Married Life with an Unbeliever

By Dr. Ab Abercrombie

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?  And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? (2 Cor 6:14-15, NKJV).

The language of this passage is very direct and absolute. Paul writes with clarity that leaves no room for discussion or concession. Christians should not, must not, be “yoked together with unbelievers”. And yet within our counseling ministry, this is perhaps the fastest growing segment of counselees seeking marriage counseling.

The issues affecting this mixed marriage are often complicated and even volatile.  As our text states, there is no communion (fellowship) between light and darkness, and there is no accord (agreement) between Christ and the devil. How then do we expect these contrary spirits to effectively merge?

Read MoreMarried Life with an Unbeliever

Briarwood Presbyterian Church…Biblical Counseling Conference

Briarwood Presbyterian Church, in Birmingham, Alabama, will hold its annual Biblical Counseling Conference June 29-30, 2018, at the Briarwood church campus. There will be a number of great speakers and topics for your growth as a biblical counselor. Karen and I hope our students will take advantage of this tremendous learning opportunity. BRIARWOOD SUMMER COUNSELING … Read More

Introduction to Biblical Counseling

Introduction to Biblical Counseling is the first required course for all students. The course introduces the student to basic concepts of Biblical counseling including problem identification and definition, treatment planning, and counseling techniques and intervention with individuals and families in crisis. Students are trained in the direct application of Scripture to specific problem areas, the … Read More

Introduction to Biblical Counseling

Introduction to Biblical Counseling is the first required course for all students. The course introduces the student to basic concepts of Biblical counseling including problem identification and definition, treatment planning, and counseling techniques and intervention with individuals and families in crisis. Students are trained in the direct application of Scripture to specific problem areas, the … Read More

Certificate Program in Biblical Counseling

The Body of Christ is called to restore the fallen (Gal 6:1-2) and evangelize the lost (Matt 28:18-19). Join us for this important training that helps the Church answer its biblical mandate to “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2).

Forest Lake Bible Church

Dr. Abercrombie will be preaching at the morning worship service beginning at 10:30 am. We hope to see you there!

Can A Leopard Change His Spots?

Please join us this coming Sunday, February 11th, at Forest Lake Bible Church in Niceville, FL, where Dr. Ab will be preaching in the morning worship service at 10:30 am. His text for the sermon is taken from Jeremiah 13:23…We hope to see you there. God bless you!

Forest Lake Bible Church

Dr. Abercrombie will be preaching at the morning worship service at Forest Lake Bible Church inNiceville, Florida . Details Follow: Date: November 19, 2017 Time: 10:30 am Location: Forest Lake Bible Church Niceville, Florida Sermon Title: Draw Near to the Throne of Grace (Heb 4:12-16) Ab and Karen hope to that our friends and students … Read More

The Language of Scripture…

Dr. Ab Abercrombie

Thanks to the proliferation of television, self-help books, and the Internet, many counselees have researched their individual conditions and concerns before making an appointment for biblical counseling. As a result, many will enter counseling using secular, psychological, and even medical terms to describe their complaints. Often this terminology is applied to others instead of self, as the individual counselee seeks to describe his/her circumstance.

Some examples I have heard within my counseling room include:

  • “I have been reading on the Internet about adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and I think it describes me perfectly.”
  • “I saw a TV special on depression and now I understand that I have a chemical imbalance that causes me to be depressed. Do you think I should start medication?”
  • “My wife has a borderline personality disorder…”
  • “My husband has a narcissistic personality disorder…”
  • “My son has an oppositional defiant disorder…”

In each situation, the counselee had spiritual, behavioral, and emotional issues that were indeed painful and chronic. Each were seeking an explanation for their struggle. However, their use of secular language and humanistic diagnostic terms led them to pursue secular and humanistic relief. Each one had discovered a term or condition they believed absolved them of responsibility; both for the problem and the solution.

Scripture relates the following truth: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” (Prov 23:7a). Our meditations matter greatly and so do our sources of study and research. Whenever a believer consults and relies upon worldly versions of “truth,” he/she becomes vulnerable to the intoxicating influence of humanism.

As a Biblicist, I view the Bible as fully sufficient for the counseling task and superior to any explanations offered by the world. Most Christians however value and respect the Bible and might even see it as inerrant; but few have studied Scripture from the perspective of sufficiency. As a result, most of our counselees offer distorted renditions of life that strangely employ biblical language mixed with secular opinions and terminology. But when the counselee settles upon, and believes the secular explanation (as in the examples above), we know they are seeking the world’s remedy that may, or may not, find agreement with God’s Word.

This merger of Christian thought with secular reasoning, in time, defiles the purity of one’s relationship with Scripture. Humanism is diametrically opposed to biblical truth in most, if not all, circumstances. When attempting to find agreement between God and the world, one has already conceded that the Bible is insufficient for the problem at hand. In using secular and psychological terminology, the counselee demonstrates his/her urgency for relief, without regard to God’s intent and purpose. Paul wrote concerning the overtaking of the mind and conscience:

To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled (Titus 1:15).

Read MoreThe Language of Scripture…

A Biblical Response to Dependency and Addiction

Dr. Ab AbercrombieWorried man

Dependency and Addiction

According to experts, alcohol and drug addiction are diseases; obesity and overeating are due to genetic predisposition; obsessive relationship attachments are labeled “codependent;” and excessive spending may be a symptom of bi-polar disorder. To refer to these matters as sin is considered taboo. After all, it isn’t our fault if we have a physical malady, genetic flaw, poor childhood, or biochemical imbalance.

Focusing on sin, some argue, is harsh and promotes guilty, shameful emotions. I argue that telling someone there is no remedy or cure for their behavioral prison is harsh. Without transformation, we can only teach someone to manage their illness rather than resolve their sin.

Addiction is indulgence of the flesh and the temporal pleasures that come with the element of attraction. For some substances, medical addiction can, and does, become a complicating factor making deception and entrapment still greater. Yet in its origin, it is the placement of something or someone above God.

Edward Welch (2001) calls addiction a worship disorder, pointing to idolatry as a central theme in our excessive consumptions. He writes:

Furthermore, the problem is not outside of us located in a liquor store or on the Internet; the problem is within us. Alcohol and drugs are essentially satisfiers of deeper idols. The problem is not the idolatrous substance; it is the false worship of the heart (p. 49).

Scripture states: “Now the works of the flesh are evident…” (Gal. 5:19). If the cravings and actions of our flesh are evident (obvious), then through them our heart is revealed. The heart conveys our affection; our devotion of time and energy; our longing; and our commitment.The heart invested fully in a person or substance will have little evidence of godly worship, service, or holy conduct, as these assets cannot be attained apart from godly adoration.

Many suggest that the Bible has little to say about addiction in general. For example, the Bible does not speak of pornography, drug addiction, or relationship dependence at all. The Bible also does not mention automobiles and rocket ships because they did not exist at the time God gave His revelation. But theologically and structurally, Scripture has volumes to say about idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14), worship (John 4:23), respect and maintenance of the body (1 Cor. 3:16-17), lust (1 John 2:16, sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23), a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7), temperance (1 Cor. 6:12), and pure meditations (Ps. 19:14). Perhaps Paul summed it up best:

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (1 Cor. 6:12).

Read MoreA Biblical Response to Dependency and Addiction