Jackie Black From Redeemer Arlington is Pushing Biblical Counseling from Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Plus Why David Powlison is Allegedly Okay with Rape

Jackie Black is starting a Biblical Counseling class from Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Jackie who helps run Redeemer Arlington in the Washington, D.C. area is going to speak about issues related to psychology and more. This post looks at the issues with CCEF and David Powlison’s connection with a disturbing scandal that took place in the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). This blog must conclude that as a result of the former Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania that David Powlison is okay with rape and domestic abuse. 

“The more that we choose not to talk about domestic violence, the more we shy away from the issue, the more we lose.”

Russell Wilson 

“From what I’ve been told, the scariest part of being part of a domestic abuse relationship is the idea that you cannot escape and you cannot get help, that feeling of being stuck.”

Kerry Wilson 

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing.

2 Thessalonians  1:3 NLT 

Drink the Kool Aid Redeemer! 


There is something I noticed when studying Redeemer Arlington’s blog that I wanted to turn into a quick post. I actually wrote about Biblical Counseling in the ongoing Harvest Bible Chapel scandal in Chicago recently in, ““I Won’t Slander the Bride of Christ” Addressing Evangelical Cultural Issues on Speaking Up and Challenging James MacDonald. Will Garrett Higbee, Dan Plantz, Kent Shaw, Dean Butters or Fred Adams Have the Courage to Speak Up?


Who is Jackie Black? 

At Redeemer Arlington Jackie Black has several different roles. She leads the Biblical counseling program at Redeemer. In addition she also does administrative work and helps run the children’s ministry. According to LinkedIn Jackie has done this role at Redeemer since December of 2014. She also is a recitation instructor and volunteer for Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF).  Jackie has worked for CCEF for eight years. Prior to that Jackie worked for Bethany Christian Services until she was hired by Redeemer in December of 2014. When it comes to education Jackie went to Anne Arundel Community College, then attended Columbia Union College in a degree of psychology. Jackie then attended Westminster Theological Seminary where she got an M.A. in Biblical Counseling. 


Biblical Counseling From CCEF is Being Pushed by Redeemer Arlington 

Starting on February 9, 2019 Redeemer is having a Biblical Counseling program that is being led by Jackie Black. Here is how it is described on the Redeemer Arlington blog. 

Starting on Saturday, February 9, Jackie Black will be leading a 4-session learning group about how to think about counseling, Biblical authority, secular psychologies, practices, and theories. The group will meet every other Saturday morning through March 16. The group will use readings, videos, and discussion to talk how Redeemer can speak hope and wisdom on human experiences and struggles. Details and registration is here

This is a program that is from Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. The curriculum is from David Powlison, Edward Welch, and Michael Emlet.   


Remembering a Story The Wondering Eagle Broke and Why David Powlison is Allegedly Okay with Rape 

This blog writes and has a focus on the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). The EFCA is a large evangelical denomination that is headquartered out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of the stories this blog wrote about is that of Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. What happened is that Steve Estes son, Brock Estes had allegedly raped his wife while intoxicated. He allegedly choked her and loaded a gun and pointed it at her. Brock’s wife knew she could be dead in the domestic abuse. When she filed for divorce Steve Estes guided his church through an excommunication of his former daughter-in-law. In the process the church also protected Brock as he was a prison guard in the Berks County Jail in Pennsylvania. 

The story also had a strong connection to David Polwison and CCEF. Steve Estes sits on the Board of Directors of CCEF and is deeply close to David Powlison. CCEF turned away a domestic abuse victim from getting help which also helped the the rogue EFCA church in Elverson, Pennsylvania also practice church discipline on a domestic abuse victim that knew she could be dead. If you want to read more about this and read the supporting documentation with church documents which this blog acquired you can do so in the following posts. 

  1. Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania: A Painful Story of Domestic Abuse, Inappropriate Church Discipline, and Failed EFCA Polity
  2. Hurit’s Public Excommunication While Alleged Criminal Activity by Brock Estes is Withheld from the Congregation: Appeals for Help Fall on Deaf Ears to Steve Musser of the Eastern District and National Evangelical Free Church of America
  3. What do David Powlison, Cecilia Bernhardt and Christian Counseling and Education Foundation Believe on Domestic Abuse? Why is Julie Lowe and CCEF Holding an Abuse Event at a Church that Excommunicated an Alleged Rape and Domestic Abuse Victim?
  4. Community Evangelical Free Church Update: Should Christians Respond to David Powlison’s Fundraising Campaign in Light of how CCEF Treated an Alleged Domestic Abuse Victim? Plus a Congregation Meeting and Brock Estes Proudly Displays his Gun Collection on Facebook
  5. Does Christian Counseling & Education Foundation Take Domestic Abuse Seriously? Why is Steve Estes Still on the Board of Directors?”

Despite practicing church discipline on a domestic abuse victim who allegedly knows she could be dead, David Powlison still keeps Steve Estes on the Board of Directors of CCEF. The only explanation why this exists is because David Powlison doesn’t have a problem with rape or domestic abuse. In his own little bubble rape and domestic abuse must be”Gospel Centered.” Some gospel eh? If this is the case then David Powlison maybe should seek the psychological care of a psychologist.  


Will Jordan Kauflin, Eric Simmons, Jon Smith or Another Pastor of Redeemer Preside over a Funeral of a Suicide One Day that Could Have Been Prevented? 

Let’s be honest and let’s be committed to facts. Biblical counseling is a racket. Its about money, publishing and getting speaking gigs. Here is how Biblical Counseling should be looked at. To have depression, ADHD, or bi-polar and approach Jackie for counseling would be akin to the following. It would be like if someone in Redeemer Arlington had a brain tumor and they approached a gardener in their neighborhood and asked them to remove it. Some health care system that Redeemer Arlington pushes. At the blog SGM Survivors there were stories of people who had mental health issues who were discouraged from seeking licensed mental health professionals. Psychology and psychiatry were discouraged. As a result some people committed suicide inside Sovereign Grace when they would still be alive and around today if they sought the right medical care. 

That raises this question that I would like to ask. With this kind of “counseling program” will the day come when Jon Smith, Jordan Kauflin, or Eric Simmons will preside over the funeral of someone who committed suicide? Will it be a profound tragedy in that they could have been steered in the right direction, and received proper medical treatment and would still be here today?  In this writer’s opinion Biblical counseling needs to be outlawed and put in the same league as reparation therapy in trying to change gays to straight. Laws need to be changed where it will be considered malpractice for someone to give professional medical advice who is not licensed. And we often wonder why evangelical Christianity is so toxic? Jackie Black’s program not only validates the thesis of Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. But it also shows how dangerous these kinds of programs can be. 

8 thoughts on “Jackie Black From Redeemer Arlington is Pushing Biblical Counseling from Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Plus Why David Powlison is Allegedly Okay with Rape

  1. To say David Powlison does not have a problem with rape and domestic violence is ludacris! 🙄
    There is more to the story that you are obviously not privy to. The first to come along and present their case seems right until the second comes along.


    • Then why did the EFCA conduct a fact finding committee hat found Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free in the wrong? Why did the EFCA want this rogue church to correct itself and repent to the community? The EFCA is not the organization that is in the wrong in this mess. It was Steve Estes and the Stoltzfus family who runs this church. Why after everything that came out is Steve Estes still on the Board of Directors of CCEF? CCEF is a fraud. But go on ahead Ronda drink the kool aid David Powlison needs you to buy those books and materials. The more you stick your head in the sand the more Powlison is pleased.


  2. You do not understand what Biblical Counseling is. It is not a secular medical field. It is simply fulfilling the great commission by discipling one another. It’s one on one discipleship. That’s it. We are all called to do it. Does everyone correctly handle the word of truth? No. But you are opening it up and sharing it and encouraging one another to follow Christ. To the best of your ability. The flesh counts for nothing it is the spirit that gives life. Jesus is the counselor in Biblical Counseling. To say that we should outlaw discipling one another is to say Christianity should be outlawed. God’s word does not come back void. When someone is trapped in sin you open the gospel and bring them hope. The Bereans searched the scriptures day and night to see if what the disciples were saying was true. We should all do that.


    • Then why did Sovereign Grace reject psychiatry and psychology? Why are people who deal with mental illness being told it’s a result of sin and not something biological? Biblical counseling is a fraud Ronda. And speaking of the Bereans those who attend Redeemer Arlington still don’t know what discernment is.


      • They reject phschology I’m assuming because the movement was created by atheist as an alternative to biblical discipleship. It is based on behavior modification and not heart change which is what God cares about. Many things labeled as “mental illness” really are idolatry. There are certain illnesses like schizophrenia that are diagnosable that a biblical counselor would agree they need medical attention from a doctor. The problem is many psychiatrist diagnosis it without doing the brain scans based solely on behavior. That’s a whole other topic. Look at the DSM 7 I think it is. There’s a whole new category of bipolar that they list the cause as being the medication from bipolar 4 (I may have my numbers wrong) so you would think the treatment would be to stop the medication causing the eradict behavior right? No! It’s to prescribe more medications. There is no medical test for bipolar like there is for schizophrenia. It’s based on your behavior. The Bible however describes four different kinds of hearts. Foolish, angry, despairing and fearful. A person labeled bipolar are discribed in the Bible as someone that goes from foolishness to despair. Psychology gives that person no hope. But as a Christian our hope is in Christ. He died on the cross so you don’t have to live your life that way anymore. You are a new creation. Foolishness and anger are rooted in pride. Fear and despair are rooted in unbelief. When the church sends the sheep to the wolves they are not protecting the flock. If you are told you have a chemical imbalance ask, what chemical and how much out of balance is it? They can’t tell you. They will prescribe very powerful drugs though that have the side effects of the very thing you are trying to overcome. The Bible says God’s word is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and Godliness. It never describes sin as a disease or an identity. Doing so removes hope. There’s so much more to this but this is getting longer than I intended. Please pray about it and seek the truth from his word.


  3. I find it interesting that CCEF not only still has Steve Estes on his board, but they also list his church as Community Evangelical Free Church. Steve’s church is no longer an EFCA church. As Eagle has pointed out, the denomination intervened and either removed their EFCA affiliation or pressured them to remove themselves. David, do you know how it happened?

    I do understand Ronda’s point about David Powlison. You have to connect the dots through a few players to say that he doesn’t care about rape. Obviously he would be vehemently against rape and domestic abuse in the abstract. At best, it is an implicit approval of domestic violence. However, it does seem crazy that Powlison still supports Steve Estes to this degree. If I were in Powlison’s shoes, I would have had Estes step down from day one. Powlison somewhat implicitly supports domestic abuse but he explicitly supports an abusive pastor.

    I believe we should be careful to make these nuanced points.


    • Rich the EFCA put together a fact finding committee that looked into the allegations. It involved the EFCA District Superintendent and Greg Strand. The church was found to be in the wrong. It was also found to be elder ruled. The EFCA wanted the church to repent to the community and take the right course of action, they did not. The church left the EFCA and is not involved in anything. Steve Estes still sits on the Board of Directors of CCEF. Likewise the former church name is also listed. David Powlison and Steve Estes are close friends who throw business at each other. Steve Estes would give out David Powlison’s personal cell phone number to members of the former EFCA church. If David Powlison took the right course of action and removed Steve Estes from the Board of Directors on this topic then I would drop the issue. I don’t expect that to happen. BTW Dave Harvey is also on the Board of Directors as well. Dave Harvey’s SGM church allegedly covered up child sex abuse. It was the second most influential Sov Grace church in the network and still is. But that is for another discussion on another day. “-)


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