Rick Warren

How many will personally criticize Pastor Rick Warren? That I do not know. What I do know is that Christians will be attacked as prejudiced.

In the days after the suicide of California megachurch pastor Rick Warren’s son, evangelical Christian leaders have begun a national conversation about how their beliefs might sometimes stigmatize those who struggle with mental illness. (from http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/suicide-of-megapastor-rick-warrens-son-sparks-debate-about-mental-illness/2013/04/10/322e4910-a148-11e2-9c03-6952ff305f35_story.html)

The Washington Post is what it is. Its writers generally see Conservatives of any stripe as mentally deranged, that is, ignorant bigots. So feigning the sweet voice of reason, they serve up their own bigotry. Do only Christians fear and blame the mentally ill for being mentally ill? Who can read the mind of another? No one. So most of us find mental illness bewildering and strange. We cannot see any visible hurt; we can only see the irrational behavior. Thanks to medical science, we now have drugs that we can use to treat some forms of mental illness. Therefore, even though we cannot see what causes the strange behavior of a mentally ill person, we have begun to understand that much of what we call mental illness is a physical, not a spiritual problem. Nonetheless, we still have much to learn.

3 thoughts on “Rick Warren

  1. I’ve been thinking about Warren and his family. Praying for him too.

    I dismiss the poppycock Liberals write. They know not. The know less than nothing.

    I’ve never heard anyone – ever – suggest a relationship between mental illness and spiritual weakness. Never.

    We have brain chemistry and free will. Both exist in space and time. At some point, chemicals – actually the whole physiology down to and below the cellular level – of the brain can eliminate free will. Until then, our choices matter. Our every thought, word and action from rising to resting have consequences.

    When wrong choices are made – like taking drugs and abusing alcohol – when free will still exists, the consequences are awful. But, I’ve never seen any Christian I know – in the past few decades – point their bony accusing finger and say shame, shame.

    Christians I know are full of Grace. They are overwhelmed by the Grace they get and are quick to give it to others.

    I know the pain that addictions and mental illness cause in families. I know how endless and bottomless the pain feels. My tears mark my path in life – loving others who suffer and whose behaviors cause such suffering.

    I ache for Rick Warren. I know the one, true, only living God – Lord Jesus Christ – and he (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) heal. God comforts. God promises. God redeems.


    1. JAB – Great comment!

      I did grow up with a certain suspicion of mental illness.

      Partly the bias was religious. I was raised as a Catholic. One of the things I learned is that suicide is an unforgivable sin. This teaching stems from the belief that when Judas hanged himself in despair he gave up any possibility of redemption.

      In so far as despair is concerned, I suppose the Catholic Church is right. If we kill our self before asking for forgiveness, we cannot accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. Nonetheless, I rather doubt most of the Catholic clergy intended to equate the despair of a guilt-ridden sinner with the depression suffered by someone who is mentally ill, but who talks to children about mental illness in a Bible study class?

      Unfortunately, theology predates psychology, and those early Catholic theologians knew relatively little about mental illness. So they inadvertently gave people one more excuse to fear and despise the mentally ill. Yet sin requires a will to do wrong, and mental illness disrupts the will. Therefore, mental illness is a physical, not a spiritual problem.

      Partly the bias resulted from background. I schooled in science and engineering. Such work attracts disciplined minds. If a scientist or engineer has bipolar disease, then he or she has it under control. And he or she is not likely to talk about it.

      So what happened to that suspicion of the mentally ill? The Bible combined with life experiences. Whatever our walk in life, we will eventually meet some mentally ill people, and Jesus taught us to love them too.


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