This a new article written by our Found Michael Lessard that contains some valuable insight on the happenings today throughout the world. Please read and of course, any questions, feel free to contact us.
There has been a movement of philosophical and psychological thought that has gained a pervasive hold on the media, politics, education, religion, and corporate America. It is called Positive Psychology and our culture is swimming in it. It was first promoted by Martin Seligman as a response to the model of mental illness and therapy which up until the 1990s focused on treatment and on-going medical and therapeutic interventions (Seligman & Csikszentmihali, 2000).
Seligman wanted to reframe the purpose of therapy away for mental illness to a model that was beneficial to everyone who was suffering from unhappiness. He wanted to describe what it means to live a “good life” he began to study through research questionnaires those elements that identified positive values of: The Pleasant Life, which is not just pleasure seeking but recognized the short lived effects of seeking this as the primary motivator for the “good life.” Engagement, which is the feeling of being absorbed, loss of time, in a project or activity. Relationships, which are nurturing to personal well-being, Meaning, which includes talents and qualities of transcendence shared by all people. Accomplishment, which is achievement for its own sake PERMA ( Seligman, et al. 2012).
Positive Psychology is tangentially connected to secular humanism and traces its philosophy back to Aristotle. Like Greek Gnosticism it uses terms like values, and holds to virtues like, persistence, love, social responsibility, ecological care of the earth, and may other concepts that Christians would think are congruent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Positive Psychology is a shadow gospel a kind of new religion. It makes happiness the means and the ends. It minimizes our dependence on God and His grace to accomplish any good thing. It creates a system on the shaky ground of human subjective truth rather than the rock of Gods love and blessings. It punishes those who disagree with the “cancel cultures values” as obstacles to the greater happiness of society (Miller, 2009). It minimizes the place of trust in God to trust in human traits, talents, and evolution. Positive Psychology sees transcendence as only a tool that resides in all religions (Nominalism)and encompasses the themes of humanities qualities and abilities of self-donation (to serve a greater purpose than oneself).
For the last 20 years the church has been slowly infected with this parasite sucking out belief and we see its results in the decline of our children growing into adulthood with a lively faith and a commitment to community. It has penetrated every public school and has convinced many that God is not so good, or necessary after all and that we can create happiness without Him. We must stand against this. (Eph. 6:10-20). We have standing through Jesus to be heard before the Father and He intercedes for us that we may have the courage to stand with the armor of God.
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY AND THE GOSPEL References
Jayawickreme, E., Forgeard, M, J, C,, Seligman, M. E. P., (2012). The engine of well-being,
Review of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 16(4). pg. 327-342.
Miller, A., (2009), A critique of Positive Psychology—or “the new science of happiness,”
Journal of Philosophy of Education. Vol. 24(3-4) pg. 591-608
Seligman, M. E. P., Csikszentmihalyi, M., (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction,
American Psychologist, Vol. 55(1).