Before we attempt to answer the question, “Will Christianity be classified as a mental illness,” it’s important to understand that not everyone who calls upon the Name of Christ is cut from the same cloth or holds to the same doctrine. As classic Christianity drifts to the left of center it looks and acts more like the world of fallen humanity every day. Most in this large group gladly accept the label placed upon them individually as suffering from some form of mental illness needing the counsel and medication supplied by the fallen world. In time, it has become so accepted by the local church that psychiatrists are asked to teach from their pulpits and even train their counselors in the proper methods of counseling. Most so-called biblical counseling is so integrated with the techniques of psychiatric counseling, it’s difficult to see the difference, other than an occasional quote from the Bible. This unholy wedding has already taken place between the psychiatric dogma established by the fallen world and the biblical doctrine of the local church to produce a new man for the modern age. This new man is no longer subject to the doctrine of his church but is now held accountable by the new teachings of the fallen humanity that will affect every area of his social-economic life.
For some time now we were required to pass a series of psychological tests and in some cases fit into a certain profile to be hired. Furthermore, it was also required to advance in our careers, to enter public office, or to serve in the military. Many companies these days also require your attendance at seminars and training sessions steeped in psychological methods to improve your productivity and to develop your workplace behavior. No longer is the church or its teachings on behavioral issues required or even wanted. Working hand in hand with law enforcement and the courts, psychiatry has for some time now filled the void left by the church’s failure to hold their membership accountable to Christian moral behavior. Now families are broken up as courts intervene, requiring extensive psychological counseling, assigning them a permanent label for their newly prescribed mental illness, and in most cases psychiatric drugs in an attempt to cure their new behavioral problems. The real tragedy is that the local church, if they are willing, are no longer allowed to address their behavioral problems even if no law has really been broken or if charges have not been pressed against them. The church is no longer allowed to be the same church that Christ established two thousand years ago.
When will the church start being the church? When will we truly come out from among them and help our brothers and sisters to grow up in Christ? (See II Corinthians 6:17) When will we help them to be transformed in Christ? Those are some hard questions for a hard and difficult age. I believe the best we can hope for is to start with small groups of sincere believers that want desperately to follow the Christian Way no matter what the consequences may be. I can tell you the fallen world will not go quietly into the night. They will fight back. They will fight back with the same arsenal that they have been stockpiling for the past two hundred years. They will fight back with their accepted belief system that mankind’s answers to all his problems fall in the archives of their psychiatric techniques and its approved drugs. They have already won over the largest part of the Christian Church and most other world religions. What’s left to conquer is what they have classified as fringe groups either in other world religions or in groups that claim to be following the Christian Way and specifically the rejection of psychiatry and its psychotropic drugs to control the behavior of its members.
As new people in Christ, we are convinced that only Christ and the indwelling Spirit has the power to cause people to change through faith. Only Christ can take a very immoral person that has done great harm to society and completely change his heart. The Bible says, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:19-20). What a tremendously beautiful and powerful prophecy fulfilled by the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. The very cornerstone of who we are, as God’s beloved children, His true Church, is that God alone has the power to change our hearts through faith. We as believers in Christ cannot and must not allow the State, in league with the devil, to take this away from us. If we do, then we are no longer the true Church. We must come out from among them and stand firm on our belief in the infallibility of God’s Word, the sufficiency of Scripture, and the exclusiveness of Christianity, which are the hallmarks of who we are in Christ Jesus.
Make no mistake the world of fallen humanity will fight back by proclaiming that all fringe religious groups, including those who claim to be Christian, are mentally ill. They will design a simple fail or pass test to determine if we are mentally ill and in need of counseling, drugs, and in certain cases incarceration. Everyone who fails this test will also have all their weapons forcefully removed once a label has been placed upon them for being mentally ill. So, what is the content of this simple, pass or fail, test? We don’t know at this point but can only speculate. Perhaps some of the questions would be: (1) do you believe that your God can completely change your behavior without the help of psychiatric counseling and prescribed drugs, (2) do you believe that God has made you into a new creation where old things have passed away and you no longer need our help in dealing with your past and its problems; (3) do you really believe that your God can transform your life in Christ where you no longer need the help of the State and its resources of psychiatry? Of course, to answer any of the questions with a positive affirmation of God’s abilities will give you the mark of a Christian fringe group and clearly classified as having a mental illness. God help your beloved children to come out from among them and stand firm.
When we come out, we will need to make certain that we have preachers and teachers that know how to use God’s Word alone to give godly counsel to all its members. We can’t say that we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture and then not known how to give godly instructions from the Bible to solve every emotional and psychological problem known to man. Indeed, the Bible is true, when it says, “… and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). If we really believe God’s Word that says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3), then we would search the Scriptures, through the direction of the indwelling Spirit, until we find the truth needed to give proper counsel. We would do this without the help of fallen humanity. We would trust God to bring forth healing to our brothers and sisters’ heart. We would learn how to encourage one another, to edify, to admonish, and to counsel one another in the power of God to bring forth change in their hearts. We would learn how to respectfully hold them accountable in the Spirit of love and affection. Let’s come out from among them and be the true Church. Amen
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