I need a quick word of counsel....quickly!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Scarlett O., Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I'm a moderator on another Christian forum. Myself and two other members - one male, one female - moderate the counseling forum.

    We get many people who are deeply troubled and I mean have serious issues. Most of them are Christians, but some are not.

    Yesterday, we got a post from a young man who suffers from scrupulosity. I know that you are familiar with that - you just probably never knew what it was called. It's when one suffers severe OCD type thinking that one can lose their salvation or make God angry by using the wrong color toothbrush or changing the radio channel before the song is over. Remember the old adage we learned as a child - "don't step on a crack or you will break your mother's back"? Well multiply this ridiculous thinking ad nausem times in the area of religious beliefs.

    Myself and a few other competent people have counseled him briefly. My biggest counsel in areas like this are to seek competent medical attention, experts, and secure a competent spiritual advisor be he a pastor or be he or she a layperson. I always advise not to get to attached to the words and advice given by strangers on the internet. We are not experts and I always give that disclaimer.

    Here's my problem. The young man is convinced that his mental state is going to cause God to reject him. He is so very tired.

    I'm not certain that he is confident in his salvation and I KNOW that he isn't confident in the security of the believer.

    I just checked the thread and he asked, "...so, are you all saying that I can't do anything to lose my salvation?"

    One of the moderators in that forum who is a wonderful person replied, "Sure you can .... just turn your back on God."

    I'm so angry. This is his WHOLE problem. He believes that there are things he can do - stupid things, silly things - but they are real to him that can cause him to be "unsaved". He calls it "bargaining away my salvation in my thinking and behavior by attaching my salvation to these things that I obsess about."

    I NEED to talk to him about that, but if I do in the public thread, it may start a debate about OSAS and that thread has no place for debate.

    But I also need to address that comment publicly. Or do I?

    Should I just send him a private message?

    What would you do in my place?

    I know that I'm very sharp with my words sometimes here. But I am very careful there not to do so as a moderator.

    Do I address this publicly or privately?
     
    #1 Scarlett O., Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  2. Gina B

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    I'd let it go. Different opinions exist out there and you can't save this person from running across them. Having two people both on the same thread trying to help and giving somewhat differing answers is problematic enough without it getting more dramatic by having private messages, which would fail in what you want to do because it would be promoting yourself as a higher authority and then he'll be in the position of also having to decide whether or not to recognize that and in turn see the other poster as having less authority when in reality this is his problem to work out after he's asked the questions and received the answers.

    Sometimes being kind means letting go.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Does the othher moderator believe in the fact that if a person is truly saved they can never lose it? If they do, deal with it privately and then insist that he make clear what the Bible teaches and that he may have spoken flippantly.

    If he does not, then you may need to post that you believe differently and that the Bible teaches the security of the believer and then state why.

    Praying for you and for the young man.
     
  4. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I'm a mod on another forum and know what you mean about opening up a can of worms while trying to address another issue. If it were me, I'd PM him privately, but I'd also post a brief comment along the lines of "Not everyone believes that way, but we should discuss that later and right now focus on helping this man."

    Edited to add, I'd also PM the other mod privately.
     
    #4 abcgrad94, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  5. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    I would say YES to this. Help him through private messages.

    Forget the forum and ask him to forget it as well

    YOU, and ONLY you councle him.

    If possible on the telephone.

    The last thing he needs is more confusion
     
  6. Winman

    Winman
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    This is a serious problem and usually takes a great deal of time to overcome. Wrong thinking is a habit. A person must be exposed to continual truth for a long period of time to overcome this type of difficulty.

    It would probably be best to recommend he speak to a pastor, they are trained to counsel and have more experience than most realize.

    For now, I would show him that our salvation does not depend upon our faithfulness to Jesus, but Jesus's faithfulness to us. A good example is Peter. Peter denied the Lord three times, and even left the ministry to go back to fishing. But the Lord did not give up on Peter, he came looking for him while he was fishing.

    Jhn 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
    4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

    You can imagine Peter's state of mind. He had run and fled when the soldiers took Jesus, and later denied him three times. He was as discouraged as a man can be, and decided to go back to his old occupation of fishing. Note that the other disciples were just as ashamed and discouraged as well and followed Peter.

    But what happened next? Jesus came and got Peter and the disciples. Our salvation is not dependant upon our faithfulness to Jesus, but his faithfulness to us. We will often fail Jesus, but Jesus will never fail us.

    Faith is not looking at ourselves. If we examine ourselves we will always see failure. Faith is looking away from self and looking only at Jesus. Jesus will never fail us nor forsake us.

    Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

    I love this verse, even if you say it backwards you are still assured Jesus will save us and never forsake us.

    Thee forsake nor thee leave never will I

    Your friend needs to hear scripture like this many times. It takes time to overcome habitual thoughts. Lack of assurance is a vicious circle, the more a person tries to believe, the more they doubt. This is because of a wrong concept of faith, faith is not something we work up, it is looking away from self toward Jesus.

    Jhn 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

    Jesus said that whosoever comes to him for forgiveness will in "no wise" be cast out. That means under any circumstance. Show the young man this scripture and ask him if he came to Jesus in his heart and asked for forgiveness. He will likely tell you he has done this hundreds of times. Ask him what Jesus said, did Jesus say he would cast him out for any reason?

    So, you have to establish right thinking over a period of times to overcome habitual and compulsive doubt.

    Start with these scriptures, and advise him to seek a pastor to speak to.
     
    #6 Winman, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  7. Amy.G

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    I'm not qualified to counsel, but maybe it would help to remind him that this is not just a physical battle but a spiritual one as well. The devil wants to steal his joy of salvation. God has promised it to him, but Satan is saying "did God really....?" He has come to kill, steal and destroy and he is succeeding with this young man. Prayer is definitely the most powerful tool you have. That and just telling him the truth of scripture. You can't really do anything more to help him so try not to burden yourself too much with it.
     
  8. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Thanks everyone, I mean it.

    I'm not going to say anything to him right now, but may later tonight or tomorrow. And it will be public, brief , and mainly scripture - including scripture that was posted here. My big thing with people that we talk to is that they need real-life face-to-face competent people to talk to and we push them towards that - primarily physicians and good pastoral/layperson counsel.

    You all have helped me so very much.
     
    #8 Scarlett O., Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  9. Jkdbuck76

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    Exactly. Either the other mod made a flippant comment or a stupid comment---either way he took the attention off of this poor soul to get in his digs. The other mod obviously doesn't understand what kind of pain and anguish the OCD person is in.

    The other mod has to be very politely told "THAT COMMENT OF YOURS DID NOT HELP!!!!!!!"

    OCD person needs medical attention and love--not smartypants comments. I have about the smartest mouth of everyone I know, but there are serious times when I know not to make flippant comments.

    Just be firm, but polite. There is a time and place for OSAS arguments, but not when someone with OCD thinks God hates them and they lose their will to live.
     
  10. Iconoclast

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    Pm the moderator ...fully express your concern that this was the exact wrong thing to post publically to an unstable person.

    Is the young man under the care of a local church....

    you need to continue to lay out the issues slowly and clearly....salvation, and proper mental health come from the Lord.


    here in the amplified
    You keep the teaching in front of the young man...that every believing one having come to Jesus..has come to be under the blood....which will cleanse all his sins, past present , and future.....

    Jesus does not lose any who are given to Him of the Father
     
  11. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    A couple things:

    It is most likely his person’s cognitive disabilities run deeper than severe OCD, rarely is something to that extreme isolated.

    It is good that you’ve suggested for him to get medical attention. We were taught that you must follow through on that, such as ask when he will make an appointment and check that he did; In my case a responsibility of following through could include finding some good references and even helping him make the appointment and seeing that he keeps the appointment.

    Other than that one thing I might try to get him to do is memorize these “emphases true” words and tell him whenever he fears something might affect his relationship with God to say and believe these words:

    (Rom 8:38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

    (Rom 8:39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    BTW, that last suggestion falls under what we call the KISS concept, (keep it simple stupid); you could probably teach him all the reasoning in the world not to fear but he will turn to reasoning otherwise when some event happens...but "IF" he can be trained to remember this one simple thing he may find an easy out.
     
    #11 Benjamin, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  12. Iconoclast

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    :thumbsup: This might be my only chance to agree with benjamin...so i better take it:wavey:
     
  13. John of Japan

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    I would address it privately. But how? Don't know if this is a parallel case, but maybe this story will help.

    Many years ago at a camp I was saddled with counselling a teen with doubts about his salvation. He had been to Christian pyschologists, pastors and others, but no one was able to help him get assurance of salvation. (In fact, every one in his family had the same problem.) He looked scruffy, needed a haircut, was very down. I failed with him also, talking with him long after everyone else had left the "tabernacle."

    Finally I gave up. In frustration I said, "Well, have you been reading your Bible? Because 'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,' you know." When he said that he did not ever read the Bible, I said, "Well, there's your problem then!" (Too simple, right?) And he promised to start reading his Bible.

    Later that year at a fall retreat, a sharp, well-groomed young man walked up to me and said, "Remember me?" It was the same boy, only he had started reading his Bible faithfully and gotten assurance of salvation!
     
  14. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Thanks ALL - again.

    Benjamin - Romans 8:38-39 was exactly what I was thinking ! :applause: And yes, we have had a couple of schizophrenics who have asked for prayer, help, and counsel who - in my opinion - were not in complete control of their cognitive state. They were both looking for spiritual answers only to their problem - they didn't believe themselves to need any more doctors, but I always refuse to discount medical attention. I believe that God heals through doctors as well as supernatually. I also believe that one has to find competent medical doctors and even with competent ones - unfortunately sometimes only trial and error with medication and their levels will work and that takes time. And it's hard for people who are going through mental anguish and spiritual oppression to have patience - especially with family member and doctors and in extreme cases even with God. In our case - they crave the prayers and we do give them that in abundance and scripture. That's my basic counsel - prayer and scripture - find a competent doctor and pastor.

    I did just now leave him a brief and public message that reminded him again to seek out competent doctor(s) and pastor(s). I left him with Romans 8:31-39. And I very briefly showed how the betrayal, mental anguish, and even sin of Peter, John the Baptist, and King David did not separate them from the love of God. They, as flawed humans failed, but God did not fail and Jesus Christ did not fail.

    My last statement was that if he has surrendered his heart and life to the dead, buried, and third-day and eternally resurrected Jesus Christ as Lord and if he believed that God raise Jesus Christ from the dead for his salvation's sake then according to Romans 8, there was nothing that could go on in his mind and heart that could separate him from the love of God through Jesus Christ.
     

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