What is the Difference Between Nouthetic and Biblical Counseling? Just the Spelling.

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” ― Shannon L. Alder link


My early Xmas present from Deb.

There is lots going on out there, folks. Besides the Ravi Zacharias mess, I am hearing from some folks in Scotland who wish me to continue looking at the Iain D Campbell fall out. It appears we have caused a bit of an uproar. I hope to start working on that this weekend.

Good grief! There is so much to write about when it comes to biblical counseling I almost don’t know how to continue. We will be writing one post a week until this subject is exhausted.

What is ACBC?

I have been trying to find one group that is respected by many in the biblical counseling movement. I have read a number articles and most of them refer to the Association of Certified Bible Counselors (ACBC). Why *certified* you may ask? They are the group that does the certifying. Next week we will look at the certifying process. In fact, we may look at that for a few weeks.

If you disagree with this being the premier biblical counseling certifying group, please give us the alternative in your comments. Make sure you understand that I am taking about biblical counseling and not Christian psychologists.

Here is a example of what I found looking at other sites. Pastoral Counseling.Org is an organization that looks at the plethora of counseling options for folks and it includes everything from chaplaincy programs to post graduate studies. Under the section on how to become a biblical counselor, it states:

For example, you will most likely want to join Bible study groups, and you may want to work through some of the courses in Biblical counseling available online. These online courses are offered through several different groups, including the Institute for Nouthetic Studies, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), and the Biblical Counseling Institute.

Here is how ACBC describes themselves.

For nearly 40 years, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (formerly known as NANC) has been certifying biblical counselors to ensure doctrinal integrity and to promote excellence in biblical counseling.

What was NANC and why did the name change?

First-my opinion…They changed the name because Nouthetic Counseling got a really, really bad name, deservedly so. They decided to pick a name that sounded more mainstream. “See, we are really just counselors who believe the Bible. Don’t worry.”

Secondly, NANC is now ACBC. They are the same-no matter how hard they try to pretend they are not. In 2013, they wrote an explanation for the name change called From NANC to ACBC.

It is interesting to note that the vote to change the name from NANC to ACBC passed with 91% of the vote. NANC had baggage all over the place. They admit that the movement got its start with Jay Adams. Competent to Counsel is the original book that became the textbook and voice of the movement. I had an original copy of this book which I read in its entirety and actually believed it when I was still wet behind my ears.

The relationship between CCEF and NANC

We will be discussing CCEF in future posts.This is Dave Powlison’s group whom I first heard about when following the Sovereign Grace Ministry scandals. There is an incredibly tight relationship between Powlison, CJ Mahaney, 9Marks and The Gospel Coalition. It is reasonable to assume that CCEF has the same tight relationship with ACBC.

The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) was created to be the training arm of the movement, and the association formerly known as NANC was created to be the certifying arm of the movement.  Over the years this second organization has certified thousands of people in every state in the union and in dozens of countries.

Here is the *official* explanation of the name change.

After nearly forty years our association of counselors changed its name for one very significant reason.  At ACBC we have a missional passion to spread the truth of the sufficiency of Scripture and the sufficiency of Christ to hurting and troubled people all across the globe.  We want to begin to communicate to hundreds of new constituencies and thousands of new people the riches of God’s power to bring change in the most profound difficulties of life.

Using the term “biblical” instead of “nouthetic” makes it more obvious to more people that we are an organization committed to the inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient Word of God to inform the counseling task.  Placing the word “certification” in our title makes it obvious that our organization exists to verify and endorse people who have demonstrated competency in biblical counseling practice.  Finally, removing the word “national” from our name demonstrates that we are an increasingly international association of biblical counselors.

Apparently the people who liked the *nouthetic* label were concerned that ACBC signaled a changed from believing in the sufficiency of Scripture prevalent in the movement.

Not so, according to the ACBC folks. Read this carefully.

At ACBC we are just as committed to the authority of Christ and his Word as we were when we called ourselves NANC.

Instead, they want to go to the ends of the earth with this movement and apparently the *ick factor* associated with the *nouthetic* label was holding them back.

With regard to our mission, however, we are going everywhere.  We are excited as an organization to share this vision with those who have not heard of us, and those who have dismissed us in the past.  Our steadfast commitment to our convictions inspires in us a strong desire to communicate them to new constituencies.  We are committed to filling the earth with the truth that Christ, and Christ alone, is the sufficient solution to the counseling problems people have.

In other words, they are still the same old, same old and with that one can expect some of the same old weirdness to continue. Their goal is to certify™ a bunch of *excellent* people to counsel. We will talk about their certifying process in the coming posts. The word *excellent* did not come to mind for me.

In October of 2013 NANC’s membership voted overwhelmingly to change our name to ACBC in order to communicate more clearly that we are an organization certifying competency in biblical counseling.

What is the Institute of Nouthertic Studies?

This organization appears to revolve around the teachings of Jay Adams. It does not seem to have the breadth of membership or influence that ACBC has. It defines this type of counseling as:

the full force of the Biblical concept of counseling may be set forth while avoiding the many contradictory connotations surrounding the English one. The three ideas found in the word nouthesia are confrontation, concern,and change. To put it simply, nouthetic counseling consists of lovingly confronting people out of deep concern in order to help them make those changes that God requires.

Here is how they discuss their certificate course.

Our Certificate Program in Biblical Counseling consists of over 170 hours of instruction in all aspects of biblical counseling, the majority of which is taught by Dr. Adams. All lectures are now available online and can be studied in the student’s home and at the student’s pace. In fact, with a laptop computer or iPad, students can study anywhere a WiFi connection can be accessed!

Because we are not offering a formal academic degree there are no prerequisites for studying at INS nor do we require tests or written papers. We do provide study questions at the end of the notes for each lecture which the student can use to gage his progress and grasp of the material. While the lectures are challenging and are intended to stretch the student both academically and spiritually, they are not overly academic and can be studied profitably by any motivated student who has a growing familiarity with the Scriptures.

What is a Nouthetic Counselor?

Since we already know that ACBC says that Biblical and Nouthetic counseling are one and the same, I went Pastoral Counseling.Org to see what they had to say.

In more recent years, many people have started using the term “Biblical counseling” instead of Nouthetic counseling to stress the point that the Bible is at the center of this counseling technique. Most who follow the idea of Nouthetic counseling refute mainstream psychiatry and psychology as being humanistic, secular, and fundamentally against Christians and their beliefs. Because of this, very few Nouthetic counselors have any formal training in counseling, therapy, or any related field.

Who can be a nouthetic counselor?

Well, anyone can do it!!

Anyone can be a Nouthetic counselor. In fact, that is the main idea behind this type of counseling. Rather than going to one counselor, people get advice and counseling from everyone in their church. Nouthetic counselors seek to confront people out of concern for their lives and their souls. Every member of a congregation has a duty to provide Nouthetic counseling to those they believe are straying from God’s path or are in need of change.

How do you become a nouthetic counselor?

…To become a Nouthetic counselor, one needs only to be very familiar with scripture and the Bible. There are no educational requirements—in fact, the idea of Nouthetic counseling is that it is done by friends, family, and fellow members of the church in an informal method, not as a type of therapy or formal counseling.

Nouthetic counselors believe that people can only get to the truth of a matter, through scripture and prayer, so you will need to thoroughly understand the Bible and the behaviors of the characters in the Bible. Often, Nouthetic counselors choose to approach a person by comparing their inappropriate behavior to that of a Biblical character and their situation to a story from the Bible. They are able to use the character’s actions and experience as a mirror for the person they are counseling.

There are no formal degree programs, certification programs, or other types of education in the field of Nouthetic counseling. Because the ideas of Nouthetic counseling often clash with psychology and therapy techniques, most Nouthetic counselors do not take formal educational courses in these areas.

How to be a biblical counselor?

Well, anyone can do it.

Quite simply, anyone who wants to be a Biblical counselor can consider themselves one. Biblical counseling is based on the idea that all one needs is a deep understanding of the scripture to offer counseling. While it’s true that many who consider themselves Biblical counselors are ministers or other types of church leaders, this isn’t a requirement. Any person who feels as though they have been called to offer Biblical counseling to another may do so.

Because all Biblical counseling is to be based on the Bible and the scriptures, there is no need for any courses on behavioral study, counseling, therapy, or psychology. Because of this, few Biblical counselors hold degrees in counseling. In fact, the practice of Biblical counseling is expressly against bringing these secular studies and treatments into the discussion. All counseling should focus on identifying sin, changing behavior to overcome that sin, and making one’s life more in line with what the Bible outlines.

Does certification through ACBC or other groups mean anything?

Not really.

While you can become certified as a Biblical or Nouthetic counselor through the Institute for Nouthetic Studies or through the ACBC, the certification is not an official certification or license recognized at the state or national level. The certification simply demonstrates that you have completed a Biblical counseling program. You will not be able to use one of these certificates to meet the requirements for a job as a licensed counselor, therapist, or other position. However, these certifications do hold some weight with a number of churches and others who practice Biblical counseling.

There is little question that Nouthetic Counseling has a bad reputation. Even ACBC hints at it.

In 2013, right after NANC became ACBC, Heath Lambert, the executive director, first of NANC, then of ACBC, wrote Have You Been Burned By A NANC Counselor? This was posted on the ACBC site. He admits to some problems and says that such treatment was wrong.

 Some of the stories are really bad:  A NANC counselor . . . “Told my brother to get off of his prescription medication,” “Told my aunt to return to her abusive husband,” “Told my mom she was sinning by using psychiatric medication,” “Berated my depressed brother for being guilty of sin.”

However, he states that he thinks NANC was still a pretty awesome organization. Of course, he was the head of it when it was NANC. What could he say?

First he apologized and claims that this is not what it was supposed to be.

I have a hard time with this explanation. This is what 9 Marks says when another famous church goes off the rails and beats up members like the situation at The Village Church and Karen Hinkley. Actually, I believe that many people who practiced abusive counseling did so because they were taught to do so. NANC needs to take responsibility for that.

He believes that the many of the good ones are being judges by the few bad ones and claims that there are 100 good counselors to every bad one. No proof but it is a nice round number

I was stunned that he compared NANC counselors being judged by one bad apply to the police force being judged by one dirty cop. Heath Lambert is obviously unaware of how much supervision and training that the average police officer receives. Their training and the training at ACBC, as our readers will see, are on different planets.

Instead he appeals to some Hallmark version of NANC counselors. He even claims that there are 100 good counselors for every one that is not. Of course, in the tradition of biblical science, one speaks what is instead of proving what is. They have NO organization overseeing these supposed counselors who have received meager training.I shall discuss this in future posts.

most of the stories I hear about NANC counselors are wonderful.  I have seen NANC counselors, with my own eyes, weeping with folks going through tremendous pain.  I’ve been in the homes of our counselors and seen pictures of families with hand-written notes expressing that their family is together today because of the care they were shown.

…Those stories aren’t as sensational as the tragic ones, but they are true.  They are also, 100:1, the ones I hear most frequently.

He says that we should be encouraged by the level of training received in NANC.

I think this statement is hyperbole. I shall be reviewing the training which I believe is inadequate. This whole *MD being present in the training thing* borders on simplistic and competently trained counselors will know that. Note: Lambert, rarely, if ever, provide details of the doctor and how he/she interacts, etc. In fact, we will see that there is precious little medical or pharmacological training and this is concerning.

 The counselors at our training centers offer comprehensive instruction in dealing with all the different kinds of issues that are crucial in counseling—not just in rebuking sin. Whenever NANC offers training we always—always—do it with a licensed medical doctor present who provides crucial medical background into counseling-related problems.

I wonder if there is any way to see how many complaints have been received and adequately dealt with? I wonder if they even keep those records. I suspect not. I have to admit I wonder if they function like some of the elder boards made up of godly™ men who protect their own…

At NANC we also have an ethics and membership committee with people on it who each have decades of counseling experience.  Whenever an accusation is made against one of our counselors, that committee investigates the charges and makes recommendations about dealing with them.

Remember, we all make mistakes and liberals make worse mistakes according to Lambert.

He assures us that it is far better to have a mistake made by a conservative than a liberal because the liberal might say someone should get a divorce!

Sooner or later, good counselors will offer bad counsel.  How could it be otherwise?  The good news about NANC is that when that happens we are committed to the Bible as the perfect standard to judge what is good and bad counsel.  We know how and when to improve because we listen to the Bible.  The same cannot be said for liberal counselors whose benchmark is their own wisdom.  When liberals faithlessly counsel married couples going through a rough period to “just get a divorce” or counsel people that their homosexual lifestyle is acceptable, who is to correct them? 

Finally, he says that many of these bad stories are not true!!!

He claims that counselees do not like being confronted by their sin.This continues the impression I have of these guys constantly beating the drum of sin, sin, sin and more sin.

here is only one brand of counseling that is committed to calling people to repent when they are guilty of sin, and that is biblical counseling.  To be sure, people need counsel for all sorts of reasons besides their own personal sinfulness.

Heath Lambert and the firing of Eric Johnson

I am going to end it on this final subject. We wrote about Heath Lambert in Eric Johnson Lambasted by Heath Lambert and Fired by Al Mohler. It seems like Lambert is against anyone who does not see counseling from his perspective. He got a decent man, who was a Christian psychologist, fired from SBTS and was not a biblical™ counselor like Lambert who received his PhD in counseling at SBTS. I’ll let you think about what that says about the future of ACBC and their style of counseling.

You will love this video!!


Comments

What is the Difference Between Nouthetic and Biblical Counseling? Just the Spelling. — 257 Comments

  1. I am familiar with Jay Adams writings (I was at Westminster Seminary 1978-80 doing my PhD coursework). Rather than identify with any school of thought on counseling I have sought to be biblical in my spiritual direction. I have always been open to helping counselees find help that was beyond my training (whether medical, psychological or Christian specialists).

    I was a singles minister for 10 years and did a lot of premarital counseling and was not hesitant to decline to perform a wedding when biblical principals were rejected or I was not confident that the couple was ready to make the commitment.

    I am trained as an instructor for the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis test and used it regularly to work with couples.

    Since then I have kept track of the couples that I have married. Here are the statistics:

    as of 11/18/2016:

    3 Widowed 4%
    11 Divorced 14.3%
    63 Married 81.8%

    77 Total

    Length of Marriage (yrs)

    1-9 3 4.6%
    11-19 5 9.2%
    21-29 28 49.2%
    30-40 27 36.9%

    25 years+ 43 55.8%

  2. “All counseling should focus on identifying sin, changing behavior to overcome that sin, and making one’s life more in line with what the Bible outlines.”
    To me this points to changing outward behaviour, or behaviour modification to become righteous. The problem with that is its old testament and not new testament. Works not faith and ‘i didnt need Jesus to die on a cross, be resurrected and pour out the Holy Spirit to sanctify me- i can do it myself with a little condemnation from my friends!’
    Which begs the question, how is that different from secular counseling (except for no divorce or gay clause?)

    I am going to see what people are saying online about this sort of therapy, often a quick google search will have pages of both praise and horror stories.

  3. drstevej wrote:

    I am familiar with Jay Adams writings (I was at Westminster Seminary 1978-80 doing my PhD coursework). Rather than identify with any school of thought on counseling I have sought to be biblical in my spiritual direction. I have always been open to helping counselees find help that was beyond my training (whether medical, psychological or Christian specialists).

    I was a singles minister for 10 years and did a lot of premarital counseling and was not hesitant to decline to perform a wedding when biblical principals were rejected or I was not confident that the couple was ready to make the commitment.

    I am trained as an instructor for the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis test and used it regularly to work with couples.

    I dont know what Taylor Johnson is can you elaborate? Also, are you saying you are trained as Nouthetic or just that you are aware of it. You said “Rather than identify with any school of thought on counseling I have sought to be biblical in my spiritual direction.” i think this is wonderful but because biblical counseling highlites sound ok on paper but dont end well in practice, can you elaborate on that also?
    I think personally that i can see both sides of the ‘secular’ ‘bible only’ arguement but that the biblia guys havent offered a real solution to the need for counseling but instead made people with mental health issues even worse off, but if biblical counseling were done right (which seculars have often done well) then i could agree with not going secular so much.

  4. Here is info on the T-JTA: https://www.tjta.com/about.htm . I am not trained as a nouthetic counselor. My education includes an engineering degree (GaTech); a ThM in historical theology (Dallas Seminary); and a PhD in Reformation History and Theology (Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia). I have been a pastor for 35 years in churches from 125 to 3,000.

    In each pastoral setting I identified a network of professionals (counseling, psychology and medical) to whom I could refer people with needs beyond my training. I also have served as a Chaplain for an online ministry (www.christianforums.com)or many years.

    Here is my approach to premarital counseling: http://www.drstevej.com/PMcov.pdf

  5. Point re: “Whenever NANC offers training we always—always—do it with a licensed medical doctor present who provides crucial medical background into counseling-related problems. These physicians always—always—remind those pursuing certification that it is not their job to practice medicine and that it is unethical to do so.”

    A medical Dr, not a Psych Dr. Probably because of liability for telling people to stop taking meds. Not for teaching counseling proceedures. Most MDs refer Psych patients to Psychs, except some do write rx for patients they deem as not needing more than brief Psych care.

  6. Rofl: “There is only one brand of counseling that is committed to calling people to repent when they are guilty of sin, and that is biblical counseling.”
    I know a shrink that told a client they really needed to return ten grand they stole from a bank. Also Psychs definately dont encourage people that want to murder their spouse to go ahead AND proffessional Psychs call the police on their clients when necessary even if not legally required to do so- or have them detained, they dont hide behind clergy privelage in important life threatening issues, but do have some leeway also. Gosh i shouldnt have started reading Heath Lamberts little speech…

  7. drstevej wrote:

    Here is info on the T-JTA: https://www.tjta.com/about.htm . I am not trained as a nouthetic counselor. My education includes an engineering degree (GaTech); a ThM in historical theology (Dallas Seminary); and a PhD in Reformation History and Theology (Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia). I have been a pastor for 35 years in churches from 125 to 3,000.

    In each pastoral setting I identified a network of professionals (counseling, psychology and medical) to whom I could refer people with needs beyond my training. I also have served as a Chaplain for an online ministry (www.christianforums.com)or many years.

    Here is my approach to premarital counseling: http://www.drstevej.com/PMcov.pdf

    Thank you Dr Steve, you sound rather balanced! Pheww! Oh and my uncle taught me this really awesome song years ago- “I’m a rambing wreck from Georgia Tech…” he had high regard for that school, you must be ok 🙂

  8. Another concern is the lack of accountability for biblical/nouthetic counseling. LPC’s complete rigorous coursework to earn counseling degrees, pass state licensing exams, and are guided ethically by a set of principles that protect the client. I believe that LICENSED professional Christian counselors are the preferred choice for therapy.

  9. drstevej wrote:

    Here is info on the T-JTA: https://www.tjta.com/about.htm . I am not trained as a nouthetic counselor. My education includes an engineering degree (GaTech); a ThM in historical theology (Dallas Seminary); and a PhD in Reformation History and Theology (Westminster Seminary, Philadelphia). I have been a pastor for 35 years in churches from 125 to 3,000.

    Just to show what the opposite of bogus credentials are i followed Dr Steves Link and found that in order to even get the test to administer it:
    From the application to tjta:
    “To purchase and utilize the T-JTA® and other restricted assessments sold by PPI, you must possess a degree from an accredited college or seminary with course work in relevant fields, and be currently working in a counseling or educational profession. For more information about these required standards, please visit our FAQ page.
    Education Summary
    Which describes your highest level of education? (The choices are) Bachelors Masters Doctorate”

    Thank you so much Dr Steve, well done!

  10. Anna wrote:

    and are guided ethically by a set of principles that protect the client. I believe that LICENSED professional Christian counselors are the preferred choice for therapy.

    I think you make a hugely important point. Also even the physical setting was important to me. I had abuse related PTSD and knowing that i could leave or if i yelled there were other people around if i felt unsafe was very important. Being in a church office for counseling felt way too confined and isolated, especially when there were no classes going on or not many people around. Thankfully many pastors have started having a female present during even non trauma counseling. The trauma left me with even irrational fear of being alone with people that were probably harmless, but i sure couldnt absorb any ‘counseling’ until that was addressed. And not by someone saying ‘you can trust me’ ‘I’m a pastor’ or even ‘I’m a licensed counselor’ Proffessional counselors know that sometimes you need more than that.

  11. Very powerful statements by an abuse survivor that was subjected to Nouthetic Counseling-

    “Instead of finding a loving God who wants to meet me where I am, I find a God who rejects me, who won’t help me to find the healing I seek, unless I can do everything perfectly in my own strength.
    I don’t know who God is anymore. Is He a list of rules? Is He loving? Is He active? Does He care? If I try harder to be perfect, will He love me more? The Bible seems so contradictory about who He is. The Jesus I know is constantly dissatisfied with me. The God I know wants me to fix myself before I am allowed to draw near to Him.
    You’re using God’s Word to harm, and so you’re causing us to doubt God and His love and goodness.”

    Mentions bob jones university and John McArthurs Masters Seminary

    http://www.heresthejoy.com/2017/09/heres-an-abuse-survivors-plea-about-nouthetic-biblical-counseling/

  12. In the great battle between the church and the secular world i remembered something that i think is significant and not to be over-looked. There was a tv series called greys anatomy that i didnt particularly love or hate but alot of people raved about. The music on that series is mostly by a young woman named Kendall Payne. Kendall Payne at the start of her career was a young enthusiastic christian that felt that Jesus and God had called her to a music ministry and for many years she struggled to support herself singing for the Lord but was mostly rejected by the Christian Music Complex and had to find work elsewhere. I wonder how many ‘secular’ therapists once tried to be in “the body of Christ also.”

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t54HRGzXcU0

  13. Why do they waste time counseling??? Why don’t they just go ahead and cast out the demons and call it a day???

  14. drstevej wrote:

    Here is my approach to premarital counseling: http://www.drstevej.com/PMcov.pdf

    Interesting that you require them to sign a covenant. In that contract, you state that divorced people must have been divorced on ‘Biblical grounds’. However, you don’t provide any details as to what these might be. As there are many different views as to what such grounds can be, it would be interesting if you could say a little more as to what you would consider to be Biblical grounds for divorce.

  15. I’ve never heard of Nouthetic counseling before, but it looks an awful lot like the “sanctification-by-behavior-modification” and call-out culture I experienced in college, especially the part where all psychiatric problems are really just a sin problem — in several of my friends, clinical depression got relabeled as a simple lack of faith, anxiety disorders got relabeled as guilt for unconfessed sin, social disorders became divisive spirits, and — my personal favorite — it was all their fault for not being better Christians. And if they were to take active steps to relieve the pressure — such as medical or psychiatric help — why, that was tantamount to saying God wasn’t powerful enough to heal without human help. Or, going to a doctor for what was considered a “spiritual” disease like depression was considered “sowing to the flesh.”

    Although I think the basic principle of prayer and biblical analogy is still helpful — and I’ve seen enough strange answers to prayer to believe in its efficacy – the simple fact is that’s certainly not the normal course of healing, and I’ve also seen a lot of damage come from well-meaning people who say, “Well, just pray harder.” Or, “Faith harder.”

    I don’t know why prayer works for some and not for others — and I’ve experienced too much to be convinced it doesn’t work at all — but to make a system out of exclusively “spiritual” methods for more complex issues is quite naive and dangerous.

  16. Well, it’s obvious to me that the trouble with all of you is that you’re looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  17. Arnold Smartarse wrote:

    Arnold Smartarse

    Arnie, Arnie. I will be blunt. Your mind is too small and your field of vision is too limited and your vocabulary and sentence structure have obviously rusted together into rigid inflexibility. Not to mince words there.

    People are not just looking for the perfect church. They are also looking for the perfect job, the perfect spouse, the perfect children, the perfect investment, the perfect lawnmower and dishwasher, the perfect foot fungus medication…you see what I am saying?

    Now Arnie, I do realize that you are ‘limited’ and I do recognize a genuine case of the can’t-help-its when I see it, bless your heart for that and it is a pity, but you really can do a wee bit better than your current semi-comatous intellectual state.

  18. drstevej wrote:

    sandy c wrote:Oh and my uncle taught me this really awesome song years ago- “I’m a rambing wreck from Georgia Tech…” he had high regard for that school, you must be ok

    All I have to say is… Go Dawgs!

  19. I find it reasonable to think that if people are going to be ‘bible believing’ protestants then they do need to know what scripture says and they need to find out if they and the person they plan to marry are singing off the same page in the hymn book on various issues. Do they agree?

    And if people are catholics they need to know what their church teaches and need to know whether they and the one they plan to marry are of one mind on those issues.

    And so forth with other religions, and with cross-cultural couples, and just people in general.

    Based on sad personal experience I think that it is better for people to find out the bad news and dissolve the relationship before they marry rather than later when there are children and economic issues and when more personal damage is done. However, people do not necessarily understand themselves, and untested ideas and commitments can crumble with pressure, and nothing is fool proof.

    Yeah, well, so what else is new? Nothing. I just feel better saying that periodically.

  20. Off topic.

    The young artists and craftspeople in this house are off to their first real crafts fair to see if their stuff sells. The older has made a bunch of small, quite small and veritably tiny origami Moravian stars as tree ornaments-in multiple colors. They are complicated, precise, delicate and impressive, but whether they will sell is yet to be determined. The younger has made large and impressive Christmas wreaths. They will sell for sure, since the crafts stores are selling them for an outrageous price, but whether she can get a good enough price to even break even for the supplies is the issue. She can let them go for about half what the crafts stores want, but that still is not cheap.

    This is our first venture into selling stuff; it is a bit off putting.

  21. drstevej wrote:

    I was a singles minister for 10 years and did a lot of premarital counseling and was not hesitant to decline to perform a wedding when biblical principals were rejected or I was not confident that the couple was ready to make the commitment.

    You indicated that you performed 77 marriages. Do you have any statistics on the number of marriages you declined to perform and whether the couple went ahead and got married anyway either having just a civil ceremony or in a different church? If they did get married, the outcome of such marriages?

  22. okrapod wrote:

    Now Arnie… you really can do a wee bit better

    Well, Okrapod, it seems to me that you’re looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  23. Ken G wrote:

    You indicated that you performed 77 marriages. Do you have any statistics on the number of marriages you declined to perform and whether the couple went ahead and got married anyway either having just a civil ceremony or in a different church? If they did get married, the outcome of such marriages?

    Not to pick on Dr Steve specifically, but this is the kind of thing I’m really interested in too. Although in an area like marriage, with the number of variables involved at the start, never mind all of the unforeseeable circumstances that can vary the conditions and add new variables, I would be extremely careful to draw too many conclusions from his statistics. Not suggesting you wouldn’t be so careful, and my conclusions would be equally tentative whether good, bad or indifferent.

  24. sandy c wrote:

    Here is my approach to premarital counseling: http://www.drstevej.com/PMcov.pdf

    I would be interested in learning more about – (1) how the couple demonstrates or makes known the “evidence of their faith” you are seeking and (2) regarding the Biblical pattern for marriage what you believe the “roles in marriage” are and what else is included in the “etc.” portion. Thanks

  25. “Every member of a congregation has a duty to provide Nouthetic counseling to those they believe are straying from God’s path or are in need of change.”

    Funny, I must have missed that somewhere in the Westminster standards. Maybe it got added to the London Baptist Confession.

  26. Ken G wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    I was a singles minister for 10 years and did a lot of premarital counseling and was not hesitant to decline to perform a wedding when biblical principals were rejected or I was not confident that the couple was ready to make the commitment.
    You indicated that you performed 77 marriages. Do you have any statistics on the number of marriages you declined to perform and whether the couple went ahead and got married anyway either having just a civil ceremony or in a different church? If they did get married, the outcome of such marriages?

    I do not have those stats.

  27. First-The video was amazing! I may be lured back to listening to Christian music. So far I listen to “Precious Puritans” . Worth a listen.
    I am thrilled that you are writing about this destructive movement in counseling. On top of having an MA in counseling psych (used it mostly to do testing), I have been dealing with my own mental demons since childhood. There has been so much misinformation about mental illness in the past, but lately there has been more progress in the field.
    Then comes Biblical Counseling and back to the dark ages. Just read the counseling contract at Open Door church in Raleigh and you will note their take on confidentiality is flipped on its head and the statement that Biblical Counseling is superior to other types of help.
    Unfortunately, I have a family member who drinks the kool-aid there. He has many issues (don’t we all) and was told they all stem from pride! I know him well and his self esteem is very low. But he carries that label to mask deeper issues.
    Keep up the good work!
    Ann ( a former patient of Dr Wilson in the late ’70’s).

  28. drstevej wrote:

    Here is my approach to premarital counseling: http://www.drstevej.com/PMcov.pdf

    I would be interested in learning more about – (1) how the couple demonstrates or makes known the “evidence of their faith” you are seeking and (2) regarding the Biblical pattern for marriage what you believe the “roles in marriage” are and what else is included in the “etc.” portion. Thanks

    My earlier comment was addressed to sandy c which was in error.

  29. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Not to pick on Dr Steve specifically, but this is the kind of thing I’m really interested in too. Although in an area like marriage, with the number of variables involved at the start, never mind all of the unforeseeable circumstances that can vary the conditions and add new variables, I would be extremely careful to draw too many conclusions from his statistics.

    I found his response extremely disappointing. O.K. he doesn’t have those statistics, but not knowing or even providing an educated guess on the number of marriages he declined to perform is just incredible.

  30. Ken G wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I found his response extremely disappointing. O.K. he doesn’t have those statistics, but not knowing or even providing an educated guess on the number of marriages he declined to perform is just incredible.

    You did not ask for an estimate. I probably turned down 10-15 couples. I did make my covenant public so I expect some did not ask, knowing that my approach would not fit them.

  31. Ken G wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    (2) regarding the Biblical pattern for marriage what you believe the “roles in marriage” are and what else is included in the “etc.” portion.

    McRae’s book, which I cited does a good job of summarizing my position. (BTW, it is the book used by the person who counselled my wife in I prior to our marriage 42 years ago).

  32. “The good news about NANC is that when that happens we are committed to the Bible as the perfect standard to judge what is good and bad counsel. We know how and when to improve because we listen to the Bible.”

    In the areas of divorce and remarriage alone, Protestants are all over the place. What a counselee will hear is dependent on the counselor’s interpretation of the Bible. Unless the ACBC have come up with doctrinal standards, Lambert’s statements here are meaningless. Actually, even if they did it wouldn’t matter, since anyone with a passing knowledge of the Bible is apparently competent to counsel. Lambert goes out of his way to point out how sooooo careful the ACBC is with their training in excellence, yet the movement has popularized the idea that any Tom, Dick, and Harry can (and in fact should) be engaging in such counseling as long as they are confident that they know what to tell that person who is struggling with mental illness, or the mother who just found out her husband is a pedophile who concealed it their entire marriage. The horror stories will continue until this contradiction is resolved.

  33. drstevej wrote:

    In each pastoral setting I identified a network of professionals (counseling, psychology and medical) to whom I could refer people with needs beyond my training.

    Awesome.

  34. @ Niteowl:
    I will get back t you this week. I had a difficult week. My stepfather is on hospice and my mother has become increasingly confused and a bit paranoid. I am their only family caretaker.

    However, things got better yesterday when my mother agreed that she was having memory problems and agreed to try some medication.

    Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed.

  35. drstevej wrote:

    You did not ask for an estimate. I probably turned down 10-15 couples. I did make my covenant public so I expect some did not ask, knowing that my approach would not fit them.

    The notion of signing a covenant on top of the legal marriage requirements bothers me greatly. It reminds me of the push to institute “covenant marriage” as was passed in a few states some years back. Arizona is one of those states. One of my coworkers asked me if I thought Arizona’s covenant marriage would satisfy her future husband’s parents, who were Hindus resident in India and wanted to make sure this marriage wasn’t going to fall apart for any or no reason at all. I burst out laughing. After I stopped laughing, I explained to coworker that I was publicly opposed to covenant marriages, and by that, I meant that I’d had letters published in the New York Times and the local bird cage liner on the subject. I explained in these letters that the state shouldn’t get involved in enshrining into law some religious concepts that it was obvious the religious groups couldn’t enforce on their own, and so they needed the state as “muscle” for their covenant marriages.

    Obviously, that’s NOT what you’re doing here, because the state doesn’t enforce this covenant. But the notion of signing a “covenant” on top of the marriage license is in the general neighborhood of my objection. Everyone knows what marriage is; adding someone’s idea of a covenant on top of it, even if it’s larded with references to Bible verses, is a bridge too far for me.

  36. Ann wrote:

    Just read the counseling contract at Open Door church in Raleigh and you will note their take on confidentiality is flipped on its head and the statement that Biblical Counseling is superior to other types of help.

    I am going to add that to one of my posts/ Thank you.

    Ann wrote:

    Ann ( a former patient of Dr Wilson in the late ’70’s).

    I loved Bill Wilson. Talks about icons. Just before he died, he came to a meeting of Christian medical workers. I asked him about Nouthetic Counseling. He said many things but emphasized that it was quite dangerous. I am so glad you found him back when! I miss him.

  37. The notion of signing a covenant on top of the legal marriage requirements bothers me greatly.

    Then you would be free to ask another person to do your counseling/wedding. I am just being up front with my ground rules. And I charge $0.00 for my counseling.

  38. Anna wrote:

    Another concern is the lack of accountability for biblical/nouthetic counseling.

    I am going to be looking at this. 1 statement on the ACBC website caused me to realize that this is seriously lacking.

  39. “I’ve learned to look past where someone is at and to look forward to what someone will become.” A pastor/counselor told me the other day.

    We were just having a regular conversation and he had asked about my living situation. Apparently the hesitation in or tone of my voice suggested that I wasn’t thrilled with it. Thinking back though – I’m just a very private person and I don’t like telling people too many details about my life particularly when I barely know them. I’m not that bothered about my living situation. I wonder how many counselors are just like him though, being taught about body language / tone of voice / timing of answers and jumping to the conclusion that it means something or other based off what a book tells them and not on really knowing how that person is or usually responds to questions. Even worse, this guy seems to be going around looking for people to help who he thinks needs his help – he doesn’t know how to turn it off and when his “help” does more harm than good.

  40. dee wrote:

    Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed.

    I don’t know how you do what all you have to do. It looks pretty amazing, actually. I don’t know what to say except that we all care about you and respect what you do and how you do it.

  41. I still don’t think humans, beside Jesus, are capable of upholding covenants, not in the biblical sense. I don’t think most marriage “covenants” last to the end of the day, not the way they are worded. Only God is capable of that.

  42. drstevej wrote:

    Then you would be free to ask another person to do your counseling/wedding. I am just being up front with my ground rules. And I charge $0.00 for my counseling.

    Well, I wouldn’t ask you (or any other minister or religious figure) to do my wedding since I came to the conclusion a couple of decades ago that since a legal marriage is one contracted through the medium of the state, I should get married via the state, i.e., by a judge. But then again, I’ve never gotten married and it’s not in the cards in any case. *shrug*

  43. drstevej wrote:

    McRae’s book, which I cited does a good job of summarizing my position. (BTW, it is the book used by the person who counselled my wife in I prior to our marriage 42 years ago).

    Thank you. I took a look at how McRae’s book is used in counseling. It seems that the basic structure advocated by the book is complementarian.

    https://bible.org/book/export/html/6261

  44. The fact that they consider anyone who knows their Bible well, goes through their online courses, and receives no supervision a counselor is disturbing. I would never trust anyone who solely uses the Bible as an answer to every problem or mental health issue a person may experience. That’s not how the Bible should be used.

    I find this to be a slap in the face to anyone who has worked toward licensing for counseling or social work. I considered obtaining my LCSW, but decided that I didn’t want my sole focus of social work to be in counseling. Licensing requirements are different state to state. If I would have pursued a LCSW in Oregon, here are the requirements:

    Master’s Degree in Social Work
    3,500 total work hours
    2,000 direct client hours
    100 supervised hours (50 must be individual)
    Pass the ASWB clinical exam
    Pass the Oregon Jurisprudence Exam
    Verify all out of state licenses
    Fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check

    This licensing process takes at least 2 years to obtain. Add in your years of education and you’re looking at 8 years minimum to become a LCSW. Watching online videos and *bam!* you’re a counselor is pathetic.

  45. Ok help me understand..you need 170 measly little hours to be certified….and then do they charge nicey pricey fees for the counseling??????? How does this work? Do churches charge for this???

  46. Abigail wrote:

    Ok help me understand..you need 170 measly little hours to be certified….and then do they charge nicey pricey fees for the counseling??????? How does this work? Do churches charge for this???

    You are stealing my thunder. I plan to discuss the *certification* process in the coming week.

    Some churches charge for it and some do not.

  47. If Biblical counseling were presented as believers helping and encouraging one another, I wouldn’t be so concerned. I DO get concerned when it’s uneducated people trying to dispense complicated counseling advice. I will confess that the therapeutic culture doesn’t impress me that much either–going to a shrink for years and years to solve problems that often seem fairly simple. But, if you really suffer from a psychiatric disorder, you need someone with the correct background for a referral, diagnosis and treatment. A couple decades back some fellow church members convinced a pastor to get off his meds because it “was all of Satan and not trusting God.” He was actually bipolar and took his life a couple days after quitting his medication, leaving a wife and tow young children.

  48. Ann wrote:

    . But he carries that label to mask deeper issues.
    Keep up the good work!
    Ann ( a former patient of Dr Wilson in the late ’70’s).

    This is so important! Looking at things from the outward appearance! And if we do that and label a sin and tell people to repent it makes them so much worse. First dont strip someone of their protective covering unless you are able and willing to heal the vulnerable wounded soul living under it! Otherwise, as a form of self preservation the person must build more and more walls while hating themselves even more. 🙁

  49. Ken G wrote:

    My earlier comment was addressed to sandy c which was in error.

    Lol Sandy C is divorced and gives no marital advice to anyone…hehe

  50. Ken G wrote:

    . O.K. he doesn’t have those statistics, but

    If i remember right the whole statistic convo came about because we were discussing Biblical Counseling Movement and their lack of oversite and that they dont provide statistics for anything except that Heath Whatshisface proclaimed online to zillions of baptists that Nouthetic Counselling has 1 bad experience for every 100 positive ones. In that light Dr Steve is most kind to provide statistics of any kind!

  51. ishy wrote:

    I still don’t think humans, beside Jesus, are capable of upholding covenants, not in the biblical sense. I don’t think most marriage “covenants” last to the end of the day, not the way they are worded. Only God is capable of that.

    I agree with this. I think its why Jesus said to make no oath. Im not saying to not do everything possible for marriage, just that when we make covenants/oaths its really only by the grace of God we are able to do it.

  52. Kathi wrote:

    If I would have pursued a LCSW in Oregon, here are the requirements:

    Master’s Degree in Social Work
    3,500 total work hours
    2,000 direct client hours
    100 supervised hours (50 must be individual)
    Pass the ASWB clinical exam
    Pass the Oregon Jurisprudence Exam
    Verify all out of state licenses
    Fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check

    This licensing process takes at least 2 years to obtain. Add in your years of education and you’re looking at 8 years minimum to become a LCSW. Watching online videos and *bam!* you’re a counselor is pathetic.

    Glad you shared that! Also the background check is not required in many Biblical Counseling Movement counselors and that would prevent so much of the abuse resulting from church ministries itself. Pedos having jobs in churches is appaling to me and Dees reference to Acts 29 and Karen Hinkley is a horrific example of that!

  53. dee wrote:

    Some churches charge for it and some do not.

    Some churches believe that everyone in the pews should be picking on everyone in the pews… uh i mean all should be counselors pointing out sins of everyone lol i cant imagine sitting in a church like that!

  54. dee wrote:

    @ Niteowl:
    I will get back t you this week. I had a difficult week. My stepfather is on hospice and my mother has become increasingly confused and a bit paranoid. I am their only family caretaker.
    However, things got better yesterday when my mother agreed that she was having memory problems and agreed to try some medication.
    Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed.

    You have my prayers. Having taken care of only one, my mother, I don’t know how you do all that you do.

  55. @ Muff Potter:
    He became famous for this back in the early 2000s. That is how I first heard of him. His work was essential in helping groups like CMDA to change their stance on this issue. He was the brave leader of the movement which has resulted in most groups like the SBC to reject the efficacy of reparative therapy

  56. dee wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    He became famous for this back in the early 2000s. That is how I first heard of him. His work was essential in helping groups like CMDA to change their stance on this issue. He was the brave leader of the movement which has resulted in most groups like the SBC to reject the efficacy of reparative therapy

    1 Cor. 6
    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers >>> nor men who have sex with men <<>> And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.<<<

  57. dee wrote:

    You are stealing my thunder. I plan to discuss the *certification* process in the coming week.

    Not sure whether I’m stealing any thunder here, but I may just borrow a little rain ahead of time (only a tiny amount – you won’t miss it).

    But this is one of the things I’ve noticed with healing, and similar, movements that have arisen in christian circles over the last 20 years (and probably earlier, only I was in a cult and not paying attention). It goes something like this:
     Step 1: Someone has a revelation on how to minister
     Step 2: They polish it for a bit
     Step 3: They codify it and package it as a product
     Step 4: They monetise it and/or turn it into a movement
     Step 5: They market the training to as many people as possible

    Just saying. Thunder on.

  58. @ Jamie Carter:

    This is a really interesting comment, though I’ll have to keep my reply brief as it’s bedtime in Scotland, on the day when Australia all but secured a 2-0 lead in the Ashes which England will not overhaul.

    I have to insert, in the interests of strict accuracy, that I have occasionally come across people like that outside of church circles. They’ve usually been people with, shall we say, conspicuous issues. Otherwise, I share your concern (if I read you aright). There’s an awfully disproportionate number of people in church circles who fancy themselves as counsellors, perhaps because their own needs for significance drives them to infantilise others.

    Other than very small settings with people I know and whose input I can take seriously, I don’t share any of my problems in a church setting nowadays. It’s just asking to be patronised.

  59. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ll have to keep my reply brief

    Bah. That’ll never happen, as you’re so in love with the sound of your own voice you can’t even count your own bullet points half the time.

    Actually, you’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  60. Biblical counselling seems to involve a lot of magical thinking. Whether you believe the events of the bible or not, the world just doesn’t work that way.
    If you’ve a magical healing experience then good for you. I would dare ask about the kids I saw in neonatal intensive care when my son was born.
    The bible is a collection of stories stitched together as a narrative that may or may not chronical divine interactions with peoples and cultures that have long since passed or morphed so it makes no difference.
    It’s as much use as a clinical guide as it is a car repair manual or geological survey.

  61. https://biblicalcounseling.com/certification/covenant/

    “We deny that the findings of secular psychology make any essential contribution to biblical counseling.
    God’s goodness allows that secular psychology may provide accurate research and make observations that are helpful in understanding counseling issues. Because unbelievers suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness the efforts of secular psychology at interpreting these observations lead to misunderstanding. Because their observations are distorted by a secular apprehension of life their efforts at counseling ministry will be in competition with biblical counseling. They cannot be integrated with the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”

  62. You have to believe in complementerianism to be a biblical counselor. “We lay down this summary of Christian doctrine, which we believe represents the biblical standards of doctrine that biblical counselors must embrace to do their work faithfully.”
    Here is part from their definition of complementerian:

    VI. The Doctrine of Man. God created man out of the dust and breathed life into him so that he became a living person. Human beings are made in the image of God and were created by him to be the pinnacle of creation. God made mankind in two complementary genders of male and female who are equal in dignity and worth. Men are called to roles of spiritual leadership particularly in the home and in the church. Women are called to respond to and affirm godly servant leadership particularly in the church and home.”

  63. drstevej wrote:

    GreekEpigraph wrote:
    drstevej wrote:
    Here’s my approach to complementarianism: https://youtu.be/OAIPZQHUIvE
    “This video is not available.”
    Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAIPZQHUIvE&t=25s

    Sorry, still showing “not available”, comments disabled, with a “subscribe” button only. Since I don’t subscribe to anything without knowing what it is, I guess it’ll stay a mystery! (Not a big deal – really. I just like following links and checking references.)

  64. FYI: Here is a part of a wedding ceremony I did:

    EPHESIANS 5:22-33

    Wife (Church’s response to Christ’s authority)
    – respect
    – response

    Husband (Sacrificial love of Christ for His Church)
    – keen focus on her best interests
    – give yourself for her

    It is Impossible to do this in your own strength.
    But in His power it will be a powerful testimony to
    your children, friends, and a watching world.
    Marriage was designed by God for your good and
    His glory.

    I charge you to diligently and daily submit to His
    design relying on His strength.

  65. I am reading this and wondering where BCM is going with all of this.

    https://biblicalcounseling.com/certification/standards-of-doctrine/“XIV. The Doctrine of The Great Commission. The church has been called to go into the world with the task of evangelism and discipleship. In giving this commission, Jesus requires his people to use their conversations to point people to Christ in evangelism, and to build people up in Christ in discipleship. The Great Commission necessitates that all faithful counseling conversations must have Jesus Christ as their ultimate goal. Our Lord and Savior does not give believers the option to avoid counseling conversations, or to avoid directing those conversations toward Jesus. The commitment of Christians to the Great Commission and to faithful biblical counseling is therefore one and the same.”

  66. dee wrote:

    He was the brave leader of the movement which has resulted in most groups like the SBC to reject the efficacy of reparative therapy

    And I would add that one reason was because american ‘christians’ were using it to encourage the Uganda death sentences for homosexuals!

  67. sandy c wrote:

    Women are called to respond to and affirm godly servant leadership particularly in the church and home.”

    Women are called to be second class citizens IMO. What not just be honest about it. I strongly disagree!

  68. Sandy:

    Not sure why my comment addressed you. I was addressing the definition of complementary. My apologies.

  69. They really should put biblical in quotation marks. Or use air quotes. Or use a trademark symbol. Enshrining complementarianism as part of the Doctrine of Man is a good example of how groups tend to equate their interpretation of biblical concepts as the Bible itself.

    The Association of Certified “Biblical” Counselors

    [When someone asks if you believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, I find they are usually asking whether you agree completely with how they interpret Scripture.] It’s another way of saying, “You realize, of course, that I’m right about everything.”

  70. drstevej wrote:

    dee wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:
    He became famous for this back in the early 2000s. That is how I first heard of him. His work was essential in helping groups like CMDA to change their stance on this issue. He was the brave leader of the movement which has resulted in most groups like the SBC to reject the efficacy of reparative therapy

    1 Cor. 6
    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers >>> nor men who have sex with men <> And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.<<<

    I am pretty certain that christians all know that this ^ is in the bible. But posting it brings up an excellent point- are bible scriptures given from God as tools to destroy people or to save them? The reparitive therapy results were being used as justification for killling homosexuals in Uganda and also as justification for discriminatory acts against homosexuals here and Matthew Shepard and many others lost their lives because of biblically justified hate.
    This is also totally the concern of what the results are of Complementarian doctrine and CBM. in some cases reparitive therapy had good results, but not when used to condemn and shame people to the point of suicide. In some marriages complemantary has worked but not if the husband is a misogynist etc. In BCM the combination of all the worst of these issues is compiled into one ‘doctrine’ which lay people everywhere are told they have to use on ‘sinners’ everywhere and if they abuse people there is no problem or punishment and the leaders of the movement just blame any mis-use on the follower or say that the ‘counselor’ didnt follow our instructions when in fact they followed instructions perfectly! Argh

  71. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    But this is one of the things I’ve noticed with healing, and similar, movements that have arisen in christian circles over the last 20 years (and probably earlier, only I was in a cult and not paying attention). It goes something like this:
     Step 1: Someone has a revelation on how to minister
     Step 2: They polish it for a bit
     Step 3: They codify it and package it as a product
     Step 4: They monetise it and/or turn it into a movement
     Step 5: They market the training to as many people as possible

    Absolutely! Also when funds get a little low they seem willing to do anything to keep the movement alive and cross all sorts of ethical and legal boundaries and that is usually when they crumble..because of some ‘secular persecution’ in the form of jail sentences or lawsuits!

  72. I am not a member of the BCM movement or ACBC. i dion’t read their stuff. I quoted a biblical passage. If a passage is misinterpreted and misapplied by some it does not mean the passage is faulty.

  73. mot wrote:

    Women are called to be second class citizens IMO. What not just be honest about it. I strongly disagree!

    Yep, if men want servants they should hire maids- or servants!

  74. I dont think any male pastor should preach “complimentary” doctrine unless he has been a slave that ‘had’ to sleep with his master and submit unquestionably in all things for at least 10 yrs. Male pastors could spend decades of sunday sermons on how men ought to be instead and there would be alot fewer issues i believe. Sincerely Signed, a christian slave that served faithfully 12yrs

  75. drstevej wrote:

    Marriage was designed by God

    Does God say somewhere that he designed marriage? Did He say it was for his glory? Seems like people were marrying long before the NT was around.

  76. @ sandy c:

    I don’t get this either. I would presume that if someone was getting Biblical counseling, they are already a Christian.

  77. Bridget wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    Marriage was designed by God
    Does God say somewhere that he designed marriage? Did He say it was for his glory? Seems like people were marrying long before the NT was around.

    Jesus affirms the original design in Matthew 19:4-6

    Jesus answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

  78. sandy c wrote:

    Sincerely Signed, a christian slave that served faithfully 12yrs

    I categorically condemn the way you were treated. Such treatment is a blatant disregard of the biblical design where men are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. We are called to love (as described in 1 Cor. 13)…

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

    I am sorry you were treated in an intensely un-Christlike manner.

  79. Jamie Carter wrote:

    “I’ve learned to look past where someone is at and to look forward to what someone will become.” A pastor/counselor told me the other day.

    That comment is used quite frequently by some auto dealerships as they advertise financing for those who have a poor credit history. It goes like this, “We’re not financing your past; we’re financing your future.”

  80. Avid Reader wrote:

    Isn’t Jay Adams a Calvinist?

    Yes, he is a Calvinist. His book “From Forgiven to Forgiving” is especially bad in that regard. From my point of view, this book has a lot of bad teaching. For example, he says a dying Christian shouldn’t accept morphine for pain so he can be sure to forgive everyone around him or else he might not go to heaven???

  81. Mary27 wrote:

    For example, he says a dying Christian shouldn’t accept morphine for pain so he can be sure to forgive everyone around him or else he might not go to heaven???

    He is not a very good Calvinist if he believes that. Did he forget about the P in TULIP?

  82. I have a family member who has been a nouthetic/biblical counselor and deeply involved in the movement for many years. Its problems and deficiencies are many.

    But it’s important to understand the root of these problems and how the entire premise of the enterprise is flawed. It is flawed because it relies on and is built on a theological framework that hews to fierce calvinism, in particular an overly broad interpretation of total depravity. They believe not only that humans are incapable of doing anything toward their salvation, but that anyone in an unsaved state is so incapable of doing anything good or competent on their own in any other realm as well. In their view, the unsaved are so depraved in every way that they cannot benefit from any counseling. This is why they always go to unconfessed sins and a person’s spiritual beliefs, etc. first, before any counseling. It’s a deep flaw but they can’t escape it because that’s the theological and ideological view they are tied to. To stray from it would be to leave their tribe, and believe me they would never risk that.

    The whole system is rotten at a foundational level. That is why it is so sick and does so much harm.

  83. drstevej wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    drstevej wrote:
    Marriage was designed by God
    Does God say somewhere that he designed marriage? Did He say it was for his glory? Seems like people were marrying long before the NT was around.
    Jesus affirms the original design in Matthew 19:4-6
    Jesus answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    And no where in that is there a prescription of how each individual marriage, or marriage ceremony, or vow, are to look.

    My husband and I were counselled very similarly to what you do (just not Reformed). We have both changed our views on several of those aspects and no longer hold to them. We’ve been married over 30 years. Holding to what we were told was the only biblical way to do marriage was killing our relationship.

  84. Ken G wrote:

    That comment is used quite frequently by some auto dealerships as they advertise financing for those who have a poor credit history. It goes like this, “We’re not financing your past; we’re financing your future.”

    Should be, “we are driving you to bankruptcy.”

  85. I think we are on two completely different tracts here. It’s an apples and oranges thing. Premarital counseling is a totally different ballgame than dealing with chemical, physical, or emotional disorders. (Although in premarital counseling issues may come to light which might require additional help from someone who can help from an additional angle.)

    The problem is when apples call themselves oranges.

    (Oranges and Apples): Yes, everyone in the church should love their neighbors and encourage people to love and serve Jesus.

    Apple Response: Wow! I see you are part of this problem you’re talking about. Here’s what I think the Bible/God say you should do to fix this.

    Orange Response: It is important for the body to know when someone’s experience is bigger than our ability to empathize with and then encourage that friend to meet with a person more qualified to help with the situation.

    I know from which I speak. I went to Bob Jones Academy (high school), and left with friends who were deeply scarred by the college’s “counseling.” A number walked away from Christianity and trace it back to the way they were counseled. My husband was a minor in psychology back in the 90’s when BJ decided to take a decidedly sharp turn away from actual psychology and sociology. He dropped out of that major.

    For college, I attended College of Charleston and was withdrawn my junior year one week before final exams because I was suicidal. My parents told me that real Christians don’t get sick in the head. My physics professor’s response saved my faith. “Who did my parents think Jesus died for?”

    In the end, it puts a lot of responsibility on the counselor’s “interpretation of the Bible” to be correct, their personal presuppositions and judgements to be pure unbiased (counselors to psychiatrists have scads of training detecting this in themselves), and that there are no contributing chemical, physical, or emotional disorders (because, you know, sin).

    Note: Spiritual direction is another more “hip” term being used now for Biblical counseling in some circles.

  86. Yes! Yes! John wrote:

    In their view, the unsaved are so depraved in every way that they cannot benefit from any counseling. This is why they always go to unconfessed sins and a person’s spiritual beliefs, etc. first, before any counseling. It’s a deep flaw but they can’t escape it because that’s the theological and ideological view they are tied to.

  87. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    He is not a very good Calvinist if he believes that. Did he forget about the P in TULIP?

    The P in Tulip represents perseverance which means they must die persevering. If they don’t get it right at the end, maybe they weren’t elect after all.

  88. Mary27 wrote:

    If they don’t get it right at the end, maybe they weren’t elect after all.

    Have you ever read about evanescent grace?

  89. drstevej wrote:

    I am sorry you were treated in an intensely un-Christlike manner.

    My contention is that complementerianism is why it happened!
    This comp being added to tenets of faith is absurd- because wife submission is required but not husbands honoring their wives, like 1 Peter 3:7 or for that matter in creeds there is never mention of husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church- only female submission is ever listed as a belief one must have to be a member of comp churches. They have elevated wife dominence to a place of losing salvation over, and that is exactly how it has played out in church after church after church. Even if you are a wonderful pastor that regards the role of husband and wife in the correct way, surely you can see that powerful domineering men have abused that preeminance of wife submission being equal to believing in the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, to abuse women.
    The answer i always hear is that its just some men using it wrong, there has been way too much time already given to let the church ‘correct’ the abuses in this. And that is the exact excuse BCM uses and countless other abusive practices are always covered by this excuse.
    You dont have to disregard scripture or hire female pastors- the issue is that in comp churches it has become an issue of salvation requirements and the thing the calvinists/comp churches hinge their whole doctrine on. No apology from any pastor of Complimenterian belief system will ever undo the damage that myself and countless women and children have endured. I was serious about pastors having to be slaves before they ever have any authority to command that someone else must be.

  90. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    I’ve never heard of Nouthetic counseling before, but it looks an awful lot like the “sanctification-by-behavior-modification” and call-out culture I experienced in college, especially the part where all psychiatric problems are really just a sin problem

    Maybe the name was invented as a euphemism to make such atrocious behave sound more palatable.

  91. Bridget wrote:

    And no where in that is there a prescription of how each individual marriage, or marriage ceremony, or vow, are to look.

    Mrs. Muff and me have been married for 37 years now and we’re glad we walked away from what you’ve described. It was killing our marriage too. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is a great and wonderful thing and so far as holy books go, it has no equal on the planet. But it’s prone to two ills. Not giving it the credence it deserves at one extreme, and making way too much of it at the other.

  92. @ Muff Potter:
    Interesting article. Including the 800+ comments already posted in only a couple of hours. Even if folks have different points of view, Throckmorton’s journey is thoughtful, with serious consideration of both scientific research and Biblical study.

  93. NJ wrote:

    “Every member of a congregation has a duty to provide Nouthetic counseling to those they believe are straying from God’s path or are in need of change.”

    This is a RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

  94. EV wrote:

    My parents told me that real Christians don’t get sick in the head.

    I think parents may believe that if a child they raised needs to see a psychiatrist or other professional, it somehow reflects failure of their parenting skills. And they may begin to second guess themselves. Where did we go wrong? So it’s much easier just to make it a sin problem.

  95. The OP quoting whatever biblical counselor this is:

    We are committed to filling the earth with the truth that Christ, and Christ alone, is the sufficient solution to the counseling problems people have.

    Jesus alone was not sufficient to help me get over or through depression and anxiety.

  96. The OP, quoting a biblical counselor:

    We know how and when to improve because we listen to the Bible. The same cannot be said for liberal counselors whose benchmark is their own wisdom.

    I’m not a liberal (I’m conservative), but, this view seems to suggest that his/ their/ the conservative interpretation or application of the Bible is correct each and every time.

    The Bible may be infallible, but what of his/there interpretation of it, and do all biblical counselors agree with each other on every point (probably not)?

  97. OP, Dee summarizing views of a biblical counselor:

    He claims that counselees do not like being confronted by their sin.

    (quote by counselor):
    here is only one brand of counseling that is committed to calling people to repent when they are guilty of sin, and that is biblical counseling. To be sure, people need counsel for all sorts of reasons besides their own personal sinfulness.

    Is this the same guy who earlier in the OP was quoted as saying this:

    (Dee quote):
    He admits to some problems and says that such treatment was wrong.

    (Bible counselor quote):
    Some of the stories are really bad:
    A NANC counselor . . .
    “Told my brother to get off of his prescription medication,”
    “Told my aunt to return to her abusive husband,” “Told my mom she was sinning by using psychiatric medication,”
    “Berated my depressed brother for being guilty of sin.”

    It looks to me as though he’s contradicting himself, at least a little bit.

    On the one hand, he says that biblical counseling should not be about bashing someone over the head with their sin in each and every case, but then, later, he says it should be about sin, sin, sin.

  98. Ken G wrote:

    (Ken quoting EV):
    EV wrote:
    My parents told me that real Christians don’t get sick in the head.

    This reminds me of a Christian psychiatrist who said some Christians have a version of the “Emotional Health Gospel.”

    Just as some Christians teach that a “real” Christian will never get physically sick (or will receive an instant healing if they have enough faith), there are Christians who assume or teach the equivalent in regards to mental health.

    I may be thinking of this:
    PSYCHOLOGY, BIBLICAL COUNSELING, AND THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH ‘GOSPEL’
    http://www.erictb.info/psychology.html

  99. @ Daisy:

    BTW, not that I agree with everything on that page I linked to, because skimming it over again, I don’t think I’m totally on the same page as the author.

  100. sandy c wrote:

    dee wrote:

    Some churches charge for it and some do not.

    Some churches believe that everyone in the pews should be picking on everyone in the pews… uh i mean all should be counselors pointing out sins of everyone lol i cant imagine sitting in a church like that!

    Sandy, I experienced that very thing in my former Christian cult. The devastating effects of such abuse of power can last over half a lifetime. It’s akin to letting loose a pack of caged dogs with rabies in the neighborhood. Or unsupervised toddlers in a china shop.

  101. sandy c wrote:

    Matthew Shepard and many others lost their lives because of biblically justified hate

    The news reported that he was murdered over a drug deal gone wrong or some such:
    New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder
    http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=277685

    But Shepard’s killers, in their first interview since their convictions, tell “20/20’s” Elizabeth Vargas that money and drugs motivated their actions that night, not hatred of gays.

  102. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t get this either. I would presume that if someone was getting Biblical counseling, they are already a Christian.

    Interesting point you raise.

    It’s one that is sometimes in the back of my mind when I’m reading what they say about counseling, sin, etc.

    They seem to operate under the assumption in some cases that the client they are consulting with is unsaved, a pagan who’s never heard the Gospel.

    Like the Christian lady who went to see a Christian counselor who assumed she must not be “saved” and if she would just accept the Gospel she would not and possibly could not have PTSD, anxiety, or depression.

    So the counselor just kept repeating the Gospel to her.

  103. Mary27 wrote:

    For example, he says a dying Christian shouldn’t accept morphine for pain so he can be sure to forgive everyone around him or else he might not go to heaven???

    Nutty stuff.

  104. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Mary27 wrote:

    For example, he says a dying Christian shouldn’t accept morphine for pain so he can be sure to forgive everyone around him or else he might not go to heaven???

    He is not a very good Calvinist if he believes that. Did he forget about the P in TULIP?

    Forget about the ‘P’. What about the ‘U’? Of course there are the Lordship Salvation Calvinists who attempt at getting you to pick your belly button every chance they get.

    Anywho, I am happy to be outside the Calvinist Camp any which way you slice it.

  105. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Mary27 wrote:

    If they don’t get it right at the end, maybe they weren’t elect after all.

    Have you ever read about evanescent grace?

    Ah Ken. Wasn’t it my mention of evanescent grace right here at TWW where you first heard of that term? In my opinion, it is a diabolical teaching. It cancels out quite a bit of the flowery language about God spoken of in Calvin’s Institute. This one teaching alone, if believed and imbibed by the Christian, is enough to lead one to UTTER despair.

  106. Muff Potter wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    And no where in that is there a prescription of how each individual marriage, or marriage ceremony, or vow, are to look.

    Mrs. Muff and me have been married for 37 years now and we’re glad we walked away from what you’ve described. It was killing our marriage too. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is a great and wonderful thing and so far as holy books go, it has no equal on the planet. But it’s prone to two ills. Not giving it the credence it deserves at one extreme, and making way too much of it at the other.

    Count me in as one of those whose marriage would have self-destructed if we had continued to support Patriarchy. The teaching on the Spirit of Eve alone was enough to make a woman go bonkers. Because at the root of this system is the idea that women, in their weakness, are always attempting to find a vulnerable spot in men in order to manipulate and control them. Men, therefore, must be vigilant and not let their guard down lest ‘Eve’ succeed and overcome them. This systems polarizes men and women.

  107. When my father in law, Laban, tricked me into marrying his less attractive daughter; I saw ACBC member Angus Young. He helped me identify my own sins of “dirty deeds done dirt cheap.” I found the experience very helpful. I hear his brother, Malcolm Young was helpful as well.

  108. Daisy wrote:

    The OP, quoting a biblical counselor:

    We know how and when to improve because we listen to the Bible. The same cannot be said for liberal counselors whose benchmark is their own wisdom.

    I’m not a liberal (I’m conservative), but, this view seems to suggest that his/ their/ the conservative interpretation or application of the Bible is correct each and every time.

    The Bible may be infallible, but what of his/there interpretation of it, and do all biblical counselors agree with each other on every point (probably not)?

    “God loves you, and I have a wonderful plan for your life.”

    That seems to be the universal creed of this style of counseling…

  109. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    When someone asks if you believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, I find they are usually asking whether you agree completely with how they interpret Scripture. It’s another way of saying, “You realize, of course, that I’m right about everything”.

    These two statements
     Everything I believe is based on the Bible
     The Bible agrees with me on everything

    … are not quite logically equivalent, but in practice they are used interchangeably.

  110. Daisy wrote:

    tell “20/20’s” Elizabeth Vargas that money and drugs motivated their actions that night, not hatred of gays.

    From that article:
    “All three got in the front seat of McKinney’s pickup, and Henderson took the wheel. McKinney told police that at some point Shepard reached over and grabbed his leg. In response, McKinney said, he hit him with his pistol. “I was getting ready to pull it on him anyway,” he said.
    McKinney says he asked for, and got, Shepard’s wallet, which had only $30 in it. But even though Shepard handed over his money, McKinney continued beating him. “

  111. Ken G wrote:

    drstevej wrote:

    McRae’s book, which I cited does a good job of summarizing my position. (BTW, it is the book used by the person who counselled my wife in I prior to our marriage 42 years ago).

    Thank you. I took a look at how McRae’s book is used in counseling. It seems that the basic structure advocated by the book is complementarian.

    https://bible.org/book/export/html/6261

    That does seem to fit with the other material Drsteve posted.

  112. Darlene. wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Mary27 wrote:

    If they don’t get it right at the end, maybe they weren’t elect after all.

    Have you ever read about evanescent grace?

    Ah Ken. Wasn’t it my mention of evanescent grace right here at TWW where you first heard of that term? In my opinion, it is a diabolical teaching. It cancels out quite a bit of the flowery language about God spoken of in Calvin’s Institute. This one teaching alone, if believed and imbibed by the Christian, is enough to lead one to UTTER despair.

    Evanescent grace could also be called “the amazing disappearing sixth point,” since every Calvinist I’ve known who prides himself on his extensive knowledge of the Fathers seems to have conveniently never heard about it.

    — except one pastor, who, though he honestly believed in it, took a relatively noble route with it, and said even though he wasn’t sure about his salvation, he trusted that God is kind and loving. Which sort of brings up the problem that on “kind” and “loving” on the Calvinistic God’s view really has nothing to do with kindness or love…

  113. dee wrote:

    @ drstevej:
    You actually beat me and I can cheat!

    HEADLINE: DEE AT WARTBURG WATCH ADMITS CHEATING ON WEBSITE

    HEADLINE: DEE AT WARTBURG WATCH CONFESSES BEING BEAT BY DR. STEVE J.

  114. Darlene. wrote:

    Ah Ken. Wasn’t it my mention of evanescent grace right here at TWW where you first heard of that term? In my opinion, it is a diabolical teaching.

    Yes. When I looked it up I was shocked and disgusted. All Calvinists should take a very good look at why they believe in a god who tricks people into false belief only so that he can judge them more severely for it.

  115. BELOVED SON wrote:

    dee wrote:

    @ drstevej:
    You actually beat me and I can cheat!

    HEADLINE: DEE AT WARTBURG WATCH ADMITS CHEATING ON WEBSITE

    HEADLINE: DEE AT WARTBURG WATCH CONFESSES BEING BEAT BY DR. STEVE J.

    Well played! Ah, the marvels of context!

  116. Avid Reader wrote:

    Isn’t Jay Adams a Calvinist?

    Yes, indeed. Adams is a classical Calvinist. A rigid belief in reformed theology comes across in his teachings, particularly the role of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity. When a counselor elevates the Bible above the work of the Holy Spirit in one’s life through nouthetic method, he essentially puts the Bible between the one being counseled and the Holy Spirit … I don’t read that in Scripture. It’s the Holy Spirit who will lead you to Truth, not man’s interpretation of the Bible. Certainly, the Word of God can provide instruction in this regard, but not at the expense of the Holy Spirit … they must work together. As has been addressed before on TWW, New Calvinists have subordinated both the Son and the Holy Spirit in their teachings … it’s as if there is no Trinity, only “God” and the Bible.

  117. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Have you ever read about evanescent grace?

    I just looked up evanescent grace and the way Calvin taught it is downright scary. I already knew Calvinists don’t have any assurance of salvation… because it really does depend on their works (disguised as perseverance). They are busy trying to control something they say is beyond their control.

    Here is the website on evanescent grace that I found:
    http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Articles/Evanescent_Grace.html

  118. sandy c–you made some statements as to what secular counsellors do and do not report that are grossly inaccurate. It is widely reported that the Aurora theater shooter’s shrink knew full well of his murderous thought pattern and desires and only reported them to an on campus higher up, rather than law enforcement.

  119. Forrest wrote:

    drstevej wrote:

    Here’s my approach to complementarianism: Thehttps://youtu.be/OAIPZQHUIvE

    That video isn’t available to view.

    It’s The She Coon of Women’s Lib by Jerry Glower.

  120. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    All Calvinists should take a very good look at why they believe in a god who tricks people into false belief only so that he can judge them more severely for it.

    Their god sounds more like Loki the Norse god. Loki it is said, delighted in tricking the sons of men into doing that which they would normally not do.

    And they (Calvinists) derive all this stuff from the Bible, and insist that this is what the pages of Scripture teach huh?

  121. “Nouthetic counselors seek to confront people out of concern for their lives and their souls. Every member of a congregation has a duty to provide Nouthetic counseling to those they believe are straying from God’s path or are in need of change.”

    So if you need counseling, you must be doing something wrong. That’s a horrible message to send to those suffering from mental illness caused by chemical imbalance, people who could be helped by medication and therapy, who need compassion, not condemnation.

    Jesus told the church at Ephesus, “I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.” (Revelation 2:2) But He also told them, “You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (v. 4) Because when your primary focus is on what people are doing wrong, it’s easy to stop loving them. (from a sermon I heard on this passage many years ago)

  122. Before my uncle Sal married his wife, a former prostitute, he talked to a more recent member of ACBC named Axl. He honestly told them that their marriage wouldn’t be “paradise city”. They went back to Axl after the birth of their first son Bo. Axl encouraged Sal to always consider Bo a “sweet child of mine”. He “welcomed them to the jungle” of marriage and encouraged “patience”.

  123. Mary27 wrote:

    I just looked up evanescent grace and the way Calvin taught it is downright scary.

    I suspect few Calvinists know that Calvin taught this. It’s a very disturbing teaching.

  124. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    Evanescent grace could also be called “the amazing disappearing sixth point,” since every Calvinist I’ve known who prides himself on his extensive knowledge of the Fathers seems to have conveniently never heard about it.

    It’s probably not widely taught since it is one of the most embarrassing teachings of Calvin. The problem for Calvinists is TULIP falls apart without it. There is no other way to explain Christians who die in a “back-slidden” state.

  125. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Mary27 wrote:

    I just looked up evanescent grace and the way Calvin taught it is downright scary.

    I suspect few Calvinists know that Calvin taught this. It’s a very disturbing teaching.

    If young folks flocking to New Calvinism in droves really knew about the man and fully understood his teachings, they might reconsider being involved in the new reformation. Many of them are simply getting caught up in the hype of the movement and its assortment of charismatic leaders. When the New Calvinism bubble breaks, thousands will be left disillusioned – they may never give Christianity another try.

  126. NJ wrote:

    “Every member of a congregation has a duty to provide Nouthetic counseling to those they believe are straying from God’s path or are in need of change.”

    The nouthetic Red Guard, coming soon to a neo-Cal / SBC church near you! :/

    So, they want Christians to be a bunch of sin-sniffing busybodies who think they’ll win extra goodies in heaven by browbeating people whom “they believe are straying from God’s path …”? Wow. For “biblical” counselors they sure do ignore a lot of the Bible. Like, most of what JESUS ACTUALLY SAID as reported in the four gospels.

  127. Jenny wrote:

    So, they want Christians to be a bunch of sin-sniffing busybodies who think they’ll win extra goodies in heaven by browbeating people whom “they believe are straying from God’s path …”? Wow. For “biblical” counselors they sure do ignore a lot of the Bible. Like, most of what JESUS ACTUALLY SAID as reported in the four gospels.

    One of the first things I thought when I read over their principles was that they referenced Paul, but not Jesus. And that is exactly how New Calvinist theology works.

    New Cals avoid talking about Jesus at all costs, unless they are writing marketing material to evangelical non-Calvinists. BTW, that’s an interesting study to do. They will mention Paul or OT verses way more than they even reference Jesus if they think their audience has a lot of their own followers in it, as well as their sermons online. And I know Max has counted how many times they referenced themselves over Jesus and it was by a lot (refresh us please, Max?)

  128. Max wrote:

    When a counselor elevates the Bible above the work of the Holy Spirit in one’s life through nouthetic method,

    Thats it! Thats what i couldnt figure out how to say! Its like in Galatians where Paul says ‘ you began in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?’
    It shows in all their works. (Not by works lest anyman should boast) And your point about them making the Son and the Holy Spirit less important than the bible.
    Someone earlier was talking about the meaning of Gods glory and that is another thing that bugs me. Gods glory and Gods reputation is used as a thing more important than anything. The magnifying of impersonal things, the way they talk about the gospel as if it was more important than the One that died for their sins.
    And that we must take their word as the absolute word and will of God, who is retired or on vacation they must suppose.

    The whole beginning of Protestantism was about overreaching poppery and having to be subject to corrupt authority and abusive use of position by those in charge of it. Perhaps a second Reformation is needed. Not a re-establishing of new calvinist poppery. Set My people free so they can worship Me.

  129. linda wrote:

    you made some statements as to what secular counsellors do and do not report that are grossly inaccurate.

    My statements were about Secular Therapists and Psychiatrists i have personally known and my comment said that.

  130. What Happened wrote:

    He honestly told them that their marriage wouldn’t be “paradise city”. They went back to Axl after the birth of their first son Bo. Axl encouraged Sal to always consider Bo a “sweet child of mine”. He “welcomed them to the jungle” of marriage and encouraged “patience”.

    Lol now i know what happened!

  131. sandy c wrote:

    they talk about the gospel as if it was more important than the One that died for their sins

    In their thinking, Calvinism = gospel. Ad I have noted before on TWW, I used to listen to New Calvinist podcasts by young reformers planting churches in my area (I wanted to see what made them tick). I would sit with a notepad with four columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, New Calvinist Icon (Piper etc.). At the end of a typical sermon, I would have put a lot of checks by “God”, with only occasional marks for Jesus, and hardly ever a record of the Holy Spirit. Calvin or Piper usually scored higher than Christ.

  132. ishy wrote:

    Max has counted how many times they referenced themselves over Jesus and it was by a lot (refresh us please, Max?)</blockquote
    See my response at 7:15 to sandy c.

  133. sandy c wrote:

    your point about them making the Son and the Holy Spirit less important than the bible

    They can control what the Bible says (through their interpretation). They can’t control what the Son and the Holy Spirit can do in a believer’s life, so they diminish them while elevating Scripture as the ultimate authority. Where does ultimate authority really lie? In the Word or with Jesus? Last time I looked, Jesus is the Word!

  134. ishy wrote:

    they referenced Paul, but not Jesus

    They tend to camp out in the epistles of Paul. If they only read Paul, they might read Jesus wrong … but if they read Jesus first (the Gospels), the writings of Paul come into perspective. Too many young reformers have been schooled in Calvinistic eisegesis of what Paul said, without filtering his epistles through the words of Jesus.

  135. drstevej wrote:

    This is not McRae’s material. It is a source that uses McRae’s book in their counseling of couples.

    Yes, that is what I wrote which is copied below,

    Thank you. I took a look at how McRae’s book is used in counseling. It seems that the basic structure advocated by the book is complementarian.

    So are you saying that the complementarian structure (headship and submission) is not advocated in Chapters 12-17 of McRae’s workbook, but is rather a preference of the counselor and another counselor could have the couple use the same workbook material and advise the couple that a different structure is appropriate or the couple should come up with their own structure whatever that may be? It seems that because a lot of effort is spent in Meeting 3 which references those workbook chapters and requires the prospective groom to explain headship and leadership and the bride to explain submission it’s reasonable to conclude the workbook advocates (or is slanted towards) a complementarian structure.

  136. I’m certain that most neo-Cal followers have never read Calvin’s Institutes. They’ve only read what their celebrity pastors write about Calvin. If they read Calvin’s own words, they’d be shocked at the deceiving, trickster, monster god that he believed in. At least, I hope they’d be shocked, and reject it.

    I don’t care for teal deer, but this section from Calvin’s chapter on faith hit me so hard I felt I had to share it. Calvin’s god is a double-crossing narcissist.

    ” I am aware it seems unaccountable to some how faith is attributed to the reprobate, seeing that it is declared by Paul to be one of the fruits of election;284 and yet the difficulty is easily solved: for though none are enlightened into faith, and truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel, with the exception of those who are fore-ordained to salvation, yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. Should it be objected, that believers have no stronger testimony to assure them of their adoption, I answer, that though there is a great resemblance and affinity between the elect of God and those who are impressed for a time with a fading faith, yet the elect alone have that full assurance which is extolled by Paul, and by which they are enabled to cry, Abba, Father. Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed, as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and steadfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate. Meanwhile, believers are taught to examine themselves carefully and humbly, lest carnal security creep in and take the place of assurance of faith. We may add, that the reprobate never have any other than a confused sense of grace, laying hold of the shadow rather than the substance, because the Spirit properly seals the forgiveness of sins in the elect only, applying it by special faith to their use. Still it is correctly said, that
    the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy.285 In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.”

    Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, Ch. 2, §11.

  137. @Ken G
    I did not say McRae is not a complementarian. His book was published 37 years ago, long before the present fights over the issue. McRae does address the biblical roles set forth in Ephesians 5. I address these in premarital counseling and the ceremony itself (see post in this thread). I do this without apology and find that the couples I have counseled responded well to our discussions.

  138. drstevej wrote:

    and find that the couples I have counseled responded well to our discussions.

    I responded well too, then changed my mind as time went on. I also became aware of other interpretations of verses. Originally, I was only taught what the teacher believed.

    Ephesians 5 does not talk about roles.

  139. Max wrote:

    ). I would sit with a notepad with four columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, New Calvinist Icon (Piper etc.). At the end of a typical sermon, I would have put a lot of checks by “God”, with only occasional marks for Jesus, and hardly ever a record of the Holy Spirit. Calvin or Piper usually scored higher than Christ.

    Interesting you should mention that. After i left complementarian church i used to do that too. To see where their heart was and whether they were leading people to a closer relationship with Jesus or to dead works. I had forgotten that. (Head injury, took awhile for me to remember my name but alot is coming back) therapeutic blog this is lol

  140. Jenny wrote:

    Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, Ch. 2, §11.

    Thank you for posting this. In the past I was tempted to post some quotes from this but I never knew where to start because it is so full of trash. Everyone who claims to be a Calvinist should be forced to explain how they can justify this teaching. So much for “sola scriptura.”

  141. Max wrote:

    Last time I looked, Jesus is the Word!

    The Living Word 🙂

    You said: “They can control what the Bible says (through their interpretation).”
    Why would anyone even want to do that except to control people, thats so sad.

    You said:
    “They can’t control what the Son and the Holy Spirit can do in a believer’s life”

    I thank God that it didnt stop Jesus from saving me! The Holy Spirit kept reminding me of grace through all of it. I sometimes ignored that inner voice and fought it- because they were very convincing and used scripture. Was real grace and real Love that got me out, and the Lord kept showing me what the scriptures said Jesus was really like- no condemnation, true compassion and laughter!

  142. Max wrote:

    They tend to camp out in the epistles of Paul. If they only read Paul, they might read Jesus wrong … but if they read Jesus first (the Gospels), the writings of Paul come into perspective. Too many young reformers have been schooled in Calvinistic eisegesis of what Paul said, without filtering his epistles through the words of Jesus.

    I would ask everyone to pray for my ex husband. I havent seen him in 17 yrs but my kids do occassionally.
    His dad was orphaned as a teen and was raised by violent uncaring uncles. Then as an adult, married with little kids, the dad got saved and went to a complementarian church. The church was really heavy on the importance of having your family in order with gravity and submission. So my husband was raised by this man that wavered between loving his family sometimes and then having such pressure from church if his son did something wrong that he beat him. And his mom who stayed at home and tried to be the perfect submissive wife that couldnt “usurp his authority”
    I got married not having a clue about basically anything christian and it was a time bomb waiting to explode.
    He tried to be the perfect head of the household just like their church had taught and he had seen. Then he gave all that up and started using drugs and divorced me. i am happy i am not married but really how much can i blame him for being like he was when it was the only thing he knew.
    He is remarried (x 3) now and i heard he is happier and not abusive. I think he is really mad at God though.

  143. sandy c wrote:

    To see where their heart was and whether they were leading people to a closer relationship with Jesus or to dead works.

    New Calvinists mistrust folks who express personal Christian experience, a relationship with the living Christ. They prefer to teach followers doctrinal propositions about grace, rather than emphasizing a direct experience of Grace. There’s just not much spiritual life flowing in their belief and practice.

  144. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Oops. The quote is from Book 3, Ch. 2, §11. When my former church turned Calvinist, this doctrine was not part of the pastor’s sales pitch. I’m sure most modern Calvinists are as unaware of it as I was.

  145. @ sandy c:
    I know, right!?! I wouldn’t want to be in the same universe with such a twisted, sadistic deity, let alone worship it.

    Jesus taught us saying, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3-4). Can you imagine the Lord saying to a 5-year-old who dies believing in Him: “HAHAHA!!! You’ve been PUNK’D!!! Now, burn eternally in HELL!!!”

    Calvin’s Institutes makes me wonder what kind of a guy his father was. Yeesh.

    To get back on the main road: this is the theology at the core of nouthetic counseling. You’re not going to get healing and wholeness out of such a practice.

  146. Jenny wrote:

    I wouldn’t want to be in the same universe with such a twisted, sadistic deity, let alone worship it

    I was reading #ChurchToo the other day and several people said the only time they felt God hated them was in calvinist church.

  147. Max:
    Following your lead, I counted the frequency of the following in the Calvin quote.

    God: 7
    Spirit: 3
    Paul: 3
    Father: 1
    Christ: 1

  148. drstevej wrote:

    I did not say McRae is not a complementarian. His book was published 37 years ago, long before the present fights over the issue. McRae does address the biblical roles set forth in Ephesians 5. I address these in premarital counseling and the ceremony itself (see post in this thread). I do this without apology and find that the couples I have counseled responded well to our discussions.

    Thank you for the clarification.

  149. @ ishy:

    I have even heard some Reformed pastors make the claim that Jesus is “spiritual milk,” and that real believers need the meat-and-potatoes of Paul if they ever want to grow strong. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Paul — but last time I checked he wasn’t “the way, the truth, and the life”, and he never claimed to be)

    Others even have told me they find Jesus too “grace-heavy,” and that he should really only be interpreted through the wider and more concrete lens of Pauline theology.

    “Jesus’s teaching is hard to understand without Paul,” they say (or something along these lines). “Paul’s epistles explain the mysteries of Christ’s actions and mystic teaching in ways which we can understand. Otherwise, our interpretation of Jesus’s teaching is too dependent on our own human wisdom, and we’re likely to miss the real beauty of sound doctrine if we focus too much on the synoptic gospels.”

    I suppose Jesus is too watered-down for them — considering he is “living water”…

    I also find it a little ironic that they say Jesus should be interpreted through the teachings of Paul. One would think it’s the other way around…

  150. dee wrote:

    @ Niteowl:
    I will get back t you this week. I had a difficult week. My stepfather is on hospice and my mother has become increasingly confused and a bit paranoid. I am their only family caretaker.

    However, things got better yesterday when my mother agreed that she was having memory problems and agreed to try some medication.

    Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed.

    Sorry to hear things are not easy at the moment. It totally can be overwhelming being faced with these responsibilities. I will pray for your family. Glad they have you to look out for them!

  151. @ sandy c:

    God bless you Sandy; it seems like you have, and are being, transformed by the grace of God. I pray that God will completely heal your ex.

    Max wrote:

    They prefer to teach followers doctrinal propositions about grace, rather than emphasizing a direct experience of Grace.

    You’ve had a direct experience of Grace and it’s a beautiful thing. It seems the true concept of grace has often been distorted or overlooked. Your testimony of grace in forgiveness and ongoing concern have blessed me this morning.

  152. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists mistrust folks who express personal Christian experience, a relationship with the living Christ.

    Max

    It is a great blessing to read your replies. It seems to me that Grace has always been relegated to the margins as institutionalization proceeds. It can’t be produced by the church, but it can be marginalized.

  153. @ Jenny:
    Bingo! Is it any wonder that Calvin’s followers in the 21st century still mimic his style? True preachers of the Gospel lift the name of Christ above all others; He never comes in last place.

  154. ishy wrote:

    New Cals avoid talking about Jesus at all costs, unless they are writing marketing material to evangelical non-Calvinists. BTW, that’s an interesting study to do. They will mention Paul or OT verses way more than they even reference Jesus if they think their audience has a lot of their own followers in it, as well as their sermons online.

    What do the predestined need Jesus for???

  155. @ What Happened:
    What Happened?! General William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) saw this day coming … listen to his words:

    “I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell.”

    We’re there.

  156. What Happened wrote:

    Grace has always been relegated to the margins as institutionalization proceeds

    Jesus came to redeem individuals, not institutions! The institution we call “church” is OK if it is engaged in the Great Commission to lead folks to Christ and equipping them to do the work of the ministry. Anything less than that is doing church without God.

  157. Romans 8:30New International Version (NIV)

    30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

  158. Did anyone else pick up on this? Lambert says:

    Whenever NANC offers training we always—always—do it with a licensed medical doctor present who provides crucial medical background into counseling-related problems.

    Okay… that sounds somewhat comforting. But then the INS says this:

    All lectures are now available online and can be studied in the student’s home and at the student’s pace. In fact, with a laptop computer or iPad, students can study anywhere a WiFi connection can be accessed!

    How is a “licensed medical doctor” supposed to be present to someone studying on an iPad, in his/her own home?

  159. What is the Difference Between Nouthetic and Biblical Counseling? Just the Spelling.

    And both resemble Dianetic Auditing in promises and attitude.

    Nouthetic counseling is Biblical counseling: The name has been changed to protect the guilty.

    Like the name changes from ChEKA to OGPU to NKVD to KGB to FSB?

  160. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    How is a “licensed medical doctor” supposed to be present to someone studying on an iPad, in his/her own home?

    Through SOCIAL MEDIA.
    (There can be no Existence outside of Social Media…)

  161. Jenny wrote:

    Can you imagine the Lord saying to a 5-year-old who dies believing in Him: “HAHAHA!!! You’ve been PUNK’D!!! Now, burn eternally in HELL!!!”

    “In’shal’lah…”

    Calvin’s Institutes makes me wonder what kind of a guy his father was. Yeesh.

    We DO know his father pushed him into an unwanted career as a lawyer….

  162. Jenny wrote:

    @ sandy c:
    I know, right!?! I wouldn’t want to be in the same universe with such a twisted, sadistic deity, let alone worship it.

    The usual workaround to that is that in Heaven you will be so Renewed (Over-Saved?) you will literally Have No Choice, only the Desire to Constantly Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship.

  163. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jenny wrote:
    @ sandy c:
    I know, right!?! I wouldn’t want to be in the same universe with such a twisted, sadistic deity, let alone worship it.
    The usual workaround to that is that in Heaven you will be so Renewed (Over-Saved?) you will literally Have No Choice, only the Desire to Constantly Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship.

    Free Will in Heaven
    (Adapted from and with apologies to Eric Clapton — Tears in Heaven)

    Beyond the door,
    There’s peace I’m sure.
    And I know there’s got to be
    Free will in heaven.

    Would you throw a fit,
    If He controlled you in heaven?
    Would it be the same,
    If He bound your will in heaven?

    You must be strong,
    And carry on.
    ‘Cause you know there’s no free will
    Here in heaven

    =====

    Thankfully, in glorification God eradicates my sin nature and eliminates any possibility of rebellion.

    So much for the theory that for love to exist you have to be free to reject the other person.

    There is love among the Three Persons of the God Head, yet I am not worried They will have a spat!

  164. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Jenny wrote:
    Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, Ch. 2, §11.

    Thank you for posting this. In the past I was tempted to post some quotes from this but I never knew where to start because it is so full of trash. Everyone who claims to be a Calvinist should be forced to explain how they can justify this teaching. So much for “sola scriptura.”

    Oh, but Calvin’s Institutes IS SCRIPTURE(TM)!
    Sola Scriptura(TM) = SOLA CALVIN’S INSTITUTES!
    IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WREITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN!

  165. Jenny wrote:

    So, they want Christians to be a bunch of sin-sniffing busybodies who think they’ll win extra goodies in heaven by browbeating people whom “they believe are straying from God’s path …”? Wow

    Like “Child Heroes of The Party” who inform on Mom & Dad.

  166. Max wrote:

    If young folks flocking to New Calvinism in droves really knew about the man and fully understood his teachings, they might reconsider being involved in the new reformation. Many of them are simply getting caught up in the hype of the movement and its assortment of charismatic leaders.

    i.e. The Great Mass Movement which WILL Change The Face of the Earth!
    With them in Important Positions in or around the Movement’s Inner Ring!

  167. Muff Potter wrote:

    Their god sounds more like Loki the Norse god. Loki it is said, delighted in tricking the sons of men into doing that which they would normally not do.

    And Loki was constantly having his tricks blow up in his face.

    Half the Norse myths seem to start out with:
    (1) Loki Pulling Something;
    (2) Thor shaking Loki by the neck.

  168. Darlene. wrote:

    The teaching on the Spirit of Eve alone was enough to make a woman go bonkers. Because at the root of this system is the idea that women, in their weakness, are always attempting to find a vulnerable spot in men in order to manipulate and control them. Men, therefore, must be vigilant and not let their guard down lest ‘Eve’ succeed and overcome them. This systems polarizes men and women.

    Because then the rules of Power Struggle come into play.

    Under the Rules of Power Struggle, there are only two alternative states: His boot stamping on her face or Her boot stamping on his. Top or Bottom, Dom or Sub, Survival of the Most Powerful, Kill or be Killed, Eat or be Eaten, nothing else is possible.

    And the only way to avoid one is to make sure of the other. Forever.

  169. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Maybe the name was invented as a euphemism to make such atrocious behave sound more palatable.

    As in my previous epistle on Semantics, My Dear Wormwood…

  170. From the OP “This whole *MD being present in the training thing* borders on simplistic and competently trained counselors will know that.”

    I would treat the presence of the M.D. with the same skepticism I would a paid expert witness in a jury trial. They are already on board with the agenda.

  171. Bridget wrote:

    I responded well too, then changed my mind as time went on. I also became aware of other interpretations of verses. Originally, I was only taught what the teacher believed.

    Mrs. Muff calls it ‘paint roller Christianity’. No brushes of varying width, and certainly no fine detailing brushes. Just take that 9 inch roller, slosh it the Scripture pan, and apply it to everything.

    Bridget wrote:

    Ephesians 5 does not talk about roles.

    No it does not in a strict and linear sense. In my opinion, it’s only over the last 40-45 years or so (in Evangelical Protestantism) that it’s taken on a prescriptive role for gender parameters in marriage.

  172. @ ishy:
    That was one of the first weird clues that my daughter had that something was off when she was dating an SGM man. All the songs and sermons mentioned the savior but rarely by name. Almost all religions have a savior, a type of christ, and a Jesus. But only one has Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. The amplified Bible classic edition says
    3 And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.
    The newer Amplified Bible, which just goes by AMP so people today do not even know there was an earlier version says 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus [acknowledging that He has come in the flesh, but would deny any of the Son’s true nature] is not of God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and is now already in the world.
    Note that they eliminated [nonconfession]. Anyway, that was always important to me when I assessed Christian teachers. Some people will get outright offended if you test them according to 1 John 4, asking them who Jesus Christ is. It isn’t always what they outright deny. Its often what they continually leave out. Now we can get into all the translation argument over how accurate the AMP or AMPC is at all. But this principle has always proven true in the long run for me.

  173. FW Rez wrote:

    I would treat the presence of the M.D. with the same skepticism I would a paid expert witness in a jury trial. They are already on board with the agenda.

    Like the M.D.s on the payroll of the tobacco companies a few decades ago?

  174. @ FW Rez:
    When I read this in the OP the first time, Buzz Lightyear’s comment to Woody about Sid popped into my mind: “I don’t believe that man’s ever been to medical school!”

    What kind of “medical doctors” would agree to legitimize the “training” of nouthetic counselors?! Can we find a list of those who have actually done this, because I want to keep myself and my family faaaaar away from them.

  175. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    There is way too much of that. A white coat does not mean all that much just by being white. Don’t anybody be fooled by the color coding.

    And on a similar line, people should not be fooled when it comes to mental health merely by the paper on the wall. In some areas of health care there can be lab reports and various kinds of imaging and all sorts of other testing modalities which introduce a certain level of objectivity, but in mental health there is an inordinate amount of subjectivity which can be dangerous in the hands of those with their own agenda. And that can even include the people with so much paper that the walls are cracking from the number of nails holding up the carefully presented degrees and certificates and licenses and awards.

    The year that I was a psych resident there were two residents who were admitted to hospital for a psych admission and one psych faculty suicide. I was not one of those. That was an unusual year, admittedly.

    It would be nice if it were not that complicated, but…

  176. ION: Sport

    Fitba’: It’s a Merseyside derby in the FA Cup 3rd round – should be interesting!

    Cricket: Down Under, the Pomnishambles continues.

    IHTIH

  177. Patti wrote:

    Some people will get outright offended if you test them according to 1 John 4, asking them who Jesus Christ is. It isn’t always what they outright deny. Its often what they continually leave out.

    This is really profound. You probably won’t find a neo-Cal who would actually deny the Trinity. When do you ever hear them proclaim it? Do you hear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lifted up and praised in their services, or do you hear God, the Bible, and Paul? They’ve put their faith and trust in their own ability to achieve personal holiness. Even that is a hopeless illusion for them, because what if they’re one of the deceived reprobates Calvin describes? Jesus came to set them free from the religious torture chamber, and in his name they’ve locked themselves back in again and swallowed the key.

  178. I may be too harsh in my criticism of the BC folks. They appear to be actual academic heavy weights. To earn the Marriage Counseling Specialization from ACBC, for example, you have to read nine entire books (the John Piper book alone is almost 200 pages while C.J. Mahaney’s is only 120 pages) and receive a total of 15 hours of training on related topics.

    https://biblicalcounseling.com/marriage-counseling-specialization/

    The point is that this amounts to not much more than effort than a lot of 3 hour college courses (typically 45 hours classroom and 1 major text with additional reading and writing assignments).

  179. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    I also find it a little ironic that they say Jesus should be interpreted through the teachings of Paul. One would think it’s the other way around…

    This one would think they are in heresy, for any of those statements. They worship paul and themselves if they believe those things

  180. Max wrote:

    What Happened?! General William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) saw this day coming … listen to his words:

    “I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell.”

    We’re there.

    Wow

  181. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    How is a “licensed medical doctor” supposed to be present to someone studying on an iPad, in his/her own home?

    Oh they send one to your home when you get to that chapter lol

  182. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    What do the predestined need Jesus for???

    Exactly so. And Mohler makes reference to only “certain men” leading (Christian Post, “Is It Biblical for Women to Lead”), by which he means himself and his friends. By the church covenants, the elite are not accountable to anyone. Many of them have also appointed themselves to those positions.

    Patti mentioned SGM. Mahaney is completely uneducated and just decided to go start a church one day, then appointed himself an absolute leader. That is why they work real hard to lower the position of women in the church. Eliminate half from contention and there’s much less competition. But most men in those churches don’t realize they are considered just as much to be peons and minions as women to those few elders in charge. And they pick young yes-men to be elders because they don’t have the wisdom to lead or seem less of a challenge to the top dog.

    Or how about all those “certain men” who only went to SBTS for undergrad and grad school? Mohler talks a lot about intellectual elites on his blog, presenting himself and his flock of baby pastors as the elites, but only going to one school and learning one point of view is anything but an intellectual elite.

  183. Patti wrote:

    All the songs and sermons mentioned the savior but rarely by name. Almost all religions have a savior, a type of christ, and a Jesus. But only one has Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. The amplified Bible classic edition says
    3 And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.
    The newer Amplified Bible, which just goes by AMP so people today do not even know there was an earlier version says 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus [acknowledging that He has come in the flesh, but would deny any of the Son’s true nature] is not of God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and is now already in the world.
    Note that they eliminated [nonconfession]. Anyway, that was always important to me when I assessed Christian teachers. Some people will get outright offended if you test them according to 1 John 4, asking them who Jesus Christ is. It isn’t always what they outright deny. Its often what they continually leave out. Now we can get into all the translation argument over how accurate the AMP or AMPC is at all. But this principle has always proven true in the long run for me.

    This is eye opening.

  184. okrapod wrote:

    The year that I was a psych resident there were two residents who were admitted to hospital for a psych admission and one psych faculty suicide. I was not one of those. That was an unusual year, admittedly.

    It would be nice if it were not that complicated, but…

    I found that some people with mental illness go into the therapy field to “give back”.
    As with other fields i would look for recommendations. And my opinion is that if a ‘counseleling’ service doesnt have a Psychiatrist overseeing it, i would look elsewhere or use more caution getting services there. As with Medical Drs i think the length of time studying in an accredited university would weed out alot of unsuitable people.
    That still doesnt mean you would always get a competent counselor of course.

  185. Patti wrote:

    confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh

    I think Romans 10:9 is a bit easier for that purpose-do they confess (regularly) that Jesus is Lord?

    Now New Cals will say Jesus was an atonement but that’s about all they’ll say about him, so both verses are applicable, but you will never hear a New Cal talk about submitting or surrendering to Jesus as their Lord. I rarely even hear them say that about God the Father. Because they claim they made no choice in their salvation, they have no need to really submit to God.

    Here’s an interlinear for a translation of that passage:
    http://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/10-9.htm

    That got real sticky with the eternal subordination of the Son theology. Since Ware said only men are made in the image of God, and I think that’s what most of their leaders really believe, even if they don’t say it, then they have the “right” to have others submit to them.

  186. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The usual workaround to that is that in Heaven you will be so Renewed (Over-Saved?) you will literally Have No Choice, only the Desire to Constantly Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship.

    I’ll take Jewish Olam Ha-Ba to Protestant Heaven any day of the week and six ways to Sunday.

  187. Muff Potter wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:
    All Calvinists should take a very good look at why they believe in a god who tricks people into false belief only so that he can judge them more severely for it.
    Their god sounds more like Loki the Norse god. Loki it is said, delighted in tricking the sons of men into doing that which they would normally not do.
    And they (Calvinists) derive all this stuff from the Bible, and insist that this is what the pages of Scripture teach huh?

    To be fair, I think many Calvinists are unaware of Calvin’s teaching on ‘evanescent’ grace. But what I would say is that this teaching points more to the disturbing views that John Calvin believed about God. And I think those disturbing views informed some of his other troubling teachings on, for example, ‘reprobation’ and ‘predestination.’

  188. Here is some more wretched-despair-inducing Jay Adams theology:
    Only God can bring life to dead souls to enable them to believe. He does this when and where and how He pleases by His Spirit, who regenerates, or gives life leading to faith…As a reformed Christian, the writer believes that counselors must not tell any unsaved counselee that Christ died for him, for they cannot say that. No man knows except Christ Himself who are His elect for whom He died. [Jay Adams, Competent To Counsel, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970), p. 70]

  189. drstevej wrote:

    FYI: Here is a part of a wedding ceremony I did:
    EPHESIANS 5:22-33
    Wife (Church’s response to Christ’s authority)
    – respect
    – response
    Husband (Sacrificial love of Christ for His Church)
    – keen focus on her best interests
    – give yourself for her
    It is Impossible to do this in your own strength.
    But in His power it will be a powerful testimony to
    your children, friends, and a watching world.
    Marriage was designed by God for your good and
    His glory.
    I charge you to diligently and daily submit to His
    design relying on His strength.

    The Greek sentence that v.22&23 is extracted from extends from 5:18-23 and therefore includes “submit yourselves one to another”. Technically, v. 22 does not even have a separate verb, but carries its verb from the gerund in v.21 “submitting”. As a good pastor, I assume that you base your teaching on the full sentence in the original language, not merely a truncated chunk at the end? I have no issue with the teaching that wives are to submit (a much softer word than obey, as the Roman Civil Code (law) required of them), provided husbands are to submit to their wives as well, in accordance with Paul’s requirement of all Spirit-filled Christians to “submit yourselves one to another” or willingly co-operate with each other.

  190. @ GreekEpigraph:

    I am having trouble with what you are saying, it being the same thing that many here say, but it is the language of it that gives me a problem. About the issue of the verb, and using only my mother tongue English, why would not that sentence about ‘submit’ be understood possibly as this one in English could be understood.

    Parent announces: Everyone is to engage in gathering the dirty laundry, the oldest in the bedrooms and the youngest in the bathroom.

    In other words the meaning is that how everybody participates is lived out in the cited specific ways; not rather than or in addition to but as a part of how the gathering manifests itself in behavior.

    In other words, why would the word need to be repeated if the meaning is clear? Why would the sentence in the bible not be understood to mean that everyone submits and this is how that works: wife to husband (for example).

    It seems to me that either understanding fits the sentence meaning equally well.

    And no I do not have an axe to grind: I am divorced from an egalitarian marriage and am a member of a liberal denomination. I just don’t see why either way of interpreting that particular biblical statement is wrong.

  191. okrapod wrote:

    I am having trouble with what you are saying, it being the same thing that many here say, but it is the language of it that gives me a problem. About the issue of the verb, and using only my mother tongue English, why would not that sentence about ‘submit’ be understood possibly as this one in English could be understood.

    What you describe is how I would translate it. The argument against it though is that husbands (and often elders) don’t have to submit, particularly to women, which is nowhere in that passage even in the English translation. I have had someone tell me in person that Ephesians 5:21 never applies to husbands. I think they would have applied it to elder if they had thought of it. That argument comes completely out of the English translation where “submit” has been added back in to verse 22. And I almost never see that passage start with v. 21. They just pretend that verse doesn’t exist unless asked directly about it.

    Furthermore, I would argue that by omitting it in v. 22 in the Greek, it deemphasizes it as a verb.

    But most strongly emphasize that as the main point in the whole passage and hammer on it hard. A lot of people have taken the English translation and added a lot of meaning that’s not there. If they translated it the way it was written, which would be perfectly understandable in English, they would have a riot. Even if it is what it really says.

  192. If people are keeping v. 21 and following it through the passage, there’s not really a problem. But that’s not what happens.

    I also think that editing to add the passage headers has something to do with it. Most shove v. 21 into the passage before. That division doesn’t exist.

  193. Bridget wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    and find that the couples I have counseled responded well to our discussions.
    I responded well too, then changed my mind as time went on. I also became aware of other interpretations of verses. Originally, I was only taught what the teacher believed.
    Ephesians 5 does not talk about roles.

    I never even heard of this idea of roles until I started reading TWW. It reminds me of the role playing games my son used to play back in the day. Rigid formulas.

  194. ishy wrote:

    That argument comes completely out of the English translation where “submit” has been added back in to verse 22. And I almost never see that passage start with v. 21. They just pretend that verse doesn’t exist unless asked directly about it.

    Regardless of how verses 21-22 are interpreted by Comps, they cannot ignore the list of 59 “one anothers” http://www.smallgroupchurches.com/the-59-one-anothers-of-the-bible/ that do not exempt the husband from any one of them.

    Also, Wade posted on his blog some time ago that the only place in scripture that mentions authority in a marriage relationship is found in 1 Cor. 7 where both the husband and wife have the same authority.

    I believe the Comps deflect attention away a vast number of other scriptures that negate their beliefs about submission by keeping the focus on Eph. 5:22.

  195. @ Mary27:

    WHAT?!!!!

    How did this get past anyone that claims to follow Jesus? And why is this nouthetic/biblical counseling used by anyone????

  196. GreekEpigraph wrote:

    I have no issue with the teaching that wives are to submit (a much softer word than obey, as the Roman Civil Code (law) required of them), provided husbands are to submit to their wives as well, in accordance with Paul’s requirement of all Spirit-filled Christians to “submit yourselves one to another” or willingly co-operate with each other.

    Thank you for stating this so clearly!

  197. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Jenny wrote:
    Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, Ch. 2, §11.
    Thank you for posting this. In the past I was tempted to post some quotes from this but I never knew where to start because it is so full of trash. Everyone who claims to be a Calvinist should be forced to explain how they can justify this teaching. So much for “sola scriptura.”

    I have an interesting story about this evanescent grace teaching of Calvin. Some time ago while on a Calvinist Facebook site, I began a post asking about this very teaching. I asked the Calvinists there if they agreed with it, and I, of course, said why I didn’t. Within less than a day of me making that post, I was banned from the Calvinist site. Meanwhile, before I was banned, they did their best to defend this teaching of Calvin’s.

  198. ishy wrote:

    Since Ware said only men are made in the image of God, and I think that’s what most of their leaders really believe, even if they don’t say it, then they have the “right” to have others submit to them.

    What do they do with this scripture? “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.Genesis 1:27
    Is this another doctrine that just ignores scriptures that contradict their ‘doctrine’ i suspect that many new versions of the bible have eliminated things they dont want to see just as many have done with Luke 3:14 and the admonition for soldiers to do violence to no man. “14And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse [any] falsely; and be content with your wages.”

  199. Max wrote:

    sandy c wrote:
    To see where their heart was and whether they were leading people to a closer relationship with Jesus or to dead works.
    New Calvinists mistrust folks who express personal Christian experience, a relationship with the living Christ. They prefer to teach followers doctrinal propositions about grace, rather than emphasizing a direct experience of Grace. There’s just not much spiritual life flowing in their belief and practice.

    Bingo, Max! You hit the nail on the head!

  200. sandy c wrote:

    What do they do with this scripture? “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.Genesis 1:27

    Their modus operandi is just to completely ignore all inconvenient verses. If confronted, they will generally quote a poor and sparse explanation from one of their mouthpieces, then change subjects (in my experience, generally church history “fathers”, which also goes against their Sola Scriptura tenent). They basically hang their entire theology on the Torah and a few Pauline verses.

    What made me leave the SBC was the minimization of Christ by nearly the whole leadership. If they minimize Christ, they certainly wouldn’t have a problem minimizing large parts of the Word (as much as they claim otherwise), nor minimizing women.

  201. Darlene wrote:

    Sandy, did you attend a Calvinist church?

    I didnt even know what it meant! I went to a 4square for several yrs and a AG for a few months, i went to a baptis church for a few times. The 4 square held an extreme complimenterian view about wife submission and was anti women holding church office of any sort and never allowed women to do classes like adult sunday school because that would mean they were teaching men. They also used heavy handed ‘submit to the authority of church leaders’ as the rule for all attendees. They went through several pastors and all held these views. I suspect that many calvinist doctrines that appeal to pastors are incorporated into many denominations.
    The ridiculous part about the 4square denomination doing this is that the whole denomination was founded by a female! A female pastor lol

  202. Mary27 wrote:

    Here is some more wretched-despair-inducing Jay Adams theology:
    Only God can bring life to dead souls to enable them to believe. He does this when and where and how He pleases by His Spirit, who regenerates, or gives life leading to faith…As a reformed Christian, the writer believes that counselors must not tell any unsaved counselee that Christ died for him, for they cannot say that. No man knows except Christ Himself who are His elect for whom He died. [Jay Adams, Competent To Counsel, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970), p. 70]

    This is based on Limited Atonement. Calvinists also believe that Regeneration takes place before Faith.

  203. sandy c wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Sandy, did you attend a Calvinist church?
    I didnt even know what it meant! I went to a 4square for several yrs and a AG for a few months, i went to a baptis church for a few times. The 4 square held an extreme complimenterian view about wife submission and was anti women holding church office of any sort and never allowed women to do classes like adult sunday school because that would mean they were teaching men. They also used heavy handed ‘submit to the authority of church leaders’ as the rule for all attendees. They went through several pastors and all held these views. I suspect that many calvinist doctrines that appeal to pastors are incorporated into many denominations.
    The ridiculous part about the 4square denomination doing this is that the whole denomination was founded by a female! A female pastor lol

    Oh my, that is hilarious!

  204. Posting this here so i can refer back to it when dee posts the next BCM piece.
    The tangled web of biblical counseling excerpt
    “… in a field dominated by academics, it’s really hard to get your views taken seriously without a few letters behind your name. Enter Christian Education Enterprises (CEE).

    CEE was founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1979 to make “Christian education programs available to all persons without respect to age, geographical location, economic status, social standing, ethnic or racial background.” Through this non-profit entity, the board members chartered an online distance learning school called Master’s International School of Divinity. The lead board member of CEE, Dennis Frey, was named president of the school, which offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in ministry and, in particular, biblical counseling. It is based in Evansville, Indiana, and is unaccredited.

    Frey has his Master’s of Ministry, Master’s of Divinity, Doctorate of Divinity and Doctorate of Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary–also located near Evansville, Indiana, also offering degree programs in biblical counseling, and also unaccredited. Trinity was founded just 10 years before Master’s International. And Frey earned all four of these graduate degrees from Trinity in a span of just six years: from 1982 to 1988 – while also attempting a Doctorate of Philosophy program at another college, and after making himself the president of his own seminary school. (Interesting coincidence: Frey founded Trinity’s online division.)
    you should see the curriculum vitae of the faculty and staff of both Master’s International and Trinity Seminary. Nearly every faculty member at Master’s earned their highest graduate degree from Master’s. Likewise, about half the faculty teaching at Trinity earned their degrees from Trinity.

    The truly interesting part about Master’s International, though, is the curriculum. The majority of the required textbooks for biblical counseling were authored by – you guessed it – the school’s faculty/alumni. Gallagher, who by all appearances doesn’t even hold undergrad hours in an intro to psychology course, is practically the sole author of the texts used in the sexual addictions concentration of the biblical counseling degrees, all levels – including D. B. S. Also, a student at Master’s International can earn up to a third of their required credits for a bachelor’s degree in “life experience.”
    I don’t know about you, but it appears to me that in 1979, Frey et. al. chartered a school, used that school to “earn” doctorate-level ministry and theology degrees, used those unaccredited degrees to affix “Dr.” in front of their names, published books with “Dr.” in the author line, then made those books required texts for the school they founded.

    I know. I was dumbfounded, too.

    But it doesn’t end there. The BCM’s leaders went on to create their own certification programs and training centers for those wanting to enter biblical counseling. Coursework in the certification program can count as credit toward a Master’s International degree in counseling, and vice-versa. The IABC and Pure Life Ministries are listed as Master’s International educational partners, along with the Gateway Biblical Counseling and Training Center.”
    https://revolfaith.com/2014/12/20/the-biblical-counseling-movement-the-tangled-web/

  205. Tangled web of BCM Excerpts cont..
    “The IABC and Pure Life Ministries are listed as Master’s International educational partners, along with the Gateway Biblical Counseling and Training Center.

    Whose director is David Tyler.

    Who is also president of the American Academy of Biblical Counselors (AABC).

    And the Dean of Biblical Counseling at Master’s International.

    And the author of four books used as part of the curriculum at Master’s.

    As far as I can determine, none of this is illegal. Both Trinity and Master’s operate under the religious exemption clause in Indiana’s state constitution. As long as an unaccredited school is classified as a seminary, it can grant degrees however and to whomever it wants without much interference.

    What might be illegal (depending on the state) is using the so-called credentials attached to that degree to advance your career. In other words, you can’t give yourself a doctorate through a school you created and then go around putting “Dr.” on your resume. If not outright criminal, it’s certainly dishonest and in very poor taste.”The Southern Baptist Connection

    It is not entirely clear just how connected the group in Evansville is to the Southern Baptist Seminary, but it is clear that prominent Southern Baptist leaders are big proponents of biblical counseling. Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Seminary, recently penned a foreword to the book Scripture and Counseling, which is being heavily promoted by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. The Coalition’s website links to the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), run by David Powlison, student and admirer of Jay Adams. (You may remember Powlison from Part 2.)

    The Coalition also lists links to the websites of NANC (Adams’ organization), John MacArthur, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Howard Eyrich, and Lou Priolo. What’s special about them? They are all authors of books used as part of the curriculum at Master’s International. Eyrich in particular is listed as an adjunct faculty member at Master’s, though his degree was earned at another institution.

    It is also interesting to note that John MacArthur oversees his own Christian college and seminary called The Master’s College and The Master’s Seminary, respectively. The similarity in name to Master’s International could merely be a coincidence, since MacArthur’s college (at least) is regionally accredited and offers degrees in subjects other than ministry and theology. And it may also be a coincidence that MacArthur and his church was sued for alleged counseling malpractice the same year CEE and Master’s International popped onto the scene.

    But that’s a lot of coincidences.

    https://revolfaith.com/2014/12/20/the-biblical-counseling-movement-the-tangled-web/

  206. I recommend reading this whole article https://revolfaith.com/2014/12/20/the-biblical-counseling-movement-the-tangled-web/

    “The Shepherding Movement Connection”
    One group of churches most prominent in the modern shepherding movement is Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). Which was founded by C. J. Mahaney. Who is close friends in ministry with Al Mohler. Who publicly defended Mahaney when he was recently sued for covering up decades of child sex abuse at SGM. Near the height of the scandal, Mahaney moved SGM’s headquarters from Maryland to Louisville, KY, to be closer to the Southern Baptist Seminary, where Mohler is president.

    SGM has also been accused of rampant spiritual abuse; former members have their own survivor blog.

    Mohler and MacArthur are both connected to Mahaney through the Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference, held twice a year. David Powlison was featured on Mahaney’s SGM blog in 2009.”

  207. Jenny wrote:

    Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

    John Calvin published Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536 when he was only 27 year old. Agree or disagree with what he wrote, publishing such a landmark text at such a young age is a remarkable accomplishment.

  208. Ken G wrote:

    John Calvin published Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536 when he was only 27 year old. Agree or disagree with what he wrote, publishing such a landmark text at such a young age is a remarkable accomplishment.

    Marx published The Communist Manifesto in 1848 when he was 30. Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925 when he was 36. Agree or disagree with what they wrote, would you consider their having published such ‘landmark’ texts at such young ages to be remarkable accomplishments?

    I try to evaluate a writer’s accomplishments not by his age but by his work’s beauty, wisdom, common sense, kindness, and impact on society and history.

    IMO Calvin’s Institutes reflects the mind of a proud, angry, young firebrand who seized upon the opportune religious upheaval of the Reformation to invent a new monster god. Propping it up with cherry-picked Bible verses, he used it as the foundation of a new jackbooted theology. He then employed his rhetorical skill to promote it and himself to prominence and power. IMO there is no love for God, neighbor nor brother in Calvinism. It’s about instilling fear and exerting control.

  209. ishy wrote:

    If people are keeping v. 21 and following it through the passage, there’s not really a problem. But that’s not what happens.

    I also think that editing to add the passage headers has something to do with it. Most shove v. 21 into the passage before. That division doesn’t exist.

    Well…none of the epistles were written in paragraphs.

  210. Jenny wrote:

    Marx published The Communist Manifesto in 1848 when he was 30. Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925 when he was 36. Agree or disagree with what they wrote, would you consider their having published such ‘landmark’ texts at such young ages to be remarkable accomplishments?

    Calvin had to begin his research probably a couple of years before publication. It’s remarkable because young people in their early 20’s (at least here in the US) are usually still searching to “find themselves” by trying different jobs, career paths, furthering their education or are concerned about marriage. And I read somewhere on TWW that certain aspects of the human brain are not fully developed at that age. Marx publishing at 30 is kind of remarkable, but very mush less so than Calvin because a few years in age can make a huge difference. Hitler publishing at 36 is not remarkable because 36 is well into adulthood.

  211. okrapod wrote:

    @ GreekEpigraph:
    I am having trouble with what you are saying, it being the same thing that many here say, but it is the language of it that gives me a problem. About the issue of the verb, and using only my mother tongue English, why would not that sentence about ‘submit’ be understood possibly as this one in English could be understood.
    Parent announces: Everyone is to engage in gathering the dirty laundry, the oldest in the bedrooms and the youngest in the bathroom.
    In other words the meaning is that how everybody participates is lived out in the cited specific ways; not rather than or in addition to but as a part of how the gathering manifests itself in behavior.
    In other words, why would the word need to be repeated if the meaning is clear? Why would the sentence in the bible not be understood to mean that everyone submits and this is how that works: wife to husband (for example).
    It seems to me that either understanding fits the sentence meaning equally well.
    And no I do not have an axe to grind: I am divorced from an egalitarian marriage and am a member of a liberal denomination. I just don’t see why either way of interpreting that particular biblical statement is wrong.

    Hmm, it is primarily a matter of whether submission is one-way or two way, proof-texting and whether submission is even the important concept in the sentence. Paul writes in sentence-paragraphs (Romans 1:1-7 is a good example, and the translator kept the long sentence structure to show the thought pattern, in the KJV) and these sentence-units, as any of our sentences, as not meant to be chopped up and made into separate thoughts. The commands in this sentence are in v 18&19 “do not be drunk with wine”, “be filled with the Spirit”. The remaining verbs (to v.23) are all examples of how to be filled with the Spirit, including “submit yourselves on to another, wives to your own husbands”. It makes a big difference to the interpretation of Paul’s subversion of the Civil Codes (which spoke to wives, adult children and slaves) to hammer on the husband, father and master, who had NEVER been so spoken to, since the Civil Codes did not have any prescription for the paterfamilias, if submission is two-way versus only one way as is often taught.

    How do you end up with one-way submission from a passage that is about being filled with the Spirit and specifies that this includes two-way submission, as a segue into subverting the hierarchical relationships of Greece and Rome? Chop a sentence in half, add a verb, add a paragraph break and put a heading in to separate v.21 and v.22. I am actually quite pleased with the CEB rendering of this passage, which makes the “one thought” from v.18-23 so obvious.

    Thanks Okrapod!

  212. sandy c wrote:

    The Southern Baptist Connection

    The president of the Trinity Seminary outfit spoke as an apologetics authority at the SBC’s New Orleans seminary’s ‘Defend 2017’ conference:

    https://www.nobts.edu/gatekeeper/news/2017/defend-highlights-needs-for-apologetics.html

    “Other plenary speakers included…Braxton Hunter, former president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists”

    “Braxton Hunter, apologetics professor at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., said in the opening plenary session…”

    According to the Trinity ‘seminary’ website, Braxton Hunter is the president of the school, and his daddy Harold Hunter is the chancellor. All of Braxton’s degrees were obtained from the school.

  213. Jenny wrote:

    IMO Calvin’s Institutes reflects the mind of a proud, angry, young firebrand who seized upon the opportune religious upheaval of the Reformation to invent a new monster god. Propping it up with cherry-picked Bible verses, he used it as the foundation of a new jackbooted theology. He then employed his rhetorical skill to promote it and himself to prominence and power. IMO there is no love for God, neighbor nor brother in Calvinism. It’s about instilling fear and exerting control.

    Wow you could even say that the fruit of it is as you described also, we are seeing that again and again in the little calvins that keep their little flocks in severe order in their little churches that are becoming megas.

  214. Ken G wrote:

    . It’s remarkable because young people in their early 20’s (at least here in the US) are usually still searching to “find themselves” by trying different jobs, career paths, furthering their education or are concerned about marriage. And I read somewhere on TWW that certain aspects of the human brain are not fully developed at that age. Marx publishing at 30 is kind of remarkable, but very mush less so than Calvin because a few years in age can make a huge difference. Hitler publishing at 36 is not remarkable because 36 is well into adulthood.

    I have seen some schizophrenic writings that are lengthy and mostly on topic written by teenagers. Maybe his young age should have been a red flag.

  215. Jerome wrote:

    2008 – University of Wales a “laughing stock” for partnership with Newburgh Indiana USA Trinity correspondence school:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7740904.stm

    Nice catch! “”It devalues a genuine University of Wales diploma if one can earn the same piece of paper in Indiana without doing the same rigorous work you would do in Wales.”
    I noticed the Trinity response in the article and it reminded me of how Calvin kept telling everyone that Luther would love his version of bible interpretation and Luthers colleagues were trying to be polite but still said NO.

  216. Jenny wrote:

    IMO Calvin’s Institutes reflects the mind of a proud, angry, young firebrand who seized upon the opportune religious upheaval of the Reformation to invent a new monster god. Propping it up with cherry-picked Bible verses, he used it as the foundation of a new jackbooted theology.

    In the words of the Prophets Robert Zimmerman & The Byrds:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKLIrOGfUo

  217. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists mistrust folks who express personal Christian experience, a relationship with the living Christ.

    They’re out-of-balance, just in the opposite direction from the Crazy Crowders & Tatted Tods.

  218. Muff Potter wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    The usual workaround to that is that in Heaven you will be so Renewed (Over-Saved?) you will literally Have No Choice, only the Desire to Constantly Worship Worship Worship Worship Worship.

    I’ll take Jewish Olam Ha-Ba to Protestant Heaven any day of the week and six ways to Sunday.

    That sort of “Protestant Heaven” always reminded me of a Cosmic version of North Korea, with the Population Units Dancing Joyfully with Great Enthusiasm before Comrade Dear Leader — Forever.

  219. Jenny wrote:

    They’ve put their faith and trust in their own ability to achieve personal holiness. Even that is a hopeless illusion for them, because what if they’re one of the deceived reprobates Calvin describes? Jesus came to set them free from the religious torture chamber, and in his name they’ve locked themselves back in again and swallowed the key.

    I’ve heard it said that the doors to Hell are locked from the inside.

    What did Screwtape say about Our Father Below Righteously walking away from The Enemy?

  220. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In the words of the Prophets Robert Zimmerman & The Byrds:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKLIrOGfUo

    HUG, I wish I had a dollar for every time you and I have been on the same wavelength over the years, either here or on iMonk. Someday I need to stand you a pint at your favorite pub, my friend.

    “Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
    Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
    Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
    Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now”

    I wonder if on his death bed Calvin ever had such thoughts. Did he ever regret the monster god he unleashed on the world in his zealous youth?

  221. sandy c wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    What did Screwtape say
    Who is screwtape?

    Sandy, Screwtape is a fictional character in C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters. He’s a ‘senior demon’, I think, writing to his nephew and underling Wormwood.

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