Jul 1 1986
With clear insight so typical of his writings, C.S. Lewis warned of the failure to distinguish between a modern communication of God's Word and modernism . The former, he declared, takes the unchanging and unchangeable truth of the Bible, puts it in modern language and applies it to the present. The latter, in sharp but often unrecognized contrast, borrows the latest fashionable ideas or fads from the world, dresses them up in Christianized language and passes this deceitful combination off as Bible truth.
"Christian" psychology represents the most deadly and at the same time the most appealing and popular form of modernism ever to confront the church. Those who refused the temptation to adjust biblical interpretation to agree with Darwin have succumbed to the even more deadly delusion of integrating Freud and Jung into Christianity. It is astonishing that so many of today's staunchest evangelical leaders, in order to be "relevant," are preaching a form of Science of Mind without even recognizing it. Psychology now wields such a powerful and all-pervasive influence upon Christianity—in seminaries, Bible schools and colleges, mission organizations, radio, television, denominational leadership and all other Christian institutions as well as churches—that to call Christian psychology into question is taken as an attack upon Christianity itself. This is all the more astonishing in view of the fact that "Christian" psychology doesn't exist. This fact can be proved very simply: go to any library or bookstore and look in the index of any psychology textbook. No listing for "Christian Psychology" will be found.
Most Christians mistakenly believe that there is an identifiable body of knowledge known as "Christian psychology." That simply isn't true. There is no Christian who is recognized as being on a par with Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, et al., and who is the founder of a particular school of psychology known as "Christian psychology." No such school is recognized even by Christian psychologists and certainly cannot be found in any psychology textbook. One can be a Rogerian therapist, a Freudian psychoanalyst, or the follower of any one or a combination of numerous schools of psychology (such as behavioristic, humanistic, transpersonal, etc.). But Christian psychology? It doesn't exist.
Then what is meant by this term? What is so-called Christian psychology? It is simply one form or another of secular psychology developed by godless humanists hostile to the Bible and now dressed up in Christian language. Nor do Christian psychologists even agree among themselves. They are the followers of many different contradictory schools of secular psychology. That this is the source of all Christian psychology cannot be denied. Bruce Narramore, for example, writes, "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."
He admits that godless humanists opposed to the gospel were the ones who gave Christian psychologists a new interpretation of the Bible unknown to the church until that time. The same is true of every idea that is being seductively brought into the church through Christian psychology. We are supposed to be pleased that the Bible has been reconciled to humanism and has wonderfully been shown to be in agreement with the theories of Freud, Jung, et al.! And we are asked to accept "new insight" into the true meaning of God's Holy Word, an insight that was conceived by enemies of the cross of Christ.
Before believing that suspicious scenario, we would do well to heed the many non-Christian psychologists and psychiatrists who are issuing warnings such as the following by E. Fuller Torrey (recognized as one of the leading research psychiatrists in the world):
Psychiatry has been willing to sanctify its values with the holy water of medicine and offer them up as the true faith of "Mental Health." It is a false Messiah.
If the church is to return to biblical Christianity, it must purge itself of psychological theories and terminology. Psychotherapy is, in fact, a rival religion that cannot be integrated with Christianity. Having nothing of value to offer to anyone, much less to Christians, it is both deceptive and destructive. Its influences must be removed from the church. We do need counseling in the church. This is, in fact, one of its greatest needs. But it must be biblical, not psychological, counseling.
Secular psychologists and psychiatrists in increasing numbers are pointing out in books, articles, and lectures the bankruptcy of their profession. How astonishing it is that as those who were once its leading proponents are abandoning their sinking ship, Christians are jumping aboard as though it were the ark of safety. TBC