The Mental Health Solution . com
"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Christian Counseling and the Devil

"And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NASB)."

"And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV}"

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV)."

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect (1 Corinthians 1:17 NKJV)."

There is a fallacy among many Christian mental health professionals—straight from the Devil. That fallacy is that mental health problems should be addressed using secular theories. Or that the way to approach these issues is to integrate psychology and the Bible.

To a certain extent, that is OK. Common sense ideas, no matter what their origin, can always be shared. I recently suggested that a teenager use the 'broken record technique' in response to his brother's annoying behavior. This technique means to repeat instructions to another person, in a monotone, until you get an appropriate change in behavior. So, with the brother, the client might say: "Stop throwing toys at me." "Stop throwing toys at me." "Stop throwing toys at me." "Stop throwing toys at me." "Stop throwing toys at me." You get the idea. You're already irritated. Wouldn't you stop?

But there is a danger in combining too much psychology with the Bible. When your therapist combines a psychological theory, as equal to or even superior to the Bible, as the basis of your treatment, you are being taught to place your faith in human wisdom and not in the Word of God. The end result is that the cross of Christ is "emptied of its power." It has "no effect." And this is what often happens when Christians see licensed Christian therapists.

When I attend local CAPS (Christian Association for Psychological Studies) seminars, the topic is almost always on how to integrate some psychological theory with the Bible.

The primary focus of Christian counseling should be on the Bible: What it says about your particular issues. And how the Bible can be used to successfully resolve whatever issues you are dealing with. Your Christian counselor should be able to provide this information.

This doesn't mean that feelings shouldn't be expressed in therapy. If you're burdened by something, and feel the need to talk about it, go ahead. This can be very helpful and is fully consistent with Scripture. The Bible explicitly tells Christians to "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2 NASB)." A professional Christian counselor can, indeed, be the one who does this.

Unfortunately, many Christian therapists today do much the same thing as their secular counterparts. They may pray with you and occasionally drop in a Scripture or two. But mostly, they are using secular psychology. What they do often doesn't work much better than the therapy provided by their secular counterparts.

Furthermore, even therapy by Christian counselors can sometimes make things worse. This is especially true if your therapist comes from a psychoanalytic perspective. I would never recommend that anyone see a therapist who tells you that you should share every thought that comes into your mind.

Adding psychotropic drugs to the mix is also problematic. A good rule of thumb is this: Bible + Psych Meds = Failure. Refer to the article on psychotropic drugs for more information and exceptions.

Remember: Your focus should be on the Word of God. Your understanding should be based on the Word of God. Your faith should be in the Word of God.

"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life (2 Peter 1:3 NLT)."

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32 NKJV)."

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
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Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.