Tom: You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him.
If you’re a new listener, or a new viewer of our program…you know, Dave, I have to remind myself from time to time that we actually are recording this visually. Of course, our cameras are just minute and they blend in here, so I forget about that, except when Gary does chide me for my wardrobe. You know, sometimes my shirts don’t fit. Actually, they really wreak havoc with these small cameras that we have—so we just put up with it, you know. It’s a new addition to our program and we’re happy about it. I think it’s effective.
Nevertheless, to get back to the subject, if you’re new, if you’re a new listener or viewer to our program, for a number of weeks now we’ve been discussing the topic of Psychology and the Church, and why have we spent so much time on this? Well, Dave, as you stated last week in our introduction of psychological counseling into the church, that over the last century (and hopefully I’m quoting you accurately, or close), you said last week that you believed that this may well be Satan’s most ingenious scheme for undermining the belief in the sufficiency of God’s word. Is that accurate?
Dave: Well, I call it Satan’s master stroke of genius.
Tom: So I was close enough! Why would you say that?
Dave: Well, Tom, I don’t know why it upsets people. Well, I can tell you why it upsets people: because most of the Christian colleges and seminaries out there, psychology is a big part, psychological counseling, and so forth. They have budgets that they have to meet. They need the tuition for more students.
Tom: Let me document that. The prestigious Princeton Review—I mean, they survey all colleges and universities, Christian or secular schools—and they say that the number two career choice for all college students is psychology.
Dave: Probably right behind business, isn’t it?
Tom: I think so.
Dave: Yeah. Okay, so now, what is this, Tom? If we read the Bible (and this program is called Search the Scriptures Daily), it indicates to us…well, let me read some verses. For example, Ephesians 4—I can quote them, but let me make sure I get them right.
Tom: Dave, your pages are falling out of your Bible. You must go through that a lot. That would be my impression.
Dave: Well, I have another Bible or two, but I’m reluctant to change. You know how difficult it is.
Tom: I know.
Dave: But this is Ephesians 4. Paul says, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” And to the Corinthians he says, “Stay away from the wisdom of the world. It’s foolishness with God.” Psychology is the wisdom of the world, as we have said a number of times. This is chapter 4:18 of Ephesians: “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.”
Okay, this is describing the unsaved; that would include Freud and Jung and Rogers and Maslow and all these guys.
Tom: Right down the list.
Dave: They were all anti-Christians, in fact. “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Now, here’s the part I was thinking of: “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.”
Now, Jesus said, “Thy word is truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” But Christian psychology is based upon the idea that all truth is God’s truth, and some of it Freud had, and so forth. It doesn’t sound like Freud had any of that. Now, I was just looking at an ad from—well, I don’t know why we should keep names secret—from Liberty University, Jerry Falwell’s university.
Tom: Dave, you would be hard pressed to find a Christian university, college that doesn’t offer psychology, so make no apologies for it. It’s out there everywhere.
Dave: Right, and basically what the ad was saying—and it’s being hyped on the radio and television, as well—you need psychological training. “If you want to be a professional,” and they’re even saying this for laymen, “you could do a much more effective job. And don’t just keep this to yourself and your friends, but get out and help more people. And the way to help more people is you need psychological training, and we have the following courses.”
Now, if I just went back one chapter, Tom—well, two chapters in Ephesians where we were, and let’s read what it says. Ephesians:2:19: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners [that’s what non-Christians are] but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” and this is the verse I’m thinking of, “and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone in whom all the building fitly framed together…” and so forth. And we all know these verses by heart, we’ve heard them so many times.
So, what’s the point? Well, the foundation of the church is the apostles and the prophets. Now, Tom, you’re a very bright guy, tell me which one of the apostles or the prophets had studied Christian psychology?
Tom: I’m stunned, Dave. I’m flabbergasted, I’m speechless.
Dave: You can’t even remember which one!
Tom: Oh, come on! Right, it’s absurd, except that’s where we are now in the church!
Dave: Yeah, so if this is the foundation of the church, the apostles and the prophets, and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, he never taught about psychology, he never mentioned it. It only came along in the 1800s. That’s quite a long time after the church was founded.
Jesus said, “I will build my church,” and He’s been building it. How does He build it? Well, we learn the truth as it is in Jesus. We are taught of Him. And remember, we’ve reminded our audience one of Christ’s names, given to Him at birth, of course: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor.” I would go to Jesus Christ for my counsel, and to His Word, which is where He is called the “Living Word” when He rides into Jerusalem on that white horse leading the armies of heaven against the Antichrist at Armageddon. He has on His thigh and on His vesture, it says, a name written: “The Word of God.”
“Now, we are born again by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever, and this is the Word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.” I’m quoting 1 Peter:1:23-25.
Now, if this is the foundation of the church, and we’re supposed to be taught by Christ through His Word, “as the truth is in Jesus,” then how is it that 1900 years later, suddenly we are being told, “Oh, you can’t really do your job as a Christian; you can’t really live for Christ as you should, clear up your deficiencies or unhappiness or feeling of inferiority, whatever you may have; and you can’t really counsel others, not even from the Bible, until you have taken a few courses in psychology, psychological counseling.”
And where does it come from, Tom? It came from the wisdom of this world. Who invented this? Well, you can name them, but they’re not Christians, and there’s no listing in any textbook for Christian psychology. You’ll find Freudian, Jungian, Rogerian, Transpersonal, all kinds of psychologies—not Christian psychology. Why? Because there’s no Christian who is the founder of the school of psychology know as Christian psychology. So where did it come from? This is the wisdom of the world, and these guys were really bad anti-Christians, and now it’s in the church and this is what we really need? Tom, I’m sorry, I haven’t said it for several programs—I get angry.
Tom: Well, maybe you have, Dave. Maybe you said it last week. But…
Dave: I don’t think so. Well, it’s a lie, it’s a fraud.
Tom: It’s a lie and it’s a fraud, but what really disturbs me is for somebody to check this out, it’s so simple. You quoted from the Scriptures. Again, you mentioned the name of the program, Search the Scriptures Daily. If somebody would just compare what the Word of God says with what we are being taught by Freud, Jung, Maslow, Rogers, and so on…
Dave: Under the name of Christian psychology.
Tom: Exactly. The contrast is like light and darkness. You know, you quoted John:17:17. Jesus said, “Sanctify them by thy truth; thy Word is truth.” So there’s a challenge! Fine, if this is what they are saying, compare that, this being the psychotherapist, psychologist out there, and we’re talking—I need to say this for our listeners and viewers—we’re talking about psychotherapy, psychological counseling, not all fields of psychology. But if this is what they’re saying, Dave, it should be very simple for somebody who claims to believe in the Word of God, trusts the Word of God, trusts Jesus, to compare what they are saying with what the Word of God says. And they are so far apart it should be devastating to anybody who holds to these things.
Dave: But, Tom, there we have a problem. How does this happen, and why do people go for this? “Well, I’ve tried the Bible, and it just doesn’t work.” “I’ve tried to be a good disciple, and I tried to follow Jesus, and I memorized my verses, and my life just fell apart. It just doesn’t work.” Okay, so the Bible says it does work. The Bible says it works by faith—trust in the Word of God—and obedience. “Trust and Obey,” you know, the old hymn: “There’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
So now, the whole reason this door was opened into the church is because people say, “But the Bible doesn’t work. The Bible’s not enough, and we need to add something to the Bible. We need to integrate it.” That’s the big thing. And who was it, Gary Collins? I remember quite a few years ago he said, “We’re still trying to integrate, and we’re not even sure whether it will happen.” Do you know the latest on that, Tom?
Tom: Well, we know it’s impossible. You can’t integrate things that are so false with the truth. So…
Dave: So the very idea that we need to integrate, or we need something else, says the Bible is not sufficient. It doesn’t have all we need. And then, Tom, that raises a logical question: Why isn’t it in the foundation? Why didn’t Jesus teach this?
The Bible claims to have given us (2 Peter 1) “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” Paul in 2 Timothy 3, he said, beginning at verse…well, let’s start at verse 15: “From a child [he’s talking to Timothy] you have known the gospel, which is able to make you wise unto salvation. You’ve known the Word of God.” He was taught it by his mother and grandmother at home. And then he goes on and he says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God….”
Okay, I’m going to go there. Christian psychologists or secular psychologists are not inspired of God. I’m going to go there: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God. It is profitable [or to be used] for doctrine….” People don’t like doctrine today. Paul said to Timothy, “The time is come when they will not endure sound doctrine.”
Tom: We are in that day, Dave.
Dave: Doctrine is the container of truth! This is what we believe. The Bible lays out doctrine over and over, okay? It’s profitable, or to be used for, “doctrine, reproof, correction….” Those are all things that we don’t like: reproof and correction, instruction in righteousness. But here’s what I was thinking of: “…that the man [or woman, or boy, or girl] of God may be perfect.” Well, that doesn’t mean without sin; it means mature, complete, perfect. And then it says, “…thoroughly furnished unto every good work.”
Now, Tom, if my brain is working at all this morning, that says that you want to know how to do every good work? You want to know doctrine, reproof, correction? You want to be instructed in righteousness, you want to know how to live for Christ, and how to be effective for Him and in this world? It’s all in the Bible.
Now, Christian psychology, and its claim that all truth is God’s truth—Freud had some of it, Jung and Rogers and so forth, Buddha even had some, and I guess Mary Baker Eddy must have had a little bit of it…
Tom: Joseph Smith.
Dave: Yeah, we’ll just scratch around here and see if we can’t find some more of this truth that was left out of the Bible! Tom, it just is wicked! It’s a slap in the face to God and to Jesus Christ.
See, the Bible tells me that I’ve been born again, old things have passed away, all things have become new, that Christ is my life! “I’m crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me.” And I could go on and on with Bible verses, which, if we have any Christians listening out there, you know what the Bible says. But now we are told that that’s not enough. You need psychological help. You need—in fact, this is their word—you need professional counseling, professional counseling!
Tom: Dave, I want to go back to the issue of pragmatism. That’s not what guides and directs us, pragmatism, but let’s look at it, at least for a minute.
You mentioned the person that comes along and says, “Well, I tried the Bible. I tried this, it just doesn’t work.” So, what’s the option for the person? “Well, I’m going to turn to Freud and Jung and Maslow and so on.”
Now, Carl Rogers has been named the most revered of all of the psychologists, contemporary…you know he’s dead, but his name comes up first in terms of the most revered psychotherapist.
Dave: And for Christian psychologists, let’s say.
Tom: Of course. Now, did it work for him? I would challenge anybody just to look at the life—get some biographical information on Carl Rogers, you know: his wife dying of cancer, okay? At that point he turns to another woman.
Dave: Tom, because you’ve got to be true to yourself!
Tom: It just fits within his concept. I’m just appealing to our listeners who think that they are going to find something practical that works in psychotherapy, look to these individuals. What does he do? His wife is dying of cancer, he finds another woman, and then his conscience is bothering him, so allegedly, he hears from her through a séance. And his wife says, “It’s okay, Carl, it’s okay.”
So, you want to tell me that, practically speaking, that it has the answers? And we know from the research, Dave, that psychotherapy works best (when it does work) for those who need it least. In other words, it’s inconsequential. It doesn’t solve life’s problems.
Dave: Tom, it’s incomprehensible. It doesn’t work. “The Bible doesn’t work.” Now, you’ve got two possibilities: either, somehow, I’m not following the Bible, I’m not really devoting myself to this… It’s like, I’ve got this thing to put together here. I bought it at the store, and these instructions don’t even work. I don’t think you are following the instructions right, okay? So…
Tom: You’re not doing what Jesus says you need to do.
Dave: Right. If the Bible is the Manufacturer’s Handbook, which it is, then we need to follow the instructions, or—that’s one possibility—it’s my fault. The only other possibility is it’s God’s fault. The Bible is defective. He didn’t give us all the instructions, I mean, here I’ve got this life to live, and He created me, and He didn’t give me all the instructions. I can’t make this thing work. So it’s either my fault or God’s fault.
Reminds us of the bumper sticker, you know: “If you feel far from God, guess who moved?” So, Tom, it’s blame God, and [in] psychology, of course, blame is the name of the game.
Dave: “We’re all victims! It’s not my fault!”
I was just going through a book again that I know quite well titled, Inside the Criminal’s Mind, and it was written by a clinical psychologist (I don’t know how to pronounce his name), Samenow. He learned from a psychiatrist Yochelson—Dr. Yochelson was his name—and he had been working with criminals for many years, hardened criminals. What did he say? He said, “We found out we had to throw out as junk…it’s no good! It doesn’t work. Everything we have learned in our psychology courses, psychiatric courses…”
Tom: Now, Dave, you’re not going to upset me by telling me that those people did what they did because of their bad self-image or low self-esteem? That’s not where you’re going with this?
Dave: No, no, of course not, that’s the opposite! That is what they were taught in school. But he said, “We found out…”
And by the way, he’s not a Christian. He didn’t mention it, and Jesus had said it long before. Remember, Jesus said, “It’s not what you eat, it’s not what you put in yourself, it’s what comes out of the heart, for out of the heart come evil thoughts, wickedness, corruption, adultery, fornication, and so forth.”
These guys said, “We found out it’s inside of them, inside the criminal’s mind! We never found a criminal who had a bad self-image, not even on the way to committing a crime!” It was always somebody else’s fault. They’re getting revenge, society wasn’t fair to them, or it was their parents abused them—whatever it is, it’s somebody else’s fault!
Now, Tom, this is psychology, okay? That’s what we’re being counseled for—“Now, oh, no, come on now, let me help you with it.”
Tom: And, Dave, you know it has to be that way, because if the heart is really, as you’ve described it, as Jesus said, then no one can change themselves. They can’t change their own heart. It’s like a leopard trying to change its spots—it can’t happen. So psychology has got nothing to do…it can’t be effective, which it isn’t.
Dave: Well, Tom, only Jesus can change the heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I the Lord search the heart.”
And that’s why David, in his Psalm 139, said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” Now, I need help. From whom do I need help—from a psychologist who is going to give me a “do-it-yourself” program?
Tom: And say that self isn’t your problem, it’s your solution.
Dave: Right, or do I need help from God and from His Word? Tom, that’s all we are trying to say. We are just pleading with people, actually, pleading with—I don’t think any Christian leaders listen to us, but if any of them would, I could sit down and talk to a group of Christian leaders. I would plead with them: Let’s get back to the Bible! This is what the Catholic priests and monks were pleading with the Catholic church about. No, you’ve got the pope as your authority. Tom, we’ve got a new priesthood…
Tom: Talking about the Reformation?
Dave: Right, we’ve got a new priesthood in the church now. They’ve got their own confessional, they’ve got their own formulas, and so forth, and these are the authorities. Look, drop psychology, drop these guys. Let’s get back to the Bible, and let’s see what God has to say, and let’s submit to His counsel and to His Word, and let’s trust Him.