IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WHILE WE ARE USING THIS ARTICLE, IT DOES NOT MEAN WE
SUPPORT JIMMY SWAGART. AND IT SHOULD BE ESPEICALLY NOTED THAT WE ARE NOT AS
KIND TOWARD THOSE WHO LABEL THEMSELVES AS "CHRISTIAN PYSCHOLOGIES". SUCH
INDIVIDUALS HAVE TRADED THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL FOR THE TEMPORARY GOSPEL OF
MAN THAT CANNOT SAVE. AND SCRIPTURE BIDS US ALL NOT TO WELCOME SUCH MEN.
-The Light TBBS
by Jimmy Swaggart
The Bible is the only casebook for the cure of souls.
We should start out by stating, right at the top, that nothing contained
within this article should be misconstrued as questioning the Christian
motivation or spiritual orientation of those who promote and support certain
Christian alliances. And by "Christian alliances," I mean policies that seek
to meld Christianity with those worldly disciplines that purport to deal
expertly with - and solve - human problems.
I, as any regular reader will know, believe that Jesus Christ is able to,
willing to, and capable of handling any problems His children might encounter
- if they will truly turn them over to Him and stand steadfastly in "the
shadow of His wing."
I feel led to bring this position FORCEFULLY before those Christians that
I might be able to influence. But I do ask that my statements not be
interpreted as attacks upon the Christian posture or spiritual stance of those
who (in my opinion) are being lured out of Hamlin by a worldly Pied Piper.
The most devoted of individuals can be led astray. And I feel (because
it has happened over and over again) that entire religious movements or
fellowships can become misguided and misdirected. I conclude, with a heavy
heart, that this is what is happening in the mainstream of religion today.
And I speak particularly of the Pentecostal and Charismatic fellowships.
I am absolutely convinced that psychotherapy (psychological counseling)
is rapidly repacing biblical counseling and that the whole Christian ministry
is being, to a great extent, subverted by this "false religion."
I will make statements in this article that might shock or annoy, but I
will do so only because I am convinced they must be said. I hope I will be
able to say them in a loving manner because it is Christian love and concern
that motivate me. But I suspect, from long experience, that some will deny me
this honest motivation. In any event, I will confess to a burning
determination to see the truth - and then to preach this truth as I have come
to see it.
IS PSYCHOTHERAPY (OR COUNSELING LACED WITH PSYCHOLOGY) REPLACING BIBLICAL
COUNSELING AND PREACHING?
In a recent book review in the PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL (the official voice of
the Assemblies of God), a book entitled The Holy Spirit in Counseling was
lauded. Here's what was said:
"Gilbert and Brock [the authors], examined the biblical foundations of
the Holy Spirit's dynamics as Comforter in the counseling process.
"During the time of writing, both editors were professors in the
Psychology Department at Evangel College, Springfield, Missouri. They attempt
to show how a Godly synthesis can be made of biblical theology and
psychological research. For instance:
"`It is impossible to separate psychology and theology - as they relate
to the counseling process. The object of counseling is a human being created
in God's image. Wholeness is achieved only when life is lived in the manner
in which He intended. Therefore, it is not a question of whether therapists
rely upon the Holy Spirit or upon their counseling skills. We must equip
ourselves with the best tools available, while being certain that the presence
and power of the Holy Spirit permeates our personalties.'"
MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF PSYCHOLOGY
To begin with, we should note that there are many different types of
* There is EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY which deals with learning disabilities,
educational motivation, importance of organization, etc.
* Ther is INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY. This delves into difficulties and
problems associated with the work place.
* In addition, there are many specialties under the general umbrella of
psychology that are purely scientific and provide valuable statistical data
for better understanding of human reactions to a wide variety of situations.
However, these are not what we are discussing here. What we are talking
about is psychotherapy as it relates to "cures for souls.
The primary Greek word PSCHO is the root from which we drive the English
terms "PSYCHOLOGY" or "PSYCHOLOGIST." Interesting, the word PSYCHO is
utilized in the New Testament for "SOUL." Hence, a psychologist is a "worker
A specific distinction should be made, however. The secular
psychotherapist considers himself a worker with minds, while the (so-called)
"Christian" psychologist considers himself a worker with souls.
Most of today's Bible colleges and seminaries offer at least some basic
introduction to psychology for their would-be preachers of the Gospel. Thus a
foundation is laid for a subtle deflection away from the Bible and toward
The courses offered to most of our future preachers only touch on the
rudiments of their future association with the treatment of souls. However,
the stage is set for a familiarity with (and affection for) things other than
the Word of God.
I suspect that preachers - who earnestly desire to be of help to people -
are particularly vulnerable during these fomative years. Lacking in
experience and self-confidence, they are delighted to discover something that
is boldly placarded as a certifiable tool in delivering such help.
"Christian" psychology supposedly offers an organized system for carrying out
this weighty task, and formative minds are soon addicted to a method that
seems to offer "a whole new way."
Bible colleges and seminaries of most denominations and fellowships now
offer these courses. Naturally, a great legitimacy is thereby afforded them.
It is even suggested today that if a person has only Bible knowledge, he
is ill-equipped to handle the pressing problems of humanity. He must (along
with Bible training) be grounded in psychology to meet "human" needs. This is
implanted early, with the unspoken implication that the Bible in itself is
insufficient to solve human problems.
It is constantly being suggested that ministers are ill-prepared and ill-
equipped to meet the needs of modern man. If the preacher is to be truly
effective and proficient in his role, he should be referring a large
percentage of those who seek his help to "professionals."
"Professionals," or "therapy," used within this context means, of course,
psychologists or psychotherapy.
I recently received a letter from a Christian psychologist telling about
his wife who had serious problems. He said, "We needed competent, Christian
mental health care. We couldn't find it in the church; people didn't
understand her emotional problems. We couldn't find it in the world; mental
health professionals didn't understand our faith."
He went on to say that psychotherapy, combined with the Holy Spirit, gave
her the victory.
Now I don't know exactly what he meant when he said, "We couldn't find it
in the church." Perhaps he was speaking of the specific church they attended
or a particular pastor - which is certainly understandable. But if he was
speaking of "the church," meaning the body of Christ and the work of the Holy
Spirit within that church, he was in effect saying that the Bible does not
hold the answer to human problems and that we must look outside the Word of
God for help. At the very least, it would seem that his statement suggests
that we must combine the work of the Holy Spirit with secular psychotherapy.
The end-product of this growing dependence on "scientific" compromise is that:
* Pschotherapy has become widely accepted as "scientific" and, therefore,
must be a useful tool. As a consequence, it has become accepted within many
Pentecostal and Charismatic fellowships. (It has, of course, been long
accepted within the denominational world.)
* Most Pentecostal Bible colleges and seminaries now promote
psychotherapy as a legitimate tool for meeting "the human need."
* As a result, most of our younger preachers are now convinced that
psychotherapy is "spiritually neutral." It is, therefore, a legitimate tool
to be employed with a clear conscience when trying to help humanity.
* The old-fashioned, tried-and-true Word of Almighty God (combined with
the preaching of the Word) is given lesser place when considering methods for
solving man's problems.
COUNSELING - THE EXPRESSWAY FOR HELP
The other day I spoke with a professor who has many years of experience
in teaching in Pentecostal Bible colleges. I asked him why homiletics (the
preparation of sermons) is seldom taught anymore in our Bible colleges.
His answer shocked me. He said, "Most are no longer looking to preaching
as a means of meeting humanity's needs. Counseling has now become the
expressway for help in this area."
Hence, there is no longer a need for sermon preparation. The colleges
are gradually shifting over to a definite bias toward psychotherapy.
IS PSYCHOTHERAPY (COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY) TRULY SCIENTIFIC AND THEREFORE
Proponents of psychotherapy call it scientific and camouflage its
discrepancies with scientific jargon and medical argot. However, the
questions must be asked: Is psychotherapy a science or a superstition? Is it
fact or fabrication?
These questions must be asked, because we have come to venerate alomost
anything labeled as "science." If, indeed, psychology and psycholotherapy are
scientific, they should command our respect and be used within every
community. However, if they are not, we have valid grounds for questioning
the propriety of intruding them into the preacher's methodology.
In Martin and Deidre Bobgan's book, THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WAY/THE SPIRITUAL
WAY, they state on page 44:
"In attempting to evaluate the status of psychology, the American
Psychological Association appointed sigmund Koch to plan and direct a study
which was subsidized by the National Science Foundation. This study involved
eighty eminent scholars in assessing the facts, theories, and methods of
psychology. The results of this extensive endeavor were then published in a
seven-volume series entitled PSYCHOLOGY: A Sudy of a Science."
"After examining the results, Koch concluded, `I think it is by utterly
and finally clear that psychology cannot be a coherent science.' He further
declares that such activities as perception, motivation, social psychology,
psychopathology, and creativity cannot be properly labeled science."
E.Fuller Torrey says, "The medical model of human behavior, when carried
to its logical conclusions, is both non-sensical and non-functional. It
doesn't answer the questions asked. It doesn't provide good service, and it
leads to a stream of absurdities worthy of a Roman circus."
In a study (done some time ago) comparing modern-day psychology with
witchcraft, the result came out a dead heat. The only discernible difference
was that the witch doctors charged less and kept their patients a shorter
period of time.
"For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the
fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that
can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13).
William Kirk Kilpatrick say, "True Christianity does not mix well with
psychology. When you try to mix them, you end up with a watered-down
Christianity instead of a Christianized psychology.
"But the process is subtle and is rarely noticed. It is not a frontal
attack on Christianity. It is not even a case of the wolf at the door.
Actually, the wolf is already in the fold, dressed in sheep's clothing. From
the way it was petted and fed by some of the shepherds, one would think it was
the prize sheep."
Jacob Needleman says, "Modern psychiatry arose out of the vision that man
must change himself and not depend for help on an imaginary God. Over half a
century ago (mainly through the insights of Freud and through the energies of
those he influenced), the human psyche was wrested from the faltering hands of
organized religion and was situated in the world of nature as a subject for
Incidentally, Freud opened his office in Vienna, the first devoted to
psychotherapy, a little over 100 years ago.
Martin Gross, in his book, THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY, says: "When
educated man lost faith in formal religion, he required a substitute belief
that would be as reputable in the last half of the 20th Century as
Christianity was in the first. Psychology and psychiatry have now assumed
that special role."
Modern-day psychotherapy has its roots in atheism, evolution, and
humanism. Psychology pretends to have a cure for troubled souls. It is
taught in atheistic universities, oftentimes by atheistic professors. And
this same subject, with the same foundations and influences, is accepted today
as an integral part of the Christian curriculum in our Bible colleges and
seminaries. There aren't two kinds of psychotherapy, there is only one. And,
as Paul Vitz says, "It is deeply anti-Christian."
Someone once said, "America's problem is not ignorance; America's problem
is that she accepts a lie."
Now, the problems with our preachers may once have been ignorance but,
this is no longer the case. I am now concerned that what they accept
(psychotherapy) is not truth - it is a lie.
I maintain that pshchotherapy is not scientific, that it is not even and
"art" as claimed. It is a lie, pure and simple, and has no basis in
scientific or biblical fact. When Bible colleges offer it, they are offering
a bald fabrication. When seminaries teach it, they are teaching a lie. When
would-be preachers immerse themselves in it , they immerse themselves in
falsehood. When individuals accept a doctorate in this nefarious shamanism,
they are receiving a certificate without scientific validity.
I say that preachers of the Gospel, attempting to meld psychotherapy with
the Word of God, will help no one. They will deliver only confusion. People
will be led away from the aid available through the Word of God.
The two are as immiscible and as antagonistic as oil and water.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL SYSTEM FOR COUNSELING AND HELPING THE "HUMAN CONDITION"?
I have been taken to task for stating that there is no such thing as a
Christian psychologist. I have also been castigated for suggesting that on
might as well say "Christian witch doctor" as "Christian psychologist."
Do we consider witchcraft a viable answer to the human condition? I
think the answer is fairly obvious. So, if psychotherapy (psychology) is not
scientific or scriptural (and it isn't), if it is not what it claims to be,
and if it can't do what it claims to do - then what is the difference in the
terms "Christian psychology" and "Christian witch doctor"? Both are
fundamental contradictions and should be recognized as such.
Martin Bobgan stated: "The psychological way - claiming to be scientific
- is pracitced as a profession. The spiritual way is a natural outflow of
Christian love, as practiced in the body of Christ. The psychological way
requires training in theories and techniques devised by men. Only designated,
trained individuals may offer professional, psychological help.
"The spiritual way, on the other hand, may be practiced by any member of
the body of Christ. Biblical counseling is not based on the theories or
techniques of men, but rather is practiced by those who know the Bible, have
applied God's Word in their own lives through the ministration of the Holy
Spirit, and demonstrate love for others by the way they minister healing and
He went on to say, "The Bible is filled with information about the
condition of humanity and with teachings that lead to emotional stability and
power for living."
The Lord Jesus Christ, some 2,000 years ago, said:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My
burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30).
At the beginning of this article I quoted from a book by Gilbert and
Brock. They state: "It is not a question of whether therapists rely upon the
Holy Spirit or upon their counseling skills."
In other words, they are saying that it doesn't really matter where the
help originates, whether it is from the Holy Spirit or from psychology. They
then conclude that we `must equip ourselves with the best tools available."
Is psychology a tool?
When it was suggested that modern-day psychology is not found in the
Bible, one preacher stated that neither is the automobile, the airplane, or
the computer. We do not, he reasoned, resist utilization of these tools in
our lives, so why should we resist the tool of psychology (or any other self-
help method or technique)?
My answer is this:
Admittedly, the Bible has nothing to say about the automobile, computer,
airplane, or a host of other crafts developed since it was written. The Bible
does not claim to be a handbook on engineering, science, or whatever. These
extraneous subjects are not man's problems. Man can be an expert scientist, a
qualified engineer, or a host of other things - and still be a moral and
spiritual wreck. However, the Bible does come right out and claim to be a
handbook on the "human condition" - and does come right out and claim to hold
all the answers to this particular human area.
Listen to this:
"as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and
godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by
which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that
through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Now either the Bible did give us all things that pertain unto life (verse
3) or it didn't. If it didn't, it lied, and we then need to turn to the book,
The Holy Spirit in Counseling, by Gilbert and Brock. We can then, forever
after, rely upon thereapists who will combine their modern-day "science" with
the Word of God.
And if we can have Christian psychology, why not have Christian medicine
or Christian physics or Christian biochemistry? Of course, the reason we
don't have all these things is that such things don't exist in real-life
terms. Medicine is the same for the Christian or the non-Christian.
Chemistry is the same for the Christian or the non-Christian. However, our
Christian educators ahve attempted to take an ungodly, atheistic, anti-
Christian, immoral, unbiblical, worldly system called psychology and integrate
it into biblical counseling.
This just can't be done!
CAN A TRAINED COUNSELOR HELP PEOPLE IF HE LOVES GOD AND HAS A TRUE DESIRE TO
BE OF SERVICE?
No! The counselor trained in psychology, even though he has a strong
desire to help people, can't be effective until he totally and completely
renounces all psychological training and turns to the Word of God as his sole
source and guide. It is like mixing light with darkness. Scripture asks us
"And what accord has Christ with BELIAL? Or what part has a believer
with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:15).
IS THE PREACHER QUALIFIED TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEMS OF MANKIND?
If the preacher of the Gospel is thoroughly grounded in the Word of God,
he is actually the only one who is capable of meeting these particular needs.
I realize it is being suggested today that the preacher of the Gospel is
not qualified to address the "human condition." He has not been specifically
educated and trained in these areas. But the fact is, the so-called
professional in the field of "the cure of the soul" is actually the one who is
unqualified to help the individual in need.
Now this might seem ludicrous to some. Don't they have Masters or
Doctorates in counseling or psychotherapy? Still, I am stating that they are
not qualified to help the individual. They hold certificates in a system that
is grounded in atheism and humanism. As such, the whole system has no basis
in fact and has no inherent qualification for addressing itself to "the cure
of the soul."
I want to say it again:
The Bible is the only casebook for the cure of souls. Only it holds the
As a consequence, the preacher of the Gospel (or, for that matter, anyone
who is well-versed in the Word of God and committed to Christ) is eminently
well-qualified to deal with human needs.
IS IT TRUE THAT OUR CHURCHES ARE RESORTING TO COUNSELING INSTEAD OF PREACHING
Yes, it is, and the results are obviously catastrophic. I am going to
make some statements that might seem harsh, but I feel they are true.
FIRST, most marriage counselors or marriage seminars are ineffective at
best and harmful at worst. There may be a few exceptions, but precious few.
I realize that marriage seminars (or workshops) are hailed as being the
all-inclusive throughways to domestic health and happiness. But if this is
so, why are one out of two marriages ending in divorce? (And only God knows
how many others stay together DESPITE all their problems.)
TO BE FACTUAL, THE ONLY ANSWER FOR MARRIAGE PROBLEMS IS "FASTING, PRAYER,
AND APPLICATION OF THE WORD." The Bible holds the answer. If only men and
women would study it and seek God's face, their particular problems would
"But marriage counseling and seminars work," some say.
No, they do not work. The truth of the matter is, if individuals would
study the Word and seek God earnestly, they wouldn't need marriage seminars.
And if they did learn something of value in a marriage seminar, you can rest
assured it was already available in the Bible - if only they would have
looked. In all these cases, they could have saved time and money be simply
applying the Word of God DIRECTLY to their problems.
NEXT, many people who attend seminars do not want to live by the Bible.
And, finally, most individuals who are holding marriage seminars are
leaving the Word of God and trying to apply ineffective psychological
principles to problems they aren't capable of solving.
HUNDREDS OF OUR PREACHERS ARE FALLING INTO IMMORALITY BECAUSE OF MARRIAGE
I might add that hundreds of individuals, be they preachers or otherwise,
are falling into immorality because it is not God's way and it will not work.
I once heard A.N. Trotter say that it is not God's will or the Bible way
for a preacher of the Gospel to sit for hours listening to one sordid tale of
woe after another. He went on to say that these endless stories of
perversion, sin, and immorality come to permeate right down into the
subconscious of the counselor, and will eventually take their deadly toll.
Brother Trotter was right. Hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of
preachers (and others) are falling into immorality and sin - simply because
they are trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit.
Ninety percent of all counseling in the church ought to be stopped. The
preacher of the Gospel should, instead, preach the Word with power and with
the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God will then have its effect
on people's lives. The Holy Spirit, utilizing the Word, will fly like and
arrow - directly to the problem. He will not only point out the problem, He
will supply the solution.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-
edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints
and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And
there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open
to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:12-13)
The individual can kneel before God at an old-fashioned altar and let the
Holy Spirit speak to his heart. And, please understand, the reason we are
having so many problems in our churches is that we are, to a great degree,
ignoring this beautiful work of the Spirit, which is available at any time -
for either the sinner or the Christian.
The Spirit of God should work in the services, the fallow ground should
be broken, and people should be broken, and people should be moved and
touched. They should come before God broken and weeping. At these times the
Holy Spirit touches their hearts and restores them to spiritual, emotional,
and metal health. All the one-on-one counseling in the world cannot even
approach what I suggest here.
And, remember - this is not one of the answers, it is not an answer - it
is the ONLY answer.
BUT DOESN'T THE BIBLE SUGGEST COUNSELING AS A PROPER HELP?
Yes, it does. But it is merely speaking of advice. It is not, by any
trick of modern-day interpretation, recommending psychology or psychotherapy.
The Bible is full of advice specific to the human condition and doesn't
need any help. To be completely frank, there is no help other than the Word
If a person will apply the Bible to his problems, he will find the
solution. If he goes to man for his advice, he will only recieve a man's
solution - which will prove of little value.
Yes, I believe in biblical counseling. But I believe it should be of
short duration, and with individuals being directed to specific areas of the
Bible - and to their knees. At this point, the Holy Spirit should be invited
to perform His work of reconciliation. In this situation, the counselor is no
longer a counselor in any sense, he is a minister.
However, something more should be added:
Counselors can develop an unwarranted sense of self-importance. People
come to them for advice and counsel. All to often, their troubled wards
become emotional addicts, totally dependent on a succession of counseling
"fixes" to carry them through the short periods between visits.
Of course, this can become heady stuff for the therapist. With a steady
parade of fawning clients at his feet, it is easy for the therapist to lose
perspective and end up more confused than the patients.
As long as preachers accept psychology and depend on it as their main
resource in ministering to individuals, they will continue to be sturated in
perversion, adultery, and all the lowest types of immorality. And they will
continue to fall be the hundreds and even thousands.
These poor individuals who go to Christian psychologists will be wasting
their time and their money (if there is a charge for the services). They will
be led down a path that offers no solutions.
The help offered may be sprinkle with words like prayer, or the Holy
Spirit, and snatches of Scripture that appear to paper over the heavy doses of
psychological jargon. But the mixture will not work and the individual will
not be helped.
The greatest thing that could happen to the church (the body of Christ)
would be if Christian psychologists, trained counselors, and the psychology
departments of all our Bible colleges and seminaries would close up shop.
Then the local churches could close down their counseling services, and before
long we could get back to normal.
The congregations could then open their Bibles, start to read, and begin
living what they read. They could find a church where the moving of the
Spirit is evident, and they would there hear a preacher of the Gospel expound
the Word of God. This church would allow the Holy Spirit to apply the Word of
God to their hearts and lives, and they would then allow the Spirit to deal
with their hearts.
Now, wouldn't that be a day to look forward to?
Our problems, as far as this mortal vale is concerned, would be greatly
helped. But they will not disappear as long as we put our faith in a false
science instead of God.
Psychology and Christianity cannot be reconciled. Truth and lies cannot
It might be said of psychology, as it was said fo a particular sinister
prison: ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE.
"Beware lest anyone take yoiu captive through philosophy and empty
deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles
of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness
of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all
principality and power." (Colossians 2:8-10)
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