Pastor counseling question

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by steveo, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. steveo

    steveo
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    When counseling I know the first thing we should be concerned about is their salvation.
    But, How do you counsel someone when they are not and they don't want to be saved, since the bible says the natural man is spiritually blind?
    For example one spouse is saved and the other is not.

    Pastors, I need your advice
    Thanks, Steve
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I would say that you have nothing really to say to them. Anything short of salvation is putting a bandaid on cancer. However, so long as they are willing to come and hear the truths of Scripture, both in the services and in the private counseling, I would continue meeting with them. I would not meet long term with someone who refused to attend the public preaching of the Word. And I would give no quarter to hope for change apart from spiritual regeneration.

    I have been working with a similar couple and virtually every session has focused on the need for the unsaved partner to be saved if there is going to be any real hope of change in the relationship. In addition, you can talk about practical things that are built on teh biblical foundation. Bujt the emphasis has to be spiritual transformation.
     
  3. GODzThunder

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    it really depends on what you are. Are you a preacher or are you a counselor? While a pastor is to counsel he is not in fact a counselor, at least not on the level of a professional counselor. Your main priority is for the salvation of the individual. Your main thought needs to be upon the Lord.

    I say counsel them and keep bringing the path of solution to the Word. If they continually refuse to heed your advice to seek Christ as savior then as a preacher you cannot help them. If they ultimately reject God as a whole then there is no help on the Christian level. They want a worldly advice and we cannot give them that.
     
  4. GODzThunder

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    BTW I have found with many couples if there is one, usually the husband, who absolutely refuses to hear of any answer in a spiritual matter then he will most likely refuse help on a secular level also. Such refusal is a sign of rebellion.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I would question your distinction between "preacher" and "counselor." The best counselor is a well trained theologian. Only he can get to the heart of the issue in people's lives. The hope for people in counseling situations is the last sentence of your first paragraph, changing only the subject: Their main thought needs to be upon the Lord.

    As a pastor, we need to know how to deal with people. If you can't, read some books, take some classes, and above all, know theology first and last, inside and out.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    I have my D.Min in pastoral counseling. It was a weak area in my seminary training, so worked with Jay Adams (Westminister) and Ed Hindson (Liberty) for training.

    Unsaved people are SPIRITUALLY blind. That does NOT imply blindness in all parts of their lives and thinking. While the Gospel is hidden until the regenerative work of the Spirit, principles of the Bible and godly living are NOT hidden and may be employed in counseling.

    I've had hardened sinners (think Clinton type) who have wept in remorse and worked to restore a failed marriage even though they were not saved. Not the ideal, of course, but I can't MAKE someone repent and trust Christ. That is God's job for His elect.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I think you are right Bob. The principle can be practiced, but they must be biblical principles. And the constant focus is on submission to the word of God, not merely reform for the sake change. As someone has said, Not just any change will do. But hopefully that change is in the right direction, based on the word of God.
     
  8. Tumbleweed

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    Amen and Amen. It is tragic that so many pastors have been duped by a lost world into believing that the Bible is an insufficient resouce for dealing with the human condition. May your tribe increase, dear brother.

    - Paul
     
  9. steveo

    steveo
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    Dr Bob,
    I have been reading some books by Jay Adams and I like his stuff.
    The neouthetic org is sending me some literature and training info also.
     
  10. rufus

    rufus
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    I have a Ph.D in neuthetic counseling. It is "confrontational" using Scriture!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    My D.Min is in Pastoral Counseling. Liberty offered (decades back) an 8-day, 60-hour program of certification in Nouthetic Counseling. The certificate from Liberty on my wall is nice, but the training is what is invaluable.

    I taught 24 credits for a counseling minor at Pillsbury BBC and it was well received. All based on Adam's modality (as contrasted to Skinner, Rogerian and methods of Dobson, Narramore and a host of non-bible-based counseling).
     
  12. Bob Farnaby

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    First point i'd make is - you can't pastor a non-sheep. Pray.

    Next, take care in the roles of pastor, preacher, counsellor. there is a difference. and a spiritual counselor is different to a humanistic counsellor. As has been said by others, knowing God is the priority, but does not mean that those who don't will not be able to benefit from other practical counselling issues.

    Knowing why you are counselling is important, if it is for a specialist reason other than spiritual counsel, maybe the best thing to do is direct to an appropriate specialist.

    Regards
    Bob
     

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