I have a high respect for Christian counselors, especially when they are offering truly Godly advice to those in their care. What concerns me is when they start giving advice that is based upon non-Christian worldviews, and unfortunately it happens much too often. Recently I received an email from New Man Magazine. In the email newsletter it had a link to an article on dealing with lustful thoughts. Here is what I read on how to deal with inappropriate sexual thoughts…
“Unfortunately, many men have conditioned themselves in adolescence with airbrushed, fantasy babes who only look like real people. If you are lusting and objectifying women throughout the day, then you are more likely to also struggle in this area in the bedroom. You need to recondition your brain.
You can actually redirect your brain’s chemical pathways by placing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it every time you objectify a woman. This way, you’ll stop “rewarding” your brain for lusting, and it will begin to connect the lustful thoughts with the “ouch” pain rather than pleasure. In my many years of counseling men in this area, I’ve seen this exercise successfully shut down more than 80 percent of lustful thoughts or fantasies within one month! “
What is disturbing about this answer is that it seems to be largely based on behaviorism, which is a theory that is built off of a naturalistic worldview, and at its core is anti-Christian. We are more than responses to stimuli, and the sinful nature will never be subdued by mere physiological conditioning. And even if it could, how do we know that the sexual thoughts mixed with pain would not begin to be linked, thus making the person slightly masochistic. Sin is much deeper than “brain chemical pathways,” and to treat it as such is a denial of Biblical truth, even if that denial is an unconscious one. If you are struggling with inappropriate sexual thoughts and this is the bulk of the response you receive, prepare to be disappointed.
Now I am not making a blanket judgment upon everything this counselor has written, especially since this is the only thing I’ve read from him. Nor do I think that this author would take it as far as I have. And I’m not even saying that behavior can’t be changed by linking it to something unpleasant. I am simply stating that speaking of it in entirely behovioristic terms is to operate from a non-Christian worldview. Our thoughts and desires are not merely physiological but spiritual.
You can read the entire article here