Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Accident or Sovereignty? by Dr. Mal Couch

The car seemed to be hitting every bump in the road, as my wife Lacy jammed the accelerator to the floor. With every swerve in the highway her prayers got louder, “Oh, Lord please don’t let him die!” I stared at the roof of the car and prayed too. “Jesus, I’m your servant and if you wish to take me home now, I totally trust You!”

As I prayed, the blood was pumping from my chest, mixing with the mud that covered my shirt. I was pressing down hard on the one inch hole, trying to stop the rush of red wetness.

Would we make it to the hospital before I passed out from the bleeding? I wasn’t sure.

It all started Saturday morning, August the third. I had a lot of work to do in the yard of our country home near Clifton, Texas. By noon the air was sweltering with heat and the vegetation in the garden was as dry as Post Toasties. Trying to clean up some old brush, I had started burning a pile of dead tree limbs. Because of the arid conditions, I had inadvertently started a small grass fire which required some urgent attention with the water hose.

Nearly blind with sweat in my eyes, and tugging a forty yard section of hose, I started over a small fence when suddenly I lost my balance. An iron stake had been driven in the ground to hold up plants. Now plunging headlong, and face first, I could see that three foot long rusty rod coming up at me! Piercing the air, I could hear my own screams as the one inch round steel tip drove deep into my chest. Bent over and kneeling in the mud, impaled and in excruciating pain, I had to do something fast.

Since I couldn’t budge the rod from the ground, I clutched it as tightly as I could and tugged with what strength I had left. Again more horrible pain followed but the spike of iron was now free from my chest. With blood pouring out I ran to the car, calling for Lacy to start for the hospital. Though it was only about ten minutes away, I reasoned I could be unconscious within minutes if vital veins or arteries were cut.

Not waiting for the attendants to wheel out a stretcher, I walked into the emergency operating room and fell on the table. I had made it! After taking several x-rays, the doctor concluded I was “lucky” that nothing was damaged. A few inches up or down, left or right, the lungs could have been pierced or the heart punctured. By the way, he added, the bar had gone at least five inches deep!

Sometimes in moments like this, our theology goes right out the window. Things are happening too fast, and with the way we feel about such an event, we can even argue it is simply an “accident,” a “happen-stance,” just a “fateful” moment. But gazing up at the operating room lights, I had to reach up with heart and soul and claim what I have taught others for the past thirty years.

And that is, my God is not passive. He is not helpless nor caught off guard. He is not impotent nor are His plans for me, my life and my death, thwarted. If I can teach the providence of God, I must live the same.

Stretched out on my back on that cold surgical table, I forced myself to rehearse all the verses I could remember about the sovereignty of my Lord and Master. I had no guarantees from my God for surviving through that Saturday. He could have designed it whereby that was the day and hour I would be going home! Could I put my death in His hand and trust Him or must He spare me simply because I wanted to live?

Then I remembered the words of James, “you should say, ‘if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” If the Lord wills! And again I quoted to myself Job, “my days are determined, God has set the limits of my months so that I cannot go beyond.”

And as I felt the puncture of the needles and the tug of the stitches closing the wound in my chest, I applied the words of David to me in a most personal way: “My days were ordained before even one of them had come along.” Finally, I claimed for myself from the apostle Paul my favorite verse. Though it is about king David, for that hour Saturday morning, it was mine: “After I have served the purpose of God in my generation, I will [someday] fall asleep, and will be laid among my fathers.”

Why did God allow such an experience? I will never know for sure this side of heaven, but I can give some possible reasons. 1. To help me again realize, and teach to others, how precious life really is. But more. 2. That I am really His servant and He may do with me as He pleases. 3. As well, to remind me of my own mortality.

Sometimes we feel we are going to live in this body here on earth forever. We will not! “Our citizenship indeed is in heaven, from which also, we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform this body of humiliation into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20-21)

Dr. Mal Couch
August 1996

Friday, February 5, 2016

Psychologizing of The Christian Churches

Theorists and the Psychological Theories

That Have Destroyed American Culture and


Jungs Collective Unconsciousness
Jungs Collective Unconsciousness
For decades we have known the destructive effect of psychology and its gurus have had on European and American morality, but the full extent of what it has done to our people is just beginning to bear fruit. Its influence is pervasive in the media, education, the field of medicine, counseling, and in the church.
What have some of the theorists really done and what have they taught that has so blunted the teaching of Scriptural morals?
Below is a review of what some of the pioneer teachers of psychology have put upon us. In some instances the founders of modern psychology contradict each other’s views. Yet together their total impact has bent society and the church in a way unimaginable just a few decades before.
Fairly recently, the invasion of psychology has, with a vengeance, overtaken and overwhelmed the work of our denominations, seminaries, and local churches. Evangelical churches are now rapidly accepting psychological principles like never before. This is softening the congregations causing them to move away from doctrine and the teaching of Scripture. It is fostering a certain positivism that then turns about and opens the door for super-contemporary music and the take over of the church by the charismatic movement. Even though many of the proponents bringing psychology into the Church realize that the “founding fathers” of psychology were God haters they turn to them for guidance. Focus on the Family founder, psychologist James Dobson has stated that the men he studied in his psychological studies were dysfunctional. He nevertheless relies on psychology as an addition to biblical teaching.
Many reading this will disagree with such an assessment, but I believe this charge can be substantiated.
In order to chart this movements success it is important to explore its “founding fathers” and the teachings they promulgated.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1936)
Formative years
He was born in Freiberg Austria. He was the oldest of eight siblings and his family moved to Vienna when he was four years old.  He was Jewish but raised without any faith. In his later years he professed a hatred for God, the Bible, and Moses the Lawgiver. He was for all practical purposes an atheist and he despised all religion.
Some historians believe that in the Freud home there were “family secrets” that adversely molded Sigmund, his brothers and sisters. Because of his strong relationship with his mother, some have speculated that there may have been incest in the family. At home, his brothers and sisters were not allowed to study music because doing so disturbed young Sigmund’s studies.
Experimented with Cocaine
As a young doctor, at twenty-eight he experimented with this drug under the pretense of medical research. He gave it to his wife Martha, his sisters, friends, and colleagues. He published six articles on the substance and recommended it as a stimulant, an anesthetic, and as a harmless substitute for morphine. He claimed the drug could relieve depression, and increase personal concentration, all of this with no side effects. He called the drug a “magical substance.” When cocaine addiction began to grow, Freud became associated with it and his reputation suffered.
Early Influences
Freud studied hypnotism with the famous French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893). From another hypnotist Bernheim, Freud came to the conclusion that there is an unconscious, with memories of which the patient is unaware. From this Freud concluded that behavior can be caused by unconscious ideas, and that these ideas can be brought into consciousness under the right circumstances.

The Word of God never gives such an idea. Human beings are responsible for their thoughts and their actions.

Freud Taught
  1. Sexual conflicts were the cause of hysteria
  2. Sexual conflicts were the only cause of mental disorders
  3. The  “life instincts’ collectively are called libido. The libido is equal to sexual energy
  4. The ego brings a person into experiences that truly satisfy
  5. Both young boys and girls can develop erotic feelings toward their mother
  6. Male children can inherit castration anxiety
  7. Female children may develop male sexual organ envy
  8. All humans beings have the potential to become homosexual
  9. Psychoanalysis must be used to dredge up the remnants of early repressed memories
  10. Religion developed because of the human fear of the unknown
  11. Humans are driven by hedonistic impulses like lower animals
  12. He detested the words of Christ: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Freud’s War Against God
  1. The uneducated masses need the illusions of religion
  2. Intelligent people should live their lives according to scientific fact
  3. History is explained by evolutionary principles, not by a divine unfolding plan
  4. Rules should be explained rationally (his definition), not by claiming the will of a deity
  5. Freud hoped religion would eventually be replaced by rational, scientific principles
Freud Alert:
By means of our own willpower and creative technology, we are self-sufficient. He said:
“Turn your eyes inward, look into your own depths, and learn first to know yourself.”
Carl Jung (1875-1961)
 Formative Years
Born in a small Swiss village, he was raised in the university town of Basel. There were nine clergymen of the Swiss Reformed Church persuasion in his family, including his father. Jung viewed his father as a spiritual failure. He recalls asking spiritual and biblical questions of him, but receiving no answers.
Later in life, Carl developed his religious theories, but these theories only touched the individual emotionally and had little to do with Christianity. Carl confessed that his father was terribly cold and that his mother was dominating and “terribly inconsistent.”
Demon and Occult Phenomenon
There is no other way to describe Jung except to say that he was later greatly influenced by the demonic world.
As he grew older, he isolated himself from his family. He was preoccupied with dreams, visions, and fantasies, which provided him with his primary inner reality. He felt this inner reality was giving him “secret knowledge” that only a select few were given. He rarely shared his thoughts with others, and this fostered a lonely childhood, that carried over into adulthood.
Carl found a stone in a field when he was about seven years and this became to him a “mystical” stone. He developed a secret relationship with this stone. When he returned to the field and the stone as a married man thirty years later, “the magic of the stone returned immediately.”
At the age of ten, Carl carved a small wooden figure of a man whom he dressed and “gave it a little stone of its own.” He hid the little figure and was somehow given great comfort by this secret friend when he was troubled. He wrote secret “scrolls” that he placed, with a solemn ceremonial act, inside the little mannequin figure.
He also had a phallus dream that paralyzed him with terror. He concluded that the giant phallus was “the underground counterpart of the Lord Jesus.” As well, the phallus dream seemed to him to be a subterranean God “not to be named,” that appeared to him whenever anyone spoke of Christ in his presence. He added, “Jesus never became quite real for me, never quite acceptable, never quite lovable.”
In one dream, Jung saw a cathedral in the sky with God on His throne. “Suddenly an enormous feces fell upon the roof of the cathedral, shattering the building.” Somehow, Jung felt a great relief in that he was no longer under damnation but under grace!
Jung concluded that his father never really knew God personally. Jung wanted to know God and felt that if he simply fulfilled the will of the Lord, he will be certain of going the right way! He never really knew God but thought knowing God meant following an occult type god would equate to knowing the revealed God of Scripture.
A dream convinced him to follow his grandfather’s path in medicine, so he enrolled in the medical school in Basel. He became interested in psychic phenomena, studied the occult, attended séances, experimented with psychic mediums, and even claimed to be clairvoyant.
Collective Unconsciousness
Jung taught what even the psychological field calls a “mystical and controversial theory” know as collective unconsciousness.  This means that from the evolutionary past, humans carry within their minds the ancestral experiences of prehistoric times. These are our common experiences, the primordial images that are carried from generation to generation. We even inherit a tendency to re-experience them. Jung felt his own dreams were evidence for this theory. We become conscious or ourselves through self-knowledge.

Male and Female Traits

Jung is one of the theorists responsible for provoking the agendas of both the homosexual and feminist movements today. He taught that both sexes have within them the male and female traits. “Thus if a woman denies expression of her masculine traits or a man his feminine traits, those traits will manifest themselves in indirect ways such as through dreams.”

God then would have both traits, male and female, within His personality. Lesbians will have a male bent, and a homosexual female!
 Jung ALERT:
 Self-actualization, Self-fulfillment, Self-esteem:
Public education has also been fueled by Jung’s selfism views.
The importance of self-purpose and meaning:
 Jung emphasized purpose and meaning in one’s life. He said; “This theme is now emphasized in the existential-humanistic theories of personality.”
Selfhood is a master motive in human behavior.
The primary goal in life is to approach self-actualization, individuation!
Jung helped to bring on Humanism (the deification of humanity). He said; “You can be whatever you want to be.” This pervades the television industry, television commercials, education, theology, much of contemporary church music, and the socialization agenda of our government and society as a whole! The net effect of psychology and humanism is to draw people away from the revealed truth of the Bible.
Carl Rogers (1902-1987)
Early Years
Carl was raised in a very conservative Protestant home in Oak Park near Chicago. Roger’s family discouraged friendships outside the family so he grew up in a lonely environment. In his teen years he was a very good student but tended toward solitude. In 1922 he went to a World Student Christian Federation Conference in Peking, China. There he studied the different cultures and religions of that vast area, and returned to the US with doubts about Christianity.
In 1924 he enrolled in the ultraliberal Union Theological Seminary in New york, NY.  Under the critical teaching he received, he soon became doubtful that the best way to help people is through “religious doctrine.” He transferred to Columbia University and received his MA and Ph.D degrees in psychology.
Rogers Teachings had a Debilitating Effect on Christianity
What Rogers taught soon had a profound influence upon the counseling field, education, and liberal Christianity.
Rogers’ views are creeping into Evangelical doctrine! This teaching states that feeling is more important than intellect or knowledge! Rogers said: “The only reality you can possibly know is what you perceive and experience at the moment.”
Non-directive Therapy is another teaching of Rogers where he said; “Do not tell someone that what they are doing is wrong. Let them solve their own problems with their own abilities.”
Self-actualization is one of his prominent teachings. This philosophy teaches that one should be: True to yourself, by just being me, which will lead to the good life. 
Rogers ALERT:
  1. Humans are basically good and need no controlling, though they may sometimes act badly out of fear.
  2. The attempt to control humans only makes them act badly.
  3. People can trust their feelings.
  4. They need the opportunity to do what they feel is best for them.
  5. Do what feels right.
  6. The Self is the cornerstone of the Rogerean theory.
  7. Practicing values (Biblically or otherwise), imposed by others on the young, creates dysfunction as an adult.
  8. Being told that doing something is sinful or naughty, destroys self-worth, and is contrary to self-structure!
  9. We must be free to act according to our own feelings.
  10. We must perceive ourselves as the center of our experience.
  11. Have unconditional positive regard for yourself.
  12. Freedom comes from within to do what you want to do.
Rogers Stated:
“Experience is, for me, the highest authority. Neither the Bible nor the prophets, … neither the revelation of God nor man-can take precedence over my own experience.”
“How people interpret things is for them the only reality.”
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)
Early Life
Maslow was born Jewish in an ungodly home in Brooklyn, New York. His father loved whiskey and fighting. His dad considered Abraham ugly and stupid, and this stigma would stay with him for the rest of his life.
His mother was bitter and loved miserly ways. She kept a lock on the refrigerator and had to be in a food mood to allow the children to eat. Abraham later said his motivation for humanistic psychology as his life’s work came from his deep hatred of his mother. Her lack of love, selfishness, and hatred, made him revolt against everything she stood for.
Being sold on the psychology of behaviorism, he studied psychology and received his MA and Ph.D degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
Many of the theories that Maslow came to were similar to what Jung taught.
Hierarchy of Needs:
  1. Psychological needs
  2. Safety needs
  3. Belongingness needs
  4. Self-esteem needs
  5. Self-actualization
Self-Actualizers Will:
  1. Accept and love themselves
  2. Do what comes naturally and are true to their feelings over objectivity
  3. Direct their energies to problems
  4. Maintain their own values and feelings, and let these guide their lives
  5. Be independent by depending only on ones own inner world and not the outer world.
  6. Experience life
  7. Desire to have mystical experiences
  8. Identify with all religions and cultures
  9. Desire friendships only with other self-actualizers
  10. Be Supra-democratic
  11. Know the ethical implications of their own actions
  12. Be creative because they are more open to experience their feelings
Maslow ALERT:
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is now invading the theology of Evangelical Christians. It is included in the teaching of the psychiatrists Minerith and Meier, graduates of Dallas Seminary. They say:
  1. Significance is more important than objectivity
  2. For good living we need great self-knowledge
  3. Being true to your nature’s will is self-actualizing
  4. The failure to satisfy needs is the number one problem in America
“The environment must be fixed in order for humans to experience the highest level of attainment in the hierarchy of needs. Society must be designed to maximize the process of self-actualization.”
Do not accept any of this teaching in your church. RUN if your pastor introduces it as helpful. It is all anti-Christian and anti-Bible. Once a person moves away from the authority of Scripture they are outside of the genuine protection it provides.
Mal Couch, Ph.D, Th.D.
Ed. Daniel E. Woodhead, Ph.D

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Israel: A Problem for Some Evangelicals by James M. Hutchens

"I don't believe the land of Israel is promised to unbelievers." These are the words of a former United States Congressman and a knowledgeable evangelical Christian. He continued, "I believe the Messiah is coming and the Jews will recognize Him – that the redemption of the Jews is yet to come. I believe redeemed Jewish Israel will, one day, be entrusted again with the land in fulfillment of God's covenant promises. But I have a real problem with seeing the modern state of Israel, governed by unbelievers, as a fulfillment of God's promises."

Actually, the congressman's concerns are shared by others in the evangelical community. For example, John Piper, a highly respected evangelical spokesman, is on record as saying in respect to Israel "A non-covenant-keeping people does not have a divine right to the present possession to the land of promise. … Israel as a whole today rejects her Messiah, Jesus Christ, God's Son. This is the ultimate act of covenant –breaking with God." [WORLD, May 11, 2002, "Land Divine?"]

Then there is Joel Belz, publisher of WORLD magazine, who is baffled by the claim that Israel has a divine right to the land. "Much more puzzling to me is the assumption not just by Jewish people, but by evangelical Christians on behalf of Jewish friends, that the state of Israel is somehow still deserving of the blessings indicated as the fruit of some very conditional promises. Have Jewish people held up their part of God bargain? Have they therefore a claim on certain parts of Middle Eastern geography." [WORLD, January 10, 2004, "Stubborn Unbelief"].

In other words, there are genuine evangelical Christians, who may believe Jewish Israel has a future, and that future may involve the land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants. However, that land will not be given until Israel as a whole accepts Jesus and enters into a covenant keeping relationship with the God of Israel. But is this really the scenario God has in mind? Or is there a sovereignly appointed sequence of events that encompasses a much broader expression of the mind and will of God? I think there is.

The prophet Ezekiel, among others, points to a process – a sequence of events, in which the Jews return to the land in a profaned state of unbelief and out-of–covenant relationship with the God of Israel, which, over time, culminates in state of spiritual restoration. Like all expressions of God's grace, this process is initiated by God in spite of the sinfulness of the recipient.

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

" 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. …Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!" [Ezekiel 36: 22-32]

The process begins by God bringing back to the promised land a people that has profaned his name. They are not in covenant with God. The point is, they are not deserving of being regathered to the land. They have not yet experienced their redemption. They are in an estranged, profaned, disobedient, and unbelieving relationship with God. It is an act of pure grace on the part of God. They will look back and be ashamed and disgraced for their conduct.

The Hebrew word for "profane" means to defile, pollute, prostitute; to make common. It means to stain what is beautiful and glorious. This is what God has said the Jew has done to His name wherever he has been scattered and dispersed. God says his name and all it stands for has been sacrilegiously defiled and polluted whether in politics, entertainment, the media or most egregiously, in religion.

Yet, this appears to be the condition that begins the process. It is in this profaned condition that God begins to bring back the Jews to the land. It is not out of a desire to serve God and be in covenant relationship with God that has brought back most Jews to the land. It was the pogroms and the holocaust and the anti-Semitism that has motivated most Jews to seek sanctuary and security in Israel. The nation of Israel itself was established in 1948 in the aftermath of the Nazi extermination efforts as a means of providing a secure homeland for persecuted Jews. God used this to start the process that will lead to the redemption of Jewish Israel. It is this process, sinful and profaned, which leads to a climatic event, the spiritual restoration of Jewish Israel. According to Ezekiel's chronology, the spiritual cleansing takes placeafter the regathering. The giving of a new heart occurs after the return to the land. It is not an event that precedes the process.

It would appear, the establishment of the State of Israel and the immigration that has taken place since, is in keeping with God's sequence of events. Regathering first and then spiritual restoration. It is not unlike the process by which God brings all believers to himself. God, in his grace always initiates the process, while the sinner is in rebellion.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." [Romans 5:8]. What God has done for us, he will do for Jewish Israel. As a matter of fact, the process has already started.

So, for those evangelicals who have a problem with the modern State of Israel being the fulfillment of God's promises we say this. Consider it a beginning of the process, profaned to be sure, that will eventuate in Jewish Israel's spiritual redemption. It is the first in a sequence of events. A process that has a glorious climax in "all Israel being saved."

In the meantime what is to be our attitude and action toward "profaned" Jewish Israel? I think the Apostle Paul anticipated that question in Romans 11:30-31 when he admonished us:

"Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you"

This continues to be a primary theme for us in The Jerusalem Connection"Show mercy because of mercy received!" Because of the mercy we have received in Christ, we want to show mercy to Jewish Israel. We invite you to join us in recognizing the State of Israel, even in its profaned condition, as part of the God-ordained process, which anticipates the ultimate spiritual redemption of Jewish Israel.