let the fur fly

December 21, 2016

The topic here is risk management, there are vocations that you need to think about the long-term ramifications of that career field.

I was a prison chaplain for many years and that tends to make you very cynical as every inmate lies. And you find out that working with the police department or state police or sheriff’s department that they believe everybody lies to them so they become cynical and then the court system become cynical.

So then you find out that you have developed the same sort of cynicism.

Then I went into private practice as a psychologist. And there you find out that if they’re not lying they’re trying to manipulate you. Especially in regards to child custody cases. You would not believe the amount of fabrication that goes on to prove that another spouse is unworthy.

Well then take in family dynamics, what kind of family were you raised in. Now we all have baggage and it is pointless to deny that there are events in our life from our past that influence us today. One of the best things that I can advise you is to be in touch with how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking and not go through your life unconscious of the barometer of your own mental health.

Now I don’t give much credence to dream interpretation however if you’re having bad dreams there are one or two reasons why this happens. One is you possibly have apnea and the lack of oxygen during your sleep will give you bad dreams second, if you have unresolved issues and especially a lot of guilt or shame in your life you will have a lot of bad dreams as well.

I would advise you to a, get a counselor b; get into group therapy, c; be honest with all your loved ones and family members about how you feel, d; and regardless of the amount of discouragement or nonsupport over what you’re going through keep reaching out to find some outlet that’s healthy to express your fears and emotions. As in our recent devotion about seasonal affect disorder or the Christmas blues you need to be aware of historical events that are marked on the calendar that will affect your thinking, mood, and behavior.

For example, I had a client who on his 16th birthday his father called him to come to the house from his part-time summer job, and when he opened the door and said “dad are you here” the first thing he heard was a shotgun blast as his father took his life. Now you would think that it’s common sense than that every single anniversary of his birthday it would be overshadowed by his father’s death. But he was in denial and since he became a Christian he had been told that all things were made new and that he should just confess that it should not affect him.

It is amazing what things people in the church will tell you that have no basis in fact, science, the Bible, or even common sense. If you are suffering any sort of stress, distress, depression, or doubt, really don’t take the advice of a layman but really seek professional help.

The second problem that I’ve run into in the counseling industry is the amount of counselors that are divorced and then remarried especially those women that are in a Christian counseling vocation. Now this is gonna sound very chauvinistic but it’s been my experience that the majority of these women in a Christian environment and doing quote Christian counseling still need to validate the fact that deep within their core belief system it’s wrong to get a divorce. And so when women come to them for counseling and ask if a divorce is okay they will say yes because they don’t want to invalidate their own experience.

The other situation that I ran into often in the pastoral counseling field is people that claim to be Christian counselors but their only education and credentials were in social work. 100% of these people never gave biblical advice on how to handle day-to-day family crisis and always gave secular advice not rooted in the Bible but actually conflicting the Bible.

So if you seek a person who claims to be a Christian counselor even if he is the pastor you need to interview them asked them about their marital history their education in counseling, how they see the Bible as relative to solving your problem and you wouldn’t think it but you have to ask them for their testimony of their salvation. Because there are a l lot of people in the Christian religious field of counseling and pastoring that are not actually Christians but merely religious. There are entire denominations where not one single person is actually a Christian but just religious, this denomination often believes in universal salvation and therefore there is no need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. You need to avoid these people like the plague.

For example I know this is going to offend some people but when has that ever stopped me. Churches like the Methodist or United Church of Christ or Episcopalians or Presbyterians are often social Christians and not saved Christians. I know that’s going to ruffle a lot of feathers and somebody’s always going to come up with an example of an exemption but unfortunately it’s the 80/20 rule where 80% of the people really do follow my model and 20% are the exception.

However let me say the same thing in Pentecostal and evangelical circles I would still apply the 80/20 rule even there. I did a five year study and statistical analysis of people that were in evangelical/Pentecostal churches and over 50% of them had no basis in knowing a salvation event and not knowing if they were actually saved.

Now there is a very good book called “turning to God” by Rev. David F Wells, I would highly recommend you read this book it is not a light easy read, he is very intellectual and the book is very thought-provoking but he does mention a class of people that have grown into Christianity. And to not belabor the point these are people that grew up in an evangelical church and they grew into their Christianity meaning that at some point in time they mentally assimilated what it meant to be saved and to have a Savior and they do not necessarily have a point of salvation as a historical event. I know there are some people that would challenge this and challenge the salvation of these people but in interviewing a large class of these people myself have found that if you examine the fruit of their Christian life they have indeed most often been children that heard the gospel message and mentally assimilated it into their system and add an age of development processed that in the reality and are truly believers but without that historic event of salvation marking their lives.

We therefore have to be very careful in our sermons especially those of an evangelical nature to not make these people feel like they are not Christians because they never had that “moment” but the truth be told that during summer camp and children’s camp and vacation Bible school at a very young and tender age they probably responded to the dozen of altar calls and one of those was a true salvation event.

So I’ve kind of meandered off the main topic here but that’s okay were just going to title this particular devotion a meditation in rambling.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Oh I’m not a misogynist, really .

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