THE BIBLE, PSYCHOLOGY--AND YOU
Wendell E. Miller
Biblical counseling has God-given truth which is eternal and unchangeable. In contrast to biblical counseling, the "truth" of psychology is every changing and contradictory. Therefore, biblical counseling is more effective that secular counseling and "Christian counseling" in which there is an attempt ot integrate psychology with the Scriptures.
Bob and Jane have just discovered that their daughter has been sexually abused for several years. They are distraught. Bob is angry. Where should they go for help?
Where would you go for help? Would you seek help from a counselor who uses psychotherapy, from someone who relies on the Scriptures for counseling principles, or from an integrationist (a counselor who uses a mixture of psychological theory and the Bible)?
SUFFICIENCY FOR PROBLEMS OF MIND AND BEHAVIOR
The Scriptures declare that God "has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness . . ." (2 Pet. 1:3).
"Godliness" includes both mind and behavior. Therefore, God says that the Scriptures are sufficient for structuring both mind (thoughts) and behavior (actions) in godliness--as 2 Timothy 3:16 also teaches ("instruction in righteousness").
Is God able to give Bob, Jane, and their daughter peace in their hearts (John 14:27)? Is He able to take away Bob's anger (Eph. 4:31-32)? Is He even able to use the sexual abuse of their daughter to make her a more godly woman (Rom. 8:28-29)?
PSYCHOLOGY AND THE "NATURAL MAN"
The roots of psychotherapy (psychological counseling), and its "great" teachers, are unsaved men.
God says that the "natural man" (unsaved) cannot know the things of God because spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).
How can the unsaved help believers grow in godliness of mind and behavior?
God says that the unsaved mind is hostile to Him (Rom. 8:7). Should Christians expect to find help in pleasing God from those who oppose Him?
And yet, generally speaking, integrationists accept and teach that the theories of the unsaved are necessary for making changes in mind and behavior that are pleasing to God.
TRUTH VS. DIVERSE AND MUTUALLY CONTRADICTORY SYSTEMS
There are more than two hundred fifty secular psychological counseling systems! These secular systems contain mutually contradictory theories, teachings, and techniques. Logically, all but one must include error. Is there any reason to believe that any of them is free from error?
How could anyone expect to select truth from error while searching through this maze of mutually contradictory systems?
PSYCHOLOGICAL "TRUTH" IS CHANGEABLE
With integrationists, as well as with other psychologists, "truth" is changeable. New "truth" replaces old "truth" as new "truth" is theorized, conceived, or discovered.
Are you willing to depend upon "truth" that is changeable?
WITH INTEGRATIONISTS, "GOD'S TRUTH" BECOMES CONTRADICTORY
With integrationists, "truths" of psychology are "anointed" by saying, "All truth is God's truth."
Then, when the "truths" of two integrationists are mutually contradictory, "God's truth" of one integrationist contradicts "God's truth" of another integrationist.
Do you believe that contradictory "truth" is God's truth?
DANGERS OF INTEGRATION
How can an integrationist add his "truth" to truth which God says is sufficient, without being in grave danger of neglecting, replacing, or contradicting some of the truth that is a part of God's sufficiency?
Is there not danger of weakening Christianity by attempting to integrate (mix) "truths" of man with God's Word (1 Pet. 2:2)?
Could it be that attempts to integrate psychological "truth" with the Scriptures have weakened Christianity?
SELF-SATISFACTION AND INTEGRATION
Integrationists have promoted the secular concepts of self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, and self-love.
If the unsaved are taught to "feel good" about themselves, will they feel the sense of guilt that God designed to lead them to repentance?
SELF-AWARENESS AND INTEGRATION
Some integrationists, using Freudian theory, teach that self-awareness of subconscious motives is the path to Christian growth.
If Christians look within themselves, will they find truth and light (John 17:17, Ps. 27:1)? Is self-awareness the route to Christian growth (Phil. 1:6, 2:13)?
ETERNAL REWARDS AND INTEGRATION
If problems from the past hamper one's Christian growth, which would be more effective, the "truth" of psychology--or the Word of God?
Are you willing to risk future rewards for yourself, and for those whom you love, by relying on human theories rather than the Word of God (2 Cor. 5:10)?
AWESOME IMPLICATIONS OF INTEGRATION
If growth in the Christian life (overcoming problems of mind and behavior) depends upon psychological "truth," then Christianity had to wait hundreds of years for psychology to do what God failed to do!
Did God lie when he said, hundreds of years before Freud, that He had already given us all that is needed for godliness of mind and behavior (2 Pet. 1:3)?
Do humans have the awesome knowledge and wisdom: 1) to contradict God's declaration that His Word is sufficient; 2) to select theories from secular and often ungodly sources that "correct" supposed deficiencies in God's Word; and 3) to "make" these theories equal to God's Word by declaring, "All truth is God's truth"?
INTEGRATION AND THE RELIGION OF SELF
Biblical truth is God-centered (theocentric) whereas psychological counseling systems are man-centered (anthropocentric).
The focus of biblical truth is God. The focus of psychology is self: self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, self-love, self-awareness, and self-actualization.
With centers of importance that are opposite ("God" or "self"), would you expect God's will in believers' lives to be helped, or hindered, by "integrating" the theories of psychological counseling systems with God's Word?
INTEGRATION, THE GLORY OF GOD, AND "OTHER GODS"
The Scriptures teach that man was created for God's glory (Isa. 43:7). If Christians turn from God's truth and to psychologists and their "truth," will God receive the glory, or man?
Is it possible that God looks at this rejection of His truth in favor of secular "truth" as having other gods before Him (Ex. 20:3)?
INTEGRATION AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Scriptures teach that "it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
Thus, God's provisions for overcoming problems of both mind and behavior, and for becoming godly persons, include both the Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
If a person rejects, replaces, or adds to the truth that God has given in His Word to accomplish His will, and that God says is sufficient, is the work of the Holy Spirit helped--or hindered?
INTEGRATION AND PRAYER
Biblical counseling relies on principles that God has provided in His Word, on the Holy Spirit, and on the power of prayer.
When Christians reject, replace, or add to truth God has given and declared to be sufficient, should they expect God to honor their prayers?
INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." More literally translated, "All Scripture is God-breathed" (2 Tim. 3:16).
Human authors wrote in their individualistic styles, but these "holy men of God spoke as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21).
Do you believe that the autographs (original manuscripts) of the Scriptures were inspired by God?
INERRANCY OF THE SCRIPTURES
Knowing that the original manuscripts were "God-breathed" (inspired of God), it follows that the original manuscripts were inerrant.
Do you believe that the original manuscripts of the Bible were without error?
INSPIRATION, INERRANCY, AND THE AUTHORITATIVE WORD OF GOD
Over the centuries God has superintended the preservation of the content of the original Scriptures to an amazing degree of accuracy, so that the Scriptures are still the authoritative Word of God on every matter or issue which they address (Matt. 4:4).
Do you believe that the Scriptures are today the authoritative Word of God on every matter or issue that they address?
If the Scriptures are not the authoritative Word of God, every doctrine of Scripture (even salvation) is open to question and doubt, and faith in the original inspiration of the Bible is meaningless!
AUTHORITY AND SUFFICIENCY
If you do accept the Scriptures as the authoritative Word of God, then, logically, you must also accept what God says about His Word.
God says that the Scriptures are sufficient for structuring our minds and our behavior in godliness (2 Tim. 3:16 and 2 Pet. 1:3). Do you believe this?
LOGICAL AND ILLOGICAL CHOICES
Will you choose to believe God's claim about the sufficiency of the Scriptures?
Or, will you attempt to hold the illogical position that the Scriptures are indeed the authoritative Word of God, but wrongly claim to be sufficient for godliness of mind and behavior?
Or, will you attempt to hold the equally illogical position that the Scriptures are indeed the authoritative Word of God, but that, in order to succeed in the Christian life, the "truth" of psychology is needed?
Logically, you must accept God's claim to the sufficiency of the Scriptures regarding godliness of mind and behavior without any help from psychology or else you must acknowledge that you do not really believe that the Scriptures are the authoritative Word of God.
WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE?
Will you choose to believe God's claim that the Scriptures are sufficient for structuring both mind and behavior in righteousness, or will you disbelieve God?
Will you choose the Scriptures as your source of truth for living, or will you search for psychological "truth"?
Will you choose pastors, biblical counselors, and other theologians as your teachers of truth, or will you look to those who teach a mixture of biblical truth and psychology?
Will you choose to test all of the teachings of everyone to see if indeed they teach biblical truth (Acts 17:11)? Or will you accept whatever is taught by Christians who are held in high esteem?
Will you choose, as God gives you influence, to promote unity in God's Word by helping others understand the Scriptures, and by helping them become perceptive to error?
Which will you choose--for yourself, for those whom you love, and for those for whom God gives you the oversight--the Word of God, or an amalgamation of the Word of God and theories of psychology?
The Bible or psychology? Your choice has awesome and eternal implications!
Copyright 1990 by Wendell E. Miller
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