Ep. 455 Don’t Make a Big Deal Out Of Biblical Counseling

Ep. 30 You Shouldn’t Make a Big Deal Out Of Biblical Counseling

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Shows Main Idea – A friend approached me, asking how to help his church because they have a weak view of biblical counseling. He is a lone voice with an effective biblical model for sanctification through discipleship. He wants to motivate his leaders but knows they prefer an integrated worldview and practice. It’s not that they have thought about it but have been affected by a psychologized zeitgeist. He asked me how I would address the issues if it were my church. What about you? Perhaps you love a purer form of discipleship, but you have friends who are unfamiliar with what that means or they are against biblical counseling. I trust these thoughts will encourage and help you, too.

Show Notes

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General Models

  • Secular
  • Integrated
  • Biblical

Obey Your Leaders

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you (Hebrews 13:17).

The Main Thing

Though some BC people don’t like to downgrade their biblical counseling views, the truth is that sanctification is secondary to the main thing. If the church believes and preaches the gospel, then walk circumspectly.

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice (Philippians 1:15-18).

A Conscience Matter

  • It is proper to stay at your church as long as you’re not divisive—grumbling or sinning in any other way.
  • If you cannot overlook the problem and your conscience continues to bother you to the point where you’re sinning, you might need to leave—after find help to sort things out.
  • If you can stay, you should discern how to make a difference without sinning.

Don’t Be An Aggravationist

For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Some biblical counseling people can be irritating, harsh, and self-righteous. They remind me of my experience with the fundamentalist movement. Hence,

  • Don’t be aggravating.
  • Be humble.
  • Practice what you believe without being divisive.
  • Don’t whack-a-mole everything that moves. (My Dobson story.)

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Biblical Counseling Will Stand

  • Secular counseling does not work well.
  • Integrated counseling will not work over the long haul.
  • Biblical counseling is God’s Word practically applied.

God Will Vindicate You

  • Be encouraged.
  • Be optimistic (God-centered confidence).
  • Be a biblical counselor.
  • Consistently disciple God’s Word.
    • It will refresh the downtrodden.
    • It will convict the foolish.
    • It will change the humble.
    • It will cut through the fog of the confused.
    • It will shine brighter than any other form of counseling.

People will eventually come to you after their other programs, plans, and perspectives reveal what they are: non-Bible filler that does not satisfy, or as Jeremiah said, “cisterns that can’t hold water.” See Jeremiah 2:13. They will want the real meat. Eventually. See Hebrews 5:12-14.

Practically Speaking

  • Think about a lifetime plan in your local body. If it comes at all, the change you want will not quickly come. See 1 Thessalonians 5:14.
  • Ensure you know the difference between being a soul care provider and a biblical counseling apologist. There is a group of biblical counseling advocates who spend so much of their time talking about how right they are that they are weakening their cause by alienating those they should be helping.
  • Be invitational.
  • Don’t self-promote like a restaurant always spouting off how they are the best in town. Choose, instead, to feed the people and let God vindicate.
  • Don’t shoot everything that is different from you. Win people with the Word. Don’t alienate with arrogance. It is God who justifies (1 Peter 2:23-25).
  • People are pragmatists. They don’t care about the counseling wars. They want help.

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On Ground Level

  • Teach a Sunday school class.
  • Teach a life application class. (Stand-alone training events.)
  • Do counseling.
  • Be intentional, e.g., ask a person how he is doing and then “counsel” him on the spot.
  • Lead a small group.
  • Train “Nicodemus” when he comes to you by “night,” asking you questions, seizing whatever opportunities that are before you.
  • Bring (1) input, (2) biblical counseling clarity, (3) perspective, and (4) other “counsel” into your elder meetings.
  • Pull another leader aside, as appropriate, to share a better perspective on a “counseling” situation.
  • Personally model biblical counseling in your life and family. (This concept may be the most effective thing you can do.)
  • Use all venues as opportunities to equip others; e.g., if you lead in singing venues, you can always “teach” through leading in your worship sets.
  • Share our content.

These approaches allow you to insert a better way of doing things. If the Lord gives you a bigger platform to espouse biblical counseling, by all means, take it, but make sure you don’t use your platform to blow off steam by point-making.

Finally, you are the best model of what it means to be affected by biblical counseling, so walk humbly before your God and His people.

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