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The Wisdom of the Second Opinion

While thinking lately not only about some bloody 15th and 16th century periods of church history, but also about the way church people continue to bitterly divide over theological and political differences, I’m reminded how important it is to try to attach authority to no more and no less than what the Bible says.

In this regard, though, a co-worker rightly reminded me yesterday that the real issue isn’t even “what the Bible says,” but “what the Bible means.”

Guess that’s why we’ve occasionally compared notes in this blog about the difference between necessary, probable, possible, improbable, and impossible meanings and implications of the Bible.

So how do we sort this out? First response, probably should be “by reading and interpreting the Bible in context” in an effort to hear “what the author intended”—rather than being told what it means– or by jumping to “what this means to me.”

Another answer could be “listen to what others say about the issue or text.” The Bible says in many ways that “in the multitude of counsel there is safety” (Prov 11:14; 15:22). This principle is important not only in war counsels, doing business, and seeking medical attention, but also in how we understand difficult interpretations and applications of both Old and New Testaments.

Over the years I’ve been especially concerned about the way the Bible is used to limit the options and counsel needed by those who find their faith in crisis as a result of being caught in difficult and complex problems like addiction, mental illness, marital abuse.

Treating such issues as only “spiritual problems” that can be solved by prayer, Bible reading, and church attendance can overlook the heart, physical, or relational issues that are understood by those who have either “been there” or treated people in such problems.

To try to do our part in providing both “pastoral/spiritual/biblical” perspectives and mature, experienced counsel, we have launched a Website called “helpformylife.org”. One of our purposes is to show the value of both spiritual perspectives and practical knowledge.

At this site we are posting not only video insights from persons like Joe Stowell and Gene Getz (both of whom have had many years of Bible teaching and pastoral experience), but also Larry Crabb who is well known as a counselor who is deeply rooted in the wisdom of the Bible while recognizing the complexity of mind, heart, and body relationships.

When you get a chance I’d encourage you to check out the way both pastors and counselors can speak thoughtfully to difficult issues and focus not just on what the Bible says, but what the Bible means and provides for those of us who know we need help.


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42 Responses to “The Wisdom of the Second Opinion”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    A while back we discussed how we “see as we are”. This is very personal and unique to each of us how we percieve, anything.

    The bloody past mistakes of church history, may have been necessary at the time. As time and circumstance continues to change the way we look at everything.

    This for me is why I must have that personal relationship with Christ. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the written Word.

    I have had calm peaceful friendly discussions with members of the “Watchtower Society” (Jehova’s Witness), and shown them word for word what the Bible say’s. Where it is as clear as glass to me, their responce is always the same.

    The text has been misinterpeted.

    As frustrating as it is for me to see such a broken and divided church, I would think it very disapointing to Jesus to see such division.

    I say that yet, Jesus Himself said He came to divide. I suppose it is this way so that we spend time searching out the “truth”.

    I will give the new websight a look as time will allow, RBC has a good group of people to listen to and I am certain to be informed and enlightened by the way they see the word.

    a good day to all….9/9/09

    Steve

  2. carlj says:

    While flipping through the channels I paused on a well-known minister’s broadcast. He cited a passage from the Bible in reference to his topical sermon and it puzzled me as to how he could interpret the passage the way he did. After thinking about I surmised that he probably developed his sermon topic and then selected passages from the Bible to substantiate his topic.

    I was talking to a seminary professor and he told me that he instructed his students to always interpret scripture in context not on a verse by verse basis.

    On ocassions, I have spent time trying to understand a passage and later after reading something else from the Bible I began to see the connection I was missing.

  3. foreverblessed says:

    We need to learn to hear the voice of the Shepherd. (that is Jesus)
    John 10 : 4 His sheep follow Him because they know his voice.
    The voice of Jesus, the Holy Spirit must make the bible clear to us.
    And maybe ask other people, good cousellors, thanks for the new website!

    What I want to say is this: When you only can read a verse in its context, you may rob it of its fuller meaning.

    And sometimes the Holy Spirit does talk to us in just one part of a verse.

    Let me give an example. I was praying to God, had a serious question, should I join a certain christian ministry or not. I wasn’t sure. I prayed and prayed, until this part of a verse really spoke to me:

    Isaiah 30:7 … Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing.

    God said to me: Do nothing.

    But then I started to reason, did He really say that? or did He mean, you are not doing anything, as the context seems to say. Anyway, I joined the ministry, and after some time I found out, God had meant: do not join them. They had a different view on spiritual authority. And it was very hard for me to even hear the voice of my Shepherd anymore while working with them. I had to get out.

    How this verse in Isaiah is interpreted according to the context, I do not know.
    Such an experience is very good, next time I will be more carefull in listening.

  4. poohpity says:

    The bible is very clear that there is wisdom in much counsel. Even when reading the bible it is very helpful to understand who wrote the book, at what time, what were the circumstances or environment and to whom it was written to gain the full wisdom of it’s meaning.

    I personally have found that the Lord will direct us to people and sermons that will make things clearer but we have to open to that teaching. It is very important to have the foundation of the scripture to compare what another may be teaching to see if it truth.

    In my own relationship with God I brought so much baggage into the relationship that I needed to have those who had knowledge of the human condition to help sort through the garbage I was taught. I have watched the Lord change so many. People who have also gotten counseling along with reading seem to have a better grasp on life and it’s struggles. We are infected by our environment, family of origin, learned behaviors and bad thoughts. When people have a physical aliment they go to a doctor but when it comes to things of the mind it seems to be taboo to seek a counselor.

    God has given abilities to so many to help each other yet when it comes to loving ones self so many do not seek help. If we are not well how on earth do we expect to help someone else. God wants us to be whole to do His work. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself”. The heart is physical and if you are sick and not feeling well it is hard to praise God, if you have a problem with you mind it is hard to listen to God because so many negative thoughts overcome you and those both inhibit the soul.

    We live in a fallen world and it affects us in so many ways. To say we need no help is to call God a liar because He has given so many special gifts to help the kingdom grow but many deny that help is needed.

    I went to the new site it is great and really needed to heal wounded people. Thank you RBC ministries.

  5. poohpity says:

    I forgot one other thing, those who say that they have no problems or need no help are usually the ones that need it the most.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    I took a gander over to the new website, “help for my life.org”, I’ve gotta tell you Mart I think you guys at RBC have realy handed the public a real gift here.

    Instant counciling from a table full of reliable Christian leaders.

    Well done RBC…

    Steve

  7. daisymarygoldr says:

    Did visit “helpformylife” before and my prayerful hope is that it will help all those who find their faith in crisis. There is no doubt that with its excellent Pastoral and Counselor care “helpformylife” will certainly help treat faith in crisis.

    Our loving Heavenly Father, what thanks can we render you for your eternal love that sought out each one of us even while we were dead in our sins and trespasses? Thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ that saved us from our wretched sins and gave us eternal life. …And every time we sinned and went astray, thank you for that wondrous grace that keeps drawing us back to your fold.

    Please forgive us for taking advantage of your grace and treading under foot your tender mercies. We are so sorry for having followed the wisdom of the world to ruin our relationships, marriages and families within the church. Be it our physical or spiritual needs, help us to lean not to our own understanding or trust in our flesh but to trust in your perfect wisdom with all our heart.

    We lift up all those among us that are facing this crisis of faith. Give us your faith, strengthen our feeble knees and weak arms and restore unto us the joy of salvation.

    Dear Lord, we plead for a fresh anointing of your Spirit to teach and feed us with your solid Word. You have fashioned our bodies for fulfilling your divine purpose. So, heal the sickness afflicting our spirits, souls, minds and bodies.

    Sanctify us by your Word to be set apart as your chosen vessel… for your proper use. Examine our thoughts and deeds and help us to flee and resist lustful temptations and overcome sexual sins. Renew the right spirit within us and revive your work in us in the midst of the years as you did in the past.

    Let your Holy Spirit guide us into oneness within our churches and may we continue to pursue brotherly love. Protect us from the wiles of the enemy and deliver us from all evil.

    We know that some day soon you will surely come again to take us away into our eternal rest in you. Until then help us all to keep looking at Jesus, the finisher of our faith, to fight the good fight, finish the race and stand fast to keep our faith.

    May the desire of our hearts, the words of our mouth and the deeds of our hands be pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so your name will be honored in the brokenness of our lives. This is my humble prayer to you O Lord, which I offer with a thankful heart in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  8. pegramsdell says:

    Amen. Thank you for your prayer DMG. And one more Amen.
    You know what I find fascinating is that sometimes I can read a verse of scripture and (seem to) understand the meaning, then the next day read it again and get a different meaning from it.

  9. agapelife says:

    I agree, RBC has been a rich resource for inspirational material. I have relied on it a lot for wisdom, spiritual growth.

    As for the topic. The older I get the more frustrated I get with the church and all the how to books, and agencies out there. Why do we need them today if they didn’t need them during Christ’s time or Paul’s time.

    A friend told me about a church that had a walking club, and it was four miles to walk around the church. Wow 4 miles! It has two restaurants like cafés in it. Not saying this is wrong… just that in about a 20 mile radius of where I live there are over 4 Christian High school many elementary Junior High… Christian book stores loaded with books on the faith… yet so many empty people, so many living together outside of marriage, children out of web lock, scams buy those who go to church. You go to a church and there are rituals or traditions you don’t mess with….

    Where is the Love? Sorry don’t mean to be negative… but lately been really down, inside while pretending everything is ok, because if I share my doubts people say all churches or faith base groups are like that. I look to see if there is may be huge log in my eye and I need to handle that first…. Last thing if anyone got this far. My only concern when we say its more then spiritual, are we playing God and leaning in are own understanding, thinking we can fix someone or a problem with are human understanding or will it take a revival getting back to the basics, Christ and Christ alone.

    Just wondering.

  10. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for the prayer for the churches.
    That we would all be humble, and meek, and serving one another.

    I would like to tell of an experience I had a few months ago. It was a christian conference, the topic was: Come and Go (first come near Christ’s heart and then go minister to others). People from all over the country came, from all different churches. After the first lecture, people were asked to go in groups of about 6 people, each group was lead by a person from the prayer team.
    We were encouraged to pray for one another. One person at a time in the middle, and was prayed for by whoever had a prayer for him in their hearts, We were encouraged to ask God what He would lay in our hearts, in the name of Jesus Christ.
    The first person to go into our circle was a woman, she said: I’ll go first, I am the worst of you all: And then she started to talk about her problem, which were terrible sexual thoughts that would harrass her mind. (She was internalised for that). We all sort of were beaten by her openess, and that she did not care what we would think about her. Then the prayer started, The Holy Spirit was working, and ministering unto her, and unto all the others. One by one we went into the circle, and because the first had opened the taboo barrier, everyone came with their burdens and shared it. And were prayed for, one by one each person had a prayer laid in their hearts by God.
    That was just such a beautifull experience, here were these people, christians, and they were open about their struggles. Not all so drastically as the first. We were so ministered by the Holy Spirit. A blessing form God Himself in our hearts.
    Also the prayer leader went into the circle, and she was ministered too! Such humbleness.

    Then I knew what the verse in James 5:16 means:
    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

    (I would like to add, only do this in a group where there is humbleness, and meeknes, where the leaders confess their own sins too, where you feel safe.)

  11. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, at the end of the first day this prayer session happened. That’s more logic, first come to Christ to be ministered by Him, then go and minister others through Him.

  12. refump says:

    agapelife, just wanted to let you know I have had some of these same thoughts & frustrations. So many books out there now written by Christian authors explaining God’s Word & for $$$ you too can have that same insight. I have read books by a well known Christian author & 10 years later he writes another book that says he has changed his stance on a particular subject or understanding of that subject. God has ordained him & used him mightily in many lives to help them come to a better understanding of God’s Word but it causes me to be cautious about what I read from any Christian author- I still need to read God’s Word for my self & pray that God would open my eyes to what He wants to teach me. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to feed me directly & not rely on always being spoon fed by a teacher, minister or book. I am not saying these are not important but too many times we swallow whole what ever a minister, teacher or author tells us about what they say God’s Word is saying.
    As far as Mart’s comment of “Treating such issues as only “spiritual problems” that can be solved by prayer, Bible reading, and church attendance can overlook the heart, physical, or relational issues that are understood by those who have either “been there” or treated people in such problems.” goes I do think we can be too insensitive sometimes by attempting to resolve these issues by telling those of us to suffer from these issues that all we need to do is pray & read the Bible to resolve them. Paul said if there is any among you who are sick we are to anoint them with oil. Was that because oil had some mystical power or because that was one of the recognized medical prescriptions of that day. Certainly prayer & reading God’s Word are extremely important in the healing process but saying that is all we need to do can be a bit shortsighted.

  13. womanish says:

    Take off this my photo! You have no permission, you never asked me. Shame on you!

  14. Mart De Haan says:

    womanish, am replacing picture. I apologize and am researching Flickr rules. I thought making the picture a live link back to your Flickr page was correct procedure for editorial non/commercial usage.

  15. poohpity says:

    Gosh I would feel so blessed that someone liked my photo so much to use it since it is posted on the internet. The internet is so private. Thank you womanish for allowing us to look at your work for that brief period. I would have never got to see it unless it was posted on here.

  16. poohpity says:

    Back to topic. There are folks that do not read the scripture everyday, I know that may surprise you but it is true, lol. There are those that read it and still do not get it.

    I get so frustrated when people negate the use of counselors. God created us in His image. He is the great Physician, Almighty Counselor, Prince of Peace and many other descriptors that are used in the bible. Yet He calls us to use the giftedness of physicians and counselors. He wants us to use what He has given us to benefit His kingdom. We are also called to be peacemakers but it is the Holy Spirit living in us that is the final authority and gives us the ability. So to say that none of these are needed or are useful is foolishness.

    We are called to help each other. There are times in His infinite wisdom God chooses not to take the thorn away but to only rely on His grace.

    God gave folks the ability to work with stone, cloth, medal and jewels. He also gave people the ability to work with people, doctors, teachers, accountants and mangers or overseers and counselors to name a few. So to say they are not needed is again calling God a liar because they are part of the body and all are useful and created in His image.

  17. xrgarza says:

    Mart, thanks for the subtle hint.

    I couldn’t agree with you more I find that the Lord speaks to me personally through several mediums. Friends, special training, sermons, the Bible.

    Often times when sharing what new insight or nugget I have found I share how the biblical principle applies to me personally.

    After reading your Blog I shouldn’t limited it to just that but also reiterate how the Biblical principle is being used in scripture.

    Please excuse my ignorance often times when sharing I’m so excited as to what God has done in my life and revealed to me I assume that the person receiving my testimony at the time is familiar enough with scripture that I don’t convey the context in how its used in scripture.

    I will try to pay attention to that in the future especially while conveying my thoughts on this medium.

    God bless & thank you

    PS: Praise God! I was able to respond to this Blog while on the road using my blackberry, I have no idea how I did but only with God’s help.

    Xavier

  18. pegramsdell says:

    I also enjoyed the photo for the brief time it was there. I believe it was an honest mistake and God knows…..so, NO shame on you Mart. Be blessed, and thanks so much for the great pictures, and thoughts.
    and may God bless womanish in the Name of Jesus!

  19. daisymarygoldr says:

    This subject of faith in crisis has led me to think very deeply… about the current situation of finding our health in crisis caused by the outbreak of H1N1 pandemic. We can’t do anything about this sneaky virus, but we don’t remain complacent about it either, do we? The healthy fear of this deadly strain also does not paralyze us with panic to cause a sense of alarm, but makes us to control our reactions to a heightened state of alert.

    And so, the medical world is responding to the need of the hour by trying to combat this crisis using several strategies played out at different levels. Some of us in Health Care are actively dispensing knowledge of the dos and don’ts required for prevention—not to scare, but to create public awareness. (The other day my mother-in-law called us from the third world and enlightened us with a series of preventive measures. It was funny as it should have been the other way around but we were glad that they are well equipped with the right info.) Some medics are also actively involved in providing relief measures for symptoms, some are boosting production of antiviral drugs some are treating emergency situations to save lives and personally I know of some that are actively researching to develop the right vaccine.

    It is the same for the Church dealing with faith in crisis. For starters, to prevent a crisis, it is so important for us to be equipped with the right knowledge and crisis in Bible illiteracy is a plague by itself. (side note: Regarding interpretation and application of Bible, both the devil and Jesus quoted scripture. If scripture gratifies my flesh and makes me fool good/elated at the cost of lowering Gods’ Holy standard then I am doing it the devil’s way. If scripture hurts, offends to kill and destroy works of my flesh in order to exalt our Holy God then I have handled it the way Jesus did. However, since I’m no expert, please let me know if in our conversations I have ever used the Bible out of context).

  20. daisymarygoldr says:

    The whole counsel of God provides more safety than a multitude of counsels:) It was a privilege for me to grow up in a church which did not feed us simply with dainty morsels of feel-good food that is only love n’ grace delicacies, rather they never shrank from allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us the whole counsel of God.(Acts 20:27, Amp). We sit through three different messages from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. The 1st message leads us to Worship based on the attributes of God—both His awesome greatness as seen in OT and His wonderful love in Jesus revealed in the NT.

    Personal relationship with God is both ways and so the 2nd message is centered on us… gathered around the Lord’s Table. If the scripture portion was from the NT it was tied with a parallel passage in the OT and vice versa. The words were powerful, convicting the soul and moved us to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, examine our individual sins as members and corporate sins as the body, repent and resolve to sin no more. That is how we purged out leaven without the wisdom of the second opinion to be sanctified to dissolve dissensions and solve complex problems right at the bud stage… and showed ourselves as the resurrected body of Christ that was completely dead to sin.

    The 3rd message/sermon was strong meat and was more like an in-depth Bible study. No privilege of Pastors and counselors… some worked in trenches, some chopped wood for a living and some were former CEOs that gave up their secular jobs to serve in the house of God. No matter what the text or the topic, every message delivered from the pulpit was expository and effectively exhorted, encouraged, comforted, admonished… and always—always ended on the gospel note.

    This type of wholesome teaching just on a Sunday, catered to the needs of every one… children, singles, married, widowed and orphaned. It served the good news to the first-timers, milk for the babes, meat for the growing and the matured. It not only comforted the sorrowing but also humbled the haughty spirit while encouraging and strengthening the doubtful and the weak. The church did not busy itself in numerous programs but we evangelized, shared and ministered in deeds according to what each one of us had…and we always made time to search the scriptures on our own.

  21. daisymarygoldr says:

    Having said all of the above, does it mean that the church back home did not have any casualties of faith in crisis? Of course we did. Regardless of all the prevention, cure and treatment—loss of life is inevitable. All 100% of the seeds sown do not yield fruits… it is only a quarter that survive to produce in plenty… The Bible clearly says we should not be surprised that before Christ returns many will abandon the faith… and it is absolutely necessary for falling away of many.

    However, all will not be lost as Jesus said that He will not lose even one of us. So, no matter how far away we fall… those who belong to the Father and have His Spirit will surely come back. Those who go out from us and do not come back, never really belonged to us. And yes, some of them may unfortunately include our own parents, siblings, spouses, children and even those who had led us into faith in Christ!

    Faith in crisis also occurs when our faith is focused on programs and works rather than Jesus and when we minister love and mercy in our human strength. In such cases, disillusionment serves to remind us that we are simply human beings not gods (Agape you said it right) to wipe away AIDS, marital conflicts and addiction from off the face of the earth… crisis helps us realize we are simply the vessels that contain and channel not our life but His life flowing out from within us.

    Hence, faith in crisis is for our good because it dispels the disillusioned darkness to produce a clarified vision, it tests the genuineness of faith… it reveals the true and exposes the false and results in Christians who survive crisis only to come out as stronger and fully stabilized in faith!

  22. poohpity says:

    I thought the topic was about “The wisdom of the second opinion”. I guess that our faith being in crisis has been a problem that has touched many followers of Jesus since Peter began to sink when he was trying to walk on the water and took His eyes off of Jesus. I for one find myself wondering sometimes if it is all for real but never to the point of denial. It seems when I have those thoughts that the Lord is faithful to bring my thoughts back to Himself. Just talking to someone about those thoughts also helps me. I enjoy going to a counselor to take about stuff but it never takes the place of my discussions with the Lord.

  23. daisymarygoldr says:

    It is good to be reminded of the topic and just in case this was missed in my sea of words:) “That is how we purged out leaven without the wisdom of the second opinion to be sanctified to dissolve dissensions and solve complex problems right at the bud stage…”

    And “complex problems” include drug, smoke, alcohol and sex addiction, fornication, marital conflicts due to adultery. For mental disorders we consulted and received treatment by Medical Psychiatrists.

    Lest this sounds as superior and boasting, you see in the third world we are not rich like you to afford the services of a counselor. Most of us live in the middle of jungles with no cars, no AC and just a small shack. Regardless of the society around us structure of society within the church back there is also biblical … without the influence of immoral movies, even children know sexual intimacy as a committed, loving act is acceptable only within the boundaries of marriage. And if marriage is simply a tent for 2 flesh to become one, then it is equivalent to the sin of fornication. No one lived an individual life in isolation or with a pet companion. Every one lived with families even the unmarried and the widowed. In church of the ~50,000 people that I knew there were just a couple of divorces based on adultery and with the exception of a few most of the widowed did not remarry. So, all had someone to talk to and share the problems and sorrows…

    This is not to criticize but we are also not so highly literate like you to learn and practise all the weird sciences of Freudian psychology that produces a valueless society of selfish, pampered, narcissistic people… existing not outside in the world but right inside the church… that stubbornly rebel against parental and church authority… wickedly working to silence the cry of righteousness… and demanding for sugar-coated feel-good teaching of grace and wanting the church to dance to their worldly godless tunes.

    Even in the 21st century by God’s grace our faith is simple, Christian life is simple… either it is BC or AC…no in-between… the church is not polluted with drug addicts and drunkards. BC addicts and abusive come as we are but AC we are transformed and seek to walk in the fear of God and live like the sin-less hands and feet of Jesus… We just stuck to the one simple opinion of Christ i.e. forsake all (sins and harmful habits) to follow Him. It was just walking along the one straight and narrow path… no double-mindedness of 1st and 2nd opinion and no wavering back and forth between the way of the world and the way of Calvary… and BTW worldly and Biblical wisdom together will only produce a poisoned mix…to result with death in the pot! Hence in church our problems are also simple and are easily solved! Where then is the need for the 2nd opinion:)?

  24. bubbles says:

    just a thought. . . at my church, there are at least two people whose testimony tells about how they used drugs, drank, etc. they were witnessed to by others, and now they are saved! it’s been wonderful to watch these two people grow in the Lord. one now helps with various ministries of our church. it’s a joy to worship with them!

  25. poohpity says:

    We all have an opinion but in expressing that opinion I have witnessed some that talk down to others. The bible helps us realize that we ALL are on the same ground with one another and to think of others more highly than ourselves. I smoke and the Lord still loves and accepts me. I am not perfect and never will be until the day the Lord takes me home but I never profess to be more spiritual than anyone else only in need of a Savior and that is the only thing I boast in.

    The problems anywhere are hard and it is always nice to have a nonjudgmental listening ear that is what a counselor does. No matter where anyone is from each place presents problems of its own and we are to help and guide others on this journey. There is no one, not one person alive on the face of this earth that does not sin but it is so much easier to look at another person’s flaws so we do not have to look at our own. The bible teaches that in Matthew 7:1-4 and counseling teaches that as well.

    If one knows it all then one is not teachable and we are all students of the Master. I would much rather be like I am and let people know that I am a sinner saved by grace than for anyone to think I am not approachable and be pushed away by thinking that one has to be perfect to follow our Lord.

  26. daisymarygoldr says:

    The wisdom of the 1st opinion of the Bible tells me: I’m a saint in Christ and God has already declared me as righteous and perfect (Eph 2:19, 2 Cor 5:21)

    The wisdom of the 2nd opinion of a counselor tells me: I’m a sinner that will always wallow in my sin because I can never walk as an overcomer.

  27. Mart De Haan says:

    Am having co-workers give me a second and third opinion on how to post pictures from the Flickr photo sharing sight. I’ve read the rules, thought I understood them, but have twice now been called out by the owner of the photo for not asking for permission.

  28. Loretta Beavis says:

    “Help For My Life” is for people like me, who need that counsel. I can send others I meet to it. Thank you, RBC, the angels in my life.

    Reads like the “sharing” site doesn’t … why not start a sharing site at RBC? Plenty of us can take pictures and are not so selfish.

    I love my Jesus.

  29. poohpity says:

    dmg,
    Sounds like bad counsel to me. I would find a different counselor.

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity:), Thanks for the good counsel! But guess what? The wisdom of the 1st opinion of the Bible assures me of the services of a counselor that never went to school—to learn instruction from another counselor (Isa 40: 13-14) yet He’s the best counselor that can ever be found in this whole big universe! He permanently dwells right within me (Jn 14:26) and counsels me with the wisdom of God (Isa 11:2) instructing my heart even during the night (Ps 16:7)!

    My perfect counselor not only advises me about what is right and wrong but also holds my hand to guide me into doing what is right. His pure wisdom helps me make the right choices and with His strong backing I easily make the right decisions. Not always though… but then this cool counselor corrects me when I do wrong… very gracious person that never accuses to make feel guilty but always comforts me when am sorry for my wrongs. His loving soft words always encourage me to never give up and greatly inspire me to keep running even when I fall. His opinion so far has always been right on… and that is what convinced me to seek His direction for all of my life!

    This is the only counselor that never mentions or even inquires about my sinful past but always reminds me of my new creation-identity… which He has provided for me His client. He took over my sinful identity and in exchange let me have His righteous identity… all for free! He even went to the extremes and sealed forever this exchange of identities by shedding the last drop of His own precious blood and proved it as true by laying down His sinless life for me… something which no other counselor can ever do for me!

    poohpity, with all the love of Christ, thanks again but no thanks… there is no need for me to find another counselor because the wisdom of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion is as nothing when compared to the only opinion that actually counts… the only counsel that stands for all eternity (Isa 46:10) …the all-wise counsel of the wonderful counselor— Jesus Christ our Lord (Isa 9:6)!

  31. poohpity says:

    Good for you but I find help in those that the Lord has given the ability to reflect the image of The Mighty Counselor. I need help at times and am willing to admit it. Must be a blessing to not need any help from anyone. I hope I never get there.

  32. poohpity says:

    dmg,
    How do you explain 2 Cor. 1:3-5? So what you are saying all the trails I have been through are for nothing because I should not counsel those who are experiencing those same trails. So it has all been for nothing. I am feeling so useless with the gifts the Lord has given me. According to you I am worthless because I counsel people in their despair. :-(

  33. daisymarygoldr says:

    You are so right…it is a blessing indeed to get help from Jesus the very image of the invisible God and not from those who merely reflect the image of The Mighty Counselor! Never really had to work my way or make an effort to get there:) His grace has already placed me there!

  34. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, you are a wonderful Bible teacher and am so grateful to God because I for one, have greatly benefitted from all your insights and your love that you have been sharing in this place. In my conversations with others am also aware of my limitations with the English language:)—please, may I ask you to specifically point out where I have called you worthless?

  35. poohpity says:

    Oh my, not directly but by saying that, “there is no need for me to find another counselor because the wisdom of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion is as nothing when compared to the only opinion that actually counts…”. When God has given wisdom by the suffering one has gone through then it is therefore not nothing or my words worthless. We go through all that we go through to a benefit to another. Which is what counselors do. Also, “Where then is the need for the 2nd opinion:)? That statement also shows me that the need for counselors is nothing or worthless.

    I have never noticed that there has been a problem with your English or your written word if anything it directly conveys your thoughts precisely and sometimes quite harshly.

    In another post you mention that, “the church is not polluted with drug addicts and drunkards.” From what I understand Jesus did come to help those that realized they needed to be healed or helped and the churches are filled with those that are drug addicts and drunkards. What is any difference between their behavior and any other person that sins. It was the religious people that Jesus did not want to be around because they thought themselves superior. Their pride keep them from understanding the grace and forgiveness of our Lord.

  36. dependent says:

    dmg: a couple of things for you to consider

    Your experience in the “third world” church is just that–your experience. I have spent enough time with believers in developing countries on several continents to recognize the foolishness of extrapolating one’s personal history to paint such a broad (and glowing) picture of church life. Each cultural setting provides its own set of sinful barriers to becoming Christ-like. Idols are idols, pride is pride, ignorance is ignorance no matter what ‘flavor’ the leaven is.

    Jesus warned his disciples to “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

    You assert that you have no need for human counsel, yet you seem to freely dispense it here. What might that say about how you see yourself compared to others?

    Reading your words, my mind was drawn to several episodes where the Apostles, all men full of the Holy Counselor, and walking in his power, came together to seek one another’s counsel regarding particular issues in the Church. (e.g. Acts 6 and 11)

    I’m glad that they weren’t too “puffed up” to recognize their need for one another’s guidance and counsel as they endeavored to be obedient to the Lord. (those same men later wrote some letters to churches, specifically counseling them about those among them who got a little “puffy” 1 Cor 13:4, 4:6, Col 2:18)

    Wonder what would have happened if these mighty men of God had rejected the notion that they *needed* the counsel of their brethern?

    Food for thought…

  37. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, thanks for the reply. It certainly helped clarify “worthless” and you are being too nice about my language:) No, I absolutely did not mean counselors are worthless. After describing my church background I simply wondered for myself, “there is no need for me …” “Where then is the need…?” In fact, my very first comment on this page reads: “…with its excellent Pastoral and Counselor care “helpformylife” will certainly help treat faith in crisis”.

    True, Jesus did not want to be around religious people who thought themselves superior. They were hypocrites—without clean hands and hearts. They rejected the authority of the Messiah. Today, those who rebel against the authority of the Church also reject the authority of Christ who is the Head of the Church.

    True, superior people are self-righteous and do not need His salvation. They love their sins more than the righteousness of God. In refusing to let go of their sins they refuse to accept the salvation provided by Jesus because as you said, pride keeps them from understanding the grace and forgiveness of the Lord.

    True, Jesus did come to help those that realized they needed to be healed and helped and the churches are filled with those that were… not are drug addicts and drunkards. Outside Christ we ‘were’ all drug addicts and drunkards but in Christ we ‘are’ born into God’s family—the Church. We do sin but do not make a practice of sinning. 1 Jn 3:9.

    So, the Church is filled with those who are saved from… not to sins. Those who forsook all and followed Christ are called His disciples. It must be noted that at no point did Jesus ever address His followers as hypocrites. According to 1 Jn 3, when followers of Christ obey and do what is right, they are called righteous. And the disobedient that does not live righteously and does not love other (righteous) believers does not belong to God.

    Now—if we constantly slander the righteous saints by calling them hypocrites, then we would end up silencing the voice of righteousness in the Church. When the righteous brother is slained, God will surely hold us accountable. Also, sin will increase in the body of Christ and just in case we believe that it is not about being right but about mercy… With our sin-tainted hands and feet no matter how sacrificially we show mercy to serve the poor, the bleating of our sinful works will grieve the heart of the Lord and our sacrificial serving will not be accepted in His sight. For God delights in an obedient heart!

    What can I say about harsh words? Jesus used harsh words “get behind me satan”, when Peter tried to talk Him out of doing God’s will. In speaking the truth as God’s messengers, the purpose is to please God and not people. 1 Thess 2: 4 “Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah).”Gal 1:10.

    poohpity, sorry if I had used harsh words in my comments to you. Please forgive me. I want you to know that you are dearly loved in the Lord:)…

  38. daisymarygoldr says:

    dependent, thank you for making me to think! You are right, “third world” church is just that–your experience”. “extrapolate my personal history” ? My life with all its sinful shortcomings and that of the church I described is an open book on this blog site and unlike you I am using my real name!

    and yes, “Each cultural setting provides its own set of sinful barriers…” hence in the fear of the Lord we have forsaken the idols, pride and ignorance of our individual cultures, to follow the culture of Christ i.e. the culture of the Bible.

    So by God’s grace that local church life does not reflect any culture or country here on this earth and that is exactly what I am boasting about in my “…broad (and glowing) picture of church life”… unless you have heard me speak about my ethnic culture, my country of origin, my nationality, my mother tongue or even my family background.

    Oh, and Leaven? has no flavor… it is the one and same genus, species and strain of sin that is universal to all mankind. please refer to my comment to poohpity above for the definition of a Pharisee/religious people.

    Sorry dependent, if my sharing on this blog sounds like dispensing human counsel. And no, it is not being done freely. It is at a very heavy price of setting aside my personal pain to gain the hatred of others including you.

    And no, I never compare myself with others…I am being transformed into the image of Christ and it is His counsel that I share! However, it will be good, if you could help me see where I have dispensed my human counsel.

    Yes, all men came together to seek one another’s counsel because they all followed the same Word and were all of one accord. Whether it was marital conflict or addiction, they were all of one opinion…. Sorry, can’t follow your thoughts on Acts 6 and 11…

    Don’t worry about those who get “puffed up”… The Lord knows how to deal with the “puffy”. remember, all that it takes is just one thorn!

    Third world or super world, there is darkness everywhere and there is no time for us to squabble among ourselves. As the Holy Spirit of God leads, let us diligently use our individual God-given gifts… to unite together in the love of Christ and complete His work in His strength in His vineyard… for His ultimate glory!

    No one has rejected your counsel, dependent… I have been so blessed by all your posts. Please, keep posting!

  39. poohpity says:

    Sometimes one’s righteousness will not allow another’s counsel although it was given in love, to be rejected. Therefore one will not be open to change.

    It is correct that after a drug addict or drunkard accepts the forgiveness of Christ they become a new creation. They at least recognized the need for change. Some sins are easier to see than others.

  40. dependent says:

    DMG, I agree with the part of your post that reads “there is no time for us to squabble among ourselves”–so I won’t take you up on your request to help you “see” where you’ve dispensed human counsel. I have a pretty good idea how that would play out.

    Never claimed anyone here has “rejected my counsel”–though it wouldn’t surprise or offend me for that matter. And thank you, I think I will keep posting :-)

    It is a mix of sadness and curiosity that I read this:

    “Sorry dependent, if my sharing on this blog sounds like dispensing human counsel. And no, it is not being done freely. It is at a very heavy price of setting aside my personal pain to gain the hatred of others including you.”

    Your last assertion reveals much about your perspective. And perhaps a bit about your pain. Seems a bit ‘over the top’ from here. For you see, DMG, I don’t hate you. Really doubt anyone in this forum does.

    Ask your Counselor to verify that on my account. On the contrary, I wish you all the grace and peace He has stored up for you.

  41. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Amen, Mart. I appreciate this, and may God bless it to the help of many.

  42. cherielyn says:

    Mart,

    I have two comments regarding the link for “Help For My Life.” (The “Contact Us” link on helpformylife would have been preferable, but it did not work).

    First – I have been searching for a Christian site, for a year & a half now, that would address a particular issue I am struggling with. I could not find it on this site either. I don’t really want to ask the question here. After spending a LOT of time searching the FAQ’s I tried the “Contact Us” link, but it did not bring me to a form that could be filled out to send my question.

    Second – Unfortunately, as with so many other sites these days, one must have Flash Player to access the videos. I have been strongly cautioned by my internet security advisor not to install Flash Player because it is a conduit for viruses, trojans and other internet maladies. I am sure that this is not the case with RBC, but once Flash is installed on a computer and a person innocently visits another site that has ads that access Flash Player, there is the strong possibility of getting an infection.

    Oh, if only more sites would use Windows Media Player to allow access to their offerings. Too many sites use the latest & greatest, instead of sticking with the tried & true. Sounds like an analogy to what is happening in modern day Christianity.

    Just my thoughts.

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