I am very discouraged with the current Christian Counseling and Biblical Counseling movements. I have now entirely separated myself from them. I can’t even go to counseling conferences without getting disgusted with the commercialism of Christianity. What do you think of the current movement?
I understand and share some of your frustration. I am sure many others would agree.
- Concerns about the commercialism in Christianity go far beyond counseling and psychology. This emphasis on money is strong in the coaching field and most of us have seen it in conferences, churches, and authors/speakers who aggressively hawk their books and seminars. Sometimes we go to learn from a speaker and instead get irritating and distracting commercial promotions interspersed with the presentations.
- This is not new or distinctively American. In 2 Cor. 3:12, Paul wrote about “hucksters—and there are many of them—who preach just to make money.’ The apostle sought to avoid this.
- In response, we can protest the commercialism but this rarely makes much difference.
- We can withdraw but this cuts us off from potentially valuable information and contacts. I have withdrawn selectively. I avoid some speakers, writers, conferences and opportunities but engage with others. In time it becomes apparent who is primarily “in it for the money.”
- We can overlook some of the product pushing if it is limited and in good taste. Commercialism, including advertising is not all bad or invasive. It even can be informative.
- I try to realize that some commercialism is inevitable. Sometimes this helps pay for conferences or the survival of organizations. It also pays for speakers and counselor salaries.
- Each of us needs to determine how to respond. I have avoided promotions in my career. (For example, I seldom promote my books in these newsletters) but my book sales and my ministry impact may be less because I resist self-promotion and marketing.
What would you add to what I have written? Please comment