Psychology vs. the Bible

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This article was started by Dave Leach R-IA Bible Lover-musician-grandpa (talk) 20:22, 18 June 2019 (UTC). Interaction from other writers will be distinguished from my writing with horizontal lines above and below. Your response to anything you read here is most welcome. Please add your response next to what you are responding to. If your reaction is not to any specific part of this article, please add general comments on the "Discussion" page.

Summary: Psychiatry is a direct enemy of Christianity, yet our government enforces it while it censors its critics. How is psychiatry an enemy of God?

(1) Religion vs. Relativism. Psychiatry will never tell a patient that his religion is what is making him crazy, because psychiatry sees all religions as alike. (Except for Biblical Christianity, which is a source of "guilt".) But God says only one religion is true, and living by it matters more than anything else. John 14:6.

(2) The Past. Psychiatry actually perpetuates guilt by dragging patients into their embarrassing past, for which patients are taught to blame others, rather than to be merciful and forgive. God tells us to stop wallowing in the past so you can concentrate on the present. Phillipians 3:13. Our time on earth is our last opportunity to do the work that lies here for us. Ecclesiastes 9:10.

(3) Guilt. God says our "conscience" protects us from error, so the worst thing we can do is stop listening to it; to "sear" it as "with a hot iron". 1 Timothy 4:2. Psychiatry says our feelings of guilt (the voice of conscience) serve no purpose; there is nothing we need to change, but we just need to feel better about our actions: so the best thing we can do is just stop feeling guilty -- to stop listening to our conscience. The purpose of psychiatry is to "cure" our conscience.

(4) Pride. Just as psychiatry considers guilt a measure of mental illness, it considers pride -- "self esteem" -- the flip side of guilt, a measure of mental health. Guilt is pronounced "cured" when it is replaced by self esteem. What psychiatry calls "mental health", God calls an abomination. Proverbs 6:16. Being loved by God, or by anyone, cannot even be appreciated so long as one thinks "it is only what I deserve."

(5) Love. God defines love as sacrificing yourself for others. John 15:12-14. Psychiatry defines love as neglecting others and taking care of yoursel.f. To psychiatry, "love" is a kind feeling which makes the lover feel good and "at peace" with the problems of others, without the necessity of actually having to try to personally solve them. (However, it is permissible to vote for other taxpayers to throw money at them. It is not important, in that case, whether said money actually solves anything.)

(6) Eternity. Psychiatry operates completely without reference to any existence beyond death. But God says only a "fool" lays up his "treasures" on earth where nothing lasts. Luke 12:16-34. 1 Corinthians 15:12.

(7) Works v. Grace: Earning your own Healing. Psychology is a "religion of works". (In the King James Version, "works" is a term describing working/earning your own way, without God's help, into Heaven.) You can become mentally healthy through your own understanding that your conscience has nothing important to say, and that you can "love" others without "getting involved". You can even pay for your own therapy.

Introduction: This article will not persuade everybody who reads it to trust the Bible rather than Psychotherapy. But everyone who reads this will surely have to agree that the Bible, and Psychotherapy, are irreconcilable.

I hope that most, however, will also be persuaded that where the two differ, the Bible makes a LOT more sense.

In drawing these distinctions between Psychology and Scripture, I do not mean to suggest no psychotherapist can treat his patients by Scriptural principles. To the contrary, one of the features of psychotherapy, which argues against its status as a science, is the freedom of psychotherapists, once licensed, to make things up, or advocate personal convictions, and pass them off as representing the Science of Psychology even if it is 180 degrees away from the next psychotherapist down the street.

Rather, the Biblical views below, may well be presented in the course of the practice of certain psychotherapists; but they are not views learned in psychology classes. To the extent they are taught by psychotherapists, they are taught DESPITE their psychiatric training, certainly not because of it. The fact that psychotherapists routinely teach concepts they learned from common sense or from church helps account for what success they have.

Studies of the effectiveness of psychotherapy, made by psychiatrists themselves, by their own criteria, of whether they help their patients, show that they help some about as much as they harm others. The failure rate is very close to 50%. Actually, most such studies only compare people who receive communication with psychiatrists with those who receive no formal communication with anyone. In those handful of studies with a third control group in which patients communicate with some other group besides psychiatrists, those patients do best.

Psychiatrists know this. It is understandable why they don't care. But why do so many others rebel against these results?

The first reason is that a psychiatrist they have experience with may have dramatically helped them, perhaps because the psychiatrist relies not at all on his formal training, but on his personal wisdom, common sense, and the spirit of God in him.

The second reason, for some people, is that psychology is quite frankly their religion, and they will proclaim its virtues by faith, disregarding all contrary evidence, just as the buyers of "snake oil" home health products will share their vast claims with one another with no interest in scrutiny of their claims by any scientific process.

Here are a few fundamentals of psychiatry, compared with fundamentals of the Bible:

1. Relativism

What religion is "wrong enough" for a patient who practices it to be warned by a psychotherapist to leave it? Islam? Hardly. Cannibalism? We wish. If anything, Christian Fundamentalism ­ acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God ­ is an obstacle for psychotherapy. But ordinarily psychotherapy regards no religion, or doctrine, as the superior or inferior of any other.

(Except for Biblical Christianity, which is the cause of so much "guilt".)

Ditto for other standards of "right" and "wrong". Admittedly a staple of psychotherapy is its authority to label some people as "sick" and in need of treatment. This implies some standard at least of what is "mentally healthy". But where is there any standard even of what behavior constitutes "mental health", other than some mushy consensus voted upon by the American Psychiatric Association? The APA voted in the early '70's to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. 58% voted to remove it. What changed the APA thinking? Could it have been the semi-violent disruptions of the APA convention, two conventions in a row, by the sodomites, just before their vote? But it isn't just the APA that votes on who is mentally ill: the U.S. Supreme Court does too! In Powell v. Texas, the Court voted 5-4 to classify alcoholism as a "disease". In 1962 it had classified drug addiction as a "disease". Is there any standard of "right and wrong" or "mental illness and mental health" more objective, within psychotherapy, than a vote which might change next year? No.

By contrast, God insists that only His religion will lead us to sanity:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Bible is God's Word and we may trust every word of it:

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

No one is excused for responsibility for evil because of "mental illness":

Jeremiah 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: ...

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

What we today recognize as real mental illness (justifying being locked up) fits the Biblical descriptions of demon possession, for which one cure alone exists: the Power of our Lord Jesus Christ, that one Treatment generally denied those who most desperately need it.

Act 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 ...and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.... 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

2. The Past: Doorway to Healing

Guilt is actually perpetuated by psychiatrists as they drag patients through their embarrassing pasts, for which they are taught to blame others. Psychotherapists deal much more with the past than other people. The Past, that is, not as in the History of America, or preserving historical homes, but as in one's individual past problems, worst nightmares, childhood embarrassments, etc.

Admittedly, the ostensible purpose is to pull up these old memories so they can be patched up and put back so they can be forgotten, like pulling out an oil burning motor and giving it a valve job so it can be put back to do its jb without commanding our attention any more.

But more than in any other human activity, psychotherapists work at remembering old pains that otherwise would not even have been remembered, for the sake of then "healing" them.

By contrast, God wants us to "let sleeping dogs lie" (for those in need of an illustration of this analogy, once I was delivering literature door to door. I stepped up on a very cluttered porch and was just about to reach for the door, when I recognized, almost camouflaged among the clutter, an enormous, sleeping dog. I thought, "he's asleep. I think it is safe to reach just one more foot and I can leave my literature before he wakes, and then run." Well, about 6" later, he woke up, and he didn't like being wakened. He really didn't like seeing me there at all. I decided to run now, and think about the literature later.)

Philemon 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


3. Guilt has no objective basis

God says the worst thing we can do is deaden our conscience, because its purpose is to save us from terrible error. But psychiatry says the worst thing we can do is feel guilty. Our feelings of guilt (the voice of conscience) serves no purpose, since there is nothing we need to change: we just need to feel better about what we do: so the best thing we can do is just stop feeling guilty. The goal of psychiatry is to "cure" conscience.

To a psychotherapist, guilt serves no useful purpose. His job is to remove it. It is not useful for identifying some failure, or evil, for which there is a penalty that must be paid. It is not necessary, in removing the guilt, to repent of anything, or to seek forgiveness; the only necessity is to stop FEELING guilty. The only necessity is to recognize, as the truth, that there is no good reason to feel guilty. Guilt is "poor mental health" which results less from what you might have done, than from what others may have done to intimidate you ­ such as Bible-believing Christians who warned you to leave a life of Sin.

What you have done to hurt somebody else is a problem to be treated only insofar as religious myths have acted upon your cruelty to fill you with depression and guilt. Then only the depression and guilt must be treated so you no longer feel bad about having hurt others. If you have vanquished guilt by developing a heart of steel, incapable of love, then you have healed yourself. As long as you have no guilt or depression, you are "mentally healthy".

By contrast, the Bible teaches that we have a Conscience which we must heed; that all are guilty and that spiritual healing depends upon our acknowledging that reality; that we must repent of that which justifiably provokes our guilt; and that the cure for guilt is to realize guilt is our constant companion, but that God loves us despite our sins, and promises to help us grow above them, in the same sense that "mistakes" will always be with a musician, and ought always be acknowledged for the sake of avoiding them, but through continual practice we will grow so that despite them, we may produce Music.

The following passages show the nature of our "conscience": it is a way God (sometimes through angels?) speaks to us, and we must obey. There are limits to its usefulness in judging others. Our immature doctrines can cause us to misinterpret another saint's actions as endorsing what we think is wrong. The more we sin, the less clear conscience becomes.

John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

1 Corinthians 8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.... 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; ....12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God... 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

4. Self esteem!

Just as psychiatry considers guilt a measure of mental illness, it considers pride ("self esteem"), the flip side of guilt, a measure of mental health. Guilt is pronounced "cured" when it is replaced by self esteem! God says it is just the opposite: "pride" is possibly the greatest of sins, something which must be overcome and replaced with a consciousness of one's Love-refreshed guilt!

No wonder psychotherapy sees Bible-believing Christianity, with its proclamation of Sin and the Need for Repentance, as an obstacle to its healing methods, which must be neutralized.

(In fact, "love" cannot even be appreciated without consciousness of guilt. What makes "love" love is when it loves, not the deserving, but the undeserving anyway, DESPITE not being deserved. Thus one cannot appreciate being loved, as long as one thinks it is nothing special because "it is only what I deserve". Only with awareness of one's reason for guilt can one's own heart be moved by being loved despite one's faults.)

Proverbs 18:2 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look,...

Psalms 12:3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

5. Self Love

"Love" is honored within the field of psychology, all right, but not Biblical love. Self-service is the goal of all therapy, through redefinition of "Love". "Love" is defined as a kind feeling, which is beneficial to feel because it makes one's self feel good. The warm, comfortable feeling makes one "at peace" with others' problems, without the necessity of actually having to personally get involved.

The Biblical definition of Love as self-sacrifice, for the benefit of another, is not positively attacked by psychology, but it is not in any sense positively affirmed, and "altruism" is cynically analyzed as having for its motivation the good feeling it gives the giver. Would "excessive altruism" be seen by psychologists as something to be treated? I don't know, but it is certainly called "fanaticism".

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.


6. Eternity is Irrelevant

In the world of Psychology, one's morals, one's relationships with others, one's goals and sources of pleasure and fulfillment, may all be legitimately evaluated without reference to any existence beyond death. In fact, no licensed Psychiatrist, except to the extent he goes beyond the principles represented by his license, will even DISCUSS the need to plan for eternity.

Christianity holds the opposite! Only a "fool" lays up his "treasures" on earth, wherein nothing lasts!

Luke 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. 22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.


7. Earning Healing

In the world of Psychology, there is no "penalty" that must be "paid" by others before you can be healed; there is no "penalty" so great that you cannot afford to pay it yourself. You can earn your own way in to health. The road to mental health is paved by understanding, by greater knowledge. You can even pay for the cost of your own therapy.

Psychology is the exception to the rule, "You get what you pay for."

Have you murdered someone? Raped someone? Psychology will not judge you a criminal, or even as having done "wrong", much less "wickedly", but, at worst, as "sick", merely in need of treatment. A psychiatrist may even be willing to testify that you should not be jailed as a criminal, but treated as a patient. Certainly there is nothing about things like committing abortion, divorce, sodomy, or viewing pornography, that would concern a psychotherapist, unless some other element were involved such as you feeling uncomfortable or guilty about it. And then the therapy would focus on removing the guilt, not on correcting the behavior. At best, you may be judged "mentally healthy" though you have ruined many lives. You do not need to "ask forgiveness" of anybody or of God to remain perfectly "healthy".

By contrast, Christianity teaches that, just as a baby cannot "earn" his food, clothing, and shelter but must rely for his very existence on the love of his parents, we cannot "earn" God's help or love (without which we cannot exist) because there is nothing we can do that will even slightly personally benefit God,

Psalm 50:7 ...am God, even thy God. ... 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Even if there were any currency in which we might repay God, the cost would be staggering, because our hatred is so deep that loveing us has cost God dearly! Men hated God so deeply that they killed Him on the Cross; and our hatred is like theirs.

John 15:If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

"Grace" is one of Christianity's wonderful words. It means "gift". It means "charisma", that quality in someone that just draws others to him like flies to honey. It means "joy". Our salvation ­ our deliverance from emptiness, depression, meaninglessness, lack of purpose, Hell ­ cannot be accomplished by our own efforts alone; but by working with God. This point has confused people, so let me state it more carefully: our work, or our "works" as the KJV puts it, cannot "earn" us one drop of blood that Jesus shed for our salvation.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

However, we must "work", as an aspect of our "Faith" ­ our trust in God, Heaven's "therapist", to give us "counsel" for our own benefit, obedience to which will bless us..

James 2:What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

We must "work", not to "repay" or benefit God, but to benefit ourselves; this is God's requirement, not because God wants us to reward Him, but because God loves us and wants us to grow into Sons of God who will one day sit WITH HIM IN HIS THRONE! Try earning THAT!

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.