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What You'll Discover in this Episode:
The Psychologizing of the Faith
Our culture has become deeply and extensively psychological. Psychological theory has sort of become the folklore religion of the American culture, a culture with a desire to validate overt interest in the self-life. It’s called Self-exultation. Self is at the root of what prevents us from following Jesus.
Psychological thinking is now flowing into the American church. In many ways, too often, the American church has become spiritually weak, carnal, self-indulgent. So, instead of us sort of being salt and light to tell the world how God would have them think and walk, now the world is telling the church how to think, how to teach, how to counsel. And all the psychology in our culture is flowing into the church instead of truth in the church flowing out to the culture because of a lot of self-indulgence in the church which weakens us drastically.
What’s happening is that many foundation stones of the faith once for all delivered to the saints are being redefined. What this is amounting to, actually, is we are now getting a new man-centered theology instead of a Christ-centered theology as the word gives us.
What does the scripture say about counseling?
First, Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). This prophetic passage of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us precise insight on how counseling is to take place in the family of God. That is, it’s going to all be anchored in the Wonderful Counselor. He wants to counsel us.
How does He counsel us?
The Lord wants us delighting in His word, living in it, feeding on it (Psalm 119:24). And then as we’re in His word, the Lord is counseling us through His word. That’s the way God has designed counsel in his family.
Man counseling man versus God counseling man.
The ministry of counseling is to be all of us in the word, being counseled by the Wonderful Counselor, and then passing on to each other his counsel. So he is counseling all of us through each other by means of his word. It’s profoundly simple, but it’s life-giving, life-changing. It’s ordained of God, and it’s anchored in his word.
What’s happening instead of this in the church world?
Well, instead of the Lord Jesus being the Wonderful Counselor, the expert that we all turn to, now men like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, these men have become the experts that people are looking to for the help that they need. Instead of having the Lord Jesus counseling us through His word, we have the counsel of men like Freud and Jung and Maslow who, by the way, are self-proclaimed either atheists, agnostics, and some of them exceedingly even directly, like Freud, against Christ. It’s an unsettling phenomenon that instead of our Wonderful Counselor who made us, died for us, and lives in us, and has given his word to us, now we have brought into the church, through Christian psychological input, the teachings of men like Freud and Jung and Maslow who didn’t even know or believe the Lord God we know and serve.
Actually, though, the psychologizing of the faith goes far beyond the arena of the counseling ministry. If it only touched the counseling ministry, that would be severe and serious. That would be undermining lives and distracting people from the truth and building self instead of seeing self denied. That would be significant in itself if no other arena than counseling were impacted in the psychologizing of the faith. In fact, it gets to more serious matters than just where and how we find the counsel we need.
It’s the problem of sin.
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