The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. - Revelation 18: 23 (NKJV)
For those who do not know him, Perry Noble is a mega church false teacher who pastors NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has a brash style that is often crude and dismissive of the very people he is in charge of pastoring. He is on record multiple times as telling his people if they do not like something he says they should leave. He routinely twists Scriptures to suit his agenda, especially when it comes to tithing - a subject he loves to brag about from the pulpit. He calls non tithing Christians greedy and has even blamed them for homosexuality, saying there would be less if they gave more. This is really just skimming the surface of his "ministry" and only presented as a spiritual backdrop to what we need to discuss today. I say spiritual backdrop because there are two areas Christians routinely abandon the Word of God reflexively in and one of them is the realm of psychology (the other being love). It seems that for most Christians everything is super spiritual. Marriage not going well? You need to pray more. Children not behaving? You need to read more Scripture. Bad doctor report? Jesus is your healer! You're depressed or anxious - here take this pill. What?
This link is a blog recently submitted by Perry Noble where he admits that he has struggled with anxiety for many years now and feels he has finally regained some control through the use of anti-depressant medication. This is not an indictment against people who struggle with feelings they cannot control. The spiritual backdrop is presented for spiritual reasons. It does not surprise me that someone who preaches a gospel contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and routinely fleeces his flock would end up suffering from spiritual issues. I take no joy in saying so and my concern is that his blog article contains so many factual errors both secular and spiritual that to leave it unanswered is not responsible. Some may wonder why I would feel warranted in responding so let me be clear. I have a four year secular degree in Psychology. I have a secular Masters Degree in counseling. I have an accreditation from the Assemblies of God to be a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I routinely wrote about psychotropic medication before and after I was saved. I suffered for seven years from a panic disorder myself. Recently, I watched the devil, using psychotropic medication, take the life of someone very close to me. This is not just a random devotional spoken by someone who does not understand. The above key verse is from Revelation. They are words spoken by an angel regarding the finality of the fall of Babylon. I chose it as the key verse for this discussion because of one word - sorcery. Great men of this earth - Babylon - deceived many through sorcery. The root word here in the Greek is actually " Pharmakeia ", where we get the modern word "pharmaceuticals" from. The New Testament Greek Lexicon defines this as the administering of drugs and directly relates it to the seduction and deception of idolatry. It is not some small matter to God and we need to stop treating it as such.
That said, let us look at what Perry Noble had to say and compare it to reality. He begins by stating that years ago he held the opposite belief regarding what the world refers to as mental illness and the medications that go along with it. He states:
"In a completely illiterate and uneducated manner I told them that people with 'weak faith' are the ones who needed such meds, that godly people did not struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression, and that taking such medication would essentially be screaming to God, 'I don't trust you,'"
So first we see that the entire premise he originally had was also incorrect. It is not Biblical to assume that someone struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression are somehow weaker in faith. Maybe they are but we cannot say that as a blanket statement. Further, the notion that godly people do not struggle with these feelings is absurd on its face. Jesus Himself gave us counsel on anxiety: