The psychological counseling movement was virtually non-existent prior to World War II. It began in the 1950s and has come to full bloom since then. The biblical counseling movement (BCM) also did not exist before World War II. Fathered by Dr. Jay Adams, it began in the 1970s. If the psychological counseling movement did not exist, it is doubtful that the biblical counseling movement would exist in its present form today. The psychological counseling movement set the standard and, as we have documented in Against “Biblical Counseling”: For the Bible (ABC), the biblical counseling movement mimicked much of it. In a number of ways the BCM resembles its predecessor, the psychological counseling movement.
BCM counselors are mainly problem-centered. They often permit their counselees (their term) to converse in a manner that is unbiblical and even encourage and participate in such discussions with them (see Christ-Centered Ministry versus Problem-Centered Counseling and PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, Vol. 13, Nos. 1 & 2). Many in the BCM are organized and practice in the same way as psychotherapists. Many BCM counselors charge fees or encourage donations for counseling, and some counsel in community centers that are separated from the church. Many questionable and some clearly unbiblical teachings and practices exist unchallenged in the BCM, probably because the leaders are unwilling, fearful, or incapable of dealing with public criticisms and discussions about unbiblical BCM teachings and practices.
We conclude ABC by saying: The biblical counseling movement as it currently exists must die. . . . Is there any hope for the biblically counseling movement? Yes, but only resurrected in its proper place as a part of [but not in place of] the biblically ordained ministries of the church (Eph. 4:11-12). Instead of a “counseling” ministry, Christians should follow the Bible regarding mutual care among believers. The answer to problems of living is not biblical counseling, but ongoing biblical ministry in the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:13-16).
From PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, May-June, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2005)