Getting help with an “angry husband,” according to “Biblical counseling”

Note: The “Biblical counseling” being critiqued here is actually nouthetic/admonishing counseling. There are many people who counsel Biblically who do not counsel this way.

This is the third and final installment in a series of articles of commentary on Caroline Newheiser’s lecture “Lving with an Angry Husband,” which you can listen to at this link here (and I especially encourage you to listen to it if you think I may be misrepresenting what Caroline says).

Part One of this commentary series is here (link) and Part Two is here (link).

In her lecture, Caroline Newheiser explains the “right way” for a woman to ask for help with her angry (cruel) husband, and how church people should help. Continue reading

Don’t be a martyr, but do suffer in your marriage to an angry husband (and other “Biblical counseling”)

Yesterday I applied Caroline Newheiser’s lecture “Living with an Angry Husband” (link) to the wife of Devin Patrick Kelley, the man who shot and killed 26 people in a Texas church on November 5, 2017. It is a lecture that sounds a very uncertain call to the church, with contradictory counsel. Through the whole time I listened to it, I kept taking off my glasses to rub my aching temples. You can read that Part One commentary here (link). Continue reading

Should Texas church shooter’s wife have gotten “Biblical counseling”? #churchtoo

Note: I put the term “Biblical counseling” in quotation marks not because I believe it’s wrong to counsel with the Bible. (Just the opposite is true, in fact.) But rather, because a certain group of people (nouthetic/”admonishing” counselors) have co-opted this term to apply to their style of counseling, when other counseling that uses the Bible (sometimes called “Christian counseling”) could also be called Biblical counseling.

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Recently I listened to a lecture from Caroline Newheiser from the Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) summer 2017 conference (link). I wanted to hear it for two reasons: In this talk Caroline was teaching other “Biblical counselors” (that is, nouthetic/”admonishing” counselors) how to counsel on the topic “Living with an Angry Husband” (link), and this information is pertinent to my interactions. And also, Caroline is the wife of Jim Newheiser, who is now the Director of the Christian Counseling Program at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC (about whom I’ve heard some interesting things) and a respected teacher in her own right. Continue reading

Your granddaughter wants to tell you about her rape: a message to kind Christian grandparents #youtoo

Note: This post was born not because I have any particular grandparents in mind, but simply from the fact that so many young people are speaking to me about their rapes. I wish they could speak to you.

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You love your granddaughter. You may be wondering what’s been wrong with her lately, why she’s having all those physical problems, or why she suddenly seems to be going off the cliff in her bizarre behavior, or why her parents won’t say much to you about her, or why she’s suddenly avoiding you. Continue reading

Untwisting “you should surrender your rights” (a guest post for Leslie Vernick)

My faithful readers have seen some of my blog posts about rights before, and know that two chapters of Untwisting Scriptures are devoted to understanding rights. I’m glad to say that author and speaker Leslie Vernick is giving an opportunity to interact on this important topic to a wider audience. Here is the first part of the article being published at www.leslievernick.com today. Continue reading

It’s unBiblical to surrender your rights

Next week I’ll be privileged to guest post again for Leslie Vernick at www.leslievernick.com, about how you actually do have rights and you shouldn’t surrender or yield them and it’s actually impossible to surrender many of them. That will be a brief outline of the talk about rights that I gave last weekend at the Called to Peace Ministries Conference “Developing a Church-Wide Response to Domestic Abuse.” (That talk, in turn, was based on two chapters in my book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind.)

But today I want to mention a couple of points, really a couple of Scriptures, that I didn’t have time to fully discuss in my talk. (Both of them are addressed in the book.) Continue reading

“Erring on the side of grace” when it comes to repentance?

Recently a friend wrote to me about a church in which the well-meaning elders choose to believe anyone who claims to be repentant, even those who have been living a double life (such as a well-respected church person who turns out to be a secret abuser or adulterer). She said,

“They say they want to believe the best and take people at their word. They would rather err on the side of grace.”

Continue reading

Speaking at a DV conference in Raleigh, NC, in November

Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC

On November 3-4 at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC, Joy Forrest of Called to Peace (www.calledtopeace.org) will be holding a conference called “Developing a Church-Wide Response to Domestic Abuse.”

Chris Moles (www.chrismoles.org), author of The Heart of Domestic Abuse, will be the primary speaker. But a few others will also be speaking, and I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked to do one session. Continue reading

“Children obey your parents”? Part One

Here’s a letter I received last week:

I have a long back story but to simplify for my question, I am in my early 50s, so raised my kids in the era of the home school conference you mentioned [in the post “Christian patriarchy: Here’s how you replaced God”].  Unfortunately I idolized the “perfect” family while covering for my emotionally abusive husband.  I raised 5 children and spoon-fed them a hypocritical life, all the while making sure they learned the most important Scriptures….like children obey your parents.  Continue reading

Here’s an abuse survivor’s plea about nouthetic “Biblical” counseling

Yesterday I published a synopsis of and response to “Helping Women with Child Sexual Abuse in Their Past,” by Zondra Scott, a teacher of nouthetic counselors (going by the name “Biblical counselors”) whose husband Stuart taught “Biblical counseling” at  John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary and who currently teaches it at Southern Seminary (SBC) in Louisville, KY. I wrote this in light of the way “Jane” from The Master’s University says she was counseled after having been raped.

I emphasized that their style of counseling is one that they called “Biblical” but I’m calling “nouthetic” since that was its original name and there are other styles of counseling that are equally Biblical and arguably more so.

Though the details of “Jane’s” so-called counseling experience were of course unique, the overall picture looked eerily familiar to me. Continue reading