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
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Psychologizing of the Christian Faith

The primary reason scores of people are no longer attending church is the church’s departure from the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.  When men believed in the authority and sufficiency of Scriptures, Christianity flourished as God blessed the church.  However, in the mid-nineteenth century, a movement to replace divine revelation with man’s philosophies arose.  Man’s ideas and his ability to understand his world through science, philosophy, and psychology became the new standard.  The wisdom of man replaced divine revelation.  Modern science and education discredited the old beliefs so people retreated from the Bible as the banner of absolute truth.  Christians talk more about the preacher’s scholarship, knowledge of science and psychology rather than piety and knowledge of biblical doctrine.  Doctrine was seen as divisive and, as such, was no longer important or emphasized.  At the same time the authority of the Bible was being attacked; men like Darwin and Freud were being lauded.  The church was well on its way to compromising the teachings of Scripture in favor of modern views.  It was in this context that psychology, with its plethora of schools and theories, began to shape the church, shifting its beliefs away from the Word.

Beginning in the mid-1950s, with an ever increasing number of books being written on the subject, evangelicals made friends with psychology. Psychology was touted as an adjunct to and servant of the faith.   Properly appropriated, psychology would enhance pastoral ministry and induce spiritual growth and maturity.  Christian psychologists asked, “How can we apply Scripture to an individual when he does not even know himself?”  Psychology would supposedly give man insights about himself so he could then apply the right Scripture.  However, the theory had hidden problems.. Self became the focus and the servant psychology became the master.  The attempt to integrate psychology with Christianity turned into an overt psychologizing of the Christian faith.

David Tyler & Kurt Grady, Deceptive Diagnosis: When SIN is called SICKNESS, pg.107


Anonymous said...

Amen to this post, Glen. One of the first organizations promoted to me by the charismatic women in our new church was Focus On The Family with James Dobson. The "you must listen to his radio program for sound advice" was touted to me at Bible Study (it was a gossip session with no Bibles opened up). Prior to this experience I had never heard of Focus On The Family or James Dobson, but became a faithful listener, visited his establishment in Colorado with the family, and purchased many of his books. I became a "fan and a follower" of this person and entity which essentially was an idol.

One aspect of the Christian life that James Dobson and Focus on the Family neglected, was the word "sin." It was extinct from their agenda and that led me to study the plethora of information concerning psychology and how it has destroyed our country. I was shocked to discover that much of the so called 'fathers of psychology' actually received much of their 'science' from voices and visions. A few had what is called 'spirit guides' channeling information to them to publish in doing the work of satan. Psychology has been an effective tool of the enemy for no longer do church folks 'bear one another's burdens' as our LORD commands...oh no....we either bring in the psychologist to the church and have the congregants make appointments so they can have a counseling session right there in the church building, or we send them to a local service in our communities for help in which they pay big bucks for such help.

A sister in Christ asked me, "Would you trust anyone in church with your problems (bear one another's burdens) so that you could seek the LORD's council and pray together?" To the Bride's disgrace, the answer is a resounding "NO" because your business is gossiped all around the church and is NEVER held in confidence between the few. It is a very sad day when we have to pay folks to bear our problems and hold them in confidence for there are none trustworthy who call themselves Christ followers/Christian.

Maybe it is time to point people to Jesus and His Word rather than pointing people to this organization or that penned man or woman's books, for it is He that is the Great Physician.

Anonymous said...

To 10/7 6:28am anon, that is indeed a massive heartbreak in the church, that bearing one another's burdens has either been passed onto "professional counselors" (for which you have to pay!?!?!?!?!), or private matters are turned into the local assembly's gossip mill. My husband and I trust FEW in the body, only those who are godly and tested. But most of the time, honestly it means keeping one's burdens in one's own aching heart, and crying out to the Lord and Him alone, because "no one cares for my soul" (Ps 142:4). I'm sorry you have found this to be true, as well. I do pray the Lord would provide you at least one true believer who knows how to be a real godly, burden-bearing friend, if He hasn't already done so already.

Amen to your last comment, the making of many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body (end of Ecc 12). Instead of reading books about the Bible, let's read the Original Masterpiece. :)