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Is being depressed a sin?

Discussion in 'Depression Disorders' started by wr2, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. wr2

    wr2 Newbie

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    I emailed a christian ministry with this question and they answered and said stuff like depression is about being self-centered vs being Christ centered and that you simply have to fill your thoughts with the bible and then depression has no more room. It sounds really simplistic and dangerous to me almost like a cult. I also heard the minister of this ministry talk about depression saying that imbalances don't exist and that depression simply comes from false thoughts. I think this is ridiculous. He probably doesn't have a clue what depression really is and thinks that he is in the position to judge depressed people. :doh:
    What do you think about this?
     
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  2. ke1985

    ke1985 Senior Member

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  3. miss-a

    miss-a Newbie

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    That minister's way of thinking is very dangerous. I attended a church like that a number of years ago and tried so hard to think my way out of depression that I came dangerously close to suicide. I didn't attempt to take my life, but I had a plan. That is dangerously close. I have since come to realize that people who preach this sort of thing truly do not know what they are talking about. They have been a little sad or down, and they think that is the same thing is serious depression. so they are right that if someone is a little sad or down, they can pull themselves out of it. But when someone is truly seriously or clinically depressed it is a serious issue, not to be taken lightly or judged. God does not judge folks with depression. He has compassion and offers healing. He does not expect us to do it ourselves, to think our way out of it, to ignore it and fake our way through life, and he does not expect us to avoid valid medical treatment. People do sometimes but God does not.

    So is depression sin? Absolutely not!

    Sending you a pm,
    a
     
  4. Dianna_Child of God

    Dianna_Child of God He is my All in All

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    No! No! No! No! No!
    Please do not allow any Christian, preacher, or anything tell you that. It is very dangerous. It is so sad this happens. People need to educate themselves on these things, especially if you are going to run a church, a ministry or whatever.
     
  5. aflower4God

    aflower4God observant petal

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    HECK NO!!!!!! Miss A and Diana are so right on, dear brother DO NOT give this "preacher" a second thought. PLEASE! I will pray for you and anyone who has the mind set that depression is a sin. (((((((((((BIG HUGS))))))))))))
     
  6. wr2

    wr2 Newbie

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    Thank you. I am glad that not all christians are this way.
    I tell you I am SO repelled by those christians who seem totally brainwashed.
    If I imagine having to go to a church where I'm surrounded by such kind of people it would sooner or later also makes me want to kill myself.
    If you have such a kind of thinking you cannot feel any empathy after all it's their fault. If you're depressed it's your fault. If you're sick and not healed it's your fault, too. :doh:
    This is so twisted and perverse. And I wasted years and years listening to this stuff. I wish my mind had a reset button. I wish I had never come across this stuff. The minister I am talking about obviously doesn't know what depression is or maybe he is also too stupid to even become depressed. I remember one time he asked why a person would want to get drunk knowing that she cannot escape her problems. Just because he cannot understand this doesn't mean that it wouldn't make sense for someone who is hopeless and depressed to get drunk in order to numb himself at least for a little while.
    I also think that such christians are dangerous. Or if you talk to them and they don't know what to say anymore then it's simply always stuff like you need to get the Baptizm of the Holy Spirit and then everything will be fine.
    This is so shallow. I feel so stupid for even seeking help from such people.
    One time I called the prayer hotline of this ministry and there was a man who was really unemphatic and also not very intelligent from the way he talked. I told him about my struggled with faith and doubts and all he could say was either you believe or you don't. That was incredibly helpful. :doh:
    Or I talked with a minister who also came from the word of faith camp on the phone for many weeks. I told him about my anxieties and he simply told me to quote verses like God hasn't given me a spirit of fear. I tried that but I quickly became discouraged. I didn't feel like this accomplishes anything. Even when I was quoting it I felt fear. I felt like a hypocrite. And then he got upset that I do not follow his advice and he simply told me that I don't want to believe and that he cannot help me and dropped me like a hot potatoe even though this was during a time where I was already very depressed. My opinion is that there are far more dangerous christians out there than normal christians. It's always the same. Those christians have a certain way of thinking and if their advice don't work for you then they simply tell you that you don't want to believe or don't want to get better or that you have made depression your god and absurd stuff like this.
    You talk so much about how depressed you are, you have a lot of faith in your depression.

    Even writing about this makes me so angry. I wish I could just erase all these memories.
     
  7. Dianna_Child of God

    Dianna_Child of God He is my All in All

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    I wasted years listening to it too. Always hated myself. Always made me walk away because I was told I wasn't saved because I couldn't just get over it. Now I know better.
     
  8. wr2

    wr2 Newbie

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    I also was told that I have these problems because I'm probably not saved and do not really "believe in my heart" but only in my head.
    This kind of stuff messes me up even more and makes me worry even more. How shall I know if I believe in my heart or my head? :doh:
    But I have also asked myself if the simplest explanation might not simply be that I am really not saved this would explain a lot which I cannot understand otherwise. The bible says so many things which I cannot even understand. For example the bible says that His spirit gives witness to our spirit that we are saved. I do not have this. I don't even know how this is supposed to feel like. How shall I even know what "my spirit" thinks and wether it has a witness or not?
    I cannot work with such verses at all. But many christians will say that they have this witness and that they feel that they are saved and so on and I cannot tell if they are simply a bit crazy and cannot be taken seriously or overly emotional and only imagine things or if they really have it and that fact that I am not like them means I'm not saved.
    Either way, even if I was not saved I couldn't change it. If years ago when I started my faith wasn't enough or wasn't real or genuine enough then my faith now also wouldn't suffice because now it's much weaker due to all the depression and suffering I have been through. This means even if I was told I'm not saved then I couldn't do anything about it. Praying a sinner's prayer again, which I already did many times in the past years, would not bring any assurance or comfort because why should it work now if I didn't work in the past?

    Over the years I listened to so many harmful teachings which left me terrified and afraid. I wish I had never come across this stuff or at least that someone had warned me. In the beginning I thought that everything christians must be good and safe. I had to learn it the hard way.
    But even now I do not really have a direction and don't know what to believe.
    Understanding the bible is totally hard. You can interpret it in uncountable ways. What I noticed is that those christians who seem to be brainwashed do not even seem to think that maybe they could be wrong they simply seem to assume that whatever they believe is right because they have the Holy Spirit and this means that they cannot be wrong. But then what about other christians who also have the Holy Spirit and believe something else?
    This is totally frustrating for me. When you simply think that you have the Holy Spirit as teacher then this means you can never be wrong and this immunizes you to all criticizm or self-seeking. I think this is very dangerous.
    But on the other hand I also don't understand why is there so little agreement on doctrine? Why are there thousands of denominations all they all cook their own soup? How can this be God's will? This only leads to confusion and frustration. :(
     
  9. Dianna_Child of God

    Dianna_Child of God He is my All in All

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    I have ever run across(happened a very short time ago) that someone was tryng to tell me things like things like diabetes and all other illnesses come from spiritual issues. Everything, cancer, diabetes, colds, Parkinson's.
     
  10. LovebirdsFlying

    LovebirdsFlying My husband drew this cartoon of me. Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    One thing I don't like to hear is a Christian gloating something like, "I'm too blessed to be depressed!" It makes those of us with depression and anxiety disorders feel unblessed and guilty, and causes us to think if we were only "right with God," depression and anxiety wouldn't be a problem for us. However, I have learned that the vast majority of the time a Christian makes that statement, there ARE depression and anxiety issues going on. They are merely using those words as a weapon to fight it. If they but speak it, it will come to pass.

    A minister who is not medically trained has no business making a statement like, "The imbalances don't exist." Yes, that sounds cult-like. Was it, by any chance, connected to Scientology?

    Miss-A is absolutely right about people confusing sadness with depression. If you are crying because you lost your job, or a loved one died, or anything like that, it is sadness, NOT depression. Dianna is also right that there are those who condemn physical illness such as diabetes or cancer as also not being right with God, that if you were, He would heal you and you wouldn't ever have a problem again in your life.

    My response to that, I can't say here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  11. Criada

    Criada Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with what others have said here, brother. I've had very similar experiences, even to having people trying to cast the 'spirit of depression' out of me ... which just terrified me!

    Depression is an illness :hug:
    And being saved is not a feeling, or none of us would stay saved very long.
    God loves you, he isn't going to let go of you when things get tough.

    As for the bible - have you tried reading Psalms? A lot of them are very relevsnt to depression.
    Praying for you, brother.
     
  12. wr2

    wr2 Newbie

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    Hi,
    the one who said that was Andrew Wommack. I used to think he's okay because he appears honest and nice on TV but some of the stuff he says comes across as insensitive and unconsidered. It's no wonder that his staff which is trained at his bible school then says the same stuff and that they also do not show much compassion towards depressed people. Why should you feel any compassion with someone who is guilty for being sick or depressed? You also don't feel compassion for people who committed a crime and had to go to jail. This is the same logic.
    I really think that once you adapt such a theology you become insensitive and cold. What I also couldn't stand was those fancy terms which Wommack often times used like "gropers and complainers". In his view people who have problems who cannot be solved with his stuff are simply gropers and complainers who don't want to get better.
    You can try it yourself and email the encouragement department. It's only a matter of time until they simply blame you if their stuff doesn't help you. Then you simply don't want to get better. Why even have such an encouragement department if you don't really want to understand the people and their needs?
    One time I also called another ministry for prayer. The woman on the line was more concerned with recording my name and my address than actually hearing my problems. When I wanted to describe them she interrupted and quickly threw in a standard prayer. That was really disappointing.

    @ criada

    The thing is I can't simply always read books which I understand or why do not cause questions.
    If I only read the psalms then I still have all the other questions. It's simply frustrating when you don't know who's right and how to interpret the bible correctly. Many christians probably never struggle with this. They simply decide what they want to believe and then stick to it and think that they found the ultimate truth and that their church or group got it all figured out while all other christians are dumb and don't know what's going on. I cannot do this.
     
  13. HopingForJesus

    HopingForJesus Newbie

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    Here is a video I had recently watched about depression and Christianity.

    On Christians and depression - YouTube

    I myself have been freaking out for a couple of months now because of the teaching that worry is a sin. I feel like everything I do is a sin, and because I am a hermit, and on disability due to physical problems and mental illness, that I must be some kind of horrible person. I have been trying to deal with my worry and am on meds. I don't get therapy all the time because I cannot afford it. I am basically going through the stage of I don't know what to think or believe right now and it has been making me worse. So then I feel like I am self-centered and doomed. I am going through this right now and this is an excellent thread. May God bring us through all this.
     
  14. balesom

    balesom Miserere nobis.

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    I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and say that depression is not a sin. It's not exactly something we can control. I've always seen it as more of a cross that I have to bear. It's a difficult one at times, but one nonetheless.

    For all you that are worried about this, take comfort in the fact that it is not a sin, and that it will be one less thing to worry about. You will all be in my prayers.
     
  15. Perhaps Today

    Perhaps Today A Light In The Black

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    That minister couldn't be more wrong. Avoid him and his teaching like the plague.
     
  16. wr2

    wr2 Newbie

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    I feel for you, HopingForJesus. I am going through exactly the same, always between self-condemnation and hopelessness. I have so many painful questions which I try not to think about. Other christians do stuff like becoming missionaries. They have plans and move forward and they can feel like they're doing something useful and I have been miserable for years and only tripped on the spot. This makes me feel so useless. I ask myself wether this is God's plan for my life that I lead a miserable, pathetic life and struggle to get better but I don't? And even if it's not God's will then what would it have been like? Then how did I cross it? I wonder what should I have done differently or what could I do now to get out of this but I don't know it. If I didn't want to get better I'd not try to get better. I read books about depression and stuff like that searching for something useful but I find nothing. My circumstances are simply too bad to not be depressed. I cannot simply become happy with my circumstances being the same this won't work and I also cannot chang my circumstances either.

    But I also really ask myself why are there miserable christians? Does this bring any glory to God? I could never find any comfort in this orthodox stuff which tries to make it look like suffering has a purpose. To me this never made any sense. If I was a father and had a child which was miserable and suffering and tripping on the spot then I'd not allow this. I know that my father would also do anything he could to help me. But then why should God be different? Why should God look at suffering differently in a way humans simply can't comprehend and what seems bad to us is actually good? Being depressed and sick hasn't made me become a better christian in all those years and it also won't. It only brings out the worst in me. Lately I have been having really aggressive and hateful thoughts. Being so under pressure only brings out the worst. And the more I sin and mess up the more guilty I feel and then I feel even more distant from God and then sinning becomes even easier. If I wasn't depressed and sick I'd be much less vulnerable to some of the temptations this is simply a fact. Most of the time I despise myself because of what I have become and even if I want to turn the rudder so to speak then where do I get the motivation and strength to do that? I go to bed depressed and wake up still being depressed. If I failed and sinned today why should I get up tomorrow and then suddenly have the strength to do it better if nothing else changes?
    It's simply this hopelessness. If you hear in orthodox sermons that there basically is no hope and that all you can do is look forward to heaven but in this life you'll be miserable and you just have to endure and be a good christian then how does this help you here and now? Normal christianity simply doesn't offer hope. I cannot really draw much comfort when I'm having so many problems here and now and don't know how it's supposed to go on and then try to think about heaven. This doesn't work for me. I can't even imagine heaven and I also fear what God is going to say to me because I didn't accomplish much. What if God talks like this minister and then blames me for not being able to draw myself out of this? This is scary.
    What if God asks me something like what did you do with your life and I can only reply nothing special or I wanted to do something but didn't know what? :(
     
  17. HopingForJesus

    HopingForJesus Newbie

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    Wr2, I am very sorry you have been going through all this. I get angry directly at God here and there and am stuck being slothful and eat too much out of anxiety etc. I sleep a lot to avoid emotional and physical discomfort. I always apologize and repent as best as I can. I too spend a lot of time wondering what will happen and being scared of what God will say to me. I am trying to do better, but will it ever be good enough. Thing is, I don't want to work on being a better person with a works based mentality. I want a heart for God and for others. Because of my physical limitations and mental health problems combined I cannot really give much to others of myself right now other than praying here and there. I pray about this usually each day and for those suffering with mental illnesses. Sometimes I feel like I am ok with God, other times which is more often, I feel like I am a hopeless mess. A year ago I had to go on Risperdal because of rages I was breaking out into in my sleep and then punching the wall when I was waking up. I didn't even know what I was angry about. I was having thoughts of hitting people,etc. It doesn't happen anymore, but still. I apologize in advance if this sounds self-centered. I just hope that God will see our hearts and our sincerity and will keep us as his own. HUGS
     
  18. LovebirdsFlying

    LovebirdsFlying My husband drew this cartoon of me. Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    I was advised, during a time in my life when I was very angry at God, to go ahead and rail at Him. Rant and rave and tell Him how angry you are. Give Him everything you've got. He's big and strong enough to take it. And He will still love you. He is your Father and will not disown you for being angry with Him.

    It worked for me.
     
  19. wr2

    wr2 Newbie

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    I can identify with much you say, HopingForJesus.
    I also feel best when I'm in bed. The absolutely worst is in the morning when I have to get up. This is totally painful. I really don't know how this is supposed to go on. I find it even hard to drag myself out of the bed and go to the university once a week. This is already totally hard for me. I hate leaving the house and I hate sitting in the bus and I hate sitting in the class. I simply don't want to do stuff anymore which I hate. I really ask myself where is the point in this? If life only consist of depression and doing things you hate then where is the point? I really see no point. For me my life is like a repetitious, depression movie and I hate pretty much everything about it. In my opinion it's not rational to keep doing something you hate. I also wouldn't keep watching a movie which I don't like. But I have to keep functioning and keep doing stuff I hate even though there's nothing to look forward to. When I look at the future I only see more problems coming up which I don't know how to deal with. In my family pretty much everybody is in bad shape and it's depressing to watch. Even if I had no own problems I'd still be depressed simply because of this situation.
    Many christians say stuff like just follow God or do what Jesus would do but this stuff doesn't help me. I have no interest at all and also no strength to get myself involved in any "christian activities" because that wouldn't help me. I'd only feel more alone and hopeless. Whenever I was in church among happy christians I'd feel even worse cause I was right in the center and there where you'd expect God to be and I still felt hopeless and this depressed me even more when you go somewhere to experience something or somehow feel God and you feel nothing.
    It really upsets me when I email with people and tell them about my situation and then their advice is that I have to do something like go to church or do this or that for God. How shall I do this when I'm at the end of my strength? Even the smallest things can depress me. If I could lie in bad all day and had nothing to worry about then I could deal with my other problems but I cannot function and at the same time be depressed and hopeless and I notice how this gets worse when I'm under pressure and have to get things done and I'm under pressure now cause I have to study and work on a paper and at the same time I have no motivation at all. Somehow it's so absurd. In life you worry about things and suffer because of things which will be absolutely meaningless 100 years from now which makes it look so senseless and this again makes it harder for me to motivate myself to even deal with it but as long as I am here these things which will be so unimportant one day are now totally important and it's as if everything depends on it. :(

    @ LovebirdsFlying

    I don't want to get angry at God. Sometimes I do but I don't want to yell at God. This also wouldn't make me feel better. And if I'm angry at God then he already knows it so there is no point in yelling at God. If I yelled at God then I'd rather be afraid later on that God's now angry at me. I'd rather get answers to these painful questions I have which I don't want to think about because if I do then I either get angry or depressed.
     
  20. .Mikha'el.

    .Mikha'el. Mod Queue Spam Troll Banner Extraordinaire! Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    It's a chemical imbalance in the brain. Sins are deliberate actions that are contrary to the Will of God. Chemical imbalances aren't deliberate actions.
     
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