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


Blogger Let Grace Rain Down said...

WOW Amen brother. I totally agree, been there done that! But it is in times when all seems hopeless and powerless that God works His miracles. God will pave the way and I will pray that you can see it in your friends life. Blessings

9:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armchair, it sure is a breath of fresh air reading your blogs. Many of my friends have blogs themselves, but always seem to rant and rave about something that has upset them in some way, shape or form and the only 'safe' way for them to vent and live out what they perhaps thought they should have done (usually beat the guy or guys up or tell them off in some manner...which, of course, they would never do)is to blog their experiences. Your blog on the other hand is thought a good way, and it really is very encouraging. Thank you for writing about something that will help someone else (including myself) and I hope that more bloggers talk about things that actually matter, not simply about their latest beef.
As per your previous blog, have you ever done a study on healing in the NT church? I've thought about it alot myself, but never got around to researching it yet. It just seems that there were many more miraculously healed people in the early church than what is witnessed today. I would like to see more healings...
Thanks again, and please keep writing, I really enjoy reading what you have to say.

10:45 PM


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