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Welcome back to week 47. We hope the past week has been a blessed one for you. Last week we briefly examined the topic of casting out demons. This week we will briefly consider what it means to minister the Scripture in counseling. There is a difference between a “professional medical” model and a “ministry of the Word” model. What does ministering the Scripture in counseling mean, and what is the difference between both models?

Ministering the Scriptures in counseling means that the pastor or biblical counselor, who has been called to this life task by God, proclaims the good news of God’s Word to those whom the Spirit has regenerated. The good news, about which we are speaking, is the redemptive love of God in Christ for His body. Christ’s body, about which we are speaking, are the individuals who comprise His church. The pastor or counselor seeks to lead the church to respond in love toward Christ and neighbor. Thus, ministering speaks of two functions; counseling, or teaching, and preaching, or pastoring (Jer.23; Ezk. 34; Eph. 4:11). 

The “ministry of the word” model, explained above, and a “professional medical” model (i.e. the psychological model) share the same basic goals. Each has, as its goal, to change the behavior, emotion, and character of the counselee. Even though both models share the same kind of goals (i.e. change), there is a huge contrast between the two models. 

The contrast is that only the pastor is qualified to “professionally” counsel someone while the “medical professional” is the most unqualified to counsel someone. This is because only the biblical worldview asserts that all problems in life can be boiled down to three categories. The first category is personal sin. This could be personal sin due to responding wrongly to sin against you, or by perpetrating sin against another. 

The second category is demonic possession. Only the Savior can defeat this horrible sin problem. Psychologists have no power or clue what to do. 

The Third category is organic illness. The psychiatric model’s worldview says that life’s problems are due to mental illness and physical disease. This flies in the face of facts. The fact is that there is no such thing as mental illness.

Although the psychiatrist’s knowledge of treatment for organic medical concerns such as brain damage, tumors, etc., is valuable, his erroneous presuppositional worldview (i.e., that people are mentally ill), disqualifies him from the area of counseling. This worldview disqualifies him for two reasons. First, it is impossible for anyone to have a mental illness because the mind is inorganic and cannot experience illness. Scripture defines the mind as the inner person, the soul, or the spirit. Just as it is impossible for the soul to contract a biological illness, it is also impossible for it to be treated by a biological medicine. 

Second, he is disqualified because he gets the basic problem wrong. Mankind’s problem is sin, not sickness (Rom. 3:9-18, 23). The term psychology means “soul study.” Medicine will not fix a man’s sinful soul, only the Savior can do that. Thus, there is no model more qualified to deliver this news, this eternal solution, than the ministry of God’s Word. The theological model, the ministry model is the only model on earth ordained and empowered by the Lord that can give real hope and biblical change. The professional model, in all its iterations, cannot accomplish either for God’s glory.

We hope our short time considering the difference between a ministry model of the Word and a professional model was helpful. Only one offers real hope and change, and it’s not the “professional model.” Lord willing, next week we will briefly examine the topics of healing the memories, visualization techniques, 12-step and other recovery programs, and self-image. Until then may our Lord bless you and keep you.

Foundations of Biblical Counseling: Casting Out Demons? Foundations of Biblical Counseling: Memories, Visualization, 12-Steps, and Self-Esteem, Oh My!