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bipolar sin?

Discussion in 'Bipolar Disorder' started by romen33, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. romen33

    romen33 Newbie

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    Hi I'm new to this forum, was wondering if anyone has ever been told to leave a church and labeled as a siner by the church leadership due to their bipolar disorder. this happened to me when I first started. having symptoms of bipolar 8 years ago. It destroyed my faith in churches and have not returned to a church since then.
     
  2. Jer

    Jer Contributor

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    No, I haven't. It's a bit of a tricky one in regards to sins because of being bipolar. I don't know if we can use it as an excuse - but it makes it very hard (if not what feels like impossible) a lot of the time. I find that particularly in the mania times. However in the same way it is not for others to judge or kick people out of church. As Jesus said it is the sick who need a doctor - not those who are "good"!

    For me it sounds like the church (or leaders) were judgemental, and so it sounds like it wasn't a very good church, if I can say that. I think it is good to look for another church that understands people mess up. We all can only rely on Jesus - doesn't matter if it's just a lie or cheating on someone. Sure, the consequences can be much worse, but it still puts us in the wrong place with God. So I would recommend looking for a church that is "ok" having sinners in it, rather than just "perfect" people!

    I guess it destroyed your faith in churches, but remember churchs are made up of people. People who mess up (like us with our bipolar stuff, and us just as messed up people). So don't judge all people in churchs the same, and also remember they can be just as wrong. Not saying you should carry on going to a "bad" church, but also be understanding, as we need people to be to us.
     
  3. romen33

    romen33 Newbie

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    Thank you for your reply it is difficult to forgive and forget, these people were my friends for 12 years prior to the onset of bipolar and I needed their support and love but instead I was cast out and none of them ever fellowshiped with me again. I pray God helps me to love and forgive them. I understand that manic episodes scare a lot of people and some churches don't believe mental illness is real but rather that it is just sin. I pray to find a new church but feel awkward going somewhere else
     
  4. Jer

    Jer Contributor

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    I think "normal" people don't understand what bipolar can do to you, they seem to sometimes believe that there is always a way you can get out, that you should just say no, that you should just try and be more positive, and so on. I think one of the things we have to learn as bipolar people is that they don't know what it's like fully, and so we have to be patient. Saying that, I disagree strongly with their actions and don't think they were right. I guess a lot of people just followed the crowd, which is really sad. And I understand a bit of it that it is hard to move on after such a long time trusting them, to be let down when you needed more help.

    I know it's hard, but it can be good to find another church, to have more people who can help if you need them too. And so that you can help them too. Perhaps treat it like a challange the bipolar gives you? We have to learn to fight against what our emotions are saying, and so maybe if you think this would be good (maybe you are by posting this?) but are scared it could be something to try, even when you don't feel like it? I'm not sure exactly if you want it, but it could be good?
     
  5. madison1101

    madison1101 Senior Veteran

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    I think it depends on how you were sinning, and if you were willing to repent. What sin did you commit that caused the church to practice church discipline? It is Biblical for churches to practice church discipline. If you were committing a particular sin continuously, and it came to the attention of the leadership of the church, they are within their rights to practice church discipline. There are steps to church discipline, including Godly counsel coming to the offender and seeing if they are willing to repent and be restored. If that occurred, and you weren't willing to repent and be restored, then it is Biblical to excommunicate you. It is totally inappropriate for any of us to NOT repent because we have Bipolar Disorder. Sin is still sin, and needs to be confessed and repented of.

    My therapist does not allow me to use having Bipolar Disorder as an excuse for inappropriate behavior, and neither should your's, if you are in therapy.

    Now, if the church excommunicated you simply because you were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, then they are wrong. I am a member of a loving fellowship, where I am not the only person there with a mental illness. When I was hospitalized due to cutting, my pastor came and visited me. He had given me a wonderful book to encourage me, and he asked me if I was still reading it. He was pleased I had it with me, and was reading it at the hospital.

    Please elaborate on exactly why the church excommunicated you. It would help to know the reason.
     
  6. romen33

    romen33 Newbie

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    I'm hoping that by joining this forum I can not only get the support I need but also help others too. I feel I have made a lot of progress in the last few years of battling bipolar. My faith in God helps. I do sometimes go to a mens prayer group at my old co-worker's church. Tried attending Sunday service but this church is an hour drive from my home and I felt awkward since I'm not local of that city. Need something closer. Also I think I'm afraid to give my heart again for fear of getting hurt again.
     
  7. romen33

    romen33 Newbie

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    It was explained to me that the church does not believe depression is a real illness but rather an excuse people use for sins such as not being giving in the fellowship. Because I always felt sad and unhappy in church they felt this was turning people off especially those visiting the church. I was told I simply needed to act happy and be giving in the fellowship. Also my manic eposides were considered disruptive to the ministry and some felt that my taking meds was a sign of lack o faith in God's power. I tried not taking meds and acting on faith but this made things worse
     
  8. madison1101

    madison1101 Senior Veteran

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    Well, then, that church is just ignorant. They are not representative of all churches. It has been way too long since you attended church. If your manic episodes are disruptive to worship services, it would be appropriate to not be there during them. If I am having a depressive or manic episode, I refrain from interacting with anybody, especially church. That is when I worship at home, and call my psychiatrist for help.

    I don't know where you live, or what denomination that church was, but there are some good independent churches where you should be able to find intelligent leadership who believe that mental illness is an illness just like diabetes. A good church would never tell a diabetic not to take their insulin. Well, no good church tells someone with mental illness not to take medications. And don't ever go off your medications for anyone, except your psychiatrist. PERIOD.

    Please check into attending another church. Visit a worship service. If you like the service, ask to meet with the pastor or an elder. At the meeting, ask that person what the church's position on mental illness and medication is. Don't get into great detail about the last church, just learn how they feel about it. If they are as sick in the head about it as the last church, then you know that church is not for you.

    But, bear in mind, you can't disrupt the worship services with any of your behavior. That is totally inappropriate and uncalled for. If you are having an episode, don't go to church that day. Try to spend the day worshiping at home. If something happens at church, leave before the behavior gets worse. Don't stay and disrupt. If you are having problems with your symptoms, call your psychiatrist and ask for help.

    I have both Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, and right now, I am completely stable. I also have a Masters in Social Work, and have worked in a psychiatric hospital.
     
  9. romen33

    romen33 Newbie

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    Than you for the responses I guess I just want to make sure I'm not really in sin and going to hell like some of them said to me. I have been praying God leads me to a church. As far as the manic episodes went they happened when I first started developing bipolar and I was unaware of what was going on nor did I know I had bipolar disorder at the time. I was hearing voices in my head telling me that they were going to kill me if I didn't do what the voices said I had never experienced this before and beleived that the voices were real so I did what the voices said and wondered around the fellowship babbling I can't remember what I said or did though. My wife took me to a doctor and that's when I found out I have bipolar disorder
     
  10. motherprayer

    motherprayer Elisha

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    I was excommunicated from a church when I was young and dumb, and had the exact same reaction.
    The question my experience brought was "How can I trust in a Jesus who's followers act like that?"
    Jesus ministered to the sick, to the sinful, to those afflicted with demons.
    We as Christians are called to be examples of Christ's love. Everything I have learned since has taught me that ANY church who takes their parishioners "out with the trash" like they did me and you is sinning worse than those they are banning.
    I am so sorry you have had this experience, and I pray you find fellowship with people who understand you and accept you as Jesus accepted everyone :)
    Bless you!
     
  11. romen33

    romen33 Newbie

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    Instead of going to church I watch TV evangelist or online church services that way I feel safe. My mens prayer group helps but I can only get there about once a month since its so far away. Also I work mostly graveyard shift and weekends which makes it harder to go to a church.
     
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