Carl Jung: psychologist or sorcerer?
Many Christian psychology professionals are only average pew warmers, who then practice secular psychology." — Steven J. Cole
Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung changed the way we think about the human psyche. For those who have never heard of him, he was the foremost pioneer of dream analysis, which is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. In many ancient traditions dreams were considered to be messages from the gods.
Jung's research asserts the concept of an impersonal or "collective unconscious" (a type of library containing everything ever known) present in each person's unconscious. The inspiration came to Jung from contacting the spirit realm. Jung claimed that his spirit guide, Philemon (more on "it" later), was a source of information that gave him crucial insights. According to Don Matzat, "Jung theorized that all humanity, past and present, were connected on an unconscious plane. Therefore, deep within each individual was the collective wisdom of the ages, including all religious, mythical content. ... Jung placed a "scientific" footing under occult phenomena and mystical experience. Jung was deeply involved in the occult and did his doctoral thesis on parapsychology. He also was interested in Catholic mysticism and conducted seminars on the teachings of Ignatius Loyola."
The lie detector test and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) are also based on Jung's theories. MBTI is a personality and psychological test to see what makes people tick. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you mentally live in the now or in the future? Do you plan in advance, or do you move into action without a plan? Take a personality quiz and find out! Several years ago a church I attended gave newcomers the MBTI to identify their spiritual gifts. Knowing an individual's desires and gifts helped the leadership figure out where they could best serve the church body. It's pretty much a given to say that in most congregations today, 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. Which means desires and gifts have to be put on the back burner when there's a shortage of Sunday school teachers. So why take the test in the first place? But I digress.
Carl Jung was a "spiritual thinker" a man "who offered Western culture a way back to religion that places no shame on being human." Spiritual teacher, codependency therapist and author, Robert Burney, agrees with Jung: "We are not sinful, shameful human creatures who have to somehow earn Spirituality. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience."
If Burney's assertion is correct that the human race is not sinful then the Bible is nothing more than myths and fables and Jesus was a nut job for declaring He was the Son of God who came into the world to die for the sins of mankind. Jesus clearly taught that we are sinners, with a capital S, who "fall short of the glory of God." Sin was the reason Jesus went to the cross. His death was payment for mankind's sin debt. He threw open the gates of heaven. All who believe in Him are reconciled to God. If it is true that we are merely "Spiritual Beings having a human experience" as Burney put it, the Son of God would have had no reason to leave His throne in heaven and come to Earth. Which is Burney's whole point! If we're not sinners, we have no need of a Savior!
But what if Burney and all the other Jungian psychologists have it wrong? If they do, those that never admit their sin and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior are in a pickle. The unsaved have a one-way ticket on the H Train. There is no getting off the H Train. No turning back.
Bear with me for a moment while I share the biblical account of the Fall of Man (and woman, if you must). "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat."
Because the fruit was pleasing to the eye Eve gave into temptation. She came, she saw, she ate. Bingo! Her eyes were opened. In one split second Eve went from God-centeredness to self-centeredness. After that everything went downhill.
What did Eve do next?
"And gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked" (Genesis 3:6-7). When Adam and Eve deliberately disobeyed God, sin entered into the world and infected all humankind. The only sin cure is Jesus Christ!
Burney's approach to psychology might seem right for unbelievers, but it's wrong for Bible believing Christians.
Which brings me back to Carl Jung. As I mentioned above, Jung was considered a "spiritual thinker," albeit his lofty ideas came from Eastern mysticism, not Christianity or Judaism. The man was no ordinary psychologist by any stretch. Actually, he thought of himself as a "spiritist." According to Elliot Miller, "The movement that Jung initiated is much closer in nature to a neopagan (Aryan) cult than the scientific psychiatric discipline that it has always claimed to be. It is not just religious but a religion." And a pagan religion at that!
Jung was deeply involved with his mother and two female cousins in hypnotically induced séances. He was also involved in alchemy, fortune telling, and channeling spirits. All are occult practices. Involvement in any of this sort of thing is going against God.
Now ponder this. When Carl Jung was three years old a "spirit guide" contacted him. Philemon was the spirit's name. He was one of Jung's teachers and tutored him all of his life. Other spirits came to him as well. He made this observation about them: "Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life. Philemon represented a force that was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought. There was no reason for Jung to believe that his visitors were benevolent spirits; nevertheless he chose to believe they were. Could the "forces that were not myself" have been the forces of evil?
You betcha! Scripture tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. The apostle John warned: "Do do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).
John says the devil is a "liar, and the father of it." He upbraided false teachers in no uncertain words: "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).
Carl Jung has been called the "Father of Neo-Gnosticism and the New Age Movement." American psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and physicist Jeffrey Satinover maintained that "One of the most powerful modern forms of Gnosticism is without question Jungian psychology, both within or without the Church."
Jung's view of good and evil is worth noting. To quote the Rev. Ed Hird, "Jung believed that 'the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things...' For Jung, it was regrettable that Christ in his goodness lacked a shadow side, and God the Father, who is the Light, lacked darkness."
Further, Jung believed not that good should overcome evil, good should be integrated with evil in order to achieve wholeness. "The homosexual who has the courage to 'come out,' for example, is welcoming and integrating the darker and 'opposite-sex side of the personality. There can be no moral condemnation when wholeness is achieved."
The Apostle Paul had something to say about uniting good and evil, (my comments in brackets) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (good) with unrighteousness (evil)? And what communion hath light (good) with darkness (evil)? And what concord hath Christ (our standard of goodness) with Belial (Satan, who is pure evil)? Or what part hath he that believeth (good) with an infidel (evil)? (2 Cor. 6:14, 15) The answer to Paul's last question is, in a word, nothing! The Prophet Habakkuk says of God, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?" (Habakkuk 1:13)
Unfortunately, Jungianism has influenced not only our popular culture, but also Christian teaching despite the fact that God expressly forbids practicing sorcery in any way shape or form. (Leviticus 19:26-31; II Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:8-11)
J. Budziszewski, professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas, says this about Jungianism: "
Amazingly, Jung believed that "It is possible for a man to attain totality, to become whole, only with the co-operation of the spirit of darkness..." Jung said that opposites always balance one another and "onesideness, though it lends momentum, is a sign of barbarism."
"How can these dangerous teachings be confronted?" asks Budziszewski. His answer is to inform Christians who have never heard of Carl Jung about his New Age teaching. Many years ago when I first heard about Jungianism it was described to me as a kind of psychoanalysis that's open to "spirituality." (Not knowing what was really behind "spirituality" I dived into "Christian psychology books.")
The catchword "spirituality" has a whole host of meanings. For Carl Jung spirituality "blended psychological reductionism with gnostic spirituality to produce a modern variant of mystical, pagan polytheism in which the multiple 'images of the instincts' (his 'archetypes') are worshipped as gods."
The difficulty, says Budziszewski, is that there's a little truth mixed in with Jung's lies. "Through a little twist, he turns the truth that for the time being God tolerates certain evils into the lie that God is beyond good and evil. Through another twist, he turns the truth that we must reckon with what we repress into the lie that we must achieve a reconciliation with what is evil. To dispel this kind of confusion, we need to identify each truth, but show how he distorts it."
For "the wolves of the flock," who fully understand what Jung's ideas mean, and teach them anyway, Budziszewski offers this advice:
"Like the Gnostics against whom St. Paul and the early church waged spiritual battle, these people don't need instruction, but rebuke. Christ gave disciplinary authority to the church for a reason (emphasis added). He meant it to be used."
We face two obstacles to exposing Jung's earlier writings says Budziszewski: (1) His writings were composed in a misleading style. (2) His teachings twisted the truth rather than ignoring it. He suggests that Christians respond to this dangerous philosophy in two ways: First, become informed about the deceptive teachings of Jung's psychology. Second, become familiar with the metaphysical concepts and techniques of New Agers.
If someone claims to be a Christian and yet embraces an incompatible, non-Christian pluralistic worldview, he/she is unregenerate. In Scripture believers are admonished, "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God" (Leviticus 19:31).
How much plainer could God be?
Because of what we know about Carl Jung, it would be wrong for Christians to "seek after" his dangerous worldview. Christians play a part in his twisted religion when they incorporate the theories and therapies that come from dream analysis, 12-step programs, inner healing, and through personality types and tests. Apostle Paul warns, "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).
I suspect I'll receive a lot of hate mail for expressing my views on psychology in the Church. I don't pretend to be an expert on this subject. Far from it. I'm expressing my not only my opinion but the opinion of a large number of Christians who oppose meshing sorcery and Christianity. This is what so-called "Christian psychology" does. Granted, it could help some people. But at what cost?