what a great posting. and a severe warning. in most of the sects of the maajor religions, pasters receive a course on counseling. i believe in most seminaries, it is the equivilent of a 3-hour university course. thuis course is intended to help th epaster deal with the majority of sprained relationships, and teen angst that most of their parishners usually experience.
you are spot on when you say that these ministers are not qualified to provide counseling for any other than the most surface issues. In most states, to be a psychiatrist (and rx medication), you must have completed medical school, internship, and residency, and have completed prescribed study and clinical criteria. In addition, i believe, in some states, the dr. must alsp passa state exam.
to be a therapist, one must have an advanced degree in psychology (ma/ms/phd, msw), including, in most states (i believe) clinical internship. In addition, in almost all states a therapist must pass a state proficience examination.
For a pastor/misinster/preacher/whatever to have the egocentricity to pretend that they are a therapist is totally criminal. howeveer, most states make an exception for these people to provide "pastoral counseling" (read counseling)./
my personal view? i'm not a christian, i'm jewish. i really have no right to speak about anyone other's belief system. so i will address my comments here to fundamentaist jews who carry on such behavior. i believe in what teh buddah called "the golden mean." in extreems lies danger and carries you away from nirvasna (for nirvana read god). to me there is no fundamental difference between a fundamentalist misguided muslem who becomes a suicide bomber and a fundamentalist jew who throws rocks at those who disagree with their view of religion. on the sabbeth one can experience these fundamentalists throwing rocks to "protect the sabbeth day and keep it holy" by not exerting any energy (their belief) so that they can throw rocks.
when put this simply, it is crazy. but religion doesn't have to be sane to some people to believe in it. if you found a sect of any religion that comes close to these jews, i would run as far and ans fast as my body would let me.
hope i didn't step on anybody's toes too hard.
That light at the end of he tunnel? It's an on-coming train.