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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Psychology, The Church Substitute

More and more, the priests and pastors of today's society are being replaced by a new generation of people who do the work of "healing" and holding society together. These people are the psychologists, social workers, and professional counselors. And they don't have a clue about what is needed ! Let me start by telling two stories.

The first one comes from 28 years ago. It is about when I resigned from my job at the Tennessee Psychiatric Hospital. I was seeing some success in reaching and helping street level drug addicts and alcoholics. But I was instructed that I was getting too involved with the clients and needed to maintain a more "professional" distance. (And this is even more curious because the program I worked with was designed to be "outside of the institution" and was totally street level. )

I maintained the position that you really cannot bring about any real and immediate change without personal involvement. Anyhow, the idea of being a "professional" was far from my idea of what was really needed in life. Hey, it was the 60's, "all you needed was love." I decided to follow the advice of Eric Hoffer. (You can read some of his best quotes here) I simply dropped the professional world and became a construction worker, leaving all of my education behind to pursue "intellectual fulfillment".

As things had it, I slowly but surely became even more productive in guiding others as a construction worker than as a professional. Needless to say this deeply affected my approach to life.

The second story is about many people over the years. People who are from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures, and circumstances. People who have all different sorts of disorders.
Personality disorders to paranoid schizophrenia. People who, after they hear the truth, and in an honest and personal way are shown where the boundaries and realities of life are, slowly heal over time.

People that are really, on the bottom line, only given two therapeutic words. "Repent" and "forgive." Then, again (and sometimes again), over time, they are encouraged to give up the "hammer" in their hands, that they are hitting themselves with. They are welcomed into a "therapeutic community" called the church. A place where hypocrites cannot long endure. A place of honesty and openness. A place where everybody wears their personal brokenness openly and honestly. A place where, the people who have been there a while, are the same person this week that they were last week.

These sort of churches have to be built from the ground up. There has to be a unity that cannot be obtained in "outcome based" churches or in "religious" meetings. They require a lot of reality and light. People have to be who they say they are. Doctrine ? Historic, creedal.
But they need to be full of the fruit of the spirit. Patience is vital, kindness (the real kind) invaluable. A people who actually don't "consider a wrong suffered."

The counselors of this age offer nothing. They offer empty, hollow, shifting and changing, ideas and help. They offer "professionalism." And the broken people stack up like cord wood.


Blogger jeff said...

I agree with your comments. The existence of professionals is ruining the church and the impact of God's Word. I got so sick of going to churches with fake pastors with fake smiles, I just decided to be a pastor myself! I don't fake smile.

9:46 AM, May 23, 2005  

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