Truth Talk with Backus
In the modern world of psychotherapy and sociology, psychologists and sociologists view themselves today as agents of values-change and social-change. It is even more radical than that. Most counselors today believe that their counseling is value free. Carl Rogers believed that the counselee or client must decide his or her own values. One counselor believes that he has a value free life, and that he never imposes values on anyone. Therefore it is common in modern psycho-therapy to never verbalize what the counselee should or should not do.
Why is this? It is because the philosophy behind much of modern psychotherapy and sociology today is “Social Humanism.” That is to say, “Social Humanism” is all about “Self-Actualization” and “Social Change” and no longer about conformity to moral absolutes and traditional community standards. It is about “Individual Freedom” and “Individual Choice” and the “Individual Will.”
(In other words Christian counseling is based on the prayer that the Lord Jesus taught us to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 6:42,
“…yet not My will, but Thine be done.”
But that prayer has been totally reversed in “Social Humanism” and it goes like this:
“Not Thy will but mine be done.”)
When it comes to this age of “Individual Freedom, Choice and Will,” it was all birthed in the “Women’s Rights” and “Abortion Rights” movement of the 20th century. If you will:
“MOST MODERN PSYCHOTHERAPY AND SOCIOLOGY ARE NO LONGER
BASED ON SUBMISSION TO RULE AND SELF-DENIAL, BUT
UPON CREATING ONE’S OWN REALITY AND WORLD.”
(It is an evil spirit let loose in the world and now in the modern church. Our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness…in the heavenly places.)
Dr. Backus then went on to state this:
“WHAT WE MUST HAVE TODAY IS NOT FIRST OF ALL POSITIVE THINKING,
BUT RATHER TRUTH THINKING.”
(Huge! Amen brother! Right on! We all should feel violated today by preachers and motivational speakers who tell people what they want to hear and not what they need to hear.)
And then contrary to our age of moral relativism and situation ethics he stated:
“GUILT FEELINGS ARE INDEED VALUABLE.”
(What rifle shots to the heart of social and religious humanism. How is that for a day and age in which clients and counselees are told that they should free themselves from all of those destructive guilt complexes.)
THE CULTURAL NORM – UNTRUTH
(How are we personally to guard ourselves against this permissive and perverse society? For me Dr. Backus struck gold when he gave us this dynamite principle:)
“THE TRUTH OF THINGS IS THE ONLY REFUGE AGAINST THE LOOK OF THINGS.”
(And we might add as well the feel of things. Just because everybody is doing it and it looks right and acceptable does not mean it is right. Just because it feels good does not mean it is good. Only truth can set us free from the look and the feel of things.)
That is why Jesus taught the primacy and exclusivity of truth. Jesus said in John 8:32,
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
(Did you notice the twice definite article – THE Truth. Let there be no doubt about the definitiveness and exclusivity of truth when Jesus prays to His Heavenly Father in John 17:17,
“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth.”
God’s Word is THE truth. It is not A truth! If you will, it is not one of several truth systems. Truth is not multiple choice. Any statement or philosophy of life not based on the Word of God is not THE truth. And that which is not THE truth is a lie. Most people’s minds today are like attics crammed full of junk-thinking which has to be cleaned out and dumped and replaced with the THE truth. Not easy because as in all attics what is stored there while essentially worthless has a great deal of emotional value passed down to them from their parents and grandparents.)
Now then, do we believe THE truth or not? Often not! When we speak the truth, people will often say something like, “Yes, but it doesn’t work for me.” Even many Christians have truth but they don’t use it. Many of them not only give little credence to the existence of a personal devil, but more than that they barely believe in God. But according to Jesus, truth alone has the saving and healing power that can come from no other words or human reason. THE truth! Hear that!
We as Christians must never be reduced to offering mere opinions. Christians can and must without shame talk about the truth, even as the Apostle Paul states in Romans 1:16,
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes….”
We must never be ashamed of THE truth of God’s Word. It is more precious than gold, for it is THE ONLY TRUTH in this world of lies.
Not one of us is totally well! All of us are somewhere between sickness and complete health spiritually, mentally and physically. In this world, none of us will arrive at total wellness, but we are only in the process if it is THE truth that keeps us progressing. Or if you will:
“TRUTH ALONE MOVES US FORWARD ON THE PATH TO COMPLETE WHOLENESS, ONLY WHEN
TRUTH IS NOT JUST A PERIODIC MEDICINE BUT A WAY OF THINKING AND LIVING.”
Society is getting sicker by the day! Why? Our cultural norm is now untruth. Isaiah put it this way in Isaiah 59:14-15,
“And justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for
truth has stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter.”
“Yes, truth is lacking; and he who turns aside from evil makes
himself a prey. Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing
in His sight that there was no justice.”
It is now assumed that there is no absolute truth. As a result the average man tells himself and others 200 lies a day.
(You see, he has the world’s thinking in his head and in his complete misunderstanding of himself and life. Apart from Christ and the Word of God, untruth becomes not only his world-and-life view but his lifestyle.)
What it now comes down to in the world is this:
“TRUTH IN THE WORLD’S MIND IS WHATEVER SUITS YOUR PURPOSE AT THE MOMENT.”
“TRUTH IN THE WORLD IS THE WORDS YOU SAY TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER
RATHER THAN TO BECOME BETTER.”
In the world’s philosophy, truth is subjective for there is no objective truth. The freedom that Divine Objective Truth alone gives is ability to be free from subjective hang-ups of misbelief and untruth. Untruth hang-ups such as the following:
1. I am a hopeless person, there is no way out. My future is hopeless. I’ll never get better. I might just as well be dead. This often leads to suicide or suicide attempts.
2. Or again, nobody loves me, and I am simply no good to anybody. I am a failure. I can’t do anything right. Life is just not worth the effort. This leads to alcoholism, drug addictions, and yes, suicide.
(Depressed and suicidal people are riveted to lies they believe to be true, but they are not true. They see life through dirty, cracked window panes. The truth is that nobody is worthless, nobody is hopeless, and nobody is better off dead. John 3:16, Romans 15:13, Luke 20:38)
It is not easy to change their mind, because they will say that their misbelief is true and they won’t believe that their misbelief is untrue. But we know that their misbeliefs are untrue, and that gives us as Christian counselors and ministers the advantage because we have the truth that will set them free.
(Dr. Backus then gave us this powerful principle which we must allow to sink deep into us and into all our counselees who believe untruths:)
“ALL EFFECTIVE AND HEALING TREATMENT IS DEPENDENT UPON THE POWER TO INCULCATE
TRUTH, AND TO REPLACE ERROR WITH TRUTH.”
WHAT THEN IS TRUTH?
First of all, truth is a person. Jesus is the truth. We read His words in John 14:6,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life….”
In the Bible Jesus is truth. What does it mean that Jesus is the truth? It means the following:
“GOD ALWAYS COMES TRUE – GOD CANNOT SAY ANYTHING THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN –
IN JESUS GOD AND ALL THAT HE SAYS ALWAYS COMES TRUE.”
Second, truth is a book. Not just a book, but “The Book.” As we have see, Jesus said in John 17:17,
“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”
The Bible is the norm! It is the supreme resource for those who want to come into contact with truth. The Bible is not subject to correction. Truth is any statement about the way things are according to the Bible. The Bible-The Truth alone can deliver us from misbeliefs (untruths). Otherwise we would continue to say that the world and life are whatever our misguided mind makes them out to be. The Bible-The Truth alone can deliver from bondages, misconceptions, misbehaviors and persistent, inappropriate, negative feelings.
Satan, the father of lies, is by no means all-powerful. First of all he is on a Divine leash and can go just so far. More than that, many people give him far too much credit. Black magic people in India who become Christians are set free by simply confessing THE TRUTH of what Romans 10:9 commands us all to confess:
“Jesus is Lord.”
Or as we sing in the great hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:
AND THOUGH THIS WORLD WITH DEVILS FILLED, SHOULD THREATEN TO UNDO US,
WE WILL NOT FEAR, FOR GOD HAS WILLED HIS TRUTH TO TRIUMPH THROUGH US.
THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS GRIM, WE TREMBLE NOT FOR HIM; HIS RAGE WE CAN ENDURE,
FOR LO! HIS DOOM IS SURE, ONE LITTLE WORD WILL FELL HIM.
THE INTERNAL MONOLOGUE
How does all of this work? Dr. Backus then brought it into focus. All of us have either beliefs or misbeliefs, truths or untruths on the shelves of our minds and hearts. All of us! These deep beliefs (mind of Christ – Philippians 2:5) or misbeliefs (carnal mind – Romans 8:7) in our deep internal subconscious mind are constantly speaking to us day in and day out, and they even speak to us in our sleep and in our dreams. They are really the stimuli that motivate us to put our beliefs or misbeliefs into actions. He calls them OUR INTERNAL MONOLOGUE (inaudibly but constantly speaking to us) or our NEURO-ANATOMY (how we are mentally structured and what we mentally look like on the inside of ourselves). So important:
“THE INTERNAL MONOLOGUE IS CONSTANTLY SPEAKING IN US AND TO US THE BELIEFS OR
MISBELIEFS THAT WE HAVE INTERNALIZED AND THAT WE THEN LIVE BY.”
Now listen to the example of Randy. Randy had frequent bad days of despair. Often depressed! He didn’t have a clue as to what was causing this. One day he went into a store to apply for a job. In that same store his friend was already working. Randy didn’t get the job, and sunk into another dark valley. But this was not unusual for Randy, for that is how he dealt with life and its disappointments.
Upon further counseling it became clear how his slumping physical anatomy was being dragged down by his neuro-anatomy. The former was the result of the latter. It was his internalized belief system, which was really his internalized misbelief system.
FIRST, of all, deep down he believed that he was much more capable than others including his friend which is why he felt that he should have gotten the job. After all, jobs should always be given to those who are most qualified for the job. (Not so! Just ask King Saul who thought he should be numero uno and by God’s own choice was upstaged by a kid. Saul became a miserable, demon-possessed maniac, because his internal belief system was wrong. The truth is that God takes down a king and enthrones a kid. God’s ways are not our ways, and God shall have His way.
SECOND, he believed deep down that things should always go as he wanted them to go if he put forth an honest effort. You know, Hakuna Matata – a problem free philosophy. Of course, both of those internal monologues were false, and they set him up for a frustrated and miserable life. God tells us that we shall have trials and tribulations in this world, and what is more that they are good for us, and therefore we should rejoice in the midst of them. To complain about trials is about as stupid as a fish complaining about humidity.
THIRD, Randy’s internal monologue was a lie from Satan. In fact, Satan’s internalized monologues are always overflowing cornucopias of seductive deception. Therefore Randy was forever weeping, whining and woe-is-meing himself into the ditch of despair. Because of his misbelieving internal monologue, most of the time he endured life rather than enjoyed it. Randy wanted Heaven on earth when in fact Heaven only exists in Heaven.
Now hear this:
“THE DEVIL, THE FLESH, AND THE WORLD ARE THE SOURCES OF PEOPLE’S
INTERNALIZED MISBELIEF SYSTEMS.”
“THE DEVIL’S UNTRUTHS ARE ALWAYS SEDUCTIVE FOR HE MAKES THEM VERY
ATTRACTIVE TO HANG ON TO.”
“RANDY WAS CONSTANTLY BEING PROPAGANDIZED BY HIS INTERNAL MISBELIEF
AND UNTRUTH MONOLOGUE.”
It all comes very close to the Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 7:17,
“So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”
(Speaking of Satanic seduction through the seductive misbelief system that he worms into people’s minds, modern amoral man has constantly playing within him and propagandizing him the following misbeliefs and untruths:
“IF IT FEELS GOOD DO IT.”
“ANYTHING THAT FEELS THAT GOOD CANNOT BE BAD.”
Those are the seductive Satanic internalized mantras of our culture. Modern man sings along with them like a ‘good’ little devil in Satan’s chorale. And so he lives in fornication and adultery as a way of life, and gives himself a ‘good grade’ while doing so. Of course, all of this false internal thinking is being fortified and turned up by our sex-saturated society and the media’s immersing us in sex and violence, along with the modern church’s compromise of moral standards.
You all probably know this by now, but today in counseling there are two main themes that will come up in the counseling of troubled people 90% of the time, and they are GOD and SEX. So many of them will be struggling with doubt about the existence of God because of the devil’s internalized #1 best hit CD – IF THERE IS A GOD, HE WOULD NEVER LET SUCH AND SUCH CALAMITY HAPPEN. And in this cruel world, we must remember that their questions and statements of doubt are more often than not like flies swarming around a festering wound for which they blame God. That is why they don’t and won’t pray because we generally don’t talk to someone we are angry with.
And again, if you listen without even prying, you will find that they are so often guilt-laden and confused because of the other falsehoods that the devil has internalized – THAT SEX IS MAKING LOVE AND LOVE IS NEVER BAD. And until they deal with these falsehoods, they will never be set free from confusion and guilt, and they will never find their true and God-glorifying identity as spiritual and sexual beings.)
We as ministers must help people to find the misbeliefs and untruths in their internal monologue. We all have them to a greater or lessor degree. The beautiful thing about it, as has already been stated, is that we as Christian pastors have the truth which always gives us the advantage. The objective is to change the counselee’s misbeliefs to belief of THE truth. Here gentleness and skill in the Word are so important so as not to drive the counselee away while driving untruth in a corner.
Some change their thinking easily and some change their thinking with great difficulty. Some will have a hard time believing that their misbelieving is untrue. Some will argue. Some will begin to cry for shame and embarrassment. Most don’t even know that they have a 24/7 monologue speaking inside them which controls their lives. Some will remind us of little children who have a way of asking questions that momentarily disarm us. I have often thought about children that I wish my answers were as good as their questions. Counseling the troubled and misguided can often be like that!
(It all must be bathed in prayer and total dependence upon the blessed Holy Spirit of Whom Jesus said in John 16:13,
“…He will guide you into all truth….”
I firmly believe the following:
“I DON’T THINK THAT ANY OF US CAN CHANGE SOMEONE’S INTERNALIZED MISBELIEFS,
FOR ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN DO THAT. WHAT WE ARE CALLED UPON BY
GOD TO DO IS TO PROVIDE THE TRUTH-TOOLS FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT
TO WORK WITH – SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE.”
Which means indeed that we must be proficient in the balance and wholeness of God’s Word, less we add more confusion and untruth to their misbelief system, for truth out of balance is error.
Knowing the truth is one thing, but getting the counselees to accept it is quite another. Listen to me now:
“YOU AND I MUST BRING THE TRUTH TO BEAR, BUT ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN ENABLE
THEM TO BEAR THE TRUTH.”
That will determine the difference between being their depressed or impressed, defensive or delivered. God help us!)