I have some issues with “Christian counseling” or “biblical counseling.” Ha! I need therapy to get over the really bad therapy I sometimes see in the world. I feel even worse about the secular world and counseling.
Rick Thomas is kind of a bright spot however, an exception to my rule. He seems to get the issues and often writes articles that address all my concerns. Recently I read this one, “Did You Know There Is a Better Way to Do Counseling?” Read it, he has some good insights.
He often speaks of “progressive sanctification.” Another way of saying that is that “we’re all in process.” We are growing. We’re building a relationship with the Lord. We’re walking through life’s challenges. A lot of harm has been done by really black and white thinking, you’re with us or you’re against us, you’re in or you’re out. At any moment you can be tossed out of faith, rejected.
Some of that we can pin directly on the enemy, and also on our culture at large that is so busy creating divisions right now and attacking faith. And some of that is just people’s own flawed thinking, but some of it really is how we behave as Christians towards one another.
Twitter is always a good example of our epic fails to relate to one another as we should be doing. About 3 or four people a week usually revoke my salvation. I can laugh about such things, but many people have been driven away from the church by those very same attitudes. We need to be very careful with our words and how we are using them. They ripple out in the pond and impact real people.
To simplify the whole concept, we just need to learn how to love one another. We also need to learn how to receive love. That’s the heart of relationships and they are a tiny microcosm of what a relationship with our heavenly Father is like.
Rick says, “My love for biblical counseling is strong, but I have a greater appreciation for the New Testament local church doing the work of soul care.”
He also speaks of putting the local church to work, of how we’re all called to be counselors, and how “Discipleship is about doing real life with another human being while speaking into his life along the way, which is how Christ did it.”
I speak to an incredible amount of people outside of the church, sometimes outside of Jesus Christ entirely. Something that breaks my heart is that when I invite people to church I often get a blank and confused look that says, Why? Church is the last place that I would ever go for soul care. I’m left struggling to try to explain, you would have fun. It would warm your heart. You will find rest for your soul.
Even if you think you don’t “need” the church, the church sure needs you. We are called as a people to care for one another’s souls.