I read ridiculous questions regarding the suffering of Christian people…
Can Christians suffer from mind illness?
Let me ask another question…
Can Christians suffer from Cancer?
Please understand how foolish this kind of thinking is. To determine mind illness to be something different in moral value to physical illness is foolish. It prejudges mind illness as somehow “evil” and has a negative moral label assigned to the sufferer on its disclosure.
There are too many people, who think that being a person who’s mind gets sick and tired of society, is an indicator that they are bad and best kept out of that society. We do not understand mind illness, therefore we fear it, along with avoiding the sufferer. We don’t want to educate ourselves about it because we might find out something scary about our own mindset. So sufferers are made scape-goats and left to struggle and find solace in something else.
Church culture has nothing to offer, and no one will speak up or dare to point out the coldness and lack of regard for a person in trouble. No one really understands and people believe mind illness is a sign of the judgment of God.
The problem here is spiritual, not medical or mental. Christians who suffer from severe physical illnesses, are supported and regarded as some kind of heroes. If they get better, they have a heroic status that sets them apart from the ordinary. If they die, they have finished their race well.
The mind sufferer is not regarded in the same light. They are relegated to the lowest spiritual caste, and their profound wrestling’s with deep hurt, pain and loss, is not recognised. Nor do we want to recognise it. Let someone else sort it out – it’s not our problem. There are professionals to deal with this – let them speak to them…so the outworking of our thoughts is exclusion.
If the mind sufferer manages to overcome, they are a kind of Pariah. We don’t want to get too close, as they might say something to disturb us. Again, we might discover an emotional problem of our own. If they don’t survive the trauma of prolonged pain and distress, well, that proves mind sufferers are not Christians..!!
We do not notice our inconsistent and discriminatory attitudes to other people who we think are not like us. We “forget” the hero’s of faith who suffered so greatly with these kinds of mind-hurts. More to the point, it is never pointed out. There are Bible characters, who’s writing accurately describes emotional and mind pain. But we don’t assign them the indignity of “mad” people. Those who are deemed “holy” cannot possible suffer from this kind of thing..!
We don’t realise that it could easily be us that suffers and psychiatric hospital is just up the road..!
Godly Christians who suffer, also have the pressure of not being able to talk about or admit their pain, lest they be relegated to the bottom of the religious pile. They struggle alone, until it gets so bad, they suffer a crisis in their thought life. The interpretation of this is that they have not “overcome” and are therefore “dubious”
So, mind sufferers must do what others seem not to do… they must lean heavily on their Saviour, and get to know Him better. Of course, the Lord Jesus draws near to all who seek Him with true hearts. He knows His mind sufferers who suffer so much, as He did. He identifies with every pain and enlightens the mind that is in trouble, to understand His Word in a deep way. Love grows.
When all others fail, to find the love of Christ is the most wonderful thing. The sufferer realises that Jesus is so real. His Word is true. The reality of a daily close walk with Himself, is for them.
The mind sufferer discovers that “church” actually hurts, not heals. The environment of “fellowship” is false and it troubles them. They start to doubt that they are Christians, because they don’t fit in with the system. They are troubled because they are told they have to come to church and do whatever they are told, otherwise they will fall and fail….
But the sufferer has been there already.!! There was no comfort from the pew. There was no kind council from the leaders. There is surely no acceptance in the fellowship – felt or not…
This is the crunch…
The mind sufferers in the “church” are the ones who are hurt by the double standards and false friendship. They see through the coldness and the lack of love – it hurts them, and they blame themselves.!!
The situation in the “church” culture actually exacerbates the pain they feel and the sense of isolation. The person goes down and it takes a long time for them to realise the links in the chain. “Church” hurts people. Christians are not like Christ. There must be more than is seen and displayed.
In fact, the mind sufferers are the litmus paper of the spirituality of the social situations around them. If the powers that be would educate themselves by talking to sufferers, the whole church could be helped. What if someone who knows their own mind and it’s dreadful chasms of darkness, and also knows the light of Christ, big time, we’re allowed to minister..! Resurrection might ensue… the lost might find a voice of salvation.
My personal situation as a sufferer, is that I stay away from the organised, prestigious, churchy structures. They will never accept me, and it took me a long time to accept that. Of course, I blamed myself. Then I discovered that “church” doesn’t actually want people like me. Also, I don’t need it..!! I realised more and more the power of the Spirit of God within me and as I kept close to Him, He taught me more and more. Then I realised this has been going on my whole life.!! I started to see my true love. Then I started to realise I don’t need the acceptance- I am already accepted by my beloved – Jesus is all I need.
God took me into a variety of different situations and started to teach me to be a Christian in real life. It was real liberty. I started to find my feet like never before. I learned how to relate with all sorts of people and talk about Jesus to anyone. Courage grew and I discovered a holy boldness to reach out, branch out and trust in the living Lord Jesus,
I shed the dead feathers of religion, in a catastrophic moult. Foolish ideas that bore no fruit and were dragging me down, I left. Underneath was a suit of armour fit for my life as a Christian, to serve and fight to become more like Him. The Lord Jesus became my dearest friend and as I walked closer to Him, many earthly friends fell away. It is difficult to give your life to Him. He will take it all and give you love and courage and glory. Others might not like it.
To have a psyche that understands and can exercise wisdom, discretion and to face life with the holy boldness that comes from the Spirit of God is the Way. This is living…!! Heaven comes close and never seems far away whatever the circumstances. To survive and thrive in the fight against the oppression of the mind, is life’s great conquest. I now look back and view the pathway so differently than I once did. I hope never to get entangled with the pointless chains of religion again. When you experience the freedom of walking with Christ, it all fits into place and every part of me has joy and peace.
I still fight, but my armour is ready and I use it. I pray to go home to the Lord, full of good works and with many souls won for His glory. The pain and sickness are for His glory and my good.. I never dreamed I would ever say such a thing…
Too many Christians hover in the dark land of the mind. Turn to the Lord. He will save and keep you and show you how to fight and live. Give yourself to Him and you will not fail…