Bad Psychology – Verses Repentance

Or How Calvin Led Me To Repent of Psychology

This is a great read.  In recent months we have briefly discussed the topic of “Christian Psychology” in our fellowship time after church.  So when I stumbled upon this article I was delighted to have such a well stated review of the subject.  Written by Pastor Steven J. Cole of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship this is a fast 16 page read and is well worth the family discussion time that can follow.

Here are some of the headings he deals with in detail:

  1. The Christian psychology movement is built on an inadequate view of salvation.
  2. Christian psychology focuses people on self, not on God and His glory.
  3. Christian psychology denies the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Christian psychology undermines the sufficiency and authority of God’s Word.
  5. Christian psychology minimizes the biblical view of sin and personal responsibility.

So while the topics are not light subject matter, the article was a great help in analyzing how we rationalize the sins we commit. But isn’t that human nature..uhm I mean sin nature itself; to rationalize sin. Go ahead, lay back on the couch, relax on the pillow and tell me once again, why do you feel you should not read this article?….That’s a very interesting observation.

27 Comments

  • Very good! This gave me a bit of assurance that I was approaching a certain situation in the correct way. On a Christian internet group in which I am a member, one woman posted that she is having thoughts of suicide. She then went on to explain that since admitting this that social services won’t let her see her children alone anymore. She checked herself into one of those Christian psychology clinics. Many wrote in with the, “I’m praying for you response.” My gut feeling was to post something along the lines of “Stop wallowing in your self pity. Suicide is a sin, and you should repent for considering it.” Not wanting to seem uncompassionate, I kept my silence. The answer to alcoholism (drunkenness) is to (big surprise here….) STOP DRINKING. The answer to anorexia is…STOP BEING SO VAIN…

    Thanks for sharing this article. Calvin’s Institutes are on my reading list, but I haven’t accomplished it yet. I may bump up the priority a bit.

    BTW, Paul…give me a call sometime. I may like to get some of your advice about breaking free from the corporate world. It may be time for me.

  • […] a thief would not be taken to a medical clinic, he would be taken to jail.  Refer back to the Bad Psychology […]

  • Sarah says:

    So is this line of thought condemning great men like Dr. James Dobson?

  • […] providentially crossed my inbox this morning.  It is a pretty powerful follow up to the post on Calvin, psychology and making sin a “sickness”.   It discusses the lack of Christian psychiatrists and goes on to pontificate why that might be.  […]

  • Miss Kelly says:

    “So is this line of thought condemning great men like Dr. James Dobson?” Perhaps “condemning” is the wrong word. How about “judging” We are called to judge “Do I want to step in the same mudd puddle as he just did?” but God has the final say so on who He will condemn to Hell.

  • BethTN says:

    Miss Kelly….we are racking our brain trying to figure out how we know you? or if we do?

    Sarah… although James Dobson has done many good things…and spoke out on many conservative issues….his views on “Christian psychology” are what we have issues with….the premise of “Christian Psychology” is antithetical. In our opinion, it is culture blending and compromise for a Christian to be mixed up in a pseudo humanistic science birthed by pagans like Freud. It is impossible to “christianize” a pagan science.

  • Sarah says:

    Miss Kelly,
    He relentlessly pursues the sanctity of marriage and family and defends the unborn. His effectivity in helping people in this world is unmatched by most and you would refer to him as having stepped in a mud puddle. ???

  • Sarah says:

    Beth,
    I don’t think that is the only view on Christian psychology. I am thinking that it simply means understanding how God made us. Clearly there are many personalities and dispositions in the world, and it helps to understand that. Clearly we are all in need of some understanding on how children’s minds work and it helps to understand that too. Those two things sum up a great deal of the “Christian psychology” which in effect sounds like just a semantic arguement to me. It would be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • Sarah Walston says:

    Oh My!! You know – I’m gonna have to stop reading the comments on this particular thread b/c I don’t think I can stomach the ignorance and arrogance here. They kinda go hand in hand.

    Anorexia is NOT about vanity!
    Suicide is NOT about self-pity!
    Alcoholism is NOT about being drunken!

    I haven’t read such nonsense since I stopped communicating with the prolifers who say abortion is only about selfishness!

    And, btw, I LOVE Dobson! I might not agree with him on everything, but I’d jump into any mud puddle he was standing in just to shake his hand, tell him Thanks, give him a big hug and pray a blessing over his life!

  • PaulTN says:

    Uhm, Sarah W.

    Suicide is self murder, Murder is a sin
    There is no biblical word called alcoholism it is called drunkenness and it is a sin.
    If starving yourself so you look skinny is not vein I don’t know what is.

    Thank you for making the original point of the article. In our post Christian society it is common to call something a sickness that God says to repent of.

    To the point of Dobson, I greatly admire many of the stands he has taken for family, for unborn children, and even politically with Judge Moore and others. He was instrumental in the rise of the modern homeschooling movement. But like all men, that doesn’t mean he is not affected by the times in which he lives. I don’t think the article condemns him. But like Miss Kelly said, it does allow us to ask the question, it this the right path for us to take on this particular subject. In other words, just because Dobson believes in it, doesn’t mean we should.

  • Sarah says:

    Well we should never follow anyone without stopping continually to compare their theology and ideology to the Scripture. No one should be a mindless drone no matter how worthy their leader is.

    On the subject of the origin making something evil, what if the opposite happens? Does it then redeem something that started good and then became evil? If so, then the story of the KKK would be a perfect example. Beth, didn’t you tell me that y’all read some of the original letters and historical documentation of the very very beginning of the KKK. Weren’t they just a group of men trying to keep utter lawlessness from taking over their land? Then the group faded for a while and came back as the evil hateful denizen of sin that it is now, that is if I am remembering the story told me correctly.

    Also, on the idea of something being inherently evil simply because there were sinful morons that became famous speaking on the subject, I just don’t think that is a sound principle. I am sure, should we examine the subject in some serious depth there has been some form of “Christian psychology” all along. It seems to predate the secular crap psychology that is so prevalent right now. In the New Testament there is a Scripture for husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way. 1 Pet 3.7 That sounds an awful lot like Christian psychology to me. I have noticed that everthing in the Bible has a balancing Scripture to it which is why it is important to take the whole counsel of the Word. It is also why extremist views never seem to pan out in the long run.

    Also there is a popular book out there I noticed that Miss Kelly likes. The Five Love Languages. If this isn’t Christian psychology I don’t know what is. Christian psychology is simply using the wisdom and knowledge God gave us to understand each other and to live at peace with one another if at all possible.

    Current psychology would have us excuse our sins and not repent and answer to God and choose wallowing over change. This would not be Christian psychology at all. Christian psychology is just a name after all is said and done, it is just semantics. I think 1 Peter 3:7 makes that clear.

    Family Life has an interesting article with 1 Peter 3:7. http://www.familylife.com/articles/article_detail.asp?id=1058

  • PaulTN says:

    Sarah I would agree in principle. I would say it the other way around though. 🙂 Being all things to all people as Paul said, indicates that we are to know who they are and how to respond to them based on their personalities and the current circumstances.

    I would not say this is psychology I would say this is just basic relationships and recognizing the diversity that God has created. Psychology is the “science” so called of classify these personalities and “sicknesses”. That is really what I disagree with.

    If something is unbiblical it can’t really be redeemed. If something is Biblical and then becomes corrupted because of unbiblical practices, such as most American churches, then they can be reformed back to the Biblical origins, but if something is unbiblical you can’t make it biblical by reform. You just make it less grievous but still unbiblical.

  • Sarah says:

    Well, then it is a discussion in semantics because below is a copied and pasted dictionary definition of psychology. I think trying to lump the whole thing into the concept of ‘excusing everything under the guise of sickness’ is still throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There is undoubtedly a great number of people who do that, and shame on them. However I believe that God gives all knowledge for all of the “sciences” out there. And just like he had Adam name the animals in the garden we have given a name to encompass the study of the mind and behaviour. It is just a term. One cannot throw out the [God given] science simply because there are foolish people out there. If that is what we do then where does that stop? The Middle Ages were full of that type of thinking.

    I think you have a right motive for being frustrated with those who would take the understanding of how God made us and turn it into carte blanche to be “sick” for whatever reason. We cannot however lump that mentality and then throw out the ability to help husbands and wives learn about each other so they can get along better or mothers to learn about the mind of a child or some people who truly are chemically imbalanced to get the help they need. That is just as real as being born without a toe or an arm. People need help and we cannot destroy a God given science because there are foolish men [and women] out there who take advantage of that.

    Psychology is not unbiblical. There are simply unsaved people out there using it the wrong way or purposefully taking advantage. Whatever the reason, it does not reflect on psychology itself.

    “Being all things to all people as Paul said, indicates that we are to know who they are and how to respond to them based on their personalities and the current circumstances.” This sounds like a definition in need of a term. 🙂

    psy·chol·o·gy /saɪˈkɒlədʒi/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[sahy-kol-uh-jee] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun, plural -gies. 1. the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
    2. the science of human and animal behavior.
    3. the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons, or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity: the psychology of a soldier; the psychology of politics.
    4. mental ploys or strategy: He used psychology on his parents to get a larger allowance

  • Miss Kelly says:

    BethTN
    How do you know me? Funny you should ask. My sister reminded me, just this morning that we met in San Antonio when we were down there for Entreprenuerial Bootcamp. We were at the same hotel…I am glad to make further acquaintance with you all. Our family vision is to do what you all are doing and so I find your blog a wonderful resource and reminder of what lay ahead for us.

    All the best,
    Kelly

  • PaulTN says:

    “Psychology is not unbiblical.” So the problem here is that we have accepted a so-called science and then ask the Bible to disprove it. The way we approach things is to ask what the Bible says about a topic. If there is no biblical justification for it, then it’s “not biblical”.

    If you’ll allow some time to deal with more important matters this week, I’ll try to post some information on the beginnings of psychology and the folks that were behind it and their intent. I’ll grant it’s not a simple case to make, but it is one that the radical revolutionaries of the mid-1700’s stated very clearly. You may disagree in the end, but the case needs to be made for others to read anyway.

  • BethTN says:

    Kelly– I knew we knew you from somewhere…I figured it was a conference somewhere….

    My husband said he was sure you all were the family we talked to at our hotel in San Antonio — Great to “meet” you again here! Maybe we will see you again in the future.

    If you are out in our neck of the woods…let us know —

  • Miss Kelly says:

    Sarah-
    As I said in another comment under a different post I came across the Vaughnshire Blog through this post on Bad psychology. I am well acquainted with it and cannot express enough gratitude to the Vaughn’s for linking to Pastor Steven J. Cole’s testimony. It has explained so much to me that I didn’t understand before.

    Thank you for pointing out that I still have a reference to “The Five Love Languages” Since I have repented of my use of Christian Psychology I have a lot of house cleaning to do. I heard it once said that sometimes when people look like hypocrites it is because they are changing. I apologize for giving the appearance of hypocrisy. You have done me a favor in pointing that out.

    I now see how cruel labeling people with personality types is. And how much of a poor substitute it is for meekly instructing those that oppose themselves if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Tim 2:25-26) I see now that the use of personality labeling conditions the person labeled to be what they are labeled.

    Providentially in our Monday night family bible study God brought to my attention that contrary to this labeling practice, He said that we were redeemed and the offense was removed from the record that none could accuse us any more. (Hebrews 10:17)

    I realize now that responding to the trials of my life the way God prescribed is the best and only remedy. Christian Psychology methods taught me to cope with my sinful reactions. I have spent too much time regulating sin. It is easier (and obedience to God) to eradicate sin when it is a young sapling than trying to keep all the Hula hoops of psychology spinning. What has happened without my realizing is that young sapling grew all the while it remained!

    Because of my repentance I have no desire to let the Christian psychologists determine the way in which I should go. Especially when God is omniscient and an all-knowing reference. He even pitied me and wrote it all down for me, preserving the “perfect way” in a manual so I can reference it whenever I need.

    I can’t see how the bible is inadequate for meeting the needs of mankind. It is Christ in written form. He has proven himself adequate.

    “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Hebrews 10:12

    God Bless,
    Miss Kelly

  • Miss Kelly says:

    Yes indeed that was “us” but I will have to explain “us” a little in depth. My sister and I were nannies for the family that we were with when the children were younger. The oldest now looking at turning 18 would probably not like me saying so. John is an aspiring film producer http://www.heumoore.com and the maker of Bubble Trouble. Have you seen it?

    God Bless

  • Sarah says:

    Miss Kelly,
    I am glad you have found God adequate and I am glad He had pity on you and wrote the Bible. I’m not sure how that at all relates to the dictionary definition of psychology.

    “I see now that the use of personality labeling conditions the person labeled to be what they are labeled.” Ironicly this is a direct line of thought from Pavlov who is a famous psychologist. Are you aware of classical conditioning and the experiment that he did with the dogs and the food. What you have just said is merely a derivative. I just thought I would do you another favor and point this out.

    Also, why have we been redeemed from different personalities? God made us different, our fingerprints being a microcosm of that. Red and yellow black and white they are precious in his site. He made us different to His glory. The only thing we are to be the same on is the fruits of the Spirit listed in the Bible. Personality traits are a blessing not a curse. What a world of drugery and boring people we would live in otherwise. I am pretty sure that if God wanted robots he wouldn’t have created humans at all.

    As earlier stated in my post I believe the Bible to be the origin of psychology. Not whichever degenerates in the 1700’s decided to corrupt it.

    If we are to live with each other in an understanding way I am hard pressed to understand what on earth about that could not be encompassed by my earlier posting of the dictionary definition of psychology.

    Perhaps the dictionary definition of science [since psychology is defined as the science of the mind or of mental states and processes] would help, lest science itself be judged as a sinful mudpuddle alng with psychology.

    science
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source
    sci·ence /ˈsaɪəns/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[sahy-uhns] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun 1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
    2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
    3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
    4. systematized knowledge in general.
    5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.
    6. a particular branch of knowledge.
    7. skill, esp. reflecting a precise application of facts or principles; proficiency.

    Did the inadequacy of the Bible or the lack of Christ’s sufficiency ever come up throughout this blog post and resulting threads? Odd, I don’t remember that ever being a part of the discussion. Its a shame that you view psychology as a direct slam on the ability of Christ and the Bible. Back to the Dark Ages we go!

    Don’t you think of psychology as coming from God himself since He is the giver of ALL wisdom, knowledge and understanding? He is the one who has the Bible written in primarily story format because He knows how the mind works in His created children. He knows how we limited beings can best be able to understand His mind and His heart. Don’t you think that is why Jesus many times spoke in parables? People understand stories and relate to them. They give relevance to what is being taught about. They ground the concept into reality and give roots to the theoretical for our understanding. Jesus did this because He knows how we are made and how our mind works. We are put here on earth to have dominion and part of that is understanding through God given ability how everything works, including the mind.

    So psychology is the branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws of the mind or of mental states and processes.

    Also, as evidenced by my earlier use of Scripture I do not find a principle and ask the Bible to disprove it. How foolish would that be? Very foolish indeed. I clearly stated that I believe psychology to have come directly from God. Just as our knowledge on math and earth science and physics, etc. Certainly the devil is not creative and didn’t come up with all this wonderful God given knowledge. Why would he want to reveal to us the rules and principles that God already has in place?

    You know whats great? The way we approach things is to ask what the Bible says about a topic too! I would never think of trying to twist the Bible to accept secular humanistic thinking. We are agreed, IF there is no Biblical justification for it than it is not Biblical.

    I guess it just boils down to how you define psychology and how you decipher its origins.

  • Claire says:

    Okay, I’m going to start with an easy one.
    Anorexia is really not about vanity. For those of you who actually know about eating disorders, I don’t have to tell you that weight or body fat percentage is hardly ever the actual issue. Eating disorders usually stem out of a need for control when all else has gone awry. They can also be cries for help from people who have no idea how to ask for it. Honestly, I have yet to meet someone who has an eating disorder AND a good solid home life. It’s not about wanting to be thin. It’s about wanting stability, a constant, something in your life that makes sense. So Mike, next time you come across someone with an eating disorder, especially if they’ve actually TOLD you that they have an eating disorder, you might consider offering a hand of support instead of accusations of vanity. (And I don’t mean handing them a cheeseburger. The eating disorder is the symptom, not the cause.)

    Furthermore, research has shown a link between irregular levels of certain neurotransmitters, for example serotonin (which is associated to the feeling of well-being) and epinephrine (which is associated to the feeling of satiation), and the predisposition to developing eating disorders. I realize that opens doors for other topics like medicinal treatment, but that is simply not my point. Just as your kidney can stop functioning properly, even if only for a time, so can your brain. It’s just logical, people.

    On to the next topic: alcoholism. Haha…there’s no Biblical word called alcoholism. Good argument. There’s also no Biblical words called tuberculosis, chicken pox, or influenza. In fact, I don’t recall reading too many medical diagnostics in the Bible. “The answer to alcoholism (drunkenness) is to (big surprise here….) STOP DRINKING.” Brilliant. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Don’t you think people would do that if it were that easy? (Also, to use drunkenness and alcoholism synonymously is a mistake. You can be drunk without being an alcoholic.) My dad’s been in rehab…twice I believe. His mother left my grandfather mainly due to his alcoholism. Because of my father’s own drinking problem, he lost his job, his wife, his health and the respect of so many. And still he drinks like a fish. Sure, there’s a lack of self discipline there, and a whole lot of selfishness, but to give up that much for a certain selection of beverages…there must be something else at hand. Just like starving oneself is not the real matter in anorexia, the problem in alcoholism is not the alcohol. The problem is what’s causing that person to reach for it habitually. And so, by simply removing the alcohol from the equation, you haven’t actually solved anything. In fact, it is possible that leaving an alcoholic without his crutch AND no help in finding a solution to the issue that drove him to become an habitual drunk in the first place could leave him open to worse things like…

    Suicide. And might I just say that I hope Mike never has to talk someone down from the ledge. “My gut feeling was to post something along the lines of “Stop wallowing in your self pity. Suicide is a sin, and you should repent for considering it.” To say that would not only a display of an utter lack of compassion and empathy, but I feel it’s also completely unBiblical. Do you honestly think Jesus would be throwing judgment at a person who is obviously in a tremendous amount of pain already? Believe me, I understand the tough love approach, but I’m not so sure that can be applied to anyone who is already desperate enough to consider ending their own life. There are so many catalysts of suicidal thought…traumatic events, extreme stress, imbalanced neurotransmitters, even poor nutrition. (Seriously, try going without B vitamins for a while…you won’t be thinking too clearly either). You could easily suggest some good ol’ fashioned exercise, as research has proved that endorphins work wonders on a bad mood. Thank God you have never felt that there is nothing left to live for. But there are people who do feel like that. And my guess is that “Stop wallowing in self-pity” isn’t exactly what Jesus had in mind when He was talking about that whole love one another bit.

    We are personally responsible for our actions and thoughts, of course. And certainly God can help us through anything. But there are times in life when God can use us to exemplify His love and compassion, and, in a loving manner, to help direct each other back to healthful, wholesome living…regardless of whether you’re in an office or at the kitchen table.
    And with that said, my point is simply this: You don’t have to agree with Id and Ego, and antipsychotics. But if you really love your neighbor as yourself, you’ll give him a hand when he needs it instead of reminding him what a sinner he is. For whatever reason, what might seem like a walk in the park to you could appear an impossible precipice to another.

  • My point in the three examples I listed: anorexia, drunkenness, and suicide, are that they are all *choices* that individuals make. You can speak of medical issues, etc., till you’re blue in the face, but the fact remains that someone with an eating disorder would be *just fine* if they’d simply pick up the food and eat it…without trying to vomit it up later. Now, if their body is rejecting the food and a vomiting reflex is occuring, then yes, something else is going on. They should seek medical help. But if it is a *decision* to deny food to one’s body, then there’s a very simple solution.

    On drunkeness…I heard it was Robert E. Lee who made the following quote…but the movie Gods and Generals credits Stonewall Jackson with it. In any case it goes something along the lines of, “I don’t drink whiskey for I’ve found that I like it too much.” Now, that is the attitude of a responsible man. It is foolishness to tempt oneself with material things that will cause him to sin. It is much better to flee from sin, as Joseph in Potipher’s house, than to find a “dysfunction” to blame it on.

    On Jesus with “love and compassion,” I never read even once where someone caught in sin in Jesus’ presence elicited the following response from Him, “That’s OK dear child. I know you aren’t really thinking straight. Go seek medical help, and be blessed.” Rather Jesus after diffusing a volitile situation told the woman found in adultery to “go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

    And what of this reply by our Saviour,
    Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
    (Joh 5:14)

    Now that wasn’t very “sensitive” was it? In fact, it almost implies that the man had his 38 year infirmity due to some sin in his life.

    On the suicide issue…I’ve also never found a positive reference to it in the scriptures. Consider suicide if your role modal is Judas Iscariot…the “man of perdition.” It should never be named among the Church of Jesus Christ.

    We live in a society where noone wants to accept responsibility for their actions. The obese want to blame the fast food industry. Emphasema victims want to blame the tobacco industry. If little Johnny is caught lying, he shouldn’t be “beaten” as that may scar him for life. Rather, he is to have his ego stroked and his self confidence boosted. I say, “Hogwash.” Own up to your own actions. If you’re sick because of something you’re doing to yourself, then stop doing it. If your food supply is poisoned, don’t just curse the darkness, but do as the Vaughn’s are doing and grow your own or buy from those whom you trust.

  • Sarah says:

    Mike,
    I’m pretty sure Claire wasn’t throwing a blanket on every disorder people have saying, “Don’t worry, just take this bottle of B vitamins and you’ll be fine.”

    Something I have noticed in this discussion thread, there is this notion that all solutions are final and absolute. What a fallacy in reason and thought this is. There are exceptions to every rule. The only one without exception is that Jesus is the only way to heaven. [ironicly that is an exception to the every rule has an exception rule. hahahaaa]

    Claire was presenting a viewpoint that said essentially, “Stop! before you throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

    There are times for repentance and turning from sin and there are times to figure out why a habitual problem [or sin] is recurring in your life. If you have never had one [a habitual problem or habitual sin that was difficult to conquer] maybe you could go talk with some people that have. You will find that it is necessary in life to employ more than one solution. Just as when our children need discipline the rod isn’t always the first and best answer. Sometimes the best answer at the time is to have them clean up what they messed up. Sometimes you need to have them go through the motions of modeling the correct way to go about things. Sometimes restitution needs to be made. Sometimes they need to just go sit down for a while and calm down. Were one to spank the child at every turn I know that child would become depressed and robotic in order just to survive that kind of environment.

    I wonder with all the harsh judgement Scriptures that you have quoted how often you have read their balancing Scriptures. Jesus came to heal the broken hearted. He was most often accused of eating with the sinners. And how he did not come for the righteous, he came as a doctor to heal the sick and to seek and save that which was lost.

    Jesus lived the life of mercy and compassion and redemption. Not of harsh judgment. He came to bear that cross for us.
    The book of Luke is a good read in the story of Jesus’s compassion, here is an excerpt:
    Luke 4:16-19
    “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
    And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

    God is love 1 John 4:8,16
    Love is defined quite well in 1 Corinthians 13

    Romans 2:4 (New King James Version)
    4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

    Also, I’m pretty sure that if Jesus himself walked and talked with me that would never compare to anyone anywhere ever. He could say that, sin no more. He is fully God and fully man. Trying to wrap our minds around that is enough to make them explode. Just sit and ponder the Holy Trinity for a while and try to figure out a nice tidy logical way to explain it. When you have accomplished that then you can put everyone’s problems in a neat and tidy box to fix them. Until then we are going to have to accept that we are humanity and it will be messy and there are no absolutes other than the Holy Trinity. Another interesting point, God actually repented to himself and it is recorded in the Bible. Lets wrap our finite minds around that. Good luck. It won’t happen. He already points out in the Bible many times and many ways that His ways are mysterious and we can’t know them all. We see through a glass dimly. In other words, there are no neat and tidy absolute problem solving explanations.

    Truly we must pray without ceasing and daily work out our salvation with fear and trembling. This entire process of Christian living cannot and never will be able to be defined with, “Okay, your problem is ‘X’. Repent.” There. Done. That is why we will perish for lack of knowledge. Knowledge that He gives to us. Knowledge on the root of the problems and how to dig them out. Sometimes that is a process and sometimes it is just realizing the cause and being able to turn from it. Psychology is simply the study and analysis of how the mind works. That is impossible to be evil in and of itself. The only way that is evil and unbiblical is if the study of the stomach or any other thing is evil too.

    Why would we as Christians so willingly let God given knowledge slip through our fingers because wicked people have tried to lay claim to it?

    And I don’t know what exactly you meant by little Johnny being beaten [sometimes I throw terms around loosly myself]. Children are to be disciplined, not beaten.

  • I didn’t direct the “little Johnny” comment toward you or Claire. Just a general observation in our culture that children should never be disciplined in the Biblical manner.

    What I failed to see in your compassion scripture references were instances whereby someone was in sin, and the Lord overlooked it or attempted to shift the blame to someone else besides the individual. That is the core of this topic and the purpose for which Paul Vaughn posted this very good article.

    On God repenting…the Reformers offer the following explanation in their notes from the Geneva Bible in Psalm 106:45.
    “Not that God is changeable in himself, but that then he seemeth to us to repent when he altereth his punishment, and forgiveth us.”

  • Sarah says:

    No worries. I didn’t think that was directed at either of us. I just was a little tweaked by reference to “beating” a child.

    The definition of psychology has nothing to do with blame shifting. If you will go back and read all the things I posted you will see that I too denouce this. Blame shifting is never good. Blame shifting, however has nothing to do with the dictionary definition of psychology. Go to dictionary.com and look up the definition of psychology.

    On God repenting…I do not follow “the Reformers” whoever they are and I am not impressed by the Geneva Bible. God’s message is simple. He loves us so much He sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be saved. He is not willing that any perish. Also, we are to follow the two commandments left us in the New Testament. If the Gospel has been complicated beyond that and beyond a child’s grasp it has probably been corrupted. If we think for a minute we can understand the complexities of God it is utter foolishness. I think the end of the book of Job references this. Surely you ponder these things of God [and the others I listed] and you just sit back in wonder and amazement?

  • BethTN says:

    Kelly– Yes… I remember you were helping them….We remember talking with you all well because we delayed your trip getting back home because we talked too much!!! My daughter remembers talking to Reagan and still has her contact info she just told me.. 😉 amazing how girls remember details like that!

    We have seen Bubble Trouble!! Although we were unable to attend the Film Festival — we did see it on the DVD from the Festival.

    Thanks for the link — we will go check out what they are up to — it is exciting to see so many young filmmakers catching a God honoring vision…

  • […] School classes, college classes, youth groups, young married groups, the seniors group — even Christian’s follow the psychology concepts purported by the world.  When a family makes a stand to go back to the Bible and see what it has to say about this type […]

  • […] providentially crossed my inbox this morning.  It is a pretty powerful follow up to the post on Calvin, psychology and making sin a “sickness”.   It discusses the lack of Christian psychiatrists and goes on to pontificate why that might be.  […]

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