63: Contrasting Views in Counseling


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  • Athena Williams says:

    Thank you for this episode, Pastor Jeff! It is so helpful to have this kind of introductory information available. I often want to open conversations with people, especially people in leadership positions, but I never know where to start or how to explain. I am making a note of this episode so that I can refer people to it if they want to know more about “Christian Counseling” versus “Biblical Counseling.”
    Any time someone talks about psychology, philosophy, and worldly theories, it all sounds so good… until you think about 2 Peter 1:3 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. These verses are like a brick wall to humanistic reason. I’m so grateful for everything I’m learning!

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks Athena for your post on this week’s Podcast on ‘Contrasting Views of Counseling’; particularly on your determination to ‘refer people to the episodes if they want to know more about “Christian Counseling” versus “Biblical Counseling”’. It’s important for us to know these truths so that we are not be psychologized because we must guard against being psychologized and be ready always with an answer (1 Peter 3:15).
      We must develop a good/ Godly conviction concerning counseling that has to come from a Biblical study of theology, knowing that God’s Word tells us how to solve counseling related issues; help/ guide people in the issues of life by the Word of God that is sufficient.

    • Johan Alarcon says:

      I’ve had many conversations with people in ministry, and they have referenced bible scriptures to explain their point, and even thou they are using bible scriptures, at times i see how they take certain verses out of context. Would this be considered christian theology or biblical, since they are using the bible? Like you said it all sounds so good, but we are all called to be vigilant. If you or anyone else can help me understand how to approach someone taking a scripture out of context to fit their own agenda I would really appreciate it.

      • Athena Williams says:

        Johan, I’m certainly not an expert, I’m a student like you, but I think the best approach is to remember that we’re all children of God. People aren’t making these kinds of mistakes because they’re evil or sneaky; they’re just repeating what they’ve heard and been taught. I think the best way to handle this is to invite the person to spend a little more time together, maybe get a cup of coffee and actually dig into the Scriptures they’re quoting and see what the context is. God’s Word does not contradict itself, so we have nothing to fear. I keep a list of verses in my wallet that support the sufficiency of Scripture so that I am prepared for these kinds of conversations. So far here are the verses I have found helpful: Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Job 12:17-20, 24-25, Psalm 32:8, 25:12, 14, 62:5-8, 119:9, 24, 98-100, 105, 130, 19:7-14, 36:9, 138:2 Proverbs 30:5-6, Isaiah 9:6, 8:20, Matthew 5:18-20, Mark 7:7, 13, Luke 4:18-19, John 4:13-14, 7:37-38, 8:31-32, 17:17, 14:16-17, 16:13, 15:3, Acts 17:11, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, 2:12-13, 3:19, Ephesians 4:17-18, 1:17, 5:18-19, Colossians 2:3, 8-10, 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17, 4:1-4, Hebrews 4:12, James 1:22, 3:14-16, 1 Peter 1:24-25, 2 Peter 1:3, Revelation 22:18-19. There are so many! It helps me to feel more confident in this debate, knowing that God’s Word is the sword of the Spirit, and He will use it effectively, but I have to arm myself.

    • Pablo Valdez Acosta says:

      Thank you for sharing, I have done the same when speaking to others and they need truth point them out and introduce them to people who are christ centered

    • David Bowman says:

      2 Peter 1:3, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…When presented with this verse, it is difficult to see how people can disagree. However, there is a progressive push to develop “new ideas” to address “new” problems (Ecc. 1:9). The Bible doesn’t adapt to our theories, it stands alone as the highest wisdom we can possess and follow. This can seem traditional and old-fashioned, but as Pastor Jeff stated, “this is a theological issue”. It is a vicious cycle of deception. The believer mingles right doctrine with pop psychology, and as a result they are unable to decide where one ends and the other begins. I am looking forward to learning where the lines are in regards to what good psychology can provide for the biblical counselor.

  • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

    Thanks Pastor Jeff for this unique Podcast on Contrasting Views of Counseling; discussing that we mustn’t be psychologized while describing the contrast between Christian counseling (that just because a person is a Christian doesn’t make them Biblical counselors) and Godly counseling (Biblical counselors); stating that We must know these things so that we will be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:1, 6).
    The Holy Spirit in 1 Timothy 4:1 expressly/ pointedly/ specifically/ openly revealed the characteristics of the end times as we press on towards the Rapture; that some will depart from the faith (Apostasy/ falling away from the Faith). In not clinging to the Faith (the object content of the Word of God); not holding fast to the Word of God: people are wide open to the deception and even doctrine of demons (the teachings that are inspired demonically and flooding Christian minds/ hearts).
    Pastor Jeff explained the contrast between Christian counseling and Biblical counseling; stating that even though some Christians/ good/ Godly/ Jesus people will disagree with this perspective of the Word of God (we as Biblical counselors must have a clear conscience before God on how we treat/ counsel/ disciple people). We must develop a good/ Godly conviction concerning counseling that has to come from a Biblical study of theology but there’s a dividing of the Church world where God’s Word tells us how to solve counseling related issues or to help us guide people in the issues of life; knowing that the Word of God is sufficient.
    I learned from Pastor Jeff that there are some areas of agreement in the opinions of Christian counselors and Biblical counselors (conservative/ evangelical/ Jesus loving/ God fearing/ Bible teaching/ Bible believing/ Christian people that believe in the resurrection and authority of the Word of God (believing the virgin birth, caring for hurting people, want to love people, looking for hurting people that need guidance or are in pain – willing to help them, believing that psychologists can say things and make observations that are helpful and true); also psychology does give somethings wrong and a lot of people say Christian counselors/ Christian people who counsel add/ mix wisdom from the world and Christian counselors are willing to throw out the findings of secular psychology when they can be proven to be unbiblical mindset; not all problems are counseling problems (some may be medical issues/ physical issues/ etc.), believing that man is made up of both material and immaterial stuff).
    My takeaway is the contrast between Christian counselors and Biblical counselors – significant areas of disagreement: whether it’s necessary to use secular resources in the counseling ministry? Christian counselors will not bulge concerning the necessity of using secular resources in the counseling ministry; claiming that the Bible doesn’t tell us everything we need to know while Biblical counselors like us say the Bible really does tell us everything we need to know about how to help/ guide people and the Bible is sufficient for counseling problems/ guidance/ needs that people have. The second area of disagreement is whether the Bible is sufficient or not. The stand of the Biblical counselor is that the Bible teaches about itself; about the sufficiency of Scripture and that the Word of God includes all we need for life and Godliness to please God with; now and to eternity, while contending earnestly for the faith; willing to rebuke/ reproof/ correct/ warn; instructing the brethren in all things for people to be nourished in the Words of faith and of good doctrine (healthy teaching); noting that the Bible warns against philosophies of life (psychological theories).
    Good Biblical counseling takes into consideration that humankind is body/ soul/ spirit and although there are physiological issues, we don’t have to go to a psychiatrist to have our physiological issues resolved.
    1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:8; Galatians 4:9; Jude 1:3

    • Pablo Valdez Acosta says:

      Thank you for sharing your depth understanding and wisdom received.
      I enjoyed reading and I agree with your points we must find ourselves separated from secular counseling and attach ourselves to scripture to mankind E-mmanuel”

  • Johan Alarcon says:

    I have a friend that is a christian but yet uses psychology to prove His point to win an argument or debate.Many of the times i can see and discern when he was referencing the bible and when he would welcome his own way of thinking when expressing himself within the discussions, but those who are not rooted in the word of God would not know the difference. And it bothers me when I’m hearing this one guy speak and yes it sounds good, and in overall a lot of what he is saying can and does make sense, but how we intertwine and integrate a biblical theology and our own philosophies can be dangerous.When we involve humanism, the spirit of deceit can creep in as it is doing a disservice to the listener. Pastor Jeff, I liked that you used the term” wisdom of the world”, for wisdom does not come from the world but from the lord. The question is whether the bible is sufficient or not? If a person is adding to the word or subtracting from it, then it is clear that the word is not sufficient to them. I do believe that there are many things that can be learned from sayings, and cliches, but these teachings cannot and will not save our souls.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      In line with your submission Johan, I agree with you that ‘when we involve humanism, the spirit of deceit creeps in, doing a disservice to the listener’ – people become wide open to deception and even doctrine of demons (the teachings that are inspired demonically and flooding Christian minds/ hearts) but we as Biblical counselors must guard against this.
      You rightly mentioned that ‘the question is whether the bible is sufficient or not?’ The contention of a Christian counselor is that the Bible is a wonderful book, having great things to say but isn’t enough/ sufficient for counseling, but we as Biblical counselors must go into the Word of God for the answers about man and how God reveals Himself in special revelations knowing that the Word of God is sufficient with answers to guide our lives (1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Colossians 2:8; Galatians 4:9; Jude 1:3).

    • Jerry Troyer says:

      Thank you for your post Johan. You hit the mark when you spoke to humanism and the spirit of deceit. How easy it is to be influenced by the charisma of the speaker and we lose focus of Biblical creed being taken out of context or twisted to influence into a non-scriptural belief. The Bible is sufficient and not to be added or subtracted from. Woe to him who does. There are many inspirational quotes in the secular world. Many prominent have been quoted. Yet the test of all those quotes is the Bible. Do they honor Scripture when they speak?

  • alejandro anchondo says:

    This podcast was full of great reminders of basic and foundational truths concerning counseling. I am really glad Pastor Jeff took an extended time to discuss the similarities of Christian counselors and Biblical counselors. It should be something we dwell on often, especially when we are contending for the sufficiency of Scripture. We won’t win anyone over if we are quick to judge, quick to divide, and quick to assume a place of pride.
    We do have lots in common with them. I am blessed to have several friends who are going that route. However, I am not ashamed to express my doubts in their integration and they have been good listeners. I know that the Spirit will do the rest.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks Alejandro for your response to this great Podcast on ‘Contrasting Views of Counseling’; particularly in highlighting that it’s full of great reminders of basic and foundational truths concerning counseling; discussing the similarities of Christian counselors and Biblical counselors; stating that the opinions of Christian counselors and Biblical counselors are conservative/ evangelical/ Jesus loving/ God fearing/ Bible teaching/ Bible believing/ Christian people that believe in the resurrection, authority of the Word of God (believing the virgin birth, caring for hurting people, want to love people, looking for hurting people that need guidance or are in pain – willing to help them, believing that psychologists can say things and make observations that are helpful and true); that psychology does give somethings wrong and a lot of people say Christian counselors/ Christian people who counsel add/ mix wisdom from the world and Christian counselors are willing to throw out the findings of secular psychology when they can be proven to be unbiblical mindset; that not all problems are counseling problems (some may be medical issues/ physical issues/ etc.), believing that man is made up of both material and immaterial stuff.
      However, the contention of a Christian counselor is that the Bible is a wonderful book and has got great things to say but isn’t enough/ sufficient for counseling; leading to a theological debate; and we need to go into the Word of God for the answers about man, dealing with how God reveals Himself in special revelations to the point that the Word of God has sufficient answers for man’s problems and to guide our lives by the Word of God (1 Timothy 4:1, 6; 2 Peter 1:3; Colossians 2:8).

    • Athena Williams says:

      Amen, Alejandro! We need to confront ourselves first, and an attitude of humility and love for others is more important than harping on theological differences. Like Pastor Jeff said, all counselors want to help people, and God can use even misguided people for His good purpose. We will never get through to people if we are aggressive and prideful; they will know that we are “Jesus people” by our love, not by our doctrine. Doctrine is important, but you make a good point about being quick to divide: divisiveness is not from Christ. I am so thankful for your attitude of allowing the Spirit to do His work, rather than trying to do it ourselves. Our role is to be faithful to serve according to our calling.

  • Ethan Malis says:

    This weeks podcast hit on some very important points. We must in the Counseling world understand that the scriptures must be our main source of guidance, rebuke, and comfort. There are many modern day phycology ideas, that were thousands of years before said by the Bible. Things like CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) which states that the way we think effects our emotions, not the other way around. This was first said by Paul in Philippians 4:8 where Paul tells us what we think will effect our emotional state. Second, we see the modern day phycology of “Mindfulness Therapy.” This is the idea that slowing down, setting our mind to the present and focusing on the now will help us be less anxious. Mindfulness though credited to a psychologist was and is a running theme in our scriptures. Of coming to the present moment with Jesus. Third, we see “Forgiveness Therapy.” This “modern day theory” has just been proven that our bodies feel a physical release of tension when we forgive other. But as Christians we already know this to be true from the teaching of Jesus.

    Here is my point… the Scriptures show running themes in regards to emotional health, so much so that we can counsel well and fully by just using the scriptures. But where I want to start a conversation is that I believe through God’s common grace, man can come to these secular conclusions in phycology and prove them factually can really help people trust the validity of scripture. When we see factual proof that forgiveness helps us tangibly, I think that can work wonders when we show that Jesus was clued into this thousands of years before. This is why I think Psychology and Scripture can work hand in hand. Scripture is indeed sufficient, but if psychology is proving bible principles then I think we should lean into that. We should be at the point where we know our Scriptures well enough to see when things line up, and when things differ. The danger is not knowing the scriptures well and being seduced by fancy scientific terms. But if we can know our scriptures well and approach phycology to help prove scriptural points I think it is worth while.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      I agree with you Ethan that this week’s podcast (Contrasting Views of Counseling) hit on some very important points; reminding us that we must Counsel with the understand that the Scriptures must be our main source of guidance for rebuke, and comfort even though there are many modern day pshycological ideas.
      You are truly on point to highlight from this Podcast that: the Bible warns us against philosophies of life (psychological theories) and we as Biblical counselors must guard against it and that good Biblical counseling takes into consideration that humankind is body/ soul/ spirit and although there are physiological issues, we don’t have to go to a psychiatrist to have our physiological issues and we don’t have to integrate man’s wisdom into the Scriptures in proffering solutions to the problems of mankind (1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Colossians 2:8; Galatians 4:9; Jude 1:3).

    • Pablo Valdez Acosta says:

      Amen ,
      That is the great commission to spread the Gospel to those with needs
      for us to be doers and not just hearers
      One main point that I had revealed this week is that before reaching out to someone we see it is in need of truth it is to check our hearts repent of any sin and make sure we are doing it for Him and not for our gain for praises of men and women but for the glorification of our God

  • Ritter Savino says:

    If Christian counselors use other resources besides the Bible, then what they are stating is that the Word of God is not sufficient. As you mentioned, Colossians 2:8 which says: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” This passage gives us a great warning about this, and we are to take it seriously. It is a scary time we are living, and it saddens me that our church; the body of Christ is okay to settle with other things to ease their issues instead of relying solely on the word of God which is the Word of truth. In my church, I have encountered many times where people are using secular resources and advising others to do the same. There is no need to use secular resources; we are to only use the word of God because it is sufficient and without error. As you said, Pastor Jeff, this is a theology debate, not a psychology debate. The Bible is sufficient to all matters of life because God knows our hearts and He knows our struggles; He created us and understands what we go through. I love that in only one Book we can find the answers to life; we don’t have to look anywhere else. I wish and pray that the Christian counselors and all people in the body of Christ understand this. God’s word brings answers, comfort, hope, and many other amazing things that will help us to live a life that will bring transformation. Again, thank you, Pastor Jeff.

    • Jerry Troyer says:

      Ritter, thank you for your post. It is true what Pastor Jeff said and you referenced. This is a theological debate. It seems the church has lost its way and believes human, secular psychology can serve more efficiently with people than Scripture does. That is sad. The Bible is sufficient and is the basis for all matters of life. You are correct. I especially enjoyed your words about Scripture “God’s word brings…..and many other amazing things that will help us to live a life of transformation.” I found myself smiling as I read that. It is so amazingly true.

  • Kristie Gallagher says:

    This podcast was such a good reminder of the difference between Christian counseling and Biblical counseling. The church has allowed secular psychology to creep into the counseling room. We need to understand that it is the Word of God that will change lives. It is not our opinion or what we learn from the world. As I was listening to this podcast it stirred in me to write out scriptures for people struggling with different problems in life. There is a verse for every problem in life. The word corrects, encourages, instructs and teaches. It breaths new life into struggling people.

    • David Bowman says:

      I agree wholeheartedly Kristie. Psychology tends to keep you looking to the left and the right for answers or someone to blame. The Bible tells us to look upward to Him, to hear His heavenly perspective and humbly admit our inability to obey without being changed. Psychotherapists and others can be recognized and highly esteemed (and compensated) for their theories (unproven but “new”). Biblical counselors cannot take credit or create a new approach, our foundation is God and His inspired, infallible, inerrant Word. To mingle the holy and earthly is to produce an ungodly mess that helps no one.

  • Pablo Valdez Acosta says:

    Thank you for this amazing podcast and a biblical perspective inspired by the Holy Spirit,
    I could not agree more, we shall separate our mentalities that we are not Christian counselors but biblical counselors that use scripture to teach, correct, reproach and admonish one another.
    Allowing God’s word to be the changer is key and I appreciate how much emphasis Pastor jeff continues to make.
    Man’s psychology only leaves the desires of self and pursuit of only self-satisfaction, I was a receiver of such and I never had enough and still deal with some of the consequences
    but God has been working in me for others so I may be adequate and well suited for HIs purpose.
    I marvel at this concept because secular counseling even giggles when we approach scripture as the solution to all mankind’s problems.
    Thank you again
    God Bless

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks for your thoughts/ submission on this week’s Podcast on Contrasting Views of Counseling; especially for your reiteration that ‘we are not Christian counselors but biblical counselors that use the Scripture to teach, correct, reprove and admonish one another’. I agree with you that we mustn’t be psychologized knowing that Christian counseling (won’t bulge concerning the necessity of using secular resources in the counseling ministry; claiming that the Bible doesn’t tell us everything we need to know) isn’t Godly counseling (Biblical counselors that believe in the sufficiency of Scriptures) – we must know these fundamental truths so that we will be ready with an answer to contend for the Faith (Jude 1:3; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Thanks Pablo for your comment I agree that “Man’s psychology only leaves the desires of self and pursuit of only self-satisfaction.” I have experienced that life of self rule but now I have Christ ruling my life and I have peace and joy beyond measure. I want to share that hope, that individuals can be freed.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      Thanks for sharing your insight on the pod cast Pablo, I agree with you about how we should use the Word to counsel and by doing so we are taking self out of it and letting God be the Counsel and the guidance. Secular counseling tends to think the bible isn’t sufficient for every need and It is the only thing that is sufficient for everything. By depending on the Word instead of self takes away the view the world sees things. A go to scripture for me for guidance about taking self out of everything is Luke 9:23 it says And he said to all, if any man will come after me, let them deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

  • Anne Marie Maguire says:

    Thanks Jeff for this podcast about Psychology contrasted with the biblical counseling.

    And the warning about the last days the false teachings that will rise up mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:1: “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” And the responsibility we have to warn Christians to avoid the false teachings 1 Timothy 4:1: “If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.” And how we have to stick with the sufficiency of scripture.
    I have seen the false teaching and it’s awful how these teachings take Christians away from their full reliance on the bible as the authority.

    I feel it’s very hard to say nowadays that you believe in the sufficiency of scripture but that’s what I believe.

    Sufficiency of scripture effects how we respond to a counselee problem for example in our discipleship group recently I was teaching that alcoholism is sin and can be forgiven and overcome in Christ, we are not doomed to a illness for life. That is my personal experience but I know most would disagree. I was freed myself by admitting my sin and becoming a Christian.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      Thanks for sharing your input on the pod cast, Anne Marie, I do agree with you about how hard it is to say how you believe that scripture is sufficient enough for everything. That’s where we have to stand firm on we know what we know not based on what we believe but based on what God says and he says in scripture in New Living Translation it says in 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work. I agree with you because when I was going to temporary things to ease my pain it was hard to get away from those things, but once I confessed my sin, asked God in my heart and asked for His guidance I no longer need those things that I would use to try and coat the pain. When I am struggling I go to scripture to help me and guide me through what it is I need guidance from, and some people are like that doesn’t help me so how can it help you, I think its because I believe in what it says whole heartedly. That’s my opinion anyway.

      • Anne Marie Maguire says:

        Thanks Margaret it’s so great to know and love the scripture (the truth) and to see the lives of those in need changed because of the power of the gospel. I have personally seen those who are homeless and addicted set free by repentance and faith. The word of God is so powerful! Praise God.

    • Johan Alarcon says:

      Seeing how things are going in this trying time, I see that people are looking and seeking for answers, something bigger than themselves. This void that they are trying to fill we all know that is Christ. There is a lot of anger and tension these days, and I do believe that it is Satan himself working as he usually does. But we have a good God, and all this will be worked for His good. We need to lift up our nation and every other nation up to the Lord, as we speak against deception and manipulations from the enemy.

  • Greg Nelson says:

    Thank you pastor Jeff for another great podcast. What stuck out to me the most was that there is a difference between “Christian counseling” and Biblical counseling. We need to use discernment while counseling different people. Some may have something going on physiologically, and we need to be careful with that because we don’t want to assume that counseling alone will solve their issues. When it comes to the argument between the Bible telling us everything that we need to know about counseling, or anything for that matter we can look at
    2 Peter 1:2-4 “2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

    Reading this, for me shows me that the Bible does and will have an answer to every problem one might be facing as they go through this life.

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      Hi Greg,
      There certainly will be times when hurting people will need to address their ailments with a medical doctor. I know hormones play a great role for women in their different life stages. However, all believers will have to come to terms with their thought life, and lining up their thought life with God’s Word. We are called to minister to these believers as well, and so you are right that we need to be aware of the need to address physical conditions.

  • Jerry Troyer says:

    There I was sitting in Psychology 101. A Christian, going to a secular college. I was learning about Maslow and hierarchy of needs, which ascended to esteem and self-actualization. It’s still in my brain, many years later. I had to comprehend Freudian theory and that the unconscious mind governs behavior. That psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious conscious. How did I remember that? I have not thought about it for several decades. Then we studied his psychic structural model of the id, ego and super-ego. Here is the embarrassing part for me. Not once did I question, “why are we study these guys work?” “Who made it relevant, authoritative and the correct way to treat a psychology patient?” My greatest downfall was that while I thought of the Bible some, I never could fit the two together and I never asked the professor. Of course the Bible was not referenced in the class. Since that psychology information is in my memory bank how many other million people have it in theirs. Just ask anyone if they remember “id”?
    I now know that Biblical Counseling and those human treatment standards are not in relationship with each other. How do atheists invoke Scripture into their theories and doctrines? They don’t.
    Christian counselor’s who want to achieve an Education Directorate by the APA (American Psychological Association) must attend Continuing Education including Transgender people, abortion, LGBT, and more. On their website it states “APA lauds Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBT workers. If all Christian Counselors want to achieve this Directorate, they must take courses that will influence not only their practices but their lives. As I scrolled through the CE’s offered by APA, I see nothing relating to Scripture or its use in counseling.
    I passionately believe in Biblical Counseling as sufficient and appropriate. Scripture is sufficient. Secular counselors have left the gospel behind and are listening to the spirits of their minds and humanists (1 Tim. 4:1). I confirm that the Bible tells all we need to know to help people solve every problem other than medical. God is revealed in Scripture. It is available to guide us. We measure our counsel by the Word of God being sufficient or not. I believe it is sufficient, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
    Recently I spoke with a Christian Counselor acquaintance who was thrilled to convey that he has been approved as an instructor for APA candidates seeking the Education Directorate. He was quick to sluff off the idea he would be teaching anything that was not Christian based. During the same conversation he excitedly told me of how he was again working with a patient. She is now 23. Started with him at age 16. He has been utilizing Cognitive Behavior Therapy since she was 16. I wondered, did not ask, if he ever thought the counseling would be successful with the patient. I should have asked.

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      Jerry,
      Thank you for sharing your story. Like Pastor Jeff said, I need to gear up to give an answer with regard to Biblical Counseling being all sufficient. What I am finding, is that many times in counseling, I am working against a psychologist that the counselee is already meeting with. I don’t mind continuing to meet with them and share God’s word, but this is definitely taking up a greater amount of time, rather than getting to their problem at hand. I have changed my thinking on this throughout this podcast, however. I am in agreement that this is a 1 Tim 4:1 matter. Those needing help are seeking their answers in deceitful teachings! May we be faithful in proclaiming His word.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Thanks for another informative pod cast Pastor Jeff. Thanks for the reminder that just because we are Christians does not mean we are biblical counselors. People in the church are starting to turn towards psychology more and more these days. Biblical counselors believe that the bible is sufficient for counseling others and guidance and is all we need to learn about life. Christian counselors think we need secular guidance that the Word isn’t sufficient enough to counsel or for guidance we also need psychological. Thanks for reminding us of the difference between the two. It is more useful for guidance to not lean on our own understanding but to look to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance thru the scriptures for day to day issues.

    • David Bowman says:

      Margaret, you make some great points. It is quite foolish for limited imperfect beings to think that they can find answers within or be fundamentally changed through an other limited imperfect being. Psychology places the counselor in the driver’s seat, while biblical counselors recognize that God is the counselor and that man cannot fix man. Only God, through His Spirit and obedience to the Word, can fix people. I believe the danger for the church in dabbling with psychology is that it can subtly deceive you and carry you away from the faith.

    • Kristie Gallagher says:

      You are so right, we need to be looking to God’s word for answers to day to day issues and seek wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit. We are not sufficient but our sufficiency comes from God’s word and the Holy Spirit.

  • David Bowman says:

    I agree with Pastor Jeff about the rampant psychologizing that has permeated our culture over the last few decades. Daytime television is filled with people reasoning with armchair psychological theory, with no regard for the Bible whatsoever. Pastors are no longer welcome on community panels because they are labeled as ignorant. Popular “sermons” sprinkle psychological teachings and many are accustomed to it by now.

    It was good to hear that as biblical counselors, we are not oblivious to the benefits of certain psychological findings. Also, biblical counselors are not medical doctors, lawyers, or social workers. Instead, they should work alongside these other professionals in order to develop solutions. The Bible is either sufficient or it is supplemental material. I do believe in the sufficiency of the Bible to address the major issues of life, but the philosophies of this world are quite subtle and often are less “offensive” than the clean doctrine the Lord provides.

    • Kristie Gallagher says:

      That is a very good point that counselors should work alongside other professionals in order to develop solutions. The wellbeing of the person should be our first priority. But we understand that the word of God is sufficient to address all the major issues in life.

  • JoAnn Eagle says:

    Pastor Jeff,
    I also need to develop a good understanding of the basics of this divide in the church between “Christian Psychology” and Biblical Counseling. I appreciate that you mentioned that secular psychology does provide some helpful information. However, the “add mixture” of worldly wisdom and God’s Word is shocking to me. I see women, struggling with anxiety or depression, seeking solutions by journaling all about their past, trying to determine where their problems started. Rather, they should be standing on the foundational concept of being a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). Jesus never told a convert to label their sin as a disease or blame their sin on their childhood. God’s word is all sufficient for our problems and the guidance we need. He tells us that! So, why do we think we know better? This topic is of great importance to me, as I switched colleges over this matter. I was pursuing a degree in counseling through Liberty University, until I took my first psychology class. This is when I became very uncomfortable, and dug deeper into researching the difference between “Christian Counseling” and “Biblical Counseling.” The Lord helped me in understanding the effort to integrate the teachings of psychology in counseling! Once I understood the difference, I began to see if everywhere. I am thankful to have the opportunity to finish my degree here at Calvary Chapel University, standing on the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word.

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