While there may be some Christian psychologists who use only Scripture in their counseling, their designation of themselves as “psychologists” is extremely unfortunate. That word has an established meaning. It designates a godless system that does not merit any association with the word “Christian.” What confusion to link in any way “the faith once [for all] delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) with humanistic theories of sinful men! The very term “Christian psychology” gives honor where only reproof is due; and it sullies our Lord’s name by dragging it into the muck of infidelity.
Christian psychologists embrace and practice virtually every kind of psychology and therapy ever invented, from primal scream to shamanism. By this means, godless beliefs and practices (which have already proved to be both dangerous and ineffective and have numerous critics even among secular psychologists and psychiatrists themselves) have been brought into the church to deceive the flock.
Are Christians now expected to rejoice that the Bible has been discovered at long last to be in agreement with atheistic humanism? Would this mean that we Christians no longer need to go about with a hangdog look and poor self-image but can now hold our heads high before the world and especially in academic circles? Should we all be grateful because a “new reformation” that psychologizes Christianity has uncovered novel interpretations of Scripture never before known in the history of the church, thus bringing Christianity at last into agreement with the theories of anti-Christians such as Freud, Jung, and their disciples?
This “new and improved Christianity” is being welcomed with apparent disregard for the increasing admissions by secular psychologists themselves that psychotherapy is really bankrupt. R.D. Laing, one of psychology’s most respected leaders, gave his opinion that not even one “fundamental insight into relations between human beings [had] resulted from a century of psychotherapy.” Yet the thoroughly discredited theories of psychology are credited by Christians with having brought great blessing to the church through fundamental new insight into “God’s truth”!
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 internationally respected psychiatrist and author E. Fuller Torrey:
The techniques used by western psychiatrists are, with few exceptions, on exactly the same scientific plane as the techniques of witch doctors. Psychiatry...is a false Messiah.1
Martin L. Gross comments: “Today, the M.D. psychiatrist and his first cousin, the Ph.D. psychologist, have appointed themselves the undisputed Solomons of our era. The new seer delivers his pronouncements with the infallible air of a papal bull, a stance which intimidates even the most confident of laymen.” 2
In order to return to biblical Christianity, the church must renounce psychological theories and terminology and completely separate itself from this rival religion to which it has been wed in an unholy alliance. How can there be a partnership between the wisdom of God and that of the world, which God unequivocally says is foolish (1 Corinthians:1:20)? Justification is offered in the blasphemous error Christian psychologists promote: that God’s Word is lacking essential ingredients for guiding mankind to personal happiness and fulfillment. What other possible reason could there be for this unequal yoke with the world except the delusion that psychology provides the wisdom and enablement that the Bible lacks?
Instead of purging out the leaven, however, the church continues to give increasing trust and honor to psychology. Christians are asked to accept psychology as an additional source of truth and to put it on an equal footing with God’s Word, which Christ said is alone “the truth” (John:17:17). The actual truth is, however, that psychological counseling has proven to be bankrupt. Its false gospel continually changes as its conflicting theories ebb and flow and its gurus come and go.
Lawrence LeShan, past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, suggested that psychotherapy would be known as the hoax of the twentieth century. He also pointed out that “The basic model of man that led to the development of [Eastern] meditational techniques is the same model that led to humanistic psychotherapy”3—yet the church loves it.
Today, even as many leading secular psychologists and pyschiatrists are debunking their own profession in books and articles with such titles as The Myth of Mental Illness, The Myth of Neurosis, Psychotherapy, The Dangerous Cure, The Death of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, The Impossible Profession, etc., incredibly, Christian psychologists wax ever more eloquent in praise of the very system that is being exposed as a harmful fraud by secular practitioners. As a result, discredited psychological theories and practices that have deceived and damaged almost the whole of mankind are being embraced within the church.
We do well to heed J. Vernon McGee’s warning that if it continues to grow in favor, “Christian psychology could well be the death of the evangelical church.” If biblical Christianity is to survive, it needs to purge itself completely of this viper it has clutched to its breast.