An Ugly 3 Letter Word
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.
him to hear people discuss morality without
so much as mentioning the word "SIN".
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!
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
Menningers beliefs on this subject.
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:
which cannot be subsumed under
verbal artifacts such as disease,
There is immorality. There is unethical
behavior. There is wrong doing.
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?
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 the Menninger Centre in Topeka, Kansas,
is seeking to correct the situation by addressing
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".
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.
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.
of years ago, King David stated: "He
that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall
have mercy, but he that covereth his sin
shall not prosper". (Prov. 28:13)
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.
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!
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) And
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)
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".
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
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
WORLD NEEDS IS A MORAL REVOLUTION!
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".
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
annual "SIN BILL" topped more
than a half a trillion dollars in 1987.
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
- OUR GREATEST COMMODITY - ARE BEING THREATENED
BY VIOLENCE, MURDER, DRUGS, ALCOHOLISM AND
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".
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 today...one
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
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.
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
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:
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, THERE IS SOMETHING
WE CAN DO!
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)
says: ... But the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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