Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCC) is a large, influential organization with headquarters in Orlando, Florida. Total annual income is reported to be 189.4 million. According to U.S. News & World Report, CCC “now counts some 13,000 staff members and 101,000 trained volunteers in 163 countries” (12/4/95, p. 93). Many Christian organizations like CCC begin with good intentions of remaining true to the Word, but psychoheresy often creeps in. We shall be commenting more on CCC and psychoheresy in future issues of PAL.
Recently, someone sent us a “Special Issue” of one of CCC’s publications titled Lifeskills. In this issue we find both psychoheresy and a number of inappropriate, uncommented upon, pop psychology quotes from well-known people such as Madonna & Oprah Winfrey.
“Good-Me, Bad-Me” Psychology
The first article in Lifeskills is by Tim Downs and titled “The Two Me’s: Living with the good and bad within us . . . without going crazy.” Downs begins his article by saying:
I have a problem with my name. My name is Tim. The problem is, I’m really two people, and two people deserve to have two names. I have just one body, you understand. This is not a Siamese-twin thing. But inside me, there are definitely two people running around, and calling them both Tim is creating some real confusion. So I propose a name for each of us. I suggest that we call the two distinctly different people running around inside of me Good Tim and Bad Tim (pp. 3-4, emphasis his).
Even though Downs attempts to support this notion with Scripture, it did not originate there. Instead, it sounds like the social psychological theory of Harry Stack Sullivan. Sullivan was one of the major personality theorists who believed that individuals have “personifications” of themselves and others. He proposed that these personifications or images that a person has of himself and others are important parts of the structure of personality. Sullivan called these good-me, bad-me personifications. The good-me personifications come from experiences which are rewarding in character, and the bad-me personifications from anxiety arousing interpersonal situations. [See Theories of Personality, Hall & Lindzey, pp. 134 ff.]
Thus, the good-me/bad-me origin of Downs’ article is not Scripture but rather psychology. But, worse yet is how Downs uses this polarity. Downs asks, “One of the great questions of philosophy is: Are human beings basically good or basically evil?” (p. 4). Then Downs mentions Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, and Mahatma Gandhi as examples of people who performed “selfless acts that human beings are capable of.” Our example of selflessness is Jesus, not Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer or Mahatma Gandhi. We don’t know their hearts. Only God does. However, verbal testimony by these people indicates that not one of them has trusted Christ only for salvation. Why would CCC use such examples if their goal is evangelization?
Downs asks, “How do we resolve this dark polarity in ourselves?” He answers by referring to Romans 7 and the struggle that the Apostle Paul discusses there, but he treats the passage as if it had not been preceded by Romans 1-6 and he uses The Message, a new popular paraphrase from which Christians should not attempt to extract doctrine.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for New Creations in Christ?
Downs continues his argument with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as an example of a good-me, bad-me residing in one person. However, the use of this Jekyll/Hyde example transmogrifies the truth of God communicated by Paul in Romans 7. Paul is teaching a most important doctrine about sin which resides in men and about the only true deliverance found through Jesus. There is no such hope found in the Jekyll/Hyde story.
There is a real confusion in Downs’ article between the secular and the sacred and between the saved and the unsaved. Until we are born again, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). Where is a good-me in the midst of those filthy rags?
Downs begins his conclusion by saying: “Each of us needs to recognize the two people who are running around inside our bodies. We need to love the one, and accept and forgive the other” (p. 5). While on the one hand the Bible discusses the presence of sin in a believer’s life, it never refers to “two people who are running around inside our bodies.” Such a reference tends to dissociate the individual from sin and lessens personal responsibility. There is no “Not I but the two people who are running around inside” my body in Romans or anywhere else in Scripture.
Downs ends his article by declaring, “God tells us the plain truth about ourselves and then offers forgiveness. We have to offer the same gifts to ourselves and others.” Grammatically one concludes that Downs is saying that God tells us to forgive ourselves and others. Downs begins his article with a psychological concept, expands to incorporate and twist the Scripture to fit and then ends with a false doctrine of forgiving self. There is no such teaching in Scripture, but this is a clear example of how psychology can corrupt theology and an example of a well-intentioned organization becoming involved in psychoheresy.
Campus Crusade for Christ and Lifeskills
In the above article from PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter we critiqued an article found in Lifeskills, a Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) publication, because it involved psychoheresy. In this current issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter another article from Lifeskills will be critiqued to expose the psychoheresy in it.
If you would like to examine Lifeskills for yourself, you may obtain one by calling Missie Wilson at 1-800-688-4992 and ordering by credit card. Lifeskills involves more psychoheresy than we have described thus far.
Because of our concern about the amount of psychoheresy in Lifeskills, we interviewed Missie Wilson, the subscriptions coordinator for Worldwide Challenge, which is a CCC publication. Wilson said that CCC produced the special publication Lifeskills in place of the regular September/October 1995 issue of Worldwide Challenge. She said that CCC normally orders about 95,000 copies of each issue of Worldwide Challenge, but that approximately 200,000 copies of Lifeskills were ordered. She said the extras were ordered because “this special issue was to be used to reach unbelievers” and that it was “to be used as an evangelism tool.” But, is it necessary to promote psychoheresy in order to attract the unchurched and unsaved? We don’t think so.
PAL V4N1 (January-February 1996)