Should I go see a Christian counselor about my problems in life?
I have some specific and strong opinions on this topic which tend to cause me much grief the day after I publish them. So I’ll answer now, and get the Excedrin ready for tomorrow…
Much, if not most, of “christian counseling” today is little more than humanistic counseling dressed up in Christian vocabulary. Like humanist psychology, it’s foundation is “self” (self-love, self-esteem, self-forgiveness, self-focus, etc.) and the Christian version is every bit as dangerous and non-productive as it’s worldly twin.
Many, if not the vast majority, of “christian” psychologists and counseling are trained by the same curriculum, same philosophies and the same basic principles as any secular psychologist or psychiatrist.
It is even all the more insidious for Christians because it comes disguised in Christian language and cloaked in Biblical prooftext (taking verses out of context to support an idea). UnBiblical, humanistic counseling ideas and techniques have infiltrated the Church almost completely to the degree now that Biblical Pastoral Scripture-based counselors find themselves outcast, ridiculed as “simpletons” and pretty much on the defensive all the time trying to convince people that the Bible is sufficient for the life of the Christian, something the Bible is abundantly clear about:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: (NKJV)
So my first advice, is that if anyone chooses to seek out Christian counseling, make sure that you are getting a Biblical, pastoral, Scripture-based counselor who bases their advice and direction on God’s Word, who seeks to evaluate your situation based on Biblical principle and who understands that it is the sinful heart, human pride and selfishness that is the foundation of suffering and turmoil.
The general tendency in modern counseling is to dig up the past, process it, analyze it and then attempt to apply it as “reason” or “cause” for present behavior. The Bible emphasizes that as Christians, we live in the present, and the future. We make Godly choices now based on His Word and our Holy Spirit led conscience, and we look forward to the future and becoming more like Christ.
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV;emphasis mine)
Philippians 4:5-9 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (NKJV; emphasis mine)