Isn't Repentance, Replacement, and Restoration God's Reparative Therapy?

reparative_therapyI hear the term “Reparative Therapy” being tossed around quite a bit these days.  In essence, it’s about helping some to change a behavior that others find contradictory to their own established norms.  In most cases, the one receiving therapy has entered into it on their own accord because they recognize that something within needs changing.  I understand that is many cases, “Reparative Therapy” is associated with forceful tactics hyper-moral compulsion, and bigotry, but this does not undermine its core concept.  Does it?

Isn’t what God does with sinful human beings “Reparative Therapy?”  I accept that the word “Therapy” may actually minimize the infinite-ness of what God does, but in essence when God grants repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) (Acts 11:18) (Romans 2:4), replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19) (Jeremiah 24:7) (Ezekiel 36:26), restores us (Job 33:26) (Lamentations 5:21) (Galatians 6:1-3), and causes us to walk in His ways (1 Kings 3:14 ) (Ezekiel 36:27) (Hosea 14:9), isn’t that all reparative?

God’s reparative therapy hurts.  But likewise, that pain doesn’t negate it’s divine origin or purpose.  At times, God does this through the agency of people.

In his book, “Wounds That Heal: Bringing Our Hurts to the Cross,” Stephen Seamands says:

As we abide in Him, so Christ, the one who opened himself to unimaginable dread and despair, abides in us.  His courage and determination is imparted to us.  As we stand beneath the cross like a patient facing a painful operation, we are able to say to Jesus, our great physician and surgeon, “I am ready.”  In Christ, we can open our arms to embrace pain and endure the suffering necessary for healing.  Christ’s grace not only enables us to embrace endure suffering, it also transforms us through our suffering.  Suffering we feared would be destructive becomes redemptive (reparative). 

Those who seek spiritual change must know that it costs everything! (Luke 17:33).  Those who know what’s right and fail to do it are complicit in the sin. (James 4:17)  Those who call good evil, and evil good have been warned by God and are still under warning (Isaiah 5:20)

So, Isn’t Repentance, Replacement, and Restoration God’s Reparative Therapy?

0 thoughts on “Isn't Repentance, Replacement, and Restoration God's Reparative Therapy?

  1. David Woods says:

    I don’t know that it’s that much of a Doctor-Patient relationship. And I think we have more to do than just repent. Not to “earn our salvation” of course. I do believe in the finished work of the cross. But I don’t think He died so that we could have a Doctor-Patient relationship either. It may seem like that at times, of course, but I think we can make it easier or harder on Him depending on how much we dramatize each step of it, and how obedient we are or aren’t moment to moment. If anything was left out of this post, I think it was daily obedience because of our hatred for sin, and our love for good (and God) as is Biblically mandated.
    Amos 5:15
    Proverbs 8:13
    Psalm 97:10 among others I’m sure.
    God judges the heart, and I think we are to do more than just allow Him to change us. After salvation, I think we have a mandate to be who He tells us, moment by moment (and according to Scripture) to be.

  2. Well, I don’t see it as therapy so much as surgery. He gave me a heart transplant and the new one seems to do its utmost to beat in time with his heart.

    Amazing what they can do these days! The Father, Son and Spirit, that is. They’re a team to be reckoned with for sure 🙂

  3. Eli says:

    short answer… No. Have to twist the meaning to fit those theological/biblical terms.
    If one looks at reparative therapy in how it is generally understood and practised, I shudder to think if that was how god dealt with us.
    Should we primarily approach God as a means to correct bad behavior. God sent his son, not just theological terminology we can apply to behavioural issues.
    I tend to think of god engaging us more so in terms of transformation than therapy.

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