Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Helping People Do Right, or Helping Them to Feel Better About Doing Wrong?


In doing some research for Sunday's message I ran across an excellent article related to idolatry and psychological health, http://jamiehart.typepad.com/files/idols-of-the-heart-powlison.pdf

Here is a sample:

The solution, without exception, is to offer different and
presumably more workable idols, rather than repentance unto
the Bible’s Christ! Secularistic therapies teach people
eufunctional idols, idols which do “work” for people and
“bless” them with temporarily happy lives (Psalm 73).
So, for example, self-esteem is nurtured as the replacement
for trying to please unpleasable others, rather than esteem for
the Lamb who was slain for me, a sinner. Acceptance and love
from new significant others, starting with the therapist, create
successful versions of the fear of man and trust in man rather
than teaching essential trust in God. Self-trust and self-confidence
are boosted as I am taught to set expectations for myself
to which I can attain. The fruit looks good but is fundamentally
counterfeit. Believers in false gospels are sometimes allowed
to flourish temporarily.
Therapy systems without repentance at their core leave the
idol system intact. They simply rehabilitate and rebuild fundamental
godlessness to function more successfully.
The Bible’s idolatry motif diagnoses the ultimately selfdestructive
basis on which happy, healthy, and confident
people build their lives (eufunctional idols), just as perceptively
as it diagnoses unhappy people, who are more obviously
and immediately self-destructive (dysfunctional idols).

I have observed, in my time as a pastor, a shift in the counselling community--a trend that is present in Christian as well as secular counseling--from helping people to do what is right to helping them to feel good about the way they are.
Read the article.

3 comments:

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