Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call featuring T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for joining us! In today’s program, we conclude a two-part series with guests Martin and Deidre Bobgan of Psychoheresy Aswareness Ministries as they discuss the question “Psychologizing Missionaries?” And now, here’s Tom.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. This is the second part of our program dealing with personality testing for the purpose of evaluation, and as we mentioned last week - Martin mentioned - that it’s huge in the church. It’s for missionary selection, hiring, seminary selection, pastor selection - it just goes on and on, even for recognizing or attempting to recognize spiritual gifts. You know, we’ve seen that happen, as well. My guests to discuss this subject, which, if you listened to part one, they’re Dr. Martin and Deidre Bobgan. They are prolific writers dealing with the issues of psychological counseling and Christian psychology so called. And as I mentioned last week, as well, their books can be downloaded for free on their website, or you can order hard copies from The Berean Call, and I’m telling you, it’s well worth it, whether it be your downloaded version or the hard copy. These are important things, especially in the church today. It’s incredible. We’re seeing prophecy fulfilled. “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine,” Scripture tells us, and Paul writes to Timothy that there will be “perilous times ahead: men will be lovers of their own selves.” We’re seeing that develop in spades.
So, Martin, Deidre, thanks for being with me again on Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Martin: Glad to do it.
Tom: Now, Deidre, last week you were addressing some aspects of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which I think we’ll refer to as the MBTI throughout this segment, but could you just give us a recap on the MBTI?
Deidre: Well, basically what I was saying was its background, having come from Carl Jung’s occult theories of personality, and what happened was early in the 20th century, mid-20th century (well, earlier), Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers took Jung’s typology and turned it into a means of understanding people, and then they went on to create a test with it. Now, they themselves were not trained, but they did use people who were trained to help them along the way. And what it is is Carl Jung - he had two opposites of the way a person approaches the world, and attitudes, you could call it: extrovert and introvert. And then there were four ways of functioning in the world: feeling, thinking, sensing, and “intuitive” is the other word they used, and so they took those terms and turned it into a system whereby you have sixteen different personality types.
So their first is how energized, whether you’re extrovert or introvert, how we perceive the world around us by sensing, feeling things, I mean, using our five senses, or by intuition; how we make decisions, by thinking or by feeling; and then how we choose to live our outer lives, by judging according to a standard, or simply perceiving. And out of that they get sixteen different personality types, and I will tell you it is Satan’s clever device, because every personality type appeals to the flesh. Pride is big, and it’s the same also with all of the - ever since Babylon, the four temperaments coming through astrology. In fact, there has been - there was one woman who actually thought she would see if there were similarities between astrological charts and the Myers-Briggs, and what she found out - she was quite surprised at how they lined up: the birth chart with the personality.
And so you have this consistency coming through, from those early times, now coming in as an instrument. It looks so modern, it looks so 20th century, 21st century now, and it is appealing to the flesh, because let me just tell you, I have a couple of…. All right, if you happen to be ISTJ, which would be: the I, Introvert, S Sensing, Thinking, and Judging, then here’s a description of the person: “Quiet, serious, earns success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic and responsible, decides logically what should be done and works toward it steadily regardless of distractions; takes pleasure in making everything orderly and organized: their work, their home life, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.” Okay, every one of the types comes through as something that is very appealing to the flesh.
Tom: Yeah. Deidre, let me add this: last week you talked about the subjective aspect of this. This reads like an astrology chart, okay?
Tom: And that’s the thing: the people who are involved in this, they have no problem referring to this as a religion, which it is. You mentioned the four temperaments, things of the Greek gods, Eastern mysticism, the collective unconscious…this is guesswork and worse. These are perceptions coming from Carl Gustav Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, and, we mentioned last week, he got his information from Philemon, as Dave Hunt liked to call him, “Philemon the Demon.” He was into channeling, whether you call it divination or channeling, these are doctrines of demons that the church - not directly, indirectly - but they’re deceived into buying into this approach to supposedly evaluating people that’s right out of the occult! And there’s no question about that. I’m not making this up.
Martin, last week you mentioned - maybe it was Deidre - you talked about the biographies of Jung, and it’s just laid out. It’s as plain as it can be.
Deidre: You know, Tom, there is something interesting about these personality tests: they can never test humility, love, devotion to the Lord (“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”), willingness to suffer, faithfulness, and the whole idea that in the flesh, we cannot please God. We cannot please Him in the flesh. It’s only His life in us that pleases, and so what they’re doing is they are trying to evaluate the carnal nature, the flesh, and even when they are doing it, as Martin can - I think Martin needs to talk about the validity and reliability, because people think, “Oh, but it tells me something about me!” It does tell me something about me.” But, you see, it only can touch those external aspects, and people are deceived, because research reveals that individuals are very prone to accept the most general characteristic descriptions as being specifically applicable to themselves, and they call that the “Barnum effect,” who believed that the circus has a little bit of something for everybody. Well, people will see these characteristics, and they will attribute them to themselves, and they will think they have this personality, but God created… Even in our natural way, before the Holy Spirit comes into us, we are way more complex than these personality tests show. We are way more complex, and we will act differently and feel differently and choose differently in different situations. So this is such a demonic deception in the church right now that it’s so sad. College professors who are Bible professors, Old Testament and New Testament, will “stand by the Myers-Briggs because it tells you something about people.”
Tom: Deidre, you mentioned P.T. Barnum, the Barnum effect. You know, one of his other lines was, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Tom: And as sad as that is…
Deidre: And unfortunately they are in the church. It’s so sad!
Tom: We go back to - you described, without using the term - it’s just like an astrology column. Why are they popular? And they’re so vague, but people take out what they want, apply them to themselves, and so on.
Now, Martin, let’s go back to…because where the fraud is, the deception is that this is scientific. What about the validity of the MBTI?
Martin: Well, we in our statistical area, we refer to validity as the “soul” of the test. It answers the question: “Does the test do what it’s supposed to do?” And so this was taken on by the National Research Council, and what they did was they evaluated the MBTI just as they evaluate other promises that people have, presentations that they sell or that they market in some way, and this is one of their chapters, one of the items that they dug into, and it’s the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. And what this national council, research council, did (and by the way, the council members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, and these are pretty high-level men and women, specially selected because of their scientific minds). And so, in their appraisal of the MBTI, they concluded (and I’m reading), they say, “McCauley” (one of them) “estimates that the MBTI is used as a diagnostic instrument by 1,700,000 people a year in the United States. And Moore and Woods list the wide variety of organizations in business, industry, education, government, and the military that use it.” And go on to say, and I’m quoting him still, “It is probably fair to say that the MBTI is the most popular self-insight/insight into others instrument in use today.” Now watch this last sentence: “Unfortunately, however, the popularity of the instrument is not coincident with the supported results of research.”
And so, what we have is the research doesn’t support the popularity. They also say the evidence summarized in this entire section raises questions about the validity of the MBTI. So the very soul of the test is in question, and yet even if you show this scientific information to people for whatever reason, it does not turn them off. People aren’t of a mind to say, “Oh, okay, apparently that demonstrates the very heart of this test is not valid. I should not be using it.” But they use it anyway. Some of the people we’ve interviewed, they’re quite aware of the Jungian background, they’re quite aware of [the fact that] there’s divination involved in it with a spirit guide, and so on. They still go ahead - they like the results. It’s kind of like playing a game to them. But I wouldn’t play around with divination. I wouldn’t play around with any demonic activity that was quite evident in the background of Carl Gustav Jung and use any instrument that’s based upon his theory and his ideas.
Tom: You know, Martin, Deidre, the tragic part of all this, and you mentioned it last week, Martin, you have the researchers, you guys know the researchers, because, Martin, as you described last week, that’s your background, and certainly Deidre is an incredible help in that area. But those are the researchers, and few people are going to that for its validity. You’d think that it would be different, especially in a day where you go to Consumer Reports and so on when you’re buying a refrigerator or a car or something like that, but that’s not the case. And it’s really, as I said, tragic, because the church is into this in a big way, because they’re listening to and this is being promoted by the practitioners, and it seems to me that the practitioners could care less - could not care less about what the researchers are saying.
You know, I think another example, we don’t have to get into it, but what about the Rorschach ink blot test? There’s a fraud that is still going on today! This is…folks, if you don’t know that, it’s like an ink blot and you’re supposed to tell the practitioner, the psychiatrist, psychologist, what you see in there. I mean, come on! This is the theater of the absurd, and it is impacting lives, and that’s what I want you guys to address next: What happens to an individual who wants to go into the mission field – and now I’ll say this, because I’ve been out in Mongolia, I’ve been out in Albania, I’ve been out in lots of places with missionaries who I love like nobody’s business, and they’re a little crazy, okay? And when I say that, they’re willing to do what others are not willing to do, for the Lord, and they couldn’t pass a test like this, the ones that I know, if you had to. But what about that restricting or denying somebody who’s been called of the Lord to go into the mission field? I have friends who are missionaries in North Korea, okay? Talk about that!
Now, so what about those who are denied access to their calling of the Lord, what the Lord wants them to do?
Martin: It’s sad, and it’s sad because we haven’t gotten a lot of these letters, but we’ve gotten enough of them to know that there’s a very deep hurt that goes on, the pattern is about the same: a person sensed the call from the Lord, was active in church, and had a great desire to serve Him on the field, and the big problem here is that they are picking up a worldly system just like you have in business (and they use the MBTI in business, too), and getting a profile, and then judging based upon the profile.
Well, I was a vice-president at Santa Barbara City College, and I liked what we did there. For example, if you wanted to be a radiologic technician, you would shadow. You would be assigned to radiologic technicians at the local hospital; you would be able to - whatever is permitted – for somebody who isn’t authorized to be in areas, they wouldn’t be there – but you would follow that person around for one week.
Well, for missionaries, if they would give longer terms of possibilities (and New Tribes Missions does this, by the way), but if they would give longer terms of possibilities, they wouldn’t need any testing. In fact, they practically wouldn’t even need any personal recommendations, because why? Because the person goes in, he’s with missionaries, he’s in a missionary camp, he’s in a missionary situation, and he’s in there for…how long does it take? You give him three months, six months, whatever, and you’re able to observe the person firsthand, because the usual things that happen in life will happen. You’ve got to get involved in there, you’ve got to get into cooking, you’ve got to get in the waiting line to be fed, all of these things. But instead of that, they’re picking up the ways of the world, and the frustrating thing with looking at this is the fact – recently (you read our newsletter), we’ve had a couple of articles on “The Narcissistic American.” Well, there’s a lot of not only narcissism going on, but there is some terrible, terrible theological misunderstanding, because we ran a survey conducted by Lifeway Research, and what they found with respect to the whole area of human depravity – 67 percent of these individuals agree “Everyone sins at least a little, but most people are by nature good.” Now, if you have that kind of theology and you take a personality inventory, I don’t think you’re going to be interested in the validity, the divination background of it, the fact that an occult psychiatrist put it together, and the fact that it could be extremely, spiritually speaking, dangerous ground for people to be walking on.
Deidre: Yeah, I must say it’s too bad they don’t have them take the test five weeks later, because they would have had another personality, according to much of the research done on the Myers-Briggs.
Tom: Yeah, that’s an important case, and you guys established that before. We’re not robots, and so a scientific (so-called) evaluation of any of us is going to be different. What mood am I in? How am I going to answer the question? What does the tester mean by this thing? And, sadly…well, my youngest son is putting out applications for physical therapy school, and one of the questions had to do with professionalism. And he didn’t know what they meant by it. And who would? Because it didn’t spell it out what they mean by “professionalism,” but they had to answer to an essay on that aspect of the question that was asked.
So, what we’re talking about here are things that are so incredibly subjective, experiential, feelings-oriented, both on the side of the questions being asked, and then the response to it. And, as you said, Deidre, it’s going to change – maybe not just from week to week but from day to day!
Deidre: Tom, if we want to know more about ourselves – and that’s why a lot of people take this test – we would do well to spend more time in Scripture. Because “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah:17:9-10). And then Proverbs:16:16, ha! You have, you know, the deadly sins: “the proud look, the lying tongue, the hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that is devilish, wicked imaginations, feet that be swift to running in mischief, and a false witness that speaks lies, and he that soweth discord.” And so, now these things, they sound so remote from what we really do, but, you know what? We do a lot of that. All of us have very…pride is the downfall, both inner and outer. And that is why I think, in Psalm 19, at the end…well, even earlier, he says (19:12): “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” In other words, “What I don’t know about myself! I mean, I know enough to confess what I know, but I have other things I don’t know. Cleanse me from those.” And then he says, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins,” in other words, the ones we know we are doing. “Let them not have dominion over me. Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” And then, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
Where are we supposed to look? Inside? Or are we supposed to be looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith?
Tom: Deidre, that’s what I want…we’ve got about four minutes left, but both of you, I want you to address this scripture, based on what we’ve been talking about last week and this week: Hebrews:4:12: “For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Both of you, what does that tell us?
Deidre: Well, obviously, it says that only the Lord knows us. Only the Lord. And, you know, in Psalm 139, “O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and my uprising. Thou understandeth my thought afar off; thou compasseth my path and my lying down and art acquainted with all of my ways, for there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” And then, through the entire psalm, it shows that no matter where I go, He’s there, He’s there, He knows me.
And then it says at the end, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Deidre: It’s not, “If there be any wicked way,” but “whatever wicked way,” really. Because we are still living in the flesh, and we are still so vulnerable to deception because of that. That’s why we need to get back to what God has said about us. What has He said about us?
And then, you look at 1 Corinthians:13:4: This would certainly be more necessary for anybody going into any Christian service than any of these tests. “Charity suffereth long [charity is love] suffereth long, and is kind. Love envieth not. Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own. It is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things.”
Tom: See, Deidre, these are not, as you well know – both of you well know – these are not ideas, guesses, speculations, theories, or anything like that. This is God’s Word. It not only indicates our problems; it tells us how to go about resolving the problems.
Martin, do you want to add anything to that?
Martin: Well, I was just going to add [that] no one can actually accuse the Bible of providing a P.T. Barnum effect.
Tom: Right. Right. It’s God’s Word.
Martin: It’s God’s Word and you have it all the way from the deceitful heart to the promises and blessings of God, and we don’t have it all on the positive side, like the P.T. Barnum effect.
Deidre: Well, you know, the thing is, not only does He have His Word for us, but He lives in us! The Holy Spirit lives in us to take everything, to conform us to the image of Christ. And, I must say, for some people who might be denied the mission field because they failed the test, that’s an opportunity for them to draw close to the Lord and know Him better. And we’ve known people who actually that happened to. They drew close to the Lord, and eventually did go out with another mission agency.
So, you know, He does work in us, and He knows us through and through. And, you know, it’s amazing how the Holy Spirit stays with us. I mean, sometimes I think bad thoughts about things! And the Holy Spirit stays and then brings correction and repentance, and so forth. So, we have everything in Him. Why are we looking out of something that comes from demons?
Tom: Right. And is just a deception and a fraud.
My guests have been Martin and Deidre Bobgan. We’ve been dealing with the Myers-Briggs…well, we’ve been dealing with Personality Testing, but in particular, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. And, it’s important, folks. I hope that you’ll point people to this discussion that we’ve had, on our website, and Martin and Deidre have materials as well at their ministry. Martin, Deidre, thank you so much for being with us on this program.
Martin: Thank you again for having us, Tom.
Deidre: Yes, thank you for the opportunity.
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Martin and Deidre Bobgan’s books and newsletters are available as free downloads and hard copies from The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638. Or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope you can join us again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7