We have mentioned in the past that early in our writings we placed ads in Christian publications, which were gladly received at the time. However, as psychoheresy mushroomed into its current takeover of the church, Christianity Today, World Magazine, and other Christian publications refused to accept our ads, since they had been swallowed up by the tidal wave of psychoheresy engulfing the church. Sword of the Lord is a publication that purports to be “fundamentalist.” However, a few years back we were advised by letter that Dr. Shelton L. Smith, President and Editor, declined our ad as being too controversial.
At one time we attempted to place an ad in The Biblical Recorder, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. One can place ads online and pay for them online, which we did and for which we received a receipt. The Biblical Recorder is the publication in which Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy made known his now famous biblical remarks about gay marriage. It seemed as if The Biblical Recorder had it so right on gay marriage that an ad from us would be accepted. However, we were dead wrong! Our ad was rejected and our payment was refunded. We were told by Alison McKinney, business and advertising manager, that the Reverend K. Allan Blume, editor/president of The Biblical Recorder, “refused the ad because what you offer on your web site is not consistent with the mission and purpose of The Biblical Recorder.”
A major theme on our website is exposing the tentacles of psychoheresy strangling the various facets of the church. As the subtitle of our book PsychoHeresy states, it is a Psychological Seduction of Christianity. We state clearly on our website that we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture for the issues of life contemporarily sent out to the psychotherapeutic community. Apparently those at The Biblical Recorder do not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture for the issues of life! Thus, it makes sense that they refused our ad.
Some years back we sent an ad on our James Dobson book to the IFCA Voice, which is the publication of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA). The Executive Director at the time was Richard I. Gregory. Gregory wrote to us rejecting the ad because it was too controversial.
Over the years the many rejections of our ads had to do with what the publications regarded as too controversial or being inconsistent with the publication’s views. Thus far over the years the rejections were directed at what we published and not at us personally. However, an ad rejection experience with the IFCA Voice was dramatically different from our past experiences of having our submitted ads rejected.
We were part of the biblical counseling movement for years. Martin was a plenary speaker at the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) and had spoken at other conferences with a number of men in the biblical counseling movement (BCM). We had a book titled How to Counsel from Scripture published by Moody Press, which supported the BCM. In addition, we supported the BCM in other ways and encouraged many individuals to become involved in the BCM. That is, until we discovered what actually went on in what is called “biblical counseling.” After reading, hearing, and seeing what literally happens in “biblical” counseling we got out. Those in the BCM are, in the main, problem-centered, just as in the psychological counseling movement that preceded it. Both do problem-centered counseling, which inevitably leads to evil speaking, as we have documented elsewhere.1 At that time we asked Moody Press to put our book How to Counsel from Scripture out of print, as we could no longer recommend the BCM to others as indicated in the book. We confessed to others our error in supporting the BCM and wrote our book Against “Biblical Counseling”: For the Bible to explain why we left the movement.
We started collecting detailed descriptions of what actually went on in biblical counseling, in literal live counseling sessions. We had collected a number of these along the way, but had not seen the DVDs of Dr. Wayne Mack’s live, actual counseling sessions. When we did hear about them we found that they were offered by Nouthetic Media. We ordered them online and received a receipt for the purchase. However, when it was revealed that it was one of us ordering the Mack DVDs, we were told that they were no longer available and the credit card purchase was refunded. From that day to this writing, Mack’s live counseling DVDs, which had been offered online for years to anyone in the whole world, are not available to anyone anymore.
As a result, we decided to place ads in a variety of Christian publications to see if we could purchase these Mack counseling DVDs from an individual or organization that had them. We contacted Tom Olson at IFCA Voice as he was in charge of receiving requests for ads. He accepted our ad, indicating our need to obtain the Mack DVDs, for the September/October IFCA Voice publication. We also requested and received approval for the same ad to be placed in the November/December IFCA Voice However, we subsequently received the following email:
Dear Dr. Bobgan,
As you know, the current September / October issue of VOICE magazine contains your ad. In it you requested DVDs of live, actual counseling done by Dr. Wayne Mack and / or Dr. John Street. When you requested the opportunity to place your ad, our office assumed one motive behind the ad. But when we read the July-August, 2012 issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter and the September-October, 2012 issue, we realized there was a different motivation behind your VOICE ad.
For this reason, we will not run your ad in the November / December issue of VOICE, nor in any subsequent issues.
VOICE Magazine Administrative Services (Bold added.)
Please note that no past ad rejection was aimed at our motives but rather directed at what we had written. We called the IFCA and asked to speak with the person who had rejected this ad. Since there was no response, we sent an email requesting a call from the person who at IFCA had sent the email.
After waiting several days, we went to the IFCA website and learned that Dr. Les Lofquist is the Executive Director of the IFCA. We read his personal testimony, which begins with “The greatest passion of my life is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ!” We emailed Lofquist and asked him to call us and assumed that he would call rather than be identified by a failure to call. We were wrong! As one last possibility that Lofquist would call, we sent a rough draft of this article to him, but to date he has not responded. We have waited some time before running this article in our newsletter and placing it on our website so that others will know how he responds to such matters. Lofquist, the Executive Director of IFCA, needs to follow his “passion … to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ!” in this matter!
A recent issue of Voice has an article by Lofquist on the “Importance of Biblical Counseling.” In it Lofquist says:
Biblical counseling suggests that there is something wrong with the person who is to be confronted biblically. It arises out of the fact that there is s condition in his/her life which you can determine (through prayerful listening) that God wants to be changed based on what the Bible says. (Bold added.)2
Lofquist’s love of biblical counseling is probably why he rejected our ad, but his justification and rationalization for biblical counseling is revealed in his one word “determine.” However, only the Holy Spirit can truly “determine” a person’s “condition.” He is the means of change—not the counselor, as erroneously suggested by Lofquist.
One of Lofquist’s definitions of biblical counseling is “Seeking to find the point(s) of pride and sin in [the counselee’s] life.”3 This is another area where Lofquist is in error. The Holy Spirit is the one who knows the “pride and sin” in a believer’s life (his “condition”) and can reveal it to the ones in need and guide them through a biblical means of change. Lofquist’s mentioning how in biblical counseling the counselor seeks “to find the point(s) of pride and sin in [one’s] life” reminds us of a talk given at a large meeting of biblical counselors by Stuart Scott, an associate professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Scott was speaking about pride and said that if anyone saw pride in him to “bring it to my attention.” Scott said further, “If it even looks like it, bring it to my attention.”4 Note the emphasis on outward appearances and the confidence that Scott has in the erroneous idea that what is seen on the outside will reveal his pride. However, pride is an unseen matter of the heart, which may or may not be accompanied by prideful words or behavior.
To offer evidence of the efficacy of the biblical counseling to which he subscribes, Lofquist asks “But does it work?” In answer to his own question he says, “In the book Counseling the Hard Cases [CTHC] real-life case studies from eleven [sic] experienced biblical counselors are reported.” Then, based upon the cases from the ten (not eleven) biblical counselors, he declares, “Yes, it does work.” However, the ten cases in CTHC are neither biblically nor scientifically supportable, as we shall demonstrate in a future article. Thus, Lofquist is in biblical error for not responding to us after several requests for a simple answer, but also in biblical error in what he claims is biblical about “biblical counseling.” If Lofquist is so confident in the efficacy of biblical counseling, why did he cancel our ad requesting the Wayne Mack live counseling DVDs? If Mack’s actual counseling is biblically sound, it should stand the scrutiny of those of us who desire a truly biblical way to minister soul care in the Body of Christ.
Dr. Jay Adams, who fathered the biblical counseling movement and to whom Lofquist refers favorably, wrote the following in his endorsement for our book PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, defending us for doing so:
Some people will say the Bobgans are hitting too hard—naming names and all that—but I don’t think so. Whenever someone writes for the Christian public he sets forth his views to the scrutiny of others, but if others think what he says is dangerous to the church they, like Paul (who named names too), have an obligation to say so.5
Adams has also said elsewhere:
Any Christian who sets himself up as a teacher in the church of Christ and publicly teaches anything thereby opens himself up for criticism by others (cf. James 3:1). If they think what he is teaching is harmful to the church, they have an obligation to point it out just as widely as it was taught. Such public warning or debate on a topic should not be considered a personal attack at all.… What a critic of a public teaching does in pointing out his disagreement with that teaching has nothing to do with personal affronts or lack of reconciliation; he is simply disagreeing at the same public level as that on which the teaching was given in the first place.6
Dr. Les Lofquist, as Executive Director of IFCA, needs to set a better example than he did with us.
1 Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 2011.
2 Les Lofquist, “Importance of Biblical Counseling,” Voice, Vol. 93, No. 5, p. 9.
4 Martin and Deidre Bobgan, “NANC Ignores Challenge,” PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, Vol. 7, No. 2.
5 Jay E. Adams, “About this book…,” PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, Santa Barbara, CA: EastGate Publishers, 1987, endorsements page.
6 Jay E. Adams. Grist from Adams’ Mill. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1983, p. 69.
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, May-June 2015, Vol. 23, No. 3)