Christian Psychology (1)

Just recently a new field of discipline has appeared on the scene which has captivated the interest of many religious groups and churches: Psychology. It has always been a subject of man’s interest ever since his creation, but even more so now. It has been called by such names as Philosophy, Theology (either religious or pagan), Metaphysics, and others. How­ever, with the combining of these pre­viously mentioned disciplines and the recent addition of the principles of scien­tific investigation to them, a new field of study has been born: Psychology.

But now if you were to ask me what is the importance of gaining a greater knowledge and understanding of psychol­ogy, I must give you two answers. First, those doctrines which concern themselves with man’s relationship lo God, Who is the Fountain of all good and the Bestower of salvation in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, that were branded as heresies by our church fathers are reappearing today in the form of psychology and are being accepted as truth in many churches today. And second, the study of psychology is re­quired of each of our young people if they plan on continuing their education. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is not to develop a Christian Psychology, but to point out the dangers in it as it presents itself as a Christian discipline.

Before I start to explain anything con­cerning psychology, a few basic truths must be stated. Unlike the belief of the world and many churches today: Philos­ophy (the use of man’s reason to come to a knowledge of the Truth) is the queen of the sciences.  We believe Theology (the study of the revelation of God as given to the Church in His Word) is the queen of the sciences. That is, every field of study undertaken by man is subservient to and must be studied in accordance to the Word of God. All knowledge comes from God. Without His revelation man cannot know any- thing. God’s Word can never be subservient to anything.

Does this mean then that knowledge is impossible for the ungodly? In the broad sense, no, God does not leave Himself without witness. There is a manifestation of God to the ungodly, that of wrath. The ungodly know the truth but hold it down in unrighteousness and change it to a lie (Romans 1:18-22). The result is, man rejects God as the source of all knowledge and claims himself to be the source of knowledge (Philosophy) thus becoming by his own willful act a spiri­tual fool. Therefore, in the narrow sense, the answer must be yes. Mere formal knowledge, that of facts and figures, has its foundation in spiritual knowledge. If the person is a spiritual fool, then he is also an academic fool; the two are inseparable. The only true knowledge is from God which is given to His people through grace on the merits of Christ alone. Only from this true knowledge does all other knowledge proceed.

Perhaps the best known example of the challenge of the truth that Theology, not Philosophy, is the queen of the sciences is depicted in the Inquisition of 1616 involving Galileo Galilei. Galileo was called before the Inquisition because he attempted to prove that the Scriptures supported his view that the earth revolved around the sun and not the sun around the earth as the church believed in those days. The church called his teachings heresy because they were contrary to the “sacred and divine Scripture” (Joshua 10:13).

However, what Galileo actually believed was that if an interpretation of God’s Word conflicted with a conclusion of science, then that interpretation was in error and must be changed. Science was the final authority.

The church was also guilty of this sin. The church’s stand on science was deter­mined by three factors: First, the posi­tion of Aristotle, a pagan philosopher, who according to friar Frederick Copleston, in his book entitled A History of Philosophy: volume 1 part 11 page 57, believes the following: “Apparently God is conceived as moving directly the first heaven, causing the daily rotation of the stars around the earth.’’; second, a rele­vant interpretation of Scripture; and third, the decree of the authorized agent of ecclesiastical power, the pope.

Both Galileo and the church based their beliefs on the reason of man; the first science, and the second philosophy. The result was the advancement of the church’s apostasy. Fifty years after the death of Galileo the church adopted the stand of the scientific interpretation of Scripture. This stand has been carried thru the apostate churches to the present. Philosophy has become for them the queen of the sciences. Science is their theology.

(Next month, the Lord willing, how psychology became a science and the subtle enemy of the church)