The psychological pressure on the church judges everything according to psychological implications. What a theological poverty this institutes! We have a faith that is not dependent on our psychological mood.
There is nothing that human reason can do to move an inch closer to salvation. I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to him. This should slay every type of psychologization.
Psychology is generally a discipline devoted to discovering the reasons behind human thought and action. However, it is somewhat blinded by its unawareness of original sin and concupiscence. So it cannot give clear answers, because it naively proceeds with the sense that it can direct human behavior towards what is right and good, because it is unaware of what is eternally right and good. Who ever heard of psychologists actually curing anyone?
The Christian creed has nothing to do with psychology. She is utterly useless for theology. She is a set of false promises that cannot coincide with theological thinking. She is a creature without grace.
Theology, therefore, does not require a psychological mood, and thereby is dis-empowered the psychological pressure to have a good mood. Whenever the Scriptures say, “Rejoice” they also provide the Spirit with which to rejoice, so that in the context of sorrows, we can yet rejoice. We do not rejoice of the sorrows, but in the midst of them, we have a secret joy yet lighting us. The Scriptures never say, “do not feel sorrows.” Quite the contrary, they really encourage it. This is why a psychologization seeking to repel all disappointment in life falls beneath the dignity of the Lutheran theologian.
We should have sorrows. Indeed, sorrow is better than laughter. To want religion to turn into a celebration almost bespeaks an ignorance of its practical consequences. Religion is not a giddy thing. Sorrows will come and sadness too. Desperation will affect us. It is left to the world to proceed without psychological affect, because their hearts have been turned to stone.
So also, let us not defend our doctrine by speaking about what joy or happiness emerges from keeping the truth. We do not have rational grounds for holding the fort, but faith. What we have heard we believe. What we have read in Scripture, that we confess. Against the end of the world, hoping against hope, for eternal life, not immune but saved.
It is already something impure if we see theology as a defense against human weakness, rather than an atonement for our sinfulness. We who are sinful and weak participate in something invincible. We are never asserting our own strength, but the strength of him whom we confess. It is true that the knowledge of him thereby makes us strong, not substantially and independently but through a communication of himself. Yet what is human strength but weakness? We rely on the words of God.