Archive for October, 2010

This is an excellent 3 minute clip featuring Mike Riddle from Answers in Genesis providing a one-of-a-kind animated look at what it might have been like as the flood of Noah’s time impacted this planet.  What a great reminder of both God’s judgment and His mercy!  Please feel free to pass this along! 

Psychology literally means the study of the soul or mind, not the brain. Are not the soul and mind both areas which only the Holy Spirit alone can renew and transform?  How is it that we have abdicated the necessity of God’s Word and working through the power of His Holy Spirit for vain philosophies devised by men?  For an overview of popular psychology, two excellent and free e-books are strongly recommended: “Christ-Centered Ministry Verses Problem-Centered Counseling” and “Person to Person Ministry- Soul Care in the Body of Christ”.  Both are written by Martin and Deidre Bobgan. 

For the remainder of this blog, I plan to do three simple things.  First, I will provide several quotes revealing what many research scientists are saying about the so-called science of right brain/left brain teaching.  Second I will provide the Scriptural support, if any, for these teachings.  And finally I will provide two excellent links for further reading. 

Although there are areas within science today that should more aptly be labeled science falsely so-called, i.e. evolutionism and popular (counseling) psychology, there are many fields of science which can be observed and are repeatable.  There are fields of research psychology which unlike the over 400 theories of counseling psychology are credible and act much like watchdogs for the many ‘theories’ that have made their way into both the secular and Christian mainstream.  There are also those doing serious study in the fields of neurosciences that have become somewhat frustrated at the simplification of certain right brain/left brain research in order to make it more palatable and understandable to the general public.  Carefully consider the following quotes:

·         Nobelist Dr. Roger Sperry says, “The left-right dichotomy . . . is an idea with which it is easy to run wild.” 1 Sperry also says:

The more we learn, the more we recognize the unique complexity of any one individual intellect and the stronger the conclusion becomes that the individuality inherent in our brain networks makes that of fingerprints or facial features gross and simple by comparison.2

·         Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, in a book titled The Social Brain, has a chapter titled “Left-Brain, Right-Brain Mania: A Debunking.” He says:

Where does all of this conjecture come from? How did some laboratory findings of limited generality get so outrageously misinterpreted? Why were they picked up so hungrily by the press and then embraced by every sort of scientific dilettante? There are several reasons. The left-brain/right-brain dichotomy was simple and understandable and provided a way to talk about modern brain research and how it applied to everyday experience. Certainly no one was going to argue that people have artistic-intuitive skills and logical-linguistic skills. Prima facie there are manifestly different activities of mind. So science is used to prove that one set of skills is in the left brain and another in the right, which in turn proves that mental skills are different, and therefore able to be differentially trained. The image of one part of the brain doing one thing and the other part something entirely different was there, and that it was a confused concept seemed to make no difference. . . . The runaway fervor for such ideas relates, in part, to the difficulty in communicating scientific ideas to the general public. To really understand concepts arising out of experimental data is a serious business, and most people do not have the time or interest to assess information at that level. There is an extensive and usually foreign vocabulary to learn. The necessary qualifying remarks and constraints on the ideas prove to be too much of a burden for the potential audience. So scientific journalism purveys its stories on simple to-understand claims that most people can relate to, preferably at a personal level. This wouldn’t matter for the present story except for the fact that the distortions get in the way of why split-brain patients are truly interesting. And the oversimplifications and outright erroneous information have also tended to trivialize the complexity of the integrated processes of our minds.3 (Emphasis added.)


·         After interviewing several researchers in the field, Kevin McKean says:

The problem arises when the right-brain movement implies that its conclusions are based on hard fact, rather than an essentially metaphorical interpretation of scientific discoveries. The differences between the hemispheres are still not well understood, and Gazzaniga, like Springer, says that the newest research tends to emphasize the way the two cooperate with one another during the normal functioning, rather than how they differ. 4(Emphasis added.)


·         McKean also says:

Scientists are understandably annoyed when they see careful but often inconclusive work popularized and exploited so glibly. As Deutsch puts it: “I get bothered by people saying, ‘This is all based on neurological theory, therefore it’s true.’ It’s not legitimized by neurological theory. There is no evidence that people favor one portion of the brain or the other—-that’s pure speculation.5(Emphasis added.)


·         Neurologist Dr. John Mazziotta at the UCLA School of Medicine says:

Even on the most trivial tasks our studies showed that everything in the brain was in flux—-both sides, the front and back, the top and bottom. It was tremendously complicated. To think that you could reduce this to a simple left-right dichotomy would be misleading and oversimplified.6 (Emphasis added.)


Next, I planned to provide Scriptural backing for right brain/left brain teaching, however I could find none.  But consider this quote- “What must be said for those who reinterpret the Bible and counsel Christians based upon this humanistic myth? 2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  The fulfillment of that prophecy seems to have come upon today’s church with a vengence.” Dave Hunt, TBC Newsletter, “Science Falsely So-Called, Feb. 1, 1989.

As we daily seek the Lord, may we always be willing to set aside the lies of this world so that both hands are free to cling tightly to the truth and sufficiency of God’s Word!

Finally, here are two excellent resources on this topic-  

·         E-Book- Chapter Fourteen of Prophets of PsychoHeresy II, written by Martin and Deidre Bobgan

·         Science Falsely So-Called”, The Berean Call Newsletter, Feb. 1, 1989, written by Dave Hunt.



End Notes

1.       Roger Sperry, “Some Effects of Disconnecting the Cerebral Hemispheres.” Science, Vol. 217, 24 September 1982, p. 1225.

2.       Ibid.

3.       Michael S. Gazzaniga. The Social Brain: Discovering the Networks of the Mind. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, 1985, pp. 48-49.

4.       Kevin McKean, “Of Two Minds: Selling the Right Brain,” Discover, 1985, p. 40.

5.       Ibid.

6.       John Mazziotta quoted by Kevin McKean, p.38.

     For the next several posts, I plan to share some of the largest and most colorful plastic jewels that I had picked up while in the world.  After becoming a born-again believer it took time for me to begin understanding that there were many things I had picked up and was still picking up from the world.  These jewels were easy to find, and get ahold of simply because they were and are so popular and pervasive.  The first in this series of blogs is the popular notion of right brain/left brain psychology which is still main stream in numerous educational resources and couples self-help articles and books. 

Right brain/left brain psychology entered the main stream somewhere in the early to mid 1980’s and can truly be labeled science falsely so-called. Many in the neuroscience fields know this concept has little data and much assumption surrounding it, yet many Christians have unfortunately clung to it as a precious jewel.  Every time the saints accept worldly philosophies in lieu of God’s Word, both our walk and our witness are affected.  One man put it like this, “The cause of Christ is not discredited by failure to keep up with modern science (which has nothing to do with spiritual reality), but by the substitution of “science falsely so-called” for God’s unchanging truth. This is a modern abomination.” Dave Hunt, TBC Newsletter- “Science Falsely So-Called”, Feb. 1, 1989.

There are few topics that are held with such passion as that of popular psychology.  It would be one thing to say that the world won’t let go of it, but unfortunately most of today’s Christianity is spell-bound by its teachings, raising many popular Christian psychologists up to a priest-like status that is almost untouchable even by the Word of God.   After all, you need a degree to become a psychologist so how could someone who only knows God’s Word ever be able to correct a psychologist?  Yet many go to psychologists for the very reason they should be going to our Lord and Savior- for counsel.  This article will not be an attempt to critique popular psychology and the love many Christians have for it, but since right brain/left brain thinking has its home in this general area let me say just a couple more things pertaining to psychology in light of God’s Word.

Did you know that psychology is the number two field of study both in Christian and secular universities alike?  It is interesting that no matter what bookstore you go to you will more than likely find more books on counseling and psychology than you will on biblical Christianity.  To say the least, psychology is very popular among both Christians and non-Christians alike.  Did you also know that the Lord never ascribes counseling as a spiritual gift in the Bible?  He does give some to be teachers, pastors, and some to be apostles and evangelists.  Some have the gift of helps, and others have the gift of tongues and prophecy.  And others have the gift of healing, yet nowhere does God reveal to us that He gives anyone a specific gift called “counseling”.  (Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11) With such a big draw and such an apparent need, why are the Scriptures silent on a gift of counseling?  It seems the Lord has perhaps overlooked the needs of us living in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Perhaps this is why Godless men like Abraham Maslow and Carl Yung were raised up.  Perhaps they were raised up to assist us poor, needy Christians who didn’t know how to properly give or receive counsel for almost 2,000 years prior to their arrival.  Or perhaps there is another answer. 

Is not God Himself called the Counselor, and does not the Holy Spirit indwell all believers?  (Isaiah 9:6, John 14:16-17) Is not the entire body of Christ commanded to draw along side one another to bear each other’s burdens, helping the weaker for the strengthening of the whole body, which is fit together and supplied by the love of Christ?  (Romans 15:1-2, Galatians 6:2-3, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Corinthians 12:18-27)  Does not the Word of God claim to be sufficient in all things pertaining to life and godliness?  (2 Peter 1:1-3) Then why should we go to the muddied streams of human psychology that was invented by Godless men, to try to glean a few nuggets of truth that will minister to hearts and minds? 

“But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that you have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”  Ephesians 4:20-24

Plastic Jewels

There are so many lies that I bought into while walking in darkness.  They all seemed so sensible at the time.  But now they seem at best like plastic jewels. I remember playing with little pieces of colored plastic as a kid, pretending they were valuable rubies and diamonds.  Too often we hold onto the doctrines of this world as if they are beautiful and valuable jewels adorning us.  In reality they are at best useless, and at worst deadly. 

Once I accepted the full and free forgiveness of my sins by Christ Jesus, He began to shine His light on the lies I had once held to so tightly. After I saw the truth I began to realize these were not jewels.  I had been lied to!  The vain philosophies of the world and sciences-falsely-so-called are very alluring.  Unfortunately many of its teachings don’t just fall away once we come to Christ.  Why do we hold onto supposed jewels when we could instead be filled to overflowing with the treasure of the knowledge of Christ?  May the Lord continue convicting our hearts with His truth and love so that we may desire to make Him our One and Only Treasure! 

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

 “Is Christ alone sufficient?  Is Christ all that we need?  Unfortunately, often we do not realize that Christ is all that we need until He is all that we have! 
Would we be complete and content with only Him?  Christ is not only my Savior; He is also my Satisfier because Christ is fully sufficient to meet every one of my needs.  Nothing else will satisfy but Him because He is the Living Water (see John 4:13-14; 7:37) and the Bread of Life (see John 6:35). When I endeavor to find my satisfaction in any other person or thing, it is like trying to drink from a broken cistern that can hold no water (see Jeremiah 2:13). 

“Is Christ alone sufficient?  Is Christ all that we need?  Unfortunately, often we do not realize that Christ is all that we need until He is all that we have!

Perhaps God’s greatest desire for us is to recognize our need of Him and find our satisfaction and sufficiency in Him.  If there is a “formula” for living the Christian life, it is simply: Jesus Christ plus nothing equals everything!”  Jerry Benjamin, “Simply Singular- Is Christ Prominent or Preeminent?”, p. 18.

As We Worship…

Although music is only one of the many facets of worship in the Scriptures, the purpose of this blog is to briefly, yet carefully explore music’s modern role in the worship of our Creator and Savior. As those who have been born again worship at the feet of Jesus, hearts bowed low both before His Cross and His Throne, may we never check our minds at the door of His throne room!  Our worship is not born from mindless melody, rhythm and beat designed to tweak our emotions.  True praise ought to always emanate from the knowledge of the Holy, revealed to us by His Spirit and His Word. 

Music…in and of itself.  First and foremost, may we never seek to make music our source of revelation.  While songs might inspire and ‘speak’ to us, ultimately Jesus Christ, revealed by His Holy Spirit through the heartfelt study of His Word is where our true motivation and love should reside and reflect. As we grow in our understanding of the true and living God, praise ought to overflow into thanksgiving to the One who died for a wretch like me. Although this generation of Christians has learned to seek fun and exciting rhythms, may we never forget to seek to understand and know our God through His Word before all else. “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.” Psalm 47:6-8 (Emphasis mine.)

Music…A dramatic influence.  It is an understatement to say that music is a dramatic and driving force in the technological age in which we live.  It most certainly has a motivating effect on the listeners of today.  Are we not trained to respond to music?  Its influences are virtually everywhere.  Think about it…what would a movie or TV program be like without its soundtrack?  How many restaurants and stores attempt to effectively use music to motivate their patrons?  And now that we have entered the digital age, the possibilities for musical motivation seem almost endless. But even though our generation is the first to have such amazing technologies, we are not the first to be moved by musical melodies.

Throughout time, music has arguably remained a very powerful tool in effectively altering the state of the listener.  Every generation has utilized music both for entertainment and spiritual enlightenment.  Music is not simply entertainment, but a tool that can, when properly crafted, influence us greatly. With this as a basic foundational understanding may we always, always remember to enjoy and make music with biblically discerning hearts and minds.   

Beware… Musical Wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Not only pastors, teachers and evangelists spread false doctrines.  With music as such an integral part of our society, why would the enemy avoid utilizing this popular and powerful medium?  It is clear he has not.  Although music has been used to influence and direct those in darkness for centuries, we are facing a time in the Body of Christ when the enemy’s lies are openly allowed entrance through musicians and their music.  Below is a short excerpt giving us a glimpse of the seduction we face today. 

Michael W. Smith has most likely sent tens of thousands to the feet of mysticism proponent Brennan Manning through his endorsement of Manning. In light of Manning’s spiritual views, that is very troubling. For instance, in Manning’s book, Above All (in which Smith wrote the foreword), Manning echoes the words of Thomas Merton biographer and mystic William Shannon when Shannon (and Manning) rejected the idea that a loving God would send His son to a violent death: THAT God does not exist, they both insisted. What’s more Manning actually teaches mantra-like meditation is his book, The Signature of Jesus.

David Crowder, also at the conference, is the author of the contemplative-promoting book, Praise Habit (referring to the habits worn by Catholic nuns). In an interview with (a web site for Catholic teens), Crowder admits: “Much of the Catholic traditions and writings have been influential in my formation of faith … I’ve found much inspiration there.” These Catholic traditions referred to are those emulated by monks such as Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating.”  (Emphasis mine.) See the entire article at:

Influences… It always amazes me to read some of the musical influences stated by those in today’s Christian music scene.  Why when asked about musical influences and inspirations do so many artists list bands that have been so clearly influenced by anti-Christian sources, i.e. Eastern philosophy, meditation, drugs, etc.?  There is discussion within the Body of Christ over music, and I by no means hope to settle others’ debates. I do, however, desire to encourage every thinking believer to carefully check their own influences. May we always remember that those who influence us were also influenced themselves and those influences, like seeds are most likely passed on to their hearers. And many of these seeds have the potential to entangle us again with the world from which we were so graciously set free from.  Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” 

Motivations…  Should music make us, or should we make music?  As a Christian, this should be an easy answer.  We are confident that only the Lord, not music has the power to transform (make) us.  As He works within us, we cannot help but express Jesus’ love and truth that springs forth.  For some, music becomes one of the means by which we allow the love for our Maker to shine forth.  But just like any other saint, those who write and make music are called to carefully point others to the truth, not to the music itself.  Music should not be our ultimate motivation, rather we should be motivated to point others to the One who moves and transforms His children.

The Challenge… The challenge to both the musician and those enjoying their music is the same.  Music has the power to subjectively reach and move our emotions.  And while God has created us as emotional creatures, we are not designed to be directed by our emotions.  Unfortunately, in the sinful state of our hearts, emotions have the tendency to drift toward lifting up self, turning us away from our Maker.  The challenge in making music is that we ought always desire pointing the hearer to the objective reality of God’s truth found solely in His Word- The Bible.  We all need to beware of allowing music- its subjective and emotional rhythms, timbres, tones, and melodies to be more important than the primary, and objective Influence and Motivation- The Lord Himself.  In this self-centered and soulish generation, it can be a difficult task to carefully draw that line between the objective nature of God’s Truth and the emotional, subjective nature of music.  Praise and worship, in the musical sense should always require an active mind thinking on Him, not merely enjoying a song for music’s sake. 

There are times where the unintended, or perhaps intended ideas of relativism and subjective, emotionalism might take center stage in the hearts and minds of those enraptured in certain songs.  May we make extra effort as listeners and makers of music to clarify that line so that there is no confusion as we enter into worship.  May we always desire to praise our King with understanding, always allowing the Lord to speak more clearly to and through us than the vain philosophies of this world.  May we continue bowing low before our Lord, never allowing man’s ways to be our influences or motivations.  Praise be to God that His ways are above ours, and His power greater than this world’s!   

Finally… be lovers of the Truth!  The answers to life are not found in music, rather in the truth of God’s Word! Truth, not emotionally charged rhythms, is how God ultimately communicates to men.  Man is separated from the animal world because God has created men alone with the capacity to understand.  And understanding is ultimately produced by and expressed in words, not in pictures and not in rhythms.  In God’s Word, Jesus says much concerning the truth.  As a lover of music, I must always remember that I am called to be a lover of the Truth more than a lover of music.  This love for the Truth of God, His Word, and the reality of His creation is what should daily move me more than anything else.  Consider the following verses concerning the value God places on the truth (all emphasis mine):

  • Psalm 51:6a– “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts…”
  • John 8:31-32– “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
  • John 17:17– “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10– “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
  • 1 John 5:20-21 “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

My prayer…   It’s my prayer that I never worship music, rather worship the Lord Jesus in Spirit and in Truth.  Some times this worship will involve praising God through music made by those who love Him; who love the truth.  My heart’s desire is that I always consider carefully my own influences, allowing the Lord to transform me into His image, so that I may truthfully, lovingly, and even musically point others to a thoughtful understanding of Jesus Christ, and Him alone!

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” 1 John 5:20-21

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