Mental illness and the gospel

by Richard on April 7, 2013

Following the death by suicide of Rick Warren’s son, Adrian Warnock asks Can a Christian get depressed?

Given that Adrian is a practising psychiatrist, his answer is an unsurprising “Yes, of course.” However, the fact that the question can even be raised is profoundly disturbing. Apart from the extremes of the ‘name it and claim it’ crowd, there can be few Christians who would think of asking ‘Can a Christian break her arm?’ or ‘Can a Christian catch pneumonia?’ Almost all would recogonise that physical illness and injury are not indicators of faith or lack of it. The same is unfortunately not true of mental illness: too often the mentally ill are regarded as somehow culpable for their debility. If only they would ‘trust in the Lord’ or (even worse) ‘pull themselves together’, everything would be OK.

The real issue is that in the Church we still allow the lie to propagate that being a follower of Jesus will make everything All Right. But it doesn’t matter how loudly or enthusiastically you say or sing it. A lie is still a lie.

{ 1 trackback }

The Black Dog strikes again | The Mendip Nomad
04.07.13 at 8:28 pm

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>