SECULAR VS BIBLICAL COUNSELING, PART FOUR
Many Christians who are having difficulties within their families are advised to turn to a counselor for help. As a Christian they will usually feel justified in searching out a counselor who professes to be a Christian counselor. Unfortunately, putting the name Christian to the front of the title does not make their counseling Christian or biblical. Uninformed Christians wrongly believe a Christian counselor is offering true biblical counseling. There may be some scripture or biblical principles mentioned, but the basic thrust of the counseling remains secular and humanistic. The so-called counselor sees little correlation between emotional problems and the violation of God’s law. He doesn’t fully realize that emotional problems are spiritual problems, and Christ and His Word are the only solutions. The so-called Christian counselor does not implicitly trust the Bible to be the all-sufficient source for solving man’s problems.
The methods a Christian counselor uses usually attempt to deal with symptoms rather than the root problems therefore, little significant progress is made and the counselee is not truly set free emotionally and spiritually. The depth of sin is minimized, ignored, or not addressed at all. There are few concrete ways to help the disciple turn away from sinful habit patterns and replace them with righteous ones when these patterns are not addressed first.
The truth may be taught, such as his identity in Christ, as a means to help him feel better about himself while ignoring the depth of his sin which, in turn, leaves him with little comprehension of the magnitude of God’s grace. The basic fact that all sinners deserve to burn in hell is virtually always ignored as well as the fact that you cannot experience an identity in Christ when his life is characterized by rebellion against God’s commands. These methods while well-meaning often causes disciples to lose hope in God and His Word. The believer, who is seeking help, usually does not realize he has not received true biblical methods for solving problems. He may believe that God and His Way have failed and hope is lost or he may become angry with God if he sees no results.
Any person claiming to be a Christian or a biblical counselor has an enormous responsibility to be faithful in imparting God’s Word to his disciple (James 3:1; 2Tim. 15-17). But that does not mean that any person who attempts to biblically counsel another must first have some kind of degree in counseling. Biblically confronting others is what all Christians are called to do (Col. 1:28). Pastors, in particular, should be willing and able to counsel their flock with biblical counsel. Believers should be encouraged to go to their pastor first before seeking counsel elsewhere.