Here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center the question of Psychology sometimes comes up. Because you do Biblical Counseling do you use modern psychology methods? The answer to that question is an absolute no. Is Psychology and God At Odds? This article will be controversial to some. I would encourage you to read all the way to the end.
1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
I think we should be able to give a good Biblical answer. We cannot give a good Biblical answer if we do not know what the answer is! Because of the old nature many Christians have serious life issues going on in their lives and they do not know or understand Biblically what to do about it. We receive emails and phone calls every week from someone who needs help. They are on a destruction path in their lives. I do not want to be unkind here. We counsel many pastors, missionaries, and evangelists about their home, children and marriage. In fact, the two questions we get the most are: 1. How can I save this marriage? 2. What in the world can I do about this child? Many folks in Christian service are defeated, discouraged, fretting, angry, worried, depressed, confused, and distressed. Just like a good many people in the pew! They need help! We view Biblical Counseling as nothing more than “intense Biblical discipleship.” In a day of popular psychology we know and believe that God’s Word has the answer for every person’s life. We use the Bible for man’s needs not popular psychology. Our only desire is to help people to Biblically change their lives and to live a life honoring and pleasing to God without chaos and destruction. The goal of every Christian’s life should be to glorify God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Before I talk about psychology, I want to tell you why we do Biblical Counseling/Discipleship. Then we will discuss psychology. One of the great joys for me is to see a person who is living a destructive life because of lust and sin turn their life around when they see and apply God’s principles to their life.
Why Do We Do Biblical Counseling/Discipleship?
1. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because most Christians do not know how to have a real relationship with God.
It is our Biblical responsibility to disciple them and show them how to do so. Matthew 28:19-20, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
www.hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com, How to Have a Real Relationship With God.
2. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because most Christians do not understand the work of the Holy Spirit in their life.
We seek to teach them what it means to be filled (controlled) by the Spirit of God. Ephesians 5:18-21, And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (controlled) with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Many times when the Christians are seeking to live a life of self-righteousness, (their own power) they eventually tire of keeping up the grueling self-work with very little joy. They have no answers and so they spiral down and quit. The destroyer is destroying their lives. So who is the devil looking to destroy? It is the one who does not have a real relationship with the Lord.
Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth (does not give proper attention to) the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Galatians 5 explains this in detail. Galatians 5:16, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. The answer is the Holy Spirit who indwells us wants us to be Spirit controlled. Our walk is our daily life. The promise is if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
So, the answer is to have a real relationship with God by walking in the Spirit!
3. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because most Christians live for their lusts.
We have to teach them Biblically how to not live for their lusts. Romans 6:11-19, Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (15) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
4. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because we must teach them how to deal with their sin daily and moment by moment.
1 John 1:9-10, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
5. Why do we do Biblical counseling? We must teach them how to have a daily time with God.
www.hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com, How To Have a Daily Time With God.
2 Timothy 2:15-16, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (16) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
6. Why do we do Biblical counseling? We must teach them how to communicate with God through their Bible.
Each day I ask God to give me His message for me today. In essence, I want to hear from God for real. “Lord, show me what you have today for me from your Word. Please make it real to my life.” Folks, God does not bless Bible readers; He blesses Bible meditators, Psalm 1:1-6, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
As I am reading down through my Bible, when the Holy Spirit shows me a truth I stop! I read the verse over several times. I break down the verse. If I do not know what some words mean in the verse, I look them up. Listen carefully, the reason I stopped is because I have asked the Holy Spirit to give me His message for me today. God speaks to my heart (meditator) about this passage. Meditating is thinking about the passage. Psalm 119:11, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. This verse is not about memorizing the Bible for knowledge purposes – it is about putting it in your heart (meditator). I am stopped to listen to God. It is time to stop (not talk), and listen and learn from the Master Teacher.
7. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because we must teach them to pray properly.
Matthew 7:7-8, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
8. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because we must teach them to learn how to submit to God properly.
They must learn the submission principle. James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. The devil every day, multiple times a day, will put outside pressure on your life. He does this many times with our lusts.
Philippians 4:4-9, Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation (self-control) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (in your life). (6) Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
I want you to notice in verse 6 the phrase “prayer and supplication.” Supplication means to ask for something humbly (submitted). Then I want you to notice in verse 6 thanksgiving. Then notice in verse 8 “praise.” So, at the point of impact rather than be anxious Lord I want to turn this over to you, I ask you to forgive me, I want to submit this to you and to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Since most problems begin in the mind, Lord what do you want me to praise you for and thank you for? Then verse eight comes to play proper Spirit controlled thinking rather than let your mind worry, fret and think on the wrong things. It must become a daily moment by moment part of your life to be a Spirit controlled person.
9. Why do we do Biblical counseling? Because having a godly home depends on them learning how to have a real relationship with God.
I believe the principle of Ephesians 6:4 is very important here. And, ye Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: How would a father provoke his children to wrath? Could it be because he did not teach them to have a real relationship with the Lord? So they learn in their lives, when the outside pressure comes from Satan, how to respond by being controlled by their soul and respond in the dictates of the flesh. One of those is “wrath”, Galatians 5:19-21. The rest of Ephesians 6:4 says, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It means training with structure. I say again folks, how can a parent get the heart of their child and train them to have a relationship with the Lord if they are living a self-righteous (living the Christian life in their own power) or unrighteous life?
Is Psychology and God At Odds?
What I am writing on here will be controversial to some, however, I believe it is needed. Most people are seeking answers from Psychology rather than God’s Word!
As a pastor for many years I think I have seen just about everything. Many people come to the church today with a huge amount of baggage because of sin in their lives. If you read any newspaper today, it will most generally have a Dear Abby or some kind of advice column. Her stock answer is get counseling.
The world’s answer to everything is to get counseling. Psychology has become a big thing in our society. It is a secular religion! Every public school has access to counseling for children and parents. In most public schools you cannot bring a Bible or pray, but secular counselors are readily available for anyone who the administration deems counseling worthy.
The business world today sends their employees to positive thinking seminars and success technique seminars. This is nothing more than the science of the mind which teaches that the person controls the course of his or her life by mental processes which function according a Mysterious Law, that we are all creating our own day to day experiences, by the form and procession of our thoughts. Man by thinking, can bring into his experience whatever he desires.
This is nothing more than secular humanism at its best and has taken hold in our modern society and in the church. It is the cornerstone of the human potential movement. Though expressed in slightly different ways it is the common language of all those who have by accident or on purpose brought it into their life. It replaces faith in God with a self-serving faith in some mysterious force that can be used by our minds to get what we want.
In the church this is rampant today. Listen to people like Norman Vincent Peale, “Your unconscious mind has a power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough”. Folks, if that works the way Peale says, then God becomes not important and grace obsolete. Many other folks are into this type of thing as well. It has taken the world and put it right into the church. It is the doctrine of man and of the world, and many Christians are buying into it. It is the enemy of the Christian home and the church. Listen to the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 10:20-21, But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Folks, if everything works by just being a positive thinker or wishing it to happen etc. then God is no longer sovereign and there is no place for the grace of God, Ephesians 2:8-9. Listen to people like Robert Schuller who says, “Jesus died to sanctify your self-esteem. The only hell we will know is here on earth and it is a lack of self-esteem”. What blasphemy this is!
The need of every person is to come to a real saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to seek an intimate, personal, passionate relationship with Him. The problem is many Christians go to the world and the world’s thoughts when in reality it is a matter of dealing with our own sin, rather than moving our problem from one side to the other and still have no victory. Do you believe God? Mark 11:22 is very plain, Jesus said, “Have faith in God”. He did not say have faith in the science of the mind, human potential, counseling services, faith in yourself, faith in the psychologist, or faith in your mind. Folks, faith must have an object and it is unreserved and absolute trust in God. Listen to the Apostle Paul, II Corinthians 10:5, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
There is nothing in the universe that can be totally trusted except God. True faith grows out of an intimate, personal, passionate relationship with Him. This thought today of the power of the mind is not new. It is nothing more than basic Hindu/Buddhist occultism, including reincarnation, spirit mediumship etc. It is paganism.
Several years ago we had a couple in our church who received degrees in social work from Indiana University. They worked in the world’s system and then got saved. They then realized how wicked this process was. At Indiana University they had been taught to use spirit mediums if they could not figure out the kid’s problem. They were also taught reincarnation and most of the positive mind techniques.
How has this entered the church? Part of it is because of the fact that psychology or business techniques are okay with most Christians.
These things are not a problem for most Christians. However, folks they are a serious problem that seeks to put our faith in something else rather than God. After all, that is what the public school seeks to teach children today. Put your faith in yourself, you do not need God. The devil is deceptive and this has been one of his greatest deceptions upon God’s people. In essence, you have personal problems and issues, go get counseling and see what the problem is? When in reality, the problem is sin, Romans 3: 10, 3:23, 5:12. Many Christians read books on psychology, human potential, science of the mind, human growth, success techniques, etc. Why not go to God, Philippians 4:4-9?
It is impossible to understand our modern world without taking into consideration the way it has been shaped and molded by modern psychology. Nothing else even comes close to matching its influence upon the beliefs and lifestyles of our contemporary society.
Almost all of this has taken place since World War II. In 1946 Congress passed the national Mental Health Act, establishing a national program with federal law. This meant money was allocated. As a result, psychology courses exploded in universities across the country and spread rapidly from there to Bible schools and Seminaries. I remember in my freshman year in a Bible College taking Psychology 101. It did not make me comfortable at the time, and now I understand why. It seeks to divert my faith away from God to myself. It is a self-religion when the Bible tells us to die to self. No seminary or Bible College taught a psychology course prior to 1946. Psychology is a big money business today. It is a sign of the times in which we live.
Folks, psychology is a religion in our country today. It is deeply anti-christian yet it is strongly supported by Christians, Bible Colleges, and Seminaries. Psychology is a secular religion that has destructive logic. Most Christians have failed to recognize the fact that Christianity and psychotherapy are actually two different and irreconcilable systems. It always bothers me when I hear the term “Christian psychology”. It is an unequal yoke that brings into the church a very sneaky influence of secular psychology. The devil is very sneaky and the battle ground for the Christian is the mind, Romans 12:1-2. What better way for the devil to influence Christians by letting them think that this is helpful to them. By the way folks that is the way he operates, John 8:44, Ephesians 6:11-16.
How far has this gone? Listen to this quote by a feminist leader, “We will, I hope, raise our children, to believe in human potential, not God”. Folks, the power of the imagination (mind) is being mistaken and confused with inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit. It is a counter-fit for the Holy Spirit’s work! It is a very sneaky way to believe in man rather than God. It is called the doctrine of Secularism Humanism and it is a sign of the times in which we live. It has had a devastating effect on the Christian family and in the church. It teaches that man is the center of his or her universe and to pull themselves up by their own boot straps. Who needs God when you have yourself? The Bible makes it plain we are not to go our “own way.”
Listen to what God says on the subject. Folks, the Bible is our authority not the psychologist. Colossians 2:8-10, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
Acts 17: 18, 28, Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring.
II Corinthians 11:14-15, And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Philippians 2:5, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:23, 25, But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin.
Galatians 6-7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Dear friends, do not be deceived. The Christian needs to immerse himself in God’s Word, not the message of the world. If you need help today, go to the great Physician. Spend time in His Word. Ask Him to show you any sin that might stand between you and Him. Confess that sin to Him and turn from it, I John 1:6-10. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you, James 4:6-10. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17. He has the answer to any problem you have and will help you. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit so you may have his power and His mind in your life, Ephesians 5:18-21, Philippians 2:5. Remember this, a Spirit controlled person is a Word filled person. If you are having problems, spend time with God in His Word and seek His face. Most people when they do have problems go to the world and seek the world’s answer and spend no time with God when in reality this is the time to spend more time with God.
Outside of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a person getting saved the great need of the Christian is to have a Spirit controlled life. True Biblical counseling/discipleship shows the person how to do that and have a real intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God. Is there a great need for this? Sure there is! A person will need some direction from the Scriptures (discipleship) to understand what God says on a subject. A godly Pastor or Biblical counselor can lead you to God’s answer. Sadly some Christians already know the answer, but choose to be disobedient to the things of God. Someone will say, what about a person who has serious mental problems? There are people who have chemical imbalances, but for many that is not the problem. For most people it is a matter of going to God and being willing to turn from their sin and turn to Him. I encourage you to do so today.
If you need help please contact us www.hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com.