Support World View Weekend


Posted: 01/03/11

Are You Convicted by Your Sin? A Psychologist Says You May Suffer From "Scrupulosity"


Sigmund Freud's Hatred of Christianity Lives On

By Brannon S. Howse


In my book, Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews that Rule America from the Grave, which was released as an e-book on January 2, 2011 and will be released as an audio book later this month, I committed an entire chapter to the godless and destructive worldview of Sigmund Freud. In this book, and on my radio program, I predicted that it was only a matter of time before committed Christians in America would be told they suffer from a psychological disorder because of their belief in sin, absolute truth, and the authority of the Word of God.  

Today I was made aware of an article from the Associated Press titled, "Researchers treating religious, moral obsessions" that details how a Utah State University psychology professor is "studying a treatment for a disorder that causes an obsession with morality and religion." Consider these experts from the article:


·        Michael Twohig, an assistant psychology professor, is focusing the study on people who have excessive immoral thoughts, confessions or religious activity. Their obsession can be debilitating, forcing them to spend hours every day just trying to strictly adhere to their values.

·        "What we try to do with people is help them see that trying to regulate these thoughts is part of what makes them so out of control and so disturbing," Twohig said.


Freud taught that the Christians that suppress their "natural" desires are the truly insane individuals.

·        The disorder can cause people to pray for hours or confess sins they only imagine they committed, said John Dehlin, a doctoral student in psychology who's assisting Twohig.

In I Thessalonians 5:17, Christians are instructed "to pray without ceasing" but now practicing such Biblical instruction is a sign of a mental disorder.

·        "They have this very severe desire to follow their religion (or moral beliefs) with integrity and exactness," Dehlin said. "Their conscience is kind of heightened."

A conscience that is heightened and aware of sin is a blessing and not a curse for it is our conscience that is engraved with the moral law. The moral law is a reflection of God's character and nature and it reveals our sinfulness and need for a Savior. The report went on to say that "Some of the people who suffer from the disorder, called scurpulosity, don't even attend church regularly."


 A conscience is not something you are given when you attend church, everyone, even non-Christians, are born with a conscience. Con means "with" and "science" means knowledge. We sin with the knowledge that we have offended a Holy and Just God and this is why people feel guilty; this is their conscience working. The Bible is clear that unbelievers, on the day of judgment, will be without excuse (Romans 1:19) because their conscience bore witness that there was a God whose moral law they had broken and thus they were in need of repenting of their sins and placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Humanistic psychology declares there are no absolutes and thus no such thing as sin.   


·        The treatment being studied at USU involves medication and cognitive-behavior therapy. The goal is to teach patients how to live within their religious and moral code without worrying about every thought.

So treatment will include drugging an individual in order to deaden their conscience which will decrease the likelihood that they will be convicted of their sin and the need for salvation through faith and repentance.

The following is from my book Grave Influence which you can purchase at with this link. The following information should reveal that this "new study" is really the "old lie" of Frued that was also the lie presented to Eve by Satan in Genesis 3:1-5.


"To demolish religion with psychoanalytic weapons," Freud biographer Peter Gay reported, "had been on Freud's agenda for many years."[1]


Sigmund Freud, like Friedrich Nietzsche, who strongly influenced him, hated God and Christianity. In his own book, The Future of an Illusion, Freud describes his "absolutely negative attitude toward religion, in every form and dilution."[2]


As Dr. Benjamin Wiker points out in Ten Books that Screwed up the World:


We cannot forget Nietzsche's assumption that religion was an entirely human creation. Since Freud read Nietzsche, this may have done as much as anything to help form his presentation of religion in The Future of an Illusion.[3]


With that viewpoint at the core of Freud's thinking, Wiker goes on to describe the psychoanalyst's resultant, perverted worldview:


His rebellion took the form of baptizing as natural the most hideously unnatural sins, sins condemned by every society as the most unholy and unthinkable… Freud damned as unnatural the Christian-based morality of Western society.[4]


Freud himself points out several of these "unholy and unthinkable" inclinations:


Among these instinctual wishes are those of incest, cannibalism, and lust for killing.[5]


Freud believed that it is the people who reject a Biblical worldview and follow their "natural" desires that are truly sane. As Dr. Wicker explains:


He [Freud] claimed that psychological disorders were the result of the unnatural repression of our naturally unholy and anti-social desires, and that some people just couldn't handle the repression…Therefore, neurotics are the only sane people because they react to unnatural frustration by training to reclaim their original, natural, asocial and amoral state. The result: the anti-social psychopath who kills without conscience is the most natural of all. The interesting effect of Freud's proclamation that evil is natural was the seemingly unintended consequence of making psychopathic insanity natural. [6]

People can either accept the guilty feeling of the law that accuses them of their transgression when they sin, or they can excuse the guilty feeling and learn to ignore it as a phschological disorder known now as "scrupulosity".


 If they ignore the guilt long enough or often enough, they will become people "speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:2).


You can see, then, that people who listen to Freud and his devotees-believing that sinful thoughts and impulses are natural instead of understanding that their guilt is a sign they have violated the character and nature of God-are headed in a seriously wrong direction. The end result can be true insanity if their rebellion against God goes too far. Norm Geisler explains how this works out in a person's life:


[T]he root cause of the character disorders (moral corruption) … is directly associated with a person's refusal to acknowledge and act upon what is morally right and reject what is morally wrong. It becomes harder and harder for the individual to get help with his character disorder because of the increased moral depravity. This increase is associated with greater levels of insensitivity in that person's conscience. For example, during the progressive moral deterioration in the life of the person who uses pornography, his sequence of feeling-to-thought-to-deed proceeds with less and less intervention of the inhibitory mechanism of conscience and guilt.[7]


This is the effect of having a "seared" conscience, yet no one will have an excuse at Judgment for rejecting God. Romans 3:19–20 warns:


Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


Everyone has broken the law. No one can justify their entry into heaven by claiming they have "lived a good enough life" because God's standard is to keep the complete moral law, and no one has done that.

To further underscore that committing sin is breaking the moral law, 1 John 3:4 says, "Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law." And Romans 3:10 explains, "There is none righteous, no, not one." Finally, Romans 3:23 concludes: "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Freud's hatred of Christianity lives on.

[1] Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Times (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998), 526.

[2] Quoted in Ibid., 527.

[3] Ibid., 167.

[4] Benjamin Wiker, 10 Books That Screwed Up theWorld: And 5 Others That Didn't Help (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2008), 168.

[5] Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion, James Strachey, trans. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1961), Chapter Two, 13.

[6] Wiker, 10 Books, 169-70.

[7] Norm Geisler and Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Press, 2001), 358.

Distributed by

By Brannon Howse

Email: [email protected]

Click here for bio and archived articles

Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button.


Printer Friendly Version | Return to home | Send this article to a friend


Don't Paint with Such a Broad Brush
Posted On: 01/13/11 05:58:35 AM Age 0, TX
Although it is true that the idea of scrupulosity can be misused, it is also very helpful for the treatment of some Christians who have problems with an overly punitive conscience. The point of scrupulosity (which an earlier poster correctly pointed out is currently seen as one expression of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) is that some sincerely religious people are convinced that they have had a thought or unknowingly committed some action that will doom them to hell. For example, they may believe that they have cursed God even when they cannot recall ever, in fact, doing it. Or they may believe that they have committed a sin but forgotten to pray for forgiveness for it and now cannot remember what the sin might have been. There are innumerable other possible examples I could cite from my practice. Even correct Biblical teaching about forgiveness and grace are unable to correct these thoughts and feelings. These people need compassionate and Biblically informed help from a trained mental health professional so that they can resume a full Christian life. I would caution you to be careful in your critiques about the mental health field. If you paint with too broad a brush, you may scare people away from the help that they need. Instead, you might focus on helping them to be discerning about where to get their care.

There are no "Psycho Surgeons"
Posted On: 01/08/11 03:14:47 AM Age 0, MO
Psychology and psychiatry would like to be identified as professional medical studies. A medical surgeon can stitch up a bad cut and expect the same results almost every time. Psychiatrists don't even know where to make an incision. Was there any evidence of psychiatrists in the Bible, or even in the writings of the early church fathers? It is healthy to feel shame and guilt when we violate God's laws. Smart people repent and ask God for forgiveness when this happens. Is it crazy to have hope in things unseen? George Cancilla

Posted On: 01/06/11 06:36:21 PM Age 0, AL
Brannon, scrupulosity is the religious manifestation of OCD. Although some secular scientists may use it willy nilly to try and turn people from real conviction, true scrupulosity is not real conviction but false conviction from a damaged conscience for imagined vs. real wrongs. This disorder was discussed in church history long before the onset of Freud. John Bunyan had it, John Wesley wrote a book about it, and it was discussed in other circles as well. There are numerous Christians who worry obsessively about having committed the unpardonable sin, and who imagine that every random thought dooms them to perdition. I am speaking of people with a real conversion experience, who love God and want more than anything to please Him. Although I agree with you that psychology can try and reduce sin to neurosis, it does not negate the fact that there is a real neurotic condition that affects sincere Christians.

Posted On: 01/06/11 07:14:29 AM Age 0, CANADA
Excellent evidence that the "mental health" establishment can define literally anything as a disorder. I suspect that Freud no longer holds the godless opinions he expressed in this life.

If we followed their thinking
Posted On: 01/04/11 10:26:50 AM Age 0, WI
I don't believe these "researchers" believe what they tell us. After all, if I were to follow this guy's claims, after hearing about his research and being thoroughly insulted by them, I would take out my frustrations by tracking him down and wringing his neck. Apparently that thought has never crossed his mind! If we all behaved that way, there would be very few people alive. Praise God that he has given ALL of us - even unbelievers - a conscience!

Post Feedback

Ebook Documentary
Special Video

Click Here to Watch Now

Limited Time
Special Offer:

Ebook + Hard Cover
Click Here for Details

Sign up to receive our
FREE Biblical Worldview Newsletter!

* Your Email Address:
* State: 
* Country:
for even MORE alerts sign up here
Bookmark and Share
Find us: Twitter / Facebook
Search Worldview Weekend:
Worldview Tube
Watch the latest commentary by Brannon Howse
Worldview Radio
Listen to the latest Worldview Weekend Radio with Brannon Howse
Roku Channel

iPhone/Android App

Worldview Weekend Online Academy for Students and Adults

Worldview Weekend
Family Reunion

Branson, Missouri
April 26, 27, 28, 2013

Worldview Weekend Radio
with Brannon Howse

Listen live to Worldview Weekend Radio with Brannon Howse M-F at 1-2 pm CT.

NEW! Visit Worldview on your mobile phone for latest news, audio and video!

Brannon Howse
Worldview Weekend
President and Founder
Find us on Twitter and Facebook!
Contact Us
Copyright © 2010 Worldview