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Featured attitudes in Church to disability and mental/chronic physical illness?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by WrappedUpinHisLove3, May 20, 2020.

  1. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    This honestly isn't intended as a post to backbite or bash my fellow believers, or to angrily vent (will try not to as really not my intention) but, as someone who grew upin a "strict" Evangelical Christian home and was brought up with many odd ideas reagrding health and disabilty, i am also seeing other christians from all kinds of denominations though mostly under the evangelical/pentecostal/baptist etc umbrella with similar experiences.

    examples i could give include:

    - being told psychotherapy is a sin and psychiatry also. (i do get that not all psychology is or has been good and the origins of men like Freud and Jung have not been good either, but there are therapies like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy whcih have been very helpful in recoveries from severe personality disorders like BPD or mental health issues. also drugs have helped people with bipolar and schizophrenia and countless other disorders live relatively normal lives or in severe cases, at least keeps them alive and some symptoms at bay).

    - being told that depression or symptoms of depression.anxiety, even eating issues like binge eating or anorexia are just loving self too much, focus on self or self pity

    - being told that if you have a mentla disorder as a Christian then youa ren't really saved
    - being told you are a Jezebel Spirit ifyou have Narcisstic PD or Borderline PD or even CPTSD.

    - illnesses where the cause is uncertain (or sometimes uncertain- not saying always is) like ME/CFS, Fibro, or epilepsy must be result of sin or demons. (i do absolutely believe in demons and often think many of us even as christians may be oppressed- i and others i know have been at times) and if deliverance doesn't work must be a sin someone is holding onto. or that maybe they not saved

    - that if you trauma reactions after someone hurt you badly then you are told you haven't forgiven properly even if you have really decided over and over to forgive and desperatley want to.

    - learning disabilities like dyslexia, dyscalculia etc seen as rebellion or stubborness needing spanking or even yelling or screaming as punishment

    - a belief that if a christian shows possible signs of demonic activity and it wont go away even if christian is repenting, prsying, fasting, etc that Christian cannot be saved and their salvation is uncertain.

    - a friend of mine who told me her church is makign everyone wears masks against Covid when lockdown ends and services resume. sounds great? but not for my friend who has a hearing impairment and cannot hear a preacher wth a mask over his face. ok, fair enough so far, she can speak to the elders and explain and ask for an exemption? but they jsut won't lsiten. they seem to act as though disability doesn't exist and everyone can do the same. but we are not all the same.

    - children being screamed at , threatened, if they decide to seek help for mntal health issues or severe physical issues like Fibro (chuch doesn't see it as socialy acceptable illness like hey do cancer or though even there i have seen cancer sufferers treated badly also in Word Faith settings) because the church will find out and the "family will be stigmatised and daddy won;t be able to preach again here if they find out our son/daughter is crazy/hypochondriac/self pitying/attention seeking"

    - why preachers that do talk about healing and wholeness in a Biblical way are called worldy and "we shouldnt talk about our problems or needs as not edifying to God."


    The purpose of this thread is not to vent but ask WHY these views exist, and why we, as the church, preach about helping the needy and happily address global poverty (most of us anyway) but disability is seen as less important or irrelevent to the gospel even though Jesus was very into caring for the sick healing them and loving them.

    and to wonder why living a Christian life means we have to act like our own wellbeing is not important and that seeking help isn't denying self when Jesus was crucifed for us so we are now crucified with Him?

    i just wonder where these views came from, because i have heard Evangelical christians say "psychology etc is evil because it the world's wisdom, people just need to repent and they won't have problems" and it sems more like LDS.Mormon teachings "That we musn't have anything of the world in our lives" more than Christian?
     
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  2. charsan

    charsan Charismatic Episcopal Church

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    Good question. I heard all these things when I was an evangelical myself.
     
  3. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some of what you wrote reminds me of a Lutheran that I knew 30+ years ago who was a big follower of Jim Bakker and kind of got wrapped up in the Charismatic movement, at least in terms of believing that Christians should be able to call upon God to heal them and that if they failed to succeed, then there was something wrong with the approach used by said Christians. I reminded this man of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most beloved of Catholic saints, and yet he had medical problems, including blindness at the end of his life. This Lutheran guy/Charismatic follower, actually told me that he believed that St. Francis did not fully use his ability as a Christian to get God to heal him.

    As to your statement about psychology, I recall decades ago that I use to watch Jimmy Swaggart a little, if only for entertainment purposes, and he put down the use of psychologists in one of his programs, though one of his assistants did get Jimmy to admit that there was a place for Christian counseling.

    I will let others respond more fully to your most interesting thread. Let me just say that I think that we go down a dangerous path if we start saying that Christians must be healthy either physically or emotionally or mentally, etc., or there is something wrong with them spiritually.
     
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  4. Franki(ncense)

    Franki(ncense) You will never walk alone. In Him we are fruitful. Supporter

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    Well if we look at it properly. Sin is the underlying cause of illness. It's a long story but it's true.When it comes to deliverance and healing, I guess God works differently in our lives according to each one's circumstances. Sometimes, the Lord will let us live with our conditions to ensure, we don't fall from grace.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  5. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Psalm 65, Numbers 6:2 Supporter

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    I think the problem lies in the inability to separate sociology from psychiatry from philosophy.
     
  6. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't able to report these thigns to the police or social services. i was terrified of what my dad would do if he found out i had told on him, as it were.
    if it was happening to another kid these days, as am now an adult, yes i would report it
     
  8. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    But don't Christians believe that all truth is God's truth?
     
  9. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All truth, but if you believe that a science is not true, do you believe it?
    Example.
    I do not believe in evolution. I have never encounter evidence for it. What is claimed to be evidence for evolution is never change between species only change within.
    So I discount the talk in the marvelous nature programmes that show of God's creation while lying about evolution.

    In the cases starting this thread many pastors did not believe in the reality of mental illness, seeing it as demon possession and treating it as such to the detriment of the child.
     
  10. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    ah, i see. yeah that makes sense
     
  11. Chris35

    Chris35 Member

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    Wanted to start by saying, i am not biased to evangelicals, however there has to be some truth in what they are saying.

    We know from the bible, in the book of revelations that when the devil is chained for 1000 years, there is nothing but peace. However once the devil is released, he will deceive the world again and cause them to make war against God again.

    The only conclusion that one can come to is that all these things have to come from the devil, its the only variable thats changed.

    Which leads to the questions, how does the devil deceive the world, he isnt physical, he doesnt physically come to us, and lie to our face, we cant see him. Therefore he must somewhat influence thought. To what degree no one really knows.

    While cognative therapy is technically the worlds way of understanding and dealing with thoughts eg. These thought patterns are what are causing the behavior, and these need to be changed. One could say there is alot of research being done on whats going inside of the mind from the world, but no resesearch on the spiritual side.

    When someone says for example, you have a jeezebal spirit, they actually mean, that these thoughts, and feelings are not your own but are being influenced by a spirit. The problem is that the person believes that these thoughts and feelings are his own, therefore they take it personally, that they are a jeezebel spirit, and feel condemned.

    All mental illness can be classified in the same way spiritually. Anorexia for example can be said, that the thoughts and feelings associated with it can be coming from a spirit. There mind is being influenced however they beieve it is who they are, when in fact it is not.

    I dont think anyone really knows how much comes from the devil, and how much are from ourself. However we can say that there is definately something going on spiritually, and it is probably much deeper then we realize, however there hasnt really been much research done on the spiritual side of things, we have very little understanding of it, or how much they can do.
     
  12. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This thread started with children and adults being abused because there problems were seen to be ' spiritual '.
    Unfortunately it is a common misconception that spiritual problems can be resolved by physical means.

    That is brutal beatings, burnings/branding, near drowning, starving, sharing and of course praying.

    Jesus said," we are to worship God, who is Spirit, in spirit and in Truth."

    So how can a 'spiritual' problem be resolved by physical abuse and torturing to death?

    There are mental illnesses that can be helped by chemical medications, others by talking and training.
    Today's society rejects the notion of spiritual causes for mental illness as much as some Christians reject the ide of nonspiritual causes.

    Both need to wake up and face reality.
     
  13. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    Even if sonething is from "the world" hat does not mean it is neccessarily sinful. we have to be able to take out the bad bits and keep the good.

    i consider somethingto be a sin only if it goes against God.

    you can take pagan or occult elements out of some things too. not all, but some. i celebrate christmas by listening to carol services, having a christmas meal at someones house, maybe making chocolate truffles fo rthem as a gift. i got rid of the christmas tree and all that santa rubbish, and kept the good bits
     
  14. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Psalm 65, Numbers 6:2 Supporter

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    What do you think of Jesus’s birthday being April 1st. Do you think he would have fooled everybody or would satan have? It makes sense, a lamb of less than two months at the feast of pentecost.
     
  15. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    i had an issue with rage, extreme violent rage. like 0 to cmplete meltdown. lashing out at others, breaking things, cutting myself, biting myself, etc in therapy i learned that anger stemmed from fear and frustration, a sense that i wasgoijg to be abandoend and not get my needs met, or shamed and punished. it really helped. went through some ways if challenging those feelings iwht my therapist snd learned that it was ok to leave a situation that was causing me to fear or emotionally flash back to childhood etc. and that helped a lot. panic attacks are not just hyperventilating into a paper bag or shaking and crying. anxiety can come out as irritability, rage etc. i know anger can also be caused by wrong pride sometimes too. but no always and pride has a root thta neds dealing with too.

    i learned that repenting from sin is very important but also important to address the causes of sin and exercise ways to sin less. also things like hormone, diet, sleep or lack of can affect these things so i had to learn to take better care of myself. helped so much. some christians say that is being worldly but it has helped an awful lot.
     
  16. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    oh, i agree that Jesus birthday wasn't in december. that is logical- the wadis would get very muddy so no ROman governor would have held a census then. and shepherds on the hills? nope. not then.

    but that does not make it a sin to celebrate Jesus birthday. or not celebrate it. i think we are free to celebrte or not. halloween i will have nothing to do with, because there is nothing in it that glorifies light, onkly darkness. christmas has plenty of good in it ifyou get rid of the pagan stuff
     
  17. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    but if someone feels convicted about celebrating it then they shouldnt celebrate at all. we must not violate our conscience. i respect those who dont celebrate, that is fine
     
  18. bèlla

    bèlla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not an expert on mental health or disabilities. But I believe in approaching issues from two perspectives: natural and spiritual. Both have merit. As does personal accountability. Accommodations are important. But ignoring bad behavior is errant.

    ~Bella
     
  19. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Psalm 65, Numbers 6:2 Supporter

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    Fear is always frustration and is expressed in anger or tears, whatever outlet because situations just don’t match the inner condition, or at least not processed from head to heart, so anything contrary to the picture of yourself feels like betrayal until one looks to Jesus and then the light shines straight to the Father.
     
  20. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Psalm 65, Numbers 6:2 Supporter

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    I think the only thing that Jesus Christ didn’t liberate us from is knowing Him, knowing thyself, and knowing others to be as self.
     
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