Tuesday, July 2, 2013


An exceptionally vivid and thorough article from Christian Discernment titled:
"Medieval Theology Meets the New Age 
 Religious Pluralism in the Contemporary 
Roman Catholic Church", discusses on pages 23 to 27 the

"The Role of Modern Psychology"-(excerpt below, with bold print ours for emphasis)
    Our overview of religious pluralism must not neglect the enormous contribution of modern psychology. (i.e., in a negative way) The past hundred years reveals numerous efforts of zealous atheists to "explain" all religious faith as emerging from a common psychological source. An entire volume could be written about the influential connections between psychology and pluralism. Here we can only scratch the surface with an overview of key figures. Nevertheless, the role of modern psychology can hardly be overstated.
     Vatican II does not hesitate to affirm a positive role for modern psychology, informing us that "recent psychological research explains human activity more profoundly" (than the Scripture!) Grounding its conclusion in the belief that faith and reason are two distinct orders of knowledge: "...this sacred Synod affirms the legitimate autonomy of human culture and especially of the sciences." Having basically divorced the study of man from the study of God, the Council informs readers that pastoral care must make "appropriate use" of the secular sciences, especially psychology and sociology, in addition to theological principles. The stage is officially set for the invasion of atheists who wish to suppress the truth about man's relationship and responsibility to God. 
    Psychologists such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, William James, and Abraham Maslow have all attempted to lump the world religions into one convenient basket, proposing common human
origins. God is reduced to man's unconscious, projected as an external divine being. The increasingly popular 12-step movement, founded by enemies of Christianity, contributes heavily toward 
the merging of all religions in its vague "God-as-you-understand Him" deity that denies exclusive truth. This is religious pluralism! Popular author Scott Peck, who has written the bestselling The Road Less Traveled and several other prominent works, professes Christian faith but is well known for his endorsement of religious pluralism. Over the past one hundred years, psychology has indeed made a major contribution to the emergence and popularity of religious pluralism.
    Paul Knitter is one pluralist who openly cites modern psychology in support of his aberrant views. As he begins his chapter about the "common psychic origin" of all religions, here is what he says concerning such attitudes toward religion:
    "They all have to do with the assertion that religious faith has its genesis in the human psyche: all religions arise from (or as part of) a common psychological process within the individual, which can be examined and interpreted by the scientists of the psyche--modern psychologists and psychiatrists."
    Knitter proceeds to give his readers a detailed analysis of Carl Jung's role in the study of religion. He cites Jung's theory about archetypes of the human unconscious:
    "Their general contents, Jung tells us, have to do with light and darkness, death and rebirth, wholeness, sacrifice, and redemption. He saw such archetypes as the common seedbed of all religions.... The archetypes are common to all religions, but symbols and myths will be different, dependent on the varying cultural, historical contexts."
    Jung further asserts that:
    "The collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual."
    Knitter notes that Jung proposed an "'imprint' of God within the unconscious" but as a "scientist" Jung refused to comment on whether an "Imprinter" existed in reality. We are faced here with the unbeliever's inescapable knowledge of God as outlined in Romans 1:18 (and following), thus the "imprint." Note carefully, however, that this claim to ignorance is one that presupposes atheism. When Jung insists that the existence of God cannot be known, he assumes that the God of Christian theism, who has clearly revealed Himself (Romans 1; Psalm 19) cannot exist.
     According to Jungian psychology, "revelation" is radically redefined. It is no longer God speaking to man, but rather God speaking within man. Note the perversion of Romans 1. Man is created in God's image, and God does in a sense reveal Himself within man's consciousness; there is an inescapable knowledge of God that the unbeliever suppresses due to his rebellion. However, it is nevertheless God, distinct from His creation, who is speaking to man. God is not created by man's unconscious!
     Jung's view of Jesus is particularly alarming. He is merely "an effective symbol of the self." Jung blatantly denies His unique claim to divinity, and Knitter approves:
    "Jesus is for Jung one of the best symbols of the Christ, but he is not the only one. Jung had a psychological explanation for the traditional Christian claim for the exclusive uniqueness of Jesus: from the early history of the church, Christians have held that Jesus is 'one and only' precisely because he is such an effective symbol; having been grasped and transformed by this symbol, they naturally attribute to it 'a universally binding truth--not of course by an act of judgment, but by the irrational fact of possession, which is far more effective.'"
    It was Jung, in fact, who was possessed--not by Jesus but by demonic powers that he openly credits for his ideas. The statement above dismisses the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection and the claim of Jesus Christ to be God in the flesh. Both Knitter and Jung conveniently suppress vast portions of the New Testament, hoping that "psychological explanations" will demand the merging of all religions.
    Abraham Maslow is another prominent modern psychologist who espouses religious pluralism. He openly admits his agenda of replacing religion with a "religion-surrogate" grounded in values derived from within man. The worship of God the Creator is replaced by the individual "peak-experience" focused on self. Maslow identifies the divine revelations of all religions (Christianity included!) with such "peak-experiences" rather than any actual communication from the God of the Bible. He concludes that all religions are fundamentally the same:
    "To the extent that all mystical or peak-experiences are the same in their essence and have always been the same, all religions are the same in their essence and have always been the same."
    Maslow advocates the application of his theories to public education. Indeed, this is already occurring through the teaching of psychology as a "science" unrelated to any specific religion. Actually, psychology is vitally related to a particular religion: atheism! 
    There is so much more to be studied in this arena. Sigmund Freud was a militant atheist who proposed an "explanation" of Christianity in terms of his ludicrous Oedipal theory. He lumped all religions together and rejected them in toto. William James, writing Varieties of Religious Experience, assumed that all religious experience is basically mysticism and can be explained as such. He neglected any adequate consideration of Christian theism. Erich Fromm demanded man's radical freedom from God. Albert Ellis declared religious faith a symptom of irrationality, or "mental illness."
    These systems have a common thread, merging all religious faiths, either to explain, embrace, or reject. But even when all religions are theoretically embraced, watch out! Christianity, with its claim to the exclusive truth of the gospel, is necessarily excluded. Religious inclusivism includes all except the one true faith."