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No need for counseling in the Church

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Dean Scheepers Counseling Psychology Dr. Val Stephens 9 April 2003 No need for counseling in the Church Before this paper is ripped out and graded F, an explanation of the title is in order. This paper will be refuting the title. Often in today's church's people come for help with a problem or concern and they are told that there is a purpose for what is happening and that we must just believe that God will work it all out in His time for His plan. Although one would never dispute the fact that God is in control, the church needs to realize that God sent people to help other people. There are many reasons why the church needs to approach counseling with more seriousness and why counseling is needed in the church. People in the community often come to the church when they are in a difficult time in their lives. If people come to the church looking for help and advice and the phrase, "Just believe in God, He has a plan through all of this" is used to try and console someone or be the answer to all their problems. So why are so many people in the church down-trodden and trapped in the condemnation of emotional distress. It is deeply saddening that many go to churches and Christians expecting warmth, understanding and care only to depart feeling condemned because they just cannot jump to the top of Christian maturity that is required in merely accepting the truth of the word of God. ...read more.


When we become Christians we do not lose our memories of past events. The problem is that much of what we have learned is harmful, erroneous or at least not always helpful. So having become a Christian does not change who you are. You have not become perfect. Ones mind and ones memory is still influenced and tarnished and it is through this that a person experiences the world and experiences God. Just as a broken leg is not mended merely by becoming a Christian, neither is a damaged mind mended all in one decision either. Theology, doctrine and ultimately a relationship with God through Christ may solve ones deepest needs and influence a person's ultimate destination. But practical hard work, counseling, discipline, commitment, psychotherapy, practice, teaching, learning and experience will also have an impact on ones life. This is not meant to say that Christ has no part in counseling; neither does it say that the Scriptures have no authority, but it emphasizes the need for actual training in this area. Christian counselors have a responsibility of helping those who come for help, within the spectrum of their ability. In Galatians 6:2 we are commanded to help others, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"(NIV). Biblical principles need to be an inaugural part of counseling in this setting. Values and morals that are outlined in God's word need to be the basis of solutions and suggestions provided to help overcome certain situations. ...read more.


I also believe that we need to remember this when trials and tough times come our way. Having said that I really believe that if we want help or advice we should be able to go to the church and speak to someone and get actual real life based advice and help. Not just, 'Just Believe'. God uses others in His plan for my life. Let love be your basic motivation and strive to help people to become more like Christ if they are already Christians and to move into a deeper awareness and experience of God whether or not they are Christians at the outset or at the end of counseling. God makes us go through trials to grow and mature, but God also gave us ministers to help us in those times, we call them counselors. It's just like the song 'Lean on Me', "So just call on me brother, when you need a hand We all need somebody to lean on I just might have a problem that you'd understand We all need somebody to lean on." W.C. 1827 Works Consulted Christian Counseling. 3 April 2003. <http://christiantherapist.com/News/111902_01.htm>. Crabb, L.J. Understanding People: deep longings for relationship. Marshall Pickering, 1987. Crabb, L.J. Basic Principles of Biblical Counselling. Marshall Pickering, 1977. Holy Bible. New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. Myers, D.G. & Jeeves, M.A. Psychology through the Eyes of Faith. Apollos, 1987. Rupp, Gary. Counseling in the Church. 3 April 2003. <http://www.rts.edu/quarterly/spring98/rupp.html>. Sloat, D.E. The Dangers of Growing Up in a Christian Home. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986. 1 Scheepers ...read more.

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