So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Monday, September 26, 2005

False Teachers and Mental Illness Part 2...

Well, I must apologize for my infrequent updates as of recent. Between working 2 jobs, being a professional gigging musician and having a part time preaching/speaking schedule, I've been kinda busy. None the less, I've got some little clarifications to make. I only had 1 comment and several private e-mails from people who read the last post, and I'll try to address them generally.

First off, I do believe in the existence of mental illness. The bible talks about 'real' mental illness. Real mental illness is mentioned in Daniel 4:28-37. God takes away Nebuchadnezzar's sanity and Nebuchadnezzar roams the countryside, robbed of all humility, eating grass like a cow and having his hair and nails grow out, resembling a beast. Other mental illness is mentioned in 1 Samuel 21:10-15 when David fled from Saul, going to Gath. David was scared that people would recognize him and that he would end up getting caught. So, he acted like he was insane; scratching the doors and drooling all over himself. So does mental illness exist? Most definitely.

Second, I am very familiar with being depressed. I've been beaten up and I've needed reconstructive surgery on my face. I've cried lots. Long ago, I stayed home in bed for days on end, pretending to be sick because I just couldn't get up to face the world. Long ago, I was suicidal. Then I was homicidal. I've run the whole gammut. What that means is that I've been depressed. That's all. It doesn't mean I understand depression. It doesn't mean that I know the answer, nor that I am a medical professional. Amazingly, that's all it means. Experience breeds experience, not understanding, nor wisdom, nor solutions. People who are experienced with depression are just that. Experienced with depression. If they're not depressed now, their experience doesn't mean that they actually understand how they stopped being depressed. How does one know how they stopped being depressed? They might think it was their new 'positive mental attitude' when really it was that they started eating better. It might be the opposite. It might be that they were forced to deal with a seemingly unrelated sin issue and they've just never made the connection. None the less, all the 'you're so've obviously never experienced depression' comments miss the mark by quite a bit.

In an unrelated side note, the reason that I can have any opinion at all on depression is becasue God has an opinion on it. That definitive, absolute opinion that God has about depression is called 'reality'. I learn about God's thoughts and opinions in his self revelation; the Bible. So, if my opinion syncs up with God's opinion (from whence springs reality), then I can have a firm foundation for having a conviction. I have very strong convictions about mental illness, but that's not what the post was about...nor do I have any inkling of desire to debate with random people online about it.

The problem was that my friend was a slave to false teaching, and that struck me in the heart. It hurt to see a close friend hooked in with some goofy crap and it killed me inside that I didn't have the time or presence of mind to have something insightful or helpful. None the less, the post was more about false teachers and less about mental illness. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian


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