“Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah:2:12-13)
Those verses include a warning from the Lord for His people—and the reason for the warning. They are the consequences of His followers forsaking Him by turning from “the fountain of living waters.” Although addressed to the Jewish people during the time of Jeremiah the prophet, God’s words of admonition also seem to be directed at the Christianity of our day.
In Part 1 of this series, questions were asked in survey form for the reader to evaluate where he (or she) stands in regard to his fundamental beliefs in the Word of God. The survey centered on the inerrancy, the authority, and the sufficiency of the Scriptures, and concluded that the sufficiency of God’s Word is “the tell-tale indicator as to where the reader actually stands regarding the inerrancy and authority of the Bible.” That is the case, because if you claim to believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Word of God but look to other sources for help with your spiritual issues of life, you are indicating that Scripture is no longer sufficient for you; it is no longer your authority, thereby making a belief in biblical inerrancy pointless—and worse.
Thus this article will focus primarily on the sufficiency of God’s Word, which the Bible claims is totally, absolutely, and unequivocally sufficient (2 Peter:1:3; 2 Timothy:3:16-17; and many more)! Yet most of the evangelical church, which claims to be Bible-believing, has blinded itself to Scripture’s clear teaching. Of course, this hasn’t happened without help. Leaders in the church, not wanting to be pigeonholed with the fundamentalists (labeled as ignorant and narrow-minded), have therefore turned to the “wisdom” of the world [which the Bible calls “foolishness”—(1 Corinthians:3:19)].
Two of the most obvious and destructive examples of not adhering to the sufficiency of God’s Word have to do with the fact of man’s turning to the pseudosciences of evolution and psychology. In the mid- to latter part of the 1800s, some influential Christian leaders were impressed with the theories of Charles Darwin. They wanted their Christianity to be respected by the world as being in tune with the latest scientific theories and “discoveries” of their day. However, not all the preachers of that day were so inclined. C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “If God’s word be true, evolution is a lie.” To that completely accurate observation, he added the handwriting on the wall: “The age is getting worse and worse, and man, by a process of evolution, is evolving a devil. Within fifty years children in the school will read of extraordinary popular delusions, and this [evolution] will be mentioned as one of the most absurd of them.”
One might excuse the church for its ignorance in thinking Darwin had it right, were it not for the fact that his theory is diametrically opposed to the Genesis account. But what of the church today? It not only has God’s Word, but it also has access to ministries that show in great detail the delusion of evolution. Even so, evolution has been solidified throughout academia, even though there is not a shred of scientific evidence to support it. Nevertheless, any teachers in secular schools who do not support it are shown the door, and they have great difficulty securing teaching positions elsewhere. Evolution is one of Satan’s major successes. The lie he’s sold to Christendom is that the Word of God knows nothing about science, especially regarding how the world was formed. Scientifically speaking, we’re told, the Bible is not sufficient.
Does Spurgeon’s scathing but true characterization of evolution as “absurd” come to mind here? So, the Creator of everything is clueless as to how He went about His creation process? Really? But don’t be concerned about the Bible not keeping in step with “science.” Some religious-minded folks have stepped in to help God, Christianity, and science. They came up with the theory of theistic evolution! The idea is that God, through billions of years, used the evolutionary process up to the time that a humanoid male and female evolved, and into which God placed a soul and a spirit. That idea is a joke to evolutionists, but the Catholic Church, liberal Protestant theologians, and many Christian universities and seminaries teach it.
How destructive is the increasing belief in evolution to the biblical faith of millions of Christians? If billions of years of death preceded the sin of Adam and Eve, then what is stated in Genesis:2:17, Genesis:1:31, and Romans:5:12 cannot be true. If the Bible didn’t get it right about the consequence of mankind’s sin, can it be trusted in what it says about mankind’s salvation? Atheists seem to understand better than professing (and, sadly, some true Christians) how the belief in evolution does away with the sufficiency of the Scriptures and destroys the gospel in the process. The American Atheist journal declares, “Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. You will take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!”
Similar to evolution, which poses as science, psychological counseling pretends to be scientific as well and has destroyed the lives and beliefs of many Christians. Although there are Christian authors with science degrees and seminary professors with Ph.Ds who teach various aspects of evolution that undermine the Word of God, they do not compare numbers-wise with the host of those involved in Christian psychology. That army is led by Christian psychologists along with the multitude of Christians who have been credentialed with degrees in psychological counseling.
First of all, what is Christian psychology? It is an attempt to shore up the Bible where it is insufficient regarding the mental, emotional, and behavioral problems that afflict Christians. To that end, those seeking counseling degrees study the theories of psychiatrists and psychologists such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and a host of their disciples, all of whom are antichristian to the core and whose theories are diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Word of God. Like evolution, psychotherapy has no scientific basis whatsoever. Yet, since the 1960s, the rise of Christian psychology has sounded the death knell for Christians who look to the Scriptures for “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge” of the truth of God’s Word (2 Peter:1:3).
Dr. J. Vernon McGee met with Dave Hunt and me a few months before he went home to be with the Lord. He had read The Seduction of Christianity and it confirmed to him what he had personally observed taking place throughout evangelical Christianity. He told us it was symptomatic of the decreasing biblical content and the increasing humanistic content that we are getting from Christian TV, Christian radio, and Christian books and pulpits. He added that if this trend continues, Christian psychology will be the destruction of the evangelical church.
Psychotherapy’s chief teaching, which is central to the more than 500 different psychological therapies, is its view of “self.” Self is said to be the key to resolving all of humanity’s mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. The erroneous teaching about self-love became the chief therapy of Christian psychologists to which they added self-esteem, self-image, self-worth, self-belief, positive self-talk and all the other selfisms.
The most influential leader among Christian psychologists has been Dr. James Dobson. He declares: “If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, it would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth (taken three times a day until the symptoms disappear). I have no doubt that this is their greatest need. Whenever the keys to self-esteem are seemingly out of reach for a large percentage of the people, as in twentieth-century America, then widespread ‘mental illness,’ neuroticism, hatred, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and social disorder will certainly occur...” (Dobson, James, “What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women,” Tyndale House, 1975, 60). Not true. Extensive studies by research psychologists studying their own field has proved the exact opposite. High self-esteem, not low self-esteem, is the problem...just as the Bible teaches.
But don’t miss my point here. Christian psychologists have been the Adversary’s unwitting instrument in undermining the belief in the sufficiency of God’s Word.
What did believers in Christ do for 1900 years or so before the new psychological “clergy,” led by the godless occultists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, came along? Well, according to the Psalmist, God and His Word provided all they needed for life’s troubling issues: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm:119:9).
Think of what Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, went through. He was hated by his brothers who sought to kill him, then sold by them as a slave in Egypt, then falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and sent to prison. Was he “hung out to dry,” i.e., left without God’s support, given all that he had to endure? Read chapters 30 through 50 of Genesis. You won’t find a hint of his seeking out “counselors” for therapy among the Egyptians because of what his brothers did to him. But you will find God cleansing his heart of any bitterness and enabling him to forgive them! He said to his brothers, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life” (Genesis:45:5). Isn’t the same grace available for all of us who love Jesus Christ and are born of His Spirit? Is Jesus not the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews:13:8)? Or was there a gap of insufficiency until Christian psychology came along?
I’ve been told too many times in my 35 or so years of ministering the Word of God to brothers and couples who professed to know the Lord, “Well, we’ve tried what the Bible says, and it’s never worked out for us.” So, that must mean that the Holy Spirit’s instruction in Psalm 119 doesn’t work for believers today. It isn’t practical. It’s insufficient. Therefore, according to them, 2 Peter:1:3 and 2 Timothy:3:16-17, and especially Hebrews:4:12, must be mistaken regarding the sufficiency of God’s Word.
What we are now told to do, as more and more pastoral shepherds are doing with their sheep, is to turn away from God’s Word and look to “professional” help. In other words, we are to turn to those who have been trained in humanist and occult psychological concepts, who the Scriptures tell us “...receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians:2:14). Pastoral shepherds are turning their sheep away from the One who is called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God” (Isaiah:9:6), who is the Truth.
The redirecting of believers from God’s Word to godless counselors (whose schooling is antichrist) is unconscionable for those pastors who profess to believe in the sufficiency of God’s Word.
In giving believers “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him” (2 Peter:1:3), the Holy Spirit must have left some of the “all things” out for a later time to be supplied by a field that is atheistic to the core. That would be laughable if not for the fact that evangelical churches that profess to be following God’s Word act as a major referral service for the psychological counseling industry! What does psychological counseling supply? Mostly the lie that self is the solution to all their problems!
There is another development of late that is overwhelming Christendom and denying the authority and sufficiency of the Scriptures. I’m referring to the movie series called The Chosen, which we’ve addressed in part in previous newsletter articles—and its popularity is growing exponentially. You may ask, “How does the film series deny the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word?”
First of all, it creates scenes featuring Jesus and his disciples conjured up by a screenwriter who provides dialogue for them (words that were never spoken in Scripture). The screenwriter and film director have the actors portraying Jesus and his disciples doing things they never did. The Bible claims to be our authority regarding what Jesus said and did. That which the screenwriter writes, and the director directs, therefore subverts the authority of God’s Word. As viewers fill their minds with the endless unbiblical scenes that The Chosen presents visually, that is what becomes their authority.
What then of the sufficiency of God’s Word, or lack thereof? The intent of The Chosen’s producers was to supply for audiences that which evidently the Holy Spirit was unable to communicate effectively through words actually contained in the Bible. Just as Christianity had to wait nearly 1900 years for the arrival of Christian psychology to meet the psychological needs of Christians, the church had to wait nearly the same amount of time for the invention of motion pictures in order for Christians to relate to the personal character of Jesus.
The medium of film was also necessary in order to make the Jesus of Scripture more acceptable, more human, and less “stoic,” as The Chosen’s producers claim. Make him “more authentic.” We’re told by The Chosen Mormon producer, Derral Eves, that “The whole purpose of the show is to have people experience an authentic Jesus.” Written words that have to be read were obviously not sufficient for one to get to know the real Jesus. A common response from the millions of viewers (this one from a Mormon student cited in a BYU magazine) was that “she loves the show because it helps viewers see Christ as a real person. It helped me recognize that he was a regular (though perfect) guy who likes to joke with his friends, loves his mom, and has a special connection with the little children.” Those “authentic insights,” however, were supplied not by the Holy Spirit but by the series’ creative production people. Although the writer/director of the series, Dallas Jenkins, claims that God had told him regarding the production of The Chosen that He wouldn’t let him “screw it up.” Jenkins has done that and worse.
Scripture warns us to try the spirits “whether they are of God…” (1 John:4:1). The Chosen, from beginning to end, is a lie (Proverbs:30:6), and it adds man’s ideas to God’s Word, especially the Person of Jesus Christ, which is condemned (Deuteronomy:4:2, 12:32, and Revelation:22:18). Its content is at odds with and contrary to what the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, has communicated in the Word of God. Furthermore, the Bible makes it absolutely clear that those who add to what is written in God’s Word have not the Spirit of truth, nor can they receive the things of God, neither can they know them, “because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians:2:14). Those things are clearly contrary to what the true Author of the Scriptures has communicated, the very One whom Dallas Jenkins claims had spoken to him.
This series of articles began as a survey of what we think and where we stand regarding the Word of God. If our thinking about God’s Word misses the mark by any degree, we have to that degree slipped away from God’s truth. We have certified from the Scriptures (which are self-authenticating) that God’s words are just that—the words of God communicated to humanity by the Holy Spirit. They are inerrant, they are our authority, and they are sufficient for every believer’s life in Jesus Christ. Mankind has contributed nothing to God’s Word. Therefore, any attempt to add to the Word of God is resolutely condemned.
When Jesus’s disciples questioned Him about the days prior to His return, He responded by indicating that those days would be a time of great apostasy and deception (Matthew:24:4; 24:11). Pray for those who have been called to be shepherds of God’s sheep, that they would not lead the people away from the fountain of living waters, which is the Word of God.