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NY Times article about the elimination of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

So you think psychology is a unified, “scientific” field? Take a look at this article in the NY Times.

5 of 10 Personality Disorders are likely going to be eliminated from the DSM – Diagnostic Statistical Manual – the “bible” for psychiatric disorders. The most well-known one is NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Think about this for a moment: the world’s terminology is not working. Their labels are not accurately describing the so-called disorder. So, they re-name it and re-classify it. Meanwhile, all of the insurance companies and drug companies are depending upon these diagnoses for their very big businesses to thrive. What is a field like psychology to do without an absolute standard like God’s Word, the real Bible?

Does God’s Word change? Does God ever re-name or re-classify our pride, sin, or idolatry? No, never!

I think it’s sad that Christians rely upon the world to label problems rather than reading and relying upon God and His Word to tell us the truth.

Narcissists are prideful, self-absorbed sinners who are failing to love God and others (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus addressed this problem quite often in His day and His solution remains the same today. God’s Word never changes.

The link information is:

Zanor, Charles, “A Fate That Narcissists will Hate:Being Ignored”, wwwnytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/views/30mind

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/views/30mind.html_r=1&scp=1&sq=narcissists&st=nyt

-Mark (only Jesus knows how to diagnose the heart of mankind)

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Admission is not Confession!

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

In the self-help programs, the first step is to ADMIT you are powerless. It’s not a confession but an admission. There is a big difference. Anyone can admit a problem but confession is an admission to God rendering a change of heart through repentance.

Someone in the Bible in Exodus 9:27 and Exodus 10:16 “admitted” his problem but it didn’t bring a change of heart.

Confession brings heart change when the Holy Spirit is involved. Confession is agreement with God Who calls your sin “sin” and not a disease and then has provided a Savior for you to forgive you of your sin. All of this is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer.

Proverbs 28:13 reminds us: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

-Mark (I want mercy. I need mercy.)

Better than Therapists!

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently, someone remarked to me: “These two ought to be therapists!” The person was referring to two volunteer ladies who serve as team biblical counselors in our ministry (Truth in Love).

I responded: “These two ladies are BETTER than therapists!”

They are because they are servants of the Most High God and His Daughters! Daughters of the King of Kings who loves them very much!

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not hating on therapists because if they are Christians, then they are ok with me! If they are not Christians, then I hope they have a good day today and I really hope they hear the Word of God so that they might be saved (Rom. 10:17).

-Mark (confident that all saints are better counselors than secular therapists because of Christ within them!)

P.S. Somehow, people get all caught up in titles and labels and the like! Some people do not like to be counseled by a volunteer who is a Christian and would prefer a secular therapist who is not a believer in Christ! Ugh!

Even my deodorant is psychologized!

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

When will the madness stop? Our culture in America is so psychologized that even wearing deodorant can meet our “emotional needs”!!!

On one of our deodorant packages, it says (this is true):

“Extra Responsive in Emotional Moments”*

*releasing sweat

They have an * and then the “releasing sweat” comment below their claim of extra responsiveness in emotional moments!

Do you need deodorant that is extra responsive to your emotional moments? I guess, we all do sometimes! I guess if I have “intermittent explosive disorder” (sinful angry outbursts), then I may need this deodorant’s extra strength!

I’m not complaining. Just pointing out how Americans are being market-ed with psychology!

By the way, this blog is not intended to demean anyone struggling with their emotions. Believe me, we all do at times whether it be fear, anger, worry, depression, etc.

How much do we think like our culture? I don’t think we’ll ever fully realize it until heaven. I encourage you to have a biblical culture so that you help widows, orphans, and those much less fortunate than you.

I love 2 Corinthians 5:18-20a which reminds us:

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (2 Co 5:18-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Instead of being led by our culture and its marketing ploys to get us to chase the American dream, we need to LEAD our culture by thinking biblically first! Be a leader and not a follower by proclaiming the message of reconciliation to others!

-Mark (glad that when I read the Bible, I do not get any marketing from God – I’m already sold on Him!)

“Research” on spanking!

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

I just read this from yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100412/hl_time/08599198101900

For those of you who do not know, much of my graduate work at FSU was in evaluating professional research and statistics. When I read an article like this, I get righteously angry because:

1) Spanking is NOT defined in the article (how did these scientific researchers evaluate a spanking? what was their criteria? how was it measured?)

2) We do not know about the sample size, whether it was randomly assigned or not, etc. These things are CRITICAL in evaluating research.

3) They say they accounted for other variables but we don’t know how or what they did. We have to trust them (and frankly, I do not).

4) They do not tell us the P.V.E. (proportion of variance explained) which tells us the power of the study. I doubt it was very high. Most studies are not higher than 10%. What this means is that the study is able to account for 1 out of 10 of all of the total, possible variables that could have impacted the study’s findings. In other words, the study really is limited to only 10% of possible factors though when you read an article like this, they do not make that element clear.

Though they say they do control some of the variables in this article, I’d like to see what they actually did and what the P.V.E. was. Again, it’s likely very low because all studies are pretty low on this.

5) Studies are not fool proof and often not very scientific though they claim to be. Do not be fooled by their findings. I need to read the actual research article itself to properly critique it. This is only someone’s interpretations of the findings, not the actual research study findings. Again, do we trust the interpreter?

The Bible does not tell us to spank with our hands. The Bible says to use a rod and a reproof (a small object, not your hand) and a teaching that is a rebuke (called a reproof). Spanking is not defined for us in this article so I’m not clear if the Bible agrees or not with their definition of spanking. A spanking alone without a reproof is not biblical. A reproof given without a rod is not biblical. It is a rod and reproof. (see Proverbs)

Overall, do not be misled by these “scientific studies.” Man’s wisdom pales in comparison to God’s wisdom. You can trust your Bible because it is God Himself speaking His Word of truth in love.

-Mark (thankful for the answers found in the pages of Scripture)

DSM-V in World Magazine

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Read this article from WORLD magazine: http://www.worldmag.com/articles/16573

This article articulates well the problem of “overdiagnosing” that is ALREADY occurring in our culture today. It’s already happening and this new DSM version will only make it worse than it is now!

It is an epidemic in our country because EVERYONE struggles with some sin issue and yet these labels excuse “sin” and call it “sickness.” Re-labeling sin does not change the truth that many “psychological issues” stem from sin. That’s the truth. No medication can permanently solve a sin problem. Only Christ does that!

Diagnosing sin and calling it sin will lead someone to the Cross because that’s the ONLY place that sins are forgiven!

-Mark (glad to see people are seeing the dangers in psychological labels that point people away from sin and our Savior of those sins!)

A fatal disease? Or a responsible choice?

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Seems like many shows keep coming out on this “tsunami” of a problem commonly called “addiction” (the Bible calls it “enslavement” and “idolatry” which still holds the person responsible for sinful choices that feed the problem).

Dr. Drew Pinsky from the secular perspective is passionate about helping “addicts” as am I. But we have 2 different views on the heart of the problem. Therefore, we have 2 different view on the SOLUTION to the problem. I know it is Christ alone who forgives all sins and heals all diseases!

Watch this 8 minute clip from the Today Show:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35888659#35888659

Dr. Pinsky calls it a “fatal disease” and not a “theory of disease” which is what it is: A THEORY. It used to be called the “disease concept” or “theory of disease” but NOW everyone seems to call it a “disease.” Still a theory even though everyone now calls it a fact. Just because 2 men 80 years ago call something a “theory of disease” doesn’t make something truly a disease! This is philosophy (see Col. 2:8)!

I spoke to a Spirit-filled man (I will not say his name) recently who is leading the way of battling all “addictions” in Alabama. He explained it like this: “I have to face the facts. And the facts tell me that it’s not a disease. Even if they call it a ‘disease,’ my Bible still tells me in Psalm 103:3 that God ‘heals all your diseases.’ I see too many people around this program who are set free and no longer struggle with a disease because God has transformed them by the power of His might. I have to face those facts.”

The faith-based can never mix with the secular. The ideas are in oppositon!

Then, at the end of this clip, Dr. Pinsky blames things OUTSIDE of the person as he says: “the things that trigger bad addiction in young actors is the same thing that triggers bad addiction in anyone…abuse, family dysfunction.” Well, if it is a genetic, brain disease, then WHY do things OUTSIDE of the person trigger an internal disease?

They will argue that it’s like diabetes and you have choices that lead to “addiction.” I get that argument. Sounds logical and has a hint of truth in it because of the responsibility. However, the idea that “addiction” is “incurable, progressive, and fatal” and that one must cope with it forever is not what the leader in Alabama knows to be true. He has observed the transformational power of Christ who offers real hope and not just “cope.”

“Addiction” looks like a disease and there is a powerful physical component to it but our God triumphs over all diseases. “Addiction” looks like a disease because it is idolatry which ultimately enslaves the idolater who becomes powerless to get out of the cycle of idolatry. Only the power of Christ rescues someone from idolatry, or addiction.

For more on the biblical approach to addiction, go to http://www.rpmministries.org/2010/02/the-heart-of-addiction-a-biblical-perspective/ and get that book!

Brothers and Sisters, the world’s approach ultimately offers no hope but cope because they cannot offer Christ. Some people get clean and sober but that is not JUST our goal. We want to see people saved and reconciled to Christ.

At least Kirk Cameron, a devoted, solid Christian man, was on this clip to point people to God as the answer though his understanding of addiction from a biblical perspective is limited. Maybe I’ll ask one of you to send Kirk a book called The Heart of Addiction by M. Shaw! I would say to send it to Dr. Pinsky but I don’t think he’d read it. If he would, maybe he’d come to know Christ! On second thought, that’s a great idea, too! I’d love to see that man know Christ (John 17:3).

-Mark (if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed – John 8:36 – I believe Him and take Him at His Word!)