session and they’ll root it out.
And Paul says forgetting those things that are behind and reaching forth unto that which is before. The past, look I have sympathy with people who have been sexually abused or whatever it may have befallen them in the past, rejected. Chuck Solomon, that is his whole thing and it’s rejection, the rejection syndrome, you know that’s the problem, rejection.
Wait a minute, the Bible is all about people who were rejected. What about Joseph sold into Egypt, hated by his brothers? I mean that’s what it’s all about. The Bible is all about these people. Never did they need therapy. Never did they need to go into the past to straighten it out. Oh, I didn’t have a loving father so I couldn’t understand a loving God. You don’t get your idea of God from human beings but from a revelation of God himself to you if you will open your heart.
So in Psalm 27 David says, “When my mother and father forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” These people were rejected, despised, hated, thrown out and they found their comfort and their strength and their joy in the Lord, not through some psychotherapeutic technique. And we’re being turned from the real truth of the Word of God back to the theories of men that don’t work.
Gary Collins in Can You Trust Psychology? —the answer is no—but Gary Collins on page 130 says, “It is too early to answer decisively if psychology and Christianity can be integrated.” He says there is no such thing as Christian psychology and we haven’t been able to put the thing together yet. After 40 years of trying. Well, then why keep trying? Why not just take the Bible?
Just so you understand what these people are teaching, Gary Collins again in Can You Trust Psychology? on page 97 says, “The Bible speaks to human needs but God in his goodness also has allowed us” —now wait a minute, he doesn’t mean us, not Christians, what he means is Freud, Jung and so forth—“has allowed us to discover psychological truths about human behavior and counseling that are never mentioned in Scripture but are consistent with the written word of God and helpful to people facing the problems in modern living.”
So he says the Bible doesn’t have the answers but there are psychological answers out there that are very helpful. Rita Bennett, for example, says, “I was born again in the spirit,” telling of how when she was saved, “I became a new creation but my soul part is another matter.” You see the line of psychology? Psychology, Carl Jung said, psychology is the study of the psyche—the psyche, in Greek, the soul—and Carl Jung says we don’t know what the psyche is but we’re studying it. She says, I became a new creation, born again, a new creation, but my soul, that’s another part. The Greek word for soul is psyche, my soul is my psychological nature, this part of me is in the process of being made whole day by day, this book that she’s writing about Inner Healing, is specifically about the healing of the soul. She goes on to discuss, “A vast area called the unconscious that Christians are not able to reach directly but which mysteriously governs our behavior” and so forth and so on. It’s not biblical. It’s new diagnosis of illnesses that now become mental illnesses.
John MacArthur has just written an excellent book they tell me and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but I’m taking this from “Masterpiece, summer 1989” and John MacArthur said, “I recently listened aghast as a Christian psychologist on live radio counseled a caller to express anger at his therapist by making an obscene gesture at him. Go ahead, he told the caller. It’s an honest expression of your feelings. Don’t try to keep your anger inside. So this is called ventilation. You ventilate your anger. It’s a psychological theory but there’s also psychologists who says, “Hey that’s bad. You’re making it worse by ventilating.” Better to do what the Bible says: exercise some self-control and hold this thing in control.
Then he said, that same week I heard another popular Christian broadcast that offers live counseling to callers nationwide. A woman called and said she has had a problem with compulsive fornication for years. She said she goes to bed with anyone and feels powerless to change her behavior. The counselor suggested that her conduct is a result of wounds inflicted by a passive father and an overbearing mother. You see, it’s not my fault. It’s something that happened to me in the past. It’s something that was done to me. I’m not the perpetrator of anything. I’m the victim of something and I’m helpless. The therapist said, “There’s no simple road to recovery. Your problem won’t go away immediately. It’s an addiction and these things usually require extended counseling.”
So sin has become an addiction. It’s not my fault. It’s like drug addiction. You know, something that comes over me and I have no control on it. Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, go and sin no more. They say, go to your therapist. It could take years to talk this thing over with him and finally get the mastery of it.
Where did it come from? Christian psychology, most of you, I’m sure, are not aware that it came from Norman Vincent Peale. Norman Vincent Peale, this is an article in the LA Times quoting from the Baker Book House Encyclopedia of Psychology and Harold Owens, who is the founder, editor of The Journal of Psychology and Christianity gave the biography, or I mean was telling about Norman Vincent Peale the role he played in bringing psychology into the church and said, “It is a very significant fact that Dr. Peale was three-quarters of a century ahead of the times with his emphasis on the relationship between psychology and religious experience. He had the courage to stand pat on this position in spite of the opposition of the entire Christian church for nearly half a century.” Did you hear that? What I’m telling you today is what the entire Christian church said for half a century. They stood against this thing.
Well, Robert Schuller he hung in there. Norman Vincent Peale hung in there and they kept writing their books and talking and so forth and finally the church succumbed and opened the doors to this humanistic, the humanistic, lies that have come in. One of the most tragic things that I see out there it’s getting to be an epidemic.
Here’s a large, lengthy newspaper article and it was the Detroit News, Saturday, October 20, 1990, and here is a family, here’s a husband, and his in-laws. This man has been accused of sexual abuse. And I mean I talk to people all the time. They’ll come up to me. A young lady will come up to me after a session like this and say, “Well I’ve been going to this Christian counselor and you know I found out that my father sexually abused me when I was two years old.”
I say, “Well how do you know? Do you have any witnesses?”
Oh, well, my brothers and sisters and my mother and everybody denies it but you know, I went into therapy and it came out under therapy.”
In Seduction of Christianity I quote Carney Landis, a psychiatrist with the Columbia Institute of Psychiatry, who said, you know, to become a psychiatrist you have to take the medicine. And he said you have to go into therapy, and he said I had, it was destroying me. He said a frank talk with my therapist who admitted that psychotherapy would create neurosis in any normal individual. And then Dr. Landis said, a psychiatrist, he said, “I came to the conclusion that therapy does not uncover traumas from the past; it creates the delusion of traumas that were never there.”
I had a call on the phone, an elder of a church called me very earnestly he said, Dave we’ve got a real serious problem. A young lady in our fellowship in her early twenties has been going to a psychologist, a Christian psychologist, and she discovered that her father abused her and not only that, he involved her in satanic rituals and so forth. He’s an elder in our fellowship, impeccable reputation. What are we going to do? I said what kind of evidence do you have for this? Oh, well, in therapy I mean this all came… Yeah. There is an epidemic and that’s what this whole story is about. Somebody who is falsely accused, I mean they went to a therapist and you know suggestions.
I come from California, then, we moved to Oregon. I can tell you that the Supreme Court of the State of California has outlawed all testimony by witnesses who have been hypnotized. And you can read the California Law Journal. It’s happening in Maryland, Arizona, other states are outlawing it because after you have once been hypnotized—and, look, psychotherapy is a form of hypnosis, inner healing is a form of hypnosis. I didn’t get into visualizing Jesus and going into the past, leading a whole congregation on a wholesale fishing expeditions back into the past, you know under suggestion and so forth, it’s a form of hypnosis—and the experts will tell you that once you’ve been hypnotized, you have lost all hope of knowing what really happened and that there is no way for the hypnotist, no matter how careful he is, to not implant suggestions and guide you into coming out with something that really isn’t true. And that’s why they will not accept testimony in our courts and it’s going across the United States for people who have been hypnotized in connection with events that occurred in this court. It is becoming a literal epidemic in our society of people who think they’ve been sexually, some people have, I’m not denying that sexual abuse is taking place but unfortunately an awful lot of it is a delusion.
What does the Bible offer? What are your problems? The Bible claims to offer all we need. Are you afraid, insecure, is that your problem? God promises to take care of you. You don’t need a therapist to help you. God says or the psalmist said, “At such time as I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord.” “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore, will not we fear though the earth be removed.” People need to learn to trust God.
The Scripture says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” It’s something miraculous. Who’s going to keep me in perfect peace? Some psychological theory, the therapist or his soothing voice or some tape that I’m going to listen to it says, “Thou, thou will keep me in perfect peace. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” Because I recite positive self-talk and Thou wilt keep me in perfect peace, thou wilt keep me in perfect peace. No. Because he trusts in thee.
I’ve got to get to know God and trust him and take the way of the cross. That’s the only hope but we’re being turned from this. The Bible says he has not given us the spirit of fear but of authority of love and a sound mind. Are you suffering from anxiety?
The Scripture says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
The problem is we’re not following what the Bible says. We’re not willing to take the remedy that’s been prescribed by the great physician, so we go to other physicians who will offer a remedy that will support our ego and that will give us an excuse and give us supposedly an easy way out but it doesn’t work. Should the church rely? To what extent should the church rely on psychology? Not at all. It has no place in the church. We need to rely upon the Word of God.