About four or five years ago when I was preparing to teach principles of Spiritual Warfare in Haiti for the First time I was consulting dozens of resources and was getting more and more frustrated over the lack of Biblically accurate texts available on the topic. It seemed for a time that anytime the word demon was mentioned in a text it was either treated outrageously unbiblically or was quickly glossed over. There were a few resources which bucked this trend but not many.
It was during this time that I found out that one of my former pastors was working with an organization called ICBC: International Center For Biblical Counseling. In particular I had heard about the group once before and through that had limited exposure to some of their teaching materials. The fact that Glenn (My former pastor) worked there, began to lend a little extra credibility to the organization in my eyes. ICBC as it turned out was one of those rare organizations that had a practical theology of Spiritual Warfare. No, they didn’t espouse the view that there was a demon under every rock, but they did acknowledge their presence and sought to qualify their experience against the scriptures, which seemed at the time to be a rare duck indeed.
So I contacted Glenn and talked briefly to him on the phone. I compared some notes an conclusions with him and was pleased to have him giving me the very warnings of certain less than Biblical resources of which I’d already grown wary. I also found out that ICBC did more than just counsel, they also trained people like me to counsel better. True, their program doesn’t have the scope of a full seminary emphasis on counseling but they do offer three intensive weeks of training.
I tried for two or three years to make it work so that I could attend and just never was able to make it work. Finally, this year, I was able to align my schedule. However, in order to make it work I had to forego my beloved Moody Bible Institute Pastor’s Conference. Sigh.
So today I hitched up my wagon and drove to Kansas City for a four day (the next two modules are full weeks) module on Biblical Counseling.
Whew, that was a lot of rambling to get to this point. Thanks for sticking around!
Tonight was only a 2 hour opening session lead by Dr. Marcus Warner who presented a (really broad) overview of Biblical Counseling.
Biblical counseling as you might guess is a bit more complicated than “take two psalms and call me in the morning.” There was an enormouse ammount of material covered – some of it rather basic, some of it a new way of thinking for me. But as an overview he foccused on counseling as a way to identify and Overcome Obstacles to intimacy with God, freedom from bondage (not all demonic of course) and ultimately to maturing in Christ.
Worthy goals all around. The question of course is how do you get people to those breakthrough moments where God really can move them forward? That’s the question which I believe they will work on over the next three days.
Dr. Marcus Warner’s stated goals are summed up as follows:
The counseling “we’re going to teach you is BIBLICAL”
It begins with a Biblical worldview which is the foundation. We will build a framework of Biblical concepts and work from a Biblically balanced understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit and a Biblically balanced understanding of the role of Spiritual Warfare. …
“I find a lot of what I do in counseling is pray and listen. I try also to get them to pray and listen.”
I took as many notes as I could and I’ll try to coalesce them tomorrow. It’s a rather full schedule starting tomorrow (12 hours) and it’s already quite late so I’m off to shut down my eyeballs for a bit of sleep.