Christianity and Secular Psychology

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As Christians living in a psychologized or therapeutic culture we must begin to at least ask ourselves how we are to approach and interpret psychological diagnoses and their corresponding labels. We need to understand what these labels are telling us and what they are not telling us, what we can learn from them and what we should avoid in them.


In the absence of instruction to guide us, the average church member is either so cold to psychology that they deem it all bunk and so refuse heed any of it, or on the other hand are so warmed by it that they soak it in with little to no questions asked. I’m advocating a middle ground that is willing to admit that psychology makes some very keen observations about people and why they tick, and yet I’m very cautious and suspicious when their conclusions conflict with or down play Scripture.

If we are too hot towards everything we learn in psychology we become mystified by how accurate they are in describing us, down to the reasons why we wear certain colors. Psychology is definitely into the minor dirty details of life, and as such, really give off a vibe that they know you, and so you can trust them to have the answers. Secular psychologist give the appearance that they hold all the cards in their arena and are on the cutting edge of answers the Bible and your pastor don’t and cannot address. What this can look like on the ground is if someone is struggling with a diagnosis of Bi-Polar and comes to the church and because psychology is taken at face value, the person it deemed to need clinical and possibly professional medical care.

Written By: John Leonard
continue to source article at examiner.com

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  1. As Christians living in a psychologized or therapeutic culture we must begin to at least ask ourselves how we are to approach and interpret psychological diagnoses and their corresponding labels

    No; what you need to is accept science’s findings are true, because they are. If that manages to contradict your religion somehow, just play the “it’s a metaphor” card until it doesn’t. (Or stop being Christians, if you can bare the prospect.)

  2. @OP – I’m advocating a middle ground that is willing to admit that psychology makes some very keen observations about people and why they tick, and yet I’m very cautious and suspicious when their conclusions conflict with or down play Scripture.

    Ah! A clueless middle-of-the-road fudgist.

    There’a a road jumction ahead :

    The SAT-NAV says, “turn left”. My astrologer said, “turn right today”. – but as a moderate, I will go straight ahead through the stone wall!

    That’s how taking a middle position between woo and scientific evidence works.
    What a clueless ignorant poser with the arrogance to offer advice to others!

  3. What a festering pile of fly-blown feces. The only thing religion has ever done in this field is perpetuate the notion that the “mind” is somehow separate from the brain and body, and that emotional and psychological illnesses are caused by sinful character flaws or demon possession. The idea that mental illness is somehow different from any other illness has permeated our culture and contributed to centuries of stigma and suffering that even medically-advanced, secular societies still struggle with. This wis why insurance coverage for mental health problems differs from that of other illnesses or injuries; why people refuse to get help for fear of losing jobs, friends, families and privileges never denied to those suffering from, say, cancer. I lay this untold burden of suffering directly at the superstitious feet of religion.

    • In reply to #5 by Neodarwinian:

      ” yet I’m very cautious and suspicious when their conclusions conflict with or down play Scripture.

      Far enough.

      Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stopped reading too.

  4. eh,cluttered or,was i reading that backwards? I’m getting that 1st yr. of college feeling,and I never even went to college,besides it sounds like the concept was dreamed up over a lot of drink the night before and scribbled down 1st thing in the morning with a bad hangover.I won’t inform my psychologist girlfriend on the sofa next to me of this blarticle for fear of her being in a bad mood going to bed… This seriously needs to be re-thought out and re-un-written. Some sentences seemed like they were trying to simultaneously disagree with themselves,and I think that’s the best way to describe it…by constructing an equally awkwardly written criticism.

  5. Does truth not matter to Christians? Can they not see what mere fantasy it is to believe that an unattested supreme, universe-creating being has revealed otherwise unknowable truths and made its will known to humankind through the collection of ancient Hebrew and Greek writings known as the Bible? This collection of ancient writings is of immense interest and value to historians and anthropologists, and the Old Testament holds pride of place in Hebrew literature; but any responsible adult should be able to see that it is pure make-believe to treat those writings as an infallible source of supernatural truth. If Christians cannot accept natural truth, whatever could they mean by supernatural truth? The supernatural to which they would refer is in fact entirely unattested! How much longer must society put up with these delusional troublemakers?

  6. What a load of bunk!

    The Baptist Church that I attended in my dismal past, used to pour scorn on Psychology.Seeing a psychologist was not approved behaviour.One should rather see a member of the church who would ‘ counsel’ one.I shudder to think of the damage done to vulnerable people

    Christians pick and choose when it comes to science, not seeing, or refusing to acknowledge how dishonest this stance is.

  7. They know the truth of science more than they acknowledge – they recognise that psychology has the power to know their mind…that worries them – their inner secret sinful thoughts may come out !! They really want there to be demons – weirdo’s….. but its hormone imbalance in many people and much worse mental illnesses ….which they irresponsibly neglect to refer to doctors…..You’d need to be a few neurons short of a brain to even go to one of these flakes….

  8. Who is this fuckwit? He is (deliberately?) misusing the very term psychology – bi-polar is a psychiatric disorder, fully recognised by mainstream medicine, and yes, it bloody well does need real medicine to alleviate the symptoms.

    I could go on, but life’s too short. And the idiot is in Texas, so par for the course I suppose.

  9. I have almost the opposite question: I would like to know to what extent Christianity or other religions have influenced the development of psychology even when its practitioners think of themselves as irreligious. My assumption is that everyone living within a society is influenced by their culture as a whole no matter how much they may believe themselves to reject those cultural aspects to which they probably don’t subscribe, like religion. I am particularly interested in how psychology’s understanding of human sexuality has been skewed or distorted by deeply lain and largely unexamined assumptions whose roots are in ancient culture and religion, especially.

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