ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« Rules of Engagement | Main | Ambulance Chasers »

Therapeutic Nonsense

lightsentence.jpg Contemporary society torments itself with misguided theories about people who commit crimes and why they do it. Judges, whether motivated by false compassion, self-deprecating theories about societal responsibility, or simple fear of reprisal, hand down lenient sentences to the country’s criminals. These kinds of non-sentences toss the safety of the general population out the window while handling vicious and unrepentant criminals with kid gloves. We deplore murder, but pet the murderer. We decry rape, but sympathize with the rapist. Well-intentioned therapeutic strategies seek reform, but seldom, if ever, work.

“In Salt Lake City, when Glade James, distraught over a pending divorce, robbed at knife point a Little Caesar’s Pizza, a motel, and a Sinclair gas station, his attorney said it was a ‘cry for help,’ and he walked, sentenced to probation and therapy. In Boulder , CO , a schoolboy who sexually molested a younger girl student was sentenced to two years probation and therapy. In Fort Worth , TX , four drug offenders were sentenced to undergo acupuncture as experimental drug-abuse therapy. In Salt Lake City , again, Gregory Matthews robbed seven businesses at gunpoint and was sentenced to six months house arrest and therapy. In Ringwood , NJ , Jeffrey Van Dunk, now 16, was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old relative as she was baby sitting. He was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and, of course, therapy.” ( Richard Grenier, The Washington Times, (6/19/98).

George Neumayr, in America ‘s Culture of Suicidal Softness, Human Events, 5/8/2006 , said, “’I love America . Nobody is responsible for what they do,’ says a Russian thug in the 2001 movie Fifteen Minutes. That comes to mind as I read about the verdict in the Moussaoui trial. America ‘s culture of suicidal softness and therapeutic nonsense — the same culture that made America so porous and lax before 9/11 — has saved one of al Qaeda’s co-conspirators from the death penalty.”

Despite these debacles, I still believe therapy can do much good. But therapy only works after a person’s heart changes, not before. Judges, counselors, social workers, therapists can exhaust all their theories, but nothing will appreciably alter a person’s life until he or she becomes subjected to the powerful, life-changing blood, Spirit and name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Gushy drivel about humanity’s natural goodness, self-esteem and “getting in touch with one’s feelings,” will never lead to true conversion. The born-again experience, alone, will do that.

Repentance opens the door to conversion. A person must grasp at least three things, however, in order to repent: 1) knowledge of right and wrong, 2) guilt, 3) self-responsibility. Without this understanding, he will never repent.

Knowledge of right and wrong. We’re not talking about being productive or non-productive. Not good, better and best. Not acceptable or unacceptable behavior. We’re talking absolutes. Wrong is evil, sinful and morally corrupt. Wrong violates God’s laws, transgresses God’s commands and must be acknowledged.

Guilt. Any lawbreaker must feel badly that he committed wrongdoing. Guilt means that one doesn’t laugh at his sin and show no regard toward those who suffer pain and loss as a result of his actions.

Self-responsibility. Circumstances must never shoulder the blame or responsibility for sin. Neither must the wrongdoing of others excuse anyone from sinful behavior. The guilty person must look himself in the eye and accept full responsibility for wrong actions.

The truly repentant person says, “I know the difference between right and wrong. I am guilty for my sin and no one but me can be blamed.” From that point, he can ask God for forgiveness and enjoy the complete new birth experience. Any therapy that seeks to bypass the crucial process of repentance builds on a false premise.

Grenier concludes his piece by saying, “My own long-held feeling that all this [therapy] is the result of a decline in religious faith, the erosion of belief in the guidance of a higher authority leaving us now with only the untrammeled self…The real issue is not really the harm that misguided educational or criminal-justice policies can do to society but, rather, the harm that society does to itself by holding up no higher standard of behavior than the uninhibited self.”

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>