The Church’s Steps Toward Recovery
Hopefully the last series of blogs has been informational and challenging when facing mental health. It has made me as a Christian, and hopefully us as the Church rethink our theology and impact on mental illness. We have not had a good track record historically with demon possession, shackling people in jails, or witch hunts, so it is difficult for the world to perceive a compassionate, empathetic, forgiving Church that extends grace and mercy instead of judgment in the name of religious righteousness. What are some of the mindsets that we need to change or at least need to ask questions about? What are the questions that need answered in order for the Church to make steps towards it own recovery in mental health? Let’s look at these questions over the next several days of blogs.
Question. Is mental illness a “spiritual” condition?
Answer: To a tough question comes only complex answers. Although man is both body, soul, and spirit, we are talking about a disease that attacks all three of those areas. It attacks the mind, part of our physical body, which research clearly supports today. It directly effects the soul, our emotions, often through mania or depression, mood swings, etc. It challenges the very core of our spirit, effecting our perception and belief and moral system, our ethics, and our religious convictions. Curing mental illness is not just “facing ones demons”, relieved only by “casting out demons”, as the Church has practiced in the past, but today is a process of healing of one’s physical brain and how it chemically and electronically works, dealing with one’s emotions caused by the body’s release of stimulants, transmitters, electrical impulses, etc., and relying on one’s faith to help one through “the valley of the shadow of death” as the 23rd Psalm so clearly states.
Tomorrow's Question: How can the Church as “the light, set on a hill” give illumination to one in so deep a valley of darkness?