How about "healing of memories?" Should we participate in this sort of thing?

Nouthetic counselors have nothing to do with this movement in any of its forms. There is the David Seamands form, the Ed Smith (Theophostic) form, etc. Seamands speaks of" damaged emotions" and suggests that by "visualizing" Jesus doing what He might have done during a difficult past incident in answer to [what can only be described as] a role playing prayer, memories and emotions can be "healed." Smith, on the other hand, claims an almost instantaneous "cure" by having counselees drift back into the memory, by stirring up the darkness of it and then asking Jesus to do something miraculous. Usually, this is a miraculous healing word or picture that the counselee is supposed to receive directly from Him [not mediated through the Bible].

Nouthetic counselors think that these approaches are unsound because they are unbiblical. Moreover, they assume that the counselee's emotions are "damaged" or that his memories need "healing." There is no reason to think that either of these suppositions is true. Emotions are working just fine when a counselee is having unpleasant past memories (otherwise he would not feel so bad). And memories simply don't get sick; the idea is preposterous -- even as a metaphor.

What is actually happening is that non-biblical methods of dealing with painful past incidents are being substituted for biblical ones. Confronting persons who have wronged you, forgiving them upon repentance, and putting away all bitterness and anger are God's ways of dealing with unpleasant memories. These biblical approaches are not always pleasant; in certain cases they may even involve bringing charges leading to church discipline. But they are the Scriptural ways to handle past wrongs. Visualization experiences or expecting healing miracles from Jesus Christ upon the asking are ways never set forth in the Bible. Can you imagine the apostles using them? Advising Titus or Timothy to do so? Of course not. Then neither should we do so.

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