Psychology and the Bible
The Just Shall Live By Faith!
Science and Psychology
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Science is knowledge. The word science is a Latin term which means knowledge. Science means to know something. Observation is the backbone of science. One science teacher put it this way: observation, observation, observation! If you cannot observe it, it is not science. That definition goes hand-in-hand with other definitions of the scientific method. Our scientific world revolves around testable things which we can know. If you can test it, demonstrate it, observe it, and retest it, it is science. If something is not testable, demonstrable, or observable, it is not science. If something is not able to be demonstrated, that thing is not knowable by virtue of scientific experiment. The definition of science is usually in any basic science textbook. It is often the first thing covered in a beginning science class.
Observe the Spirit
Psychology deals with the soul. Psychology is the study of the soul. Since the soul comes under the realm of the spiritual, psychology is a discipline looking into that which is spiritual. Science cannot test spiritual things. The soul and the spirit cannot be observed. One cannot measure an ounce of spirit or test its chemical properties. The periodic table of the elements is useless when it comes to the spirit. Spiritual things fall under the category of religion, not science. Science can perhaps see affects of spiritual things in the physical universe. But, psychology itself is not science, because one cannot observe the soul. Psychology is not science because one cannot physically test the spirit. Psychology is not science because the soul cannot be observed by man. Psychology is not science because the soul cannot be demonstrated in the laboratory. Scientific experiments cannot be be performed nor repeated on the soul. One cannot see an immaterial spirit with the physical eye. No one can touch, hear, taste, see or smell the spirit of man. Spiritual things are outside the capability of man's physical senses. It is true that spirits do relate to man. The spirit is the subject of many Bible passages. The Bible is the definitive authority when it comes to understanding the spirit and the soul. So-called scientific psychology is no authority when it comes to the soul or to the spirit. Let's see how the definition of psychology has become distorted over the decades.
We already have a true definition of psychology from the Bible. It is a study of the spiritual, not the physical. Psychology can be defied as “words concerning the soul.” Notice how the definition of psychology progressively changes in these samples.
American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828
Psychology – A discourse or treatise on the human soul; or the doctrine of the nature and properties of the soul.
Universal Dictionary of the English Language 1899
Psychology – That branch of Metaphysics (q.v.) which has for its subject the human soul, its nature, properties, and operations.
Websters New International Dictionary, Second Edition 1938
Psychology – The science which treats of the mind (of man or other organisms) in any of its aspects; systematic knowledge and investigation of the phenomena of consciousness and behavior; the study of the organism and its activities, considering it as an individual whole, esp. in relation to its physical and social environment; also, any school or system of this science. The word psychologia was coined in the sixteenth century and first appeared in English (spelled psycology) in the seventeenth. In most of its early manifestations psychology was a branch of metaphysics, dealing with the concept of the soul. In subsequent early development it consisted chiefly of a doctrine of mental faculties or powers as of perception, memory, reason, and will, deductively elaborated. [This is only the first part in a very lengthy entry.]
Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition 1988
Psychology – 1. a) the science dealing with the mind and with mental and emotional processes b) the science of human and animal behavior 2. the sum of the actions, traits, attitudes, thoughts, mental states, etc. of a person or group
1 the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
2 the science of human and animal behavior.
3 the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons, or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity:the psychology of a soldier; the psychology of politics.
4 mental ploys or strategy: He used psychology on his parents to get a larger allowance.
Psychology Is Still Spiritual
These samplings of dictionary definitions show a trend. Noah Webster himself got it correct. Psychology is the study of the human soul: words about the soul. The term metaphysics enters into the definition quite later. Metaphysics deals with things beyond the physical, beyond the material. Metaphysics tries to explain the supernatural. It is not so much concerned with the physical body. There is an attempt to blur the definition of psychology. The definition using the term metaphysics is a step in that direction. The field of psychology becomes uncomfortable with the study of the soul. Virtually everybody at that time knew if you wanted to read about your soul or your spirit you must read the Bible. This is because God created the soul. The Lord has already told us all about spiritual things, such as the soul, in his Holy Word. Where else besides the Bible should one look to learn about the supernatural? The Bible is the only safe place to learn of spiritual things. The Bible is our only source that speaks with absolute authority, with God's authority. However, by introducing subtle changes in the definition of psychology, other supernatural sources are permitted. This move away from the Bible opened the door for the occult, for the demonic realm, which is interested in spiritual things as well.
The field of psychology has been grasping at other words attempting to make psychology sound like it is part of science. Some try to call psychology a discipline that has to do with the mind. Yet, a study of the mind does not come under the label of science. A study of the brain is scientific. However, study of the mind is a spiritual endeavor. Emotions are not examined in science either. Just how does one measure love in a laboratory? Can someone put peace in a test tube? Where can joy be found on the periodic table of elements? Emotions have a spiritual character. The concept of a will is not discovered by scientific observation. Yet, some believe psychology is a science that deals with the human will. Attitudes are spiritual, not observed with a scientific test. Psychology heavily involves itself with spiritual matters. These spiritual undertakings show that psychology is a religion. There is little difference between psychology and other religions. Religions attempt to answer questions concerning the soul, about the issues of life. One could just as easily describe his religious beliefs in terms of psychology. To define your particular religious beliefs you could say you are a Catholic, a Protestant, a Methodist, a Baptist, or a Psychologist. These are all religious. Each of these beliefs has a distinct view of the soul, including psychology. Psychology has a distinct world view. Psychology's world view is a world view that is at war with the Bible. Calling psychology science does not make a psychologist a scientist. Many in the scientific community have rejected the Bible. Those rejecting the Bible replace the truth with psychology. Men's theories have replaced truth concerning the soul and the spirit. That truth is found in the Bible. So-called scientific theories have replaced God's words concerning the mind, the affections, and the will. As we shall see, psychology attempts to replace vain words for what God has said in the Bible. These empty words speak about spiritual matters, about things the Lord has already told us. The difference is, psychological theories promote a faith that is different than faith in the Christ of the Bible.
How Evolution Fits In
The theory of evolution in many ways goes hand-in-hand with any course dealing with psychology. The foundation of psychology goes back to the first doubter of God's words in the Garden of Eden. The evolutionary theory propelled psychology into popular thinking in our modern era. Scientific thinkers in the 1700's and 1800's were generally those who believed the Bible. Most of the scientific community at that time held to a common belief in God and a belief that he created the world. In fact, many of the great scientific minds during those days held the Bible in high esteem. There was an understood respect for what the Bible taught. A high regard for Scripture was common, even though there were some areas of difference in understanding the Bible's meaning. Scientific pioneers believed Natural Law did not change because God himself did not change. God made the laws of our Universe and those laws could be counted on because God is always reliable. Order was in the universe because the Lord himself is a Person of order. Nature itself was consistently a testimony to God's intricate design. The Creator was nature's master Designer.
It is true that down through the ages, people have always wanted to do things they ought not to do. The Bible was a visible restraint that held back society from being as bad as it could be. There were plenty of cultures around the world that were full of paganism, but not in the early scientific community. The world's greatest scientists mostly came from civilized nations. They were especially welcomed in places where the Bible had the greatest influence. True science and the Bible always agree.
The theory of evolution itself is regularly evolving. The evolutionary theory is constantly changing. The silly concept that everything came from nothing still prevails. The Bible says that God created everything out of nothing. All things ultimately come from someone. All things come from God. The evolutionary theory believes that everything came from nothing. The Bible says, “In the beginning God.” Evolution proclaims, “In the beginning nothing.”
The time thought to have taken for evolution to to occur is ever increasing. Evolution once had been thought to have taken place over a few hundred thousand years. As problems in the theory kept turning up, the amount of time for evolution to occur kept growing. Evolution first was thought of in terms of thousands of years. Then some speculated it to be in millions of years. The theory could not be proved in that lengthy time, so billions of years were added. Now it is easier to think about the evolutionary theory in terms of “once upon a time” and “long ago and far away.” Evolution can be explained in language similar to a fairy tale.
Evolution is a changing theory. To be sure, evolution has nothing to do with the God of the Bible. That part of the theory stays consistent. But, other ideas seem to need modification from time to time. It used to be said that there was a big bang. At one time the Big Bang was explained as: nothing exploded and made everything. Children had a hard time believing that everything came from nothing so the evolutionist continued to alter their theory. One big change in this “theory of change” is the missing link. The missing link was supposed to be an ape-like creature that was part man and part ape. The problem with this part of the theory is that none could be found. The missing link in the ape-to-human fossil record is still missing. Therefore evolutionists no longer like to talk about the missing link. Rather, they prefer to talk about transitional forms. The new “transitional form” phrase better hides the fact that the missing link cannot be found. Punctuated equilibrium is another tool designed to cover up the missing link problem. More changes in the Big Bang theory continue to pop up from time to time. The reason the theory of evolution keeps changing is because it is not based on science. No one can test or retest the theory. No one can go back billions of years to watch it happen. No scientist has ever observed the Big Bang occurring millions or billions of years ago. It doesn't matter how many scientists you get together, not one has observed matter coming from nothing. Not one scientist has ever witnessed life coming from something that wasn't already living. The evolutionary theory is just that, a theory. It is a guess, only speculation. Evolution is a wide-spread and well-funded theory. The evolutionary theory regarding the origin of life does not fall into the category of science. Really, any theory about the origin of life is not science for the simple fact that the origin of life has never been observed. We were not there at the beginning to observe the beginning of life.
Because many people want to reject the Bible, they choose to believe in evolution. Evolution must be accepted by faith. Those believing in the Bible accept creation by faith. Just as no one was present to observe the Big Bang, no one man was present to witness God creating all things. Both the evolutionary theory and the belief in Biblical creation are not scientific. They both must be accepted by faith. Both beliefs about the origins of life are religious beliefs. There are so many astronomical probabilities against evolution ever taking place. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in the Biblical account of creation!
Evolution is not the only spiritual theory that has replaced the Bible in the mind of men. Other philosophies and theories have had similar success as well. Evolution is one of the world's many religions. Evolution is a religion that takes the heart and the mind away from the God of the Bible.
Evolution is an empty religion. It has nothing good to offer. If evolution is true, there is no life after death. If evolution is true, there can be no love, no peace, no hope, and no joy. If we came from nothing, then we return to nothing. One with a fixed evolutionary mindset turns his attention to the present because there is no hope of a tomorrow. Material things become a major focus because this is all there is. Evolution is the seed bed for materialism. If evolution is true, then there is no God. This means there are no morals or standards. There can be no right and wrong. Who decides what is right or wrong? This means there can be no good or evil. Calling things good or evil sounds too much like the Bible. Evolution prepares the way for postmodern thinking. Postmodern believers think there are no morals or absolutes. However, they are not absolutely sure this is correct. The main thing in life becomes gratifying “me, myself, and I.” Evolution feeds a selfish attitude.
We also find other beliefs factored into the evolutionary mindset. Evolution teaches there is no God. The Bible in contrast wisely proclaims: “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). However, there actually is a God and he has revealed himself in the Bible. The Bible says just by being in this world and being exposed to God's wonderful creation that people are without excuse (see Romans 1:20). No one stands before God and can say “I didn't know you existed!” While standing before the judgment seat of the almighty God, this excuse will not work: “I was an evolutionist and did not even know there was a God.” Each person in his heart of hearts knows there is a God. The issue is, will each one accept God, or reject him. Evolution is a convenient excuse to reject God. That is all it is, an excuse. Some think that if we can reject God we can get away with doing whatever we want to do. If evolution is true, then we can drink what we want, smoke what we want, go where we want, do what we want, live with whomever we want, and gratify our lusts as much and as often as we desire. But, if the Bible is true, it puts a hindrance on their party. That party is the one that has our three favorite guests: “me, myself, and I.”
People innately know there is a God. Evolution concludes there is no God. So, what does the evolutionist do? The evolutionist often looks for a replacement for God. Some believe that we have evolved physically as much as we can. Now, we are evolving spiritually they think. There is the ridiculous belief we may be evolving into gods. Evolving into a god is increasingly becoming a common denominator among many of the world's religions. Attaining unto godhood is not a new thought. The Devil wanted to become a god (Isaiah 14:14). The Deceiver told the first woman: “Ye shall be as gods.” (Genesis 3:5) This attainment unto godhood is one reason the Lord dealt the plagues to Egypt during the time of Moses. The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn. Pharaoh was believed to be someone who was in the process of becoming a god. Next in line of supposed deification was Pharaoh's firstborn son. The God of the Bible was telling the world, there is only one God, worship him (see also Exodus 20:3). Do not worship other gods. Worshiping gods other than the Lord may include the worship of one's self.
Because evolution leaves no room for God, people attempt to adjust the theory to fit their idea of who God is. This is where psychology has stepped in to fill the void. Psychology is a religion based upon the worship of self. Man is self-centered and psychology caters to his selfishness. Like evolution, psychology is constantly changing. Also like evolution, psychology rejects the God of the Bible. At it's fundamental belief, psychology does not look to a future Heaven or Hell. For the most part, psychology is a man-made and man-centered religion. This is why we find so much selfishness in what psychology has to offer. A self-centered attitude can be just as true with the one who is seeking psychological counseling as it is with the psycho-counselor.
Psychology, for many people, is replacing faith in the Bible. Psychology has its own spiritual beliefs to offer and they are far from trusting in the God of the Bible. Psychology is not on solid ground. Its theories are constantly in flux. Evolution stripped away the authority of the Bible. Psychology has replaced what the Bible has to offer. Psychology is not a scientific discipline just as the evolutionary theory is not based upon science. Which will you choose to believe: the God of the Bible or the god of psychology?
Name some of the characteristics that makes something provable by science.
What makes psychology a religious belief and not something that can be proved by science?
Why is the theory of evolution a religious belief when it comes to the origin of life?
What is the religious connection between evolution and psychology?
This is a study of psychology and counseling from the Bible's perspective.
It is not advice for your counseling decisions.
© James Utter 2021
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