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Identifying Christian Experiences and Beliefs

by, Dr. Brian Campbell

 

Dear Students:

I have been emphasizing the central role of BELIEFS in my model of integrated Christian counseling.  For Christian counselors, it is critically important to Identify (see table below)  the client's past experiences in Christianity including his/her underlying beliefs about God, the Bible, and other faith-based topics.  Such information is crucial for understanding the "belief set" that clients "bring into" the counseling setting.  In fact, sometimes it is necessary to challenge and correct irrational beliefs taught by pastors, church doctrines, Sunday school teachers, etc. in order to make progress in counseling.


I have prepared a tool for you to help identify your clients' Christian experiences and beliefs.  Please feel free to use and/or modify this tool for your own purposes when assessing and treating clients.  This tool can be downloaded from the following website. 


Christian Experiences and Beliefs Checklist:


Integrated Christian Counseling


Integration
/       \
           Psychology    Theology            

\   /

BELIEFS

|

Identify 
Irrational Beliefs
|

Challenge 
Irrational Beliefs

|

Replace
Irrational Beliefs with Biblical Truths

|

The Truth Sets us Free!

 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!”
(John 8: 32)

 

 


 

Christian Experiences and Beliefs


By, Dr. Brian Campbell © 2013

http://www.Counseling4Christians.com



______________________________________________   ___________

  Name:                                                                                      (Date:)

 

Instructions:  Check all that apply.


 I attended church regularly as a child.  (Approximately weekly).

 One or both of my parents claimed to be a Christian.

 I liked going to church as a child.

 One or both of my parents worked in part-time or full-time Christian ministry.

 When I look back on my childhood, I feel that Christianity was forced on me as a child.

 As a child, no one ever taught me about God.

 My parents were both devout Christians.

 As a child, my church was very conservative and legalistic (focused on rules).

 As a youth, I regularly participated in my church youth group.

 As a youth, I went on mission trips with my youth group.

 Since my earliest childhood memories, I have loved the Lord.

 As a child, although my parents went to church, they did not really live Christian lives.

 My parents were openly hostile towards church and God.

 I am a preacher’s kid (PK).

 I am a missionary kid (MK). 

 As a youth, my parents had to force me to go to church.

 I went to Vacation Bible School as a child.

 Although my parents never went to church, someone else took me.

 As a child, I felt God’s love at church.

 As a child, I took confirmation classes or studied for my first communion.

 I gave my life to God as a child and had a “born again” experience.

 I studied the Bible and learned Bible verses as a child.

 My parents prayed with me as a child and taught me to pray.

 As an adult, I pray on a regular daily basis.

 I believe in the power of prayer and that God can perform miracles when we pray.

 As a child, I never really understood what church was about.

 As a youth, I wasn’t allowed to go to dances or listen to non-Christian music.

 As a child, I cried out to God, but He didn’t answer me.

 I feel I was abused by Christians as a child.

 As a child, I never really believed in God.

  As a child, I thought of God as someone who would punish you if you were bad.

  I consider myself to be a “born again” Christian.

 I have my doubts that heaven really exists.

 I have doubts about whether I am really saved.

  I believe “once saved, always saved.” You can’t lose your salvation once you are saved.

  I believe that God has chosen certain people to be saved and not others.

 

 I believe that the Bible is flawless (inerrant)—the perfect Word of God.

 I have my doubts about the Old Testament but I believe in the New Testament.

 I believe that Jesus Christ was God, and not just a wise man.

 I believe in the teachings of Christ, but deep down I don’t really think he was God.

 I believe that God is omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing).

 I believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins.

 I believe that if children die without knowing Jesus, they will still go to heaven.

 I believe that there is an actual place called Hell.

 I believe you can “backslide” and lose your salvation (even if you were once saved).

 I believe that you should regularly confess your sins to a priest.

 I  believe that communion bread & wine actually turn into the body and blood of Christ.

 I believe that Jesus can forgive all sins, no matter how “bad” they are.

 I believe that once Jesus forgives my sins, God is not even aware of them.

 I believe I will see my family again once I die and go to heaven.

 I believe that all mental illness is a result of the person’s sin.

 I really don’t have to worry about anything I do, because I am “saved.”

 I believe that some sins are worse than other sins.

 I believe that all human beings sin—even “born again” Christians.

 I don’t know much about the “Holy Spirit.”

 I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.

 I believe in the power of prayer. 

 I believe that God answers our prayers.

 I have an active and ongoing prayer life.

 I believe in miracles.

 I believe that miracles only happened in the times of Jesus and his apostles.

 God has performed miracles in my life.

 I feel close to God and His presence.

 I feel I have drifted away from God and His influence on my life.

 I am having a crisis of faith.  I don’t know what I believe any more.

 If God is “all loving,” I don’t understand why good people suffer.

 I used to feel close to God, but now I feel He is very far away.

 I have almost given up hope that God will rescue me.

 I believe that pain and suffering can be good for human beings.

 I believe that if I follow God, I will be rewarded with money and prosperity.

 I believe that there are always consequences for sin.

 I believe that God is punishing me for my sins.

 Although I know that God forgives sins, I can’t seem to forgive myself.