The Church of Help Yourself
Psychology has it’s roots in the worship of pagan deities, particularly one in Egyptian legend named Thoth. When a thing has roots in an evil source, it can not be expected to grow into something which produces good fruit, but this is a simple truth which is confounded in the minds of people by the passing of time, and new benevolent-looking masks placed over old wickedness.
I am no fan of psychology, and so it alarms me to see that so many Christian ministries are devoted to it, and even those which are not devoted to it have become churches which – instead of teaching His word – give lengthy sermons on psychological applications of Christian morality.
If you desire a Christian self help book, you will have no trouble finding one. Hundreds of thousands of them exist and more are written every day, books to tell you how to live like a Christian man, books to tell you how to live like a Christian woman, books to help you recover from addiction, books to help you recover from divorce, books to help you pray, books to help your self-esteem, books to help your finances.
I am confused. Who is the man or woman who has written a manual on any of these things and wrote something better on them that what scripture has already taught?
Why is it that even believers now feel that they need the opinions of men to put right what is wrong in their lives, instead of turning to the One who has had answers all along?
The churches of the world are becoming a psychologists’ offices instead of the congregations of Yahushua. The answers He has given to the problems we might face are simple, clear, and unmistakable – but they are often not what people want to be told, and so they seek out some complex definition of their troubles – and usually one which removes all their own responsibilitie to whatever the problem is.
His word on living like a man or woman whose life is dedicated to Him was summed up in two sentences spoken by Messiah.
“‘You shall love Yahuwah your ‘Eloah with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:37-40
It did not require Him 500 pages to explain what the focus of a life in His service should look like. It is a simple answer but applied in life, it goes against the sinful nature of fallen creatures and so they become hungry to hear something which excuses a lack of willingness to do all that those few words mean, or provides a recipe for being able to accomplish it which should be no more complicated than complete submission to His will.
Perhaps one of the strangest things i have heard advertised by a Christian ministry was a book on how to pray which included pages and pages of the pastor’s own prayers on various matters.
The advertisement explained that many do not know how to pray because they feel unworthy or not eloquent enough, or they seem to be talking to themselves when they pray to Him.
I can not think of a more unnatural way to address any of those problems than trying to borrow the prayers of someone else. Prayers are intensely personal communications between believers and their Elohim, much more than the words which are spoken, and sometimes do not contain any words at all.
He told us in what way to pray, giving us a model example and instructions to not pray so that others can take note of your praying, but always in sincerity and meekness.
If we feel unworthy, so be it. We are unworthy, this is why His favor is called Mercy and not Due Payment.
If we are not eloquent, what should it matter? Has He not already known our needs before we begin to speak?
If we feel we are talking to ourselves, we don’t have a problem with praying, we have a problem with our faith.
Maybe my least favorite aspect of self-help in the Christian community is just what those words, “self-help”, mean. When have fallen beings not been focused on self help?
It is something we all can do well, help ourselves. We help ourselves to whatever we want that we can get. We help ourselves to what we should, and should not have alike, and we help ourselves to what we desire before we help anyone else to what they do.
We are always looking around for that to which we can help ourselves. In the end, we can help ourselves to all kinds of things, but we can’t ever save ourselves from anything. We need Him for that, and Him alone.
Likewise, we will never need to be concerned about our self-esteem, which is a thing on which Christian psychology, and psychology in general, is so focused. No one with a sin nature does not esteem themselves, we are all very good at it.
Nearly all we do, without thinking, is done to benefit us in some way. Infants are able to esteem themselves, crying out for food and attention, it is the first thing human beings know how to do.
The only one to walk the Earth in human flesh who did not esteem Himself, but gave His everything for everyone else was Yahushua. If we are to be conformed to Him, perhaps we could use a little less esteem for ourselves.
I see all this trend in helping self and psychology over scripture in the church as one a sign of apostasy in these last days. As the whole world becomes more and more wrapped up in self-absorbed thinking, the church follows. It is constantly and consistently about “me” and “I’ everywhere you turn.
“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold, but he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
– Matthew 24: 10-13
If there is any good advice to counteract all the troubles of life it is – cease worrying about self and live for Him.