“You Have a Spiritual Problem”

There is a great deal of rather ignorant talk from some Christians about mental illness. I think everyone has at least heard of, if not actually experienced, Christians who believe that mental ill-health is a spiritual problem rather than a medical one. Such people believe that a Christian must be in emotional good health, and any deviation from that good health means that that person has an unconfessed, unrepented sin in their life, that they have a demon, that they lack the correct mental attitude to Christ and the Christian life, and that that is why they suffer from depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and so on.

I do not believe this. I do believe that sin has a part to play in our mental state – the only reason that mental illness exists is due to our living in a broken, sinful world where things are not “good”, where the original plan of Eden has been broken by sin. So I do believe that mental ill-health, and physical ill-health, are caused by sin, but by corporate sin rather than necessarily individual.

This is a great article about the causes and concerns relating to mental health and bodily health as well. Written by Emma over at Believer’s Brain, this is a good look at the incorrect thinking out there about mental illness among Believers.

To finish reading this article, please head over to http://believersbrain.com/2012/07/14/you-have-a-spiritual-problem/. While you are there, why not check out the rest of Emma’s site and let her know something she wrote blessed you.
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5 replies

  1. Great blog……all the mentally ill need is to also be burdened by the thought that their suffering is caused by their own sin. What a dreadful ( and incorrect scientifically, medically)addition to their suffering. It’s often genetic and often brought by childhood trauma/suffering. I know people who have serious illness as a result of childhood sexual abuse….so like they suffer because of their sin????…I don’t think so. I consider this line of thinking reprehensible.So thankyou for attempting to correct this thinking. Regards Leanne

    • In some situations personal sin can be the cause of problems, however in situations like you mention that is not the case. These people need help, not condemnation.
      The credit for this goes to the original author, I’m just passing this article on,thank you for the comment.

      • Personal sin is present in everyone of us but not everyone of us suffers from mental illness so….how can you say in some cases it is due to sin? I believe that call should be left to God’s judgement, as he is the only one capable of making such a decision. Undoubtedly, everyone of us suffers consequences from our sin, as everyone sins but to highlight mental illness in particular, is wrong in any case.

        • I believe you are taking what I said the wrong way. I never said mental illness is caused by sin. I said in some situations our sin causes our illness, I did not mean mental illness. Sorry for the confusion.

          • Ta for the reply, I was actually thinking you were defending against that kind of talk and my post was meant to be in support of ur stance. Confusion on both sides but I would love to keep coming back and tuning in. Thks for bothering to respond. I will own a level of defensiveness on this issue because I believe that when people suffer they become open to their need of God and so, to put on them that they have brought this suffering on themselves because of their sin, seems counterintuitive and may not help to open them to God’s love. It’s just the way I prefer to be with people. Regards Leanne

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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