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Convictions and Beliefs

  • Why does Compassionate Counselors, Inc. exist as a ministry? [PDF]
  • What is “Nouthetic Counseling”? [PDF]
  • Your ministry emphasizes “Gracious Affections.” What does that mean?

We see this as integral to helping people make lasting change. People need to desire to change in the way that God’s Word says they need to change. Sometimes people come for counseling just to vent about their problems. Others come to get attention or to gain sympathy or pity. Some come so that a spouse or child will be “fixed” or told that they are the cause of family problems. Your desire needs to include having both your heart changed and your affections changed. You want your heart changed. Why do you do the things you do? What are your motivations? What needs to change in your “inner man”? But you also want your affections changed. You need to not only love the right things but also hate the right things. You want to not only practice “mercy” but also be one who loves mercy (Micah 6:8). You want to not only avoid sins like greed and lust, but also develop a hatred for these sins in your heart. Biblical faith is not merely assimilating knowledge or gaining information. The accumulation of truth is insufficient for lasting, God-honoring change. Biblical faith includes a change of heart and a change of affections through the work of the Holy Spirit. This is why they are called gracious affections; the Holy Spirit causes an “affect” upon your heart through His work of grace. The kinds of desires that you have say a lot about the quality of your faith. You want a faith that is God-centered and seeking the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in your life, not one that is man-centered and looking to be placated and urged to stay just as you are.

  • What is your doctrinal statement or “statement of faith”?

Compassionate Counselors holds to the beliefs articulated in the Statement of Faith of the National Association of Evangelicals as printed below:

NAE Statement of Faith

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Do you prescribe medication?

No, we are not medical doctors and therefore cannot prescribe medication.

  • What is your view on medication?

We are not opposed to medication, but we have found that it has been over-prescribed in many cases. We prefer to begin addressing issues of the heart with people, even if there may be a need for medication. We often discover that when heart issues are addressed biblically, the need for medication significantly lessens or vanishes altogether. We counsel people who are currently on medication, and also people who are not on medication.

  • Are your counselors certified by the state?

The basic answer is “no.” The position of the State of Arizona is that of “separation of church and state.” To require certification would violate that position. The state of Arizona does require that a person performing any religious function must come under some religious adjudicatory body that can vouch for the function being performed and attest to the person’s qualifications. In this case, Compassionate Counselors, Inc. would be the adjudicatory body for our counselors.

  • What are your credentials as a counselor?

At present, David Edgington is our lead counselor. He is certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) (www.biblicalcounseling.com) and also the International Association of Biblical Counselors (www.iabc.net). He also holds two Master’s Degrees and a Doctoral Degree, all with high honors. Additionally, he has been a Senior Pastor for over 13 years and is ordained with the Evangelical Free Church of America.

  • How do I choose a counselor?

You want a counselor who will counsel you from the Bible. The Word of God should be the authority for whatever is said. If your counselor does not open his Bible and use the Scriptures to address your problems, the counsel you receive will be therapeutic at best, but not God-glorifying. Your times together should be opened and closed with prayer so that it is clear that God is the authority in this counseling, not the counselor himself.

You also want a counselor who will depend upon the Holy Spirit. He not only needs to be dependent upon the Spirit of God, but urge you to do so as well. A good counselor will know that even the Word of God will appear to be “ink on trees” unless the Holy Spirit helps you to understand it, apply it, and glorify God through it.

You also will want to find a counselor who has been trained in Nouthetic Counseling either through ACBC or IABC.

  • Are you affiliated with any church or denomination?

We are not affiliated with any particular church or denomination. We serve the whole kingdom of God and believe the Word of God is sufficient to address any problem of living, whatever denomination you are in. Our desire is to “strengthen the local church” (Acts 14:22; 15:32; 16:5; 18:23). We have ministered to people from across the body of Christ. Most churches would be in agreement with our statement of faith. We embrace the statement of faith of the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals).

Additionally, all members of Compassionate Counselors, Inc. are expected to be an active member of a local church and growing in godly maturity.

  • What has brought about a renewed interest in Biblical Counseling lately? Aren’t there enough counselors in the world already?

Actually, Biblical Counseling is as old as the Bible itself. As a matter of fact, all Christians do counseling. Some do it with faithfulness to the gospel, some by marginalizing the gospel. At CCI, we want to see more of the former and less of the latter.

Biblical counseling is an integral ministry of the local church, rather than a program of the church. The conviction of the Puritans of the 1600’s and 1700’s was that the Pastor was to be a “Physician of the Soul.” They saw the necessity of making specific application of the Scriptures and the abundant grace of God to the lives of suffering saints.

Beginning in the 1800’s, man-centered psychological theory began to replace God-ordained biblical authority. Darwinian evolution came into the forefront. It became popular to question the authority and inerrancy of the Scriptures. It wasn’t long before the sufficiency of the Scriptures was also challenged. The belief that God’s Word addresses every problem of living waned in influence as the church sought to make accommodations with these theories.

Today, in the contemporary church, numerous unsuccessful attempts have been made to integrate biblical truth with psychological theory. The result has been a loss of confidence in the gospel and as a consequence many broken, confused lives. At Compassionate Counselors, Inc. we are one of the many ministries who are convinced that truly biblical counseling not only restores lives to godliness, but also is essential for God-glorifying change. We not only have this conviction from the Word of God, we have the testimony from people whose lives have been radically changed by following the Scriptures. We have no greater joy than to see God’s people walking in truth (3 John 4).

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