Psychology and the Bible
The Just Shall Live By Faith!
Bible Out: Psychology In
Who changed the truth of God into a lie,
and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,
who is blessed for ever. Amen. Romans 1:25
Love One Another
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (1 John 4:7) The Lord tells us to love one another. Our love for others flows from the Lord's love for us. We then show that we love God by loving others. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20) Loving others means wanting God's best for them. The way we know God's best for someone is found only in the pages of the Bible. When Christians want the very best for others, it shows. The world knows something is different when Christians demonstrate their love for one another. The Lord said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”(John 13:35)
Psychology kills one's love for God and it destroys the Believer's love for one another. Psychology declares a love for self as being more valuable than a love for God and a love for others. Psychology attacks loving Christian relationships. A whole-hearted love for God and a reliance upon psychology cannot coexist. Demonstrating love for others and the practicing of psychological theories do not flow from the same fountain (consider James 3:9-11). Psychology is a threat that robs one's love for our Lord. Psychology gladly removes our responsibility to love others. A Bible-believing church is built around the love that Christ has for his church. “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (from Ephesians 5:25).
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:10-11)
Offering someone psychological counseling is not a loving thing to do. Sending someone to a psychologist is not a Christ-honoring act. Promoting psychological props and gimmicks is not a way to demonstrate Christian love. Wanting someone to get caught up in the religion of psychology is not desiring God's best for that person. Christ is that better way that psychology can never know. Psychology eagerly destroys respect for the Bible and scorns genuine Christian kindness. One example is given in this article.
Men Shall Be Lovers Of Their Own Selves
We need not wait for the day when selfishness will reign in the church (2 Tim. 3:2). That day is here! Psychology is an evil philosophy that brings out the worst in those use it. Sadly, this same evil philosophy is increasingly becoming acceptable in the church. People do not need psychology in order to act selfishly. Psychology only becomes an excuse to justify one's selfish actions. Did you realize the only way sin can take charge in a church is for people to toss the Bible aside? When the Bible is followed the Lord will always be honored. When God's words are obeyed, God will have his way with his people. Some in the church are willing to use psychology to trivialize the authority of the Bible. Christians may still carry their Bibles to church and even proclaim it in the pulpit. But, the practical application of God's words are being forsaken when psychology is followed. The Bible points out this deception. That deception is when people know what God has said but do not do what God has said. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”(James 1:22) Christians can be deceived by replacing God's precious promises that address our emotional problems. God's beneficial words are being substituted with man's ungodly psychological theories. God's promises are designed for our benefit. Psychology was conjured up to do away with the practical application of God's words. When faithfully practicing psychology, the Bible will not be faithfully adhered to in everyday life. The Lord tells of a similar time when people refused to obey his words.
And they come unto thee as the people cometh,
and they sit before thee as my people,
and they hear thy words, but they will not do them:
for with their mouth they shew much love,
but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
The church consists of sinners who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 1:5). That is the only way to become a true part of Christ's church; to be pardoned, washed, cleansed, forgiven. Because we enter into a relationship with God by grace does not mean sin should control the life of a Christian assembly. It is not new for someone other than Christ to have the preeminence in the church (3 John 1:9). Who really should have the preeminence in the church? “And he [God's Son, Jesus Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Col. 1:18) When one's love of self is employed, the Lord is despised. Both psychology and the holy God cannot have preeminence in the same place and at the same time. In practical manifestations, God's people must choose between psychology and their holy Savior.
The Lord Jesus should be honored when his saints gather in his holy name: “ … whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) (See also 1 Cor. 5:4) Nothing should ever compete with giving due honor, praise, glory and reverence to the Lord when his church meets together. This makes sense. Jesus Christ is the head of the church (Col. 1:18, Eph. 5:23). Christ paid the great price of his own blood for the church (Eph. 5:25). Christ is present when believers meet together (Matt. 18:20). A church meeting should be about Jesus Christ. We can only honor our Lord when we obey our Lord's book, the Holy Bible.
Those who are bewitched by psychology have thought up many ways to honor sinful man and to scorn the Bible. Let us soon consider one sad example of when psychology disrupted a church and brought dishonor the Lord.
Speaking The Truth In Love
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine [such as psychology],
by the sleight of men [for example, psychologists], and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love,
may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
The Lord expects Christians to be aware of doctrines that oppose the Bible. Psychology is a doctrine that opposes the Bible. It robs the Bible of accurate teaching concerning the soul. Psychology steals the benefits of God's promises that he made to those who trust in Christ. The Lord expects Christians to be aware of those who teach and proclaim doctrines that are contrary to the Scriptures. Psychologists, whose foundations are Freud, Jung, Maslow etc., teach things that are contrary to the written words of God. Christians in particular should be those who watch out for and avoid the deception of psychology. Those Christians who have retained the Bible as their only foundation are best able to speak the truth concerning the errors of psychology. Truth should be spoken out of love for God and love for other people. It is unloving to withhold the truth of the Bible from those who are in error. The truth in the Scriptures exposes the error of psychology. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Disorder Is What Psychology Causes
The word disorder is a favorite among those who show reverence for psychology. Psychologists long to label people with certain psychological disorders. This is how they make their money. Individuals can act out bad behavior without any help from psychology. People did bad things thousands of years before psychology became popular. Psychology does not deal with bad behavior the same way the Bible deals with bad behavior. Rather than finding God's solution for poor decisions and bad actions, psychology opens the door for more of the same. Psychology nurtures disorder.
Pay particular attention to these synonyms for the word disorder: agitate, anarchy, being upset, brawl, breach of peace, chaos, clamor, confusion, commotion, disarrangement, disarray, discord, disorganization, disruption, disquiet, disunion, jumble, mess, pandemonium, public disturbance, rebellious, riot, struggle, tangle, tumult, turbulence, turmoil, unrest, unruly, unsettle, upheaval and upset.
Psychological theories in reality promote disorderly behavior. Psychology provides the justification for people to become agitated, cause commotions and generate confusion.
One unfortunate church situation involved a public disturbance of the peace. People became agitated and unruly. Psychology stirred up chaos and created confusion. Psychology then led to discord and disunion. The turmoil and unrest that psychology brought about exposed rebellious attitudes.
Disorder (confusion) is not of the Lord. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33) When any disorder is displayed in a church, that disorder is not of the Lord.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
of them that make peace.
Disorder is not from God, from the Bible or from those who are obeying the Bible. Disorder, however, can rise from psychological theories. Now let's look at how disorder brought on by psychology assaulted itself against one church.
Have Psychology - Will Travel
A young couple who was recently discharged from the military was planning to relocate to be near family. The husband was reportedly afraid to drive a moving truck in order to relocate his family's household goods. He had been granted a psychological status. His family was looking for someone else to drive the truck for him.
One of his relatives asked the pastor of the church, which she sometimes attended, if the pastor would drive the truck to help. Out of Christian kindness for the ones who were trying to relocate, the pastor volunteered to help. The pastor was willing to fly across the country to help this family. Later, a driver nearby the family was found and the pastor's driving help was no longer needed.
When the young family arrived to their new community, the pastor, still extending care for them, organized a work party from the church. He and others helped unload the truck and move them into their new home. The new family was then invited to attend the church services. The couple stated they went to a church where they moved from and accepted the warm invitation.
It was never considered by the pastor that the man bestowed with this psychological status would bring his psychological sanctioned dog with him to into the church building. The purpose of this church meeting was to worship God, not to venerate something else. This young man with the psychological designation brought his animal into the church for Sunday School. He said it was his service dog and he needed it.
After the Sunday School hour and prior to the main worship service, the man was politely asked if he could refrain from bringing the four-footed animal back into the church during the worship meeting. The man demanded that for psychological reasons he couldn't. With continual focus upon the animal, the dog seemed to be his life. In contrast, consider who is really the Christian's life: “Christ who is our life.” (Colossians 3:4) Service dogs traditionally have helped the blind or those with some other physical disability. It is a new thing for service dogs to help with religious needs, needs that are of a spiritual nature. The man with the psychological history claimed he could not worship without the dog. That is precisely what his religion of psychology teaches. Christ is not enough. When asked what the service dog does for its owner, the owner could not give an answer. He didn't know.
The Bible-believing pastor asked if the dog provided comfort, calmness or peace. The man stated yes, the dog helps with his anxiety. The pastor directed the anxious man to some of God's precious promises in the Bible. It was obvious by this time the dog was not helping provide this man with calmness of mind. Here we see the religious dichotomy. Psychological counselors are diametrically opposed to pastors and other Christians who believe the Bible has authority over all psychological theories. The extreme views of the psychological priests will not tolerate having their sacred religion take second place to Jesus Christ. In this case, Christ was replaced with a dog. It can be said that the psychologists and their proselytes are among those: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature [service dog] more than the Creator [Jesus Christ], who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)
Pets are designed by our Creator for our pleasure and benefit. The Lord kept animals alive on Noah's ark. The Bible shows that animals were created for mankind, not the other way around. Most of us take pleasure in animals such as puppies, kittens, horses, birds and fish. Pets give us something to take care of and we find enjoyment in them. This should be common knowledge. However, pets should never take the place of God or of God's precious promises in the Bible.
Cast Your Care Upon God
The pastor referenced a few Bible verses the Lord has given us in order to achieve victory over anxiety. Here are a some.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Be careful [full of care] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalms 23:1)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psalms 121:1-2)
… as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
God's very words that are designed to give us peace of mind and calmness of heart were staunchly rejected. The man showing homage to his psycho-dog was straining not to become disorderly. He stated something to the affect that he knew where the pastor was coming from (the Bible) but that he had been generously granted psychological recognition. He further stated that he did not need any Bible verses that would bring him peace. [See related article: “Does It Really Make A Difference?”] The psychologist had discredited the Bible so much that this man no longer trusted what God had plainly said. The psychologist's words had already replaced God's words. Psychology despises a full trust in the Bible. This man mimicked the psychologist's animosity toward the Bible.
This particular pastor had worked in the medical field in the military and was a biology major. This seasoned pastor discerned the deception of psychology. This caring pastor believed that through prayer the words of Bible should be fully trusted. The Bible is the sole authority for what we believe and how we behave. The Bible speaks to everything we need to know about the soul and our emotions. Remember, psychology very much means “word about the soul”. The Bible, not any psychologist, is where we find truthful words about the soul. The Bible also is the “soul” authority for what we believe and how we behave. When it was learned the pastor had a military and medical background, the man with the service dog became noticeably irritated. The man with the dog was relying upon what the psychologist told him about anxiety. The Bible challenged that belief. What was a Christian man doing practicing another religion? Psychology is another religion for certainly Jesus Christ is not worshiped fully according to the Bible. When the man understood the pastor had a medical background and still rejected psychology it was all he could take. In so many words he stated: “I trust psychology and not the Bible” before stomping off. That wasn't the end. His family was reported to call law enforcement. “We will force you to accept our alternative religion in your Christian church” seemed to be the reason for calling the police. Thankfully, at that time, we still had a country where we had freedom to worship the Lord according to the Bible without outside interference. This intruding attitude exposes how militant these psychological warriors are. They want you to accept their religion of psychology, by force if necessary. [Should we give our veterans psychology instead of the Bible? The answer is an obvious no. See the helpful article “God and Country: In That Order”.]
There Really Is A Dog
Behold the blasphemous result when substituting a psycho-dog for the Lord.
Casting all your care upon Fido; for he careth for you.
Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto Fido. And the peace of Fido, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through the service dog.
Fido is my shepherd; I shall not want.
I will lift up mine eyes unto Fido, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from my service dog, which made heaven and earth.
The just shall live by Fido.
There is a familiar story about a man having problems reading. He mixed up some of his words and read them backwards. Instead of reading the sentence “There really is a God” he transposed it to “There really is a Dog.” A small reversal in the letter order changes the entire meaning of the sentence. In the case of the mistaken word, Dog becomes God. That very thing happened in real life. Psychology made a dog become a god. Psychology is radically altering the Christian faith. Creatures which the Lord made for our benefit have taken on godlike status. Animals are worshiped instead of the Creator who made them. We see this happening all across the land. Animals are getting more attention, love, and respect than the Lord or the Lord's people.
The pastor was shepherding a Bible-believing church. The church had a clear statement regarding the Bible in its guiding documents. Those documents stated that the Holy Bible was the “true center of Christian union and the only standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.” This kind of statement is typical for a church claiming to believe that the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice. That is, the Bible has the final say in what we believe and how we behave. If we believe God is holy then our behavior should reflect that belief. A doctrinal statement is not just to read, it is to be lived out. We should put to practice what we believe the Bible says is true. Let's put to test this church's own statement of faith to see if that congregation really believed the Holy Bible was the only standard by which all human conduct and opinions should be tried.
The pastor defended the church's doctrinal statement. He believed the Bible was that standard and final authority for faith and practice. What does the Bible say that we should believe? The Bible says: “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.” (2 Peter 1:3) It is simple. Everything we need to live a Christ-like life the Lord has already given to the believer in Christ. No Christian needs a dog in order to live a life of peace. No Christian needs a dog in order to live a life that is acceptable unto God. The Bible says we have all things that pertain unto life and godliness. God did not forget to give some who are struggling with emotional problems a service dog. The Lord wants us to live a life pleasing to God. We have the ability to do this because he has given Christians all that we need to live a life pleasing to him. We do not have to wait to get something from our Lord that pertains unto life and godliness. All Christians already have all they need to live the way the Lord wants them to live. The Bible wins. Psychology loses.
We Want Psychology Not The Bible
When some in the church found out that the pastor stood upon the Bible and rejected psychology, which was nothing new, they became upset. How could a pastor not accept psychology in the public worship of the Lord Jesus Christ? In so many words it was repeated by certain people with emphatic affirmation: “We want to allow psychology in our church. We don't fully want the Bible!” The Bible was out. Psychology was in. The dog and psychology were accepted. The pastor and the Bible were rejected. Gladly for that congregation, a pastor who was willing to accept psychology and the psycho-dog was not far away. That next pastor lowered the Bible's written directions for the Christian and allowed the psycho-dog to return. The dog was given preeminence. Christ received less preeminence.
The Bible's authority is at stake. The Bible's role in the daily Christian life is at risk. When psychology is embraced, the Bible in effect is no longer the final authority for what Christians believe and how Christians live. Instead of God telling the Christian how to live, rebellious Christians are telling God to leave them alone, at least in certain areas of their lives. After all, they know what's best (they think). They know how to run their own lives and do not need God telling them how to behave. Bible- rejectors reason: “God won't provide the peace, joy, love, help, or guidance as he has promised in his word.” “We now need the Bible and psychology.” “We don't fully trust that which God has said is really true.” “We don't believe God will help with our everyday living.” “We don't believe God can really help with our emotional issues.” “Out with the Bible and in with psychology” is taking place in churches everywhere. Some are embracing psychology faster than others. To have a psychological service dog in a public Christian worship service is an open testimony declaring the Bible is not sufficient. A new religion is needed … and one has been found!
Consider how certain Bible doctrines were disdained and weakened due to this psycho-dog episode. These are only some doctrines that were affected.
Bibliology – The Bible is no longer the practical rule in our lives. God does not know what he is saying when it comes to matters of the mind, heart, body or soul.
Inspiration and Inerrancy – We no longer need to trust the very words in the Bible. We can pick and choose which words we want. The Bible is not entirely relevant for our modern times.
Sanctification – The Bible may be enough to get us saved but it sure isn't enough to handle our day-to-day problems. The Bible cannot help with today's matters of the heart or our emotions.
Fellowship – Our common bond is no longer Jesus Christ and his Bible. Ungodly counselors from outside the church determine what to believe.
Leadership - We no longer need to follow Christ-honoring leaders. It is OK to scorn those pastors who believe and teach the Bible.
Faith – There is no need to live a life of complete dependency upon the Lord and his word. It is no longer required that we fully trust the Living Word (Jesus Christ) or the written word (the Holy Bible).
Prayer – Praying to God will not fully help me even though the Bible says it will.
Unity – Discord is allowable when certain protected man-made philosophies are threatened.
Christology – Jesus Christ is not the center of our worship. Other things now can be added which deserve our reverence.
Love Not the World
Allowing a psycho-dog into a Christian church meeting is only one example of how people shed their love for God and diminish their love for others (See Rev. 2:4). In this case, psychology was exchanged for a love of the world's philosophies. The Bible warns: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world [such as psychology]. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15) May we love God and love others while firmly rejecting this anti-Christian worldly religion: psychology.
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world,
according to the will of God and our Father.
The Bible Stands
An all-out rejection of psychology normally doesn't happen for a Christian unless there is a full trust in the Holy Bible. Believing the words of the Bible from cover to cover is usually what is necessary to take God at his word and reject psychology. A normal, plain-sense interpretation of the Bible leaves no room for competing philosophies such as psychology. The more a Christian believes the very words of God and understands their normal sense the more that Christian will stay away from psychology. Very sadly, psychology is rapidly becoming vogue among the Christian community.
Casualties of the Psychological War
A wider circle of people were affected by this one church's lust for psychology. Missionaries, other churches and even the community at large are now faced with the decision to cater to psychology.
Some time after this psychology-induced church fiasco, the psycho-dog and its owner were featured in the local paper. This same story ran on the front page in that state's largest newspaper. Social media promoted the psycho-dog as well. It is a serious and shameful thing for a Christian to reject God's promises in the Bible. However, in this instance, Bible rejection was projected into the community. Rather than warning about this anti-Christian philosophy, psychology was valued and spread abroad. A wider acceptance of psychology in the community is one result of this church's defiant actions.
Missionaries that are financially supported by that church are now required to accept or to reject psychology. That places those missionaries in an awkward situation. The church's stance was to embrace psychology. Will the church's missionaries also eagerly accept this evil religious belief? Missionaries that outright reject psychology will speak out against the psycho-dog. Those who do not approve, but want to keep receiving financial support, will keep quiet on the issue (consider I Timothy 6:10). This situation will give any who have quietly accepted psychology a chance to give hearty approval. No matter what stance that church's missionaries take, replacing Christ and his Bible with a psycho-dog is wrong.
Further influence was exerted by this psychology-embracing church. The new pastor who accepted the psycho-dog led the church to join an Inter-Mountain Fellowship of churches. Bible-believing Christians would not expect this group of independent churches to receive a church and pastor that tolerates psychology. The psychology-accepting church was not only accepted into the fellowship, their new pastor became the fellowship's president. It must have been a good match to find a fellowship willing to receive a pastor who tolerates psychology. While this does not show that all give hearty approval to psychology, it is a clear doctrinal crack within that fellowship.
Christians, Churches and Pastors are to Avoid Psychology
Like its counterpart evolution, psychology adds nothing of value to science or the to Bible. Neither of these man-made philosophies have contributed anything good to society. Psychology was founded and shaped by Christ-rejecting men such as Freud, Jung and Maslow.
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings,
and oppositions of science falsely so called [like psychology]: 1 Timothy 6:20
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy[such as psychology] and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men,after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8
Those who are in Christ should never look to such Christ-rejecting men for spiritual help, to find help for the soul. We live in a time where we are witnessing a falling away from the faith. Christians and churches to various degrees are turning away from the Bible. Some are slipping away due to neglect. Some are acting upon an outright rebellion, rejecting the written words of the Lord. May we be among those who stay separate from the dark works of psychology.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
People have problems. That is the way things are in this world. Psychology is not the method to address problems that people have.
Dear reader, what is your choice? Will you accept the Bible as the final and sole authority for this life? Or, will you be one who allows the Bible and psychology?
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been,
saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Who should have preeminence in any and every church meeting?
Can you think of a time when selfishness has ruled in a church gathering?
Should the Bible have complete authority in a church? Why?
Does it glorify God when his people refuse to behave in accordance with his written words?
Should the Bible be the “soul” authority for our beliefs and for our behavior?
Why is wrong to accept the Bible and psychology as a Christian's rule of life?
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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