“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”1 Corinthians 3:19
The other day, I had to attend a professional ethics workshop to stay current on my license as a Mental Health Counselor. I was trying to think positive about attending it, knowing it would not be a class from a Christian world view, but quite possibly I would learn something new. Well, I was quite disappointed. What I did learn is that I truly felt like a foreigner in a secular training. I had to listen to sneers and chuckles when therapists reported that “Christians say people will go to Hell if…” (wish believers were careful with their words, it sure makes a bad name for those of us who are trying hard to be salt and light).
Then we had exercises on situational ethics and examples in which we had to answer, “What if’s” based on our personal values and then, how we would handle that if we were the therapist. On the abortion situation, I was one of 3 therapists out of a room of 25 that held up their hands as being pro-life (because she asked us to). I was definitely starting to get the feeling that we were being singled out. Then, ironically (but of course known to God), I sat next to a therapist whom I had to partner with to discuss an ethics issue that each of us were currently dealing with. She was dealing with a father in session who was “extremely religious” and trying to impose his desires of having her counsel his daughter in biblical standards. She believed that this was going beyond her scope of practice. I suggested to her if she had considered finding a Christian Therapist and referring. She had not, in fact she just couldn’t understand how there could even be “Christian Counselors” and how they could remain neutral in therapy sessions. I smiled politely at her and stated, well, actually, I myself am a Christian Therapist, and this is how I am able to work with my clients from a Christ-centered perspective…” I am sure I surprised her quite a bit. In fact, I must have surprised her so much, she avoided me the rest of the workshop.
Sexual misconduct by therapists with their patients and supervisors with their supervisees is still an ongoing problem in the field of clinical practice and the majority of the training seemed to focus in on this, but instead of using real-life case samples, we got to watch movie snippets for how Hollywood interprets therapy (which for the most part is poorly, by the way). And for a final exercise in this area of concern, I learned that the wisdom of the trainer I had was truly foolishness. First, she let us know that we did not have to do the exercise if we didn’t want to, but that she would explain it after we did it. That was my big red flag. We were instructed to physically write out a plan for how we would sexually seduce a client in our office. Seriously, I was appalled. I refused the assignment. We were later told that by doing the assignment we would then be better able to detect in ourselves when we might be starting to slip into this plan and to be sure to avoid it. Hmmm. Seems to me there could have been a much better way to teach this.
Scripture tells us that we are to guard our thoughts and to flee from sexual immorality. “After desire has been conceived it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown gives birth to death.” James 1:15 How about we just don’t go there? We flee! Why entertain the thought, even yet, why put a plan in writing…can you see what the next step would be? We are living in dangerous times for sure. When a trainer on ethics decides that this kind of an exercise would help us in physical restraint, we are mislead as professionals. For the only one who restrains is the indwelling Spirit of God in the hearts of the believers. We MUST exercise restraint by allowing the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And we should practice fleeing from sin and sinful desires, being willing to hold every though captive to the obedience of Christ.
I realized after this training, that indeed, I am in the world, but not of this world. And yes, my evaluation of the training that I turned in had a lot of writing on it!