Last week, it seems that everyone was talking about Depression and Christian psychology (see Jollyblogger and Digitus, Finger & Co. for examples. They are responding to Christian psychologist Adrian Warnock's blog.
So I thought I had better wade into the fray, especially since my view is always the minority one. That is rather sad considering that my view is really the more Christian one. My view is fairly anti-Christian psychology and certainly anti-antidepressant drugs. I'm wondering when and why this has happened in the Body of Christ. Well, upon reflection, I do know when it happened.....in the late 70's and all during the 80's when the Baby Boomers grew up. Gee, do ya think maye that is a coincidence? Or perhaps it follows.
During that era the churches dumped the Bible and common sense and panted after the Christian psychologists in the area of emotional health. The reason for this, after preaching against Christian psychology for so many years, was because the churches weren't really helping many people. So, instead of asking God what to do and searching the Bible for what to do, they asked the Christian psychologists what to do. Of course Christians finally figured out that "Christian" and "psychology" don't go well together since psychology is a type of humanism. It's similar to saying Christian Buddhism or Christian Hinduism. So now we have "Christian counselors." Of course they are the same state licensed psychologists that have always been around. But now, they have changed their title to "fit" into the church more acceptably.
Here is the main problem I have with so-called Christian psychologists. First of all, many of them are Biblically illiterate. Even those that are fairly literate are following Freud, Jung, Rogers, Skinner and the whole humanistic psychological gang waaay too much. I always know what the Christian psychologists will do...I am a prophet...:) Just look at what their secular counterparts are doing and the Christian psychs wll dutifully follow along a few years later. Since they happen to be Christians, they will then put the label "Christian psychology on it." But we must understand that the great majority of these Christian psychs take their graduate training in secular universities and colleges. It is a bit much to expect them to cobble together a fantastic, complete "Christian" psychology. Even the ones who get to the very few accredited Christian psych grad schools (i.e. Fuller Seminary) are waaay liberal in their orientation. They kind of take secular humanistic psychology, throw a few Scripture verses on top and call it Christian psuychology and themselves Christian psychologists. Most Christian psychs are really Christians who also happen to be psychologists. BUT they are NOT Christian psychologists. There are a few true ones out there however, who could fit the latter description. Jay Adams who developed a more Biblical counseling model was one but the Christian psychologists laughed him out of town...in other words...sorry...they were not interested in a Biblical model. They loved their Freudian, Jungian, Rogerian stuff waaay too much. Another psychologist that I read recently is a woman named Jan Silvious. I see she is appearing with the Women of Faith conferences and I think her book "Please Don't Say You Need Me: Biblical Answers to Codependency" is the best Christian book on this subject that I've read. The others, frankly, are pathetic which forces me to constantly recommend secular authors like John Bradshaw. But then sadly, I also have to warn the readers about the secular stuff full of venom toward evangelicals and occultic New Age stuff such as the wizard the reader of Bradshaw is supposed to picture in some of his works. Surely, the Christian psychological community can do better on this important subject. (and no,the book "Boundaries" IMO is very elementary. Sivious' book IMO is so much better).
I do respect those like Adams who have taken those psychological principles that EXPLAIN Biblical ones in laymen's terms.
The church now has disolved into an organization that prays for you and then when the prayer isn't answered, which is usually, they send you to the Christian psychologist. Of course this is expensive. So what do they tell poor people? Weakly they say, "Well, I guess you just have to have faith." So, once gain, we see a two-tiered Christian system--one for Third World Christians and poor Western ones who have to have faith for their emotional and physical healing; and the other for more well-off people who can go to psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, specialists, chiropractors, and so forth. Me thinks something stinks here.
What did the early church do? Was there perhaps Holy Spirit power and common sense counseling along with REAL discernment that got people healed? I bet there was. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not talking about this Third Wave revival fake stuff. I am talking about the real stuff.
John Wimber...rest in peace.
Tomorrow: anti-depressant drugs