Psychology and the Bible
The Just Shall Live By Faith!
Does It Really Make A Difference?
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown;
but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately,
and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Less than fifty years ago you wouldn’t really hear much about psychology, or much about counseling. Families were important. They helped one another through troublesome times. Spiritual help was available too. The Bible was known as “The Good Book”. In those days, no one looked down on church, even if he did not regularly attend. God was respected and church leaders were held in high esteem. Everybody knew that. Respect for God and respect for the Bible was not something that had to be taught, it was just common knowledge. Sunday was a special day from all the other days of the week. Boys and girls had “church clothes” and you better not tear them or get them dirty! There were no sports games on Sundays or Wednesdays. Those were times set aside for church, if you were in a mind to go. Neighbors were friendly and friends were neighborly. Most everyone would return a cheerful smile or a happy wave of the hand. The previous generations passed on these values to us. There was something special that had permeated the atmosphere of our society. Oh, yes, there were problems. There were no perfect families and no ideal communities. Even so, people knew how to work out problems, handle tough issues, and come together for the common good. Psychology was an unknown. Psychology’s destructive seed had already been sown, but it was not on the mind of the average person. People did not know about psychology, care about it, or need it. My, how things have changed from that simple way of life! We know full well that this is not the situation in most communities today. Something has been seriously altered, and not for the better.
Now we live in a world inflicted with mental health, licensed counselors, Christian psychologists, self-help books, behavior modification, and group therapy. Where did all this nonsense come from? Why is it even here? We witness the advance of the psychology movement, but along with it we also observe a degrading society. Counseling has increased – morals have decreased. Psychology is on the rise – traditional religion is on the decline. Professional help is flourishing – family values are fading. Mental health is popular – Bible teaching is pathetic. Psychology has not contributed to a better world or a safer society. The opposite has actually happened. Personal responsibility is out and the “blame game” is in. Here is a tragic example of how the psychological choke-hold was used on one of its victims.
I was working in the medical field. It was very satisfying to meet different people and to have a part in helping them in their time of need. I will never forget the following incident. My shift was coming to an end. The last thing I had to do that day was to sit with a man who was waiting further testing. He was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Now stable, a further evaluation was ordered. This young fellow had a very bad car wreck. Now, his heart was heavy with sorrow and he yearned to talk. So, while he talked, I listened. While waiting to see the doctor, he shared some of his burdens. He was married, but had sought out another woman. Cheating on his wife, he and his new lover went out on the town. He charged his expensive affair on a credit card. He was eager to wine and dine his new girlfriend, all while his wife was waiting at home. Spending frivolously, alcohol began to pour. He became drunk and made the decision to drive. Not able to maintain control, he totaled his car. This drunken playboy was found to be at fault. Now, he was in trouble with the law. Yet, his heart broke. His sorrow was building. He knew he did wrong. No one had to tell him he committed adultery with another woman. Funding all those worldly pleasures with a credit card was obviously not the right thing to do. He admitted that getting drunk was very wrong and never wanted to do it again, especially driving in that condition. No one had to convince him of his faults. He owned up to them. His guilty conscience caused him to look for answers. He was earnestly seeking real solutions for his misbehavior.
About that time he was called into the doctor's office. His appointment did not take very long. He came out just as my shift was ending. When I got off the clock, I went in to visit him, as a friend. He appeared to be doing a little better. I wanted this man to have the same thing I received for my guilty actions. I wanted him to have forgiveness from the Lord and peace in his heart. If anybody was ready to hear good news from the Bible, it was him. He had confessed his guilt. The Bible agreed with his own assessment of his immoral deeds. He had wronged God. He had hurt other people. My new friend was still willing to talk. I asked him if he remembered the things we had previously discussed. He said he sure did remember, and thanked me for being there. Wanting him to know the Lord, wanting my new friend to have mercy applied to his soul, I inquired a little further. I told him the Bible mentions the same things that he regretted he had done. They are offenses against God. He tended to agree, but was not as bothered as he was when we first met. We talked about the day he must stand before the Lord to give account for his actions. I asked him how he would respond on that dreadful day. I was shocked by what I heard. I could not believe his answer. He said something to the affect that he knew what he did was wrong, but none of it was his fault! In a gentle way, I asked him whose fault it was when he slept with another woman that was not his wife. Whose fault was it when he went into debt to buy his girlfriend fancy things he could not afford? Whose fault was it when he bought and drank the booze? Whose was at fault when he totaled his car while he was at the wheel? He admitted to all those things then further explained. His appointment was with a psychiatrist. My friend proceeded to tell me something like this: “The doctor told me I have some mental disorder, and those things I did were not my fault. I have to take some medicine and go to counseling for a while. But I am not responsible for those wild things I did. I still feel bad about them, but you can't blame me. I don't need to hear anything about the Bible now. Thanks anyway.” I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I was speechless. How was I to respond? One hour he was tearfully sorry for his bad behavior. Now, he believed those wicked actions were not his fault. The psychiatrist had convinced him of all this in probably less than sixty minutes! I was unprepared for such a cunning maneuver. I never would have imagined an educated, professional man (the psychiatrist) would tell another human being that the immoral things someone does is not that person's responsibility! Here was a hurting soul who was willing to admit his guilt before a holy and just God. He would have possibly received forgiveness from the Lord. Then, a trusted health care professional wily snatched the gospel away from this remorseful soul! After his doctor's visit, the one who did all those wrong things now believed he was no longer responsible for his reckless behavior. This led to the false conclusion that he no longer needed any personal forgiveness for his guilt. The wrongdoer thought he was not the one to blame. Now he doubted if he was really guilty by the Lord’s standards. By convincing this man that he was not responsible for his evil actions, the psychiatrist took away away any repentance that was in this man's broken heart. The sinner no longer saw his need of a forgiving yet righteous God! When I left, this man's guilt remained with him. He was deceived into thinking he was not at fault for his own decisions. Sadly, he did not have peace in his soul. I pray that one day he will.
Who is responsible for our own behavior? Who is accountable for our actions? Should a person tell the credit card company he does not really owe what he put onto his own account? Is it not that person's fault who charged the money? Should someone tell the bank it is not his fault when he is the one who wrecked the car while driving intoxicated? Would the bank forget about his car loan? Should the law look the other way when it comes to a reckless driver? Should a man tell his wife it is not his fault when she caught him sleeping with another woman? Can any of us tell the Lord it is not our fault when we violate his holy standards? Do you see the problem? It really does make a difference what a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor using psychology tells someone. Even though it was a psychiatrist in this example, there are common destructive philosophies that belong to the psychological counseling movement. Psychology has become a part of our way of life. We must take a closer look at what is driving this movement and see what the Bible says about it. The religion that psychologists are preaching must be questioned. An alert mind must be exercised when it comes to the psycho-counseling movement. Its deadly philosophies will seduce all who are not on guard.
How are the Bible's values different than those of psychology?
Why do you think psychology has become so prevalent in our culture?
Do you think the Bible and psychology agree when it comes to eternal issues?
Does it really make any difference if you believe the Bible or if you trust in psychology?
This is a study of psychology and counseling from the Bible's perspective.
It is not advice for your counseling decisions.
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