CHRISTIAN COUNSELING - BRIEF HISTORY:
Monastic Medicine: Monastic medicine developed during the middle ages and was provided as part of a religious duty. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms monks (men) and nuns (women). Saint Fabiola was the first person on record to have found a Christian hospital in the late 4th century, into which she gathered sufferers out of the streets, and where she nursed the unfortunate victims of sickness and want. A member of a wealthy Roman family, Fabiola became a Christian ascetic, selling all her belongings and founding the first hospital in the Western world as we know it today.
Monastic medicine had flourished both in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches from earliest Christian times to the Reformation, being reformed and renewed periodically by dynamic individuals with new emphases or departures from current medical practices. With the rise of the universities after the renaissance, the monastic control of education came to an end. Luther liberated Europe with the Reformation and in England allowed members of clergy to marry. Doctors in the clergy would now be referred to as clerical physicians and monastic vows were no longer required.
Christian Counseling began in the 1st century A.D. with the Apostles, and persisted through the middle ages as ecclesiastical rule. Such counseling practices as monasticism, folk medicine, Hospitaller care, apothecary, persisted through the reformation in Christendom with ecclesiastical nursing its last vestage, as documented in our text Ecclesiastical Nursing. Naturopathy failed to follow suit. Psychology emerged apart from religious principles with near narcissistic science of the human mind. The New Thought movement as a spiritual endeavor developed in the United States in the 19th century, opposing secularization that promoted the ideas that Infinite Intelligence, as God, is everywhere, in which spirit is the totality of real things, and true human selfhood is divine, righteous thought as a force for good, and that sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect. This has persisted with Christian Science, which grew out of New Thought, as well as with the Unity Church and others. In the United States the Christian Science church has used the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to persuade states to maintain religious-exemption statutes. However, the resultant darkness of secularization in the 20th century led to confusion and regulations, but a re-reformation in the 1960s lead to the Biblical Counseling Movement directed by Jay E. Adams which brought to attention in his book - Competent to Counsel - a Christian-based approach which was totally different from the secularized nursing, psychological and psychiatric solutions of those times.
As a result, ordination, deaconization, or commissioned Licensed professionals ermerged from church or religious institutions which held accountability to the individual and to the organization that issues it. It is now well accepted in the US and Europe that these counselors are independent as a Church sanctioned vocation. The primary differences now established between state-licensed professionals and Christian counselors, is the latter are credentialed under the authority of the Church (Body of Christ), and are today clear, well defined, and accepted as an independent vocation (a Call to God).
We, SMOCH, have advanced distinct healing vocations at the outset, and we govern ourselves accordingly under 'sphere sovereignty' of our Constitution under well established principles of separation of Church and State. It has been a growing mission thanks to the contributions of the Soverign Council and our members. We are the only such Church (of Hope) perpetuating the training and principles of monastic medicine, the forerunner of naturopathy, electrotherapy, western herbalism, apothecary, and homeopathy. We, SMOCH, have advanced distinct healing vocations at the outset, and we govern ourselves accordingly under 'sphere sovereignty' of our Constitution under well established principles of separation of Church and State. It has been a growing mission thanks to the contributions of the Soverign Council and our members. We are the only such Church (of Hope) perpetuating the training and principles of monastic medicine, the forerunner of naturopathy, electrotherapy, western herbalism, apothecary, and homeopathy.