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

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"Lie No. 7: You're choosing to stay depressed; choose to be happy. If everyone could will it to be, they would be happy. This is especially true for those in depression. Just like having enough faith, "willing" yourself to be happy is never an option in depression. The mind can be responsive to conditioning and cognitive behavioral therapy, and it can adjust in time. Medications can help with that therapy, but to just choose to be happy in clinical depression is like choosing to be a marathon runner when you've never even run a 5K." -- Katie Dale

If anyone truly advocates to simply think your way out of depression I would agree that is silly. That said, it is wholly biblical to address what we do with our thoughts. The bible says to take every thought and make it obedient to Christ. So when that first thought creeps into your mind in the morning that you are anxious you are supposed to apply scripture to it remind yourself what God said. I wish Katie and Christians would realize the power of the Word is stronger than the power of the world. Now, is that the whole battle? Of course not but why not start with what you claim to believe in?

"Lie No. 8: You're sinning somewhere--confess your sins and be healed. I've seen this one before, believing that with enough faith, and if I could only get right with God, He would heal me. God chooses not to heal most people who have chronic illness--although he does enable us to discover medications that can help us manage and live well with these conditions. The Bible makes clear that illness does not primarily function as punishment for individual and specific sin; it's an outcome of original sin and a backdrop for God's grace (see Jesus' explanation in John 9, where He healed a man who was born blind). It's also clear that no one who receives God's healing actually deserves or earns it." -- Katie Dale

Yeah this is a scriptural mess. First of all, there are ridiculous amounts of proof that people "deserved" their healing in that nearly every time Jesus attributes it to their measure of faith. Do I think that is a magic bullet? No, but you can't dismiss it out of hand like Katie does here. Now I agree that just telling someone they are sick because they are sinning is akin to the "friends" of Job and not viable advice. Katie seems to be only applying the notion of a sin-sickness connection to the punishment angle but she misses the eternal connection. Sickness entered the world through the original sin. Many times sin can play a role in why we are sick. A prominent example is the story of Michael Guglielmucci from Hillsong and Planetshakers. He struggled with a 16 year pornography addiction that manifested in physical sickness that he claimed was cancer. He even wrote the powerful song "Healer" to continue the cover up. God eventually brought the truth to light but there are valuable lessons in this story and one of them is that sin can be an entry for sickness into our life, especially for mental illness as we struggle with our sin behavior knowing it is wrong before a holy God.

" Lie No. 9: Your behaviors are sinful; you should be ashamed. Repent! Sometimes the behaviors that come from mental illness are sinful. We have no reason to call out people with mental illness as more sinful than other people; they're not. The outright wrong acts and behaviors one commits while mentally unstable are not necessarily expressing a person's intentions but are more like a knee-jerk reaction, because people with mental illness often experience poor impulse control and act on impulses that other people are able to resist or keep hidden. They may also misinterpret their surroundings and unknowingly behave in ways that are inappropriate. That does not make them any more sinful than other people, since sin really resides in our hearts rather than simply in our actions. Repentance may be required, but not in greater supply than for anyone else." -- Katie Dale

Sorry Katie but this sounds like sin excusal and God does not work like that. Now I agree that we can and should always correct with love but excusing sin will not help them be healed either. It is the world that creates the victim mentality in people, not God. The issue is also not in comparison to other people. Sin is sin is sin. It does not matter where it comes from. It does not matter how justified you think you are in it. Repentance is what is needed for it. I agree of course that this cannot be the sole focus when dealing with someone who is struggling but to ignore it is pure folly.

"Lie No. 10: Psychiatric drugs are of the devil. Psychiatric drugs are no more evil than any of the other medications we have developed to prolong life, improve quality of life and help people live to their potential. While the misuse or neglect of psychiatric drugs can be dangerous, the proper diligent monitoring and application of such tools are invaluable to aiding the healing process of the mind. Healing, care and restoration are part of God's work, not acts of evil." -- Katie Dale

So we finally come to it. Katie had been hinting at this throughout this article and she is sorely mistaken. Psychiatric drugs are pure evil. Now before those who have had success from them revolt, hear me out. We use evil solutions all the time in this world for our problems. We shouldn't; but we do. If you find an honest psychiatrist they will tell you they have NO idea how psychotropic drugs work. No one does. It is a game of Russian roulette where the doctor is hoping for a placebo reaction out of desperation to feel better but if the patient kills themselves they just lament, "well they were depressed." Does anyone seriously think that God works this way? Consider this summary from the Citizen's Commission:

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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