Welcome to The Berean Call podcast. I’m T. A. McMahon, TBC’s Executive Director. We’re currently re-airing a discussion I had with Dave Hunt in 2003 featuring his book Countdown to the Second Coming.
In this episode Dave and I talk about the influence of psychology, specifically psychological counseling (also called psychotherapy) upon the world and the church. Basically, psychotherapy consists of the theories of psychological counselors, nearly all of whom are atheists, that instruct humanity in how to live their lives and solve their problems.
At the heart of all the theories is self—which they declare is to be loved and esteemed. That teaching is diametrically opposed to what Scriptures teach about how we are to deal with self. The psychological way leads to self-deification which is what the religion of the Antichrist is all about.
Self teaching has come into the church through so-called Christian psychology, which is a corruption of the Word of God mixed in with the concepts of secular psychologists.
Is psychological counseling as bad as we say? Stay tuned as we give our reasons.
Tom: We’re going through Dave Hunt’s book Countdown to the Second Coming and we’re currently in chapter 4. But, Dave, as you know, our topic for the last few programs dealt with the preparation of the world to receive the Antichrist, and we pointed to many signs that indicate that such a process is well underway. The technology, as we said, is definitely in place for this man to control world commerce, and certainly there’s much afoot in the religion arena to set people up to worship the Antichrist, which we also covered last week.
But today, we’re going to address a sign of the last days before the return of Christ that few have considered, which I think is not only a key sign indicated by the Scriptures, but also a major factor in the development of the apostate church. And, of course, Dave, you know I’m referring to psychology.
Now before our listeners conclude that we’ve completely flipped out and are in great need maybe of the help of a shrink here or there, what do you say in our defense?
Dave: Well, 2 Timothy:3:1 begins, “In the last days, dangerous times will come; men will be lovers of their own selves….” And it goes on, “proud, boasters,” and so forth. A litany of evil that describes perfectly the day in which we live: “…without natural affection, covenant breakers,” and so forth. But psychology is a major force to try to get people to love themselves. I think it was Erich Fromm [who] wrote a book in ’45, was it? Man Against Himself, in which he said the problem with us is we don’t love ourselves enough. And he quoted from the Bible, “Jesus said, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And he used that as justification. This man’s an atheist antichristian, but he’s catering to the Christians. He’s going to deceive the Christians, so he quotes from the Bible.
Tom: And he did.
Dave: And Robert Schuller picked it up. He wrote a book The Dynamic Force of Self-Love, in which he said what we need to do…well, he claimed that Jesus taught this: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” so he said we have to learn to love ourselves first before we can love our neighbor or before we can love God. That, of course, is not what Jesus said.
Tom: Dave, some people might be thinking, Well, men have always loved themselves. There’s always been this penchant for self-love, but I would challenge any of our listeners out there who are thinking this way: Try and find a point in history in which loving yourself, self-esteem, became the solution to all mankind’s problems. Even when it was prevalent among men, people recognized it as something bad, something evil. You didn’t want to be around a person who was selfish, but somebody who was selfless.
Dave: It was called narcissism, of course. And—well, what did Jesus mean, “Love your neighbor as yourself”? Well, if we didn’t love ourselves enough, then Jesus would hardly be saying, “Love your neighbor like you inadequately love yourself.” That wouldn’t make sense. Jesus was really pointing out the fact that we love ourselves, and we need to give a little bit of the love that we have for ourselves to our neighbors. You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth and comb your hair, and feed yourself and clothe yourself. Well, give a little of the attention that you give to yourself—how about giving some of that to your neighbor? But the world of psychology turned that around. So self-love, self-image—you had to develop a good a self-image. You had to think well of yourself. Robert Schuller even dared to say that Christ endured the Cross to sanctify his self-esteem, and that the big problem…
Tom: Dave, is it your self-esteem, or his self-esteem?
Dave: No, His self-esteem.
Tom: Christ’s self-esteem? Wow.
Dave: Right, and then to help us with our self-esteem; that you couldn’t really bring a person to Christ by telling them that they’re sinners. That was the worst thing you could do. That would shatter their fragile self-esteem. That you had to build up their confidence in themselves. And of course, you know the secular world: success-motivation training, positive mental attitude, and so forth. Positive self-talk, if you can imagine! Tell yourself how wonderful you are.
I remember a young woman, a married woman—she divorced her husband shortly thereafter, but she got in the—she was, I think, over 300 pounds, maybe five-foot-six or so, and her Christian psychologist had her sit in front of a mirror and [say], “I love you, I love you, how wonderful you are,” and so forth.
That is the opposite of what the Bible says. When you think of an image, you think of a mirror. The most perfect image that could be made is in a mirror. Well, what would you think of a mirror that tries to develop a good self-image? It doesn’t fit. A mirror is designed to reflect an image other than itself, not to develop a self-image. And if we were made in the image of God—you know, if there’s something wrong with the image in the mirror, the mirror needs to get back in a right relationship with the one whose image it was designed to reflect.
I don’t like everything C. S. Lewis said, particularly towards the end of his life, but I think in his book The Four Loves, he said, “We are like mirrors, whose brightness, if we are bright at all, depends entirely upon the sun that shines upon us.” Instead of being turned to the Lord—recognizing our inadequacy and our unworthiness, and that we’re the recipients of His grace and of His love, and allowing Him to express Himself through us, which He must do—we’re being turned to ourselves.
So—psychology? Yes, I would say it is a fulfillment of prophecy. One of the major…well, the apostasy in which we live, I would put much of it at the doorstep of Christian psychology, which has brought the teachings of the world into the church.
Tom: Yeah. Dave, let me qualify that for some our listeners. When we’re talking about—when we use the term “psychology,” we’re talking about, mostly, what psychology’s all about: clinical psychology and psychotherapy. You know, there are some areas that we could say, “All right, they observe people, whether it be ergonomics, man-machine interface….” There are some areas, but they’re a small part of the field of psychology, and certainly the prevalent part is the part that’s affecting the church. Because these individuals are teaching through the very godless men and women that you’re talking about, the purveyors of this—those who, whether it be Freud, Jung, Maslow, Rogers, whoever it might be—these individuals are telling us how to live our lives; how to live a life that’s going to be fruitful and productive. And, Dave, I’ve yet to find a case in which what they’ve written is not contrary to the Word of God.
Dave: Yeah, you could take for example, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. He turns the Bible upside down. The Bible says that we are to love God first of all. And we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then these other things: food and clothing and raiment, whatever, as the Lord sees that we have need, will be provided. But Maslow, as you know, [in] his Hierarchy of Needs, he puts survival, food….
Tom: Basic needs, material needs.
Dave: Right…shelter—he puts these things first. And then, finally, you get around to God, whoever that might be, after you’ve gone up this hierarchy of needs. He turns the Bible inside out. And yet, Christian pastors will follow this. They have denied the Scripture. We are to go to the Word of God. We live by the Word of God. Jesus said in John 8, “If you continue in my word, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” But Christian psychologists—and by the way, there’s no such thing as Christian psychology, although it’s a term that is used all the time.
Tom: And many people accept it without thinking about it.
Dave: If you went into any university library, get all the books on psychology that you can find, look in the index, and you will never find a listing for “Christian psychology.” It’s that simple. You will find behavioristic, humanistic, Freudian, Jungian, Rogerian….
Dave: ...transpersonal, several hundred psychologies. Not one listing for Christian psychology because there is no such thing. There is no Christian who was the founder of a school of psychology that is uniquely Christian. So-called Christian psychology is simply Christians who have become psychologists, taking from the world, taking from secular psychologists—their ideas. For example, Bruce Narramore, the nephew of Clyde Narramore, says, “It was humanistic psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers who first made us aware of the need of self-love and self-image and self-esteem.”
So what is the man saying? He’s saying we never got that idea out of the Bible. Where did we get it from? We got it from—and who are these men? They are godless, anti-Christians, atheists, to a man, every one of them. And we got it from them. And then we went back to the Bible and said, “Oh, maybe that’s what the Bible has always been saying and we just didn’t recognize it. It took Erich Fromm to show us about this.”
Carl Rogers, who was a professing Christian, went to seminary, and then in seminary abandoned the faith, and he’s one of the leaders in “selfish psychology” (you could call it). He said, “We worship at the altar of self.” As his wife was dying, he abandoned her for another relationship. He said, “You have to be true to yourself.” This is one of his sayings. “You must be true to yourself.” True to yourself—so self becomes the god at whose altar we worship, replacing the God of the Bible.
Carl Rogers even got in touch with the spirit of his wife through a Ouija Board and so forth.
Dave: Yeah, and a séance, etc. So these men are as godless, as anti-Christian, as far from the Bible, as you can get. And yet, we have taken their theories and said, “Oh well now we can improve on the Bible. We’ll supplement it. This is what has been missing from the Bible all of these years.” And, Tom, by the way, I don’t care whether the person is a Christian psychologist or an atheistic psychologist: if they’re a psychologist or a psychiatrist—
anyone listening out there, please remember—they took the same courses at university and medical school. They had to give the same answers on the same exams. They had to pass the same tests, and they are licensed by the same state board, or whatever it may be.
Tom: And, Dave, they draw from the 10,000 various techniques, many of them in contradiction with each other and the hundreds of methodologies. This is what a Christian psychologist does. He’s an integrationist. He tries to put a little bit of the Bible in with some of his theories that he learned in school, just as you said.
Now, Dave, that brings up a point with regard to…we’re talking about the last days, we’re talking about preparation for the Antichrist—one thing that we know will take place is the church will go into apostasy. And, certainly, the way you move into apostasy is you undermine the Word of God. And that’s our great concern about Christian psychology, or psychology as something that people promote to help us live lives that supposedly are pleasing to God. But the Bible, most evangelicals believe that the Bible is inerrant. Well, I don’t know if “most” any more, but many do. That it’s our authority, but they don’t believe in the sufficiency of Scripture. So, that sort of pulls the third leg of the stool right out from under whoever’s sitting on it.
Dave: Yeah, Tom, of course, you know, as a former Catholic, that the Catholic Church denies the sufficiency of Scripture. They have their tradition. And the Bible is not enough on its own. And I remember having a debate with Karl Keating on the sufficiency of Scripture.
Dave: Denying the sufficiency of Scripture, and I went to 2 Timothy:3:16-17, which says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness….”
Of course, he said, “Well, that doesn’t say it’s sufficient.”
Well, the next verse says, “That the man of God may be perfect (that means mature, complete), thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” So the Bible thoroughly furnishes us unto every good work. The Bible is the manufacture’s handbook. God created us. He certainly must know what makes us tick.
As I recall, Karl Keating said, “Well, Cardinal Newman, 100 years ago, showed the fallacy of that scripture. ‘All scripture’? All the scripture Timothy had at the time was the Old Testament, so if you’re going to go by that text, then you’re saying the Old Testament is all we need.” And I…you know, I can’t remember what I said. I hope I said the right thing. In debates sometimes you don’t even remember what to say. But the…well, this is the second epistle to Timothy.
Tom: Epistle to Timothy.
Dave: So Timothy had the first epistle, and he had the second epistle. We know that this is the last epistle that Paul wrote—2 Timothy 4 tells us that. So then, Timothy must have had all the epistles of Paul. We know that he had the Book of Acts also, because the main character in the Book of Acts is the Apostle Paul. And you wouldn’t have ended that with the Apostle Paul still living—which it ends—if he had already died. So, he had that.
Well, but the Book of Acts begins, “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to both do and teach.” Well, that’s the Book of Luke. Luke wrote Acts, and he says, “The former treatise have I made….” So that we know the Book of Luke preceded the Book of Acts. And Peter talked about the writings of Paul and so forth. So you could say that Timothy had most of the New Testament. However, that’s not even the point.
When, for example, Deuteronomy 8, when God speaks through Moses and He says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” did God mean every word that He had spoken so far? No. So when it says, “all scripture,” it means all Scripture, whether they had been written at that time or not.
And the Scriptures—this is what makes us wise, and Peter, in 2 Peter 1, says that He has “given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” So we don’t need any more than the Word of God that He has given us.
But, Tom, without being too facetious, let’s take what Jesus said there in John:8:31: It said, “Many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those who believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” What we need to be set free is the truth.
But the Christian psychologist reinterprets it. And this is what they say Jesus said: “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed, and you will know part of the truth and you will be set partially free. But I can’t set you totally free, because the Holy Spirit, through ignorance or oversight, is going to leave a great deal out of the New Testament that would be essential for happiness and fulfillment. But one day, those great prophets of truth, Freud and Jung and Rogers and Maslow, atheists, antichristians to a man—they will be inspired of God to give us that part of the truth that the Bible has not given us. And then finally, at last, men will have all that they need to live fulfilled lives.”
Tom: Dave, earlier you mentioned, and just now you mentioned Carl Rogers—bowing down to the altar of self. And you mentioned the term “self-deification.” I want to bring this back to the Antichrist. That’s what it’s all about. It begins in the Garden, the lie that we can become as God. That’s self-deification. That’s where it started, and we find the man of lawlessness, the man of perdition, we find him worshiping—not only wanting people to worship him, but worshiping self. And I think that’s the lie that’s going to be communicated to people—that you bow down to your own self. This is the problem.
Dave: Second Thessalonians 2:4: “He as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” So by that, we know that the temple will be rebuilt. That’s one of the scriptures that tells us that.
On the other hand, the Bible says your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and so you know that…what are we getting here in the West? Eastern meditation. It’s not meditation. It’s not contemplation. It’s tuning it out, looking within, to discover—self-realization is what it’s called—the goal of yoga, to discover that you’re god.
So you do exactly what Carl Rogers did. You look within what should be the temple of the Holy Spirit, and there you find self ruling and reigning, and you bow at the altar of self because you are trying to realize [that] self is God.
And so, in Eastern meditation, Hinduism, for example, the goal is to recognize—self-realization recognizes that Atman, the individual soul, is identical with Brahman, the universal soul. And actually, “that thou art”: you are it, and this is the lie. And, Tom, it’s not difficult to see that the whole world could adopt this and literally worship not just the Antichrist but worship the dragon, Satan, who gives him his power and his seat and his authority, exactly as Revelation 13 says.
Tom: Dave, the name escapes me, but it was one very famous psychiatrist who said that the religions of the East are going to make their way into the West through psychotherapies. And that is the case.
Dave: Well, Carl Jung wrote the foreword to the first editions of many of these books from the East that were published in Western languages. And you know that psychology, there are leading psychologists who say, “Well, psychology is simply Eastern mysticism dressed up in Western terms, trying to make it scientific.” And you know that we have had tests where they matched Western psychiatrists against voodoo priests, for example, or witchdoctors, and it came out a dead heat. The only difference was the witchdoctors released their patients sooner and charged less. But basically, it’s very much the same, and I think you’re right in pointing this out as one of the signs of the last days.
Tom: Now if this troubles some people, contact us here in the ministry. We have, in our catalog of books, we have all kinds of materials documenting the very things that we’re saying here.