PSYCHOLOGY vs. THE BIBLE
Proverbs 21:30, “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.”
THE PSYCHOLOGISTS SAY... THE BIBLE SAYS... SIGMUND FREUD Man: He is not responsible for his actions. He is a victim of other people in society. He battles the past and hurtful experiences in childhood. He is sick. Man: He is responsible for his sin. Yet, man wants to shift the blame to God, others, or Satan as Adam and Eve did. See: Genesis 3:12-13, Ezekiel 18:20, Galatians 6:5, Proverbs 9:12. Source of his problem: He struggles between his normal desires (id) and his conscience (superego), which his overly strict (mother/church) has created. He represses this deep inner struggle over what he feels and what society says is right. This man is poorly socialized. Source of his problem: Man is a sinner by nature and seeks to live selfishly to fulfill the lusts of his flesh and mind. Man is dead spiritually. See: Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:1-3. Treatment: He must be taken back into his past to relive it through hypnosis, dream analysis and free association. This will allow the counselor to restructure the counselee's value system and relieve his conscience. He is now re-socialized. Treatment: Man only needs to be saved to experience this transforming power of God. This redemption is God's treatment for the root problems of man. See: Titus 2:11-3:5. Man can't change his past. He must stop looking back, and re-focus his attention on the present. Forgive and reconcile with others today. CARL ROGERS Man: Man is not a sinner, he is essentially good, he has all the resources he needs within himself to solve his own problems.
Man: He is essentially sinful, selfish, and corrupt. He cannot save himself or solve his moral problems apart from obedience to God and His Word. See: Proverbs 30:12, Romans 3:10-13
Source of his problems: Man has failed to realize his full potential as a human being. He hasn't done what he personally values most. He doesn't see his personal worth and has little or no self-esteem. Source of his problems: Man has failed to come to Jesus Christ that he might have real life. See: John 5:40. Man has not esteemed Jesus to have any worth or meaning for his life, and so loses all meaning and purpose for his own existence. This was Solomon's perception after he had departed from the Lord. See: Ecclesiastes 2:1-23. Treatment: The client must solve his own problems. The counselor repeats and restates the client's feelings and thoughts to help him find his own answers. The counselor never tells the clients what is right or wrong or what to do. Treatment: A man must be born again and be obedient to the Word of God to find solutions to his problems. He must follow what God tells him to do. Man's values and morals must be reconstructed according to and in harmony with God's values and morals (Isaiah 55:6-9) (Mark 1:15). B.F. SKINNER Man: Man is just an animal. He is conditioned to act the way he does. He is a product of his environment and not responsible for his behavior.
Man: Man has been created in the image and likeness of God. He has the mental, moral, and spiritual capacity for fellowship with God. He has the capacity for obedience by choice to follow the will of God. He also was created to have dominion over the animals. See: Genesis 1:26-27, 2:15-20.
Source of his problems: He has not been trained properly. His behavior is conditioned by his bad environment. Source of his problems: He is controlled by sin and fallen short of the glory of God. See: Romans 7:14-18, Romans 3:23. Man's sinful nature is the fundamental reason for his bad behavior. Treatment: Man must be retrained. His environment must be rearranged to reprogram his responses through rewards and punishments. Treatment: Same as above, he must be born again. He must receive a new nature to enable him to live a new way because his environment will remain the same until Christ comes again. NEW AGE MYSTICISM Man: He is a spiritual being; that is, a god in his own universe.
Man: He is a spiritual being created by God, yet he is not a god. He will die like all other created beings. See: Psalms 49:12, 103:14-16
Source of his problems: He is not in touch with his true godhood. He has relied on objective truth and not his experience. Source of his problems: He has failed to acknowledge his sin and his need for a Savior. He has rejected the objective truth of God's Word. See: Luke 18:9-13, Romans 1:25. Treatment: Reject the objective truth of the Bible. See that all religions are one. Realize your true potential as a god. Your experience is all important. Treatment: Acknowledge your sin and receive Jesus Christ as the Way, Truth, and Life. See: John 14:6. Man must bring his feelings, thoughts, and experience into obedience to the objective truth of God's Word.
I. Is There Any Truth in Secular Psychology?
Yes! This is why psychology is so widely accepted in the world today. Psychologists can make valid observations of human behavior. Yet it is their interpretation and application of these observations that many times are not Biblical and result in ungodly counsel. They have observed certain truths about man, but these truths are distorted because of man's rebellion against God.
A. Is there any truth to Freud's teaching? Yes.
1. People do have great influence upon our lives, for good and evil (1 Cor. 15:33) (Prov. 12:26). Yet, they are not to blame for my life today.
2. People do struggle with their conscience (1 Tim. 1:5) (1 Tim. 1:18-19). Yet their conscience can be cleansed by the blood of Christ, not hypnosis.
B. Is there any truth in Rogers' teaching? Yes.
1. He wanted people to make responsible personal decisions (Rom. 14:5). Yet, these choices must be in harmony with God's Word.
2. Counselors must be good listeners (Prov. 18:13). Yet they also must teach and encourage to action.
C. Is there any truth in Skinner's teaching? Yes.
1. Changing your environment does help to change you (Prov. 5:8) (Prov. 22:24-25). Yet, you also need a change of nature.
2. Rewards and punishment of behavior is Biblical (Matt. 6:4) (Matt. 7:1-2). Yet again, man needs a change of nature to fully change his behavior.
II. Why Can't You Mix Secular Psychology with Biblical Truth?
A. You cannot do this because the basic beliefs about man are contradictory to Biblical truth. Freud says that man is not responsible, he is sick. Rogers says man is not a sinner, but essentially good. Skinner says man is just an animal with a bad environment. These beliefs will translate into contradictory counsel.
B. If you did try to mix these human beliefs with divine truth, you would be adding to or undermining some Biblical truth.
C. In doing so you would be misrepresenting the Lord Jesus Christ.
This study was written by Pastor Steve Carr, Calvary Chapel, Arroyo Grande, CA.
Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”