In this blog, I want to address the issue that some Christians have with other Christians seeking out counseling and therapy services outside of their local church. I have been told on numerous occasions that if the Bible is not used, then it is the work of Satan, and can not address that heart of whatever is hurting the person. I have even been told, that depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc are not the result of some chemical deficiency within the brain, but an issue with unresolved sin.
In the past thirty five years, there has been a surge of churches preaching the dangers of secular counseling and therapy, and promoting the quite dangerous idea of Biblical Counseling. As both a Christian and a therapist, I am deeply concerned with what I read, hear, and see.
I memory serves me well, the biggest opponent to traditional counseling is Dr. John MacArthur. Dr. MacArthur is a pastor of a large independent fundamental Baptist church in California. He states that being a Christian and a therapist is an oxymoron because modern counseling theories and techniques are based on humanistic concepts and do not address the person's underlying sin. Therefore, the training required to be a Biblical counselor is the ability to quote Scripture in an attempt to apply to whatever issue is presented.
I have seen, firsthand, the damage done to people who first went to a biblical counselor. Even John MacArthur and his church was sued in the early 1980's after a counselee committed suicide after undergoing such treatment. I have seen people more despondent, more anxious, and now feeling judged, condemned, and unworthy of help. Using the Bible as a source of inspiration is one thing, but using it to tear a person apart is another. I will even quote Scripture when it is beneficial in helping a person, but never in a way to promote judgment.
My practice has the approach of looking at each person biologically, psychologically, socially, and SPIRITUALLY. Faith is important to a lot of people and should not be ignored. Faith in a counseling setting should only be used to build up, and not tear down.
Thoughts of rambling therapists.
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