A Biblical Counseling Revolution in French

April 22, 2016

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Matthieu Caron

BCC Staff: We are getting closer and closer to the watershed Global Summit (June 5-7). Our desire is to broaden your awareness of how biblical counseling is making an impact across the globe. Today, we are revisiting a post from 2015 that reveals how the Holy Spirit is using biblical counseling in the French-speaking province of Quebec. We urge to consider participating in the Global Summit online by visiting the website: http://bccglobalsummit.org.

Quebec: A Mini-France

If there are unknown corners of North America, the French-speaking province of Quebec is certainly among them! There are two main reasons: the language barrier and cultural differences.

One could say that the province of Quebec is a mini-France. The population of 7 million people is mainly French-speaking and truly has a culture of its own. They are much more atheistic and hostile to any kind of Christianity than any other province of Canada. This is no wonder if you study Quebec history; you will learn about all of the terrible abuse people endured under the rule of Catholicism in the last century. There was a time in Quebec (before the sixties) where Quebec was almost 100% Catholic. Then, in the 1960s, a cultural revolution called La révolution tranquille occurred. It was characterized by an almost complete rejection not only of Catholicism but also of all belief in Jesus. Today, less than 1% of the population of Quebec are considered evangelical. The churches in Quebec are trying their best to survive in a culturally hostile environment.

In the counseling field, in the 1990s, our churches were characterized by the use of integrationist material. It seemed more culturally relevant for our folks living day-to-day in an almost completely secular environment.

The Power of the Gospel for Daily Life

About 6 years ago, there arose a huge renewal of interest in the power of the gospel in our churches. Our pastors rediscovered that the gospel is not only a tool for salvation but also for sanctification—in other words, the gospel is a way of life. The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel have been good influences for us.

With that newfound belief about the importance of the gospel in day-to-day living, our churches needed tools to apply the gospel practically in ministry. By this point, integrationist systems—where the gospel is only peripheral at best—were not so useful or valued. We were in need of new tools to apply the gospel in daily living. This is when another revolution began…

The strong belief about the centrality of the gospel sparked a strong interest in biblical counseling that could provide those much needed gospel-centered tools! An agreement and partnership was forged with CCEF so that SEMBEQ Seminary (the stronghold for training pastors in French in Quebec) could create a biblical counseling curriculum.

Personally, as a young and inexperienced CCEF-trained pastor, I became responsible for their biblical counseling program a few years ago and became their first biblical counseling professor. In the following years, the increasing demands for biblical counseling training have been astounding. Our main publication house, the édition Cruciforme has been translating more and more books and material in French under the overview of Director Daniel Henderson. We also had the help of another publication house—Publication Chrétienne. We are indebted to their director, Douglas Virgint, for his generous help and care.

Today, we have more than 100 students enrolled in the biblical counseling program. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance as we continue to participate in this BC “revolution.”