Hank Hanegraaff, who heads the Christian Research Institute (CRI), is opposed to Counterfeit Revival (the title of his book). However, he supports counterfeit survival. His position on psychology is evidenced by the four-part series of articles by Bob and Gretchen Passantino on “Psychology & the Church” published in the CRI Journal. Psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies is a counterfeit means of survival for Christians, because God has given His children all they need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Hanegraaff’s continued support of the Passantinos’ four articles on “Psychology & the Church” is as great a deviation from biblical truth as the deviations of those of counterfeit revival. From a biblical view, both counterfeit revival and counterfeit survival offer shabby substitutes for what God the Father has graciously provided through His Word, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
A reader of the Christian Research Journal wrote the following letter to CRI in response to the fourth part of the Passantinos’ four-part series on “Psychology & the Church.” With permission of the author, we reproduce the letter as follows:
“I was saddened when I read ‘Psychology and the Church (Part Four): The High Cost of Biblical Compassion and Commitment’ in your Fall 1995 issue. Human reason seems reasonable until it is brought to the light of Scripture. History states that psychology is rooted in philosophy, not science.
“A significant statement is made by Paul in Romans 11:16: ‘If the root is holy, so are the branches.’ The opposite is also true: If the root is unholy, so are the branches. Examine the five greatest roots of psychology, and you will find atheists (Freud, Skinner, and Erickson) and men who outright denied Christ (Rogers and Jung). I look at the root of psychology and see Christianity intertwining itself in the branches of modern psychotherapy and wonder what it is doing in Christian Research Journal.
“The tares have been sown. They are growing up with the wheat. Everywhere, in almost every church, pastors have been trained in psychology and/or have psychologically trained counselors available. I do not believe psychology will stand the fire of the judgment seat of Christ because it is of man, not of God. In the meantime, however, as the tares and the wheat grow together, I was saddened when I saw an article affirming the tares in a fine magazine like Christian Research Journal.”
CRI should have listened to this writer instead of the Passantinos. This brief response exhibited far more discernment than Hanegraaff and the Passantinos.
A pastor wrote to CRI regarding the Passantino articles. His letter was not published or even answered. We quote from his letter as follows:
“I am deeply disappointed with CRI for publishing the biblically anemic articles by the Passantinos. . . . For a ministry that seeks to uphold God’s truth, CRI needs to do some radical self-evaluation. The bottom line, which the Passantinos dodge, is: Is the Bible true in all it affirms or not? If it is, does it affirm that it is adequate to equip us for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17)? Does it claim to provide us with all we need for life and godliness (a fairly comprehensive claim, it would seem, 2 Pet 1:3-4)? . . .
“Certainly, CRI readers deserve better than this unbiblical attempt to keep the flood-gates open for worldly wisdom to continue polluting God’s people. . . . Perhaps we need a ministry to watch the cult-watching ministries like CRI if they can’t even blow the whistle on such blatant psychobabble that is turning confused Christians away from the only fountain of living waters (Jer 2:13).”
It is sad that the Passantinos and CRI are not willing to pay “The High Cost of . . . Commitment” to the truth of God over the psychological wisdom of men. The CRI/Passantino trust in psychological wisdom and their commitment to psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies, under any conditions, are indeed psychoheresy. The support of psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies under whatever conditions is an opprobrium in the church, but few of God’s people realize it.
(From PAL, V6N5)