Home > church, counseling, mental health > The Problem with Pastoral Counseling

The Problem with Pastoral Counseling

God has blessed me with the ability and opportunity to attend school for the purpose of being a professional counselor. I cherish the information and skills that I possess due to my training. I have been asked on several occasions why I would get a degree in professional counseling when a preacher should be able to deal with people’s problems solely through the Bible. I do agree with their point, but disagree with their line of thought.

2 Peter 1:3 states “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” To refute that the Bible has all the answers for our life in Christ would be a pointless argument. I have full confidence in God’s Word. I would never teach anyone to listen to any other authority except for the scriptures. My problem lies with the minister. There are too many ministers who are counseling people through the use of God’s Word, but are not trained appropriately to deal with serious mental health issues. I have heard of people dealing with depression, anxiety, or some other psychological disorder and the minister decides that they do not have enough faith. In this example faith has nothing to do with it, but the right type of counseling does.

I firmly believe that we should use the Bible to deal with spiritual problems. My fear is that there are ministers and church members who are operating outside of their area of expertise and causing more problems for the people they seek to help. The church and the mental health community need each other desperately. There is a need for the meeting of the minds where each entity learns to respect what each group brings to the table so that people can get the best help that is out there. I am looking forward to the day when we strengthen our efforts in this area because the church will benefit in beautiful ways that will keep us healthy and better able to serve God.

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