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A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

Daily Archive: October 18, 2016



October 2016



Let’s Play Stump the Counselor

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confused-counselorSome years ago, I read an article by Jay Adams in which he described a typical scenario of a married couple, John and Mary, who came to their pastor for counseling.  While they didn’t announce it, or perhaps couldn’t even articulate it, nevertheless they came to play a popular game with their pastor called, “Stump the Counselor.”  (Jay Adams, “Love is a Decision,” Tabletalk, February 1997)

As Adams describes the situation, we learn that John and Mary already have their minds made up about what they intend to do. They are professing Christians, and know that they have no biblical basis for a divorce, but they both want one. John and Mary reason, “Look, if we can get the counselor to sign off on our misery, and that in our situation there is no hope for reconciliation, then we can find some salve to put on our conscience and will have an excuse from this point forward.”

The counseling begins with John and Mary unpacking their sordid story, and with great anguish they describe how miserable their lives are.  And by the way, they don’t have to strain the narrative, things are horrible for these two! After reciting a decade of bad road, John throws down the trump card, “So you see, pastor, there is no hope for this marriage.  I haven’t loved her for years; there is nothing to build on for the future.” Mary’s chimes in, “Well, to sum it all up, I don’t love him—I hate him!” They sit back and wait for the pastor to attempt the fools errand of refuting their holocaust. (more…)