- Focus on the Family (FOTF), located in Colorado Springs, Colorado
(relocated there from California in 1991), was founded in 1977 by Dr. James C.
Dobson (circa 1936), a Ph.D. in child development from the University of
Southern California. (Dobson claims the Lord told his dying father that a
great ministry would be fulfilled through his son -- see below.) Dobson also has
honorary doctorates from Pepperdine University (1983), Franciscan University of
Steubenville, Ohio [a Catholic university] (1988), Seattle Pacific University
(1988), Asbury Theological Seminary (1989), Mid America Nazarene College (1992),
and Liberty University (1993). Prior to 1977, Dobson served 14 years as
associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the USC School of Medicine and a
concurrent 17 years on the attending staff of Los Angeles Children's Hospital in
the Divisions of Child Development and Medical Genetics. (This clinical
experience supposedly gives Dobson the "authority" to advise
Christians on family matters.) Dobson has authored more than 15 books; his
largest seller, Dare to Discipline (a child-rearing manual first
published in 1971 and reissued as The New Dare to Discipline in
1994) has sold over 2 million copies.
FOTF consists of more than 74 different programs in eight languages operating in 78 countries worldwide, employing more than 1,300 in its modern three-building Colorado Springs facility. For fiscal year 1999, FOTF had an annual operating budget of more than $120 million. Most funds come from contributions and FOTF spends over $4 million a year on fund raising efforts! Its 30-minute daily radio broadcast is heard on approximately 2,500 stations worldwide that reach more than 650 million people every day; daily listening audience is estimated to be about 5 million. It is the second most widely syndicated show in America (after Paul Harvey). FOTF also produces other radio programs that hold the third, fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth spots in the syndication standings. They publish Focus on the Family magazine, the second most widely read religious magazine in America (after Guideposts), and their videos are shown in more schools than in churches. Additionally, Dobson has a 90-second commentary feature which is carried on over 200 of the largest secular radio stations and on more than 40 secular television stations in the United States; he claims that more than 11 million people hear and/or see these commentaries every week. He also writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column (titled "Dr. James Dobson Answers Your Questions"), which is published in 675 newspapers. FOTF has about 2.5 million on its ministry mailing list. FOTF receives about 5,000-8,000 pieces of mail daily (averaging 7,000 per day), and receives between 4,000-6,000 telephone calls every working day -- totaling about three million contacts a year.
In addition to Focus on the Family magazine, the FOTF organization
produces ten more magazines (Citizen, Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr.,
Breakaway, Brio, LifeWise, Teachers in Focus, Physician,
Plugged In [formerly Parental Guidance], and Single-Parent
Family, as well as award-winning books, films, and videos. Through the use
of a computer data base containing Dobson's canned views on a wide range of
issues, a cadre of college-educated FOTF employees respond to all of the more
than 250,000 calls and letters received each month. The so-called tougher
inquiries (about 150 each day) are handled internally by one of FOTF's more than
a dozen trained "professional" [i.e., psychological] counselors, or
are referred to a network of 1,200 psychological therapists around the country.
Dobson says his methods attempt to "'turn hearts toward home' by
reasonable, biblical, and empirical [psychological] insights so that people will
be able to discover the founder of homes and the creator of families-Jesus
Christ" (8/93, FOTF magazine). [FOTF's Colorado Springs campus hosts
more than 100,000 visitors each year. One of them described the FOTF operation
as resembling "a cross between a crisis hotline center and Santa's workshop
..." ("Millions of Families Served, But What Is FOF's Focus?,"
1/29/96, Christian News, p. 16 (Jennifer Mears:API story).]
FOTF is heavily engaged in public policy, and Dobson himself is very politically active. FOTF has 35 affiliated political groups in 35 states under the direction of extremely strong grass roots lobbies. About 4% of FOTF's annual budget is devoted to public policy projects, voter education, and lobbying (i.e., over $4 million!). Dobson himself has served in a variety of consulting capacities to the Carter, Reagan, and Bush administrations, and was nominated by (then) Senate majority leader Bob Dole to the Presidential Commission on Child and Family Welfare in the Clinton administration; he received the loving attention of virtually all of the 1996 Republican presidential candidates, although he has been virtually ignored by George W. Bush's 2000 Campaign.)
- In the second chapter of Dobson’s book, Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives, Dobson discusses the source of much of his ministry. It does not come from the Scriptures, but from the Lord's direct revelation to Dobson. The Lord first spoke to Dobson's father informing him of a joint project between he and his son. … years later, as Dobson was rushing to his dying father's hospital bed, the Lord spoke to him. Although the voice was not audible, somehow the Lord said, "You are going to write a book for husbands and fathers, based on the life of your dad. The inspiration will be derived from his values, his dedications, his walk with Me. This is the joint venture of which I spoke two years ago" Later Dobson asked the Lord for more specifics. He said to the Lord, "Why should I depend on my own puny insight and wisdom, when I can tap the resources of the Creator of families. Give me the concepts that you want me to communicate." It is obvious at that point that Dr. Dobson did not believe that the Scriptures were sufficient to communicate God's will concerning families. Something more was needed, and that something was a direct word from the Lord to Dobson. … Here were God's instructions: "If America is going to survive the incredible stresses and dangers it now faces, it will be because husbands and fathers again place their families at the highest level of their system of priorities, reserving a portion of their time and energy for leadership within their home!" The emphasis of Dobson's ministry since that time has been based upon this extrabiblical revelation, not upon the Word of God. Did Dobson hear from God or not? If he did, then that revelation should carry divine authority. If he did not, then he has added to the Scriptures, something John warns us not to do (Rev. 22:18,19).
- One former employee of Focus on the Family has coined the term "Dobsonology":
"Dobsonology is a mixture of psychology, humanism, New Age, political activism and ecumenism packed in a silver box of morality; it is tied with a golden ribbon of assorted Scriptures -- not necessarily in context. It is being sold to the Christian Community in lieu of Biblical authority through sound doctrine by James Dobson and his Focus On The Family Organization."
The following quote from The Christian Counselor's Manual by Dr. Jay E. Adams (pp. 82-83), best describes Dobson's child-rearing "system":
"... Dobson ... recommends strictly behavioristic methods for child raising in the name of Christianity ... His near total capitulation to behaviorism is couched in Christian terms but really introduces an equally godless system into the Christian home while purporting to be a Christian reaction to permissiveness ... Reward and punishment are prominent (particularly the former), and the need for structure is emphasized. But Dobson's approach is cold and godless. It centers upon manipulation but says nothing of biblical confrontation. Conspicuously absent in such child discipline is the use of the Scriptures, conversion, repentance, the work of the Holy Spirit, and sanctification. ... Biblical persuasion, conviction, and personal commitment are ignored." (Emphasis added.)
- In Dobson's book, Dare to Discipline, "he places a needed emphasis on discipline by structure," but he draws from a Skinnerian ideology; i.e., "according to Dobson, a child is to be 'trained' as one would [evidently] train his dog ...The presupposition (not stated, but underlying the book) is that man is but another animal," thereby leaving "no place for the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion or sanctification." Change is, thereby, assumed to "take place strictly on the horizontal level." (Excerpted from The Big Umbrella by Jay Adams, pp. 130-131.) In 1994, Focus on the Family published The New Dare to Discipline. In the Q&A section of the book, one of the questions was "Should teenage children be spanked for disobedience or rudeness?" Dr. James Dobson, the self-proclaimed child-rearing expert, answered thusly:
"No. Teens desperately want to be thought of as adults and they deeply resent being treated as children. Spanking is the ultimate insult at that age and they are justified in hating it. Besides, it doesn't work."
On what authority should teens not be spanked? -- Dr. Dobson's? And do
we govern our lives by what teens "want" or by what the Bible teaches?
If teens resent being treated like children, then they shouldn't act like
children. And if spanking is the ultimate insult for a teenager, then this is
evidence it must work very effectively in deterring the rebellious actions that
bring the rod. And finally, by saying "it doesn't work," Dobson is
calling God a liar (cf. Prov. 22:15 -- Folly is bound up in the heart
of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.)! God
says spanking does work (and He doesn't even give an age limit -- cf. Prov.
19:18 -- Discipline your son, while there is hope; do not
be a willing party to his death).
- In Dobson's 1993 book, When God Doesn't Make Sense, Dobson makes the blasphemous suggestion that we should forgive God: (And so do R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer, both of whom endorsed the book.)
"There is only one cure for the cancer of bitterness, that is to forgive the perceived offender. Once and for all, with God's help, as strange as it seems, I am suggesting that some of us need to forgive God for those heartaches that are charged to His account. You've carried resentment against Him for years. Now it's time to let go of it. [Dobson now tries to escape the blasphemy he's just uttered, but he is unsuccessful.] Please don't misunderstand me at this point. God is in the business of forgiving us, and it almost sounds blasphemous [it is!] to suggest that the relationship could be reversed. He has done no wrong and does not need our approbation. But the source of bitterness must be admitted before it can be cleared. There is no better way to get rid of it than to absolve the Lord of whatever we have harbored. ... It is the only way you will ever be entirely free. ...
"Corrie ten Boom forgave an SS guard who shared responsibility for the deaths of her family members. [False analogy.] Surely we can forgive the King of the Universe Who sent His only Son to die as an atonement for our sin." (Emphasis added.)
The very fact that we would have anger towards God, the One Who can do no
wrong and is perfect in every way, and that we would feel like we need to
forgive Him, is wickedness and a blasphemous affront to His holy, righteous
character! [See the March-April 1995, PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter,
Blasphemies?," pp. 4-5, for a more thorough analysis of Dobson's book.]
If a man has resentment against God for something, he should repent. How can
man, who is sinful, ever "absolve" God of something when God is not
guilty of anything? How can man clear God of something when God has done nothing
of which he needs clearing? How can man acquit God of something when God is not
on trial? Dobson says that he knows this idea of a man forgiving God
"almost sounds blasphemous." -- it does not almost sound
blasphemous; it is UTTERLY BLASPHEMOUS! It is BLATANTLY BLASPHEMOUS! [Amazingly,
When God Doesn't Make Sense won two Evangelical Christian Publishing
Association awards: the Gold Medallion award in the Christian Living category
and "Christian Book of the Year" award.]
- Often cited are Dobson's "good works" in opposing abortion, pornography, etc., and in supporting various moral causes, particularly family causes, as evidence of his spiritual "fruit" and, thereby, his Biblical Christianity. However, his moralism is steeped in ecumenism, in most cases being totally devoid of God and basic Biblical principles. This "end justifies the means" strategy, however, is not Biblical -- joining the ungodly in promoting moralism (a system which is in actuality no better than humanism) is not what the Bible calls Christians to do. It is not our job to transform society, nor to attempt to "Christianize" its institutions, nor to pressure the ungodly to live like saints, but instead to call out of the world those who will respond to the gospel, that they might live wholly for God.
Witness FOTF's 4/14/92 full-page newspaper ad in USA Today
titled "In Defense of a Little Virginity," in which Dobson opined:
'Let's clean up the world's behavior,' without attempting to get at the root
cause -- SIN! The ad promotes pre-marital sexual abstinence to a culture without
Christ, and which, therefore, has neither the resources nor the power to
abstain. Dobson appears to be so caught up in the social aspect of good
causes that he tends to forget that the soul must be placed before the body;
i.e., he has ended up promoting a social, psychological, middle-class American
moralistic gospel that cannot save! -- it can't save the home, the family,
or the nation, but can certainly stand in the way of the true Gospel. [See also
the report analyzing Focus
on the Family's 1994 Video, "Sex, Lies & The Truth," another
worldly, "moralistic" production that ignores the sin issue, and,
moreover, is soft-core "pornographic" in its own right! See also the
10/95 issue of Focus on the Family magazine, wherein rock music
star CeCe Winas is featured in an advertisement with a very low neckline and a
bare stomach. Apparently for Dobson, only hard-core pornography is wrong.]
- One wonders how lewd or vulgar something has to be for Dobson to disapprove of it. In Dobson's 1978 book Preparing for Adolescence, a book obviously targeted at 10-13 year-olds, Dobson says, "... we need to talk very plainly about the subject of sexual intercourse. ... I'm going to be treating you like adults and withholding no subject that is relevant to you." Dobson then goes on to graphically describe the act and feelings of a man and woman engaged in sexual intercourse (p. 82). (Is sexual intercourse really a subject that is relevant to a preteen "preparing for adolescence"? Would a Christian parent want to have their adolescents read this material?) Though promoting abstinence in Preparing for Adolescence, Dobson also condones masturbation, describes the "tingly feeling" one gets from it, and claims it's a "normal part of adolescence." Moreover, since it doesn't cause disease nor produce babies, Dobson believes it "is not much of an issue with God"! (pp. 86-87).
- Dobson wrote an article for Billy Graham's October 1988, Decision magazine, in which Dobson stated, "We are sexual creatures, and the physical attraction between males and females provides the basis for every dimension of marriage and parenthood." (Emphasis added.) The Bible knows nothing of this evolutionary, humanistic theology. [Dobson and wife Shirley also shared their testimonies at the 6/94 Graham Crusade in Cleveland before a crowd of 55,000 at Cleveland Stadium.]
- Dobson supports and encourages participation in Operation Rescue and other avenues of civil disobedience. (Although there are numerous cases of civil disobedience in the Scriptures, it was never engaged for the purpose of forcing an ungodly society to obey Biblical principles.) Since Operation Rescue's stated purpose is to create social upheaval, and thereby pressure governments into changing the abortion laws, Dobson's philosophy seems to be one of "the end justifies the means."
- Dobson has taken to favorably extolling the virtues of German neo-orthodox theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (9/97, FOTF magazine, pp. 10-12). We also see in the 6/98 FOTF magazine that its 3-hour radio drama "Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom" was named a winner of the 57th annual Peabody Awards, and a "Bonhoeffer" CD and cassette are promoted. This is all in spite of the fact that Bonhoeffer was a rank apostate who denied or questioned nearly every major doctrine of the historic Christian faith! He was also one of the fathers of the "Death of God" theology, opposed institutional religion, and stressed existential "religionless" Christianity.
- Dobson appears to have a close and non-critical relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and its ecumenical agenda:
(a) In the late 1980s, Dobson helped form the Religious Alliance Against Pornography which included Roman Catholic priests and bishops. The 1986 meeting was held in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Dobson praised the unity which was present at that meeting and stated that "there has been great camaraderie among the top leaders of virtually all religious groups" in the U.S. (1/87, Focus on the Family). Of this alliance Jerry Kirk said, "Never before have we seen Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Greek Orthodox and (Mormon) leaders come together in such agreement and cooperation on an issue." Also represented at the meeting were the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Council of Churches, the Southern Baptist Convention, and Charismatics. A Catholic archbishop called the alliance "an ecumenical miracle" (8/22/98, FBIS).
(b) Dobson has frequently welcomed Roman Catholics and Mormons on his radio show, welcoming all as members of "the family of God." In late 1989, Dobson offered a calendar with a peculiarly Mormon slogan, "Families Are Forever," which summarizes the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression of Mormon "temple-sealed" families (4/15/91, Calvary Contender). Dobson is also the possessor of an honorary doctorate from the Roman Catholic (Franciscan) University of Steubenville in Ohio, and was featured in a 9/90 five-page article (with cover photo) in the Catholic charismatic magazine New Covenant. (Reported in The Fundamentalist Digest, November-December 1991.)
(c) In the 11/89 issue of FOTF's Clubhouse magazine for children, a smiling "Mother" Teresa was on the cover, and the lead article was entitled, "Teresa of Calcutta: Little Woman with a Big Heart." The readers of this magazine were made to think that Mother Teresa was a genuine New Testament Christian and that she was doing a great work for God through her Sisters of Charities mission. "Mother" Teresa was, in reality, a New Age pantheist who considered Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and other religions all to be acceptable ways to God. This is a great deception. She also preached the false sacramental gospel of Rome and had given multitudes of people a false comfort by encouraging them to place their hopes in such vanities as the Roman Catholic mass and the Roman Catholic Mary. It is an abomination before God for Dobson to feature this woman in his magazine.
(d) Protestant-turned-Catholic Scott Hahn, a theology professor at Franciscan University, and a very popular guest on evangelical radio programs across the country, began one interview by gushing over the fact that his Catholic school has impressed leading evangelicals James Dobson and Chuck Colson. He quoted Dobson as noting that "he had never seen a campus where the students take the Lordship of Jesus Christ so seriously." Hahn then added that Colson had nominated the Catholic university for membership in the Evangelical College Coalition because, "it really is a dynamic orthodox Catholic university that is as evangelical as it is Catholic." (Source: Scott Hahn interview, "Pittsburgh Talks," WORD-FM; as reported in the 4/96, The Berean Call.)
(e) The March 8-14, 1998, issue of the National Catholic Register contained an article about Catholic musicians. It noted that the following artists who move in Contemporary Christian Music circles are Roman Catholic: John Michael Talbot, Kathy Triccoli, Tom Booth, Tony Melendez, Sarah Hart, Danny Langdon, and Sheryl Crow. The article also noted that James Dobson and Focus on the Family has endorsed Kathy Triccoli and her music. The National Catholic Register also pointed out that Dobson endorses a Catholic youth magazine named "YOU!" (8/22/98, FBIS).
(f) Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Roman Catholic psychotherapist, was a major speaker at a November 1998 conference sponsored by James Dobson's Focus on the Family organization. Dobson held two more conferences in 1999 (on 8/14/99 and 11/6/99) in which Nicolosi was again featured. (See later in this report for more details.)
- In early-1993, Rabbi Howard Hirsch of Temple Shalom in Colorado
Springs, and the Catholic Bishop of Colorado Springs, Richard C. Hanifen, were
outraged that "Jewish and Catholic youth were being evangelized at
school." They met with "Christian" leaders in Colorado Springs
(there were 72 national and international "Christian" associations
headquartered there at the time) and all agreed that such evangelization was
improper! Christian students were rebuked for trying to rescue their school
friends from a Christless eternity (11/95, The Berean Call).
Then in April of 1993, a "Covenant of Mutual Respect" was drawn up in which the parties agreed to respect one another's diverse beliefs and to avoid "polarization"! Dobson/FOTF (along with Hirsch and Hanifen) was a signatory to this agreement. (Imagine Peter, James, and John, when forbidden by the Sanhedrin to preach the gospel, signing an agreement to cease such activities out of respect for diverse beliefs among Roman citizens!) The "Covenant" read that a network of organizations in the Colorado Springs area "are heralding an entirely new form of socialistic Christianity" (i.e., ecumenism for social activism), and that those in the organization "seek to share insights and learn from each other in a spirit of goodwill and mutual respect, thus living out this scriptural heritage. It is our hope and prayer that in so doing we will provide a positive model of public discourse that stands upon the foundation of our common Judeo-Christian heritage. ... a willingness to listen and learn from each other, to the end that we may manifest the ministry of reconciliation." Hanifen was quoted as saying his hope for the future is to "explore all kinds of issues to learn the values of various faiths and how they view the Scripture." Bottom line, Dobson is not only ignoring fundamental differences of belief in order to unite for common causes, but has now become a party to muzzling the gospel.
Crusade founder Bill Bright fasted 40 days during the summer of 1994, during
which he claims to have received a "prophecy from God" that a mighty
revival is coming. He then issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics,
and new-evangelicals to gather in Orlando 12/5/94-12/7/94 to fast and pray for
revival. An Invitation Committee made up of a hodgepodge of 72 liberals, new
evangelicals, and charismatics was formed. Included
were: Robert Schuller, Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, James
Dobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill
Gothard, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, and Larry Burkett. CCC's Bill Bright cites
"a great sense of urgency to link arms and unitedly call upon God for help
in the spirit of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20)." This ecumenical
"linking" is in the "spirit of Jehoshaphat" indeed, but the
Jehoshaphat of 2 Chr. 18 (instead of 2 Chr. 20) where he "linked" with
wicked King Ahab and incurred the wrath of God. (Reported in the 11/15/94,
[Another three-day "Fasting & Prayer" conference was held in 11/95
in Los Angeles; it attracted 3,500 "evangelicals" and charismatics.
The Invitation/Host Committee for this event included most of those listed
above, plus Dick Eastman, Chuck Smith, Bill McCartney (Promise Keepers), Tim and
Beverly LaHaye, Shirley Dobson, Paul Cedar (E-Free), Ted Engstrom (World
Vision), Joseph Stowell (Moody), and Joseph Aldrich (Multnomah). A third
conference was held 11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis. New additions to the Host
Committee included Max Lucado, Henry Blackaby, Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Greg
Laurie, Dennis Rainey, Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers), Josh McDowell, D. James
Kennedy, Howard Hendricks, and Neil Anderson. (Conferences have been held every
year now, but there is an uncertain future with Bill Bright's planned retirement
(August, 2001) from Campus Crusade.)]
- More evidence of Dobson's ecumenical mindset came when workers for Dr. Dobson's Focus on the Family "cast their theological distinctives aside in order to achieve a common objective -- to help families," FOTF vice president Rolf Zettersten has said. The Alabama insert for Dobson's 6/90 Focus on the Family Citizen promoted a local ministry "dedicated to promoting unity within the body of Christ by uniting Christians in prayer together. [The "Christians" include Roman Catholics.] ... Right doctrines shouldn't be an issue" if you are born into "that" family. Furthermore, "an emphasis in doctrinal purity has been drilled into so many people that it has become a real obstacle and hindrance" (7/15/90, Calvary Contender). (Emphasis added.) [Another indication of Dobson's expanding ecumenism was an editorial in the 1/90 Citizen, which called Pope John Paul II, "the most eminent religious leader who names the name of Jesus Christ" -- a strange accolade for a man who denies that Christians can go directly to God with their petitions.]
- In response to a letter-writer's question concerning Dobson's views on salvation and Christ's second coming, Dobson responded in October 1989 that his ministry had made a deliberate decision to direct the attention of the ministry "away from matters of biblical interpretation and theology, choosing instead to concentrate our efforts exclusively on family-related topics." [FOTF answered similarly in 6/97 when asked Dobson's views on evolution -- "He has chosen to direct his efforts toward the strengthening of traditional values and the institution of the family rather than to discuss controversial theological topics" (Grey Gunn, FOTF letter on file).] This further affirms critic's claims that Dobson's ministry is not only not Biblically based, but in fact there is a deliberate effort to turn away from the Bible and get wisdom from somewhere else. Dobson is in effect saying, 'I'm no theologian, so don't nail me with this Biblical stuff; I'm giving you what works.' "However, such a decision does not free an avowed Christian ministry to the family from basing its teachings on Scripture. It is an admission to placing the Bible in a secondary position to the psychological wisdom of men. Apparently Dobson does not agree that the Bible is sufficient for understanding human nature and guiding behavior" (Prophets of PsychoHeresy II, p. 146). [Notwithstanding Dobson's theological disclaimer, he does have a theology: "... he teaches a doctrine of man which is both psychological and theological ... man [according to Dobson] is central and God serves to help people overcome inferiority and develop self-esteem and self-acceptance" (Prophets II, p. 142). In addition, Dobson is a Nazarene, meaning he denies the doctrine of total hereditary depravity -- the doctrine of salvation that is wholly of grace; he also denies the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints (eternal security).]
- The primary basis of Dobson's "ministry" is his belief in the false gospel of self-esteem/self-worth. Though research clearly indicates, and the Bible clearly teaches, that both children and adults tend to esteem themselves more highly than they ought, Dobson believes just the opposite; he believes that feelings of inferiority (i.e., low self-esteem) and self-hatred (i.e., poor self-image) run rampant in society and are the basic causes of virtually every social malady. In the November 1988 issue of Focus on the Family magazine, Dobson says:
"Feelings of inferiority even account for outbreak of wars and international hatred. ... inferiority is the major force behind the rampaging incidence of rape today ... How about aggressive violence in American classrooms? ... Can it be attributed to the frustration of low self-esteem? I'm inclined to believe so. ... The examples are legion. That is why I have contended that social chaos in all its forms is increased when citizens feel inadequate and inferior. There are numerous other causes of course, but none so powerful." (Emphasis added.)
In fact, Dobson even goes to the extreme of attributing the attempted genocide of the Jews in Germany during WWII to the inferiority complex of Hitler! Dobson taught the same thing, almost word-for-word, in his 1979 book, Hide or Seek, page 165, and in the 2/94 Focus on the Family Bulletin. And in the 10/94 FOTF magazine, Dobson made another incredible statement about self-esteem:
"... some things in life are more important than academic excellence, and self-esteem is one of them. A child can survive, if he must, without knowing a noun from a verb, but if he doesn't have some measure of self-confidence and personal respect, he won't have a chance in life."
- The Bobgans accurately portray Dobson's worldview as, "a
psychological viewpoint influenced by underlying ideologies of the Freudian
unconscious, Adlerean inferiority, and the humanistic belief in the
intrinsic goodness of man and the universal victimization
of the individual by parents and society. The culprit is society (mainly
parents) and the diagnosis is low self-esteem with feelings of inferiority and
inadequacy. In fact, those feelings are presented as overwhelming and
uncontrollable and thus causing rebellion. Therefore, the universal solution to
personal problems, rebellion, unhappiness, and hostility presented throughout
Dobson's books is raising self-esteem" (Prophets II, pp. 24
- All one has to do is read Hide or Seek to understand Dobson's total reliance on the false gospel of self-esteem:
"... whenever the keys to self-esteem are seemingly out of reach for a large percentage of the people, as in twentieth-century America, then widespread 'mental illness,' neuroticism, hatred, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and social disorder will certainly occur. Personal worth is not something human beings are free to take or leave. We must have it, and when it is unattainable, everybody suffers. ... a sizable proportion of all human activity is devoted to the task of shielding us from the inner pain of inferiority. I believe this is to be the most dominant force in life" (Hide or Seek, pp. 20-21, 152). (Emphasis added.)
To the contrary, the Bible teaches that sin is "the most
dominant force" in human life (Rom. 3:10-18,23; 7:18,24; Jer. 17:9, Eph.
2:1-3; 5:15-16, 1 Jn. 5:19), not "the pain of inferiority."
Nevertheless, Dobson thinks he has the answer: "The heart of this book ...
is devoted to a description of ten comprehensive 'strategies' for building
self-esteem" (Hide or Seek, p. 21). Evidently, Christ is not all
we need. We also (according to Dobson) need "self-esteem." What was
Paul's answer to anyone who adds anything to the gospel (i.e., anything to
Christ)? -- Galatians 1:9,10 -- anathema!
- In case there is still any question as to Dr. Dobson's perspective and teaching on self-esteem:
"If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, I would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth ... I have no doubt that this is their greatest need" (What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women, p. 35).
"Feelings of self-worth and acceptance ... provide the cornerstone of a healthy personality. ... it is apparent that emotional problems usually originate from ... an inability to gain acceptance and respect from peers. ... I have observed the most powerful influence to emanate from ego needs" (Dr. Dobson Answers Your Questions, pp. 168, 191, 435).
- The March 1999 edition of Focus on the Family
ran an advertisement for its "Tenth Annual Counseling Enrichment
Program," a program for those involved with Christian counseling.
This advertisement stated, "The program is designed to enhance the
skill and effectiveness of Christian counselors by assisting them in the integration
of biblical principles with core psychological concepts" (emphasis
mine). Notice that this influential magazine can unashamedly market its
conference as one that integrates the Bible with "psychological
concepts." This shows how far the church has come in denying the
sufficiency of the Bible.
So, shouldn't there be an award for all this wonderful psychobabble Dobson has perpetrated on the church. -- Now there is. In 1997, an award was established for "Service in Christian Psychology." The award will be presented annually to recognize Christian psychologists who are engaged in "sacrificial Christian service." Six recipients were initially recognized and awarded $2,500 each: Elizabeth Dole, James Dobson, Art Linkletter, D. James Kennedy, Gary Collins, E.V. Hill, Clyde Narramore, and Charles Colson. (Source: 12/29/97, Christian News.) So, along with his other "achievements," Dobson is now also recognized as a "sacrificial" psychobabbler.
- Walt Disney Pictures' The Lion King sold 20 million
copies in its first week of release for retail on video, and has become one of
the best-selling videos ever. But millions of children who watch it will be at
great risk. Though it is artistically amazing, its New
Ageism, Neo-paganism, Hinduism, pantheism/environmentalism, astrology, and
occult imagery is devastating! Adding insult to injury is a subtle but definite
promotion of homosexuality. An admitted homosexual produced parts of the
soundtrack, and two "outcasts" (Timon and Pumbaa) represent
homosexuals and the "intolerant discrimination" they experience in our
society. Sodomite Ernie Sabell, the voice of the Wart Hog in the film (Pumbaa)
admitted: "These are the first homosexual Disney characters ever to come on
the screen." (Reported in the 4/15/95, Calvary Contender.)
[The Disney Senior V.P. who played a major role in marketing The Lion King
died in 1/95 of AIDS. His obituary asked that donations be made to a homosexual
group (10/95, Perilous Times, p. 8).] (See report
by Berit Kjos for an excellent analysis of The Lion King.)
Al Dager, editor of Media Spotlight, said this about Disney's 1994 occult/New Age "children's animation" film:
"The Lion King packs powerful New Age symbolism and philosophy. Its theme, the 'Circle of Life,' is a variation on the cycles of nature: life, death, and rebirth, particularly as it relates to the theory of evolution. The film presents this theme from the perspective of nature religion more so than Disney films of the past -- 'We are all connected in the great circle of life.' The accoutrements of shamanistic ritualism is graphically portrayed in the dedication of the baby Simba to the spirits of the earth" (Media Spotlight, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 3).
Dobson, on the other hand, encouraged parents to take their children to see The Lion King! The 8/15/94 issue of Parental Guidance (a magazine published and edited by FOTF, and since renamed Plugged In) says:
"The lion's share of this movie focuses on positive themes that can be used to teach children a variety of valuable, at times biblical, lessons. ... These two film favorites [including Pinocchio] share one other commonality -- a mild dose of magic. ... The Lion King does include a few crude moments -- munching on bugs and worms ... large belch[es] ... comical references to the warthog's flatulence problem [gas]. They are minor, but parents will want to discourage children from imitating these behaviors. ... Despite a few slight imperfections, The Lion King is a wholesome, brilliantly animated picture relating the importance of family and responsibility."
"A few slight imperfections"? Like the teaching of shamanistic
ritual, necromancy, spiritualism, and occult fantasy?
One wonders if Dobson has any discernment at all. [The cover story in the 4/95 Focus
on the Family magazine also promotes The Lion King as a good
family movie! Also, the 11/95 issue of Brio (published by FOTF for
teen girls) had an article on the "Christian" girl who was the singing
voice of the young Nala in the movie; this very favorable article appears to be
saying that it's okay to see the movie because a Christian helped out on it.]
- The 1998 animated film on the life of Moses, The Prince of Egypt, was made with input from evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims. The anti-God filmmaker, DreamWorks, taking great care not to offend these religious groups, took considerable liberties with the Biblical account. It pressured an evangelical publisher, working on a children's book tie-in, to eliminate references to God as "He" and some references to God as "Lord" (12/98, What In The World!) To meet politically correct feminist criteria for an acceptable god, it has YHWH saying, "... I am the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah" (12/98, Media Spotlight). Billy Graham, James Dobson, and Jerry Falwell were also consulted, and all praised the movie. (Reported in the 1/15/99, Calvary Contender.) (For an excellent analysis of The Prince of Egypt, see Berit Kjos report.)
- How much of the true gospel message is promoted through Focus on the
Family? "The Garden Song" was handed out to the people in the FOTF
distribution center (1993) to be sung. Some of the words of this song are:
"Grain for grain sun and rain; find my way in nature's chain; Tune my body
and my brain; to the music of the land." The phrase "find my way in
nature's chain" seems to be a reference to evolution! [Of course, this
shouldn't surprise anyone, since Dobson is a "theistic evolutionist"
(see section on Hugh Ross).]
Another verse in "The Garden Song" states: "Plant your rows straight and long; season with a pray'r and song; Mother Earth will make you strong; if you give her loving care." The mention of Mother Earth is a clear indication of the pagan/New Age orientation of this song. There is no credit given to God who makes all things to grow, but instead it's "Mother Earth" who will "make you strong."
Other New Age items have been promoted through FOTF. For instance, in the 1/93 Focus on the Family magazine there was an advertisement for a new publication entitled A Better Tomorrow. This magazine, marketed to Christian high school seniors, advocated yoga, biofeedback, affirmations, imagery, etc., and had an article by Norman Vincent Peale (the late New Ager, 33rd degree Mason, and publisher of Guideposts magazine) in its very first issue! Dobson has also endorsed The Natural Childbirth Book. On the cover is a picture of the occult yin/ yang symbol. (Reported in "Is Dr. Dobson Focusing On Your Family?," an article by Dr. Cathy Burns, which was also printed in the 10/9/95, Christian News, pp. 10-11.) [In Goddess Earth, Samantha Smith documented that the New Age El Pomar Foundation provided a $4 million grant to relocate Focus on the Family to Colorado Springs in 1991 (p. 185).]
- On Dobson's 1/15/94 radio program, FOTF highly recommended The Healing Journey for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Daryl E. Quick, which was made available through FOTF. This book advocates visualization, which is a form of creating your own reality. Llewellyn New Times, a New Age magazine which openly promotes witchcraft and all kinds of occultic practices, writes: "Visualization is the essence of the ability of bending reality to will. Do you know people who have extraordinary luck? Things always seem to work out for them. That is because whether they are conscious of it or not, they create their own reality with Creative Visualization." Another issue of this magazine reminds us that visualization "is a simple yet potent form of magick. All it requires is the use of your mind."
- Quest International is a nonprofit educational organization that has placed its Quest program in thousands of public schools. Quest also goes by the names: "Skills for Adolescence," "Skills for Growing," and "Skills for Living." Quest utilizes the techniques of visualization and guided imagery, and is very humanistic in its approach to learning. But this doesn't bother Dr. Dobson. Dobson, although not condemning nor endorsing Quest, claims that if Quest's techniques are used by professionals, they are okay. (Reported in "Little Known Facts About Focus on the Family," a 1/96 article by Dr. Cathy Burns, pp. 22-27.)
- Besides visualization and guided imagery, FOTF promotes various other occultic techniques, such as hypnosis and progressive relaxation. In the 3/95 issue of Breakaway, a magazine produced by FOTF for teen boys, a reader wrote in to ask if hypnosis was a sin. The editor answered that it depended on the situation, but was probably okay if done by a "well-qualified Christian therapist"! (sounds like "situation ethics").
In the 11/95 issue of Focus on the Family magazine, an article titled, "My Child Isn't Learning!," teaches an occult technique known as progressive relaxation, a Yoga method of relaxation which was derived from Hinduism, a pagan religion that worships literally millions of gods, including one's self.
- FOTF is also training its employees in the occult through its various Certification programs. FOTF employees are required to complete 15 hours of core courses in order to develop new competencies for career growth and development. At the end of the course descriptions, there is a list of 17 books located in the FOTF Human Resource Library. One of the books, The Encyclopedia of Group Activities, by J. William Pfeiffer, teaches over 150 activities dealing with fantasy exploration, sensory deprivation, gestalt, psychodrama, "values clarification," out-of-body experiences, and many other occult-/New Age-oriented concepts. Another course offered in 1995, "The Fine Art of Managing Change," is raw New Ageism. All these things relate to each other in that they all involve altered states of consciousness, the highway into the occult. (Reported in "Little Known Facts About Focus on the Family," a 1/96 article by Dr. Cathy Burns, pp. 8-19.) [Not part of the Certification program, but also offered to FOTF employees, are various "On-Site Opportunities," which include Weight Watchers, Massage Therapy, Aerobics, Anorexia/Bulimia Recovery Support groups, and Karate (whose roots are in Zen Buddhism)! -- 1/96, FOTF Health and Wellness News.]
- Dobson obviously believes in the "medical model" (which treats people as victims rather than sinners) as evidenced by his statements that everything from pornography and child molesting to love of one's own spouse, is, or can become, addictive. In fact, in his 1/23/89 interview with convicted child murderer Ted Bundy, the night before Bundy's execution, Dobson would not permit Bundy to accept any personal responsibility for any of the crimes he had committed. Instead, Bundy's behavior (according to Dobson) was due to an uncontrollable addiction to pornography caused by an immoral society which permitted him to be exposed to it. (As in his dealing with Ted Bundy, Dobson tends to place blame on society, not sin, for all the wicked things people do. Being a New Age psychologist who has Christianized his New Age psychobabble first, and being a Nazarene second, he will not admit the extent of the sinfulness of the human nature. According to Dobson, man does not sin because of his sin nature; he sins because of society.)
- On a FOTF radio program aired 1/29/96, Dobson and co-host Mike Trout conducted a program on "Addictive Behaviors." Guests were H.B. London, FOTF Pastoral Ministries head, and Dr. Ralph Earl of Psychological Counseling Services, Scottsdale, AZ (Ph.D. Pastoral Psych/M.Div. Harvard Divinity School). Dobson introduced Dr. Earl as one who "specializes in sex therapy and other addictions." (Dobson, himself, was introduced as he always is on the program -- "psychologist and author, James Dobson" -- it seems that not even FOTF wants to call Dobson a Christian.) Some of the most outrageous, unbiblical, and unChristian statements were made on this program. Here is a sample:
Dobson: "Gambling is only one addictive behavior; of course there are many others in addition to drugs, alcohol -- addictions to spending and to shopping, and addictions to food ... because of the cultural environment in which we live, and the list is almost endless. ... a problem that is gripping humanity ... sexual addiction. It is rampant in our society at this time."
Trout: "It gets a hold of you [sexual addiction] and sometimes it just doesn't let go."
Dobson: "It does! ... Pornography, I believe, is one of the most addictive forces in human experience. ... For some 13 year-old boys, one exposure to pornographic material can grab and hold him for a lifetime, every bit as much as cocaine and heroine or some of the drugs ... the matter of sexual addiction among pastors, because it's a serious problem there."
Earl: "There's an epidemic ... One thing about sex addiction, it's progressive ... it's always in intimacy disorders, always about hurting somebody else and self."
During Earl's 25 years of practice, he claims to have treated more than 200 pastors with "sexual addictions of various sorts." Pastors with "sexual addictions"? Are these perverse men not aware of what the Bible teaches about slavery (a.k.a. addiction) to sin (cf. Rom. 6)? Sexual immorality and/or perversion is not an addiction or disease; it is SIN! Earl makes it very clear that these pastors will never overcome their "sexual addiction" until they get into therapy. And then the best they can hope for is to have the "addiction" go into "remission ... just as those who have cancer ... go to a physician."
[A few years later, Mike Trout must have contracted a little of that
"sexual addiction" disease himself. The Religious News Service
reported in October of 2000 that the 53 year-old Trout resigned his 19-year
position as senior VP of the broadcast division of FOTF after admitting to
"an inappropriate relationship with a woman other than his wife." FOTF
was quick to state that this was not a corporate problem, but a personal one .]
- Dobson not only believes "alcoholism" to be a "disease" (in spite of the fact that the Scriptures call "drunkenness" a sin), but even recommends Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a viable treatment option for Christians! (He even considers AA to be a place where non-Christians might find Christ!) This recommendation comes in spite of the overwhelming evidence that not only is AA largely ineffective in treating over-drinking, but that the atmosphere of almost all AA centers is consistently unbiblical, if not outright anti-Christian. [AA is proud of its ability to lead men to see their need of a Higher Power and encourages group members to discover or define for themselves what or who that Higher Power is. Dobson evidently has no conception of the New Age concepts being promoted by AA that are leading AA members to accept false gods (i.e., a kind of "Star Wars Force") as a substitute for the true, living, personal God of the Bible.]
- Dobson is a primary supporter of David Seamands, the "Church's" leading proponent of Healing of the Memories/Inner Healing (which technique uses one or more psychological and/or occultic techniques, such as regression, visualization, guided imagery, dream analysis, and the various Gestalt therapies consisting of primal scream, ventilation, role plays, etc.). Various other "memory-healers"/"memory interpreters" have been regular contributors of articles to Dobson's Focus on the Family magazine, and have made numerous appearances on Dobson's daily radio program (e.g., Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson, authors of Unlocking the Secrets of Your Childhood Memories, a book based upon various discredited Freudian theories).
- Dobson is a primary supporter and endorser of so-called Christian psychologist, Gary Smalley, the "Church's" leading proponent of Right-Brain/Left-Brain pseudoscience. This right-brain/left-brain myth, which claims to describe personality types by brain hemisphere dominance, as well as give insights to male/female communication effectiveness, has been thoroughly discredited by secular neuroscientists (to say nothing of the fact that it has no support in Scripture). The popularization of right-brain/left-brain has been largely due to the book, The Language of Love, co-authored by Smalley and fellow psychologist, John Trent. (Both also have theological degrees, but apparently believe that the Bible alone is insufficient to handle people's problems of living.) The Language of Love was published and promoted by Dobson's Focus on the Family Publishing, and Smalley and Trent have been frequent guests on Dobson's radio program (as has pop psychologist, Dr. Donald Joy, credited by Smalley and Trent as being the source of their right-/left-brain information). Similar right-brain/left-brain nonsense is frequently propagated over the Focus on the Family airways by another Dobson favorite, H. Norman Wright, former pastor turned psychologist.
[In the second edition of The Language of Love, due largely to the discrediting of the right-brain/left-brain silliness, all references to such were removed. Unfortunately, this "revision" was only cosmetic. The delusion that "emotional word pictures" are the key to relationships and spiritual growth, remains the false message of this deceptive book. (Reported in the January 1992, CIB Bulletin.) In late-1994, Smalley and Trent appeared on Dobson's radio program for a three-day series (11/16/94-11/18/94) titled "Learning to Communicate." They again promoted The Language of Love and again told how to communicate effectively through the use of "emotional word pictures."]
- David Jeremiah, then the president of Christian Heritage College and Bible teacher on the "Turning Point" radio and television programs, appeared on James Dobson's 4/28/92 and 4/29/92 Focus on the Family radio programs to discuss Jeremiah's book Exposing the Myths of Parenthood. On the 4/28 program, "Jeremiah's Myth #10" was examined: "To be loved is not necessarily to feel loved" ("the only love you can use is the love you can feel," according to Jeremiah). Dobson then disclosed his own "theory" of why he thought children could, "by every objective standard," be loved by their parents, yet not feel loved -- it is due to "hormonal influence," like "pre-menstrual disequilibria," which then causes most of a child's low self-esteem problems! Dobson concluded: "... if my guess is correct ... that there is a hormonal explanation for a lot of that rebellious behavior, and especially the low self-esteem ... [then] it's temporary ... this is a developmental imbalance that's going on ... this is why it is of no value whatsoever to say to [rebellious kids], 'Why are you acting this way?' ... all they know is that they feel these things passionately inside." In effect then, Dobson was saying that there is no personal responsibility for sin! Instead, 'My hormones made me do it! ' Dobson agreed with Jeremiah's conclusion: "... you accept the fact that it can be hormonal and just keep on working as hard as you can to communicate love at a feeling level."
- Dobson's Focus on the Family has endorsed and heavily promoted Hugh Ross's 1989/1991 book, The Fingerprint of God, which is a polemic for progressive creationism/theistic evolution, and thereby, is a denial of orthodox Christianity's literal/factual/historical interpretation of the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis. Dobson has also given Ross a forum (the Focus on the Family radio program) to espouse this heresy. For example, on April 17-18 of 1991, Ross appeared on Dobson's program, at which time Dobson boasted that Focus on the Family helped give Ross's ministry ("Reasons to Believe") the initial publicity boost it needed to get started. Dobson also said that he agrees "in an unqualified way" that the Earth is 3.5 to 4 billion years old. He also did not quarrel with Ross's claim that physical death fully existed long before Adam and that God was fully responsible for this order of things! In response to a critical letter from the Bible-Science Newsletter, a Dobson spokesperson said that since the first eleven chapters of Genesis can be taken to be a form of poetry, and not necessarily factual history, Dobson was, thereby, justified in making a figurative rather than a literal interpretation of them!
On a 9/92 FOTF program (tape:CS721), Ross was a guest along with ICR's (Institute for Creation Research) Dr. Duane Gish, in order to debate the "Origin of the Universe." Dobson posed the question of the "scientific" necessity of a distant origin, without it being theologically prescribed. Ross's response was that "No, it's important for both. I can't have the Bible consistent with a thousands of years old universe." Ross was straight forwardly saying, "The universe is billions of years old and the Bible teaches that, or I can no longer with integrity hold to the veracity of the Bible." Ross, by his own words, places science (so-called) over the Bible, rather than placing science under the Word of God where it belongs.
Ross also commented that ICR's approach to astronomy and astrophysics would absolutely never be seriously entertained by the scientific community at large (and Dobson agreed!). This was all said in a tone of voice that clearly implied the idea that ICR was ignorant, backwoods, behind the times, and an obstruction to the speeding of a more enlightened Christian scientific position.
In August of 1996, Ross was again on Dobson's radio program, telling his view on some new "Mars rocks" that were found in Antarctica. Scientists at the time were saying that the rocks they found were from Mars and had traces of bacteria (long dead) in them. (See the 9/96, Acts & Facts for details.) Ross was telling Dobson his own theory about the rock's origin; i.e., that a big rock with life on it was broken off from the earth millions of years ago, and went to Mars; then at a later time, a piece came from Mars to earth. This laughable rendition was agreed to by Dobson. During the program, Dobson again endorsed Ross and his ministry, and after the program, FOTF sent out a fact sheet again referring to an earth age of "four billion years."
- Consistent with Dobson's endorsement of Hugh Ross is an article by
Marlo Schalesky in Dobson's 3/96, Teachers in Focus, which also
seems to suggest theistic evolution. In a "Teaching Evolutionary Theory
Without Scrapping Scripture" article, Schalesky explains how she taught her
students to "make a distinction between the realms of science and
religion." She then gave several examples. One of these examples is:
"Fossils seem to indicate that species have been changing for millions of
years ..." She then tells her students that this is "scientific."
She adds: "After teaching in this manner, I could answer, 'Who's to say how
God created everything? Did He 'poof' it into existence? Or did He use some kind
of evolutionary process similar to the ones we studied in class? The Bible
doesn't really say one way or another.'"
Not true! The Bible clearly states that God created everything in six literal days. There was no long, drawn-out evolutionary process that took place. The viewpoint expressed by Schalesky is definitely a theistic evolution (or progressive creation) theory. Although Dobson may not be aware of each article that is printed in his magazines, his name is listed as the "President and Publisher," so he is, thereby, responsible. (Source: 5/1/96, Calvary Contender; and 5/20/96, Christian News.)
Dobson's unbiblical position on Biblical creationism was reaffirmed recently.
Popular creationist Ken Ham is quoted as follows in the 9/18/00 Christian
News: "Recently I heaved a heavy sigh of disappointment when I heard
Mike Trout, James Dobson's announcer [at the time], highly recommend a book for
teenagers on the creation/evolution issue titled It Couldn't Just
Happen at the end of a Focus on the Family radio program (an interview
between Dr. Dobson and Philip Johnson). This book is also listed in Focus on the
Family's master book list as one that 'offers solid, biblical answers to
questions about the Big Bang Theory, dinosaurs and much more.' My heart sank as
I pictured thousands of eager moms and dads buying this book for their children.
And, what would they learn [from this book]?: (1) Noah's Flood could be local or
worldwide -- we can't know for sure; (2) The days of Creation could be ordinary
days or millions of years -- we can't know for sure; (3) The Earth could be
thousands or billions of years old -- we can't know. …" (Source:
10/15/00, Calvary Contender.)
- Dobson was a supporter and signatory of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation (WCF), an ecumenical amalgamation of professing Christians, humanists, atheists, New Agers, Eastern religionists, etc., whose stated goal is religious pluralism and tolerance in education, but all the while is promoting a new one world religion. Other "evangelical" signators and/or supporters with Dobson are Beverly LaHaye, Chuck Colson, and Billy Graham. [WCF no longer exists, but the curriculum has been passed on to a "new" organization, "The First Liberty Institute," headed by New Ager Dr. Charles C. Haynes. (First Liberty is located at George Mason University, which was originally designated as "national teacher training and out-reach center" for WCF. Its New Age/One World curriculum, "Living With Our Deepest Differences: Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society," is being offered to America's public schools by the National Council on Religion and Public Education, a Liberty Institute organization, and has been accepted by the California State Board of Education.)]
- In 1995, there was a concert held for the employees at FOTF's headquarters in Colorado Springs. The FOTF "Events Management Memo" stated:
"This Thursday, June 15 , at 12 noon there will be another great noontime concert! Focus employees and guests will have an opportunity to watch authentic Polynesian dancing performed by the Island Breeze Ministries in the Chapelteria from 12:00-1:00 pm. ... Island Breeze is a ministry of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), founded by Sosene & Becky Le'au in 1979 in American Samoa. Don't miss this great opportunity to experience another culture's way of spreading the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
Spreading the Gospel through Polynesian dancing? The concert seemed to be
more of a pagan dancing session than anything else. One person who attended this
concert wrote: "This group came complete with loud music, many drums types
(sic) and what they called 'kingdom fun.' The 100-plus decibels (sic) included
'aerobics' (sic) in which volunteers standing in position kicked up first one
leg and then the other much like a 'chorus' line-up. Visiting kids and Focus
adults took part in this event. The 'modest' grass skirts worn by four of their
party became fast moving female behinds along with four males whose body
movements were suggestive -- all to the beat of the music." (Reported in
"Is Dr. Dobson Focusing On Your Family?," an article by
Dr. Cathy Burns, which was also printed in the 10/9/95, Christian News,
pp. 10-11.) [At the FOTF daily devotions meeting held on 1/9/96 (attendance
required), Dobson brought in John Bayley, a "Christian Reggae Artist,"
- Dobson and FOTF are also endorsers of rap music -- a rap tape was produced by FOTF. As mentioned earlier, Breakaway is one of the magazines for teens published by FOTF (for teen boys 13 and older). In 1993, there was a "Radical Rap" contest where the readers of Breakaway were supposed to send in their original rap songs. Forty winners were then chosen and their raps were placed on a cassette tape which was called "Breakaway Raps." Along with these 40 winners, the Breakaway staff did their own rap song. This tape is extremely blasphemous -- especially the song by the Breakaway staff. At one point they refer to Jesus Christ as "the Big J.C." At another point they are talking about "the Word" and then one of the rappers chimes in with "Nerd." All this is done while talking about the Living Word -- who is Jesus Christ.
A little later on in the tape, the Breakaway staff is talking about the so-called Christian rap group DC Talk. One of the men mentions that another one of the staff had inside information about DC Talk. They then asked him what kind of underwear one of the DC Talk boys wears. He told them that he wears "green polka dot boxers" and then another guy brags that "You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen!" Is this even remotely Christian? (Eph. 4:29; 5:4) (Reported in "Is Dr. Dobson Focusing On Your Family?," an article by Dr. Cathy Burns, which was also printed in the 10/9/95, Christian News, pp. 10-11.)
- Chuck Colson, the ecumenical Catholic-sympathizer who co-authored the 1994 Catholic Evangelical Accord, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT), appeared with Dobson and gave the dedication speech for FOTF's Colorado Springs facility. An excerpt from that speech was printed in the 1/94 FOTF magazine. At the end of the article, under a picture of Dobson and Colson sitting together, FOTF says, "Chuck Colson, a longtime friend of Dr. Dobson, holds the record for being on the most 'Focus on the Family' broadcasts with 17 'appearances.'" Dobson has also promoted Colson's 1993 book, The Body: Being Light in Darkness, wherein Colson calls on evangelicals to join forces with orthodox Catholics and charismatics in the "common cause to combat cultural relativism [atheism & secularism]." [The 4/94 FOTF magazine carried a two-page article extolling the virtues of former Bush Administration official Bill Bennett (pp. 12-13). Bennett is a Roman Catholic, but this fact didn't prevent Dobson from publishing Bennett's book The Devaluing of America.]
Dobson and Colson also had big plans at one time for cleaning up the Church. Dobson reported that at a 5/23/96 FOTF Board meeting, the Board said that "the Lord appears to have ordained two people at this time to speak to the issue of righteousness -- Chuck Colson and myself" -- and urged Dobson to work with Colson concerning the possibility of doing stadium rallies in 1997; Dobson said Colson was very excited about that. Dobson also said that the Focus Board had decided that the church needed cleaning up, and that he (Dobson) and FOTF intended to take charge and make it happen, with "Chuck Colson's help." (Source: May-June 1996, Foundation magazine, pp. 6-12.) [The rallies were never held. An insider at FOTF at the time reports that the FOTF leadership was having trouble defining "righteousness."]
- Dobson wholeheartedly recommends the books of "Christian" psychiatrists, Paul Meier and Frank Minirth, and frequently hosts one or both of them on his radio program. Minirth and Meier are perhaps the "purest" of the Freudian psychologists in the church today, who by cleverly masquerading their discredited Freudianisms as "Christian" have gained widespread acceptability. (See Prophets of PsychoHeresy I, pp. 223-334, for an excellent analysis of Minirth & Meier's Freudian teachings with respect to the unconscious, infantile sexuality, psychic determinism, defense mechanisms, ventilation therapy, birth order, five stages of grief, etc.)
- Bill Hybels, the guru of the unbiblical "church growth" movement and a psychologizer like Dobson [e.g., Hybels extols the virtues of Jungian personality theory in his book Honest to God], is a frequent guest on Dobson's radio program. In 1993, Dobson also added Hybels to the Board of Directors of Focus on the Family.
- Freud's theories are gross distortions of Biblical anthropology and should be rejected by all Christians. One of the grossest distortions of God-given truth is Freud's theory of the Oedipus complex. No true child of God can long endure such an heretical formulation. Yet, we conclude from the following evidence that Dobson does:
(a) In a Dobson booklet, Raising Teenagers Right, he responds to a question concerning the time in the life of a child that the sexual nature develops: "No, it occurs long before puberty. Perhaps the most important scientific fact suggested by Freud was his observation that children are not asexual. He [Freud] stated that sexual gratification begins in the cradle and is first associated with feeding" (p. 13). Such a conclusion has little to do with science. The notion that babies connect feeding with sexual gratification is merely another evidence of Freud's obsession with sex. Yet, Dobson really believes this nonsense! (CIB Bulletin, Sept. 1990)
(b) In November of 1998, FOTF sponsored a conference titled "Homosexuality and Youth." One of the principal speakers at the conference was Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Roman Catholic psychotherapist who authored the Freudian-oriented book Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality. In Nicolosi's book and conference tapes, he reveals the Freudian roots of his theory. Nicolosi says: "Typically there is an overly close relationship between mother and son, with the father distant from both of them ... Perhaps one significant factor is the availability of mother when the boy of 2 or 3 is experiencing problems with the father. A receptive and over-sympathetic mother might provide such a haven of emotional security that the boy would find it easy to disengage totally from such a father" (pp. 28-29). Just as the Oedipus complex is the cornerstone of Freudian psychoanalysis, so too the Oedipus complex is the cornerstone of Reparative Therapy for Male Homosexuals. And, just as lifetime treatment is characteristic of Freudian psychoanalysis, so too is this true of reparative therapy. [Since the 11/98 conference, Dobson held two more conferences (on 8/14/99 and 11/6/99) on the same theme but with a new title, "Love Won Out." Featured at both conferences was the same Freudian therapist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Promoting a Freudian (Nicolosi), knowing that he is a Freudian, and that he will promote a Freudian view of homosexuality, is tantamount to promoting Freud, which Dobson has done. But do his supporters mind? Apparently not.]
Less than 50 years ago, proving that a leading evangelical loved Freud's Oedipal theory would be reason enough to question his entire ministry. However, the church has become too "sophisticated," too lukewarm, too worldly for that to occur. Today, such a revelation usually draws only a yawn or perhaps irritation over anyone daring to criticize. (Source: "James Dobson Promotes Freud," May-June 1999, PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter.)
always takes the gifts of God and attempts to use them specifically to achieve
what we want, i.e., to use them for our own comfort and/or power. Lest you doubt
that something as lovely as family could ever be used by godless men for selfish
purposes, consider the following from the bulletin insert entitled "The
Church Around the World," June 1999:
"James Dobson’s radio commentaries on the family are broadcast in China. Ai Jai is sanctioned by China’s Bureau of Radio and Television. Dobson, or Dr. Du as he is known in Chinese, is heard on more than four hundred facilities. The stations make up China National Radio, the government network. The government has asked Focus on the Family for permission to run the printed form regularly in the Beijing daily newspaper."
It is not Scripture that calls us to "turn our hearts toward home." All of Scripture agrees with David in Psalm 119:112 in saying, "I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end." Nowhere are we told in God's revealed Word to focus on the family. In fact, there has been no highway quite as broad anywhere for the Freudian heresy as the road that opens when the church makes marriage and family the focus and reason for existence, both for the individual and for the church itself. (Source: January-February 2000, PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter.)
Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among
professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the
core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular
psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a
"phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its
ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from
participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and
misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, James
Dobson is a promoter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's
movement -- FOTF has published Promise Keepers-sponsored books, radio programs
featuring Promise Keepers have been aired on FOTF radio, Dobson has written
numerous daily "devotionals" for publication in PK's bi-monthly Men
of Integrity ("your daily guide to the Bible and prayer"), and he
was a featured speaker at one of Promise Keepers National Conferences in
It appears that some of the nonsense associated with Promise Keepers has rubbed-off on Dobson. On 7/20/94-7/21/94, the FOTF radio program had on a "Christian" magician whose gimmick was putting handcuffs on people to "show" them about the bondage that young people were in. Dobson and co-host Mike Trout were sitting there in handcuffs, crying as they talked about drugs, homosexuality, and manhood. This is not normal behavior! [Dobson continues to endorse PK, regardless of the problems surrounding it -- see Dobson's 11/95, FOTF letter. Dobson and FOTF also sponsored (on 2/14/96) a three-hour evening reception for the approximately 40,000 pastors at PK's National Clergy Conference in Atlanta.]
- In the summer of 1996, FOTF started a PK look-alike ministry for women called "Renewing the Heart," with its three main purposes to "equip, encourage and evangelize." The first conference was held in Nashville in September of 1996 and attracted a sell-out crowd of 19,600 with another 20,000 requesting tickets. It featured Patsy Clairmont, Eva Self, Kay Coles James, Anne Graham Lotz and Shirley Dobson, as well as CCM artists. Five more "Renewing the Heart" conferences were held in 1998.
- In the 7/93 FOTF magazine, Dobson replied to a question
from a homosexual who was writing to protest "derogatory and demeaning
references to gay people." Dobson's reply to this sodomite is amazing. In
typical psychologically-positive fashion, Dobson began by saying, "More
than anything else, I appreciate the respectful, conciliatory and very Christian
attitude you conveyed in broaching an extremely emotional and controversial
subject with me." Can an unrepentant homosexual have a "Christian
attitude" about anything, let alone homosexuality? Homosexuals can
certainly be saved, but they will be born again, they will be changed, and they
will not continue in their sin and rebellion against the Word of God (1 Cor.
Dobson does not tell the homosexual that he disagrees with his understanding of Scripture, but instead says, "Let me simply say that the same Scriptures that condemn homosexuality and premarital heterosexuality also tell us to accept those who are in violation of these ordinances. Jesus was more compassionate toward the woman caught in the very act of intercourse -- a capital offense in those days -- than He was toward the hypocrites in the church. This is our model and our mandate." This is amazing! It is true that Christ was compassionate toward the woman caught in adultery, but Dobson fails to clarify that Christ instructed the adulterous woman to "go and sin no more." The adulterer, the homosexual, the thief, the murderer -- all can be saved. But God's Word to all sinners is "repent" and "go and sin no more," not acceptance! (O Timothy, Vol. 10, Issue 10, 1993).
- In 1992, Dobson formed a new team to minister to pastors and to help them "balance their competing roles as spouses, parents and spiritual leaders." This outreach is headed by Dobson's cousin, H.B. London, Jr., who also was Dobson's pastor at the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena, California, before assuming the new position in Dobson's organization. In an interview from his office at Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs, London said, "Every pastor deserves the right to be a father or a mother, a husband or a wife, along with their duties as a pastor." This reveals the compromise attitude of Focus on the Family toward Biblical teaching. God forbids a woman to be a pastor (1 Tim. 2:12), yet Focus on the Family refuses to require what God requires in pastoral leadership. Instead, they will "minister" to female pastors and encourage them in their rebellious positions in ruling over men. (Excerpted from O Timothy, Volume 9, Issue 8, 1992, p. 26.)
- On Dobson's 4/23/92 Focus on the Family radio program, he discussed Chapters 3 and 4 from his 1987 book Love for a Lifetime. Apparently, 12-step programs were also popular in the late-1980s -- Dobson detailed the "12 steps to romantic bonding," originally developed by pop psychologizer Dr. Donald Joy. These 12-steps are: eye to body contact/eye to eye/voice to voice/hand to hand/hand to shoulder/hand to waist/face to face/hand to head/hand to body/ mouth to breast/hand to genitals/sexual intercourse. Dobson explained two keys to understanding this "romantic bonding" process:
(1) He got them from Scripture! (no where does he document this); and
(2) No skipping of steps or getting out of order without risk of seriously damaging the later marriage relationship! (What if someone accidentally touched his girl friend's hair before he kissed her -- i.e., what if "hand to head" contact were made before "face to face" contact? Would that, as Dobson believes, irrevocably damage the future marriage relationship? What utter nonsense!)
- Norman Cousins is a globalist, new-age occultist and a leader in the
infamous human potential movement. His book, The Healing Heart,
also endorses all kinds of mind control techniques, including transcendental
meditation. He is also an evolutionist and a humanist. He enthusiastically says:
"We are seeing a new breed of scientific humanists and humanistic
scientists." On other occasions, Cousins refers to "the gods,"
which should be obvious where he stands on the issue of a personal and knowable
God. Cousins also helped found Planetary Citizens, an organization whose purpose
is to aid the "World Servers everywhere." The purpose of the World
Servers is to serve as the "vanguard for the reappearance of the
Christ" -- the New Age Christ.
On 9/17/84, Cousins was scheduled to be on Dobson's FOTF radio show. Many calls of protest were received at Focus and, at the last minute, the program was pulled. However, one year later this program was sneaked into the schedule. This time the program listing didn't mention Norman Cousins' name, so no one knew to protest it. Dobson played a 20-minute segment from a Cousins' four-hour tape series. The theme of this segment was the ways in which thoughts affect physical health. Much of the teaching was quite similar to that of the human potential movement and holistic health. Cousins even related a story of mind over matter, where a person used "mind control" to manage pain and control bleeding. This should have been easily recognized by Dobson and/or the Focus on the Family staff for what it was -- a promotion of a New Age technique used by yogis and other occultists, and practiced by witch doctors for thousands of years! Instead, listeners were told by the announcer introducing the tape (Dobson's co-host, Gil Moegerly), "We are fully aware that Norman Cousins does not come from an evangelical Christian perspective, but All Truth is God's Truth. If it's true, it came from God, and the next twenty minutes we feel are true and valuable and will make a contribution in your life."
Even worse, another endorsement was given at the end of the program, along with a toll-free telephone number. It supposedly had been stipulated that Dobson provide the telephone number in order to use the Cousins' segment. The number was that of the Nightingale-Conant Corporation. A catalog of their videos was sent to those calling the number. This catalog contained videos on yoga, affirmations, positive thinking, and other New Age oriented techniques. One wonders how many people received this catalog, and were subsequently led into occult techniques, thanks to the indiscretion of Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family. (Reported in "Is Dr. Dobson Focusing On Your Family?," an article by Dr. Cathy Burns, which was also printed in the 10/9/95, Christian News, pp. 10-11.)
Conclusion : Dobson's ministry is loaded with false teaching. He has been confronted many times by Christian leaders and has rejected every rebuke. He is causing divisions by his worldly teachings that are contrary to sound doctrine and, therefore, he must be avoided (Rom. 16:17; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). Further, his works are works of darkness ("destructive heresies" -- 2 Pe. 2:1-4) which we should have no fellowship with, but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11). He is a deceiver who claims to be a Christian whose mouth must be stopped, who is subverting whole houses teaching things which he ought not. He professes to know God, but in his works, he denies Him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:10-16). He is preaching another gospel other than that which we have received; therefore, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8,9).
Although Dobson professes to be a Christian, he continually denies Jesus Christ by adding to His Word the philosophy and false teaching of the world. He, thus, is a type of Antichrist (2 John 7). He transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ. Therefore, the Scripture says he hath not God (2 John 9), and those who bid him well, support him, or sponsor him are partakers of his evil deeds (2 John 11). We are called by God to hate every false way (Psa. 119:104,127,128,163). Is Dobson's way a false way? We believe with all our hearts before God that it is.
* Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of Dobson's teachings are two books by Martin & Deidre Bobgan (EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA): Prophets of PsychoHeresy II: Critiquing Dr. James C. Dobson (1990, 310 pages); and James Dobson's Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology (Revised:1998, 243 pages).