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Posts Tagged ‘Biblical Counseling’

Hypocritical Churches in Alabama?

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I know of SEVERAL churches in Alabama that take pride that their staff is not seminary-trained. They love the idea that no one on staff has a seminary education but is simply led by the Holy Spirit. I can partially understand what they mean; however, what I find hypocritical is that while they put down the EDUCATIONAL pursuit of learning more about God and His Word and how to live by His Spirit in seminary, they elevate the EDUCATIONAL pursuit of psychology as they REFER out all of their counseling. In other words, they do not put down education in other areas of life so why put it down in the pursuit of the knowledge of God?

What also happens is that these churches do not counsel (disciple) their own people and say things like: “We are not equipped to deal with those problems. The church really should not be counseling people. That’s for the experts,” they often say.

To which I respond emphatically, “No! It’s the body of Christ’s job to disciple people which includes the subset of biblical, not psychological, counseling – though biblical counseling always deals with the psychological state of man (remember that psychology means “the study of the soul” which is what the church does, right?!?!).”

So my point in this blog is simply this – why brag that your church staff is NOT seminar-trained as though that type of education is not necessary BUT then refer out members of the church to “secularly-educated” licensed professional counselors (LPC), Christian psychologists, or even SECULAR counselors who pursued EDUCATIONAL training and fail to SHEPHERD (I Peter 5) the flock of God in His church? It is hypocritical to elevate education in one area but not in another. It is a failure to shepherd God’s children and He is NOT pleased with it and no excuse will suffice. Education and training are available. What is lacking is a willingness to shepherd and disciple God’s children.

These same churches still send people to medical doctors, lawyers, and other specially trained and EDUCATED professionals so why not champion those men and women who are seminarily-trained and EDUCATED in the Word of God and live by His Spirit? Seems hypocritical again…

For some reason, God’s children have believed the deception that counseling is for the experts and not the body of Christ in local churches. “We don’t have the training for counseling,” they say. Yet some churches don’t seek the seminary training available to them to shepherd God’s people. It’s a grievous sin for which they will answer to the Lord one day.

So, I urge you. Get training in biblical counseling and start helping those in your local church. Teach them the Word of God applied to their lives so they can become “doers” of the Word and not just hearers only (James 1:22). And don’t put down seminary education. That’s just wrong, hypocritical, and immature. Seminary is not the answer, Christ is. But those who are going to seminary are often wanting to know God (John 17:3) and His Word more deeply SO THAT they can better serve hurting souls. I know that’s true of the seminary students I have been privileged to meet at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, AL.

At the root, it’s a pride issue in these churches. I think God uses BOTH the untrained and the trained for His own glory. Let’s not put one down or the other!

-Mark (just a little weary of pride and hypocrisy in God’s people, especially in me, also!)

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Why Biblical Counseling is Important

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I believe that we are living in the last days. When I read the book of Acts and see how the early church functioned in Acts 2 & 4 specifically, I see a caring group of believers sharing material possessions, praying, worshipping, and living out the call together. I see pastoral care and a lot of “one anothering” going on within the body of Christ in Acts.

Today, I see a lot of believers turning to unbelievers for help. I see a lot of church employees referring people OUT of the church to secular unbelievers and to well-intended, though sometimes misdirected, “Christian” counselors.

Overall, I see a lack of shepherding and “one anothering” that leads to a gap in care which is where biblical discipleship and care of others comes in. We want to strengthen the body of Christ!

It’s getting better in the church today with biblical preaching, strong small groups, and more “one anothering” going on, but it breaks my heart when so many churches either do not want to invest the time in caring for their members OR they do not know how to use the Scriptures to minister the love of the Spirit to their members; so, they send them outside the church for “real answers and real love” – (which is not “real” at all, thus the quotation marks).

So there is a large need for TIL and other such groups like us in the body of Christ teaching the body of Christ to “speak the truth in love” in the body of Christ to care for the body of Christ as God desires.

-Mark (all about the local church and praying churches will begin caring for their own better in the knowledge that caring for their own will lead to care and compassion outside the church to the lost)

Hear about the Team Approach to Biblical Counseling!

May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Last October (2009), I was privileged to speak at a national biblical counseling conference on the topic of the “team approach” to biblical counseling at a workshop in South Carolina.

If you’d like to hear it, you can go to Sound Word Associates at http://www.soundword.com/stinnuteapto.html and download the MP3 for $5.00 or order the CD.

-Mark (glad to tell others about Jesus’ two-by-two approach to ministry in Luke 10:1)

Biblical Soul Care is TIL’s new term!

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Psychology means the “study of the soul” and quite frankly, that’s all secular psychologists do. They study the inner person of man that we call the soul. Some psychiatrists can give medicines but is that helping the soul or the body?

When a soul is troubled and needs Christ, does that soul need medicine or Christ? The truth of God’s Word must be delivered in the love of the Holy Spirit. Only the power of Christ can heal the human soul and He works through His body to do just that.

Therefore, what we do must be called “biblical soul care” because that is what we are doing. We are caring for a person’s soul with an ETERNAL perspective in place.

We sometimes call it biblical counseling or discipleship or mentoring and it is all of that but the over-arching term must be biblical SOUL CARE. You will be hearing us say this term a lot from now on because this is what we do under the authority of the local church.

We care for your soul and want to train you to care for the souls of others. Every Christian must care for souls!

-Mark (thankful for the great responsibility the Lord has entrusted to me to care for souls)

How many marriages will end in the next 24 hours?

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment

This is a quick excerpt on why we do what we do and why we think the CHURCH is the answer as the body of CHRIST and not psychology. Read below:

“In the next 24 hours, 1,200 Christian marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce. Study after study proves that the children of these divorces will be far more likely to struggle with sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty in school, and subsequent divorce in their own marriages. This family carnage has got to stop, and the key is the local church, God’s “plan A” for equipping and assisting his people to deal with relational difficulties in a fallen world. This new video series (called “Biblical Soul Care for the Local Church”) provides a biblical, gospel-centered, and easily applicable way for churches to build real community and train gifted members to provide soul-care to struggling saints. I highly commend this material and encourage every church to take advantage of this life-changing, marriage-saving, church-building teaching.” – Ken Sande President, Peacemaker Ministries

In a few months, I will be hosting a DVD series at my home or someone’s home where we will be watching this DVD series. If you are interested, stay tuned as we’ll post the dates soon! This will be a deeper study for us.

For more information from the website where I excerpted this quote by Ken Sande, go to:

http://www.biblicalsoulcare.org/10440/content/content_id/180442/Why_Biblical_Soul_Care

I recommend this DVD series for your local church. The hope is Christ. He is the answer. Not secular psychology or unbelievers.

-Mark (thankful that the local church is reclaiming the care of souls and that some of those 1,200 marriages have not ended by His grace through TIL)

Resource Thin?

December 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Financial Resources are Thin

Biblical counseling is such a tough field to be in because the financial resources for our discipline are so very scarce since the WORLD does not embrace biblical counseling. In fact, many in the church world today do not embrace biblical counseling. It’s sad.

The world will support secular agencies. Government funds are allocated to secular agencies yet biblical counseling is ignored. Many in the secular counseling world do not even acknowledge biblical counseling as legitimate so we often do not get invited to have a “seat at the table” at various counseling events. However, we KNOW that biblical, compassionate, Christ-centered counseling that preaches the Gospel is the ONLY legitimate form of counseling where the Holy Spirit deals with the heart to bring real transformation!!!

Spiritual Resources are NOT Thin!

Biblical counseling, or intensive discipleship, is the most legitimate form of counseling that the world and the devil stole away from the church. We point people to Christ and lead them to a knowledge of the truth so that they can know Him.

We want people to know Christ Who is not resource thin! Our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. In fact, He is the Owner of everything!

Please pray about how you can give to support TIL and other biblical counseling ministries that are willing to stand up for the all-sufficient truth of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit working to transform the hearts of people all over the world.

Are we financially resource thin in the worldly sense? Yes.

Are we spiritually resource thin? NEVER! We have the Lord’s resources and they are mighty to save!

We cherish your support both financially and prayerfully. We desperately need both.

-Mark (grateful for many of you who have given sacrificially to TIL)

P.S. Thank you again for your year-end donations to TIL that have already come in!

What’s your message?

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

If you do counseling, what’s your message? Are you preaching yourself? Are you proclaiming the so-called “wisdom” of mankind? OR are you proclaiming Christ?

2 Corinthians 4:5 states: “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”**

The reason our ministry uses “lay counselors” is that the message they use in biblical counseling is NOT themselves, but the Gospel of Christ. And guess what? Lay persons (which is not a biblical label, by the way) are CAPABLE of preaching the Gospel and leading people to Christ.

Our churches have become sinfully dependent upon pastors to do all of the work of ministry and it’s wrong! Pastors are “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph. 4:12) so that they can “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).

Truth in Love exists to equip the saints of the local church to reach the world for Christ. Our message is to reclaim the care of souls to their rightful Owner – the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the head and His body is an extension of Him!  That’s what we in the church are: His hands and feet!

So are you making disciples of Christ? Are you pointing people to Christ?

Join our TIL team, help others, and grow in your relationship with Christ. We train lay persons and equip them to do the work of ministry to serve in the local church.

There is no salvation in telling someone your own advice or the worldly wisdom of Freud, Skinner, Piaget, Maslow, Jung, and others. Instead, tell them about Christ and the life-giving message of the Gospel which is really good news for lost, hurting souls.

So what’s your message? If it’s not Christ, then re-evaluate where you are placing your faith.

Biblical counseling is an ACT of faith as we trust the Holy Spirit to transform the hearts of mankind!

It really takes MORE faith to do biblical counseling than to lean on the arm of man, but it is so worth it.

-Mark (leading others with a message of real hope and real help for this life and the life to come)

** – The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001 (2 Co 4:5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.