Believers who speak forth regarding the sufficiency of Christ and who speak out against false systems of sanctification found in psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies may be reviled, persecuted, and subtly shunned even by professing Christians. Readers have shared the pain of rejection from other Christians and the sorrow of being ill-spoken of simply because of their stand for the Word of God. And, they have endured unjust rebuke and false accusations of being mean-spirited, of being closed-minded, of denying that people suffer emotional pain, and of not being equipped to criticize those “wonderful psychologists who are helping people.” They grieve over the fact that such people refuse to look at the research, to examine the facts, and above all to examine psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies in the true light of Scripture. Their love for fellow believers presses them on in prayer and in waiting on God for opportune moments to speak forth a word of caution.
The Bible instructs and strengthens believers when they are misunderstood and mistreated for their faithfulness to God and to His Word, when they are rejected, ill-spoken of, and reviled. Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12). Rejoice when rejected? Blessed when reviled and persecuted? Exceedingly glad when ill-spoken of? Yes! The reward in heaven is great and the blessedness of being in Christ right now far exceed any human discomfort that may come from such negative responses.
Jesus was hated and scorned. The night of his betrayal he told his disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:17-20).
Present-day disciples also have the distinct privilege of accompanying Jesus “without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Heb. 13:13), of being outcasts with Him now, and of looking forward to spending eternity with Him in glory. Therefore, by God’s grace, we urge each one of us to continue to speak forth and warn believers about the psychological wisdom of men and we encourage all to draw closer to Him in the midst of problems. May we all be faithful in our desire to follow the Lord and His Word. Let us gird up our loins and not fear or resist rebuff, rejection, or whatever may come from following Christ and from being faithful to His Word. May we all patiently endure ill treatment for Christ’s sake. But, each one of us needs to determine by God’s Word if we are suffering because of Christ or because of our own sin.
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (1 Peter 2:19-25).
If people accuse any of us who are contending for the faith of being mean-spirited, we must indeed judge ourselves before the Lord to see if the accusation is true. If true, we must repent. If untrue, we may rejoice. And that is what we must do whenever we are accused. We must go before the Lord to determine the accuracy of the accusation. And then we will discover if we are being buffetted for our own faults or if we are suffering wrongfully for the sake of Christ. Either way, we are all to suffer patiently as we consider Jesus.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin (Heb. 12:2-4).
Let us all, therefore, do what God calls us to do, looking to Jesus in anticipation of his appearing, when “we shall be like him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2) .
(from PAL V6N3)