We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Did They Really Say That?

?!?
Today my wife and I went shopping at an antiques store in Mt. Vernon.  As we came out of the store and headed up the sidewalk towards where our car was parked, we noticed two Mormon missionaries walking towards us.  Before we got within 20 feet of them they began talking to us so we stopped and listened for a couple minutes as they began their presentation.  I interrupted and told them I was an ex-Mormon, so they asked what led me to leave.  Our conversation continued for several minutes, during which I pointed out that their Christ was not the Christ of the Bible, which was a main reason for my researching their faith leading to my departure.  I mentioned the Adam-God doctrine of Brigham Young’s, and said it was one of the doctrines the LDS discounts.  I stated that Brigham Young was a prophet of God and stated he received that doctrine from God and yet the LDS now denies it as true.  For the first time ever, I heard a new defense for why this doctrine is wrong.
Wait for it...................
“Brigham Young misunderstood God!”
Yes, that’s what they said!!!!!  Can you imagine a biblical prophet being excused that way?!
The one young man said he knows the Book of Mormon is true because God told him.  Again, this was a new tact I’ve never heard.  So I asked, “Did God actually speak to you?”  “Yes,” he said.  “You actually heard his audible voice?” I asked.  “He spoke to my heart,” he said.  “AH!,” I said, “Have you not read Jeremiah 17:9 where he says the heart is deceitful?”  “But it was God who spoke to me,” he replied.
Well, I suggested there were many problems which he should investigate, such as at least 50 false prophecies by Joseph Smith, grave problems with the Book of Mormon (beginning with the Reformed Egyptian being translated in 1828-29 coming out exactly like KJV 1611 English translating Hebrew & Greek, including the italicized words), the differences in the LDS god and Jesus vs those of the Bible, no historical evidence, no archaeological evidence, etc.  I even handed him a business card for my ministry and suggested he review my blog articles.  He took the card, but then got close to me and said in a fairly loud, stern voice, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to be silent!”  I simply stated, “You invoke the wrong Christ” and continued by stating that DNA has proven that Indians are not of Jewish origin.  He looked sort of stunned when I did not become silent at his command.  His partner then laughed at me and said they had to go.
So, is this the new thing? Claim Brigham Young misunderstood God, claim God spoke to them (rather than the burning in the bosom) and command you to be silent?
I did tell them that if they were wrong, they had no second chance.  It was really very sad to see these young people so deceived. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Is Your Assembly Fed on Excitement?

A Church fed on excitement is no New Testament church at all.  The desire for surface stimulation is a sure mark of the fallen nature, the very thing Christ died to deliver us from.  A curious crowd of baptized worldlings waiting each Sunday for the quasi-religious needle to give them a lift bears no relation whatsoever to a true assembly of Christian believers.  And that its members protest their undying faith in the Bible does not change things any A.W.Tozer, The Next Chapter After the Last, p.14.
When I read this I immediately thought of Willow Creek, Joel Osteen’s monstrosity, and lots of other entertainment-oriented “churches” I read about daily.  Tozer was right - they bear no relation to a true assembly of Christian believers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mark Driscoll - Not Qualified as a Pastor

I have said in a previous article that Mark Driscoll is a teacher to avoid.  It isn’t that he’s a false teacher when it comes to proper doctrine (well, he’s a Calvinist and I disagree with that doctrine), it’s that he has a lot of other problems, including rank immaturity.  Another blogger recently called Driscoll one of the “top five pastors in America,” and when I challenged him on that claim several others came to his defense.  Well, here I’m going to lay out the problems with Mr. Driscoll, and if you think he’s still someone worthy of listening to, let alone one of the top five pastors, then I’d be interested in knowing how you can maintain that position.
First, as noted in my original post, Driscoll has a habit of using crude language, contrary to Paul’s injunction against such language in Ephesians 4:29 and 5:4.  There is no excuse for a pastor to be using such language; it is not “cool” or “hip” to do so.  If one lacks a command of the English language, then perhaps they should not be in the pulpit.
A paper I linked to in my original article, written by Cathy Mickelsdiscusses some grave problems with Driscoll’s immaturity in regards to teaching about human sexuality.  In referring to a book by Driscoll, Confessions of a Reformission Rev, John MacArthur is cited as saying, “...there are statements in that book that are so sexually explicit and unnecessary and purely gratuitous humor at the basest level...”  MacArthur is further cited as saying the same language and humor was on a video and later on Driscoll’s web site.  MacArthur states that the attitude seems to be to identify with people at their sensual level: “And I think that baser approach - that’s something I’ve never heard of in my life - I’ve never, ever, in the name of ministry heard anyone who would speak at that level of explicit language with regard to things sexual...”  The article also links to this excellent analysis of the type of behavior presented by Driscoll and why it is not proper for a pastor.
Describing an example of Driscoll’s treatment of sexuality, Mickels says, In Genesis 3, Satan's first line of attack against mankind was to undermine and call into question the authority of God's Word. Yet, it is this very book of the Bible that hits a funny bone for Mark Driscoll.  According to Mark, this is where all "good comedy begins." First of all, in the story of Adam and Eve, Driscoll throws out a suggestive, sensual idea about Eve that I guess Mark thinks will amuse his male audience. He says "...God creates a perfect woman who is beautiful, sinless, and naked,- the same kind of woman every guy ever since has been looking for." (The Radical Reformission, pg.28.)
Later Mickels gives another example of Driscoll’s teaching on sex:  Driscoll appears to have discovered early on that sex sells and that he could use it to draw a crowd. He writes, "I assumed the students and singles were all pretty horny, so I went out on a limb and preached through the Song of Songs. ....Each week I extolled the virtues of marriage, foreplay, oral sex, sacred stripping, and sex outdoors, just as the book teaches...This helped us a lot because apparently a pastor using words like 'penis' and 'oral sex' is unusual, and before you could say ‘aluminum pole in the bedroom,’ attendance began to climb steadily to more than two hundred people a week." ... It is also curious that in spite of Mark Driscoll's acknowledgement that many of the young men at Mars Hill struggle with pornography, Mark would intentionally and frequently plant himself in a barbershop filled with pornography. In his own words, Mark describes his barbershop as "providing the finest selection of waiting area pornography in our city." But, isn't the word "finest" a rather odd way of describing perverted material?  Would Mark recommend this same barbershop to other young men at Mars Hill? Since Mark details in his book, The Radical Reformission, that he even takes his own young son with him to his barber, a flamboyant transsexual, I will assume the answer is possibly "Yes."
Mickel’s description of a telephone call Driscoll relates which was between him and a man who was into pornography is horrible!  Driscoll has no business counseling anyone in any sexual matter.  Driscoll’s fascination with all things sexual (he claims the Song of Solomon is his favorite Bible passage) is really comparable to what you find with a high-school locker-room jock.  Driscoll’s blog even suggests anal sex with one’s wife is perfectly okay, and then he links to a site called “Christian Nymphos.”  Additionally, he advocates the use of “sex toys” and links to an ostensibly “Christian” sex toy site.
A January 23, 2008 ABC News article by Neal Karlinsky claims Driscoll admits that his preaching can “be summed up with two words: sex and Jesus.”  
A now extinct blog, Slice of Laodicea, posted a quote from John MacArthur on 5/8/09, in which MacArthur addressed Driscoll’s teaching in regards to human sexuality:  “For stronger reasons than simple modesty, certain acts involving fornication, autoeroticism, and other things people commonly ‘do in secret’ are shameful to talk about in any public context (Ephesians 5:12), much less a church service. They may be suitable subjects for a private counseling session, or the doctor’s office, or a college biology lecture, but they are not fitting topics for a worship service where God should be glorified, Christ should be uplifted, women should be shown respect, children’s innocence should be guarded, and single people’s prurient curiosities should not unnecessarily be enflamed.  When a speaker deliberately arouses lusts that cannot possibly be righteously fulfilled in unmarried college students, or when his personal illustrations fail to guard the privacy and honor of his own wife, that is far worse than merely inappropriate.  When done repeatedly and with the demeanor of an immature bad-boy, such a practice reflects a major character defect that is spiritually disqualifying.  Any man who makes such things the main trademark of his style is quite simply not above reproach.”
Driscoll is also very irreverent (and even blasphemous in my opinion) as he often makes jokes about theological matters.  An example I heard while personally viewing a DVD put out by his church was him suggesting that Jesus had a large tattoo on his thigh.
Mickels gives further examples of Driscoll’s irreverent handling of Scripture in The Radical ReformissionDriscoll sets the stage for more mocking of Scripture by describing the Old Testament as "a redneck hillbilly comedy." He finds humor in Jacob, Aaron, Moses, Job, Jeremiah, and Noah. For example, he undermines the seriousness of the messages of Jeremiah, a prophet of God, by describing him as someone "who cries like a newly crowned beauty queen all the time." He laughs at Noah for getting drunk and ending up naked in his tent, and then compares him to "some redneck on vacation." Why would Driscoll find amusement or pleasure in seeing Noah's dignity reduced or undermined?
In his series on humor, the New Testament also gets a Driscoll face lift. Without shame, he turns the issue of circumcision found in Galatians 5 into a crude "cut off your pickle joke."
Also, unlike all the biblical scholars who have gone before Mark Driscoll, he comes up with another name than the one given in Scripture to describe the Holy Spirit. In his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev, he thanks "God the Ghost" for helping him write his book. In another part of the book, Driscoll just shortens it to "Ghost."  For those who would be alarmed by this cavalier handling of God and His Word, Mark also has an arrogant, cocky response. He says, "...religious people are too serious.....judgmental.... they're such a joke." ....
Mocking and poking fun at Jesus and his family, Mark writes, ".....everytime they (the religious leaders) see Jesus, it agitates them that he is always surrounded by a crowd telling knock-knock jokes to miscreants who love his sense of humor because his perfection had to have included comedic timing." In other communications Mark refers to the King of Kings as "a dude" and uses word pictures depicting Him as "a prize-fighter with a tattoo down his leg..." In Driscoll's human attempt to make Jesus relevant, he turns the spotless lamb into a blemished lamb tarnished with the markings of the streets of Seattle. (The Radical Reformission, pg. 30.)
Discussing more irreverent teaching from Driscoll at Mars Hill, Mickels reports, One will hear things at this church never heard before about Christ. In a church video series regarding the humanity of Christ, Mark had fun with the question whether or not Jesus went "potty." In response, according to Driscoll, "...yes, Jesus went number one and number two," but he did it "perfectly....never got the toilet all wet."
I think you get the general idea of what Cathy Mickels reports on, but I really recommend you read the entire document.  It paints a picture of a “pastor” with some serious problems, especially in the realm of teaching on sexuality, and totally irreverent handling of God’s Word.  Much of it is relating things from Driscoll’s books, “The Radical Reformission” and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.”  (Why anyone reading these books would still consider Driscoll worthy to be a pastor is beyond my comprehension.)  Just that article alone should have droves leaving Driscoll’s church.
Mark Driscoll has preached at Robert Schuller’s “Crystal Cathedral” a couple times and yet has not preached a solid gospel message there - a “church” which needs the truth more than anything else.  He has also associated with Schuller on several occasions, and has even congratulated Schuller for his ministry - congratulating a rank heretic for preaching heresy!
This year Driscoll has been claiming he receives direct revelations from Jesus.  Interestingly enough, they usually have to do with sexual matters.  This article gives the full text of some of Driscoll’s claims, which are nothing less than bizarre.  In fact, as with his teaching on sexuality, some of these revelations are downright pornographic.
Lately Driscoll has been propagating a false spiritual warfare theology - including promoting false teachers in this subject - and claims he has even talked to demons.  Not only that, he accepts what the demon says as the truth as to what the demon is doing.  His description of his conversations with demons would be downright laughable if Driscoll wasn’t seriously teaching it as truth.  His demonology includes ideas from the totally aberrational “deliverance ministries” and is totally unbiblical.
According to The New York Times 4-part article, “Who Would Jesus Smack Down?” Driscoll will allow no dissent.  “In 2007 two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that...consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his close aides.”  Their protests led to their excommunication, and when a member complained, his membership was suspended.  According to the article, Driscoll said, “They are sinning through questioning.”  I’d be interested to know where Driscoll finds that in Scripture!
As his schtick, Driscoll displays a persona of a “cool dude,” and has even said one could call him “Pastor Dude.”  The New York Times said Driscoll has the “coolest style and foulest mouth of any preacher you’ve ever seen” and said he is the “cutting edge of American pop culture.”
Would you really want your pastor to describe Christ as "a classic underachiever with no wife, kids, stable career or even much of a home."  I’d say this is downright blasphemous!  Yet Driscoll also says that Jesus began his ministry as a bartender. Mickels also cites his books where Driscoll makes jokes about soiling his trousers.  Driscoll obviously sees himself as a stand-up comedian, but is this the character of a shepherd of God’s people?
Let me sum up the problem with Mark Driscoll as a pastor:
He behaves in a very immature and arrogant fashion reminiscent of a high-school locker-room jock.
He appeals to the basest level in his teaching on human sexuality, and even teaches sexual perversion as being okay.
He uses coarse, as well as sexually explicit language, which gives him an undignified reputation.
He abuses the Word of God while promoting levity and irreverence for it.
He speaks and teaches blasphemously about Jesus.
He gives tacit approval to the teachings of heretic Robert Schuller.
He teaches falsely about spiritual warfare.
He claims direct revelation from God.
He claims to have conversations with demons.
He claims those who question him are sinning.
 Paul details the qualifications for elders (including pastors) in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  Among these qualifications are (HCSB): “above reproach,” “self-controlled,” “sensible,” “respectable,” “a good reputation with outsiders,” “not arrogant,” “loving what is good” - none of which are demonstrated by Driscoll. 
I maintain that Mark Driscoll has a huge following not because he teaches solid meat of Biblical doctrine, but because he appeals the the basest fleshly attitudes of the world, making his services and books into stand-up comedy routines with much sexual titillation.


Update 12/3/11:
I found an article in my files which I thought should be added to this post.  The article can be found at http://defendingcontending.com/2009/06/24/i’ve-had-it-with-mark-driscoll-and-his-mouth-now-it’s-personal/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Power of the Cross

This morning in our assembly of saints we sang a contemporary worship song by  Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.  That team has some really doctrinally powerful songs.  The lyrics are well worth contemplating.
The Power of the Cross
Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.
CHORUS:
This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.
Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow. 
Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the victory cry. 
Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.
FINAL CHORUS:
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost! 
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Have You Created Your Own God?

"Throughout history, the further people have strayed from the supremacy of Scripture, the more removed they have become from their Creator.  In our corrupted human nature, we love to create our own god.  A safe god; custom-designed to suit our tastes.  Let’s face it, we all have our own desires and agendas.  If we can just get ‘god’  (however we may conceive of him) to back us up...well, now that’s really a ‘higher power’ we can worship!  The Jesus of the Gospels is not the non-confrontational, infinitely tolerant, impotent idol the liberal church has molded Him into.  Such a ‘revised’ image of Jesus may not threaten willful sinners, and they may stay comfortable in whatever lifestyle they please.  A selective reading of Scripture may yield a very different deity; not a true representation of the One True God. 

"Jesus is not the harsh, ascetic taskmaster the Church of the Dark Ages portrayed Him to be.  The Christ of the Bible is a gentle Shepherd, not a drill sergeant.  Still, He takes sin very seriously.  It cost Him greatly.  A perfectly holy God cannot wink at sin and still be just.  In order to fully grasp God’s unfathomable love for His people, His infinite mercy, and His hatred of sin (as well as His definition of what ‘sin’ is; not ours), you must  go straight to the source.  The Bible is the only direct revelation humanity has from the lips of God.  As you pursue knowing Him, God will reveal His heart to you (Jeremiah 29:13; James 4:8)." 
Marie Notcheva, Redeemed From the Pit, pp.128-129

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Did They Really Say That?

?!?
The world was peopled before the days of Adam, as much so as it was before the days of Noah.  Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854, Journal of Discourses 2:79
Orson Hyde was not only an LDS apostle, he was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1847 to 1875.  And yet this man directly contradicts the Bible with his teaching: according to the Bible Adam was the very first man on earth.  I’d say this is another proof that the LDS is not a Christian faith.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Apostasies and Heresies

The Romanist church is doing more and more to form a one-world religion, proving again that they are not God’s church.  The council for Synod of Bishops for America met in Rome to discuss the RCC relation to other religions.  Their statement includes this: “the Catholic Church, while affirming the specific originality of Christianity, does not reject anything that is true and holy in non-Christian religions.”  Another citation starts with, “The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems....”  and goes downhill from there.  They address Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism also in positive terms.  See Suze Blog for a good report.

Then we have a Catholic adoption agency capitulating to the state of Illinois so as to keep state money flowing.  Rather than stand their ground with other Catholic agencies against providing adoptive children to same-sex couples, the Diocese of Belleville child welfare agency changed their name from “Catholic Social Services of South Illinois” to “Christian Social Services of South Illinois.”  The Catholic Church in Illinois as a whole actually did the right thing and closed down their services rather than kow-tow to the homosexual agenda of Illinois, but not this group; they disassociated themselves from the Catholic Church.  There is still a problem in that they call themselves Christian while supporting the unholy idea of giving children up for adoption to same-sex couples!
Seeker sensitive churches continue their spiral into total apostasy.  The Museum of Idolatry posted another two prime examples of the nonsense taking place in these apostate assemblies.  First we have Ed Young Jr.’s church with his false teachings of a “blessing zone.” Then we get to see North Point Church with their “worship” service including a production of “Thriller.”  These assemblies are nothing but herds of goats led by goatherds.  All they want is entertainment and to leave church feeling good.
Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministries posted a thought-provoking article this week by Jack Kinsella, telling us about the apostasy of the religious Left and its leader, heretic Jim Wallis.  Wallis has long promoted the false “social gospel” - which sure fit’s the description of Paul’s “other gospel”!

Harold Camping is not sorry he taught all the false stuff about Christ coming back in May and then October (or even 1994).  Nope, it wasn’t his fault; it was God’s fault for letting him believe and teach that stuff:  “It seems embarrassing for Family Radio. But God was in charge of everything. We came to that conclusion after quite careful study of the Bible. He allowed everything to happen the way it did without correction. He could have stopped everything if He had wanted to.  That’s right - if you prophesy falsely, it is God’s fault.  He’s lucky he didn’t live in O.T. Israel or he’d find himself stoned!
Brian McLaren, arch-heretic leader of the Emerging Church movement, has some really bizarre teachings.  This week I came across an article from almost two years ago which tells of McLaren’s ideas about how we may need to have 12-step groups to help us escape from our biblical ideas!  That Bible can really mess you up, you know.  Why, it just might help you see through false teachers like McLaren!
Finally, this week I came across another blog to follow.  I was directed to the blog because of this excellent article about “The cult of agreeableness.”  Tune in to this blog - Joel has some good stuff to say.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Psychological Method vs Christianity - Part 7

WHAT ABOUT “CHRISTIAN PSYCHOLOGY”?
Dave Hunt quotes two Christian psychologists as saying, “there is no acceptable Christian psychology that is markedly different from non-Christian psychology.  It is difficult to imply that we function in a manner that is fundamentally distinct from our non-Christian colleagues. . . .  As yet there is not an acceptable theory, mode of research or treatment methodology [in psychology] that is distinctly Christian.” Hunt then asks, “Then what is meant by ‘Christian psychology?’  Most laypersons imagine that there is indeed a psychology which is distinctly Christian.  The professionals know, however, that they are involved in an attempted integration of atheistic and anti-Christian theories into Christian theology.  Psychology is part of that very ‘wisdom of this world’ taught by ‘the spirit of the world’  which Paul rejected (1 Corinthians 2:5-14).  Rapha founder Robert McGee frankly confesses that he joins the Holy Spirit in partnership with atheist Albert Ellis, who considers Christianity a cause of mental illness:
‘Changing how we think, feel, and act is a process that involves the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. . . .  As a starting point, however, we will use a model adapted from psychologist Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy.’
“Psychology comes out of the occult, is not scientific, and many of its leading professionals admit that it is destructive.  The same legitimate criticisms that can be leveled against secular psychology apply equally to so-called ‘Christian’ psychology.  Yet it has invaded the best pulpits and is a large part of the curriculum in Christian universities and even seminaries.”
If the roots of a system are bad, and there is no science behind the system, and the fruits of the system are bad, why should Christians be dabbling in it?  Why do we have “Christian Psychologists” such as James Dobson, Larry Crabb, Gary Collins, et al, trying to syncretize the psych system with Christianity?  “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).
SUMMARY
The world view in which the roots of psych are firmly planted and fed is one of sexual perversion,  humanism, evolutionism, atheism, the occult, hedonism and selfism.  There is nothing scientific about the methods and theories, rather they are very much akin to witchcraft and shamanism, and we have seen that it is in fact a religious belief incompatible with Christianity.  As would be - should be - expected of the roots feeding on this world view, the fruits produced are sexual perversion, sexual immorality, idolatry of self, eugenics, racism, lack of personal responsibility, spiritual anarchy, and the break up of the family unit.  This fruit is harmful not only to the individual, but has brought much ruin on society in every aspect of it, even to the permeating of the church with so many programs based on the psych methods.  
CONCLUSION
What about the Christian in need of counsel; what do we as the Church do with them and how do we go about getting the counseling help we might need?  The obvious answer is that we go to the Bible.  It claims to be sufficient for all our needs (2 Pet. 1:3) and the Holy Spirit is there to guide us into all wisdom.
According to Torrey there are four primary components of counseling no matter who is doing it, no matter what the qualifications or theory.  These four components are: 1.  a shared worldview   2.  the personal qualities of the therapist  3.  the expectations of the client  4.  emerging sense of mastery in the client.  Every one of these can be fulfilled with Biblical counseling.
Essentially, the worldview/culture is the most important feature.  Torrey states that “all attempts at cross-cultural psychotherapy of which I am aware have been either difficult or unsuccessful.”  Interestingly, he also states that, “Therapists in almost all cultures are closely allied with religious functions.”   Since the Christian world view is based on the Bible, the Christian’s counselor should have the very same world view and be a Christian.
When it comes to item 2, the therapist must be someone who is moral and ethical, with worth and dignity and able to be respected.  This may not even be the actual qualities, but may also be those projected on the counselor by the client.  Torrey points out that the therapist-client relationship is a personal one in all cultures of the world.   A church elder, pastor, or even a trusted friend who is seen as knowledgeable in the Scriptures should fulfill this role for the Christian.
The third component of client expectations is very important.  As Torrey says, “Anything that raises client expectations aids this process.”  He points out that, “The expectations of a client in psychotherapy are a composite of many factors.  Hope is an essential element, and this in turn is related to trust in the healer or therapist.  Trust is dependent on the personality characteristics of the therapist, and in this way the third component of psychotherapy (client expectations) interacts with the second (personal qualities of the therapist).”  Can we not as Christian counselors give expectations of hope to our counselees?
Part of the process of client expectations is the important function of naming the problem, which Torrey calls “the principle of Rumpelstiltskin.”  In relation to this Torrey says, “much of the naming process and the assignment of meaning can be looked at from the vantage point of increasing the client’s faith in the therapist and increasing the expectations of cure.  It is the naming, in fact, that is the necessary first step; only when the malady is properly identified does the possibility of curing it become a real one.”  With Christian counseling the identity of the problem is usually “sin.”  
The fourth component is what Torrey calls “the Superman syndrome.”  This is where the client is “convinced that their therapy has provided them with the knowledge, competence, insight, and understanding necessary to master life’s adversities. . . . ”   The Christian counselor should provide the counselee with the proper biblical teaching and requirements of personal responsibility so that the counselee is certainly left with the ability to master the problem following the Lord’s instructions.
Biblical counseling is a valid field, and is sometimes known as “nouthetic” counseling.  Leaders in this field include Jay Adams, whose books for Biblical Counselors are many and thorough.  Let us as Christians seek the use of Biblical Counseling, and totally separate ourselves from the psych philosophies.
The following sources were were cited in this series:
Freudian Fraud, by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists, by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
The End of “Christian Psychology,” by Martin & Deidre Bobgan
Occult Invasion, by Dave Hunt
Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship, by Paul C. Vitz
Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity, by Dave Hunt
Why Christians Can’t Trust Psychology, by Ed Bulkley, Ph.D
Evolution in American Education and the Demise of its Public School System, by Lael Weinberger, located at    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2005/01/31/evolution-american-education

Additional recommended sources consulted:
Psychobabble: The Failure of Modern Psychology - and the Biblical Alternative, by Richard Ganz
Psychology and the Church, by Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon
Psychoheresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, by Martin & Deidre Bobgan
Deceptive Diagnosis: When Sin is Called Sickness, by Dr. David Tyler & Dr. Kurt Grady
Christian Psychology’s War on God’s Word, by Jim Owen
Psychologized Man: A Biblical Perspective, by Martha Peace
Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, by Dr. Tana Dineen
James Dobson’s Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan
TheoPhostic Counseling: Divine Revelation or Psycho Heresy? by Martin and Deidre Bobgan
Larry Crabb’s Gospel, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan
12 Steps to Destruction: Codependency Recovery Heresies, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan
ADHD: Deceptive Diagnosis, by Dr. David M. Tyler and Dr. Kurt P. Grady
Will Medicine Stop the Pain? by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Laura Hendrickson, M.D.
Self-Esteem: Are We Really Better Than We Think? by David M. Tyler, Ph.D
The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, Self-Image, by Jay E. Adams 
Recommended resources for Christian Counseling
Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse, by Steven R. Tracy, Ph.D.
Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, by Jay E. Adams
The Christian Counselor’s Manual, by Jay E. Adams
A Theology of Christian Counseling, by Jay E. Adams
The Christian Counselor’s Casebook, by Jay E. Adams
A Homework Manual for Biblical Living: Vol. 1 Personal and Interpersonal Problems, by Wayne A. Mack
Leaving Yesterday Behind: A Victim No More, by William Hines
Only God Can Heal the Wounded Heart, by Ed Bulkley, Ph.D
Curing the Heart: A Model for Biblical Counseling, by Howard Eyrich & William Hines
Counsel From Psalm 119, by Jay E. Adams
Helps for Counselors: A Mini-Manual for Christian Counselors, by Jay E. Adams
Hope & Help for Self-Injurers and Cutters, by Mark Shaw
The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, Self-Image, by Jay E. Adams
From Forgiven to Forgiving, by Jay E. Adams

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Psychological Method vs Christianity - Part 6

FRUITS OF THE PHILOSOPHY
For purposes of our study, this can be the most important section, demonstrating what the fruits of the psych field are and will be. Some of the fruits of the philosophy behind the psych fields are harmful to individuals undergoing the counseling, while the entire civilization is harmed by the psych fields in general. These are the fruits of this world view which is based on such an anti-God philosophy. I will begin this section with harm caused to individuals.

The Bobgans quote Dr. Jeffrey Masson, former Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives, as saying, “Everybody should know, then, that to step into the office of a psychotherapist, regardless of the latter’s persuasion, is to enter a world where great harm is possible.” Knowing this, why would anyone, let alone a Christian, put himself at the mercy of a psychotherapist?

Torrey cites a review of 12 studies which says that psychotherapy is harmful in one out of 20 people, and that some types of “therapy” have even higher harm rates. He says that, “Even individuals who do not have a brain disease may become agitated, anxious, and severely depressed by psychotherapy.” Torrey also points out that there are “other adverse effects of psychotherapy, which occur more commonly with insight-oriented therapies as found in the United States. One is a syndrome described. . . as the ‘utilization of a psychotherapeutic experience to rationalize feelings of smugness, superiority over others, or utilizing “insights” to aggressively comment on other people’s behavior.’ He says that a “variant of this is the fully ‘analyzed’ client or therapist whose insight becomes a rationalization for self-serving behavior.”

The Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change says, “. . . research suggests that some patients are worse as a result of psychotherapy. . . . Many more recent studies continue to document rates of deterioration in patients, even in those who participate in carefully controlled research protocols. . . . After reviewing the empirical literature and the critiques of the evidence accumulated, it is our view that psychotherapy can and does harm a portion of those it is intended to help.”

Hunt tells us of a disturbing case: “Indeed, in the famous Cambridge-Sommerville Youth Study, involving 650 underprivileged boys six to ten years of age (divided equally into two groups), follow-up 30 years later revealed that those who received therapy had more problems with ‘alcoholism, mental illness, job dissatisfaction and stress-related diseases’ and committed significantly more serious crimes than those who were not given the ‘benefit’ of psychological counseling. Any scientific evidence we have been able to compile proves that psychotherapy is at best ineffective and is even harmful in many cases.”

Hunt also cites the following from Bruce Wiseman’s Psychiatry, The Ultimate Betrayal: “For eons some children, like adults, have always been more active than others. Perhaps they play harder or wander mentally because of a short attention span. . .[and] parents simply dealt with this as a fact of life. . . . And the wise parent saw that children, like adults, learn to change their behavior for the better. . . . However, psychiatry has deemed there is something wrong. . . . The child and parents thought he was normal when they walked into the psychiatrist’s office. They think he is abnormal when they walk out. . . . As a normal child he would have been tolerated, endured, disciplined. . . whatever parents have done for thousands of years. And in all likelihood, he would have grown out of it with little significance made of the situation. As an abnormal child, however, he would have been treated much differently by his parents, his teachers, and possibly his classmates. He would have been ‘special’. . . on years of medication. . . . He himself would, of course, think he had something inherently wrong with him. . . . Most likely this sense of ‘abnormality’ would be with him the rest of his life.” (This is certainly what we see with the government schools diagnosing so many as ADD/ADHD and medicating them for their school career.)

Torrey tells us that studies have shown “that counseling and psychotherapy given to young juvenile delinquents do not decrease later criminal behavior. On the contrary, insofar as it has any effect at all, it appears to increase later criminal behavior.” This is certainly harmful to these individuals, and to their victims.

From this point we will be looking at the overall harm to society in general that has come by way of the psych fields. Although the problem is world-wide, it is more prevalent in the United States due to the full embracing of the psych fields in this country for the past century. Carl Rogers stated that, “Yes, it is true, psychotherapy is subversive. . . . Therapy, theories and techniques promote a new model of man contrary to that which has been traditionally acceptable.” This philosophy of being subversive to the point of promoting that which has never been traditionally acceptable is indeed bringing ruin to our society.

As previously noted, the overarching philosophy of the psych fields is that the self is most important, that we as individuals should be determining values without resorting to an outside source for guidance, and that our happiness is supreme over everything. This causes major problems since, as Paul Vitz reminds us, “individual relativism leads to social anarchy and. . . it flies in the face of simple common sense.”

Torrey tells us, “The core of Freud’s theory and therapy are both fundamentally narcissistic in assuming that one’s happiness is the greatest good. . . . Indeed, the focus of virtually all psychotherapy systems, many of which come and go in America like cerebral fall fashions, is not some higher ideal, not one’s fellow man, but merely oneself.” But has this self-focus been good at all? Absolutely not! Hunt tells us that, “Numerous studies by secular psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that the higher one’s self-esteem, the more likely one is to be immoral, violent, and prone to trample on the rights of others.”

Even Maslow recognized a major problem with his self-esteem theory. The Bobgans cite his book Motivation and Personality where Maslow says, “The high scorers in my test of dominance-feeling or self-esteem were more apt to come late to appointments with the experimenter, to be less respectful, more casual, more forward, more condescending, less tense, anxious, and worried, more apt to accept an offered cigarette, much more apt to make themselves comfortable without bidding or invitation. In still another research, their sexual reactions were found to be even more sharply different. The stronger [high self-esteem] woman is much more apt to be pagan, permissive, and accepting in all sexual realms. She is less apt to be a virgin, more apt to have masturbated, more apt to have had sexual relations with more than one man, much more apt to have tried such experiments as homosexuality [and other itemized behaviors]. In other words, here too she is apt to be more forward, less inhibited, tougher, harder, stronger.”

Vitz also has some good insights. He states that, “The growth of self-expression in our classrooms in the last two decades has not served to bring a glorious increase in student happiness and mental health. If anything, the great rise in student violence and the continued decline in student test scores are evidence that the opposite has occurred. In short, the assumption about the complete natural goodness of the self, which stands at the heart of the values clarification theory, is false.” Vitz avers that ". . . .modern psychology has created widespread 'social pollution' by its analytical (and also reductionist) emphasis on the isolated individual and its relentless hostility to social bonds as expressed in tradition, community structures, and the family."

As an example of the problems originating in this idolatry of the self, Vitz states, “The increase in the rates of divorce owes much to the values advanced by self-theory, at least if the comments of former partners can be taken at face value.” He also points out that, “Many self-theorists, especially Carl Rogers, give very little value to marriage - and indeed encourage divorce on theoretical grounds. . . . Rogers states that ‘a relationship between a man and a woman is significant, and worth trying to preserve, only when it is an enhancing, growing experience for each person.’

Are there other teachings in the psych fields that aid in this breakdown of marriage and family? Most certainly. As previously noted, Freud, as well as many of his followers, were very misogynistic. This makes the theory inherently so, as well as being very patronizing of women. Karl Menniger, for example, claimed that mothers were the cause of just about every problem with individuals or civilizations! Torrey says that, “This theory has led logically to an epidemic of mother-blaming and women-bashing among mental health professionals. For example, a study of 125 articles in professional journals published between 1970 and 1982 reported that ‘mothers were held responsible for 72 different kinds of psychological disorders in their children . . . not a single mother was ever described as emotionally healthy, although some fathers were, and no mother-child relationship was said to be healthy.’ A social worker recalled that during her training, ‘We took it for granted that mothers caused much pathology. . . . If a patient is in trouble, the underlying assumption is that the mother must have done something wrong. . . . If [the problem] is not viral or bacterial, it must be maternal.’ The concept of pathogenic mothering has come to permeate almost all forms of psychotherapy and is used to explain most individual and family pathology. . . . …according to Freudian theory, women rather than men are said to be responsible for many of the world’s problems.”

With this view of women, is it any wonder that sexual relationships are not respectful of women; that sexual “freedom” becomes the norm so that women are nothing more than objects of satisfaction for men? If one denigrates marriage by idolatry of self, and believes that women are the cause of all the problems in the world, why not just use them for gratification of sexual desires by men? Just what other ideas in the realm of sexuality do we have projected by the psych fields; what philosophies are prevalent today that have led to such abuse of sexuality? Let’s look at some of these ideas.

Torrey cites Paul Goodman, a Freudian, as saying that “the repression of infantile and adolescent sexuality is the direct cause of submissiveness of the people to present rule of whatever kind.” So apparently even children should be sexually active to avoid such a “neurosis.” It is quite apparent to anyone reading the daily newspaper just where this has headed, with public school sex education becoming more of “how to” rather than limiting the instruction to biological information, while they hand out condoms to students, advocate homosexuality as an alternative, aid students in getting abortions, and leave the whole subject of morality up to the students themselves.

The sexual revolution which has led to all sorts of sexual immorality is indeed rooted in the psych fields. As a result of a vote, rather than any scientific or medical evidence, the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association both removed homosexuality from their list of mental illnesses in 1973, which led to more and more societal acceptance to the point where it is propagated as a normal lifestyle in all arenas of public life. This is also what led to the acceptance of homosexuals adopting and “civil unions.” The decision to remove homosexuality from being a mental illness was done under pressure from homosexual lobbyists. In 1998 the American Psychiatric Association stated that therapy aimed at changing homosexuals should be rejected. In the summer of 2004 the American Psychological Association even came out with resolutions supporting homosexuals adopting and homosexuals “marrying.”

To demonstrate just how far the psych fields have gone in advancing sexual immorality, it was only a couple of years ago that at their conference in San Francisco members of these associations suggested that adult-child sex was not harmful.

Torrey tells us that “A second major liability of Freud’s theory has been its promotion of irresponsibility. This evolved logically from the belief that individuals are governed by powerful unconscious forces, arising from early childhood experiences, which thereby usurp their freedom of action. . . . It is the areas of child rearing and criminal behavior in which Freudian theory has had the most profound effect and in which traditional concepts of responsibility have been challenged. In the Freudian scheme, men and women are seen increasingly as puppets of their psyches governed primarily by the edicts of their egos. The corollary of ‘don’t blame me’ is ‘blame my parents,’ expressed clearly from the earliest days of the Freudian movement. . . . In the Freudian schema, mother, father, family, social circumstances, and culture become the causal agents for whatever is wrong. The ripple of personal irresponsibility spreads slowly outward to cover ever greater areas until the very terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’ seem to no longer have meaning.”

Most of today’s leaders in just about every part of society were products of child-rearing practices of the 1950s and 1960s, which were based on Freudian concepts that were promoted primarily by Dr. Benjamin Spock. These teachings can be directly linked to the permissiveness that became so prevalent from the 1960s on. Torrey cites Dr. Louise B. Ames, Co-director of the Gesell Institute of Child Development as saying, “Most of the damage we have seen in child rearing is the fault of the Freudian and neo-Freudians who have dominated the field. They have frightened parents and kept the truth from them. In child care I would say that Freudianism has been the psychological crime of the century.” Torrey also cites Norman Vincent Peale as characterizing Spock’s teaching as “Feed ‘em whatever they want, don’t let them cry, instant gratification of needs. And now Spock is out in the mobs leading the permissive babies raised on his undisciplined teaching.” Peale is also cited by Torrey as saying that his was “the most undisciplined age in history.” Interestingly, Spock is also cited as saying that parental problems with child rearing “occur mainly in families with college background or with a definite interest in child psychology.”

Dave Hunt makes the clear nexus between these child-rearing practices and irresponsibility in our young people. He says, “The explosion of youth’s rebellion, crime, and immorality has coincided with the exponential growth of psychology since the early 1950s. There was a 43-percent increase in the number of Americans in the 10-19 age bracket who were committed to psychiatric hospitals from 1980 to 1987, while the number of private psychiatric beds per 100,000 persons more than doubled in the five years from 1983 to 1988. What a growth industry! Psychology has been rightly called the only profession that ‘creates the diseases which it claims to cure.’ Hunt continues by pointing out, “What was once disciplined as laziness, disinterest, stubbornness, or rebellion is now excused as a mental ‘disorder.’ The number of children diagnosed as having ‘learning disabilities’ nearly tripled from 1977 to 1992!”

As I have demonstrated previously, it was the Freudian theory and its follow-ons which taught the idea that no one is really responsible for their actions, because they only behave the way they do due to some problem that took place during their childhood. “Mental illnesses” have multiplied exponentially over the years to the point that just about everyone in society has some sort of neurosis! This has led to pleas of “not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect” by many criminal lawyers. A U.S. Court of Appeals decision has even stated that a person “could be ruled not guilty of a crime by reason of irresistible impulse.” Personal responsibility is absolved! Again, daily references to the newspapers will show how many criminals are judged innocent because of various “mental diseases,” and how many lawsuits are won against corporations because the judicial system, following the psych fields’ teachings, refuse to assign personal responsibility to the so-called “victims” who smoke, over-eat, misuse products, etc.

One result of the psych field is our tradition of age-segregated public school systems. The following lengthy citation demonstrates the connection between the psych field and the belief in evolution which it propagates:

“While a public fight was going on over what would be taught in the public school science curriculum, evolution was being applied to the schools in a more subtle manner. In the late 1800s, Granville Stanley Hall was a prominent educator at Johns Hopkins University. He believed in evolution and was a leader in the developing field of psychology. In 1904, he published a book on adolescence, advocating a new theory of child development based on evolutionary recapitulation . This theory was soon to be applied to classrooms across America.

“Hall’s recapitulation belief was that child development reflected evolutionary ancestry; certain ages, he argued, represented stages of evolutionary development. Infancy and early childhood corresponded to early “pre-civilized” mankind just grown out of its animal stage. Ages 6–7 were “crisis” years, where children could enter school and leave the “pre-civilized” state behind. Ages 8–12 corresponded to “the world of early pigmies.” Ages 13–18 were what he declared to be the stage of adolescence. This period, Hall claimed, was critical, as the child entered a “stormy” ancient civilization stage, and finally grew into full civilization.

“Hall’s book was a major influence on the public schools as age segregation became more emphasized. Before Hall, the “stormy” period of adolescence was virtually unknown. John Quincy Adams, later to become US president, received a diplomatic appointment overseas for the federal government when he was only fourteen years old. For those who acquired a college education in the 1700s, thirteen-year-old freshmen were not uncommon. But Hall made little allowance for the fact that children mature differently. Now all six-year-olds, seven-year-olds and eight-year-olds get their own classes, learn to stick with their age group peers, and it is regarded as odd—if not suspicious—if a ten-year-old associates with a fifteen-year-old. Today it is often a terrible thing for a child to be ahead of his peers—public school children must fit into Hall’s evolutionary mold. (Perhaps this is why we don’t see children like John Quincy Adams any more.)

“Hall’s theory was widely accepted because it was in full character with the mood of academia at the start of the twentieth century. Freud’s humanistic psychology was growing in acceptance, and Hall was a leader in psychology. The theory of embryonic recapitulation was also popular, and Hall merely extended this belief (namely, that human embryos recapitulate—or retrace—their evolutionary history) to children after they were born. Thus, the days of the one-room schoolhouse were numbered, and age segregation became more and more emphasized. Age segregation, it should be noted, is certainly foreign to “real life,” where one must interact with people of all ages. (Incidentally, even Benjamin Rush, one of the “fathers” of American public schools, stated that public schools should imitate conditions of a “private family.”) So when creationists began fighting in the 1920s to keep evolution teaching itself out of the schools, the subtle application of evolution in the schools was already being made.”

Some other fruits of the psych fields are eugenics and racism. Psych was part and parcel of the eugenics movement of the 1920s and 1930s in America. Torrey tells us that, “As late as 1942 Foster Kennedy, a professor of neurology at Cornell University, writing in the American Journal of Psychiatry, urged a program of euthanasia ‘for those hopeless ones who should never have been born - Nature’s mistakes. . . . It is a merciful and kindly thing to relieve that defective - often tortured and convulsed, grotesque and absurd, useless and foolish, and entirely undesirable - of the agony of living.’” As for racism, this thinking is essentially based on evolutionism, that different races are on different levels of evolution. The Psychological Review of January 1930, for example, had an article discussing the superior intellect of the Nordic race. Of course eugenics and racism are bound up with one another; part of the reason for eugenics was for the destruction of so-called lesser races.

The problem of “repressed memories” leading to many false accusations among thousands of Americans also has it’s origin in Freud. Freud wrote, “We must not believe what they [patients] say [when they deny having memories], we must always assume, and tell them, too, that they have kept something back. . . . We must insist on this, we must repeat the pressure and represent ourselves as infallible, till at last we are really told something. . . the pressure technique, in fact, never fails.”

A particular fruit offensive to the Christian faith is in the area of spirituality. Aside from the fact that psych is seen as another religion and is antagonistic to God in general, Hunt’s book has an entire chapter discussing the occult connections with the psych field. The issue of multiple personalities has been raised into the claim that we all have them and that we need to get in touch with them. The connections to the mind sciences is established, the use of hypnosis in treatments opening up the client to the occult, the affiliation with shamans among members of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and the connections between the psych field and the search for extra-terrestrials. In this same area of thought, the Bobgans cite Dr. Maureen O’Hara as saying, “It is significant to remember that the present New Age movement has its origins in the counterculture of the sixties and early seventies. Early inspiration came from the writings of Abraham Maslow, Eric Fromm, Rollo May, Carl Rogers, and others.”

Some last thoughts to give cause for concern about where the fruits of psych are heading will close this section. Torrey has demonstrated that the Freudian theory has influenced the majority of the liberal intellectual elite, and that the Democratic party as a whole has succumbed to this philosophy. He also cites Dr. G. Brock Chisholm, at the time president of the World Federation for Mental Health, as saying, “if the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be the psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.” And Hunt cites leading psychologists as suggesting that “parents be licensed to have children only upon demonstrating a sound understanding . . . of truth dispensed by psychologists.”

Will you be licensed?