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

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https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/75989-10-lies-the-church-believes-about-mental-illness

Perhaps there is no single issue we face in this life more confusing for Christians than what the world refers to as mental illness. Over the years I have seen solid bible believing Christians rapidly abandon biblical truth in pursuit of carnal promises or whatever their personal experience was and present that to the church as the secret sauce for solving all of their psychological woes. Before getting into this, it is important that there is some self-disclosure so you understand where I am coming from. I hold two secular college degrees. One is in psychology and the other is counseling, so I fully understand the medical model the world presents. As a discernment minister, I tend to be skeptical and research based so I have done the work regarding the truths behind the medical model and how psychiatry grew from the bottom rung of science to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. Lastly, I suffered for seven years in my twenties from a panic disorder. If too many people boarded the bus I was on, I would get off, regardless of where it was. When taking my local ferry I would have to sit outside, even if it was the dead of winter. Subways? Yeah not even a possibility. I know what it is to be trapped in your mind which seemingly cannot slow down the negative thought processes we can all fall victim too. My purpose here is not to provide a silver bullet solution for all Christians because that would be presumptuous. My intent is to sift through the worldly logic and remind us what the bible says. Everyone's case is different beloved but God never changes. We must at least try to apply the bible to all of our situations even if the answer makes us uncomfortable. The above link is to an article on Charisma News regarding this subject and the author tries to outline what she thinks are 10 myths regarding mental illness given by the church. Let us reason together again:

"One Sunday when I was 16, I wore a hat to church, resolute in my misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 11:6 (NIV): "For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head." Bipolar disorder had ravaged my young mind, and I clutched at another misinterpretation of Scripture: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16a). In the middle of the 500-person service, I cried out during the pastor's prayer: "Father, forgive me. I'm sorry." My parents held me tightly, quite embarrassed in the moment and apprehensive, not knowing what I'd say or do next. I remember speaking to the pastor afterward. Maybe I had asked my parents if I could apologize to him for my outburst, or perhaps my parents wanted me to give a sort of explanation. Either way, he forgave me, and we left it at that. But why didn't anyone do anything? Couldn't they see I was struggling with mania or even borderline insanity? It's been 13 years since my first hospitalization and five since the last. Both times, part of what sent me into the tailspin of mental illness were misunderstandings and false information. In our journey with this illness, my family has been misled by lies we were told or truths withheld. These lies continue to mislead the church and keep people from properly viewing mental illness as what it is."- Katie Dale

Katie Dale is the author and presents herself as an authority in this realm. By no means do I intend to demean her personal experience, which sounds horrific. Everyone's experience in this realm carries with it a personal hell that we all wish there was a magic solution to. The problem is that Katie has used her experience as the foundation for everyone else's problems. Thus the solutions presented to her that were ineffective are now labeled "lies" when they may or may not actually have been. I do not know the details of what preceded the onset of her diagnosis or how it was initially handled which could provide insight into why it went unresolved for so long. Either way, let us now turn to her "lies."

"Lie No. 1: You're just going through a rough time. Pray, give it to God and give it time. The reality is, if you are clinically depressed or you have bipolar disorder, it is not good to forego seeing a mental health professional. Therapists and psychiatrists are qualified experts on the care and keeping of your mind. If you are in a chemically imbalanced state of mind, chances are, no amount of praying or time is going to help, unless God is answering your prayers for a good psychiatrist or psychotherapist." -- Katie Dale

This is a horribly carnal answer from someone who says they are Christian. Realize what she is saying beloved. That the solutions offered by the world are superior to what God can do through prayer. That is simply unbiblical and untrue. A psychiatrist will only offer you one thing -- drugs. That is what they are trained to do within the medical model. You present with symptomology, they fit you into the box that corresponds to those symptoms and then they prescribe medication that corresponds to that box. It is important to realize that chemical imbalance is a theory. It is not a fact. If a doctor ever says you have a chemical imbalance ask him what is out of balance and by how much. They will not be able to answer. Ask them to produce test results that display this imbalance. They cannot. I am not suggesting that all you can do is pray but I think God deserves a little better then definitively saying prayer cannot help.

"Lie No. 2: You're simply in the middle of a spiritual battle. Just renounce and resist the devil, and he will flee. You may be in the middle of a spiritual battle, but there's more going on here, too. Don't waste time renouncing Satan or anyone else, especially considering how vulnerable the psyche is in a mentally unstable state. Seek a medical professional's help immediately. You can seek spiritual support and seek God through prayer and at the same time, receive professional health care." -- Katie Dale

So is God a liar now? Did God say resist and the devil will flee? Yes He did so do not present as if this is untrue. The problem is in applying that verse here is not accurate. I agree on the renounce thing but it does provide some illumination into what may have been going on in her early life. These battles are spiritual. The bible says so. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. What happens in many cases is that churched people are not actually saved people. They attend an apostate church and hear a false gospel. In those instances they are unarmed in the spiritual battle they face.

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