Christian Response To Freud: ID, Superego, And Ego Theory In Psychology by David Lee Chu Sarchet
If you have had any kind of training in the discipline of Psychology, the chances that the name Sigmund Freud has come across your radar are very high. Freud is a very controversial figure in Christian circles because of his anti-Christian and sexualized views on the human nature. However, not everything Freud has taught was anti-biblical.
I believe that although he was an unregenerate man, he did have some keen insights into the human mind. But for those of who aren’t aware of who Sigmund Freud is, I will briefly explain him.
Freud is considered to be one of the fathers of Psychology and Psychiatry, although his theories no longer are considered in modern Psychology and Psychiatry. I believe he was a Jewish man raised in the 1800’s, but later rejected his Jewish heritage and all religion altogether and he even actively spoke against religion.
Ego, Superego, ID
Freud’s theory said that the human psyche is structured into three parts that are all developing at different stages in life. And these three parts are systems and not parts of the brain. I will now tell how Freud defines these three parts and then I will give the Christian Perspective on this theory.
- ID: Freud said that this is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories.
- Superego: Freud said that this is our moral conscience of how we know right from wrong. He would say this tries to restrain the ID.
- Ego: Freud said that this is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the ID and the Superego.
As I have already said, I believe that there is some validity to this theory and so let’s see what scripture says. If we turn to Galatians 5:19-20, we will read,
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.”
Then, when we turn to Romans 2:14-16 we will read,
“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”
It’s pretty remarkable how the Apostle Paul spoke about this thousands of years before Freud came onto the scene.
As for the Christian Response, I don’t believe we as Christians should be attempting to mediate between our ID and Superego. Actually, according to Paul in Galatians 2:20,
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ”
And, in Romans 6:1,
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
The ID or Flesh
As Christians who have been given a new nature in Christ. We are not to live in such a way that gratifies the ID, or flesh. But instead, we are to live as if we are dead to sin and alive in Christ. This means we must daily deny our desires every day in every moment.
This is difficult work and honestly it is only possible to do if we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit. If we try to do this on our own strength we will fail.
Philippians 2:12-13 tells us,
“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”
The Holy Spirit is what gives us the desire to do God’s will and it is the Holy Spirit who causes to fulfill God’s will too. This is why the process of sanctification is Monergistic, not synergistic.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope that you were edified. Please leave your comments below. May the grace of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ richly bless you all!
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Mental Health Advocate
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