Saturday, March 14, 2009

Psychology or (Christian) Spirituality?

I’ve heard more than one Christian pastor or lay theologian say psychology makes perfect sense but only from a spiritual angle, and vice versa, I’ve seen and heard psychologists asserting and attributing the spiritual realm without God, as if it could be.[1]

Those espousing fundamentalist psychology or spirituality and all fields between, in some ways, have been at odds with each other supposedly since the dawn of time. They’re totally at odds with any people with a belief system that might represent something different--and their attitude is compelling… ‘My way or the highway.’

It seems with these, never the twain shall meet.

Both camps are trying to claim what is rightly God’s (and certainly no one else’s) in any event. Both are selfishly trying to isolate created wisdom and universal law as if they’re right alone. Can you begin to smell the stench of hypocrisy? (We know hypocrisy is not far away when people become boastful and intolerant of others.)

What can be isolated here is the person; the person who is bent on their own way to the exclusion of other ways, point blank. That alone is false. The truth is on the side of inclusionist--the person who can tolerate others having a view different from their own. The inclusionist is not only tolerant, but respectful. They can disagree and still be tolerant, respectful and inclusive.

Explaining the mystery is something that some are absolutely unwavering on. They have to be able to do it, like it’s some vital conquest. But, sometimes the mystery is a mystery for good reason, and no one’s going to fathom it, period.

The simple fact of life and everything in it, is it is God’s mystery. It doesn’t belong to psychology, New Age, philosophy or Christianity any more than it belongs to Hinduism, Islam or Buddhism.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m Christian and believe wholeheartedly in one single (and one only), living Triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The gentle and staunch fact though is everything’s God’s, and the truth may indeed live outside of the Bible. It doesn’t mean it’s not biblical. In the same way, psychologists have scientific attributions for almost everything--yet they will never discover and explain it all.

Truth and wisdom cannot be chained and defined and categorised. They just are. That’s all. The person that understands that truth and wisdom are at times a mystery can at last be tolerant of those who have indifferent views, and this is our challenge--to achieve universal tolerance and respect regarding divergent views; to live an enduring patience.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] It can be argued quite strongly that ‘spirit’ infers God. God is spirit.

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