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The Moral Argument for God’s Existence.

  An atheist might say you can be good without believing in God. However the question isn’t can you be good without believing in God but can you be good without God? Here’s the problem if there’s no God. What basis remains for objective good or bad, right or wrong? If God does not exist objective moral values do not exist. Here’s why. Without some objective reference point we    really have no way of saying something is up or down. Gods nature however provides an objective reference point for moral values. It’s the standard which all action and thoughts are measured. However, if there is no God then there is no objective reference point. All we are left with is one persons view point as opposed to some other persons view point. This makes morality subjective not objective.  It’s like a preference for vanilla ice cream. The preference is in the subject not the object. Therefore it doesn’t apply to other people. In the same way subjective morality applies only to the subject. It’s not va

We're All Christian Counselors


Counseling from the New Testament

 All people have problems. Even born-again, maturing believers in Christ encounter problems daily. Some people have major, seemingly insurmountable problems; others have pesky, everyday struggles that they evaluate negatively. There is stress in life for all of us. Stress can waste precious emotional energy, it can lead to anxiety, and our mental (and even physical) health can become impaired. For the non-Christian who needs (whether they know it or not) salvation in Christ, to the believer who needs only to be reminded of the worthwhile character of their service to Christ. All of us have needs and problems.

Professional psychologists and counselors have become more and more aware of the usefulness of the Scriptures in counseling. The Word of God was in fact designed so that we might be "thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Ti 3:17). The New Testament is the Word of God and a resource to meet our own needs as well as the needs of others. It provides reminders throughout that are relevant to specific problems, needs, and topics of everyday Christian living. Much of the New Testament and some of the Old Testament is counseling material by its very nature. The Bible is counseling. It is meant to be used for that purpose.

 Every Christian ls a Counselor

We must not suppose that counseling should be left to professionals. Every Christian has the responsibility to counsel others; counseling is part of being a Christian. For example, when Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica, he reminded them to "warn [a word that is used as a pattern for some kinds of counseling today] those who are idle, encourage [another word for counseling] the timid, help [another aspect of counseling] the weak, be patient [an important attitude in counseling] with everyone" (1 Th 5:14). Remember that Paul gave those important commands to the church in general, and not to the leaders or pastors, as can be seen from the two preceding verses. There is no question at all about the fact that, according to the New Testament, every believer has the responsibility to counsel. We are in a real sense our "brother’s keeper."

 Who will "see to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble… (Heb 12:15)" if we do not? Counseling is the general ministry of the church. The "works of service” (Eph 4:12) that all believers perform. “Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10).

 There is a great need for Christian counselors today in evangelical circles, Christian and public schools, colleges, missionary work, local churches and anywhere that one Christian was the opportunity to show caring love to another.

 Be Ready to Minister to Others

 The New Testament is a resource where you have found help for yourself in the past. Where you can now use both the Word of God and your experiences to help others. God is "the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Co 1:3,4). The more mature we become in Jesus, the more responsible we are for carrying out this ministry of counseling (Heb 5:12, 13). Christian maturity means not only using the Word of God to cope with our own problems but encouraging and counseling others, too (Gal 6:1, 2).

 Principles of Biblical Counseling

 Counseling is often just listening. It should always begin with listening. In order to use the Word of God effectively, you will need to be genuinely interested in the person who has come to you for help. Take the trouble to find out precisely what the person needs by way of help. Don't be too quick to read a verse or offer a solution; your selection may meet a need that is not there or solve a problem the person does not have. Listen! Showing love, caring and help to another person is not possible without first understanding that person's problem. Understanding is not possible without genuine communication from the person in need, and to hear that communication you have to listen. Don't try to psychoanalyze - just listen. If you are willing to listen for a few minutes and just be a friend, the person's need will become apparent.

 Getting the person in need to talk about the problem may come about quite naturally. A person may simply say “I’m afraid." and proceed to tell you exactly what they fear (death, harm, failure, rejection, loss of a loved one, or something else). If there seems to be some reluctance or awkwardness in expressing the problem, try showing your interest in some way with a brief question like, "Could you tell me more about your feelings," or “I really want to help, tell me more about your problem." Above all, be genuinely interested, and listen more than you talk.

 Professional counselors differ in their general approach to counseling. Some are directive, some are non-directive, some emphasize psychoanalysis, some emphasize learning and some deal mainly with interpersonal relationships. However, almost all psychologists and counselors agree that before a person's need can be met they must express the need, understand it themself, and want help. Therefore, it is important to talk about needs.

 Biblical counseling, which is the responsibility of every Christian, aims at mutual encouragement in Christ. We must remind each other of the grace of God, in whom all our needs are met. The basis of the Christian worldview is that God is all we need. Most emotional problems and anxieties among Christian people result from failure to understand and appropriate this truth fully. Once a person understands their needs by expressing them, it is easier for them to see how their needs have really been met in God through faith in Jesus Christ.

 What are the basic human needs? Human beings are physical and spiritual in nature; we have mental, spiritual, and emotional needs that are just as important as air, water, food, clothes, and shelter. Perhaps the most important of these spiritual needs is meaning. There must be a reason for our existence, and this reason must be understood. We are thinking, spiritual beings, and unless we can justify our existence to ourselves, we have no will to live. When we feel that some other person loves us, enjoys us, or needs us, we understand the reason for our existence and we feel secure. If we feel that existence does not matter to anyone else, then we cannot understand the reason for existing and we feel insecure. In such an insecure state, without an understanding of the meaning of life it is impossible to maintain a respect for our life; without this respect we have no incentive to protect ourselves either physically or spiritually and are vulnerable and subject to death from the slightest cause.

 The Bible reveals the true meaning of life in Jesus Christ. God has a plan and purpose for every individual. The failure to understand meaning and existence occurs in differing degrees, therefore, there are varying degrees of insecurity, resulting in various spiritual, emotional, and mental problems, every person reacts differently to stress-producing factors in their environment in accordance with their degree of understanding of the true meaning of life. Sometimes a person needs only a gentle reminder to put them back in touch with the meaning of life. Another person may need complete instruction in the basic facts of the meaning of life. The Bible reveals all that we need to know about God and about the meaning and significance of our existence. A biblical counselor needs to be well grounded in the Bible themself and then, when they want to help others, be able to recall passages that have helped them.

 Also, feelings are important because feelings can lead to an understanding of needs. If a person is physically and spiritually comfortable, happy, and at peace with God, themself, and the world, they have no needs. Mental and spiritual happiness exists when a person feels no need. However, a person may look happy, but feel unloved or rejected because they have a need that is not being met, or at least that they feel is not being met. As counselors we can help them understand how their basic needs for ultimate meaning and security are met in God through Jesus Christ.

 People are often unaware of their feelings until they are directed to think specifically about how they feel. It may be necessary to suggest a few possibilities.                    

        Are you angry?

        Do you feel afraid that you will fail?

        Were you disappointed?

        What things make you feel good?

 People in our society are often unaware of feelings. Before we can help, we need to know how a person feels.

 There are also secondary, less basic needs in every person's life, but often these are easier to understand after one feels are secure in the basic issues of life. For example, meaning in interpersonal relationships is patterned after the meaning of life in general. We need to be accepted by others who understand God's purpose in our lives; and they need to be accepted by us. Humans are social beings. Awareness of our feelings, as well as an understanding of our needs, helps us to maintain a respect for our life.

 Biblical counseling is not so much psychoanalysis but a caring relationship with another person. It is fellowship; it is discipleship.  Biblical counseling is a part of our ministry to each other in the church, but it is not preaching or merely giving out information. It is love in action. It is concerned, but patient and kind. It is not rude, or self-seeking or touchy, or resentful. "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1Co 13:7)

 Biblical counseling does not eliminate the need for counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists any more than witnessing for Christ eliminates the need for evangelists. It is important for the church to utilize the research and skill of professionals in mobilizing for its counseling ministry. It is also important to recognize our own limitations and learn of good professionals to whom we can recommend our friends. If there are severe, chronic, or recurring problems of despair, depression, or anxiety, refer your friend to a professional counselor you know.

 Suggestions for Counseling

 1. Be ready always to share your own experiences in the Christian life and watch for opportunities to help others. Witnessing is really counseling and helping others to find faith in Christ. Discipling is also an important part of our counseling ministry: new believers need a friend to help them get started maturing in Christ. There are people in trouble all around us even in our own families and among our friends at work. Help them. There are people with marriage and family problems who need help and support. Some are depressed (a common problem); encourage them. Someone near you is worried, or harboring bitter resentment, or has lost a loved one: he or she needs a caring friend.

2. Be willing to listen. Sometimes that's all it takes. People may complain, or be touchy, or cry over the wrong things. If there is an opportunity, encourage others to talk through active listening. Let them express their feelings; you may see basic needs that are unfulfilled and you may be able to help just by listening.

3. Be accepting. There is nothing so bad or evil that God cannot forgive it in Jesus; there is no situation where God cannot help. God accepts everyone who comes to them - He holds no prejudice so why should we? See everyone as a person for whom God has a plan; you have a part in God's plan and so does this other person. Explore the meaning of existence for both of you.

4. Be genuine and open - a true friend. The ancient Greek's used to say, "A friend is another self". If you are a real friend to people in need, they will share feelings that they have never told anyone about before. Some people have discovered feelings they themselves were not aware of until they shared them with a friend. To be a true friend you must be vulnerable; let the other person know you (but be careful not to talk too much). Leave the windows of your soul open and share briefly feelings you have had that are similar to those being discussed.

5. Be selective in reading scripture passages, try not to be mechanical - counseling is a relationship and involves more than just analyzing and reading verses. Pray in private for the people you are helping and meditate on the passages you decide to share with others (when that is possible). A conversation with someone, summarizes and restate the aspects of the problem and the person’s feelings, pray with your friends, and try to remember basic human needs and redemptive themes from the Bible.




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