Answering Your Questions: What Terms Do We Use?

What is the CBCC’s position on using words such as “disorder” or “addiction” when helping a counsellee to see their sin issue biblically?

This is a helpful question to highlight what the CBCC is and is not about. To begin with, I’ll quote from our Confessional Statement found on our website:

We are a fellowship of Canadian Christians committed to promoting awareness of, and excellence in biblical counselling in Canada in both English and French. Our goal is to connect, encourage, and equip those already practicing biblical counselling in Canada; and to encourage, nurture, and equip Canadians desiring to begin counselling biblically. Our goal is to foster collaborative relationships and to provide robust, relevant biblical resources that equip the Body of Christ to change lives with Christs changeless truth. We desire to advance the biblical counselling movement in Christ-centered cooperation by relating in ways that are loving and wise, pursuing the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

We see our role as a cooperative and collaborative one. We desire to foster conversations of mutual respect and understanding for the edification of all those in the body of Christ. We have basic theological positions that we all share but we have a range of methodological practices in which we differ. We believe faithfulness to Christ leaves room for this.

Consequentially, we choose not to hold specific ‘positions’ on matters of methodology. Rather, we believe that what unites us is the doctrinal conviction regarding the authority and sufficiency of God’s robust provision of Himself. To again quote from our Confessional Statement:

“We pursue our purpose by organizing our thinking around one central question. ‘What does it mean to counsel in the grace and truth of Christ?’ All that we do flows from our calling to equip people to love God and others in Christ-centered ways (Matthew 22:35-40).”

How Does This Play Out Practically?

While we are committed to counsel that is anchored in Scripture, some of us will use more metaphorical or contemporary language than others. Decisions regarding this flow out of an intimate relationship with God and intimate knowledge of the person sitting in front of us.

In our Christ-driven effort to be comprehensive in understanding, we will lean in to know and understand what the counsellee means when they use the words ‘addiction’ or ‘disorder’. In our desire to offer counsel that is practical and relevant, some of us will be comfortable using language that the counsellee is using. Others of us will want to reframe that earlier rather than later.

With the deep conviction that we are united in truth and love (Eph 4:15), we choose to leave room for differences in interpretation in matters of secondary importance, knowing that we all are still growing and learning and no one has landed on the perfect way to apply God’s glorious wisdom to all of life.

As we observe the Wonderful Counsellor in action, we see Him quote Scripture directly (see Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life), as well as use metaphorical language to paint pictures to help his hearers understand (see Matt 7:15, 12:34, John 15). In keeping with the lead of the apostle Paul (another terrific example of a counsellor to the church), we endeavour to become ‘all things to all people’ so that we might be used by God to save some (1 Cor 9:22). We can do this with confidence in our all-sufficient God, who uses weak vessels in need of grace to do what only He can do.

Thanks for asking!

Please feel free to check out our Confessional statement here: to understand more deeply the tenets that shape the vision of the CBCC.


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