Tragedy Compounded

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
I had posted this on the main site 2 weeks ago and somehow overlooked it and did not post it here on the forums. The latest article from T.A. McMahon over at the The Berean Call.

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Tragedy Compounded
By T. A. McMahon

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” – 2 Timothy 3:1

The above Scripture is a prophecy. It’s one that can be clearly documented as being fulfilled in our days, which are undoubtedly the “last days” prior to the return of Jesus Christ. “Perilous times” have indeed entered the religious and secular arena of our day. Biblical discernment has been all but abandoned in the church. Hatred among those who are normally civil now seems unrestrained. Political viciousness across party lines is unprecedented. Pro-abortion legislation is being cheered. Yet those are just a few of the “perilous” effects of loving “their own selves.” Second Timothy chapter 3 verses 2 through 13 give us more: “…covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith…[these] evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” One cannot separate those sins from the aggressive implementation of self-love; they are the inevitable consequence.

The love of self has always been at the heart of sin. We’re first made aware of it in heaven. Lucifer declared, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). He then promoted that self-deification to Eve: “…ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Since self-love has been at the root of mankind’s sin problems from the beginning, why then does the Word of God make a specific issue of it in the “last days”? I have a thought or two about that.

In my three-quarters of a century of life, the winds of change have blown furiously. The prevailing attitude in my early years was that selfishness was never regarded as an endearing social quality or a beneficial trait. Rarely did anyone enjoy the company of those who were all about themselves. Fast-forward to the 1960s. My contemporaries in my late teenage years transformed the culture in the US seemingly overnight, going from regarding selflessness as a virtue to being dubbed the “The Me Decade” by writer Tom Wolfe, and the “culture of narcissism” as observed by historian Christopher Lasch. This became obvious to nearly everyone.

How could such a drastic change in culture take place so quickly? The contributions are many, from a prosperous middle class that nurtured self-indulgent offspring to spiritual self-seekers trying to discover their “true selves” (mostly through mind-altering drugs). Eastern mysticism seemed to legitimize their spiritual quest, and the homogenized Western version known as the New Age Movement made it all the more popular. Yet the foundation (although of sand) for its astounding growth was the pseudo-science of psychotherapy, commonly referred to as psychological counseling. Furthermore, the relationship of psychotherapy to Eastern religions was noted decades ago by Psychology Today, which stated that Eastern spiritual beliefs “…seem to be making gradual headway as psychologies, not as religions.” Religious scholar Jacob Needleman concurred: “A large and growing number of psychotherapists are now convinced that the Eastern religions offer an understanding of the mind far more complete than anything yet envisaged by Western science.” He added that the gurus who have invaded the West are communicating their spiritual concepts in the language of modern psychology.

The extraordinary emphasis on self is the common denominator. Eastern mysticism and psychology are two peas in the same pod of self. The supreme goal of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other variants of Eastern mysticism is self-realization, to realize one’s ultimate destiny, which is godhood. Self-actualization is psychology’s counterpart, having as its goal “self-fulfillment,” i.e., realizing one’s self-potential, which leads to self-deification. Neither is scientific; both are religious aspirations.

Psychotherapy, like Buddhism, is atheistic, and most of its practitioners are atheists as well. The rejection of God leaves the counselors with only one option in order to fix their clients’ numerous problems of living: self itself. The secular counselor’s fundamental belief is that self is innately good and therefore contains what is needed to resolve the issues that trouble mankind. Is self inherently good? If it’s not, then self can’t fix itself. As the saying goes, a leopard can’t change its spots. Likewise, if evil is within the makeup of self, it cannot deliver itself from it.

The Word of God, on the other hand, reveals the true nature of man: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah:17:9-10). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).

Only God knows the heart. Moreover, as our Creator, He alone can change a person’s heart. That change can come about only through an individual’s new birth, i.e., being born again (John 3:3-12). “Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)…” (Ephesians 2:5).

The belief that psychotherapy can remedy the behavioral problems of mankind is a terrible delusion. In practice it is utterly destructive. Why? Because the problems are all related to sin! Clinical psychologists can’t go there, even if some may acknowledge sin’s relevance. Besides the fact that they are helpless to do anything about sin, psychologists’ counseling licenses frequently prohibit them from adding the recognition of that trait to their practice. So they are stuck with the impossibility of trying to make self the solution for their clients.

What then of “Christian psychology?” Anyone who calls himself that and practices with that mindset is actually steeped in and is a purveyor of utter contradictions. The so-called wisdom of man cannot be reconciled with God’s Word. “The flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63). Introducing psychotherapeutic concepts from the perverted minds of men (if in doubt, read their biographies!) such as Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, and the like, is akin to adding cyanide to a pure drinking well. That’s what “Christian” psychology is. It has nothing to offer other than the corruption of biblical truth mixed with the false theories of the “professionals.” Furthermore, to add the designation “Christian” to psychology borders on blasphemy; it is a blatant distortion of what the God of the Bible has declared, and especially the sufficiency of Scripture: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).

Of all the leaven that Christian psychologists have induced Christians to accept, the most spiritually destructive, I believe, is the core teaching of psychology: self. During the 1970s and ’80s, numerous books written by Christian psychological counselors flooded the church. Influential evangelical preachers quickly echoed their teachings, many believing that the “doctors” of psychology were speaking from science. Although they may not have known that psychotherapy comprises completely subjective theories that have nothing to do with science, they nevertheless failed to be Bereans by not comparing the teachings of the “professionals” with Scripture.

What has ensued are new doctrines in Christendom that are being fulfilled in our day as the prophecy of 2 Timothy 3:1-2 indicates. What are these new and very much accepted doctrines? Self-love, self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, self-acceptance, etc., etc. Two of the leading advocates of the self-heresies in the ’70s and ’80s were Dr. James Dobson and Robert Schuller. Schuller wrote Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, which was sent out gratis to 250,000 pastors throughout the US. In that book, he declared, “Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem” (p.14). He further clarified his blasphemous example of self-esteem in Living Positively One Day at a Time: “Jesus knew his worth; his success fed his self-esteem…. He suffered the cross to sanctify his self-esteem. And he bore the cross to sanctify your self-esteem” (p. 201). Dr. Dobson, holding true to the cornerstone of his degree in psychology, sees self as the solution to humanity’s behavioral problems: “If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, it would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth (taken three times a day until the symptoms disappear). I have no doubt that this is their greatest need” (What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women, p. 35). Those views of self are diametrically opposed to what the Bible teaches, and, tragically, they are widely accepted today throughout Christendom.

Of late, the tragedy has been compounded. Heartbreaking events have taken place, which have persuaded those who have been deeply affected by the incidents to turn to the mental health community for solutions. The incidents I’m referring to are suicides. I have no personal experience with anyone close to me committing suicide. I do, however, have a great deal of experience regarding the functioning of mental health practitioners. My father was a psychiatrist and the head of a mental hospital. A number of my relatives held various positions in psychiatric institutions. I grew up in the mental health community. I need to mention my experience in this because it has given me a great deal of compassion for those suffering from mental disorders, which includes not only people in general—but the practitioners themselves. Concerning the latter, psychiatrists have six times the number of suicides compared with the general populace. The proverb, “Physician, heal thyself” comes to mind, but the practitioners can neither heal themselves nor others. Psychotherapeutic “self” concepts exacerbate the mental problems of the counselees rather than solving them.

I’m thankful for the words of comfort from Greg Laurie for the grieving family and friends of his counseling pastor Jarrid Wilson, the young man who recently committed suicide. Laurie noted that it’s not the last thing Jarrid did before he died that determined his salvation but what Jesus did. That’s the assurance that I’m sure ministered to Jarrid’s wife, Juli, and their two young children. It’s the biblical assurance that we all have if we have believed on our Lord and only Savior who paid the full penalty for everyone’s sin—past, present, and future.

Why, then, would I call what took place a tragedy, and how is it compounded? Suicide is a tragic act. It’s not necessarily tragic for the one who takes his own life but for the sorrow and heartbreak it causes those loved ones left behind. Whatever drives one to it neither excuses nor lessens the emotional pain it causes others. It’s compounded by those who endorse the psychological way as the solution or supplementary help for healing mental and emotional problems of living. That has been the response by Rick and Kay Warren following the heartbreaking suicide of their son in 2013. Jarrid Wilson, as a counseling pastor of Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship, was a strong advocate of seeking help for depression from mental health professionals. What has compounded the tragedy of the deaths of the two young men is that two of the most influential pastors in America have wittingly or possibly unwittingly encouraged Christians to seek mental help where only the delusion of help exists.

How can I responsibly say that? Not only do I know about the so-called solutions that the professionals offer, but I also know that their “solutions” are diametrically opposed to what the Word of God teaches. If our Creator, who alone knows the hearts and minds of His created beings, has left the solution for mankind’s problems of living to fallen humanity’s “wisdom,” then there is no hope for anyone.

As believers, we not only have hope, but we’ve been given instructions as well: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings [instructions] of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34)

Furthermore, God has also supplied the ability to carry out His instructions by His Holy Spirit: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).

Regrettably, an all-too-common response is, “Well, I tried going by the Bible, but it didn’t work for me.” If that’s the case for all, then God has deceived us. We can’t really purge out the leaven that is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Moreover, the Word of God must not be truly sufficient, as it claims to be (Acts 20:20, 27; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:2-4; 2 Peter 1:2-4). If its instructions are not really viable—do we turn elsewhere?

Wilson’s decision to take his own life was not prevented by the psychological counseling he sought and that others are now recommending. It is indeed tragic that Warren, Laurie, and many other shepherds are feeding and/or condoning a mixture of the Bible and psychology that will spiritually malnourish them at best and will ultimately undermine their trust in Scripture at worst. This is in direct disobedience to our Lord’s command to Peter regarding feeding His lambs, His sheep (John 21:15-17). That food is the only true nourishment. It is provided to us from “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Those who have been called to be shepherds by the Lord are accountable to protect God’s flock from the dangers of man-derived, man-centered psychological theories and other self-oriented therapies that comprise the world’s failed attempts at alleviating mental and emotional problems. They are also to exhort those in their fellowship to minister to one another according to Galatians 6:1-2. Verse 2 says “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” “Ye” is plural, indicating that ministry to one another is a function of the entire body by means of God’s Word and enabled by His Holy Spirit. It is not for a designated individual.

Jarrid Wilson’s suicide should be a wakeup call for the church. We need to abide by “the faith once delivered to the saints,” whereby believers have found an even closer, more powerful walk with the Lord as they turn to Him, trusting Him through the painful circumstances and emotions that occur in life. Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). How can looking elsewhere benefit a believer’s life in Christ? “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections [emotions] and lusts [desires]” (Galatians 5:24). “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). “[W]e have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).

Are what those verses offer attainable? Aren’t believers new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)? How about “Casting down imaginations” and “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (italics added)? That constitutes the only true mental health. If they are beyond the reach of any believers, then biblical Christianity is a fraud, and we have no hope.

On the contrary, I believe that what is written in God’s Word comes with a guarantee: If we will do things God’s way, although struggles with our flesh will likely ensue, conditions nevertheless will work out to His glory and our blessing, even though in different ways than we might have imagined. Doing things the world’s way guarantees failure. Furthermore, the tragedy is compounded as others who desire to follow Jesus may also be deceived.

TBC

https://www.raptureforums.com/end-times/tragedy-compounded/
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Nicely written article, some hard truths in here, however feel that this person doesn't have a great understanding of psychology and Christian psychology, it can help the Christian who feels troubled, also apparently has little understanding of differences between males and females and of mental illness. Could go a lot deeper but will end here and just say I agree with some and not others, and also I feel he needs a bit more compassion and discernment on this sort of subject.
 

Mary Cole

Well-Known Member
I tried to avoid reading and/or replying to this article, because I suffer from Complex PTSD, Major Clinical Depression with suicidal ideations and anxiety due to a lifetime a severe abuse at the hands of all those I trusted, physically, emotionally, spiritually and/or sexually.

It makes me feel like those who just tell me to "get over it and move on".
 

vbf

Well-Known Member
I tried to avoid reading and/or replying to this article, because I suffer from Complex PTSD, Major Clinical Depression with suicidal ideations and anxiety due to a lifetime a severe abuse at the hands of all those I trusted, physically, emotionally, spiritually and/or sexually.

It makes me feel like those who just tell me to "get over it and move on".
I completely understand. Having gone through an extremely grievous situation that lasted several years, the complex of runaway emotions and ideations that accompany a season of utmost despair are inexplicable to those who haven't experienced it. I thank God that He strengthened me through it because I could not have endured it on my own.
 

Romans10:9

Well-Known Member
I am glad I wasn’t the only one that was not in agreement with this gentleman’s views. I personally know and am related to several Christian psychologists/psychiatrists and they most definitely use Gods Holy word in their practice. Was disheartened with this article.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I also know that their “solutions” are diametrically opposed to what the Word of God teaches.
I can see exactly where the author is coming from and I think he's very right that Christians do need to be very careful of ungodly counsel and counsel that's just plain unbiblical, for that will cause more damage than what's already there. It is good to be cautious.

However, I don't think one should throw the baby out with the bathwater on this subject. I do think that a good Christian counselor (pastor, wise friend) can provide insight on how to apply God's Word to one's life, what that looks like practically (not ungodly worldly ideas however). In the same way that the bible doesn't specifically address how to take care of a health issue doesn't mean that one should not do so...such as taking a right vitamin so too I think that there is a place for counsel, but Godly counsel.

I think that Moses's Father in Law in Exodus 18 is a good example of offering Godly insight and counsel. And, Psalms 37 speaks of the Godly providing counsel, Isaiah 1:26 talks about God providing wise counselors, Proverbs 11:14 speaks of the wisdom of counselors:

Without guidance, people fall,
but with many counselors there is deliverance.


We know in the bible there's plenty of verses that lay out boundaries with challenging relationships, such as going to the person to speak to them directly, then with others, then with the church, etc. But, there can be some tricky situations, like an abusive spouse, parent, etc. So then, what does it look like to take those steps to do these things and set boundaries and mitigate against further abuse? What are some practical safety, legal and financial measure that need to be considered? There can be serious details in this that need addressing and a counselor (or a Godly wise person/pastor etc.) would be very helpful in navigating this.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

A good counselor can be helpful in showing someone how to apply this Philippians passage in their lives. First identifying what kind of negative thoughts are happening and perhaps what is fueling these thoughts that the person may not be aware of that's ticking in the background. Often that has to be addressed and often a person may not be aware of what's fueling negative thinking. Perhaps a learned habit of thinking, a difficult situation that's caused great fear, etc. Those things need to be drawn out in the open of the light to deal with them and bring healing, to perhaps point to the need for loving confrontation, forgiveness, letting go, knowing who's responsible for what (you, other people, God, etc.). These are really important things and people need a safe place with Godly counsel to identify what's going on where they just can't put their finger on why they are struggling.

Then, working towards replacing thinking with more positive thinking in a purposeful, habit forming way. For example a person with a counselor may share that they feel rejected all the time and then dwell on this obsessively. A good counselor may introduce other reasonable possibilities as to why people may not respond favorably to an interaction.....those people might be sick, busy, distracted by something going on in their lives, etc. or there's a misunderstanding, so a brush off may actually not be about this person but about a myriad of other things that happen in other people's lives. Then encouraging a person to remember to go through these other possibilities to broaden their scope of thinking instead of always assuming that there's something wrong with them personally. This gets to the heart of thought patterns and what's going on in the mind or being allowed to fester without knowing it. A person struggling with negative thinking can be reminded that ultimately as a Christian they are accepted by Christ, not rejected. This can be a huge foundation to start to build in a person through counseling. Then, utilizing the Philippians passage above to remind a person to think on this powerful truth which is right in line with pointing to the renewing of a person's mind through the reading and internalizing the truths of the Word of God. This also would line up with:

....since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Cor 10:4-5

So, how about that Christian who feels utterly worthless and without value? Isn't that some thoughts that our enemy would love for a Christian to think? A good Christian counselor would be helpful in finding out what thoughts are contributing to this, such a lies planted by our enemy through influential people in our lives, like for instance a preacher of false teaching in someone's past who instructed a very young impressionable person and that person is still struggling with false teaching and lies. Then replacing those thoughts with God's Word. Many times people really need help with this because they are so burdened down, spiritually weak and can hardly come up to breathe so to speak. I believe coming along side and being of help and offering spiritual counsel is important, it's part of the bearing each other's burdens talked about in Galations 6:2.



The godly offer good counsel;
they teach right from wrong.
They have made God’s law their own,
so they will never slip from his path. Psalm 37:30-31




The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.


When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”


Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”


“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”


Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions.

Exodus 18: 15-24
 

Mary Cole

Well-Known Member
What about instances of sexual molestation by an older sibling, and you are the one blamed and punished for it? What about victims of rape and then having the child conceived from it taken away? What about when others say just get over it? What if you never got your child back? What if you wind up with multiple physical ailments that become permanent, because of these traumas?
 

Len

Well-Known Member
I tried to avoid reading and/or replying to this article, because I suffer from Complex PTSD, Major Clinical Depression with suicidal ideations and anxiety due to a lifetime a severe abuse at the hands of all those I trusted, physically, emotionally, spiritually and/or sexually.

It makes me feel like those who just tell me to "get over it and move on".
I can add to this and relate to it from an early childhood and indeed even to mid teens ...... and it perhaps(unknown) was instrumental in me being a perpetrator of all sorts of grievous evil toward myself and many many others for a number of years ....... I sought help in those "proffessional" people and places for "mental health" I got medications and counseling ..... and though for a period of time it seemed to work it did not last.

I eventually learnt through experience that psychology and God only "appear" to travel the same road and that for a very short distance only and then they go their own distinct ways, one way offers self delusion to fix things and the other leads to life and forgiveness if we choose
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, that is "my" experience and so I agree with everything that T. A. McMahon says as perhaps that is their experience so sometimes love and truth compel us to speak which to some people seems to be unwisely...... I know I am guilty of telling family memebers what I think of psychologists my son in law works as one and he is/was a wonderful christian but after a number of years in the field his "thinking" has changed, but in man's direction not God's .......... and once again I see what believing in mans way of doing things to help can lead to .......
 

ByGod'sGrace

Well-Known Member
So, how about that Christian who feels utterly worthless and without value? Isn't that some thoughts that our enemy would love for a Christian to think?
I really appreciate your compassionate and thoughtful response. This article, I felt, had a good intent, but didn't communicate the compassion necessary to bring comfort, because the focus was on the person not reaching hard enough for God. It mostly conveyed a sense of "oh, you must not trust God enough if you are not recovering." I know for me, the only truth that helped was how much God loved me and chose me, not the guilt of having not enough faith. John 10:29 is one that really helped me when I was a teenager. Psalms 147:3 brought comfort during dark times. Isaiah 49:16 brought comfort, too, knowing [insert your name] are engraved on His palms!! My favorite is Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." God rejoices over us! Even when we feel like nothing can pull us from the darkest hole ever. Satan's best lie is "you are worthless, you are unlovable!" but there are promises in the Bible that we are loved like children, we are loved by God as His children! Even the person with the best earthly childhood will have nothing on what we will feel with our Father in Heaven!
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I really appreciate your compassionate and thoughtful response.
I'm so glad. I felt a little concern for those who've benefited from good, Godly counseling and knowing God's truth and how knowing God's truth and applying it does set one free. Actually, I really think that this is what the author is trying to say, he's cautioning against psychology that's based in mans so called 'truth', when the root problem for mankind is a sin problem....that is, they need to repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Savior (God's truth). That sin is the root problem for all mankind:

The belief that psychotherapy can remedy the behavioral problems of mankind is a terrible delusion. In practice it is utterly destructive. Why? Because the problems are all related to sin! Clinical psychologists can’t go there, even if some may acknowledge sin’s relevance. Besides the fact that they are helpless to do anything about sin, psychologists’ counseling licenses frequently prohibit them from adding the recognition of that trait to their practice. So they are stuck with the impossibility of trying to make self the solution for their clients.
So then if sin is the root problem and psychologists are trying to use man's wisdom to address what is sin (and not even allowed to call sin, sin) rather than God's power to cleanse sin (repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior), then people come away none the better.

What then of “Christian psychology?” Anyone who calls himself that and practices with that mindset is actually steeped in and is a purveyor of utter contradictions. The so-called wisdom of man cannot be reconciled with God’s Word. “The flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63). Introducing psychotherapeutic concepts from the perverted minds of men (if in doubt, read their biographies!) such as Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, and the like, is akin to adding cyanide to a pure drinking well. That’s what “Christian” psychology is. It has nothing to offer other than the corruption of biblical truth mixed with the false theories of the “professionals.”
Ultimately mankind does have a sin problem and self help books is just not going to get to the root of this, Christ is the only answer to that sin problem, and God's Word is the answer to dealing with ours and other's sin problems as we grow in Christ.

I do agree that utilizing psycho therapeutic concepts from perverted minds of men would not be a good way for a Christian to counsel another. In reading about these people mentioned, McMahon is right....their biographies are a witness to unGodly perversions and unbiblical concepts that should not be embraced or incorporated into psychotherapy or Christian psychotherapy.

I do think a good Christian counselor can be very helpful in walking along side a person to help them move away from a path that's not healthy to a healthier path, God's best for a person in ways I've described previously, based on God's Word. And a Christian Counselor can be very helpful in in walking alongside a person as they apply God's Word in dealing with other's sin and harmful effects. A pastor can (and is called to do so in various ways) and a Christian friend can as well.

I also think that there are helpful things out there that can be helpful to a person who's gone through trauma that can be utilized, that isn't unbiblical. Understanding trauma and how the mind and body responds to trauma and long term PTSD from this I think is very important. While spiritual answers from God's Word is most important, understanding our physical bodies and minds and how they are effected by events isn't a bad thing to observe and understand. It's all connected. For instance, it's really good for medical professionals to know and understand that patients who've undergone surgery can sometimes feel depression after a medical procedure. Those reasons can be:
reactions to anesthesia, the effect of antibiotics, pain and discomfort while recovering, reactions to certain pain relievers, physical, mental, and emotional stress resulting from the illness, the surgery, or both, concerns about the impact on the quality of life or lifespan, etc. Knowing these things can help a patient and medical staff know how they can best proceed for the good of the patient. And frankly, a surgery can be a type of trauma.

I also think that psychologists can be helpful in diagnosing certain mental illnesses and what medications can be helpful to the particular patient. There are people I know that have greatly benefited from this, who are Christians and their lives are so much more productive and balanced. It's the self help ideas that are sourced from man's twisted heart as Mr. McMahon described above that one does need to be very, very careful of and make sure to be in God's Word.

Anyways, I just wanted to mention some of these things to make sure to put out there that there are good things available that God has allowed man to observe and discover and I think it's important not to side line those good things that can be very helpful to people.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Oh boy, I feel bad for posting this if it caused some people some pain. I had actually skipped over this article and forgot to post it until it was mentioned here:

https://www.raptureforums.com/forums/threads/just-had-another-fb-opportunity.154678/

I thought I should post it as some thought it was great. I guess it is all from whatever perspective you have as well as your experiences in life. :idunno

I earned my Master's degree in Counseling and Psychology. I work in the field. I am able to see McMahon's point in the article that he was trying to make. The psychoanalytical stuff is not dealing with sin. I didn't feel he was trying to pile anything onto anyone. But I guess it can be a touchy subject. I'm sorry if anyone was upset. :hug
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
It was a decent article Chris, he is right in some of the things he said, but as a Christian we have to go the extra mile, that extra mile involves love and compassion, Christians can seem distant and therefore condemnatory in nature without meaning to be. It is a complex subject have retired now from mental health profession myself and seen it done it type of thing, let's just say this sort of thing can easily be taken out of context.
 

donna1951

Well-Known Member
What about instances of sexual molestation by an older sibling, and you are the one blamed and punished for it? What about victims of rape and then having the child conceived from it taken away? What about when others say just get over it? What if you never got your child back? What if you wind up with multiple physical ailments that become permanent, because of these traumas?
Unless a person goes through severe depression, they can’t possibly understand. I haven’t been through the same thing that you have, but I know all about severe depression. Praying for you Mary!
 

Sojourner414

Well-Known Member
It was a decent article Chris, he is right in some of the things he said, but as a Christian we have to go the extra mile, that extra mile involves love and compassion, Christians can seem distant and therefore condemnatory in nature without meaning to be. It is a complex subject have retired now from mental health profession myself and seen it done it type of thing, let's just say this sort of thing can easily be taken out of context.
In this world, we're all assailed on multiple levels, both mental, emotional and spiritual alike. I think each has to be handled carefully and with compassion, lest one part be focused on to the exclusion of another. We're not like cars, where we can just slap in a new part and be on our way!

Having wrestled with abuse (physical and emotional) and PTSD myself, it takes a lot of resources and A LOT of kindness and prayer. And that's jsut the beginning.
 

vbf

Well-Known Member
Oh boy, I feel bad for posting this if it caused some people some pain. I had actually skipped over this article and forgot to post it until it was mentioned here:

https://www.raptureforums.com/forums/threads/just-had-another-fb-opportunity.154678/

I thought I should post it as some thought it was great. I guess it is all from whatever perspective you have as well as your experiences in life. :idunno

I earned my Master's degree in Counseling and Psychology. I work in the field. I am able to see McMahon's point in the article that he was trying to make. The psychoanalytical stuff is not dealing with sin. I didn't feel he was trying to pile anything onto anyone. But I guess it can be a touchy subject. I'm sorry if anyone was upset. :hug
Don't feel bad, Chris, we all bring various experiences, both positive and negative, to these boards. I respect those that feel enough freedom and trust here to be vulnerable in sharing hard things. It gives us as brothers and sisters in Christ opportunity to come along side of the hurting and walk with each other in love and prayer.

One of the most powerful and encouraging things said to me during my season of extreme despair was "you're not walking the road alone". We can encourage each other similarly.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
I encouraged Chris to post the article, therefore it is I who am guilty, not he. I am responsible for causing some of you to experience pain over this. And I am so sorry. I see that many took the article as some sort of unloving, unconcerned attack on those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other related conditions. It was not my intention.

I have sat with a loaded gun to my head and my finger on the trigger. I understand the pain of mental pressures so great that they break you. I once sat in emotional darkness for years. But --perhaps because I have been blessed by God lifting me completely out of that pit-- I was able to see the article for what I believe Tom intended it to be: not an attack on Christian counseling, but a warning against secular counseling in general and against secular counseling theories and techniques being brought into Christian counseling.

Yes, a counselor must understand how the mind works, but he or she must base ALL their healing techniques on the Word of God properly divided. I know far too many people who have struggled with extremely painful and emotionally crippling thoughts for years and years without ever really being helped. Not because they do not want help; not because there is something "wrong" with them; but because the counselor attempted to fix them using secular techniques disguised as "Christian" counseling. The Bible contains the cure, but it takes a perceptive person, with the ability to empathize with the victim and display endless patience and godly love. If, rather than viewing the person they are about to counsel as "the next patient", they would instead view them as God's precious child; know in their heart that, while God has equipped them to help, only God can heal; ask God for His wisdom; and ask God to let them see the person through His eyes and give them HIS love for the person; then they would see a lot more patients being truly healed. Not because of the skill of the counselor, not because of some quality on the part of the patient, but solely because of --and to the glory of-- God.

I think that is what Tom was getting at.
 
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