Friday, June 8, 2007

Psychology's Effect on Evangelism

Coming out of an organization that claims to be "Christian" and yet holds to the teaching of modern secular humanistic psychology, I believe that there needs to be some comments on this type of approach.

Recently, I was employed by an agency that held to the "best best professional practice"...meaning Humanistic Psychology, and "Biblical Principles." They believed that by doing this they could provide the best in quality care for children and families. However, there is something greatly wrong with this picture. Most people will not see it when they hear this. I must admit, at first, I was drawn in by this statement because it sounded as if at the core they were holding themselves to strict adherence to Biblical truth and would not waiver on this at all.

However, this is not what is being said, or practiced. You see, when we say...or rather act upon taking Humanistic Psychology and couple with that the Bible. Without saying anything else you have just put Psychology on the same playing field as the Word of God. May it never be! Secondly, you will find that the Bible at all points stands in complete opposition to the principles of Humanistic Psychology and they cannot mix.

Now, before I preach an entire sermon, I would like to speak to one area specifically. To be born-again, one must realize his utter sinfulness and depravity before God. With this comes a great sense and realization of hopelessness. However, coupled with the great beauty of Christ and His saving work upon the cross, one finds the only true hope and full redemption.

This stands in direct opposition to what Humanistic Psychology would teach. From working in a "Christian" residential organization for almost 7 years, I was taught by lecture and by example that we should build our consumer's self-esteem, work hard at making them "feel good about themselves" and other very familiar psycho babble. At times when others would confront children and families in matters of sin and rebellion against God, they normally met opposition stating, "we don't want to make people depressed" and the like.

The result? Well, unless you become aware of your desperate state and the danger of sin, you will not come to trust in Christ. Why? Because if you are no longer a "sinner" in need of a savior, then are are only "sick" in need of treatment. Unfortunately, this is the teaching that the world has adopted for a long time. What is ever worse than this the world's's foolishness of's blatantly choosing to "suppress the truth and exchange the truth of God for a lie" (Romans 1), has infected the church. (I use the term "church" to refer to those who 'claim' to be born-again...understanding that the correct use of this word refers to those who are truly born-again.)

The on in Romans 1...those people are receiving in themselves the due penalty for their sin for although the truth of God was obvious, they have chosen to believe the lie. There is no hope in this world apart from the saving, finished work of Jesus Christ. Don't be a fool, and don't waste your life believing the world's teaching.

I must recommend a great article from the National Association of Nouthetic Counseling.

Click Here to Read.


Terry Delaney said...

Brother, you have left out the necessity of being born again (that is completely regenerated by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ alone to appease the wrath of God the Father) for nouthetic counseling to have an effect noteworthy enough in one's life to make a change. The problem with all other programs in psychology is the basic foundational belief that man is innately good and we only need to change some superficial behaviors. A heart change is needed. A change is nature is mandatory. If the Bible is to be true, and man is totally depraved, then everything "psychologized" stands in direct opposition to God and His Word.

Aaron said...

Brother, thank you for your post! I certainly agree with you. However, I hope that you, as well as others, do realize that my hope in this post was to point at one area where psychology undermines evangelism. However, in doing this, recognizing that there are many other aspects of salvation that are compromised by this dangerous teaching of psychology, to list all of them would be quite a doubt worth it!

You have done a great job at writing a post for me on the further result of this error of psychology. Again, thank you!

Welcome back! I hope your out of state travel went well!