Year end is a good time to reflect on how our descent as a nation into evil the past few years has been so accelerated.
Some long term factors receive much attention, such as educational corruption, welfare bribery, scientism, corporatism, and the concentration of power in D.C., among others. Spiritual markers such as the devaluation of God and elevation of self, growth of cults such as New Age, perversion of the Gospels, and doubts that the Bible is the literal word of God all contribute.
An area which is often overlooked is the impact of modern psychology on the drastic decline in the health of the body politic.
An Epoch Times article from last year titled “10 Truths About Trauma” by Gregory Jantz purports that “70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event” and the one fifth of them go on “to develop PTSD” (post-traumatic stress disorder). Women, the weaker vessel, are as usual more prone to such attacks.
What is behind this transformation of the American race from hardy pioneers to a nation of aggrieved snowflakes?
Educational corruption (infiltrated by communism/socialism) clearly impacts. But what of the church, the one-time pillar of every community?
A recent read, titled Person to Person Ministry, Soul Care in the Body of Christ, opened my eyes to the church’s failure in one more critical area of public life.
The author couple, Martin and Deidre Bobgan, detail grave concerns regarding “problem-centered counseling.” They define “problem” as any subject one takes to a counselor and point out that such counseling sessions involve an immense amount of self-focus – the counselee is encouraged to “explain” the “problem” in detail and dwell on its deleterious impact on them.
The Bobgans – who themselves worked for years in so-called “biblical counseling” within their church before realizing how worldly the discipline had become – point out the numerous deficiencies, indeed sinfulness, that accompany such an approach.
Blabbing (talebearing or gossiping) to a shrink about others is a sin? Well, yes, almost always. Recall the 4th commandment? “Honour thy father and mother” (Exodus 20:12). Talebearing, a King James Bible word that rings true, causes “wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 18:8).
By focusing on, digging into, revealing (via childhood regression, hypnosis, etc.) problems, wounds, or traumas caused by others, the counselee is encouraged to obsess about the self, and fall into the trap of victimhood.
As the Bobgans elaborate:
Early believers saw trials as God’s gracious fatherly means of maturing His children in the faith. Rather than focusing on ways to solve the problems as the means of finding peace and happiness, the early Christians saw problems as opportunities for growing in faith and glorifying God. James urged believers to “count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptation” (James 1:2) and to recognize that every trial is a test of faith and a call to spiritual arms. [p.13-14]
The Bobgans just threw out a century of carefully-crafted lies, the norms of modern pyschotherapy.
And they know of which they speak, for years being “part of the biblical counseling movement (BCM). We spoke at conferences, promoted various BCM organizations, and wrote in support of biblical counseling. For reasons mentioned in this book and in our other writings, we left the BCM and became critics of it.” [p.15]
They renounced their former specialty so far as to assert, “if a church is loaded with problem-solving counseling, it is an indication of a low-level of spirituality in the church and of poor teaching, preaching, and evangelizing there.” [p. 34]
How far we have come!
The Bible presents a view of problems of living very different from the usual human perspective. God uses such problems for His purposes, which include drawing people to Himself, conforming believers to the image of Christ, and building His Kindgom, all to His glory. [p.13]
How did the church abandon this understanding in favor of modern, God-less psychiatry (whose founders, Freud and Jung, were blatantly anti-Christian)?
The Bobgans quote Dr. Thomas Szasz, “one of the world’s best known and distinguished university professors of psychiatry” as follows:
With the decline of religion and the growth of science in the eighteen century, the care of (sinful) souls, which had been an integral part of the Christian religions, was recast as the cure of (sick) minds, and became an integral part of medical science. [p.29]
Worse, problem-centered counseling advances the on-going feminization of the church. As the Bobgans note, pertaining to marriage counseling:
Counseling is a functional environment for women and a dysfunctional environment for men. While most men would naturally avoid it, they are often compelled to become involved. Once men become involved, their spiritual headship (Eph. 5) is easily and often usurped by the biblical counselor. [p.66-67]
The Bobgans go on to highlight how myriad worldly practices – besides problem-centeredness – have infiltrated today’s church, from charging for counseling, meeting off-location once a week, one-upmanship counseling, and so on.
How to reverse such a poor situation, corroding the foundations of a healthy society?
As the Bobgans learned in their own extensive ministering, one needs to pull the counselee’s focus away from self, “the problem,” and others and lift it heavenward. The only true counselor is Jesus Christ through his Holy Spirit. The immediate counselor is simply reminding the recipient of this truth, sharing from experience his own transformation, and sharing practical steps such as more fellowship, more Bible reading, more service, etc.
The modern mind naturally rebels against such strictures.
So what to do with the proliferation of victimhood and cases of PTSD mentioned at this article’s outset? Obviously, PTSD developed on the battlefield is clear-cut. Recurring nightmares is another indicator of a prolonged impact. But the rest?
The same Epoch Times article mentioned above approvingly quotes from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing: “Trauma is any event or series of events that is experienced or witnessed by an individual and has long-lasting social, physical, spiritual, or psychological effects.” From the sound of it, modern “trauma” includes any beneficial, long-term event, such as my Christian conversion experience! (Perhaps the word deleterious was inadvertently dropped from the copy.)
If America is ever to return to being a virtuous, Godly nation, we need to get back to the basics. One place to start is to throw out modern psychology – from both the church and society.
For a healthy church, find a doctrinally-sound, Bible-believing one with more mature Christians able to “counsel” and exhort one another – that doesn’t outsource this function.
As for society in general, adults must take full responsibility for their actions and well-being, stop blaming others, and pattern their life after Jesus and the apostles – none of whom needed or received counseling.
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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phillipians 3:13-14)
Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Person to Person Ministry, Soul Care in the Body of Christ, 2009, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA
Ben Batchelder is the author of four extended travel yarns and became a Contributor to The Miami Independent at its inception. Contact him at his author site benbatchelder.com