The infiltration of modern psychology into SDA institutions has strengthened ecumenism and brought in unscriptural practices and ideas. Non-SDA psychologists are accepted as authorities on Christian living because they state they are Bible-believing Christians. However, they unify Christians on their psychological influence, not on the basis of Scripture.
Psychology is the science of mind and behavior…. Some, especially depth psychologists, also consider the unconscious mind. ...clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques.
It is paradoxical that at a time when secular psychological researchers are demonstrating less confidence in psychological counseling, more and more professing Christians are pursuing it. "Christian" counseling centers are springing up all over the nation offering what many believe is the perfect combination: Christianity plus psychology. Furthermore, Christians who are not even in the counseling ministry look to psychologists for advice on how to live, how to relate to others, and how to meet the challenges of life.
In their attempts to be relevant, many preachers, teachers, counselors, and writers promote a psychological perspective of life rather than a Biblical one. The symbol of psychology overshadows the cross of Christ, and psychological jargon contaminates the Word of God.
Psychology is a subtle and widespread leaven in the Church. It has permeated the entire loaf and is stealthily starving the sheep. It promises far more than it can deliver and what it does deliver is not the food that nourishes. Yet multitudes of professing Christians view psychology with respect and awe.
...psychoanalysis and psychotherapy have no compatibility with the Christian faith….
Psychologists who also claim to be Christians generally claim that they are more qualified to help people understand themselves and change their behavior than are other Christians (including pastors and elders) who are not trained in psychology….
Whenever psychology is intermingled with Scripture, it dilutes the Word and deludes the Church….
Throughout the centuries, there have been individuals who have suffered from extremely difficult problems of living who have sought God, and they have found Him to be true and faithful. They looked into the Word of God for wisdom and guidance for living with and overcoming the problems of life. The lives of those saints far outshine the lives of such pitiful souls as those who have followed the siren song of psychotherapy.
The terms mental disease, mental illness, and mental disorder are popular catch-alls for all kinds of problems of living, most of which have little or nothing to do with disease. As soon as a person's behavior is labeled "illness," treatment and therapy become the solutions….
The Church has been called to reflect Jesus, not the world. Even though we are in the world we are not of the world. Thus, every ministry of the Body of Christ must be Biblical and must not attempt to incorporate worldly philosophies, theories, or techniques.
Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life," not Freud, Jung, Adler, Rogers, Maslow, Ellis, or any other man. A church that does not seek the Lord as its source but relies on the philosophical and psychological ideas and techniques of men will become as secular as the world. Such a church may indeed have a form of godliness but it has denied the power of God. It has established man as its god.
One popular aspect in counseling is called regression therapy (healing of the memory), in which the patient is told that something bad happened during their childhood and the patient is convinced of it even if it did not happen. Many times it has destroyed that person’s life or others involved. We do not need to go to man to be healed of our past. God, the Great Physician and Mighty Counselor, is well able to do that for us if we come to Him in faith and claim His promises. What did mankind do with depression, grief, and so on before psychologists and counselors were available? They went to their knees and to their Bibles, and we can do the same today.
The four temperaments (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholy) continue to be popular and are derived from Babylonian astrology. Those temperaments have even been promoted through the family ministries at the General Conference of SDAs using the Myers-Briggs psychological personality indicator. The Personal Profile System (PPS) is a personality inventory based on the psychological types theory of Carl Jung, which has its roots in the four temperaments. Jung was anti-Christian, an occultist, and a psychologist.
A major deception in the church today is the so-called spiritual application of pseudo-psychological temperament theory for individual personality assessment, which, in actuality, is derived from pagan and occultic philosophies. (The "temperament" can be defined as the unique mental and emotional disposition identifiable as the personality.) The study of the temperaments, which are man-centered, self-oriented, and psycho-paganistic, are being offered to the unwitting as a sophisticated, almost magical way to understand our deepest natures and our personality types. In actuality, Christians could be unknowingly lured into the occult by practicing the temperaments and other New Age personality typologies.
Self-esteem education is a program that is meant to make you feel more in control. Yes, you are God's creation, but the biblical way to success is that we must decrease and Christ must increase (John 3:30).
Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, p. 260
It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience and before men and angels.... It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame or remorse. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the Word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, pp. 293-294
In the future, Satan's superstitions will assume new forms. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God's people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized.
Corruptions of every type, similar to those existing among the antediluvians, will be brought in to take minds captive. The exaltation of nature as God, the unrestrained license of the human will, the counsel of the ungodly--these Satan uses as agencies to bring about certain ends. He will employ the power of mind over mind to carry out his designs. The most sorrowful thought of all is that under his deceptive influence men will have a form of godliness, without having a real connection with God. Like Adam and Eve, who ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, many are even now feeding upon the deceptive morsels of error.
Satanic agencies are clothing false theories in an attractive garb, even as Satan in the Garden of Eden concealed his identity from our first parents by speaking through the serpent. These agencies are instilling into human minds that which in reality is deadly error. The hypnotic influence of Satan will rest upon those who turn from the plain word of God to pleasing fables.
Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, pp. 261-262
He [Satan] seeks to encourage dependence upon men. When minds are turned away from God, the tempter can bring them under his rule. He can control humanity.
Make God your entire dependence. When you do otherwise, then it is time for a halt to be called. Stop right where you are and change the order of things.... In sincerity, in soul-hunger, cry after God. Wrestle with the heavenly agencies until you have the victory. Put your whole being into the Lord's hands--soul, body, and spirit--and resolve to be His loving, consecrated agency, moved by His will, controlled by His mind, infused by His Spirit; ...then you will see heavenly things clearly.
In the place of bearing your perplexities to a brother or a minister, take them to the Lord in prayer....
Those who know how to pray, who know what are the invitations of the gospel of Christ, who know the immutability of His promises, show dishonor to God when they lay their burden upon finite men. It is right, always, to counsel together. It is right to converse together. It is right to make the difficulties that present themselves in any enterprise plain before your brethren and your minister. But do not so greatly dishonor God as to depend on man for wisdom. Seek God for the wisdom that cometh from above. Ask your fellow laborers to pray with you, and the Lord will fulfill His word, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
Ibid., p. 10
The true principles of psychology are found in the Holy Scriptures.
Ibid., pp. 19-20
In these days when skepticism and infidelity so often appear in a scientific garb, we need to be guarded on every hand. Through this means our great adversary is deceiving thousands and leading them captive according to his will. The advantage he takes of the sciences, sciences which pertain to the human mind, is tremendous. Here, serpent-like, he imperceptibly creeps in to corrupt the work of God.
This entering in of Satan through the sciences is well devised. Through the channel of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism, he comes more directly to the people of this generation and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation. The minds of thousands have thus been poisoned and led into infidelity.
While it is believed that one human mind so wonderfully affects another, Satan, who is ready to press every advantage, insinuates himself and works on the right hand and on the left. And while those who are devoted to these sciences laud them to the heavens because of the great and good works which they affirm are wrought by them, they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing; but it is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders--with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. Mark the influence of these sciences, dear reader, for the conflict between Christ and Satan is not yet ended.
Neglect of prayer leads men to rely on their own strength and opens the door to temptation. In many cases the imagination is captivated by scientific research, and men are flattered through the consciousness of their own powers. The sciences which treat of the human mind are very much exalted. They are good in their place, but they are seized upon by Satan as his powerful agents to deceive and destroy souls. His arts are accepted as from heaven, and he thus receives the worship which suits him well. The world, which is supposed to be benefited so much by phrenology and animal magnetism, never was so corrupt as now. Through these sciences, virtue is destroyed and the foundations of spiritualism are laid.
Mesmerism included such methods as animal magnetism, electrical charges, trances, and hypnotism.
Phrenologists believed that human conduct was best understood in neurological terms. It is now considered a pseudoscience (lacks scientific status) and focuses on personality and character.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Christ is to be our true Counselor. Let us go to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, particularly the Mind, Character, and Personality volumes and The Ministry of Healing to seek mental health.