Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Disturbance Of Psychology

Some psychological conditions, such as bipolar disorder and clinical depression, have physiological causes that legitimately require medical and psychiatric intervention. Please bear in mind, as you read anything I write about psychology, that I appreciate the fact that some people, including friends of mine, need medications for such chemical imbalances just as surely as I need muscle relaxants to control my spasticity. Remember this disclaimer, please.

The practice of appending psychological models in the context of Christian experience in general, however, troubles me. And it does so for a number of reasons. Indeed, psychology encourages a large amount of self-focus that diverts attention away from the Lord Jesus Christ. It also fuels expectations of fulfillment and/or emotional satisfaction in this life in contrast to Christ's call to self-denial. Additionally, it opens us up to New Age philosophies which contaminate pure devotion to the Lord by drawing people into mysticism.

I've personally struggled with all three problems due to my involvement in fellowships that incorporated psychology into their counseling and teaching. As time progresses, I hope to narrate some of my experiences and observations in these posts in order to illustrate the ways psychology undermines the obedience to God's Word.

But today, I want to address my primary objection to so-called Christian psychology. Above all the serious problems I've mentioned, Christian psychology tacitly argues that Scripture doesn't  quite give us all we need in order to  live complete Christian lives. This underlying belief directly contradicts Paul's words to Timothy.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. ~~2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
 According to these two verses, God's Word thoroughly equips Christians to minister to each other. Paul makes no mention of exploring troubled childhoods, hypnosis or guided visualization as necessary tools in Timothy's ministry. Scripture, he said, gave Timothy everything he needed to shepherd his flock.

Sadly, all too many present-day pastors either incorporate psychological tools into their counseling or they  helplessly refer their people to professional counselors. Such actions communicate the notion that the man-made discipline of psychology supersedes the words of our very Creator. That supposition makes absolutely no sense! It denigrates Scripture while exalting paradigms of Freud (an avowed atheist) and Jung (a non-Christian mystic). In short, it demonstrates an attitude that God's Word, despite being authored by the Holy Spirit Himself, just doesn't have everything Christians need.


And yeah...that attitude bothers me.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you put in the disclaimer, AND I agree with the rest of the post as well...yesterday morning reading in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, King Saul's affliction had a particular impact on me. The Bible states that Saul would sometimes receive an evil spirit from the Lord.

    I know today's more "advanced" and "civilized" doctors would dismiss that being true, however I believe God over man, and He has a purpose for all He does, and for all He allows to happen.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post! I'd love feedback, as long as you attach a name. Disagreement is fine, as long as it is presented respectfully. Please keep comments confined to a maximum of four short paragraphs. Sorry for making to do the Word Verification, but I've been getting too much spam.

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