The article “LinkCare & Christian Psychology” was written in 2003 by Jon Lutes after he and his wife were required by their mission agency to go to Link Care in Fresno, California, as they had been experiencing extreme situations in an Islam country and needed soul care. As our readers may remember, we conducted a survey of 35 mission agencies and nine of the largest denominations, asking them three questions, one of which is the following:
Do you use or favor the use of mental health professionals to assist missionaries if they are experiencing problems of living?”
The Lutes’ mission agency used Link Care as their go-to organization to provide “mental health” services for all missionaries under their jurisdiction, who are in need of soul care. The following is stated on the Link Care website, linkcare.org:
Link Care exists to serve God by helping people grow in emotional health, personal integrity, and spiritual wholeness. We provide professional, emotional, mental & spiritual care through our team of licensed Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Pastoral Counselors and Social Workers; ministering to the whole person—mind, body, and soul. Since 1965, clinical and pastoral counseling have been provided in a nonjudgmental environment by professionally trained team of therapists and pastoral counselors with a variety of specializations and interests…. In the past 55+ years of ministry we have helped more than 6,000 pastors, missionaries, and their families.
In examining their federal tax forms for 2021, we find their gross receipts to be $1,724,352 with assets of $1,293,580. The organization currently continues to thrive more than ever. Their idea of providing a place for recovering from the slings and arrows of Christian service sounds like a good idea, but when examined has bad results, because Link Care provides the psychological wisdom of mere mortals instead of only and solely true biblical soul care. Jon Lutes’ article is characteristic of the fact that mission agencies often rely on organizations such as Link Care “to assist missionaries if they are experiencing problems of living” with a high concentration of psychological mental-health theories and therapies but a dearth of spiritual soul care. “LinkCare & Christian Psychology” is truly an insider’s view of Christian Psychology’s mental-health care, not only recommended, but required by mission agencies. Link Care is only one of many psych centers with a Christian façade, therapizing pastors, missionaries, and their families. In addition to sending missionaries primarily to psychological soul care, mission agencies also rely on psychological services to select missionary candidates. If you were candidating today, it is very likely you would have to go through a psychological evaluation that would include a personality inventory. What is wrong with all this? There is no scientific credibility behind what the mission agencies require of candidates. A serious problem with the whole selection procedure, which is compounded by using mental health professionals and psychological tests, is that only those who are selected go to the field, while those who are not selected stay home. Any researcher will tell you that this is a problem, because they are creating and using what is called an “untested homogeneity.” What should be done is to prelabel all the candidates as either “selected” or “not selected” and then send them all to the field unlabeled. At the end of their first service or another appropriate time, have some third party who is ignorant of the labels evaluate all of them with the same standard. It may be that those labeled “not selected” would make better missionaries. No one really knows. To our knowledge this has never been done. A missionary once said in jest, “One probably needs to be a little ‘crazy’ to be a successful missionary.” While said in jest, until proven to the contrary, it is as valid a conclusion as can be provided by the test users who would exclude such individuals. The fact is that without having a definition for success on the field and without establishing an appropriate level of validity, no one knows what psychological interviews and personality test profiles would lead to the most successful missionaries. We have exposed this hoax being perpetrated on those eager to answer the call of the Great Commission in our book Missions & PsychoHeresy. Continue reading “LinkCare & Christian Psychology” here.