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“Christian” Psychology

Tom: The purpose of this monthly newsletter is not only to inform but to stir readers into action. It is not enough to lament false doctrine in the church – we must do something to stop it.

The nailing of Martin Luther’s 95 theses to the Wittenberg door was the catalyst that began the Reformation. Today the church is in even worse condition. Catholicism continues to promote the very evils against which the Reformers fought. Protestantism no longer protests Roman Catholic errors that still lead millions into hell, but its ecumenically minded leaders hope for a merger with Rome. In the popular clamor for “love and unity,” vital issues for which the martyrs gave their lives are ignored.

We desperately need another Reformation, but there is little interest in correcting false doctrine. Today Martin Luther would be denounced not only by Catholics but by Protestants as well for causing “division.” I have documented horrendous heresies (and others have also) on the part of many of today’s most popular church leaders. A great cry of protest should have forced these false teachers either to repent of their errors or to lose their support from Christians. Instead, I am banned for being divisive.

Let’s take one category of error as an example: humanism. Its penetration into the church has been staggering! Once confined to liberals/modernists and pseudo-evangelicals, humanism is now embraced by virtually the entire evangelical church. How did this come about? Largely through the acceptance of psychology. It was Norman Vincent Peale who first conceived “Christian psychology”-the very thought of which, J. Harold Ellens reminds us, was opposed by “the entire Christian church for nearly half a century.” Peale persisted. His protegé Schuller picked up the banner, then others followed. Today “Christian psychology,” once heresy to Christians, is the new evangelical orthodoxy. Weep and pray and work to uproot it from the church!

Bruce Narramore (nephew of Clyde Narramore, another of the early godfathers of “Christian psychology”) unashamedly writes, “Under the influence of humanistic psychologists like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, many of us Christians have begun to see our need for self-love and self-esteem.” He thus admits that no one in 1,900 years of church history ever imagined that self-love and self-esteem (and other popular selfisms) were taught in the Bible. The secular humanists invented selfism and the “Christian psychologists” bought it and brought it into the church.

Consider the ironic statement by James Dobson in his December 1988
Focus on the Family: “Christian psychology is a worthy profession for a young believer to pursue, provided his faith is strong enough to withstand the humanistic concepts to which he will be exposed….” He thus promotes a strange new brand of “God’s truth,” a new interpretation of Scripture, unknown in the church for 1,900 years, that was invented by and must be learned from godless anti-Christians! This new Christianized humanism is fast becoming the basis for an ecumenical union, not only between Protestants and Catholics but with New Agers as well, to form Antichrist’s coming world religion. Wake up to what is happening and take action!

Dobson is to be commended for leading the fight against humanism’s immoral stepchildren: abortion, pornography, child-abuse and homosexuality. Yet he has based his entire ministry upon another stepchild of humanism: the theory that virtually every problem in modern society and the church today (from drugs, rape or murder to depression) is caused by a “bad self-image” or “low self-esteem.” Josh McDowell and Chuck Swindoll (like many others) promote the same antibiblical myth, justifying from the theories of godless psychologists the love and esteem of self, in spite of Christ’s command to deny self. That such men have otherwise fruitful ministries does not excuse them for such serious false teaching.

Christian colleges, universities and seminaries have become breeding grounds for secular humanism accepted as psychology. For example, the Narramores’ Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology has merged with Biola University and also infects Talbot Theological Seminary through its psychology program. Literally thousands of pastors are now following humanism’s pied pipers back to seminaries for further study-not in theology, however, but in psychology in order to become competent to counsel their flocks in the new truth!
And who sets the standards for these studies? The godless secular humanists, of course! Take, for example, the following ecstatic announcement by Fuller Theological Seminary: “Accredited! The Graduate School of Psychology has received accreditation from the American Psychological Association for a third five-year period after evaluation by two APA site visit teams…the [APA] committee on accreditation…found the program’s religious orientation not to adversely affect the quality of [psychological] training.” Isn’t that terrific? Our seminaries merit Satan’s imprimatur of approval because his representatives find that in spite of a “religious orientation,” students are being well trained in humanism!

Like other seminaries, Fuller places a heavy emphasis upon hypnosis, which comes right out of the occult. Related occultic visualization techniques, again justified by humanistic psychology, are now rampant among evangelicals. Inner healing, as it is popularly taught, is simply occultic Jungian analysis dressed in a thin veneer of Christian terminology.

But surely Christian psychologists such as Larry Crabb, who is considered by his followers to be the most biblical of all, could not have imbibed humanism’s lies! Let us take but one example. In Understanding People (p 129) Crabb writes, “Unless we understand sin as rooted in unconscious beliefs and motives and figure out how to expose and deal with these deep forces within the personality, the church will continue to promote superficial adjustment while psychotherapists, with or without biblical foundations, will do a better job than the church of restoring troubled people to more effective functioning.”
So this “most biblical” Christian leader tells us that the Bible lacks the real solution, which can only be found in psychological concepts and techniques invented by such godless anti-Christians as Freud – who, by the way, couldn’t straighten out their own lives. And what of this merger between theology and psychology that Peale pioneered nearly 70 years ago? Gary Collins, who has been one of the leading evangelicals working for decades to realize Peale’s dream, states in
Can You Trust Psychology? (p 130), “It is too early to answer decisively if psychology and Christianity can be integrated.” In other words, the very term “Christian psychology” has been for all these years a fraud, a blatant misrepresentation that continues to be foisted upon the church!
We desperately need another Reformation! I have nailed my “95 Theses” to the church’s door, and so have many others. Still the church sleeps and the false teachers we challenge will not agree to discuss the issues publicly. John Ankerberg has tried for three years to get anyone we name in Seduction (from Copeland to Schuller) to come on his program and discuss the issues with me. Other TV programs have also tried as well without success. The “Christian psychologists” have all made their excuses. Gary Collins, Mark McMinn and James Foster had agreed to a discussion of the issues with me, Martin Bobgan and Jay Adams on The Ankerberg Show, but backed down at the last moment.

It is time we carried the battle for a return to biblical truth to the individuals and institutions that are supporting humanism. I appeal to you to ask God what He would have you to do and then to follow His leading with prompt and vigorous action.


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