Have you ever encountered those who defend some kind of healing ministry? –For example, “Celebrate Recovery”?
Yes, many of us are certainly into helping others. We care; we love; we cry for; we pray for; we give time, effort, and money… basically, –WE DESPERATELY WANT TO HELP THE HURTING. Especially if their “issues” affect us, or those we love.
We should help others. In fact, we should be greatly concerned. Because God’s heart loves mankind. HE wants people delivered. That’s why He came. To take the punishment for sin and set us FREE from its enslavement over us. (Here’s just a small handful of verses to support that: John 3:36, Matt. 1:21, Col. 1:13, & Rom. 3:25/5:9,10/6:6,7,18-23) Do you believe it, or don’t you?
Gal. 6:1 tells us, “Dear brothers, if someone is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help him onto the right path.” 1 Cor. 10:13 says, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” Most church-goers have studied the Matt. 25 passage of the sheep and the goats –those who cared for others versus those who didn’t. There’s tons of Scripture about caring for others… And let’s not forget the second greatest commandment (Matt. 22:39), which Jesus says in Luke 10:25-37 is half of the way to inherit eternal life. Oh, and the parable of The Good Samaritan is also in that same passage.
The problem arises when people think they know how to help someone better than they think God must know how to help someone. If this wasn’t the case, wouldn’t they be searching God’s Word diligently –“persevering in its doctrine so as to save themselves and their hearers”? (See 1 Tim. 4:16.) But no, their lack of study actually proves that they don’t care what God says –even if they are paying Him lip service. They put themselves up as spiritual guides for others and advertise that they can help change the course of one’s spiritual life, yet all the while they are neglecting necessary communion with Christ and His Word. So why go to them for counsel and healing?
Who are these main culprits who think they know how to counsel people better than God does? Psychologists. Those who have studied psychology. And what is psychology? It’s the science, or study of, mind and behavior. (Actually, I don’t even consider it a true science, but rather a religion, since it deals almost entirely with the subjective, rather than facts.) Yet sadly, the church has bought into the lie that psychology is the answer to many of our ailments, including the ailment of sin.
Psychology actually produces much less healing than some want to believe; and it often even does more harm than good. It certainly cannot destroy the work of sin. I am weary of all the wasted time and effort –that which could instead be devoted to learning God’s Word and doing His will– that psychological therapies drain from society.
Why do so many Christians keep saying they have no power to ditch their sins and walk in victory? It’s because psychology has taught them they can’t. At least not until they’ve undergone thousands of hours of their therapeutics (indoctrinations). But Jesus either came to set us free –or He didn’t. Oh, –He kinda did? What are you saying? That He is not all-sufficient? That God’s Word is not all-sufficient? That we must whine and whimper about our ON-GOING battles of sin and woundedness –at the feet of someone who has –what?– been educated at the feet of the psychologist / spiritist, Agnes Sanford, who brought much heretical techniques into the church –ideas partially originating from Carl Gustav Jung –who also undoubtably had at least one spirit guide? Do Christians really want to listen to even one thing from HIM?! And he was, furthermore, a disciple of Sigmund Freud –who had many detestable theories– only Jung added a very unbiblical “spiritual” side to it. Let’s be honest. These people’s teachings are what all psychologists (including “Christian”) study.
So, back to “Celebrate Recovery” –(CR). This program is offered at thousands of churches now and we’d best know what it entails, as well as the core belief system that surrounds it. Here’s my main concern with it –as simple as I can put it: It MIXES Scripture with psychology. Why? What for? God will NOT mix His way with any way. Psychology comes to our society through the counsel and “knowledge” of atheists and spiritualists –who get their doctrines from demons. (See 1 Tim. 4:1) We have God’s beautiful Word to counsel and heal us.
“He sent forth His WORD and healed them.” (Ps. 107:20)
“When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose WORD I praise.” (Ps. 56:3)
“Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.” (Ps. 94:17)
“Stop trusting in man who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” (Isa. 2:22)
“‘Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing… But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 30:12,17)
I, for one, will not bend my knee to any counsel except that which lines up perfectly with the Word of God. “To God [ONLY] belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.” (Job 12:13) I will not bow my knee to any power except that which comes directly from the MOST HIGH. Rick Warren says his “Higher Power is Jesus Christ.” What does that mean? “Higher” than what? Shouldn’t we say “Highest” based on Phil. 2:9? I have THE MOST HIGH GOD –through Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit– who I get my power from. Does he? Are he and I “preaching the same Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4)?
So this CR came out of his church? It definitely is a funny mixture of psychology and Scripture… (And then using the beatitudes to formulate the “steps” sure appears to me to be taking verses completely out of context and applying them any old way they wish. Strange.) Why not just preach Christ’s Gospel –in it’s pure, unmixed form? Why should Christians get help from Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, when he praises Carl Jung as influencing the conception of the program? WHY do churches want to mix those methods with God’s way? Because CR definitely does! And though they do call addictions “sin” (as they should), instead of “a disease”, nevertheless, they hold people in perpetual bondage as AA does, by having them state at the beginning of every meeting, “Hi, I’m ______, and I’m a believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with issues of ________ addiction.” (Really? And for HOW LONG will you struggle? –Years? –A life-time?) But that’s beside the point, for everyone who claps with happiness that the person is no longer “in denial”.
No, no. This, everyone –for those of us who are born again– is a wrong focus –a false premise. How long must people talk about their addictions to others? Is this not a glorification of sin? Why is Eph. 5:12 being trampled? It says, “For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” Is this truly edifying anyone –listening to all that filth? Phil. 4:8 admonishes us to think (and thus speak) only on those things which are noble, pure, lovely, admirable, etc. We are not to, especially in a group supposedly meeting under the banner of Christ, blab about just anything. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Cor. 4:20) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for IT is the power of God for the salvation [and deliverance and spiritual healing] of EVERYONE who believes.” (Rom. 1:16) I think CR and remedies like it must be for people that actually do not believe in the power of the gospel.
Or maybe they believe, but they are too lazy to feed themselves. They have no power to overcome because they refuse to pick up the Word of God and chew it and swallow it for themselves. I don’t mean just taste it. We are in a war. We need nourishment to be strong! That person hanging back –listening to the slave-master (Sin)– needs to feed heartily on Truth –or yes, he won’t stay free. He WILL crawl back. But it is unnecessary. For as Jesus says in John 8:34,36 –“Everyone who sins is a slave to sin… [But] if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Indeed! Not “maybe” or “after tons of meetings.” No. Instead, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (v. 32) And what “truth” is that? –All that babble from psychology? No, if you listen to Jesus, you’ll know that He Himself is the truth, His Words the answer to freedom from addictive sin. Because as we learn from His prayer to the Father in John 17:17 –“Sanctify them by the truth; Your WORD is truth.”
Yes, “MANY false prophets [and falsehoods] have gone out into the world… They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4:1,5,6) So, back to “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” If you’re not free, HE hasn’t set you free. Why not? Did you meet Him? Did you ask Him to free you, and surrender yourself to Him? Did His Spirit come into you? Rom. 4:5,6 says that for those whom He has redeemed, “God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts” and Eph. 1:19-22 says that we now have “His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power that He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead –that power that is far above ALL other powers –including SIN!” (My paraphrase)
Do YOU believe that? Does your life SHOW you believe it? Because “faith without action [--the evidence--] is useless.” (James 2:17)
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign LORD, ‘when I will send a famine through the land– not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.'” (Amos 8:11.12) This famine may already be here because many people do seem to be running around searching. But it is utterly foolish, for right there on their shelves is the most precious thing we could ever hold –the Life-changing, Powerful Words of the Living Most High Creator God!
…Yet people often won’t even open it.
I sure do. Do you?
P.S. Another post of mine relating to CR: http://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/promoting-more-sin/