Significant Cause of Church Ineffectiveness: Freud

Tony struggles with sexual temptation. Katrina has been having suicidal thoughts. Josh knows he is addicted to marijuana, but is too afraid to go to his church leaders—his father is the pastor. Michelle characterizes her habits as being OCD.

Over one hundred years ago, these people would have received a unified response from church and society. The local church was the expert for all mental and emotional struggles. It may seem strange, but there were two doctors in yesteryear: medical doctors and ‘soul doctors.’ The ‘soul doctors’ were the pastors who knew that the majority of people’s problems were sin issues, first and foremost.

The “Godless Jew”

Freud changed all that. A self proclaimed “hopeless pagan” turned the world upside down, simultaneously castrating the church.

The Father of Modern Psychology came onto the scene in 1891, with his first published work. He hated the church. In fact, many today believe he took his revenge on the church by creating psychology. Setting speculation aside, it is historical record that Freud wanted an alternative to the church for people to run to seeking help with life’s struggles. So what he did was ingenious; he invented a new genre of study in man. It is what we now call psychology. This movement gave birth to the what Freud himself called, the ‘secular priest AKA the psychologist.

Man is bipartite, made up of body and soul. But how would Freud steal a slice of the pie? By distinguishing between matters of the soul, and spiritual matters. In effect, he made man tripartite. That is, now people with soul problems no longer go to soul doctors, but experts in psychology. Is it any wonder that psychology literally means ‘the study of the soul’?

Abdicating Responsibility

Freud’s cards were shown when he admitted that psychoanalysis is ‘study of the soul of man.’ He intentionally stole the church’s role of caring for people. The separation of man’s responsibility has produced seemingly insurmountable mountains to scale. The primary effect Freud has had on the church is demolishing its ministering potential. On the other hand, the main consequence among individual people, is that we see our problems as allogenic (caused by others) instead of autogenic (caused by self). Simply put, we do not take responsibility, but blame shift.

Freud’s blow to the church was deep and his revenge cut to the core of the church’s effectiveness. Since Freud, the church has struggled in helping it’s members in their times of need. In the majority of churches, those of us who are in need of guidance are not helped by our shepherds, but are referred and deferred to outside agencies. A plethora of these agencies today are operating under Freudian practices, namely, blame-shifting and not treating sin as sin. The church that operates under these principles is ineffective, for it fails to bring the Gospel to bear on all of life. Tony, Katrina, Josh, and Michelle could have their lives turned around, if only the church would refer them to the gospel, instead of a shrink.

For Further Discussion:

INS looks at Pyschotropic Medications in Light of Scripture

 

About Daniel Mason

Daniel Mason is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Theology, and is founder and creator of Disciple's Perspective.

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