The establishing, billing and collecting of fees constitute an essential and significant part of psychotherapy. As with most professionals, time and money are two very important ingredients to psychotherapists.
Just as with a fee-for-service psychotherapy, many biblical counselors charge a fee for counseling and do not provide the service unless it is paid for. There are numerous biblical counseling centers both in and out of churches that provide counseling for a fee and many refuse to counsel those who cannot afford to pay. Individuals come for marital, personal, family or other counseling. They expect to be counseled from Scripture. They also expect prayer and Bible reading to be included in the counseling. They do not expect or want secular counseling techniques, ideas or methodologies. Individuals who seek biblical counseling expect to be ministered to biblically in the truest sense of being biblical.
The question in this article is: should individuals be charged for biblical counseling? Is it biblical for pastors, church leaders, or lay people to charge for such a ministry? What do you think? What would Scripture have one do?
Readers' Responses to "You Decide" (from PAL V4N5)
The establishing, billing and collecting of fees constitute an essential and significant part of psychotherapy. In the last issue of PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, we asked the following questions: Should individuals be charged for biblical counseling? Is it biblical for pastors, church leaders, or lay people to charge for such a ministry? What do you think? What would Scripture have one do? These are some of the responses to "You Decide."
A pastor from Kentucky answers:
I suppose that a very wild stretch of the imagination and a gross bending of Gods Word might justify charging a brother or sister a fee for help. It would also mean completely ignoring many other parts of Gods Holy Word/Law.
Paul was a shepherd who preached free of charge. Paul also tells us that we are to carry each others burdens and speak the truth in love. Each of us is to do that to which we are called knowing that everything we need for life and godliness is contained in our knowledge of Him and resting on His very great and precious promises. Both Paul and Peter intimated that dispensing the Gospel was not to involve money. God has given freely and freely we are to give.
Businesses charge fees for service. The one hired to perform a service is a hireling. There is a vast difference between a shepherd and a hireling who cares not for the sheep.
Family members (Gods family) do not charge one another for "services" or for any help given. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ COMMANDS US TO GIVE FREELY BECAUSE WE HAVE RECEIVED FREELY. Peter tells us that each one (saints) should use whatever gift he has received to SERVE others, faithfully administering Gods Grace in its various forms.
A very simple answer is obviousNO!
A reader from Alabama answers:
Scripture shows that most people do not search the Scriptures for themselves. All the answers one needs, through example or similar situation is found somewhere in the Bible. The problem is we tend to want others to give us an easy way out by standing and praying for us, then telling us what to do. Where real counseling is needed anyone with a sound understanding of biblical doctrine is capable to minister to those in need. Most times Christians want a noted or famous name to appeal to.
Pastors, church leaders and lay people should take the time, or set aside the time, without charge, to minister to young converts and children when the cause is worthy. Otherwise admonish and advise the seeker to study, search the Scriptures for themselves and apply the things the Holy Spirit teaches them.
There are a lot of helps available for those not afraid to work, study and pray to help them live Godly lives, honoring to our heavenly Father.
When money is involved its too easy for human beings to tell others what they want to hear, not necessarily what is true. After all, if Gods word is sufficient why would Gods people need a man to tell them what it says? 2 Timothy 2:15
A pastor from Florida answers:
If payment is required one is no longer a ministry but a business. A counselor should charge no more than Jesus charged for casting out devils. A prophecy conference should charge no more than the registration fee for the Olivet Discourse. Any fee-for-service in any branch of Christianity is not Christian.
PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, 4137 Primavera Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
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