Main Reasons Why Deliverance From Mental Illness Testimonies Are Dangerous by David Lee Chu Sarchet
There is a common ideology in this day and age that one can be delivered from mental illnesses. There is a plethora of videos on YouTube of people making this claim. The issue is that these claims are not biblical and they are extremely dangerous.
In this blog, I will carefully outline exactly what are the reasons why this concept is unbiblical and dangerous. However, before anyone attempts to slander me by saying that I am just being a “fault-finder” because I should not be criticizing people’s “testimonies”, let me just make the point that I am coming from the desire to honor Christ above all things and I do this by remaining faithful to the Scriptures.
If I say anything that you think is wrong, then please show me from scripture where I am in error. What I am NOT doing in this blog is questioning the veracity of anyone’s faith in Jesus. I believe that the people who claim to have been delivered are true believers but they have bought into a diabolical lie.
The main reasons why I believe these testimonies are wrong and dangerous are as follows:
1) They misunderstand the purpose of a biblical miracle
2) They operate under the assumption that mental illness is demonic possession
3) They encourage people to not take medication,
4) They confuse the theology of the Cross and the theology of glory
5) They give people a false hope.
I understand that this blog will be controversial but as people who value truth, we should not shy away from controversial topics.
Purpose of Biblical Miracles
Many Christians do not seem to have a proper understanding of what the purpose of miracles were. My Charismatic brothers and sisters wrongly assume that miracles are for all times and that God just does miracles for any reason whatsoever.
However, as we read Scripture, this is not the case.
First off, miracles were only few and far between and when they did occur they almost always were exclusively to authenticate a new message from God. Also miracles were always performed through the Apostles and Prophets only and there were only 12 Apostles!
Since the last Apostle died, there is now no more new message therefore there is no need for a miracle, Actually, Hebrews 1:1-2 seems to say just that:
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.”
We need to have this understanding of miracle whenever we read the Bible and then the everything comes into place when we do.
Mental Illness Is Not Demonic Possession
This is a common perception amongst many Christians and I am not entirely sure where it comes from but it definitely does not come from the Bible. As a matter of fact, there is not a single passage in scripture that justifies this claim.
Those who try to interpret scripture in this fashion demonstrates that they do not understand scripture and they do not understand the nature of mental illness. So many Christians have this terrible habit of spiritualizing things that do not need to be spiritualized.
We would not spiritualize a broken arm because we rightly understand that that is a medical problem that requires a medical solution. So, why would we spiritualize another medical problem just because it is not physically visible?
When we spiritualize mental illness, we tend to ignore the fact that the most effective means to treat mental illness is medication. The danger is leading people into thinking they can forsake their medication and just “trust God” is that mental illness is degenerative.
This means that the longer it goes without being treated, the worse it gets, because the mind is literally deteriorating. Now, the medication is not supposed to cure mental illness (there is NO cure for mental illness) but it can help people who struggle be able to deal with their symptoms easier. When mentally ill people go off their medication, it will eventually lead to death or prison. That is not an exaggeration. It is just facts.
Theology of the Cross/Theology of Glory
The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther famously coined these terms and their meanings actually go quite deep.
Basically what the Theology of the Cross says is that as Christians we are called to suffer and that life is full of suffering. However, we also understand that through our suffering God is in control and He is sustaining us. We also know that we suffer for a purpose and that God is using even our suffering for our good.Tweet
The Theology of Glory says that we should never suffer and as Christians we should always be conquerors in life.
This theology tells us that the life of the Christian should always be good. How does this apply to these testimonies?
According to the Theology of the Cross, we understand that our mental illnesses are the result of the Fall and that it is essentially our “thorn in the flesh” to keep us humble and that the Lord is using even our mental illnesses for His glory and our good.
According to the Theology of Glory, we should not be experiencing mental illness and if we are then it is because we either do not have enough faith or we are living in some kind of sin. Either way, because of our poor choices we are not living life as we should be.
The Theology of the Cross is a thick description of the Scriptures because it full encapsulates the whole counsel of God while the Theology of Glory is a thin description of the Scriptures because it only handles a handful of verses and it hardly ever properly exegetes the text.
This is the by far the biggest reason why these testimonies are dangerous. It causes people who struggle with real clinical mental illnesses a false hope. People who listen to these testimonies will then think that they need to go off of their medication in order to demonstrate that they truly “trust God”.
When they do this, they eventually end up spiraling out of control and will end up having a psychotic episode that will lead to either prison or death. Sure, they may feel fine initially for awhile (maybe even years) but their mental illnesses will eventually will catch up to them.
The honest to God truth is that there is no cure for mental illness, but the most we can do is take our medication and attend counseling and by doing that we will be able to manage our symptoms easier and live a functional life in society.
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Mental Health Advocate
For 24 hour peer support, please call the Christ-Centered Mental Health ministry line at 567-343-3727 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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