So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

False Teachers and Mental Illness...

Well, I'm at work and don't have much time, but I've had something on my heart that I needed to articulate to myself, so I'm blogging it. Last night I was at a wedding and I saw a friend whom I've not seen for many years. As we got talking, my friend told me about the goings on in their life over the last several years. My friend had apparently been sick for several months in the past and had been diagnosed with a mental illness. After being on medication for an undeterminate period of time (year or more), my friend was 'healed' by a faith healer who pronounced Jesus' authority over the demon that was causing the illness. My friend told me "I'm totally healed and free from all drugs! Praise Jesus!" as they were puffing on a cigarette.

I didn't say much but I was on the edge of tears. It wasn't the time or place for any sort of correction or instruction and I'm pretty convinced that such interaction would not have been well received. None the less, I got thinking about 2 Peter chapter 2; false teachers and their destruction. Especially verses 18-22:

For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

I was thinking about that. That whole "mental illness is result of demonic oppression/posession/demonization" (if you're a student of Ed Murphy) heresy is so rampant and so destructive. Now my friend thinks that Jesus' has saved her from her (nonexistent...the mental illness she has is not exactly agreed upon as even a real mental illness) mental illness while in reality she's moved from dependence on one substance (whatever medication) to another (nicotine). The thing is I see this all the time. The person is 'delivered' and thinks that they've experienced the real power of Christ in their lives when they've just moved from one sin to another. Then eventually they get disapointed and get the 'been there, tried that' attitude to Christ when they've never even come close to experiencing the power of Christ in their lives. Then they fall back into sin, though most likely another sin, and add despair to their list of woes. If Christ doesn't 'work', then what hope is there? Talking to my friend almost had me in tears. What do you do with a person who is whole-heartedly deceived? I mean, I know what to do, but man, is it hard. I guess I gotta remember the efficaciousness of scripture, the holiness of God, the role of the Holy Spirit, the efficaciousness of prayer and the importance of patient love. Well, I've gotta get back to work. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Where I am now...

I've recently finished moving and unpacking and I've still been searching for a theological project. I've had two suggestions:

1. Study Hell. I'm not sure if this is a serious idea or a hint. lol.
2. Study early Christian female martyrs. Tough to find resources on such a specific topic...but I'll look into it.

BUT, in the meantime, I'm brushing up on my Jehovah's Witnesses heresies as a J.W. came to my door the other day, wanting to share 'the truth' with me. I was on my way to work so I had to go, but she said that she'd be back this upcoming week. None the less, I've been reading up on some of the ideas of the followers of Charles Taze Russell. That's not really a project, but I have been brushing up on my biblical defence of the deity of Christ, the eternality of hell and the authority of scripture. Studying the scriptures is always good stuff.

Beyond that, I've also been thinking about and praying about where I'm going to get involved with my church in this upcoming year. It seems like God has been reminding me about the blessing and neccessity of suffering, and it seems fitting that I'm looking at serving at church...which often involves the most suffering. I mean, I get more headaches from the christians than the pagans. I just am caught between a rock and a hard place; trying to know where to fit in, how to go about approaching things and which hill(s) to die on. It's not that I don't know those things, but I often don't want to partake in the battles that I must. I need some renewed hope. Speaking of which, that is going to be my next project. I'm going to work out an understanding of biblical hope. Problem solved. Wow. Blogging is kinda therepeutic. Well, God bless all who read this and seek the truth. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian