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Title:Prerequisites Qualifications & Requirements of the councilor
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Body:The Biblical pattern of counseling

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Prerequisites Qualifications & Requirements of the councilor

Introduction:

Historically, elders of a local church are the most qualified councilors on earth to deal with the behaviours associated with all mental illnesses including schizophrenic. The Bible uses all the terms "elder/presbyter, pastor/shepherd, bishop/overseer in reference to a single office in the church in an interchangeable way. The qualifications are set forth in simple detail in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1.

Just as the Bible sets out the prerequisites qualifications & requirements of being an elder in the church, so too the Bible gives the qualifications of the councilor.

11 years of university education doesn't make someone suddenly able to cure mental illness. Psychiatrists can prescribe drugs, but they do not cure, only stupefy and sedate people. Having a degree in sociology or counseling is often a hindrance to helping mentally ill people. Psychologists often do more harm than good when working with the mentally ill.

Christians make the best counselors in the world, but not every Christian! There are indeed special qualifications.

"Therapy has also been shown to be more effective than drugs in helping patients diagnosed with their first "schizophrenic" break. Nowadays it is argued that these people must have drugs and that psychotherapy is futile; yet nothing could be further from the truth. In controlled studies, untrained therapists in a home-like setting have proven more successful than drugs and mental hospitals in treating patients diagnosed with their first episode of schizophrenia. A key factor was the caring, noncoercive approach of these therapists." (Your Drug May Be Your Problem, Peter Breggin, David Cohen, 2007 AD, p 59)

"the psychiatrist's special training is said to equip him "no better . . . than any other human being of similar age and similar experience of working directly with disturbed people," . Werry sees psychiatric training as largely irrelevant to the work he must pursue. (John S. Werry's "The Psychiatrist and Society," Discoverer, Vol. 5, No. 3, August 1968, p. 8)

"I will at a number of points bring into question whether the special technical knowledge the doctor presumably has, is significant in effecting a change in the patient's life." (Bernard Steinzor)

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin identifies the Elders of the church as the most qualified type of people on earth to help in cases of mental illness and insanity: Older men who have the experience in raising their family. "Advanced degrees, such as an M.D. or Ph.D., contribute little or nothing to a person's ability to do therapy. Instead, contemporary academic training and supervision can stifle intuitive skills and spontaneous caring. The competitiveness of the academic process winnows out more empathic people in favor of more obsessive and competitive ones. The arduous and largely irrelevant training required to obtain professional credentials encourages the graduates to demand higher prices for their services. The difficulty of getting the required degrees and the myth that the degrees confer an automatic level of expertise allow professionals to create licensure monopolies to enforce their higher prices. Mature adults-with or without academic credentials-could be easily trained in psychotherapy institutes in two or three years time. An especially good source of candidates would be among women who had completed raising their children or men and women who had reached retirement age. If a college degree and superior academic performance were not requirements for admission to these institutes, candidates could be selected on the basis of more relevant human capacities, such as personal responsibility empathy, and healing presence." (The Heart of Being Helpful, Peter Breggin, 1997 AD. p 69)

A. Knowledge of the Bible

This is one of the primary qualifications of being able to council someone. It is a deal breaker and is what disqualifies any Psychiatrist who is an atheist, regardless of how many Ph.D.'s he has.

The councilor must have a good working knowledge of the Bible which is able to equip him for even mental illness: "equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] and strengthen [to fix as with a nail so it will not move: sterizo] your hearts in every good work and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

"holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didache], so that he will be able both to exhort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] in sound doctrine [formal instruction, like in school: didache] and to refute [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] those who contradict." Titus 1:9

"And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] one another." Romans 15:14

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didasko] and admonishing [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

B. Be Spiritual

This means to have a heavenly outlook, not caught up in the world. To be free of entanglement in the temptations of the world.

The councilor must be described as "spiritual": one who lives the way Jesus wants him to live.

"Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore [katartizo] such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted." Galatians 6:1

C. Willing to boldly judge sin

Always keep in mind that there is not exception for sin because of mental illness in the Bible. Working with mentally ill people often gives them a free pass, "be easy on her, she might explode", "he can't really help it right now". It is important to sharply and strongly rebuke mentally ill people of this sinful actions. You might be the first one they have encountered what treats them like "everyone else" who is not mentally ill. They are not used to this and will get mad, act offended and complain to others about how harsh you were. Good work! The stronger the rebuke when needed, the more likely you will cure them of their mental illness.

"Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] them ;" Ephesians 5:11

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke [strongly rebuke: epitimao] him; and if he repents, forgive him." Luke 17:3

"instructing [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age," Titus 2:12

"Those who continue in sin, rebuke [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning." 1 Timothy 5:20

"This testimony is true. For this reason reprove [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] them severely [sharp cutting criticism: apotomos] so that they may be sound in the faith," Titus 1:13

"Reject a factious man after a first and second warning [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia]," Titus 3:10

D. Fearlessly fight for what is right

The counselor is like a Jedi Knight fighting for God. It is a war between good and evil. The mentally ill person is in the clutches of the devil. Fight for their soul.

"Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] that you contend earnestly [fight like a Jedi Knight: epagonizomai] for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." Jude 3

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didache], for reproof [rebuke, identifying sinful behaviour: elenxis], for correction [someone is driving in the ditch and you put the car back on the road in the proper lane: epanorthosis], for training [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"preach [proclaim, herald, publish: kerusso] the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho], rebuke [strongly rebuke: epitimao], exhort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo], with great patience [do not blow up like when a match is thrown in gasoline: makrothumia] and instruction [formal instruction, like in school: didache]." 2 Timothy 4:2

"holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didache], so that he will be able both to exhort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] in sound doctrine [formal instruction, like in school: didache] and to refute [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] those who contradict." Titus 1:9

"These things speak and exhort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] and reprove [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] with all authority. Let no one disregard you." Titus 2:15

"We proclaim Him, admonishing [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] every man and teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didasko] every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ." Colossians 1:28

"just as you know how we were exhorting [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] and encouraging [quiet, tender, intimate, soothing, consoling, talk: paramutheomai] and imploring [solemly and formally speak truth as though in open court: marturomai] each one of you as a father would his own children" 1 Thessalonians 2:11

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] and strengthen [to fix as with a nail so it will not move: sterizo] your hearts in every good work and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

"Teach [formal instruction, like in school: didasko] and preach [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] these principles." 1 Timothy 6:2

E. Self Confidence and faith in God

People don't like to be told they are wrong and they will call you down and criticize you for rebuking them. Remember that your self confidence lies in you faith that God has revealed the perfect way in the Bible.

This confidence comes from faith in God that He has provided everything you need to know about every life situation, including mental illness.

Many will disregard your confidence, but ignore them and proceed: "These things speak and exhort [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] and reprove [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] with all authority. Let no one disregard you." Titus 2:15

F. Proper final goals in view

Christians have firm tangible, objective goals where they want the person they are counseling to attain. Psychiatrists and psychologists on the contrary, cannot agree with themselves as to what their goal should be in counseling people. They often have no idea what direction they should take a person in the counseling. Most often they lead people no where, but simply ask questions like, "What do you think is best for you?" Psychiatrists and psychologists lack the divine road map of God's word.

Complete in Christ: "We proclaim Him, admonishing [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] every man and teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didasko] every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ." Colossians 1:28

Sound in the faith: "This testimony is true. For this reason reprove [telling someone they are wrong: Elencho] them severely [sharp cutting criticism: apotomos] so that they may be sound in the faith," Titus 1:13

Focus on good things: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

Restoration: "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore [katartizo] such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted." Galatians 6:1 [katartizo (2675), to mend, to furnish completely, is translated "restore" in Gal. 6:1, metaphorically, of the restoration, by those who are spiritual, of one overtaken in a trespass, such a one being as a dislocated member of the spiritual body. The tense is the continuous present, suggesting the necessity for patience and perseverance in the process. (Vine, restore) "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained [katartizo], will be like his teacher." Luke 6:40]

Transformation: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed [metamorphosis] by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

A renewed, new self, putting off old self: "and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." Ephesians 4:23-24 "and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him" Colossians 3:10

Fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:22-24

Sensible, righteous, godly living: "instructing [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age," Titus 2:12

G. Wisdom to know which approach to use and when

The counselor has a bazooka in one hand and a squirt gun in the other. One can do great damage the other merely grab attention. The counselor needs to know when to use which gun under different circumstances.

"We proclaim Him, admonishing [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] every man and teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didasko] every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ." Colossians 1:28

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching [formal instruction, like in school: didasko] and admonishing [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

"We urge you, brethren, admonish [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] the unruly, encourage [quiet, tender, intimate, soothing, consoling, talk: paramutheomai] the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient [makrothumia] with everyone." 1 Thessalonians 5:14

"And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh." Jude 22-23

"Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] not to blaspheme." 1 Timothy 1:20

"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Colossians 4:6

H. With genuine love (Not an enemy, but as brother or own child)

Genuine love for the soul of the mentally ill person is critical. Scripture advises us to treat them with the love of our own children or brother, not as an enemy.

"just as you know how we were exhorting [pleading for one to take action: parakaleo] and encouraging [quiet, tender, intimate, soothing, consoling, talk: paramutheomai] and imploring [solemly and formally speak truth as though in open court: marturomai] each one of you as a father would his own children" 1 Thessalonians 2:11

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] and instruction [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

"I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] you as my beloved children." 1 Corinthians 4:14

"If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish [verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind: nouthesia] him as a brother." 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15

I. Gentleness

You need to learn to be gentle. The word gentle or meek, is used to describe a strong stallion that can be turned with the slightest touch of the rider. Gentleness means "great power under control", not weakness. As a counselor, you have great power that must be used carefully in order to avoid doing damage.

"with gentleness correcting [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth," 2 Timothy 2:25

J. Reliance upon God

Ultimately, the counselor knows that for all his wisdom, knowledge and power, it is God who makes the changes take place in the heart of the mentally ill. You are merely a tool being used by God to perform surgery on a sinner.

"with gentleness correcting [long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour: paideuo] those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth," 2 Timothy 2:25

K. Overview of what the councilor must do:

Detailed study of the Greek words for counseling.

offer sharp cutting criticism (apotomos, 664)

offer formal instruction, like in school. (didache, 1322, didasko, 1321)

bluntly tell someone they are wrong (Elencho, 1651)

strongly rebuke, identifying sinful behaviour (epitimao, 2008, elenxis. 1649))

fight like a Jedi Knight for right (epagonizomai, 1864)

When someone is driving in the ditch and you put their car back on the road in the proper lane. (epanorthosis, 1882)

Be patient. Do not be like what happens when you put a match on gasoline. Do not be explosive, fast, instant but slow, unchangeable, patient, suffering for a long time before you have a noticeable change in your actions. (makrothumia, 3115)

Speak truth as though in open court. Do not get charged with contempt of court by God! (marturomai, 3143)

verbal council to put what is right and wrong into another's mind (nouthesia, 3559)

long term parental guidance of a child to mold and modify behaviour to mold and modify behaviour (paideuo, 3811)

demanding one to put an idea into action, pleading for one to put your words into deeds, pleading for one to take action (parakaleo, 3870)

quiet, tender, intimate, soothing, consoling, talk when needed (paramutheomai, 3888)

Your faith and judgement must be firm and committed and fixed as with a nail so it will not move (sterizo, 4741)

Conclusion:

The Christian counselor is uniquely qualified to help mentally ill people.

Using the Bible as a divine roadmap and pattern, people's lives can be lifted out of the ditch and placed on the highway of holiness: "A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it." Isaiah 35:8

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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