By Wayne Camp

According to an article in the Commercial Appeal, the Park Crest Village Assembly of God church, Springfield, MO, its church counselor, Donna Strand, and her husband, Pastor Robert Strand, have had to pay $1,000,000.00 to settle a claim that was the result of their involvement in psychobabble.

Beth Rutherford, a member of the church, went to Donna Strand for counseling. Strand is into recovered memory therapy. This therapy is used to get a person to remember something someone did to them as a child that causes them problems now. It is all part of the scheme to shift blame for one’s problems to someone else.

Under the guidance and encouragement of Donna Strand, Beth was led to "remember" that her father, also an Assembly of God preacher, had repeatedly raped her, had impregnated her, and had performed a painful clothes hanger abortion on her. How these thoughts were planted in her mind Beth does not know.

There are two reasons why these charges could not be so. First, Beth’s father had a vasectomy when Beth was four years old so he could not have impregnated her even if he had been guilty of raping her. Second, at the insistence of the family attorney, Beth had an examination which revealed that she is still a virgin, was never raped or impregnated.

The family was torn apart by these charges; Tom Rutherford was forced to resign his job when the Strands reported what he had allegedly done to the General Council of the Assemblies of God where he was employed. He worked as a seasonal postman and janitor to survive. Friends turned away from him thinking him guilty of the awful charges.

As more and more churches are getting into the trap of psychoheresy that is peddled by such men as James Dobson and others, there will be more and more such tragic incidences. And, there will be more churches, pastors and counsellors paying a high price for their involvement.

This substitution of psychology for Scripture in dealing with the lives of Christians is an abomination before God. He has magnified his word above his name and will not take lightly the setting aside of his word in favor of the psychobabble that is so common today.

(The details in this article are based on an Associated Press article carried by The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 16, 1996, P. A4.)

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