Psychologizing of the Christian Churches
Theorists and the Psychological Theories
That Have Destroyed American Culture and
For decades we have known the destructive effect of psychology and its gurus have had on European and American morality, but the full extent of what it has done to our people is just beginning to bear fruit. Its influence is pervasive in the media, education, the field of medicine, counseling, and in the church.
What have some of the theorists really done and what have they taught that has so blunted the teaching of Scriptural morals?
Below is a review of what some of the pioneer teachers of psychology have put upon us. In some instances the founders of modern psychology contradict each other’s views. Yet together their total impact has bent society and the church in a way unimaginable just a few decades before.
Fairly recently, the invasion of psychology has, with a vengeance, overtaken and overwhelmed the work of our denominations, seminaries, and local churches. Evangelical churches are now rapidly accepting psychological principles like never before. This is softening the congregations causing them to move away from doctrine and the teaching of Scripture. It is fostering a certain positivism that then turns about and opens the door for super-contemporary music and the take over of the church by the charismatic movement. Even though many of the proponents bringing psychology into the Church realize that the “founding fathers” of psychology were God haters they turn to them for guidance. Focus on the Family founder, psychologist James Dobson has stated that the men he studied in his psychological studies were dysfunctional. He nevertheless relies on psychology as an addition to biblical teaching.
Many reading this will disagree with such an assessment, but I believe this charge can be substantiated.
In order to chart this movements success it is important to explore its “founding fathers” and the teachings they promulgated.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1936)
He was born in Freiberg Austria. He was the oldest of eight siblings and his family moved to Vienna when he was four years old. He was Jewish but raised without any faith. In his later years he professed a hatred for God, the Bible, and Moses the Lawgiver. He was for all practical purposes an atheist and he despised all religion.
Some historians believe that in the Freud home there were “family secrets” that adversely molded Sigmund, his brothers and sisters. Because of his strong relationship with his mother, some have speculated that there may have been incest in the family. At home, his brothers and sisters were not allowed to study music because doing so disturbed young Sigmund’s studies.
Experimented with Cocaine
As a young doctor, at twenty-eight he experimented with this drug under the pretense of medical research. He gave it to his wife Martha, his sisters, friends, and colleagues. He published six articles on the substance and recommended it as a stimulant, an anesthetic, and as a harmless substitute for morphine. He claimed the drug could relieve depression, and increase personal concentration, all of this with no side effects. He called the drug a “magical substance.” When cocaine addiction began to grow, Freud became associated with it and his reputation suffered.
Freud studied hypnotism with the famous French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893). From another hypnotist Bernheim, Freud came to the conclusion that there is an unconscious, with memories of which the patient is unaware. From this Freud concluded that behavior can be caused by unconscious ideas, and that these ideas can be brought into consciousness under the right circumstances.
The Word of God never gives such an idea. Human beings are responsible for their thoughts and their actions.
- Sexual conflicts were the cause of hysteria
- Sexual conflicts were the only cause of mental disorders
- The “life instincts’ collectively are called libido. The libido is equal to sexual energy
- The ego brings a person into experiences that truly satisfy
- Both young boys and girls can develop erotic feelings toward their mother
- Male children can inherit castration anxiety
- Female children may develop male sexual organ envy
- All humans beings have the potential to become homosexual
- Psychoanalysis must be used to dredge up the remnants of early repressed memories
- Religion developed because of the human fear of the unknown
- Humans are driven by hedonistic impulses like lower animals
- He detested the words of Christ: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Freud’s War Against God
- The uneducated masses need the illusions of religion
- Intelligent people should live their lives according to scientific fact
- History is explained by evolutionary principles, not by a divine unfolding plan
- Rules should be explained rationally (his definition), not by claiming the will of a deity
- Freud hoped religion would eventually be replaced by rational, scientific principles
By means of our own willpower and creative technology, we are self-sufficient. He said:
“Turn your eyes inward, look into your own depths, and learn first to know yourself.”
Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Born in a small Swiss village, he was raised in the university town of Basel. There were nine clergymen of the Swiss Reformed Church persuasion in his family, including his father. Jung viewed his father as a spiritual failure. He recalls asking spiritual and biblical questions of him, but receiving no answers.
Later in life, Carl developed his religious theories, but these theories only touched the individual emotionally and had little to do with Christianity. Carl confessed that his father was terribly cold and that his mother was dominating and “terribly inconsistent.”
Demon and Occult Phenomenon
There is no other way to describe Jung except to say that he was later greatly influenced by the demonic world.
As he grew older, he isolated himself from his family. He was preoccupied with dreams, visions, and fantasies, which provided him with his primary inner reality. He felt this inner reality was giving him “secret knowledge” that only a select few were given. He rarely shared his thoughts with others, and this fostered a lonely childhood, that carried over into adulthood.
Carl found a stone in a field when he was about seven years and this became to him a “mystical” stone. He developed a secret relationship with this stone. When he returned to the field and the stone as a married man thirty years later, “the magic of the stone returned immediately.”
At the age of ten, Carl carved a small wooden figure of a man whom he dressed and “gave it a little stone of its own.” He hid the little figure and was somehow given great comfort by this secret friend when he was troubled. He wrote secret “scrolls” that he placed, with a solemn ceremonial act, inside the little mannequin figure.
He also had a phallus dream that paralyzed him with terror. He concluded that the giant phallus was “the underground counterpart of the Lord Jesus.” As well, the phallus dream seemed to him to be a subterranean God “not to be named,” that appeared to him whenever anyone spoke of Christ in his presence. He added, “Jesus never became quite real for me, never quite acceptable, never quite lovable.”
In one dream, Jung saw a cathedral in the sky with God on His throne. “Suddenly an enormous feces fell upon the roof of the cathedral, shattering the building.” Somehow, Jung felt a great relief in that he was no longer under damnation but under grace!
Jung concluded that his father never really knew God personally. Jung wanted to know God and felt that if he simply fulfilled the will of the Lord, he will be certain of going the right way! He never really knew God but thought knowing God meant following an occult type god would equate to knowing the revealed God of Scripture.
A dream convinced him to follow his grandfather’s path in medicine, so he enrolled in the medical school in Basel. He became interested in psychic phenomena, studied the occult, attended séances, experimented with psychic mediums, and even claimed to be clairvoyant.
Jung taught what even the psychological field calls a “mystical and controversial theory” know as collective unconsciousness. This means that from the evolutionary past, humans carry within their minds the ancestral experiences of prehistoric times. These are our common experiences, the primordial images that are carried from generation to generation. We even inherit a tendency to re-experience them. Jung felt his own dreams were evidence for this theory. We become conscious or ourselves through self-knowledge.
Male and Female Traits
Jung is one of the theorists responsible for provoking the agendas of both the homosexual and feminist movements today. He taught that both sexes have within them the male and female traits. “Thus if a woman denies expression of her masculine traits or a man his feminine traits, those traits will manifest themselves in indirect ways such as through dreams.”
God then would have both traits, male and female, within His personality. Lesbians will have a male bent, and a homosexual female!
Self-actualization, Self-fulfillment, Self-esteem:
Public education has also been fueled by Jung’s selfism views.
The importance of self-purpose and meaning:
Jung emphasized purpose and meaning in one’s life. He said; “This theme is now emphasized in the existential-humanistic theories of personality.”
Selfhood is a master motive in human behavior.
The primary goal in life is to approach self-actualization, individuation!
Jung helped to bring on Humanism (the deification of humanity). He said; “You can be whatever you want to be.” This pervades the television industry, television commercials, education, theology, much of contemporary church music, and the socialization agenda of our government and society as a whole! The net effect of psychology and humanism is to draw people away from the revealed truth of the Bible.
Carl Rogers (1902-1987)
Carl was raised in a very conservative Protestant home in Oak Park near Chicago. Roger’s family discouraged friendships outside the family so he grew up in a lonely environment. In his teen years he was a very good student but tended toward solitude. In 1922 he went to a World Student Christian Federation Conference in Peking, China. There he studied the different cultures and religions of that vast area, and returned to the US with doubts about Christianity.
In 1924 he enrolled in the ultraliberal Union Theological Seminary in New york, NY. Under the critical teaching he received, he soon became doubtful that the best way to help people is through “religious doctrine.” He transferred to Columbia University and received his MA and Ph.D degrees in psychology.
Rogers Teachings had a Debilitating Effect on Christianity
What Rogers taught soon had a profound influence upon the counseling field, education, and liberal Christianity.
Rogers’ views are creeping into Evangelical doctrine! This teaching states that feeling is more important than intellect or knowledge! Rogers said: “The only reality you can possibly know is what you perceive and experience at the moment.”
Non-directive Therapy is another teaching of Rogers where he said; “Do not tell someone that what they are doing is wrong. Let them solve their own problems with their own abilities.”
Self-actualization is one of his prominent teachings. This philosophy teaches that one should be: True to yourself, by just being me, which will lead to the good life.
- Humans are basically good and need no controlling, though they may sometimes act badly out of fear.
- The attempt to control humans only makes them act badly.
- People can trust their feelings.
- They need the opportunity to do what they feel is best for them.
- Do what feels right.
- The Self is the cornerstone of the Rogerean theory.
- Practicing values (Biblically or otherwise), imposed by others on the young, creates dysfunction as an adult.
- Being told that doing something is sinful or naughty, destroys self-worth, and is contrary to self-structure!
- We must be free to act according to our own feelings.
- We must perceive ourselves as the center of our experience.
- Have unconditional positive regard for yourself.
- Freedom comes from within to do what you want to do.
“Experience is, for me, the highest authority. Neither the Bible nor the prophets, … neither the revelation of God nor man-can take precedence over my own experience.”
“How people interpret things is for them the only reality.”
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)
Maslow was born Jewish in an ungodly home in Brooklyn, New York. His father loved whiskey and fighting. His dad considered Abraham ugly and stupid, and this stigma would stay with him for the rest of his life.
His mother was bitter and loved miserly ways. She kept a lock on the refrigerator and had to be in a food mood to allow the children to eat. Abraham later said his motivation for humanistic psychology as his life’s work came from his deep hatred of his mother. Her lack of love, selfishness, and hatred, made him revolt against everything she stood for.
Being sold on the psychology of behaviorism, he studied psychology and received his MA and Ph.D degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
Many of the theories that Maslow came to were similar to what Jung taught.
Hierarchy of Needs:
- Psychological needs
- Safety needs
- Belongingness needs
- Self-esteem needs
- Accept and love themselves
- Do what comes naturally and are true to their feelings over objectivity
- Direct their energies to problems
- Maintain their own values and feelings, and let these guide their lives
- Be independent by depending only on ones own inner world and not the outer world.
- Experience life
- Desire to have mystical experiences
- Identify with all religions and cultures
- Desire friendships only with other self-actualizers
- Be Supra-democratic
- Know the ethical implications of their own actions
- Be creative because they are more open to experience their feelings
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is now invading the theology of Evangelical Christians. It is included in the teaching of the psychiatrists Minerith and Meier, graduates of Dallas Seminary. They say:
- Significance is more important than objectivity
- For good living we need great self-knowledge
- Being true to your nature’s will is self-actualizing
- The failure to satisfy needs is the number one problem in America
“The environment must be fixed in order for humans to experience the highest level of attainment in the hierarchy of needs. Society must be designed to maximize the process of self-actualization.”
Do not accept any of this teaching in your church. RUN if your pastor introduces it as helpful. It is all anti-Christian and anti-Bible. Once a person moves away from the authority of Scripture they are outside of the genuine protection it provides.
Mal Couch, Ph.D, Th.D.
Ed. Daniel E. Woodhead, Ph.DShare on Facebook