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Friday, September 14, 2018

The CHURCH HAS BEEN PSYCHED! - The Invasion of Humanism and Psychology


~ By James Fire

For two thousand years the church of the LORD Jesus Christ has had the blessed opportunity for a rich, fulfilling life that is not of ourselves but of Christ Himself. We partake of this life through the Holy Spirit that indwells us by means of the atonement of the Lamb of God, Jesus of Nazareth when He offered up Himself as the sacrifice for our sins, and then rose from the dead, conquering over sin, death and hell on our behalf.
Additionally, we also partake of this blessed life through the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures that equips and directs us into a life of godliness:

2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect
[complete], thoroughly furnished
[equipped] unto all good works.

2 PETER 1:2-4
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust
.

By the Spirit of God, and the Word of God we saints have everything we could possibly need for a Christian life in this fallen world. The Omniscient (all-knowing) and Omni-present (existing in all places and all times) God has reviewed the world in all its history, from Day 1 to Day nth and considered every situation, challenge, issue, problem and circumstance that we as human beings could encounter and provided answers for us in the Scriptures according to the wisdom of God.

Yet in the past couple of centuries, and specifically in our day, an infiltration into the church by vain philosophies of mankind, according to earthly wisdom (1 COR 2:4-7,13-14), has occurred. Two of these that I want to address in this article are: Secular Humanism and Psychology.


Renaissance Humanism began during the 15th century among the intelligentsia among the more prominent scholars and philosophers of Europe.

Secular Humanism is something that sprang up in the late 19th century, and ratified in the 20th century in the Humanist Manifesto I (HM I):

“The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism.” Since the writing of this manifesto, two others have emerged, the last produced in 2003.


Among the beliefs held by Humanists is the self-sufficiency of humanity based upon his inherit goodness and knowledge, to comprehend, engage and overcome any and all obstacles that stand in the way of the furtherance of mankind towards the ideals of perfection and harmony among all peoples.

Four of the fifteen affirmations made in HM I are as follows:

FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.
SECOND: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.
EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist’s social passion.
THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly, religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.
In these four tenets we view the Humanist perspective that evolution, apart from any supernatural instigation or guidance is responsible for the creation of all life.
We also understand that, according to Humanism, the Human being himself is the center of all existence, meaning, purpose and that the fulfillment of man is central to the purpose of his being.

A dear friend of mine lamented when he listened to Christian radio and saw these assertions throughout the statements made in the programming:

That God’s intention is the happiness and fulfillment of mankind.
That the LORD Jesus Christ died on the cross for the purpose that we live fulfilling lives.
That the Bible is a book that instructs us how we may be blessed (and have our best life now) in life.

The central focus of too many teachings, books, videos, etc. that all purport to be ‘Christian’ is the fulfillment and happiness of the believer.

And it seems more and more professing believers and church-goers are endorsing the ‘scientific evidence’ for evolution, theistic evolution, old earth theory and other belief systems that run counter to the explicit, literal view of the Scriptures account of creation. 

Contrary to what may be promoted on Christian radio and other media, the Christian faith is not about you. Or me. It’s not about us and our fulfillment and happiness; it’s about Christ Jesus and the fulfillment of His Holy will and the promotion of His kingdom (not ours!). “Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven” (LUKE 11:2)!

Certainly and of course every Christian will know fulfillment as we abide in Christ (JOHN 15:1-5). Happiness is transitory and doesn’t last long, but joy is a far greater gift and available to every Christian, and may flourish despite any happenings, circumstances and occurrences. Happiness is a human emotion, whereas biblical joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (GAL 5:22).

Due to the ever-increasing flow of propaganda in our schools which supports evolution now as scientific fact, and not theory, this belief system is carried over into our churches. The youth that attend both grow into adulthood, assume leadership positions in the church, and denigrate the idea of creation as a direct action of God Almighty, preferring instead the ‘scientifically proven’ tenets of evolution.

Russ Miller of Creation ministries recently spoke at our church and made the shocking statement that only 2% of pastors now currently holding positions in our churches today believe in the biblical account of creation; that the vast majority believe in some form of theistic evolution or even the secular version!

Humanism has certainly invaded the church! For an excellent treatment of this insight, please watch the following summary video Ten Shekels And A Shirt (7:14 min) by Paris Reidhead


or for the full-length teaching, go here.

Scripture states emphatically that Jesus Christ is the centrality of the Christian’s life, that we allow Christ to live out His life through us and that we die to self, to carry our cross in denial of self (GAL 2:20; LUKE 14:27) – and all of self that this entails: our own ambitions, our own dreams and desires, our own ideals and philosophies and follow the LORD, loving and serving Him even if it means our personal detriment, persecution or even death.

The other diabolical infiltration I want to address will take up the remainder of this article, and that is the philosophy of “science falsely so called” (1 TIM 6:20), namely psychology.

The following are excerpts from Biblical Discernment Ministries article:

PSYCHOLOGY – SCIENCE or RELIGION?
I recommend that you read the entire article at the link provided above: excellent material and a thorough treatment of this subject!

What William Law wrote two centuries ago is even more evident today:
"Man needs to be saved from his own wisdom as much as from his own righteousness, for they produce one and the same corruption."

Psychology is a subtle and widespread leaven in the Church. It has permeated the entire loaf and is stealthily starving the sheep. It promises far more than it can deliver and what it does deliver is not the food that nourishes. Yet multitudes of professing Christians view psychology with respect and awe.

Now, when we speak of psychology as leaven we are not referring to the entire field of psychological study, such as valid research. Our concern is primarily with those areas that deal with the nature of man, how he should live, and how he can change. These involve some values, attitudes, and behavior that are diametrically opposed to God's Word. We will see, therefore, that psychoanalysis and psychotherapy have no compatibility with the Christian faith

FOUR MYTHS ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY
Among professing Christians, there are four major myths about psychology which have become entrenched in the Church:

The first major myth is common to Christians and non-Christians alike: that psychotherapy (psychological counseling along with its theories and techniques) is a science -- a means of understanding and helping humanity based on empirical evidence gleaned from measurable and consistent data. Not true!

The second major myth is that the best kind of counseling utilizes both psychology and the Bible. Psychologists who also claim to be Christians generally claim that they are more qualified to help people understand themselves and change their behavior than are other Christians (including pastors and elders) who are not trained in psychology. Also, not true!

The third major myth is that people who are experiencing mental-emotional behavioral problems are mentally ill. They are supposedly psychologically sick and, therefore, need psychological therapy. The common argument is that the doctor treats the body, the minister treats the spirit, and the psychologist treats the mind and emotions. Ministers, unless they are trained in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, are then supposedly unqualified to help people who are suffering from serious problems of living. Again, not true!

The fourth major myth is that psychotherapy has a high record of success -- that professional psychological counseling produces greater results than other forms of help, such as self-help or that provided by family, friends, or pastors. Thus, psychological counseling is seen as more effective than Biblical counseling in helping some Christians. This is one of the main reasons why so many professing Christians are training to become psychotherapists. Quite untrue!

IS PSYCHOLOGY A SCIENCE?
Psychology, and its active arm of psychotherapy, have indeed adopted the scientific posture. However, from a strictly scientific point of view, they have not been able to meet the requirements of true science.

In attempting to evaluate the status of psychology, the American Psychological Association appointed Sigmund Koch to plan and direct a study which was subsidized by the National Science Foundation. This study involved eighty eminent scholars in assessing the facts, theories, and methods of psychology. In 1983, the results were published in a seven-volume series entitled Psychology: A Study of Science. Koch describes the delusion in thinking of psychology as a science:

"The hope of a psychological science became indistinguishable from the fact of psychological science. The entire subsequent history of psychology can be seen as a ritualistic endeavor to emulate the forms of science in order to sustain the delusion that it already is a science."

Koch also says, "Throughout psychology's history as 'science,' the hard knowledge it has deposited has been uniformly negative."

PSYCHOLOGY AS RELIGION
Explanations of why people behave the way they do and how they change have concerned philosophers, theologians, cultists, and occultists throughout the centuries. These explanations form the basis of modern psychology. Yet psychology deals with the very same areas of concern already dealt with in Scripture.

Since God's Word tells us how to live (2 PET 1:2-4), all ideas about the why's of behavior and the how's of change must be viewed as religious in nature. Whereas the Bible claims divine revelation, psychotherapy claims scientific substantiation. Nevertheless, when it comes to behavior and attitudes, and morals and values, we are dealing with religion -- either the Christian faith or any one of a number of other religions, including secular humanism.

Nobelist Richard Feynman, in considering the claimed scientific status of psychotherapy, says that "psychoanalysis is not a science" and that it is "perhaps even more like witch-doctoring."

Carl Jung himself wrote:
"Religions are systems of healing for psychic illness. ... That is why patients force the psychotherapist into the role of a priest and expect and demand of him that he shall free them from their distress. That is why we psychotherapists must occupy ourselves with problems which, strictly speaking, belong to the theologian."

Both Jung's and Freud's positions are true in respect to the world's religions, but they are also anti-Christian. One denies Christianity and the other mythologizes it.

Repudiating the God of the Bible, both Freud and Jung [searched] for alternative understandings of mankind and alternative solutions to problems of living. They turned inward to their own limited imaginations and viewed their subjects from their own anti-Christian subjectivity.

The faith once delivered to the saints was displaced by a substitute faith disguising itself as medicine or science but based upon foundations which are in direct contradiction to the Bible.

Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, in his 1978 book The Myth of Psychotherapy, says, 
"The basic ingredients of psychotherapy does not always involve repression." He points out that while psychotherapy does not always involve repression, it does always involve religion and rhetoric (conversation). Szasz says very strongly that "the human relations we now call 'psychotherapy,' are, in fact, matters of religion -- and that we mislabel them as 'therapeutic' at great risk to our spiritual well-being." Elsewhere, in referring to psychotherapy as a religion, Szasz says:

"It is not merely a religion that pretends to be a science, it is actually a fake religion that seeks to destroy true religion."

TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOTHERAPY
Although all forms of psychotherapy are religious, the fourth branch of psychology -- the transpersonal -- is more blatantly religious than the others. Transpersonal psychologies involve faith in the supernatural -- something beyond the physical universe. However, the spirituality they offer includes mystical experiences of both the occult and Eastern religions.

PSYCHOLOGY PLUS THE BIBLE
The Church has not escaped the all-pervasive influence of psychotherapy. It has unwittingly and eagerly embraced the pseudo-scientisms of psychotherapy and has intimately incorporated this spectre into the very sinew of its life. Not only does the Church include the concepts and teachings of psychotherapists in sermons and seminaries, it steps aside and entrusts the mentally and emotionally halt and lame to the "high altar" of psychotherapy.

Many Church leaders contend that the Church doesn't have the ability to meet the needs of people suffering from depression, anxiety, fear, and other problems of living. They, therefore, trust the paid practitioners of the pseudo-scientisms of psychotherapy more than they trust the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Because of the confusion between science and pseudoscience, Church leaders have elevated the psychotherapist to a position of authority in the modern Church. Thus, any attack on the amalgamation of psychotherapy and Christianity is considered to be an attack on the Church itself.

Although the Church has almost universally accepted and endorsed the psychological way, there are Christians who have not. Dr. Jay E. Adams of the Institute for Nouthetic Studies says (note, TTUF does not necessarily agree with everything stated in this site):

"In my opinion, advocating, allowing and practicing psychiatric and psychoanalytical dogmas within the church is every bit as pagan and heretical (and therefore perilous) as propagating the teachings of some of the most bizarre cults. The only vital difference is that the cults are less dangerous because their errors are more identifiable."

The early Church faced and ministered to mental-emotional-behavioral problems which were as complex as the ones that exist today. If anything, the conditions of the early Church were more difficult than those we currently face. The early Christians suffered persecution, poverty, and various afflictions which are foreign to most of the twentieth-century Christendom (especially in the West). The catacombs of Rome are a testimony to the extent of the problems faced by the early Church.

If we suffer at all, it is from affluence and ease, which have propelled us toward a greater fixation on self that would likely have occurred in less affluent times. However, the cure for sins of self-preoccupation existed in the early Church and is just as available today. In fact, Biblical cures used by the early Church are just as potent if used today.

The Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit are applicable to all problems of living and do not need to be superseded by talk therapies and talk therapists.

Has the modern Church given up its call and obligation to minister to suffering individuals? If so, it is because Christians believe the myth that psychological counseling is science when, in fact, it is another religion and another gospel.

The Bible contains the only pure truth of God. All else is distorted by the limitations of human perception. Whatever else one can discover about God's creation is only partial knowledge and partial understanding. It cannot in any way be equal to God's truth.
To even hint that the often-conflicting theories of such unredeemed men as FreudJung, Rogers etc. are God's truth is to undermine the very Word of God. 

The revealed Word of God does not need the support or help of psychological pronouncements. The Word alone stands as the truth of God. That psychologists who call themselves Christian would even use such a phrase to justify their use of psychology, indicates the direction of their faith.

The statement "All truth is God's truth" is discussed in the popular "Christian" publication, Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology. The book claims that its contributors are "among the finest evangelical scholars in the field." In his review of this book, Dr. Ed Payne, Associate Professor of Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, says, "Almost certainly the message of the book and its authors is that the Bible and psychological literature stand on the same authoritative level."

Payne also states:

"Many pastors and laymen may be deceived by the Christian label of this book. Such psychology presented by Christians is a plague on the modern church, distorting the Christian's relationship with God, retarding his sanctification, and severely weakening the church. No other area of knowledge seems to have a stranglehold on the church. This book strengthens that hold both individually and corporately."
Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology merely reflects what the Church has come to accept: Unscientific, unsubstantiated, unproven psychological opinions of men have now been leavened into the Church through the semantic sorcery of "All truth is God's truth." The equating of psychology and theology reveals that the leaven has now come to full loaf.

THE GOSPEL OF SELF
One of the most popular themes in psychology is that of self-fulfillment. Although this is an extremely popular theme, it is a theme of recent origin, having arisen only within the past forty years [late-1940s] outside of the Church an in the past twenty years with the Church itself.
As society moved from self-denial to self-fulfillment, a new vocabulary emerged which revealed a new inner attitude and a different view of life. The new vocabulary became the very fabric of a new psychology known as humanistic psychology. Its major focus is self-actualization and its clarion call is self-fulfillment. And self-fulfillment, with all its accompanying self-hyphenated and self-fixated variations such as self-love, self-acceptance, self-esteem and self-worth, has become the new promised land. Then as the Church became psychologized, the emphasis shifted from God to self.

"Christian" books began to reflect what was accepted in society. Some examples are Love Yourself; The Art of Learning to Celebrate Yourself; Loving Yourselves; Celebrate Yourself; You're Someone Special; Self-Esteem: You're Better than You Think; and probably best known, Robert Schuller's Self Esteem: The New Reformation. 

For an excellent refutation of Schuller's Self Esteem false gospel, read this article by LET US REASON ministries.

Books and examples of a psychological self-stroking mentality are numerous. The teachings of self-love, self-esteem and self-worth have been gleaned from the world rather than from Scripture. They are products of humanistic psychologists rather than the truth of God's Word.

Numerous are the examples of "Christian" psychologists who are ordained ministers. They begin with a desire to Christianize psychology and end up psychologizing Christianity. Dr. Richard Dobbins, founder and director of Emerge Ministries, is one example of the many ministers who have turned to psychology.

In his teaching film The Believer and His Self-Concept, Dobbins leads the viewers through a series of steps to end up chanting, "I am a lovable person. I am a valuable person. I am a forgivable person." In Dobbins' exercise is found the confusion between the Biblical fact that God loves, values, and forgives His children and the humanistic psychological lie that we are intrinsically lovable, valuable, and forgivable. If we have one iota of loveliness, or one iota of value, or one iota of forgivability, then it makes no sense that Christ should have to die for us.

God has chosen to set his love upon us because of His essence, not because of ours, even after we are believers. His love, His choice to place value upon us, and His choice to forgive us are by His grace alone. It is fully undeserved. It is not because of who we are by some intrinsic value of our own or by our own righteousness.

The paradoxical, profound, and powerful truth of Scripture is that though we are not intrinsically lovable, valuable, or forgivable, God loves, values, and forgives us. That is the pure theology of Scripture and the overpowering message of Christ's death and resurrection. The Biblical truth is better presented as: "I am not a lovable person. I am not a valuable person. I am not a forgivable person. But Christ died for me!"

CONCLUSION
The Church exists in a hostile world. If its members do not reject the philosophies of the world they will reflect them in their lives. If we are friends with the world (its religions, philosophies, psychological systems and practises) then we must seriously ask ourselves why we do not heed Jesus' words:

JOHN 15:18-19
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you
.

Obviously, if we do not heed His words, it's because we don't believe His words. The Church has been called to reflect Jesus, not the world. Even though we are in the world we are not of the world. Thus, every ministry of the Body of Christ must be Biblical and must not attempt to incorporate worldly philosophies, theories, or techniques.

Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life," not Freud, Jung, Adler, Rogers, Maslow, Ellis, or any other man. A church that does not seek the Lord as its source but relies on the philosophical and psychological ideas and techniques of men will become as secular as the world. Such a church may indeed have a form of godliness, but it has denied the power of God. It has established man as its god.

As the Body of Christ, we need to pray for cleansing. We need to pray for pruning. We need to seek His face with diligence. We need to put off the old (all that is of the world, the flesh, and the devil), and put on the new (all that is in Jesus Christ).

Let us therefore drink from the springs of living water that flow from Jesus rather than the broken cisterns of psychological systems.

* This material has been excerpted and/or adapted from a 6/89 Special Report by the same name from Media Spotlight, which is a condensation of the 1987 book, PsychoHeresy:The Psychological Seduction of Christianity by Martin & Deidre Bobgan, East Gate Publishers and PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, Santa Barbara, CA.

This concludes this article, an abbreviated treatment from the article PSYCHOLOGY – SCIENCE or RELIGION?

For more information on this, consider the following resources:

Watch these two videos by Martin and Deidre Bobgan:





Another ministry that has dealt extensively with this issue of Psychology, particularly when it’s been inducted and incorporated into the church is The BEREAN CALL, which has also co-labored together with the Bobgans in getting the truth out.

The following link will bring you to a series of articles by TBC and will prove to be valuable resources for those who wish to examine this issue in detail. In addition to various articles published from 2006 – 2014, you can also read a series of Q & A involving this pertinent issue as well as book recommendations on this subject and radio programs.

Another excellent book by TBC that covers this issue along with the broader perspective of New Age enlightenment is AMERICA: THE SORCERER'S NEW APPRENTICE 

Finally, a very lengthy newsletter by STILL WATERS REVIVAL BOOKS with a wealth of links to other articles, down loadable MP3s and more, have a look at this.

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