• Not Conclusion, But Commencement

    Posted on June 21st, 2009 bob.kellemen No comments

    Why Some Biblical Counseling Is Only Half Biblical!

    Part Thirteen: Not Conclusion, but Commencement

    By Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D., LCPC

     

    *Note: If you’re disappointed that I’m saying that some biblical counseling is only half biblical, then please read my comments at the end of my first post in this series: http://tinyurl.com/n8k799.

     

    My Premise: Half Biblical Counseling

     

    Some modern biblical counseling considers the seriousness of sin—sinning, but spends much less time equipping people to minister to the gravity of grinding affliction—suffering. When we provide counseling for sin, but fail to provide counseling and counselor training for suffering, then such biblical counseling is only half biblical.

     

    My Premise Expanded: One-Quarter Biblical Counseling

     

    Even when suffering is “addressed,” for some biblical counselors, the focus seems to be upon “directive” counseling that exhorts the suffering Christian to be faithful. When we provide only directive exhortations to faithfulness, but fail to engage in compassionate commiseration (empathy, sustaining, weeping with those who weep, sharing Scripture and soul), and when we fail to engage in collaborative exploration of biblical responses (encouragement, healing, trialogues, spiritual conversations, scriptural explorations), then such biblical counseling is only one-quarter biblical.

     

    Not Conclusion, but Commencement

     

    This thirteen-part series could easily be month-long. In fact, it could be book-long.

     

    However, it’s time to conclude.

     

    No. Not conclude, but commence.

     

    Even in “final counseling sessions,” I’ve never liked the word “terminate”! It’s like we are dispensing with our spiritual friend.

     

    I prefer the word “commencement” for the final official meeting, because we are celebrating with our spiritual friend his or her commencing a new beginning as he or she connects more deeply with Christ and the Body of Christ and more fully reflects the image of Christ.

     

    So also, in this blog mini-series, I don’t like the word “conclude.” That could imply that I believe I have cornered the market on the right way to do biblical counseling. That’s not my mindset at all. In fact, you’ll note that in this series and throughout my speaking, writing, and consulting, I quote a great deal from “that great cloud of witnesses”—biblical and historical.

     

    The ideas presented in this series are not “Kellemen’s concepts. I believe that soul care for suffering (sustaining and healing) and spiritual direction for sin (reconciling and guiding) combine to offer a biblically and historically-based Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed approach to biblical counseling and spiritual formation.

     

    That leads to another reason I prefer “commencement” over “conclude” or “conclusion.” This is still just one person’s “take” on what Church history and the Bible have to say about “comprehensive” biblical counseling.

     

    What Say Ye?

     

    I’ve had many, many emails, Twitter messages, Facebook posts, etc., about this series. It’s been fantastic and fascinating.

     

    Let the conversation continue; let it commence.

     

    Let’s all “graduate” to a Berean-like discussion and application of truly comprehensive biblical counseling.

     

    Let’s stir one another on to love and good deeds.

     

    Let’s encourage one another as we see the day approaching.

     

    Let’s sustain, heal, reconcile, and guide one another.

     

    Let’s minister to those who are facing suffering and to those who are battling besetting sins.

     

    Let’s equip pastors, lay people, and professional Christian biblical counselors with and for comprehensive ministry.

     

    Let’s carefully define “biblical counseling” to nuance and represent what the Bible means when it talks about one another Body life ministry.

     

    As I said, let the conversation continue; let it commence.

     

     

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