The Door-Step Evangel

A Modern Trend toward Pastoral Counseling
Dr. Ronald L. Tottingham

This college enrolls "ministers" from all faiths - Catholic, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormon, United Brethren, Southern Baptist, etc. and in 1995 in a class on Pastoral Counseling, our lecturer taught us as chaplains that "pastors should not enter into long term, in-depth counseling with church members as it creates problems with the dual-role situation between Counselor and Pastor roles." He went on to state that "the Pastor role is managing the church as a corporation; the boards, committees, religious themes, education program director, and the duties and functions of religious sacramental rites (marriages, baptisms, communions, funerals, liturgy, etc.) belonging to our Faith. The counselor's role gets into very emotional and traumatic situational revelations of an intimate and personal nature and it's very difficult to be pastor of a parishioner having just come from one of those counseling sessions."

Do I believe this? Do potatoes grow on peach trees? No, I don't believe this nor do I go along with it. However, I must say that it is the modern trend toward pastoral counseling. True pastors, true Baptist pastors, and pastoring is becoming an outmoded calling in our "pluralistic," multi-culturistic social structure. More and more we are seeing the Biblical role of "shepherd" (pastor) relegated to others such as "trained" psycho-therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, Biblical counselors, etc., or those with special "psycho" training. The public has been sold a wooden nickel when told that the psyche is not the Creator's realm but that humans working only on theories of the inner psyche can know more. We know the actual objective is to move mankind away from God and to worship the creature more than the Creator. We Historic Baptists need to give much thought to the Biblical role of shepherding and realize that the Pastor's role is counseling, watching, guarding, feeding, and several other very relevant things. It's my opinion that the Lord does not place any but the shepherd to love and nurture a flock in all things. The "Universal Church" (which I do not believe in) may hold to legs, arms, etc. spread out in their global "church," but my Bible teaches the local church and only within each one are these limbs for that body.

It's my opinion that we need to restudy the doctrine of the shepherd or pastor of God's flocks. Counseling is the pastoral duty.

The Door-Step Evangel is published in the interests of Evangelism and information as a Church paper, sincerely devoted to the cause of Jesus Christ. We are in favor of everything that is right and opposed to everything that is wrong.

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