David Murray has written a blog that mentions me and asks the question can anyone be a Biblical Counselor without being part of the Biblical Counseling Movement. You can his blog “When Friends Disagree” at http://headhearthand.org/blog/2014/02/13/when-friends-disagree/#comment-45128 .
David poses an interesting question and here is my answer.
Friends? Yes! Brothers for certain! Can anyone be a Biblical Counselor without being a part of the Biblical Counseling Movement? I suppose that it just as likely as someone being a Christian without being a Baptist or a Methodist or a Presbyterian. J
When I started this counseling journey I suspect that I was probably right in the middle of the road. I was certainly not in the Biblical Counseling movement, but I was not happy with the outcomes that I was seeing with a counseling format that attempted to merge the “best of” secular psychology, medical treatment and my view of Christian counseling. It is interesting to me that you say that the results you have seen with CBT have in part led you to the position that you hold.
My experience was in the opposite direction. After about 10 years of doing my best to integrate medicine, secular counseling, and the Bible, I was introduced to better outcomes with Biblical counseling. My brother had taken training and came back pastoring and counseling in a remarkably different way. That led me to go for the same training.
When I teach Biblical counseling, I tell students that good people do disagree about where to draw the line between medical and spiritual issues. And, I tell them that when we do disagree, we need to be gracious when we speak about things that fall in the Romans 14 arena. But, there are some things that fall outside of that arena for anyone who would identify him or herself as a Biblical counselor. I am glad that you say that having read the BCC documents that you agree with them 100%. That is a good place to start.
I do not want to turn this comment into a comprehensive statement about what I believe makes a Biblical counselor biblical. So I will note one thing and quit. It is a quote that I read from R.C. Sproul. “"It is your duty to believe and to teach what the Bible teaches, not what you want it to teach."
For me that means that I am not at liberty to agree with a secular concept that is identified as scientific when it disagrees with scripture. As I tell students, I will never call anything a disease that the Bible calls a sin. At the same time, I also tell them that I will never call anything sin unless the Bible specifically does. I will not attempt to enforce my personal preferences on people with the weight of scripture.
I think that is a good place to start for anyone who wants to identify themselves as a Biblical counselor.