The Moral Model is the orthodox Christian position in counseling. Of necessity this model is characterized by certain views of man that are taught in the bible. Some of them are:
1) The world and man are the creation of God.
2) Mankind, having fallen in Adam, has lost a positive righteousness and in its place posses a positive depravity. In other words, mankind is not basically good, but is instead basically evil.
3) Mankind is not capable of saving itself, and thereby regaining the positive righteousness lost in the garden. Salvation, the gift of the heavenly Father, is by
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The Moral Model
grace and through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and is not “earnable” by mankind. Therefore, a supernatural work of grace by God is needed to achieve mankind’s redemption. This salvation was earned by the sinless life, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The salvation of Christ is applied to the sinner by the power of the Holy Spirit.
4) Not only is salvation the work of God alone, but sanctification, living a holy life, or as the Apostle Paul phrases it “putting off the old man (Adam) and putting on the new man (Christ)” is itself achieved solely by the outworking of God’s Spirit in the believer.
This is known as the Moral Model in Christian counseling and is to be carefully distinguished from the Medical Model and the Educational Model in counseling.
The Medical Model posits sickness as mans basic problem, as a result he is in need of “therapy” - which is a word borrowed from the medical community - and medication.
The Educational Model posits ignorance as mans basic problem, as a result he is in need of “education” which is a word borrowed from our educational community.
In fact, medical issues and intellectual issues do impact on a man’s condition-and thereby on counseling. But that impact is determined by man’s moral state; he is fallen in sin and therefore inclined to illness and ignorance. This moral state reacts to these conditions by finding ways and means to sin against God and neighbor. Healing a man of his illness and educating a man to address his ignorance does not solve the core problems of men. Only by recognizing man’s moral condition for what it is-fallen in sin-and addressing this condition with God’s solution in Christ, are man’s problems truly solved.
Thus the Moral Model is the key to addressing problems in counseling.