-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.




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.'"



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

with souls."

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.



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.




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

scientific study."

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.



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!




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

this question:

"And what accord has Christ with BELIAL? Or what part has a believer

with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:15).



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.




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.)


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.




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.



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

of God.

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

live together.

It might be said of psychology, as it was said fo a particular sinister


"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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