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Martin & Deidre Bobgan
At least since their first book, The Psychological Way/The Spiritual Way (copyright 1979), the Bobgans have opposed the psychotherapy that has crept into the "church" and found a stronghold in the minds of many. For many years now, Martin and Deidre have been calling "Christians" to reject the psychological opinions of men, and to believe in the sufficiency of the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. Over the years, the Bobgans have written several books with this theme.
On the back of their most recent book (Against Biblical Counseling: For The Bible, copyright 1994; which exposes the error of the Biblical Counseling Movement) we read,
Martin Bobgan holds four college degrees, including a doctorate from the University of Colorado, and is President of PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries. Deidre holds an M.A. in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Other books they have written include: PsychoHeresy, Prophets of PsychoHeresy I and II, Hypnosis and the Christian, 12 Steps to Destruction, and Four Temperaments, Astrology and Personality Testing.
As can be seen from the above list of books, Martin and Deidre have taught much against the errors of psychology calling it "psychoheresy". For those who see and understand the errors of psychology, the Bobgans would appear to be among the faithful. How could they not? They expose the men who propagate "psychoheresy," and call Christians back to the Word of God!
Things are often not what they appear to be. Just because someone criticiszes psychology, this alone does not make a person biblically sound. There are several teachers that criticize psychology (e.g. John MacArthur, Ed Bulkley, Jay Adams, et al), but this does not make them biblically sound. In fact, Balaam, a false prophet of old, spoke much truth and even had the Spirit of God come upon him (Numbers 23-24), but he was a wicked man (2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 11). Are the Bobgans wicked? We contend that they are.
One main ingredient in the wicked religious leaders of Christ's day was hypocrisy (see Matthew 23:13-29). In fact, Jesus said in Luke 12:1, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Hypocritical leaven is to be found in the bread of the teaching of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Bobgan.
It would appear that the Bobgan's stand against those who propagate psychoheresy is biblically sound. In fact, in their book entitled 12 Steps To Destruction (copyright 1991) they say,
This book is for all who are thinking about joining a recovery group or entering a treatment center for addiction or codependency. It is for those who have tried Twelve-Step programs and recovery treatment centers and found them lacking. It is also for those who are currently in such programs. And, finally, it is to encourage those professing Christians who offer such programs to return to the faith once delivered to the saints. (p. 13)
By saying "professing Christians" and "return to the faith", the Bobgans seem to be implying that these "professing Christians" are not in the faith. If we found this kind of teaching (along with other more pointed statements) throughout their books and newsletters (Psychoheresy Awareness Letter), they would make it clear to all that they teach that those who "transgress and do not abide in the doctrine of Christ do not have God." (2 John 9). But, the fact is, they do not.
In their book, entitled Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing (copyright 1992), at the very beginning of the book (before the table of contents) you will find this paragraph (set apart with a page of its own in the middle of the page):
In this book we name people in reference to what they have taught or written. While we are critical of their promotion and use of psychological theories and techniques, we are not questioning their sincerity or their faith. When we discuss their teachings, we are dealing with issues, not personalities.
They refuse to question the faith of those who promote "psychological theories and techniques". Yet, in hypocrisy, they write on page 188,
The apostle Paul was concerned with any philosophy or religious activity that contaminated the pure Gospel of grace. His letter to the Galatians expresses his concern about the seriousness of adding works that pervert the Gospel of Christ:
After this, they quote Galatians 1:6-9 which calls for a curse upon anyone who would preach any other gospel. Then they explain this a bit, and two paragraphs later (the third paragraph after their quote of Galatians 1:6-9) they say,
Today, the works added to the Cross of Christ are not circumcision. Instead of adding circumcision to faith in Christ, countless Christians are adding the works of self-improvement through psychological systems, such as the four temperaments and other typologies. (p. 189-190)
So, even though these people they speak of teach another gospel ("adding the works of self-improvement through psychological systems"), unlike Paul and the quote they gave (Galatians 1:6-9), the Bobgans "are not questioning . . . their faith"! This is hypocrisy, and a failure to believe the very words they quote (Galatians 1:6-9 "let him be accursed").
Furthermore, in their book, Prophets of Psychoheresy II, Critiquing Dr. James C. Dobson (copyright 1990), they state,
In this present volume we critique Dr. James C. Dobson and a few of those he recommends, who are leaders in promoting the psychologizing of Christianity. As in Prophets of Psychoheresy I, we use the word prophet to mean spokesman for a cause or movement. The heresy is the departure from absolute confidence in the Word of God for all matters of life and conduct and a movement toward faith in the unproven, unscientific psychological opinions of men. Thus we call it "psychoheresy" (p.4)
Then on page 6 they say,
. . . we conclude that Focus on the Family is an organization that honors man and his opinions over God and His Word.
On page 7 they write concerning Dobson,
His tremendous popularity and influence increase his responsibility to make sure that he is biblically and scientifically sound in all that he is doing. We think he is not . . .
Yet, just above this (in the same paragraph) they hypocritically write,
As we have continually stated in the past, we are not questioning the faith of any individuals we critique.
That is hypocrisy! To say that the man teaches "heresy" ("psychoheresy") and is not "biblically" "sound," yet they don't "question" his faith, is not only hypocrisy, but seriously evil! The Word of God is not unclear about those who teach heresy.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: . . . heresies, . . . those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
To say you don't question a person's faith who teaches heresy, is to say nothing about whether or not they "have God." Thus, Martin and Diedre Bobgan don't "bring this doctrine" (2 John 9-11). They fail to teach that those who teach heresy ("transgress and do not abide in the doctrine of Christ") do not have God. Instead, they choose to not "question" their faith.
For all who may be interested, we are offering (free of charge) a tape recording of a recent Focus on the Family radio program in which it should be clear to any discerning Christian, that what Dr. Dobson propagates is serious damning heresy. There is absolutely no way Dr. Dobson's supposed faith in the Lord Jesus is anything other than a lie!
On the radio program, Dr. Dobson (and the men with him) talk about sexual perversions (like pornography, homosexuality, pedophilia, and other forms of sexual perversion) as a "disease" and an "addiction." The main subject is pastors who are hooked on some form of sexual perversion, and they speak as if these pastors are saved, but they just have this "disease" they need to get rid of (contrary to Ephesians 5:5-6).
In fact, they state that it is a disease that, when dealt with appropriately, goes into "remission" ("a temporary abatement of the symptoms of a disease," Webster). Dobson (and the psychologists who were on the radio program with him) also states that this sexual "addiction" ("disease") never permanently goes away. It just goes into "remission," and a man needs some type of human accountability the rest of his life to make sure this disease doesn't rear its ugly head. So much for the hope of the gospel (Romans 1:16)!
Dobson taught in this radio program that even "clergy" can have this "problem" (of sexual perversion). In other words, you can know God, even be leading God's people, AND YET BE A PERVERT! WHAT A PERVERSION OF THE GOSPEL!
This is serious heresy. Yet, the Bobgans don't question the faith of Dr. James Dobson (and men like him). The Bobgans are not ignorant of what Dobson teaches. In fact, in their book (Prophets of PsychoHeresy II) they expose Dr. James Dobson's serious false teaching of self-esteem (note Proverbs 26:12; 28:26, self-esteem teaching is damning). Yet, they do not want to question his faith! This is hypocrisy and a refusal to not only believe, but practice, the Word of God which says,
. . . all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone . . . (Revelation 21:8)
. . . Note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
Even though they clearly know Dobson is "contrary to the doctrine," the Bobgans refuse to note him as one who does "not serve our Lord Jesus Christ." Thus, in their hypocrisy, they are disobedient to the command of God (Romans 16:17-18).
On top of their disobedience, the Bobgans are among those who,
II. DENY THE POWER OF GODLINESS
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we are warned that in the last days "Christians" will be holding to "a form of godliness but denying its power." What is the power of godliness? It is the power that is resident in any true believer's heart to overcome sin and live a godly life. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 exemplifies,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Romans 6:1-2; 1 John 2:3-4; 3:4-10; 5:4; Ephesians 5:5-6 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 make it quite clear that someone who is truly saved, can not and will not live in sin. In other words, you cannot be a fornicator, or a homosexual, or an idolater, or an adulterer, or a thief, or a covetous man, or a drunkard and still know God.
Likewise, the power of godliness is not only the power that is in every true believer to walk in righteousness, but it is also the power to walk in truth. It is completely impossible for a true believer to walk in and live in lies. Walking in and living in and propagating lies is walking in darkness (please see 1 John 1:5-6). Just as with sin, this does not mean that a true believer is perfect in what they believe or do (Ephesians 4:11-14). But, a true believer will not and can not love and practice lies (note Revelation 22:15).
If someone taught that they do not question the faith of people who are living in fornication, or adultery, or homosexuality, or drunkenness, or greed, such a person would be denying the power of godliness (i.e. the power of Christ to overcome sin that is truly in a person who knows the Lord).
Likewise, as is the case with the Bobgans, it is NO different to say you do not question the faith of someone who is teaching lies (heresy; i.e. psychoheresy). None whatsoever! It is a denial of the power of godliness in refusing to question the faith of these psychoheretics.
It is not only a denial of the power of godliness which is the power that is displayed in a person's life in which they have turned from living in lies (darkness) to living in the truth, but it is,
III. ANOTHER GOSPEL
In their book, Prophets of Psychoheresy I (copyright 1989), the Bobgans write,
In this volume we are critiquing writings and teachings of Dr. Gary Collins, Dr. Lawrence Crabb, Jr., Dr. Paul Meier, and Dr. Frank Minirth. We use the word prophet according to the dictionary definition which says, 'A spokesman for some cause, group, movement, etc.' These men are spokesmen for the use of the types of psychology that underlie what is known as psychotherapy or psychological counseling. As in our other writing, we are attempting to deal with issues and not personalities. And, as we have said in the past, we name people in reference to what they have taught or written. However, we want to make it clear that, while we are critical of their promotion and use of psychological theories and techniques, we are not questioning their faith. (p. 3)
They do not question the faith of four main proponents of the psychological gospel! These four men (Dr. Gary Collins, Dr. Lawrence Crabb, Jr., Dr. Paul Meier, and Dr. Frank Minirth) are very influential men who teach the philosophy of the world and are feeding this garbage to others. Please note what John wrote two verses above 2 John 9.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 7)
What is it to "not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh"? It is to deny the fact that God came in the flesh and is still in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:36-43). But, deception comes by ways that are very subtle. Please note what Paul wrote in Colossians 2:8-10.
Beware lest anyone cheat you though philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For In Him Dwells All The Fullness Of The Godhead Bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head over all principality and power. (emphasis added)
What reason does Paul give to us as believers for the basis of why we are to be aware of anyone who brings with them the teachings (traditions) of men, etc. ( Colossians 2:8)? It is because "all the fullness of the Godhead" dwells in Christ "bodily." In other words, Christ is in the flesh. He came in the flesh, suffered in the flesh, was tempted in the flesh, died in the flesh, and rose from the dead in the flesh, and is still in the flesh ("bodily"). HE IS ALL WE NEED!
We do not need any "philosophy", "traditions of men," or any wisdom "according to the basic principles of the world" (e.g. psychology), because we have Christ! For anybody to come along and say you also need some kind of wisdom from the world to live out this Christian life, THEY ARE DENYING THAT ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD IS IN CHRIST BODILY (i.e. they are denying "Jesus Christ coming in the flesh," 2 John 7; i.e. that Jesus Christ is still in the flesh, and He is all you need, 2 Peter 1:2-3).
Dr. Gary Collins, Dr. Lawrence Crabb, Jr., Dr. Paul Meier, and Dr. Frank Minirth have deceitfully taken captive whole hosts (thousands) of people into their teaching that is the "philosophy" of this world which is "empty deceit," and is "according to the basic principles of the world" (i.e. the psychological deceit of men) and is not according to Christ. They do not confess "Jesus Christ coming in the flesh" (more literally, there is no "as" in the Greek), in that, they teach that something more (wisdom from the world, i.e. psychological wisdom) is necessary for help in living the Christian life. Therefore, 2 John 7 says they are deceivers and antichrists (literally in the Greek, "the deceiver," and "the antichrist").
The Bobgans don't want to say such things (that they are deceivers and antichrists). They do not want to question their faith. Therefore, they not only deny the power of godliness by not questioning the faith of these deceivers, but they are also among those who believe another gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). And, how is this?
From the beginning of creation, the Word of God has warned mankind this: Obey God's Word, and you will live. Disobey God's Word, and you will die (Genesis 2:16). Satan's lie has been from the very beginning basically this: You disobey God's Word, you will NOT surely die (Genesis 3:2-4). This is the same idea as is found in 2 John 9, "He who transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, does not have God." In other words, the one who disobeys God's words (the doctrine of Christ, Christ's words) does not have God. The one who does not have God, will surely die (i.e. go to hell!).
Note what the Lord says in the very first commandment of the ten commandments:
I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:5-6)
In other words, God will pour out His wrath upon those who hate God (who don't abide in His Word). But, He will pour out blessing and mercy to those who do abide in His Word ("keep My commandments").
In John 3:16 we note,
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Who are they who believe in the Son? They are those who abide in His Word. They are those who abide in the doctrine of Christ. They are those who abide in the doctrine of Christ and thus have the Father and the Son (2 John 9).
Who are they that do not believe in the Son? They are those who transgress and do not abide in the doctrine of the Son (in the doctrine of the Word, the Scripture). Thus, they do not have God (2 John 9). Therefore, they will perish.
This is basic to the gospel of God! As 1 John 5:12 says,
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Who has the Son? Those who abide in the Son. Who is the Son? The Son of God is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13). Therefore, those who abide in the Word of God (in the Son), they are those who have the Son; and they are those who have the life. Those who do not abide in the Word of God, do not have the Son of God, and thus they do not have the life (they are headed for hell).
This is all part and parcel of the gospel of Christ. Throughout Scripture, one very loud and main theme of the Word of God is this: Those who are righteous (right with God) will receive mercy, blessings and rewards from God (e.g. Psalm 37:18-20). Those who are wicked, God will judge. As Psalm 11:5-6 says,
The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.
Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Larry Crabb, Dr. Gary Collins, Dr. Paul Meir, and Dr. Frank Minirth are wicked (their lies are damning souls), and this will be their portion (fire and brimstone and a burning wind). The Bobgans spend over 350 pages on Dr.Larry Crabb, Dr. Gary Collins, Dr. Paul Meir, and Dr. Frank Minirth spelling out their wickedness (their lies). The Bobgans spend over 300 pages spelling out the wickedness (the lies) of Dr. James Dobson. Yet, they are unwilling to call them wicked. They don't question their faith!
This is another gospel. It is a gospel that leaves it in question whether someone who teaches heresy is saved or not (has God or not; 2 John 9-11). The true gospel does not leave in question whether Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind. The true gospel does not leave it in question whether Christ rose from the dead. The true gospel does not leave it in question whether Christ came in the flesh or not. The true gospel does not leave in question whether it is by faith in the Son of God by which we are saved, or it is by some other means. Likewise, the true gospel does NOT leave it in question whether someone who teaches heresy is a heretic and does not have God (i.e. is NOT in the faith).
Jude 3 says to contend (fight) for the faith. This is a MAIN issue in our faith. Liars are not Christians! Liars will not go to heaven! Liars go to hell (Revelation 21:8)!
Jude 4 says about these men who have crept in unnoticed, that they turn the grace of our God into "lewdness" (NKJV). For someone to say that they do not question the faith of a homosexual who claims to be a Christian, by such a statement, they are turning the grace of our God into lewdness. Likewise, for someone to say that they do not question the faith of those who claim to be Christian leaders, yet consistently teach heresy (psychoheresy in this case), they likewise are turning the grace of our God into lewdness.
Jude 4 also says that they "deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." The Bobgans deny our Lord by denying His Word that is VERY clear that those who teach heresy will not enter the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
If you are persuaded into this kind of thinking (i.e. that it is not serious wickedness to not question the faith of those who teach falsely), then you are believing another gospel. You are not believing God, and you are calling Him a liar. Because He says, ". . . all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone," (Revelation 21:8). He says that the blackness of darkness is reserved forever for men like Dr. James Dobson (Jude 13). God says, for those who exploit with deceptive words, "their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." (2 Peter 2:3).
To not question the faith of these rank false teachers, as the Bobgans do, is to play political games. It is not abiding in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11). It is to deny the power of godliness (2 Timothy 3:1-5). It is a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). It is wicked, seriously wicked, because, it is seriously deceitful.
This is why 2 John 9-11 says,
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
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