Thursday, October 8, 2015

by Pastor Max Solbrekken,D.D.

      SIN IS REAL, says famed psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger. The highly-acclaimed psychiatrist is distressed by modern society's failure to understand that many of man's problems are caused by sin.  It annoys him to hear people discuss morality without so much as mentioning the word "SIN".
    Menninger believes that in order to raise civilization's moral tone and deal with depression, anxiety and worry, people must learn the root cause of their problems.
     And the root cause in many instances is a person's unwillingness to take responsibility for his own actions, but rather lay the blame on someone - or something – else!
   Several decades ago, George W. Cornell of the Associated Press (AP) wrote a column titled Word Sin Disappears But Remains A Fact’, in which he quoted at great length Dr. Karl Menninger’s beliefs on this subject.
   “He says the realities of personal guilt and sin have been glossed over as symptoms of emotional illness or environmental conditioning for which the individual is not considered responsible, but he adds:
     “There is sin…which cannot be subsumed under verbal artifacts such as ‘disease’, ‘delinquency’, ‘deviancy’. There is immorality. There is unethical behaviour. There is wrong doing.”
      Cornell states: “He calls for a reaffirmation of the concept of sin and of personal responsibility for it. In a new book published by Hawthorne called ‘Whatever Became of Sin?’ he declares:
     “If the concept of personal responsibility and answerability for ourselves and for others were to return to common acceptance, hope would return to the world with it.”
     We have the father of psycho-analysis, Sigmund Freud - who was battling his own weird and kinky imaginations and habits - to thank for much of that!
    The founder of the Menninger Centre in Topeko, Kansas, is seeking to correct the situation by addressing the problem.
      His latest book, Whatever Became of Sin?, describes the subject as "a transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine will; moral failure...Sin has a defiant, or disloyal quality; someone is defiled or offended or hurt".
      Modern psychiatry often lets people off the hook. And failure to bring offenders face to face with their error could produce a sense of vindication, without coming to grips with the problem; the need to change lifestyles.
    Menninger has successfully treated thousands of clients for more than a half century and has proven that acceptance of responsibility coupled with repentance, often brings freedom from guilt and anxiety. The refusal to confront the problem only compounds it by giving at the very best, temporary relief.
  Thousands of years ago, King Solomon stated: "He that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy, but he that covereth his sin shall not prosper". (Prov. 28:13)
      Forgiveness is vital to good mental health. We must forgive others if we expect God to forgive us, as well as being able to forgive ourselves.
    A leading psychiatrist noted that 90% of the mentally ill could be immediately well if they were able to forgive themselves and others and to receive forgiveness!
    It is difficult for an individual to forgive himself without the assurance that God has forgiven him.
    That is why the gospel - CONFESSION, REPENTANCE and FORGIVENESS - is so relevant and necessary!
    The Bible states emphatically: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1:9)
  “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin”. (1 John 1:7)
     Some health officials, in explaining their AIDS program, go to great lengths promoting condoms, as well as sexual abstinence. Then they usually add: "THIS IS NOT A MORAL ISSUE".
     How stupid. Of course, it's a moral issue!
    If our young people had higher morals there wouldn't be a drug abuse, fornication or homosexual problem, putting themselves at risk to the AIDS virus.
    And if people were more moral and stuck with the Bible standard of "one woman - one man", there wouldn't be such a dramatic increase in sexually-transmitted diseases.
     It goes without saying, violence would be almost non-existent and crime, rape and child abuse would drop drastically.


And there are signs that one is coming. During an earlier Canadian election, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was accused of lying. Constituents were sending politicians the message: "We won't tolerate dishonesty".
   And during the last general election in Canada, P.M. Jean Chretien was accused of breaking three earlier election promises which included the promise to scrap the hated “GST”. In the recent US Presidential election, nearly all candidates were speaking about values. Why? People understand that a sense of moral values is not only important, but necessary.
   P.S. This article was written before the notoriously corrupt and scandel-driven Liberal Government finally rotted away so the honest, godly Stephen Harper was able to bring some respect to Canada once more. Now in 2015, we are shocked at the corruption in the Canadian Senate! 
      The situation in the US Government is out of control. Barack Obama is called Liar-in-Chief and the batttle between him and Hillary Clinton is which one is the biggest Liar!
    America's annual "SIN BILL" topped more than a half a trillion dollars in 1987.
   Dr. Charles Ewing of The National Statesman said that Americans spent $144 billion for liquor, $177 billion on gambling, $110 billion on drugs, $73 billion on tobacco and $40 billion on pornography!
    An article by Dr. Robert Blum in the Journal of American Medical Association states: "Over the past 30 years, adolescents have been the only population in the US who have not experienced improvement in their health status".
     According to Blum, 77% of adolescent deaths were caused by accidents and violence, including self-inflicted violence. And there was a shocking four-fold increase in suicides & murders!
     A US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report states: "Of the 10,250 kids born will die and four will sustain serious or crippling injuries in an alcohol related crash before they reach the age of 24".
  This is a very sobering, serious warning about sin, accidents and death! May we all take a lesson from these tragic statistics, realizing that "The wages of sin is death".
You may say, “All you have stated is true! But what must I do to be forgiven and freed from my sins?” The Bible says, “If we confess our sins (to God) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1:9)
  George W. Cornell writes: “Menninger says that just as it is inadequate for a clergyman to give only pastoral counseling to a schizophrenic, it is inadequate for a psychiatrist to treat a symptom like sleeplessness of a man involved in wicked rascality.
                         REPENTANCE VALUABLE!
 “It does little good to repent a symptom, but it may do great harm not to repent a sin. Vice-versa, it does little good to merely psychoanalyze a sin and sometimes a great harm to ignore a symptom.”
 He says recognizing the fact of voluntarily willed sin is “the only hopeful view”, since it implies the possibility of repenting and correcting it. He adds:
The logical reasonable effective solution for tension reduction in such circumstances is to make atonement, as the theologians call it, or as we say, by restitution, acknowledgement and revised tactics.”
   As the situation now is “vague amorphous evil appears all around us” with the presumption that “no one is responsible, no one guilty” and that there is “just nothing to do”.
   “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin”. (1 John 1:7)
The Bible says: “... But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23)

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