Christian Psychologists: can't shake the monkey on their back

newrings_cassini.jpgI reviewed the interview “Stress Management is Adrenaline Management” with Dr. Archibald Hart, Professor of Psychology at the Fuller Theological Seminary, on Focus on the Family with Dr. Dobson (Adrenaline and Stress I-III). I jotted down points raised in the interview in an outline to keep track of presentation, and I made a few comments next to some.

In all these explanations for behavior, addictions replace sin as the conditions to be cured of. Because the cause for the destructive behavior is sin, and psychology cannot offer a cure for sin; only the symptoms of sin are addressed in psychology.

a. You should manage it with medication.

b. Learn how to enjoy “low arousal” (medications for “low arousal” therapy are now part of psychologist’s prescriptions for problem students)

c. “We are all adrenaline addicts” (ostensibly we all should, or could, be on some type of medication and therapy. Note that psychology is the only practice that invents diseases in order to manufacture patients, although the pharmaceutical companies, another arm of the medical industry, are also upgrading degenerative complaints into “conditions” treatable by their products).

d. The definition of addiction is it has got to be damaging (“damaging” diagnosis carries some descriptions many would identify with; but it can also be highly subjective to psychologists theorize to be “healthy”; see diagnosis for “misuse of religious faith,” point “n”)

e. We are plagued with “hidden addictions” that we are unaware of (but that no doubt can be revealed in psychological counseling and or treated with the latest book and tape series authored by a psychologist.)

f. Anything used for escape of problems is addiction (this might included frequent Bible reading and prayer to escape the problems created by your flesh; and that is a fact of diagnosable disease in psychology; see point “n”).

g. Addictions are caused by unmet needs carried over into adulthood (all of these, by the way, and are identified as needs that can be met by what other people do with and for us; and there are no “unmet needs,” according to Maslov’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, that are met by God.).

h. �The biochemistry of the body, inappropriately triggered and over used that can be the bases for a hidden addiction� (this theory of Dr. Hart�s in compatible with the theories found biological evolution for explaining why we do what we do).

i. Dr. Hart actually goes to great lengths to avoid recognizing sin as a condition. When Dr. Hart shares a hypothetical case with Dr. Dobson on FOM, he reveals to those who know, or take time to discover, that he believes and teaches that psychological therapy is of equal importance, and equal power, to the word of God and, further, that the word of God without being coupled with psychology is incompetent. In the hypothetical case of a pastor who is �devout� in the practice of his faith, but occasionally is involved in pornography, the reason Dr. Hart advances for his lapse is an obsessive/compulsive disorders; not sin. Here, sin is being conveniently ignored because of Hart’s lucrative practice that he advanced at Fuller Theological Seminary where he teaches that pastor are not qualified to minister without also undergoing psychological therapy themselves’ no exceptions! For Dr. Dobson to let such heresy slid by the microphone despite that fact that he claims to be familiar with Hart�s work and publications, is easily diagnosable in terms of their own theory. Dobson experiences a sense of self aggrandizement (pleasure from his addiction) and validation (reinforcement) of his own long years of dedication to the study and propagation of psychological therapy thought Hart�s mirroring back to Dobson what Dobson wants desperately to believe. Hence, Dobson (like Hart) is in denial of the pernicious tenets (damages caused by their addiction to psychology) that Hart mixes into Christian doctrines.

j. In the absence of sin in his theories, causes for sinful behaviors are renamed to “underlying mechanism.” This is a clean clinical term that perpetuates the theory that people can be diagnosed and cured of sin by psychological therapy.

k. Dr. Hart claims to believe that “all addictions are ultimately aspects of sin,” but then quickly returns to ignoring sin in favor of treating “underlying mechanisms.”

l. The only “element of choice” for people who have lived in sin for long periods “is to seek [psychological] treatment.”

m. Hart claims to believe “that all healing begins with God,” but that God’s ability stops almost as soon as it begins, and that this only makes possible the “first [next] step to recognize that you need help from the outside,” particularly from a psychosocial program. This acknowledgment of God, albeit in a subordinate position to psychology, by psychologists on radio talk shows is what amounts to the occasional, obligatory, ‘plug’ for God. It is made only to endorse the psychologist’s own credentials, and to placate Christian audiences.

n. “People misuse their religious faith.” Hart asserts there is a diagnosable disorder, requiring treatment, where people rely too much on the power and intervention of God. The way it is diagnosed is through, of course, psychological theory. For example, if your are excited about God, and worship him in spirit, you could be looking for a “fix,” or if your sole dependency is on God for healing you be in “denial” of the fact that you must have psychological therapy, in addition to God�s therapy, if you are to receive healing. Point emphasized: psychology may at no time be dismissed!

In all these explanations for behavior, addictions replace sin as the condition to be cured of. Because the cause for the destructive behavior is sin, and psychology cannot offer a cure for sin; only the symptoms of sin are addressed in psychology.

The condition used by psychologist to describe elevated levels of “adrenaline, called upon at time when you really shouldn’t be in need of whats called the ‘fight of flight’ mechanism, that jacks you up, and calls on more energy,” are examined under the theory of Darwinian evolution, and not from a Biblical perspective. The “fight or flight” mechanism evolutional psychologists invented to explain reason for sudden surges in energy brought on by, for example, anger; is predicated on the evolutional theory that as man was evolving from the lower life forms that roamed the earth in a Neanderthal state of hunter-gatherer existence characterized by un-evolved reasoning skills, and the process of natural selection provided for him a means to survive the selection process and pass on his superior genes to a succeeding generation. Thus, being incapable of rational thought, or to take measures to otherwise insure his survivability, evolution gave him a means of releasing an extra burst of energy to either flee a life threatening situation when he came face to face with it, or to fight for his life if there were no means of escape and possibly survive the encounter.

Why this relic of our evolutionary past (according to the theory) plagues us today is not addressed by purveyors of books and tapes offering systems and treatments for correcting it, and for obvious reasons. The Bible gives an altogether different explanation for the reasons mankind becomes inflamed with anger or stimulated by certain behaviors in excess, and it is interesting to note that God does not appeal to evolutionary theory to explain this “mechanism.” On the other hand, the psychologist has no choice but to appeal to that theory for authority in his treatable/billable theories; having rejected the reasons provided by the author and finisher of our faith. It’s the monkey on his back.


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