“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” —I Timothy 4:1
For anyone to embrace humanistic psychology seems insane to me, especially for true believers who were saved by the blood of Jesus and filled with His Holy Spirit. The word I want to emphasize in the Scripture above is depart. In order to depart, one would have had to have been somewhere first. In this case, it is believers who have left the faith. Paul is speaking of true born-again believers. When one departs from the faith (Jesus Christ and him crucified) and no longer views the Word of God as the only revealed truth, one becomes vulnerable to Satan’s tactics and devices. The consequences will cause spiritual harm, and without repentance, may lead to the loss of one’s salvation.
The Right Way
Peter tells us, “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” (II Peter 1:3). The believer is equipped by God with everything necessary to live out his/her Christian walk. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). The believer also has the Holy Spirit. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Another blessing God has supplied the church is His called ministers. Paul tells us, “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12). All of these wonderful gifts of grace were made possible by the cross. Since the cross, the Holy Spirit can now inhabit believers and guide them on their journey. Does the believer need anything else besides the gifts that God supplied to the believer? The answer is no. Through the anointed teaching and preaching of the Word, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and Bible study, a Christian has all the tools necessary for life and godliness. What happened to the modern church by embracing the worldly philosophies and psychology?
The Failed Way
Biblical history tells us that when man rejected God, he set out to establish his own society. Man’s unquenchable appetite to please himself and satisfy his own desires provided Satan a wonderful canvas to paint his corrupt and selfish pride upon fallen mankind—the pride that led to Satan’s downfall along with one-third of the angels. Sin brought spiritual death to man. The fall of man by sin left him apart from God and in need of reconciliation back to God. A debt was owed to God by man, but man, in his fallen condition, could not pay it. God supplied a temporary atonement through the blood sacrifice of an innocent animal, which typified the coming sacrifice of Christ, as given to the first family in Genesis 3:15. Cain refused to obey God’s way and, instead, offered the work of his own hands. His sacrifice was rejected by God although God offered him a chance to repent and obey. Cain refused to repent, and he murdered his brother Abel. Cast out by God to the land of Nod (wondering), Cain built a society based on his selfish, ungodly desires. The results of his carnal society found fallen and sinful man living in enmity to God. Separated from God, man’s morality digressed quickly, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at his heart” (Gen. 6:5-6). God would send a flood as judgment upon man, but would retain his redemption plan for man with righteous Noah and his sons. However, soon after the flood, instead of replenishing the earth and spreading humanity throughout the earth as God commanded, man regathered, and again united against God. Nimrod would continue the way of Cain and build a tower with the thought that he could escape another flood by rising above the judgment of God. Babylon was destroyed by God, and God scattered man throughout the earth and separated man by water, race, and language. This time God did not destroy the earth with water, but He used the water to perform His will over man’s sinful desires to create his own society without God, thereby, later enabling Jesus Christ to come into the world and offer himself as God’s perfect blood sacrifice for man’s sin.
Even Israel, chosen of God to be a unique and privileged nation with covenant promises, failed to believe God’s revealed Word to them at Mount Sinai. God offered Israel blessings and prosperity for obedience, yet, she found herself with the same indictment as that of the world, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25). Paul would explain the consequences of sin and separation from God this way, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as other” (Eph. 2:1-3).
Man is sinful by nature. While ever trying to justify himself and his corrupt mind, he will follow any spirit that confirms in his heart what he wants to hear. There can be no mistake from the book of Daniel that Alexander the Great was demon inspired in his conquests. Is it ironic to know that he was educated by the Greek philosopher Aristotle of Stagira? At the ripe young age of thirteen, he was indoctrinated into Aristotle’s questions of existence, world knowledge, politics, science and psychology, ethics, human reasoning, etc., all without the knowledge of the true living God. Nearly every nation and culture has embraced the concept introduced by Aristotle that the supreme good for man is the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is an ambiguous idea to satisfy the void in the heart of humanity. What makes one happy? To Alexander the Great, it meant conquering the world of his day. To Hitler, it was the same in his generation.
Aristotle and Happiness
Aristotle believed our happiness is not a state of mind, but an activity. It is determined by our ability to live a life that enables us to use and develop our reason. A truly happy person learns to cultivate habits and behaviors that help him or her to keep things in perspective. In Politics, Aristotle examined human behavior in the context of society and government. He believed the purpose of government was to make it possible for citizens to achieve virtue and happiness.
As we continue in this series of articles, we’ll address philosophy and modern-day psychology in the realm of religion in Cain’s society. The merger of mysticism, New Age teaching, and social justice are all falsely substantiated by psychology. In other words, if you embrace psychology, you will also accept these other concepts. Sadly, this is where the modern church resides today; but by God’s grace and power, with His apostolic message to the church, we will preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and many will repent, and many will be saved!