According to Wikipedia, “Greg Laurie (born December 10, 1952) is an American author and pastor who serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship [15,000 ‘members’] with campuses in Riverside, Orange County and Maui.” Among his many honors and extensive work, “Laurie holds two honorary doctorates from Biola University and Azusa Pacific University. He serves on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  He also is the Evangelist for Harvest Crusades and is featured on over 1500 radio and TV stations across the nation.” [1] Laurie is also featured on the Focus on the Family website, which describes him as being “the founder and senior pastor of … one of the largest and most influential churches in America.”[2]

Calvary Chapels are an independent association of about 1800 churches internationally, which do not have formal membership. Harvest Christian Fellowship (HCF) was and may still be a Calvary Chapel. However, HCF has affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which is comprised of churches with formal membership. A call to HCF revealed that members are those who attend HCF and consider themselves members.

On December 1, 2019, we published an article titled “Pastor Jarrid Wilson Suicide.” Wilson was a pastor at Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship. Our article follows.

Jarrid Wilson Suicide

The Baptist Press reports:

Southern Baptist pastor Jarrid Wilson played games with his son Denham, attended his son Finch’s baseball practice and tweeted encouragement to a struggling alcoholic within hours of reportedly committing suicide late Monday (Sept. 9). Wilson shot himself with a handgun and was transported to the emergency room of Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside Calif, where he was pronounced dead at 3:57 a.m. local time Tuesday (Sept. 10), the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office told Baptist Press Wednesday. Wilson was 30.

Wilson left behind a wife and two children. This suicide is a great tragedy for himself and his family as he had two small children.

However, Wilson’s legacy is a greater tragedy as he continually promoted psychoheresy in his pastorate and in his life as a result of his commitment to professional counseling, which he had received.

Just two quotes from his years of promoting psychotherapy in the church and in Anthem of Hope, an organization he founded with his wife: On August 25, 2019, Wilson tweeted:

Imagine for a second if the local church provided both FREE pastoral care and (licensed) counseling/therapy for those who couldn’t afford it. What a difference we could make for people all around the world struggling with mental health issues.

On September 1, 2019, Wilson tweeted: “2 Corinthians 10:5 calls us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. ‘Christian’ Psychology helps us better understand how to take every thought captive.”

Following Wilson’s death there has been a rush throughout the media calling the church to become more central in the care of souls by having licensed psychotherapists on staff. This cry to bring the psychotherapists into the church would be a second step downward and away from full reliance on the Word. As it is, most churches already refer their congregants out to psychotherapists; but following the recommendation of the many naïve Christian voices, professionals will be brought into the church itself.

As we have revealed in our 25 books and over 300 articles, psychological theories and therapies have already infiltrated Christian schools, colleges, seminaries, universities, denominations, and mission agencies.

We have said in our writings after viewing and listening to live psychological and counseling sessions, the very words spoken by both the therapists and clients fail biblical standards. After all, every word, every sentence, every expression, every emotion in counseling must conform to Scripture. If the words violate the admonitions, prohibitions, and restrictions of the Word, they are sinful. We challenge psychotherapists to show us one live, literal counseling session that does not violate Scripture. To date all the ones we have seen have failed this simple test![3]

Greg Laurie and the AACC

Not long after Wilson committed suicide on September 9, 2019, Laurie tweeted: “Attention, Pastors, Counselors- I will be speaking at the Rise Up AACC 2019 World Conference in Nashville on Oct 11. Join us!”[4] AACC is the American Association of Christian Counselors. AACC asserts on their website that they are “The World’s Premiere & Largest Faith-Based Mental Health Organization.” Their mission statement includes: “AACC is committed to assisting Christian counselors, the entire ‘community of care,’ licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training.”[5]

The AACC is committed to the integration of psychology and the Bible. No one who truly believes Bible verses such as 2 Peter 1:3, “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,” should belong to such an errant group. AACC and those members and participants are a reflection and even a cause of what is called “Fake Christianity” today.[6]

The word psychology comes from two Greek words: psyche, meaning “soul,” and ology, which refers to a “subject of study.” So, psychology is a study of the soul and psychotherapy, to be literal, is merely conversation to treat the soul. But the Bible is a compendium of soul care teaching right from the throne of God. In contrast, the theories and therapies that licensed psychotherapists have learned and must use, as restricted by license, are from the world, the flesh, and the devil, e.g., Oedipus complex. Therefore, the extent to which those connected with AACC are integrationists is the extent to which they have departed from the faith in dealing with people’s very souls.

Harvest Christian Fellowship’s Counseling Referral System

In the past all who came to HCF in need of counseling were counseled in the church. Prior to Wilson’s death and Laurie speaking at the AACC, no one was given a referral list. However, in preparation for this article, we called HCF to find out what they are currently doing for people requesting counseling and were given the following information. Now only those who consider themselves members are counseled in the church, and those who do not consider themselves members, whether they attend HCF or not, are given a “Professional Counseling Referral List,” which includes licensed psychological counselors, non-licensed counselors, and coaches. The referral list begins with the following statement:

These are referrals and resources that we provide, however, you must use them at your own discretion and discernment. They are not affiliated with Harvest Christian Fellowship.”

The following entities are listed, with descriptions of services, some of which include numerous theoretical orientations, specialties, cost, and insurance:

  • The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC)
  • Cornerstone Counseling; Wisdom on a Firm Foundation
  • Genesis Counseling Service; Creating New Beginnings
  • Tom Thomazin, M.S.; Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Guy and Roxanna Grimes; Relationship Coaches
  • Heather Byrd; Associate Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Jonathan Scot Kane, MFT [Marriage & Family Therapist]
  • Reverend John Sandy; Pastoral Counseling; M.A., Biblical Counseling

In spite of their disclaimer at the beginning of the referral list, each listing contains professional details that will be very inviting for anyone seeking counseling.

It is obvious that when churches refer people out to professional counselors, they assume that the therapy provided will be at least somewhat Christian, or at least not conflict with Christianity. However, that is not what state-licensed counselors are educated and licensed to perform. In addition to legal restrictions of state-licensed psychotherapists, it would be dishonest of them to charge for the psychotherapy which they were educated to practice and then to evangelize or do “biblical counseling” instead or mixed in. And, as we have repeatedly revealed, even those on the referral list who are “biblical counselors” are likely to be in error because of following the psychological problem-centered counseling format, which engenders sinful conversations.

Licensed Christian Psychotherapists[7]

Because Harvest Christian Fellowship’s “Professional Counseling Referral List” includes licensed psychotherapists, we repeat what we have said in the past. One of us earned a doctorate and qualified for the California Clinical Psychologist License but decided not to apply for it. We had come to the same conclusion as Dr. Lawrence LeShan, when president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, who said some years after us: “Psychotherapy may be known in the future as the greatest hoax of the twentieth century.”[8] It may eventually be recognized as one of the greatest heresies of modern-day Christianity.

Although this article is about the Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist licenses in California, the information that we reveal in this article regarding licensure is likely to be equally true for all the other states. Each state licenses its own psychotherapists, but the requirements are similar state by state, and many states have reciprocal agreements. California and Connecticut were the first States to offer a license for a psychotherapist. California issued its first Clinical Psychologist license in 1958. Five years later, in 1963, California issued its first Marriage and Family Therapist license. Before that time, no church in America referred their congregants out to licensed psychotherapists, because there was no one to send them to. The only source they had was the same source used for almost 2000 years up to the psychological licensing era: The BIBLE!

Over the years we have heard about Christians who are practicing State licensed psychotherapists claiming to be doing “Christian counseling” or counseling by the Bible. Some of these State-licensed psychotherapists approach pastors with their claims, advertise themselves as Christian counselors, and/or indicate likewise on their websites.

Although we knew the answers to the following two questions, we wanted it in writing from the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Our first question was: “Can psychotherapy-licensed Christians or those of any other faith, e.g., Jewish, Buddhist, etc., inject their faith system into their client sessions.” Their answer references the California “Business and Professional Codes” and the California Psychology Board’s “Laws and Regulations,” with the sum and substance answer being “No.” There were exceptions for those who could counsel according to their religious persuasion because of being “duly ordained members of the recognized clergy or duly ordained religious practitioners.

We then wrote, “This second question has to do with what these Christians can say in their ads. Can they state, infer, or imply that they provide Christian counseling?” The answer again refers to codes and the Psychology Board’s “Laws and Regulations.” Once more, the answer boiled down to “No,” just as we expected.

The reason many Christians who are licensed by the state to perform psychotherapy violate the two professional areas restricted by the State is because they would not be cited unless a client complaint were to be received by the State of California. In other words, a psychotherapist’s license violation will be investigated if one or more clients issue a formal complaint to the State. As far as we know, this has never happened.

Churches Engulfed in PsychoHeresy

In our book PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, Revised & Expanded, we describe the rise and entanglement of the Church with psychotherapy. At the end of our chapter titled History of Psychotherapy, we reveal the following:

With the field of psychological counseling exploding and pastors beginning to refer their flocks to professional therapists came the great “psychological awakening” of evangelical Christianity. If pastors must send their flocks to professional psychotherapists, then there was a crying need for Christians to become trained in psychology and psychiatry. After all, pastors did not want to send their people to “godless” psychologists and psychiatrists, who might not appreciate Christianity. Thus began the era of socalled Christian psychology.

Some of the precursors of the rising tide of popularity of psychotherapy among Christians were Paul Tournier, Clyde Narramore, Henry Brandt, James Dobson, and a whole host of other popular Christians. Among the early academic institutions to promote it are Fuller Seminary (American Psychological Association approved in 1972), Rosemead Graduate School (at Biola University), Wheaton College, George Fox University and later Liberty University and Regent University. Following these beginnings, many thousands of Christians became trained to do psychotherapy and hundreds of Christian educational institutions became immersed in this type of psychology, so much so that much of the church in America has become a major part of the psychological society. Today psychology is one of the most popular majors in U. S. Christian higher education.

With national rising popularity and availability of psychotherapy after World War II came the psychological seduction of Christianity, which has engulfed conservative churches, parachurch organizations, Bible colleges, Christian schools and universities, seminaries, and mission agencies. The present-day church has strained at many theological gnats but swallowed the camel of psychotherapy to such an extent that the sufficiency of Scripture for the issues of life has been overlooked for “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” (1 Tim. 6:20.)[9]

[1] “Greg Laurie,” Wikipedia,

[2] “Greg Laurie,” Focus on the Family,

[3] Martin & Deidre Bobgan, “Pastor Jarrid Wilson Suicide,” PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, Vol. 27, No. 26,

[4] Greg Laurie on Twitter,

[5] “Mission Statement,” The American Association of Christian Counselors,

[6] Everett Piper, “America’s New Religion: Fake Christianity, Washington Times, July 25, 2021,

[7] Excerpted from Martin & Deidre Bobgan, “Licensed Christian Psychotherapists,” PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, Vol. 28, No. 5,

[8] Lawrence LeShan, Association for Humanistic Psychology, October 1984, p. 4.

[9] Martin & Deidre Bobgan. PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, Revised & Expanded. Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 2012, pp.96-97.