Biblical Counseling at HCC
The GOAL OF BIBLICAL COUNSELING:
The ultimate goal of life is to know and glorify God (Jer. 9:23, 24; 1 Cor. 10:31; John 17:3; Phil. 3:7,8), and by doing so we as a church can participate in His glory (Colossians 1:25-27). Everyone can be involved in this ministry. In view of this, the purpose of Biblical Counseling is two-fold:
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.Colossians 1:28
It is a common thing for us to hear of someone receiving regular counseling at a clinic down the road. Every day we find ourselves in scenes like the following:
While munching on cookies, and drinking a cup of coffee during morning coffee break, one patron mentions ‘Bill and Fran’s marriage break-up’ and gives an assessment of why it ‘went down the tubes’. Another comments on how ‘disgusted they are with the rate of teenage suicide and how the government isn’t spending enough money on prevention research and support’. As the coffee mug is filled up a second time, another ‘fills you in’ on the details of your Sales Manager’s nervous breakdown, giving approval of the ‘professional’ counseling he is receiving, while still another mentions the ‘unnatural behavior of homosexuals’ and points out the social and political acceptance of this lifestyle.
First, all people would agree that life has its problems, obstacles, and difficulties to overcome and change is necessary to achieve this.
Second, most of us, if we are honest, love to give our opinions on how these problems should be solved and who should solve them.
Third, many are keen to give advice from a distance, but few will ever get personally involved with someone in difficulty.
Fourth, most people believe that there are some problems which the mere ‘layman’ or pastor can’t cope with. People with these kinds of deeper problems need the help of a professionally trained expert – e.g. problems such as nervous breakdowns, depression and phobias.
That leaves us with questions whose answers are central to getting suffering people true help.
- Why are there problems and difficulties? Unless one truly knows the origin, how can anyone be helped?
- Many can offer aid, assistance and counsel from good intentions, but on what basis do we determine whether it is good counsel or unwise counsel?
- If change is needed, who decides and sets the standard for change?
- What are we meant to be changing into?
- What means will be used to bring about the change?
If you think the world of the ‘professional counselor’ is closer to answering these questions than the Christian is, think about this. There are more than 300 different Counseling models to choose from, and each of them at some point is contradictory to the others. Nothing but confusion eventuates.
Think of the poor person who travels between one counselor and another. In the process he is diagnosed, misdiagnosed and rediagnosed. He may be told he is sick, or that he has been poorly socialised by parents and friends, or that his difficulty is genetic, or that he has failed to live up to his full potential. He will be treated or trained or encouraged or taught or medicated in a variety of ways, receiving messages that produce more and more conflicting voices. “Let it all hang out,” says one counselor. “You need to get it all together,” says the next. “Tell me about your childhood, your sex life, and dreams,” says another. “Take these pills four times a day and see me in six weeks.” “We will recondition your behavior.” – and on and on it goes.
If these experts are so divided, can we entrust ourselves to them? If airlines and airline pilots operated on different flying principles and practices, who would dare fly? Who would be so reckless? Nothing but chaos would result and many lives would be destroyed!
So much confusion reigns in our world because counselors, and man in general, have rejected the only true standard of human values, beliefs, attitudes and behavior – the Bible. God’s Word is the only book that can bring order out of chaos.
Only the Word from God Himself can properly tell us how to change. The true description of man, his plight and God’s solution, can only be found in the Bible. Only God can command, direct, and give power to affect the proper changes in man that are needed.
To truly help people through the difficulties of life, and see effective and lasting change, the counselor must see the Bible as his source of wisdom. It forms the basis for what we call Biblical Counseling.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.2 Timothy 3:16
Biblical Counseling is precisely just that – helping to effect change in the lives of people by accepting and using the one and only perfect text book on counseling, the divine revelation of God, the Bible. For counseling man, the Bible is sufficient and complete. No other source is necessary because it comes from a perfect and self-sufficient God (2 Tim. 3:16,17, Pslm 19:7-9). Job 12:13 speaks concerning this God who is able to counsel man with all wisdom and might.
It could be demonstrated that every Biblical assumption or principle relates either directly or indirectly to some aspect of the counseling situation. This is true since the content of our counsel is precisely the same as that of the Scriptures. Biblical counseling then has as its core the impartation of God’s Wisdom which is able by God’s Spirit to correct wrong thinking, give clear direction, rebuke our foolish ways, and warn us of impending danger. All this is done so that the goal of human life can be achieved, which is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.Job 12:13
STRATEGY OF BIBLICAL COUNSELING
- To instruct the church as a whole concerning the biblical philosophy of counseling and biblical goals of counseling.
- To provide, when appropriate, an introductory course on the fundamentals of Biblical Counseling.
To encourage those in pastoral leadership to complete an advanced Biblical Counseling course, either through The Master’s College or NANC.
To ensure books and tapes are readily available for those wishing to pursue counseling as their ministry in the church, and to begin training these who have such a desire.
- To have an established Biblical Counseling ministry as part of our discipleship of people.
- That our commendation to the wider community will be the lives that have been transformed by faith in God’s Word correctly applied; that they would see that the right counsel alone can produce the right results.