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Posts Tagged ‘bible’

A new book on marriage?

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

A dear friend of mine encouraged me to write a book on marriage and I may do it one day, but there are many great books out there on marriage.

One such book is the Bible. Ephesians 5 is one helpful passage in God’s Word and there are many others. Search the Word and look for principles on loving your spouse. You can apply any principle on loving others to marriage! What a novel idea – apply principles on love to my spouse!

A simple book and easy to read is by Eggerichs called Love and Respect. Wayne Mack has written an excellent book on marriage called Strengthening Your Marriage and it will challenge, encourage, and strengthen your understanding of marriage.

I have written a booklet on marriage that has received “critical acclaim” and is being used in many biblical counseling ministries around the country. It is called “Hope and Help for Marriage” and the view is that one must love a spouse REGARDLESS of how they have been treated/loved based upon the love of Christ. It is encouraging because we call ALL do that – love others regardless of how they treat us since it depends only upon our actions, not theirs, to love them. Hope that makes sense!

Marriage is hard because two sinners living together do not always get along and often want their own way. But God puts in a new spirit within us as Christians and we are enabled to love as He loves – and we can love anyone, even our enemies…and our spouses!

-Mark (learning to love my neighbor, near one, as much as I already love myself)

P.S. My booklet is available through www.focuspublishing.com

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“My Pastor can’t counsel someone! He’s not qualified!”

November 21, 2010 2 comments

Think of one of your favorite preachers/teachers either in the Birmingham area or around the country. Quite likely, this pastor would be a godly man, full of integrity and passion for Christ and the lost, and very knowledgeable. So would this pastor be a good counselor? Would you want to meet with this pastor for biblical counseling? Probably so.

Yet in the state of Alabama, a pastor is not qualified as a licensed professional counselor unless he has taken certain courses in school, had a supervised internship, and passed the licensing exams. He would have to know a lot about psychology to pass the exams but biblical knowledge isn’t necessary to pass those exams. So, technically, the state would not allow this pastor who may be a wonderful pastor/teacher of the Word of God to “counsel” others. He’s not qualified by state standards but is he qualified by God’s standards?

Consider this question: What is this pastor NOT qualified to use in counseling? He’s not qualified to counsel using psychological theories! He cannot (nor would he) claim to be a licensed professional counselor because that type of counsel is not what he is offering. He is not offering the ideas of a man but the truths of God.

To the above, I say: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord that your pastor cannot use psychology to counsel others. Praise the Lord that he is ‘limited’ to using the Holy Scriptures ONLY for the counsel he gives to others as a pastor/teacher! Praise His Name!”

That’s what I say! I see it as a blessing not a curse that your pastor must only use the Scriptures to help others! I am “limited” in that way, too, but it’s no limitation because Hebrews 4:12 states:

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
*

What else do we need to discern the heart of mankind other than God’s Word and the Holy Spirit? Nothing!

Your pastor IS a competent biblical counselor who is equipping others to do the work of discipleship through biblical counseling!

I would take your pastor any day to counsel me regardless of what the state of Alabama says qualifies someone to counsel.

-Mark (grateful to the Lord for your pastor and hoping he understands that he is a counselor to others from the Word of God)

*The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Heb 4:12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Churchianity?

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I think I’ll coin a new word: Churchianity.

Sometimes, I don’t see a lot of Christianity. Instead, I only see “churchianity.”

What is churchianity? Churchianity is the busy-ness, spectator sport of attending a weekly corporate worship service or two, but not living out a life fully committed as a follower of Christ on other days of the week. People merely go to church but they do not live out “church” in everyday life! They are looking to be served rather than to serve Christ and others. They are not “missional.”

Sadly, most people are simply “doing church” and “churchianity” rather than following hard after Christ as one of His devoted disciples.

Matthew 28:19-20 reminds us to fulfill the great commission of Christ to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”*

*The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 28:19-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

How does a weekly or twice a week service qualify as Christianity when there is a lost and dying world out there that needs to hear the Gospel? Do we really live in light of the reality of eternal suffering? Does that motivate us? It should.

Christianity is radical by definition. It’s a shame we have to use the term “radical” because it ought to be the standard; however, because of “churchianity,” now we must differentiate and use terms like “radical” to describe what we ought to be doing anyway: fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).

-Mark (using language to bring clarity to our understanding of the Scriptures)

No such thing as “biracial”?

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

If we REALLY understand the biblical view of RACE, then there is only one race: the human race. But today, people think of race as Caucasian, African-American, Mongolian, etc. In reality, however, what people commonly call “race” today is really just a categorization of people based almost entirely on their outward appearance: skin color, hair texture, facial differences, etc.

But where did this idea of “race” come from? Where did it originate?

Ken Ham does a great job teaching on this topic at http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/audio/answers-daily/volume-088/genetics-confirms-one-race

Also, read about it at http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/01/19/race-around-the-nation

Why do I care? Because I think discussions on “race” are divisive and I know that human beings are alike in almost 98% of their genetic makeup so skin color is just one small difference that must NOT separate the people of God. We are His children though we may look a little different – we all come from Adam if you believe the Bible.

-Mark (I believe the Bible is true)

least of these –

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Matthew 5:17-20 states: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 5:17-20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Think about the implications here. Are you teaching the Word of God accurately? Are you leading people astray or are you leading them to truly know Him (John 17:3)?

God is serious about His Word. God does not want to be misquoted. God certainly does not want to be misrepresented either.

Check yourself. Are you telling people your thoughts or God’s thoughts as found in the Bible?

-Mark (scary stuff to think about)

Read Colossians 2:8!

Why I am NOT an Integrationist

August 25, 2010 1 comment

The word “integration” means “to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole” (Websters, 1983).

Applied to biblical counseling, an “integrationist” is someone who is trying to unify the field of counseling by combining the Bible with secular psychological theories. For years, integrationists have been trying to produce a unified model of counseling yet the search for the perfect integrated model continues. Why?

Because oil and water do not mix. Neither do the Bible and psychological theories of sinful mankind that promote lies contrary to the Scriptures.

BOTH the Bible and psychological theories are tools used to “study the soul.” Psychology means “the study of the soul” and Christians everywhere would say, “what studies the soul better than the Bible? Nothing!” Yet for some reasons, Christian integrationists think that the Bible is NOT sufficient for SOUL CARE and that we need the psychological theories of Freud, Skinner, Maslow, Jung, and Adler to ADD to the Bible. These unbelieving men somehow help God out with their psychobabble theories.

What’s the Bible say in Col. 2:8? “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Think about that. We must be CAREFUL to listen to Christ and not listen to the ideas of the world though they might sound really good.

Do you hear Him? He wrote you a book. He calls it His Word. Hear what He has to say and read it by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can hear from Him today!

-Mark (listening to Him speak by His Spirit through His Word of truth, the Bible)

Void

June 8, 2010 Leave a comment

What are you filling your “void” with? Food, drugs, sex, video games, alcohol, work, or any other type of pleasure. Any of these things can be idols and a direct violation of Exodus 20:3: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

Why not fill it with God? You were made to worship Him. Spend time today in prayer and meditative Bible study which is spending time with God. He is the “put-on” and everything else in this life is the “put-off.”

You must fill your void with Christ alone.

-Mark (life’s not that complicated)