Is Psychology A Religion?
Psychological counseling is a religion because it deals with the same spiritual principles as other religions: it’s based on faith, it’s the study of the soul or mind, and it’s a substitute for Christianity.
Psychological counseling is a religion because it deals with the same spiritual areas other religions address like the nature of man, how he should live, how he can change, behavior, attitudes, morals, and values.
In their book, PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, Martin and Deidre Bobgan state: “Because psychotherapy deals with meaning in life, values, and behavior, it is religion in theory and practice. Every branch of psychotherapy is religious. Therefore, combining Christianity with psychotherapy is joining two or more religious systems. Psychotherapy cannot be performed and people cannot be transformed without affecting a person’s beliefs. No psychotherapy and no psychotherapist would say that what they do and what they believe is absent of ethics, morals, and values. Because psychotherapy involves ethics, morals, and values, it is religion.”1
Since psychological counseling is based on subjective opinions rather than objective facts that try to describe why people do what they do and how they can change, those opinions can only be chosen by faith, which is a characteristic of religion.
Since it is based on faith, it is a religion. Therefore, the Bobgans note, “The conflict between the psychological way of counseling and the biblical way is not between true science and true religion. The conflict is strictly religious—a conflict between many religions grouped under the name of psychotherapy (psychological counseling) and the one true religion of the Bible.”2
Because psychology is the study of (in the Greek, logia) the soul (in the Greek, psueche), or mind, which are spiritual and not physical entities, then psychological counseling is a religion. Brother Swaggart puts it this way, “Psychology is the study of the human psyche (the soul, the mind). It is not medicine, or chemistry, or physics; it claims to deal with the spiritual side of man. It does not deal with his body but rather with his soul and his mind.”3
In his book Beyond Seduction, Dave Hunt writes, “Science cannot deal with the spirit, for the latter is not physical. Any system that attempts to deal with spiritual matters is by definition a religion, regardless of what it is called. Psychology is clearly a religion.”4 Hunt goes on to say, “Medicine is a physical science; psychology can only claim to be a spiritual science. But this is an impossible contradiction of terms.”5
This was done by attempting to replace, the Bobgans note, “The cure of minds by confusing an abstraction (mind) with a biological organ (brain), and thus convince people that mental healing and medical healing are the same.”6
Psychological counseling was created as—and is used as—a substitute for true Christianity. The Enlightenment of the eighteenth century was an example of the undermining of belief in the Bible. It taught that human reasoning, instead of revelations from God, was the source of truth that could be used to solve human problems. Only the things that could be confirmed logically and scientifically were accepted. This was a rejection of revealed, absolute truth from God. By rejecting absolutes of right and wrong, they emphasized what was relevant to or worked in immediate situations.
The Bobgans write, “Religious bias colored the psychological systems of both Freud and Jung. They were not dealing with science, but with values, attitudes, and behavior. And because they were working in areas which the Bible gives the authoritative Word of God, they were developing anti-biblical religions.”7 They go on to say, “From its inception, psychotherapy was developed as an alternative means of healing and help as an addition of complement to Christianity. It is not only a substitute method of helping troubled souls, it is a surrogate religion.”8
Therefore psychological counseling is an attempt to replace God’s salvation and sanctification with man’s way as another gospel (Gal. 1:6). So, as the Bobgans point out, “Psychologists have contrived ways of explaining man other than the fall, ways of saving man other than the cross, and various ways of transforming man other than through Christ.”9
1 Martin and Deidre Bobgan, PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, Revised and Expanded (Santa Barbara, CA: Eastgate Publishers, 2012), pp. 146-147.
2 Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Psychoheresy (Santa Barbara, CA: Eastgate Publishers, 1987) p. 41.
3 Jimmy Swaggart, “Modern-Day Psychology Offers No Help,” The Evangelist, June, 1986, p.21.
4 Dave Hunt, Beyond Seduction (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1987) p. 110.
5 Ibid., p. 127.
6 Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Psychoheresy Revised and Expanded (Santa Barbara, CA: Eastgate Publishers, 2012), pp. 21.
7 Ibid., p. 13.
8 Ibid., p. 15.
9 Ibid., p. 118.