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Pilgrimtozion
Jul 1st 2008, 12:28 PM
After writing my article entitled 'His Utmost For My Highest - Developing The Dead Self' (found here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1682927#post1682927)), some people criticized me for being too black-and-white. My position concerning so-called 'self-help psychology' was particularly offensive to some. My claim that self-help psychology only places the emphasis more on the self rather than point to Christ was found by some to be rigorous and not very realistic.

Hence this thread: what is the relation between the Bible and Psychology? What place does Psychology have in the life of a Christian who lives their life according to the Bible? How do you support your view from Scripture?

I'm curious as to what you all have to say.

9Marksfan
Jul 1st 2008, 12:53 PM
After writing my article entitled 'His Utmost For My Highest - Developing The Dead Self' (found here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1682927#post1682927)), some people criticized me for being too black-and-white. My position concerning so-called 'self-help psychology' was particularly offensive to some. My claim that self-help psychology only places the emphasis more on the self rather than point to Christ was found by some to be rigorous and not very realistic.

Hence this thread: what is the relation between the Bible and Psychology? What place does Psychology have in the life of a Christian who lives their life according to the Bible? How do you support your view from Scripture?

I'm curious as to what you all have to say.

Hi

I'm afraid I didn't see your initial thread but I will read it now. I believe that Scripture is entirely sufficient for all the needs of our soul - spiritual, emotional, intellectual, psychological - I believe 2 Tim 3:17 and other verses teach this. I would therefore be "nouthetic" in my approach to counselling. However, there does seem to be some merit in the conept of biblical counselling as taught eg by Jay Adams and John MacArthur - it seems to point to Scriptural teaching as the ultimate answer to our psychological problems - but is it perhaps starting from the wrong source? Taking the problems identified by the world and having Scripture answer them, rather than have Scripture both IDENTIFY AND answer these problems?

But I agree - "Christianised" self-help courses - and in particular psychotherapeutic techniques with a "Christian" veneer are not only wrong but potentially very dangerous - the focus is all on self, not Christ. Idolatry (self-worship) is a very real possibility with these - that's what marks so many of the health/wealth/prosperity churches that teach that God just wants you to feel good about yourself and really have a great, self-fulfiliing life!

LyndaO
Jul 1st 2008, 02:10 PM
I agree, psychology -- as it is defined and used in our society -- is against the Christian view. Psychology is a man-focused ideology that leaves God out, that says that the Bible is old fashioned and trite, that some people have such severe problems that they need something extra; the Bible and God is not enough, so they add self-esteem and self-centered behaviorism and other techniques.

I'm currently reading John MacArthur's great book, "Our Sufficiency in Christ," in which he specifically confronts the error of psychology and its destructive influence even within the church. He does support biblical counseling, but that is something based on scripture, not on humanist-based psychology.

HisLeast
Jul 1st 2008, 02:13 PM
Are we talking about psychiatry / psychology in general, or just the "pop psychology" of self help books?

Sold Out
Jul 1st 2008, 02:15 PM
Hence this thread: what is the relation between the Bible and Psychology? What place does Psychology have in the life of a Christian who lives their life according to the Bible? How do you support your view from Scripture?

I'm curious as to what you all have to say.

You may already know this, but the word psychology comes from the greek word 'psuche', which means soul. So psychology is the study of the human soul!

I apologize I didn't read your article, but just reading your post led me to believe that I agree with you 100%. Too much emphasis is put on 'self-worth' and 'self-esteem', concepts which are non-existent in the scriptures. No where in all the bible are we commanded to love ourselves! Our focus should always be on those around us, not ourselves. The self-help folks have hijacked the unsuspecting brains of those who feel lost and lonely, and infect them with the poison of focusing on themselves.

Brother Mark
Jul 1st 2008, 02:24 PM
After writing my article entitled 'His Utmost For My Highest - Developing The Dead Self' (found here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1682927#post1682927)), some people criticized me for being too black-and-white. My position concerning so-called 'self-help psychology' was particularly offensive to some. My claim that self-help psychology only places the emphasis more on the self rather than point to Christ was found by some to be rigorous and not very realistic.

Hence this thread: what is the relation between the Bible and Psychology? What place does Psychology have in the life of a Christian who lives their life according to the Bible? How do you support your view from Scripture?

I'm curious as to what you all have to say.

Many principles of scripture can be found in psychology. That doesn't mean psychology is correct though. For they try to help folks outside of Christ. But if one was to study and investigate happy and good marriages, do you think they would discover Godly principles at work within those marriages? I do.

My issue with Psychology is one of application rather than knowledge. For they try to teach application of these principles without Jesus and that leads to death even if God still honors his principles.

One final thing... man's soul is very powerful. I still need to read Watchman Nee's book on "The Latent Power of the Soul".

Brother Mark
Jul 1st 2008, 02:25 PM
You may already know this, but the word psychology comes from the greek word 'psuche', which means soul. So psychology is the study of the human soul!

I apologize I didn't read your article, but just reading your post led me to believe that I agree with you 100%. Too much emphasis is put on 'self-worth' and 'self-esteem', concepts which are non-existent in the scriptures. No where in all the bible are we commanded to love ourselves! Our focus should always be on those around us, not ourselves. The self-help folks have hijacked the unsuspecting brains of those who feel lost and lonely, and infect them with the poison of focusing on themselves.

Well, that depends on what you mean by self worth. How much is an item worth? I would argue it is worth what one is willing to pay for it. How much are you and I worth? As much as Jesus himself.

ravi4u2
Jul 1st 2008, 02:41 PM
Too much emphasis is put on 'self-worth' and 'self-esteem', concepts which are non-existent in the scriptures. No where in all the bible are we commanded to love ourselves! How about love your neighbor as you love yourself??? The great commandment makes it impossible to love others without first loving ourselves.

HisLeast
Jul 1st 2008, 02:43 PM
Are we talking about psychiatry / psychology in general, or just the "pop psychology" of self help books?

Are we talking about psychiatry / psychology in general, or just the "pop psychology" of self help books?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 03:12 PM
Psychology is merely philosophy of the brain and not an actual hard science (though psychologists will swear up and down they're a hard science, any hard scientific evidence they gather is influenced by their philosophical presupposition). With that in mind, it means that psychology in the general sense of the word has a high relationship with the Bible.

Christian psychology teaches that without Christ man is in despair, whether he realizes it or not. Within Christianity we do need psychologists who understand when there is a medical problem with the person (i.e. chemical imbalance) or when there is a spiritual problem with the person.

Pilgrimtozion
Jul 1st 2008, 03:48 PM
So how do you all back your views concerning this issue up from the Bible? Take for instance the popular issue of digging into your past to solve present problems with regards to behavior, self-esteem, fear of failure, etc. or using psychology to bring somebody out of depression back into 'working order'. What do you think the Bible says about these things?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 03:51 PM
So how do you all back your views concerning this issue up from the Bible? Take for instance the popular issue of digging into your past to solve present problems with regards to behavior, self-esteem, fear of failure, etc. or using psychology to bring somebody out of depression back into 'working order'. What do you think the Bible says about these things?

It's largely silent on these issues because such type of psychology hadn't been studied at that time. At the same time, such practices don't negate the Bible either, so I wouldn't worry too much if we can't find Biblical support - there isn't Biblical rejection of them either (although much of modern psychology would be rejected with its emphasis on the self).

Looking into the past is actually a wise practice as it can bring to light faults of our own that might have caused our problems, or harms caused to us by others that we should forgive them for. It actually seems to sync up with the Bible that if we are to truly forgive people and our psychological problem stems from past harms caused by others, then we truly have not forgiven them - therefore, it would do us well to look into the past, see what happened, and forgive that person for that action.

Brother Mark
Jul 1st 2008, 04:07 PM
So how do you all back your views concerning this issue up from the Bible? Take for instance the popular issue of digging into your past to solve present problems with regards to behavior, self-esteem, fear of failure, etc. or using psychology to bring somebody out of depression back into 'working order'. What do you think the Bible says about these things?

It's called repentance. If you sinned in your past, you need to address it. There's other things as well. I believe in ancestral curses. In other words, the sins of the fathers being visited upon the children. Not that the children are judged for the sins of the fathers but rather they pick them up. We see it with alcoholism and other issues. If a person comes from a divorced family, then they are more likely to get a divorce. Getting back to alcohol, one can have a propensity to be a drunk, but one must still open the door. So in dealing with drunkeness, one repents of opening the door and also repents for the sins of his family. When Daniel repented, he repented not only for his own sins but for the sins of the nation.

There are other examples. But I think this is a good one.

HisLeast
Jul 1st 2008, 04:08 PM
So how do you all back your views concerning this issue up from the Bible? Take for instance the popular issue of digging into your past to solve present problems with regards to behavior, self-esteem, fear of failure, etc. or using psychology to bring somebody out of depression back into 'working order'. What do you think the Bible says about these things?

Do you think the past has no impact on one's behavior, self esteem, fear of failure, and present mental health?

Sold Out
Jul 1st 2008, 04:34 PM
Well, that depends on what you mean by self worth. How much is an item worth? I would argue it is worth what one is willing to pay for it. How much are you and I worth? As much as Jesus himself.

Our worth should be determined on how Jesus values us, not how we value ourselves.

I think the other side of the coin here is that a Christian can be depressed...and for no apparent medical reason. I say that because I do know Christians that have depression and mental issues due to medical reasons. The ones I'm talking about are those who are constantly 'down in the dumps' because they don't feel good about themselves.

Holy cow! These people are saved and going to heaven and all they do is sit around moping? Do they realize who they are in Christ? Get out and help somebody - serve in your local church or a para-church ministry.

We gain self-worth by understanding our position in Christ and serving others, which is what Jesus meant when he said to love our neighbors AS ourselves...he didn't tell us to love ourselves. We are to love our neighbors the way we would want to be loved by them.

Brother Mark
Jul 1st 2008, 04:41 PM
Our worth should be determined on how Jesus values us, not how we value ourselves.

I think the other side of the coin here is that a Christian can be depressed...and for no apparent medical reason. I say that because I do know Christians that have depression and mental issues due to medical reasons. The ones I'm talking about are those who are constantly 'down in the dumps' because they don't feel good about themselves.

Holy cow! These people are saved and going to heaven and all they do is sit around moping? Do they realize who they are in Christ? Get out and help somebody - serve in your local church or a para-church ministry.

We gain self-worth by understanding our position in Christ and serving others, which is what Jesus meant when he said to love our neighbors AS ourselves...he didn't tell us to love ourselves. We are to love our neighbors the way we would want to be loved by them.

That's the overriding point of my post. We are of GREAT worth and should realize it. That is something that should be preached from the housetops.

On the other hand, he did teach that we are to love ourselves. For if one is to love his neighbor as himself, he should rightly love himself. Paul even taught that no one yet hated his own body when he discussed how husbands are to love their wives. There is nothing anti-scriptural about loving ourselves. Being self centered is a sin. Loving one self is healthy.

HisLeast
Jul 1st 2008, 04:58 PM
Anyone who's actually received good quality therapy from a psychiatrist / psychologist will understand that therapy ain't about getting pats on the back and a nice warm fuzzy feeling about yourself.

Pilgrimtozion
Jul 1st 2008, 08:23 PM
Anyone who's actually received good quality therapy from a psychiatrist / psychologist will understand that therapy ain't about getting pats on the back and a nice warm fuzzy feeling about yourself.
The question is, however, where the Biblical basis for such therapy can be found.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 08:27 PM
The question is, however, where the Biblical basis for such therapy can be found.


Well I answered this I believe. You don't need a Biblical basis for everything (i.e. should I go to Chili's or Ruby Tuesday's for dinner?). So long as the practice doesn't contradict explicit and implicit Biblical principles, it's certainly okay to engage in it. Though much of modern psychology does violate the Bible, psychology itself (as a philosophy) does not and therefore has much room for Christian influence.

Lo-Lo
Jul 1st 2008, 09:15 PM
I do believe one must look to the past to see what the underlying problem is so it can be addressed. Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness which can lead to depression. Unforgiveness of oneself is very damaging. Without the power of Christ, change cannot happen. But, I also want to point out, there are christains that do need medication and christain therapy to overcome certain problems. Chemical imbalances are real, but not as prevalent as the secular world would want us to think.

Laura

9Marksfan
Jul 1st 2008, 09:57 PM
Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness which can lead to depression. Unforgiveness of oneself is very damaging.

Where does it say in the bible that we need to and can forgive ourselves?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 10:04 PM
Where does it say in the bible that we need to and can forgive ourselves?


It's simple logic - (A) God commands us to forgive others of their trespasses against us and (B) God has forgiven us of our trespasses against Him, therefore (C) it follows that when our sin is against ourselves and God, we are supposed to forgive ourselves of such a trespass.

This is the meaning of forgiveness - when we go before God we are freed from the consequences and should not live in guilt. The only way not to live in guilt is to forgive yourself.

9Marksfan
Jul 1st 2008, 10:16 PM
It's simple logic - (A) God commands us to forgive others of their trespasses against us

Agreed.


and (B) God has forgiven us of our trespasses against Him,

If we are Christians, agreed.


therefore (C) it follows that when our sin is against ourselves

Er, where do you find anyone saying they've sinned against themselves? Are we divine?!?! We only have one nature, so we can't sin against oursleves!


and God, we are supposed to forgive ourselves of such a trespass.

No - there is not ONE verse in Scripture to advocate this - it's a humanistic - and also New Age - concept, with its roots in gnosticism.


This is the meaning of forgiveness - when we go before God we are freed from the consequences and should not live in guilt. The only way not to live in guilt is to forgive yourself.

Cannot disagree more. This is verging on blasphemy - are we a higher authority than God?!? The Pharisees were right (for a change!) when they said "Who forgives sins but GOD ALONE?"!!! The only way not to live in guilt is to BE FORGIVEN by God - NOTHING more is needed - HIS forgiveness is all we need!

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 10:42 PM
Er, where do you find anyone saying they've sinned against themselves? Are we divine?!?! We only have one nature, so we can't sin against oursleves!

Sin is a dual concept. Ultimately, all sin is committed against God and not against humans. This is the technical sense of sin.

However, the common usage of sin is "offense," meaning that if we offend someone or harm someone, we have sinned against that person. Likewise, if we harm ourselves then we have sinned (harmed) ourselves, but not sinned in the same sense as we sin against God.


No - there is not ONE verse in Scripture to advocate this - it's a humanistic - and also New Age - concept, with its roots in gnosticism.


What is everyone's infatuation with Gnosticism? I have yet to meet a single person outside of the academic community that has actually studied it. Have you read anything by Plato? Have you read anything about Plotinus? Have you read the Gnostic Gospels? Have you read books from pro-Gnostic sources? Have you studied Gnosticism?

The reason I ask is because nothing I presented even comes close to Gnosticism. It has nothing to do with Platonic realism (the core of Gnosticism - you cannot have Gnosticism without Platonic realism). Instead it deals with letting go and not punishing ourselves over something God has forgiven us for.

Are you suggesting that we should whip ourselves and constantly remain guilty even if God has forgiven us?

The forgiveness I am speaking of, once again, is not to be used interchangeably with the forgiveness God gives us. God is the only one that holds the ability to forgive us in a manner that actually releases us from the actual guilt of our sins. We, however, can "forgive" in that we refuse to beat ourselves up over a mistake, especially when it prevents us from continuing on.

Also, logically, you cannot agree with A, but disagree with C. If God commands us to forgive others who sin against us, why would the power to forgive ourselves fail when forgiveness in both instances means the same thing?


Cannot disagree more. This is verging on blasphemy - are we a higher authority than God?!? The Pharisees were right (for a change!) when they said "Who forgives sins but GOD ALONE?"!!! The only way not to live in guilt is to BE FORGIVEN by God - NOTHING more is needed - HIS forgiveness is all we need!

This is a gross overreaction to what I said and in your haste to put up a reactionary argument that lacked contemplation, you completely misunderstood. It would have been better for you to ask me to clarify. The reason for this is you came close to accusing me of blasphemy - bearing false witness against your neighbor - without properly understanding what I was saying. Such an accusation of blasphemy should never be thrown around so loosely, but instead we should investigate exactly what the person is saying before leveling such an accusation.

There are two types of guilt - emotional guilt and actual guilt (in that you are guilty of a crime). Only God is capable of forgiving us of actual guilt because we are the only ones that can commit actual sin against Him. At the same time, when we say "I forgive you" to someone else, we are not absolving them of their guilt before God, but instead of their emotional guilt. When we sin when we forgive ourselves (after being forgiven by God, this is a prerequisite) we can only absolve ourselves of emotional guilt.

How does any of that contradict the Bible?

nzyr
Jul 1st 2008, 10:55 PM
I don't believe a word a psychologist or psychiatrist has ever said. And as late as the 1970s lobotomies were still being performed on psychiatric patients. Not very nice in my opinion.

for_him
Jul 1st 2008, 11:13 PM
I've had depression my whole life, and multitudes of psychologists and psychiatrists stepped up to the plate to try to fix me.

In all honesty, looking back (and I never thought I would say this) they did a great deal more harm than good. Had I been secure in who I was in Christ and had the kind of relationship with Him that I have now, I would not have needed these professionals.

That said, I do think if someone has no one else to talk to, it helps to have a real human face in front of you to bounce problems off of and try to come up with solutions.

Lo-Lo
Jul 1st 2008, 11:22 PM
Good job in explaining forgiveness apothanein kerdos :hug:! One more thing I would like to add through - forgiveness is a choice. I choose to forgive because God first forgives me. Forgiveness is not easy because of the emotional damage(our humanism gets in the way). But forgiveness is key to the road of healing. Unbelief and unforgiveness are huge road blockers in our walk with Christ. Emotional health is important in our walk with the Lord.

SweetSomber
Jul 1st 2008, 11:52 PM
I'm not sure where to begin on this topic. I guess I'll start by saying that I realize that psychology has a bad rap in christian cirles. I, however, hold a different opinion.

First of all, I think that psychology is completely biblical, just like science and medicine. We study science, we understand God's creation better - we can grow things and help people to eat and live healthily. We study medicine - we understand how God designed our bodies - we can give medication to help to those who suffer illness, and also can prevent some illness. Yay! In the same way, we study the mind/emotions, we understand better the brain that God has given us - we can help others out of emotional/brain problems that they have, and can prevent others from having those same issues.

The question is not "Are counselors Biblical?" (Btw, it takes a masters degree to get the title of counselor, professionally) But rather "Why are there not more christians who can help?" Christians tend to give unhelpful pat answers to those who are hurtful. Some well-meaning christians just don't even know what to try to say. So, then, people have to spend over a hundred dollars an hour to see a "counselor" who actually knows what they are talking about and will help. Those who have problems don't have that kind of money! We should ALL study psychology, (using the Bible of course to sort out untruth, because, like science, it's bound to be inaccurate at some points) so that when someone comes up to us, ready to slit their own throat, we know how to HELP them. Not just shoot Bible at them, but really understand why their mind and emotions are leading them to this, and how to get them out.

"Anyone who's actually received good quality therapy from a psychiatrist / psychologist will understand that therapy ain't about getting pats on the back and a nice warm fuzzy feeling about yourself." This is very true. Therapists will actually help people to deal with deep-rooted pain - people don't want to do that - it hurts! But the way they are currently dealing with the pain (and there are many bad ways of that, trying to block it from your mind - short term memory loss - disconnecting from all emotions (it can happen) balancing the pain with blame, etc) doesn't work. Therapists help people deal with pain in a more healthy (Godly and Biblical) way.

And yeh, I've had many real experiences dealing will people who need counselors and don't get them, or those who get help elsewhere, or those who just stay crazy, those who go to counsel and it doesn't help. Everything. I know what not to say to someone who cuts. I'm not just being hypothetical here. :)

9Marksfan
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:00 AM
Sin is a dual concept. Ultimately, all sin is committed against God and not against humans. This is the technical sense of sin.

The bible doesn't call it technical - this is the PRIMARY meaning of sin - offences against God.


However, the common usage of sin is "offense," meaning that if we offend someone or harm someone, we have sinned against that person.

Agreed - I'm guessing this is what you mean by "dual concept"?


Likewise, if we harm ourselves then we have sinned (harmed) ourselves, but not sinned in the same sense as we sin against God.

This is pure secular psychology and is based on human logic, not scripture - there is not one single passage or verse in scripture to back up this concept.


What is everyone's infatuation with Gnosticism? I have yet to meet a single person outside of the academic community that has actually studied it. Have you read anything by Plato? Have you read anything about Plotinus? Have you read the Gnostic Gospels? Have you read books from pro-Gnostic sources? Have you studied Gnosticism?

I'm reasonably familiar with its tenets as it was addressed regularly in the NT letters - we've gone through both 1 John and Colossians recently at church, both of which address it. Its modern day manifestation is in the New Age movement, although no doubt there are some differences. Gnosticism is all about secret knowledge - and one of the biggest new age books recently has been The Secret - coincidence? I don't think so!


The reason I ask is because nothing I presented even comes close to Gnosticism. It has nothing to do with Platonic realism (the core of Gnosticism - you cannot have Gnosticism without Platonic realism). Instead it deals with letting go and not punishing ourselves over something God has forgiven us for.

OK - here's my theory of where this is coming from - and it's actually borne out in new age books like Radically Forgiving Ourselves - man is divine, so man has the authority to forgive himself - indeed he must, as to forgive is divine - man has the power to bring the healing that divine forgiveness alone can bring - so man in his divine "self" is able to remove his own guilt through self-forgiveness. Sound familiar? Are you influenced by Gnosticism? Do you think it has merit?


Are you suggesting that we should whip ourselves and constantly remain guilty even if God has forgiven us?

Of course not - what I am saying (if you'd read my last post) is that God's forgiveness is ALL we need - it deals not only with the objective guilt you mention but the emotional guilt too! We don't NEED to forgive ourselves!


The forgiveness I am speaking of, once again, is not to be used interchangeably with the forgiveness God gives us. God is the only one that holds the ability to forgive us in a manner that actually releases us from the actual guilt of our sins.

Glad we're agreed on that!


We, however, can "forgive" in that we refuse to beat ourselves up over a mistake, especially when it prevents us from continuing on.

No - or, at least, that's not how God wants us to view it - He wants us to realise that HIS forgiveness brings healing at the deepest level - spiritually, emotionally, psychologically - "who heals ALL your diseases" - and since it's the soul that the man is addressing in Ps 103, it's the diseases of the soul that God alone heals!


Also, logically, you cannot agree with A, but disagree with C. If God commands us to forgive others who sin against us, why would the power to forgive ourselves fail when forgiveness in both instances means the same thing?

You are assuming that we require to forgive ourselves - nothing in Scripture teaches this. Can you find ONE instance where it does?


This is a gross overreaction to what I said and in your haste to put up a reactionary argument that lacked contemplation, you completely misunderstood. It would have been better for you to ask me to clarify. The reason for this is you came close to accusing me of blasphemy - bearing false witness against your neighbor - without properly understanding what I was saying. Such an accusation of blasphemy should never be thrown around so loosely, but instead we should investigate exactly what the person is saying before leveling such an accusation.

My apologies for that - please forgive me. I understand more clearly now where you are coming from. However, I don't understand what you seem to be implying here - to quote Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket - "the duality of man" - is this what you believe? And do you think Scripture teaches it?


There are two types of guilt - emotional guilt and actual guilt (in that you are guilty of a crime). Only God is capable of forgiving us of actual guilt because we are the only ones that can commit actual sin against Him. At the same time, when we say "I forgive you" to someone else, we are not absolving them of their guilt before God, but instead of their emotional guilt. When we sin when we forgive ourselves (after being forgiven by God, this is a prerequisite) we can only absolve ourselves of emotional guilt.

So God cannot deal with our emotional guilt?


How does any of that contradict the Bible?

See above - when God forgives, He forgives ALL our sins and heals ALL our diseases - we don't need to do ANYTHING! In fact, to suggest we do demeans the wholeness His forgiveness and healing bring......

SweetSomber
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:15 AM
With regard to loving ourselves -
This is a VERY important topic, I think... it effects how we treat ourselves, others, and the witness we will have in this life. It will even effect our relationship to God.

I realize that not everything believes that every human being has worth or value. For example my habitually depressed 18-year-old, often suicidal brother - he believes that worth is subjective. He doesn't view himself as worth the food he eats or the space he takes up. I, however, believe Jesus' parables about "lost coins," which still have value, though the value is not being used. Each person is worth being sought after and helped, like the lost sheep.

Hate was not introduced until the fall. Before then, only love was between the humans and God. Hate and bitterness are not good, hurting people is not good. And yet, people hurt themselves, hate themselves, say mean things to themselves that they wouldn't say to others, and call it Biblical? I explained this to my 8 year old brother just today. I heard him saying "I'm bad at this - I'm never going to get better at it, and I'm never going to get any points." He was crying, and said that he couldn't just stop himself from crying. I said, yeh, but you choose what you tell yourself. And he said "what do you mean." And I said, suppose you said to Daniel (6yearold) "You're bad at this and you're never going to get any better!" Do you think it would him happy or sad?" "Sad" "Ok, so if you tell that to yourself, you're going to make yourself sad and discouraged. You won't want to try anymore. See?" We are to treat ourselves not worse than we treat others. If you would not kill someone else - don't kill yourself. If you would not cut someone else - don't cut yourself. If you wouldn't hate someone else, don't hate yourself. If you wouldn't hold a grudge against someone else, don't hold a grudge against yourself.

WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY THAT WE SHOULD NOT LOVE OURSELVES?

The Bible says "Love your neighbor as yourself." You know what I've found, that's not just a command, it's an equation. Love(for neighbor) should= Love(for self). Those who I know don't get along with themselves treat others like dirt. They don't try to, and they claim "I love everyone else - everyone else have value. It's just me that has no value and I hate." And yet they become abusive. I've seen it over and over and over. On the other hand, those who are patient with themselves when they make mistakes are kind and gentle and patient with others who make mistakes. We are to be good stewards of what is entrusted to us. True? We are untrusted to ourselves. God expects us to treat our body and mind well. But if we treat those under us without love (and when you start off, you are the only one following your commands - self-control, you know) it's not good. Later in life, when we have more people under us, we will treat them the same way - without love. If we yell at ourselves to motivate ourselves, we will tend to yell at others to motivate them.

You might say "But, I know people who love themselves and treat others awful! The equation doesn't work!" And I will say to you "They don't really agape love themselves. If they were trying to benefit themselves, they would go to God. They destroy themselves, by not submitting to God, because of pride." Pride is not self-love - pride is seeing yourself as more than you are. If you don't know yourself, then, you can't possibly love yourself. You think you do, but you don't. The most prideful arrogant cruel people I know, who will never listen to rebuke are those who deep down hate themselves! They try to use pride to protect themselves from their self-hatred. If you rebuke them, they refuse to see what they really are, for they hate themselves, but rather stick to the lie about what they are, which is pride. Humility is when you know you're sinful and wretched, but you love yourself anyway and your patient with yourself - just like you would love and be patient with a sinful wretched little sister. Then you can listen to your faults, but still be patient with yourself as you try to fix them. Loving and accepting yourself, then, is the opposite of pride.

SweetSomber
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:27 AM
Forgiving yourself-

Of course you can hurt yourself! You can also sin against yourself.

1 Corinthians 6:18 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=6&verse=18&version=50&context=verse)
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Lying is a sin. If you lie to yourself, you sin against yourself. Physically harming yourself is also sinning against yourself. You sin and it hurts someone else - you sin against them. You sin and it hurts you - you sin against yourself. Either way, you sin against God. If you can talk to yourself, and if you can hurt yourself, if you can hate yourself, then you can forgive yourself. As one friend said, when you argue with yourself in the morning about whether to hit the snooze button or not, you ARE interacting with yourself. Nothing mystical about that.

Now, if someone hurts you, it's easy to hold a grudge. Even when you don't realize you are holding a grudge, sometimes you do hold a grudge, and then later realize that you really are unhappy with them about that particular event. If you hurt yourself, then, you could get mad at yourself or hate yourself, or passively hold a grudge against yourself. Believe me, I've seen/heard people do it. We are called to forgive our enemies. Sometimes, we ourselves are our worst enemy - and then we are called to love and forgive ourselves. Not destroy the enemy - ourselves. We will either have hate/grudge/bitterness/anger at one that hurts us, or we will forgive. When you have done things, sometimes sins sometimes not, that caused pain or damage to your own well-being, you WILL either hate or forgive. Either/Or. You must, then forgive.

As a side note, I always find it easier to forgive myself for sins than for other stuff. Like, I sin, but I don't want to sin, and I forgive myself for the pain I caused myself, and I'm patience with myself, and I try to gain more self-control and train myself not to sin in that way. But when I do something stupid, and people get mad at my stupidity and it hurts, I tend to yell at myself and not accept myself for having the mental limitations that I have. But God has taught me how to accept those, and let go of the pain.

That's what forgiving one another is - letting go of the pain. You know they say that if you hold on the bitterness and pain, it will destroy you, not the person you're angry at. So just forgive them - let go of the pain. Stop letting it eat you up inside. And that's what pain and blame does if you don't let it go.

As Paul said "I don't even judge myself!" He leaves that to God. If you sin, forgive yourself, train yourself to do better, and leave the judgment to God.

SweetSomber
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:28 AM
Sorry that I've posted so much, but short replies don't explain much... :)

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:33 AM
The bible doesn't call it technical - this is the PRIMARY meaning of sin - offences against God.

The Bible doesn't say a lot of things - this doesn't mean such things don't exist.

In both the Greek and Hebrew there is a paradigmatic nature to these words (forgiveness and sin). One view is that we can only sin against God and only God can forgive sin. This, of course, refers to the legislative and judicial act of sin and forgiveness. It is this - the sin against God - that condemns a person to Hell or, if saved, interferes with one's relationship to God.

The second nuance, however, refers to a general sense of the words. In this case, sin and forgiveness do not have a judicial presence, but instead an emotional one. For instance, Jesus tells us to forgive our debtors. To forgive would mean we've been sinned against. Now, does this mean the Bible is telling us that when we are sinned against, it is the same as sinning against God? Likewise, is it saying that when we forgive we forgive in the same way God forgives?

The answer to both, of course, is no. When we are sinned against, it merely means an offense has been committed against us that - physically, emotionally, or both - has harmed us. Likewise, when we forgive the person it means we harbor no ill-will toward that person and release them from that emotional problem We do not free from the consequences or judicial guilt of that sin (that is something only God can do), but we can forgive in our own way - by getting past what they did.

Under this definition, why would it be wrong to forgive ourselves when we committed an offense against ourselves?


This is pure secular psychology and is based on human logic, not scripture - there is not one single passage or verse in scripture to back up this concept.

That's a pretty bold claim. Where in Scripture is it contradicted? Scripture doesn't tell me whether I should eat at McDonalds or Burger King - does this mean I should avoid such places?

Secondly, Romans 1 does state that when we sin we are turned over to unnatural desires that harm us.


I'm reasonably familiar with its tenets as it was addressed regularly in the NT letters - we've gone through both 1 John and Colossians recently at church, both of which address it. Its modern day manifestation is in the New Age movement, although no doubt there are some differences. Gnosticism is all about secret knowledge - and one of the biggest new age books recently has been The Secret - coincidence? I don't think so!

Well mate, I've read almost all the works of Plato, read multiple books about Platonism and neo-Platonism, read all of the Gnostic Gospels, read books that are pro-Gnostic and anti-Gnostic, and studied almost all the material from that time dealing with Gnosticism (i.e. church father's responses). In other words, I have an extremely good grasp of what Gnosticism is and I'm telling you right now, not a thing I said can be traced to it.


OK - here's my theory of where this is coming from - and it's actually borne out in new age books like Radically Forgiving Ourselves - man is divine, so man has the authority to forgive himself - indeed he must, as to forgive is divine - man has the power to bring the healing that divine forgiveness alone can bring - so man in his divine "self" is able to remove his own guilt through self-forgiveness. Sound familiar? Are you influenced by Gnosticism? Do you think it has merit?

Not at all. The New Age movement would say that the forgiveness God gives us is the same forgiveness we can give to people. As I explained at the beginning of this post, the types of sin we commit against God and against humans are different. Thus, the types of forgiveness we offer to humans and ourselves is drastically different from what God gives to us.

Thus, the New Age movement teaches we can remove our judicial guilt - but we can't. I am arguing, however, that when we have gone before the throne and been forgiven of our judicial crime against God, we need to 'forgive' ourselves by releasing ourselves from what we did, that is, recognize that God has forgiven us. This, of course, is done in the power of the Holy Spirit. It makes no sense to be forgiven by God, but to act like you haven't been forgiven.

As for Gnosticism - no, it hasn't influenced me at all. I am much more Hebraic in my way of thinking than Western. I do, however, see merit (let me careful how I word this) in the basic worldview of Platonism, namely that there is a physical world and a spiritual world (a dual set). Where I disagree is in Platonisms emphasis on the superiority of the spiritual world - proper Christianity is dualistic, but teaches that both the physical and spiritual realms were created by God and are, therefore, equal.

If you want, feel free to start a separate discussion on Gnosticism. Not for debate, just for discussion. I've tutored college students on Platonism and understand it quite well, so I love to discuss it.


Of course not - what I am saying (if you'd read my last post) is that God's forgiveness is ALL we need - it deals not only with the objective guilt you mention but the emotional guilt too! We don't NEED to forgive ourselves!

This denies human responsibility in the reception of forgiveness. Once God forgives us, we do need to acknowledge that such forgiveness has been received. If we do not then we will never get over what we have done. This is what it means to forgive yourself.


No - or, at least, that's not how God wants us to view it - He wants us to realise that HIS forgiveness brings healing at the deepest level - spiritually, emotionally, psychologically - "who heals ALL your diseases" - and since it's the soul that the man is addressing in Ps 103, it's the diseases of the soul that God alone heals!

And I'm not questioning that. I am saying, however, that we have a responsibility to recognize this forgiveness, otherwise it doesn't have power in our lives.


You are assuming that we require to forgive ourselves - nothing in Scripture teaches this. Can you find ONE instance where it does?

Can you find one instance where it doesn't? Not all that is true has to be based on Scripture - it merely just has to avoid contradicting Scripture.

To pre-empt the accusation that I'm teaching something other than sola scriptura, notice how gravity, oxygen, the chemical composition of water, and 1+1=2 are all true yet have no mention in Scripture. Sola Scriptura simply teaches that all things must be measured by Scripture - if it doesn't contradict, then it is okay to teach.


My apologies for that - please forgive me. I understand more clearly now where you are coming from. However, I don't understand what you seem to be implying here - to quote Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket - "the duality of man" - is this what you believe? And do you think Scripture teaches it?
No worries.

I do believe man is a dual creature. We are composed of body and soul/spirit. I do believe Scripture teaches this and that the confusion over "soul" and "spirit" is because of their usage in the Greek. Under a Hebraic understand, man is simply a dual creature.


So God cannot deal with our emotional guilt?


Of course He can, but what good does it do if we reject it?

Lo-Lo
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:48 AM
;) I love to read! I think the subject of pyschology and christian values can work as a team. The first mistake we make is that all christians are at the same maturity level that we are. Quoting scripture and believing scripture so one can apply it to their life is "meaty" and difficult for a new believer. I cannot imagine going up to a loved one and saying "God has forgiven you for every sin - now be well". Telling a person how they should react is not teaching and loving them. We need to understand their point of view and THEN guide them with love, prayer, and what God has to say to their situation and that He has left help in scripture. We will then have to teach them how to apply the wisdom from scripture into their life.

Brother Mark
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:48 AM
Where does it say in the bible that we need to and can forgive ourselves?

Don't you think that forgiving ourselves and accepting God's forgiveness are very similar? If God forgave me of sin, who would I be to not accept it and to hold a grudge against me for what I had done? If God forgives anyone, am I worthy and bold enough to hold that sin debt for myself or others?

HisLeast
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:16 AM
The question is, however, where the Biblical basis for such therapy can be found.

Where's the biblical basis for using a computer, or date a woman with different hair color than you?

Therapy is therapy. It helps you get to the bottom of how you think... and no matter how bad some Christians want to convince others of it, that kind of thing doesn't just manifest itself like a mighty smite of lightning from heaven. It takes ludicrous amounts of work and introspection.

God demands I stop sinning. Well, if I'm neck deep in a habitual sin, I'm going to pull out all the stops... and if that means taking a deep dive into my own mind... with the guidance of someone who's spent a good part of his life studying how people think/feel/and act... so be it.

Pilgrimtozion
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:01 AM
Where's the biblical basis for using a computer, or date a woman with different hair color than you?

Therapy is therapy. It helps you get to the bottom of how you think... and no matter how bad some Christians want to convince others of it, that kind of thing doesn't just manifest itself like a mighty smite of lightning from heaven. It takes ludicrous amounts of work and introspection.

God demands I stop sinning. Well, if I'm neck deep in a habitual sin, I'm going to pull out all the stops... and if that means taking a deep dive into my own mind... with the guidance of someone who's spent a good part of his life studying how people think/feel/and act... so be it.
The true disciple is one of passionately follows Jesus Christ, keeps his eyes continuously on Him, and is thus dead to self. The Bible very clearly teaches in passages such as Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20 that the reborn believer has nothing more to do with his self but everything to do with Christ and living his life by faith in Him.

How can we keep our eyes on Christ when we are constantly engaged in introspection? Those two are diametrically opposed. How can we live in the Spirit when it's our soul that receives all the attention? This leads only to self-centeredness. Even if the problems of the soul are seemingly dealt with through psychology, this person will remain self-centered because their power lies not in living in the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ but living in the soul through the power of man.

And this is where IMO the Bible and psychology part ways. Why is the cross insufficient? Has His divine power not given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us - as 2 Peter 1:3 rightly points out? The only way to inner wholeness is through the cross, by looking to Christ, pursuing Him, learning of Him, and learning to live by faith. Then everything else will begin to fall into place - if we have the faith to believe it, that is.

HisLeast
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:20 AM
The true disciple is one of passionately follows Jesus Christ, keeps his eyes continuously on Him, and is thus dead to self. The Bible very clearly teaches in passages such as Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20 that the reborn believer has nothing more to do with his self but everything to do with Christ and living his life by faith in Him.

So is all thought about one's self wrong? Am I allowed to wonder to myself how I might serve the Lord better, or is that wrong just because the word "I" was placed in the sentence? Is it possible you could be confusing selfish motivations with things we have to do for and to ourselves in order to progress?

My therapy was taken in order to put away my selfish ways.


How can we keep our eyes on Christ when we are constantly engaged in introspection? Those two are diametrically opposed. How can we live in the Spirit when it's our soul that receives all the attention? This leads only to self-centeredness. Even if the problems of the soul are seemingly dealt with through psychology, this person will remain self-centered because their power lies not in living in the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ but living in the soul through the power of man.

"Constantly"? An hour of therapy a week, and some personal reflection during the day. Some dedicated Christians watch more TV than that. So if we ditch the exaggeration of "constant" we're only left with introspection, which is hardly opposed to scripture. In support of this I offer you the entire book of Psalms, which has as many "me"s, "I"s, and personal dialogue as it does "God", "Lord", and dialogs with Him.


And this is where IMO the Bible and psychology part ways. Why is the cross insufficient?

Psychology never pretends to be an equal path to salvation.


Has His divine power not given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us - as 2 Peter 1:3 rightly points out? The only way to inner wholeness is through the cross, by looking to Christ, pursuing Him, learning of Him, and learning to live by faith. Then everything else will begin to fall into place - if we have the faith to believe it, that is.

At the very beginning of the Bible, God tells us that we can Master Sin (Gen 4:7). Sounds to me as some of the onus is on us. To that end, some will need help reaching into the deep places and learning about themselves, so that they can address and correct the parts that are not edifying. Sometimes, God does not play the Great-Cosmic-Vending-Machine and grant us this understanding and self mastery with a push of a button.

SweetSomber
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:26 AM
How can we keep our eyes on Christ when we are constantly engaged in introspection?

How can we keep our eyes on Christ if we do not remove what distracts us from Christ? How can we remove distractions from our mind, if we do not think about what is on our mind?

You interact with yourself whether you know it or not. You train yourself, teach yourself, accept or hate yourself, encourage or discourage yourself. If you are in an unhealthy pattern - does it honor God to persist in sin rather than "introspect" and repent or find a way to change our thought patterns?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:28 AM
I think the arguments in the previous few posts actually are missing each other. Pligrim said how can we know Christ if we are constantly being introspective. This, of course, is correct. At the same time, there isn't harm in occasionally being introspective.

There is no doubt that psychology is extremely valuable if done within a Christian worldview. This would mean we'd have to abandon many of the modern models used in psychology and really revamp the entire practice.

SweetSomber
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:33 AM
There is no doubt that psychology is extremely valuable if done within a Christian worldview. This would mean we'd have to abandon many of the modern models used in psychology and really revamp the entire practice.

Mostly, I agree with you here. I'm glad that you see that Biblical psychology can be valuable, and have clarified the discussion a bit.

I agree that many of the modern models are very non-biblical. On the other hand, I've seen many modern models (like some of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Manic-Depressive books I've read) that seem surprisingly Biblical. In some points, in the "PTSD Handbook," I saw principles that american christian culture really should learn from, about healthy ways to deal with pain, forgiveness, and shame vs guilt. :)

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 06:53 AM
Mostly, I agree with you here. I'm glad that you see that Biblical psychology can be valuable, and have clarified the discussion a bit.

I agree that many of the modern models are very non-biblical. On the other hand, I've seen many modern models (like some of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Manic-Depressive books I've read) that seem surprisingly Biblical. In some points, in the "PTSD Handbook," I saw principles that american christian culture really should learn from, about healthy ways to deal with pain, forgiveness, and shame vs guilt. :)

This is what I would encourage all Christian psychologists to do. I ardently believe that all models, in some manner, contain some truth in them (though not salvific truth). With this in mind, we should always be mining these systems for the truth they have and showing how that truth lines up with the Bible. Since psychology is really a neutral system and can be used, we should eject all the humanistic, naturalistic, and Freudian concepts that do not line up with the Bible, but keep those that do (especially in diagnosing a problem).

There's an article that applies to this topic out of the latest Philosophia Christi that deals with psychology. I need to re-read it and see if I can summarize it on here, but the conclusion is:

"PID [Psychology based on intelligent design] is superior to Darwinian [adopted by Freud] psychology because it postulates resources that are adequate to explain important psychological phenomena: the primacy of the interpreter, rationality, subjectivity, psychological unity over time and psychological unity at a time. These phenomena, I have argued, all presuppose the existence of an enduring, unitary self of the sort that Darwinian psychology denies or inadequately accounts for." (Agnus Menuge, Philosophia Christi, Volume 10, Number 1, 2008, pg. 135).

Essentially, not only is psychology applicable to Christianity, it works best when one presupposes a Designer that has given purpose to humans.

Pilgrimtozion
Jul 2nd 2008, 07:09 AM
So how can the whole 'Psychological Principle' be unified with the Bible that so clearly teaches dying to yourself, living by faith in Christ, and finding life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ? I think Joseph should have had some in-depth counseling, but apparently it was His faith in God that pulled him through, not psychological help to deal with the rejection he had been dished out. What about Josiah? Don't you think he'd need some pretty powerful counseling with a granddaddy called Manasseh? Or perhaps Judas just had a rough childhood and bad experiences that led him to his fateful actions?

See, I just don't buy all that. I don't see any of that psychological stuff in the Bible - I just see pointing to Christ and living through the power of the Cross by faith and letting Christ change you. I wonder whether we have bought into psychology simply because we hardly know the power of the cross in our own lives and in our churches anymore.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 07:13 AM
So how can the whole 'Psychological Principle' be unified with the Bible that so clearly teaches dying to yourself, living by faith in Christ, and finding life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ? I think Joseph should have had some in-depth counseling, but apparently it was His faith in God that pulled him through, not psychological help to deal with the rejection he had been dished out. What about Josiah? Don't you think he'd need some pretty powerful counseling with a granddaddy called Manasseh? Or perhaps Judas just had a rough childhood and bad experiences that led him to his fateful actions?

See, I just don't buy all that. I don't see any of that psychological stuff in the Bible - I just see pointing to Christ and living through the power of the Cross by faith and letting Christ change you. I wonder whether we have bought into psychology simply because we hardly know the power of the cross in our own lives and in our churches anymore.

You're confusing modern practice of psychology (that the self can help the self) with the theory of psychology (the study of the mind and how it behaves in certain circumstances and possible solutions to malfunctions). In all technicality, if you say "rely on Christ" you have offered a psychological solution.

Pilgrimtozion
Jul 2nd 2008, 07:29 AM
You're confusing modern practice of psychology (that the self can help the self) with the theory of psychology (the study of the mind and how it behaves in certain circumstances and possible solutions to malfunctions). In all technicality, if you say "rely on Christ" you have offered a psychological solution.
What would be the practical outcome of that division when applied to what we see in the world of psychology today when pertaining to the Christian

Brother Mark
Jul 2nd 2008, 10:12 AM
So how can the whole 'Psychological Principle' be unified with the Bible that so clearly teaches dying to yourself, living by faith in Christ, and finding life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ? I think Joseph should have had some in-depth counseling, but apparently it was His faith in God that pulled him through, not psychological help to deal with the rejection he had been dished out. What about Josiah? Don't you think he'd need some pretty powerful counseling with a granddaddy called Manasseh? Or perhaps Judas just had a rough childhood and bad experiences that led him to his fateful actions?

See, I just don't buy all that. I don't see any of that psychological stuff in the Bible - I just see pointing to Christ and living through the power of the Cross by faith and letting Christ change you. I wonder whether we have bought into psychology simply because we hardly know the power of the cross in our own lives and in our churches anymore.

Without Christ, we are sunk. But that doesn't mean that psychology is any more worthless than modern medicine. Scripture says "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he...". Our thought life impacts us in a HUGE way. In Ephesians we are taught to think only on positive things. Psychology also teaches these kinds of things. Whether one believes in Jesus or not, obeying his principles of positive thinking will have a positive impact in one's life. However, I certainly would never suggest that one trust in psychology over the Lord. But to say that psychology has no truth in it whatsoever seems far fetched to me.

You asked earlier about searching through your past. I see in scripture the concept of ancestral curses. For instance, Abraham lied about Sarah his wife to Pharaoh. His son Isaac, repeated the same lie. Isaac had a son Jacob that lied about being Esau. Jacob had 10 sons that lied about Joseph. The lying got worse as it made it through the generations. When dealing with such strongholds, knowing they are part of a family dynamic can help in breaking them.

BrotherBernard
Jul 2nd 2008, 11:50 AM
Hello everyone.

I'm sorry to just "jump" in on this one, but having an advanced degree in the field of psychology and having worked in the field for several years I might be able to add a bit of information here or there.

Psychology, at its root, is the study of the soul and it has much to offer when it is left in that context. Searching for answers to mental issues, i.e., depression, guilt and forgiveness, and the most important in my mind, "acceptance" can led us to Christ as the answer. I do not believe that there is anything "out there" offered by any one person, institution, philosophy, or new age guru that answers our need of "acceptance" other than Christ - as put forth by Paul in the book of Romans.

Unfortunately, the field of psychology, early on, became a bastion for the development of humanistic-scientific method and methodology in the search for answers to the human dilemma of sin and guilt (although it is never referred to in those terms).

When mental issues, life questions and emotional dilemmas of the mind are at the core of concern for ourselves or others, then we have two distinct options to choose from. Humanistic/scientific methodology offers its models, theories and techniques to solve these problems and concerns. It is called modern psychology. The second option and in my mind the only genuine solution in addressing human need in these areas is Christ and His righteousness for us by faith. One is Christ-centered and the other is self-centered. One constantly offers us the same pig in a new dress. The other offers us the ultimate gift of God - Christ - our Savior, our Lord, our King!

There is a place for dealing with psychological issues and concerns however. Christian psychologists and counselors are very important as their God given spiritual gifts of compassion and understanding can be used by the Christian community - desperately! But, their techniques to offer comfort and understanding MUST lead to the ultimate solution to the human dilemma - and that solution is Christ Himself.

Forgive me for being long winded here, but these issues are close to my heart and I have had a burden for them for a very long time.

Brother Bernard

Teke
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:30 PM
After writing my article entitled 'His Utmost For My Highest - Developing The Dead Self' (found here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1682927#post1682927)), some people criticized me for being too black-and-white. My position concerning so-called 'self-help psychology' was particularly offensive to some. My claim that self-help psychology only places the emphasis more on the self rather than point to Christ was found by some to be rigorous and not very realistic.

A negative view of psychology was written about by a man named Vitz, in his book titled "Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self Worship". Vitz completely misses the point.


Hence this thread: what is the relation between the Bible and Psychology? What place does Psychology have in the life of a Christian who lives their life according to the Bible? How do you support your view from Scripture?

I'm curious as to what you all have to say.

I guess I'll give a scripture to show "the relation between the bible and psychology" as well as "support" my view from scripture. :)

...be transformed by the renewing of your mind" Rom. 12:2

Generally speaking we are Christians and we are His Church. So the mind of the Church is part of what our minds should be. ie. communion with God in the context of the church, so the knowledge contained can be experientially appropriated and applied.

The fathers of the church taught there are two types of knowing, reason and noetic. In our English word, "mind", this distinction is not apparent. However in the Greek, pscyhe and nous it is very obvious. The rational mind (psyche) is reflective (reasoning) while the noetic is illuminating (illuminated by God). Surely this noetic aspect is what Paul is speaking of in Romans. Ephesian gives a very literal translation in stating " the eyes of your heart" (Eph. 1:18).

It's not all cognitive. There is epistemology and ontology involved.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:48 PM
What would be the practical outcome of that division when applied to what we see in the world of psychology today when pertaining to the Christian

The practice of psychology would be drastically different, with only a few elements left over. This, however, does not negate the theory of psychology and its importance to Christianity.

ProDeo
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:05 PM
This is the meaning of forgiveness - when we go before God we are freed from the consequences and should not live in guilt. The only way not to live in guilt is to forgive yourself.

I like to put "forgive yourself" differently. Here is....

When we have done something bad our conscience starts to rebel because we have sinned. We ask for forgiveness and by faith we know we get that. And for most of us that releases our conscience, as it should.

Not always so unfortunately. There are loads of Christians whose conscience will not silence, although forgiven by God they keep on feeling guilty. When that attitude is chronic it may lead to depression mostly seen in Christians who have a low self-esteem, an identity thing, more below.

The problem and cure is 2-ways,

1) First of all living in guilt while forgiven by God Himself (!!) is a matter of unbelief for not trusting his Word.

2) Secondly the Christian in question by his/her low self-esteem hasn't understood his/her position and identity in Christ, a child of God, forgiven, saved, free, loved by God, not knowing and/or not able to fully grasp what it means to cry Abba... Father. Somehow these Christians are not able to transport God's love, mercy and forgiveness into their conscience, and guilt keeps on ruling with all its negative consequences.

The cure often is a long and hard process of realizing who we are in Christ. We received a whole new identity: So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new (2 Cor 5:17). Our conscience needs to be reprogrammed, if God says we are forgiven then we are forgiven and no longer accept the accusations of the old life.

So it may look like you are forgiving yourself but in reality we just have made God's word (finally) present in our new programmed and now healthy conscience, as it should be.

Ed

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:14 PM
I like to put "forgive yourself" differently. Here is....

When we have done something bad our conscience starts to rebel because we have sinned. We ask for forgiveness and by faith we know we get that. And for most of us that releases our conscience, as it should.

Not always so unfortunately. There are loads of Christians whose conscience will not silence, although forgiven by God they keep on feeling guilty. When that attitude is chronic it may lead to depression mostly seen in Christians who have a low self-esteem, an identity thing, more below.

The problem and cure is 2-ways,

1) First of all living in guilt while forgiven by God Himself (!!) is a matter of unbelief for not trusting his Word.

2) Secondly the Christian in question by his/her low self-esteem hasn't understood his/her position and identity in Christ, a child of God, forgiven, saved, free, loved by God, not knowing and/or not able to fully grasp what it means to cry Abba... Father. Somehow these Christians are not able to transport God's love, mercy and forgiveness into their conscience, and guilt keeps on ruling with all its negative consequences.

The cure often is a long and hard process of realizing who we are in Christ. We received a whole new identity: So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new (2 Cor 5:17). Our conscience needs to be reprogrammed, if God says we are forgiven then we are forgiven and no longer accept the accusations of the old life.

So it may look like you are forgiving yourself but in reality we just have made God's word (finally) present in your new programmed and now healthy conscience, as it should be.

Ed

I would certainly agree with everything you have said. I agree that "forgiving yourself" is easily confused with modern terminology and, perhaps, I could attempt to use a better term. At the same time, when I say "forgive yourself," the content of that phrase is what is found in your post.

Excellent post though as it summarizes perfectly what I was attempting - ad failing - to say.

SweetSomber
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:36 PM
You're confusing modern practice of psychology (that the self can help the self) with the theory of psychology (the study of the mind and how it behaves in certain circumstances and possible solutions to malfunctions). In all technicality, if you say "rely on Christ" you have offered a psychological solution.

I agree with you about the theory of psychology. You seem to have a good practical definition too. :) But why would it be unbiblical for us to help ourselves and one another? Isn't that kindof our job in life? To be responsible for ourselves, and serving others?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:41 PM
I agree with you about the theory of psychology. You seem to have a good practical definition too. :) But why would it be unbiblical for us to help ourselves and one another? Isn't that kindof our job in life? To be responsible for ourselves, and serving others?

I don't think I said it would be unbiblical to help ourselves and one another - at least it was not my intention to say this.

Though it is our calling to do these things, we must understand that this can only happen properly and efficiently under the power of Christ. There is a reason the Greatest commandment isn't "go and witness to the world" or "love thy neighbor as thyself." The greatest commandment is to love our God with all our heart, strength, soul, and mind. If we do not follow this commandment, we can't possibly love others.

This would mean seeking His glory and His aid in attempting to receive help for ourselves or in helping others. This is the crucial element that modern psychology is lacking in practice - that God must be the beginning of healing the person.

ProDeo
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:06 PM
I would certainly agree with everything you have said. I agree that "forgiving yourself" is easily confused with modern terminology and, perhaps, I could attempt to use a better term. At the same time, when I say "forgive yourself," the content of that phrase is what is found in your post.

Excellent post though as it summarizes perfectly what I was attempting - ad failing - to say.

From the beginning I perfectly well understood the point you were making which was excellent. I just don't agree with the definition you give it. Having been in that long process myself I can not say I came upon a point I "forgave myself" but that I finally became to the point believing the Word, not only with my brain but also the Word finally did sink into the heart, that I just made the Word my own through a rewritten conscience by the Grace of God.

I sense "forgiving oneself" as something that might work great for unbelievers who suffer from all kind of traumatic events they feel guilty about and look for relief. A Christian does not need that, he/she is 100% free from any guilt in Christ. The problem is how to make that message our own.

Ed

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:10 PM
From the beginning I perfectly well understood the point you were making which was excellent. I just don't agree with the definition you give it. Having been in that long process myself I can not say I came upon a point I "forgave myself" but that I finally became to the point believing the Word, not only with my brain but also the Word finally did sink into the heart, that I just made the Word my own through a rewritten conscience by the Grace of God.

I sense "forgiving oneself" as something that might work great for unbelievers who suffer from all kind of traumatic events they feel guilty about and look for relief. A Christian does not need that, he/she is 100% free from any guilt in Christ. The problem is how to make that message your own.

Ed

Once again, a Dutchman has changed my perspective on something (Abraham Kuyper and Herman Dooyeweerd have directly and indirectly influenced me).

(I sure hope you really are from the Netherlands, as your profile indicates).

koloa
Jul 2nd 2008, 05:31 PM
i believe that the mind can get 'not right' sometimes, either by thinking incorrectly or because of different brain chemistry. i think the mind can get sick just like the heart, lungs, and blood sugar. i think doctors who specialize in treatment of mental disorders with the combination of the Word is the only way to get help when the mind is not right.

ProDeo
Jul 2nd 2008, 08:34 PM
Hi Kerdos,


Once again, a Dutchman has changed my perspective on something (Abraham Kuyper and Herman Dooyeweerd have directly and indirectly influenced me).

Dooyeweerd was a genius indeed. Not very liked in his own country though. His legacy mostly has gone abroad. So much for smart Dutch. ;)


(I sure hope you really are from the Netherlands, as your profile indicates).

100% Dutch indeed.

Ed

9Marksfan
Jul 2nd 2008, 09:20 PM
I would certainly agree with everything you have said. I agree that "forgiving yourself" is easily confused with modern terminology and, perhaps, I could attempt to use a better term. At the same time, when I say "forgive yourself," the content of that phrase is what is found in your post.

Excellent post though as it summarizes perfectly what I was attempting - ad failing - to say.

Wow - just goes to show how we can "go off at the deep end" when faced with a turn of phrase we don't like! Believe it or not, AK, I'M in complete agreement with both you guys as well! :pp:pp:pp

So what's the way forward? I think a far better term would be "appropriating God's forgiveness" - do we agree on this?

Thanks rebel777 - your gracious approach has taught me much on this thread! :)

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 09:33 PM
Wow - just goes to show how we can "go off at the deep end" when faced with a turn of phrase we don't like! Believe it or not, AK, I'M in complete agreement with both you guys as well! :pp:pp:pp

So what's the way forward? I think a far better term would be "appropriating God's forgiveness" - do we agree on this?

Thanks rebel777 - your gracious approach has taught me much on this thread! :)


I would certainly agree with that term over "forgiving oneself."

9Marksfan
Jul 2nd 2008, 10:02 PM
I would certainly agree with that term over "forgiving oneself."

Could I encourage you to use it? I think it conveys what rebel777 has been saying very clearly and shows that emotional dimension to forgivenss that we all agree exists and is very much needed - but it has its source in God's forgiveness - that's where I object to the term "forgiving oneself" - because it teaches that it is in effect something we do entirely independently of God, which I'm sure you will agree is not the case!

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 10:04 PM
Could I encourage you to use it? I think it conveys what rebel777 has been saying very clearly and shows that emotional dimension to forgivenss that we all agree exists and is very much needed - but it has its source in God's forgiveness - that's where I object to the term "forgiving oneself" - because it teaches that it is in effect something we do entirely independently of God, which I'm sure you will agree is not the case!


I would use it - I think it avoids the confusion of the term I was using.

9Marksfan
Jul 2nd 2008, 11:02 PM
I would use it - I think it avoids the confusion of the term I was using.

Thank you - this thread has been amazing - I think we've all learned something - just as good, Christian discussion should foster - mutual edification and encouragement! :)

Apologies again for the earlier misunderstanding and overreaction - thank you for your patient and gracious explanation of your position.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:10 AM
Thank you - this thread has been amazing - I think we've all learned something - just as good, Christian discussion should foster - mutual edification and encouragement! :)

Apologies again for the earlier misunderstanding and overreaction - thank you for your patient and gracious explanation of your position.


It's a message board, so I tend to expect overreactions from others and even from myself - it's near impossible to discern the attitude behind words.

I'm glad we worked past it and came to a workable solution.

Brother Mark
Jul 3rd 2008, 03:58 AM
I like to put "forgive yourself" differently. Here is....

When we have done something bad our conscience starts to rebel because we have sinned. We ask for forgiveness and by faith we know we get that. And for most of us that releases our conscience, as it should.

Not always so unfortunately. There are loads of Christians whose conscience will not silence, although forgiven by God they keep on feeling guilty. When that attitude is chronic it may lead to depression mostly seen in Christians who have a low self-esteem, an identity thing, more below.

The problem and cure is 2-ways,

1) First of all living in guilt while forgiven by God Himself (!!) is a matter of unbelief for not trusting his Word.

2) Secondly the Christian in question by his/her low self-esteem hasn't understood his/her position and identity in Christ, a child of God, forgiven, saved, free, loved by God, not knowing and/or not able to fully grasp what it means to cry Abba... Father. Somehow these Christians are not able to transport God's love, mercy and forgiveness into their conscience, and guilt keeps on ruling with all its negative consequences.

The cure often is a long and hard process of realizing who we are in Christ. We received a whole new identity: So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new (2 Cor 5:17). Our conscience needs to be reprogrammed, if God says we are forgiven then we are forgiven and no longer accept the accusations of the old life.

So it may look like you are forgiving yourself but in reality we just have made God's word (finally) present in our new programmed and now healthy conscience, as it should be.

Ed

This is a good post Ed. I will give you a personal testimony. Having grown up in a lot of condemnation, I wasn't very aware of God's mercy after I got saved. I was at a men's retreat and the preacher was teaching us on how to hear God and on how to forgive others. He told us to ask God who we hadn't forgiven and as names and faces came to mind, I was to right them down. Well, a slew of folks came to mind and I worked through forgiving them each. And of course, some folks I had not thought about in years came to mind. But this one person, I could not forgive! That person was me. I had done way too much sin to simply think I could overlook the damage that was done to me as a result. Now, God had forgiven me, of that I was certain. But I was still pretty upset at what my sin had cost me. I told God I was struggling forgiving myself for the pain I had caused me. Then God got in my face and asked me something very, very interest. "Who do you think you are? My Son's blood is good enough for me. Is it not good enough for you?" Little did I know that I was being idolotrous. I had placed myself in God's position of dealing with my sin. Once he put me in my place, I realized it was silly to hold onto my sin against me, while accepting God's forgiveness.

Now, I know this thread has been all about words. But one can know he is forgiven by God and still not forgive himself. But the reason for that is not fully understanding the depth of God's forgiveness. As we look at the human condition, each communicates in many ways. When we minister, we need to be able to communicate in the way folks that are struggling will understand. When we speak of forgiving oneself, many folks will immediately understand what we are saying. When they refuse to let go of their sin even though God has forgiven them, they are saying some pretty bad things about God.

Pilgrimtozion
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:25 AM
I've enjoyed the discussion so far. Interesting stuff - thanks!

9Marksfan
Jul 3rd 2008, 11:10 AM
Now, God had forgiven me, of that I was certain. But I was still pretty upset at what my sin had cost me. I told God I was struggling forgiving myself for the pain I had caused me. Then God got in my face and asked me something very, very interest. "Who do you think you are? My Son's blood is good enough for me. Is it not good enough for you?"

This is PRECISELY why the concept/phrase "forgiving oneself" is so wrong!


Little did I know that I was being idolotrous. I had placed myself in God's position of dealing with my sin. Once he put me in my place, I realized it was silly to hold onto my sin against me, while accepting God's forgiveness.

ABSOLUTELY!


Now, I know this thread has been all about words. But one can know he is forgiven by God and still not forgive himself.

Brother Mark, were you not listening to the Lord? Christ's blood is good enough for the Lord and it should be good enough for YOU - NO NEED for you to forgive yourself! THAT is idolatry! INSTEAD appropriate God;s forgiveness - THAT'S what we all need to do!


But the reason for that is not fully understanding the depth of God's forgiveness.

Agreed.


As we look at the human condition, each communicates in many ways. When we minister, we need to be able to communicate in the way folks that are struggling will understand. When we speak of forgiving oneself, many folks will immediately understand what we are saying.

No, NO - A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!!!!! :B People are caught up in idolatry - they do what is right in their own eyes - they are thier own God - they worship self - so to say "What you really need is to forgive yourself" is to ENCOURAGE them in that idolatry! The whole POINT of appropriating God's forgiveness is that it is the OPPOSITE of forgiving oursleves - it is realsing that we don't NEED to - because HIS forgiveness is ALL WE NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!! :pp


When they refuse to let go of their sin even though God has forgiven them, they are saying some pretty bad things about God.

Exactly - but the remedy is NOT to forgive yourself - that is, as you say, idolatry - instead we need to pray that the Holy Spirit will take of the things of Christ (forgiveness/acceptance) and make them REAL to that person - amen?

Brother Mark
Jul 3rd 2008, 12:15 PM
Brother Mark, were you not listening to the Lord? Christ's blood is good enough for the Lord and it should be good enough for YOU - NO NEED for you to forgive yourself! THAT is idolatry! INSTEAD appropriate God;s forgiveness - THAT'S what we all need to do!

It was not forgiving myself that was the problem Nigel. While I fully new God had forgiven me, I was still quite willing to condemn myself for what I had done. God wasn't holding me accountable. I was though. I had put myself in the place of God by thinking I could condemn myself. Forgiving myself as God had forgiven me was what happened after I listened to God.



No, NO - A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!!!!! :B People are caught up in idolatry - they do what is right in their own eyes - they are thier own God - they worship self - so to say "What you really need is to forgive yourself" is to ENCOURAGE them in that idolatry! The whole POINT of appropriating God's forgiveness is that it is the OPPOSITE of forgiving oursleves - it is realsing that we don't NEED to - because HIS forgiveness is ALL WE NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!! :ppI am not sure you understand Nigel. One can accept that God has forgiven them. I did. That wasn't my issue. I was saved about 3 months at the time. I fully accepted God's forgiveness. But I was very angry at myself for the things I had done. I knew God had forgiven me. What was idolotrous was hanging on to things God was not! Who was I to think I could hold on to condemnation that God had let go of?

When God tells us to forgive others, it is not for the sake of others. It is for our own sakes. Forgiveness of those that have sinned against you is imperative. If that person happens to be yourself, then accept God's complete forgiveness and move on. If necessary, forgive yourself too.

You seem to think it not possible to accept God's forgiveness for yourself and yet, still be angry at yourself for things you have done.

[quote[Exactly - but the remedy is NOT to forgive yourself - that is, as you say, idolatry - instead we need to pray that the Holy Spirit will take of the things of Christ (forgiveness/acceptance) and make them REAL to that person - amen?[/quote]

I did not say forgiving oneself is idolatry. I said NOT forgiving oneself was idolatry. God got in my face and asked me who I thought I was to hold a grudge against one who was forgiven by the blood of Christ. However, forgiving oneself is meaningless if one hasn't been forgiven by Jesus.

9Marksfan
Jul 3rd 2008, 12:32 PM
It was not forgiving myself that was the problem Nigel. While I fully new God had forgiven me, I was still quite willing to condemn myself for what I had done. God wasn't holding me accountable. I was though. I had put myself in the place of God by thinking I could condemn myself. Forgiving myself as God had forgiven me was what happened after I listened to God.

I agree with the second part, but I think even allowing for the concept that we need/ought to forgive ourselves is idolatry, becuase it is self-centred - and self must DIE!


I am not sure you understand Nigel. One can accept that God has forgiven them. I did.

No, you only partly accepted it - you accepted the judicial part.


That wasn't my issue. I was saved about 3 months at the time. I fully accepted God's forgiveness.

I disagree.


But I was very angry at myself for the things I had done. I knew God had forgiven me. What was idolotrous was hanging on to things God was not! Who was I to think I could hold on to condemnation that God had let go of?

Correct - that was pride!


When God tells us to forgive others, it is not for the sake of others.

It is in part, surely?


It is for our own sakes.

In part, yes.


Forgiveness of those that have sinned against you is imperative. If that person happens to be yourself, then accept God's complete forgiveness and move on.

I'm still not at all sure that we sin against ourselves - do you believe that we have two sides to our nature?!?! If so, why is this never once mentioned in Scripture (and please NO reference to Romans 7!).


If necessary, forgive yourself too.

No - it's never necessary - in fact, it's worship of self = idolatry.


You seem to think it not possible to accept God's forgiveness for yourself and yet, still be angry at yourself for things you have done.

Not at all - I can see that was your experience, it's been my experience - I've seen it in plenty of others too! In fact, it may be every beleiever's experience to a greater or lesser extent!


Exactly - but the remedy is NOT to forgive yourself - that is, as you say, idolatry - instead we need to pray that the Holy Spirit will take of the things of Christ (forgiveness/acceptance) and make them REAL to that person - amen?


I did not say forgiving oneself is idolatry.

Fair enough, but I'M saying it is.


I said NOT forgiving oneself was idolatry.

I would say it was pride. The remedy is for the old self to die in order that the new self in Christ to flourish!


God got in my face and asked me who I thought I was to hold a grudge against one who was forgiven by the blood of Christ.

I totally accept this, in case you wondered.


However, forgiving oneself is meaningless if one hasn't been forgiven by Jesus.

Forgiving yourself is worse than meaningless - it is just plain WRONG! Appropriating the emotional/healing aspect of God's forgiveness is what is needed - I believe this is just what David meant in Ps 103:3 - you'll find the two aspects of forgiveness/soul healing there - what more could you need?!? :)

Brother Mark
Jul 3rd 2008, 01:17 PM
I agree with the second part, but I think even allowing for the concept that we need/ought to forgive ourselves is idolatry, becuase it is self-centred - and self must DIE!

I would partly agree with this statement. Look at how Paul writes Romans 8. "There is no therefor no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus..." Based on Romans 7, who do you think is the one condemning? I think it is the person themself.


No, you only partly accepted it - you accepted the judicial part.Depends on how you look at it Nigel. For instance, I knew me and God were OK and that God had fully forgiven me. But for my part, I was angry at me for what I had done.


I disagree.That's an interesting statement. You can see my heart that well?


Correct - that was pride!No doubt about that. And it was setting myself up to be my judge after God had forgiven me. I didn't know it at the time but I was setting myself up to be God. That's why God spoke to me about it and set me free. Had he remained silent, I would have remained in condemnation. But he spoke to me and set me free.


It is in part, surely?In part sure. But unforgiveness does far more damage to the one not forgiving than it does to the other. But you are right that in part it is for others. But it is also for us as well. For we bear the brunt of the death that sin will work in us if we refuse to repent of it.



I'm still not at all sure that we sin against ourselves - do you believe that we have two sides to our nature?!?! If so, why is this never once mentioned in Scripture (and please NO reference to Romans 7!).Scripture says that when one sins sexually, he is sinning against his own body.


No - it's never necessary - in fact, it's worship of self = idolatry.Do you condemn yourself Nigel? If not, then you have forgiven yourself. It's not idolatry. It's simply recognizing that I have sinned and that my sin cost me a great deal. Now to hold onto condemnation and to place oneself in the position of condemning himself after sinning, that would be idolatry. For then, one is stating he is to be the ultimate Judge. When one agrees with Christ and accepts fully the forgiveness of Christ and understands that he no longer has the right to hold on to his sin or others as well, that is the right place to be and will have no condemnation.

If my brother sins against me, I forgive him. It is not idolatry to forgive my brother. Since I can sin against my own body, and do stupid things, it is not good for me to go around thinking "that was stupid" all the time. At some point I have to "let it go". Call that decision to let it go what you will. I call it resting in Christ and forgiving myself.


Not at all - I can see that was your experience, it's been my experience - I've seen it in plenty of others too! In fact, it may be every beleiever's experience to a greater or lesser extent! OK. I think this statement helped me understand better your position. For me, it was about dealing with condemnation. Of course, tied up in all that was worthlessness and many other things. I was in awe of God's mercy when I first got saved. Still am.


Fair enough, but I'M saying it is.Only if one does it without recognizing Christ place. We are told to forgive others too. To self condemn is not an action that is taught by scripture when one is in Christ.


I would say it was pride. The remedy is for the old self to die in order that the new self in Christ to flourish!You've seen many of my writings on the inner cross and death to self. There is no doubt that we are to take up our cross and follow him.


I totally accept this, in case you wondered.That was an awesome experience for me. Being full of self condemnation was not that pleasant experience. It was the first time in my life that I actually accepted myself as I was. God began being able to point out sin in my life without me getting all nuts and wound up inside. Sin no longer was a "part" of my identity. It was more like a cancer that needed to be dealt with. Instead of wallowing in self pity, or condemnation or some other such self centered behavior, I became highly motivated to deal with that which was killing me. Once I realized that it was sinful for me to condemn myself, many things changed.


Forgiving yourself is worse than meaningless - it is just plain WRONG! Appropriating the emotional/healing aspect of God's forgiveness is what is needed - I believe this is just what David meant in Ps 103:3 - you'll find the two aspects of forgiveness/soul healing there - what more could you need?!? :)We probably won't agree on this Nigel. God changed my life radically when I stopped wallowing in self condemnation. Romans 8:1 was a big deal to me then. I was full of contempt for the man I was and had become. I don't know if you ever saw the movie "Liar, Liar" with John Carrie. But one line in that movie really struck home to me. The judge warned him that he was going to hold him in contempt if he didn't stop and John Carrie yelled "I HOLD MYSELF IN CONTEMPT". That was exactly what was going on in me. God had forgiven me fully for my sin. I was saved and knew it. I was hearing God speak to me for the first time in my life. Scripture was coming alive and had been dead before. I was understanding the Lord. Nothing like this had ever gone on before. Yet, I was full of contempt for myself. I condemned myself and all that I was. When I saw my sin, it was as if it was a HUGE black hole. I still remember being overjoyed at being saved. But once I was saved, I had all these issues that were the result of my sin. What I had done to my body was evil. While God had forgiven me, my contempt for myself and for what I had done to me and to God was just awful. Self condemnation ruled the day.

What God did that day was show me that self condemnation was not just sinful, but idolatry. I was placing myself as God and choosing to judge me where God no longer judged me. No matter what we call it, at some point one has to let go of condemnation. For me, that came in the form of understanding that if God had forgiven me, who was I to call unclean what God had cleansed. Knowing I was OK with God, God had to help me overcome my condemnation of myself. It was pride. It was unforgiveness. It was ugly. Thank God he helped me with it.

ProDeo
Jul 3rd 2008, 05:19 PM
Hi Mark, congrats crossing the 8000 barrier :)


What God did that day was show me that self condemnation was not just sinful, but idolatry. I was placing myself as God and choosing to judge me where God no longer judged me. No matter what we call it, at some point one has to let go of condemnation. For me, that came in the form of understanding that if God had forgiven me, who was I to call unclean what God had cleansed. Knowing I was OK with God, God had to help me overcome my condemnation of myself. It was pride. It was unforgiveness. It was ugly. Thank God he helped me with it.

Amen.

Much of it (if not all) comes from disappointment of ourselves. It's all self-centered. And it can take a life-time to see it, which BTW is just the starting point of the healing process.

Ed

SweetSomber
Jul 4th 2008, 01:47 AM
I agree with the second part, but I think even allowing for the concept that we need/ought to forgive ourselves is idolatry, becuase it is self-centred - and self must DIE!
...
No - it's never necessary - in fact, it's worship of self = idolatry.
...
Forgiving yourself is worse than meaningless - it is just plain WRONG!

Is forgiving someone else idolatry? I say not. We cannot "forgive sins" like God can, which is to erase the responsibility of the sin from our account. When we forgive others, we do not erase their responsibility for it, which only God can do, but rather we let go of the pain and grudges that we hold onto and choose instead to love. That is what "forgive" means, when used between one humans and another. This is not idolatry - that is not worshiping others. Forgiving others is not worshiping them.

Forgiving = letting go of the pain and grudges that we hold onto and choosing instead to love

Forgiving oneself - letting go of grudges that we hold toward ourselves

It's not just "alright" it's important! To not forgive oneself is disobedience to GOD! "Self must die"? Where do you get that suicidal concept from the Bible? God created and loves us. He does not want us to die, but offers us eternal life. Our OLD flesh is already dead. We ourselves, the new creation, are not dead and never shall be - praise be to God.

9Marksfan
Sep 26th 2008, 12:21 PM
Sorry I missed this - came in when I was on holiday and must have missed it when I came back.


Is forgiving someone else idolatry? I say not.

I agree.


We cannot "forgive sins" like God can, which is to erase the responsibility of the sin from our account. When we forgive others, we do not erase their responsibility for it, which only God can do, but rather we let go of the pain and grudges that we hold onto and choose instead to love.

Fair enough.


That is what "forgive" means, when used between one humans and another. This is not idolatry - that is not worshiping others. Forgiving others is not worshiping them.

OK - agreed.


Forgiving = letting go of the pain and grudges that we hold onto and choosing instead to love

OK.


Forgiving oneself - letting go of grudges that we hold toward ourselves

How many of "ourselves" are there? One or two? Isn't seeing ourselves as two individuals (good and bad? Divine and carnal?) a bit Platonic? I don't see this taught in Scripture at all.


It's not just "alright" it's important! To not forgive oneself is disobedience to GOD!

Why then is there not even a HINT of a commandment in the Bible, then?


"Self must die"? Where do you get that suicidal concept from the Bible?

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13 NKJV

...to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires... Eph 4:22 ESV

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Lk 14:27 NKJV

Who were those who bore a cross? Those who were as good as dead.


God created and loves us. He does not want us to die, but offers us eternal life.

He wants our old selves to die.

I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 1 Cor 15:31 NKJV

Now he does not mean physical death (you can only die once!) nor does he mean he FACES death daily (or he would have said that) - no, he died to self daily - as we all must do, so that we can live to Christ!


Our OLD flesh is already dead. We ourselves, the new creation, are not dead and never shall be - praise be to God.

But we need to reckon ourselves as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ!

Pleroo
Sep 26th 2008, 04:50 PM
I guess I'll give a scripture to show "the relation between the bible and psychology" as well as "support" my view from scripture. :)

...be transformed by the renewing of your mind" Rom. 12:2.

Amen! There have been a lot of helpful responses on this thread, but Teke, I absolutely agree that this passage sums it all up.

one-witness
Nov 5th 2011, 10:11 PM
What do all of you think of Revelation 18:23, concerning psychiatry?

"And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all the nations deceived."

That word "sorceries" is implicated as medication in the Greek.

In the NKJV, it is written that those who practice sorcery will not inherit the kingdom of God, and the word sorcery is translated from the Greek "pharmakeia" which in Strong's 5331 is translated into English as "medication".

The word "sorceries" in Revelation 18:23, while it is not "pharmakeia" is a very similar word in the Greek that also implies magical use of substances in the form of medication.

When people are taken into mental hospitals, a sure sign of insanity to them is "religious preoccupation".

Thus people who are into the Bible are medicated and the deception is that the medication makes them behave properly. So the Holy Spirit does not get the credit for the good behavior of a lot of people who are seeking God.

ewq1938
Nov 6th 2011, 06:07 PM
It's not speaking of medical use of medicines but recreational use of drugs...making or using drugs.

Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


sorcerers

This word is speaking of drugs, and those who use them...perhaps those who sell them to others as well!


5332

5332 pharmakeus {far-mak-yoos'}

from pharmakon (a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion);; n m

AV - sorcerer 1; 1

1) one who prepares or uses magical remedies
2) sorcerer


A "sorcerer" nowadays means a "magical wizard" or something, but in the past it was a term for drug makers and users without regard to male or female.


Thayer's

5331 pharmakeia {far-mak-i'-ah}

from 5332;; n f

AV - sorcery 2, witchcraft 1; 3

1) the use or the administering of drugs
2) poisoning
3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and
fostered by it
4) metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry


Act 8:9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
Act 8:10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
Act 8:11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.


Drugs were the way this man was able to "bewitch" so many people into thinking he had magical powers to create these "magical" things.


Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


"witchcraft"


Strong's
G5331
pharmakeia
far-mak-i'-ah
From G5332; medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): - sorcery, witchcraft.


Medication! Not good medication but they sure enjoyed it and those they got it from!



Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

This should really read this way:


Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, **DRUG ABUSE**, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


Note that these are "works of the flesh" meaning your body and don't drugs affect one's body (including the mind) in very strong ways?

One-witness, you recently mentioned that you were committed to a mental hospital and drugged for something related to your religious beliefs. Do you mind explaining the situation and why they did that and how it ended up? Was this in America?



What do all of you think of Revelation 18:23, concerning psychiatry?

"And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all the nations deceived."

That word "sorceries" is implicated as medication in the Greek.

In the NKJV, it is written that those who practice sorcery will not inherit the kingdom of God, and the word sorcery is translated from the Greek "pharmakeia" which in Strong's 5331 is translated into English as "medication".

The word "sorceries" in Revelation 18:23, while it is not "pharmakeia" is a very similar word in the Greek that also implies magical use of substances in the form of medication.

When people are taken into mental hospitals, a sure sign of insanity to them is "religious preoccupation".

Thus people who are into the Bible are medicated and the deception is that the medication makes them behave properly. So the Holy Spirit does not get the credit for the good behavior of a lot of people who are seeking God.

one-witness
Nov 6th 2011, 10:01 PM
evil medication, which takes away the salvation, is different from good medicine, they are distinguished by the name that they are called.

Psychiatric medication is not called medicine by anyone, it is called medication.

It affects the mind.

My pharmacy told me that what was being prescribed to me can cause "neurotoxicity". In other words, brain poisoning.

I told a pastor that He should not trust in any of his works as a pastor to save him, whether it be prophesying, casting out demons, or many wonderful works. I quoted Matthew 7:21-23. This pastor calls himself a prophet and prophesies specific things to people, but not much of what he prophesied to me was very accurate.

So, because I told him these things, he called the police and the paramedics on me. I already had a stigma before that time, because of a chemistry accident at my high school I had a reaction to the chemicals and went into a hospital for that. So, because of my record and stigma, the police believed whatever he told them. In my recollection whatever he told them was a lie. But he had power over me because I had confided in him at as time when I trusted him about my situation with the chemistry accident.

And yes it was in America.

Another time I was forced to have a psychological evaluation for using spiritual language, in Northern California. Ted Kennedy briefly mentioned that incident on the radio.

ewq1938
Nov 6th 2011, 11:06 PM
That's a terrible thing and I am sorry you had to go through it. I agree, some medicines are very bad for you.


evil medication, which takes away the salvation, is different from good medicine, they are distinguished by the name that they are called.

Psychiatric medication is not called medicine by anyone, it is called medication.

It affects the mind.

My pharmacy told me that what was being prescribed to me can cause "neurotoxicity". In other words, brain poisoning.

I told a pastor that He should not trust in any of his works as a pastor to save him, whether it be prophesying, casting out demons, or many wonderful works. I quoted Matthew 7:21-23. This pastor calls himself a prophet and prophesies specific things to people, but not much of what he prophesied to me was very accurate.

So, because I told him these things, he called the police and the paramedics on me. I already had a stigma before that time, because of a chemistry accident at my high school I had a reaction to the chemicals and went into a hospital for that. So, because of my record and stigma, the police believed whatever he told them. In my recollection whatever he told them was a lie. But he had power over me because I had confided in him at as time when I trusted him about my situation with the chemistry accident.

And yes it was in America.

Another time I was forced to have a psychological evaluation for using spiritual language, in Northern California. Ted Kennedy briefly mentioned that incident on the radio.

nzyr
Nov 8th 2011, 08:18 PM
Psychiatry and psychology are morally bankrupt.

Amos_with_goats
Nov 15th 2011, 01:25 AM
Wow,

What a delightful old thread this is!

First, you need to know that I am 'one of them'. I have never admitted that to this point on this board.

I am a trained psychotherapist, I have background in private practice in clinical psychotherapy with individuals, and a decade long practice working with active duty military. My Pastoral experience is mostly in pastoral counseling ministry.

Psychology is the height of arrogance in that it might suggest a man is able to solve another man's problems.... that said it is nothing to be feared... just another one of man's failures to do what the Lord alone can do... heal.

I am no longer associated with clinical psychology. I walked away from my license and from a fairly lucrative career.

The 'Christian' who says "there is no need for this" is wrong, in that they deny the real needs of brothers and sisters who are hurting.
The one who leans on the principals established by men's thinking and see their salvation there are also deceived.

The Lord and the Lord alone bring healing. Men can help to provide stability, but only the Lord heals..... that is the conclusion I have reached on my journey.


Psychiatry and psychology are morally bankrupt.