• Sin-Colored Glasses

    Posted on June 20th, 2009 bob.kellemen No comments

    Why Some Biblical Counseling Is Only Half Biblical!

    Part Twelve: Sin-Colored Glasses

    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


    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.


    Sin-Colored Glasses


    Some pastors, in arguing against making suffering a formal aspect of biblical counseling definitions, training, and practice, have said, “But Bob, my people don’t come to me with suffering issues. They come with sin issues!”


    What are we to make of this?


    First, let me be honest, having pastored three churches, when I hear such statements, I have to pick my jaw off the table. Parishioners have come to me with every conceivable issue of sin and of suffering.


    Second, I wonder how much this might have to do with the “enculturation” of these particular parishioners. Have these individuals learned that it is appropriate to bring “sin issues” to their pastors, but that it is not appropriate for them to bring “suffering issues” to their pastors?


    Third, is it possible that these pastors see all of life with “sin-colored lenses”? So that even if a parishioner comes with a life hurt, perhaps the pastor sees the hurt as an opportunity to expose sinful responses.


    Fourth, I have found that in a local church, when the message of the pulpit clearly communicates that “it’s normal to hurt,” “it’s possible to hope,” “it’s horrible to sin and wonderful to be forgiven,” and “it’s supernatural to mature,” that the entire congregation feels free to openly discuss all of life. And they do so both with the pastor and with one another. When we preach and teach the whole counsel of God, which includes sin and suffering, then the Body of Christ freely relates with one another about all of life.

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