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Devotionals

Sorting Through Biblical Truths, Opinions, and Misunderstanding About Mental Illness

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828ministries.com H3'ed 4/18/19
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"Lie No. 3: You're depressed? Pray it out. Depression, if clinical, means your brain does not have the means to get out of the slump it's in. If you're relying on just praying it out, you're fighting an uphill battle. Though prayer has been shown to alleviate symptoms, being in a clinically depressive state is more than just a prayer away from wellness." -- Katie Dale

Are we sensing a theme yet? Prayer, faith, God? Nope; that won't be enough. Worldly professionals and carnal medication? That's the ticket. I am sorry for whatever torment Katie Dale had to endure as a child but so far all of her solutions say the God that created you is powerless to heal you and experts in the world can. I do not agree.

"Lie No. 4: The Lord does not address mental illness anywhere in the Bible. While the term "mental illness" isn't in the Bible, King David was very familiar with the reality of depression and perhaps even mania. Reading the Psalms, we see an outcry of emotions from this man after God's own heart. Elijah was depressed to the point of experiencing suicidal ideations (1 Kings 19). Instead of condemning him, God cared for him and sent an angel to meet his physical needs. These are only two examples of the many men and women in the Bible who suffered in deep depression or from psychotic troubles, PTSD and other mental health issues." -- Katie Dale

This is what happens when you use the bible to prop up what you believe instead of wanting to hear what God actually said. It is true that David was a man of great emotion and some of the Psalms beautifully display this range but to state that it means a clinical diagnosis of anything is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. Elijah was certainly upset when Jezebel called for his head and possibly even sad but that is a far cry from being clinically depressed! If anything he was being narcissistic and throwing a tantrum. He asked God to end his life but that is not "suicidal ideation." We all I hope pray for the day that there will be no more pain and sorrow but that doesn't mean we are suicidal. What Katie also conveniently avoids are true examples like the man with a legion of demons. The world would have diagnosed him with multiple personality disorder. What about the mute boy in Mark 9? The other boy in Mark 9 with an obvious epilepsy condition? Were these all examples of people merely suffering from conditions the world could resolve? No. They were all dealing demonic forces. They all needed to be delivered.

"Lie No. 5: You can be healed--if you have enough faith. Oh, if we could just move that mountain on our own with the faith inside us. But God is sovereign, and that sovereignty means our faith to be made well is not a cure-all. God may heal you miraculously, but most often, He does not. Remember, medication is a gracious gift from God to apply to the infirmities of the mind, in order to bring about a different kind of healing." -- Katie Dale

The first half of this is absolutely correct and speaks more to the poor theology that is taught in most churches today. This is pure NAR and word faith theology beloved. The truth is God is sovereign as Katie says. We also are trained to value this life instead of the eternal. No one likes to lose a loved one but if they are saved they transition to be with Christ and that is infinitely better than the suffering on this earth. The grief is ours. The seeming unfairness is ours. The departed are no longer suffering. The teaching that if healing does not come it is related to your faith is insidious in that while it can sometimes be true it robs God of His sovereignty. The problem here is in the worshiping of medication and the deification of such. Not all medication is a gift from God and in many cases for what we are speaking of it is a trap from the devil. There will be more on this later but for now realize that symptom relief with long term consequences is not "healing." God does not solve our problems by creating others.

"Lie No. 6: Jesus healed everyone. What about in his own hometown of Nazareth? Nope. They couldn't and wouldn't let him with the doubts they held, because they presumed to know who Jesus was already. And even those who believed were not always healed. Jesus left many behind as he moved on to minister to the next town or meet the next set of plans the Father had for Him (see Matt. 8:18)." -- Katie Dale

The exegesis is weak here but she is correct. The notion that Jesus healed everyone is another staple false teaching from the NAR and word faith camps. Instead making assumptions and inferences into the texts, as Katie does here, we can just go to the story of the man healed at the Bethesda Pool. While Jesus did heal the paralytic, there were multitudes there that appear to have not been healed.

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