Subtle Shifts From the Sufficiency of Scripture In Biblical Counseling

"Subtle Shifts From the Sufficiency of Scripture In Biblical Counseling" | Watch This Episode on YouTube


Related Messages

As you think about and ponder the things discussed on the podcast today, you might consider listening to the sermons Dr. Caldwell shared from his studies on Matthew 18, along with other sermons he has delivered relating to ecclesiology.   Following is the group of sermons from Matthew 18:

Children & God's Kingdom

Threats To God's Children

Caring For God's Children

The Correction of God's Children - Parts 1, 2, & 3

Forgiving God's Children

The Seriousness of Forgiveness


"Subtle Shifts From the Sufficiency of Scripture In Biblical Counseling" | Watch this episode on Vimeo

Subtle Shifts From the Sufficiency of Scripture In Biblical Counseling

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot asks Dr. Richard Caldwell if he would elaborate on a caution he gave the congregation at Founders Baptist in a recent sermon. Dr. Caldwell is currently preaching through Matthew and has arrived at chapter 18. If you are well versed in the Scriptures, one of the first things that come to mind is the teachings on church discipline. Dr. Caldwell shared that it's good and right that we should think about that. Yet he wants us to understand that the discipline process in Matthew 18 is part of a much larger discussion on what it means to be a child of God. The caution Dr. Caldwell raises arises from some things going on within evangelicalism of what it means to deal with sin, as an individual, with others, and how the body of Christ is meant to deal with sin in its midst. Dr. Caldwell shared that the church is being attacked in its adequacy to deal with its own sin issues. And it is something that Satan is particularly targeting in our day. Dr. Caldwell shared there are powerful voices, in the name of evangelicalism even, that are calling for the church to outsource the confrontation of sin. There are powerful voices from within calling for the church to seek out the opinions and advice of the experts to deal with the BIG sin issues. Dr. Caldwell says this comes into play in ways we don't immediately recognize, and one of those very subtle ways is through the biblical counseling movement. Join in and listen as Dr. Caldwell expands on this statement giving further details, seeking to guide us biblically and encourage us to think wisely.


Dr. Caldwell talks first about the issue of outsourcing being called for by these powerful voices. He reminds us that in whatever realm of responsibility God has given us, we don’t have the right or the freedom to up and abdicate those responsibilities. In the same sort of way, what the Lord has entrusted to the church collectively and corporately, what He has tasked the church with, cannot be abdicated. These responsibilities include dealing with sin within its own midst, where the church attempts to rescue people from sin and the destruction it brings, shepherding and guiding them in a way where they obey the Word of God.


But what’s taking place in the current culture and even within evangelicalism is this questioning of the adequacy of the church to deal with sin. Dr. Caldwell confesses that he doesn’t believe that the church deals with every situation perfectly, but neither does secular counseling. No one, humanly speaking, sees the issues perfectly. So the question is not does the church handle these things perfectly. But is the church handling these things responsibly as tasked by God? Is the church dealing with these things according to the Scriptures? The church must deal with the sin within its body. It should be done in a way that is reverent, conscientious, and loving. Above all, it should seek to glorify God and to achieve what is good and God-glorifying for the people involved. That is the responsibility given to the church.


The other side of this issue relates to the sufficiency of the Scriptures and who in the church is competent for counseling other people. When it comes to who in the church is competent to give counsel, Dr. Caldwell says he thinks the biblical answer is anyone who knows the Scriptures, has the Holy Spirit, is led by the Holy Spirit, and with wisdom, is able to apply the Word of God to the problems they meet with in the lives of people. This doesn’t have to be someone who has had special training or someone who has a certificate or degree specializing in counseling. There are men who have been trained in seminaries and are not qualified to be pastors. That isn't what qualifies someone. In the same sort of way, while counseling training can be a help and be a good tool, it doesn’t qualify someone to be good at helping others with the Word of God. The issue comes down to these questions that follow. Does someone who wants to counsel, know the Word of God? Are they walking by the Spirit? Are they further along in their Christian walk, mature, and exhibit biblical wisdom? Are they able to help people apply the Scriptures to their needs? These are the measures of competency in counseling. 


However, this is not to say that all people who are adequate and competent to counsel should counsel anyone in the church about anything and everything. God has designed His church with structure and organization. He has faithfully provided for the oversight and care of it. Here is where the study of ecclesiology comes in, helping us to have a healthy understanding of the Lord's Church. As the Great Shepherd, He has given the church elders, men who are His under-shepherds and are called to watch over your soul. They will have to give an account for those they are tasked with shepherding. They are called by God, qualified by gifting, by experience, and by knowledge of the Scriptures to be able to help people in ways that a fellow believer, even with training and certificates, might not be able to. We want to be careful, we never want to undermine the structure God has ordained in the name of achieving something. By God's design, a church can be a healthy church without having a counseling center and without having members who are specially trained to counsel. The question is will we honor and respect His design and organization that He has set forth in the Scriptures?


Ultimately this all comes back to believing that the Bible is the Word of God. Do we believe that it is? Do we believe it is sufficient for life in the Lord’s church? What responsibilities has the Lord assigned to His church, to the Elders and members of that church in terms of how they respond to what God has ordained in the church? And is it enough? Do we need something outside the Scriptures to live life in God’s family well? As believers, we must measure what we listen to, believe, and embrace, not by what others say but by the Word of God. The Scriptures are the standard, for the Lord prayed for us in John 17, Father, sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth.  The Word of God is where we look for our sanctification and our growth in holiness. The Bible is truth. And the church is the pillar and support of the truth in this world.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 23 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas



Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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