Be very careful as you delineate between secular psychology and Christian psychology.

Dear Ralph,

While I understand where you are coming from - I would ask you to be very careful as you delineate between secular psychology and Christian psychology. Yes, scripture has given us all we need for our edification and development, however, we live in a sinful and fallen world. If the church were able to minister to one another in koinonia, where everyone's needs were met for support, comfort and no one suffered financially, yes we would have much less of a need for therapists. If our marriages and our families were daily practicing the principles of scripture - we would have less of a need for therapists.

However, that is not the case. We live in a society where families and marriages have less support than ever before - We also find that just because people have made a commitment to Christ - that doesn't mean they are emotionally mature and capable of loving and living well. We are also more aware that mental illness has a biological component.

As a Christian therapist with several degrees from a conservative seminary as well as a school of professional psychology, I find your statements about psychology extremely limited. Yes, Freud was not a godly man by any means, however he had some wisdom in understanding the biochemistry of the mind and the understanding of the unconscious. You have made some broad-brushed statements about theories and theorists where you know very little.

As a Christian therapist (Marriage and Family Therapist), I believe that we are born in sin and need salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ. However, I do believe that our growth does not end there. The process of sanctification continues and God uses many things in our lives to accomplish that purpose - It may be a discipleship/mentoringt relationship. It may be life's disappointments or losses. It may be a long slow process of growth, however the Christian therapist can be a supportive presence in that growth.

David asked God to search him and know his inner thoughts. The Holy Spirit is always available for comfort and for help as we ask Him. However, due to trauma, personality disorders, brain chemisty disfunctions, people need wisdom and understanding to deal with their "innward parts."

As a practicing therapist, our approach is never to encourage people to continue to wallow and complain about their situations. Our approach is to give people tools through learning how to approach problems differently, use cognitive restructuring to strength their ability to overcome, new understanding and insight into behavior patterns that have kept them from knowing the freedom that Christ can give as we are free from the hurts of the past.

I would ask you to prayerfully consider all that you have written and propose on this subject and possibly reevaluate the tremendous contribution that is made by those who are deeply committed to Christ and daily are committed to helping people who are hurting.

***** ********, MA MFT

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing. Please tell me the difference between psychology and Christian psychology. The only difference is the Christian psychology is cloaked in biblical words and Christians try to blend secular psychology with the Bible. You seem to think I know nothing about what I am talking about. Guess what I studied while I was going for my degree as a Police Officer. Guess what I have studied since by doing much research and even soul searching. I have talked to many Christian psychologist. I have been told that "we take the best of secular psychology and blend it with the best of the Bible." That is sad. The best of the Bible is Jesus Christ and the best of secular psychology is filthy rags. Why blend them?

I must admit I find it disturbing that you as a Christian would try to support and defend Freud on any grounds, but I guess that is up to you.

I don't want to argue, but I would encourage you to do some research for yourself. Let me recommend a could of books. Some are by Christians, some are not:

Psychology Debunked Revealing The Overcoming Life Author: Lisa and Ryan Bazler
AGAINST "Biblical Counseling": FOR the BIBLE Author: Martin & Deidre Bobgan
PSYCHOHERESY: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity Author: Martin & Deidre Bobgan
The Anti-Depressant Fact Book Author: Dr. Peter R. Breggin
Manufacturing Victims Author: Dr. Tana Dineen
A Radical Proposal Christ-Centered Ministry versus Problem-Centered Counseling Author: Martin & Deidre Bobgan

Now let me quote from God's word:

(Jeremiah 17:5-9 NIV) [5] This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. [6] He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. [7] "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. [8] He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." [9] The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

I have responded to hundreds of letters, many more than are posted on my site, and I find that most people who have been "counseled" by either Christian psychology or secular psychology are in the first group mentioned in this passage. Their therapy goes on for years or at least on and off for years, yet they remain in the wasteland.

(2 Peter 1:3 NIV) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Either God is a liar, or everything we need we already have and don't need to blend it with secular psychology! I will continue to re-evaluate my statements on my site, but I sure see no reason to back away from what I have said. If anything, the problem is getting worse and I need to speak out more boldly. Let me quote one last passage:

(2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV) [1] But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. [2] People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, [3] without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, [4] treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-[5] having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Denying its power, that is what we do when we deny that God has the answers and we have to seek them from a godless pseudo-science like psychology. I urge you to read these books with an open mind and open heart. Will you instantly agree with everything they say? I doubt it, I don't agree with everything they say, but I do agree with the major points and ideas about psychology. Remember, God says that the mind is deceitful above all things and ONLY He can understand it.



E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)

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