IBCD Outline Transcription. Podcast 1


Podcast 1: What is Biblical Counseling _1


  1. What is Biblical Counseling?
    1. Why do we need biblical counseling? We already have psychology.
    2. Psychology is relatively new as far as people thinking of it as a science to help them with their problems.
    3. 100-150 years ago, people would go to a pastor, elders, or family members to get help and wisdom.
    4. With the coming of Freud, psychoanalysis, and psychology, there has been a huge shift, in which psychology has replaced theology as the basis by which people understand themselves.
    5. People go to psychologists, licensed counselors, psychotherapists, even GP to get pills. In the past, people would seek spiritual help from the scriptures.
    6. As this has been happening, the church has failed to carry on its work to shepherd God’s flock and care for persons with their needs. The problems the Bible addresses, we should help each other, rather than abdicate that responsibility to psychologists (who may not even be psychologists)
    7. Today, in many seminaries psychology is taught almost uncritically as the methodology by which people must be helped.
    8. With Freud, the understanding of who man is and how he changes has radically changed.
    9. Thomas Szaszthe cure of souls was the church’s job and is now recast as the cure of sick minds and put in the hands of psychologists. In the name of what sounds very scientific, the good role of the church has been taken over.
    10. Until the late 1960’s churches were accepting Psychology as the best way to help people, without recognizing the contradiction with biblical truth.
    11. The biblical counseling movement began in early 1970’s with Jay Adams “Competent to Counsel”. This was a reformation for the church. What the Bible teaches about man and how to help him is contrary to psychology.
    12. The biblical counseling movement has been looking into how the Bible helps people.
    13. More and more churches are getting it and getting people trained. More peacemaking, more counseling.
  2. Psychology in its origin and present practice competes with scriptures. It is called a science, but it is different than other sciences. It is actually a worldview. Over 200+ approaches.
    1. They say pastors can only handle spiritual issues, but mental issues should be psychologists “professionals.”
    2. There are issues, like marital conflict that the scripture specifically addresses. Psychologists are open and nondirective. Make up your mnd what is right for you.
      1. Psychology is the study of the soul, the inner person of the man. Both the Bible and psychology are telling people how to live.
      2. Szasz writes that psychotherapeutic interventions are not medical but moral interventions, therefore not literal but metaphorical.. There are ethical, moral issues being addressed.
  • It is the religion of the formerly irreligious. Its language is not Latin but medical jargon. Code if conduct is not medical but legalistic. Theology is not Christian, but positivism.
  1. Many of the early leaders of psychology were openly rejecting of Christianity and the Bible. Skinner was humanist of the year. Freud opened on Easter Sunday.
  2. There are many psychological approaches and therapies that go against and even try to undermine the religious belief of the client.
  1. Psychology has become a huge influence in our culture:
    1. Schools (educators, etc.)
    2. Judicial system (mental incompetence, guilty / not)
  2. Powlison writes that psychology is to our culture and society as Islam is to Morocco.
  • Psychology can be interesting and helpful in descriptions of behaviors and observations. DSM Diagnostics Statistics Manual.
  1. The difference is not in the description, but the prescription. Psychology doesn’t understand who man is and what he needs. There are hundreds of different and contradicting of psychology and understandings.
  2. Frued and Jung are psychoanalytic, Skinner and Watson are behavioralistic, Rogers humanistic. Transpersonal—make your own reality, like Eastern mysticism. Cognitive which treats men like a computer to be programmed.
  3. Who do you call? “Psychobabble”
  • Secular humanistic psychology has presuppositions that are unbiblical. Useful identification of problems, but not able to provide solutions, because their worldview is skewed, with faulty view of man. Don’t really understand anything about man.
  1. Errors of Psychology, contradictions with biblical truth
    1. Origin of man
      1. Psychology says that man is only an advanced animal. Darwinism
      2. Bible says that man is made in the image of God. We did not evolve by chance, but were deliberately created by God and different than any other creature.
  • Skinner would manipulate animal behavior and theorized it could be done with people, but people are spiritual beings made in the image of God. Not just animal.
  1. In scientific materialism, denial that men have a soul. We are just cellular. Electrons. Conscience is just a physical function.
  2. Paul talks about absent from the body in 2 Corinthians 5:9. Soul chooses right and wrong.
  1. Accountability
    1. Because we are created by God, we are accountable to God. We are not relativists. And our life has meaning.
    2. Psychology asks what we want.
  2. Basic goodness
    1. Psychology says man is basically good. Maslow says “we don’t have any intrinsic instincts for evil.” He says the bad that comes in people is because of their experience or damaged by other people.
      1. Best to bring out the bad, rather than express it. Draw it out. The task of psychiatry or psychology is to draw out the “innate goodness” and get rid of the bad things written on the blank slate.
      2. Scripture says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Those in the flesh are unable to please God (Romans 8). Conceived in sin.
    2. If you are trying to help someone, there is a huge difference between saying…they are natural good vs. they have a bent toward evil, because of our falleness.
      1. Whether worry, fear, anger, depression, etc. sin is in some way involved.
      2. Scripture says what is wrong with us is in our heart/soul. The Bible says it is our soul that is diseased. And the disease is sin.
    3. Autonomy
      1. Man can solve his own problems, by looking within himself. Lead the client to figure out what he wants to do, clear his thinking so to speak. Non directive. Self-centeredness is the secret to better mental health. Fromm says the story of the Garden of Eden is allegory of our move to freedom. The achievement of well being is possible only by putting man back in the saddle.
      2. The Bible teaches there is right and wrong. Directive. We are self-centered sinners. We need to learn to love God and others. Bible says the story of the Garden is the opposite of Freedom. “I am the vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing.” Scripture says we must be completely dependent on God.
    4. Personal Responsibility
      1. Psychology also excuses sin and denies personal responsibility. Maslow: good impulses are easily warped by cultures.
      2. “He’s a good child just got in with the wrong crowd.”
  • Rogers writes that man is essentially constructive in his fundamental nature, but damaged by other things.
  1. Bible says we all are sinful and sin is sin. Call sin, sin.
  1. Medical vs. Spiritual
    1. Note that people may have real cellular brain disorders, but even then there are spiritual issues also involved.
    2. Disease names: Alcoholism vs. drunkenness
  • Every bad behavior is now labeled with a diagnosis, as illness, addiction, etc.
  1. So much of what is called mental illness today is spiritual matter and sin.
  2. “Pedophilia is a mental disorder” they say. And they are the victims, but the children are the victims.
  3. These labels are not really very scientific.
    1. Depression for example. Few have something observably wrong with their brain. But a lot are just sad. “Good mood. Bad mood.” When someone goes to the doctor and describes their sadness, doctor says you have the mental illness of depression. With a very scientific explanation. Says it’s Serotonin…but there is not a test for that. It is theory. The medicine will make you “feel better” numb your heart. (KH But miss what God is trying to show you). Anti-depression medicine don’t really work. Placebo effect.
      1. A man knew how to tell what he felt in order to get the meds he wanted.
      2. Surely Paul and David had very sad “depressed” times, whether from circumstances in their lives or sin. He never got meds. David got better when he repented and turned back to God.
      3. The doctor doesn’t know if the serotonin levels have changed because there is no test, they don’t know why it changed, if it did. Cause effect, etc.
      4. The meds do change how you feel, numb your emotions.
      5. PS don’t tell people to take meds, or get off them.
      6. Counselee may say they want to get off. Tell them to work with their doctor. This is important.
      7. Deal with sin issues in your life. Could be specific sins, or could be simply selfishness and not living for God.
      8. A counselee may recognize that the problem isn’t a disease, but sin. Serve God and serve others.
    2. Talk therapy
      1. Talk about your childhood and past, days and weeks and months of psychotherapy. In recent years, instead of nurture (childhood, etc.) it has changed to nature (brains, chemistry, etc.) So now family doctor is prescribing psychotropic drugs. It is quicker and easier.
      2. Psychiatry seeks explanation for pedophilia in genetics, etc.
  • Children on psychotropic drugs is multiplied many times over, especially in the USA. They have issues of withdrawal, depression, suicide, anger, etc. Many want to get off. Deal with the spiritual issues first. Then let them work it out with their doctor.
  1. Relativism
    1. Rogers- non-directive. Find truth within yourself. Never judge or tell people what to do. There is not right or wrong.
    2. Non-directive counseling is not an option for a Christian. The Bible has absolutes.
  • Bible tells us what pleases God and what does not please God.
  1. Psychology’s values change. Homosexuality, for example has moved from mental illness to “normal”. Now counselors are forbidden from treating it as anything but normal. It is not because of research or science, but pressure from homosexuals.
  2. Bible teaches sex is between a husband and a wife.
  3. Psychology says satisfy Carnal appetites, masturbation
  • Venting anger, yelling, etc.
  • Freud says problems come from guilt and puritanical attitude and we need to get free of guilt and moralism. Guilt heaped on people by Christians creates mental illness. Guilt is an illusion. In psychology there is no room for God (KH Christian counseling is often just adding scripture to psychology… contradictory). Psychology confirms people in their sin. It is “nicer” to think you have a disease than in sin.
  1. Bible says guilt is a good thing, a warning of danger ahead, something wrong and needs to be done. (KH Imagine a world without guilt). Guilt lets us know that there is something that needs to be dealt with.
  2. Schuller says sin is any act or rob that robs myself or other of self-esteem, but that is not biblical. It is pop psychology. The Bible teaches that self-esteem is central to most problems of humanity.
  3. (KH The self-esteem debacle could be inserted here)
  • Maslow, explore the consequences of observing whatever out best specimens choose and assume these are highest values for mankind, ..but who gets to decide who are the best specimens and evaluate the quality of their choices. It is only because there is a God who made us in His image and revealed himself in the scriptures that we know the best and how to help others.
  • Psychology is powerless to bring about meaningful change. We need a spiritual change. Psychology says we are a mind and a body. The change we need is a spiritual change, in our relation to God, but God is left out of psychology. Even psychiatrists (Freud, etc.) recognize what they do is not successful.
  • Psychology isn’t going to teach you how to help people.
  1. Even psychologists, psychotherapists, psychologists have recognized that what they do isn’t that successful.
  • Even if in the short term, people feel better about themselves, or the pain is eased, the disease remains. Same with medical. Painkillers in my arm relieves the pain, but the tendons are still torn. Why deaden the guilt when we have the cure.
  • Treat the disease which is a broken relationship with God.
  • What about people who seem to get better? Same percentage get better without analysis 2/3 even those in mental hospitals. Even more true with regard to depression.
  1. [KH Inserthistory of biblical counseling here]
    1. O’Mower found that schizophrenics often had a sinful secret and when confessed, they got better.