Posted by: Tony | January 27, 2007

The Sufficiency of God and His Word

We all know that God is absolutely sovereign. He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. The Bible also tells us that God is sufficient for all of life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3 says ‘His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence.’

Seeing God and His Word as insufficient builds the foundation of a liberal church. But it has also come into conservative churches and even ultra-conservative churches. A conservative church may believe in the authority of the Bible, but it might not believe in the sufficiency of the Bible. Thus the Bible has limited value and must be supplemented by man’s word. They won’t admit this but it’s true. For example you can go into a liberal church and ask the pastor if he believes that God’s Word is sufficient, he’ll probably tell you, “No. It’s not. That’s an outdated concept that we’ve grown beyond.” Now, you can go into a conservative church and ask the pastor if God and His Word are sufficient for all of life and godliness and he’ll probably tell you, “Yes. We believe that.” But look closely around the church and you might find a James Dobson leaflet in the Sunday bulletin, or a Sunday school class going through a Gary Smalley video series on parenting, maybe a “Bible” study studying a Larry Crabb book, or perhaps a marriage seminar using Dennis Rainey materials, or a pastor using materials by Minirth / Meier for counseling, or maybe a woman’s group studying the so-called four temperaments by Tim LaHaye, and so it goes on.

The church gives verbal ascent, but if you look closely and can discern between Biblical wisdom vs. man’s wisdom, you’ll see the church capitulating to humanistic philosophy in many realms. The Bible warns us about such things. We read in Colossians 2:8 ‘See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy or empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ.’

Secular psychology is a belief system about who we are and how we should relate to 1) the self 2) each other and 3) the higher power (which, ultimately, is the self). It is based on evolutionary beliefs and its founding fathers were all atheists (or in the case of Carl Jung, an occultist). Perhaps you’ve heard of Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow, B.F. Skinner, Alfred Adler, Eric Fromm, etc. All atheists, all haters of God, some of these men even signed the declaration of a godless society in the ‘Humanist Manifesto’. These founding fathers built a system of thought fervently held to, a religion you might say, based on evolutionary theory along with man’s best thoughts and the world fell for it.

Christian psychology on the other hand is….., well it’s on the same hand actually. It’s the same humanistic philosophy couched in Christian lingo and inserted into Bible texts everywhere. To talk of “Christian” psychology makes as much sense as talking of “Christian” evolution or theistic evolution. Both take outside influences (built on foundations of atheism) and add them into Scriptures. If you want to see slick isogesis (that is, reading into the text what isn’t there) just look at some of the common teachings of the so-called Christian psychologists.

Christian psychologists say man needs to learn to love self . The Bible says we already love ourselves and our great need is to love God and others. Matt 22:37-40 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment? And He said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets.” Notice Jesus said, “On these TWO commandments…” The Christian psychologists try to tell us there are three commandments here, love God, love others and love self. Then they go further by proclaiming that without first loving your self, you cannot love God or others. The self takes first priority.

Christian psychologists say man’s greatest need is for significance. The Bible says man’s greatest need is for salvation. Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. They consistently confuse the term need with desire. What is really necessary or a need? Jesus said only one thing is necessary (see Luke 11:38-42).

Christian psychologists say that the greatest drive in man is his need for significance. The Bible says the greatest drive in man is his desire for significance. God calls this pride. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves, not nurture our sinful, prideful nature. Luke 9:23 If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.

Christian psychologists say we need a high self esteem. The Bible says we need to esteem others as better than ourselves. Philippians 2:3 With humility of mind, esteem others as more important (or better) than yourselves.

Christian psychologists say we need to forgive self. The Bible says God does the forgiving and we need to accept His forgiveness. Colossians 3:13 Bearing with one another and forgiving each other whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. The Bible commands us to forgive other like God forgave us. It never commands us to forgive self. To do so would be to exalt man in the place of God.

Christian psychologists say we need to recognize our infinite self worth. The Bible says the nations are like a drop in the bucket and that we are like insects. Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. v17 All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded as less than nothing and meaningless. v22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers…v23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless…v24 But He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble.

Christian psychologists say we were worth the death of God’s Son because we are so valuable. The Bible says that we were not worth the death of God’s Son, nor was there anything in us that would send him to the cross. Christ died for us in spite of our unworthiness, He loved us in spite of our unlovableness. Why? Because God is love. Because God is gracious. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Inherit in this biblical truth is security. God’s love for me doesn’t depend on my character, it depends on His character, which changes not.

Christian psychologists say that sometimes we need to forgive God. The Bible says this is blasphemy. James 1. God cannot be tempted by evil and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

Christian psychologists say we need a good self image. Jesus says we are to see ourselves as worthless slaves. Luke 17:10 So you also, after you have done everything commanded of you, say “I am a worthless slave. I have only done that which I ought to have done.” Christian psychologists say we should see ourselves as God sees us. On the contrary, we should see ourselves as God tells us to see ourselves.

And so it goes on. These are just a few of the many aberrant teachings of the Christian psychologists. This is what happens when you don’t base all of your thinking on the Word of God.

The belief in the insufficiency of God’s word also directly leads to a philosophy of pragmatism. The main question becomes, “Does it work?” instead of “What does the Scripture say? Our culture, including our 21st century American Christianity is extremely pragmatic. Because all of us have been psychologized, we look for pragmatic reasons beyond the Scriptures for reasons why we do things. It’s not enough to say “Because God said so”. No, now we “13 reasons why you shouldn’t have premarital relations”. The main point is: Are we going to submit to the authority of the Word of God in every realm, or only when it works? Do we obey God out of love for God, or because it will make us happy? We need to live by principles not pragmatics.

We all need to grow in our discernment between Biblical wisdom and man’s wisdom. We can do this in a very practical way. We need to prayerfully study God’s Word and remain humble enough for His Holy Spirit to apply it to our lives in every area. I would encourage you to really allow this truth of God and His Word being sufficient to revolutionize your walk with Him. I would challenge us all to base our thinking on, as well as start and finish our thinking with the Word of God. Isaiah 2:22 says, “Stop regarding man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for why should he be esteemed!?” We need to get back to the authority and sufficiency of the Word of God!

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Responses

  1. Atheists don’t “hate god”. We just don’t believe in one all powerful being who is personally involved in our lives. I am sorry you feel secularism is “hostile” to your religion
    It is just a separate belief system, nothing more or less. Religion has helped many people, but so has secular psychology

  2. I can feel the love and the presence of God. He’s always there….its unexplainable!


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