Cultural Revolution - Part IV
The Destructive Seeds of Pyschology
The cultural revolution seeks to justify humanism as the only path for mankind. One of the progressive movement’s prominent blame for man’s perils is against those who believe in a sovereign God, and especially those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christians are characterized as stubborn and unmanageable with their traditional beliefs. Re-education and indoctrination are two of the strategies that progressives use to subtly instill their worldview. More particularly, the Christian worldview must be conformed to the precepts of their new society. With their new conscript, psychologists, psychiatrists, and Christian ministers are often called change agents. What is the progressive movement’s process to meet their humanistic goals? Change the way people think. The effects of Darwinism and public education in progressivism opened the door for psychology to fill the void that religion historically supplied to people. Secular humanism now has a pseudo-science to vindicate its teachings in opposition to faith in God.
However, to better understand any academic field, we must first look at its assumptions about reality. Too readily we yield to the idea that every scientist proceeds in an academically unbiased fashion and searches for truth wherever it may lie. In the field of psychology, biased beliefs shape the research goals, methods, and interpretations of the practitioner. Money may also act as a motivator for research. Couple money with cultural pressures, and the results can be astounding yet have no resemblance to the truth.
A fundamental belief structure is called a worldview. To better describe worldview, we’ll say it is a set of presumptions or beliefs about nature and the universe in which we live and our place in it. Worldview may also be referred to as a paradigm, or a set of control beliefs.
Thomas Kuhn, in his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which published in the early 1960s, altered the way we look at the philosophy behind science and introduced the phrase “paradigm shift.” Kuhn’s version of science differed greatly from the accepted Whig interpretation of scientific history in which past researchers and theorists had engaged in a long march—if not toward truth, than at least toward a greater understanding of the natural world. Where the Whig version saw steady, cumulative progress, Kuhn saw discontinuities—a set of alternating normal and revolutionary phases in which communities of specialists in particular fields are plunged into periods of turmoil, uncertainty, and angst. These revolutionary phases correspond to great conceptual breakthroughs and lay the basis for a succeeding phase of business as usual. I plan to discuss more on Kuhn’s thoughts and teachings as they pertain to the modern church in future articles.
A person’s worldview may act as a filter on his mind. It answers basic questions such as: What is the nature of a human being? Can I trust my senses? What is the origin of the universe? Does the universe follow laws of cause and effect? Is there a God and what happens when I die?
How a change agent answers these types of questions affects his work. The efforts and findings of psychology are affected by worldviews. The study of psychology does not take place from the standpoint of just one worldview, but from at least three worldviews:
Readers should understand these three worldviews to better comprehend how they are shaping modern psychology. Notwithstanding, these views determine what experiments psychologists and psychiatrists are willing to do, what problems they are to solve, and how these problems are to be solved.
- Naturalistic psychology. Those holding this view see persons as biological machines.
- Humanistic psychology. In this view, strong emphasis is placed on human qualities of persons and the development of their self-potential.
- Transpersonal psychology. This view is concerned with the study of altered consciousness through meditation, hallucinogenic drugs, and other related methods.
If sin is not the starting place for man’s problems, then man is not at fault for his behavior. Without sin, man no longer needs a Savior; he simply needs to be “coached” to live a better and fulfilling life. Man’s problems are a result of a failed society, and he is therefore a victim of society. Instead of changing man and rectifying his sinful nature, humanists believe we must change society that has harmed mankind.
The types of counselors we go to with our problems, the fads dangled before us, the bold new plans of the psych engineers—all result from psychology’s worldview—a worldview without the only true and living God who alone addressed the sinful fallen condition of man.
To the Christian, the universe contains both material and immaterial reality. There exists God who is a spirit person, eternal, transcendent (beyond nature), and immanent (present everywhere).
To address mankind’s sinful condition, God’s son, Jesus Christ, would become man and die as the perfect sacrifice for sin, and thereby redeem mankind from sin’s ultimate consequence—eternal separation from God. God is now able to communicate to His redeemed children by the Holy Spirit and His Word, the Bible. In this universe, mankind can discover truth and knowledge three ways, and these three should be considered a hierarchy of knowledge in terms of their dependability and scope:
We know that the nature of spiritual truth is available only in revelation, since through experiment and experience people are limited in what they can investigate. The scientist cannot study people’s spiritual nature of needs. He cannot study any event of importance to human nature, such as the Creation or the fall since history is beyond replication in laboratories. Unaided by revelation, the scientist must make broad assumptions about man’s condition. Through experience we can tell that the spiritual reality is there, but we cannot interpret its nature, meaning, and reasons people do not normally partake in it.
- Divine revelation is a Christian’s highest and only form of divine truth. It will always glorify Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. This is God speaking to men and women in the Bible and all believers today through the person of Jesus Christ, about reality (Heb. 1:1-2).
- We can also learn by experiment and the scientific method because the physical universe follows laws of cause and effect and our minds are capable of understanding much of the order in reality.
- Experience is also a source of knowledge. We are conscience beings and can touch reality in our experience. However, experience needs a lot of guidance most of the time.
Neither science nor experience can reveal the future of mankind and what lies beyond the grave. Only spiritual revelation can supply those needs. The Bible teaches us in II Peter 1:3: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
In future articles in this series on cultural revolution, I will delve into how psychology came into the church and how its leaven has permeated the lump.