Last week’s article showed us that the psychological man is more interested in performing his view of self in his culture than being formed and bettered by it. Let’s continue this thought.
The 1800s were a wild time. Napoleon swept Europe in some of the last imperial conflicts on the continent. Cascading revolutions followed. Not least of which were revolutions in technology and thought. Marxism was born in England. Darwinism, in the Galapagos. Psychology, in Germany. Over here, the Civil War happened. Mormonism was invented. The West was explored. And so too was the frontier of the human mind. “Psychotherapy” was being taught in American schools by the late 1800s. My own great-great grandfather ran one of the first asylums in Alaska at the turn of the century during a therapeutic boom. Soon, Sigmund Freud’s new “Psychoanalysis” entered the picture and was beginning to change the foundation of Therapy. This would in turn change our culture significantly.
Therapy, as an idea, has ancient roots. We get our word from Greek: θεραπεύω (therapeuo), meaning; to heal, cure, do service, be an attendant. It would have been used anytime someone was seeking medical help. It was later used to describe things we would now deem as torture; electroshock therapy or hallucinogens and lobotomies for example. As with other sciences, advances came with many experiments and failures. Today, Freud has driven the modern thought that our truest selves are deep inside (usually obsessed with the sexual) and need to be talked outward and given expression. Therapy is letting you be who you are. Additionally, Freud said religion only served a temporary purpose to restrain violent tendencies and God was an illusion created by neurosis. We do not need “Him” anymore.
With a worldview of this kind, could it be possible that much of what we say is therapeutic healing is actually an experimental reinforcement of things that are not good for us? Our society would show us that this experiment is a failure. Therapy once tried to cure our ails. Now it is the emphasis that we ARE our ails, and that’s ok.
But it’s not ok. When Jesus used therapeuo, He did not affirm wrongthink or disabilities. He removed them by starting with the gospel. “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people” (Matt. 4:23). Last year, a new high of 42% of Americans sought the help of a therapist or counselor. But these professionals are legally prohibited from saying that certain behaviors are sin, or that Jesus offers the solutions. Any solution without Him will not ultimately cure us of any, let alone our deepest pathologies: sin and its side effects. Brethren, we need to offer better, biblical therapies to our friends and family, modeled on the Wonderful Counselor (Isa. 9:6).