Search the Scriptures Daily Program #4802c:
You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still ahead, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in-depth study of the doctrine of salvation. Please stay with us. Now:
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
In this regular feature Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: Dear TA and Dave, I get the strong impression that you both are adamantly opposed to psychology. If that’s the case can you tell me simply, why? And are there no areas in the rather diverse field of psychology that you consider legitimate?
You know, Dave, when we talk about psychology we’re usually very specific, we’re talking about psychotherapy for the most part and we’ll get into that in a second, but I believe there are areas of psychology that are valid. There’s educational psychology in certain areas of it, engineering psychology, somebody who studies man-machine interface, something like that, experimental psychology, there are parts of that that don’t border on the heavily subjective, spiritual, all right? And, in some cases, medical psychology—I’m not talking about death and dying but how people interact. I think there are observations there that are worthwhile. But those aren’t the areas that we are addressing.
The practice of psychotherapy involves people who don’t feel good about themselves; they feel lonely, inadequate, supposedly hate themselves, maybe suicidal, depressed and so forth. They need encouragement, it’s called talk therapy.
And it’s not cheap.
You’ve got a lot of problems, that’s one of them. What they need is a real friend, what they need is someone who really loves them, not someone who has their meter running and they’ve got to get them out to get the next client in and they are charging them and they have no personal relationship with them. And that’s a problem even with so-called Christian psychologists are doing the same thing. They don’t have a real interest in these people, these are clients. So, yes, do we need counseling? There are many people that need counseling, they need biblical counseling, but it should take place in the context of a church, brothers and sisters in Christ who love them.
You know Dave, I’d rather use the term, ministering, because that’s what we do. We minister to one another the wisdom from the scriptures, from even experiences that God has given us in obeying the Word.
The Bible uses the word, counseling, so I’m not opposed to that; in fact, one of Christ’s names is Counselor, so why not go to him? And I don’t think that Jesus Christ living in me needs any help from Freud, or Jung, or Rogers. What I need to do is to allow Christ to have his way in my life and if, as Paul said, “I’m crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me. The life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” I don’t think that Jesus Christ needs any psychological help of any kind whatsoever. And the Bible, this is the manufacturer’s handbook, I think the God who created us knows everything about us and has given us, 2 Peter 1, “All things that pertain unto life and godliness.” And 2 Timothy 3, Paul says that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, it’s to be used for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.” And it says, “That the man , or woman or boy or girl , of God may be perfect, (that means mature, complete) thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” So to be thoroughly furnished unto every good work we need to know the truth that Jesus said would set us free.
So we don’t need to mix something else with it. We don’t need to integrate so-called psychological ideas, Freudian, Jungian, Maslowian, whatever it might be, because what does that do? It’s worse than diluting God’s word, it undermines it.
What it says, Tom, is that the Bible is not complete; that the church didn’t have the tools to deal with all these problems until along came these godless, Anti-Christians to a man, and gave us their theories that do not work and it doesn’t work for them. You remember the poem that—I can’t remember, it’s a long time if I’ve quoted it on this radio show, long time ago;
Who would leave the noonday bright”
To grope mid shadows dim.
And who would leave the fountainhead
To drink the muddy stream.
Where men have mixed what God has said,
With every dreamers dream.
I’ll take it from the Lord himself. He is faithful and Jesus said, “You continue in my word, you are my disciples and you will know THE truth and THE truth will set you free.” Now THE truth is something contained—in fact, God’s word is THE truth, Jesus is THE truth. Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, any of these guys, they did not have any of the truth because Jesus said, “Whosoever is of the truth hears my voice...” and they did not hear his voice. Jesus said, “When he the comforter is come, he will guide you into all truth,” John 16:13 . And Jesus said in John:14:17 that the world cannot receive him, it doesn’t know him, it knows nothing about him. And Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2 that the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man—they are spiritually discerned. So what I need is the truth of God, THE truth that sets free, that is taught to those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit by the Holy Spirit alone, which the world does not know. They cannot know and I’m not going to look to the world for help in what God tells me he has given me completely to the max everything that I need.
Dave, do you think it’s an overstatement—we’re this generation, we’ve got close to two generations here between you and me and you’re looking back over the church, has there anything that’s come along that’s been more devastating in terms of ripping the truth from the church than psychology, psychotherapy and the way the church has embraced it. I can’t think of anything.
What did J. Vernon McGee—you remember when we had lunch with him a few months before the Lord took him away—and as I recall, you remember he had majored in psychology in college and he threw the whole thing out—he was bemoaning the fact that at that time—
Well, he went to Dallas Theological Seminary and warned them!
Right, he warned them that if this trend continues—well, let me go back to what is the trend? He was bemoaning at that time, you remember? Moody Radio had just removed him from his noon position to a less desirable time slot to put in Minrith/Meyer, two Christian psychiatrists, supposedly, and you remember what he said. He said, “This is symptomatic of the decreasing biblical and increasing humanistic content we are getting on Christian radio from pulpits and books, and so forth. And if this trend continues, it will be the destruction of the evangelical church. Well, let’s let J. Vernon McGee say it, we don’t have to say it, Tom, but I think he’s exactly right, otherwise the church was missing something that they needed all along.
Dave, the biggest thing in the church today, the American Association of Christian Counselors, their conferences, they have other conferences in which they put the so-called dream team of Christian psychotherapists together and they have couples come. The money that they are drawing in—and it’s a methodology of self helps kinds of things—so far removed from God’s Word and the power of God’s Word that it’s disgraceful, it’s a crime, I think.
I will stick to my Lord, his Word, and the Holy Spirit.