The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) mission agency, Mission to the World (MTW), promotes psychological counseling in the article “Healing Through Counseling” in a recent issue of their MTW Network, which says:

In Ethiopia, a mother and her six children live in a room the size of a double bed. The mother is dying of AIDS after having contracted the HIV virus from an unfaithful husband who then abandoned the family. She is shunned by society. And she is just one of thousands of women who share a similar story, women in desperate need of psychological help, but with almost no access to it (p. 5, bold added).

Years ago this elevation of the cure of minds (psychotherapy) over the Gospel may have shocked us, but not today. In 2000 we published our book Missions & PsychoHeresy. To prepare for it, we conducted a survey of 35 of the largest mission agencies, including MTW, in which we asked the following three questions:

1. Do you use mental health professionals to screen or evaluate missionary candidates?

2. Do you use psychological tests to screen or evaluate missionary candidates?

3. Do you use or favor the use of mental health professionals to assist missionaries if they are experiencing problems of living?

MTW responded “yes” to all three questions! The MTW article quoted above says:

This summer, an 11-member team comprised primarily of counseling students, faculty, and recent graduates from Covenant Theological Seminary (CTS) traveled to Ethiopia to participate in MTW’s first ever counseling-focused medical missions trip (p. 5).

The “psychological help” given was learned at Covenant Theological Seminary. The CTS web site gives the following description of the “MA in counseling”:

The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) offers graduate training in counseling that integrates theological studies with professional courses in counseling…. It also provides excellent preparation for students planning on advanced graduate study, state licensure, and work in other counseling agencies (bold added).

Note the word “Integrates” and the preparation for state licensure. CTS is obviously into psychoheresy and those who attend CTS are indoctrinated into their integrationist mind set.

The MTW article goes on to quote a missionary as follows:

Dr. Jon White, MTW missionary to Ethiopia, emphasizes the need for such a focus in a region so affected by HIV. “We probably need a counselor out here more than anything else,” he said. “In this culture, if you have HIV, you’re shunned” (p. 5, bold added).

Apparently this missionary has been brain-washed into believing the psychological wisdom of men to the extent that he believes it is needed “out here more than anything else“!

The MTW article describes one of the CTS counseling students who “has a vision to incorporate counseling with international missions and came to seminary specifically to receive training so that she could go back to the field as a counselor.” It used to be that missionaries went to the field with the goal of evangelism and church planting. Now more individuals from CTS and many other counselor training seminaries are going to the mission field to psychologically counsel. This same counseling student says, “We are to be healers to the world.” We thought Jesus was the healer and that the Gospel is the good news they need, not psychology!

In a survey of Far East Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, we learned that one primary way counseling psychology makes inroads into these countries, which were previously insulated from this Western craze, is through American missionaries!

The MTW article ends by stressing the importance of psychological care:

As a result of this summer’s trip, an informed partnership seems to have formed between MTW’s team in Ethiopia and CTS. Both parties see the potential for long-term impact as the critical need for psychological care—especially among those with HIV—is prioritized and addressed (p. 5, bold added).

Evidently for these missionaries the Gospel and the love of Christ, which ministered life and hope to the early Christians who had been severely ostracized and who had experienced horrific lives, many of them having been slaves, abused, beaten, treated worse than animals, are not enough today.

This MTW article is a sad commentary on today’s church in general and the PCA in particular. How we desire that missionaries would become devoted to serving as pure vessels of Living Water (John 7:37-38) rather than being purveyors of the impure psychological notions of mere men.

(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, March-April 2009, Vol. 17, No. 2)