Counseling & Beliefs: A Doctrinal Statement

Personal Statement on Christian Counseling

I do not advertise myself as a “Christian Counselor” as my Christianity is not my credential. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Service Provider. My credentials are based upon my education and training. My identity is in Christ Jesus and as such, it follows me into every walk of life including counseling. I believe that counseling is a calling given to me by God. I believe that I am to be on mission at all times and that my mission field consists of those who walk into my office. I am licensed and trained; however, I am not God nor will I pretend I am. I am an instrument to be used in the hands of the redeemer. With this calling comes great responsibility. The Bible commands me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind and then I am to love my neighbor as myself. Given this, I want to be available to people from ALL walks of life whether or not they agree with my beliefs. I want to be available for use by God in whatever capacity He chooses in the field of counseling. That being said, I will not call unbelievers out on their sin in session nor will I expect unbelievers to conform to my beliefs. I cannot save anyone; however, I am required to love at all times. I believe evangelism and discipleship can occur at the same time. I also believe that people aren’t always interested in what I have to say but they will always remember how I made them feel.  I will not refuse a client on the basis of a “religious conflict” for I believe that God is most at work when I am having to be fully dependent on Him for guidance in helping the homosexual couple (even though I FIRMLY believe that marriage is between a man and a woman) or the atheist teenager. Through my role as a Counselor, I believe I am obedient to my calling when I can love anyone who walks into my door with the same love given to me by a gracious, merciful, forgiving God. Only then can I be of use in the hearts of those who believe otherwise.  Who am I to tell someone how to live their life when they’re dead in their trespasses? But for the grace of God, there go I.

For those who profess belief in God, I will assess their spirituality to look for ways to utilize this as a strength in obtaining their goals. I will respect and honor their spiritual journey and readily assist them with strengthening their spiritual walk (if they desire to do so) with prayer, scriptures and biblical education. I pull from a combination of resources such as:  ESV Study Bible, prayer, various authors (Ed Welch, Jay Adams, Hannah Hurnard, C.S. Lewis, Rick Warren, etc), Celebrate Recovery, various podcasts (Matt Chandler, JD Greear, Darrin Patrick, Focus on the Family, June Hunt, Dr. Kevin Leman, etc.), and various movies (Faith like Potatoes, Fireproof, God’s Not Dead, How to Save a Life, Let Hope Rise, etc).

Doctrinal Statement of Christian Counseling

1. The Scriptures

I believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God and are given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all Scripture is authoritative, infallible, and inerrant. The Scriptures are fully sufficient, and are the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. I do not believe that other books are inspired by God in the same way as the Bible.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 19:7-10; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:30-31; Acts 20:32; Psalm 119:9-11

2. The Trinity

I believe that there is one living and true God who is without division of nature, essence, or being, but who eternally exists in three persons. These three persons are equal in every divine perfection, and they execute distinct but harmonious offices and roles in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.

  • Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; Genesis 1:1-2, 26; John 1:1-3,14; Romans 8:11; John 14:8-17

3. God the Father

I believe in God the Father, the head of the Triune Godhead. He is an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, poIr, and love. He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, hears and ansIrs prayer, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

  • Genesis 1:1; Revelation 22:13; John 4:24; Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 4:13; Isaiah 46:9-10; Psalm 139:7-16; Psalm 18:1-15; Job 38:1-18; 1 John 4:7; Matthew 6:8; Luke 10:21-22; Proverbs 21:1; John 3:16; I Peter 1:3

4. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ 

I believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, The Counselor, who is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. He is fully God and fully man, and is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, and suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He will return again visibly and bodily in the Father’s perfect time. He is the only Prophet, Priest, and King of the church, and Sovereign of the universe. He was counseling before any of us were around. How cool is that?

  • John 3:16; John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Romans 8:31-34; Matthew 16:13-17; Isaiah 53; Philippians 2:5-7; Acts 1:9-11; John 8:58; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 7:25

5. The Holy Spirit

I believe in the Holy Spirit, who is fully God, and a person, not an “it.” He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration. He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, and indwells and seals them for day of redemption.  The Holy Spirit is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.

  • Genesis 1:2; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; John 14:26; John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:16-25; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 4:4-6; John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13-14; John 15:26-27

6. The Total Depravity of Man

I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin the entire human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. All people sin and are by nature children of wrath, totally depraved, and utterly unable to remedy our lost condition.

  • Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3; Romans 3:9-18; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Romans 5:18; Ephesians 2:1-3; Ephesians 2:12; Isaiah 64:6-7; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 7:18

7. Salvation

I believe that salvation is a gift brought to man by the free grace and pleasure of God.  Salvation was accomplished through Christ’s substitutionary life and death, and His resurrection from the grave. Salvation can be received only by repentance of sins and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

  • Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 3:23-26; Isaiah 43:25; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Romans 8:3-4; John 3:16; Acts 20:20-21; John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10

8. Sanctification

I believe that all Christians are saved unto a life-long process of growth in holiness (i.e. a process of being made more and more like Christ). This includes a progressive growth in: the knowledge of God, understanding of God, good works, love of God, and love of others. Sanctification includes constant confession and repentance (which means not merely acknowledging sin, but turning from it).  While all Christians are called to grow in Christ-likeness, no one will ever arrive at perfection before death.

  • Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:1-17; Galatians 5:13-25; John 17:17; Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:3-11; Colossians 3:1-17; Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 1 John 1:8-9; Luke 3:8; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 13:12

9. Eternal Security and the Assurance of Believers

I believe that those who are redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and secure in Christ forever. I believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation, while realizing that the Bible clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sin.  Assurance is based upon the person and work of Christ, the testimony of the Spirit, and the evidence of conversion in the life of a believer.

  • John 6:37-40; John 10:27-30; Romans 8:1-4; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Romans 8:16-17; Romans 8:38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Colossians 1:21-23; James 2:14-26; Hebrews 3:5-6; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 Peter 1:5; Titus 2:11-15

10. The Church

I believe that the Lord Jesus is the Head of the church, which is composed of all His true disciples.  Christians are to associate themselves into local bodies for the purpose of worship, growth as disciples, service, fellowship, and missions.  To each local body, Christ has given the authority for administering order, discipline, and worship. The regular officers of a church are Elders (other names for Elders include: Pastors or Overseers) and Deacons.  I believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

  • Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:23; John 10:16; Matthew 18:20; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 28:18-20; Galatians 3:10; Colossians 1:28-29; 1 Timothy 3:15; Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 6:1-6; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 5:17-19

11. Christian Conduct

I believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God, the Ill-being of their fellow man, and should seek the Ill-being of the cities and cultures in which they live. The conduct of Christians should be blameless before the world. Christians are called to be faithful stewards of their time, talents (spiritual gifts), and possessions.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 12:12; Mark 12:30-31; 1 Corinthians 13; Jeremiah 29:4-7; John 14:15; John 14:23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Luke 12:42-48

12. The Ordinances

I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (i.e. Communion or the Eucharist). I believe that the only proper mode of Christian baptism is by the immersion of the believer into water. Baptism does not save an individual, but is necessary for obedience and is a picture of the believer’s union with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection. I believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ as a commemoration of His death. Just like baptism, the Lord’s Supper does not save individuals, but is necessary for our obedience. During Communion, Christ is not present in the wine and bread themselves, but inhabits the presence of His people as I remember his death. I believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our only for believers.

  • Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 1:17; Matthew 3:13-17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Matthew 26:20-29; Luke 22:14-23

13. The Last Things

I believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. I believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal life and joy of the righteous in the new heaven and the new earth and the endless suffering of the wicked in hell.

  • Mark 14:62; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:3; Titus 2:11-13; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5; Philippians 3:21-22; Matthew 16:27; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6; Revelation 21:1-8

14. Open Hand and Close Hand

I believe that Christian doctrine can be divided into categories of “open-handed doctrine” and “closed-handed doctrine.” Closed-handed doctrines are the core, essential beliefs that must be accepted by adherents of Christianity. If these doctrines are not believed, then the person denying them is not truly a Christ-follower because he/she has denied beliefs essential to the faith. Examples of closed-handed doctrines are: belief in the Trinity, the complete divinity of Jesus, the holiness of God, salvation only by grace through faith, and the inerrancy of the Bible. Open-handed doctrines are beliefs that are secondary to core, closed-handed doctrines. Christians may have different opinions about the Bible’s teaching on open-handed doctrines. Open-handed doctrines are still extremely important, but Christians can differ on these issues and still claim a true, Christian faith. Examples of open-handed doctrines include: the Bible’s teaching on the extent of man’s will and God’s will in regards to salvation, what the Bible teaches about issues of conscious such as the consumption of alcohol and which movies I choose to watch, and how I choose to raise our kids. I encourage Christians who disagree with each other on open-handed issues to live together harmoniously as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The same goes for the counseling process; however, those who believe differently than I about close-handed issues are always welcomed and will never be asked to defend their beliefs.

  • John 14:6; Galatians 1:6-9; Philippians 1:15-18; 1 Corinthians 3:5-15; Romans 14:12-23; Colossians 2:17; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Acts 10:9-16