This paper identifies and explores three nucleus thoughts expressed in the book Discipleship Counseling by Dr. Neil T. Anderson. In the field of Christian guidance there is a deficiency of consensus on integrating of secular psychiatric scientific discipline and theological instruction. The first point addressed replies this with the statement that Christians are aching because of a deficiency of apprehension of whom they are or their intent in Christ. In the 2nd point this paper addresses the organisational construction of discipleship guidance that must be met. Finally barriers to get the better of in reconstructing the counselee back to God are addressed. Beginnings include the Barna Research Group, physicians from the American Medical Association, The Zondervan Corporation, and others.
In Dr. Neil T. Anderson ‘s work Discipleship Counseling ( Anderson, 2003 ) there are three of import thoughts that are expressed ; that followings of Jesus Christ are aching expressly because they do non understand their topographic point or intent in Christ, that there is an organisational construction to discipleship reding that must be met, and that there are barriers to get the better of in reconstructing the relationship of the counselee back to God. Discipleship Counseling is an of import subject non merely in the church but in the secular universe of medical specialty, psychological science and sociology because as Dr. Anderson provinces, “ Science has helped us understand natural jurisprudence, relieve some agony and better our criterion of life, but it is merely unequal to explicate affairs of religion. ” ( P. 28 ) Dr. Anderson ‘s book is a just and balanced expression at Christian based guidance and what it looks like in the field, but as with anything both Christian Counseling and Dr. Anderson ‘s positions have their cavillers.
Discipleship Counseling is a comparatively little mention usher every bit far as Christian guidance books go. It is chiefly divided into two parts, but first part can besides be broken into two parts. The first official portion is titled “ Discipleship Counseling in Theory, ” which discusses the scriptural balance of modern psychological science and Christian guidance. In the “ introductory ” part Anderson touches on such subjects as the inclusion of the religious kingdom in guidance, the insufficiency of scientific rationalism and how at that place needs to be balance with naturalism and Biblical world. The 2nd “ half ” of this portion, which is the majority of “ Discipleship Counseling in Theory ” dives into specifying mental wellness as it applies to the layman and Biblical universe positions, incorporating theological thoughts with the psychological, functions and duties of all parties including God, the counsellor and counselee, the consecrating procedure or understanding how the Fall of Man and Christ ‘s Redemption affect the guidance brush, an debut into what Anderson calls “ the stairss to freedom, ” and covering with religious and external resistance.
In portion two titled “ Discipleship Counseling in Practice, ” Anderson begins to look at the procedure of conveying counselees back into right relationship with God. He begins with a treatment of who to advocate, turn toing defences and supplication spouses, and interrupting down the assorted logistics of the meeting. Next the renouncing of anterior counsel reverse to the Word of God is listed as the first measure. Misrepresentation in the life of the counselee is now confronted, to be replaced with the truth of Christ. Once truth is accepted the procedure of forgiveness can get down, including others, God and self. Rebellion and control are addressed following, affecting the demand for God to take control of one ‘s life. Pride is confronted and replaced with humbleness, and the bondage of dependence and accustomed wickedness is broken by Paul ‘s edict that “ There is no disapprobation for those who are in Jesus Christ. ” ( Romans 8:1 ) Finally hereditary wickedness is addressed, so that the counselee might go free of any sin influence that has been passed to them. Anderson closes with resources on how to get down your ain ministry based on his “ Freedom in Christ Ministries. ”
The Counselee in Christ
The first thought explored is that aching Christians do non cognize their topographic point or intent in Christ. Which should non be surprising, in 2009 the Barna group performed a study of professed “ Born Again Christians ” in the United States and found that when it came to keeping an accurate Biblical universe position, “ less than one out of every five ( 19 % ) had such an mentality on life. ” ( The Barna Research Group, 2009 ) As Anderson states “ Western rationalism and naturalism is out of balance with scriptural world. ” ( P. 36 ) The statement presented is that secular psychological science fails to acknowledge the demands of the holistic individual ; viz. disregarding the religious world taught by such Bibles as Ephesians 6:12, “ For our battle is non against flesh and blood, but against the swayers, against the governments, against the powers of this dark universe and against the religious forces of immorality in the celestial kingdom. ”
In specifying mental wellness, Anderson points out that secular positions are incapable of work outing jobs because they regard religious jobs as mental unwellness. Harmonizing to the Council of Christian Colleges & A ; Universities, “ Psychological theories are non “ proven, ” and since the proximate cause of mental-emotional jobs is religious, one should merely trust on scriptural rules for mental-emotional healing. ” ( Mills, 1999 ) Mental Health from a Biblical criterion defines two beliefs as indispensable, the true nature of God as expressed in Bible, and our ain nature every bit expressed as apprehension of who we are as kids of God and our relationship with him. Mental Illness is defined as a deformation of either of these constructs by Satan.
The inquiry frequently is raised “ When is a status to be regarded as psychological or religious? ” Anderson argues that this is antithetical to the holistic intervention of counselees, as there is no clip when our present status is non affected by physical conditions, nor a clip when God ceases to move as God. Christian Discipleship Counseling revolves about two principals, the centrality of the Gospel and holding an accurate Biblical worldview. The centrality of the Gospel is approximately tantamount to how the counsellor approaches ministering to the counselee, whether warning them with the “ jurisprudence ” of the Bibles or promoting them to walk by religion harmonizing to what God says is true, and so assisting them laud God so that they may bear fruit. Having an accurate Biblical worldview is critical as without apprehension of who plays what function, where mending power genuinely comes from and other theological inquiries we are merely the blind taking the blind.
A common statement over Christ-centered guidance is the thought of Integration of divinity and psychological science. Professor Ann Belford Ulanov of Union Theological Seminary argues that psychological science and divinity can non blend because “ there is no precise common land ; their several points of position shape their methods, attitudes, undertakings, stuffs, and images of truth otherwise. ” ( Ulanov, 1971 ) Another concern raised provinces that “ Integration is non merely an rational exercising. It is a personal procedure that orients one ‘s full life. ” ( Carter & A ; Narramore, 1979 ) Anderson states that while he does non hold with secular psychological science, he understands psychological science itself to be the survey of the psyche, much like divinity is the survey of God, and hence an of import constituent in Christian guidance.
The Organizational Structure
The 2nd of import thought expressed in Discipleship Counseling is that there is an organisational construction that must be met. As this is a Christ-centered ministry God is at the top of the organisational construction. Neither counsellor nor counselee can carry through anything without His guiding manus. Still the line must be further divided between God ‘s Sovereignty and Man ‘s Responsibility. Man can non make what merely God can make, and God can non coerce us to make what He has asked us to make through Bible.
By the same item there are duties that the counselee needs to follow to assist the guidance decide successfully. Primarily the counselee has the duty to pray for themselves. As Anderson articulates this is presented in James 5:13 “ Is anyone among you enduring? Then he must pray. ” Another ground for this is stated in 1st Timothy 2:5, “ For there is one God and one go-between between God and work forces, the adult male Jesus Christ. ” As the Bible illustrates, the counsellor is non the replacing for Jesus in the counselee ‘s life, merely Christ can intercede between the counselee and God. The following duty of the counselee is for their ain religious good being. What this basically means is that the counselee must take the first measure. If person is in demand of supplication, how is anyone to cognize unless that petition is presented? The last duty is for the counselee to squeal the truth and repent of their wickednesss. Lies and misrepresentation are the bargaining french friess the Satan uses to keep people in bondage, and as Christ said in John 8:32, “ And so you will cognize the truth, and the truth will put you free. ”
The encourager or counsellor besides has duties. The counsellor is to be the Lord ‘s bond retainer, wholly dependent on God. As John 6:44 provinces, “ No 1 can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. ” Another duty is that we must non be quarrelsome. Anderson includes a great quotation mark from John Scott, “ You can non gratify to mankind ‘s rational haughtiness, but you must provide to their rational unity. ” In other words there are some who seek out statements merely for attending, non for declaration and our occupation is non to follow but have adequate understanding to see through the misrepresentation.
Compassion is another duty of the counsellor. Godly kindness is non merely helpful in pulling out honestness from the counselee, it besides helps the counsellor base as an illustration of healthy behaviour. As stated by the Patient-Physician Covenant, “ one that can non be pursued efficaciously without the virtuousnesss of humbleness, honestness, rational unity, compassion, and effacement of inordinate opportunism. ” ( Crawshaw, et al. , 1995 ) Patience is another duty. A counselee can non merely drop a life-time of psychological refuse out in forepart of you instantly upon bid.
The concluding duty of the counsellor is to retrieve to go on their ain walk in Christ. They are non to be in a haste to assist so many people, lest they stumble and injure more than merely themselves. Counselors should go on to pray non merely for their counselees but for themselves, and maintain themselves abreast of new techniques. As it states in 1st Timothy 6:11, “ But you, adult male of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, religion, love, endurance and gradualness. Fight the good battle of the religion. Take clasp of the ageless life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. “
Barriers to Reding
The 3rd and concluding point of Discipleship Counseling is that there are barriers to get the better of in reconstructing the relationship of the counselee back to God. The Apostle Peter, composing to the Christians of Asia Minor from Rome urged “ Be self-controlled and watchful. Your enemy the Satan prowls around like a boom king of beasts looking for person to devour. Resist him, standing house in the religion, because you know that your brothers throughout the universe are undergoing the same sort of sufferings. “ ( 1st Peter 5:8-9 NIV ) It is interesting to observe that in the NASB interlingual rendition the beginning of verse eight is worded “ Be of sober spirit, be on the qui vive. ” The word sober here is taken from the Greek word “ nepho , ” which means to abstain from vino. So cognizing from Ephesians 6:12 that our battle is non in the flesh but in the spirit and heavenly kingdoms, to be spiritually sober is to abstain from that which spiritually makes us imbibe. So the inquiry is, what are those things?
At the bosom of the affair Anderson describes a key of cognition that Jesus refers to in Luke 11:52, and the visible radiation that exposes wicked workss in John 3:19-20. The key of cognition, or the truth of Jesus is what sets people free of bondage, while the light exposes the darkness and convicts people into penitence. These two things are critical in understanding external barriers in reding. One external barrier nowadayss in the signifier of the impenitent evildoer. These would be those who know full good their step of wickedness but run from the church for fright of holding it exposed in the visible radiation. Another illustration would be so called “ Pharasees, ” those who have hardened their Black Marias to the point that they become critical of everything around them that does n’t conform to their criterions. Even more unsafe are “ Pharaseic ” leaders in the church who actively stand in the manner of truth. Harmonizing to the 2009 Barna Year-in-review position:
Bible reading has become the spiritual equivalent of sound-bite news media. When people read from the Bible they typically open it, read a brief transition without much respect for the context, and see the primary idea or feeling that the transition provided. If they are comfy with it, they accept it ; otherwise, they deem it interesting but irrelevant to their life, and travel on. There is shockingly small growing evident in people ‘s apprehension of the cardinal subjects of the Bibles and surprisingly small involvement in intensifying their cognition and application of scriptural rules. ( The Barna Research Group, 2009 )
In a similar manner there are existent religious maltreaters who attempt to discredit the truth by assailing those who would bear fruit. Numerous web sites can be found online of churches or persons claiming to be experts with full archives of sludge studies on well-thought-of ministry leaders, Dr. Anderson included.
When it comes to the guidance experience, counsellors will rapidly happen that frequently a broken Biblical worldview is the consequence of some past injury in their lives. In some instances these injuries are so dominant in the lives of the counselee they ca n’t even understand what it is you ‘re stating as you council them. It ‘s in these instances that an apprehension of how the religious conflict traveling on inside the heads of many is critical to freedom. It must be communicated that Satan has all ready been defeated and that they are kids of God, co-heirs to the Kingdom with Christ ( Romans 8:17 ) Once the counselee has been freed, they can get down what Anderson calls the seven stairss towards freedom in Christ.
Measure one involves abdicating any current our past engagement in any activity or group that worked contrary to scripture. Anderson insists that a strong, out loud declaration of abdicating Satan is at the bosom of this measure, as false counsel from the enemy has led the counselee off from God. After this declaration nine follow-up inquiries are asked, all nine of which are in some manner satanically related. This is to promote supplication and farther renouncing of wickednesss the counselee may hold committed.
Measure two involves get the better ofing misrepresentation, from populating prevarications to believing them. Prayer is mostly involved, inquiring on the Father to uncover any misrepresentation involved in the counselee ‘s life. After this an avowal of truth is declared.
Measure three is about get the better ofing resentment, and larning what stands in the manner of forgiveness. After executing a supplication of disclosure the counselee is asked to do a list of those they have offended and those that have offended them, with the counsellor ‘s aid if necessary. Much of this measure involves the counselee forgiving themselves and let go ofing any resentment towards God.
The following measure is get the better ofing rebellion, or those who would hold control over their ain life alternatively of God. Learning to swear God, populating with and under authorization and Biblical entry are all covered here. Covering with past maltreatments is besides frequently dealt with in this measure. Ultimately the end is for the counselee to larn proper entry.
The 5th measure is get the better ofing pride, which goes good with measure four. As Anderson provinces, “ Pride is the beginning of immorality. ” ( P. 294 ) In this measure the counsellor helps the counselee overcome their perceived autonomy by placing false humbleness, avenues of pride, bias and dogmatism. Since this measure is covered in the last, affecting a realistic worldview is conveyed.
The 6th measure involves get the better ofing accustomed wickedness and dependences, which typically is administered in some signifier of 12 measure plan. In this case Anderson respects this signifier of wickedness as a kind of unfastened or go arounding door in which the counselee repeatedly attempts to atone but does non hold the modules to make so. Prayer is mostly the prescription but even Anderson admits this is a immense challenge and recommends it be administered in two Sessionss.
The concluding measure involves get the better ofing Ancestral Sin, or wickedness that has been passed down the household line. Here habits that have formed from how the counselee grew up are addressed. Anderson even suggests that Jeremiah 32:17-18 suggests that certain wickednesss are really genetically inherited. After supplication is administered the counselee is assured of 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creative activity has come: [ a ] The old has gone, the new is here! “
While Anderson ‘s book Discipleship Counseling offers us three distinguishable topical points, that Christians are aching because they do non cognize their topographic point in Christ, that there is an organisational construction to discipleship guidance, and there are barriers to get the better of in reconstructing the counselee back to God, a great trade more can be learned from his Truth in Christ Ministries. Anderson has given us several illustrations of his work in the field non mentioned here. The field of Christian guidance in general is in demand of counsel such as this, and it is dry that the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychology Association and the American Medical Association happen this work legitimate while a figure of churches do non. The work does seems to concentrate chiefly on supplication and diabolic activity as the cause of issues over traditional secular thoughts, but the handiness of the stuff would justify farther probe before execution in a church environment, particularly if that church were looking to avoid secular psychological science wholly.