Biblical Counseling Versus Secular Counseling

Man is made in the image of God, which means we are able to analyze information. Our analysis of life has led many to the conclusion that man needs help. We have interpersonal struggles as well as external challenges. Even those who do not have faith in Christ understand this. However, many have not entered through the narrow gates of salvation but still want help in life apart from Jesus; thus, the creation of secular counseling. But what is secular counseling and how does it differ from biblical counseling? Let us quickly look at just a few difference and learn how God’s way is better than man’s way.

Biblical counseling is rooted in truth because it relies on God’s word. Jesus confirms that the Bible is truth and through it His people are sanctified (John 17:17). On the other hand, secular counseling is not rooted in the Bible and as a result is open to more error. We only need to look at the father of psychology, Sigmund Freud. His teaching in the early 1900s was considered groundbreaking and helpful to mankind. However, professional in the field today consider much of Freud’s teachings to be foolish and laughable. I remember laughter, jokes, and sarcasm followed Freud’s name almost every time his teaching was discussed in my college courses. Freud is not the only example of psychology making a drastic shift from error. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is considered to be the psychologist’s bible, once classified homosexuality as a disease instead of what the Bible says it is…a human choice. After several revisions, in 1987 it was completed removed from the DSM-III. Psychology changes but the Bible does not (1 Peter 1:24-25; Revelation 22:18-19).

At is core; secular counseling is man’s attempt to, “fix” man’s problems. The issue with this belief is that our main problem is not address. We are sinners before a Holy God and we need Jesus to give us saving faith to satisfy the Father’s wrath toward our sinfulness (Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 2:1-2). In secular counseling the main problem gets missed and the means to solve the problem are not being utilized.

Hebrews 11:6 say, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him…” Biblical counseling is amazing because at the end of the day the process pleases God, if done in faith. God is at the center of the discussion and everyone involved believes He is the solution to all of life’s problems. The heart of all Christians is to please Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:9). Secular counseling does not create an environment that displays faith in God because it does not display a trust in God that believes Scripture, contains allegiance to Jesus, and obedience to His commandments. Instead the focus is on man and how to please self.

Christians have been given all things pertaining to life in godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God’s children do not need secular counseling to please God, live by faith, and grow to become more like Jesus. Instead we need a healthy church that preaches the Bible accurately and holds us accountable to a life of holiness. If you are struggling with the idea that biblical counseling is better than secular counseling, place your trust in God because His wisdom is better than any psychologist’s (1 Corinthians 1:25). Refrain from the world’s system (James 4:4-5); instead trust in the Jesus, He is all the hope you need.


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George T.