"Foundational to problem solving is a
person's relationship to Christ. Christians have God as their Savior
and the sanctifier of their souls. The unsaved, those that are not
Christians, have no access to Gods loving care for the problems they
are facing. Indeed, often their problems are not only a product of
their sins; these problems are often a part of the temporal judgment
of God for these sins ... The only hope for the lost, in this world
or the next, is Jesus Christ" [source].
"Christian counselling can have a
most adverse impact on those who are not Christians. Because they
are not empowered to do what God requires, they will ultimately
fail. Having failed in Christian counselling, they are in danger of
writing off the whole Christian message. At some later date, having
the claims of Christ pressed upon them, they will be inclined to
respond, 'Oh, I tried Christianity; it didn't work.' They did not
try Christianity. They tried acting like a Christian in the flesh;
that never works. But they will not know the difference. The only
thing they will remember is that 'Christianity didn't work.'
As a result, they will be inoculated to the gospel. Christian
counselling for the lost is dangerous. However, evangelism for the
lost is the starting point to solving all problems"
"The focus of ministry should not be
on the problems. Focusing on the problems and rehearsing wrongs
committed against oneself tend to increase the intensity of the
problems. There fore talking about problems is discouraged and
seeking the Lord and His Word is encouraged. What? How can problems
be handled if they are not carefully described? ... God knows the
problem completely. He knows what needs to be changed in each person
involved. The person who comes alongside will only get a partial
view at the most" [source].
"The client (i.e., the self) comes
with a problem. The counseling is directed at the self with the
problem. Thus, problem-centred counseling is actually self-centred
counseling. The two are inextricably linked"
"The focus of psychological therapy
is on self and its problems from the perspective that the self is
essentially good, but wounded emotionally by circumstances and other
"Psychotherapy attempts to fix the
self so that its so-called essential goodness can be experienced and
expressed. They psychological mindset sees the problem as on the
outside. The solution is found within the self, albeit with the help
of those who have special psychological knowledge. Self is central
and must be nurtured with self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth,
all of which are supposed to lead to self-fulfilment, but
which generally increase self-absorption, self-centredness, and
"The basic focus of psychology is
self. Psychology attempts to improve self, repair self, value
self, esteem self, love self, find self, forgive self. Self becomes
god. This is diametrically opposed to the biblical perspective,
which says that our old self has been crucified with Christ. Now we
are to put off the practices of that old self and put on the
qualities of Christ, being conformed to His image"
"Rather than focusing on the Lord and
the work of His Kingdom, Christians are held captive to self
- meeting the needs of self, understanding self,
protecting self, nurturing self. The truth is: We
don't need one more psychologist to explain self or sin. We need a
Saviour to deliver us from them!"
"Marriage provides many opportunities
for spiritual growth. But instead of using these constructively,
partners often focus on problems, blame each other, and want the
other partner or circumstances to change. Instead of seeking the
Lord to work in their own lives, they go to counseling, talk about
their problems, and expect the counselor to do something ... It is
unbiblical to discuss marital problems with others or complain about
one's spouse in each other's presence ... It is unbiblical to
discuss marital problems with others or complain about one's spouse
in his/her absence ... It is unbiblical to discuss marital problems
with others for the purpose of getting a spouse to change"
"Problem-centred counseling, when
looking for the source of problems in a person's upbringing, usually
leads a person to violate God's commandment to 'Honour thy father
and thy mother: that thy days may be long ... ' (Exodus 20:12). Even
if a seeker is having problems, the fifth commandment must be
obeyed. ... not dishonouring mother and father to a 'third party'."
"[T]hose who dispense psychotherapy
believe that they are dealing with proven facts and great truth"
"Psychological counseling theories
are collections of human opinions arranged in theoretical
frameworks. They are human inventions based on the perception and
personal experiences of the theorists themselves" [source].
"The presuppositions upon which those
theories are based include evolutionism, secular humanism, atheism,
psychic determinism, environmental determinism, and various forms of
non-Christian religions" [source].
"The therapists transformed age-old
human dilemmas into psychological problems and claimed that they
(and they alone) had the treatment"
"Consider the basic questions of
psychology, and it is immediately clear that we are dealing with
competition. Every system of psychological theory addresses issues
that are already fully addressed in Scripture. The major difference
is that psychology sees man apart from God. man is made in God's
image. How, therefore, is it possible to accurately study his
behaviour and motives while excluding God?" [source].
"The psychologists tell us how to
handle anger, when to forgive, how to handle our relationships, how
to raise our children. So does the Bible. If psychology
coincidentally crosses paths with the Bible on some rare point, it
is redundant. If its answers are different, which is most often the
case, then it must be in error. Where there appears to be truth in
psychology, time spent in biblical research will reveal that we
already have that truth, in purer form, in God's Word" [source].
"The worst idea is that psychological
counseling theories and therapies have anything to offer the
Christian other than fodder for the flesh. This worst idea has been
embraced by numerous psychotherapists, counseling psychologists,
marriage and family counselors, psychiatrists, and social workers
who call themselves Christians. This worst idea is embraced by most
pastors and their flocks. This worst idea is even embraced by some
'biblical counselors' who emulate their psychological counterparts
in various ways. This worst idea flourishes in the church and there
are very few who are concerned. In fact, this worst idea has been
integrated not only into therapy and counseling, but into sermons,
books, Christians colleges, seminaries, and schools" [source].
"Attempting to syncretise psychology
with Christianity denies the sufficiency of the Word of God and the
sufficiency of the Spirit of God in all matters of life and conduct
... When Christians restate their favourite theories to make them
sound Christian, they often distort the truths that have been given
by God in His Holy Word, which is our only fully reliable textbook
on the human condition ... many Christians now see the Gospel, the
Bible, and the work of the Holy Spirit through the lens of one
psychological theory or another ... many pastors, teachers, and
writers eisegete Scripture accordingly" [source].
"Even the best ideas from these
theories and therapies are limited to the flesh. At most, they
enhance the old man, which Scripture tells us to put off. ... Since
these theories were developed by unbelievers, we must ask: How can
an unredeemed mind tell a Christian how to walk in the Spirit?"
It is argued that "'Christian
psychology' is a separate tree from secular psychology, but it
cannot be separate because it has the very same roots, and the very
same sap flows through its veins"
"How dangerous is this growth of
Christians psychology in the church? We believe that it is a
diabolical means of infusing the church wit the world's ways and
ideas. It takes the eyes off Christ and onto self. It substitutes
the word of God with the wisdom of men and it replaces the work of
the Holy Spirit with human ingenuity. It feeds the flesh and hinders
spiritual growth" [source].
"Let the world follow the wisdom of
"Christ-centred ministry relies in
the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life and therefore
emphasizes spiritual growth, whereby the believer walks with the
Lord according to the Spirit rather than according to the flesh. ...
When believers are walking in the Spirit they are ... following
Jesus in holiness, righteousness, truth, mercy, kindness, goodness,
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, humility, temperance,
gentleness, faith, forgiveness, and obedience to God"
"In Christ-centred ministry the
person coming alongside does not need to know the specific problems
or the details. Neither is there a necessity to guess at what might
be the source. Instead, both the seeker and the helper are to deal
with life biblically and spiritually ... the emphasis is on Christ
and Him crucified and all that involves. ... A Christ-centred helper
moves a person as quickly as possible from problem-centredness to
Christ-centredeness. ... Christ-centred ministry encourages both
denying self and living for and growing in Christ. No one else can
do what needs to be done in the seeker as much as what the Lord and
the seeker can do together"
"Paul warns believers not to be
robbed of what they have in Christ through 'philosophy and vain
deceit' that turns them into victims ... rather than victims forever
seeking to be healed of emotional wounds, Christians are new
creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), fully equipped for challenges,
trials, disappointments, dangers, and all sorts of calamities" [source].
"While, indeed, there are real
victims, the psychotherapeutic mindset has trivialised the horrors
that some people have experienced by so expanding the meaning that
now everyone qualifies if they want to. The role of victim can
actually be quite enticing ... qualifying for sympathy from friends,
engaging in endless psychological therapy centred on self, and
gaining exoneration from responsibility and guilt" [source].
"Rather than having to face the ugly
fact of their own sin without excuse or reason or blame-shifting,
they choose to be victims ... more and more Christians are seeing
themselves as innocent victims with their 'mistakes' and problems of
living being due to other people and circumstances beyond their
control ... helping an individual see himself as needy, emotionally
wounded, and having been harmed or disappointed by others is one
convenient way to sidestep personal responsibility, sin, and guilt"
"Victimisation shifts the attention
away from one's own responsibility for what is thought, said, and
done. Victimisation shifts attention away from one's own sin and
onto the sins of others committed against them. Victimisation
diverts believers away from the cross of Christ. Victimisation robs
them of gratitude for God's unspeakable gift and thereby robs them
of a close walk with Him. Turning Christians into victims weakens
their faith and stunts spiritual growth. Every choice to walk
according to the Spirit by grace through faith brings spiritual
maturity. The choice is up to every believer: whether to be a
psychologically defined and created victim or to be a biblically
defined sinner saved by grace and growing into the likeness of
"Memories of abuse also can help them
resolve the dissonance between 'I am a smart, capable person' and
'my life sure is a mess right now' with an explanation that makes
them feel good and removes responsibility: 'It's not my fault my
life is a mess. Look at the horrible things they did to me'."
[quoted at source].
"Considering the grievous
circumstances and the childhoods of many of the Gentile Christians,
the early church had plenty of potential 'victims' (many born and
raised in slavery with the accompanying sexual and physical abuse
and being treated as less than human). But did the church treat them
as victims needing to heal their emotional wounds or to remember the
pain of the past in order to know God and to grow spiritually? No. The Bible does not portray mankind
as victims, but as sinners"
Recovered Memory Therapy
"[S]ome, who have been convinced that
the source of their problems is what happened to them as young
children, spend months and years in therapy and/or in so-called
inner healing. Some are trying to gain insight by remembering real
events and some are searching for supposedly forgotten memories of
abuse and neglect. Others are encouraged to see a figure of Jesus
add something to the memory to heal or change it, but, since this
[visualisation of Jesus with them in their past event] is all in
their imagination, they end up with a false Jesus" [source].
"Everyone has been adversely affected
by the sins of others to some degree ... the Bible does not teach
people to ... probe their early childhood years to look for ways
that adults failed them in any way ... the Bible does not advise
anyone to remember and re-experience past pain, disappointments, or
even abuse [please see
here for a relevant discussion concerning child sexual abuse]
for the sake of personal or spiritual growth"
"Because of the nature of memory,
remembering the past cannot be done without enhancing, embellishing,
omitting, or creating details to fill in the blanks. Therefore, this
is a faulty method of help because of the brain's limited ability to
remember and tendency to distort" [source].
"Rather than trying to remember the
past and somehow rework painful memories through therapy or
so-called inner healing, Christians need to reckon themselves dead
to the past by identifying with Christ's death and to live according
to their new life in Christ. Everything needs to be taken to the
cross instead of relived and talked about"
"[D]igging up old memories for the
purpose of changing one's present life is counterproductive to the
cross and in effect denies the finished work of Christ. Jesus
said, 'It is finished.' So we say to fellow Christians:
Identify with those words when you bring sin to the cross - your own
sin and the sins of others committed against you. Recognise that
Jesus suffered the pain and eternal consequence of those sins. He
felt the pain and agony of every sin you have committed and the pain
of every sin committed against you. He took it all and said, 'It is
finished.' If a memory with its pain comes back, treat it as a
temptation from the enemy, who wants to rob you of the truth of what
Christ did and to undermine your identification with Him, both in
His death and resurrection" [source].
"Believers do not transform their
lives through looking at the sins of others or by revisiting the
past, but by confessing their own sin and believing that Jesus took
it all. Believers need to leave their own sin and the sins committed
against them on the cross and not try to remember, reconstruct, fix
or transform the so-called inner child, which is actually the old
nature or flesh" [source].
"Satan always works to keep
Christians struggling in the flesh, because that is where they are
most vulnerable and because he hates the life of Christ in every
believer. He is most pleased when Christians walk according to the
flesh or their old nature. Therefore, the devil is pleased with all
forms of psychological therapy and related forms of inner healing"
"[R]ecovered memory therapy ... has
destroyed lives and families of people who entered counseling and
were subsequently convinced by their therapists that their problems
were due to their past and that they must retrieve so-called
repressed memories to become well again. Dr. Robert Epstein notes:
'the source of many of the recovered memories was the therapist.
Leading questions, especially when combined with drugs, hypnosis and
suggestive dream interpretation, can easily produce false memories
that seem quite real to patients'."
['The Loose Screw Awards',
Psychology Today, (2005), quoted at
Things Which Are Behind...
"Dwelling on the past can be a great
impediment to pressing 'toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:13-14) ... Turning to
the past to find reasons for present problems places blame on others
and circumstances rather than on one's own responsibilities and
"Christianity is all about living the
new life and reckoning oneself dead to the old life. Christianity is
not about focusing on problems and on other people's sins and
shortcomings, and it is not about dredging up the past to fix the
present. The Christian life is about confessing one's own sin,
walking according to the new life in Christ, and 'forgetting those
things which are behind' (Philippians 3:13-14)" [source].
Thus saith the LORD,
Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask
for the old paths, where is the good way,
and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls
note that the inclusion of any quotation or item on this page does not
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