This is a very broad topic, one we are not going to delve into too deeply at this time. One of the schools we attended for our master’s degree was heavy into counseling and developed a very strong counseling program.
There is nothing wrong with getting your counseling degree from a Christian College. However, some years ago, one person wrote an article called ‘Beware of Christian Counselors’ and we will go through that article and only pick out a few points to discuss here.
Never feel bad about graduating from a Christian counseling program or even taking a few classes. The secular world never accepts anything that is remotely connected to Christianity, especially Evangelicalism.
#1. It stands to reason that, in a predominantly Christian culture, most counselors would be Christian. This is not a problem if the counselors are able to compartmentalize their religious beliefs, but many Christian Counselors can’t or won’t do this.
How would pushing your faith and answers to the side help the persons needing counseling? It doesn’t. It is a technique used by unbelievers to hide from any truth and answers. They do not want God in the counseling room just like unbelieving scientists do not want God in the science lab.
What the author is saying here is that counseling should only be done the secular way. That is robbing the client of needed help and answers.
#2. When counselors believe the Bible is an authoritative text, and the standard for moral and ethical conduct, it’s impossible for them to counsel someone objectively.
This is the core of the problem. It is that little word ‘objectively’ that causes a lot of problems for Christian counselors. The author certainly does not know what the term actually means or how it is applied.
Being a Christian does not mean one loses the ability to be objective. Anyone can look at other people’s issues objectively. All it means is one is not taking sides but giving honest objective answers and opinions to the people involved in the counseling.
However, it must be noted that there is no such thing as true objectivity. Everyone is on a side. The unbeliever is on the side of evil and their perspectives are often skewed by their unbelief and the deception in their lives.
The Christian is on God’s side and often has the answers the people need. If the author wanted true objectivity, he would have to allow the fact that Christians have a perspective and that perspective is valid.
But he is not objective when it comes to Christian counselors. His bias against these people colors his perspective and leads him to trash people most of whom he will never meet or know. In his analysis and thesis of this topic, his bias is in plain sight.
He is not being objective nor is he being honest. He only takes his experience and paints with a very broad brush. There are many good Christian counselors who know how to use their faith correctly when counseling others. They do not follow the demands of the unbelieving world and provide actual help to the afflicted.
Just because he could not do it, doesn’t mean others cannot. Just because he had no answers, doesn’t mean others do not have the right answers. His attack on Christian counselors, in general, is wrong and misleading. It also hurts innocent people.
#3. Suppose I am a licensed social worker and I am working for the Department of Human Services. The client is pregnant and is thinking about getting an abortion. Since I am a Christian and I think abortion is morally wrong, would I be able to counsel the woman according to my pro-life beliefs?
This is one of the analogies the author uses. It fails because the unbelieving counselor would counsel this woman according to the views they hold about abortion. If they can do it, why can’t the Christians do the same?
The Christian has the advantage as they know right from wrong and can effectively counsel the woman so that she sees that getting an abortion is not the right thing to do. The Christian, with God’s help, can easily counsel this woman and stop her from making a mistake.
The unbeliever can’t because they do not always accept the fact that the unborn child is truly human. They also do not accept what is truly right and truly wrong and replace God’s standards with their own. That is failing the client, not helping them. It is not great counseling either as it is done unobjectively.
#4. Evangelical Christians often demand they be permitted to work any job in any profession and not be forced to compartmentalize their beliefs.
There is nothing wrong with this as the unbelieving way is not the right way to do counseling. The Christian has knowledge that the unbeliever does not have and they should be allowed to be employed where they want.
Also, the Christian has compassion and caring that unbelievers do not have Barring the Christian counselor from any job is discrimination and illegal but that does not stop the author from recommending that action.
When it comes to counseling, the Christian has far more answers and insight than the unbeliever has and if the unbeliever wants to be truly objective, they have to let the Christian and their perspective practice their counseling training and knowledge.
The unbeliever does not have all or any answers for hurting people.
#5. Here in Ohio, a pastor is not required to have ANY training before counseling someone. The fact that the counseling is done through the church exempts the pastor from any governmental oversight. I knew several pastors who were high school dropouts, with no theological or counseling training, who regularly counseled people — both in and outside of their churches.
This may be so but pastors have a different teacher that helps them counsel people. Unfortunately, to o many of them let their personal views, not the Christian ones, influence what they say to a client.
But that is a different article for a different time. God knows the heart of men and women and who is better at arriving at an answer- the unbeliever who has their own personal preferences when it comes to counseling and doe snot know if the client is lying to them or not or where the truth lies? Or the Christian pastor who has God on his side showing him what is actually wrong with the person and providing the answer to the pastor?
We will take the latter as that option provides real help to the suffering person. Plus, most pastors only counsel their own congregation members. They do not hang a shingle out and look for business from those outside of their churches. If those outside do come to the pastor, then the pastor has every right to counsel them as God sees fit.
It is not up to the unbeliever to determine who can or cannot counsel and in what way that they counsel. Pastors are to obey God, not unbelievers. Spiritual answers are better than the many non-answers that unbelieving counselors give.
Plus, counselors are to provide the truth, not some theory or some false answer that keeps them coming back to the counselor for years of therapy.
#6. These kinds of pastors are very dangerous because they give simplistic answers to complex problems.
No, there are very few complex problems in this world. Most of them can be resolved if unbelievers accepted the fact that evil exists. But they don’t thus they are not good counselors, they are just people keeping others trapped in their problems.
Pastors are not dangerous, it is the unbeliever that is dangerous as they try to hide the truth and the answers from people.
#7. Most Evangelical pastors are unqualified to counsel people. They lack the necessary training to provide counseling competently, and their commitment to the Bible keeps them from properly helping people.
This is not true and the bias of the author is clearly seen as he disqualifies people with the answers simply because they disagree with his religious viewpoint. He is not qualified to write this type of article because of his prejudice and bias against God, the Bible, and Christians.
There are a lot of personal statements made in that article that we will not deal with right now. Suffice it to say, that those topics came about for a specific reason or two. Maybe in the next parts, we will address those issues.
#8.The psychologist I see has not “cured” me,… Before this could happen, layer after layer of religious belief and thinking had to be peeled away. At the heart of my difficulties was Evangelicalism and the Bible, and they had to be confronted head-on.
This is the problem with going to unbelieving counselors. Their bias against Jesus, Christianity and the church has them robbing people of their faith. They are unqualified to handle spiritual problems or those issues that require faith building.
Everything the author said against Christian counselors applies to unbelieving ones as well. They are not qualified to handle spiritual problems. The unbelieving counselors make God, Christianity, the Bible, and its content the problem when in reality it is evil creating the problem.
The unbeliever cannot help the believer because they do not share the same beliefs or perspectives. One comes from sin, while the other has been freed from sin. When you open yourself up to unbelieving ideology and teaching, then your believing side suffers and you are separated from God eventually.
What the author failed to do in this article was be honest. He knew what the Bible says and he ignored it in his attempts to bash professional people who do not believe as he does. To do counseling correctly, one needs wisdom.
God gives the believer wisdom and that surpasses any counseling training you can take. This is why pastors are qualified to counsel people even though they do not have all the certificates, etc., They ask God for wisdom and God grants it liberally.
Christian counselors and pastors need God, not worldly degrees that leave people trapped in their problems. God provides the right answers if the Christian counselor is humble enough to listen and obey.