Gary: Now, Religion in the News. This week’s item is from the Orlando Sentinel with the headline “Mental Health Professionals Battle Mental Disease”: Many mental health professionals—psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and nurses, have waged or are waging their own battles against a mental disease. Studies have found that psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate among physicians, and a 1994 survey of psychologists found almost two-thirds had battled clinical depression; 84 percent had spent time in therapy, and 29 percent of psychologists had felt suicidal at some point. Mental illness among therapists is more common than in the general population. Neither the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association requires practitioners to tell patients whether they themselves have suffered from a mental illness or disorder.”
Dave: Tom, the psychiatrists and psychologists as a group are the most atheistic of any group, any profession. I know a number of men who have gone into it and have lost their supposed faith, because it is an attempt to explain human behavior without God, without the soul, without the spirit. It began with Freud’s medical model, so everything was just the genes and the nerves and the function of the body, and somehow that explained everything.
Now, as you know, psychology and psychiatry have moved way beyond that. We’re into transpersonal and into all kinds of mysticism, and so forth.
But I think this is a valid news item. I mean, it was a news item, and it is newsworthy, that those people who claim to be the ones that are going to tell us what is sound mental health are themselves suffering more than any other profession from the very problem that they claim that they understand and are the experts in curing. In fact, it has been said that psychology is the only profession that causes the disease of which it claims to be the cure. And you can see that in the people themselves.
Now, why we would turn to these experts, it’s like going to a bald barber to learn how to grow hair! These people have a problem. We have psychiatrists going to psychiatrists, and they can’t straighten one another out!
Tom: Dave, early on, psychoanalysis—all psychiatrists who had a Freudian bent, and that was the main thrust years ago. They had to be psychoanalyzed themselves. As you know, my dad was a psychiatrist, and he suffered from many of the things that are in this article. And I used to think about why he had these problems, and I believe now it’s because…I think he had a heart, a desire to help people, and I think most psychologists and psychiatrists do. But it doesn’t work. So if you’re in a profession in which you’re trying to help people, and basically, they’re dumping all their problems on you, and the best you can do—it’s like having a room with furniture—all you can do is keep relocating the chair, the desk, and keep moving things around. So if you have a heart for people, you’re going to take this burden on yourself, and you’ve got nowhere to go with it. So that’s going to lead to suicide, drinking, and so forth.
Dave: Yeah, Tom, this (as we keep reminding ourselves, our listeners) this program takes its authority from the Bible, and the Bible claims to give us all that we need—Second Peter 1: He has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you would be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The secret to the Christian life is not gritting my teeth and somehow trying to be a happy person, somehow trying to overcome problems, but it is…
Tom: Or their thinking: positive thinking, positive mental attitude, put yourself into another mind frame. It doesn’t work.
Dave: Right. The whole thing is: “I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” The life that I live—this is the life of Christ. Christ has become my life! That is so fantastic! Buddha didn’t offer anything like this. Muhammad doesn’t offer anything like this. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose again. He said, “Because I live, you will live also.” He promised the Holy Spirit. He came to live within our hearts! So the secret to the Christian life is Christ in you, the fruit of the Spirit—not the fruit of therapy—the fruit of the Spirit living within us, empowering us, is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance, meekness…” So…
Tom: Dave, let me stop you here. If a psychiatrist could offer that…. If they put that on their shingle out front, they’d have more business than any human in the universe.
Dave: Right. So, Tom, since the Christian is experiencing Christ living within him, He is the vine, we are branches. His life is pouring through us, like the life of a vine through the branches, to bear the fruit. I don’t think Jesus Christ needs any help from psychiatrists. I don’t think the life of Christ within us needs to be psychoanalyzed or improved! It’s just that simple.
So you either believe what the Bible says, or you believe some Johnny-come-lately— Freud—I mean, he had so many problems. Psychiatrists have all kinds of problems, and now they’re trying to analyze and solve the problems without God. But then are we going to sort of amalgamate this? Are we going to come to a partnership between the Bible (which doesn’t need any help!) and psychology…?
Tom: Well, Dave, here’s the dichotomy: psychiatry is all about self. Self is the solution to the problem. God’s Word says, Matthew 16: “Deny self.” So you have at lager heads right away. There is the problem as simply as we can state it.
Dave: I’ll go with Jesus and the Bible rather than Freud!