We finished yesterday in calling attention to those who try to get rid of condemnation by saying there is no guilt, hence no condemnation.
Before seven thousand members of the American Psychological Association in a recent meeting, Albert Ellis said: “No human being should be blamed for anything he does. Therapists must rid their patients of every vestige of their blaming themselves, others, or fate, or the universe. . . . The more sinful and guilty a person tends to feel the less chance there is that he will be a happy, healthy, or law-abiding citizen.” If there is no God and no moral universe, then there is no alternative except this one of trying to wipe out condemnation by trying to wipe out guilt.
That method is a dead failure—as psychiatrists themselves witness more and more. In that same conference, O. Hobart Mowrer, psychologist of the University of Illinois, said:
Our mental hospitals are full of patients who have had insight therapy—to no avail. . . . I see no alternative but to turn again to the old, painful but also promising possibility that man is pre-eminently a social being, or in theological phrase, a child of God. Future treatment of the emotionally ill will, like Alcoholics Anonymous, take guilt, confession, and expiation seriously and will invoke programs of action rather than mere gropings for insight.
That is the turning point of the road for psychology from futility to fruitfulness. It is a turning back to the Christian faith which teaches forgiveness and the wiping out of condemnation from the conscious and the subconscious. Without that cleansing of the subconscious this verse is descriptive: “But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters toss up mire and dirt” (Isa. 57:20).
O Jesus, without Thy forgiveness and the wiping out of condemnation, our subconscious tosses up mire and dirt. We are filled with nameless dreads. But if Thou, the Son, dost make us free, then we are free indeed. I thank Thee. Amen.
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY
“I will forgive all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases”— forgiveness and healing are intertwined.