Biblical Counseling: Anyone Can Do It, Sin Is the Focus, Confidentiality Is Not Guaranteed and Women Should Beware

“Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory link

I am quite concerned about what I am finding as I research the ins and outs of the biblical counseling movement. Please pay attention to the exact quotes from the websites.

When our 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with her brain tumor, we decided that we were going to get her the best care possible, even if that meant leaving Dallas to do so. Thankfully, we know lots of medical people and we talked to many of them. They told us to stay put in Dallas and have Dr Fred Sklar do her surgery. When he came to our daughter’s room, he told us he was rotating off service and that one of his partners could do it. I would not hear of it. I told him our friends told us to have him do the surgery and that is what I wanted him to do. I was 7 months pregnant, quite upset and was quite adamant. He decided not to mess with me and said he would do it. I am so grateful that he did.

He became quite the advocate for my daughter after her surgery, helping us to make difficult decisions like not to allow her to received radiation, a decision that would later prove to be the absolute correct thing to do. I knew about his background, his academics, his writings and you can be darn sure he went to an accredited medical school and neurosurgical residency program. After all, he was going to be mucking around inside her brain. Why would any sane person do anything different?

Main Point: Biblical counseling messes with your life and your head so you should know exactly what, and who, you are getting.

Who can be a biblical counselor?

In our post Part 1: The Biblical Counseling Movement and Timberlake Baptist Church and Counseling Center, we looked at that Timberlake’s Counseling center.

This counseling center is considered a major ministry of the church and is featured on the website. Not only does this center provide services, it also exists to train members of the church to become certified counselors with the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC)

The International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC) is similar to Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) which we discussed in our initial post. According to Heath Lambert, the head of ACBC, the IABC and ACBC are the two largest groups and are often discussed together.

Concerning the historical distinction, nouthetic counselors identify with the founding generation of biblical-nouthetic counseling and leaders in the movement like Jay Adams, Ed Bulkley, and Wayne Mack. Biblical counselors identify with second-generation leaders like David Powlison, Ed Welch, and Paul Tripp. But these historical distinctions do not always amount to institutional distinctions. A few smaller organizations like the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) and the Institute for Nouthetic Studies (INS) are purely one or the other. But large organizations like The Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC), The International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC), and NANC have diverse memberships that identify with each generation. (Ed. note: NANC is now ACBC.)

ACBC has the following to say about Christians and counseling.

Please note the words *intense difficulty.” What does this mean? Does it mean abuse?  Serious emotional illness? This statement is directed towards Christians who wish to be counselors.

Every Christian is a counselor.  They might not want the work, and they might not be any good at it, but every Christian is a counselor.  This is because every Christian has conversations with people who are in trouble and need help.

…ACBC offers counseling and discipleship training because we want the church of Jesus Christ to grow in wisdom and skill about how to say helpful things to people going through intense difficulty.

…At our ACBC conferences you will learn

-How to help someone who feels trapped by a sin they cannot overcome
-What to say to someone who is experiencing a heartbreaking loss
-How to offer care to your friends who are experiencing trouble in their family

So, let’s take look at both groups in terms of the prerequisites in order to begin training.

IABC Counseling Pre Requisites

In order to understand their terminology you need to know these definitions. This terminology is thrown around by ALL biblical counseling groups.

General revelation is the knowledge of God, as well as the knowledge of right and wrong, that can be obtained through nature. This general revelation of God’s existence and basic morality is known by everyone.

Special revelation is the revelation of God that is mainly known as the Bible, which is the inspired word.

The first thing an aspiring counselor must do, after joining IABC, and prior to training, is to affirm what the IABC claims are the Christian beliefs of the organization and to deny the so called *nonbiblical” beliefs. I am including the ones that jumped out to me but read them for yourself. Focus on the difference between general revelation and specific revelation. You will see that IABC shuns general revelation in regards to counseling in order to focus on specific revelation which is vital for their construct that only Christians are competent to counsel.

  • We deny counseling theories and practices that are not based on the Special Revelation of the Bible.
  • We deny that General Revelation alone was intended to provide the data necessary for life and godliness.
  • We deny that either man’s wisdom or General Revelation can be given equal authority with Scripture.
  • We affirm that Biblical truths are sufficient, when presented in the power of the Holy Spirit, to enable the Christian to love and obey God and to seek to please Him in every way.
  • We deny that man’s wisdom (secular theories and practices) can enable the Christian to love and obey God and to seek to please Him in every way.
  • We deny that secular sources are sufficient to establish norms for right and effective living.
  • We affirm that the Biblical Counselor builds his system of counseling, including its presuppositions, principles, and theories from Special Revelation.
  • We deny that the counselor can build a “Biblical” system of counseling that syncretizes secular sources and the Holy Scriptures.
  • We deny that mental health professionals, by virtue of their training in secular theories and practices, are qualified to equip the saints or build up the Body of Christ through psychological theories and practices.
  • We deny that Christians, who depend on their training in secular theories and practices rather than the Bible, are qualified to equip the saints, build up the Body of Christ, or to aid in the process of sanctification.
  • We deny that Biblical counseling falls under the authority of psychology.

Is there empirical evidence offered by these groups for the efficacy of  biblical counseling? None whatsoever because you can’t put a soul in a test tube.

Academic professors of psychology present empirical evidence that various methods are helpful or damaging. Sadly, that is not the case in the biblical counseling world. In What empirical evidence do you have that Nouthetic counseling is superior to other forms of counseling? 

Quite frankly, none. Do you wonder at that? Let me tell you why you shouldn’t. To compare Christian counseling with other forms of counseling is to compare oranges to apples (no, let’s say, oranges and socks!). Consider the goal of Christian counseling over against that of others. Most counseling seeks to solve a person’s problem in order to bring relief. That is the prime goal. In Christian counseling, however, the goal is to honor and glorify God, whether or not relief is obtained. How, then, do you compare the outcomes?

Moreover, since the object of biblical counseling is to bring about change in the counselee that honors God, how would you test for that empirically? Would you put his soul in a test tube, shake it up and hope it turns blue? How would you test whether God was honored, whether the motives of the counselee were sound (since God looks upon the heart; not merely on outward behavior) or whether he only made changes outwardly? How would you determine the extent of the Holy Spirit’s work in the counselee’s life so as to make the desired spiritual changes? In other words, there is no way to obtain empirical evidence. Since it is biblical attainments that are under consideration, it is impossible to get statistical evidence for the spiritual changes that the biblical counselor seeks to bring about.

…So, what does the Christian counselor have to demonstrate the effectiveness of Nouthetic counseling? Nothing, as I said before. And he is absolutely content to say so.

Why is this concerning? This means that an abusive, ill trained or naive counselor does not have to show anything *specific* that occurred from their counseling because the results are spiritual. Frankly, this is downright dangerous and plays into the criticism that such counselors are nothing more than hacks who can get away with anything since the spiritual cannot be measured.

ACBC basic beliefs that must be affirmed in order to be an ACBC certified counselor.

The basic beliefs of this group were a bit harder to come by and interpret. However, the candidate for certification MUST sign a covenant. That covenant, along with Standards of Doctrine, Policies and Procedures, Standards of Conduct and Constitution and By-Laws can be found here.

Here are some statements that I think are relevant to the standards they expect of their trainees.

From Standards of Doctrine:

Please note that I am only presenting what caught my eye. Please read the document in its entirety.

The Preamble

We are an association of Christians who have been called together by God to help the Church of Jesus Christ excel in the ministry of biblical counseling.  We do this with the firm resolve that counseling is fundamentally a theological task.  The work of understanding the problems which require counseling and of helping people with those problems is theological work requiring theological faithfulness in order to accomplish that effectiveness which honors the triune God.  Because theological faithfulness is a necessity in counseling, it is required of this association to articulate our convictions in this regard.  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.

They are strict complementarians. This is vital for everyone to know up front.

…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.

Counseling must be done through the church.

…The church is the organism through which God accomplishes his mission in the world.  It is the main agent for all ministry of the Word, including the ministry of counseling and discipleship.

The following statement may mean that the counselor will focus on sin since that is what is involved in sanctification

..The work of counseling is fundamentally the work of helping Christians to grow in this grace of sanctification.

Ligonier Ministries defines sanctification:

According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q. 35), sanctification is “the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” It is a continuing change worked by God in us, freeing us from sinful habits and forming in us Christlike affections, dispositions, and virtues

Secular counseling is at odds with biblical counseling.

Because the central elements of counseling include God, the nature of the human problem, and God’s solution in Christ, the counseling methods of secular people are ultimately at odds with a uniquely biblical approach to counseling.

From Standard of Conduct

  • Biblical counselors must use the Scriptures in counseling as the authoritative and sufficient source for counseling content.
  • Biblical counselors must reject any secular counseling intervention that is at odds with Scripture. Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.
  • Biblical counselors must make a distinction between the clear meaning of a biblical text and their opinions and applications they derive from that text. There is an important distinction to be made between the author’s intended, authoritative meaning of the text and our application of that text
  • Biblical counselors must care for counselees in making decisions about whether and how they charge fees for counseling. The Bible is clear that ministers of the gospel of Jesus are entitled to earn their living from the gospel. This principle can extend to biblical counselors who serve Christ in vocational ministry.
  • Biblical counselors must be committed to the priority of the church in accomplishing their counseling ministry. Biblical counselors will place themselves under the leadership of a church and pursue the accountability of that leadership as it relates to their life, doctrine, and counseling practices.
  • Whether the counseling ministry is formally part of the the church or whether church leadership holds the center accountable through board involvement or personal accountability of individual counselors. (Ed. note-this may mean they will communicate private counseling issues with pastors, etc. Check on confidentiality.)
  • Biblical counselors will also work to emphasize proper care for the physical body including recognizing the importance of professional medical care for medical problems.

Now look carefully at a few more statements because these theological constructs WILL affect how the person is being counseled.

  1. Women cannot counsel men because they must not have authority over men NOT because it avoids potential impropriety and safety issues.

women will strive to avoid formally counseling men since this generally requires the task of teaching men with authority which is forbidden by Scripture.

2. Husbands are an authority to which the wives must submit. Think about this in terms of abuse.

 Biblical counselors must help their counselees submit to legitimate authority in the context of the home. God has called husbands and fathers to exercise spiritual authority in the home, seeking the welfare of those in his care. God has also called wives to be submissive to their husbands and children to be submissive to the authority of their parents. These authority structures are an incredible blessing when discharged faithfully. Biblical counselors will help family members honor these sources of authority appropriately throughout the various stages of life.

3. The counselor must stress submission of the client to spiritual authority.Think about this in terms of abuse.

Biblical counselors must help their counselees to submit to the authority of their church. God has gifted his church with ministers to shepherd the souls of his people. These shepherds have real spiritual authority that must be followed when it is discharged biblically. Biblical counselors see this authority as a blessing from God given for the good of his people, and therefore endeavor to help their counselees embrace it.

4. Confidentiality is definitely not guaranteed. Make sure you understand this.  It appears they are claiming that submission to authority potentially means that the counselor could tell a pastor, church leader, or a husband. Abuse should be reported to the state but this clause gives a much broader audience who can receive reports. Caveat Emptor, folks!

Biblical counselors must also make clear to their counselees that a commitment to biblical authority requires the disclosure of certain kinds of information to certain parties. A biblical commitment to protect counselees from harm as well as commitments to the authority of the home, church, and or state may require disclosure of information that counselees would otherwise prefer to remain private.

5. The Board of Trustees, who all believe in ultimate church authority and the authority of husbands over wives, gets to judge reports of unethical behavior and impose sanctions. This is a closed system with no outside oversight and I believe that it is a potential minefield.

 As the board of trustees seeks to accomplish this responsibility they desire to honor the judgment of local ecclesiastical authorities whenever possible.  Any verdict, however, about the violation of these standards for our members, or the penalties for violations of our members is at the sole discretion of the board of trustees.  It shall be the responsibility of the board of trustees to clearly and publicly communicate the process for reporting violations of these standards, for investigating alleged violations, and for instituting penalties for any violations

The Covenant: Secular psychologists are are lying researchers and only biblical counselors are biblical….

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.

A Review:

Good night! I haven’t even gotten to the actual training. Well, that’s for next week. Here are my list of concerns

  • Biblical counseling is focused on sin which is the basis for the counseling issue.
  • Confidentiality is not guaranteed and reports could be made to pastors, leaders, husbands, etc.
  • It only recognizes complementarianism.
  • Women must submit to their husbands.
  • Secular psychology is *a pack of lies.*
  • Anyone is capable of being a biblical counselor.
  • The local church is in charge (Is this another TGC/Acts 29 group?)
  • Women must never be in any sort of teaching authority over men and that includes counseling. But men shouldn’t counsel women due to the impropriety of it all. It is all *biblical.*

Here is a list of the ACBC board members. No women allowed on the board of ACBC, just like it says n the Bible….

  • Ron Allchin
  • Kevin Backus
  • Brad Brandt
  • Nathan Currey
  • Heath Lambert
  • Jim Newheiser
  • Keith Palmer
  • Tim Pasma
  • Lance Quinn
  • Andrew Rogers
  • George Scipione
  • Bob Somerville
  • John Street
  • Steve Viars

As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman who is been abused to receive this sort of biblical counseling.

Comments

Biblical Counseling: Anyone Can Do It, Sin Is the Focus, Confidentiality Is Not Guaranteed and Women Should Beware — 360 Comments

  1. I really do like the example of your daughter – because it is fitting – and there seems to be a certain element that disdain elites (but only on some things)

    Pretty scary stuff – but I do remember being taught at youth group meeting (way back) that there was no such thing as mental illness – and the speaker meant that literally. He said it all was unresolved sin.

    The ramifications…….so if being abused has psychological impacts on someone – the solution is to learn how to submit more?

    The idea that we don’t seek healing for relief is absurd……logically we then should rely only on faith healing and never see a doctor, take antibiotics or set broken bones.

  2. “Biblical counselors must reject any secular counseling ***intervention*** that is at odds with Scripture. Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.”
    This really bothers me.

  3. Because of the strict line they draw between secular and their version of Special Revelation (which is not limited to the bible) does that mean if a person goes to an outside therapist are they automatically ex-communicated?
    Reading this stuff is so creepy- it could have been written by David Koresh!

  4. Mike wrote:

    The ramifications…….so if being abused has psychological impacts on someone – the solution is to learn how to submit more?

    THIS ^

  5. “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14) doesn’t apply here.

    It’s no surprise that Nouthetic counseling and New Calvinism are running in parallel tracks. Both are characterized by control and manipulation of the sheep. Both put the Bible between the individual and the Holy Spirit. Both diminish the role of Jesus in bringing peace and healing to a hurting soul. Both should be avoided by believers.

  6. I’m only about half way down the original post. I wanted to comment on this:

    We deny that Christians, who depend on their training in secular theories and practices rather than the Bible, are qualified to equip the saints, build up the Body of Christ, or to aid in the process of sanctification.

    All I know is that I tried the “Jesus-only” approach they support for a large part of 20 some odd years of having depression and anxiety, and I off and on, I also tried their other favored approach the “Beg God to tell you what personal sin I must have done to have brought on the clinical depression, and I’ll repent of it” methods, and neither one worked.

    I had to go to to extra-biblical sources, some by Christians, most not by Christians, to finally get any sort of progress on depression and anxiety at all.

    If you are hurting, do you want a solution THAT WORKS, or a “biblical” solution that is not effective but that (where is HUG when I need him), “Honors the Loooooooord.”

    (Though IMHO, using extra-biblical methods or information for mental health problems is not “dis-honoring to the Looooord.”)

  7. Dee,

    Your quotes from their documentation is some.of.the.scariest.stuff.I.have.read. People can be seriously harmed by submitting to this ridiculous “counseling.”

  8. OP quote:

    We deny that mental health professionals, by virtue of their training in secular theories and practices, are qualified to equip the saints or build up the Body of Christ through psychological theories and practices.

    Try it like this:

    We deny that auto mechanics, by virtue of their training in secular theories, auto shop classes, and practices, are qualified to equip the saints or build up the Body of Christ or fix your car through automotive theories and practices.

    Take your malfunctioning car in to one of our Biblical Counseling centers, where we will pray for your car’s oil to miraculously change and for the flat tire to be inflated.

    We will also try to determine which of your personal sins caused the crack in your windshield and your tire to deflate.

    (But we won’t actually repair either one.)

  9. Daisy wrote:

    We will also try to determine which of your personal sins caused the crack in your windshield and your tire to deflate.
    (But we won’t actually repair either one.)

    Hey. That last part reminds me of those commercials for the home security company or identity theft?? (One of the two.)

    One commercial has a guy go visit his dentist, who tells him something like,
    “I spotted a cavity. We’re all done here.”

    And the guy is like, “But aren’t you going to fix my tooth?”

    And the dentist is all, “No, silly, we don’t actually repair your messed up teeth, we just tell you that you have a problem with your teeth, see.”

    Biblical counselors will point to your problem (which they will always insist is YOU, your personal sin), but they won’t actually do anything to fix the problem.

    I googled for it. The commercials I am thinking of are for LifeLock. Here’s their dentist commercial (totally reminds me of Biblical Counseling):
    Why Monitor a Problem? (Dentist commercial)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGDzxPsdi7w

  10. When I first learned about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the course of my studies, I was so excited as here was someone in psychology articulating a principle I saw in Scripture. God/Jesus meets peiple’s physical needs of safety, hunger, thirst, etc before dealing with ‘higher’ needs. Also, I see it in the example of the Church in its history of hospitality and health care.

  11. Holy cow. This.

    This is very similar to some quote I gave y’all over a year ago, from another site with Biblical Counseling stuff on it, where they actually ADMITTED to this:

    Most counseling seeks to solve a person’s problem in order to bring relief. That is the prime goal.
    In Christian counseling, however, the goal is to honor and glorify God, whether or not relief is obtained.

    That part to me is one of THE most damaging to their cause.

    If your counseling isn’t going to provide me with “relief” from whatever my problem is, then I’m not going to waste my time on it.

    Like going to a dentist to get a sore tooth treated but the dentist refuses to pull it or give you pain meds. Defeats the whole purpose of seeing a doctor.

    From some other page Dee quoted:

    We do this with the firm resolve that counseling is fundamentally a theological task.

    Depending on what the patient needs, no.

    In the case of someone, such as biblical character Job, who was under a lot of stress, he needed counseling (in the form of emotional support from friends), but his “friends” added a theological bent to their “counseling” which only wounded Job even more.

    And God did not like that sort of counseling for Job’s situation.

  12. OP quote from Biblical Counselng site:

    Biblical counselors must use the Scriptures in counseling as the authoritative and sufficient source for counseling content.

    And Dee also notes that these guys are staunch complementarians.

    Complementarianism is not biblical – but they think it is.

    They claim to be very “biblical,” and are adamant about counseling from the Bible only, but if they can interpret the Bible wrong on gender and marriage (which they do), it doesn’t give me much confidence that the rest of their biblical interpretation is infallible on every other subject, either.

  13. Have biblical counsellors cured add, adhd, schizophreia, bipolar disorders, PTSD, epilepsy, agoraphobia, dementia, Alzheimer’s………… ?
    How about the counselors seek employment at Eddyvile Federal Penitentery and Western Kentucky State Hospital? Maybe they can work in the lock wards and help the psychopaths and sociopaths.
    Maybe they should counsel Perry N, TullianT, etc?

  14. @ Daisy:

    Speaking of which (I’m in the process of reading down the Original Post):

    OP:

    Biblical counselors must make a distinction between the clear meaning of a biblical text and their opinions and applications they derive from that text.

    There is an important distinction to be made between the author’s intended, authoritative meaning of the text and our application of that text

    FAIL.

    They are (as complementarians) reading their assumptions and opinions about women, marriage, etc., back into the biblical text, and then assuming their interpretation of it sanctions a male hierarchy in church and marriage.

    They have already shown they cannot separate their opinions of the text from the text.

    Then they misapply it all to tell women they must “graciously submit” to their husbands. I bet they victim-blame domestic violence victims who visit them.

    They probably tell these women there are “two sides” to every abusive marriage, that their personal sin plays a part in why their spouse abuses them, and that they need to just pray and submit more to their abusive spouse.

  15. OP:

    …women will strive to avoid formally counseling men since this generally requires the task of teaching men with authority which is forbidden by Scripture.

    I don’t consider counseling to be “teaching” someone. This is an over-reach of complementarianism.

    On the other hand, their paradigm of counseling not being psychological, but being nothing but an off shoot of spirituality and quoting Bible verses at someone, does kind of fit THEIR weird idea of what it means to “counsel.”

    Their rule there is so blatantly sexist.

    I hope that any woman still in a church that supports this nonsense realizes how un-biblical and demeaning it is and drops complementarianism (as I did years ago).

  16. OP:

    Here is a list of the ACBC board members. No women allowed on the board of ACBC, just like it says n the Bible….
    (list of all dude names)

    In slang, that is referred to as a “Sausage Party.”

    Also see:
    Congrats, you have an all male panel!
    http://allmalepanels.tumblr.com/

  17. sandy c wrote:

    “Biblical counselors must reject any secular counseling ***intervention*** that is at odds with Scripture. Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.”
    This really bothers me.

    “Definition of intervention
    plural interventions
    : the act or an instance of intervening

    the intervention of divine providence

    : such as
    a : the act of interfering with the outcome or course especially of a condition or process (as to prevent harm or *improve functioning)
    *educational intervention
    *surgical interventions
    b : the interference of a country in the affairs of another country for the purpose of compelling it to do or forbear doing certain acts
    c : an occurrence in which a person with a problem (such as a drug addiction) is confronted by a group (as of friends or family members) whose purpose is to compel the person to acknowledge and deal with the problem

    stage/mount an intervention

    Coaching colleagues and former players pleaded with him to reengage with the game, to no avail, until 1989, when a number of them prepared to stage an intervention. —Alexander Wolff”
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intervention

  18. Our pastor tells how when his wife left him, and the seminary then fired him (disgraced divorced theologian, they said), he sought counseling. In the end, he learned to love his 1st wife enough to let her go, as the counselor advised. Our pastor did let her go, found a job in a church, remarried, and learned a great deal from his struggles.

    They say there are no atheists in fox holes. Our pastor learned the value of counseling via his own experience.

  19. “Biblical counselors must be committed to the priority of the church in accomplishing their counseling ministry.”
    As a rule I would not go to a doctor who advertises their main motivation is the betterment of the institution they represent. In all their ‘biblical this’ and ‘biblical that’ I missed the part where they express enthusiasm for actually helping people.

  20. “…At our ACBC conferences you will learn

    -How to help someone who feels trapped by a sin they cannot overcome”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    in my years at various churches and other christian events, i’ve heard all sorts of various and sundry things described as sin.

    the sin of being independent
    the sin of not being grateful ‘enough’
    the sin of not trusting
    the sin of being depressed
    the sin of not having hope
    the sin of feeling anger over being abused
    the sin of not forgiving on command
    …so many others

    even if the word “sin” wasn’t specifically mentioned, the message was clear. “Lord, forgive us for x.” or shaming people over something.

    all so paranoia-inducing.

    as i’ve detoxed, the list of things i believe are legitimate sins has shrunk.

  21. “We affirm that Biblical truths are sufficient, when presented in the power of the Holy Spirit, to enable the Christian to love and obey God and to seek to please Him in every way.”
    +++++++++

    …..feels like brainwashing to me.

    what does it meant to “love” God? describe how you “love” God? i think honest answers from a random group of christians would yield quite a variety of explanations and descriptions.

    i usually don’t have touchy-feely affectionate feelings for God. but i have a feeling of respect for God. and we have a true friendship, with daily banter.

  22. They could care less what we think. The goal is control. Them sheep ain’t gonna pen themselves!

  23. “We deny that Christians, who depend on their training in secular theories and practices rather than the Bible, are qualified to equip the saints, build up the Body of Christ, or to aid in the process of sanctification.”
    +++++++++++

    yeah, all they might do is help you overcome suicidal impulses, learn how to manage anxiety, figure out how to work on relationship problems so you can have mutually life-giving relationships, and other selfish things like that. why waste your time with that when we can sanctify you!

    “to equip the saints, build up the Body of Christ, or to aid in the process of sanctification.”

    such abstract term removed from cultural time and space by a power of thousands, & thrown around so matter-fact-ly. what do they even mean, anyway?

    (don’t bother answering — i’ve heard it all a zillion times. i ask the rhetorical question because no christian understands them like they think they do)

  24. “Here is a list of the ACBC board members. No women allowed on the board of ACBC, just like it says n the Bible….”
    +++++++++++

    …and then the list of 14 men.

    the full frontal assault of that many men’s faces (usually in large scale photographs) representing the leadership for everyone. if churches only knew what that’s like for women. for any reasonable, thinking person, for that matter.

    it is an advertisement for a boy’s club. an advertisement for “Unbalanced ‘R Us”. an advertisement for Myopia Central. With the tag line, “See How Unaware We Can Be”.

  25. elastigirl wrote:

    it is an advertisement for a boy’s club. an advertisement for “Unbalanced ‘R Us”. an advertisement for Myopia Central. With the tag line, “See How Unaware We Can Be”.

    “Boyz R Us”

  26. This is no doubt only the first of several short and concise comments on this subject and on what Dee has said and on what these people are doing.

    I am beyond appalled and beyond infuriated at what these people are doing. Words cannot express my disgust.

    So, first comment. Let me name this thing with some other names that it has been called. This ‘biblical’ counseling shares a commonality with:

    re-education
    mind control
    sensitivity training
    brain washing

    Please feel free to add to that list if you want to.

    And please bear with me; I have more to say. Later.

  27. okrapod wrote:

    No, no. The word should be bare. I feel bear-ish but the word I meant was bare.

    You had it right the first time. To “bare” with someone has an entirely different meaning than what I think you intended.

  28. From the post: “Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.”

    Let me reword that.

    When you (biblical counselor) and your methodology have not achieved manageable results and the person being counseled has now reached a level of problems which are extreme and urgent, then institutionalization with the secularists may be required, but only until they can return the person to your care so that you can continue to fail to deal with the relevant issues. That would be because ‘they’ are there to ‘assist’ you, and to blazes with the welfare of the patient.

    That would be because, I suppose, that failure glorifies God????????

  29. okrapod wrote:

    re-education
    mind control
    sensitivity training
    brain washing

    Please feel free to add to that list if you want to.

    indoctrination

  30. “Biblical counselors will also work to proper care for the physical body including recognizing the importance of professional medical care for medical problems.”

    The section above seems to imply that the Biblical Counselors will let you know when you require medical attention . . . I suppose because they are qualified to diagnose when you need medical care? Insanity!!

  31. elastigirl wrote:

    “…At our ACBC conferences you will learn

    -How to help someone who feels trapped by a sin they cannot overcome”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    in my years at various churches and other christian events, i’ve heard all sorts of various and sundry things described as sin.

    the sin of being independent
    the sin of not being grateful ‘enough’
    the sin of not trusting
    the sin of being depressed
    the sin of not having hope
    the sin of feeling anger over being abused
    the sin of not forgiving on command
    …so many others

    even if the word “sin” wasn’t specifically mentioned, the message was clear. “Lord, forgive us for x.” or shaming people over something.

    all so paranoia-inducing.

    as i’ve detoxed, the list of things i believe are legitimate sins has shrunk.

    For those who have been subjected to this type of spiritual abuse for a long period, the de-programming can also take a long time. These abusers think they are doing God’s work but they are serving the wrong god.

  32. “In Christian counseling, however, the goal is to honor and glorify God, whether or not relief is obtained.”

    I don’t recall Jesus saying any such things to people who came to him for comfort and healing!

    This statement reads like a disclaimer to a Vudu session.

  33. “As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman who is been abused to receive this sort of biblical counseling.”

    PLEASE DON’T TAKE YOUR TROUBLED CHILDREN OR TEENS to these people either. They are not trained to interact with children who have been abused either and will only do more harm.

  34. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ground-zero for New Calvinism) has a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling degree. In their on-line degree description, they indicate:

    “Students will be able to … interpret Scripture’s original meaning, and apply Scripture to contemporary situations.”

    Of course,”original meaning” of Scripture will be filtered through a reformed theology grid, since Gospel = Calvinism at SBTS. Among other things, God’s chosen few will try to convince some women that their marital problems are a result of their failure to submit properly. They will also warp your mind to believe that Jesus is subordinate to the Father, and that they must teach you truth rather than the Holy Spirit.

    On a related note, it appears that psychology and neuothetics have clashed at SBTS, forcing professor Eric Johnson into “early retirement.” Johnson put it this way:

    “For a number of reasons, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has determined that Christian psychology is not compatible with the version of biblical counseling that they want to promote in their counseling department.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

  35. Bridget wrote:

    “Biblical counselors will also work to proper care for the physical body including recognizing the importance of professional medical care for medical problems.”

    The section above seems to imply that the Biblical Counselors will let you know when you require medical attention . . . I suppose because they are qualified to diagnose when you need medical care? Insanity!!

    That right there is my biggest concern with this whole business. If they think they have nothing to learn from the secular professionals, how are they ever going to know when somebody needs to see a doctor?

  36. Thersites wrote:

    “Biblical counselors must be committed to the priority of the church in accomplishing their counseling ministry.”
    As a rule I would not go to a doctor who advertises their main motivation is the betterment of the institution they represent.

    what a good point^ if a medical clinic advertised anything like these people do it would be obvious what they were about..

  37. These people target some of the most vulnerable people.

    Somebody in a comment here not too long ago brought up the issue or money. What about people who cannot afford ‘secular’ counseling? What are they supposed to do? IMO they may have financial problems which make them easy prey for these charlatans.

    So, also, what about people who are afraid of God-the ‘god’ that reminds them of those who have harmed them in the past, the god of those who have rejected them if the past, the god who is distant and cold and disapproving and just lurking to exert judgment on them–and ‘dear god, no, not the children because of something they think they did–the god who takes it out on the children? Are these people apt to defy the purveyors of a false gospel from the pulpit and jump ship and seek anything ‘secular’?

  38. Aside from what everyone else mentioned, I am very concerned that they don’t even make their clients aware of their principles before the client commits to treatment, particularly on these issues:
    1. All issues are considered the result of sin and/or a need for the gospel
    2. Mandating that they get to decide if their client needs medical help
    3. Confidentiality
    4. As many of these counselors are employed by churches, whether or not the church they represent will turn the client’s issue into a church discipline process, whether a woman who is “not submitting enough” or even if they can’t afford to pay for sessions anymore

  39. I am not through yet.

    Biblical counseling, as described on this post, makes a mockery of scripture itself by demanding of scripture something which was never promised by scripture. When scripture then fails to deliver something which we were never told to expect from scripture by scripture then the next step for some would be to reject scripture entirely. That would be a reasonable conclusion, and it would be wrong. Thanks to these people’s abuse of scripture it is entirely possible that increasing numbers of people would reject the whole idea that scripture might be even worthwhile at all for anything.

  40. Max wrote:

    On a related note, it appears that psychology and neuothetics have clashed at SBTS, forcing professor Eric Johnson into “early retirement.” Johnson put it this way:

    “For a number of reasons, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has determined that Christian psychology is not compatible with the version of biblical counseling that they want to promote in their counseling department.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

    “The petition claims that Lambert leveraged the ACBC against Southern, threatening to withhold students from its program if Johnson were to continue to teach. (Southern is one of five Reformed seminaries listed among the ACBC’s certified training centers.)
    Both Mohler and Lambert have denied this narrative, with Mohler stating that no outside institution—other than the Southern Baptist Convention itself—factors into Southern’s policy decisions.”

  41. Max wrote:

    “For a number of reasons, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has determined that Christian psychology is not compatible with the version of biblical counseling that they want to promote in their counseling department.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

    “Lambert, who has been on the faculty since 2006, wrote in a blog post last Monday that it “would never occur to me to try to force, cajole, or blackmail [Mohler] into anything.” He also apologized for his “unkind and unloving” speech disparaging Johnson’s approach to counseling at an ACBC conference last year, which the online petition pointed to as evidence of Lambert’s animus toward Johnson.

    In the clip, Lambert reads from Johnson’s work and calls his philosophy “dangerous,” “slander,” “corrupt,” and a “mockery of God’s Word.” He clarified, in the wake of the petition, that though it was for the sake of argument, it was a sinful move on his part.”

  42. Ranting on:

    These people also make a mockery of the idea of sin as something which must be dealt with by failing to adequately see what is and what is not ‘sin’. If everything is ‘sin’ then perhaps nothing is ‘sin’ and the whole idea needs trashed. Why would people not come to that conclusion when and if they start to solve their issues and pursue healing?

    And it makes a mockery of those people, like me for example, who continue to say that there is such a thing as sin and it needs dealt with, because it makes anybody who uses the word or considers the idea look like raving disasters of foolishness and potential abusers.

  43. sandy c wrote:

    “For a number of reasons, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has determined that Christian psychology is not compatible with the version of biblical counseling that they want to promote in their counseling department.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

    “Many evangelical seminaries and universities—like George Fox—go even further with their incorporation of psychology into a Christian worldview; their curricula brings Christian teaching and psychology together, embracing an “integration” stance.”

  44. Dee says: “As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman who is been abused to receive this sort of biblical counseling.”

    I say: “As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman for ANY reason receive this sort of counseling.” One look at the ACBC Board tells me that.

  45. sandy c wrote:

    “For a number of reasons, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has determined that Christian psychology is not compatible with the version of biblical counseling that they want to promote in their counseling department.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

    “Many evangelical seminaries and universities—like George Fox—go even further with their incorporation of psychology into a Christian worldview; their curricula brings Christian teaching and psychology together, embracing an “integration” stance.”sandy c wrote:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

    “Many evangelical seminaries and universities—like George Fox—go even further with their incorporation of psychology into a Christian worldview; their curricula brings Christian teaching and psychology together, embracing an “integration” stance.”

    “I respect and have learned from many in the biblical counseling camp. Their perspective is laudable and needed,” wrote Boyce alum Dustin Messer in response to Johnson’s news. “But even if one thinks Dr. Johnson’s approach to counseling is anemic or flawed, he’s no enemy of the faith…. My goodness, Dr. Johnson’s theology is about as orthodox and mainstream as it gets in evangelicalism.”

  46. So where are we now? Have these people facilitated at least to a degree the following:

    1. To prey upon the vulnerable,
    2. To malign God,
    3. To make scripture look worthless when their methodology fails,
    4. To make the idea of sin and repentance seem ridiculous by their abusive overuse of the idea,
    5. To hold all non-biblical counseling up to ridicule
    6. To encourage some people to stop taking meds which might even be vital to that person
    7. To malign and shame those christians who disagree with them

    But hey, look on the bright side. They also:

    1. Create jobs for those who would otherwise be unemployable in the counseling business, and
    2. Make money while doing it.
    3. And for icing on that cake they make themselves look righteous in their own eyes.

    We live in troubled times. Really, Okrapod? Ya think so?

    I guess it depends on where one’s priorities are.

  47. Article on a study lifeway did on church response

    http://blog.lifeway.com/newsroom/2017/09/29/lifeway-research-suicide-remains-a-taboo-topic-at-churches/
    9/29/17 “NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Suicide remains a taboo subject in many Protestant churches, despite the best efforts of pastors, according to a new study from LifeWay Research.

    Eight in 10 Protestant senior pastors believe their church is equipped to intervene with someone who is threatening suicide.

    Yet few people turn to the church for help before taking their own lives, according to their churchgoing friends and family. Only 4 percent of churchgoers who have lost a close friend or family member to suicide say church leaders were aware of their loved one’s struggles.
    Despite their best intentions, churches don’t always know how to help those facing mental health struggles,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.”
    More than half (55 percent) of churchgoers say people in their community are more likely to gossip about a suicide than to help a victim’s family. And few churchgoers say their church takes specific steps to address suicide or has resources to assist those experiencing a mental health crisis.”

  48. Bridget wrote:

    Dee,

    Your quotes from their documentation is some.of.the.scariest.stuff.I.have.read. People can be seriously harmed by submitting to this ridiculous “counseling.”

    Exactly what I was thinking.

  49. Bridget wrote:

    Your quotes from their documentation is some.of.the.scariest.stuff.I.have.read. People can be seriously harmed by submitting to this ridiculous “counseling.”

    Yep- and all I did was read their stuff. There s more coming next week. Wait until you see the *intense* training of said counselors. ROFL.

  50. What this lifeway study found that is eye opening is the difference between how pastors see things and how pew sitters see things!

    http://blog.lifeway.com/newsroom/2017/09/29/lifeway-research-suicide-remains-a-taboo-topic-at-churches/

    51 percent of pastors vs. 16 percent of churchgoers say their church has a list of mental health professionals who can treat those considering suicide.
    46 percent of pastors vs. 12 percent of churchgoers say their church regularly addresses mental illness.
    36 percent of pastors vs. 22 percent of churchgoers say their church has a lay counseling ministry.
    29 percent of pastors vs. 23 percent of churchgoers say their church has a trained counselor on staff.
    18 percent of pastors vs. 12 percent of churchgoers say their church has a crisis response team.

    LifeWay’s study found three-quarters (76 percent) of churchgoers say suicide is a problem that needs to be addressed in their community. About a third (32 percent) say a close acquaintance or family member has died by suicide.

    Those churchgoers personally affected by suicide were asked questions about the most recent person they know who has died by suicide. Forty-two percent said they lost a family member, and 37 percent lost a friend. Others lost a co-worker (6 percent), social acquaintance (5 percent), fellow church member (2 percent) or other loved one (8 percent).

    About a third of these suicide victims (35 percent) attended church at least monthly during the months prior to death, according to their friends and family. Yet few of those friends and family say church members (4 percent) or church leaders (4 percent) knew of their loved one’s struggles.”

  51. http://blog.lifeway.com/newsroom/2017/09/29/lifeway-research-suicide-remains-a-taboo-topic-at-churches/

    “Ronald Hawkins, provost and founding dean of the School of Behavioral Sciences at Liberty University, said churches aren’t always a safe place for people to be vulnerable. According to the research, that seems especially true when someone is at risk for suicide.

    He hopes the recent study will prompt churches to do more to prevent suicides.

    “I and others in ministry have too often looked into the grief-stricken faces of those whose loved ones have taken their own lives,” said Hawkins. “If you have been there, your heart cry is, ‘Please, Lord no more.’ “Yet it seems there are always more.

    “Our research suggests that Christ followers need to work harder at providing safe places, so filled with love and grace that trust can flourish. In such a place, those who have come to believe that suicide may be their only option may dare to open up their inner world and experience a reawakening of hope.”

  52. Max wrote:

    It’s no surprise that Nouthetic counseling and New Calvinism are running in parallel tracks. Both are characterized by control and manipulation of the sheep.

    Well said.

  53. @ Daisy:
    For many in this movement, depression will be treated as a *sin* because you are not *rejoicing the Lord always.* See, easy peasy!

  54. @ Max:
    @ Jack:

    There was a time and place when and where individuals performed various functions in the “Body” under the leadership of the Spirit. There was a great deal of comfort and encouragement freely available without the requirement of formal allegiance to the system or it’s leaders. The encourages and encourages were considered equal before God; each with the ability to receive and give a word of wisdom. The the wolves have been separating the sheep from one another for a long time. The members of the “Body” are no longer encouraged in their natural function, but are treated as parts in a mechanical system. The wolves are considered the only ones with the ability to maintain and repair the parts or the system.

    In this environment, the Bible has become a two dimensional manual where meaning can only be deciphered accurately by the technical analysis of the pseudo-learned. Mutual edification has been replaced with a fee for service system. This system has distorted the true nature of Christ expressed through the body and repaired the veil between God and man.

  55. JYJames wrote:

    They say there are no atheists in fox holes. Our pastor learned the value of counseling via his own experience.

    Great story.

  56. Bridget wrote:

    PLEASE DON’T TAKE YOUR TROUBLED CHILDREN OR TEENS to these people either. They are not trained to interact with children who have been abused either and will only do more harm.

    I agree and that will be my advice. After next week, you will see why it is even worse than I mention here. Again, I will quote directly from their material. Wait till you see their training!

  57. Max wrote:

    Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ground-zero for New Calvinism) has a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling degree. In their on-line degree description, they indicate:
    “Students will be able to … interpret Scripture’s original meaning, and apply Scripture to contemporary situations.”

    yeah-interpret Scriptures original meaning which means that women may not serve on any boards. It says so, somewhere if you only knew Greek

    Heath Lambert did something really bad to the only Christian psychology professor at SBTS. He got him fired. I will be discussing this n future posts. So much to say, so little time.

  58. NJ wrote:

    That right there is my biggest concern with this whole business. If they think they have nothing to learn from the secular professionals, how are they ever going to know when somebody needs to see a doctor?

    Oh you are going to love this.I will be discussing their *intensive* understanding of medicine and pharmacology. You are going to howl!

  59. If the extreme calvinistic view of predestination and no free will is used then any “failures” or suicides as a result of their “minostry” can just be written off by them as ‘they were just unrepentant sinners- we did all we could, they werent ‘chosen’ and we did nothing wrong”
    (I saw my typo of ministry but left it because this ministry is closer to monstrosity in my opinion.)

    As more churches adopt this type of ministry the rate of depression and suiicide is just going to climb. And as Okrapod pointed out those that manage to escape these churches will probably have the view that scripture is meaningless and if anyone tries to talk about sin they may be viewed as raving lunatics. Its not just sad its anti Christ.

  60. DebWill wrote:

    “As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman for ANY reason receive this sort of counseling.” One look at the ACBC Board tells me that.

    I wanted to post that picture of these biblical™ men but I was concerned it might have been copyrighted and I try really hard to keep my hands clean. But doesn’t that picture say it all!!!

  61. What Happened wrote:

    This system has distorted the true nature of Christ expressed through the body and repaired the veil between God and man.

    Your whole post is spot on, this last was their motive and now no one can go to God except thru them according to their false doctrine. Or should i say ‘indoctrination’

  62. I would rename these counselors “Job’s Counselors.”

    Because all I need to do is look in the book of Job to know how God feels about their methods.

  63. This Mohler guy seems to have learned alot in how to deal with any that oppose him, perhaps he is following the model practiced and perfected during the sovereign grace sin coverup?

  64. I used to pray alot for my kids to start going to church but now i am terrified that they might!

  65. Bunny wrote:

    I would rename these counselors “Job’s Counselors.”

    Because all I need to do is look in the book of Job to know how God feels about their methods.

    Yes! Maybe God will suddenly show up in a really loud way and rebuke them and defend all of His Job’s!

  66. I remember reading a book by Ed Welch about addictions. He contended that the issue really is just idolatry, period. He rejected any biological issues related to the matter. Like a lot of this sort of counsel, it comes across as very legalistic and rigid. And we all know what the letter of the law does…

    Also, I would add that treating addictions as simply PERSONAL sin is far too simplistic even from an orthodox Christian perspective. It does not take into account corporate, generational, and personal sins committed against us. The truly addicted need help, not more shaming for not being able to “help themselves” from failing to break free of their chains on their own.

  67. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Also, I would add that treating addictions as simply PERSONAL sin is far too simplistic even from an orthodox Christian perspective. It does not take into account corporate, generational, and personal sins committed against us.

    I recall taking a defensive driver course which taught that road rage is the result of our reaction to what the other driver did. The emphasis was that the other driver doesn’t control you regardless of how you may have been provoked. We have to take responsibility for our own behavior or actions. I agree, and also acknowledge it is difficult to implement 100% of the time. I think addiction is similar; regardless of the sins committed against us we ultimately are responsible for our behavior. I think biblical counseling emphasizes the personal responsibility aspect while acknowledging there may have been sins committed against us.

  68. I can attest to this kind of counseling being destructive. My husband and I had about 8 sessions with one of the men listed on the ACBC board. It was an emotional/spiritual abuse situation. The counselor literally laughed at me for having been afraid of my husband. He seemed to treat me as if I were supposed to accept what he said as the diagnosis (I just need to forgive). He didn’t seem to like me questioning him because I was a woman either, supposed to be under submission. “Authority” is huge to this group, in my opinion.

  69. dee wrote:

    Heath Lambert did something really bad to the only Christian psychology professor at SBTS. He got him fired. I will be discussing this in future posts.

    SBTS has not been kind to other faculty over the years. Al Mohler forced several professors out when he became SBTS President because they would not sign the Abstract of Principles (a reformed statement of faith) – many had served the seminary faithfully for years. Women faculty at Southern at the time were also forced to resign (e.g., Molly Marshall and Diana Garland). Some Biblical counselor needs to work on Dr. Mohler.

  70. sandy c wrote:

    I used to pray alot for my kids to start going to church but now i am terrified that they might!

    Would you freak just as bad if they went Catholic?
    If I still had kids at home, I’d rather they went to St. Matthew’s (Catholic) than Calvary Chapel any day of the week and six-ways-to-Sunday.

  71. What Happened wrote:

    This system has distorted the true nature of Christ expressed through the body and repaired the veil between God and man.

    Your words describe New Calvinism perfectly. More law than life.

  72. Bridget wrote:

    Your quotes from their documentation is some.of.the.scariest.stuff.I.have.read. People can be seriously harmed by submitting to this ridiculous “counseling.”

    If money is indeed changing hands, they’ve crossed the Rubicon, and it’s just a matter of time before there’s a court battle over whether or not they’re practicing medicine without a license.

  73. @ dee:
    Dee, I’m not opposed to using the Bible, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to speak words of hope and life to a hurting soul. Any pastor worth his ordination should be doing this all the time. It’s when the Bible is misused to control, intimidate, manipulate, and indoctrinate that get’s me going. New Calvinism and its Nouthetic stepchild do this.

  74. Max wrote:

    SBTS has not been kind to other faculty over the years. Al Mohler forced several professors out when he became SBTS President because they would not sign the Abstract of Principles (a reformed statement of faith) – many had served the seminary faithfully for years. Women faculty at Southern at the time were also forced to resign (e.g., Molly Marshall and Diana Garland). Some Biblical counselor needs to work on Dr. Mohler.

    The same thing happened at SEBTS after Mohler had Akin put in place.

  75. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    “Boyz R Us”

    Friends of ours had these exact letters on their license plate. They had 2 boys, and then triplets… All boys.

    And then they probably had surgery. They weren’t Quiverfull, not intentionally anyway.

  76. Dang it. There is a LOT of value to secular research regarding counseling and this just throws all that away with a rather arrogant us/them attitude. I’ll take Lubdy Bancroft on abuse any day over John Piper. If a woman came to one of these counselors about her husband’s abuse they would probably tell him…which can put her in danger. There’s a true arrogance here that has a spiritual guise. Why are all problems based in sin????

  77. After a lifetime of Nouthetic “counseling” before it had a name, I sought out a professional therapist a couple years ago, who specializes in PTSD (picked her from her from the internet listing). The first thing I said to her was that I did not want to know what her religious beliefs were, that I was fine spiritually. I said I did not want to know because I did not want it to affect how I interacted with her. It was the best counseling for PTSD that I think possible. Her chosen method for my story brought me relief. I know some people who won’t even go to dentists, doctors, or mechanics, unless they have determined that they are “fine Christian folk.” Whatever!

  78. Abigail wrote:

    If a woman came to one of these counselors about her husband’s abuse …

    “If it’s not requiring her to sin, but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church” (John Piper)

    Please provide chapter and verse for that Dr. Piper.

  79. ishy wrote:

    The same thing happened at SEBTS after Mohler had Akin put in place.

    Certainly. Danny Akin was Mohler’s right hand man for a season – he learned a lot from the kingpin. Akin served as Southern’s Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration before becoming President at Southeastern. In SBC right now, all roads lead to Mohler.

  80. Run a mile from this. I thank God tat for over 50 years my husband and I have journeyed arm in arm, mutually helping and supporting each other. On one occasion I needed counselling on account of a ‘fool’ who was a domineering member of my family. I carefully researched the credentials and the history of the person I chose. She, together with the support and help of my husband, gave me excellent advice and the tools to put her adviceinto practice. These complementarian ‘counselors” as can be seen from John Piper’s appalling comments, do untold damage, and cause many to turn from the faith.

  81. Ken G wrote:

    I think addiction is similar; regardless of the sins committed against us we ultimately are responsible for our behavior. I think biblical counseling emphasizes the personal responsibility aspect while acknowledging there may have been sins committed against us.

    So if i get someone hooked on meth or heroin by putting it daily in their food and they get so stoned they dont know what their doing it is their sin for not taking responsibility?
    If you think that is not the same thing and you know how to discern which junkies really want to get clean and which just dont want to take “responsibility” you should maybe meet some adult junkies that were crack babies 20-30 yrs ago and raised by parents that kept them high their whole childhood. I have.
    This really points out the real problem of BCM. Its up to untrained judgemental bible ‘experts’ to decide if a person is in sin, and with that group they always are.

    John 9:2-3 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

    3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

  82. Ken G wrote:

    I think biblical counseling emphasizes the personal responsibility aspect while acknowledging there may have been sins committed against us.

    Secular counseling emphasizes personal responsibility as well. You are misinformed if you think it doesn’t, or if you think it emphasizes victimhood. Secular counseling also recognized reasons for mental disorders and harmful behaviors other than the often simplistic biblical counseling response of “sin.”

  83. Muff Potter wrote:

    If money is indeed changing hands, they’ve crossed the Rubicon, and it’s just a matter of time before there’s a court battle over whether or not they’re practicing medicine without a license

    I think not, scientology and others have shown if you just get the gullible to sign waivers and disclaimers they have no way to ever do anything.

  84. Max wrote:

    I’m not opposed to using the Bible, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to speak words of hope and life to a hurting soul. Any pastor worth his ordination should be doing this all the time. It’s when the Bible is misused to control, intimidate, manipulate, and indoctrinate that get’s me going. New Calvinism and its Nouthetic stepchild do this.

    What really irks me is that they portray it as “using the Bible, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to speak words of hope and life to a hurting soul.” and use scriptures so its not arguable that they arent following the bible….but then i remembered the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness using scripture also…just for a different end

  85. There is an article online, from 1985, about the parents of a young man who killed himself due to this kind of “counseling.”

    And it deals with our old friend John MacArthur:

    LOS ANGELES, May 19 (1985)— A Protestant church that was sued for clergy malpractice because a young member committed suicide says it will reform its counselor training programs, even though the lawsuit was thrown out of court, the pastor, the Rev. John MacArthur, said Friday.

    The parents, Walter and Maria Nally, sued the Grace Community Church after their son Kenneth, 24 years old, shot himself in 1979. They said Mr. MacArthur and other members of the counseling staff had discouraged him from seeking outside help and had never told them about their son’s suicidal tendencies.

    They also said Mr. MacArthur made their son’s condition worse by telling him his depression was the result of sinning.

  86. @ dee:

    full frontal assault image of lots of men who decide things for everyone. there were no qualified women? (well, you are qualified by having a donger)

    i really thought common sense was making a come-back.

    maybe in a few decades the delayed christian church will catch up.

  87. Grainne wrote:

    These complementarian ‘counselors” as can be seen from John Piper’s appalling comments, do untold damage, and cause many to turn from the faith.

    Dr. Piper needs more muscular women in his life to balance his teachings in this regard. 🙂

  88. elastigirl wrote:

    full frontal assault image of lots of men who decide things for everyone. there were no qualified women? (well, you are qualified by having a donger)
    i really thought common sense was making a come-back.
    maybe in a few decades the delayed christian church will catch up.

    Love your comment. I am adding surprise upon surprise simply by reading their stuff.

  89. Donnie wrote:

    There is an article online, from 1985, about the parents of a young man who killed himself due to this kind of “counseling.”
    And it deals with our old friend John MacArthur:
    LOS ANGELES, May 19 (1985)— A Protestant church that was sued for clergy malpractice because a young member committed suicide says it will reform its counselor training programs, even though the lawsuit was thrown out of court, the pastor, the Rev. John MacArthur, said Friday.
    The parents, Walter and Maria Nally, sued the Grace Community Church after their son Kenneth, 24 years old, shot himself in 1979. They said Mr. MacArthur and other members of the counseling staff had discouraged him from seeking outside help and had never told them about their son’s suicidal tendencies.
    They also said Mr. MacArthur made their son’s condition worse by telling him his depression was the result of sinning.

    I heard about this incident and will add it to my list of things to investigate. My goal is to thoroughly wok my way through this stuff. Thank you.

  90. Ken G wrote:

    I recall taking a defensive driver course which taught that road rage is the result of our reaction to what the other driver did. The emphasis was that the other driver doesn’t control you regardless of how you may have been provoked. We have to take responsibility for our own behavior or actions. I agree, and also acknowledge it is difficult to implement 100% of the time. I think addiction is similar; regardless of the sins committed against us we ultimately are responsible for our behavior. I think biblical counseling emphasizes the personal responsibility aspect while acknowledging there may have been sins committed against us.

    Sadly, it is not just the sins committed against us. Take depression as an example: some people medicate with substance addiction. This personal responsibility line would just heap shame on the depressed instead of encouraging them to find help that would address the brain-hormone imbalance.

    I am all for taking personal responsibility. However, the trick is what that actually looks like in a given situation. Treating all addictions as simply personal responsibility failures/sins is too blunt an instrument, IMO. It is more complicated than that.

  91. @ Max:
    Max i did not mean that you were being like that! I get so upset over comments and beliefs like that is all.
    Here is an example of why i get upset with its all sin and lack of personal responsibility.
    I met a heroin addict that had been shooting up for 6yrs. He had been to a treatment center but left to go relapse which got him a note on his medical records as an addict drug seeker. He was then ‘ministered’ to by a fundamentalist preacher and stayed clean a few weeks, then relapsed. Now he was full of guilt and not only guilt but Godly condemnation guilt. For some reason i really liked this young man and became his friend but couldnt share Jesus much cause he had ‘been there done that never going back again’ He stopped by my house occassionaly and the last time i saw him i had to rush him to the e.r. by ambulance. His stomach hurt bad and we explained to the 911 that he was a junkie and very sick and vomiting blood. When the ambulance arrived so did 2 cops that came to the door first with their hands on their guns and yelling put your hands in the air. He laughed and did what they said saying, i know the drill. They frisked him and we were able then to get in the ambulance. The paramedic in the back said his blood pressure was skyrocketing to which the driver said sneering, what do you expect, he’s an addict!
    We finally got to see a dr and after he put an iv in he ran some tests. When a nurse came in the addict was crying and said to the nurse, no one ever gave me a warm iv or a warm blanket before, thanks.
    The dr came back finally and put his hand on the addicts back and hugged him with compassion and said i am so sorry, i know why your an addict you have chrons disease and your intestines have been telescoped for some time, you need surgury and if you had had decent insurance and medical care they would have seen it long ago.
    I still cry over that one.

  92. Biblical counselors promise do their best when the counseling is discharged faithfully, discharged righteously, discharged biblically. But if they fall short of these goals, perhaps they can give a money back guarantee. For example.

    (At A.C.B.C. , we believe that we have the best quality counseling out there. We’ve designed and tested our biblical counseling to exceed the general revelation counseling in taste and quality. We’re so confident in our services that every counselee in our network is backed by our unbeatable Double Guarantee. Your money back and a free session with the person of your choosing)

    Christian learn to read your own bible. Many men and women died so that you can read scripture in your own language. Don’t delegate your inheritance to another.

  93. Ken G wrote:

    I think biblical counseling emphasizes the personal responsibility aspect while acknowledging there may have been sins committed against us.

    OK,KenG. Let’s go with me. I have anxiety due to the fact my 3 year old daughter has a malignant brain tumor and most likely will not survive.

    Why don’t you elucidate:
    1. How I am not assuming personal responsibility
    2. How I am sinning

    And why in the world do you think that secular and Christian psychology does NOT emphasize personal responsibility? Who told you that?

  94. Beth wrote:

    My husband and I had about 8 sessions with one of the men listed on the ACBC board. It was an emotional/spiritual abuse situation. The counselor literally laughed at me for having been afraid of my husband.

    Do you want to write up your experience? I will add it to one of my posts. I would be happy to name him.

  95. Max wrote:

    SBTS has not been kind to other faculty over the years. Al Mohler forced several professors out when he became SBTS President because they would not sign the Abstract of Principles (a reformed statement of faith) – many had served the seminary faithfully for years. Women faculty at Southern at the time were also forced to resign (e.g

    There is an interesting, yet sad, reports coming out about Paul Pressler which we will be detailing with along with the issues are SBTS. Pressler was called the architect because he ,along with Patterson, wee involved in this mess.

  96. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I remember reading a book by Ed Welch about addictions. He contended that the issue really is just idolatry, period. He rejected any biological issues related to the matter.

    And that shows that he should not be involved in dealing with people’s heads. Wait unit you see the training these guys recommend.

  97. So, there is very good scientific studies which show that medicines/chemicals can mediate various mind/mental conditions ( think bipolar and depression, and examples). Where is the line in this counciling system? I grew up with a type 1 diabetic father… type 1 diabetes can have significant effects on mental health. How about that line? Sigh…

  98. @ dee:

    “I heard about this incident and will add it to my list of things to investigate. My goal is to thoroughly wok my way through this stuff. Thank you.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    you’re a star, dee.

  99. Max wrote:

    Dr. Piper needs more muscular women in his life to balance his teachings in this regard.

    Given all of his teaching about not wasting your life on things like collecting sea shells on the beach, and given his teaching that muscular women prefer hasty sex rather than romantic strolls on the beach, one would think that he would encourage men to marry muscular women so that they won’t have to waste time with romance. It’s all about gospel efficiency, you know, except when it’s not. Piper is hopelessly inconsistent. If only we had to endure him for only a season…

  100. I’ve spent the last few days looking into Accelerated Christian Education and I stumbled across their catalogue that advertises their advanced college curriculum. Students can elect to teach themselves Biblical Counseling using “Competent to Counsel” and “The Christian Counselor’s Manual” as textbooks in addition to their standard self-taught PACE material. That can’t be a good combination.
    I just read “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and I’m sure that doesn’t qualify me to be an Astrophysicist; why people think that reading a few books on Biblical Counseling makes them counselors is a mystery to me. If it only worked that way – everybody would all be pastors.

  101. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Like a lot of this sort of counsel, it comes across as very legalistic and rigid. And we all know what the letter of the law does…

    When Jesus was in His ministry on earth the temple was full of doctors of the law and religious experts. Then Jesus walked in full of love and compassion and mercy and they killed Him…

  102. @ elastigirl:

    ““to equip the saints, build up the Body of Christ, or to aid in the process of sanctification.”

    such abstract term removed from cultural time and space by a power of thousands, & thrown around so matter-fact-ly. what do they even mean, anyway?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    upon further mathematical thought by a non-math person, i suppose it’s by a power of 10s.

    (square root of 2000 years is 44 or so years)

    thousands sounds much better, though.

  103. dee wrote:

    Pressler was called the architect because he ,along with Patterson, were involved in this mess.

    Pressler and Patterson were architects of the Conservative Resurgence, not the current New Calvinist mess. I think they were both blind-sided when Mohler came out of the background and turned it into a Calvinist Resurgence. I’m not a Patterson fan, but he used to be strongly anti-Calvinist – in recent years, Mohler has successfully silenced him.

  104. sandy c wrote:

    What really irks me is that they portray it as “using the Bible, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to speak words of hope and life to a hurting soul.”

    New Calvinist Biblical counselors would not depend on the Holy Spirit – they have relegated Him to the back pew. Their interpretation of Scripture supersedes leading by the Spirit.

  105. One of the most productive counseling interactions I had as a pastor was with a couple (not from our church) that came asking to speak to someone with gray hair. (seriously)

  106. This so called “Biblical” counseling seems to be ignoring the Bible left and right.

    Case in point:
    “So Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.”
    Acts 7:22 (BSB)

    Wonder why God would take the time to mention that in the Bible if all secular knowledge is useless?
    (Grin—sarcasm alert :))

    Let’s not forget about Daniel and his three friends excelling in learning in a secular education system in Babylon. Did the Bible condemn that? Nope.

    “As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom…..”
    Daniel 1:17 (NASB)

    Just how much “Christian” literature could Babylon have had? Must have been referring to secular lit.

    I rest my case. 🙂

  107. elastigirl wrote:

    such abstract term removed from cultural time and space by a power of thousands, & thrown around so matter-fact-ly. what do they even mean, anyway?”

    You’re not sposeta’ be askin’ questions like that.
    Just be a good bobble head and go along.

  108. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I am all for taking personal responsibility. However, the trick is what that actually looks like in a given situation. Treating all addictions as simply personal responsibility failures/sins is too blunt an instrument, IMO. It is more complicated than that.

    I agree it is complicated and as a result the pendulum can swing to the extreme in either situation. Biblical counseling can go too far with the personal responsibility aspect while secular counseling can go too far with victimhood, etc.

    In my area there is an epidemic of heroin use (this is what I hear on the radio) resulting not only in related crime, but in overdoses which are having adverse impacts on first responders and emergency rooms. The blame is placed on the relative inexpensive cost of the drug and dealers bringing the drug in from a larger city. I haven’t heard anything about personal responsibility or the role personal responsibility should have in addressing this problem.

  109. The definition of COUNSELING per a very prominent church in California: “Coming alongside God’s people to assist them in applying the preaching of God’s Word through the work of the Holy Spirit.”

    Can you find the most interesting words in this definition? It’s “THE PREACHING OF” God’s Word. I was very surprised at this definition. I believe/hope that they would see a mountain of difference those three words make. Source: https://www.gracechurch.org/counseling

  110. Ken G,

    If you ever have the chance to visit drug rehab programs, there’s plenty of talk there about taking personal responsibility.

  111. Thersites wrote:

    “Biblical counselors must be committed to the priority of the church in accomplishing their counseling ministry.”
    As a rule I would not go to a doctor who advertises their main motivation is the betterment of the institution they represent. In all their ‘biblical this’ and ‘biblical that’ I missed the part where they express enthusiasm for actually helping people.

    Dee addressed this in the OP, and I commented on it above.

    They even expressly state in their literature Dee quoted they have no interest in bringing you “relief,” but just want to bring glory to God, or whatever spiritual gobbeldy-gook phrasing they used.

    Hence, my reason for linking to the “LifeLock” commercial on You Tube in a post last night.

    The commercial where the guy guys into for a dental checkup, only to be told,
    “You have a bad cavity!,” and they patient says, “Aren’t you going to fix it?,” and the guy replies, “No, I’m just a dental monitor, not a dentist.”

    I have no idea what motivates someone to think it’s a genius idea of merely pointing out a problem in matters of mental or physical health but taking pride in not actually doing anything to resolve the problem.

  112. elastigirl wrote:

    yeah, all they might do is help you overcome suicidal impulses, learn how to manage anxiety, figure out how to work on relationship problems so you can have mutually life-giving relationships, and other selfish things like that. why waste your time with that when we can sanctify you!

    I just posted a blog post on my Daisy blog today, portions of an article by someone discussing the research into how running / jogging helps alleviate depression and anxiety.

    (The article I blogged about the link between decrease in depression and anxiety with running is filled with links to research articles verifying all that.)

    I found that article interesting, because I’ve found, even prior to reading that article,that certain activities, such as running help with both. When I go on jogs, walks, or bike rides, I find that any depression or anxiety I have decreases, at least for the duration of the aerobic activity.

    Jesus of Nazareth is wonderful, but I never found focusing on Jesus, praying to him, or Bible reading helped with the anxiety or depression.

  113. okrapod wrote:

    That would be because, I suppose, that failure glorifies God????????

    I guess from their strange, warped perspective, since the goal is not to “heal” the person, that it’s not failure?

    They seem very, very weirdly preoccupied with the spiritual side of things, even to the detriment to the well being of the person seeing them for counseling.

    They think it’s more important you, the patient (client?), realize what a supposed, filthy, sinning, maggot, detestable- in- the- sight- of- God puke face you are, than to help you in concrete ways with your issues (depression, PTSD, whatever).

    As long as you know you’re a “worm of the dirt” before God, they would likely consider that a success. Sin and getting people to dwell on their sin seems to be the big goal with these guys.

  114. Forrest wrote:

    These abusers think they are doing God’s work but they are serving the wrong god.

    When I was younger, I used to think the Bible’s references to not taking God’s name in vain meant using cuss words with God’s name attached.

    A few years ago, I read that another understanding of that prohibition was not to do bad or evil acts but believe or argue that your evil was justified in the name of God, or you were doing evil in God’s name, saying God wanted you to do it, or God was okay with it.

    If you are a deity, I suppose it would grate on your nerves for any of your creation to run around doing bad things in your name, or claiming you’re in agreement with it when you are not.

    It seems more wicked and warped to me for someone to claim they are doing some evil thing in God’s name, or on God’s behalf, than your “regular joe” jerks who do bad stuff but who don’t pull the name of God into justify their behavior.

  115. Bridget wrote:

    (counseling quote):
    “In Christian counseling, however, the goal is to honor and glorify God, whether or not relief is obtained.”

    Bridget’s comment:
    I don’t recall Jesus saying any such things to people who came to him for comfort and healing!
    This statement reads like a disclaimer to a Vudu session.

    Most excellent point.

    Off the top of my head, all the examples that come to my mind of sick people approaching Jesus with some kind of problem or illness Jesus would heal them.

    Jesus didn’t always bring up sin or point to personal sins of the troubled people who came to him.

    Jesus was interested in bringing relief to people and correcting whatever people’s maladies were. If you were blind, he’d restore your sight. If you had a skin disease, he’d heal that.

    Jesus didn’t usually lecture, “sin shame,” or give theology lectures to those who came to him, unlike the biblical counselors.

    Jesus was interested in results and meeting people’s felt needs, not just interested in their spiritual status or spiritual health.

  116. To anyone who is depressed and thinking of going to one of these guys…..skip it and get a puppy!!! That little guy will love on you and make you feel better and love the stuffing out of you!!!

  117. Beth wrote:

    The counselor literally laughed at me for having been afraid of my husband. He seemed to treat me as if I were supposed to accept what he said as the diagnosis (I just need to forgive). He didn’t seem to like me questioning him because I was a woman either

    This is maddening. I would say unbelievable but…sadly no.

    How any of these people can do this stuff and pretend to be Christians is beyond me.

  118. dee wrote:

    OK,KenG. Let’s go with me. I have anxiety due to the fact my 3 year old daughter has a malignant brain tumor and most likely will not survive.
    Why don’t you elucidate:
    1. How I am not assuming personal responsibility
    2. How I am sinning
    And why in the world do you think that secular and Christian psychology does NOT emphasize personal responsibility? Who told you that?

    The personal responsibility aspect of addiction is very important just like the personal responsibility aspect of AIDS prevention is very important. Of course there can be extenuating circumstances in addiction, as mentioned in other comments, as well as in AIDS prevention such as a tainted transfusion. Biblical counseling seems to emphasize the personal responsibility aspect, but it also needs to recognize the possibility of extenuating circumstances and not ignore them and pretend they don’t exist.

    Let me conclude by saying there can be pros and cons to both as I will explain. Many years ago I took a young Christian woman to see a psychiatrist because she was tormented by some type of self-loathing emotional problem. She concluded the psychiatrist was of no help and then sought some church (biblical) counseling. The church counseling worked, she was no longer tormented, got married, had a baby daughter and, as far as I know, lived happily ever after. On the flip side, about a year ago the restaurant I frequent had an incident which required an ambulance. The waitress (usually takes my order) explained that a waitress was found passed out in a back area, but the hospital was able to revive her and she is now O.K. It was due to an adverse prescription drug reaction. The waitress then said that was the official explanation, but not what really happened. What really happened was the waitress tried committing suicide and she was that waitress. She also mentioned that she went to church with her mother for help and was told to leave and clean herself up (change her behavior). I suggested she return to the hospital that treated her and ask for counseling help there. I don’t know whether she did because she quit the waitress job. These are two situations with two different outcomes involving churches.

  119. Beloved Son wrote:

    Christian learn to read your own bible. Many men and women died so that you can read scripture in your own language. Don’t delegate your inheritance to another.

    Amen

  120. Bridget wrote:

    “As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman who is been abused to receive this sort of biblical counseling.”

    PLEASE DON’T TAKE YOUR TROUBLED CHILDREN OR TEENS to these people either. They are not trained to interact with children who have been abused either and will only do more harm.

    There training says everyone in the pews should be doing it. This has spread like a cancer through alot of churches

  121. Muff Potter wrote:

    If I still had kids at home, I’d rather they went to St. Matthew’s

    Not sure about that. My gramma was excommunicated years ago when my grampa divorced her. One daughter was married last summer and an aunt & uncle refused to attend because it was an outdoor wedding which really hurt her. And this pope saying they should change the bible about the Lords prayer…ummmm Jesus is the Lord that said it.

    I often think that the denominations are like the 12 tribes. You got your Josephs and your Levi’s and Reubens. But each one of them thinks they are Judah- the only one that Messiah comes out of.

  122. dee wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    For many in this movement, depression will be treated as a *sin* because you are not *rejoicing the Lord always.* See, easy peasy!

    And when someone who is depressed is then attacked by those they came to for help, they feel 10 times worse. I wonder how many suicides have been caused by this type of *counselling*? At the very least it could be a contributory factor.

  123. Grainne wrote:

    Run a mile from this. I thank God tat for over 50 years my husband and I have journeyed arm in arm, mutually helping and supporting each other. On one occasion I needed counselling on account of a ‘fool’ who was a domineering member of my family. I carefully researched the credentials and the history of the person I chose. She, together with the support and help of my husband, gave me excellent advice and the tools to put her adviceinto practice. These complementarian ‘counselors” as can be seen from John Piper’s appalling comments, do untold damage, and cause many to turn from the faith.

    This made my day! There are still happily married people!

  124. “As of right now, I would not recommend that any woman who is been abused to receive this sort of biblical counseling.”

    I will say AMEN to that. My daughter endured 9 years of this type of counseling while in an abusive marriage. She was very depressed… because the church offered her NO hope at all. The only way out was for one of them to die… and she figured it would have to be her. Her health did deteriorate to the point where she would have died if she hadn’t finally defied the church and left the marriage (with our support).

    At one point I loaned the book “Why does he do that?” by Lundy Bancroft to the church counselor. I was naive enough to think her bad counsel was only ignorance (of the tactics of abuse) and that if she read the book it would help her see things differently. Well, she refused to read it. And our daughter was then told that all her reading materials had to be approved by the church before she could read anything. True story, that.

  125. I’m trying really hard to give some benefit of the doubt and think of a logical reason why complementarianism is necessary in the counseling process.

    Nope, can’t think of one good reason!

  126. Ken G wrote:

    The personal responsibility aspect of addiction is very important just like the personal responsibility aspect of AIDS prevention is very important.

    If you are talking about ‘aids prevention’ with someone who is already hiv positive you are doing nothing useful. What is your purpose at that point??? You certainly aren’t helping them.

    I would say addition is complicated and there might be something at the root of it that needs looking at toove but again this all gets to your actual goals.

    In these situations shouldn’t our goal be to actually help people work through something? Beating them up for what they didn’t in the past doesn’t help, and probably is actively harmful. The biggest issue in a lot of ways with this dumb ‘biblical’ counseling is that they dont seem to actually want to help anyone get better. That is NOT their goal and they are honest enough to put it in the literature. The purpose of counseling is not preaching! Sheesh.

  127. sandy c wrote:

    I often think that the denominations are like the 12 tribes. You got your Josephs and your Levi’s and Reubens. But each one of them thinks they are Judah- the only one that Messiah comes out of.

    Very true. My previous comment was pure snark. I don’t give a rat’s rip what religion my kids are so long as they be a Mensch (Yiddish for good person) and don’t do the kinds of things to others that they wouldn’t want done to themselves.

  128. I just finished another blog post on my own blog featuring an article I saw in the W.S.J. about anxiety disorders in children.

    Pertinent to this TWW post about biblical counseling is how the article mentions that for some people, anxiety has a biological aspect.

    That is, not everyone with anxiety is choosing to have it. It’s not a sin. It’s not due to personal sin, failing, or weakness.

    Here’s part of what the article said:

    Genetics play a stronger role. Studies of twins have found that genes are responsible for 30% to 40% of the variation in the individual risk for anxiety disorders.

    The article (I also have it on my Daisy blog):
    The Right Way for Parents to Help Anxious Children
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-right-way-for-parents-to-help-anxious-children-1512755970

    Some of the treatments brought up in the article included anti-depressants, C.B.T., and teaching the parents how to handle the anxiety in their kids. (How parents deal with their child’s anxiety can either make the anxiety better or worse.)

    So, the article, which quotes a bunch of psychiatrists, studies, etc., says treatment that works for some may consist of C.B.T., medications, etc., and not the biblical counseling approach of Bible reading, running down an inventory of your sins, etc.

  129. @ Daisy:

    Eliminating corn from kid’s diets works wonders often times too for behavioral issues. Sounds too corny to be true.

  130. Mike wrote:

    The ramifications…….so if being abused has psychological impacts on someone – the solution is to learn how to submit more?

    Makes sense — IF YOU’RE AN ABUSER.

  131. okrapod wrote:

    Somebody in a comment here not too long ago brought up the issue or money. What about people who cannot afford ‘secular’ counseling?

    I have brought that point up a time or two in the past, but I don’t know if someone else did too.

    I saw one therapist a few times after my mother died, but I didn’t have the funds (or any insurance) by which to keep seeing her, and, she refused to lower her rates so I could keep seeing her.

  132. JeffT wrote:

    The ACBC certification- that’s the one with the duck embossed on it, isn’t it?

    Complete with anti-mainstream psychology propaganda worthy of Scientology.

  133. Daisy wrote:

    A few years ago, I read that another understanding of that prohibition was not to do bad or evil acts but believe or argue that your evil was justified in the name of God, or you were doing evil in God’s name, saying God wanted you to do it, or God was okay with it.

    I understand THAT is the original Jewish interpretation of that Commandment.

    If you are a deity, I suppose it would grate on your nerves for any of your creation to run around doing bad things in your name, or claiming you’re in agreement with it when you are not.

    AKA “You do your own dirty work — Don’t drag Me into it!”

  134. drstevej wrote:

    One of the most productive counseling interactions I had as a pastor was with a couple (not from our church) that came asking to speak to someone with gray hair. (seriously)

    They had a point.
    Maybe they’d experienced one Twentysomething Elder(TM) too many.

  135. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Mike wrote:
    The ramifications…….so if being abused has psychological impacts on someone – the solution is to learn how to submit more?
    – – Hug said: —
    Makes sense — IF YOU’RE AN ABUSER.

    This one book I have says that very approach, (to keep giving in to your abuser, submit more, etc,) enables the abuse to continue.

    Every time you refuse to set up boundaries or speak up on your own behalf, or you give the abuser a second chance, the doctor who wrote the book said most abusers consider all those reactions Permission To Keep Abusing You.

    The abusers think on some level you are consenting to be abused if you cave in, if you don’t resist or fight back.

    Obviously, women who are in marriages where they think resisting may cause their spouse to physically harm them should not fight back – it all depends on the specific situation.

    (The doctor’s advice was applicable to all sorts of abuse too, including emotional or verbal, not just physical.)

  136. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I remember reading a book by Ed Welch about addictions. He contended that the issue really is just idolatry, period.

    A contention worthy of a Taliban Mullah.

  137. Ken G wrote:

    I agree it is complicated and as a result the pendulum can swing to the extreme in either situation. Biblical counseling can go too far with the personal responsibility aspect while secular counseling can go too far with victimhood, etc.
    In my area there is an epidemic of heroin use (this is what I hear on the radio) resulting not only in related crime, but in overdoses which are having adverse impacts on first responders and emergency rooms. The blame is placed on the relative inexpensive cost of the drug and dealers bringing the drug in from a larger city. I haven’t heard anything about personal responsibility or the role personal responsibility should have in addressing this problem.

    I agree it is a tension that must be held. In the specific case of Welch, I remember vividly how mercilessly he attacked the idea that addiction is a disease. The lens he kept going to was one of idolatry–i.e. personal sin. That is unhelpful. It is extreme, IMO.

    Using heroin is wrong. True. But that is not solved by telling a true heroin addict it is wrong. They need effective help to get free of the chemical bondage driving the addiction. What their personal responsibility looks like is seeking real help to stop.

  138. sandy c wrote:

    As more churches adopt this type of ministry the rate of depression and suiicide is just going to climb. And as Okrapod pointed out those that manage to escape these churches will probably have the view that scripture is meaningless and if anyone tries to talk about sin they may be viewed as raving lunatics. Its not just sad its anti Christ.

    “NOWHERE DO WE CORRUPT SO EFFECTIVELY AS AT THE VERY FOOT OF THE ENEMY’S ALTAR!”
    — Screwtape

  139. sandy c wrote:

    “Biblical counselors must reject any secular counseling ***intervention*** that is at odds with Scripture. Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.”
    This really bothers me.

    Ditto. Nothing essential? In any circumstance outside of hospitalization?

  140. A few years ago, I stumbled across a book online, or a mention of it.

    The book explains how and why much of Christian counseling (the type Dee is discussing in the OP) is so dangerous.

    In at least one chapter of the book,the author gets into how counseling actually puts women at risk, especially women in abusive marriages, since most of these counselors blame the woman for the abuse, tell her to stay and submit, etc.

    I found it! I had forgotten its title, but I found it again:
    The Failure of Evangelical Mental Health Care: Treatments That Harm Women, LGBT Persons and the Mentally Ill by John Weaver
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PeaeoAEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I haven’t read it myself, but someone on another site I read years ago said it’s pretty good.

  141. Mike wrote:

    Pretty scary stuff – but I do remember being taught at youth group meeting (way back) that there was no such thing as mental illness – and the speaker meant that literally. He said it all was unresolved sin.

    Which must be sniffed out, just like in Calvin’s Geneva or Massachusetts Bay.

    Or old South Africa, the “smelling-outs” (witch hunts) with isangomas (witch-diviners) walking among the assembled rows of people, flicking their fly whisks to identify the witches (who are then beaten to death or impaled on the spot). (Note — this WAS how witch-hunts were conducted among the Zulu and related Bantu peoples.)

  142. @ dee:
    The counselor was licensed by the State and educated as well as trained in the profession by a secular university, Ph.D. No mention of God et al. No conflict either. Behavioral science.

    “Psychology is the science of behavior and mind, embracing all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience as well as thought. It is an academic discipline and a social science which seeks to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

    “… Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.

    “Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, cognition, attention, emotion (affect), intelligence, phenomenology, motivation (conation), brain functioning, and personality. This extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas.” – wikipedia

  143. sandy c wrote:

    “Biblical counselors must reject any secular counseling ***intervention*** that is at odds with Scripture. Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.”

    This really bothers me.

    Just substitute “Dianetics” for “Scripture” and “Dianetic Auditing” for “Biblical Counseling”…
    Would it make any difference?
    (Other than one using a Bible and the other an Elron Hubbard E-Meter?)

  144. “Every Christian is a counselor. They might not want the work, and they might not be any good at it, but every Christian is a counselor.”

    And then: “Biblical counselors must help their counselees to submit to the authority of the church. … These shepherds have real spiritual authority that must be followed when it is discharged biblically.”

    So in the first case, we have good and bad counselors. In the second, there’s “real spiritual authority” of churches and their shepherds, who they say are to be followed with a qualifier — when said authority is discharged biblically.

    Who exactly is the arbiter of who is a good counselor in this scenario, as well as a good “shepherd”? Sounds like a lot of subjectivity, yet there’s this push for all of these counselees to be under authority. It certainly sounds like it’s up to the call of the counselor, which may be bad or downright dangerous if the counselee is inclined to simply obey authority (or the appearance of it) for what may be bad advice, biblically and otherwise.

  145. dee wrote:

    For many in this movement, depression will be treated as a *sin* because you are not *rejoicing the Lord always.* See, easy peasy!

    I wonder what they make of Jesus’ reaction at the tomb of Lazarus: “Jesus wept.”

    The text doesn’t say exactly why Jesus wept, but I have my own ideas of why. But Jesus was not rejoicing in himself or the Father, then, so I guess he was in sin, going by biblical counseling logic!

  146. Max wrote:

    “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14) doesn’t apply here.
    It’s no surprise that Nouthetic counseling and New Calvinism are running in parallel tracks. Both are characterized by control and manipulation of the sheep. Both put the Bible between the individual and the Holy Spirit. Both diminish the role of Jesus in bringing peace and healing to a hurting soul. Both should be avoided by believers.

    It’s when a flawed interpretation of the Bible — often complete with Pharisee-riffic hedges — comes between that the alarm bells should go off.

  147. dee wrote:

    JYJames wrote:
    They say there are no atheists in fox holes. Our pastor learned the value of counseling via his own experience.
    — Dee replied,
    Great story.

    I often see Christians talking smack about experience. They always want to scold people for not “walking in faith,” or not going by the Bible.

    I just find that very strange and short sighted as I grow older. Also, their theological teachings have real-life impact, sometimes negative in a person’s life.

    Their teaching on the Bible can cause negative experiences for someone. They don’t like to think about that or admit it.

    Guys like that seem to want to live in this other-world of theological abstraction, sit around in an ivory tower and pontificate on theology.

    They don’t seem to want to get real, get into the nitty gritty, every day reality, where reading or quoting Bible verses doesn’t solve everything. They remind me in some ways of the Pharisees Jesus was always debating.

    The Pharisees seemed to prefer studying and thinking about God, vs. actually getting off their duffs and helping people where they were.

  148. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I remember reading a book by Ed Welch about addictions.

    I read one of his books once two and mentioned it on this blog a couple of years ago. It was a different book.

    I found it very victim-blaming towards sexual assault victims and towards anyone who has anxiety. His book was not the least bit helpful

  149. Max wrote:

    Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ground-zero for New Calvinism) has a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling degree. In their on-line degree description, they indicate:
    “Students will be able to … interpret Scripture’s original meaning, and apply Scripture to contemporary situations.”
    Of course,”original meaning” of Scripture will be filtered through a reformed theology grid, since Gospel = Calvinism at SBTS. Among other things, God’s chosen few will try to convince some women that their marital problems are a result of their failure to submit properly. They will also warp your mind to believe that Jesus is subordinate to the Father, and that they must teach you truth rather than the Holy Spirit.
    On a related note, it appears that psychology and neuothetics have clashed at SBTS, forcing professor Eric Johnson into “early retirement.” Johnson put it this way:
    “For a number of reasons, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has determined that Christian psychology is not compatible with the version of biblical counseling that they want to promote in their counseling department.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september-web-only/johnson-southern-biblical-counseling-christian-psychology.html

    Wow, that article says volumes. Autocrats keep gaining ground.

  150. Daisy wrote:

    The Failure of Evangelical Mental Health Care: Treatments That Harm Women, LGBT Persons and the Mentally Ill by John Weaver

    I’m glancing over the chapter on “Patriarchal Counseling” and it mentions the abuses at New Bethany and Sovereign Grace Ministries.

    It also discussed the Quiverfull movement.

  151. Daisy wrote:

    I wonder what they make of Jesus’ reaction at the tomb of Lazarus: “Jesus wept.”

    Hopefully they see that Jesus was fully human and humans cry.

  152. Abigail wrote:

    I’ll take Lubdy Bancroft on abuse any day over John Piper. If a woman came to one of these counselors about her husband’s abuse they would probably tell him…which can put her in danger. There’s a true arrogance here that has a spiritual guise. Why are all problems based in sin????

    The one good thing I can say about any of this is at least there’s an internet.

    These days, a lot of people have access to online content. A woman in an abusive marriage can google around and find alternate views.

    It was harder back in the days of ‘go to your local library and use the card catalog to leaf through titles.’

  153. Patti wrote:

    I know some people who won’t even go to dentists, doctors, or mechanics, unless they have determined that they are “fine Christian folk.” Whatever!

    Oh, eye roll. I had dental work not that long ago, and I never asked my new dentist’s religious beliefs were, if he even believed in a deity, nor did it ever cross my mind.

    I researched a ton of dentists in my area and went by customer reviews and stuff like that.

    To this day, I can’t tell you what my dentist’s religious views are, nor do I care. He was friendly, he did a great job on my teeth, and his prices were the least expensive in my area.

    His staff was nice too, and no, I don’t know or care what their religious views are.

    My dentist can be an atheist or Buddhist for all I care.

  154. Grainne wrote:

    On one occasion I needed counselling on account of a ‘fool’ who was a domineering member of my family.

    I’ve got one or two of those in my family too!

  155. @ Ken G:
    Please consider a few things. 1 you are male and BCM has been claimed to be abusive for women by lots of women, but men like typically like it alot.
    One of the biggest problems pointed out is that they refuse to have outside interference and provide no documentation to show how effective or inaffective it is, no numbers showing how many suicides, abused women and children, domestic violence victims, or how many children raised in environments like that grow up and become heroin addicts right in your neighborhood, foolishly squandering your tax dollars and stealing your t.v.s
    Also consider the contrasting attitudes of the 2 other guys on crosses the day Jesus died for you.
    I wonder if you had been Jesus if you would have said, sorry you didnt take personal responsibility and deserve your cross so no paradise for you.

  156. Bridget wrote:

    Secular counseling emphasizes personal responsibility as well. You are misinformed if you think it doesn’t, or if you think it emphasizes victimhood. Secular counseling also recognized reasons for mental disorders and harmful behaviors other than the often simplistic biblical counseling response of “sin.”

    One of the things I’ve seen over and over in articles about effective therapy or treatment is a heavy dose of empathy up front, where the person’s pain is acknowledged.

    I’m all fine with people taking personal responsibility, but I think some groups twist it to end up victim-blaming a person, which doesn’t help them.

  157. Muff Potter wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    I wonder what they make of Jesus’ reaction at the tomb of Lazarus: “Jesus wept.”

    Hopefully they see that Jesus was fully human and humans cry.

    If crying was sinful then God wouldnt have made tears! A Psychiatrist once advised me that its the people that dont express emotions you have to worry about.

  158. Bridget wrote:

    Secular counseling also recognized reasons for mental disorders and harmful behaviors other than the often simplistic biblical counseling response of “sin.

    Biblical counselors harping on people’s sin in such a detrimental manner sort of reminds me of the old horror movie ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ where the infected pod people would stop, drop their mouths in horror, and raise their arms to point at the non-pod people.

    Like the guy does about 3/4th of the way into this movie trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTP_SdjD5ms

    I’m surprised that biblical counselors don’t do that, or take it back to 2,000 years ago and pick up rocks to toss at the patients who come to visit them.

  159. Daisy wrote:

    I often see Christians talking smack about experience. …
    The Pharisees seemed to prefer studying and thinking about God, vs. actually getting off their duffs and helping people where they were.

    1 John 1:1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.”

    Good enough for the writers of the Gospels (seen, heard, touched), good enough for me.

    Excellent point, Daisy.

  160. dee wrote:

    I heard about this incident and will add it to my list of things to investigate. My goal is to thoroughly wok my way through this stuff. Thank you.

    I mentioned that very same news story on my Daisy blog, and I believe Seneca Griggs showed up under one of his other screen names to defend J-Mac on that story.

  161. @ Ken G:
    Your tone reminds me of a meme i saw on bookface the other day. “If christians are so anti-homosexual why do they keep having gay babies?!”

  162. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I am all for taking personal responsibility. However, the trick is what that actually looks like in a given situation. Treating all addictions as simply personal responsibility failures/sins is too blunt an instrument, IMO. It is more complicated than that.

    I also don’t know if shaming would work in such cases.

    When it comes to over eating, some family members will shame the overweight person, or, that person gets ridiculed at school (if a kid) by their peers for their weight.

    They then turn to food to relieve that pain. The shaming and pressure causes them to turn to the food even more.

  163. Daisy wrote:

    My dentist can be an atheist or Buddhist for all I care.

    Yup.

    Teeth, specialist, trained, experienced, with a track record in his/her specialty – teeth.

  164. dee wrote:

    And why in the world do you think that secular and Christian psychology does NOT emphasize personal responsibility? Who told you that?

    Maybe the disconnect is that some secular mental health practitioners have classified some behaviors as illness that “biblical counselors” and a lot of evangelicals consider sin.

    I think evangelicals, Christian fundamentalists, and biblical counselors are freaked out or worried that the secular culture will tell every one they are all victims, they’re not responsible for their own actions, and it will nullify or silence the concept of sin.

    It’s kind of sort of like how gender complementarians get in a tizzy, so concerned that the USA is no longer 1952 with pink womanhood and clear cut blue manhood that they expend a lot of effort and time wringing their hands in worry over secular, liberal feminism

    -and blaming feminism for every thing wrong in culture including every thing from when the milk in their fridge goes sour to any time they get a paper cut.

  165. All this is a moot point! ChatBots are taking over therapy, LOL!

    I just now found out about WoeBot on the TV news.

    I did this blog post about it:
    WoeBot, The Chatbot Therapist, Will See You Now – The Rise of Chatbot Therapy
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/%E2%80%A2-woebot-the-chatbot-therapist-will-see-you-now-the-rise-of-chatbot-therapy/

    The news sites and show didn’t say if these Chat-Bots are Christians who believe in male leadership, female submission, and the sufficiency of Scripture.

  166. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Given all of his teaching about not wasting your life on things like collecting sea shells on the beach, and given his teaching that muscular women prefer hasty sex rather than romantic strolls on the beach

    Julie Anne once shared the weird Piper tweet about a young couple being “down by the river.”

    Piper seems to have some fixation beach or water themes.

    Maybe his next tweet or blog post will have some reference to swimming pools, surfing, canoeing, life preservers, water wings, or Niagara Falls in it.

  167. Avid Reader wrote:

    Wonder why God would take the time to mention that in the Bible if all secular knowledge is useless?
    (Grin—sarcasm alert :))

    I am reminded of this:

    “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
    – Jesus (Luke 16:8)

  168. Ken G wrote:

    I haven’t heard anything about personal responsibility or the role personal responsibility should have in addressing this problem.

    I’ve been hearing about the opioid crisis in the media.

    From what I’ve heard, the drug companies that make it were not honest about how addictive it is, and, some doctors were over-prescribing it.

    I’ve seen testimonies with some people who say they get hooked on these sorts of drugs not for a “high” but taking stuff like this as pain dulling medication after surgery. They don’t intend on becoming addicts.

  169. Avid Reader wrote:

    If you ever have the chance to visit drug rehab programs, there’s plenty of talk there about taking personal responsibility.

    I’d also add that being ‘cognizant of’ and ‘doing something about it’ are two different things.

    I’ve had anxiety since childhood. I’m aware I have it and should try to do something to combat it, but that’s easier said than done.

    Knowing you have a problem and being able to fight it are sometimes two different things.

  170. Ken G wrote:

    she was tormented by some type of self-loathing emotional problem.

    She concluded the psychiatrist was of no help and then sought some church (biblical) counseling.

    The church counseling worked, she was no longer tormented, got married, had a baby daughter and, as far as I know, lived happily ever after

    This brings to my mind all the testimonies I see on Christian TV. Usually, in these interviews, either the adults they interview did not become a Christian until later in life, or were “back slidden.”

    Their stories are always the same.

    They lived a life of drug addiction, robbing people, debauchery, etc. and so on, but the moment they “found Jesus” (or re- committed to Jesus) and started helping other people all the time, they say they found peace, meaning in life and all that jazz.

    That’s great and what all, but I cannot relate to that.

    I was a Christian from the time I was a kid and into adulthood, and I can’t say as though knowing Jesus brought me inner peace or purpose in life, nor did helping people and putting them first bring me purpose or peace.

    I guess what works for some doesn’t work for all.

  171. sandy c wrote:

    I often think that the denominations are like the 12 tribes. You got your Josephs and your Levi’s and Reubens. But each one of them thinks they are Judah- the only one that Messiah comes out of.

    Yep. Agree.

  172. Mary27 wrote:

    Well, she refused to read it. And our daughter was then told that all her reading materials had to be approved by the church before she could read anything. True story, that.

    Wow.

    The part about not reading it reminds me of how in his review of Ruth Tucker’s book about the part complementarianism played in her martial abuse, Tim Challies basically told his readers not to read her book.

    People are adults and can and should be allowed to read whatever book they want and make up their own minds.

    You don’t have to agree with something just because you read it. You can use critical thinking to pick apart the content.

  173. Kathi wrote:

    I’m trying really hard to give some benefit of the doubt and think of a logical reason why complementarianism is necessary in the counseling process.
    Nope, can’t think of one good reason!

    Because it’s not enough for complementarians to argue and force all women to submit in a marriage and in a church, they have to make them submit in counseling too. (You have to Lord Your Authority all over the place.)

  174. Lea wrote:

    I would say addition is complicated

    So is long division, which is why I use a calculator. 🙂
    (Kidding. I know you meant addiction.)

  175. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    AKA “You do your own dirty work — Don’t drag Me into it!”

    I really wish some Christians would show some humility in this.

    I don’t feel comfortable, most of the time, running around saying things like, ‘I know for a fact God sent a tornado to that trailer part because somewhere in America, gay marriage is legal right now!’

    I don’t know how some Christians, like Piper or Robertson feel so sure they know exactly what God thinks and feels on every subject in existence. There’s just some arrogance there.

  176. I am SO thankful that, when I had my first bout of depression while attending Covenant Life, that they were not using the biblical counseling model. I went to see a Christian counselor, and continued as long as I needed to, despite the pastors’ cautions to me. Biblical counseling really messed up some people I knew, and especially one person with serious mental illness. Reportedly CLC is now open to a more therapeutic Christian counseling model.

  177. sandy c wrote:

    Also consider the contrasting attitudes of the 2 other guys on crosses the day Jesus died for you.

    Luke 18:9-14
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18:9-14

    The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed:
    ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers— or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  178. Lea wrote:

    If you are talking about ‘aids prevention’ with someone who is already hiv positive you are doing nothing useful. What is your purpose at that point??? You certainly aren’t helping them.

    Divorce Minister wrote:

    Using heroin is wrong. True. But that is not solved by telling a true heroin addict it is wrong. They need effective help to get free of the chemical bondage driving the addiction. What their personal responsibility looks like is seeking real help to stop.

    I was talking about the role personal responsibility plays in educating the public. The public was made aware of the AIDS risk and individuals now have the responsibility of taking precautions if they decide to engage in certain behaviors. Addiction also has a personal responsibility aspect and education in that regard is important. Defensive driving has a personal responsibility or behavioral aspect unrelated to technical driving skills, as I previously mentioned. My goal is to focus on prevention. I’m not talking about berating those needing help whether it’s related to AIDS, addiction or being in a car accident.

  179. Forrest wrote:

    And when someone who is depressed is then attacked by those they came to for help, they feel 10 times worse. I wonder how many suicides have been caused by this type of *counselling*? At the very least it could be a contributory factor.

    As a retired soldiers wife, and as a person who has many friends and acquaintances who are/were military, I would strongly advise military people AGAINST “biblical” counseling for PTSD. I am convinced that “biblical” counseling would be destructive.

  180. Daisy wrote:

    This brings to my mind all the testimonies I see on Christian TV. Usually, in these interviews, either the adults they interview did not become a Christian until later in life, or were “back slidden.”
    Their stories are always the same.
    They lived a life of drug addiction, robbing people, debauchery, etc. and so on, but the moment they “found Jesus” (or re- committed to Jesus) and started helping other people all the time, they say they found peace, meaning in life and all that jazz.

    In the situation I mentioned, the individual had a responsible job and held classes where she taught some eastern religion combined with meditation. No drugs or debauchery were involved. From what I heard, she was a very popular teacher. She converted to Christianity (I don’t know the circumstances), but soon thereafter she began experiencing the problems I mentioned. They were not due to any church teaching because the problems began well before she attended any church. I was the one who suggested that she seek professional help. She did and it didn’t work.

  181. Muff Potter wrote:

    don’t do the kinds of things to others that they wouldn’t want done to themselves.

    Oh, thanks for clarification!
    My kids are actually into living lives where they”don’t do the kinds of things to others that they wouldn’t want done to themselves.” I have gay friends and vehemently not gay friends on facebook and the conversation going around was about the right to not sell cakes again. One point made was if christians insist on this and change anti discrimination laws then christians may go to grocery stores and be told they cant buy bread because they might use it in one of their ceremonies and that could be against the stores religious views! Sometimes i think there is more wisdom outside of church than inside!! At least more do unto others as you want them to do to you! 🙂

  182. @ Ken G:

    Is it true that they require clients to provide two goats; one for a sin sacrifice and one to feed the practitioner. The goat requirement is why these guys aren’t part of major insurance networks.

  183. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Using heroin is wrong. True. But that is not solved by telling a true heroin addict it is wrong. They need effective help to get free of the chemical bondage driving the addiction. What their personal responsibility looks like is seeking real help to stop.

    And that is an issue every treatment center brings up- there is not enough funding. Most addicts i have helped have had a 2-3 month wait to get into treatment. If they are still alive then they sometimes forget they even wanted to go.
    I would also mention that every AA group i have attended puts the responsibility squarely on the addict/alcoholic and when a person starts sharing about what everyone did to make him have to drink it is often met with “poor me, poor me, pour me another one! If you want to drink go drink, if you want to get sober clean up your own side of the street” thats secular counselling though…

  184. What Happened wrote:

    Emotionally healthy, mentally balanced people see harmony in the two great commandments

    I understand that.

    I don’t understand the connection to my comment you quoted. Could you elaborate.

  185. JDV wrote:

    “Biblical counselors must reject any secular counseling ***intervention*** that is at odds with Scripture. Secular counseling therapies add nothing essential to the understanding and resolution of counseling problems, though secular institutions can provide assistance to biblical counselors when situations like hospitalization become necessary for extreme and urgent care.”
    This really bothers me.

    Ditto. Nothing essential? In any circumstance outside of hospitalization?

    Yeah, if they had just said “that is at odds with Scripture.” that would be agreeable. Well if it wasnt left up to the counselor to decide what is at odds with scripture. Technically a counselor could say the person needed to stop eating shellfish, or should be able to stone disobedient children to death. They use just enough wording to make it sound legit, who wants to do anything at odds with scripture? But then we see it is used as a means to stoke up fear of the ‘secular world’ which breeds isolation and hides abusive tactics used by some in the movement.

  186. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Just substitute “Dianetics” for “Scripture” and “Dianetic Auditing” for “Biblical Counseling”…
    Would it make any difference?
    (Other than one using a Bible and the other an Elron Hubbard E-Meter?)

    I had so much Mary Baker Eddy Ron Hubbard garbage when i was growing up- its probably why i was able to see through the ‘call the things that be not- prosperity gospel’ so quickly. And when i read things like Dee posted from the biblical movement i want to wretch.
    The concept is great- i would love to be able to have scripture based counseling- i hate to think that people fleeing the church might get entangled with hypnosis or other things that secular counselling sometimes uses that i am staunchly against. But they arent using the scripture to set people free, they are using it to guilt, condemn, manipulate people and they have indeed put the veil back between God and man and taken the place of the One True High Priest. It is safer to go to secular remedy and reject objectionable treatments at this time in my opinion. At least you have the ability to say no and request a different counsellor or go to another clinic there in the world!

  187. dee wrote:

    Wait until you see the *intense* training of said counselors. ROFL.

    I can only imagine that it’s as extensive as being given a “how to counsel with your Bible” book and off you go!

    This is all frighteningly familiar. As I read more and more of this, it sounds exactly like some of the practices that were highly “encouraged” at the church that I just recently left. The whole statement about “Every Christian is a counselor” was reinforced in several areas in this church, especially in the small groups. You were “encouraged” (i.e. it was an order from higher up) to “counsel” people in your small group with any and every issue they were having with the Bible. It was emphasized that you were supposed to only use Scripture to “counsel” people and not your own experience or from other secular sources. And if basic “counseling” from your group members wasn’t sufficient to fix your issue, you were “encouraged” to go to the church’s recovery ministry for whatever sin struggle or other issue you were dealing with.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that these initiatives were inspired, if not downright connected to, the ACBC or other such organizations

  188. sandy c wrote:

    Please consider a few things. 1 you are male

    I’ll be sure to start a reply substituting female instead of male, I’ll probably get lots of positive comments. Sheesh.

  189. Ken G wrote:

    My goal is to focus on prevention. I’m not talking about berating those needing help whether it’s related to AIDS, addiction or being in a car accident.

    Maybe we should have a ‘war on drugs’ or a just ‘say no’ national campaign to educate people, maybe someone could make catchy advertisements with a theme of your brain on drugs or something…

  190. Thersites wrote:

    I’ll be sure to start a reply substituting female instead of male, I’ll probably get lots of positive comments. Sheesh.

    I said that to ken because i dont think he as a male is taking into any consideration that BCM complementarianism has proof of being harmful to abused women. Sheesh if you are also a male that goes on blogs to defend things that predominantly harm abused women and children then maybe you should if you want any women to listen to your opinions on anything.

  191. @ Daisy:

    “Jesus of Nazareth is wonderful, but I never found focusing on Jesus, praying to him, or Bible reading helped with the anxiety or depression.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i liked what you had to say. i don’t think Jesus/God/Holy Spirit want people floating around on spiritual clouds of prayer and praise and pontificating. As relational and productive being(s), i truly believe God wants people to “get busy and do something already, will ya?!!”

    God and us, we partner together. Just as action and forward movement is stimulating and envigorating (be it a job search, managing and implementing projects and plans, taking care of business, addressing health concerns, exercise, managing money, engaging in relationships with people, cooking, chores, errands, parties with family and friends, camping, vacations, etc), i think it is envigorating and stimulating to God, too.

    i mean, if God is within us, and let’s say adrenaline turns on when we start forward motion, start actually doing something, i think God turns on, too. we work together — God showing us, God speaking to us, as we are doing what we are doing. i think it is exciting for God — i think God is just itching to join us in productivity. in whatever it is we’re doing, even folding laundry.

    i remember in college i wanted to build up my swim endurance. i asked God to show me how to maximize and be efficient with energy output and my swim stroke. he didn’t show me in my prayer closet. he showed me as i was swimming, one arm stroke, breath, glide, and set of kicks at a time. (had it been for something more serious than self-improvement, i would have found a human coach)

  192. @ Thersites:
    By the way Thersites i learn alot and have great respect for men and especially ones that post on this blog. I have never felt anything rude in anything you have ever posted. I have been missing Gram3 and her husbands insight lately also. However i do not hold respect for chauvinistic men that come to blogs to tell women that are anxious because their child is hovering between life and death that they will point out their sins for them, or those that insist that counseling for abused women should be done by authoritive complementerian BCM men!

  193. @ Drstevej:
    I have a question Dr Steve. Leaving aside the complementarian issue (which i am still not certain about) and leaving aside the women in ministry issue- what can pastors do to address the abuse of power and authority that some men use hurt women? The #ChurchToo and #MeToo threads on twitter show that women are suffering abuse even in churches. Is there some way pastors can address this from the pulpit without their congregation accusing them of being femminist?
    And do you think that ‘complimentrianism’ has changed from what it used to be like? I noted earlier that i suffered greatly by my husband but other couples in the church i attended, especially older couples, had mutually respectful marriages with no abuse in that same framework. Some husbands were alot like that video you shared also, and provided very well for their wives. Thanks.

  194. Daisy wrote:

    My dentist can be an atheist or Buddhist for all I care.

    Did you hear about the Buddhist who got a root canal without novacaine? He was trying to transcend dental medication.

    (Sorry for that – I couldn’t resist)

  195. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    That is funny, but taking it seriously let me report this experience.

    We once had on staff an orthopedic surgeon from india, not a buddhist There was a situation, apparently about his drilling a hole from side to side through somebody’s proximal tibia through which a rod could be inserted as part of a bracing system for a fracture of the tibia. So, in that context, he told me that in India that is done without anesthesia because, according to him, pain is thought to have positive spiritual value. The pain is good for you idea.

    Link that with Mother Teresa’s lack of using pain killers for those in her care who were dying-and I think that probably he was correct-that this attitude about pain is present in some people’s thinking.

    Don’t waste your fracture; your orthopedic procedure; your opportunity for self flagellation?

  196. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Don’t drag Me into it!

    With each generation, the organized church tries to convince God that it’s OK to live under a lower standard. It doesn’t work. God is holy … He expects us who believe to raise the bar, not lower it.

  197. What happens when you play ACBC backwards?Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Or old South Africa, the “smelling-outs” (witch hunts) with isangomas (witch-diviners) walking among the assembled rows of people, flicking their fly whisks to identify the witches (who are then beaten to death or impaled on the spot). (Note — this WAS how witch-hunts were conducted among the Zulu and related Bantu peoples.)

    Recently, many in this group have been tweeting from Latin America, Africa, etc. It makes me sick to think about how they may have more freedom to dysfunction as they see fit.

  198. @ sandy c:

    Yours is a good question. As a pastor I have taught extended series (13 weeks) on Biblical love in 1 Cor 13:4-8
    – Love is patient
    – love is kind
    – It does not envy
    – it does not boast
    – it is not proud
    – It does not dishonor others
    – it is not self-seeking
    – it is not easily angered
    – it keeps no record of wrongs
    – Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
    – It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    In teaching through this I remind them that this is what is to mark us as disciples Christ. I also note that when Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church this is what he has in mind.

    I also have done an extended series on the one another passages in Scripture (the positive ones describing how we are to treat one another and the negatives ones that describe what we are to avoid). The illustrations I use include interaction between believers in a church and members of a family.

    This being said, I believer that my congregation watches how I treat my wife. How I treat her either gives weight to my words or discredits them. I am to love her as Christ loves the Church and be willing to sacrifice myself for her.

    Does this help?

  199. Just as in the neo-cal churches focus on hierarchy and authority, these ideas are absorbed into the nouthetic counseling system. The “authority” is based on the neo-cal interpretation of the scriptures. In turn, the counseling has little to do with diagnosing a client’s suffering and creating a safe place for the client to explore their issues, but puts a label on the person from scripture (pride, rebellion, not trusting God, bitterness etc) and that becomes the “working theory” in dealing with the suffer’s issues.
    I agree that the field of psychology/psychiatry is not perfect and needs improvement. (Often diagnoses are based on what the insurances companies will cover). There are many psychological issues which need intense and prolonged therapy. I have personally benefited from doctors who are there for the long run and are willing to flex their therapy style to fit their patient.
    I believe many nouthetic counselors are taught a shamed based view of humanity and can easily throw out ideas of bitterness and pride toward people whose behavior they don’t understand. Since God is perfect, and scripture answers all problems of the human condition-the nouthetic counselor has no motivation to think outside the box to help his/her counseled. I am very sad for those who are retraumatized by well intended, but poorly trained counselors. Thank you for covering a very important issue in our churches!

  200. sandy c wrote:

    Maybe we should have a ‘war on drugs’ or a just ‘say no’ national campaign to educate people, maybe someone could make catchy advertisements with a theme of your brain on drugs or something…

    I don’t equate education with empty words or catchy phrases.

  201. Ann wrote:

    Just as in the neo-cal churches focus on hierarchy and authority, these ideas are absorbed into the nouthetic counseling system.

    Exactly, Ann. That’s where I was coming from when I made the following comment upstream:

    “It’s no surprise that Nouthetic counseling and New Calvinism are running in parallel tracks. Both are characterized by control and manipulation of the sheep. Both put the Bible between the individual and the Holy Spirit. Both diminish the role of Jesus in bringing peace and healing to a hurting soul. Both should be avoided by believers.”

  202. @ sandy c:

    “…They use just enough wording to make it sound legit, who wants to do anything at odds with scripture? But then we see it is used as a means to stoke up fear of the ‘secular world’ which breeds isolation and hides abusive tactics used by some in the movement.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    well, that is their business plan. (whether they realize it or not)

    many churches have the same business plan (whether they realize it or not). that’s how you get people to come. #1 essential to hosting an event: people must come.

  203. Bridget wrote:

    I understand that.
    I don’t understand the connection to my comment you quoted. Could you elaborate.

    You don’t understand because “What Happened” is not a human being. It’s some kind of computer program that mimics a human response.

  204. drstevej wrote:

    In teaching through this I remind them that this is what is to mark us as disciples Christ. I also note that when Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church this is what he has in mind.

    I believe that the best Christian marriage counsel has ZERO to do with roles and everything to do with the “one another” passages in the NT: Love one another, forgive one another, bear one another’s burdens, etc. And this goes both ways… husbands to wives, and wives to husbands.

  205. elastigirl wrote:

    in my years at various churches and other christian events, i’ve heard all sorts of various and sundry things described as sin.
    the sin of being independent
    the sin of not being grateful ‘enough’
    the sin of not trusting
    the sin of being depressed
    the sin of not having hope
    the sin of feeling anger over being abused
    the sin of not forgiving on command
    …so many others

    You forgot the sin of “craving answers”. Apparently that’s a big, bad one, too.

  206. There is a tad of truth in the idea we are all–Christians or not–counselors whether we want the job or not. You sit in the break room over coffee and a coworker shares they are considering an affair and want your input. Or a bankruptcy. Or have a sick kid. Whatever. If you respond at all you are counseling. So in that sense it would be absolutely wonderful if those that claim to be Christian gave Biblical counsel. It might be: adultery breaks a commandment and hurts everyone. Don’t go there. Or can you avoid bankruptcy by seriously cutting back your lifestyle or not? Or have you seen a specialist? Can we help make that happen? All good, and seriously in today’s world something churches should train people to do, since more will ask a friend/coworker/teacher/family member than a shrink or pastor.

    But we need to learn the difference between needing counsel, needing professional counselling, needing psychiatric (not psychological) counsel, needing neuropsychiatric counsel, and needing a good physical practitioner. (If your depression is your breathing med’s side effect you do not need talk therapy. You need a different breathing med.)

    For every good outcome in psychological counsel I personally saw (there were many) there were an equal number of horrible outcomes (it may make you feel better to lose the guilt over adultery but it is not a good outcome.) Good counsel got a woman out of an abusive situation. Bad counsel made her abuser “feel good about himself” without meaningful change in his behavior.

    Physical problems (which can include mood changes and disorders) do not need counselling, they need addressing at the physical level. So if your heart med and elevated blood sugar and death of your spouse of 60 years all have you depressed, you may need not talk therapy alone or an antidepressant alone. You may need both or neither. You may need a different heart med, to get your blood sugar under control (yes, you will have responsibility as well meds), and may do better with a Bible based support group of grieving friends than with a traditional shrink. Or not.) But if your depression is caused by loss of your wife and kids when you (perfectly healthy physically)got randy with your secretary, you may need someone to love you enough to call you to repentance and to man up and accept your consequences.

    I suspect the same can be said about Bible based counselling, all forms of secular or religious counsel, and even peer counsel.

    The best secular counsel will include the personal responsibility angle. You may be an addict because mom did crack but you do not have to stay one. You may have smacked your wife because dad smacked mom but you can learn to stop making excuses and break the cycle.

    But toss a Bible verse at someone in a thyroid storm rage and you just might be guilty of murder yourself. Or the victim of one.

  207. Mary27 wrote:

    ZERO to do with roles and everything to do with the “one another” passages in the NT:

    From roles to relationship. Compelling.

  208. Daisy wrote:

    From what I’ve heard, the drug companies that make it were not honest about how addictive it is, and, some doctors were over-prescribing it.

    Big Pharma is in the business of making money. Their responsibility is to the shareholders. All other concerns are secondary. Buy low and sell high is the primary ethos.

  209. Muff Potter wrote:

    Big Pharma is in the business of making money. Their responsibility is to the shareholders. All other concerns are secondary. Buy low and sell high is the primary ethos.

    Exactly – which is the reason why we should put little confidence in docs that write an Rx for everything under the sun.

    If more people understood what went on in America 100 years ago with the eugenics movement we’d be eyeing up more of the docs that stay away from being controlled by the insurance and pharma companies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wlNey9t7hQ

  210. @ Max:
    Short-circuiting the process of what could be relationship. Relationship requires work of the soul – love God, love one another – and produces the ultimate result: love. God is love, His presence among us.

  211. Max wrote:

    It’s no surprise that Nouthetic counseling and New Calvinism are running in parallel tracks. Both are characterized by control and manipulation of the sheep.

    From ideology to practice.
    An article posted on Dee’s twitter considers the subdivision of relationships of the two genders, from ideology to practice: https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/12/5/16705284/misogyny-trump-sexism-patriarchy-weinstein
    Here’s a similar, older article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-tangled-wing/201210/misogyny-chauvinism-sexism-or-what From this psychologist’s observations is the broader question, “Is patriarchy maladaptive?”

  212. @ Mary27:

    I do not see a contradiction. And I say that having done a good bit of premarital counseling and staying in touch with couples I have married for the past 20-40 years.

  213. elastigirl wrote:

    @ sandy c:

    “…They use just enough wording to make it sound legit, who wants to do anything at odds with scripture? But then we see it is used as a means to stoke up fear of the ‘secular world’ which breeds isolation and hides abusive tactics used by some in the movement.”

    Whether that SCRIPTURE is the Bible or the collected writings of L Ron Hubbard.

  214. sandy c wrote:

    Maybe we should have a ‘war on drugs’ or a just ‘say no’ national campaign to educate people

    Don’t forget to “Wear Your WIN Button!”

  215. sandy c wrote:

    One point made was if christians insist on this and change anti discrimination laws then christians may go to grocery stores and be told they cant buy bread because they might use it in one of their ceremonies and that could be against the stores religious views!

    But that can NEVER happen because the Christians will ALWAYS be the ones on top “saying what is legal and what is not” discrimination!

    “Lannister, Baratheon, Targereyn — every Great House wants to stop the Wheel forever with themselves on top.”
    — Tirion Lannister, Game of Thrones

  216. Daisy wrote:

    They lived a life of drug addiction, robbing people, debauchery, etc. and so on, but the moment they “found Jesus” (or re- committed to Jesus) and started helping other people all the time, they say they found peace, meaning in life and all that jazz.

    Standard “Porn for the Pious” JUICY Testimony.

    And the instant they said The Sinner’s Prayer EVERYTHING went away and they have been Serene and Secure in their Great FAITH ever since, without a single instant of temptation or doubt, only FAITH FAITH FAITH. Like the guy in the post-Sinner’s Prayer montage in Jack Chick’s “This Was Your Life”.

    Where does that leave all the rest of us, the other 99% who are NOT God’s Speshul Pets?

  217. Daisy wrote:

    Julie Anne once shared the weird Piper tweet about a young couple being “down by the river.”

    Piper seems to have some fixation beach or water themes.

    And on Muscular Women and “Pelvic Issues” in general.

  218. A.Stacy wrote:

    Almost sounds like something from L. Ron Hubbard.

    “Just like Scientology, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  219. Daisy wrote:

    -and blaming feminism for every thing wrong in culture including every thing from when the milk in their fridge goes sour to any time they get a paper cut.

    Like a much earlier Godly Generation in Massachusetts Bay blamed WITCHES.

  220. Daisy wrote:

    When it comes to over eating, some family members will shame the overweight person, or, that person gets ridiculed at school (if a kid) by their peers for their weight.

    They then turn to food to relieve that pain. The shaming and pressure causes them to turn to the food even more.

    They call it “comfort food” for a reason.

  221. sandy c wrote:

    @ Ken G:
    Your tone reminds me of a meme i saw on bookface the other day. “If christians are so anti-homosexual why do they keep having gay babies?!”

    GREAT LINE!

  222. Daisy wrote:

    I’m surprised that biblical counselors don’t do that, or take it back to 2,000 years ago and pick up rocks to toss at the patients who come to visit them.

    Dead pew-sitters can’t Tithe.

  223. Max wrote:

    Certainly. Danny Akin was Mohler’s right hand man for a season – he learned a lot from the kingpin.

    As David Miscavage was Elron Hubbard’s right hand man?

    Beware the right-hand man who’s only one heartbeat — YOURS — away from the Top.

  224. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Also, I would add that treating addictions as simply PERSONAL sin is far too simplistic even from an orthodox Christian perspective.

    But fits right in with these guys’ Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation.

  225. Muff Potter wrote:

    Big Pharma is in the business of making money. Their responsibility is to the shareholders. All other concerns are secondary. Buy low and sell high is the primary ethos.

    It’s not just big pharma. It’s true for nearly all the supplies and services we purchase, including bibles and Christian books (and news, food, entertainment, transportation, you name it).

  226. @ JYJames:
    Love is not a word tossed around much in New Calvinist ranks, nor a descriptor used to characterize the movement and its followers. Arrogance is the more common identifier.

  227. elastigirl wrote:

    God and us, we partner together.

    In their Biblical world view (reformed or arminian fundamentalism, it makes no difference), God has no interest in being your friend or in partnering with you. You (generic you) exist solely to execute his plans and to aggrandize his glory.
    Whether it’s a Calvinista outfit or say Calvary Chapel, the ethos is the same, and any ‘differences’ are purely cosmetic.

    I bless Providence for TWW and other blogs like it because I believe they are part of an ongoing Reformation that did not cease 500 years ago. Any blog for that matter that helps to free one human being at a time from these soul killing religious regimes, is doing a great service for the Church Universal.

  228. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    It’s not just big pharma. It’s true for nearly all the supplies and services we purchase, including bibles and Christian books (and news, food, entertainment, transportation, you name it).

    As true as pool cues turned on a lathe.

  229. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    This is one of Piper’s better (depending on how one defines “better”) articles on pelvic issues (no pun intended):

    Piper tweeted awhile back on his obsession with kids parking and making out down by the river. High on the creepo-meter for sure. They could have made that one into an episode on Criminal Minds or SVU.

  230. Lita wrote:

    This is all frighteningly familiar. As I read more and more of this, it sounds exactly like some of the practices that were highly “encouraged” at the church that I just recently left. The whole statement about “Every Christian is a counselor” was reinforced in several areas in this church, especially in the small groups. You were “encouraged” (i.e. it was an order from higher up) to “counsel” people in your small group with any and every issue they were having with the

    It does sound the same 🙁

  231. Max wrote:

    “In the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14) doesn’t apply here.

    If only it were real “multitude”. Because that includes a multitude of opinions and approaches, doesn’t it? So it would also include secular psychology and would not be just one opinion parotted by all those “counselors”.
    So, yes, it would apply here – as long as it is applied correctly.

  232. drstevej wrote:

    This being said, I believer that my congregation watches how I treat my wife. How I treat her either gives weight to my words or discredits them. I am to love her as Christ loves the Church and be willing to sacrifice myself for her.

    Does this help?

    Yes it does! I was thinking about Gloria and Bill Gaither and many of the couples they have known for years. Also i was thinking about couples i have known for years in Ptirian, baptist, methodist, 4 square and assembly of God churches that didnt have complementary in their creed or belief statement but preached about the role of the husband etc.
    About 4 yrs ago an Acts 29 church opened and they had that in their faith statement and their version of ‘love your wife, rule your household’ was almost militeristic!
    So i was thinking that if extremists package and label ‘complementerian’ and ‘church authority’ as if it was the same balanced relationship as people were used to, they could slip in their new militeristic gospel before folks realised what was happening.

  233. Muff Potter wrote:

    In their Biblical world view (reformed or arminian fundamentalism, it makes no difference), God has no interest in being your friend or in partnering with you. You (generic you) exist solely to execute his plans and to aggrandize his glory.

    I guess it’s what happens when you make God in your own image…

  234. Muff Potter wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    From what I’ve heard, the drug companies that make it were not honest about how addictive it is, and, some doctors were over-prescribing it.

    Big Pharma is in the business of making money. Their responsibility is to the shareholders. All other concerns are secondary. Buy low and sell high is the primary ethos.

    There were Drs in Bremerton Wa that were charged and lost licenses for overprescribing opiods to patients and while all that legal drama was playing out their patients were just cut off of meds. People that have been taking 7 vicodines daily for a year arent able to just quit like that. Bremerton now has one of the worst heroin meth epidemics nationally. Many of the non drug users in that town are the most cruel commenters online whenever an addict gets arrested. ‘They are irresponsible, lazy, welfare cheats etc… Most addicts cant provide an address or respond to letters from DSHS on time and dont have food stamps etc! Now 6 yrs later the community is starting to talk about providing more treatment centers.
    The same thing happened nationally with veterans and PTSD diagnoses. An army base in Seattle got exposed for intenionally refusing to diagnose PTSD…because it would be too costly to have to provide adequate treatment.
    When money is the primary factor people are expendable- in drug epidemics, mental health, physical health, and sadly in churches.

  235. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Dead pew-sitters can’t Tithe.

    Hence the line in their indoctrination about how if they got the person almost dead they allow calling outside help for emergency hospitilization!

  236. @ sandy c:

    I prepared a sermon on 3 John when I was in seminary preaching class. John addresses the conduct of a man named Diotrephes in the letter. Diotrephes is a forerunner of militaristic church leaders.

    John does not mince words about the conduct of Diotrephes:

    9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

  237. Bridget wrote:

    I understand that.

    I don’t understand the connection to my comment you quoted. Could you elaborate.

    I guess what I’m saying is that Jesus, by responding in a way that reconciled both of the great commandments accurately reflected the nature of God. They’ve dissected the Bible and the very words of Jesus in such a way that leads to an abstraction of God that is glorified their theological sacrifices. But, God desires mercy not sacrifice.

    Your comment generated my response, but I failed to show how it related. I think I do that frequently when talking about certain subjects. Hopefully this didn’t distort your comment.

  238. drstevej wrote:

    I do not see a contradiction. And I say that having done a good bit of premarital counseling and staying in touch with couples I have married for the past 20-40 years.

    Maybe in a perfect world that would be true. In my world, where we’ve spent time with dozens of abused Christian women and listened to their stories, it is not so true. And it often starts at the wedding… for example, we went to the wedding of the son of some close friends and the preacher spent maybe 1-2 minutes telling the new husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and then went on to spend the next 20 min (at least) exhorting the new wife in her role of submission… emphasizing that the success of the marriage would depend on her submission.

  239. @ Mary27:
    “the preacher spent maybe 1-2 minutes telling the new husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and then went on to spend the next 20 min (at least) exhorting the new wife in her role of submission…”

    Never have done this and never would. That imbalance is patently unbiblical.

  240. Daisy wrote:

    I think evangelicals, Christian fundamentalists, and biblical counselors are freaked out or worried that the secular culture will tell every one they are all victims, they’re not responsible for their own actions

    I don’t get that. You can still be a victim and responsible for your actions! Why are those two things in contrast?

    ultimately, what is important is what you do moving forward. There is no reason to berate people for their past or their feelings. It doesn’t help the goal, unless that is your whole goal.

  241. Ken G wrote:

    I was talking about the role personal responsibility plays in educating the public

    we were talking about counseling though…which deals with individuals.

    Your focus on ‘personal responsibility’ was in relation to counseling. In this example that would be completely unhelpful.

    Personal responsibility at that point is for moving forward not looking back.

  242. It is not true that you have to believe in the eternal subordination of the Son at Southern. There is strong disagreement on this between Dr. Stephen Wellum and Dr. Bruce Ware. It’s well known by the students at Southern that Dr. Wellum gets the upper hand between the two professors when they discuss theology.

    @ Max:

  243. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But that can NEVER happen because the Christians will ALWAYS be the ones on top “saying what is legal and what is not” discrimination!

    Hahaha till their not and have to reap what they sowed! I always like to remember that many countries have turned totally opposite historically and try to treat (even enemies) others fairly and how i would like to be treated if they were in political power. Oh and i think this last election showed that is indeed possible for a democracy to become a dictatorship, even if we havent seen it yet.

  244. @ Adam Embry:
    Good to hear that there is a remnant of hope for Southern – may Dr. Wellum keep the upper hand over Dr. Ware in regard to the ESS doctrine.

  245. @ drstevej:
    Four-point moderate Calvinism has always seemed like a paradox to me. Is it really possible to affirm the “U” in TULIP (Unconditional Election), while tossing out the “L” (Limited Atonement)?

  246. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And the instant they said The Sinner’s Prayer EVERYTHING went away and they have been Serene and Secure in their Great FAITH ever since, without a single instant of temptation or doubt, only FAITH FAITH FAITH. Like the guy in the post-Sinner’s Prayer montage in Jack Chick’s “This Was Your Life”.

    Where does that leave all the rest of us, the other 99% who are NOT God’s Speshul Pets?

    I have to respond lol sorry everyone. So, when i first gave my life to Jesus i was a fifth a day drinking alcoholic and i entered someones house at 2 am looking for booze. They didnt shoot me but instead led me to Jesus and said the Holy Spirit was the power to deliver in Jesus. We prayed and i was instantly delivered from Dt’s and felt the love of God beyond anything i had ever known before. I didnt have the slightest urge to drink for years and years and years, even when i was in extreme pain and alcohol was right there.
    After a horrific amount of abuse and the church siding with my abuser in court and losing custody of my kids even though i had done everything my husband said, attended church, tithed, loving the Lord with all my heart. Keep in mind please, that i didnt even call the police after having been left bloody and with broken bones, following church directions instead to submit more, the police filed charges against my husband because of outside the home complaints against him. At that point his defense was that it was somehow lies i had made up- (i didnt even know what he was accused of) and the church entered into the court case on his behalf because his dad was a well known elder in town.
    So having done all and lost all i got mad at God (because it must have been His will) and returned to drinking. The loss of my kids to an abuser had filled me with *gasp the sin of anxiety over their physical well-being!
    I repented of drinking and prayed that God would deliver me again. No lightening bolts no instant deliverance but instead having to go to counseling and addiction groups. I sobered up again and learned that sometimes God moves mountains one pebble at a time. Sometimes He wants to take time to truly heal us from the damage abuse has done to our hearts, sometimes in taking it slower He is able to show us that it was the devil and people with free will that hurt us, not Him.
    So both are true- Jesus is able to miraculously deliver people and reveal God in power and peace, and God is also able to walk with people in ordinary ways to reveal a deeper knowledge of Himself.

  247. @ Max:

    I wrote this to explain the situation….

    The Parable of the Amyraldian: Unlimited Atonement yet Limited Attainment

    A wealthy man buys ten tickets to Hawaii and has his Son pay cash for them. He sends a letter to ten people with a ticket purchased for them and invites them to join him in Hawaii.

    He also sends a Special Courier to deliver three of the tickets to a select group of the ten and has the Courier earnestly persuade them to go {His persuasion is irresistible!} The Courier then escorts them onto the plane insuring they get to Hawaii.

    The other seven get the letter and the ticket that has been purchased for them, but because they hate the wealthy man [he makes them feel guilty] they refuse to use the ticket. They each think. If I ever go to Hawaii, I’m going MY way. No one is paying my way, especially not That Guy!

    The wealthy man, his son and the courier rejoice with the three in Hawaii. The other seven never make it and their tickets, while paid in full, are never used. While the three are in the beauty of Hawaii with the wealthy man a plague strikes the home towns of the seven and they perish.

    NOTE: This is an artificially constructed parable to show how the price can be paid in full for those who refuse to receive the gift. The Father’s election and the Spirit’s persuasion are limited to the elect, yet a ticket purchased by the Son is legitimately extended to all.

    Unlimited Atonement yet Limited Attainment

  248. Max wrote:

    Love is not a word tossed around much in New Calvinist ranks, nor a descriptor used to characterize the movement and its followers. Arrogance is the more common identifier.

    And i dont remember the scriptures where Jesus preached that being filled with the Holy Spirit would bear the fruit of us being in AUTHORITY OVER PEOPLE, causing others to SUBMIT TO ME, making it so that NO ONE WILL USURP MY AUTHORITY, so that i can CAST THEM OUT OF MY CHURCH AND REMIND EVERYONE THAT TITHING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT!!! Lol

  249. drstevej wrote:

    I prepared a sermon on 3 John when I was in seminary preaching class. John addresses the conduct of a man named Diotrephes in the letter. Diotrephes is a forerunner of militaristic church leaders.

    John does not mince words about the conduct of Diotrephes:

    9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

    Excellent! The difference i saw in the ‘old timers’ and what i see now is humility and pride, grace and condemnation, the beloved disciple leaning on Jesus’ breast and a commandant preaching must do’s from the pulpit, a Godly man loving his wife as Christ loved the church (its easy to ‘submit’ to a Godly husband) and men treating women as property to rule with a rod of iron.

  250. @ sandy c:
    I can’t find those Scriptures either … even in the English Standard Version (the sword of choice by the New Calvinists)! But while looking, I ran across “This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another” (John 13:35). I just don’t see much love being exercised through the authoritarian practices of New Calvinist leaders … they have failed the test of disciples.

  251. @ sandy c:
    What i learned going thru all of that was repentance for my prideful snotty attitude towards others that Jesus didnt ‘instantly’ deliver, and for that i am truly thankful! I now usually dont look at others and think, God delivered me instantly- so if you arent instantly delivered you dont have faith, you dont really want to be delivered, you are ‘playing victim’ or numerous other condescending comments or lofty looks i directed at others.

  252. Max wrote:

    Love is not a word tossed around much in New Calvinist ranks, nor a descriptor used to characterize the movement and its followers. Arrogance is the more common identifier.

    However, in the New Calvinist ranks, they would not themselves use the word arrogance as an identifier? However, perhaps: “set-apart” or “called” or “elect” or “appointed” or “annointed” – self-identifiers as code for elite?

  253. Max wrote:

    I can’t find those Scriptures either … even in the English Standard Version (the sword of choice by the New Calvinists)! But while looking, I ran across “This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another” (John 13:35). I just don’t see much love being exercised through the authoritarian practices of New Calvinist leaders … they have failed the test of disciples.

    Yes! I heard someone once say ‘so and so’ were being judgemental. The person replied that they werent being judgemental but they sure were called to be fruit inspectors!

  254. Lea wrote:

    we were talking about counseling though…which deals with individuals.
    Your focus on ‘personal responsibility’ was in relation to counseling. In this example that would be completely unhelpful.

    If I understand your point correctly you were talking about counseling individuals after the harm or damage is done such as after someone is addicted, etc. I took a broader approach to include preventive measures within the scope of counseling. Placing warning labels on cigarettes, nutrition labels on food products would be examples of education and personal responsibility and fall under the umbrella of counseling.

  255. What Happened wrote:

    @ Ken G:

    Is it true that they require clients to provide two goats; one for a sin sacrifice and one to feed the practitioner. The goat requirement is why these guys aren’t part of major insurance networks.

    Ken G wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    I understand that.
    I don’t understand the connection to my comment you quoted. Could you elaborate.

    You don’t understand because “What Happened” is not a human being. It’s some kind of computer program that mimics a human response.

    Ken

    I’m assuming that your reply to Bridget was related to the goat comment. In a fallen world, it seems that neither goats nor personal responsibility have any power over sin.

  256. Ken G wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    we were talking about counseling though…which deals with individuals.
    Your focus on ‘personal responsibility’ was in relation to counseling. In this example that would be completely unhelpful.

    If I understand your point correctly you were talking about counseling individuals after the harm or damage is done such as after someone is addicted, etc. I took a broader approach to include preventive measures within the scope of counseling. Placing warning labels on cigarettes, nutrition labels on food products would be examples of education and personal responsibility and fall under the umbrella of counseling.

    Especially since this article is on the biblicle counseling movement and its dangers to women i would think ‘personal responsibility’ would be directed to the men who abuse women in that very real sin of hiding under the guise of the bible to abuse women instead of continuing to deflect to the womans sins or addicts sins or hiv aids victims sins.
    Often following Jesus means submitting to the king…except when the king says to do something against Gods will, which every man seems to relish- the joy and persecution of standing up to the ungodly secular king! But when an abused woman tries to do the same thing and the king belongs to a popular church they are shamed and silenced!
    Sometimes the most Godly response is to say ‘no’

  257. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Dead pew-sitters can’t Tithe.

    There is always the estate they can go after. A former “pastor” leaned on older members to put the “church” in their will.

  258. Several women in our Bible study have visited with their pastors regarding verbal abuse from their husbands and they were asked, by the counseling pastor, “So what did you do to make him treat you that way?”

    I don’t know how common this is, but a number of the ladies have had similar stories. Different churches, various pastors.

  259. @ JYJames:

    i know people tend to consult with pastors about such things. but why? where did the idea come from, that pastors — because they are pastors — are even capable and qualified to advise and counsel on all life and relationship matters?

  260. “A Reductionist View of Biblical Counseling

    As I mentioned earlier in the series, Jay Adams based his counseling paradigm on the biblical Greek word noutheteo, meaning “to admonish.” But as the writer at Theo.Philogue points out, that’s not the only type of counseling addressed in scripture:

    “Adams unfortunately reduces all methods for counseling down to nouthetics. Biblical Counseling = Nouthetic Counseling. In fact, he oversimplifies the nature of real-life counseling by reducing it down to “problem solving,” and then speaking of the “problem” only in terms of sin. However, to be faithful to the biblical sources, one must include a variety of problems as well as a variety of methods. We must “admonish [noutheteite] the unruly,” but we also must “encourage [parameutheisthe] the fainthearted” (1 Thess 5:14). Adams could have just as easily reduced all counseling down to paramouthetics and walked us through a thousand methods for paramouthetic engagement. With Adams’ reductionistic approach, it does not surprise the reader that he never mentions the biblically revealed methods of admonishing with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs sung in thankfulness to God (Col 3:16).”
    https://revolfaith.com/2015/01/23/the-biblical-counseling-movement-bad-theology/#more-3357

  261. Twitter:

    One-Horse Open Slay
    @BroderickGreer
    That Jesus retains the scars of his crucifixion in his resurrected body tells us that God respects our traumas too much to forget them.

  262. A lot of these accusations are really unfair. One in particular stands out– the fact that you say it is not confidential. Of course it isn’t. These people report child abuse and serious criminal issues to the pastor– a mandated reporter. You would complain if these things weren’t reported to the pastor.

  263. Kathi, really? You can’t understand why someone who is complementarian would want to see a counselor with the same life perspective? I have recently been seeing a secular/”regular” counselor, and the other day she suggested that I try attending a Unitarian church. That is so far from where I am at theologically that I wonder if I am just wasting my time and money. I would love to have a complementarian counselor!

  264. Irene wrote:

    A lot of these accusations are really unfair. One in particular stands out– the fact that you say it is not confidential. Of course it isn’t. These people report child abuse and serious criminal issues to the pastor– a mandated reporter. You would complain if these things weren’t reported to the pastor.

    They have actually gotten into serious trouble for not reporting child abuse! The lack of confidentiality talked about here has been the kind you notice when youre in church and the ladies two pews behind you are talking about that private thing you discussed in ‘counseling’ last week, and as you leave church the elder turns bright red faced when you say hello.

  265. JYJames wrote:

    in the New Calvinist ranks, they would not themselves use the word arrogance as an identifier? However, perhaps: “set-apart” or “called” or “elect” or “appointed” or “annointed” – self-identifiers as code for elite?

    Calvinists make up a very small percentage of Protestant Christianity, with “New” Calvinists definitely in a minority of those who profess Christ. Yet, they are convinced that they alone are the keepers of truth and are out and about to restore the “gospel” that the rest of Christendom has lost (through stealth and deception if necessary). Whether or not they call themselves arrogant matters not – that attitude is a display of extreme pride. New Calvinists leaders are smug elites, a characteristic which is rubbing off on a young army of new reformers.

  266. JYJames wrote:

    they were asked, by the counseling pastor, “So what did you do to make him treat you that way?”

    In cases of domestic abuse call 911, not your pastor.

  267. ishy wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    In their Biblical world view (reformed or arminian fundamentalism, it makes no difference), God has no interest in being your friend or in partnering with you. You (generic you) exist solely to execute his plans and to aggrandize his glory.

    I guess it’s what happens when you make God in your own image…

    Yes.

  268. Irene wrote:

    These people report child abuse and serious criminal issues to the pastor– a mandated reporter. You would complain if these things weren’t reported to the pastor.

    Those things should be reported to the police! Sheesh.

    And that is not the complaint regarding confidentiality. Regular therapists have things they are required to report to the police, but in other situations are required to maintain confidentiality. Not so with this sort of counseling.

  269. elastigirl wrote:

    i know people tend to consult with pastors about such things. but why? where did the idea come from, that pastors — because they are pastors — are even capable and qualified to advise and counsel on all life and relationship matters?

    I think people have contact with their pastor on Sunday mornings or in a church related family social environment. Thus, the contact is in a kind of a fantasy world where the pastor and his family always make a good impression. People don’t realize that is a fantasy world and just assume the pastor has “it all together” with some special knowledge or insight about relationships.

  270. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists leaders are smug elites, a characteristic which is rubbing off on a young army of new reformers.

    They won’t last. To use a metaphor, they’ll dry up and blow away like so many Walmart bags snarled in chain link fences. We Americans have seen all this stuff before in the ‘great awakenings’. It doesn’t last because it’s not sustainable.

  271. Muff Potter wrote:

    It doesn’t last because it’s not sustainable.

    Past movements did not last because they were not genuine … religious fervor fueled by the flesh, not the Spirit. There’s a vast difference between a “movement” and a move of God. The passions of men to promote pet theologies are often mistaken as divinely directed.

  272. Hi Dee –

    I have lived in the backyard of one of the Meccas for the “biblical” counseling movement: Faith Church (formerly Faith Baptist Church) in Lafayette, Indiana. I would encourage you to consult their material as well. If you look at the history page of ACBC, the picture there shows several men from Faith Church, including Faith’s current pastor, Steve Viars (who is still on the board of ACBC). Two previous executive directors of NANC/ACBC are from Faith Church – Dr. Bob Smith and Rev. Bill Goode. I had the virtues of Faith Baptist Church extolled to me so much when I was in fundamentalism that I am sick of the place. Also, here is the about page of Faith’s counseling ministry which mentions ACBC: https://www.faithlafayette.org/counseling/about.

    Excellent reporting on this movement! My only thought to offer right now is that this counseling is definitely not “biblical” counseling. It is Calvinist counseling . . . or in other words counseling based on Calvinist theology. Jay Adams was a conservative Presbyterian and applied his Reformed theology to counseling back in the 70s. An early truth you are taught to say in Calvinist counseling is that God has brought this situation into a person’s life for a reason. Therefore to get upset about what happened (even abuse) is to have a wrong attitude toward God ultimately. Very damaging to someone who is the innocent victim of abuse.

  273. Max wrote:

    New Calvinists leaders are smug elites, a characteristic which is rubbing off on a young army of new reformers.

    I’ll say this again:

    SEVENTY YEARS AGO, THIS “YOUNG ARMY OF NEW REFORMERS” WOULD HAVE BEEN ON FIRE FOR COMMUNISM INSTEAD OF CALVINISM.

    Just another Mass Movement to Reshape All The Cosmos into Utter Perfection.

  274. @ Muff Potter:

    “New Calvinists leaders are smug elites, a characteristic which is rubbing off on a young army of new reformers.”

    “It doesn’t last because it’s not sustainable.”
    +++++++++++++++

    as i see it, these qualities don’t promote human fitness. I think survival of the fittest pertains to ideas as well as individual living bodies.

    i think human progression is a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. while there are many things gravely wrong with the current state of affairs, i think there are many things very right and good which i believe is the product of survival of the fittest ideas over millenia.

    (said this simpleton dressing up in a sociologist’s hat)

  275. Back in the late 90s, when my wife and I were (both) MDiv students at SEBTS, the Biblical Counseling program was just coming online. Two of the three dedicated professors were professional counselors – one a psychologist, the other a licensed Ph.D. (“secular”) counselor and de facto head of the department; in fact, the licensed counselor/department head used to talk about being the only professor on staff who had never been to seminary for any degree.

    A few years after we left the school he resigned and went to another seminary (not Southern). The last I heard, he was no longer teaching and was back in private practice.

  276. @ DebWill:
    Just fYI, you are quoting me quoting Irene, not my thoughts. In case any thought I was in agreement. Which I am not.

    Clergy shouldn’t be waiting on the law to do the right thing, at any rate. (being a mandatory reporter).

  277. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    “SEVENTY YEARS AGO, THIS “YOUNG ARMY OF NEW REFORMERS” WOULD HAVE BEEN ON FIRE FOR COMMUNISM INSTEAD OF CALVINISM.”

    Eighty years ago J. Gresham Machen left the growing liberalism of Princeton Seminary and with others (ex. Cornelius Van Til) started Westminster Theological Seminary which was a resurgence of historic Calvinism. He also founder the Orthodox Presbyterian presbyterian church which firmly affirmed the historic Reformed creeds.

    No commies among them. Fifty years later I started a PhD program there and it was still solid. Today my friend and PhD classmate, Pete Lilback is president and they still are graduating students who are scattered worldwide planting TULIPS.

  278. drstevej wrote:

    they still are graduating students who are scattered worldwide planting TULIPS.

    Do you believe, like Spurgeon, that Calvinism is the gospel? Do you believe that a person can be a true Christian if they reject TULIP?

  279. Former Fundy wrote:

    An early truth you are taught to say in Calvinist counseling is that God has brought this situation into a person’s life for a reason. Therefore to get upset about what happened (even abuse) is to have a wrong attitude toward God ultimately. Very damaging to someone who is the innocent victim of abuse.

    Have these guys ever read the book of Ecclesiastes? More often than not there is no rhyme or reason, poo-poo just happens, good or bad, to the good and the bad in the great roulette wheel of life.

  280. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    they still are graduating students who are scattered worldwide planting TULIPS.
    Do you believe, like Spurgeon, that Calvinism is the gospel? Do you believe that a person can be a true Christian if they reject TULIP?

    I do not embrace Limited Atonement. Do the math.

    BTW, Westminster does not require students to sign the Westminster Confession (else I could not have enrolled) but the vast majority do affirm historic Calvinism.

    BTW, my PhD diploma was written in Latin and conferred in Latin. When I asked why, I was told, with a smile, “we require students to study Hebrew and Greek yet confer degrees in Latin. Why? We have always done it that way.”

  281. Wow depraved tulips and that didnt raise any red flags? More from revolfaith on calvinism nouthetic crap.

    https://revolfaith.com/2015/01/23/the-biblical-counseling-movement-bad-theology/#more-3357Counseling insists upon the responsibility of the counselee in everything he or she feels or experiences, whether or not they were the actual perpetrators of bad situations. Anyone seeking counseling is responsible in some way for their plight and must repent of their wrongdoing to feel better. (Biblical counselors claim that their insistence on individual responsibility in every situation provides the best hope for counselees because it empowers them to become agents of change.)

    Of course, this approach has been criticized as a “works-based” model, because it is. Instead of resting and rejoicing in the grace God has provided to His followers, the counselee bears the full burden of responsibility for change. If he or she cannot rid themselves of the bad feelings, they are accused of being “dead in their sins” and “failing to trust God.”

    At the same time, biblical counselors believe that even the repentant are never really free of sin because of total depravity…
    So if bad behavior or “sin” is the cause of bad feelings, but no one can ever be totally free of sin (even through salvation), what hope does this offer the counselee? None. They will always be stuck. And this doctrine of depravity extended even unto the saints directly defies the Word of God and nullifies Christ’s work on the cross:

    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:1

    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. ~ Colossians 1:21-23

    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. ~ John 8:34-36

  282. drstevej wrote:

    Pete Lilback is president and they still are graduating students who are scattered worldwide planting TULIPS.

    You know that everyone involved is going to stand before the judgement seat of Christ and have to explain this.

  283. drstevej wrote:

    I do not embrace Limited Atonement. Do the math.

    Do you believe that God sovereignty chooses some to save and others to damn? I can see how “biblical counselors” who believe in this form of election could place the blame on victims since it is all because god willed them to be victims.

  284. JYJames wrote:

    Several women in our Bible study have visited with their pastors regarding verbal abuse from their husbands and they were asked, by the counseling pastor, “So what did you do to make him treat you that way?”

    I think women who were asked that question should respond by asking the counseling pastor, “why do you believe I did something to make him treat me that way?”

  285. Calvinism is in the bible:

    2 Timothy 3:2-5

    For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    2 Timothy 3:7
    Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    You can see this in all their works. Having a form of Godliness and leaving a wake of victims behind, no grace, not accepting the work of the cross of Christ Jesus but trying to make themselves righteous by themselves. Its very sad.

  286. sandy c wrote:

    Anyone seeking counseling is responsible in some way for their plight and must repent of their wrongdoing to feel better.

    Is this why they keep banging on about ‘personal responsibility’???

    No. That is so wrong. Taking care of yourself in some instances might be meaning using your ‘personal responsibility’ to:
    Leave a bad situation
    Take your medication
    Go to actual therapy
    Exercise, get your finances in order, go to school, etc…

    None of that means everything wrong with you is your fault. What lunacy.

  287. sandy c wrote:

    You know that everyone involved is going to stand before the judgement seat of Christ and have to explain this.

    Calvinism is tempting when you come at from a Calvinist set of assumptions. Coming at it from that perspective makes it appear the only viable option. But when you start witha non-Calvinistic set of assumptions there is almost no way you can get to Calvinism. Calvinism remains the new kid on the block.

  288. Ken G wrote:

    I think women who were asked that question should respond by asking the counseling pastor, “why do you believe I did something to make him treat me that way?”

    You mean those women that arent allowed to speak?

  289. @ sandy c:
    I realize there are a lot of people here who don’t like Calvinist theology and that’s fine. However, I do feel compelled to note that there are lots of non-authoritarian, patriarchal Reformed types out there. They aren’t all the same.

    Of course, my personal theory is that the greed for money and fame, fundamentalism (in the bad way), and authoritarian and patriarchal thinking, are much bigger contributors to these problems we’ve been discussing.

    And the emphasis on sin of the individual and this strange idea that no one could possibly be harmed by being sinned *against*.

  290. sandy c wrote:

    You mean those women that arent allowed to speak?

    They would just be written off as unsubmissive jezebels.

    The best response to this nonsense would be to reject that counselor/pastor utterly as useless, but I’m pretty sure it takes time to realize people you thought were good decent men…aren’t.

  291. Lea wrote:

    sandy c wrote:

    Anyone seeking counseling is responsible in some way for their plight and must repent of their wrongdoing to feel better.

    Is this why they keep banging on about ‘personal responsibility’???

    No. That is so wrong. Taking care of yourself in some instances might be meaning using your ‘personal responsibility’ to:
    Leave a bad situation
    Take your medication
    Go to actual therapy
    Exercise, get your finances in order, go to school, etc…

    None of that means everything wrong with you is your fault. What lunacy.

    And none of them ever place the abuser under any personal responsibility! If they do its to tell them to stop hitting their wife and kids and then believing them when they say they have repented because they are the man after all and if anything happens it was her fault anyway. What man wouldnt love a church like that? Well a man following Jesus wouldnt. their doctrine preys on pride, control, excuses for actual sin, and berating women and children so they can feel good about themselves. Its just the same as slavery and like slavery the bible is used to justify it.

  292. Lea wrote:

    They would just be written off as unsubmissive jezebels.

    Gimme’ a Jezebel over a sanctimonious Suzie any day of the week.

  293. As someone who takes anxiety medication, and sees a counselor for talk therapy – I don’t really count on Christian counseling or secular counseling. I’m not saying there aren’t helpful things I’ve learned from secular counseling (and maybe people here see that as a success?), but measuring success post-therapy is subjective. True, there can be studies cited and supposed empirical evidence, but we live in a world where people whom truly feel they were born in the wrong body are sometimes encouraged to chop their genitalia off in hopes to reach relief.

  294. Jesus said-
    Matt 23:24-28
    Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

    25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

    26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

    27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

    28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

    Calvinists and neo calvinists get great reviews until a dead body comes to light, like the lawsuit of the kid that killed himself under their counsel, or an abused woman or child that they carefully hid for years.

  295. sandy c wrote:

    Calvinists and neo calvinists get great reviews until a dead body comes to light, like the lawsuit of the kid that killed himself under their counsel, or an abused woman or child that they carefully hid for years.

    It would be *incredibly* foolish not to realize this happens in all sorts of churches of different theological persuasions!

  296. @ Lea:

    “And the emphasis on sin of the individual and this strange idea that no one could possibly be harmed by being sinned *against*.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    i’ve thought for a long time that the word “sin” is too loaded a word for safe handling.

    the use of the word itself is an offensive/defensive weapon, a tool, for harm. for misunderstanding. for confusion. obfuscation. manipulation of people and circumstances. for all kinds of tyrrany with a sweet smile. and all those happy-sounding words dripping with syrup.

    it’s not to say there’s not such thing as right and wrong. of course not.

  297. @ Irene:
    Or it might be really easy! Theres a great article about the IBCD “bait and switch” it explains how everytime they get called out for their bad doctrine they get someone to stand up with “new” methods but its still the same old thing. Your link says exactly that- he’s going to “..and reach to the heart of the issue with hope to redeem these situations for God’s glory”

    Heres a link to the series on the problems of bait and switch but I’ll tell you right off that if you have never met Jesus it wont help you at all. You’ll just keep defending false doctrine.
    https://revolfaith.com/2014/12/25/the-biblical-counseling-movement-bait-and-switch/#more-3328

  298. @ elastigirl:

    “i’ve thought for a long time that the word “sin” is too loaded a word for safe handling.”
    +++++++++++++++

    makes people neurotic. “oooooh i’ve sinned…forgive me….forgive me….”

    and on further analysis, no I didn’t.

    I simply felt a feeling that wasn’t spouting rainbows.

  299. drstevej wrote:

    Westminster Confession

    An SBC church plant down the road from me requires all staff and small group leaders to sign the Westminster Confession, which is a systematic exposition of Calvinist belief and practice.

  300. Lea wrote:

    I realize there are a lot of people here who don’t like Calvinist theology

    While some commenters are certainly anti-Calvinist, I believe the bigger concern held here is with the New Calvinist movement. It is an aggressive and militant movement of young, restless and reformed who are disrupting the Body of Christ in various denominations. They truly believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the “gospel” that the rest of the us have lost … gospel = Calvinism to them. My concern is not so much with classical Calvinists – I have found them to be more civil in their discourse with other Christians … but their neo-brethren taking over churches by stealth and deception, authoritarian leadership, subordination of women, and diminishing of Jesus just doesn’t sit right with me.

  301. 1 cor 1:23-25
    “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
    24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

    Rom 4:4-8
    Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

    8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Gal 5:4-5
    Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

    5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. ”

    Calvinists can forsake their doctrine of working their way into heaven and look to Jesus and be saved, and have fellowship with the One that loves them so much that He died on the cross for their sins. Following Jesus is an easy yoke and a light burden, and joy unspeakable!

  302. Pingback: Roy M., sticky wicket, a soul-sucking rabbit hole, and The Edicule — SBC Voices UNITED STATES

  303. sandy c wrote:

    You mean those women that arent allowed to speak?

    Well if they aren’t allowed to speak, they could hold up a sign with that question!!

  304. @ Ken G:

    “Well if they aren’t allowed to speak, they could hold up a sign…”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    I think you’re on to something. The “A Sign Because I’m Silenced” movement in the christian church.

    Lots of signs:
    “I’m here”
    “You won’t turn to stone if you make eye contact with me”
    “I disagree”
    “You’re wrong”
    “I have a plan”
    “I have an MBA and I have a plan”
    “I’m an accountant and your budget has problems.”
    “How honest is this?”

    (i see a new business venture here…)

  305. elastigirl wrote:

    “I’m an accountant and your budget has problems.”
    “How honest is this?”

    (i see a new business venture here…)

    Love it!

  306. Sandy, you demonstrate what offends me about this discussion. A suggestion that I have never met Jesus or that I defend false doctrine is a personal attack and not just a debate about the facts.

    When it comes to counseling methods there are several accepted approaches–integrative family therapy, emotionally focused couples therapy, etc. Biblical counseling is another option that focuses on a worldview shared by the counselor and the counselee.

    I am very familiar with biblical counseling materials, and I see no bait and switch. There is a rather new focus on helping the abused. Also, to call Chris Moles’ work with individual men false doctrine is astonishing. Why wouldn’t you embrace such sincere, loving help from one Christian toward another?

  307. elastigirl wrote:

    i’ve thought for a long time that the word “sin” is too loaded a word for safe handling.

    Agreed. Sin is another one of those concepts that suffers from extremes. Blowing it off altogether at one end, and making it a bogeyman for all things at the other (Ecclesiastes 7:15-18).

  308. unepetiteanana wrote:

    but we live in a world where people whom truly feel they were born in the wrong body are sometimes encouraged to chop their genitalia off in hopes to reach relief.

    That is a revolting remark.

  309. Max wrote:

    They truly believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the “gospel” that the rest of the us have lost …

    Seventy-plus years ago, their gospel would have been Marx & Lenin instead of Calvin.

  310. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Do you believe that God sovereignty chooses some to save and others to damn? I can see how “biblical counselors” who believe in this form of election could place the blame on victims since it is all because god willed them to be victims.

    Their Fate was written on their foreheads before the creation of the world…
    In’shal’lah…

  311. Bridget wrote:

    That is a revolting remark.

    Would you honestly expect anything different from the sick and twisted hardcore variants of fundamentalism?

  312. Muff Potter wrote:

    Gimme’ a Jezebel over a sanctimonious Suzie any day of the week.

    I wouldn’t want to be around the real Jezebel, an authoritarian who simply assumed the false right to rule capriciously over others. Odd isn’t it that authoritarians turn the word around to condemn some who rebel against despotism in the church.

  313. Just my two cents, which won’t buy much, but we have some different world views going that make it difficult to understand each other.

    For some personal autonomy and freedom to create their own reality is key. From this can come support for the transgender community (note I do not mean those born with medical issues), for gay marriage, for women’s ordination, for egalitarianism, etc. Note again I did not say all of those are bad things. I said the root CAN be in one particular world view.

    Others come from a world view where an objective truth is key. If those happen to be Christian they may take a dim view of the above things as unbiblical. They do not support those things BECAUSE they believe in an absolute truth AND believe that truth forbids the doing of them.

    Neither side can understand the other. But at the end of the day, a transgender who has surgery to go from male to female or vice versa is still a male or female genetically (whatever they were born), married homosexuals cannot procreate and cannot force others to accept their marriage as valid in anything other than a legal sense, those objecting to women’s ordination cannot be forced to sit under their teaching, and those objecting to egalitarianism will still not live and act and believe that way. Of course, the exact opposite is also true in all this.

    What we have is not Calvinism vs notCalvinism, it is a clash of world views. Calvinism is the whipping boy because it does claim an objective truth that applies universally. I did not say it gets that truth right, just that it does claim there is absolute objective truth. And that offends any and all with a world view that each creates their own truth.

    Maybe we need to do two things: fight the battle over world views, not specific theologies. And remind ourselves that the New Puritans are neither NeoCalvinists nor New Calvinists. Their attitudes, actions, and many of their teachings are flourishing in legalistic Lutheran, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and even some RCC parishes. Battle the real enemy of our souls, humans wanting to be in spiritual control of other humans rather than theologies. Remember scripture does tell us some will hold special days, others see every day the same, some avoid meats, others eat with thanks. They will stand or fall before their own Master, Christ, not us.

  314. linda wrote:

    Battle the real enemy of our souls, humans wanting to be in spiritual control of other humans rather than theologies.

    I understand your reasoning on this Linda. But there are some theologies which spawn ungodly control of humans more than others. While authoritarian leaders can slip in the back door in just about any church of any label, the stealth/deception used by New Calvinists is becoming legendary. You are right to direct our focus to the real enemy of our souls … it’s not a theology, it’s a devil which will use aberrant theology to distract us from the Great Commission … it’s the spirit behind the flesh that we need to be concerned about.

  315. linda wrote:

    What we have is not Calvinism vs notCalvinism, it is a clash of world views. Calvinism is the whipping boy because it does claim an objective truth that applies universally. I did not say it gets that truth right, just that it does claim there is absolute objective truth. And that offends any and all with a world view that each creates their own truth.

    Maybe we need to do two things: fight the battle over world views, not specific theologies. And remind ourselves that the New Puritans are neither NeoCalvinists nor New Calvinists. Their attitudes, actions, and many of their teachings are flourishing in legalistic Lutheran, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and even some RCC parishes. Battle the real enemy of our souls, humans wanting to be in spiritual control of other humans rather than theologies. Remember scripture does tell us some will hold special days, others see every day the same, some avoid meats, others eat with thanks. They will stand or fall before their own Master, Christ, not us.

    I think the fundamental thing here is that human beings will always seek dominion over one another, and they will always create theologies that support their abusive practices. In that sense, I agree with you: only Christ, if he is who he says he is, and as he is in the gospels, is even capable of wielding authority without abusing it. All humans who wield authority will inevitably abuse it — but that does not necessarily make authority a bad thing, it is simply an admission of human frailty.

    However, in a certain ironic twist you are right: it is worldview vs. worldview. Or rather, it is “Godview” vs. “Godview.” That is why what may seem like divisive nitpicking when it comes to Calvinism is so crucial: what we believe about God necessarily determines how we act toward each other. The problem with Calvinism, I have found in my conversations on several continents with people from all sorts of religious and academic backgrounds, is not that it claims an objective truth, but that it claims an authority over others and claims that authority in itself is objective what God wants on earth.

    Everybody I have ever spoken to eventually realizes they actually believe in objective truth — what they react to is the claim that God saves some and damns others apart from any knowable criteria. What they react to is the idea of a God who is so concerned with his own glorification, whose sole object is his own glorification and aggrandizement at the expense of all personhood, that there is no room but for a petty tyrant on a throne of blood and screams of the damned.

    It is not objective truth they object to — far from it; it is the theologies set up by fallen men that only serve to “justify” their abusive actions and desires to lord it over others, and take advantage of vulnerable people.

    But if God does it, then it’s ok, right? That is the foundation of many of these theological systems: “If I want to do something I know is wrong, but I want it to be right, how can I make it appear that God does it?”

    As for Puritans not being New Calvinist: they certainly are at least Calvinist; and the prevalence of their actions and teachings in other churches does not justify them. It simply points out, once again, the tendency of abusive humans to try and justify their misuse of authority by setting up a theological system that grants them control that was never theirs to begin with.

    But I agree with you that we will all stand or fall before Christ; and if we fall, as we all fall, then we know that at least he is both perfectly merciful and perfectly good, and will treat us with the goodness and love of which we humans are unfortunately only partially capable of. One day he will free us from our obsession with control; but until that day, I suppose we must content ourselves with forgiving and correcting each other in love as much as possible. Even that has proven difficult enough in every life I have ever observed, my own included.

    “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.

    Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person”

    — Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

    The problems with all these systems is they place one of those people mentioned above in a place of unlawful power — the system itself is designed to prevent people from calling out the abuse. It doesn’t matter what denomination, once an abusive system creeps in, the mechanism is the same.

  316. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    I think the fundamental thing here is that human beings will always seek dominion over one another, and they will always create theologies that support their abusive practices.

    “Men of Sin” will always cite Cosmic-level authorities — Bible, Koran, Marx, Freud, Darwin, Nature — to justify at a Cosmic level what they want to do anyway. “I WANNA!”

  317. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    The problems with all these systems is they place one of those people mentioned above in a place of unlawful power — the system itself is designed to prevent people from calling out the abuse.

    … system designed to prevent calling out abuse by the Power People, whom you aptly describe.

  318. @ Max:
    They, the wives, thought their husbands would listen to the pastor. Unfortunately, the pastor turned on them, the wives.

  319. sandy c wrote:

    “Adams unfortunately reduces all methods for counseling down to nouthetics. Biblical Counseling = Nouthetic Counseling. In fact, he oversimplifies the nature of real-life counseling by reducing it down to “problem solving,” and then speaking of the “problem” only in terms of sin. However, to be faithful to the biblical sources, one must include a variety of problems as well as a variety of methods. We must “admonish [noutheteite] the unruly,” but we also must “encourage [parameutheisthe] the fainthearted” (1 Thess 5:14). Adams could have just as easily reduced all counseling down to paramouthetics and walked us through a thousand methods for paramouthetic engagement. With Adams’ reductionistic approach, it does not surprise the reader that he never mentions the biblically revealed methods of admonishing with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs sung in thankfulness to God (Col 3:16).”
    https://revolfaith.com/2015/01/23/the-biblical-counseling-movement-bad-theology/#more-3357

    Lightbulb moment! Nouthetics means to admonish ie to reprimand, scold. So to go for ‘Biblical Counselling’ is to open yourself up to being scolded and told off.

    Admonish also means to advise, encourage, caution but somehow the nouthetic/biblical counsellors seem to have forgotten that meaning.

  320. Hi. I’m one of the Reformed guys that contributes to the comment sections once in a while. I’m among other Reformed people that appreciate what WW is doing and that feel jealous for our theology’s reputation, which is often left battered in the comments section. I have been a Christian since the early 1980’s. I have worshiped and served within many theological communities. No one should think for a moment that the Reformed faith (which I distinguish from Calvinism) is uniquely capable of producing bad people, practices, and churches. There is plenty of blame to go around.

    Now, according to the standard lexicon for NT Greek, BDAG, nouthesia and its cognate verb, noutheteo, etc.) means “counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct, ‘admonition,’ ‘instruction.’” It is a perfectly good word-group that appears frequently enough in the NT (11X) to get a good idea of what it means. One thing is clear: it does not mean ‘counseling’ as that word is commonly used in our culture. It really has nothing to do with lengthy, one-on-one sessions between a professional (or a practitioner) and a client seeking to resolve psychological trauma, gain relief from anxiety and/or depression, help for PTSD or childhood sexual abuse or a host of other very real problems that fallen people face and try to overcome. That’s where the confusion begins: Jay Adams appropriated ‘counseling’ as that word is commonly understood, tacked the word “Biblical” onto it, then grabbed the NT’s nouth- words and voila: the *Christian* (= good) alternative to a secular (= evil) practice. It was a fundamentalist sleight-of-hand.

    One analogy that has been used to criticize the nouthetic approach to counseling is to compare it to the practice of medicine. No one seriously believes that the Bible is sufficient to diagnose and treat all sorts of illnesses and diseases, right? Nouthetic folk dismiss this because they operate on a mind-body dualism: medicine for the body, but Bible for the ‘ghost’ that inhabits it. But the analogy has, in my mind, been vindicated over time, as more and more (unassailable) research has shown that, first, the brain itself can undergo various traumas (physical, like concussions, emotional, like abuse) that first manifest themselves in what we think of as emotional illnesses or poor mental health, e.g., anxiety and/or depression. Then second, it is well-known that there are actual diseases–i.e., genuine biological illnesses (Lyme disease and syphilis to name just two) that may present as emotional illnesses or poor mental health. Dismiss syphilis as a moral failure if you want to, but Lyme disease? Where is the moral failure in a tick bite?

  321. @ sandy c:

    Sandy you are awesome for being a friend to someone who most would and have turned their back to. Your “love in action” makes you an exemplar of peace, truth, and Life. ✨