Christian counseling?

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Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
9,988
3,628
113
#41
I've never been to a close-knit church. If you have, you are truly blessed.

The churches in my area have the same business model as everyone else. Here's a glimpse:

1. Drive to a church building with other people who may or may not say hello.

2. Sit in a chair or pew listening to one guy talk for an hour and fifteen minutes.

3. Serve by passing around a collection plate or playing the drums for twenty minutes.

4. Make a mad dash out the door after the "service" with the rest of the herd.

Repeat next Sunday.

The last time I tried to get ahold of a Pastor to tell him what a great sermon I received, I was met with a contact form on a cookie-cutter website.

Pastors these days are more interested in keeping the flock at bay than they are making disciples. They consider those who are not in the click "time vampires."

To your point, you have to make your way to the upper reaches of the hierarchy before you can receive individual spiritual guidance from a pastor or elder. They have abdicated that responsibility by writing books to the masses and referring lost souls to "Christian Counselors."
oh my number 2. Drives you nuts...or makes you fall asleep, plus he doesnt let anyone else have a say.
thats why I go to quaker meetings.

You know a really good place to get free advice? CAB citizens advice bureau.
Its practical too, and a lot of people that do it give their time freely, are mature, and some might even be believers. In fact, most are as they dont get paid to do it.
 

mar09

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
4,794
1,137
113
#42
As i read thru the responses, allow me to post a few verses found on Christian counsel/or.

Proverbs 24:6 for you should wage war with sound guidance– victory comes with many counselors.

Psalm 16:7 I will praise the LORD who counsels me— even at night my conscience instructs me.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit–the Father will send Him in My name–will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

Proverbs 12:15 A stubborn fool considers his own way the right one, but a person who listens to advice is wise.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live.

Psalm 119:24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.


I've seen first a secular, then a Christian counselor. I only had one session with the latter, but ive seen the difference between how they gave counsel, and greatly appreciate how the Christian pointed me to God's Word, nothing more. There are many more verses that speak of counsel in the Bible, but of the 7 given, 5 point to counsel from the Lord Himself. There is place for counsel or advice from others too, for God uses other people to teach, correct, and encourage us. For example, Prov. 24.6 is referring to sound guidance from many counselors. Preferably we choose God-fearing, mature people for advice, but we can learn even from not so wise, or foolish people-- what not to do.
 

Blackpowderduelist

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
1,387
580
113
Babylon
#43
As i read thru the responses, allow me to post a few verses found on Christian counsel/or.

Proverbs 24:6 for you should wage war with sound guidance– victory comes with many counselors.

Psalm 16:7 I will praise the LORD who counsels me— even at night my conscience instructs me.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit–the Father will send Him in My name–will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

Proverbs 12:15 A stubborn fool considers his own way the right one, but a person who listens to advice is wise.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live.

Psalm 119:24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.


I've seen first a secular, then a Christian counselor. I only had one session with the latter, but ive seen the difference between how they gave counsel, and greatly appreciate how the Christian pointed me to God's Word, nothing more. There are many more verses that speak of counsel in the Bible, but of the 7 given, 5 point to counsel from the Lord Himself. There is place for counsel or advice from others too, for God uses other people to teach, correct, and encourage us. For example, Prov. 24.6 is referring to sound guidance from many counselors. Preferably we choose God-fearing, mature people for advice, but we can learn even from not so wise, or foolish people-- what not to do.
All of those are true provided they are Godly counsel.
There is no value on the counsel of the world.
 
Sep 15, 2019
61
25
18
#44
Going to a purely biblical counselor is advisable. If that isn't the route you went I wouldn't advise anyone to go to you. I hate to sound mean, but worldly counseling ain't worth it if it's free plus a cup of coffee.
I can’t imagine the pomposity of the reply ! Imagine : “ I wouldn’t advise anyone to go to you.” Never mind the misdirection of the question , what about it NOT being all about you ? I’d like to be as smart as you think you are.
 

Blackpowderduelist

Well-known member
Sep 2, 2020
1,387
580
113
Babylon
#45
I can’t imagine the pomposity of the reply ! Imagine : “ I wouldn’t advise anyone to go to you.” Never mind the misdirection of the question , what about it NOT being all about you ? I’d like to be as smart as you think you are.
You can take non- biblical counsel if you want.
The op asked an opinion in an open forum. Do what you want with it.
If you were as smart as you think you are, you would address the op and not misdirect the conversation, trying to refute an opinion because it was opinions that were asked for. You see you could refute my opinion by giving good reason to the op for your opinion, and the op could then decide for their self.
The op and I had a conversation and it was over. They didn't like my opinion and said as much. but I guess you didn't follow the conversation. But rather decided to address me because you don't like my opinion. Even worse you did so with ad hominem (which is the lowest form of argument) rather than a refutation of the opinion (which as I said would have been better done by addressing the op) However being that you thought it necessary to address me about my opinion, you could have addressed why you felt the opinion was wrong rather than attack me. Some might call this a bit ironic, I call it hypocrisy.
So thank you for your opinion, but I wasn't the one asking for opinions.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,744
3,938
113
#46
I see the point you’re making. There are those who are strictly Biblical counselors and licensed as such. I did not go that route but I will have to find out what I can or cannot do as a Christian counselor. I was basically wondering what people’s opinions were regarding going to counseling as a Christian.
Not for me personally, but perhaps I am just a paranoid oddball. I trust no one but Jesus. Maybe that is why I never married. Same with meds; I try to stick to coffee and pickle juice:).
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
11,158
2,325
113
#48
I've been to counselling a few times. Long ago, I went to a secular counsellor for a single issue. I was yelling at referees at my kids at hockey minor games. They were embarrassed, my husband was embarrassed, and so was I!

We didn't get deep into my background. We talked about strategies for dealing with it. She gave me a little maxim, "act, don't react." I wasn't just reacting to the game, but the other parents. They would scream and yell, then I would. I moved to a different part of the rink to sit, took a book with me. It literally never happened again. She was an excellent counsellor and free! Not a Christian, but she did have some tools, and help me deal with the issue.

We went for marriage counselling to a woman registered psychologist who my husband's work paid for. They first thing she told us was that we should get divorced. We both got upset and said we loved each other and were best friends. Then, she said she could work with us. (I have a friend who did this. When the marriage counsellor told her she could divorce her husband, she said, "I can?" And got up and went to see a lawyer!)

Anyway, our counsellor was very knowledgeable. She wouldn't see us again till my husband saw a psychiatrist. He had severe depression, which he had had since his father died in an avalanche they were in skiing when he was 14, and he lived. The doctor put him on a max dose of an antidepressant. For the first time in 2 years, he smiled. He also came home from work and said he could do his job.

When we saw her, she pointed out some general relationship tips, and after 5 sessions, we were done. My husband didn't need wise counselling or scriptures. I was totally faithful, but at a breaking point living with such a depressed, angry person. He really had a disease in his brain, and needed some chemical help. He actually sank back into depression again once, I sent to to our GP, told him to say he wanted an AD which my sister had been on and it helped, and the doctor gave it to him. It was a different class of drugs, and it worked wonderfully, and still does, 15 years later.

We also sent our daughter to a child psychiatrist. We had moved into a new home, the doors had not been hung. We heard her inducing herself to vomit after every meal. She was also a figure skater, and had changed to a high pressure coach. The coach was "encouraging" her to lose weight. She only went 5 or 6 sessions, and she stopped doing it. She recovered from bulimia so quickly, because we got her the help she needed. The psychiatrist gave her the tools to stop, and she was Christian. It cost us a lot, and was worth every penny. She didn't need out of context Bible verses to help her, but someone with training, who was also a Christian and had the same world view and a lot of compassion.

I do agree if someone is having major life issues, a Certified Christian counsellor is best. A lot of pastors, even those with training, do not have tools to help. I know a couple in my church who went to the counselling pastor, and he gave them books to read about God, did not deal with their marriage issues. After 3 sessions he sent them on their way, said they would do fine. Of course, they gave up and got divorced.

The Institute of Theology I go to has a whole counselling section leading to certification, that runs and we take shared courses together. Some of them are pastors, professors, counsellors and they have amazing Biblical insight and also know secular tools, and when to use them. That is the kind of counsellor people need.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
5,457
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#49
I've been to counselling a few times. Long ago, I went to a secular counsellor for a single issue. I was yelling at referees at my kids at hockey minor games. They were embarrassed, my husband was embarrassed, and so was I!

We didn't get deep into my background. We talked about strategies for dealing with it. She gave me a little maxim, "act, don't react." I wasn't just reacting to the game, but the other parents. They would scream and yell, then I would. I moved to a different part of the rink to sit, took a book with me. It literally never happened again. She was an excellent counsellor and free! Not a Christian, but she did have some tools, and help me deal with the issue.

We went for marriage counselling to a woman registered psychologist who my husband's work paid for. They first thing she told us was that we should get divorced. We both got upset and said we loved each other and were best friends. Then, she said she could work with us. (I have a friend who did this. When the marriage counsellor told her she could divorce her husband, she said, "I can?" And got up and went to see a lawyer!)

Anyway, our counsellor was very knowledgeable. She wouldn't see us again till my husband saw a psychiatrist. He had severe depression, which he had had since his father died in an avalanche they were in skiing when he was 14, and he lived. The doctor put him on a max dose of an antidepressant. For the first time in 2 years, he smiled. He also came home from work and said he could do his job.

When we saw her, she pointed out some general relationship tips, and after 5 sessions, we were done. My husband didn't need wise counselling or scriptures. I was totally faithful, but at a breaking point living with such a depressed, angry person. He really had a disease in his brain, and needed some chemical help. He actually sank back into depression again once, I sent to to our GP, told him to say he wanted an AD which my sister had been on and it helped, and the doctor gave it to him. It was a different class of drugs, and it worked wonderfully, and still does, 15 years later.

We also sent our daughter to a child psychiatrist. We had moved into a new home, the doors had not been hung. We heard her inducing herself to vomit after every meal. She was also a figure skater, and had changed to a high pressure coach. The coach was "encouraging" her to lose weight. She only went 5 or 6 sessions, and she stopped doing it. She recovered from bulimia so quickly, because we got her the help she needed. The psychiatrist gave her the tools to stop, and she was Christian. It cost us a lot, and was worth every penny. She didn't need out of context Bible verses to help her, but someone with training, who was also a Christian and had the same world view and a lot of compassion.

I do agree if someone is having major life issues, a Certified Christian counsellor is best. A lot of pastors, even those with training, do not have tools to help. I know a couple in my church who went to the counselling pastor, and he gave them books to read about God, did not deal with their marriage issues. After 3 sessions he sent them on their way, said they would do fine. Of course, they gave up and got divorced.

The Institute of Theology I go to has a whole counselling section leading to certification, that runs and we take shared courses together. Some of them are pastors, professors, counsellors and they have amazing Biblical insight and also know secular tools, and when to use them. That is the kind of counsellor people need.
The (divorced) Christian Counselor my ex wife found, out of a news paper. She (the counselor) used the (popular, at the time,) "Unhappiness is a sin" doctrine (that some of the name it and claim it groups preached) And said that unhappiness is a sin because unhappiness takes away from the love of God, so it's a sin. She counseled that we should get a divorce. Ask for forgiveness and move on happily. If we did that God would understand and forgive us. Then we could be good Christians again.

California has a no-fault divorce law. My ex wife took that her advice. Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” It broke my heart.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,744
3,938
113
#50
He really had a disease in his brain, and needed some chemical help.
Even though I would prefer to keep stuff between Jesus and me, I have had friends who have had real, measurable, and documented chemical imbalances. I also belief that some drugs can be lifesavers. Perhaps it comes down to whether we give credit to the drug, the doctor, the councilor, or the ultimate source of all helpful things. (The Great Maker and Master Physician Himself).
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,744
3,938
113
#51
Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” It broke my heart.
Amen! All things should be taken to God first in prayer, and then checked against His Holy Word. Be Berean. The Church I go to will not accept divorce under any circumstances. If my wife wanted to get rid of me, she would need to poison my tea.:coffee:
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
5,457
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#52
Even though I would prefer to keep stuff between Jesus and me, I have had friends who have had real, measurable, and documented chemical imbalances. I also belief that some drugs can be lifesavers. Perhaps it comes down to whether we give credit to the drug, the doctor, the councilor, or the ultimate source of all helpful things. (The Great Maker and Master Physician Himself).
GOD made doctors. Luke was the Lord's physician;
Dr. Luke was called a “beloved physician” indicating that he cared for his patients, and was also the personal physician to the Apostle Paul. This would suggest that Dr. Luke followed the Hippocratic philosophy and not the statist Platonic philosophy.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
5,457
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#53
Amen! All things should be taken to God first in prayer, and then checked against His Holy Word. Be Berean. The Church I go to will not accept divorce under any circumstances. If my wife wanted to get rid of me, she would need to poison my tea.:coffee:
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calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
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Anaheim, Cali.
#56
So am I. Membership in the Mid-Atlantic Conference for 25 years, but I find my identity in Christ and Christianity alone.
Well I never have been much of a joiner. For decades I didn't know which denomination I was most in line with. Before I was saved I though they were all full of beans. When I got saved I put and kept a Bible first and only personal attitude, still do. I didn't know what or who the Mennonites were. I found them recently.

I took a correspondence course from the Berean schools, so I've known who they were for a long time.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
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Anaheim, Cali.
#58
I still do, but I love them anyways.:)
Yes I love the people regardless of denomination or even false religions like LDS or even Moonies most people that seek a god to believe and trust in are sincere and have an inner God given morality within their hearts. It's the false teachers who justifiably have the most to fear. Matthew 7 Berean Study Bible from the Sermon on the Mount.
Do Not Judge
7:1“Do not judge, or you will be judged. 2For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,744
3,938
113
#59
Yes I love the people regardless of denomination or even false religions like LDS or even Moonies most people that seek a god to believe and trust in are sincere and have an inner God given morality within their hearts. It's the false teachers who justifiably have the most to fear. Matthew 7 Berean Study Bible from the Sermon on the Mount.
Do Not Judge
7:1“Do not judge, or you will be judged. 2For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
God has given me a heart of love for them also. When I tell them this, they are often shocked and dumbfounded. They are accustomed to having doors slammed in their faces.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
8,268
5,457
113
Anaheim, Cali.
#60
God has given me a heart of love for them also. When I tell them this, they are often shocked and dumbfounded. They are accustomed to having doors slammed in their faces.
I just say no thank you, Jesus is Lord have a nice day. 40 Years ago I just made fun of their Bikes, haircuts and clothes. Disneyland had the same required hairstyles. Nobody wore short hair with white button down shirts and ties on bikes in OC CA in the 80's. We could spot them almost as easy as a police car.