Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.
Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Year 2 and may be found here.
Sing to the Lord a new song,for he has done marvelous things;his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Acts 8: 26 – 40
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Luke 11: 1 – 13
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
And, for fun:
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
Photo credit: Kathi
This will be short and sweet. I’m in the final crunch of school with only 2-1/2 weeks until graduation (woohoo!!).
Responding Biblically seems to be thrown around a lot. I just tweeted this because I was thinking about a recent debate on Twitter (which I will write about when I get more time).
I think this phrase can be used in bad ways. I’d like to open this up for discussion. Who gets to decide what is Biblical or not? Can you see how this phrase can be used to exert power over another? Do you have any examples of this you would like to share? Does a pastor saying something is more biblical carry more weight?
Todd Friel of Wretched recently had this to say about use of the Bible in counseling:
Todd Friel’s text reads:
Whether one believes the Bible is sufficient or not is put on display in the counseling room. If the counselor uses the Bible AND anything else, he/she does not functionally believe in sufficiency.
To make it clear, Todd Friel follows up with:
Todd Friel’s text reads:
We can use secular sources to UNDERSTAND a malady, but the Bible is our only source for helping the struggling saint. Here is an excellent article on the dangers of incorporating secular sources (we will be discussing this on Monday in detail on radio)
*Link is to Rick Thomas’s article, “Why All Other Psychologies Bow at the Foot of the Bible.”
Both Friel and Thomas are affiliated with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Counselors who practice biblical counseling believe that the Bible is sufficient and authoritative in helping people work through their problems. Biblical counselors also tend to use the route of finding the source of sin in a person’s life to deal with problems.
The role of a counselor is to help people work through emotions, trauma, and mental health issues by providing therapy and skills coaching. A good secular or faith-based counselor will respect that faith can play an important role as well as be a source of strength in a person’s healing. However, to say that the Bible alone should be the reference for treatment in the counseling setting can cause problems for the client.
A biblical counselor who fails to recognize the value of secular sources in understanding and treating clients hinders the healing process. While the Bible may offer hope and assurance, but it does not address the treatment of mental illness, domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma, addiction, chemical imbalances of the brain, eating disorders, child abuse, phobias, anxiety, depression, etc.
The brain is a beautiful and complex organ. Because of the complexity of the brain, people respond differently to counseling treatments. Counselors should be open to differing techniques when working with a client to bring about effective healing and change.
Unfortunately I have heard more negative stories about biblical counseling practices than positive stories. I would encourage anyone who does not have a positive experience with biblical counseling to seek another counselor who utilizes different treatment methods. No, you are not sinning by seeking other treatment. Yes, God will still love you.
Both Jeff Owens and his wife Sarah recently sent out a thread of tweets regarding a recent experience they had at their former (unidentified) Sovereign Grace church. I think these tweets deserve a wider audience.
What you will read is not healthy at all, and people need to understand the dismissive and bullying behavior employed by Sovereign Grace church leaders when they are encouraged or questioned about having an independent investigation of the decades-old sexual abuse allegations involving many children, many churches, and the mishandling of these cases by church leaders.
Sovereign Grace leaders are still using the same tactics that we’ve heard from personal accounts for years: no one gets to question authority or criticize authority without repercussion. Folks, this is spiritual abuse. Let’s call it what it is.
I have copied the tweets below for easier reading, but if you would like to see the original tweet threads, click on the hyperlink in Jeff Owens’ tweet below, or Sarah’s link within his tweet.
In the tweet thread, there is a reference to Rachael Denhollander. If you are unfamiliar with Rachael Denhollander and her experience in exposing Sovereign Grace ministries mishandling of sex abuse cases, here’s a good article to start: My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.
Before we get to the tweets by Jeff and Sarah Owens, I wanted to share a section of the Sovereign Grace Local Church Polity with you. I have bolded parts pertinent to the communication by congregants to elders and leaders: Continue reading
The following was written by David Shere, who has been reading here for some time. He wanted to share his thoughts and advice as a Bill Gothard survivor. This was written after the news that the plaintiffs had dismissed the lawsuit against Bill Gothard. ~ja
by David M. Shere Continue reading