Note: The following essay is an excerpt from Dr. Adams’ as of yet unpublished manuscript entitled Adams’ Answers…Objections from Critics.
I want you to know that I do not enjoy criticizing others who have gone wrong in their counseling. I believe, however, that this criticism is fair and honest—and needed. But “too critical?” How can one be too critical of those who misrepresent our Lord Jesus Christ? Take for instance the “need” pyramid of Abraham Maslow that has led to much wrong thinking and even serious misinterpretation of Scripture on the part of “Christian” counselors. When the self-actualization, self-esteem movement came along, there were many who hopped on board. In order to justify using this non-Christian, unbiblical belief system, there were those who taught that God had to redeem us because we were so valuable to him. This theology, which bases the saving death of Christ upon our supposed great worth, flatly contradicts the biblical teaching about grace. There was nothing in us to commend us to God; our redemption issued purely out of His undeserved mercy and goodness.
Moreover, in order to square the Bible with Maslow’s thought, many declared that there are three great commandments: to love God, neighbor, and self. Self-love is presupposed in the command to love others as one already loves himself. There is no need to learn self-love; we have too much of it already. Our problem is to learn to love our neighbor in the same way.
Indeed, to posit three commandments (the third non-commandment being more basic than the other two since one supposedly cannot love others until he learns to love himself) directly clashes with Jesus’ words, “On those two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22: 40). In the context Jesus also distinctly refers to a first and second commandment, but never to a third.
Now the question had to do with being too critical of others. Am I too critical? I don’t think so! When such irresponsible use of the Word of the living God is published and sent into all parts of the church, it is necessary to expose it for what it is—a cover up for the eclectic practices of those who claim to be doing Christian counseling, but are not. Unless the public is made aware of such practices, they may buy into them and go astray. It is important to attempt to counter false teaching and Scripture twisting at every level where it has been proclaimed whenever possible. Those of us who are ordained to the ministry of the Word are called upon to defend God’s flock from false teachers within and without the church environs. This is a duty often neglected. It is time to call on the carpet those who intentionally (or otherwise) misuse Scripture and represent what they are saying as God’s truth (when He said no such thing). Ideally, the denominations to which they belong ought to be knocking on their doors to do this. But since they are not, someone who cares for the flock of God must do it—even if he is raked over the coals for doing so.