What is this psychological seduction? Psychology is a broad field that covers many disciplines. The American Psychological Association (APA) has over fifty divisions. One of the most popular divisions is Division 29: Psychotherapy. When we say “psychology,” we are referring to psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies. It is simply talk therapy.
Psychotherapy with its underlying psychologies is one of the biggest and most demonic deceptions in the church today!
We call this deception psychoheresy. What is psychoheresy? Psychoheresy is simply the use of psychology where God has already spoken in His Word. It is using the very wisdom of men about which God has warned His people. How widespread is psychoheresy? It is one of the greatest of the last days’ deceptions. It began as a little leaven with Christians becoming trained as psychotherapists and has now come to full loaf in that psychoheresy has infected practically every facet of the church. Almost every pastor, church, Bible college, seminary, Christian university, mission agency, and denomination are influenced by or infected with psychoheresy. We can give you numerous examples of this throughout the entire church from liberals to the most conservative.
Problems of living that are taken to a psychological counselor are the very ones for which God has already provided the means of help through His Word, the cross of Christ, work of the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the saints. Has your pastor, church, Bible college, seminary, Christian university, mission agency, or denomination been seduced by this psychoheresy?
Pastor and Church Referrals
It is well known that when troubles occur among church people they typically reach out to their pastors for help. It is what happens at the point of a cry for help that truly matters. What help is provided to individuals, couples, and families in their time of need? How are their personal, marital, and family problems dealt with?
Both formal and informal surveys indicate that either the church provides psychological counseling or the pastors refer needy persons out to licensed mental health professionals. Last year we surveyed the seven largest churches in America. They are listed here from the largest on down: Lakewood in Houston, TX; Saddleback Valley community Church in Lake Forest, CA; Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL; Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX; Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY; The Potter’s House in Dallas, TX; and Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The first six either refer out to licensed mental health professionals or have them on staff; the seventh one, Calvary Chapel, does not and will not refer out to mental-health professionals or have them on staff.
Last year Dr. Frank Page was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). We called his church, First Baptist Church of Taylors, South Carolina, and asked if they refer individuals, couples, and families out to mental-health professionals and were told, “Yes,” and given three phone numbers, one to a man and two to women! The surprising thing about the referral to female psychotherapists is the fact that psychotherapy involves dealing with spiritual issues of life, and the SBC and Page would tell you they are opposed to women teaching or usurping spiritual authority over a man (1 Tim. 2:12). As a Southern Baptist, Page would not want a woman preaching in his church, yet he refers out to female psychotherapists, who from a position of authority do the kind of soul work in their offices that would be the equivalent of preaching and teaching. We were also told that Page’s church hoped to have a licensed mental-health professional on staff in the future.
In addition we have called numerous smaller churches and even some in the most conservative denominations and found that referring out to mental-health professionals is prolifically practiced. So, it is the exception for a church not to follow the less-than-50-year-old fleshly fad of psychotherapy.
Pastors who refer their flocks to professional mental-health workers not only have reneged on their responsibility of caring for the sheep; they have robbed ordinary mature believers of opportunities to minister to one another in the body of Christ. Everything has become overly professionalized—professional “pastors” who may preach but don’t pastor and who depend on outside professionals who charge people money for doing what mature believers could do better, since psychological counseling can only attempt to fix the flesh.
From hundreds of verses in the Word of God, we know that “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) and that Christians have available all the power needed to minister to those with problems of living. There is no need to refer fellow Christians to psychotherapists! Those pastors who refer out are in violation of many additional verses, including Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” These pastors have given up their spiritual birthright for a mess of secular psychological pottage.
Questions: Does your pastor/church refer individuals to licensed mental health professionals? Or, is your pastor enough of a watchman on the wall to speak out against this fleshly and fallacious practice of referring Christians out to licensed mental-health professionals?
Bible Colleges, Seminaries, Christian Universities
Many Bible colleges provide programs in psychology that are especially designed to prepare students to go to seminaries and universities to complete programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association for purposes of licensing. The following is an example: The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) accredits colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada. We selected one of those 95 colleges that they accredit. The college we selected is Crown College located in St. Boniface, Minnesota. Under “Affiliation” they say, “Crown College is the Midwestern regional college of the Christian and Missionary Alliance” (CMA).
The Crown College Statement of Faith is conservative and typical of many denominational Christian colleges. However, we went beyond the preliminary conservative-appearing façade to the Psychology Department. Crown College offers a B.A. degree in Psychology. This in itself is not necessarily bad, because psychology is a broad field. Our concern is counseling psychology theories and therapies mixed with the Bible. In their description of the psychology program they say: “This program is a pre-professional degree for students who will go on to graduate study at the master’s or doctoral levels that are required for professional careers in psychology and counseling.” We looked at the courses offered at Crown College and interviewed one of the professors. We found that the program prepares students to go on to graduate psychology education, which leads many into the licensed professions of psychotherapy, which is the intent of the program.
Prior to World War II no Christian school at any level through graduate school had such a program. This type of psychology was popularized through Christians such as James Dobson and has now entered all levels of Christian education. Crown College (Minnesota) is only the tip of the ice berg of Christian colleges and universities that have swallowed the secular psychological bait. Even though not all Bible colleges prepare students for possible careers in counseling psychology, it is common for them to be counseling-psychology friendly rather than warning their students.
According to an article titled “Growing Christian Shrinks” from The Wall Street Journal (March 30, 2007), Fuller Seminary “was the first clinical psychology program outside a university to receive accreditation from the American Psychological Association.” Seminaries usually do not have such APA-approved clinical psychology programs, but, in the main, they are similar to Bible colleges being friendly to counseling psychology. Instead, they should be warning students about such programs. They should be promoting what God has already provided, which has been effective right up until the shift in faith that came with the rapid rise of counseling psychology.
Another example is Southern California Seminary (SCS), which is a ministry of Shadow Mountain Community Church and under the leadership of Dr. David Jeremiah. The seminary web site indicates that two of its offerings are the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP) and the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), thus preparing individuals to become licensed as Marriage and Family Therapists or “Christian Psychologists.” These programs contradict SCS’s mission “to bring Glory to God.” One cannot bring glory to God while at the same time promoting the very wisdom of men about which God has warned His people (1 Cor. 2:5).
The American Psychological Association accredits programs in clinical psychology at a great number of universities. Some of them are Christian universities. The best-known among those with APA-approved programs in California are Azusa Pacific University and Biola University, which has drifted far from its beginnings as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. The Wall Street Journal article (cited earlier) says:
At Azusa Pacific University, a Christian College northeast of Los Angeles, psychology is one of the most popular majors, and interest in the field is growing. The number of students enrolled in the psychology department has tripled in the past decade. Azusa is not alone. Psychology is one of the 10 largest majors at the more than 100 schools that are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, according to Ken Bussema, the council’s vice president for student programs.
For both biblical and scientific reasons (see The End of “Christian Psychology”), these various graduate programs leading to licensing need to be shut down. These programs exist in opposition to both God’s Word and the scientific research about counseling psychology.
Question: Is your favorite Bible college, seminary, or Christian university friendly towards counseling psychology or is it critical of such programs, as it should be?
Several years ago we surveyed 35 mission agencies regarding their use of mental health professionals and psychological tests to screen missionary candidates. In addition, we called nine of the largest Christian denominations that do not send career missionaries as other denominations do. We concluded our research by reporting:
After interviewing 35 of the largest mission agencies and 9 of the largest denominations, we emphatically state: No one, but NO ONE, questioned the use of mental health professionals and psychological tests for screening missionary candidates, and no one, but NO ONE, questioned the use of mental health professionals to care for missionaries.
It is sad that, instead of providing pastoral care for missionaries in need, the standard practice is to provide professional mental-health care. One of the more popular providers of psychological services is the Link Care Foundation, which is located in Fresno, California. Link Care is a psychological assessment agency used for a variety of purposes by mission agencies. It is unabashedly an integrationist organization that says it uses “sound psychological principles to enhance performance of overseas missionaries.” Integrationists such as Link Care will claim to use “sound psychological principles” and to be completely biblical or at least not to violate Scripture.
Some years ago we conducted a survey of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS). CAPS members are psychologists of various kinds, many of whom practice psychotherapy and are committed to the integrationist view. We found in the CAPS survey how eclectic and, at the same time, different from one another these CAPS members were. As a result of our survey of CAPS members, as well as information from numerous other psychologists, we state categorically that all of these psychologists (every one of them) claim to use “sound psychological principles” and to be completely biblical or at least not to violate Scripture, even though they use a variety of the hundreds of available psychological approaches, many of which contradict one another.
Questions: Does your favorite mission agency or the ones supported by your church use mental-health professionals and psychological tests to screen missionary candidates? Do they provide professional mental-health services rather than biblically-based pastoral care for missionaries in need?
Denominations have pastors and churches. Many have Bible colleges, seminaries, Christian universities, and mission agencies. These have predominantly bent the knee and genuflected to counseling psychology as the answer to problems of living. In addition, the denominational publications reflect this psychology-friendly commitment. We know, because we receive a number of them and some have refused our book ads.
Question: Is your denomination friendly to counseling psychology or does it warn member churches and pastors about its unbiblical intrusion?
Whom Will You Follow?
Psychological counseling theories and therapies have usurped the spiritual means of dealing with soul problems. They have not only compromised the doctrine throughout the organizational structures of the church, but are touted throughout most of the Christian media. Many of the most popular books have been authored by so-called Christian psychologists or individuals who promote a psychological or psychologically tainted message. These books are favorably referred to by pastors, carried in church libraries, used in Christian education, and receive positive reviews.
The church does not need psychological counseling and its convoluted systems of loose theories and fabrications offered as facts. These are detrimental as they distort biblical doctrine and practice. They constitute a counterfeit currency from the world and a fleshly substitute for the fullness of the Gospel. Joshua challenged the Israelites with the following words:
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:14-15).
Question: Whom will you follow? The gods of this world with their religion of psychology or the Lord Jesus Christ, who has provided all that believers need for dealing with problems of living (2 Peter 1:3-4)? Will you trust the Lord enough to say, “As for me and my house, we will follow the Lord Jesus Christ”?
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, September-October 2007, Vol. 15, No. 5)