In our book Stop Counseling! Start Ministering! we have a chapter titled “In Cahoots?” i.e., in partnership. We reveal how the various counseling organizations, including the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC), the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC), and others are in cahoots, i.e., hand holding. They have joined together for mutual endorsements, conferences, and other cooperation in spite of the fact that there are huge differences with respect to practices, with ABC being eclectically oriented, AACC being psychologically oriented, CCEF being psychoanalytically oriented, and NANC being behaviorally oriented. Yet, they are in cahoots.
Other differences that should divide them are cross-gender counseling, charging for biblical counseling, and separated-from-the-church community biblical counseling centers, all of which we discus in past writing and demonstrate their unbiblical nature. However, these organizations and individuals are in cahoots, i.e., partnered together with their unbiblical unity being more important that their vast diversity. The unity has become so important that several biblical differences in counseling approaches, cross-gender counseling, charging, and community counseling centers have been set aside. Through their unity all are committed to no naming names as the apostle Paul did and no pointing fingers at unbiblical practices, such as the ones just mentioned. In fact there seems to be a gradual merger and blending together with the lines of distinction being blurred and crossed.
Biblical Counseling Coalition
With all of these various biblical counseling organizations voluntarily burying their biblical differences for the sake of unity it seemed natural that an organization would be formed to include the ABC, AACC, CCEF, NANC and other biblical counseling organizations that are already in cahoots, and that is exactly what has happened. The new organization formed to gather together these diverse biblical counseling organizations, which have a not-to-be-questioned silent code of unity to the max as long as one agrees with its Confessional Statement, is the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC). “Unity” and “collaborative relationships” are key words in the Confessional Statement of the BCC. No matter how high, lofty, and biblical sounding the statements are in the Confessional Statement, their ecumenical words and practices ignore biblical doctrines to the contrary. In spite of any well intentioned aspirations, their Confessional Statement reveals that there are no prohibitions about men counseling women or women counseling men, charging for biblical counseling with some of the fees being at the top of their secular counterparts, or separated-from-the-church community counseling centers with appointment calendars and promises of help similar to secular therapists. In addition there is no exclusion or prohibition of those who claim to be biblical counselors who are also licensed by their State. There is no sign of “State licensed counselors not welcomed here.”
The BCC Board of Directors and Council Members reflect the diversity among those who are serving and the extent of the diversity to which they are willing to go. The Board of Directors and Council Board members include Jeremy Lelak (ABC), Randy Patten (NANC), Timothy Lane (CCEF), John Street (The Master’s College and Seminary), Stuart Scott (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Robert D. Jones (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary), pastors, ministry heads, authors, etc.
Please note that this is somewhat of a closed group, which was gathered together from well-known leaders of the biblical counseling movement. After examining both boards and reading the backgrounds of the board members, we see that all are well-known names by those in the biblical counseling movement. And, all are willing to compromise on their differences for the sake of “unity” and “collaborative relationships.”
The BCC hopes to be a bridging ministry to keep people connected and informed about conferences, blogs, books, and other resources. However, all must pass through the BCC Executive Director. We “prophesy” that no blogs or books or resources will be on their referral list or site that will violate BCC’s need for “unity” or will disturb BCC’s need for “collaborative relationships.” No book review or blog that questions such unbiblical activities as cross-gender counseling, charging for biblical counseling, separated-from-the-church community counseling centers, or licensed professional counselors will appear on the BCC site.
While their rhetoric sounds right up to a point, their lofty biblical intentions are contradicted by the BCC’s foundational need for “unity” and “collaborative relationships.” Their need for “unity” and “collaborative relationships” trumps their need to be truly biblically discerning and open to sound criticism. Underneath their right sounding rhetoric is a commitment to problem-centered counseling, which is merely a clone of the approach of psychological counselors. As we often say, problem-centered counseling, as done by both psychological and biblical counselors, inevitably results in sinful speaking as the counselee speaks evil about other people who are not present, including parents and other family members.
We repeat our challenge to those in the biblical counseling movement to provide a word-for-word counseling session or a detailed description of one to demonstrate that they are truly biblical” (www.pamweb.org/challenge_counselors.html). Sounds simple enough, but to date total silence on the part of those in the biblical counseling movement. Those in the biblical counseling movement should “put up or shut up.” As we have said and demonstrated in past writings, “The biblical counseling movement as it currently exists must die.” Why? Because it is modeled after the psychological counseling movement with its problem-centeredness. The need for “unity” and “collaborative relationships” will always prohibit any move from problem-centeredness to a truly biblically oriented ministry.
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, January-February 2012, Vol. 20, No. 1