This article ran on Phoenix Preacher in March of 2008. It generated over 400 responses. The article was generated by a message Michael had heard that I had put him in possession of. This was during the time I was beginning to get serious about doing this blog.
Michael is a gifted and direct writer. I wanted to share this article on my blog today. Allan
“You cannot have a sick mind”
So said a Calvary Chapel pastor in a seminar I recently listened to along with these nuggets.
“Mental scars don’t exist.”
“Psychotherapy is religion, not science.”
“ADD and autism are the result of poor parenting.”
“Only pastors are qualified to deal with mental issues because they are all based on sin problems”.
This same pastor mocked the reality of bi-polar disorder and called schizophrenia a “myth”.
Dave Hunt calls psychology “Satan’s master stroke of genius”.
“Psychology, with its psychotherapeutic counseling, has been embraced by evangelicals more than almost any other unbiblical endeavor that has entered the church in the last half-century. “Christian psychologists” are generally more popular and influential than preachers and teachers of the Word. What evangelical in America doesn’t know of psychologist Dr. James Dobson? The psychologically oriented American Association of Christian Counselors boasts 50,000 members. The evangelical church is one of the leading referral services for secular counselors (whether they claim to be Christians or not!). Like their secular counterparts, the second-most popular career choice for students at Christian colleges is psychology. What makes this information truly shocking is the fact that the roots, concepts, and many of the psychological counseling practices come from “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
No good discernment rant is complete without a shot at Rick Warren ;
“Rick Warren’s 30 million copies of The Purpose-Driven Life include Jungian concepts, such as psychological “types.” Saddleback Church’s “Celebrate Recovery” program (see TBC Oct ’05), which has been exported to 4,500 churches and Prison Fellowship Ministries, is based on A.A.’s 12-Step principles. A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson received the 12 Steps during the time he was in contact with spirit entities. He later wrote a personal letter to Carl Jung thanking him for his influence:
…[A.A.] actually started long ago in your consulting room, and it was directly founded upon your own humility and deep perception….You will also be interested to learn that in addition to the “spiritual experience,” many A.A.s report a great variety of psychic phenomena, the cumulative weight of which is very considerable. Other members have—following their recovery in A.A.—been much helped by [Jungian analysts]. A few have been intrigued by the “I Ching” and your remarkable introduction to that work.”
Warren is not the only witting or unwitting promoter among evangelicals of what Jung learned from demons. He is just the most successful and the best known.”
Hunt boils down the argument to this;
“Let me get back to 2 Timothy, we need to get back to the Word of God. So Paul goes on in Verse 16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, or to be used for, doctrine—you don’t get that in psychology, they’ve abandoned doctrine—doctrine is not popular—doctrine, reproof,—No, that’s negative, you wouldn’t do that—correction, instruction in righteousness, but now this is the verse I’m thinking of, Verse 17: That the man, or woman, or boy or girl, of God may be perfect—that doesn’t mean without sin, it means mature, complete, what God wants you to be—thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Now that tells me that the Bible is all I need.”
This is one of the most heartbreaking articles I’ve ever attempted to write.
I am a pastor, one who has been called to minister to some of God’s different children, those who don’t fit in elsewhere.
Two of my flock have bi-polar disorder and part of my ministry to them is making sure that they have medication and take it.
When they do they are productive, hard working, God loving men.
When they don’t, they are hours away from self destructive behaviors and sometimes, jail.
I am also acting as the father to a child with Aspergers Syndrome and mild autism.
While we are trying to help him with his behavior issues the reality is that he may need medication to lead a normal productive life.
According to the mocking rants of some pastors, I am a false shepherd pastoring three sinful rebels against God.
They don’t need behavior counseling or medication, but only to repent.
A quick search of the net found articles by Brian Broderson rejecting psychology and in “What Calvary Chapel Teaches” it is presented as a doctrinal distinctive that is reproduced on dozens of CC websites.
Fundamentalist Baptist David Cloud influences many with his similarly themed articles.
John MacArthur is also a a strident critic of psychology. In a radio debate with psychiatrist Paul Meier,he asked, “Are we saying today in effect, that, yeah, we believe all our sufficiency is in Christ, but that work can’t start until we go to psychology? We can’t really believe that. . .If a person spiritually comes to the resources in Christ, walks in the Spirit, is filled with the Spirit and [is] obeying the Word of God, that’s going to take care of everything.”
The “ministry” of Martin and Deidre Bobgan supplies much of the ammunition to this wing of the church through their “Psycho-Heresy Ministries”.
The point is that there are many who believe that when it comes to mental issues and diseases the Bible is all you need.
The underlying assumption is that if the Bible isn’t all you need, then you are in sin, not sick.
You don’t need counseling or medication, you need to repent and using medication is proof that you refuse to repent.
I am not a complete proponent of psychology or psychotherapy.
I do believe that much of it is nonsense and that medications are undoubtedly over prescribed in our feel good culture.
However…much of it is helpful and medications can be life saving and life giving gifts from God through medicine.
To deny that is to deny real help and real living to many.
I wrote this not to stir indignant anger, although that may be appropriate in some cases.
I wrote in the hope that if there are those reading this who agree with the unnamed CC pastor and the Bobgans of the world, that they may choose mercy and grace in their preaching and actions.