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Joined: 2004/10/12
Posts: 173

 Re: What Kind of Counsel?

Bless you Dorcas,

You wrote:

I used to sit under ministry which suggested I could not be 'born again' if I had a demon, yet, that I had a demon was what God showed me. But so, the moment I disclosed this to another sister, her reaction was to say 'Oh no no no no no. That can't be true!' In other words, disputing what God had shown me. This led to all sorts of difficulty for me. Moreover, it points to a need for Christians to trust each other's judgement in such matters.

I thank you for your honesty. This “facet” of Christian ministry is almost covert, except for some groups who sadly again go into excesses. I know that for me, and my walk In Christ, this is a reality. It is my prayer that this may encourage some dear brother or sister out there who seems to be fighting a loosing battle.

I agree with some of the posts that one can resist the devil and he will flee from you; I actually quote that Scripture quite often myself. Unfortunately, the reality is that many new, and even some mature, Christians never seem to be able to get to the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ Himself, and continue to be oppressed and effectively lied to by the devil.

A number of years ago I visited my son at Bible College. He asked me to talk to one of the students who struggled with great difficulties and physical demonic manifestations at night. She had gone to her profs and lecturers who all told her to “pray about it,” and it will go away. Not even: “I will pray with you,” no, she was sent off by herself; she was desperate and contemplating suicide.

This is Christian love in action? This is bearing each others burdens and thereby fulfilling the law of Christ? In a Bible College no less; sadly “this” did not fit “their” theology. In less then 2 hours this girl was completely free. After I called her several months later, she was still free and actually experiencing the real love of Christ that to this point had eluded her. Could she have done this on her own by seeking God? I cannot answer that and we will never know.

I share this because I know that there are a lot of Christians out there that struggle. I see this manifested on a regular basis in the lives of Christian leaders who fall for some sin and after they have repented and are set free, will be kicked out by their Christian “brothers and sisters.” I am not referring to those who choose to sin; who actually dabble in some secret activity. I am talking about those who, because of things that were passed to them by adult perpetrators – often Christians – and as a result are in bondage. A little book called Christian set yourself Free, was in circulation a number of years ago. People borrowed it from me quite regularly; I can testify that these people did not get free because eventually their difficulties became public knowledge.

It is my prayer that my opening this aspect of What Kind of Counsel, may actually encourage someone who is questioning their faith.

Edit, missed this last para while pasting:

We are commanded by Christ to LOVE our neighbors; this sometimes means that what we encounter may not be pretty. This “facet” of ministry certainly isn’t that, but it certainly demonstrates the Love and the Power of our Glorious and Mighty King and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hans Prang

 2005/10/3 11:00Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re: two kinds of bad counsel

She had gone to her profs and lecturers who all told her to “pray about it,” and it will go away.

There seems to be two common types of "counsel" that are very unhelpful. They are like either a flight response or a fight response: FIGHT or FLIGHT.

1. FLIGHT: denial - go away, let's not talk about it, you pray about it, just claim victory (cop-out)

2. FIGHT: I'll fix you right now. Just do what I say. Just stop the sin. Now, listen to ME (control)

Neither of these express love because they leave no room for LISTENING to the person in need. There is no empathy. There is no room for admitting the feeling of inadaquacy and helplessness, of poverty in spirit, of hungering for God's wisdom and insight.


 2005/10/3 11:41Profile

 Re: two kinds of bad counsel


I think where you have identified 'FIGHT' and 'FLIGHT' I would add the missing third, which is [b]FRIGHT[/b]. Without doubt, fright is an important factor in the way needy people are met by the brethren.

Possibly, both the needy person and the one who is supposed to have the answers, are fightened.

What this suggests to me is, individuals are not familiar with taking their fears directly to the Lord. I know all about this because I was one of them...

But now, I wouldn't go anywhere else, unless I needed a witness to a prayer, to make it harder for the enemy to mess with my head afterwards. This is a seriously important [i][b]strategy[/b][/i] which is only possible once one has got past caring what another trustworthy Christian knows about one's failures or difficulties.

In fact, it is important to keep track of what I would call 'safe' Christians... brothers or sisters who know the Lord and who have done their own transacting of sensitive matters with God, in the past. They don't need to announce this about themselves. Their peace and communion announces it for them. These people will have all the time in the world for anyone who is set on going through with God no matter the (apparent) toll. Note them for future reference.

Neither of these express love because they leave no room for LISTENING to the person in need.

This point about listening is very important. I would add further explanation of it though..... The act of listening to another person tells the other person that they exist. It is like looking in a mirror.

Some people make a point of always saying 'hello'. Don't be fooled. They may be doing this, not because they want you to feel valued, but, because you'll say 'hello' back to them and that makes [i]them[/i] feel valued.

I hate to introduce this element of apparent cynicism but it's more to show the dynamic than anything. (There really are people who only greet other people because they care about themselves.) In 'church', there is a phenomenum similar to one found in Casualty departments of hospitals. There are people (in church) who are fine. They are socially well adjusted, have other family members in church with them and no want detains their thought life. These people chatter freely with others who are equally without care. These are the barely-wounded who walk into Casualty.

Then there are people who when asked, decline to share information... they have all kinds of reasons for their reticence, every one of which is valid to them. These are like those who came in by ambulance or who struggled to get to Casualty because they were really ill and there was no-one to bring them. They sit or lie quietly waiting to be seen, hoping the doctor will get to them before they lose consciousness. They are so quiet, it's easy for staff to ignore them, instead of recognising them as the sickest people waiting.

People have died in these circumstances.

(This is why the triage system was brought into general hospitals from the battlefield. Perhaps churches need to consider something similar.)

 2005/10/3 15:18

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