Unholy Alliance: the dangers of mixing pop psychology with Christian Truth
Secular psychological counseling theories and therapies have invaded the church way beyond what most Christians realize. And, since so many Christians continue to believe the myth that these counseling theories and therapies are scientific, they are not concerned. We have consistently demonstrated that these ideas are no more than the "wisdom of the world," about which God warns (1 Cor. 2:) and "science falsely so-called" (1 Tim. 6:20). But, what if these theories and therapies were shown to be occult in nature? Would Christians be so accepting of them or so complacent about how they have compromised the Word of God?
Lois Chan has written a book titled Unholy Alliance: the dangers of mixing pop psychology with Christian Truth. Chan is well aware and concerned "that one of the latest trends in the church is to integrate psychology with the Bible." She translated our book The End of "Christian Psychology" into Chinese and understands the seriousness of this problem. But, also being familiar with New Age teachings and having done research on the occult practice of channeling, Chan says in her Preface:
I wanted to see the degree to which channeled teaching exists in both secular and Christian psychology. I discovered that most aspects of New Age channeled teachings can be found in secular psychology and over half of them are in Christian psychology (p. 7).*
Chan describes channeling as "the act of receiving communication from the spirit worlds" and says, "As virtually all Christians understand, the Bible forbids us to communicate with the spirit world (Deut. 18:10-2; 2 Chr. 33:2-6; 2 Cor. 6:14-16)" (p. 19). She therefore warns:
When we bring psychology into the church, we risk bringing in the New Age elements of psychology. If we bring in New Age psychology, we risk bringing in demonic (channeled) teachings. In that case, the integration of Bible and psychology will turn out to be the integration of biblical teachings and demonic teachings—an unholy alliance (p. 19).
Chan carefully argues her case with examples of teachings from various channelers. As one reads what the channelers say, one is struck with how many of these ideas Christians have already embraced about the nature of man, why he does what he does, and how he changes. One can also see great similarities between channelers and inner healers.
In her discussion of parapsychology, the study of psychic phenomena, Chan says that the spirit guides she studied "confirm the realities of clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, prophecy, mediumship or channeling, séance, astral projection (out-of-body experience), levitation and psychic healing"; teach "the reliability of various divination techniques"; and say that "psychic ability is man’s natural ability, and meditation is the way to develop it" (p. 83). She also notes that there are Christians who are interested in various aspects of parapsychology. She quotes psychologist Gary Collins saying: "Parapsychology is a controversial but serious attempt to study unusual events. Christians should not ignore or completely dismiss this field of study" (85). Chan then says:
Collins permits meditation practices. He asserts that different counselors learn techniques from different schools. Therefore they may be influenced to use different techniques. He also understands that there are Christians angrily condemning practices such as hypnosis, visualization, self-talk, or imagery. He says, ‘We do seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in our work, and we are sensitive to the issues.’ Finally, he advises to ‘avoid public debate’ but says, ‘we may choose to disagree.’ In other words Collins is saying that if you want to use hypnosis and other meditation-type techniques, you may do so; just don’t make too much noise (p. 85).
Chan begins her chapter titled "Channeled Psychology" with a quote about "the child within" that was not loved enough and how "We need to give the child the love he or she wants." Then she asks:
Does this sound familiar? If you guess this is a quote from one of your favorite Christian psychologists, you are in for a big surprise because this is the teaching of a very famous New Age channeled spirit guide, Lazaris (p. 89).
We might add here that we’ve also heard pastors preach this nonsense. They may have gleaned the idea from psychology, but here is a spirit guide spewing the same thing. Psychological theories regarding early childhood determinants of behavior that came from Freud and have spread throughout much of psychotherapy are repeated by spirit guides through their channelers. Well, you might wonder if the spirit guides or fake channelers are just getting these ideas from psychology. Chan explores these questions, but we must mention here that Freud himself was very much into the occult, as was Jung. Their ideas permeate much of counseling psychology.
Regarding early childhood influences, Chan quotes Dr. Paul Meier, James Dobson, Dr. Henry Cloud and other Christian psychologists, as well as channeled spirit guides. She also shows similarities between psychological and occult teachings regarding the unconscious, dream analysis, projection, human potential, and the self-concept.
Chan has an excellent section on self-love and self-esteem in her chapter titled "Channeled Philosophy of Life." Here again she quotes both secular and Christian psychologists as well as channeled spirit guides. She says:
The spirits teach that we must first love ourselves before we can love others. Spirit guide Emmanuel says that we cannot have love and compassion for others until there is a great supply of self love. "You must first love yourself before you love another," says Seth, another spirit guide (p. 114).
She then quotes secular psychologists saying about the same thing, such as Erich Fromm, who wrote: "If it is a virtue to love my neighbor as a human being, it must be a virtue—and not a vice—to love myself, since I am a human being, too." Chan then notes that "in many Christian churches, Fromm’s view is used to explain that ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ means that ‘loving yourself is the foundation of loving others’" (p. 115). She then quotes Scriptures that teach otherwise and says, "It is apparent that the Bible and psychology are at odds with each other" (p. 119).
Chan addresses the question, "What is the difference between secular psychology and Christian psychology in the area of self-esteem?" She says she found "one significant difference." She finds that Christians have to deal with what the Bible says about denying self and says:
Christian psychologists either explain it away or protest strongly against it. For instance Narramore says that teaching self-denial will "instill deep self-doubt and cut away at the foundations of self-esteem" (p. 117).
In her chapter, "Who Is the Real Author?" Chan addresses the question, "Why are there so many channeled teachings found in both secular psychology and Christian psychology?" She asks, "If the channelers receive wisdom and knowledge during channeling, do the psychology theorists receive inspiration from the same spirit mastermind as well?" (p. 155). She says, "[Abraham] Maslow, the founder of humanistic psychology says ‘peak experiences,’ ecstasies, mystical experiences, and core-religious experiences are basically the same kind of experience." She further lists other psychologists who have been known to practice consciousness-altering techniques, such as Freud, Jung, William James, Gordon Allport, Erich Fromm, Viktor Frankl, and Rollo May, as well as Maslow (p. 157).
Near the end of her book, Chan says: "Should a theory or a teaching, which is not found in the Bible but endorsed by the [channeled] spirits, be taught in the church? The answer is a definitive NO" (p. 165).
Chan’s book should lead Christians to ponder about how much the church is openly receiving, using, and promoting that has its source in Satan’s kingdom. From our own research we oppose all integration of counseling psychology theories and therapies and contend that their source is the world, the flesh, and the devil.
* All page references are from Unholy Alliance: the dangers of mixing pop psychology with Christian Truth.
Unholy Alliance: the dangers of mixing pop psychology with Christian Truth may be purchased directly from the author by sending a check or money order for $10 to Dr. Lois Chan, PO Box 8136, Foster City, CA 94404, email <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The $10 price for the book includes shipping, handling, and any sales tax that would apply. Seehttp://www.unholyalliance.info.
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, July-August 2006, Vol. 14 No. 1)
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