Who Are the Men Only ACBC Fellows Who Supervise the ACBC Students? Also, Review Last Week’s Exam Question

Next week, on Wednesday, I plan to finish Phase 3 training requirements and will also look at the training centers. On Friday, we plan to present a well documented #metoo story that is sure to raise some eyebrows because it involves a well known pastor.


This post undated on 12/30/17 to reflect the observation of astute reader, Jerome, that only men can be ACBC Fellows!

Assuming the students have passed their ACBC Phase 2 exams, they are then invited to begin Phase 3 which is titled *Supervision.* The student has one year to complete this phase after being assigned an ACBC Fellow to oversee their Phase 3 counseling endeavors.

  1. Choose a Fellow from a list of available Fellows sent to you after you pass your exams
  2. Notify the ACBC office once the Fellow has agreed to be your supervisor. (No hours may be counted before you have received approval to begin Phase Three from the ACBC office.)
  3. Complete 50 sessions (of at least one hour length) of supervised counseling.
  4. Counseling supervision is often completed remotely via email and telephone.
  5. You will need to complete and send your supervisor a Case Report for each counseling session.
  6. At least 10 sessions must be with the same counselee.
  7. Audio record a minimum of 5 sessions to review and discuss with your supervising Fellow.
  8. You must finish the 50 sessions within one year.
  9. Meet with and review each case report with your supervisor.

Update 12/30/17 thanks to Jerome: Only men can be ACBC Fellows

This is deeply disturbing. I would loooooove to see the Scriptural justification for this one!!!

Who are the ACBC Fellows? Let’s look at *Dr* Paul Tautges.

I was unable to find a list of names of these Fellows. The list is available to those who have passed the exams in Phase 2 so that they can procure a supervisor for Phase 3,

I did a search of ACBC Fellows and found some posts written by those who claim they are Fellows. On a website called Counseling One Another I found a post written by Paul Tautges who claims to be a Fellow. In 2015, he wrote 5 Reasons I Love Being an ACBC Fellow.

I found some of his reasoning debatable.

  • He claims the training program is excellent and rigorous which I think some might contest.
    “ACBC is committed to the ongoing pursuit of excellence in biblical counselor training and certification.Excellence, not mediocrity, is the pursuit of the leaders and members of ACBC. Yes, the training is rigorous at every level, but it is well worth it.”
  • He believes it is all about theology which is exactly what causes me great concern.
    “ACBC is committed to theological clarity and precision, which grows out of a commitment to the sufficiency of the Scriptures for life and godliness.”
  • He believes that ACBC is committed to grow in understanding of human behavior which is ludicrous since the organization, as I have previously written, does not believe in peer reviewed, scientifically oriented studies.
    “ACBC does not believe it has arrived, but is committed to continual growth in our understanding of human behavior, the body/soul connection, and the heart issues that drive us.”
  • Strangely, he claims that ACBC is basically a discipling course to build up local churches, whatever that means.
    “ACBC is committed to building up local churches through training all those who desire to become willing servants of God in the process of making disciples of Jesus Christ.”
  • He claims that biblical counseling is a ministry of love which seeks spiritual good in others. How does he define this? Get ready-whenever you see speak the truth in love you can be darn sure that sin confrontation is on the table.
    it is a biblical responsibility to speak the truth in love to one another”

Dr. Paul Tautges utilizes the term *Doctor* in front of his name. I was able to find his educational background on Linkedin.

Calvary Bible College and Seminary, now known as Calvary University, is a newly accredited college (2003) but was not accredited when Tautges graduated in 1990. Northland International University ceased to exist in 2015 and was not accredited during its short time in existence (1976-2015.) Students could not get state financial aid due to its lack of credentials. All of its assets were then turned over the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

All of this to say that Tautges is stretching it to use the *Doctor* in front of his name. His Masters and Doctorate were received from a troubled, unaccredited and now defunct institution. However, in spite of this, he is an adjunct professor at Masters Seminary.

Note how he lists himself at the top of LinkedIn…

How does one become an ACBC Fellow?

Here are the listed requirements at ACBC.

Did Paul Tautges get a counseling degree? He listed an MA in pastoral counseling from the unaccredited, defunct Northland University. ACBC does not have any problem accepting non accredited degrees and allowing people from non accredited schools to use the title of *Doctor.*

This piece of advice is important. Always ask about a counselor’s educational background and training and check it out. Do not accept a doctorate at face value either.

The Fellows Theology Exam

Please read this carefully. It is evident that one must believe in strict gender roles to be a certified Fellow with ACBC. Also, students should consider if these questions actually indicate a penchant for counseling people who are struggling.

The Fellows Counseling Exam

Read this carefully. What is the difference between the authors and counselors in List 1 and List 2? (Hint) Is one good and one bad? I’ll look forward to your answers.

After reviewing these exams, as well as the educational background of one ACBC Fellow (always capitalized!), it is my opinion that Phase 3 students who contact one of these Fellows may not get anyone with a rigorous educational background, no matter what they claim.

Last week’s exam question

From last week’s post:


An assignment for TWW readers: How would you answer this question on the ACBC exam?

I have some ideas but I decided to keep my lips zipped. I will weigh in the next couple of days. Please pay particular attention to the questions asked at the end. I have noticed something in many of the ACBC questions. They give you the answer they expect in how they ask the question.

Tim and Emily
Tim and Emily come from a church across town, and have asked to meet you because of some help that you offered their friends several months ago.  They are coming because of a persistent problem they have had in their marriage.  They explain that in their six years of marriage Tim has always had a “short fuse.”  He regularly “loses it” when he comes home from work which fills the evenings with tense communication.  Their weeks are filled with arguments about everything from dinner being ready on time, to whether they should have kids. Tim thinks Emily is a good wife, admits the problems are his fault, but says he just doesn’t know how to “maintain control.”  About a year ago Tim went berserk screaming at Emily, kicking the kitchen table and throwing plates on the floor in response to Emily’s complaint that he came home late without calling.  Emily was always uncomfortable with Tim’s previous pattern of outbursts, but this was different.  She was truly scared.  Tim was too.  In tears she told Tim that something had to change.

Tim talked to his pastor who told him that he needed to see a professional therapist.  Tim followed the advice and made an appointment with the Christian counselor whom his pastor recommended.  Tim met with the therapist for a few sessions, who ultimately recommended he see a psychiatrist for medical care.  When Tim met with the psychiatrist he was told that he had bi-polar disorder and began to take the medications prescribed by the physician.

Tim was initially discouraged to learn that he had a disease that would likely last his entire life, but he was thankful to have a plan to deal with problem.  Emily was also encouraged that there was now at least something they could do.

Their encouragement quickly gave way, however, when after several months on the medication Tim had still not really changed.  While his temperament seemed milder in general the loss of control, and screaming were still present.  It was at this point that Emily began to regret ever marrying Tim.  All the arguments together with the couple’s lack of children were taking their toll.  She realized she was in a marriage that she did not want to be in, but didn’t think she had any options.

Then last week Tim “went completely crazy.”  Emily suggested on a Saturday morning that Tim should cut the grass because he had not done it the week before.  Tim did more than scream and throw things this time.  As he yelled and became more “worked up” he threw the phone at Emily.  He missed her, knocking a hole in the wall, but they both knew he had crossed a line.

Emily said she couldn’t take it anymore and wanted out of the marriage.  She told him that if something didn’t change very quickly she was going to leave.  That is when he reached out to his friend who recommended you.

Tim and Emily both profess faith in Christ, and relate their testimonies of conversion in their teen years.  Both are also terribly discouraged.  Tim doesn’t know how to treat Emily better since he is “plagued” by this disease.  Emily loves Tim and would like their marriage to work, but she is worn out with the lack of change.  She feels badly about wanting to leave because she knows he has an illness, but she is increasingly convinced that God is telling her to divorce Tim.

1.     How will you decide whether to pursue Tim and Emily as believers or unbelievers?  What difference will their status as Christians make in your counseling?

2.     Describe, as fully as you are able, your strategy to help Tim and Emily think biblically about his diagnosis and their use of bi-polar and illness language.

3.     Emily is “Convinced that God is telling her to divorce Tim.”  Write out your word-for-word response to Emily on this matter.  In your response, be sure to address the themes of biblical decision-making and permission for divorce and remarriage.

4.     What strategy would you employ to see repentance, reconciliation, and restoration happen between Tim and Emily?

5.     Describe a detailed plan of restoring marital communication that you would pursue with Tim and Emily.


Here are some comments presented by our thoughtful readers.

Barbara Roberts:

The Tim & Emily scenario is a typical domestic abuse story, even down to the abusive husband being diagnosed with a mental health condition and the treatment of the condition having very little to no effect on his abusiveness.

The questions ACBC ask re the Tim & Emily story are typical of the woman-oppressing line that biblical counselors take on domestic abuse.

L Lee:

I’d like to ask them what the justification is for putting “spiritual” in front of “leadership” for men and “servant” in front of “leadership” for women (I was under the impression that all Christian leaders, male or female, are supposed to be servant leaders

Muslin aka Dee Holmes:

my thought was that if Tim is not getting any real relief on his medication, he needs to see his psychiatrist immediately to have a medication adjustment, a change of medication, or *gasp* even bringing in a secular counselor to work with Tim on his responses to situations.

It sounds like a counselor is supposed to talk them out of his medical diagnosis and tell them to use biblical language to describe his bipolar disorder. I can’t stop shaking my head on this. They’d never tell a plumber to describe plumbing in biblical terms, but they think they can describe mental illness in biblical terms? Is the next step going to be to tell Tim he shouldn’t be taking his medications?

Jenny:

1. How will you decide whether to pursue Tim and Emily as believers or unbelievers? What difference does their status as Christians make in your counseling?

:: Has anyone ever seen a counselor “pursue” someone who needed their help? “Pursue” makes Tim and Emily sound like prey, not people. :

I have a friend who is currently seeing a nouthetic counselor. Rather than directly addressing my friend’s specific problem, the counselor has given my friend hours of bible study homework and verses to memorize. Whenever my friend tries to discuss the issue she went to the counselor about, the counselor tells her she’s not thinking biblically, she is indulging in the sin of impatience and bitterness,

Nick Bulbeck:

This “test” is nothing to do with a person’s qualification to bind up the brokenhearted, and everything to do with a test of how conformed they are mentally to a chosen doctrinal stance.

Abigail:

Next thing they want to hear is that Emily would be wrong for wanting a divorce.

Through a glass darkly

“All the arguments together with the couple’s lack of children were taking their toll.”
I’d advise E to get on birth control RIGHT NOW! And if she decides against all wisdom to stay with him, she should consider a tubal ligation.

Mary27:

Well, my first observation is that Tim and Emily should ONLY be counseled separately. Counseling them together is worse than useless… it will actually make things worse… it gives Tim the opportunity to blame shift on to Emily, and then Emily will accept the blame because that’s what Christian victims of abuse are programmed to do. Emily desperately needs the opportunity to safely unburden her heart to someone who will listen without any judgment or condemnation. Yes, Emily is also a sinner, but what is happening here has NOTHING to do with her sin. Tim had this “anger” problem long before he met Emily and he’ll have it long after she is gone. It has nothing to do with her except that she happens to live under the same roof and experience the fall-out.

BeakerJ:

Well clearly their lack of children means that Emily is not fulfilling her God given role & it is the frustration of having such an ungodly home life that is fuelling Tim’s anger. If she repents of this & asks Tim to forgive her, & sets her mind to respecting him by constant submission & bearing many children, then he will be enabled to be less angry & to come off the medication as his bi-polar is not a medical condition, it is the results of his wife’s disobedience.
Their communication will be repaired if she listens & obeys to his husbandly commands.

Nathan Priddis:

1. This is a stupid question. They claimed to be believers and that is what it is.

Ricco:

1. I won’t “pursue them.” If they tell me they are Christians, I will respect their beliefs. If they tell me they aren’t Christians, I will respect their beliefs.

2. The word “bi-polar” isn’t in the bible. Psychologists, who were given their dreams and talents by God, have studied the human brain and personalities to be better able to help people. Tim should listen to his doctors and seek their help. He should understand that God still loves him and wants him to learn how to deal with his illness so he can live a full life and love the people he is in relationship with.

3. I would ask Emily why she believes God is telling her to divorce Tim and LISTEN to her. I would advise her to listen to what the police say if they have been involved. If I was her friend, I would definitely recommend her to move out for her own safety. She could visit Tim, but always with someone else present until he is safe to be around.

4. Tim would need to get his meds figured out and be able to control his anger. If he was safe to be around, I would encourage Emily to pursue reconciliation if she wanted to AND if I thought he was safe for her. Without either of those two factors in place, I would not encourage reconciliation.

5. IF they chose to reconcile, and IF I thought they could safely do this, then communication strategies would be helpful. Without those two factors present, this discussion would be pointless.

Nancy 2:

If Tim has anger management problems now, with violent outbursts, how is he going to behave with a sick or teething baby crying most of the night???

Thersites:

I am also noting in the Tim and Emily narrative a dig at the “professional therapist”. Number one is they have Tim’s treatment as entirely ineffective and there is no follow-up to understand why. Number two I would question the bipolar diagnosis as there is only a description of bullying and not of mood swings or depression. Who ever wrote this implausible “story” did not put together one that makes sense.

Greek Epigraph:

There is questioning of a diagnoses given by a psychiatrist, casting asperation on whether there is such a thing as “bipolar” and whether medication is good or not. Plumber trying to do heart surgery much?

Tim’s issue is not only bipolar – he is a classic power/control abuser that is escalating. He is already using physical abuse (the throwing things, using physical presence to get his own way, etc) – this is a VERY dangerous situation, the marital equivalent of cancer, not the lifestyle counselling “common cold” equivalent.

Tim has already committed a crime – domestic violence, numerous instances.

How do you deal with this? Get the safety aspect dealt with first, do domestic violence risk assessments, go over the Duluth Models for abusive and non-abusive relationships and DO NOT COUNSEL TOGETHER. Be someone completely trained in domestic violence intervention or get someone like that on board.

Divorce or not is a discussion for later – you need someone for Tim, trained in abuser intervention. You need someone for Nikki, trained in victim dynamics and how to keep an abused wife safe. IMO, if someone hubristically thinks that they can “fix” a DV situation like this and the victim is injured or killed, there should be liability for practicing outside of their capability assessed to the counsellor, just like we would with first aid attendants, doctors, or other medical providers.

emily honey:

His behavior as described doesn’t line up with bipolar disorder. He sounds generally abusive, but he may and/or be NPD. Maybe he’s anti-social. Maybe there’s also something off in his brain where he struggles with impulse control. Maybe a combination of various things, clustering together, on top of him being an abusive person. A ton of possibilities that more accurately line up with how they describe him.

linda:

Tim needs to see his dr. Often it takes several tries to get bipolar under control. If his meds are ineffective he needs different meds. He also needs secular counselling to help him learn to cope without the anger issues. Bipolars CAN have anger and impulse control issues, especially if manic or worse yet, in a mixed state. If he is on anti depressant without mood stabilizer his anger outbursts can indeed be made worse on meds.

She needs a domestic violence counsellor to help her come up with a safe exit strategy. Personally, I would have no problem with her divorcing him for safety. If she has strong scruples re divorce she can legally separate or divorce and not remarry. She should talk to a good geneticist before having kids with him since bipolar can run in families.

They don’t need this “Biblical counselling” although each of them, separately, probably needs a good mature Christian mentor or two to walk with them through this and call them to accountability.

She has to learn his diagnosis may be the reason for his actions but yet is not an excuse for them. He has to learn that also. It may be he has to be his own best advocate to get on an effective medication regimen, or seek inpatient treatment, or find his own best team to hold him accountable to avoid situations that trigger him, even if that means choosing a life of singlehood.

And both need support groups: her for families of the mentally ill and he for his illness.

I’m not seeing major spiritual problems nor bad people. I am seeing mental illness wreaking its usual havoc on the family. It calls for effective treatment or avoidance. (By her, of him.)

Lea:

Emily needs to realize that her husband cannot be trusted and leave. Or kick him out. After getting a safety plan.

Bridget:

I would not want to judge someone’s salvation, especially if mental illness might be involved. And we disagree about this issue needing to be resolved before further counseling.

Nick Bulbeck:

These answers are not about “Tim”, or “Emily”, or any other characters in this invented scenario. This is about you, the ACBC, and your claim to be able to accredit “counsellors”. Why do you need to invent stories, and make up evidence discrediting other believers with whose doctrine you disagree? Why do you need to discredit them at all? You must be aware of those who have been greatly helped, both by what you might term “secular” counselling. You must also be aware of those who have been powerfully impacted by manifestations of the Holy Spirit just like those that are promised in scripture. Which raises another important question: why, in the scenario you have invented, do you feel the need to plant evidence discrediting them?

Charis:

One thing that might be helpful in the counseling process would be to assist Emily to establish boundaries which she can enforce (regardless of the path forward). These can be along the “if then else” line of thought.

For instance, “If Tim throws an item at me I will notify the police and leave the premises until safety can be contracted.” Just what “leave the premises” means is something she needs to work out. Perhaps she stays at her parents. Perhaps she checks into a hotel or stays with a friend…for an undetermined amount of time. Maybe this move is what Tim needs to get it into his skull that throwing items at his wife is not acceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. And…that she will not be back home until such activity ceases.

Similar boundaries can be erected around other unacceptable behaviors. “If Tim yells and overturns furniture out of anger – for any reason, provoked or otherwise – I will notify the police and leave the premises.” And further, “I will not tolerate these incidents, meaning, if even one such incident happens, I will move out.”

So, as counselor – the establishing of boundaries paints the way toward Emily’s stated pathway of divorce…or considered reconciliation. If toward reconciliation, these same boundaries guide the way. “Tim must be properly managed and compliant on medications with improved behavioral outcomes – particularly, no outward exhibited risk or escalation of physical violence – else I will not consider moving back into the same residence. And this must be sustained over a year to show proof of management and recovery.”

JDV:

So here’s Tim. Violent outbursts, throwing things, demonstrating himself being a danger to others. Going back to the worldview as it were of this counseling collective, “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.”

Said methods of “secular people” include involving physical and physiological factors in diagnoses designed to complete the counseling picture. And as many people have pointed out in this series, not just “secular people” but Christian psychologists, psychiatrists, and other health professionals do this as well, notwithstanding the apparent strawman created which offers only an either/or perspective, one having to necessarily be at odds with the other.

Once again, we see an emergence of an authority priority, one that puts that authority in the hands of a few, and excising what is known and observable to the opinions of those ceding to themselves spiritual authority.

FW Rez:

For Q3: I would explain to Emily that abandonment is acceptable grounds for divorce and that abuse would certainly fit within that realm. I would be honest that others would disagree in the letter of the law but that it would be very inconsistent with the whole of God’s message for Him to expect her to remain a captive in an abusive situation. (This is consistent with what we taught our daughter in her teenage years before she met and married a wonderful husband where we would never expect such a conversation to need to occur.)

Considering Tim’s escalating tendencies (most people at least mature some over 6 years), I would strongly suggest to Emily that she take every conceivable precaution against getting pregnant with the current state of their marriage [snark alert: the wording was intentional].

Dee’s Opinion

The first thing that jumped out at me is that the abuse on the part of Tim is escalating. is this due to his current diagnosis or does his diagnosis need expanding? In either case, he needs to revisit the psychiatrist who is prescribing his medications and have a thorough review of his symptoms.

He then needs to be put into both group and one on one counseling to see if he can learn to control his anger. Sadly, I would say that his situation looks bleak if he truly has a combination of bipolar disease and serious anger problems. He is now, officially, an abuser.

His anger problem has persisted in all 6 years of their marriage which makes me believe that it was present before the marriage. In fact, I would ask Emily if she had any warning signs prior to their marriage. My guess is that she will say *yes* and that she thought it was just stress due to his job, etc. and that she could help him.

In the meantime, Emily needs to leave the premises and go to a place of safety. During this time she will have the peace and quiet to review what has happened in their marriage and in their lives. I had great empathy for Emily who was saying that she believed that God wanted her to divorce Tim. She is using the lingo she has learned in the church in order to conceal what she really means which is ‘I want to divorce Tim and I think it is the right thing to do.”

She knows, however, that biblical counselors and pastors at her church will faint dead away if she says what she really means. In fact they may try to convince her to stay in an abusive situation so she is appealing to a higher authority than her certified ACBC counselor. As things stand at the moment, I believe that she has sufficient grounds for divorce due to the abuse she has already endured. If she wants to stay in the marriage after time apart, her counselor needs to warn her that the abuse may continue to escalate.

However, should she decide to return, repentance needs to come from one side-Tim. Tim is the one who is throwing things and he is the one who must realize his issues and control himself, if he can.

Tim and Emily state that they are Christians and can recount their conversion experiences so that sort of judgment needs to be left alone! I wonder who is implying that a couple having trouble might not be Christians? Is this some sort of ACBC thing?

I believe the lack of children is just a red herring in this whole scenario. There should not be any children being brought into this situation as it stands. In fact, it will probably escalate the abuse.

Bipolar disease is a disease and it should be stated in clear terms. What in the world is wrong with using the bipolar diagnosis when it is true unless it is being suggested that the psychiatrist is wrong because the *certified* counselor knows more than she does.

This is a confusing exam because it shows Emily saying two different things:

  1. Emily loves Tim and would like their marriage to work
  2. She is convinced that God is telling her to divorce Tim.

Again, Tim’s abuse of Emily is the primary issue and must be dealt with quickly before he decides to cause some real harm. If this story is at all true, that day is coming very soon.

I bet this answer means that Dee has no hope of ever being a ACBC counselor.


Comments

Who Are the Men Only ACBC Fellows Who Supervise the ACBC Students? Also, Review Last Week’s Exam Question — 103 Comments

  1. Is the recommended degree from an accredited university within the science community of the behavioral sciences? (Phase 1).

    Regarding, “in an area related to counseling” – what does that mean?

  2. JYJames wrote:

    Regarding, “in an area related to counseling” – what does that mean?

    Whatever they feel like at the moment. There are NO standards.

  3. How many umbrellas are there in umbrella theology? More “goodies” from the ACBC website:

    “B. 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.

    C. 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. “You will need to complete and send your supervisor a Case Report for each counseling session.

    At least 10 sessions must be with the same counselee.

    Audio record a minimum of 5 sessions to review and discuss with your supervising Fellow.”

    So many questions and red flags in such a few lines!

    Case Reports – what do you mean by “Case Report”? How detailed do these reports have to be? Are they looking for specific details here? Why not come out and call it was it most likely really is: sin sniffing.

    Audio recordings – this is interesting. I’m under the impression (please correct me if I’m wrong here), but by law someone must give permission for their conversation to be recorded. I would assume that this would be extended to counseling sessions, whether secular or biblical. Why then is there a requirement that some sessions be recorded? This particular requirement screams red flag to me because no where do I see anything about confidentiality.

    This whole topic, while important and needs to be brought to light, makes me twitch and sends me screaming into the night.

  5. Lita wrote:

    “You will need to complete and send your supervisor a Case Report for each counseling session.
    At least 10 sessions must be with the same counselee.
    Audio record a minimum of 5 sessions to review and discuss with your supervising Fellow.”
    So many questions and red flags in such a few lines!
    Case Reports – what do you mean by “Case Report”? How detailed do these reports have to be? Are they looking for specific details here? Why not come out and call it was it most likely really is: sin sniffing.
    Audio recordings – this is interesting. I’m under the impression (please correct me if I’m wrong here), but by law someone must give permission for their conversation to be recorded. I would assume that this would be extended to counseling sessions, whether secular or biblical. Why then is there a requirement that some sessions be recorded? This particular requirement screams red flag to me because no where do I see anything about confidentiality.
    This whole topic, while important and needs to be brought to light, makes me twitch and sends me screaming into the night.

    First thoughts were flashbacks to the Leah Remiini series, of auditing and recordings. So many similarities, including the authoritarian aspect.

  6. Also from the Phase 3 section link above:

    “When you talk to a potential supervisor ask how much he charges for supervision and his policies and procedures. ACBC policy allows for each supervisor to charge up to five hundred dollars per individual being supervised.”

    Gotta lay that money down! The best part is that once you’re certifiable (pun intended), you get to then get another stream of income from new members of the pyramid, I mean comprehensive plan. You not only get to dole out ACBC-credentialed (sic) authority, you get on the list for new pigeons, I mean counselors, to be sent your way (directed by your church/seminary/blogger/what have you) and pay you to tell them whatever you choose (being the one in supervisory authority).

    Harold Hill missed his calling. Instead of selling 76 trombones when trouble surfaced in River City, he could have cut out a lot of logistics. He could’ve been Dr. Hill, ACBC certified counselor from the Gary Seminary, gold letter class of ’05. Then again, he eventually grew a conscience.

  7. Other items:
    “Once the ACBC office receives your dues and completed covenant, we will send you your official certificate, and you will be added to the list of members on the ACBC website (unless otherwise specified).”

    Gotta pay your dues, of course; and they sure like using “covenants” a lot. It’s classic to see them make a big deal of having a certificate –an official one, to boot — when accreditation seems to hold so little weight in this process and apparently with many of their minders.

    “As a ACBC member you will also receive discounts to ACBC events.”

    It’s not just about healing tortured souls and broken spirits, especially those ravaged by the medical and psychological and psychiatric community whose secular ways they say are ultimately at odds with ACBC and its spiritual authority. (Wow, this really does sound like a Leah Remini show outtake.) It’s also about discounts at ACBC, cuz worth their hire, etc. (On that show, those involved were always being offered ‘discounts’ on programs even as they paid and paid.)

  8. “Counseling supervision is often completed remotely via email and telephone.”

    Talk about phoning it in. But make sure the check clears.

  9. dee wrote:

    Whatever they feel like at the moment. There are NO standards.

    Well, that seems rather arbitrary.

    ar·bi·trar·y: adjective
    1) based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
    “his mealtimes were entirely arbitrary”
    synonyms: capricious, whimsical, random, chance, unpredictable
    antonyms: reasoned, rational

    2) (of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority.
    “arbitrary rule by Kings…”
    synonyms: autocratic, dictatorial, despotic, tyrannical, authoritarian, high-handed

  10. JDV wrote:

    But make sure the check clears

    Isn’t this type of counseling free of charge… to regular tithing members.

    (… and you get what you pay for)

  11. If it walks like a scam and quacks like a scam …

    When I was young, in the 70s, I always slightly envied American evangelicalism for its greater influence, better resources, …

    With age comes the knowledge that you should be careful what you wish for. Evangelicalism by virtue of its greater reach has attracted its fair share of hucksters: those ot for power, money, and, to quote HUG, getting laid.

    Elron H, who saw through the hucksterish quality of parts of the American church, said that to get truly rich you needed to start a religion and copied those parts. Now we seem to have come full circle and the church is learning from the hucksterish cult founded by H.

    For a long time I gave those clowns the benefit of the doubt, thought that they started out well and only became twisted when their fame went to their heads. Now I agree with G. Herbert’s statement that power attracts the corrupt/corruptible.

    Evangelicals seem to be the most willing marks for every and any con out there, from the Hal Lindsay and “Left behind” scares, the constant conspiracy theories (“You know the real meaning of P&G’s satanic logo?”), to the political fraudsters taking them for a ride. Small wonder they fell for the lies of certain politician who shall not be named here in greater numbers than any other group in the country.

    If anybody were to be honest with them, Evangelicals would have a hard time trusting that person: they have been conditioned to only trust a con.

  12. Gus wrote:

    If anybody were to be honest with them, Evangelicals would have a hard time trusting that person: they have been conditioned to only trust a con.

    Excellent point! So many structures have been built on a flawed foundation that it’s almost impossible to have a conversation on solid ground. The guise of “biblical Christianity” seems to hide many contradictions and blend mutually exclusive theologies.

  13. Gus wrote:

    American evangelicalism … conditioned to only trust a con.

    The con is all about myth and magic, smoke and mirrors. For some folks, that is the substance of their piety.

    Personally, I believe in the God of the miracles of the Bible, but I also believe in the character of our God.

  14. Jerome wrote:

    “ACBC Fellows
    Fellow membership is reserved for men…”

    … who share wisdom while the women share recipes.

  15. I grew up in a verbally abusive home. My mom verbally abused my dad all my life and me and my sibling. My sibling not as much as me. Why my dad ever stayed with my mom is beyond me, but he loves her. My sibling and I have been in a lot of counseling to get over what what was done to us verbally. I had to realize I am not my mom. I could so easily have been like her. But my husband wouldn’t let me. I also live several states away from my parents.

    Bringing children into a verbally abusive home is not the answer. Many here can attest to this. My dad is being put into a nursing home this coming week. He basically has given up on life. A lifetime of verbal abuse will do this to you. You lose your self confidence, your self worth, etc. People excused my mom’s behavior and never stood up to her. My sibling is finally doing it. It’s very hard on the family. It will literally break them apart.

    My advice to Emily would to be to get out of Dodge as fast as she can and don’t look back. How many times have we seen people get “better”, then woo their spouse back. Then something awful happens to the spouse. Then everyone says we should have known. We should have seen the signs. The signs were there, you just ignored them. Human nature wants us to believe in the good in humanity. We don’t want to see the bad. But it exists. No amount of Biblical counseling will change that. No amount of sin sniffing will alter the outcome.

  16. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    These authority structures are an incredible blessing when discharged faithfully.

    And we are just going to pretend they are always ‘discharged faithfully’ because we have no tools to deal with actual problems.

  17. Lita wrote:

    Audio recordings –

    This is pretty common when people are learning a new therapy under supervision though.

    I mean, I don’t trust these people and I’m sure they’ll do a terrible job…but it’s because of all the other problems with their standards.

  18. Jerome wrote:

    Did anyone notice what the first requirement to be an ACBC “Fellow” is:
    https://biblicalcounseling.com/acbc-fellows/
    “ACBC Fellows
    Fellow membership is reserved for men…”

    I am kicking myself for overlooking this requirement. It is so important that I have changed the title to this post and updated it with this info with thanks to Jerome!!! Thank you!!!!

  19. Of course they don’t want women to be “Fellows.” Here’s what the founder of the Nouthetic Counseling movement actually thinks about women:

    Jay Adams taught:

    “The head of the home must control his home, including his wife. That is the hardest task of all! How does one control a woman? That remains to be answered. But first notice, as the head of the home he must keep his whole household in subjection.” (Christian Living in the Home p. 90)

    “His wife should teach nothing or do nothing or say nothing in that home of which he disapproves.”

    Looks like Jay was adding his own opinion into Scripture! There’s a reason that God warned us,

    “Never add anything to what I command you, or take anything away from it.” Deut 4:2a (GW)

  20. Jay Adams taught:

    “The head of the home must control his home, including his wife. That is the hardest task of all! How does one control a woman? That remains to be answered. But first notice, as the head of the home he must keep his whole household in subjection.” (Christian Living in the Home p. 90)

    “His wife should teach nothing or do nothing or say nothing in that home of which he disapproves.”

    Wow. This guy would get on well with the Baylys, never mind CBMW.

  21. “it is a biblical responsibility to speak the truth in love to one another”

    I remember how this played out with old Mars Hill Church people. Beware! It is usually a religious veneer of “love” to cover a power-play. Plus, it angers me how these sort of “sin quests” are twisted to be called loving endeavors.

  22. NJ,

    Exactly! Makes you wonder how the counseling is supposed to work if the wife isn’t even allowed to say something that the husband disapproves of?

    As most of the group here already knows—step one of learning boundaries is learning ownership of our own feelings, perspectives, opinions, etc. Recognizing that as individuals we don’t have to automatically adopt the opinions and feelings of others as our own.

    I remember reading in Ruth Tucker’s book—Black and Blue Wife—that her husband got really upset at her for not voting the way that he wanted. (He wanted her to vote for George Wallace if I remember correctly). He felt entitled to making her choice at the ballot box for her as if she didn’t even exist as a person. That’s where this theology leads.

  23. What Happened wrote:

    Gus wrote:

    If anybody were to be honest with them, Evangelicals would have a hard time trusting that person: they have been conditioned to only trust a con.

    Excellent point! So many structures have been built on a flawed foundation that it’s almost impossible to have a conversation on solid ground. The guise of “biblical Christianity” seems to hide many contradictions and blend mutually exclusive theologies.

    … with the common theme of authority and subordination.

  24. Dee wrote: “What is the difference between the authors and counselors in List 1 and List 2? (Hint) Is one good and one bad? I’ll look forward to your answers.”

    List 1: secular
    List 2: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

    Which list is good and which list is bad??? Depends on who you ask!

  25. They’re all bad according to ACBC dogma. List 2 are Christians, but ones who use psychology, a big no no for this outfit.

  26. In the last thread there was some discussion about when various doctrines first appeared, and how ancient some of them are.

    The heresy of the sufficiency of scripture (as specifically formulated to diminish and subordinate the Holy Spirit) probably post-dates the closure of the canon. So, there’s at least one newbie in the list right there.

    This ACBC stuff isn’t christian at all; the only reason for it is to spread the “sufficiency of scripture” heresy. I don’t know why they don’t go the whole way and join the Watchtower. Not enough fame or money it it, maybe.

  27. A great post and Dee seems spot on with the formulation.

    The case study is confusing because it does not provide a clear understanding of why the person was given the bipolar diagnosis, which makes it difficulty to judge whether it was a competent diagnosis. But if an aim of the case study is to discredit a psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, it is very crudely done and unhelpful. Of course, aggression may be a symptom of bipolar disorder, but it is not clear if this is separate issue. A psychiatric or clinical psychology evaluation might help understand whether the aggression is linked to worsening psychiatric disorder, in which case if treatment can be more effective, then the aggression might also remit. Of course this is part of story and Emily needs protection and Tim, for example, clearly needs anger management counselling. A variety of approaches could save their marriage and help restore their relationship, but I suspect the biblical counselors would make things worse by undermining the help that they both need. An incomplete understanding would inevitably lead to further suffering and likely doom the marriage, the opposite to the outcome that is wanted by the counselors.

    More broadly I was listening to a historian of science who outlined a pre-medieval period in which theologians thought that the bible provided sufficient information to explain cosmology. As time went on it became very clear that this was not the case and attempts to use the bible to explain cosmology failed. The bible provides a theological framework for understanding the world and scientific progress is build on Christian principles, such as the primacy of Truth and the notion that the created world may essentially be rationally understood.

    I see biblical counselling as being at a similar stage to the pre-medieval theological cosmology. Psychology and psychiatry has made great progress in understanding psychological processes and psychological disorder. The knowledge learned is not necessarily provided by the bible. Equally, psychology does not replace biblical wisdom concerning human nature.

    A further thing I reflect on is that biblical counselors are in danger creating a false dichotomy between the physical and mental when it comes to understanding humans. They physical is allowed ‘modern science’ and medicine, whilst the mental is purely the domain of the ‘bible.’ This is a completely wrong way of thinking about things, in my view because both aspects relate directly to faith and humanly acquired knowledge.

  28. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Nick, the sufficiency of Scripture (or scribsher as you like to call it) is not a heresy, it is a corrective for the type of nonsense you regularly come out with. Without Scripture, anyone can believe anything they like. And that was something you posited earlier – that the Holy Spirit leads people to believe different things from the same verses. Fortunately, God (including the Holy Spirit) is not a God of confusion and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. Scripture tells us that.

    And you are not God, no matter how often you use His name. Happy Hogmanay.

  29. I can barely wait for Dee to do more reports on ACBC!
    I have been ‘sporlin’ the website.

    One reason to break the confidentiality agreement (emphasis mine):
    *******”​• When counseling someone who is under familial authority (e.g. wife to husband, child to parent) the counselor may encourage the Counselee to inform their familial authority and/or the Counselor may inform them (Ephesians 5:22- 6:4). ________ (initial) “********

    I would advise all females to avoid ACBC counselors as if they have leprosy!

  30. Avid Reader wrote:

    Exactly! Makes you wonder how the counseling is supposed to work if the wife isn’t even allowed to say something that the husband disapproves of?

    Bingo!

  31. @ Peter:
    Great last paragraph. They are truly splitting the soul from the body. They allow for the scientific treatment of the body but not the mind. I will concede that there is a moral hazard to treating the mind with drugs. It would be possible to only rely on drugs without also addressing spiritual issues and engaging in talk therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This would treat the human soul/mind if it were strictly material, turning us into meat robots.

    Biblical Counselors turn this moral hazard into a red herring. Reputable doctors and psychiatrists recommend drugs and therapy together in most all cases. They try to treat the problem holistically. In my wife’s experience, a mild anti-depressant gave her the space to use therapy and spiritual counseling to help her deal with her anxiety and insomnia. In accusing psychiatry of splitting the soul from the body, the biblical counselors have overreacted and claimed that the mind cannot be treated with medicine. Worse, they deny the validity of scientific research into psychology. Therapy and counseling are informed by the scientific study of psychology in controlled, replicating studies.

    Advocating a strict sacred/secular divide leads to all sorts of problems…

  32. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Evangelicals need to ask themselves if they are worshiping scripture and be honest with themselves. I’m not claiming to know the answer or making an accusation. However, there is danger here and honesty and introspection would go a long way.

  33. Who Are the Men Only ACBC Fellows Who Supervise the ACBC Students?

    Same as WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?

  34. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Nick, the sufficiency of Scripture (or scribsher as you like to call it) is not a heresy, it is a corrective for the type of nonsense you regularly come out with. Without Scripture, anyone can believe anything they like. And that was something you posited earlier – that the Holy Spirit leads people to believe different things from the same verses. Fortunately, God (including the Holy Spirit) is not a God of confusion and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. Scripture tells us that.

    And when SCRIPTURE(TM) is weaponized into a 2+2=5 Party Line?

  35. Lea wrote:

    And we are just going to pretend they are always ‘discharged faithfully’ because we have no tools to deal with actual problems.

    The Party Can Do No Wrong, Comrade.

  36. ACBC feels like a logical evolution to the Shepherding Movement.

    Yes, gathering small groups into a room on a weekly basis is still a key element in maintaining idealogical control of the Church.
    But demographics have changed in the last forty five plus years.

    Society is more sophisticated and has coresponding expectations. ACBC implies a certain level of professionalism. That somehow there is expertise involved. This is a far cry from getting a weekly small group berating over some general spiriual inadequacy or sin.

  37. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Nick, the sufficiency of Scripture (or scribsher as you like to call it) is not a heresy, …

    Well, it certainly is a minority opinion, assuming that the issue is specifically ‘sufficiency’.

  38. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    ACBC implies a certain level of professionalism. That somehow there is expertise involved.

    But every time one of their prominent ones goes off the rails and ends up in misdeeds court, one wonders if the wayward one tried their own counseling program – so does this program work? Maybe not so much.

  39. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Without Scripture, anyone can believe anything they like.

    Unfortunately, with Scripture, anyone can believe anything they like, and “prove” it, with Scripture.

    Satan quoted [misused] Scripture.

  40. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The heresy of the sufficiency of scripture (as specifically formulated to diminish and subordinate the Holy Spirit)

    This is very interesting.

  41. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The heresy of the sufficiency of scripture (as specifically formulated to diminish and subordinate the Holy Spirit)

    And God, and Jesus to scripture.

  42. Jerome wrote:

    Did anyone notice what the first requirement to be an ACBC “Fellow” is:

    Jerome,

    Thanks for posting that link. Just noticed this as well. They say that if you want to become an ACBC Fellow then:

    “Schedule a time to speak with Stuart Scott, Director of Membership Services at ACBC.”

    Let’s see—that’s the same Stuart Scott who wrote the book Exemplary Husband which teaches men to “do whatever is necessary” to correct their wives as long as they “stop short of physical abuse.”

    Stuart Scott teaches:

    “Remember you want to shepherd your wife.” (Exemplary Husband p. 135)

    “A shepherd doesn’t just let the sheep {wife} wander anywhere without any instruction….a shepherd will occasionally have to correct a wayward lamb.” (p. 127)

    “Sometimes a wife may need to be clearly corrected…..You need to ascertain whether she is weak, fainthearted or unruly and respond accordingly.” (p. 128)

    “When your wife need specific leadership, you may need to give her a direct instruction or make a definite decision…Hopefully your suggestions will be appreciated but they may be resented or even resisted. At this point unless you are asking your wife to sin, she is sinning if she refuses to do what
    you ask.” (p. 136)

    “As your wife’s spiritual leader, you must help her with her sin.” (p. 206)

    “Husband is given authority over the wife….parents are in authority over children.” (p. 77)

    “If you have been letting your wife lead, you need to sit down with her….discuss specific ways that she can better follow you.” (p. 126)

    And this is the same Stuart Scott who also refuses to believe that we are led by the Holy Spirit because he can’t accept that the Holy Spirit still talks to us. He accuses people of “hearing voices” if they claim that the Holy Spirit was leading them. Here’s the references:

    “Some Christians make poor decisions because…..they read the Old Testament and assume that God guides the average believer…… that God will individually speak to them because He spoke individually to His special prophets and Apostles.”

    “Once the Word of God was complete there was no more need for such individual communication. In fact, once the Apostles were verified as the final authentic spokesmen for God, all individual communications from God ceased.” (Biblical Manhood Chapter 6)

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1OXXWE2K3XIBU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1885904339

  43. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The heresy of the sufficiency of scripture (as specifically formulated to diminish and subordinate the Holy Spirit)

    It seems that God can do anything He wants. However, He is never out of character. But what human fully understands the character of God? Obviously, Scripture guides our understanding of God and His character. But God is not in a box, nor does He paint Himself into a corner. Satan imitates, God creates. God is never out of fresh ideas, fresh solutions. God’s innovation abounds, in a good way.

  44. I just thought of an analogy that would make one of these Yahoo’s begin to understand how a woman feels trapped in such a marriage as “Emily”. Imagine that counselor is working full-time. And has a boss that screams at him about once a month. Imagine that he is regularly mocked and criticized IN FRONT of his co-workers. And that his pay is routinely docked for failures to be 100 percent accurate on all aspects of work performance from a list that changes every few weeks. Imagine being threatened with being fired also. What would this man want to do with his job????? Oh. Quit?? Then tell him he HAS to stay at this job until he retires…and then he gets to volunteer over there!! Then tell him it’s GODS WILL that he stays at this job..

  45. @ Abigail:

    I wonder whether this scenario might be incorporated into a film. It’s hard to know exactly what effect Uncle Tom’s Cabin had on the slave trade, as there’s no way to know what would have happened if. But anecdotally, it was significant.

  46. JYJames wrote:

    But every time one of their prominent ones goes off the rails and ends up in misdeeds court, one wonders if the wayward one tried their own counseling program – so does this program work? Maybe not so much.

    I don’t think it ever occurs to the ones in charge that they themselves need counseling. God made them elite and blessed by God to rule over the church, so they can do no wrong. And this type of counseling is now mainly being used to keep the peons in line.

    They seem to completely pretend that those who do go off the rails either didn’t (Mahaney) or they don’t exist anymore. And many of their followers don’t think to question that. But we’ve seen a number of former followers who did start questioning or who were ousted who now are telling their stories, so that’s eventually going to build up. All the Mars Hill survivors are a good example of that.

  47. JYJames wrote:

    But what human fully understands the character of God? Obviously, Scripture guides our understanding of God and His character. But God is not in a box, nor does He paint Himself into a corner.

    True to me. But there are plenty who believe God is limited to the confines of scripture.

  48. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Nick, the sufficiency of Scripture (or scribsher as you like to call it) is not a heresy, it is a corrective for the type of nonsense you regularly come out with.

    Hmmm, you appear to have missed that when Mr Bulbeck talks about this he is always, always, referring to a particular kind of modern theological ‘inerrancy’ (circa 1860? ish)& not what the Bible actually claims for itself. Here he’s even said: The heresy of the sufficiency of scripture (as specifically formulated to diminish and subordinate the Holy Spirit), i.e. a specific formulation that means Christians can do away with the Holy Spirit leading them as the Bible contains all they need. That’s clearly NOT how the Bible is meant to function.
    This was a peculiarly graceless statement from you.

  49. I would seriously sooner seek secular specialized counseling over “biblical counseling!!!! Unless, I was receiving it from an elder member in the body of Christ who I knew and who walks with the Lord but also recognizing that they can give advice and counseling it doesn’t mean I have to follow it. A loving Christian elder will encourage even if you choose not to take their advice. They may not support your decisions however they will pray for you, continue to encourage you,and love you. A mature Christian will not take it personal if you decide not to take advice. With that said someone like this with this attitude in Christ I would seek advice from or counseling. hope this made sense

  50. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Without Scripture, anyone can believe anything they like.

    The problem with this is anyone can pretty much believe anything they like even with scripture. There would not be thousands of Christian denominations arguing with each other over the clear meaning of scripture if the meaning was as clear as advertised. Apparently, something more than just scripture is needed – the proliferation of confessions, creeds, statements of faith, and catechisms proves this.

    As for the “sufficiency” of scripture, it depends on how one defines sufficiency, and how one determines what it is sufficient for. Some denominations seem to go way overboard on how far they apply it, others go so far the other way as to nearly negate it. I don’t see a lot of agreement among Christians on exactly how this should work in practice. Calling it a heresy might be a bit of a stretch, but not in all cases.

  51. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    HNYFS

    Thanks. We are still waiting. I normally don’t stay up for it anymore (I guess I’m getting old?). Anyway, HNYFA!

  52. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    *******”​• When counseling someone who is under familial authority (e.g. wife to husband, child to parent) the counselor may encourage the Counselee to inform their familial authority and/or the Counselor may inform them (Ephesians 5:22- 6:4). ________ (initial) “********

    Awful.

    Why don’t they just admit this isn’t for women? It would be more honest.

  53. I’m guessing they are expecting the student to define the “Openness of God Theology” as rank heresy.

    I’m also guessing that the right answer to the purpose and extent of the atonement should be answered first with Penal Substitution only. But the extent? Would they also expect the student to define the extent of the atonement as “limited?”

    The Groupthink isn’t limited to gender concepts.

  54. Avid Reader wrote:

    Here’s what the founder of the Nouthetic Counseling movement actually thinks about women:

    Jay Adams taught:

    “The head of the home must control his home, including his wife. That is the hardest task of all! How does one control a woman? That remains to be answered. But first notice, as the head of the home he must keep his whole household in subjection.” (Christian Living in the Home p. 90)

    “His wife should teach nothing or do nothing or say nothing in that home of which he disapproves.”

    This alone should disqualify someone from ever being listened to on any subject, let alone anything even remotely to do with anything in the fields of mental health, relationships, counseling.

    I have long had a – not completely serious – theory that all fundamentalist religions are basically the same religion, with fundamentalist christianity, islam, ultra-orthodox judaism,…. just different denominations of said basic religion. The first and most important article of faith in this fundamentalist religion and all its “denominations” is this: Keep women in their subservient place. All the other things that fundamentalists say they believe are secondary.

  55. Gus wrote:

    I have long had a – not completely serious – theory that all fundamentalist religions are basically the same religion…

    I have an entirely serious theory that says much the same thing.

    I’d go further than saying they’re about the subjugation of women, because most men are also subjugated under these religions. I’d say it’s about the subjugation of everyone who can be subjugated. For many reasons, that have very deep and primitive roots, women are easier targets for subjugation, so they’re nearly always first in line.

    There are a couple of Bible snippets that I think shed some light here. One is from the middle third of Ezekiel 28; although the chapter is addressed to the king of Tyre, and in the literal sense Tyre was a city and its king a man like any other, the middle of the chapter speaks about a “guardian cherub” who was created blameless but who became full of pride because of his own beauty and who coveted God’s place. This is widely regarded as a description of satan’s origin. The other is Jesus’ famous statement to Peter after the latter, having confessed Jesus as the Christ, denied the way of the cross:

    Get behind me, satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.

    Pedlars of counterfeit, artificial religions will always, ISTM, do what satan does (having been thrown out of heaven and limitless eternity, down onto finite and limited earth). That is, grab as big a slice of the pie for themselves as they can. This usually shows itself in a need to control and rule over others, to create under-classes and out-groups, using false antitheses like I’m entitled/obliged to do exactly this because if I don’t, the only alternative is chaos and disaster.

  56. Gus wrote:

    I have long had a – not completely serious – theory that all fundamentalist religions are basically the same religion,

    I think that’s a perfectly reasonable theory, given the evidence.

  57. Is ACBC about power, control, and money ??? I think so!

    From: http://nonprofits.findthecompany.com/l/635630/Association-Of-Certified-Biblical-Counselors-Inc

    Financial data from 2015.
    Financial Summary

    “With $1.11 M in income, Association Of Certified Biblical Counselors Inc is larger than the average Charitable Organization in the United States (where median income is $158,208 United States dollars). ……………

    Funded Primarily by Program Revenue
    Association of Certified Biblical Counselors Inc. is funded primarily through program revenue. The organization is fairly dependent on this type of funding, as it accounts for 55% of total income. This is atypical for its peer group – Charitable Organizations this size are generally funded through contributions.”

  58. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I was wondering if anyone has done a meme along the lines of “ACBC Highway to Hell.”

    Ha ha! The same thought crossed my mind!
    BTW and FYI, ACBC (NANC) became a non-profit org the same year that “Highway to Hell” was released -1979. Hmmmmmmm.

  59. Note: It was the Shepherding Movement that taught individual communication directly with God had ceased. You were supposed to hear God through a mediator—oops I meant “delegated authority.”

    That was the first thought in my mind while reading Stuart Scott’s book quoting John MacArthur teaching that the Holy Spirit doesn’t speak to us anymore. That all ceased with the time of the Apostles. Clever argument for getting around all the NT verses about believers being led by the Holy Spirit.

  60. From Bob Mumford one of the founders of Shepherding

    “Too often we want our ministry directly from God. We want personal attention. We aren’t about to receive what we need through some delegated representative.” (Problem of Doing Your Own Thing p. 73)

  61. 1.
    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Gus wrote:

    I have long had a – not completely serious – theory that all fundamentalist religions are basically the same religion…

    Yes they are. Cain was the first to make an offering to God of what came from the Earth. And the first to kill a man who came to God by faith.
    Nimrod was the first listed as a rebel, and creator of civil religion.
    Jesus said he would build his Church on the rock at Ceasarea Philippi. He is, and that is why it’s gentile and pagan in so many appearances and customs.
    Its final image is The Whore. Also called Mystery Babylon. Mystery, because it was never hidden at all, just never recognized, because it was in plain sight the whole time and never accepted for what it was.Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I have an entirely serious theory that says much the same thing.

    I’d go further than saying they’re about the subjugation of women, because most men are also subjugated under these religions. I’d say it’s about the subjugation of everyone who can be subjugated. For many reasons, that have very deep and primitive roots, women are easier targets for subjugation, so they’re nearly always first in line.

    There are a couple of Bible snippets that I think shed some light here. One is from the middle third of Ezekiel 28; although the chapter is addressed to the king of Tyre, and in the literal sense Tyre was a city and its king a man like any other, the middle of the chapter speaks about a “guardian cherub” who was created blameless but who became full of pride because of his own beauty and who coveted God’s place

    I find this amazing that you link women and the Covering Cherub. It is a mental barrier that seemingly most, if not nearly all humans are unable cross.

    ..”deep and primitive roots”.. In a word, yes. As Jude spoke, it was ordained from old, or as we might say, before time began. The primary fact of the history of the Universe is enmity, or war, between the Seed of the Woman, and Seed of the Serpent. The Serpent has decedents.

    It was completely natural for the woman to talk to the serpent, or Shining One, as he was nick named. As one of the cheribim he would have showed up every evening when God came to walk in the garden. He also would have looked remarkably similar to God. Specifically, the Majesty of God, since that is what a cherub is. He was like the Majesty and she had never known him to be other.

    The hatred he felt for her was different then the hated he felt towards the man. Among other things she was the glory of man. This was ordained in the Signs before God ever spoke that his head would be crushed by the seed of the Woman.

    So basically, we are watching the decedents of the Cherub at work. They are like their father, the Devil, who likewise was a minister as are they.

  62. Gus wrote:

    I have long had a – not completely serious – theory that all fundamentalist religions are basically the same religion, with fundamentalist christianity, islam, ultra-orthodox judaism,….

    Or Objectivism, or New Atheism (a la Dawkins); this also explains why converts to or from a belief system can act just as fundy — they just took their Fundamentalism and transferred it from the old to the new (and often opposite) ideology.

  63. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    Without Scripture, anyone can believe anything they like.

    The problem with this is anyone can pretty much believe anything they like even with scripture.

    NO. SKUBALON.
    For SCRIPTURE(TM), just add chapter-and-verse proof texts to PROVE “anything they like”.

  64. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    ACBC feels like a logical evolution to the Shepherding Movement.

    Yes, gathering small groups into a room on a weekly basis is still a key element in maintaining ideological control of the Church.

    Party Cells, Comrade.
    With a Party Commissar in every cell.

  65. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    With a Party Commissar in every cell.

    Reminds me of an old Yakov Smirnoff joke: In America you can always find a party, in Soviet Russia the Party always finds you.

    In New-Calvinism the party always finds you.

  66. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Or Objectivism, or New Atheism (a la Dawkins); this also explains why converts to or from a belief system can act just as fundy — they just took their Fundamentalism and transferred it from the old to the new (and often opposite) ideology.

    So very true. One of the fundagelical radio show personalities out here in our area often touts his ‘new age’ credentials before he got ‘saved’ and sold out to fundagelicalism.

  67. Muff Potter wrote:

    So very true. One of the fundagelical radio show personalities out here in our area often touts his ‘new age’ credentials before he got ‘saved’ and sold out to fundagelicalism.

    And was probably every bit as sold out to Shirley Mac Laine Woo-Woo as he is now to SCRIPTURE(TM).

    Communism begets Objectivism.

  68. Beakerj wrote:

    And just for something hilarious:

    Yeah, that one’s a corker, too funny. As ‘Biblically’ bawdy as it can get.

  69. Muff Potter wrote:

    Yeah, that one’s a corker, too funny. As ‘Biblically’ bawdy as it can get.

    Caution: reading it could cause electile dysfunction…

  70. @ Lita:
    Someone needs to get the facts on the audio recording thing. A great big red flag just went up and so did a great big flashback.

  71. Lea wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    *******”​• When counseling someone who is under familial authority (e.g. wife to husband, child to parent) the counselor may encourage the Counselee to inform their familial authority and/or the Counselor may inform them (Ephesians 5:22- 6:4). ________ (initial) “********
    Awful.
    Why don’t they just admit this isn’t for women? It would be more honest.

    wow…that’s scary.

  72. Molly Worthen, in an article for the New York Times entitled “Who would Jesus smack down?” (link here referred to

    … a curious fact: the doctrine of total human depravity has always had a funny way of emboldening, rather than humbling, its adherents.

    In the same way, the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture has a funny way of persuading its adherents that scripture needs to be packaged in their products. This way of patenting and monetising something that is supposedly sufficient and that has made freely available by God to everyone seems to me to be a supreme act of “middlemanship”. (It stands in stark contrast to, for instance, Jonas Salk’s refusal to patent the polio vaccine: “There is no patent. Would you patent the sun?”)

    I’m not suggesting that the only thing wrong with the product under consideration here is that it is being peddled for money. But if it were free – if the training and certification were offered for free, and charging fees for counselling were clearly prohibited – I wonder whether the content itself might have taken a very different form.

  73. dee wrote:

    I have changed the title to this post

    Nice work.

    Do the Only Men Invited ACBC counselors keep the women in line, i.e., pleasant and agreeable, winsome and accommodating?

    “Girls are taught to be pleasant and agreeable. And some of them become so good at it, that when someone hurts them, they don’t have the tools to stand up and say ‘No, you can’t do that to me.’ They’ve never developed that skill. Those kinds of sharp words feel foreign and awful in their mouths. So they fall back on familiar habits. They continue to be agreeable and accommodating.” http://www.kellyantoine.com/

  74. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And was probably every bit as sold out to Shirley Mac Laine Woo-Woo as he is now to SCRIPTURE(TM).

    Communism begets Objectivism.

    Remember back awhile here at TWW? We had a guy who used to be heavily involved in a Calvinist apologetics ministry and who is now completely sold-out to atheism.

  75. Muff Potter wrote:

    Remember back awhile here at TWW? We had a guy who used to be heavily involved in a Calvinist apologetics ministry and who is now completely sold-out to atheism.

    Probably a rigid Fundamentalist personality who just transferred that Fundamentalism from Calvinism to Atheism.

    Like this long-ago graphic epistle from the prophet Charles Schulz:
    CHARLIE BROWN: What do you want to be when you grow up, Linus?
    LINUS: A fanatic.
    CHARLIE BROWN: Err… Have you decided what you’re going to be fanatical about?
    LINUS: No… I think I’ll just be a wishy-washy fanatic.

  76. Muff Potter wrote:

    Remember back awhile here at TWW? We had a guy who used to be heavily involved in a Calvinist apologetics ministry and who is now completely sold-out to atheism.

    I’m in a group of ex-evangelicals & this is a more common story than I realised.

  77. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Probably a rigid Fundamentalist personality who just transferred that Fundamentalism from Calvinism to Atheism.

    Makes me wonder how many old-school Calvary Chapelites are struggling with the fact that it’s now well into the century they were promised they’d never see because they’d be raptured before it arrived.

    End times rapture fever was one of the oaken planks of Papa Chuck’s Chautauqua back in those good old halcyon days.

  78. Muff Potter wrote:

    Makes me wonder how many old-school Calvary Chapelites are struggling with the fact that it’s now well into the century they were promised they’d never see because they’d be raptured before it arrived.

    I visited one here a few years ago, just once, oddly some end times stuff was the subject then also. In this case the sermon must have been an hour long and I fell asleep during it but woke up before it ended so I missed most of it. I mused then about the idea, should the rapture occur while I was sleeping through a sermon, I took solace in God’s sense of humor. Other than that no memories other than there were a whole lot of people there, the one here draws a crowd.

  79. Muff Potter wrote:

    End times rapture fever was one of the oaken planks of Papa Chuck’s Chautauqua back in those good old halcyon days.

    “SCRIPTURE Studies” where the only book used was Late Great Planet Earth, i.e. “History Written in Advance”…
    “Southwest Radio Church!!! Today’s Headlines in Light of Bible Prophecy!!!”…
    “ALL THE END TIME PROPHECIES ARE BEING FULFILLED EVEN AS WE SPEAK!!! WE MIGHT NOT HAVE A 1978!!! OR EVEN A 1977!!!”…
    Pin-the-Tail on The Antichrist…
    Christians For Nuclear War…
    Obsessively-detailed End Times Charts…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upy63RIRcrc
    “IT’S IN REVELATIONS, PEOPLE!!!!!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiNRdsgFjMY

  80. Gus wrote:

    I have long had a – not completely serious – theory that all fundamentalist religions are basically the same religion, with fundamentalist christianity, islam, ultra-orthodox judaism,…. just different denominations of said basic religion. The first and most important article of faith in this fundamentalist religion and all its “denominations” is this: Keep women in their subservient place. All the other things that fundamentalists say they believe are secondary.

    I have a similar theory. It is perhaps even more broad, in that all of these so-called religions exist to promote competing authorities, promote divisiveness and blame all of the resultant mess on God. Pope against presbytery, denomination against denomination, elder against parishioner, husband against wife, parents against children . . . all the battles against doctrine, etc. are mostly distractions and sideshows. As long as we are all at war with one another, we will never unite in service and fellowship to do God’s will.

  81. Truthseeker00 wrote:

    all the battles against doctrine, etc. are mostly distractions and sideshows. As long as we are all at war with one another, we will never unite in service and fellowship to do God’s will.

    Acts 1:14 “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

    Acts 2:1 & ff. “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting…And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit …”

    (The oneness miracle furthered with the languages or “tongues” bit, as the Tower of Babel had separated people via languages, but in Acts, the Holy Spirit was miraculously bringing them together.)

    The bottom line is, quoting Jesus, Love God, love one another as oneself. The point being righteous in relationships as opposed to “right” in a theological sense.

  82. I love to collect study Bibles and so haunt the thrift and second hand stores. There is a fairly new Africa Study Bible out. One interesting thing is it is written to be used by the many different denoms in Africa.

    Amazing how different that concept is.

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